Sunday, April 12, 2015

A new degree?; The economy; Housing; Healthcare; Galicia's AVE; & An embarrassment.

Such is the endless litany of commercial and political corruption cases here that one wonders whether it wouldn't be possible to construct a university degree course on the subject. Perhaps combined with a minor degree in Ethics.

Spain's macro statistics - growth of the economy, reductions in the unemployed - continue to impress the rest of the world and Brussels in particular, where the demand for good eurozone news is high. Here in Spain, though, El Público tells us that 75% of the population still regard the financial situation to be bad or very bad. The feelgood factor, then, is still conspicuous by its absence. A supportive little micro statistic is that fewer than 50% of the population went to the dentist in 2011 and 2012.

Another random thought. There's said to be a shortage of 750,000 houses in the UK, while there are more than a million empty properties in Spain. Some say 2 million. Do we not yet have the capacity to kill 2 birds with one stone by making some swift transfers?

Both in the UK and here in Spain, we're heading for general elections this year, though ours won't be until November or December, whereas the British elections are next month. So, both here and there, the airwaves are full of lies, distortions and calumnies. The British Secretary for health has pledged to protect the NHS by meeting its funding needs "in full". In this way, he claims, it will become the 'most caring and most efficient state health service in the world'. What tosh. He knows that the UK spends much less than Germany and France on healthcare, and less than half of what is spent in the USA. He also knows that he's unable to say where the promised additional 8 billion pounds will come from. Lies upon lies, based on the fact that - as I've said - no party dares disillusion the British electorate in respect of the cherished NHS. Or even hint that the Continental model of mixed finance works better the UK system of total state funding. Taboos, taboos and taboos. Which all raises questions about the intelligence and maturity of the voters. Though not by any means for the first time.

I wrote yesterday that we finally have the AVE high-speed train here in Galicia but perhaps not. I read later that the 2 trains speeding along the coast will be pulled by MDT2 and MDT4 engines. So, do we really only have AVE tracks until the Madrid-Galicia stretch is finally open? 

Finally . . . Os Porcos Bravos - the Pontevedra football team which recently played against the Sheffield Stags in the UK - have honoured me by naming their award for the 'furthest travelling fan' after me. And on Friday evening they presented it to the first winner. If I hadn't both forgotten about this and also failed to switch my phone back on after my siesta, I'd have really enjoyed the ceremony. As it is, I'll be ashamed to show my face at the next lunch of wild boar.

2 comments:

Perry said...

Colin,

What are MDT2 and MDT4 engines please? I've been reading this VdG article. It seems that Alvia S-121 are to be used at Tariff 4 prices & DMU types R-596 & R-599 for the all stations stoppers??????

http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/noticia/galicia/2015/04/11/renfe-incluira-trenes-proximidad-reorganizacion-eje-atlantico/0003_201504G11P9991.htm

http://www.railfaneurope.net/list/spain/spain_renfe-md.html

Obstinado como un Jabalí said...

La próxima vez regalamos The Tailor of Panama

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