It being Thursday, I'm again indebted to the latest issue of Business Over Tapas, from Lenox Napier
Venezuela: Not normally a topic for this blog but yesterday I saw this cartoon while reading the (very) right-wing ABC newspaper, while waiting (of course) in a bank.
Admiral: With just 30,000 Spaniards, I defended Cartagena [against the British, as it happens]
Conquistador: That's nothing: With just 500 Spaniards, I conquered Mexico.
President of Venezuela: That's nothing: With just 4 members of Podemos, I ruined Venezuela.
And then, this morning, there was a harrowing account of the parlous state of the nation on Sky TV. The reference in the cartoon is to the members of Spain's new Far Left party, Podemos, who are said to have been handsomely paid to advise the Venezuelan president on economic policies. Not terribly well, it seems. Which is rather worrying because of the real possibility that a Far Left coalition will emerge victorious in June's repeat elections.
Spanish Stats: It's reported that:-
- The average monthly salary in Spain, at €1,640 is 17.8% under the EU average of €1,995. Bulgaria is bottom at €357 and Denmark is the top, with € 3,553.
- Almost 30% of Spaniards are at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
- The average annual household income stands at €26,000. [Not 12 x 1.640]
- There are 1.4m unemployed in Spain who've not had a job in the last three years or more.
Administrative Transparency: As you'd expect of a country with astronomic corruption among politicians and businessmen, this is not a major feature of Spanish life. So, it's no great surprise that relatives of the huge train crash here in Galicia 2 years ago are finding it next to impossible to get a copy of the official investigation. So, we remain ignorant of why only the driver has been prosecuted and none of the people implicated in reports of negligence on the part of politicians and ADIF executives. More on this here.
Buying a Property In Spain: If you've already done this you'll know that transaction costs here are very high. Double the EU average, de verdad. This is in line with the fact that – having always found it difficult to get taxes from those who should pay them – the Spanish government has long gone to town on those it can squeeze. Everyone involved in any official transaction, for example. See here for more on this, though the link wasn't working early today.
Brexit: As I've said, poor Richard North. At least he garners some sympathy for the failure of his titanic – if ultimately abrasive – efforts to get a Brexit plan officially endorsed and issued.
Finally . . . Tiny 'dogs': British vets are said to be calling for 'healthier breeding standards' for pugs and shitzus, in light of the 'crippling health problems' they suffer. There are a lot of these repulsive lapdogs being dragged or carried around by Pontevedra pijas and, pending the changes demanded by said vets, I have a radical solution. Drown all the puppies at birth. Then shoot the parents. And jail the owners for cruelty to both animals and humans