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Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain

Random thoughts from a Brit in the North West. Sometimes serious, sometimes not. Quite often curmudgeonly.

Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 18 February 2021
19 February 2021 @ 13:16

Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable. 

- Christopher Howse: 'A Pilgrim in Spain'

My thanks to Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas for a couple of today's items. 

Covid: Allegedly  . . . There are 4 times more infections among folk who frequent bars than among those who don't. As it’s Spain, we await the data from brothels.

Living La Vida Loca in Galicia/Spain 

Shortsightdness is a complaint occasionally made against Spanish companies by those of us used to better customer service elsewhere. Mark Stücklin here levies that charge against at least some Spanish banks: British customers are by far the biggest group of non-resident buyers and owners of property in Spain. Annoying them chasing trivial income today at the expense of business tomorrow looks short-sighted. If your bank’s an offender, MS gives a few suggestions as to where you might move your business.

The economy: As in many other countries, Spain - thanks to Covid spending - has seen its public debt soar. For Spain - says The Corner - this is twice as worrying, since in recent years public debt was already climbing strongly, leaving the country with less fiscal room for manoeuvre. The Corner concludes that: Public debt will be a major burden for the growth of the Spanish economy in the coming years, unless the strong imbalances that the economy has been dragging along for almost 3 decades are corrected once and for all. 

The Corner has some ideas here on how the economy could/should be reformed. The opening para: The scale of Spain’s recovery from the deepest recession among all euro-area economies is mired in uncertainty but will determine how quickly public finances return to a sustainable path. I guess we know by now who’ll suffer most - the poor and the young. For what it’s worth: Percentage GDP Contractions:-

Spain 11 (Tourism).

Italy 9 

France 8

Germany 5

UK 11 (a figure disputed by AEP as being based on different methodology, which overstates both reductions and increases). 

María's Tsunami, Day 18. María writes of our famed shellfish - percebes (goose barnacles) as a product of the La Lambruna, the Years of Hunger. Though these are now a delicacy commanding, says María, prices that are not enough reward for the dangers some of the gatherers face, the oldest Galician I know insists that many folk refused to eat them back then - as well as other shellfish also now expensive - as they were seen as animal food. As for me, I dislike the (bloody ugly) percebes, which causes some of my Galician friends to faint in shock and horror. And to threaten murder when I impugn them by saying they taste of rubber dipped in salt water.

Talking of life in Galicia . . . Unlike Andalucia, this region is one of smallholdings - minifundios - as opposed to their large estates latifundios. If you're in our (mint eucalyptus) woods, you'll see evidence of this all around you - perimeter markers every few metres. Anything from hard-to-move granite blocks to just plastic bottles on the ground. Or as here, on sticks:-

Another favourite is a coloured pole, as opposed of course to a Pole of colour:-

The UK and the EU

A payment via my Spanish Visa card for Skype credit was refused by Spanish bank today. As the fee was in pounds, is this another consequence of Brexit? Whatever, I then paid with a UK card via my UK bank and so my Spanish bank lost the business. Presumably they don’t want it.  

It’s reported that close to 5 million EU citizens have applied to stay in the UK after Brexit. This includes 246,600 Spaniards. Ironically, this is close to the official number of Brits resident in Spain. Which is in flux, of course.

The EU: Relations with Russia are said to be at 'boiling point'. But Brussels - it’s claimed here - seems reluctant to apply its new sanctions weapon against Moscow, . One wonders why.

The Way of the World: Scotland takes the lead in the Woke Stakes?  And talking of things nutty . . .

Nutters Corner: You just can't beat Kat Kerr . . .

Finally . . . It was sunny here between 2 and 4pm yesterday. But exactly at 4 it started to rain. I rest my meteorological case. . 

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