Thursday, September 07, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 7.9.17

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain. 

If you've arrived here because of an interest in Galicia or Pontevedra, see my web page here.

My usual Thursday morning HT to Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas . . .

Life in Spain
  • Things are now reaching boiling point between Barcelona and Madrid. Click here for a comprehensive Guardian review as of yesterday. As noted, one of Spain's many national courts has ordered the ex Catalan president and his mates to pay €5.1m in respect of the last illegal referendum. Can't see that being handed over. Meanwhile, today will see Madrid's reaction to Barcelona's latest bit of provocation.
  • The Spanish Tax Office's latest target is Spain's lawyers. It's reported that 100,000 of them are going to have their billings of the last 3 years 'reviewed'. Couldn't happen to a nicer group of people.
  • The leader of the socialist PSOE opposition party, Pedro Sanchez, has chucked a cat among some pigeons by referring to Cataluña, the Basque Country and, yes, Galicia as (would-be) 'nations'. It's an open question whether he left out Andalucia just to irritate the president of that region - Susana Díaz - who recently failed to defenestrate and replace him.
  • El Mundo tells us that what really impresses foreigners about Spain is not her beaches, her patrimony or her cuisine, but her infrastructure. As a frequent traveller by car, train and metro, I can understand this.
  • Here's info on Brits who've done things for Andalucia. It's sadly lacking a reference to George Borrow.
  • Press freedom is Spain is apparently greater than in the UK and the USA. Which I have to admit came as a surprise to me. The top countries are, as usual in global surveys of anything except corruption, the Scandinavian gang of four. Spain ranks 29, against 40 and 43 for the UK and the USA, respectively.
Russian disinformation: Buzzfeed reports here on one of apparently numerous reports counterfeited to imitate genuine Western newspapers. The best guess is that the objective is to "inflame international tension".

The Brexit isn't, allegedly, the only major problem faced by the EU: According to an analyst on The Times: Poland, Hungary and their defiant resistance to migrant quotas pose the same level of existential threat to the EU as Russian aggression in the east and Turkey’s lurch into authoritarianism. While Russia and Turkey are external threats, the widening political and cultural divide between Poland and Hungary and the rest of the EU is seen as a challenge on a par with Brexit. Both countries, which are fiercely nationalistic, are now openly defiant of the European Court of Justice, putting them at odds with the EU’s legal order.

Having seen her name numerous times but remained ignorant of her significance, I've finally discovered that Ferrol-born Concepción Arenal was a Spanish feminist writer and activist who was the first woman to attend university in Spain and is considered to be the founder of the feminist movement here. More on her in English here. And even more in Spanish here.

This might well be a statistical artefact - brought about by the fact that Spain's richest person (the owner of Inditx/Zara) lives in the region - but it's reported that Galicia has the highest per capital taxable assets(patrimonio) in Spain. Mind you, Madrid is not included as there's no such wealth tax there. Seems odd to me.

Finally . . . On a similar theme . . .  Lenox's home town of Mójacar has a per capita income of €90kpa, against €20.5k for Andalucia as a whole and around €26k nationally. I think we need an explanation.

Today's cartoon:

"It's always the same in the peak season."


Lenox said...

I saw the daughter teaching the granddaughter how to put cigs into the machine this morning. Granny has a local fortune in the twenty millions or more. It was a bit like seeing Mrs Trump selling used golf balls. Mojácar is very rich - they just don't spend it.

Sierra said...

"The GDP per capita on Mojácar is slightly higher than € 90,000 per year" - GDP isn't income; surely somebody who writes on business matters is aware of the difference?

(Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary measure of the market value of all final goods and services produced)

Colin Davies said...

I did not write what you attribute to me in quotes.

I wrote; "a per capita income of €90kpa"

If the report was of per capita GDP (can't be bothered to check), then I mis-recalled it or mis-noted it down.

As you say, there is a big difference. And, as you don't imply, I do know the difference.