Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Thoughts from Galicia, Spain: 28.8.18

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. Garish but informative.

Matters Spanish
  • This seems to be the latest on the attitude of the Franco family to the government's plans to remove his remains from the Valley of the Fallen. The family, by the way, has a large mausoleum in a Madrid cemetery.
  • I came across this article in my files last night – a treatise on anti-Americanism in Spain, published in 2005. Here's the Summary: Spain’s feelings toward the United States are the coldest in Europe after Turkey, according to a poll by the German Marshall Fund. And they have been that way for a very long time. The country’s thermometer reading on a scale of 0-100 was 42 in 2005, only surpassed by Turkey’s 28 and compared with an average of 50 for the 10 countries surveyed. The same degree of coldness towards the United States was brought out in the 16-country Pew Global Attitudes Project where only 41% of Spaniards said they had a very or somewhat favourable view of the United States. This surprises many people. After all, Spain has become a vibrant democracy and a successful market economy since the right-wing dictatorship of General Franco ended in 1975 with the death of the General√≠simo. Why are Spaniards so cool towards the United States? And here's a footnote from page 1: Anti-Americanism means many different things. In the case of Spain, a distinction should be made between the conservative anti-Americanism of the Franco regime, which rejected US democratic, tolerant and free-market values, nationalist anti-Americanism, as a result of the 1953 bilateral agreement, which cut across classes and political parties, and left-wing anti-Americanism, stemming from US support for dictators in Latin America, the Vietnam war and other events. A distinction should also be made between anti-Americanism and ‘anti-Bushism’. 
  • I fear Alfie Mittington will feel compelled to give us his twopennyworth on this subject . . .
Galicia and Pontevedra
  • Yet another article pointing out just how zealous the police and guardia civil are here in Pontevedra Province in fining motorists. Fourth after the much larger zones of Madrid, Valencia and Sevilla.
  • Talking of fines . . . Using the latest technology, such as drones, the regional tax office has had huge success in identifying 'new' (i.e. undeclared) properties throughout Galicia. 2,200, to be exact.
  • There was an explosion near Tui a few weeks ago, of fireworks illegally stored in a residential area. Several houses were destroyed but the good news is that their owners are entitled to compensation - of up to €110,000, I think. The bad news is that, whatever they finally get, the tax office says they'll have to pay 40% of it back to the national government. The (ex)owners are, of course, protesting at this nonsense/injustice. IGIMSTS.
Finally . . .
  • My elder daughter and her man visited me at the weekend. As they were about to set off for Madrid, she pointed out that the letters of his number plate - FVN – could well spell out FUN. My feeling is that everyone in Spain should have these letters, with their own individual numbers.
© [David] Colin Davies, Pontevedra: 28.8.18

1 comment:

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Well, you asked for it...

Spanish dislike of the USA North Americans (one cannot be too careful in identifying the culprits...) goes back to at least the Spanish-American War over Cuba in 1898, in which the vile Yankees blew up their own warship in the Havana Harbour so as to have an excuse to rob the last Latin American colony from the Spanish kingdom. See the life of Theodore Roosevelt.

Of course they did have their bouts of conflict before that, as both wished to dominate the southern bit of the Western Hemisphere. See, for instance, that fine if somewhat lengthy, movie Amity, set in the 1830s.

Lastly, the left-wing Republican Spaniards never forgave Ike Eisenhower for his friendly visit to Franco back in 1959. That's pretty much 40 % of your populace. Small wonder love for the Yank is so low in Spain if you hold a poll.