Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pontevedra Pensées: 29.10.16


Accuracy: About such things as how many will turn up for an event, what time an event will start, or what time they'll arrive at a meeting Spaniards can be - shall we say - quite lax. But sometimes the degree of precision can be astonishing. It's not uncommon for statistics here to be quoted to not just 2 but 3 decimal points - even when the chance of error is 3-5%. Reader Sierra has kindly provided this foto of a sign saying the 80kph zone will stretch for 19.3km, which I have to admit is an example of something I haven't seen. Yet.

Buying Property in Spain: This is always fraught. More so in some areas than others. It all depends on how many crooked sellers, builders, developers, bankers, lawyers and even notaries are operating where you plan to buy. Here's one cautionary tale. The lessons to draw? 1. Always use (an honest) lawyer, and 2. Make sure someone is managing your place in your absence - to receive mail, tax demands, etc.


The Socialist Stance: As mentioned, both the PSOE and Podemos plan to make life very tough for the imminent minority PP administration. This will be done 'for the good of the country', they say. Click here for more on this. And here for a reprise of a Guardian columnist's view back in 2011 of what could be next for Podemos, the party of protest. We'll soon know what it will do with its degree of power.


The Forbes View: Click here for this.


Immigration: The founding principle of free movement of people - in a continent of vast economic differences - has produced some very regrettable consequences. No more so, perhaps, than in lovely, charitable, rich Sweden. Click here for one of many articles on this. The policy, of course, has also been the main impulse behind the rise of extreme right-wing parties in Europe. So, a major success, then. No wonder they don't want to dilute it.


Putin: Aware that Mrs Merkel - after a childhood attack - was afraid of dogs, at their first meeting in Moscow he had the door left open so that his large labrador could wander in and approach her. And then sat back with a smug look on his face. Nice man.

Russia: Thousands of confidential emails between President Putin’s advisers exposing the Kremlin’s efforts to break up neighbouring states have been leaked by Ukrainian hackers. The hack reveals Moscow’s control over pro-Russian breakaway regions in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. Emails to Mr Surkov show that the Kremlin was asked to approve ministerial appointments, laws and even press statements for the supposedly independent statelets. Funny, I haven't heard anything about this on RT. Or on its hilarious web page. So, it can't be true. More seriously, it's worrying to read of RT's success with young people on social networks. Or to see that RT TV is one of the more popular channels on the Filmon TV streaming facility. The viewers can't all be amused sceptics like me.


Fines: It's said that Galicia is right up there at the head of the list when it comes to handing out these for (alledged) motoring and parking offences. I thought of this when a postman arrived at 5pm yesterday with a special delivery of the official notification of the €200 fine I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. He was obviously touring the area with his latest batch of certified letters. Needless to say, I had to give my ID number and also provide my signature. Twice. First on a piece of paper and then - using a fingertip! - on a PDA. You can imagine what the latter looked like. This was because the postman had a PDA and he entered everything not only on the written documentation but also into this. Making the process twice as long as it used to be. This tends to be how new technology is used by Spain's infamous bureaucracy. To entrench their employment.


Spain's First Corruption Parliamentart Commission: From El País in English:- The members of Spain’s first-ever anti-corruption commission plan to start work this week on a project they hope will boost the ailing health of the Spanish democracy and restore the trust of the electorate in its country’s politicians. [Quite some hope] The historic initiative was set up in parliament in early October with the backing of all Spain’s main parties except for the conservative Popular Party (PP), whose leader, Mariano Rajoy, is currently acting prime minister following inconclusive elections in December 2015 and June this year that have left the country without a government for 10 months. The PP has a poor record on transparency initiatives. You can say that again. More here. As we know, Rajoy will be back in power next week.

Meanwhile . . .  In Spain, even the priests get in on the act . . .

  The case
    The Accused
 Allegations and Status

The Thieving Cleric of Lugo
José Alonso Silvaje Aparisi
Parish priest
Robbing stuff from every parrish he served in.


Another random cartoon . . . 


Perry said...


Fusion jazz. A clip from the Tony Gatlif film Vengo, featuring Tomatito & an Egyptian Sufi singer. Just listen to the similarity of the music.

This session is so good,

Gypsies may have been so-called because it was believed they came from Egypt. It was Northern India from whence they originated, between the 6th & 11th centuries AD.As the Roma travelled & settled in different European countries, so did their music. See Tony Gatlif's masterpirce, called Latcho Drom.

Colin Davies said...

Thanks, Perry.