An earrrrrrrly start

Our representatives at the European Union working hard for us all.

Ok, I know it´s not up there with the global economy and the American elections, but I have made the decision to get up at 9am today .This is so that I can  get to the post office and sign for my recorded delivery, before the seven days are up, and they send it back. A friend informed me yesterday that the post office has now reduced its already tiny opening hours to 8.30 – 10.00am. Does that even count as having a job? I´m not sure. And getting there between those hours is only a part of the problem. The staff, and they are packed in there like sardines, look you over for a good ten minutes or so before deciding you are worth talking to.  I think they are hoping that if they drag out their initial  “what do you want?” for long enough, it will be time to push you back out of the door on the end of a broom and slam down the shutters for the day. I have seen people running to get there on time, always with a quick “I can´t stop now….I´ve got to get to the post office!”  Oh, and did I mention that they   don´t sell stamps?  Can´t bother the staff too much. You have to go to the tobacco shop for those.  Government jobs, who´d have them?  Bet they retire at twenty-five too.

Not that all that nonsense isn´t changing here in Spain.  That, and a general clamp down on corruption are the only good things to come out of this global economic crisis – but times are hard; really very ,very hard. With unemployment up to 40% in Andalucía, and unemployment benefit low and only lasting a year, people are suffering big time. Thousands have been thrown out of their homes by the banks. Only for those homes to now sit empty as the banks can´t sell them……..yep, that will be the very same banks that caused the whole problem in the first place.  Why can´t we  all follow the example of Iceland, which put all the bankers in prison, refused to pay the debt they ran up, fired the government and then started over…..and with great success. Google it, it makes fascinating reading, and the press has largely ignored it. Wonder why?!

So, back to Spain, the government here is being forced by the European Union to get out of its money troubles by spending less. Now in a country that had a great public spending programme to start with, this may just about be possible.  I personally don´t think so. Here, in a country like spain, that had no real social security system to start with, nothing much in the way of unemployment, child, maternity, sickness or any other sort of benefit and a work force that is routinely employed without contracts, there isn’t really much to cut. Spain does have free health care, and it was both modern and efficient……so that is where many of the cuts are being made…..and parents now have to return to buying all the school books for their children, something that was made free before the recession. Nice one. You´ve lost your job, your entire family is sleeping in a friend’s house, and now you must pay €200 every semester, for each of your children to go to school. Oh, and your miniscule unemployment benefit will soon be stopped, because it only lasts a year. At the most.  The red cross in Spain is now delivering its food parcels to Spain…….a sin has been visited upon us all by bankers who are still in control, as they also own the governments. Isn´t that fascism?  It was when I was last studying.

Rant over, but not forgotten, as they say. It was the mention of the word “government” in the first paragraph which got me going. Now I have one more hour to get some  online work done, before it´s time to get down  to the infamous Post office. I´m hoping for a surprise present, but I have a strange feeling I may have forgotten a bill somewhere along the line….

I have my English-speaking quilting group today……which is very different to my spanish one which I enjoyed yesterday. I have the most wonderful tutor there, and her quilts are works of art. I will do a blog just about her; she is a retired lady who gives her time free, hugely talented and an excellent and patient teacher. I´m very lucky to know her. Maybe she should be running the country……

Enjoy your day everyone.

Judy xxx

About judymorrisart

Independent artist working with oil on canvas. I live and work in Málaga, Andalucía in Southern Spain.
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6 Responses to An earrrrrrrly start

  1. Richelle says:

    Dear Judy, rants about the government, okay, but very unfair about the post office employees!!! You very well know that their working hours are not limited to the couple of hours each day that they open to the public. How do you think the mail gets sorted and then delivered to your door, by pigeon?? And why would you want to buy stamps if they can put the due postage on your letter or package right there at the post office?? Rants are fine with me, it´s your blog, but a bit of nuance would be nice. xxx

    • Oh sure, I know that Richelle – my first paragraph was intended to be more humerous, and was in fact making more fun of my inability to get up early than any real problem with postal workers…..hence the comment about them retiring at twenty-five. I didn´t expect anyone to believe that part either 🙂
      The serious part was about the government and the economic situation generally here in Spain. No joking there – it is far too awful for far too many.
      Pleased you´re reading my blog, and keep the comments coming. I don´t expect everyone to agree with every word I say.
      Judy xxx

  2. Richelle says:

    Ah, and I agree with you that cuts are made where they hurt unfairly, but not with your statement that Spain didn´t have a great public spending programma. Billions of euros have been spent on public transport, high profile high speed trains that no one uses, more lenghts of highway per inhabitant than anywhere else in Europe, ridiculously expensive buildings for sports, culture and housing of government agencies, medical centres too big for small towns and so forth. All public spending too!! And most of them unoccupied cos there wasn´t any need for them in the first place, just the need of a couple of officials to grant a favour to a developer friend…

    • Ah, all you say about lengths of highway, ridiculously expensive buildings etc…..these are the very reasons I say they didn´t have a great public spending programme. A great public spending programme includes, in my opinion, a good safety net for who become unemployed. Maternity benefits on which the new mother could actually live, and decent amounts of child benefit. A psychiatric outpatient service that actually addressed the very high rates of mental illness and suicide amongst the population……..but although some areas, such as the free health service was well funded and efficient, as you point out, the corruption amongst government officials, and in town halls meant the money was never well spent.
      This is why I believe spain never had a great public spending programme. Now they are struggling to find areas to cut back, without causing serious suffering to the poorest and most needy.
      Judy xx

  3. Garm says:

    “Norway, which put all the bankers in prison…Google it, it makes fascinating reading, and the press has largely ignored it. Wonder why?!”

    Generally because it happened in Iceland. Norway owns 2 % of all publically listed stocks on the planet, and is not massivly unhappy with the bakers.

  4. Thanks for spotting that, Garm, I have edited the piece accordingly. However, which ever country reacted like this should have been set as an example to others.; It was ignored by the press because a lot of organisations and individuals didn´t want this happening anywhere else.
    Judy xxx

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