Sunday, September 22, 2013

Gib again; Health cards; Adif; Piracy;Honesty; the NCG; The weather; Illegal hotel; and A cartoon.

Spain's taxman says he's investigating Gibraltar's chief minister and some of his colleagues, all of whom own property in Spain. Well, I guess it's easier than inquiring into the affairs of, say, those Spanish provincial governors who've become unaccountably wealthy. Not to mention the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues, accused of receiving payments financed by illegal corporate donations.

Every foreigner living in Spain will know that health cards are only valid in the region which issued them. But change is imminent; we are to get a card which will be valid throughout Spain. Though not just yet. It's promised for 2018 but what's really worrying is that it was first promised more than 10 years ago. So, nothing to get too excited about just yet.

Adif, the railtrack company implicated in the recent rail crash in Santiago, have again insisted it wan't they who controlled the signalling there. They've also protested that more arraignments of their employees by the investigating judge will damage their corporate image. Which seems far more important to them than getting to the truth. But I don't suppose that's unique to them.

Piracy of just about everything is big in Spain. Possibly bigger than anywhere else in Europe. But the government has announced it'll be bringing in a law to combat it. To say the least, it'll be interesting to see how effective this is, in a country where getting films, albums, games, etc. for free is regarded as the inalienable right of every citizen.

Talking of honesty . . . There's an unclaimed lottery ticket lying around somewhere in Spain worth €4.7m. So far, 39 people have suddenly realised it's theirs and made a claim. Needless to say, at least 38 of these are fraudsters. But, hey, why not? Making a claim is a no brainer, unless the unlucky ones will face prosecution. Meanwhile, the lottery organisers say that, like President Clinton's willy, the lottery ticket has a feature that can only be known by those who've seen it. Well, maybe. It clearly hasn't put off many phoney claimants.

We used to have 2 large savings banks (cajas/caixas) here in Galicia but now we only have one, Novacaixagalicia, after they were forced to merge. This became the NCG Banco and was then bailed out by the government bank, the FROB, and now it will go on the block, with foreign banks ranking as acceptable buyers. And in this case 'foreign' doesn't only mean outside Galicia. Our bank may well end up in the hands of real foreigners. Possibly even Anglo Saxons. Sic transit gloria mundi.

The sun is rising gloriously as I write this and we're promised a temperature today in the late 20s. I wouldn't normally mention this but it's about the 53rd day in a row we've awoken to such lovely weather. Quite unprecedented, I believe. I've long felt September was the best month to visit Pontevedra but anyone who came this year has been remarkably lucky. Of course, the lawns look terrible and some shrubs have died but Gaia giveth and Gaia taketh away.

Language: I do wish News reporters wouldn't use the word 'claim' when talking about responsibility for terrorist atrocities. 'Admit' would seem to be a far more appropriate term.

An update on the illegal luxury hotel along our coast between Bayona and Vigo: Galicia's Constitutional Court as ordered its demolition. Interestingly, although it was built without a licence, public funds were invested in it.

Finally . . . Here's a Private Eye cartoon I wanted to post yesterday but couldn't get my act together:-

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