Cosas de España/Galiza
Possibly because the Tax Office believes absolutely everyone is lying/cheating, Spain has long penalised the entrepreneurial self-employed by charging them a high social insurance tax from the day they start their business, regardless of income and profit. The minimum contribution is currently almost €300 a month, with no UK-type option to avoid/reduce this burden by postponing or reducing social security cover. But there are apparently plans to reduce the early burden on new entrepreneurs, while progressively increasing it for the rest of them. But I doubt this will stop folk failing to declare income until they have some profit to pay the tax from. The nettle has not been grasped.
Here’s someone’s idea of the 6 things you need to consider when planning a trip to the Iberian Peninsula. Pretty commonsensical and not much specific to Spain and Portugal, it seems to me.
I’ve been wondering – again – about solar panels, especially since we’re forecasted to get more sun up here in Galicia. Years ago I and my neighbours were put off this by an astonishing change of strategy from the right-of-centre PP party, which suddenly switched from subsidising private installations to penalising citizens who’d been encouraged to invest heavily in them. But in 2018 the socialist PSOE cancelled this ‘sun tax’ and is now heavily promoting solar energy. Which is hardly a surprise. Even north of Andalucia and Murcia.
I recently wrote about the negative attitude of most Spaniards towards gypsies. So I was interested to read that there’s to be a new anti-discrimination law – la Ley Zerolo – aimed at ensuring that no one is discriminated against for reasons of birth, racial or ethnic origin, sex or religion, belief or opinion, age, disability, sexual orientation or identity, gender expression, illness, health status, socioeconomic status or any other personal or social circumstance. Lenox Napier cites the opinion of Público that, while all-encompassing, it’s really aimed at el antigitanismo.
Boris Johnson: The most accurate post-resignation comment: He’s not gone yet. . .
Boris Johnson has only promised to resign in the autumn: he has not resigned. What Johnson has actually done is buy himself a couple more months in office. A promise from Boris Johnson . . . . Based on decades of experience, not exactly worth a lot.
And, interestingly enough, one of his ex-paramours wonders whether his (non)resignation speech indicated that he’s expecting to be forgiven and allowed to bounce back. As he always has been in the past. I can’t see it myself but who knows? Dominic Cummings – someone who possibly knows the real Johnson even better than this lady warns: I know that guy and I’m telling you – he doesn’t think it’s over. He’s thinking ‘There’s a war. Weird shit happens in a war. Play for time. I can still get out of this. I got a mandate. Members love me. Get to September’. If MPs leave him in situ, there’ll be CARNAGE.
At the moment, one thing that certainly can’t be said as regards the office he still holds is that: Nothing became him like the leaving of it.
On the theme of what he’s achieved . . . Johnson has left his country in the most appalling mess. A mess clearly to be symbolised by the manner of his leaving. But did he actually go so far as to ‘break Britain’? The evidence on this can be found here.
As for his (non)resignation speech, Richard North points out that: In many ways it typifies Johnson, a man lacking in shame or the slightest hint of self-awareness to the extent that it was devoid of contrition and blamed others for his downfall.
As my South American friends attest, mainland Spanish can be rather robust, coarse even. The Spanish and Gallego words for the English C word – coño and cono – are regularly heard in daily discourse here, even between kids and adults. Strangely, though, the worst thing you can call a male is ‘billy goat'(cabrón), because it also means ‘cuckold’. As I lay in the shade on a beach yesterday, I heard a husband on one side of me call his wife coño and a daughter on the other side call her father cabrón. Can’t see this happening in the UK or the USA. Or even in, say, Colombia or Argentina.
Ever heard of Globish?
Finally . . .
What I see every time I get off the train at Vigo’s Urzaiz station:-
I have to refrain from shouting – as I mount the stairs – When you reach my age, you’ll all be bloody obese!
For new readers: If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try here. If you’re passing through Pontevedra on the Camino, you’ll find a guide to the city there.