Thursday, July 31, 2014

Corruption; Catalan secession; Spanish life; & Cartoons.


Corruption 1: The Catalan President has managed to get the patriarch of the Pujol clan to resign all his honorary posts and give back all his titles as a result of being found to have engaged in wide-scale chicanery over several decades. It has to be said that the current Catalan President is not above suspicion himself. But then, as I may have said, he is a Spanish politician.

Corruption 2: The ex-President of the Balearic Isles has failed to get a pardon - so far, at least - and will spend 9 months in jail. Maybe. His ill-gotten millions will doubtless wait for him on the outside. He was originally sentenced to 6 years but the Supreme Court reduced this to 9 months. Which seems to be its main function these days.

As for Catalan independence, the runes are suggesting a deal which will keep it within Spain, but with a better financial arrangement. Apart from President Rajoy meeting the President of Cataluña today, the former is also going to meet the new leader of the opposition party. One wonders what Rajoy has on the Catalan president. And whether he's prepared to keep it under wraps if the vote on independence is shelved. Dirty game, politics.

Facts of Spanish Life
  • Spanish women are the world's second most likely to bare their breasts on the beach, according to a "global survey".
  • I'll be right with you is a phrase susceptible to a broad range of meanings. Just ask my handyman.
  • As with the rest of the world, if they had to choose a flag other than their own, the Spanish would go with the British Union Jack. Which is hardly surprising as half of them are already wearing it on their feet, their chest or their head. And covering their pouffes with it. As I typed that, a guy walked past in a T-shirt entirely made of the flag.
  • Spain is undoubtedly the noisiest place in the world. But some people, thank God, are trying to do something about it. Not so much at the national level but down at the urban level. This, as you'd expect, is leading to some confusion. So, one town has proscribed dominoes and bar TVs in the street, while allowing all-day firecrackers during the all-important fiestas. Likewise, loud music is still permitted for the benefit of bars and their customer but not of the poor residents above them. As I typed that, in Vegetables Square, a band started rehearsing for a concert tonight. Deafeningly.
  • The unemployment rate may be marginally down but shops continue to close. Here in Pontevedra, I went to 3 electrical goods shops last week, to find them all closed and shuttered. Strangely, one type of place to be opening up new outlets is travel agencies.

  • Talking about Britain . . . If it finally does quit the EU, what will happen to the status of English in Brussels?

    Finally . . . If you're an atheist, you're likely to be amused by this cartoon series. If you're a Christian or Muslim with a sense of humour, you might be. Failing that, you almost certainly won't be.

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