Friday, November 29, 2019

Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 29.11.19

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.   
                  Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain
Spanish Politics
Spanish Life
 Galician Life 
  • It's a common feature of Pontevedra city - and probably elsewhere in Spain - Blocks of flats with the ground floor bajos(shops) bricked up, as no one wants to rent them. Now someone has had the ingenious idea that these could be converted into homes. As happens in many other countries. Indeed, in the Netherlands the owners kindly leave the curtains undrawn so that you can see right inside as you walk past. Odd folk, the Dutch. Anyway, let's hope this happens, as new low-cost housing is urgently needed.
  • Another 2 old fotos of Ponters - the soportales alongside the main square, Praza da Ferrería/Plaza de la Herrería:-

And how it looks today, rather less busy. Again, another floor has been added. on the left:-

It does get a lot busier, by the way. This was taken during the 'dead hour'. And below the rain.
  • Returning to the subject of wolves advancing through Galicia. . . If you're prone to believing they're a danger to humans, bear in mind there've been only 5 attacks recorded in Spain in the 138 years since 1881. Bit of a myth, then.
  • Camino visitors to Pontevedra  city in October were 8% up on last year but overnight stays were 4% down. If you can believe the stats.
  • Narco subs are very much in the news - local, national and international. Only one is said to have been intercepted en route from Colombia to somewhere along our coast but it's been suggested that our waters are littered with them, following deliberate sinkings after successful unloadings to the favoured high-powered speedboats. I do wonder about this. Nice story.
  • I went into and out of town on my bike yesterday, after a lay off of a couple of months. And so discovered the veracity of the saying that you must use it or lose it. I did my best to stay within the new 10kph limit but, as it turns out, I needn't have bothered. The police aren't enforcing it until next week. When they'll have a short campaign to catch anyone unwise enough not to pay attention to the media. And will then go back too ignoring it. This is Spain.
  • Our city council has announced plans to improve the forecourt of our railway station. Need I tell you the parking for cars will be reduced? Nothing if not consistent.
  • As I've said, I sent 2 separate registered letters to my sisters on Monday. One arrived yesterday, after 3 days, but the other has yet to arrive. The tracking system says they both duly left the international logistics centre, but one did so on Tuesday while the other left on Wednesday. I guess I'll never know why they were treated differently but, meanwhile, I hope the second one arrives today. As of now, the tracking info hasn't been updated for 2 days. Which makes it rather useless. 
The UK, the EU, and Brexit
  • Richard North today: Since Barnier has already conceded that he is prepared to entertain a deal which encompasses just the "core trading arrangements", it is safe to assume that both the EU and UK are moving in this direction and this is the most likely outcome. That, in turn, renders very unlikely a no-deal scenario for the end of December 2020. Whatever the pundits say, this is not really on the cards. This should keep the pound rising after a Tory victory in the imminent elections.
The Way of the World
  • The latest number for the amount taken by the OneCoin fraudsters is not the mere €4 billion I cited yesterday but AT LEAST SIXTEEN BILLION EUROS. This is truly stupendous but I doubt it'll be the last time some criminal individual or group takes advantage of global gullibility and greed. 
  • Hard to believe but OneCoin is still being promoted. Indeed, they hosted a beauty contest in Rumania in April this year, more than 3 years after the scam was first exposed. See this site but be aware that it's part of the OneCoin fraudulent campaign. Note the standard reference to 'Bitcoin haters', the enemy.
  • There's a reference on the page to a Dealshaker training event in India yesterday. This is the alleged block-chain-based exchange system allowing conversion of coins into real money which has been promised for over 5 years now. Reminds me of the AVE saga. Anyway, here's the latest specious 'promise', citing 31 December this year. Que cara!
  • As for the past 5 years of OneCoin, it's noteworthy that the (in)famous London legal firm Carter Ruck acted for it against a critical investor in 2016, some 5 months after the British Financial Conduct Authority had issued a warning against it.
  • Not every guilty party has escaped justice; the brother of the (disappeared) founder - Ruja Ignatova - is in clink in the USA, awaiting trial. His sister is rumoured to now look nothing like she used to and to be living the (very) good life in one of several cities around the world, or cruising permanently around the Med in one of the world's biggest yachts. Assiduously avoiding the several people who'd like to talk to her. Assuming, of course, she hasn't been assassinated by some member of the Bulgarian or Russian mafia. Having served her purpose.
Finally . . .
  • A London conservatoire is advertising Beethoven's late sonatas as "examples of progressive 21st century gender ideologies". Desperate marketing, as Private Eye calls it.

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