Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bank tests; Corruption again; Poverty levels; Gypsies; Mr Putin; & Judicial humour.

The Spanish government has naturally crowed that all its banks passed the latest round of stress tests. Some commentators, though, say these were yet another farce. Essentially because the ECB ignored the risk of deflation beyond that already taking place ('internal devaluation') in southern Europe. Cynics say this is because the bank caused it.

The Spanish media has weighed into President Rajoy for the pathetic apology he made for Spain's rampant corruption on Monday. This article from the Voz de Galicia is a good example of the universal reaction. If you don't speak Spanish, have a laugh and see what Google Translate makes of it.

There's a report today that 1 in 4 Spaniards live in poverty. It echoes a report in the UK yesterday that 1 in 4 children there live in poverty. Do you sometimes wonder how 'poverty' is defined? I believe it's based on income as a percentage of average national income. So, as the latter rises, so does the poverty threshold. Today's poor are not yesterday's poor, in other words.

This is not to deny there's real poverty both in the UK and in Spain, especially here where the benefits net is pretty threadbare. That said, the only evidence I've seen of poverty here in Pontevedra are the permanent gypsy encampments down the hill from me.

Talking of gypsies . . . Their national association was pretty angry about the previous definition of 'gypsy' in the Royal Academy's dictionary as "Someone who scams or works through deceit'. So they were naturally delighted to see that, in the recent revision, this was changed to "A swindler (trapacero)".

The Russian TV channel, RT, tells us that Mr Putin is concerned about the 'dictatorship of the West'. Which is rather rich, coming from a guy who's invaded at least 3 countries in the last 10 years.

Finally . . . I couldn't resist quoting this comment from a UK columnist today: A magistrate friend with too cheeky a sense of humour has been cautioned for remarking to a defendant dressed in the full niqab as she took the witness stand: “Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?” I'd have given him a medal.

BTW - Did you know that 'to the utterance' means 'to the bitter end'? I didn't. Wonder why.

1 comment:

Alfred B. Mittington said...

I find this in a internet dictionary, and it seems to make sense:

Middle English, from Old French outrance, from outrer, to go beyond limits, from Vulgar Latin *ultrre, from Latin ultr, beyond; see al-1 in Indo-European roots.


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