Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Princess and her taxes; End of La Crisis?; Airport nonsense; Russian nonsense; Drug trials; & Train nonsense.

The disgraced Princess Cristina has paid to the state the almost €600k she's previously neglected to remit to the Tax Office. Amusingly, she transferred it to the wrong account. Meanwhile, the Public Prosecutor has launched another appeal against the judge's intention to try her for criminal offences.

The current line of the Spanish government is that Spain has not only exited La Crisis but that, thanks to its strategies, it's become a beacon for the rest of Europe. This is hard for many people to stomach - especially the 24% of the working population who are still unemployed - but no one more so that the writer of a letter to yesterday's El País, who said that his restaurant business was down 50% and that people were sharing meals because they couldn't afford to have one each. Of course, you and I might ask why people in straitened circumstances are eating out but menus del día are a way of life here.

Back to the EU's Court of Auditors . . . "Spain" it says "is the member state which has most squandered development funds". Who'd have thought it? The good news is that Vigo airport isn't considered the biggest waste of money. This honour goes to Córdoba's facility. My question is why Galicia's smallest airport in La Coruña didn't come under the microscope alongside Vigo's.

On Wednesday's, El País has a separate section called Russia beyond the Headlines. An apt title, given that the main items yesterday were Mars and the attraction of Spanish beaches. I'm not sure that this propaganda is doing much good right now, as the Russian economy flirts with meltdown.

Astonishingly, there are said to be around 30 homeless folk living in Madrid's T4 terminal at Barajas airport. Apparently, they push trolleys and mingle with real passengers. And 'take advantage' of the facilities.

Here in Galicia, we've now got something to distract us from the endless trials of corrupt politicians - the prosecution of 4 alleged drug barons. All of whom look like your grandfather and incapable of hurting a flea. Based on history, there's a good chance they'll get off, if only because they can afford the best lawyers.

My visiting daughter was returning last night from a trip to Oporto in Portugal. Her train arrived at Vigo at 10.30, just as the last train to Pontevedra was departing. She demanded an explanation of this nonsense from an official but got only a shrug and an apology. Fortunately, the bus company operates rather more sensibly; its last express bus leaves from across the road at 10.40. 

Finally . . . In a nearby town on Tuesday, a driverless truck rolled backwards down a slope, crashed into 6 cars and ended up outside a company which makes coffins. It reminded me of a (very) old joke: A coffin slips out of a hearse going uphill, slides down the hill and crashes through the window of a chemist's (drug store). As the startled pharmacist looks up, the corpse sits up and asks "Have you got anything to stop this coughin'?" Sorry.

1 comment:

Phil Adams said...

In our experience, at present the best way to travel Porto-Galicia by public transport is by bus (AUTNA or ALSA). The train is unreliable and decrepit - the toilets are disgusting. Admittedly in daylight the train route is quite picturesque but that's really its only redeeming feature. Now there is talk of upgrading the rail service - this is long overdue!

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