Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain.
News from the Portuguese Camino: Very little today, in fact. A short walk of 12km from Barcelos to the very lovely town on Ponte de Lima. The only incident of note - in an otherwise uneventful day - was being sent for the keys of our hotel door to a café nearby which prefers to remain incognito. In other words, there was no indication anywhere on the front of the café as to its name. Which was a tad confusing.
But I did learn than Ponte de Lima technically qualifies as a city but prefers to remain a town, so that it can continue to claim that it's Portugal's 'oldest town'.
As for Spain . . . The regular themes:-
Corruption: Here's Don Quijones on the latest scandals. As he writes: President's Rajoy’s only response to the plethora of scandals affecting his party – Gürtel, Púnica, Lezo and more – is to travel abroad (he’s currently in Brazil), keep mum about domestic troubles, and offer speeches about the importance of maintaining economic growth and job creation in Spain.
One person who has so far escaped prosecution is the woman once dubbed Spain's Maggie Thatcher – Esperanza Aguirre, the ex Presidenta of the Madrid region. She's just tearfully resigned as head of the PP party in Madrid on the grounds that she was duped and ' betrayed' by her corrupt lieutenants. Suffice to say that not many people in Spain will believe that she has clean hands.
The Spanish Economy: The macro growth number that I regularly contrast with micro reality might not, it seems, be all that it's cracked up to be. A group of Spanish economists has written to the
Eurogroup President urging him to probe the Spanish national accounts, which they claim have been manipulated by Spain’s National Statistics Office.
Unemployment: Numbers – as long suspected – might not be that reliable here either. Especially down in very corrupt Andalucia.
Spain's Banks: How safe are they really? Read DQ on this here.
Lunatic Prosecutions: Here's news of the latest one.
Beautiful Spain: A recent list from The Local which might well have appeared previously under another guise.
Galicia: An equine oddity.
Today's Cartoon: A rather vicious one from The Times, pointing up the hopeless performances of Britain's Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, at Prime Minister's Questions Time.