ELECTION TV: There was a debate the other night between the leaders of Spain's 4 main parties. Except there wasn't, as the leader of the PP party – the hapless President Rajoy – delegated this task to the female VP who appears to be responsible for everything except making faux pas. Rather petite, she's nicknamed La Menina (maid of honour) in Spain's media, after the dwarves – and maids of honour - in the famous painting at the end of this post.
ELECTION CLAIMS: The PP has a mellifluous radio ad which, inter alia, tells us that, over the last 4 years, it has created more than half of Europe's new jobs. This almost certainly isn't correct - “If you're going to tell a lie, tell a big one: Adolf Hitler - but, even if it is, it neglects to admit that almost all of these are on 'precarious' contracts, with no security and with salaries that can be way below the statutory minimum. Spain's infamous two-tier labour market. Tellingly, Brussels has commanded the next Spanish government to do something about this asap. Which it won't, of course.
TAXES: MODELO 720: Click here for a 2014 article by Blevin Franks and here for a more recent commentary by them. This article from Sur in English of 2013 makes these points:-
- 95% of residents with offshore assets hadn’t declared them for 2012
- The Tax Office is targeting residents here from the USA and EU countries, presumably the ones that share info with them. This despite the fact the law was introduced to find out what Spaniards were hiding overseas. 'Low hanging fruit', as they say.
- The Tax Office - laughably - denies that they didn't publicise this development.
- It also “robustly denies that this is a ‘fiscal attack’ on foreigners in Spain”. Of course it does.
Finally, here's Sur in English again, with the only bit of good news on this issue. Note that it could - i. e. will - take several years to get clarity on this. Meanwhile, the Spanish government will be taking huge sums from many bank accounts.
RUSSIAN TV: I wouldn't be without my daily dose of amusement from Moscow's propaganda channel, RT TV. Of course, they do get some things right but, mostly, it's non-stop distortion of world news in Russia's favour. One of the things that give me the greatest laughs is how contributors are (politely) cut off at the knees when things go against the Moscow line: “If you don't mind, we'll come back to the Ukraine later”. Right now, RT is obsessed with Turkey and its numerous evils and, as evidenced by 'disinformation' site I follow, they'll stop at nothing. Including describing Kurdish oil tankers as ISIS tankers on their way to Turkey. Another thing I much enjoy is the snarling, sneering, sarcastic, rant-ish tone of key presenters, as in Cross Talk. Really very professional, if dishonest. Anyway, here's a few things Russia has reported in the last week:
- Nazism is on the rise in Germany.
- The USA, Canada and Ukraine all support Nazism
- The Jews created ISIS (together with the USA and the United Kingdom), The letters stand “Israeli Secret Intelligence Services”.
- The migrant crisis is an American plan to destroy Europe by mixing “smarter” Europeans with “less smart” Africans.
- The Egyptian pharaohs were actually of Slavic origin and Russians are the ancestors of the Aryan race.
FINALLY . . . Here's a commentary on my football team's performance at the weekend. Just thought you'd like to read it.
Don't overlook my other blog here.