Thanks to pressure from Brussels, the Spanish government raised a raft of taxes yesterday. See here for details. Here in Galicia it's good to know there's some compensation in the form of a reduction in the tolls on the AP9 which runs from the Portuguese border to La Coruña on the north coast. As of yesterday, a trip between Pontevedra and Vigo will be 15c less. I'm going to have to think about what I now spend that on. The Spanish government, by the way, has been ordered to find another €7bn of revenue or face (threats of) a humungous fine. As it happens, it'll need €3bn of this to meet its promise to buy out the bankrupt toll companies running the autopistas around Madrid. As I say, I guess it makes sense to someone in power. And his/her corporate friends.
Here's the latest of The Local's helpful(?) lists, this time on how to enjoy Spain in 2017. Am pleased to say, I've already done most of them. Well, several.
And here's something about a top brand of the jamón that's illustrated.
Young workers are defined here in Spain as those between 16 and 35. Galicia has 'lost' 50% of these in 10 years, it's reported. I guess this doesn't mean that all of these have fled to pastures possibly greener but just that there are many fewer of them employed. That's an average, needless to say. The number for 16-19 year olds is down by 87%. No more construction work, of course. It's these sort of figures you have to remind yourself of when you hear that the Spanish economy is steaming along at an impressive 3%. The Haves are still getting havier at the expense of the Have-Nots. 'Structural problems' I think they're called.
I need local advice on this aspect of life in Spain. Banks here send you advice of every single charge to your account. This, I was told years ago, was to give you a chance to reject erroneous/fraudulent items. Under the law, was the advice, the bank is obliged to repay you anything you reject within 2 weeks of its appearance in your account. More recently, I was told this had been extended to 4 weeks. Which possibly explains why the bits of paper from my bank take between 17 and 35 days to reach me these days. I guess I really should ask my new bank this week, rather than appeal to faithful Spanish readers. By the way . . . the debits from utility companies invariably take place before I receive their bills. Which seems the wrong way round to me but ¿cosas de España? At least the system of allowing later rejection compensates for this. I guess.
There are redundancy notices and redundant notices. Here's one of the latter, from the UK's dreadful Southern Rail: No Trains December 24, 25 and 26. Passengers are advised not to travel. Do you think they were laughing when they came up with that? I fear they weren't.
The British satirical magazine, Private Eye, has a regular feature called Pseuds' Corner. Here's 2 incomparable entries from the latest edition:-
Stop the world . . .
Meanwhile, today's cartoon. At least this is meant to be funny . . .