In so far as anyone really knows, the collapse in Spain's property prices is all but over, says the FMI. They add that "The economic crisis, combined with over-building leading to excess supply caused the market to crash much more violently in Spain and the Republic of Ireland than anywhere else, bringing with it a sharper decline in employment and bringing the construction industry to a complete standstill."
But not to worry: The Prime Minister - in full pre-election mode - has personally guaranteed that he'll create not 800k (his last promise) but 1 million jobs by the end of 2015. Not that it will matter to him; he'll either have retired or be back in power by then and we won't be able to do anything about the emptiness of his cheap words. I'm betting he'll be up to 1.5m by the time of the elections.
Good bank news 1: Employees of CaixaGalcia (as was) are being prosecuted for making an 89 year old woman take out an €8,000 loan so that she could buy some useless preference shares. Still, they probably didn't know, for sure, at the time that they were virtually worthless.
Good bank news 2: Several expats down south have managed, eventually, to get a court to award them compensation from a defaulting bank and the (bankrupt) developer who failed to build properties they'd paid deposits on. I suspect this is unprecedented and may just signal the small shoots of an appreciation in Spain of how much damage has been done to the country by her cowboy developers, town hall officials, lawyers and builders. Meanwhile, after 5 years for more, the Priors still live in their garage, waiting for compensation for the demolition of their house - victims of a power struggle between the local and regional administrations and courts. Not to mention the other usual suspects.
In order to further increase its revenue - sorry, to improve the safety of drivers and pedestrians - Spain's Traffic Ministry (El Tráfico) has come up with a raft of proposals which even the Council of State regards as daft. The measures include:- lowering most of the country's speed limits (by half in some cases); fining pedestrians for being drunk or for running; and fining cyclists who ride too fast in pedestrian areas. As you'd expect, I have no problem with the last of these and I reject the Council's suggestion that it's unworkable because bikes don't have speedometers. As you know, I'd simply shoot anyone riding at above walking speed. But we'll have to wait to see what emerges from this nonsense.
On our local TV channel (or one of them, at least) there's to be programme called Land Rober. Off the bat, I can't tell whether this is a spelling error born of the same pronunciation in Spanish of V and B, or whether it's an example of Galician retranca - everyone thinks we're dullards; so let's pretend we are. And laugh at them laughing at us.
Which reminds me . . . Flights to Galicia from Madrid are the most expensive to Spain's periphery. Our tolls, our motor insurance premiums and our petrol/gas are similarly expensive. Maybe we are treated as dullards who won't revolt. Which is not a laughing matter.
Finally . . . I was reminded by a BBC podcast that, in my primary school, we used to sing, inter alia, a couple of what were then called Negro spirituals. I don't know what one is allowed to call them these days. Anyway, one was Cotton Fields and another was Poor Old Joe. Except it wasn't - we sang it as Poor Black Joe. You can find both versions on youtube. Paul Robeson sings Poor Old Joe and here and here (better?) are older versions of Poor Black Joe. It must be one of the saddest songs ever. And I've just seen it featured in The Sound of Bloody Music. Which is a shame.