The Spanish Economy: Some of us have never fallen for the hype around the headline growth of this, said to be among the best in Europe. Least of all, Don Quijones of Wolf Street. See here for his/her sceptical view of things. On the other hand, there's Brussels, who wants the world to believe that the right-of-centre government of the PP party has been a huge success and so has done everything it can to help it achieve this, for example by agreeing to the suspension of austerity measures. As DQ says: Brussels along with Spain’s big banks, corporate giants, and the Troika wanted the conservative Rajoy government to win December’s do-or-die general elections. They did whatever it took to keep the narrative intact that the Spanish economy has never been better. And they're still at it.
The Spanish Economy 2. The EU Commission is threatening to hit Spain with the first-ever fines under its Stability and Growth Pact. Both Germany and France have escaped this ignominy but Spain is a serial offender – and false promiser – in respect of its annual deficit and the EU says its patience – and credulousness? - has finally run out. But . . . . Does anyone really believe Brussels is going to interfere just ahead of repeated elections which it wants the PP party to win, possibly in alliance with the other right-of-centre Ciudadanos party. Can anyone see Spain being hit with the theoretical €2bn fine at the end of this month, however serious its crimes have been? See here for more on this.
Spanish Banks: DQ also shares with we sceptics an overview of these. Specifically, our concern that – despite/because of being viciously rapacious and red in tooth and claw – they're not as strong as they seem to be. And this is after several rounds of 'strengthening'. Click here for DQ's take on the risk they face of being forced by the EU to compensate mortgage defaulters who've been mercilessly evicted, even during the EU investigation into this scandal. Most of these, DQ notes, end up personally liable for not only much of the outstanding loan but also thousands of euros in penalty interest charges and tens of thousands of euros in court fees. They can end up owing more than the original mortgage, but with no house to speak of, or live in. Quite unbelievable. Unless you live here.
Spanish Government: The Spectator believes the country might be better off without a government. But, then, it seems to believe the guff about the tremendous growth rate of the economy. BTW . . . Spanish unemployment – now around 'only' 20% - rose in the first quarter of the year. Albeit only slightly. HT to reader Sierra for the Spectator article.
A Local/National Brouhaha: Just along the coast from Ponters, in Sanxenxo, someone advertised for waitresses who are attractive, nice, hard-working, have good people skills, nice breasts and minimal experience. To employ British understatement, there's been something of an adverse reaction to this. See here for this. Things got worse if you applied.
Finally . . . I said yesterday that one learns something new every day. Sitting with my neighbour, the lovely Ester, in the city centre on Sunday, I commented on an elegant woman sitting nearby with her daughter. Yes, said Ester, she's a teacher and she certainly is elegant. But also 'very Pontevedran'.
What do you mean by that?
She's muy presumida(very vain).
What do you mean?
Well, she's always elegant because she changes her clothes 3 times a day.
Unlike you, you mean. You wear the same clothes every day.
No, I wear different clothes but always in the same casual style.
That's exactly what I meant . . . Honest.
What you don't realy want to see when you're in Asturias . . . Octopus Galician Style.
Here's what a real off-road vehicle looks like, seen in Grandas de Salime. Notice the mud on the sides and the wheel clearance. Very different from the pristine 4x4s which pick up kids from the local private school every evening. Known as Chelsea tractors in the UK.