April 1, 2012

PPSOE fusion, Spain finds lost 5,000 billion euro note in couch cushion

Sorry that I've been too busy to write blog posts. It's probably a good sign for me professionally and personally. So I if you don't hear from me, that means that I've been getting a lot of good work done in my other, non-blog life. But I'll come back to it, I promise!

The proposed new PPSOE logo
in cerulean blue.
While you were away... there have been a few big news stories here in Spain. First, following the successful complete failure malaise of the "huelga general" (general strike) this past Thursday, Spain's two major political parties, Partido Popular (PP) and Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE), have announced that they are going to fuse into one super party, PPSOE. The announcement came as a surprise to many, particularly to those who had believed them to represent two opposing political ideologies.

Many of Spain's more jaded sophisticated politicos, however, saw the fusion as a natural extension of the two parties' long shared history in ignoring popular concerns and practical solutions in favor of childish Parliamentary bickering. Jesús Mata Mata, renowned politically obsessed blogger and insider to the party merger said: "It was really only a matter of time before both parties realized that they enjoyed arguing with each other more than with others, and certainly more than actually running the country. So why not simply make their habit of speaking past all other political parties a formal thing?" Many also speculate the merger will be received well by the public as a huge cost-saving gesture on the part of the political establishment. "Now they can coordinate their arguments in-house, thus improving the efficiencies of disagreement, saving time for all," Mata Mata added.

Former PSOE leader Rubalcaba's
preferred color: Spanish red.
One potential impediment to the successful fusion is resolving which color the new party will ultimately adopt for its new logo. The PP favors its cerulean blue color, while PSOE insists that red, its former logo's color, is, "Clearly way more Spanish."

In an unrelated story, Spain's Ministry of Financial Muck-ups shocked financial markets yesterday with the surprising announcement that it had discovered a misplaced 5,000 billion euro note under a Parliamentary couch cushion. Some are likening the find to the discovery of the sunken ship and Spanish treasure of La Señora de las Mercedes, the last time Spain had lost this sizable a quantity of heritage money. The Ministry acknowledged that it had forgotten about the money, and was now recalculating the budget deficit with the discovery in mind. While many financial analysts say this windfall might offset the dire predictions about Spain's sovereign debt, that have been making investors skittish about the country in recent months, others argue that it is further proof that certain European Union member states cannot be relied upon to manage their national budgets.

London financial analyst John Snottypants offered his unsolicited armchair opinions about it, "Look, we've all done it. Lost that 20£ note only to find it later. It's like money from nowhere. What a great feeling. But I'm starting to wonder whether these PIGS countries know what they're doing. I mean, sure, misplace 55€ billion here or there, like Germany did, that can happen. But to misplace 5,000 billion. Unacceptable."  Both Standard & Poor's and Moody's announced that, in light of this discovery, they were going to consider downgrading the country's credit rating to "Couch cash" status, a rating which sits just above "junk bond" but below "Can you help a brother out?" status.

The couch was a personal gift to the national Parliamentary building from former Valencian President Francisco Camps, symbolizing the Autonomous regional capital's rich tradition in anti-IKEA small-business furniture sales. Some unnamed sources close to Spanish President Mariano Rajoy, however, have alleged that the couch might have been specifically designed to embezzle public funds by emptying the pockets of Ministry members who carried the public budget around with them when they took their afternoon siesta on the couch. While there has been no official response from Rajoy on this allegation, a memo went out this morning to all Ministry staff to not carry public funds with them while out on breaks and revoking Camps's access (though not his membership) to the Parliamentary lounge.

Obama, having heard the news about Spain's windfall, seen here checking
the Oval Office couch cushions for any lost change you can believe in.

Happy (American) April Fool's Day!!!

8 comments:

Sorokin said...

Surprising!!! Impressive!!! Today is a day of big news coming: Also, in accordance to the Chatanooga Post, it would seem that conversations have opened between the Texas Governor and the Mexican President, Felipe Calderón, to make Texas again a part of a Mexican Federation and to revert one hundred years' injustice declaring General Santa Anna a national hero. The reasons for the move are still a bit unclear, but it would seem that the Texan people are a bit fed up that their food is not considered at the same level as the real quesadillas, zopes, antojitos and pozole.

Tumbit - Mr Grumpy said...

I see what you did there ....

An Expat in Spain said...

Sorokin, I had read that news story, too, and being a Texan myself I felt it was a long time coming. If Texas unifies with Mexico, they can finally fight the true common enemy: California. Though I think the Tex-Mex/Mexican food fusion is more of an even exchange than the Chatanooga Post characterizes it... Texans want Mexicans' food quality and authenticity, while Mexicans secretly enjoy the tons of cheese that Texans add to all their dishes.

Mr. Grumpy, I wonder if anyone got the joke about Valencian furniture cartels and IKEA. For me that was a real ace, but also pretty obscure if you don't live in Valencia and love IKEA.

Tumbit - Mr Grumpy said...

Not being of teenage years, I will resist the urge to type an abreviation of 'laugh out loud' to show my mirth and amusement.

Check out my IKEA Blog if you despise the Sweedish junkyard as much as I do, as do most other sane hetrosexual males.

An Expat in Spain said...

Mr. Grumpy, having read your IKEA post, all I can say is LMAO.

Mother Theresa said...

And the king is taking them all elephant hunting! Thanks for a lighter take on this whole situation, I needed that. :D

I'm assuming the IKEA thing is that you don't have one because of the smaller business owners objections. The same thing happened with El Corte Inglés over here, but in the end, ECI won, and now we finally have one. And the small businesses have flourished all around it. But I'm not holding my breath on getting an IKEA any time soon.

An Expat in Spain said...

Mother Theresa, yeah, the IKEA joke was about local Valencian furniture vendors, who fought long and hard to keep IKEA out. However, it looks like IKEA has finally secured a location to build, and claims it will open one in 1-2 years. (Though it has claimed this for the last 5 years.) While I think IKEA furniture (and employment practices) are pretty shabby, I think it's a great place for buying inexpensive accents for the home (and kitchen). And there's a reason IKEA is always full of pregnant women... cheap baby furniture (which really doesn't have to last)! So I find it irritating that Barcelona has two, Madrid 3, and yet Valencia not even one.

Interesting they were able to fight off El Corte Inglés, it being Spanish. I assumed part of the Valencia furniture cartel's success against IKEA hinged on stirring up nativist sentiment. El Corte Inglés is usually the pride and joy of Spaniards, the height of good customer service (if you're willing to pay the price).

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