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. Garish but informative.
- Says El País here: The tourism boom and the sharing economy have created an explosive cocktail in Spain’s real estate market. Holiday rentals have become a lucrative business that is proliferating in the centers of the most popular cities, steadily pushing out the permanent residents. Now, local governments are stepping in with a series of measures aimed at regulating the sector and containing these soaring prices. Ultimately, the goal is to prevent city centers from becoming tourist theme parks where the locals cannot afford to live. One can certainly have some sympathy with this objective.
- So, the Real Madrid footballer Ronaldo has been 'fined' €19m and sentenced to 2 years in jail for tax offences. Not that he'll feel the pain of either the financial penalty or any time in clink. No one sentence to 2 years or less actually goes to prison in Spain.
- Smoking is now said to be Spain's biggest killer. No one living here would be surprised at that.
Life in Spain
- If you're not among the recent categories of residents here, you might figure in this selection of tourist types. From The Local, of course.
- Brussels has backed off the war against cash, says Don Quijones here.
- Chelsea FC have offered N’Golo Kanté a new contract worth nearly £290,000 a week. So, we haven't yet reached the limit of this obscenity.
- The minister responsible for trains says that Britain's railways are the envy of Europe. To the extent that Britain's NHS is the envy of the world, I imagine.
- There've been many justifiably critical descriptions of Twitter et al. Here's a good one from the New York Times political reporter, Maggie Haberman: Twitter is an anger video game for many users.
Galicia and Pontevedra
- More than 300,000 'pilgrims' are expected to do the Camino de Santiago this year, way up on the lowly 10,000 of 1992. The (increasingly crowded) French Way continues to garner the greatest proportion - at 60% - but the Portuguese Way has grown to 22%, followed far behind by the English Way, the North Coastal Way, the 'Primitive' Way and the 'Silver' Way. Then come the remaining 27 – yes, 27 – Ways. All 'authentic' pilgrim routes from the Middle Ages, of course . . . Foreigners from more than 150 countries make up the majority of walkers - 64% - with Italians, Germans, North Americans, Portuguese and French folk leading the pack, in that order.
- Talking of revenue generation . . . In their relentless campaign to maximise the tax take, over the last 2 months our zealous traffic police have copped 593 drivers using their new laser-based miniradares. Doubtless some of these fines will be merited but I'm equally sure some drivers will have been caught in what can only be regarded as duplicitious traps. There are also reports of drivers arriving for their August holiday without tax and insurance. But these folk really do merit their fines.
- There's a glut of cocaine in South America, which can mean only one thing for our coast – increased inboard activity – as several countries expand their export activities. Maybe I should buy some shares in companies making ultra-fast speedboats (superplaneadoras).
- Apart from the local government, there's only one large employer in Pontevedra – a cellulose factory on the outskirts of the city. Its licence runs out this year and it's long been the ambition of the left wing, 'nationalist' BNG folk who run the city council to see the back of it. Notwithstanding the loss of many jobs. But there's a growing suspicion that the (Portuguese) company and the Spanish state have done a deal to secure its continuance. Which, if true, won't go down too well with 'activists'.
Finally . . .
- I'm still not getting Comments in my email but I am now getting my posts . . . Which I dont need to see, of course.
© David Colin Davies, Pontevedra: 31.7.18