Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 30.4.21

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’ 

NOTE: Info on Galicia here. Detailed info on Pontevedra coming (relatively) soon.

Covid  

As with the article cited on aerosols yesterday, we’re now beginning to see the predicted retrospective overviews of the pandemic and reactions to it. Here’s one such article from the Lancet medical journal,

Vaccines: Good to read that Europe’s vaccine rollout is picking up the pace, though the process remains uneven. The highest percentages come from Eastern Europe, where recourse was made early on to the Russian and Chinese variants.

Spain: Here’s how the jabbing is proceeding here in Spain. Good luck with the graph. 

Cosas de España 

If you want to make a Spaniard fall backwards in shock, try telling him/her that notaries don’t figure in your life back home or that you don’t have a ‘family book’. On the latter, it seems that very soon Spaniards won’t have these either. Well, not in their present form, as another bit of Spain somersaults the 20th century and enters the 21st. Everything will be on a computer, meaning, of course, that nothing at all will go wrong.

Here’s a useful report on the tax implications of home-working for a foreign company in Spain. I endorse the advice that: Both employees and businesses need to be wary of the Spanish tax authorities. This is probably because they can be as arbitrary as anything else in Spain and getting a clear official opinion on, say the application of Model 720, can be a fruitless task. Which is very possibly why it’s said only a very small percentage of people covered by it have actually complied with it. Plus the fact the EU Commission has declared bits of it to be illegal.

April 1 saw the earliest date on which Brits without official residence in Spain could be deported for exceeding the time now allowed to them, post Brexit. But the Spanish government has pooh-poohed tabloid claims it’s targeting Brits without the right bits of paper. And during April there’ve been no reports of deportations or targeted searches here. Which is a shame, as there must be some shady Brits on the Costa del Crime who merit being sent back to Blighty.

Cousas de Galiza

Portugal will open its border with Spain tomorrow. Pretty academic for us, though, as the Galician government will fine us if we try to cross it.  Contrast those in Valencia and Andalucia. Maybe from May 9 for us.

After chasing both my medical centre and the Galician health authority, I’ll finally have my first jab next Monday. If this blog doesn’t appear on Tuesday and thereafter, you’ll know why . . .

The UK

The UK has cricketing metaphors where a written constitution ought to be. Pit British democracy, with its reliance on good manners and fair play, against a landslide majority won by a smash-and-grab prime minister who drives out permanent secretary after permanent secretary and the fight is hardly fair. Stage it against the backdrop of a global pandemic, which requires decisions to be made without the usual scrutiny, and it stands no chance whatsoever. Instead you get the VIP lane to provide expensive PPE that turns out to be unusable, texts from No 10 to tycoons offering favourable tax treatment for ventilators and a former prime minister messaging colleagues on behalf of his new employer. The same bunch who pretended to hate the state now try earnestly to leech off it. Careless people, as Fitzgerald portrayed them, although he could add one qualification. They care a lot – just not about you and me.

Of course, Trump showed that a paranoid narcissist could do the same sort of thing even where there’s a written Constitution

AEP is positive about something – Scottish economic success after independence. But only if it doesn’t join the EU.

The UK and The EU 

UK citizens in the EU: What you need to know.

Germany

The Greens to the fore. Maybe. Months to go before the test.

France

Emmanuel Macron has unveiled a phased lockdown exit plan, aiming to fully reopen the country by June 30. But medics warn it is way too ambitious, given the current infection rate. Not to mention 300 deaths per day.

It’s reported that Brits with a ‘health pass’ will be able to visit France from June 9. Not sure I’d want to.

The Way of the World 

Watching this TV ad, I wondered how long it’d be before carrot eaters- like wine buffs – insist on knowing exactly what field the produce was grown in. And others will want to know that all the cows have had their own ‘personal vet’.

Finally  . . .

Both the sparrows and the greenfinches have again all disappeared from my garden. Is this down to the (pregnant?) cat which is trying to get me to adopt it, and which presented me with 2 dead shrews yesterday?

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