There is a graphic accompanying the article showing the percentage of debt compared to GDP in the five largest economies in the EU: Germany, 82%; France, 85%; Britain, 84%; Italy, 121%; and, Spain, 70%. This is a reminder how misleading the moralistic notion that irresponsible borrowing lead to the current fiscal troubles in the so-called GIIPS group of Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. Only Greece was actually carrying a debt level it couldn't reasonably support at the start of the economic crisis in 2007.
Müller tells the story of how the current conservative Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, was caught on camera at the January EU summit saying that after he jammed through Parliament his debt-and-deficit restriction law demanded by Angie, his financial reform and his antilabor measures (labor reform), the latter in particular would bring on a general strike. This Spanish video shows the moment; Rajoy seems rather cheerful about such a prospect. He's the taller guy with the beard:
Spain faces huge unemployment, especially among young people, and is going into a recession that looks to be serious. Rajoy's prescription is the Angie Way: austerity, austerity and more austerity - for the public budgets and the 99%, that is.
The Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) recently elected former Vice Prime Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba by a narrow margin over former defense minister Carme Chacón at a national convention to head their party. (Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, elegido secretario general del PSOE en el congreso de Sevilla Cadena SER 02/04/2012) He replaces former Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero in that role. Rubalcaba was the PSOE's candidate last year in the Party's disastrous electoral outing against Rajoy's conservative People's Party (PP). Rubalcaba had the unenviable task of trying to convince the electorate to continue in office the party which, under Zapatero, implemented austerity policies during the recession as a response to bond speculators' attacks on Spanish debt.
Tags: austerity economics, eu, european union, spain