Friday, August 23, 2013

The Spanish economy; Gibraltar, the dying days: New defendants in the train crash case; A Brit and a Bull; A reader's views.

The Spanish Economy: Excellent news on the tourism front; numbers this July were the highest for almost 20 years. It's not clear why yet but this shouldn't stand in the way of the rejoicing. Though it's a shame most of the jobs created will disappear come September/ October. Of more permanent benefit to Spain is the continuing growth in exports. More here on this.

Talking of the economy . . . Here's an article on the conversion of Spain's once-booming solar sector from subsidy-junkie to crazy-tax victim in less than ten years. A salutary tale, as they say.

Gibraltar: News is finally thinning out. It does seem, though, that Spain hasn't yet stopped the border checks. The funny thing about these, as I've noted before, is that they're made on vehicles going into Gibraltar, on the basis that Spain wants to stop the smuggling that takes place at the border. Since this is said to be of cigarettes and since these are much more expensive in Spain than in Gibraltar, one wonders what kind of idiot is running cigarettes from Iberia into Gibraltar. I'm guessing they haven't caught him yet, hence the continued checks.

There has been one new development: The Spanish government has stopped the export of sand to Gibraltar from the municipality of nearby Tarifa. It seems the Spanish contractor was taking the sand from protected dunes but providing a certificate of different provenance to the buyers. Oh, yes, there's been a second development - cars with a Gib numberplate are being vandalised in Spain. But the less said about this the better. 

The Santiago Train Crash: The inquiring judge is reported to have said: “There was an omission of elementary precautions by those whose mission it was to guarantee the safety of railway circulation on the line, which could constitute a punishable offence.” It's for this reason that both RENFE and Adif have been told to hand over technical reports and documents in respect of security protocols, as well as internal audits and incident reports relating to the accident spot.
 Let's hope these escaped the shredder. If you've ever wanted to see a (young)bull get its own back, here's the video for you. The victim is a Brit, who didn't come well out of the encounter, needing a long spell in hospital and 150 stitches. Enough time to sober up, I guess. 

Finally . . . My internet download speed - theoretically 'up to 6 megas' - has never even reached 1 mega. Last night it was as low as 120mbps, or 0.12 of a mega. This is quite scandalous but the response from Movistar(Telefónica) is always the same -"It's because you're so far from the exchange". As if it were all my fault. Clearly, they're unwilling to do anything about this, so the only recourse is, like my work-from-home neighbour, to go satellite. I could move to the Galician cable company, R, but they can't be Rsed to lay cables up here at the top of the hill. The real frustration is that logic dictates that Movistar is the option of choice, simply because they own all the lines. And can provide the best 'bundle'. Albeit at prices which are among the highest in Europe. It's easy to understand why Movistar is such a profitable company. As, indeed, is every other pseudo-monopoly in Spain. Friends in high places, no doubt. 

Finally, finally . . . Reader Moscow - who regularly tells me how little he thinks of me and my opinions - has written to say he sees me as an über-Brit. Which is intriguing as all my Spanish neighbours and friends tell me how un-British I am. As others have over the years. Perhaps I misrepresent myself when I write. Easily done. Or perhaps his latest accusation tells us more about Moscow than about me. Either way, it gave me a laugh. The first time Moscow has achieved this. But not the last, as he then went on to accuse me, in effect, of being a pervert. Perhaps I am. For I hope to continue to enjoy looking at pretty women until the day I die. Now, there's a confession for you. It marks me out, I imagine, from . . . well, no other man. Except Moscow, presumably.


Anonymous said...

Hi Colin, Satellite is prohibitively expensive, unless you can find a group of similarly disadvantaged neighbours. You could share it with. What about a 3G dongle - Any better? I guess not.

I read today that Judge Luis Aláez has "boldness of wisdom" and has "chosen transparency" and has "earned the respect of the derailment victims".

Well that's alright then.

So many words - And so much crap.

Who writes this stuff? ANTÓN LOSADA / Santiago - Oh well, I guess he has a mortgage to pay and children to feed.


Sierra said...

I have a nominal 8MB ADSL feed. When tested on:

it shows about 6.4MB download and 0.5MB upload.

However, when actually downloading it rarely goes faster than 0.8MB

Colin said...

Ta. How do you assess the actual speed?

Colin said...

I just used and got 380bps. Against 293 with

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