Sunday, May 14, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 14.5.17

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly
loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain.
Life in Spain:-
  • Spain has the highest proportion of apartment users in Europe, at around 66%. The European average is 42%.
  • The property market is said, by some, to be slowly improving.
  • I hate to report this but I fear Spain got the infamous nul points from the Eurovision juries last night. But might have got a few votes from the public. I hope so.
  • Major projects do take time in Spain. Or at least in Galicia. The A54 autovia from Lugo to Santiago de Compostela was tabled in 1992 and the first stretch was opened in 1999. In the 2000 plan the completion date was set at 2010. The latest forecast for this is 2021 'at the earliest'. And here in Galicia we all know what that means. Sweet FA.
  • Talking football/soccer . . . Coming after the Spanish Primera Liga comes Segunda A, followed by 4 Segunda B leagues, and then 12 Tercera División leagues. I think. But am happy to be corrected. It's a tad confusing.
Good news re the Spanish economy . . .  The budget deficit will fall this year for the 5th year in a row and one day might reach the EU permitted max of 3%. Which hasn't been achieved for at least 10 years, with impunity. However, the bad news is that: Spain’s problem is neither growth nor the deficits; its biggest problem is unemployment, which is still hovering around 18 percent, even 5 years  after the European debt crisis of 2011/12.

As for Spain's banking system . . . How safe is it? Click here for Don Quijones' view.

And click here for one answer to the question: Is euroland on the verge of disintegration?

And here for another article by DQ on the never-ending banking crisis in Italy. And its implications for the EU.

Nutters' Corner:
  • Evangelist Jim Bakker: This is satanic. The spirit of Antichrist is out now. These people mocking the president. That’s the spirit of Antichrist. 
Of course it is. We are all the Devil's spawn. Bakker's answer to all this, by the way, is a huge bucket of food to tide you over when the End Days hit you. Available from him, of course.

Talking of faith. Well, religion . . . . So, Portugal won the Eurovision song contest in the same week the Pope was visiting the shrine at Fátima. A coincidence? Possibly not. At least for some.

Here in Galicia, the hotel industry - at a time of massive unemployment - is bemoaning the fact that there aren't enough professional cooks and waiting staff ahead of another record year. The operative word appears to be professional. Which I can understand rather more in the context of cooks than in that of waiters and waitresses. Having worked as one.

Finally . . .  Rants:
  1. The good thing about the conditional tense is that it conveys possibility. So, why do TV reporters - even on the BBC - routinely indulge in the tautology of "could possibly"? 
  2. Why do ads for places I've already stayed at keep appearing on my screen? Even for the BandB in north Portugal I mentioned here and for which I wrote a critical review on booking.com
Today's cartoon:-


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