Saturday, March 24, 2018

Thoughts from Galicia; 24.3.18

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.

  • The Catalan farce continues. I think Barcelona is now on its 4th attempt to install a president.
  • This, of course, is largely because Madrid continues to treat this as a legal issue, not a political one. Which is hardly surprising when 70-80% of government ministers are lawyers. Or, worse, notaries. Talk about tunnel vision.
  • There are a lot of Latinos in Spain, though not as many as at the peak of the phony construction boom. It seems they suffer from identity problems, as you can see here.
  • You need to be a genius to work out the conflicting messages Madrid is sending out in respect of Gibraltar. Here's the latest development. I fancy there's some Spanish sophistry at work here
  • Here's the inevitable list from The Local on Easter destinations, if you're not staying at home to take part in the Semana Santa processions.
Life in Spain
  • Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas has sent me this codicil to my reference to the Andalucian government's proposed ban on back-of-the paper 'personal ads':- I was encouraged to see that the English-language Euro Weekly has said 'Fuck that. we shall keep our prossie revenue'. Yesterday's Costa del Sol edition has three pages of 'contacts'.
  • Briefly back to the religion issue . . . It's remarkable how much less religious young Spaniards are than other (ex)Catholic countries. Could it be because of the RC Church's support for the appallingly vicious Franco? Here's the percentages for non-religious young people in Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Poland: - 55, 42, 39, and 17.
The EU
  • Alfie Mittington – who is occasionally pleasant, and even informative – tells me he's worried about this. I suspect we should all be.
  • The EU states are rather divided on how to deal with Putin's Russia, reflecting the various degrees of economic reliance on the rogue state. Italy, I've read, is very dependent on Russia's goodwill. And Germany, of course, gets much/most of its energy supplies from there. Which seems strategically daft to me. But what do I know?
  • Jean Claude-Juncker, the president of the European Commission, has threatened to resign if Martin Selmayr is forced out of a new job at the head of the EU civil service. This is commonly known as tempting fate. But the majority view is that it won't happen as the technocrats are answerable to no one and so are free to do WTF they like.
The UK
  • Spain is not, of course, the only country where the construction of roads (and railways) is slow. The A555 in south Manchester in the UK has been under construction for more than 25 years. Though, to be honest, this was suspended for a most of these and only recently re-started. It's due to be finished this year and will take much of the local and airport traffic that currently passes in front of my younger daughter's house. Or virtually parks there during the rush hours.
  • As I walk into and out of town, I pass a number of excellent buskers, all of whom I give a little to. And then there's a young man who sits near the health centre and is possibly the worst singer and guitarist in Spain. Or even the entire world. Astonishingly, he must get some coins, as here he is buying a few things in the supermarket. Three tins of energy drinks, in fact. Just what somebody who hardly moves really needs:-


© Colin Davies, Pontevedra: 24.3.18

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