Monday, July 18, 2016

Ponters Pensées: 18.7.16

Spanish Politics; The PP party: I used to enjoy the South of Watford blog but the author seems to have stopped penning it. Last night I read a post written before last December's inconclusive elections and the failed attempts to establish a coalition government. This comment is, as we have seen in the last 7 months, absolutely spot on: The PP has an abysmal problem in reaching agreements with other parties, and the prospect of either governing in minority or passing to the opposition is too terrible to contemplate. As regards these elections, here's a relevant quote from the Don Quijones article I cite below: The Rajoy government purposefully loosened the belt last year in a blatant effort to curry favor with voters ahead of the elections. Brussels decided to postpone negative opinion on the Spanish budget for 2016 – a budget that had been drawn up with one basic goal in mind: to buy off as many gullible voters as it takes to tilt the electoral balance in the Rajoy government’s favor. In fact, of course, this didn't work out well enough for the PP party.

Good News for Spain: Tourism here had already received an enormous boost because of terrorist threats to other countries. And now comes the failed Turkish coup. Maybe there really is a God and (s)he is particularly fond of Spain. Or maybe it's just that it's an ill wind that blows no good. In Spanish - No hay mal que bien no venga.

Bad News for Spain: The estimable Don Quijones is scathing here on the government's long-standing failure to bring down the deficit to EU-dictated(?) levels. And (s)he is clear on the consequences for now and for the future. Or 'going further forward', as I saw it in a UK lawyer's letter sent to me for comment last night. Thrice! Anwyay, here's a taster: The one thing that’s crystal clear is that the way things currently stand, Spain’s new generation of unemployed, underemployed, badly paid, or “ni-nis” (stay-at-home-kids) are going to struggle to maintain Spain’s burgeoning ranks of retirees.

How the EU Works: As DQ puts it: Things are so serious that the EU is threatening to sanction Spain up to 0.2% of GDP. It will be the first time it has adopted such punitive measures, but for the biggest repeat offender of excess deficits, France, there is no punishment. Quelle surprise! Spain, by contrast, could end up facing a fine of as much as €2 billion. All will depend on how much and how convincingly the government commits to reduce its deficit next year. Naturally, the fine will not be paid by the politicians who failed to play by the rules agreed upon in Brussels; it will be paid by the citizenry who are already suffering the consequences of the recession that helped cause the deficits.

Brexit: The always-vitriolic Richard North is not too happy with the politicians taking this forward. Here's an enjoyable recent blog post entitled: Brexit: In the Hands of Fools and Knaves.

Finally . . . Economies: A quote from Elizabeth's Cranford (Knutsford, in fact): I have often noticed that almost everyone has his own individual small economies - careful habits of saving fractions of pennies in some one peculiar direction - any disturbance of which annoys him more than spending shillings or pounds on real extravagance.  I'm not above admitting to this failing, as my dear daughters will happily attest. Despite being huge beneficiaries of my purblind benevolence. I'd ask them to comment, if I thought they'd ever read this post . . . 

This is a sign preventing access to a short cut I usually take to the other side of the river, via a narrow bridge over one of its tributaries. It's in Galician and says the road is closed and there's only access to A Cross. I don't know what this is but it's an strange coincidence that it looks like a relevant English word. But perhaps it isn't. Un Cross is, in fact, a cross-country race. So, A Cross could well be the footpath alongside the road over the bridge. La Cross in Spanish.


Correction: In fairness to my departed sister, it looks like there's only one steak knife missing.

9 comments:

Sierra said...

As a counter to your "doom and gloom" messages - drove up from the South last week and the traffic seemed to be at pre-crisis levels and the motorway restaurants were full

Colin Davies said...

Yes, the restaurants are overflowing here in Ponters too. And the estate agencies and jewellers are sprouting like weeds. But there are also 10 times more beggars than 5 years ago, and not just the normal druggies.

The famous 'Two Spains'.

And an ever-widening gaps between the haves and the have-nots. With the former visibly spending their money again, having drawn in their horns a little bit during the recession.

Eamon said...

I assume your departed sister has not taken a steak knife so now I am waiting for news about your niece. Is she guilty or innocent? Don't leave me in suspense.

Colin Davies said...

I will never know Eamon. They are both feisty Scouse women and I don't want to tackle them on this. Especially if one of them has a knife!

Perry said...

Colin,

A tale about Money, Greed.... And Wind Turbines.

There is another spectre haunting Europe, waiting to pounce upon the grasping elites of Spain.

It's depicted in this pdf. http://cartoonsbyjosh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/SubsidySam.pdf

Anthea said...

Ni-nis - ni estudiando ni trabajando - are called NEETS in the UK - Not in Employment, Education or Trainng.

oh, and good luck with the steak knife case!

we usually leave stuff behind rather than take away stuff that doesn't belong to us.

Alfred B. Mittington said...



So much ado about steak knives from a man who never serves steaks when you go eat at his Home Sweet Home…

It's like a library complaining that someone took its braille-dictionary away…


IronicAl

Colin Davies said...

Perry: This German scheme of German taxpayers' money to fund the construction of German turbines has been with us in Spain for a long time, assisted by huge handouts and subventions.

Smg king143 said...
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