Thursday, May 05, 2016

Ponters Pensées 5.5.16

Spanish Snippets: As ever on a Thursday morning, I'm indebted to Lenox of Business Over Tapas for several of these:
  • The PP party has published a list of all the 320 PSOE politicians accused of corruption. It's leaving the list of its own compromised champions of the people to others.
  • A Galician narcotráfico, charged 15 years ago, has just been sentenced to a small fine of c. €2,000. Not the prison sentence his crimes merited. One wonders how and why. Did they forget about him for a while?
  • Acting with its customary speed, the European Central Bank has finally decided to withdraw the €500 note which has proved so useful to criminals over the last 16 years.
  • 75% of Spaniards believe all their politicians are only in it for themselves. The others are Iin insane institutions or prison, I guess.
  • The Economist is another pessimist on the Spanish economy. The gap between the government-championed economic figures and the reality of many people's lives explains why Mr Rajoy's centre-right Popular Party (PP) has shed half its support since winning an absolute majority at the 2011 general election, it says in this article.
  • There's a growing consensus that - despite just about everything – the sitting PP party will again win the June elections, with a growing number of votes and seats. How the left-wing parties have allowed this to happen is the stuff of a TV series, not real life. Except in tribal Spain. The PSOE hasn't been helped by several senior figures publicly failing to get behind the party's leader at this time of opportunity. The purity obsession again? Who knows.
  • You can buy software de doble uso here, to help you efficiently keep 2 sets of books. Who said the Spanish weren't entrepreneurial? Anywa, the Tax Office are finally on to this and will look for it on your computer 

Driving in Spain:
  • I drove back from Santiago this morning. As regular readers will know, the frequency, inconsistency and downright confusing nature of the speed-limit signs on this 60km stretch of the N550 fascinate and irritate me in equal measure.
  • I write this article 15 years ago but wouldn't change much now. Only this morning I had reason to confirm my suspicion that, while in other countries the sequence might be: Think. Signal. Turn, here it's often: Semi-think. Start to turn. Confuse. Irritate. Signal. But one does develop a 6th sense.
  • I've said a few times that there's no real chance of reducing from 80 to 50kph in the distance allowed between respective signs on Spanish roads. And I'm now on the lookout for the shortest distance between these. And I've also said that the only way to avoid fines is to drive everywhere at 49-50kph. Especially when, as this morning, the entire Guardia Civil Tráfico section seems to be out on the highway, acting as an arm of the Spanish Tax Office.

Odd Dog: Anyway, I stopped for a coffee at 9.10 but had to wait until 9.25 for the machine to be switched on, prepared and operative. Only a fool travels in Spain without at least a magazine to read. The owners' dog took a dislike to me and barked incessantly, until I hid myself in a corner of the bar. But it took no notice of the 5 regulars also waiting for a pick-me-up. I would have thought it was a liability to have a cafe dog which barks at new customers but what do I know?

Finally . . . My thanks to everyone for making yesterday a more-than-1,000-readers-day. It's happened before but it's always a thrill. When I started out, I hoped for 50. Of course, I've still got a long way to go to a million. So, it's a good thing, I guess, that I don't aspire to make money from this blog.

A paean of praise to daily/Sunday drinking.  For a friend . . . Scroll left and right to read it all.

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