Friday, April 04, 2014

Views on Spain; Damaging kids; Aintree outfits; Good and Bad News; & Google Circles.

For guiris who want to see what other guiris think about Spain, here's one view from down in Sevilla. With the exception of littering, I would go along with all of this. As long time readers will know. Time to reprise this, written 12 years ago

The UK seems to be on the verge of bringing in a so-called Cinderella Law, under which parents can be prosecuted for causing 'emotional damage' to their children. Having discovered early in the life of my elder daughter that the only thing she really feared was being embarrassed by me, I used this weapon to the full both with her and then her sister. To this day, they remain terrified that I'll do an impersonation of a monkey in the high street. Causing them further emotional damage.

It turns out that today is Ladies' Day at Aintree. Judging by the outfits shown in yesterday's press, we are in for something of an anti-treat. Hard to believe there were so few attractive women at the races on Wednesday.

But, anyway, here's this week's news from Spain:-


  • Tourists in Spain spent a record €6.1m in the first two months of 2014, up 9% on the same period in 2013.
  • Spain's economic crisis and mass unemployment have had a surprising side effect: fewer traffic jams on the country's roads. The time spent in jams has fallen by more than 60% since 2010. And the autovias and autopistas are virtually empty, in Galicia at least.
  • The average household will get a refund of €34 in its next bill because of overpayment in the first quarter of the year. Don't ask me to explain the calculation,
  • The number of unemployed fell again in March, reflecting the slow recovery in the economy, after 5 or 6 truly dire years.
  • According to the government, Spain's GDP growth in 2014 will be 1.5%. Not enough really, but better than previously forecast.

  • Bad

  • The number of people in Spain who can't afford to heat their home adequately has risen by 50% since 2008, says the Association of Environmental Sciences.
  • In 2013, a shocking 184 Spaniards were evicted from their homes every day, under draconian laws that not only permit eviction but also compel borrowers to pay back the full loan even when the bank had commandeered the property. The annual total was 67,189.
  • Pending the economic upturn . . . "Prices are falling. Salaries are falling. Loans are falling. The real estate sector is yet to touch bottom and consumer spending is still down. Two labour reforms later, unemployment is still above 25%; 4 years after austerity measures were rolled out, Spain’s public debt is nearly 100% of GDP and the deficit remains one of the biggest in all of Europe." HT to Lenox of The Spanish Shilling for this summary. 

  • Finally . . . From to time, Google tells me someone has added me to their Circle. Usually, I don't recognise the name and so am left wondering what to do. Yesterday it was Javier Fernandez. As always, I am afeared of upsetting a reader, especially if the foto is of an attractive woman. Please say so, if you are. A reader, I mean. Not an attractive woman.

    It's not often attractive women get mentioned twice in one post.


    Mr Pitiful said...

    Colin, unfortunaley I am not an attractive women but the child of Galician immigrants in the USA, I have enjoyed reading your blog and it sort of helps an american understand his Spaniard parents a little bit. My godmother lives in Raxo, 8 months out of the year and spends the other 4 in the US with her daughter and son in law. BTW that beautiful chalet she has was bought with US dollars back in the 70's as well as my parents chalet in Nigran. As chiild I thought they should have been arrested by the US government for doing so.

    Anonymous said...

    I think you are out of the country. If so, you are missing all the Esperanza Aguirre memes on her assault and runway from the police when they were trying to ticket her. It has most Spanish people in tears from laughing so hard. Each one is better than the next.

    Sierra said...

    Further good news?

    "the 10-year yield on US bonds is now above those on Spanish ones."

    I don't know why either

    Lenox said...

    Hi Colin, Thanks for the link to my Spanish shilling, but the quote more properly belongs to El País in English.