Sunday, May 21, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 21.5.17

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain
Life in Spain:-
  • I would have thought the annual inspection of cars (the ITV) was tough enough but Lenox of Business Over Tapas, reports that it's going to get even tougher. Which can't be a bad thing. Unless it's happening solely because of pressure from the private companies licensed to do the testing, who'd like to make more cars come back for a second try. This is how you get in Spain. Even more cynical than you used to be.
  • If things continue as they are now, we'll soon have a parliament here on the Brazilian model - where the majority of politicians are accused of corruption. The good news is that Spanish justice moves slowly but never stops. So maybe today's and tomorrow's new politicians will be clean. I guess it's a possibility.
  • It wouldn't be early summer without a foto of 'celebrity' Ana Obregon in a bikini, even at 62. So, here she is in Playboy. Call me unchivalrous but I suspect a touch of Photoshop.
  • From the point of view of crime, the safest region of Spain in which to live is Extramadura, followed by Asturias, La Rioja and Galicia. Interestingly, all relatively poor places. The least safe are Cataluña, Melilla, Madrid, Ceuta and - worst of all - the Balearic Islands. Must be the temptation of all those rich Germans vacating and living there.
Here in Galicia our local papers are worried about Banco Pastor/Popular being taken over. This, they say, will increase banking concentration in our region to c. 95%, allegedly the highest in Europe. I wonder. Certainly the UK is up towards that level, with the top 5 banks having an 85% market share. In contrast, the number is 44% for the USA and only 25% for Germany. For Spain as a whole, it's around 55%, it seems. Or was in 2013. Maybe higher now. But you can't expect our local papers to be much interested in the national picture. Spain - like the past - is another country.

Years ago, I read that the average time taken for someone to get a law degree at Santiago university was 11 years, with a range of 4 to 27[sic] years. I thought of this when reading that 20% of Galician doctoral students finishing their thesis are older than 45. And only 10% are younger than 30. I really don't know what to conclude from this but it certainly seems odd.

The employment sectors here in Galicia that have grown most rapidly recently are reported to be:- 1. The public sector, 2. The food and drink sector, and 3. Education. Can this be a good thing?

Here's a 2015 article on the 13 clans which control the cocaine trafficking in Galicia. Several members of the Muro clan were arrested a few years ago and are now in court. Their declarations next week should make for interesting reading.

Finally . . . . Something you don't see often in Spain:-

Yes, kids being told to be quiet. And by a future queen. In public!

Today's cartoon:-  On the same child-ish theme . . . 

1 comment:

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Well, as I have said often before: soon, in these operetta countries, the 'Congreso de los Diputados' will change its name to the 'Congreso de los Imputados'!


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