The Spanish are revolting

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Chopera Chopera 5 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #56224
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    And about time to. Youth unemployment at 45%, hopeless government bowing to the dictates of Germany, pointless regional elections., massive debt piles, insolvent banks, moribund economy. Spain is in trouble and the people have had enough.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/21/spain-reveals-pain-cuts-unemployment

    The reality is the cuts are very necessary. The economic hardship entirely as a result of over borrowing by the state and regional government over many years of easy credit both for individuals and local authorities.
    However at least sustained protest may just bring home to the EU and Spanish political parties the consequence of moving an economy too far too quickly without fundamental economic strength.

  • #104575
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    “The economic hardship entirely as a result of over borrowing by the state and regional government over many years of easy credit both for individuals and local authorities.”

    Now I understand. Spain has been immune to global economic conditions – all of her problems are because of borrowing.

    And I have a bridge to sell you in New York.

  • #104576
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The global economic downturn was caused by over borrowing and lending irresponsibly both in the US and Europe. That is the root cause. Spain’s over reliance on the construction and property sector made it’s economy more vulnerable in the down turn. Subsequent slow down in other economic sectors are a knock on effect from the root cause.
    The world is unlikely to see again easy cheap credit being available to governments, corporations and individuals on the previous scale.
    The most interesting aspect of the present situation is the tolerance the Spanish people have previously shown in the face of the austerity measures.
    Had the same measures been taken in France or Italy, strikes and riots would bring those countries to a stand still.
    I think it gives the Spanish people a great deal of credit.

  • #104577
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “Spain’s over reliance on the construction and property sector made it’s economy more vulnerable in the down turn “

    Agree, what I fail to understand is that did Spain not know or realise that nothing is forever in life including sector’s of economy. They just felt that they could keep on building to eternity. The boom gave them an opportunity to diversify & update their out dated legislations. They did not !!! as they thought were onto a good thing. The Spanish I spoke to felt that the whole world will come to live in Spain, as if other countries will be totally empty & devoid of people & the balance of world population will shift to Spain.

    “Subsequent slow down in other economic sectors are a knock on effect from the root cause.”
    Yes to an extent. However as said above no effort was made to diversify the economy, train people.

    “The world is unlikely to see again easy cheap credit being available to governments, corporations and individuals on the previous scale “
    Agree

    “The tolerance the Spanish people have previously shown in the face of the austerity measures “

    The Spanish people are no less or more tolerant than the French or the Itailans. The difference is that the majority of Spanish had not been directly affected by the crises as they live with parents, take money from the parents for going out etc, borrow parents cars, go to holidays with parents, expects that the parents will leave the property etc to their children & not equivelent to Battersea dog’s home “. The mother of all they live for the day & anything that interfere with their instant enjoyment is ignored by “pasa nada” or some political dogma.

    “Had the same measures been taken in France or Italy, strikes and riots would bring those countries to a stand still “
    I agree. In UK we will not take such action as we will be told its against the law, irrespective if the laws are their to supress the people. Using the law for supressing peoples wishes, aspirations in my opnion is second best to dictatorship.

    I think it gives the Spanish people a great deal of credit.

    Yes and about time too.

  • #104579
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @shakeel wrote:

    Agree, what I fail to understand is that did Spain not know or realise that nothing is forever in life including sector’s of economy. They just felt that they could keep on building to eternity. The boom gave them an opportunity to diversify & update their out date legislations. They did not out & just onto a good thing. The Spanish I spoke to felt that the whole world will come to live in Spain, as if other countries will be totally empty & devoid of people & the balance of world population will shift to Spain.

    I think your point illustrates a classic case of short term government thinking, an inability to be inventive or to put it simply, “Have the vision thing”.
    Spain post Franco has been far too reliant on other nations. For tourism, construction, technology and skills. It needed the Germans to install their entire national telephone network for example.
    When Franco died the country was akin to a third world state. It moved very quickly, content and reliant on others, instead of accepting a slower development process that would allow their own industries to develop and grow.
    The result now is a country with a well developed infrastructure, paid for with borrowing but a third world mentality of dependence. Without any home grown identifiable industry other than tourism, agriculture and construction.
    The Spanish are by nature consumers and spenders. Unlike the Germans and the French who plan carefully for tomorrow and save. Your average Spaniard never plans for anything and that includes government, both regional and national who should know better.
    I am very pessimistic for Spain’s future.
    An EU bailout should it arise will place further austerity restrictions on the countries ability to change.
    The Spanish people need to rise up and demand change. Not superficial but fundamental change.
    The trouble is the political system is moribund. The two main political parties simply take it in turns to govern with basically the same old attitudes and policies.
    For there to be any meaningful change a revolution is some form or other is necessary and some new identifiable leader needs to step up to the plate with fresh and inventive ideas.
    In my view the chances of that happening are about zero. However at least there is a beginning in Madrid this weekend.

  • #104583
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    “The global economic downturn was caused by over borrowing and lending irresponsibly both in the US and Europe.”

    “Lending irresponsibly” ? Seriously? Is that the new euphemism for greed-driven, criminal actions at all levels of the banking and real estate industries? How about the actions of the business “journalism” industry, that acted as nothing more that advertising firms and cheerleaders for greed-driven, unsustainable corporate acts?

    And the perpetrators of this global fraud, who made billions in profits, walk free and suffer no financial penalties, while the working classes are being told that they have to suffer in order to pay for corporate greed.

    Not in my world.

    This ‘revolt’ is just the beginning. Class warfare is coming and unless there is some responsible, justice-driven actions by government, it is going to get worse.

    I think it may be time to presume that those who bear the taint – bank executives and others – are guilty until proven innocent.

    And it is time for the “business community” to act responsibly. They can start by not focusing upon quarterly profits and having realistic and sustainable profit models. Or they can be regulated out of existence.

  • #104584
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    People in the strret can be short term thinkers. People In Power should have a long term thinking & vision. If they lack this than they are not leaders in my book. I agree for political & other commercial advantages some short term thinking is fact of life. I however do not accept a decade plus can be construed as short terms thinking.

    The funds that Spain had obtained from EU for infrastructure etc only give a false impression to people who do not know the Spanish mentality. I dont think we now can blame Franco any more a new generation is there. They are educated, bright, ambituos & do very well outside Spain in all walks of life..

    The Germans provided them with a Telephone system etc. The sad part is that the Spaniards cant even manage or maintain. The incompetance of Telefonica is well documented here & other forums.

  • #104585
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @garysfbcn wrote:

    And the perpetrators of this global fraud, who made billions in profits, walk free and suffer no financial penalties, while the working classes are being told that they have to suffer in order to pay for corporate greed.

    Mmmm that reads a bit like a Marxist manifesto. Outdated and irrelevant in the modern world.
    Capitalism always produces winners and losers. That creates incentive.
    I agree that government regulation particularly in the US was too light. It allowed excessive risk taking with other peoples money. That has now been tightened.
    Risk creates wealth and the ‘working class’, ( your words, not mine) also benefit from that.
    You cannot have a successful economy or business model without risk. However when the risk is taken with other peoples money the focus is not always on the reality of failure, more on the rewards.
    Capitalism is the only system proven to work and provide sustained decent living standards for working people.
    The fact that billions were lost in sub-prime mortgage packages was not a global fraud but a creative and now discredited business enterprise.
    The fact that others failed to properly identify the huge risk before investing does not make it a criminal enterprise. More incompetence.
    It’s not just working people suffering in this downturn, it’s everyone, rich and poor. The pain may be greater for the poorest in the short term but recovery, provided with decent government comes quicker with new employment opportunities.
    Investment income take a lot longer.

  • #104586
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Logan, you sound like a politician !!!!!!!!!!!.

  • #104587
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Mmmm that reads a bit like a Marxist manifesto. Outdated and irrelevant in the modern world.

    If I’m a commie for what I wrote, then you are a detached-from-reality, ivory-tower academian based upon what you wrote.
    @logan wrote:

    It’s not just working people suffering in this downturn, it’s everyone, rich and poor. The pain may be greater for the poorest in the short term but recovery, provided with decent government comes quicker with new employment opportunities. Investment income take a lot longer.

    The rich are ‘suffering’? Maybe you intended to write that they are not continuing to widen the gap between the rich and everyone else as quickly or something. This is suffering? Really? Is Buffy going to bed without hungry? Are her parents concerned that they may have to spend all of their savings just to survive? Are they concerned that if they get laid-off from their jobs at age 57 and cannot find any employer to hire them (due to age-discrimination by employers) that they may not get a long-promised pension at all?

    The fact that billions were lost in sub-prime mortgage packages was not a global fraud but a creative and now discredited business enterprise. The fact that others failed to properly identify the huge risk before investing does not make it a criminal enterprise.

    Again, you’re kidding, right? Others failed to properly identify the risk? How so, by the rating agencies scores? Nope, that didn’t work. How about the ‘watch-dog’ business news outlets? Nope, they became lap-dogs. How about government regulatory agencies? Nope, they too proved to be incompetent or worse, susceptible to corporate bribes. But please go ahead and blame the victims and not the perpetrators. I’m guessing that you are a royalist, no?

    Finally, please let me know which country provides a stellar example of how capitalism ‘works.’

    I’m not dogmatic at all about socialism, but I flatly reject any argument that any of the existing systems alone works well.

    And the sooner we recognize that fact, the better.

  • #104588
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The fact that unparalleled prosperity for 60 years has taken place in the G20 nations, rising living standards, decent housing, good healthcare and improved infrastructure may be a clue toward indicating capitalism works.
    The Chinese, Russia and the Stan countries would also now agree that command economy socialism is a failure.
    That argument has long been accepted in all but a few dinosaur nations such as Cuba and North Korea.
    Capitalism has it’s flaws and failures, it’s an imperfect system. However I repeat it’s the only system that delivers and provides hope for the individual.
    I am not a royalist or a politician. I am a professional investor who happens to be a great deal poorer because of sub-prime and the consequent downturn.
    Please do not tell me that it’s only working people feeling the pain. The blame game is pointless. We all know why it happened. Regulations are in place to try and prevent a repeat. The incompetent bankers and politicians have gone.
    The world is moving on.
    Dealing with the sovereign debt pile of EU countries and the US however is likely to be a drag on future prosperity for at least a generation.

    The Spanish people seem also to have rejected socialism or at least the government of Zapatero
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/22/spanish-voters-polls-protests-continue
    Now we will have revealed the true extent of regional government debt in Spain. It’s likely to be massive.

  • #104598
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    The fact that unparalleled prosperity for 60 years has taken place in the G20 nations, rising living standards, decent housing, good healthcare and improved infrastructure may be a clue toward indicating capitalism works.

    The analog telephone had a longer run, and yet it is now obsolete too.

    The blame game is pointless. We all know why it happened. Regulations are in place to try and prevent a repeat. The incompetent bankers and politicians have gone.

    Really? They are gone? And they were incompetent and not criminal?

    The Spanish people seem also to have rejected socialism or at least the government of Zapatero

    I think it is too early to tell what is going on. I believe that outside of traditional PP strongholds, PP is going to suffer the same, which was the sacking of the party in power. PP’s social agenda is despicable and they will suffer because of it.

    Capitalism…I repeat it’s the only system that delivers and provides hope for the individual

    You’re living in Spain. They have a strong sense of community above the individual. Maybe you should consider a move.

    Finally, I’m not advocating for socialism over capitalism. I think that in the 21st century, a blended system that provides health care and education for free and regulated market forces for just about everything else is what would be ideal, if, and only if, there is a nibble government that, by using sophisticated monitoring tools, can quickly respond to prevent ‘bubbles’, unethical practices and criminal actions.

  • #104601
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    PSOE have been severely beaten. Even Barcelona has gone PP for the first time since Franco. The whole of Spain’s regional governments are now PP. Come the general election in March PP will win across the board. It’s perfectly clear the Spanish have had enough of socialism or at least this model of it. They want free market economics which will provide them with a job and hope.

    Nothings for free. Taxes from earned income have to pay for education and healthcare. If you regulate a market economy to death you have stagnation and decline. Risk and effort requires reward.
    Social welfare destroys incentive because the burden of taxation to pay for it makes risk and effort pointless.
    BTW. I live in a socialist country France. The financial burden of that model on companies and the individual is close to crippling.
    Socialism has failed in every country that has ever tried it. Even in France healthcare and education now requires a contribution from the individual.
    Spain cannot afford it’s social model. I would expect next year when PP take over the country they will ditch it in favour of a market orientated system where value is obtained instead of waste.

  • #104606
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “I would expect next year when PP take over the country they will ditch it in favour of a market orientated system where value is obtained instead of waste.”

    I agree without you. I however do not see the major surgery that is required. When PP was in power under Aznar an ( Inspector of Taxes, i.e. a civil servent ) nothing changed.

    On a light hearted note Charlie Chaplin was replaced by Mr Bean.

  • #104667
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant
  • #104668
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Protesters clash with riot police in Barcelona.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/27/spanish-protesters-clash-with-police

    Title should read: Riot police beat up peaceful protestors !!!

    What a disgrace! Shame on the spanish police! 👿

  • #104669
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I agree.
    Like all things in Spain, old habits die hard. 🙁

  • #104672
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I have lifted some of this article from the FT yesterday (28th), written by Victor Mallet because I think it gives a good positive perspective for the future. I know how the forum likes positivity 🙂 :-

    Opinion polls suggest that Mariano Rajoy, the uncharismatic but competent leader of the resurgent party, is certain to be the next prime minister. Furthermore, such was the scale of the PP’s recent victory, and so deep are the divisions splitting the defeated Socialists, that an early election – probably in the autumn – now seems as least as likely as the prospect of Mr Zapatero hanging on until March 2012.
    Bankers, business leaders and economists say Mr Zapatero was late in recognising the severity of the crisis but give him credit for vigorously pursuing since last May a plan to cut the budget deficit and restore Spain’s reputation in the financial markets. Without sufficient political support, however, there is no compelling reason for him to remain prime minister.
    “With the coffers empty, people have ceased to believe in Zapatero fairyland,” says Manuel Arias Maldonado of the university of Málaga, recalling Mr Zapatero’s personal and ideological aversion to the public spending cuts he has been obliged to enforce. “To govern in Madrid [home of central government] against … the regions and the municipalities, that’s pretty hard. That’s the equivalent of paralysis.”
    On a brighter note, Prof Arias says the sharp swing against the Socialists – in a country where most voters have liked to think of themselves as “centre-left” because of the taint left by Franco’s rightwing dictatorship – suggests the country is becoming more like a conventional western democracy. Many voters, it seems, simply switched their votes from the Socialists to the PP, which was founded by one of Franco’s ministers.
    “Voting is less and less seen as an emotionally charged thing that has to do with family and alignments, and more as a pragmatic punishment or reward for the best and worst governments,” says Prof Arias.
    The next government clearly faces a tough task in continuing the deficit-cutting begun by Mr Zapatero, and in laying the groundwork for future economic growth. But Mr Rajoy’s PP, far from laying out a detailed economic recovery plan, has said almost nothing about its intentions beyond calling for the early elections.
    Both supporters and opponents of the party say its politicians fear they will suffer the fate of the UK Conservative party, which failed to win enough seats in parliament to govern alone, if they tell voters the truth about the economic hardship awaiting them.
    “The PP has to make a very clear statement about where it stands in terms of economic policy,” says Jordi Canals of Barcelona’s Iese business school. “At some point you need a shadow government.”
    Most economists think a Rajoy government would do little different from Mr Zapatero’s administration on deficit control, except perhaps enforcing regional budgets more rigorously. But they do expect a PP government to push for more radical liberalisation of the labour market and other measures to increase competitiveness.
    In doing so, it would be able to build on an economic record that is not quite as grim as some bond market investors seem to think and exploit a democratic system more stable than the recent protests suggest.
    During the years of crisis, Spain has reduced its dependence on foreign credit, halving its current account deficit. Multinationals in finance, energy and infrastructure have expanded overseas, exports have risen steadily and the tourism industry is expected to benefit this year from turmoil in rival destinations in north Africa.
    “If the EU can somehow stave off the crisis – the currency issue, the restructuring of Greek debt – I think Spain will survive,” says Prof Canals. “It will be a slow process, but Spain will survive.”

  • #104677
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    I can understand why the protestors are fed up with the political system in Spain. In the 7 years I have been here the main parties in the UK have changed leader at least once, and the UK has had three different leaders. The PP has lost the last two elections but Rajoy remains leader and while Zapatero will go, it will be more of the same from his replacement. It always seems to be the same faces. In just the first year of government the UK coalition has already seen resignations. I can think of only one while I have been in Spain.

    What seems to be missing in the Spanish political system (and the EU parliament as well for that matter) is the realisation that democracy is not just about giving people the vote, it’s about accountability. It’s about parties changing and evolving when they lose power, so they can present something better to the electorate the next time round. In Spain the same old politicians just seem to hang around until their turn comes round again.

    Another problem is the pathetic Spanish media, where “investigative journalism” involves reading the international press and regurgitating old news the following day. Anybody ever seen a scoop or an exclusive in the Spanish press? The TV is no better – I showed the classic Paxman-Howard interview to Spanish colleagues and they could not believe that an interviewer could be allowed to grill a politician in such a way.

    It’s not surprising nothing changes in Spanish politics and it’s not surprising that with the current state of the Spanish economy people have decided to act. I agree with earlier posts that it shows great credit to the Spanish that they have tolerated so much, however I fear that everyone has their limit and the longer it goes on the more likely it is that either the governemnt or the protestors will crack.

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