Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tourism; Taxation in Spain; Europe's woes; & Moore tales.

TOURISM: It's now a lot cheaper to fly to nearly all resorts around the world than it was back in 2013. The exception is Spain. One wonders why? Outstanding value for money? Increased demand? Local cartels? Attacks on the cheaper flat-renting option? Your guess is as good as mine.

TAXATION IN SPAIN: The Tax Office (La Hacienda) has carried out its threat to publish details of those almost 5,000 organisations and people who owe them more than a million euros. These appear to be 1. companies (largely property development operators and realtors) which have gone bust and 2. people who can afford tax advice. But the list is eclectic, involving politicians and bankers (naturally); the ex-president of Real Madrid(€1.3m), an historian/writer(c.€2.5m); the Ciudad Real airport; Spanair; Pescanova fish company; a fashion firm; a health centre; and even a judge.

EUROPE: Things are not looking good for the EU. The writer of this article believes 2016 may even see its collapse. Sampler: The EU is in desperate trouble. The edifice of federalism is crumbling, broken by its own ruinous contradictions and spectacular failures. The creators of the European Union promised to bring peace and prosperity. But through their grandiose folly, they have fuelled only debt, despair and disintegration. . . The EU lacks any kind of democratic legitimacy, which means that the end could come sooner than the politicians imagine. . . . 2016 could be the year that the EU falls apart . . . Anger could turn to open rebellion in 2016. . . Carnage on the streets could be the ultimate symbol of their failure, and the catalyst for their downfall. Picking up on the last point, Don Quijones says we Europeans have a stark choice between passivity (“resignation”) or revolution. His/her counsel is that: Before you make your choice let me first make a few of my own personal observations vis-a-vis our current situation and future outlook:.
  1. In case you hadn’t noticed, we are already owned, lock, stock and smoking barrel, by the international cartel of too-big-to-fail banks.
  2. Pretty much all our political representatives and institutions, whether at the national or EU level, have also been bought off by the same banks
  3. Said banks are, to all intents and purposes, bankrupt, both financially and morally
  4. Democracy has absolutely no role, beyond a figurative one, in the European Union.
  5. As the real economy (i.e. everything that is not the stock exchange) continues its descent into the abyss, businesses will continue to close down, jobs will continue to vanish at an alarming rate and taxes will continue to rise.
  6. Most importantly of all, the global financial system’s days are already numbered.

Click here for the full article from this Barcelona-based commentator. Is there really any prospect of the revolution that the situation demands?

FINALLY . . . ON A LIGHTER NOTE: Ex-Bond player, Roger Moore, has told 2 tales I've laughed as recently:-
  • Judi Dench was almost run over by a London taxi. “The cab driver wound down his window and bellowed, ‘Mind where you’re going, you stupid bitch.’ Unperturbed, Dench replied: ‘That’s Dame Bitch to you.’ ”
  • Asked if he keeps in touch with his old friend Tony Curtis, Moore replied: “Not since he died, no.”

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