Friday, June 06, 2014

Those scandalous banks; A kingly assertion; The view from the Left; The EU Presidency; Wisdom; & Another quatrain.


All sorts of funny things went on in Spanish banks during (and after) the boom years. But this one takes some beating:- A Malaga bank took a total of €100,000 out of a chap's account, to pay for insurance policies he didn't want. Plus another €20,000 itemised as a 'transfer order'. When they refused to reimburse him, he went to the Consumers' organisation, which ordered repayment. The bank argued - laughably -that he'd welched on a verbal agreement to buy the policies. As if they'd honour a verbal commitment to you.

The about-to-be King of Spain has asserted he will serve, with all his energy, a "united but diverse Spain". As opposed to what? A cockpit of feuding regions and pseudo-nations? Hardly his choice.

The star entrant on the Spanish political scene - Podemos (We Can) - is joining a host of left wing groups to push for a referendum on the issue of monarchy or republic. Maybe we will have the Third Republic after all. Though I doubt it will be any time soon. Meanwhile, there'll be more demonstrations in favour of a republic next Sunday. Has one ever been introduced without prior violence?

Talking of a state which isn't headed by a monarch - Madame Lagarde seems to have suddenly entered the lists for the job of President of the EU Commission. My contact Richard North writes today:- From the very start, I've been convinced that the new President would not be Juncker. It was never going to be. And now we have EurActiv firming up on the rumours putting IMF managing director Christine Lagarde in the frame. Most British voters (99%) have never heard of Juncker. Most, in fact, would struggle to tell you what the European Commission was, and even more probably don't know that the European Parliament has the last word on the choice of candidate. So not Mr Cameron or even Mrs Merkel.Well, not directly anyway.

A wise man told me years ago that we all become caricatures of ourselves. I was reminded of this when reading an article on Richard Dawkins today, in which the writer suggested he'd now become a parody of himself, as he was railing against fairy stories.

Finally . . . . Two things. 1. Tonight's quatrain from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam. The opening one, in fact. At least so Fitzgerald would have us believe:-
Awake! For morning in the bowl of light 
Has flung the stone that puts the stars to flight. 
And, Lo, the hunter of the east 
Has caught the sultan's turret in a noose of light. 

And 2. If you like rugby and live near Pontevedra, there's an 'international' match between Andorra and Galiza at 19.00 on Sat. 7 June at the sports ground in the Monteporreiro barrio of Pontevedra. You'd be very welcome.

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