Friday, February 21, 2014

Cataluña blocking; The lying Princess; The weird Duquesa; A Belgian conundrum; Weird TV; & Galician politics

The Spanish Parliament on Thursday voted overwhelming in favour of a motion designed to block Catalonia's 'right to decide' on self-rule by holding an independence referendum. So that's that. It'll all go away now. Not. Roll on September.

We now have the transcript of Princess Cristina's court appearance last week. In summary, she gave the judge 550 "evasive answers", in her attempt to show she was just the little woman in her marriage, signing whatever business papers her husband put before her and asking ne'er a single question about them. Understandably, at one point the judge told her she was insulting his intelligence. Asked whether she thought the Tax Office had gone easy on her because of her position, she replied that she thought that, as the daughter of the king, they'd treated her with greater than normal scrutiny. The problem with this answer is that it's blatantly at odds with the facts. But, by the time she gave it, it was already clear that truth was the last thing she was concerned with.

Talking of royalty . . . Spain's richest (and possibly oddest-looking) woman - the Duquesa de Alba - may one day reign as the Queen of Scotland, should they ditch the British queen Elizabeth after gaining independence. For one of the numerous titles of the Duquesa includes the word 'Stuart'. Whether the Scots would take to her 24-years-younger, Cuban, gold-digging husband, is another matter. More here.

In a list of black economies I saw the other day, Spain naturally ranked pretty high at 25% of the white, official economy. But what was really intriguing was Belgium's position close behind Spain's. Has it always been thus there? Or did things begin to deteriorate once the EU started to operate from Brussels? If not, what's the reason for this performance?

I watched a political discussion on Spanish TV last night, among a panel of 8 commentators. At the minimum, there were 2 people talking at the same time. And sometimes there were 6. Or even 8. In the latter cases, of course, most of them were shouting to be heard. 'Twas ever thus here. It passes for discussion. Second only to participating in one, the Spanish love to watch a good argument. Even if they have the devil's own job of making out what's being said

Galicia has a population of around 3m. So, how many political parties do you think we have? The answer is 259, of whom I recognise the names/acronyms of 3. 107 parties have been formed since the start of La Crisis alone, which looks to me like democracy gone mad. The Galician nationalist party - the BNG - has 25 parties under its umbrella. Which is why it's called a 'Block', I guess.

Begging is wet work in constant rain. It's hard not to look bedraggled. And so it was with 2 beggars who approached me and the 3 Spanish ladies I was taking a drink with on Wednesday. The first - a well-known woman - was treated benevolently and given a euro by each of the ladies. The second - a well-known and ill-looking man 'selling' books - was given short shrift and sent away with nothing. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why he was deserving of so much less sympathy. But will ask.

Finally . . . It's official - In the UK, this winter is already the wettest since records began in 1911. As for Pontevedra . . .

The Environment

January: 31 days. On which it rained: 28 - 93% 

February: 21 days. On which it has rained: 21 - 100%.

So, 49 out of 52 - 94%, and rising.


J. A. Roberts said...

Belgium has always been like that. It used to be governed by Spain, which probably explains why.

Anonymous said...

Or Spain by Belgium. Emperor Charles (first of "Austria" dinasty) came from Flanders...

Perry said...


You wrote "It's official - In the UK, this winter is already the wettest since records began in 1911."

That is yesterday's news. Today, the Mail informs us that the Met Office's ‘pitiful’ forecasts were under fire last night after it was revealed it told councils in November to expect ‘drier than usual’ conditions this winter.

Read more:

SNAFU again.


Anthea said...

Still raining in Delph!

So, the Duquesa de Alba as Reina de Escocia. There have always been interconnections betwen these royal families but la Duquesa? How long would she last? For years she has looked as if she's been buried and then dug up again!