Saturday, December 09, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 9.12.17

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.

  • This is an observation on Spanish management of water resources which I fear is all too accurate.
  • The Spanish medical profession has declared that marijuana is of no medical benefit. In this, they might well be going against the global trend.
  • If you've ever wanted to know how the vast Spanish national lottery works, especially at this time of the year, this might be of some help.
The EU
  • Don Quijones seems a bit surprised that views now on the euro are very different from this time last year: The main idea behind the euro as a driving force for regional economic convergence has produced, let’s say, mixed results, having essentially failed where it mattered the most, in Southern European economies . . . Little, if any, convergence has taken place for the whole period 1999-2016. But I guess he's as unsurprised as I am that: 76% of the German respondents said the euro is a good thing for Germany, up 12 points on 2016. And that: In only one of the 16 countries featured in the survey does a majority of respondents hold a negative view of the euro. That country is Lithuania, where 36% of respondents think the euro’s a good thing, down six points from last year, while 48% think it is bad.
  • As for the future direction of the Project, DQ notes that: Just yesterday it unveiled a sweeping reform package aimed at completing the bloc’s monetary and economic union. It included a proposal to transform the Eurozone’s bailout arm, the highly opaque European Stability Mechanism (ESM), into a European Monetary Fund that will essentially function as a democratically unaccountable institution, tamping down on deficit spending by troubled Eurozone economies in return for bondholder bailouts. Such policies seek to further cement the Commission’s authority to impose budgetary rules and structural reforms on member states at whim and without democratic control. I get the impression he doesn't see this as altogether a good thing . . .
  • This is Richard North's verdict on this week's (non?)developments:- Ostensibly committing the UK to a "soft" Brexit, the Joint Report from the EU and UK negotiators, published yesterday, actually does no such thing. . . It may be good theatre, but that is about all it is.  . .  It is not the basis for a serious negotiation – merely a device to keep the talks moving and to allow Mrs May to claim a much-needed "victory" in order to keep her in office a little while longer. More here, if you're interested in knowing the reality.
  • If you want to understand Russia-gate, try this from The Guardian
The Spanish Language
  • I came across these words yesterday, said to be equivalent in meaning:-
- Spanish: Esgarrifoso
- Galician: Estallecedor
But I could find the Spanish version nowhere, not even in the dictionary of the Royal Academy, It turned out to be Catalan and to mean 'spooky' or 'creepy'. The Spanish equivalent is espeluznantes, I think.

Bloody 'ell! Things have to be really bad when the headline in one of our local papers is It's Going to Rain!. This in a region where - folk from further south would have you believe - it never stops. The article says we're going to need 12 of the storms we'll be hit by this weekend, thanks to a High out in the Atlantic.

  • Need I tell you that the increase in petrol prices in our province has been twice as much as that nationally?
  • More British Xmas TV appeal subjects:-

- Abandoned pets
- Orphans
- The homeless
I suspect the first of these will get the most money from sentimental Brits. Especially as they'll get a cuddly toy animal if they subscribe . . .

Today's Cartoon


jan frank said...

As regards the cartoon, do I gather that you have problems using your Mac when traveling?

Colin Davies said...

well, no. Though I certainly had problems getting good wifi connections. I see the cartoon as commenting more on Apple's corporate culture than on its products.