Friday, July 10, 2015

The EU & Greece et al; Spain's statistics; The retail scene; The heat; Mares v. Beasts; & Los Dukes.

So, now the Greek government says it will accept the pre-referendum package of EU demands. Which effectively means that both Brussels and Athens have ignored the will of the Greek people. This says all you need to know about the EU. "If the people don't like our policies, we'll change the people." At least no one can be any doubt now as to who controls the 'sovereign' states of the eurozone. And it isn't Mrs Merkel.

Spain's PP government - ahead of 4th quarter elections - wastes no opportunity to tell us that the economy is growing at 3%pa and that Spain is now a 'reference' for the rest of the world. Folk here simply don't believe this. And it's not because no one trusts any official figures, be they of economic growth, of unemployment levels, or of the number of people who quit Spain last year. President Rajoy is, of course, trying to 'do a Cameron' and persuade us that all this success will be undone by an economically illiterate socialist government and their new allies, Podemos. And he'll probably succeed.

But going back to the days of El Bum and La Crisis . . . These are some of the establishments in Pontevedra I used to patronise that have closed in the last few years. Can anyone vouch for similar retail devastation anywhere else, I wonder:-
Tapas bars - 2
Restaurants - 7
Bookshops - 2
Cafés - 2
Stationers x 2
Domestic appliances x 2
Delicatessen - 1
Wine shop - 1
Major banks - 3 or 4 (all taken over)
Branches of other banks - numerous
Healthfood shops - 3
Clothes shops - 2
Furniture shops - 2
I stress these are only the ones I used to patronise. I pass many other boarded-up shops. No wonder folk are sceptical.

It's an ill wind . . . Spaniards famously abhor planning and so leave their holiday bookings until the last minute. Right now, this means Galicia is benefiting enormously from the very high temperatures of Madrid, the East and the South. For people from any of these places, our daytime temperature of 30 degrees is relatively cool and our nighttime temperature of 17 degrees is pure bliss.

Having decided it was time I got an EU Health Card - for use in France, Germany, etc. - I filled in the relevant form online - all very easy - and waited for the email it promised me. A few hours later this duly arrived, telling me that I couldn't have a card and should either make a premium-rate call or go to my local Social Security office and apply there. Some you win, and some you lose.

I wrote Rapa das Bestias yesterday and reader Maria says, quite rightly, it should have been Bestas. I knew this but what I didn't know was that Bestas means 'Mares' in Gallego. I had thought it meant something like 'Beasts' or 'Animals'. At least that explains the absence of stallions.

Finally . . . I love the way the Spanish media refers to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as Los Cambridge. Not only are they both apparently masculine, they don't even get an 's' to their name.

1 comment:

Anthea said...

Masculine rules in Spanish grammar, Colin. one thousand men and one woman are still collectively "ellos". Parents are "LOS padres", children, even if you have 6 hijas and 1 hijo are still LOS hijos.

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