Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain.
If you've arrived here because of an interest in Galicia or Pontevedra, see my web page here.
- El Mundo seems rather obsessed with this region today, perhaps because the electioneering period officially begins at midnight tonight. Cue nocturnal fly-posting as of 24.01.
- It's a big day for the secessionists. Sr P is in court, fighting the Spanish extradition order. And several officials arrested a few weeks ago have already had their hour in court and are being kept in prison. I suspect this will affect attitudes in the region and wonder if it's what Madrid would really have wanted. Given the history of the last few years and, in particular, the events of the last month or so, who could possibly tell? Perhaps the judiciary is more independent than most of us think.
- The Guardian gives us this overview on the elections this morning. Probably not as bad as Don Quijones was suggesting the Anglo press was yesterday. But very possibly out of line with the opinion of its 'sister' paper in Spain, El País.
- The head of the Basque government has suggested the financing model used for that region should be applied across the board for all 17 Autonomous Communities in Spain. If so, it would solve a few problems in Cataluña. But I doubt this has much appeal to Madrid.
- The construction industry there is booming, which is very helpul for the Galician companies who've been twiddling their thumbs for several years.
- El Mundo predicts that – after a lean period of several years – England's 5 teams will do very well this year. But, says the paper, it's noticeable that all of these are managed by foreign Misters.
- Another industry picking up nicely here is shipbuilding.
- The bad news is that only 8% of new jobs in the region are the subject of permanent contracts.
- Here's some rather interesting numbers of 'pilgrims' arriving in Santiago de Compostela in the last 50 years. On the Camino de Santiago, of course:-
- 1970: 68
- 1976: 243
- 1978: 1.8k
- 1993: 100k
- 2004: 178k
- 2017: Already 278k. 300k expected. Rather more than 68, then. No wonder the city has changed so much - for the worse - in the 17 years I've been going to it.
- I took yet another look at my water bill, motivated by reader Sierra's comment that he pays a (low) fixed price each period because his local council no longer bothers to read the meters. I see that my situation is even worse than I've always thought. If – as I do – I consume less than 20m3, I still get charged for that amount. I also noted that, of the 13 items listed on my – incomprehensible bill – only 2 of these are variable. Or 15% of the total. Less than 10% in cash terms. How do they get away with it?