Friday, September 23, 2016

Pontevedra Pensées: 23.9.16


Taxation: I've mentioned the appalling Modelo 720 statute several times and touched on my own experience with it. Sometimes it seems that the Spanish government – in its desperation to increase revenue – is oblivious to the consequences on actual and potential investors in Spain. Including those who bring their capital and income here as residents and those who are thinking of doing so. Click here for an article on this.


Pigs: This, for example, is one of the words you should avoid using in the context of the Spanish police or Guardia Civil. For 'insulting' them is a (Francoist relic?) criminal offence. And you don't need to do this face to face. From your bedroom is enough, as this article shows. How would the Socialists Workers Party be able to stay in business here?

(Un)Employment: The EU has thrown a huge spanner into the workings of what many say is the Spanish two-tier labour system - some employees extremely protected; some not protected at all. Click here for details. If there is to be any change, it will – of course – be very slow in coming.

Plastic bags: No great surprise to hear that the Spanish use an average of 133 plastic bags a year, compared with 4 in Denmark. Bags are an obsession here, even for the smallest of items.


Dead White Elephants: HT to Lenox for this article on the (always corrupt?) construction of massive sports venues that now lie in ruins. Even if you can't read Spanish you can enjoy the fotos.

Cartels: If you do read Spanish, here's another article from Business Over Tapas, on the illegal price fixing which keeps our prices up.


Monarchical Interventions: The Spanish king is not having much luck. He urged national politicians to get their act together so that a government could finally be formed but the headline next day was: Politicians ignore the king's words and use them to make accusations against each other. And then the hapless monarch contributed his pennysworth to the Gibraltar imbroglio and was immediately slapped down for his 18th century attitude. Click here for more on this. He didn't mention Ceuta or Melilla, of course. Not seeing these as 'colonial anachronisms'. A universal Spanish blindspot.


A Low Bridge: I clocked this attempt to avoid crashes the other day when doing a day's camino. One inevitably wonders what happened after a truck knocked down the dangling strips and headed for the bridge. And why the strips haven't been replaced.


Heroes and Villains: Funny, isn't it. Stalin and Hitler were monsters whom very few still admire. So was Napoleon but the French still revere him. Likewise, Henry VIII was another complete bastard but he's held in great esteem by the English. Hard to explain.

Protecting Trump from the Real Devil: You do have to laugh


Flights to NW Spain from the UK: Some good news – Monarch will have flights from Manchester next year. Of course, these won't be going to any of Galicia's 3 'international' airports but to Oporto in North Portugal. But you can be sure many of the passengers will be ending up here.


More examples of Finnish/British nightmares:-


Alfred B. Mittington said...

One needs to see this thing a wee bit in perspective perhaps. Napoleon was a cynic, an autocrat and a war-monger, but he also did a heap of good and he was not in the habit of exterminating masses of people or running Gulags and Concentration Camps. To the best of my knowledge: the number of people he had shot for political motives can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

If doing bad things, or stupidities, or promoting cynical policies, or supporting rough treatment of those in our care, became a reason for not admiring a public figure for his virtues, you could not even respect Winston Churchill anymore.


Colin Davies said...

And Hitler was responsible for VW, built great roads and made the trains run on time . . .

The French might well think there's a postive balance but the rest of Europe can be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

As you say, it's always a question of the end balance. No one could reasonably suggest Churchill's is negative.

A red herring, as we say.

Perry said...

The Finns may be reticent about talking to the person sitting next to them on public transport, but at least they'd understand one another. In London, there are so many foreign nationals that the odds are you wouldn't have a clue about their conversation. Disclaimer. I've travelled on the Tube three times in the last fifteen years, so what would I know?

Perry said...


It was Mussolini who supposedly made the trains run on time. German trains have always run like clockwork!

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Should you not also mention that Mussolini was quite efficient against mafia and that Uncle Adolf was a vegetarian?

I know the English have no love for the Great Corsican Troublemaker, but to put him on the same line, and in the same basket as Hitler and Stalin only shows you have not truly studied the three personalities and the effects of their deeds.


Colin Davies said...

A ridiculous comment, Alfie. I made no reference to degrees of evil or implied equality. Any more than you did with Churchill. They were all responsiblle for great evil/harm but, of course, in differing degrees. Napoleon, it hardly bears saying, did his evil both inside and, particularly, outside France. The French may be willing to overlook this because they have, inter alia, a Code Civil (based, of course, on Roman law) but this is no reason why the rest of Europe should be grateful to him or, God forbid, forgive and admire him. You'll be suggesting next he was one of history's great altruists!

If I wanted to grade the evil of the 4, it would be:-
1. Hitler
2. Stalin (largely confined to his own baileywick and helped the Spanish legitimate government to some degree in 36-39)
3. Henry VIII.
4. Churchill.

All psychos, of course. But Churchill liked to paint and made pretty brick walls as a hobby. Against that, he was half American.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

So where in theist would you put Napoleon, my dear boy???

Alfred B. Mittington said...

IN THE 'LIST' you M…F….ing Spellcheck!!

Colin Davies said...

After Stalin. Pls waste someone else's time.

Sierra said...

"... Including those who bring their capital and income here as residents..."

Surely Modelo 720 is aimed at those residents who don't bring their capital and income here, but choose to leave it undeclared offshore

Colin Davies said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin Davies said...

Its aim is to catch cheating Spaniards. Its effect is to frighten foreigners who don't want to declare overseas assets on the assurance that its only an informative exercise and the data will never be used to levy property taxes. Nobody buying a holiday home here would find that credible. At the moment the humungus fines are levied for non or late delivery of this data, plus possibly criminal penalties for whatever they can think of if you can't prove you bought the asset with clean money. Hence the EU verdict that it's prima facie illegal.


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