Friday, October 21, 2016

Pontevedra Pensées 21.10.16

SPANISH LIFE/CULTURE

A Wonderful Development: There's to be a new TV station for those few of us who still take a short siesta. Its purpose will be to ensure we're so bored we drop off immediately. Not that I usually need it by 3.30, probably as a consequence of getting up at 6.30 to write this rubbish. Click here.

Correction: In the early post of yesterday's blog, I missed out the words 'in the UK' when I wrote of having heard similar comments about the death of new businesses in Spain.

SPANISH POLITICS

Cataluña: Things continue to hot up, in advance of next year's 'illegal' referendum on independence. The latest irrititation for the easily irritated Catalans is that the Constitutional Court has overturned the regional government's ban on bullfighting there.

Government: Maybe there'll soon be an administration here to deal with such problems, possibly by mobilising the military ahead of an invasion of the region/nation. No one seems to be concerned there isn't. A government, I mean. Not an invasion. That might trouble a few people.

GALICIAN STUFF

Some Camino Stats:
  • Pilgrims via Pontevedra on the Portuguese Way will be 255,000 in 2016. This is 5% up on last year and the highest since the special Holy Year of 2010, when we had 272,000. 
  • The forecast for 5 years from now doesn't bear thinking about - at least 50% more.
  • The basic split is Spaniards 55%, Guiris 45%
  • Guri Origins, in thousands:
- Italy: 23
- Germany: 20
- USA: 14
- France: 8
- UK: 8
- Ireland: 8 (But a vastly higher percentage than that of the UK, of course)

A New Spanish Saint: It's pleasing to see that the Vatican's latest choice relies on the case of a woman here as one of the 2 requisite miracles. Hmm.

The Cost of Living: Here in Galicia - the second or third poorest region in Spain - this has risen by 100% since 2002, against 34% for the Spain as a whole. Though the latter might be 84%. Can't read my own writing. Anyway, the cheapest regions to live in here are La Rioja, Valencia and Murcia.

LOCAL STUFF

The Pontevedra Retail Scene: Putting aside the ever-increasing number of jewellery shops which might just be money laundering joints, I believe I can sense trends. For example: kebab places; estate agents (as the property market improves); ice-cream, yoghurt and sweet shops; and pizza cheap-slice outlets and restaurants. Right now, there seems to be an increase in shops selling the 'upmarket' knick-knacks that pour out of China. But it might merely be that Christmas is coming and they won't be there by spring next year.

PERSONAL STUFF

Massage Business: Naturally, I'm thinking of profiting from the massive increase in Camino number passing through Ponters. And this seems as good a thought as any. But I fear I'll be too lazy to do anything. Too busy not being irritated by local bureaucracy and an anti-commerce environment.

The Google Icon/Grid: Is anyone else finding that clicking on the latter when you're in Gmail makes it disappear? No evidence of this on the net.

THE GALLERY

The missing Panama hat. On top of the pensive/poseur author:-


THE CORRUPTION CAVALCADE

There are so many cases, one forgets some of the big ones - especially as progress through the courts is so slow and press reports correspondingly infrequent. I've added some of the neglected ones this morning but am thinking of confining the table to new cases. It's too much work! BTW - As a result of a comment from Alberto, I've deleted the reference to the ex-king. Though I still suspect he was willing to use his influence to get the case against his daughter dropped. See Alberto's - gently stated - comments below the table:-

The case
    The Accused
   Position
 Allegations
  Status

2 retired politicians
Ex Presidents of Andalucia
Scamming hundreds of millions of euros from the EU
Trial proceeding
Patos

Various
The usual stuff
Trial proceeding
The Corrupt Senator

Rita Bárbara
Ex mayor of Valcencia
Money laundering

Under investigation

Promotor of the investment

Massive fraud on the public

Corporate


The Board
Passing off a Chinese phone as its own.

See here.

Cheating banker


Director

Stole €1.9m from 14 clients

The Royal Family


Sister of the king
Corrupt business practices 
Trial proceeding. With the usual attempts at delays

Gürtel/Correa

Senior position holders
Illegal party financing
Trial just begun after many years of investigation.

Bankía/Black Cards


Senior position holders
Use of 'black credit cards' to avoid taxation on income of more that €12m.
Trial just started
Bog standard case

The mayor of Vilareño de Conso, Galicia.
Falsification of docs and corrupt practices.

Trial just started
Bog standard case

The ex-mayor of Ribadumia, Galicia
Money laundering and drug smuggling

Under investigation
Bog standard case

Ex-president of the Balearics parliament
€4m bribes for changing property 
classifications
Awaiting sentence. 4 years demanded.


Alberto's Comment

I think you misunderstood the case of the King emeritus. The current information doesn't suggest that he tried to bribe the authorities not to proceed against his daughter.

I'll try to explain me but it is a bit complex: In Spanish' Law there are three kinds of accusations: 'pública'(El Fiscal/Public Prosecutor); 'privada'(private, meaning the victims); and 'particular' (individuals, that means that in certain cases anybody could act as the accuser, it is used a lot in corruption trials)

In the case of Cristina, the individual's accusation was a so-called union named "Manos limpias" (Clean Hand) that used to launch suits in any case notorious enough (Some of them plainly frivolous). That latter group was accused of being part of a blackmailing network that extracted money from the accused in those cases in exchange from retiring the accusations (The case is still under investigation so it is too soon to speculate how it will end). When the scandal broke out, among other things, surfaced a recording of two supposed members of the ring who speculated about how much money they expected to extract from Juan Carlos for leaving the case (Which, at that point would have mean the collapse of the case against Cristina, since there were no other accusers against her). Anyway, they didn't retire the charges, so it looks that the transaction didn't took place and they constitute any instance of authority in any case.

With the current information, it would not be a case of bribery but of blackmail and the former king would be the victim, not the accused (As I say, that should remain as long as it doesn't surface any incriminating evidence against Juan Carlos, if there is any)

1 comment:

Alberto MdH said...

Well i doubt that I would put my head on the block for Juan Carlos but that case was very weak (As long as we don't have additional data)

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