POLITICS: IMBROGLIO X 2: Has Spain descended into a dangerous farce? Don Quijones gives his/her informed overview on this here: Some highlights:
- The general election voting was so fragmented that the Eurozone’s fourth largest economy is not only missing a viable government; it is unlikely to have one for months to come.
- Spain could soon become ungovernable.
- Prolonged political uncertainty and instability can be a heavy cross to bear for any economy.
- Economic turmoil, bailouts and bankruptcies are nothing new in Spain. One thing that is new, however, is the current climate of political uncertainty.
- No one knows how much longer this madness can go on.
CATALAN CORRUPTION: I think it's true to say the surname Pujol has a been a byword for Catalan corruption for decades. An open secret, if you like. And now the entire family – compared by a judge to a mafia operation – faces charges for the multi-million (perhaps billion) diversion of public funds - after an unhappy girlfriend dished the dirt to the authorities. Who probably didn't need to be told of it. The not-so-funny thing is that Granddad Pujol is also considered to be the grandfather of Catalan nationalism. So, take your pick - Don Corleone or, say, Garibaldi? Who gets the biscuit? Whatever, you do have to admire the chutzpah of a man who can stand up in court and claim all the money is from his father's black market currency speculation in the Franco era, and nothing to do with the receipt of commissions on public contracts given to kin and cronies over the last 20-30 years or more. “Sorry, judge. But you'll understand why there's no paper trail. Only cash in an Andorran account”. As ever, the accused doesn't really expect anyone to believe his claim. Just to accept its plausibility and to try to prove it's not true.
CATALAN I DEPENDENCE: This is hanging by a thread, says The Spain Report here.
M.E. LUNACY: Iran and Saudi Arabia are just a few insults/provocations away from outright war for regional hegemony. Just what we need – two insane regimes responsible for much oil production at each other's throats. May they both lose. A curse on both houses. Yet another justification for moving away from oil dependency. Says a commentator: A serious attack on Saudi Arabia would be a dangerous gambit for Iran, spelling the certain end to its rapprochement with the West and to its hopes for an end to sanctions. Yet it cannot be ruled out. There are powerful factions within the Iranian Revolutionary Guard that would welcome any chance to sabotage the nuclear deal. Saudi Arabia has just given them the perfect pretext.
NEW WORD: Mansplaining: 'The patronising way men explain things, particularly to women'.
IRRITATING FACEBOOK: Their latest stupid wheeze – Showing you posts 'You might have missed' from people you're deliberately not following. Its days are surely numbered. How long before its ridiculuous market cap heads south?
SUPERMARKETS: I've occasionally complained there's little novelty in these here. I take this back. Yesterday I found porridge highlighted as a NOVEDAD in Froiz.
FINALLY . . . A BRILLIANT THOUGHT? Wouldn't it be good if you could check in at the airport wearing a scarf with (hidden) pockets containing your heavy camera, chargers, etc. that you don't want to be part of your 10kg limit? Anyone know of such a thing? Preferably available in Pontevedra today. Sadly, my vertical shoe-holder is too large for the job. Not to say obvious. As the scarf might be in mid summer in Spain, if not in the UK.