The Spanish Challenge: 12/03/2012

Hello loyal reader,

If I had to tell you the story of Spain over the last few hours, this is what I’d say…


**2015: Francoist Spain vs. modern Spain**

“*How will the coming of age of the fourth generation of Spaniards since the Spanish Civil War affect the general election in 2015?*

*I’m not sure how population statisticians calculate these things technically but it occurred to me that the 2015 general election in Spain will coincide with the coming of age of the fourth generation of Spaniards born after the Spanish Civil War and the second since the transition period following the death of Franco.*

*Let’s assume two ideas for our ([…keep reading and leave your comment here][dailycomment])*”


1. **COME ON EUROPE, LEND US A HAND**. Spain’s Economy Minister is currently in Brussels sweet-talking top EU economy officials, trying to get them to lend us a hand with that deficit. You know, the one that the Spanish government suddenly raised only to later say that they weren’t going to meet the original deficit target. ([El País][elpais3])

2. **11M: EL MUNDO VS. PILAR MANJÓN**. A very harsh El Mundo editorial today berating one of the major faces of the victims of the March 11 train bombings, Pilar Manjón, after she publicly criticised the paper during yesterday’s commemoration: “*Manjón has chosen political activism as her path, showing that her hatred of those who don’t share her ideas is more powerful than the pain she feels over the death of her son.*” ([El Mundo][elmundo])

3. **GENERAL STRIKE: MARCH NEGOTIATIONS**. Meanwhile, trade union leader Cándido Méndez has said that: “*We think that exercising a right to protest in freedom is never going to be considered an affront to the victims of terrorism.*” Fellow trade union leader Toxo says that in March Rajoy could negotiate a NON STRIKE. I think he won’t bother. ([Público][publico])

4. **IS SPAIN CREATING OR DESTROYING BUSINESSES?**. Curious data points from the recession. In Spain in January and February, 12% more companies were created than in the same period in 2011, but at the same time, 14% more companies closed their doors compared to last year and 11% more entered administration. Statistical chaos… ([El Economista][eleconomista])

5. **JANUARY HOUSE SALES: –26%**. After seeing the other day how house sales fell 30% in 2011, today we get the figure for January 2012: they fell 26% year-on-year. ([Renta 4][renta4])

6. **CATALAN PUBLIC WORKERS TO EARN 5% LESS**. So says Catalan first minister Artur Mas, beating Rajoy to it, although he is going to wait to see what the PM does. Mas says that whatever Rajoy says at the end of the day, he’s going to reduce Catalan public workers’ wages by 5%. ([ABC][abc2])

Two powerful Spanish women have today joined the debate over Spaniards’ attitudes to work, or don’t work, and whether or not Spaniards should change such attitudes…

7. **DE COSPEDAL: WE HAVE TO WORK MORE**. The Secretary General of the ruling PP party has added her comments to the debate over how Spaniards should work: More, more, more: “*We must work more across all sectors: both public and private.*” So there you go. ([El País][elpais2])

8. **CHAIRMAN OF DÍA SUPERMARKETS: SHORTER HOLIDAYS**. Today, Spain has discovered that the Swiss have just voted in a referendum NOT to extend their holidays from 4 to 6 weeks, news which as you can imagine has left more than one Spaniard aghast. The chairman of Spanish supermarket chain Día, however, thinks Spaniards would vote as the Swiss have. Right, in the country where the only state of emergency declared since the death of Franco 35 years ago was because Spaniards’s long December bank holiday weekend was put in danger by an air traffic controllers strike. ([Intereconomía][intereconomia])

9. **RAJOY: ENERGY IS EXPENSIVE**. Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy thinks energy is expensive in Spain. He says the energy sector tariff deficit of €20 BILLION is not good for the country’s competitiveness. Solutions, however, appear to be thin on the ground. ([ABC][abc])

10. **ABORTION: IS SPAIN MOVING AWAY FROM EUROPE?**. Is Spain about to move away from the European norm as it considers whether or not to introduce new abortion legislation based on a woman’s reasons for aborting as opposed to number of weeks pregnant she is? Which is more important: the woman’s right to abort or the foetus’s right to life? ([El País][elpais])

([Click here to leave your comments on the latest news from Spain][spanishchallenge])

Thanks for reading.

Regards from Murcia.