Sunday, October 04, 2015

Good Sp. News; Bad Sp. News; The Failing EU; Germany; Stupid dog; & Onion Soup.

Good Spanish News:
1. Tourism income continues to soar.
2. Foreigners are again buying properties in the South.
3. The AVE high-speed train is about to reach Asturias, leaving only poor Galicia without a link to Madrid. But never mind, ahead of the general elections, the government guarantees it will arrive within 2 years or so. Just as it did 10 years ago.

Bad Spanish News:
1. Fed up with delays, the Saudi government has finally sacked the Spanish consortium installing their high-speed train system.
2. The central bank says the rate of economic growth is slowing down.
3. The summer seasonal employment hike was not as much as it usually is. Implications?

The Failing EU: Another nice comment: The EU cannot be regarded as a flawed concept for this reason:- The very essence of the single currency was to launch an incomplete construct in the knowledge that the stresses would create political pressures which would drive further integration. This is the mechanism of 'engrenage', at the core of the so-called Monnet Method, relying on the doctrine of the beneficial crisis. The European Union was designed to act in this way. Quite a design fault, then. Under-estimating the frequency, the nature and the size of the crises. But that's what happens when politicians make forecasts. Even of things they keep to themselves.

Germany: A friend there expresses the hope that Germany won't have problems with the huge numbers of refugees invited in by Mrs Merkel. On the one hand, he says, West Germany absorbed many more East Europeans but, on the other, there are already clashes in the camps between groups of Christians and Muslims. And, of course, between Muslims and Muslims. How many radicals, he wonders, are included in the latter two groups. Time, as ever, will tell.

Lhasa Apso: This is a dog breed I had to look up. To discover it not only looks stupid but also ranks as one of the thickest canines you can buy. 68th out of 79. No prizes for knowing that border collies top the list. RIP Ry.

Finally . . . Success in the kitchen: Blessed with a surplus of the things, I made onion soup for the first time yesterday. I didn't use a recipe, so it's rather more like wine-and-vinegar-and-ginger-with-a-hint-of-onion soup. And excellent. Recipe on demand.

Finally . . . Finally: An Update on the Update of the Update: I couldn't get my new smartphone to display my Spanish number on whatsapp, instead of my UK number. So I went back to the shop again. The nice young lady couldn't solve this either. So I resorted to the switch off-switch back on option and uninstalled the app and re-installed it. Success, though I lost all my chats. So, not so smart a phone.


Q10 said...

Colin, You say “Fed up with delays, the Saudi government has finally sacked the Spanish consortium installing their high-speed train system.”

You’ll have to help me there. I can find no corroboration of that. Way back in February there was much talk See Here of problems with sand dunes and slow contractors. Completion had slipped a couple of years. Also, quite recently the Saudis are saying they wanted to trim the cost due to low oil prices.

Later, on 21st April THIS does say a contractor has been sacked. But nothing about the Talgo-Renfe-Adif Consortium being sacked – Or any of the main members of the Second Phase Consortium - Saudi Adif, ACS, Consultrans, Copasa, Siemens, Imathia, Inabensa, Ineco, Indra, OHL, Renfe and Talgo with its contract of 6,700 million euros, including operation and maintenance for seven years – In an advanced stage of implementation – Being SACKED.

What have I missed? Where did you find this Colin?

Perry said...

Latest news about Saudi trains that I could find.

24 Sep 2015

The first of six trainsets being supplied by CAF for passenger services on Saudi Railway Co’s North–South line is undergoing trials on the 1 130 km route between Na’ariyah and Riyadh, with entry into service planned for early 2016.

The passenger fleet is being supplied under a 533m riyal contract signed in March 2012. The order includes the diesel-electric locomotives which top-and-tail the trains, and business and economy class coaches, sleeping, dining and restaurant cars, luggage vans and car-carrying vans which can be formed in various way to produce nine-car day or 13-car night trains. The vehicles are designed for 200 km/h operation in temperatures up to 55°C.

The passenger service is intended to promote commercial and urban development in the cities linked by the North–South Railway, helping to draw industrial investment to the area.

Under a separate contract CAF has supplied four similar trainsets to Saudi Railways Organization for use on the Riyadh – Dammam line, taking the total value of its rolling stock orders in Saudi Arabia to more than €400m.