Saturday, October 22, 2016

Pontevedra Pensées: 22.10.16


The Population: Thanks to a low fertility rate, Spain will see this fall by 5.3m or 11% over the next 50 years. Well, maybe. There's a lot of people living in South America who'd like to move here when times are good.

Utility Companies: These are infamous here for their little tricks that disadvantage/rob their customers. In the Spanish phrase, they form part of the community of 'thieves in white gloves'. So, I wasn't too surprised to read yesterday that Gas Natural Fenosa - a Catalan company that used to be Galician - is threatening to evict a family for non-payment of a debt of just one cent. Like the banks, Spanish utility companies are not known for dealing gently with those who get behind with their payments.


The PSOE Party: This weekend they'll take a decision on whether or not they'll continue to make it impossible for the PP Party under Sr Rajoy to form the next government. Roll on Monday!


Germany: Just a couple of days after making my contentious claim that Germany has the hegemony over Europe which the EU was set up to prevent, I read this Letter from Berlin in Private Eye's latest issue. As the writer says: Who needs weapons when we can obtain hegemony with money?:-

So, don't just take my word for it.

Brexit: In keeping with their reputation as being the most difficult Europeans to do business with, the French have warned they'll ensure the negotiations will be very tough. To prove this, the lead negotiator has demanded they're in his native language of French. Mrs May is reported to have told him to take a hike. However you say that in Francais.


The Camino de Santiago:
  • Stats: I later realised that the number of 252,000 I cited yesterday must be for 'pilgrims' coming into Galicia on all routes, not just on the Portuguese Way that wends through Pontevedra. Most of them on the French Way, of course.
  • The Number of Caminos: I like to surprise visitors by revealing there are at least 10 ways to walk to Santiago through Galicia. Researching the Camino del Levante this week, I saw a list of 21. As I've said, it's all about money. So it's hardly surprising that new ones emerge almost annually. And to think it's all based on a ridiculous myth about an unmanned boat made of stone 'returning' the body of St James to a place there's no record he ever visited during his life. Which/who later appeared on a battlefield to help the Christians who were struggling against the invading Moors.
  • Skulduggery: I read a couple of warnings this week that the yellow arrows be treated with caution at times. Would you believe there are people out there who try to attract folk to bars, restaurants and lodgings which aren't actually on the Camino? And then there are those who aren't too happy because they've lost money after the route's been altered. For one reason or another.
The Galician Population: As with Spain as a whole, this is expected to fall by 230,000 by the year 2031. Maybe.

Sudden Deaths: Another 3 in the last week or so. Two from overturning tractors and the third from yet another kamikaze driver going the wrong way down an autovia. This time a young man of only 22, who smashed into a truck at midday. Possibly intentionally.


A quote from the always funny and provocative Caitlin Moran: There is something about social media that is killing the idea of democracy. It acts as an opinion megaphone for a confident, extremist minority, railroads over facts, and invalidates compromise.


Another 3 cases today, though the third probably doesn't rank as corruption. More like civil disobedience. But I'm holding back 2 real cases for tomorrow.

The case
The Accused

Sagunto el Mayor
The mayor and 11 councillors

Local government execs.

Bribery and corruption in respect of tenders and contracts
A Pobra de Caramiñal

The mayor
Driving for 12m+ without insurance

The Catalan Politician
Carme Forcadell
Ex President of the Catalan parliament

“Disobed-ience and and perversion of justice.

Not money related.

Details here

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

Trial proceeding

The Corrupt Senator

Rita Bárbara
Ex mayor of Valcencia
Money laundering

Under investigation

Promotor of the investment

Massive fraud on the public


The Board
Passing off a Chinese phone as its own.

See here.

Cheating banker


Stole €1.9m from 14 clients

The Royal Family

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


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 
Awaiting sentence. 4 years demanded.


Alfred B. Mittington said...

'Va te faire foutre' would probably do the trick as Mrs May's answer…


Sierra said...

The "Instituto Nacional de Estadistica" website - - provides census data (in Spanish and English!) going back to 1842. Our municipality in Lugo province reached a peak of population in the 1940 census of 7418 - by 2011 it was down to 2869 (2764 in 2015) - however household numbers for the same dates only decreased from 1229 to 925 - presumably due to farm labour disappearing with the increase in mechanisation, and smaller families.

(How a population of 2764 sustains 4 banks, 12 restaurant/bars, a 3 doctor medical centre, a police station, etc., is another story that people in rural UK would find interesting)

Perry said...

To take a hike = De prendre une randonnée

Oh dear, goose barnacles sashimi.


Not enough quality breeders. World population will probably be only 6.5 to 7 billion by 2100 AD. Spengler.

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