Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pontevedra Pensées: 19.10.16

SPANISH LIFE/CULTURE

Commerce in Spain: It's not quite like anywhere else in the world where I've experienced it. For one thing, there's a ubiquitous desire to eliminate all risk entirely. Which rather hampers trade, of course. For another, any consumer-benefitting innovation has to run the gauntlet of the corporate-political nexus that dominates the landscape here. So, for example, we now have the first example in the world of a state prosecuting not only BlaBlaCar but also some drivers. Before this we had the same sort of thing with Airbnb and with people offering their properties for summer rental. And then, of course, there's the surviving medieval guilds which dictate so much commercial practice in the marketplace. Not to mention the cartels, such as those for petrol and for driving schools. No wonder customer orientation is still as still as noticeable by its absence as it was when I came here 16 years ago. Though not everywhere, I should stress. Mercadona stands out as a supermarket, for example. Not that there's much competition.


The Visigoths: I mentioned these yesterday. They were responsible for the oldest extant church in Spain, that of St John the Baptist. Built by them in Palencia province in the 7th century and featuring their invention of the horseshoe arch, which the Arabs/Moors went on to perfect. Click here for info and here for pix.


SPANISH POLITICS

Podemos: If you can see it, here's the FT take on this 'far left' party, which had hoped to supersede the PSOE - even before this party committed hari-kari - but might not do so. Or at least not yet. As with all parties of the (far) left, it's riven by idealogical differences on what is and what isn't purity.

THE EU

Nice Cartoon . . . 
LOCAL STUFF

Pontevedra: It was apparently Suspended Pink Umbrella Day in Calle Oliva yesterday . . . 


No idea why.

Fiestas: It's tough trying to invent a new one every year but this challenge has been met for October at least. As well as the big Oktoberfest we'll have towards the end of the month, we're now having - or have just had - a smaller beerfest in front of the town hall, featuring a large number of local artisan brews. Shame I don't much like the stuff. 

PERSONAL STUFF

My Bougainvillea: I've mentioned the challenge of keeping the suckers in check. At the weekend, I cut off more than 60 of these, some of them from the rear porch and some of them from my bedroom window. But none of these reached the 12 feet(360cm) length of the one I cut down a month or so ago. Boy, do they grow quickly.

My Panama Hat: Renfe have just told me it hasn't been handed is. No huge surprise there.

FINALLY

Facebook: A bizarre experience this morning, one a few readers may also have had. I received a friend request from someone I know and then had this conversation:-
Am pretty good and I've been trying to reach you lately cause i have a great news to share with you guess what ??
Go on . . . 
Am just wondering if you have heard about the good news going-on facebook about the Ceo of facebook founder Mark zuckerberg?
Is this a genuine message?
Yes. Why are you asking?
It seems like a promotional message from Facebook
This message has been temporarily removed because the sender's account requires verification.

The final message has so far been repeated 5 times.

THE CORRUPTION CAVALCADE

Latest first:

The case
     Who
   Position
 Allegation
  Status
Corporate

The Zetta company

The Board
Passing off a Chinese phone as its own.

See here.

Cheating banker

F.J.OG”
Director
Stole €1.9m from 14 clients

Another surprise?

Princess Cristina
Sister of the king

A surprise?

Ex-king
Tried to bribe the authorities not to proceed with the corruption case against his daughter.

No prospect of a trial.
Gürtel/
Correa
37 politicians and businessmen
Senior position holders
Illegal party financing

Bankía/Black Cards

Numerous ex-politicos and businessmen

Senior position holders
Use of 'black credit cards' to avoid taxation on income of more that €12m.
Bog standard case
Ventura Sierra Vázquez
The mayor of Vilareño de Conso, Galicia.
Falsification of docs and corrupt practices.

Trial just started
Bog standard case
José Ramón [Nené] Barral
The ex-mayor of Ribadumia, Galicia
Money laundering and drug smuggling

Under investigation
Bog standard case
María Antonia Munar
Ex-president of the Balearics parliament
4m bribes for changing property 
classifications
Awaiting sentence. 4 years demanded.

3 comments:

Alfred B. Mittington said...


You operate on too British a mindset. Apart from writing your phone number in your Panama hats, you should promise a reward. This will make all the difference between return and disappearance of your valuable property.

PsychologicAl

Eamon said...

PsycologicAl his genuine Panama hat is on eBay at 20€ and bidding hasn't finished yet. What kind of reward were you advising?

Alfred B. Mittington said...


Dear Eamon,

I think 10 euros and a copa would do it. Buying or selling on Ebay is complicated, slow, and anyway: what sensible person really wants a Panama hat if he can have money in his pocket???

CommerciAl

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