Friday, July 01, 2016

Ponters Pensées: 1.7.16

Spain's Next Government: Acting President Rajoy says the best option is a Grand Coalition between his right-wing PP party and the leading left-wing party, the PSOE. Given the tribal nature of Spanish politics and the propensity to namecall at the drop of a handkerchief, this will be a tall order. And it'd be the death knell for any inquiry into the country's humungus political corruption of the last 70 years. Or even - especially? - of the last 7.

The EU: The technocrats in Brussels are reported in El País to be terrified of a tsunami of referendums. What does that tell you about the success of the project and the ill-devised, ill-fated euro?

The EU and Spain: To no one's great surprise, Brussels has intimated that - despite German pressure - it won't be fining Spain for its 8th or 9th consecutive failure to hit the deficit target imposed on it, for 2015. You might wonder what the rules are for.

Brexit Realities:
  1. Nicola Sturgeon's introduction to EU politics has been 'brutal'. Her attempts to iniate discussions on Scotland staying in the EU were rotundly kaiboshed by both France and Spain. And she departed Brussels with her tail betwen her legs.
  2. The FTSE 100 index of equities in London is back to where it was on the eve of the vote, compared to falls of roughly 6% in Germany and France, 10% in Spain, 11% in Italy, 13% in Ireland, and 14p% in Greece. 
  3. Per the estimable Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: What we have learnt from the market moves since Brexit is that Europe is just as vulnerable as Britain. . . The eurozone authorities never sorted out the structural failings of EMU. There is still no fiscal union or banking union worth the name. The North-South chasm remains, worsened by a deflationary bias. The pathologies fester.  . . . It should be dawning on European politicians by now that the economic fates of the UK and the eurozone are entwined, that if we go over a cliff, so do they and just as hard, and therefore that their bargaining position is not as strong as they think. They cannot dictate terms. . .  US Secretary of State John Kerry warned in stark terms on his post-Brexit swoop into Europe that nobody should lose their head, or go off half-cocked, or 'start ginning up scatter-brained or revengeful premises.' Nobody seemed to heed his words at the EU's imperial summit in Brussels, an exercise in righteous anger but not much else. The markets may yet speak in harsher language.
As someone who's always believed/hoped that reality and commons sense will intrude, I'm optimistic that Armageddon will continue to be postponed and that it'll be alright on the night.

Brexit Unreality: Russia's largest newspaper, the tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda has an interview with an expert who argues that Brexit is the result of conspiracy by the Rothschild family.

A Triumph of Optimism Over Experience?: Taking a wine at midday in Vigo yesterday, I was hassled by an itinerant African trader selling Panama hats. Guess what I had on my head. Perhaps he missed the training course.

Another Meeting in Vigo: Shortly after this, I was approached by a boy of 5 or 6 who wanted to sell me a lottery ticket. I told him, in Spanish, that I didn't understand what he was saying. And then this ensued:
Where are you from?
Is that in Europe?
My father was in England once.
Ireland. He learnt English there.

The chat was interrupted by his mother, calling him away. I shouted that he wasn't being a nuisance. She replied that her bigger concern was that he was always talking to strangers. I told him to go back to his mother but her fears were confirmed later when he returned to show me his model Mustang car.

Finally . . . I plot my weight daily, as I attempt to lose a few kilos. Despite not just one but two week-long caminos in June, I gained weight during the month. "It's all muscle" say my friends but I have my doubts. OK, it's only half a kilo - or a pound - but it all adds up. Hardly ever down.

The huge Playa de America in Nigrán, southern Galicia - viewed from Panxón. 


Sierra said...

Brexit - 10+ years of negotiations seem to be confirmed:

Perry said...

THOSE UN-ELECTED DINGBATS do talk rubbish, don't they? On another subject, does Merkel have any idea of the contagion she has encouraged?

Perry said...

From the FBI report.

History of Balkan Organized Crime

Organized crime in the Balkans has its roots in the traditional clan structures. In these largely rural countries, people organized into clans with large familial ties for protection and mutual assistance. Starting in the 15th century, clan relationships operated under the kanun, or code, which values loyalty and besa, or secrecy. Each clan established itself in specific territories and controlled all activities in that territory. Protection of activities and interests often led to violence between the clans. The elements inherent in the structure of the clans provided the perfect backbone for what is considered modern-day Balkan organized crime.

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