Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pontevedra Pensées: 18.1.17

The EU's Court of Justice recently ordered Spanish banks to pay back to their mortgage customers the billions of euros swindled from them via a 'floor clause' in their contracts. This would seem to be good news but as, Don Quijoñes illustrates us here, Spain's banks don't have their appalling reputation for nothing and will do their utmost to vitiate this judgment against them. Worse, the Tax Office (La hacienda) has announced it will be levying tax on at least part of the repayments. As if they were bloody gifts. Sometimes it's very hard to believe what's happening in Spain. And how powerless consumers/citizens are. As DQ points out: As usual, the banks have the Rajoy government firmly on their side. Que va!

It's a natural sashay from this scandal to the subject of corruption, which I've left alone for a while. But one clearly can't ignore the case of the 5 board members of a Galician bank who - just prior to a merger - made themselves millionaires at the expense of shareholders and taxpayers. See here for details. None of them has returned a single cent and each of them will be free in a matter of a few months to spend their -ill-gotten gains. Possibly after they've made a contribution to the PP party.

Which reminds me . . .

To absolutely no one's surprise, the ex-Treasurer of the PP party has admitted - during his trial - that it did indeed operate a slush fundfinanced by bribes from companies anxious to get government contracts. Details here.

If all this makes you, as a resident of Spain, feel a tad depressed, then cheer up! According to The ineffable Local, there are at least 11 reasons why you should be happy to live here. Find them here.

Having listened to Mrs May yesterday, the most knowledgable pro-Brexit commentator, Richard North, pronounced that “We're fucked”. So, not very impressed. Here's what he says in more detail today about what he sees as a Jumbo jet crash of a statement. To point out the obvious, not all Brexiteers want a 'hard Brexit'. Or a flounce out. By the way . . . This is a very true comment I read last night:- Because the British joined the old Common Market principally on economic grounds, we have never been able to understand the quasi-religious status that the EU has in many continental countries. Which is certainly true of Spain. Though it has to be stressed that the EU has been fantastically profitable for Spain, as well as super-hyper symbolic in the context of an emerging democracy.

Which reminds me . . . 

There are probably more than a hundred reasons why Donald Trump shouldn't be the US president - the most obvious being that he didn't win the popular vote. But for me the clincher is that the man doesn't know how to wear a tie. I mean, if you're going to sport one, don't let it dangle below your waist. As if you're trying with the sharp end of it to draw attention  to your penis . . . 


The only thing worse would be to have the other end sticking out just a few inches below his collar. Which, to be honest, I think I've seen but can't get a foto of. But I have found on Google Images a whole web page dedicated to the long tie gaffe. And this spoof . . .


Finally . . .   I've talked about growing officiousness in Spain but how about this from the UK?: A pensioner has been fined £80 by Ealing council for pouring her coffee down a drain before binning the cup because, if she had put it in the bin, it would have flooded it. In the council’s eyes it was “littering”. Firing squad?

2 comments:

Perry said...

Colin,

Not one of those 11 reasons for living in Spain are adequate compensation for the rampant corruption of "an emerging democracy". As for the Teresa May proclamation; yep, she doesn't understand the problem. For example, driving licences are covered by http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32006L0126&from=EN

Richard North wrote about the subject last Sunday. Seventeen years ago, I needed an International licence to drive in Spain. It could be that you will have to take a test for a Spanish licence, if you do not already have one, or reapply each year for the International one.

http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=86342

TM should wait until the French & German voters have cast their votes. Where's the time pressure?

Sierra said...

...and George W. Bush didn't win the popular vote in 2000 - and look how well that turned out!

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