Thursday, September 08, 2016

Pontevedra Pensées: 8.9.16

The Spanish Economy: Here's another overview of this and of the likely impact of the current political stagnation here.

Education in Spain: This has long been a mystery to me, helped by the fact that each incoming administration seems to make wholesale changes as quickly as it can. Under the banner of various acronyms. Here's a useful article of what's happening at the moment, under the PP party's right-of-centre philosophies. BTW  . . . It's a long-standing scandal that the enormous cost of new text books each school year keeps the Spanish publishing industry alive. Without this tax on education, it's said, there wouldn't be enough books bought here to sustain the industry.

Moscow's RT TV: Here's something I haven't seen reported by this station yet, from The Times: Russia is burning through its national reserves at an unprecedented rate, amid a deep economic crisis that has plunged millions of people into poverty and wiped out the advances in living standards achieved during President Putin’s long rule. Hit by western sanctions and low global prices for oil — the bulwark of its economy — the country’s reserve fund, designed to cover shortfalls in the national budget, has shrunk by two thirds since 2014, falling from £67 billion to barely £23 billion, the finance ministry said this week. As millions of Russians struggle to make ends meet, resentment has been growing over the opulent lifestyles of many government officials. . . . . Wealth inequality in Russia is the worst in the world, according to the financial services group Credit Suisse. It says that a total of only 111 people own 19 per cent of the country’s household wealth.

St. Theresa of Calcutta: Not everyone agrees that she was what the Vatican would like us to believe. Quite the contrary, in fact. Here's the comments of one naysayer.

Spanish Words: It's taken an awful long time for it to dawn on me that the word for 'tax' (impuesto) is the past participle of the word for 'impose'(imponer) . . . 

Finally . . .  An Oporto Problem: I'm writing at 5 in the morning, as I can't sleep. My room in the Hotel Vice Rei has a new concept in TVs - one for which the cable doesn't reach the plug socket. 

Or so I thought. I finally found another socket right behind the set high up on the wall. Plugging it in, I then discovered why someone had climbed up before me to yank out the plug . . . Whatever key you press on the remote, a number 5 appears on the screen and nothing changes. Including the On/Off switch. Unplugging the TV is your only escape from some awful Portuguese soap opera.

But, on the positive side, the hotel is near the Mercado de Bom Sucesso, which is now an engaging food hall and well worth a visit. If only for the suckling pig sandwhich you can get there.

1 comment:

Diego said...

I just bought two Spanish textbooks for one of my daughters, 53€. One of the tricks/features is that they are "adapted to the requirements of my autonomous community" and they are also workbooks. I read them and could not find why they were specially made for Asturias. Also, being workbooks guarantees they won´t be used a second time.
In contrast all the other books were reused or bought new or second hand from Amazon in the UK, total cost for 15+ books? 55€. This includes one that cost 40€.

The second and cheaper batch of books are all in english.

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