Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Almodovar on politicos; The protected princess; Airport going cheap; Un carajillo; Un shampu; & Shark jumping.

The Spanish film director, Pedro Almodóvar, has said that the Spanish people are "victims of a government which is absolutely deaf and insensitive to Spain's problems”. Which is pretty damn close to my own comment yesterday that Spanish politicos "live in a bubble of greedy complacency." Which may be the first time Almodovar and I have agreed on something. Apart from the Catholic Church. And a few other things.

I've mentioned that the Spanish Establishment is moving heaven and earth to keep one of the Spanish Princesses out of the court where her husband is being tried for embezzlement of public funds, some say with the support of the King himself. One of the strategies has been to have the Tax Office go through the evidence and chuck out documents which they say have no relevance to the case. This has the effect of reducing the sum embezzled to below the threshold for a prison sentence. Just the sort of service you and I could expect if we were up before the beak.

Bidding starts on Monday next for Ciudad Real's ghost airport, one of a number in post-bum Spain which aren't troubled by planes or passengers. I'm not sure there'll be any bidders, as the sellers have announced that, if no one comes in above the reserve of €100m (a tenth of the build cost), they'll lower the price to €80m. The funny thing about this airport - well, one of the funny things - is that it was billed as 'Madrid South'. This caused a serious credibility problem, given it's a mere 200km(124m) south of the city. Big thinking, then. Shame it never paid off. Anyway, if you're not successful with this airport, there'll be another one along very soon. Or possibly Terminal 5 at Madrid's Barajas airport, where things are not quite how they were planned to be by now. During the carpetbagger years.

Here in Pontevedra we have quite a lot of Rutas del Vino/Rutas do Viño. To be honest, every road in every direction is signposted as such, spoiling one for choice. I've been reminded of this by reading that efforts are being made to make carajillo a fashionable drink once again. This is usually a mixture of coffee and brandy but the latter can be substituted for by rum, anise or the local firewater(aguadiente). And there'll be Rutas del Carajillo, which is said to go well for those engaged in a tertulia. Or talking. Which I would have thought applied to every drink in Spain. Not that I object.

Talking of strange mixtures . . . British TV is advertising a "German engineered" caffeine shampoo for men. Or idiots. I can't recall all the details. What was I saying about not underestimating the intelligence of the public? Or, in this case, half of it.

Finally . . . An English idiom new to me - 'Jumping the shark'. This is said to indicate the moment when a brand, design, or creative effort's evolution loses the essential qualities that initially defined its success and declines, ultimately, into irrelevance. More here. I guess we'll eventually get a new bit of Spanglish - un jumping. If it doesn't already exist.

P. S. It does. But not with this meaning. Alternatives welcome. Big prize.


Alfred B. Mittington said...

If I were even halfway convinced that Eurovegas will indeed come off the ground in Alcorcon, I would make a bid for the Ciudad Real airport, and put in a handful of shuttle services: busses from the airport to the City of Sin, jets from Ciudad Real to every wealthy city in Europe.

But hell will freeze over before that Gambling Disneyland will generate its 280,000 guaranteed jobs…

Al 'Poor Man of Europe' Mittington

Anonymous said...

Hi Colin,

'Jumping the shark' The second derivative of the production curve.


SF Bay Area

Anonymous said...


I learn that Spanish airports are all managed by Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (AENA), a public firm dependent on the Ministry of Transports.

No competition, so no efficiency.

Madrid has the most passengers, but despite that, the greatest losses.

Out of the 42 airports managed by Aena, only 10 are profitable and 4 of those are in the Canary Islands.

AENA allows just one airport to be a hub, Madrid, even though the Canaries would be an ideal hub for African and south American connections.

No coffee smelling in evidence, as usual.

Albeit 2010, this


is of interest. Chart at the top of Page 6 shows the dead and dying airports - The majority - Neatly displayed.



explains some more about the Canary Islands and their attempt to wrest some or all local control from the mainland. Written recently, it says the number of profitable Spanish airports has now fallen to EIGHT.



Looks to be a professional summary.


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