Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Party corruption; Divorce; Galician acceptance; Airports; Art; Putin problems; My parcel; & Tapas prizes.

The General Secretary of the PP party has said that "The same corruption which exists in the party exists in the country at large. It's not the patrimony of anyone in particular; because, sadly, it's everyone's". This rather looks like the standard Spanish response - Y tú más ('You're worse than me') but, in truth, I don't know what she means. Hopefully, it's that "We have to stamp out out this curse on Spanish society". By the way, PP stands for Parti Popular. Which it isn't, in either sense of the word.

Meanwhile, the courts are investigating illegal financing of the PP in at least 3 cities - Valencia, Salamanca and - here in Galicia - Ourense.

Some put it down to the improving economic situation - not sure why - but Spain's divorce rate soared by 13% in the 3rd quarter of the year. Galicia was one of the regions in which the increase was above this national average, at 21%. I would put it down to the rain but there wasn't much during those months.

I seem to have reached another stage in my acceptance into Galician society. Two of my favourite tapas bars have given me a ticket for one of the huge Xmas lotteries. I say 'ticket' but the way these things are done they're actually hundredths of €200 tickets. In one bar they told me I'd have to buy drinks for everyone if I won. But, since we all have bits of the same number ticket, we'll all be buying drinks for each other.

Talking of Galicia . . . My fellow blogger Trevor of Kalebeul has sent me a report of the EU Court of Auditors on Europe's redundant airports. Their main recommendation is: "Member States should have coherent regional, national or supranational plans for airport development to avoid overcapacity, duplication and un‐coordinated investments in airport infrastructures." The words close, door, horse and bolted spring to mind. Especially here in 3-airport Galicia.

Did you know that all modern art, says Roger Scruton, results from a determination not to produce kitsch? The result is 'pre-emptive kitsch'. And today's artists go so far with this they produce meta-kitsch that sells, of course, for truly fabulous (i. e. ludicrous) prices. More here

Internationally, the good news this week is that President Putin is clearly rowing back on his ambitions for the Ukraine, calling for multi-party talks on a permanent ceasefire and withdrawal of 'heavy equipment'. I wonder why. Possibly because Russia is collapsing around him.

Locally, the good news is that yesterday I finally took delivery of some second-hand books sent by my aunt from Canada. These were originally delivered in April, when I was in the UK, but then taken back to Madrid. Getting them re-delivered proved to be a bureaucratic calvario. And they added injury to insult by charging me €20 for the process.

Finally . . . The tapas bar I mentioned last week didn't, in the event, win the PonteTapas competition. Indeed, they weren't even in the top 3. So I guess no one will be checking out my identity as Joe Bloggs.

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