Friday, March 02, 2018

Thought from Galicia: 2.2.18

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.

  • Cataluña: Here's a surprise . . . Sr Puigdemont won't be the next President there. As yet, no one knows who will be. Possibly some chap in a Spanish jail. That's Spanish politics for you!
  • The Spanish president - like the last one - doesn't speak English. Possibly the only EU leader not to. In stark contrast, last night, the young woman at the checkout in a Portuguese supermarket answered me in the world's (current) lingua franca after I'd attempted to ask her a question in a mixture of Spanish, Gallego and Portuguese.
  • I'm 35% into the Dutchman's book and have yet to find anything to disagree with. Nor, however, have I found anything new, though the rapaciousness of the utterly unethical banks is even worse that I'd thought. And I've seen and experienced quite a few things at their hands. I particularly enjoyed his comments on notaries, of course. And, needless to say, he goes to town on the inability of the president and nearly all of his political colleagues to speak English.
  • Turning the tables  . . . Here's The Local's list of 13 things guiris do which amuse, embarrass, annoy or even disgust Spaniards. I love the one about wearing the clothes in the wrong season. As I noted many years ago, for a people who are, by and large, tremendously 'relaxed' about formal rules, the Spanish can be very strict and censorious about unwritten societal rules. It must say something about them but I'm not sure what.
  • On the other hand . . . Here's El País with the news of another major Spanish failing – recycling.
The EU
  • Here's Don Quijones once again on the Italian banking system. Here's none too sure the crisis – and its systemic threat to the entire eurozone - is (rather suddenly) over. He fears the creation of a frankenbank, along the lines of Spain's failed and bailed-out-by-the-taxpayer Bankia.
The EU and Brexit
  • Consciously or otherwise, the EU is making it impossible for Britain to leave on decent terms, increasing the chances of a messy exit that will be damaging to all. It beggars belief that otherwise sane policymakers such as Michel Barnier could think that destabilising Europe’s second largest economy, with powerful spillover effects into Europe itself, the right way of approaching the British mutiny. . . . Barnier and his puppet masters play a dangerous game in gambling that May will be forced to abandon her red lines. Britain is not Greece, Norway or Switzerland. It cannot so easily be swatted away. As the two sides dig in, the risks of a bad outcome grow steadily higher. This might or might not be bluster. Vamos a ver.
  • Meanwhile, Mrs May is reported to have warned Brussels that the negotiations are en route to a breakdown. This, too, could be bluster.
  • The BBC: The US National Rifle Association’s chief lobbyist has claimed Donald Trump has reversed his position on gun control, just a day after the US president held a televised meeting with lawmakers in which he said he supported increased background checks for gun buyers. Someone's telling porkies, then. My bet's on Fart.
  • Several more of the truly ugly wild boar/Vietnamese pig hybrids have been rounded up in a village in the hills. There are now fears of an eventual takeover of the native beasts. Which might be OK if they taste even better.
  • There are quite a few typos in the Dutchman's book - and a sprinkling of examples of 'Dutch English'. I guess he edited his draft himself and I know from experience just how easy it is to miss your mistakes, however many times your read the text. I doubt there's a day passes when I don't find a mistake in my post when reading it several hours after publishing it. Yesterday, for example, I typed 'your' instead of 'you're' but missed it at least 3 times. Possibly 5. So . . . My apologies for any mistakes you have found to date and will find in the future.
Today's cartoon


Sierra said...

The Brexiteers' daily routine:

1. Brexit creates problem.
2. Brexiters don’t have solution.
3. EU comes up with solution.
4. Brexiters don’t like solution.
5. Brexiters blame EU for problem.
6. Brexiters threaten EU.
7. EU calmly points out facts.
8. UK dismisses facts.
9. Repeat daily.

Colin Davies said...

You might well be right, but - if you'd been reading Richard North for the last 3+ years - you'd know that it didn't need to happen this way. His sensible, do-able 'Flexit' proposal - from a man who knows more on the subject than anyone else - was comprehensively ignored. Hence the current mess. And the possibility that staying in the EU might well be better than any Brexit resulting from the ignorance and incompetence of the UK government. Most obviously Johnson and Davis. As you will know, North is in despair.