Saturday, September 07, 2013

Gib and Margallo; Laudatory Obama; The EU; Much Good news; and British politeness.


Well, Motor-Mouth Margallo, like the Duracell rabbit, keeps on going long after you thought he'd stop. Spain's foreign minister has now promised Argentina Madrid will fully support it in its dispute with Britain over the Falklands/Malvinas islands. This is despite Britain and Spain being fellow EU members. Who are supposed to have a common foreign policy. Time I think for David Cameron - or at least Scotland's Alex Salmond - to openly support Cataluña in its aspiration for independence from Spain. Two can play at being silly.

If you're really interested in both British and Spanish public opinion on the Gib spat, you'll be fascinated by this report. One detail - 3% of Spaniards support military action. Which the authors say is surprising for 'such a far-fetched option'.

Spain's President Rajoy bumped into President Obama in a corridor at the G20 shindig in Moscow a couple of days ago. Seemingly, the US President had details of Spain's economy at his fingertips and praised Rajoy for masterminding policies that had led to economic recovery. Modestly, Rajoy admitted there was more to be done and that his government would continue with measures designed to end La Crisis. Unfortunately, we don't have any third party evidence that this is what was said but the Spanish government surely wouldn't lie to us. Again. So, it's probably just a coincidence that these are the messages the government constantly tries to drum home here.

EU-wise, things are a lot quieter than they were a year ago and one could be forgiven for thinking all the problems have been solved and that the euro really does deserve to be high against other currencies. Our Ambrose, however, maintains that what we have is not recovery but mere stability. Or at least the beginnings of it. Against that, debt trajectories in Southern Europe states - including Spain - are "spiralling out of control" and "Triple shocks threaten Europe's sickly and deformed economy". Details here.

Good News 1: Deaths on the road this summer, at 235, were the lowest since since 1960. Even as recently as 2003, they were over 800.

Good News 2: Unemployment fell again in August, albeit by a mere 39 persons.

Good News 3: Spain has finaly decided to increase the age of consent from a medieval 13 to the 16 that's standard elsewhere in Europe. BTW - There's going to be an exception for "those of a similar age and development" to an under-16 person with whom they've had sex. In this case, there won't have been a criminal act. But are there really any 15 year old boys who are as mature as 15 year old girls? If not, only 15 year old girls can commit a crime. All very confusing. But no doubt judicial decisions wil make it all clear, over the next 30 to 50 years.

Good News 4, assuming you're a Catholic: the Rajoy right-of-centre government is about to announce changes to the abortion law, reversing some or all of the reforms made by the previous left-of-centre government. So, good and bad news, depending on your religion. Or lack of it. 

Finally . . . If you've ever been confused by the (duplicitous) politeness of Brits, this is a brief guide for you.

And here's a bonus - A young lady proclaiming the start of our Feira Franca (Medieval Fair) last night. Or trying to. Her voice was almost completely drowned out by the music coming from a nearby stage in the main square.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Colin,

Good News 5: Spain will not be hosting the 2020 Olympics.

Even at this far in the future date, the Spanish Government would not have been able to stop themselves spending - On more and more pouring of concrete, until every widow's mite had been extracted from every corner of the motherland and the rest of of the European Union had been completely milked dry.

Rejoice, Q1-10

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