Monday, September 02, 2013

Spanish views on Gib; Spanish politics/corruption; Employment: Poof-lettes; and Ponters People.

Can't say I'm terribly surprised to read that 63% of Spaniards were happy with the current pressure being applied to Gibraltar and that 48% of them would support the closing of The Rock's airspace. It is, perhaps, more surprising that only 48% back closing the border but this is probably because most of the people crossing it are Spaniards going to and from work. Overall, it suggests it was a (predictably) smart move for President Rajoy to kick off the nonsense at the start of summer.

Said Rajoy last week addressed the party faithful. In the soporific, metronomic tone he favours, he told them things were now better than last year and would soon be better still, as Spain finally emerged from its years-long recession. He said nothing about unemployment, which is what really interests voters. But he did predict that the Galician President, Feijoo, would set the scene by taking the first regional government out of recession. But perhaps this was because he was standing next to him. In Sotomaior in Galicia. Protesters were kept well away from the gathering, so that applause would not be drowned out by their jeers.

Rajoy also said he was proud of all his ministers. This presumably includes the Foreign Affairs clown who was instructed to whip up the population around Gibraltar. Useful, perhaps, in distracting at least some attention from reports that the hard disks of the party's jailed ex-treasurer had been wiped clean of all data.

Rajoy said nothing about the corruption charges levied against him and his party. He did insist nothing would be allowed to distract him from his goals, which I guess we can take as an allusion to the corruption case going through the courts. And he promised taxes will reduce in 2015. Which just happens to be an election year.

Finally on this . . . Watching Rajoy and Feijoo together on the podium, a Spanish ladyfriend spat out the word mariconitos. Literally, 'little poofs'. I did say Spanish was robust. And not very PC. Though in this case I think she meant it literally, in view of the rumours that swirl around Pontevedra. Not that I'm suggesting they're true.

If I've got this right, until last week any business which wanted to take on staff here had to use one of 41 models supplied by the government. I can't understand why the government should be dictating contractual norms to businessmen but perhaps it's a hangover from the corporatist Franco era. Be that as it may, in pursuit of greater simplicity and labour flexibility, the government has now reduced the number to 5. Critics say it won't work so long as the country's two-tier labour system continues. This makes some people very easy to let go and others (the majority, I think) very hard. Allegedly, the unions only look after the interests of the latter.

On Friday night I parked my car in a tight spot in town and made sure the car behind me had enough space to easily exit. It was tight at the front (i. e. behind me) but there was plenty of space behind it. You're probably ahead of me but, when I got back, I found that my back bumper(fender) had been scratched. As if that wasn't enough, on Saturday afternoon I had to swerve a little to avoid a car coming out of my narrow street and clipped the wing mirror of a parked car. My mirror was broken but the damage to the other car was worse. I've tried since to find out who the owner is but so far without success (if success it really is). But at least I've done my honourable bit. Perhaps it was stolen. It's certainly not re-appeared. Or perhaps its broken mirror was pre-existing. It's possible.

I've mentioned more than once how slim the young (and not-so-young) women of Pontevedra are but, in the last week, I've seen not just one but three examples of the dark side of this coin - anorexia. I recall reading years ago that this was a major problem in Spain but, whatever the national statistics are, I'm sure they're higher here in Pontevedra City.

Talking of Pontevedra people . . . In Spain, the percentage of people working in the public sector is 23%, against 18% globally. I suspect the number here in the city is a great deal higher than 23. Somebody must be patronising the city's numerous jewellery stores.

Finally . . . One of the great joys of Spain's culturally rich history is that wonderful discoveries are made from time to time. I recall seeing some marvellous Moorish frescoes recently discovered in a church in, I think, Tordesillas. And now comes news that drawings, paintings and a frieze on the inside of a chapel in Overa suggest it may have once been a mosque. Hopefully they'll have the money to continue with the restoration.


organ grinder said...

Ignoring from the electorate at large I don't get why the interests of a small number of fishermen should prevail over those of quite a large number of Spanish employees in Gib, or why the linenses haven't applied to secede from Spain.

Anonymous said...


Relieved to see this is 30 miles south of you and with the wind from the east, but it does look quite serious for the locals

I shall resist the temptation to allude to the cleansing effects of fire, cleaning out the chaff of corruption from your great country.

Oops, sorry, it just came out.


Azra said...

Rajoy sounds just like our President. And corruption is never far away from politics (sadly).

Colin said...

True but at least in some countries people resign when they are caught at it.

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