Monday, April 02, 2018

Thoughts from Galicia Spain: 2.4.18

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.

  • Here's a view from Político, which stresses that: To find a way out of this crisis three things are necessary: every politician must abide by the law, the debate must return to politics, and broad agreements to seek the necessary consensus should be established to avoid the social breakdown that is taking place. Clearly this ain't happening and, as the article puts it, Rajoy has [stupidly] made himself a prisoner of events. History won't be kind to him. Nor, just possibly, voters at the next general elections.
  • And here's a view from Germany. Where, as someone has said, having made the Cataluña problem a judicial matter in Spain, Rajoy is now trying to do the same on an international stage.
  • Finally, here's Brit Tim Parfitt, with an open letter to President Rajoy which begins: Dear Spain, don’t criticise the international media. Blame your own government. And goes on to say: Not only has Rajoy spectacularly failed to defuse the Catalan issue but his actions have also unearthed Spain’s underlying fascism and Francoism for us all to see. It was obviously always there … but it is now clearly visible. As Ian Gibson, the renowned Hispanist and biographer has said: ‘The Spanish right-wing says that it isn’t Francoist but it has Francoism in its genes, in its DNA. It’s outrageous.’ This Francoism is ugly, Spain. It’s very ugly, and you need to do something about it. But that does not mean telling us not to write about it.
  • Here's Al Jazeera on an issue of the moment, what needs to be done to accelerate movement away from the Civil war.
Life in Spain
  • Readers Alberto and Maria have kindly cited articles on Spanish pensions – here and here - which I will now study. Here's something in English, dated c. 2011 but updated here. At first glance, it looks like even I - after 17 years here - could claim a  basic state pension. There's no reference to a citizenship requirement, only residenc. Can this be right??
The EU
  • A German - anti Macron? - view on the way forward for the "crisis-torn Union": Europe doesn’t need any more lofty speeches. What it needs is a stiff dose of pragmatism. It’s important to remember that in a time of growing mistrust toward the European Union and its institutions, the basic idea of Europe as a Western community of shared values enjoys enduring support. But it’s equally important not to delude ourselves: The many millions of people who have voted for Eurosceptic parties in France, Poland, Germany and Italy will not be persuaded by proposals such as the creation of a eurozone finance minister or the introduction of transnational lists for the European parliament. The dream held by some leaders on the Continent of melting nation states into a “United States of Europe” is simply not supported by a majority of citizens and governments. Any attempt to impose a utopian vision will only further divide — rather than unite — the European Union. Closer cooperation might be necessary in the future, but right now it’s time to concentrate on solving the concrete problems facing the citizens of the EU. Full article here.
  • A couple of comments from the wonderful nightly satirical shows on US TV:
  1. A porn star has achieved what no one else has done in 2 years - making Fart keep his mouth shut.
  2. “Trump Says Nothing” really is a headline.
  3. He is behaving like somebody who has something to fear.
  • As for Fart and Amazon, can all his inane mouthings on this company really be a reflection of nothing more than his animus against the founder, because he now owns the Washington Post? Well, yes. Of course they can.
  • A cartoonist's reflection . . . 

Spanish from English
  • Why, oh why don't they ask a native speaker to check things? The question is prompted – yet again - by an ad for Food for Soul.
  • I'm very good at predicting which retail outlets will survive in the city. Not that it's particularly difficult, as many owners ignore the advice that the 3 most important considerations are: Location, Location, and Location. The latest place to go under is a spices shop in the mall at the bottom of the hill, this side of the bridge. I fear for the future of the one better placed in the city itself.
  • We had a drought in the last quarter of 2017. In contrast, March has been the wettest in 10 years. As if we didn't know.
  • I happened upon this list of the worst films of the last 80 years. I'm pleased to say I've only seen one of them, maybe. Cannonball Run II. Plus bits of Caligula on the TV. I did think Titanic was included but it turned out to be Titanic: The Legend Goes On. The prize for the best title must surely to to The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies.
© David Colin Davies, Pontevedra: 2.4.18

1 comment:

Perry said...

Without prejudice, as we used to write in business letters.