4 November 2021: Labour laws; Right wing extremism; Taxes; The Guardia Civil; Me and the Beatles; & Other stuff

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

Cosas de España/Galiza 

This is an article from The Corner on changes proposed by the current left-of-centre government to the labour laws introduced by a previous right-of-centre administration. As before with this author, I struggle at times to get his drift and wonder if the article is written by him in English or – more likely, I suspect – translated from his Spanish. Maybe by a machine. Anyway, the clearest messages are possibly these two: The empirical evidence is that the Spanish labour system, its labour market, is manifestly inefficient – the worst in Europe and the OECD. And it has been so for decades, with both [left-of-centre] and [right of centre] governments, in a phase of growth and decline. A market that simultaneously produces a lot of unemployment, a lot of precariousness and low wages. And: It continues to be tributary to the authoritarian model inherited from Franco’s regime, 

Talking of Franco . . . It might be said that, forty-six years after Franco’s death, ultra-nationalism and right-wing extremism have resumed a place close to the mainstream, but, in truth, they were never far away. Explanation here.

If you’re moving to Spain, this will help you get a handle on the legal and tax obligations. BTW: I think the deadline for changing your driving licence if you applied before 31.12.20 has now been extended to 31.12.21.

As I got set to drive off from outside my house yesterday morning, a Guardia Civil patrol car drove up and stopped alongside me, allowing an officer to peer at me for a second or two, presumably to check whether I had my safety belt on and if I had earphones in place. Fortunately, I did and didn’t. But I do wonder if they’d have fined me if I hadn’t/had, even though I was stationary. Anyway, I then followed the car down the hill and noted that, firstly, it exceeded the 30kph limit – admittedly not difficult to do – and, secondly, that it failed to signal at 3 roundabouts. Having, of course, taken all of them in the outside lane, regardless of the planned exit. Actually, that’s not all true. In standard Spanish fashion, on one roundabout the driver signalled right after he’d left it.

Galicia is one of Spain’s poorest regions but where there’s poverty there’s always also wealth. And yesterday saw publication of the net worth of the 50 richest Galicians, showing a range of €550 million to €67 billion. I confess to not recognising all the sources of the wealth.

Those lovely Brits. With money, if not good manners

Popeye’s favourite?

Quote of the Day 

Listening to a debate on animal rights this morning, I recalled someone’s claim that “If we start to give animals rights, we’ll end up giving the vote to the oyster”. But, sadly, no one on the panel cited this amusing perception.


Just in case you read the The Corner article above:- 

Amphibological: Characterized by the ambiguity found in an amphibology : ambiguous, equivocal.

Finally  . . 

Ah, nostalgia . . . Yesterday, I heard an early blues version of Blood Red River and was suddenly hurtled back to 1965, when I spent a lot of time with the group – The Silkie – who had this version of it on the B side of their 45rpm single.

On the A side was a song which was a hit in the USA but not in the UK. And this was despite the fact the Beatles had given them it, John Lennon directed the recording of it and both Paul McCartney and George Harrison actually performed on it. The Beatles never issued it as a single but did have it on their Help! LP/album

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