The Spanish (non)Government: We may be heading for a 3rd round of elections in November. The stumbling block to the creation of a functional centrist-right-wing coalition is the continuing presidency/premiership of Mariano Rajoy. Potential partners for the PP party are still making his departure a precondition. But since Sr Rajoy is the most adamantine of stubborn Gallegos, this doesn't look like it's on the cards. So something will have to give.
The Spanish Property Market: There is certainly evidence that Brits are pulling in their horns at the moment but, down in Pontevedra at least, all those little real estate offices that used to proliferate around town are sprouting up again. So, there must be optimism here. Against that, the big Spanish realtor, Idealista, has said that the market has yet to bottom out. Perhaps there's just too much money - both honest and dishonest - here in Pontevedra.
Spanish Words and Phrases:
- FLOP: We have an event this week in Ponters which goes under this heading. Anyone know what it means/portends?
- Residential tourists: This is how the governement and media here refer to foreigners who reside in Spain. Even those of us who have a residence permit - because we live in our Spanish homes for more than 6 months a year - and have been here for yonks. This surely is indicative of the official attitude towards foreigners, even potential citizens. You don't really count until you become a Spanish citizen, regardless of how much money you bring in.
But . . .
Real Tourism: This continues to be the motor of the economy and the key to the creation of new (albeit temporary) jobs. To end May, receipts were almost 7% up on last year, with Brits contributing 20% of this. The latter number will now go down, of course.
Corruption: Will the reports ever end? Again from Lenox/The Local today: The police have launched an operation targeting some 50 town halls, notably in the north-eastern region of Catalonia, and made a dozen arrests as part of an investigation into fraudulent public contracts. "Searches and demands for information are expected in around 50 town halls," a police spokesman said, as the latest in a wave of corruption scandals descended on Spain, further wrecking confidence in the political elite’.
The Brexit: How about this for an editorial comment that goes way over the top, merely reflecting the unsubstantiated (left-wing?) beliefs of the writer: The campaign for Brexit was, from the very first, fought on the grounds of xenophobia and racism. Moreover, what has transpired in Britain since the Leave campaign won has only shown how easily the veneer of civility and conviviality can be peeled back to reveal the virulence of racism and xenophobia seething under the skin of British social life. So . . . all of a sudden, tolerant Britain is an appalling place to live if you're, say, Spanish. What claptrap. It's as if Twitter and the cretins who populate it were to be regarded as the quality press. A few imbeciles do not a hell make, people.
Cyclists: Not long after saying yesterday that these are never punished for their misdemeanours, I read that the Pontevedra police had fined one - for going the wrong way down a one-way street on the road. The response has been loud protests at the absence of two-way bike lanes in such streets. Why not every bloody street, so that the bastards are removed from the pavements/sidewalks?
Finally . . . Free street parking: So, Pontevedra isn't the only place where the local council is going to tax drivers to recoup some of the money lost to corruption over the last 10, 20, 50, 100 years. Barcelona is also at it, creating a degree of local fury not yet seen here.
AN ILLUMINATING LETTER FROM A TEACHER TO THE HEADMASTER OF NIGEL FARAGE'S GRAMMAR SCHOOL: