Foreign Correspondents' Views on Spain: Vanity Fair asked several foreign correspondents how they saw Spain. If you read Spanish, you can enjoy their opinions here. Basically, the Spanish are too negative about the worst aspects of the country. And too positive about the good things. One nice question posed is why the Spanish think so badly of their country as a whole, when their village and their region are the best places in the world. Must be the other bastards.
Non-Employment in Spain:
- El Mundo reveals there are 4,000 people whose jobs will go if the administration changes and the new one brings in its own partisan civil servants, etc. Nail-biting times, then, for the occupants, as they await the next round of elections in June. Or September.
- Would you believe that the story of the guy who got paid for 6-14 years without turning up for work was the lead article in The Guardian early this morning? Not great for Brand Spain, in its confirmation of 'Spanish practices'. Mind you, who cares if you only go there for your holidays?
Verdugo: This means all the following in English:- an executioner; a hangman; a tormentor; a balaclava (headgear); a lash; a rapier; a (plant) shoot; and a shrike (bird). So, I was left wondering what this fiesta would be all about, up in the hills behind us. More so about what the 'Opportunities' would be for:-
And then I recalled that the river which flows through the town of Pontecaldelas is called the Verdugo. And now I see it might once have been called the Caldelas. Because of thermal springs nearby. Which ain't there now.
The EU: Its downfall is now only a question of timing, says the writer of this polemic. Adding that: No organisation strong enough to push – and believe – nonsense can stay healthy. Consequently the end to the EU is easy to predict. Long term it stands no chance of surviving as anything but a memory of yet another paternalist mega-project that did not fulfil its splendid promises. However, history also proves that such systems, precisely due to their immensely powerful network, have a tendency to limp through. Right until they fall and everyone starts saying they saw it coming. Well, I have for yonks. And I have the evidence.
Argentineans: The Spanish are not fond of these, by and large. Among several scurrilous things said about them here is that everyone there is a psychologist. Including all the patients. Well, this could soon be the case in at at least Galicia. The psychology course at Pontevedra's UNED university is the most popular of 27 offered, with 76% of the students being female. As a result of the demand, you probably need higher marks than you do for a medical course to get in. Maybe that'll stop expansion of the course. Unless they lower the qualifications so that idiots can qualify. And then analyse each other.
Finally . . . The Devil. The Pope has told Mexicans to shun him/her. Well, I certainly would if I'd ever had the pleasure of meeting the bugger. Does anyone have contact details?
Public Service Announcement: Adblock is an app which removes extraneous advertising from web-pages, including YouTube and Facebook. It's already stopped more than 700 since I downloaded it 24 hours ago. It says.
Residents' Tax Special: Modelo 720: This, as you'll recall, is the tax submission demanded by the 2012 law obliging residents of Spain to give details of their assets overseas - a development which was never publicised, even in Spanish, beyond the statutory mention in the state Bulletin. Given the humungous fines for late delivery, one's tempted to see this as deliberate. Anyway, a friend of mine who didn't know about has discussed his overseas interest income at the local Tax Office in each of the intervening years and was not once told about the obligation to declare the capital. So, now he face fines of €1,500 for each of the relevant 3 years. We agree that the failure of Hacienda personnel to inform him is unlikely to butter any parsnips when he pleads this in mitigation. Anyway, as I keep saying, if you're resident and don't know about this astonishingly vicious law, you'd better contact someone like Blevin Franks down on the Costa del Sol. I doubt you'd get much satisfaction from a local asesor. Even less from a gestor. Though they'd be much cheaper.