Monday, February 10, 2014

A few recent headlines - to give you the flavour of where Spain's at right now:-
- Spain has more nature reserves than anywhere else in Europe and the second-highest number in the world.
- More firms and individuals in Spain were declared insolvent in 2013 than ever before.
- Half of Spain's job ads pay less than €1,000 a month.
- Spanish bankruptcies hit the roof in 2013.
So, still not a lot of good news around. Unless you have 4 legs and live in a nature reserve.

Still, things could be worse; you could be the person (Cardinal Rouco?) charged with revitalising Catholicism in Spain. Here's the latest percentage of Catholics who disagree with their Church's teaching on respective issues. In each case, they are higher than the global numbers for their co-religionists:-
Divorce: 82%
Abortion: 88
Contraception: 90
Marriage of priests: 73
Women priests: 78
Gay marriage: 64
You do wonder how people this antagonistic towards their church's doctrines can still consider themselves Catholic. Especially as most, if not all of them, will only attend Mass once or twice a year, at best.

For those of us who drive to Santander and beyond, the good news is that the Galician stretch of the A8 has finally been completed. The irony is that this was the most dangerous bit of the old road to be made redundant. At least until they relabel the autovia an autopista and start charging us for using it, when some will go back to using it. Meanwhile, we still have to negotiate c.20km of old road in Cantabria, where there's little sign (after 20 years) of the A8 being completed. I guess it makes sense to someone. 

Which reminds me . . . Spain's (privately owned) toll roads are suffering from the crisis-induced reduction in traffic. Some have been making losses and now one has gone bust. It's the short road from Madrid to Barajas airport where drivers have shown themselves reluctant to pay a premium. I'd love to see the volume assumptions of the business plan. Assuming there was one.

According to the EU, labelling fraud for fish in Spain ranges from 7 to 25%, per variety. The favoured fish for false labels are tuna, cod and anchovies. And the favoured deception is labelling something at Red Tuna when it isn't, as this sells big in Japan, at high prices. Is nothing sacred? 

Finally . . . A moan: Before Google killed off its Reader app, the number of readers using it to read this blog was slowly approaching 200. Now that I use Feedly as my alternative to Reader, the max so far is 4. Something wrong somewhere but I've no idea where.

The Environment 
January: 31 days. On which it rained: 28 - 93% (revised down) 
February: 10 days. On which it has rained: 10 - 100% .
But the sun is out right now. In between storms. Small mercies.


Lenox said...

Down here, we get sold 'panga' as 'lenguado', sole. It will ruin one's meal...!

Sierra said...

Drove the new section of A8 last week; can see why it was 6 years behind schedule. Stay away from it in bad weather; could be big problems in snowy, icy or foggy conditions.

Ferrolano said...

Re your readership and not too sure if it is related, but previously, I would read your blog via MS Explorer and for some reason, now I can't. However if I use Google Chrome I can, but unfortunately that is not my default internet application. As a consequence I now find it easier to keep up with via Facebook. And although this way does communicate to your blog, I don't know if it records as a connection.

Azra said...

But I thought that there was "growth in the last quarter". What happened to that?

Colin Davies said...

There was a tiny bit of growth but not enough to change things yet. The first Qr will be interesting.