Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ponters Pensées 19.5.16

As usual on a Thursday morning, I'm indebted to Lenox of Business Over Tapas for a couple of these observations . . .

Corruption in Spain:
  • A 'risky endeavour' says this writer in the New York Times.
  • Andalucia is the most corrupt region in Spain. The details and the dramatis personae would leave you gobsmacked. And now the leader of the Junta there – a candidate for the PSOE leadership – is to be questioned over the humungous €2-3bn EU fraud centred on phoney training companies. Along, of course, with her husband. But not their new baby. There are limits. Even in Spain.
The EU and Spain: You knew it was coming . . . The Commission won't be imposing fines on Spain before the June elections re-run for its latest failure – the 8th or 9th in a row – to keep the annual deficit below 3%. The 2015 figure was 5.1% of GDP, against a much lower government forecast of whatever it was. Can't recall. No one believed it anyway. This decision will undoubtedly help the right-of-centre, austerity-oriented PP party.

Spanish Culture: Two useful listsfrom The Local of museums around the country. I've still got a few to go.
Sustainable Energy: ‘Rich in sunshine, Spain is the only country to tax renewable energy self-consumption’, says Mark Stücklin at Spanish Property Insight. Astonishing. If, as I say, you don't live here.

Amazon Spain: Their follow-up is to ask me for evidence that the book was a promotional offer. Or a confirmation that I want re-payment. When they will presumably delete the book from my kindle. So, I'll read it quickly and plump for repayment. Oy vey!

Another Irritation Yesterday; Effing Cyclists: Walking, in bad humour, into town, I was confronted on the pavement by a speeding cyclist in full lycra nonsense, on a bloody racing bike. Unable to knock him off, I swore volubly at him and pointed at the road. As I did with the poor old dear crawling along on a normal bike, 50 metres later. It's clearly time to revert to my practice of carrying a walking stick, held horizontally. The only counter-argument is that I'm bound to leave it somewhere. Or kill someone.

Spanish Words: There are at least 2 words for 'unpunctual': impuntual and informal. This info comes from my lovely neighbour, Ester, who is unbelievably informal but claims her friend, Maria, is even worse. I doubt it. BTW . . . A better translation of informal might be 'casual'.

Spanish Football Teams : Click here for an analysis of why they are kings of the midden at this point in the history of the European game.

Finally . . . . Inevitably, Liverpool v Sevilla last night. I only saw the last 40 minutes and agree entirely with this overview: It was scarcely believable how poor Liverpool were in the second half. See here for his reasons. Two pertinent comments:
  • Sevilla began like Stoke, launching high long balls in the direction of Steven Nzonzi. It was a strategy that surprised Liverpool at first. And as un-Spanish as you can get.
  • From the miracle of Istanbul to bedlam in Basel. This was an embarrassing capitulation from Liverpool.
Another commentary here, if you're interested. In both articles, the finger is pointed at Moreno - His habit of being easily circumvented followed him all the way to Switzerland.  . . . Moreno's defensive aberrations were a clue to the real truth - Liverpool’s talent base is still too low to match their ambitions.

I would care a lot more about this if I weren't an Evertonian.

I can't find a cartoon with the tagline It's only a game. So you'll have to make do with this:

And this, for Liverpool supporters:

That old Scouse humour, eh? Can't beat it for rapier-like wit.

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