I was surprised by Bloomberg's conclusion that Spain has the best healthcare system in Europe. OK, I haven't visited enough hospitals to be able to draw national conclusions but I haven't been over-impressed by what I've seen so far. And I really do wonder whether Spain's system is better than France's. Or possibly even the UK's. About which the Spanish are constantly fed a media diet of (British) criticisms and exposures. But, anyway, Bloomberg uses life-expectancy and national spend (as a percentage of GDP) to arrive at an efficiency rating and I can't help wondering 1. whether this paints a true picture, 2. whether they've taken into account the severe cuts of the last few years, and 3. how much their conclusion reflects that, as a devolved matter, healthcare in Spain is a 'regional lottery'. As opposed to Britain's 'postcode lottery'. I suspect you get a lot better treatment in Cataluña than in, say, Galicia.
Spain is Different 7:
- In Spain, when you've broken a rule (or even a law), charm may be enough to get you off. Not so in other countries, I suspect.
- In Spain, V is pronounced B, Ce and Ci and are pronounced They and Thee (almost) and D is sometimes pronounced Th. At least in most of the country.
- In Spain, entrepreneurs are considered a nuisance. Things are made difficult from the start and, should they surmount this, they're heavily taxed from day 1. In fact, Spain is adjudged to place more restrictions on entrepreneurs than any other country in the EU. Which is not to say that no one succeeds. Look at Zara, Banco Santander, Mango and Mercadona, for example. Not to mention Chupa-Chups. More here. Survival of the fittest, I guess.
I was reading an article yesterday about the types of shops that have closed and opened during La Crisis. One of the latter group was ultramarinos. My instinctive translation of this was overseas or foreign. But I'd forgotten that it also means greengrocers. One can only guess at the etymology. But, anyway, the thesis is true. For whatever reason, these have sprouted in Pontevedra.
At my mother's place in the UK, I found a diary I'd penned during my first few weeks here. Thirteen years ago, I was complaining about having to prove my identity and/or signing a chit when using my credit and debit cards for trifling amounts. Still am.
At last, a war which has an accurate name. In 1488 Brittany and France fought the so-called Mad War. An outbreak of honest naming, never since repeated, in the form of Mad Wars 2 to 300. Which reminds me, such is the poor understanding these days of even recent history, World War II was once termed World War Eleven by a (US?)TV announcer.
Finally . . . . Hat tip to my good friend Karen for this report of a whole village in Galicia that's going for nowt. You just have to come up with a development plan that appeals to the mayor. Perhaps financially as well as aesthetically. For the whole village, I mean . . . .