Thursday, October 24, 2013

Spanish politicos; Hounds: Bullfighting; Swearing in Gallego; A tax on the sun; and exPres. Zap.

After an extensive survey, I can now list the offences for which Spanish politicians would be prepared to resign, if pushed:-
1. Murder of an infant.
2. Err . . . that's it.

It's hunting season in Galicia now, at least for some poor creatures such as rabbits. Looking at a foto of huntsmen and their dogs yesterday, I was struck - not for the first time - how unlike traditional British or French hounds they are. In truth, they look rather more like small mongrels or even diminutive lurchers. Which doesn't mean they don't do a great job, of course. If they didn't, like useless greyhounds, they'd be strung up from trees.

Talking of animals being hounded to death . . . Here's David Jackson's overview of a new book on Spain's Fiesta Nacional. It's just possible that the death-knell is being rung for this activity. As The Local writes:- "Spain's powerful bullfighting fraternity may have finally met its match: former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson has joined forces with animal rights campaigners who want Spanish politicians to pull the plug on government subsidies for this 'cruel pastime'". More here.

And talking of dogs . . . I came across this Gallego canine name yesterday - Rober. And then I thought of O Bao/O Vao and realised what it would be in English.

Then there's the word rePUGnant. Which says it all.

Talking to a Spanish neighbour/friend (not Ester or Amparo) last night I learnt that Spaniards use the phrase jurar en arameo ('to swear in Arameic') to mean using bad language. It would be good to know the origin of this. Alfie? I also learnt that the swearing that takes place in Gallego is even more colourful than in Spanish. I couldn't possibly repeat here the example I was given. Suffice to say it includes the word cona. Google will tell you what this means.

In a move which the rest of the world rightly sees as mad, the Spanish government has recently reversed its policy of subsiding individuals' investments in solar panels in favour of one of a tax on people who aren't troubling the national electricity grid. As far as I can make out, the logic is that, if you were using the grid, you would have to pay for the infrastructure you're accessing. Now that you're not using the grid and the infrastructure, you need to pay a special tax to compensate the government for you not doing so. Whoever thought this up must have a lot more such schemes in their twisted brain. For example, people who don't use a car should be made to pay a special Non-car tax because they cross the roads that the cars use. Etc. etc.

Talking of madness . . . Spain's last president, Sr Zapatero, has confided that he thinks his big mistake was not to admit La Crisis had arrived. Others will have alternatives, such as his statement that Spanish banks were the strongest in the world and didn't indulge in Anglo-Saxon sins such as prime mortgages. Or his boast that Spain would overtake Germany in per capita income by 2012. Or, to get local, that the AVE high-train would arrive in Galicia before 2020. Or even 2015.

A knowledgable friend has confirmed what I already thought - that my Chinese emperor and mate are cast in resin. But I still like them and, knowing this, won't cry as much when my cleaner eventually breaks one, or even both, of them. But I will tell her they were ivory and seek due compensation.

Finally . . . A couple more fotos:-

A car with 4 wheels on the pavement, blocking the zebra crossing. And drivers' vision at the roundabout:

The ever-more-numerous steel poles which are intended to stop this sort of thing:-


Diego said...

Let's see if i an make sense here, i think that the new tax on people using individual solar panels only applies to those that are connected to the grid and do not have a storage system, a battery.
What i understand is that they are actually using the grid to store energy they generate but not use. So they are being taxed for the convenience of not paying the companies for electricity but using their grid.
If you generate and are not connected to the grid, you pay nothing.
That´s how i read it, i could be wrong of course.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for making your views plain on the ECHR. Your readers can now more easily decide whether they agree with you, or not.

Personally, while applauding the general idea of a body preserving fundamental human rights, over the years I have seen serious mission creep, insidiously invading national sovereignty, basic constitutional principles and the right of Free Speech. By way of example, here's a flavor of that

Photo voltaics produce electricity at a unit price well above that from gas fired generators.

Subsidising them with taxpayers money causes proliferation, leading to the country paying ever more for its power, ensuring it becomes less competitive in world markets.

Countries are gradually waking up to the fact that subsidising PV will hobble their future and rowing back on their early generosity.

Spain has chosen an odd way of achieving this, which you are right to call madness. However, their decision to row back is admirable. Spain is poor enough.

More here

Regards, Q1-10

paideleo said...

Falando de palabras malsonantes en galego sempre admirei a expresión que di o meu sogro: " Me cago na parteira que te aproveitou ".
Non se lle bota a culpa á nai senón á "enfermeira" que asistiu no parto e que deu por bó ese recén nacido.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Dear Colin,

As to the Arameo, check out this site (which I find not wholly convincing, but at least gives the clue that the expression goes back to the sour view Spaniards took of the Jewish presence in the country):

On top of that, there is one other sin that is sure to force a politician out of office (in fact, surer than the mere murder of infants), namely: disloyalty to his caudillo. Why do you think Mr Barcenas is presently in jail? Not because he stole money, accepted bribes or organised additional income to his party.

Yours, Alfred.

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