Spanish Banks: Here's Don Quijones on these: After three years of relative calm and one month before yet another round of do-or-die general elections, the words “banking” and “crisis” are back on the front pages of Spain’s newspapers. Despite the untold billions of euros of public funds lavished on “cleaning up” their balance sheets and the roughly €240 billion of provisions booked against bad debt since December 2007, the banks are just as weak and disaster-prone as they were four years ago. Despite the so-called cleansing of Spain’s financial sector, Banco Popular’s books are still jam-packed with toxic junk. [My bank, unfortunately. After their take-over of Citibank.] Finally: As Bloomberg notes, Popular has problems that are fairly common across banks in the euro area: “questionable balance-sheet strength, a rough revenue outlook, and weak governance.” Oh dear.
Spanish Manners: I said recently said the Spanish are not as rude as they sometimes appear. But I did add that they can be inconsiderate. Here's a couple of fotos showing how some drivers here in Pontevedra park so far away from other cars or from a wall or kerb that they deny precious spaces to others.
Words: I wonder what Americans call a 'kerb', as my spell-check declined to accept it until I switched to the British version.
Pontevedra's Drug Biz: As regular readers know, the city's drug wholesale/retail market is in the permanent gypsy encampment down at the bottom of the hill I live at the top of. Cheek by jowl with one of the city's richer barrios. I mention this again only to cite the recent arrest of one of Galicia's biggest narcotraficos on a rather unwise visit there. Not his first, it seems, and this time his security was lax enough to allow him to be caught with shit in his car. We wait to see how long he actually spends in prison. BTW . . . The location of the drug biz explains why I see so many of the city's numerous panhandlers crossing the bridge to my side of the river.
Pontevedra Parking: There are only 2 varieties of this:- 1. Free, and 2. Prohibited. There are no parking meters, after the populace rebelled against an attempt at this option in the 90s. The number of free spaces has relentlessly reduced over the years, as the mayor takes the same attitude to cars as, for example, the burgers of Oxford in the UK. Hence the importance of the lack of consideration for others cited above. I avoid the problem most of the time by walking into and out of the city.
Atheist Corner: This talk by David Fitzgerald, on sex and violence in the Bible, might well interest both atheists and theists. Or at least the former.
Finally . . . Kerbs In Pontevedra: My car has a lowish front. Which means I'm personally affected by the fact that these range here from about 1inch(2.5cm) to almost 9 inches(23cm). Even in the same street. Bloody annoying when you hit one of the latter.
Technical Note: these are the places in Russia where Google Analytics says a lot of people read this blog:-
Chelyabinsk OblasRepublic of Bashkortostan
I do wonder.
I do wonder.