Talking about better times . . . At the height of the boom, when bank branches were sprouting like weeds (not a bad simile, come to think of it), the Levantine CAM bank opened a branch in Pontevedra's city centre and advertised on a nearby window that a second branch would soon be operating there. Well, it never did and the first place closed down a year or two ago. And then the whole bank failed and was bought out by another - Sabadell, I think. This would look like a paradigm of Spanish boom-banking even without the fact that 5 of CAM's directors are now in the dock, accused of a shocking array of activities designed to defraud everyone else and to line their pockets. And of causing the bank's collapse in the process. Reading about this, I wondered why no British bankers had been arraigned. But then I realised none of them have been accused of fraud, only negligence. And greed. By the way, the CAM bank, like the TV Channel mentioned above, was based in Valencia. Nationally, the city seems to be associated with corruption of all sorts.
Elsewhere, several people accused by an investigating judge have been released, as it were, by a higher tribunal or through the pressure of the, would you believe, Public Prosecutor. The most newsworthy are the 4 current and ex-executives of the national rail infrastructure company, ADIF. The La Coruña Provincial Court has pronounced that they have no case to answer in the case of the train which came off the track near Santiago, killing 80 people. So the driver stands alone in the dock. And no one who works for the government will ever be investigated, never mind tried. I guess it saves the time and expense (hard times) of having them tried, convicted, imprisoned and then quietly pardoned and released.
Spain's Minister of Education is having a torrid time. His flagship reforms have been postponed and now he has been, to say the least, embarrassed by the reversal of a decision within less than 24 hours of its announcement. Apparently having taken leave of his senses, Señor Wert announced that Spanish students studying abroad as part of the Erasmus project would have their grants stopped immediately. Possibly under Brussels pressure, Madrid quickly announced "Oh, no, they won't!" (British pantomime joke). Leaving Sr Wert to crawl away and lick his wounds. For a lot of people it will be a cause for regret if these don't turn out to be fatal.
There was a foto in yesterday's El País of President Rajoy being applauded by his PP party MPs as he took his seat in the parliament. Does this happen anywhere else, apart from China and North Korea? If not, what does it tell us about Spanish politics?
Finally . . . Here's my foto of an ugly percebe, or goose-barnacle.
And here's a lot more.
I have to admit that some people love them. But I side with those Galicians who used them as animal food before the modern marketeers got to work and promoted them as an aphrodisiac.
Which they ain't, of course. Hence the famous complaint of Mae West to the Santiago hotel owner - "I had 20 of your percebes last night and only 10 of them worked."