This thread raises some fundamental questions about how a modern capitalist economy ought to be run.
Should expensive capital projects such as a theme park be publically funded to create employment and give a region some tourist ‘prestige’? Or should economies be run simply on business ethics of profit and viability?
The problem with the former is once the project is complete and proves a financial disaster it falls into serious decline and usually ends up being written off.
Any benefits in employment and prestige quickly evaporate. Public ridicule and recrimination follow. Yet the people responsible for the decision always seem immune to sanction.
In the other model when the project proves its viability, employment and prestige remains. If it fails the person making the decision usually gets the chop.
For me it’s a no brainer really. Public money should never be used unless a project proves it’s viability in careful publically debated study.
The Paramount project in Murcia is clearly a stupid idea and will fail, yet I have no doubt it will get built because the Regional Government of Murcia have decided it will.
Who are these politicos who continue to throw money away?
That question actually gets to the heart of it in Spain. A system rooted in corruption, based on nothing but patronage, nepotism, paternalism and secrecy.
Spain has still an awful long way to travel before it becomes an open, honest and vibrant capitalist democracy. Somehow I doubt it ever will.
Here’s some cobblers from Paramount:-
PARAMOUNT LICENSING ANNOUNCES
MURCIA, SPAIN THEME PARK DEVELOPMENT
September 10, 2010 — Paramount Licensing (PLI) announced today that it has entered into agreements for the development of a Paramount-branded theme park and entertainment facility in Murcia, Spain. PLI will not be an investor in the project but will license intellectual property from its vast library of films and provide conceptual master planning and design services for the project.
“We believe Murcia presents a strong opportunity to bring a Paramount Movie Park to Europe and we look forward to working together with the Murcia Regional Government and Santa Monica Financial Services, S.A. to develop this exciting project” said Michael Corcoran, President, Paramount Licensing. “The tourism infrastructure offered within the region of Murcia and the strong support for this project by the Murcia Regional Government provide ideal conditions to bring world-class entertainment to the people of Spain and its growing number of international visitors”, added Michael Bartok, Executive Vice President, Recreation. More details about the project will be announced in the next few months.
Then we have this:-http://www.laverdad.es/alicante/20100910/local/region/paramount-anuncia-acuerdo-para-201009100839.html
So the whole thing is not a done deal and no public is money involved!! Looks like a political struggle between Madrid and Murcia to taking place yet again.