Saturday, September 26, 2015

English in Spain; The UK/EU; Sp. Banking; Swiss language; Pontevedra; Sarah again; & My niece.

The English language in Spain: Long known for its poor record in this area, Spain is now rapidly pulling up its socks. The level of ability among adults is still relatively low but virtually 100% of Spanish kids are now being taught the global lingua franca in primary school. Though there's still no sign of the 12,000 - or was it 120,000? - native speakers that President Zapatero talked of bringing into the country to help with the actual teaching. But there must still be plenty of opportunity for would-be teachers. Possibly even in the public schools. See here and here for more on this.

The UK and the EU: Is anyone surprised that France has suddenly decided to support the UK's 'reasonable' demands for a new treaty under which there would be significant changes to the existing set-up? Well, you shouldn't be as France's real goals are to push the UK down into Associate Membership and to restore the Franco-Germany hegemony among the inner circle of 'core members'. The resistance of several member states to Brussels' dictates on migrant quotas has given France a golden opportunity to progress these aims and, naturally, it has carpéd the diem.

Spanish banking: It's the easiest thing in the world to get the IBAN, SWIFT no. and BIC of my UK bank - but getting them for my Spanish bank has proved elusive. I got one of these from a statement but the others was nowhere to be seen on the internet, even on the bank's web page. I wonder why.

Swiss Law and the FA: I see that 'disloyal payment' is the Swiss euphemism for 'bribe'. Mind you, it might be poor translation. Desleal in Spanish means 'unfair', as in competencia desleal or 'unfair competition'. This is the label always given to anyone who threatens the market position of existing players. Like private flat renters or Uber Cars, for example.

Pontevedra: Undoubtedly has more pretty women on its streets and in its supermarkets than Hoylake. Just sayin'. Not sure about pubs. Which reminds me . . .

Another failure with Sarah: Back to The Griffin pub in Heald Green yesterday to have lunch and to try to get a foto from the intransigent Sarah. But another rebuff. She again declined, even though she had a hairstyle which made her look even more like Audrey Hepburn. So, if you're in the area, dear reader, please pop in and have a word with her about this attitude of hers. She needs to believe in herself more.

Finally . . . My niece, Rachel, is in The Guardian today. Suitable suitors should write to me, with CV and statement of financial position, at


Diego said...

Don´t know what bank you do business with, Santander and La Caixa have that information on their banking websites.

Sierra said...

jorge said...

The story in the Guardian echoes what is going on in the San Francisco Bay Area today. The mid price of a house in the city of San Francisco is about $900K and in Silicon Valley, just 40 miles south, that price jumps to $1.4M. As in the case of London, people who work in the area and must rent a 2 bedroom apartment will have to pay on average $4,500.00 per month. A modern 3 bedroom flat near the center of the city can set you back anywhere between 6-9K per month. Apartment sharing has become very trendy lately, but it's causing a lot of friction among the renters. Many people are opting for housing in a town 40-60 miles inland in order to afford a house in the half million range or a monthly rent of "only" $2000.00. The hidden cost of these "bargains" is the commute time of 2 and a half hours each way.

SF Bay Area

Q10 said...

Colin, Best website for Swift BIC codes is :-

Fill in what you know and the "Challenge Response" and press "Search".

Voila - Worked fine for me.
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