The Spanish Challenge: 14/03/2012

Hello loyal reader,

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


**The worst drought in Spain in 70 years**

“*Spain is used to long, hot summers, of course, but this winter is not over and experts are already calling for an urgent declaration of extreme drought. Some say it is set to be the driest three-month period since the 1940s.*

*The severe lack of water and intense frosts have all but ruined crops across large swathes of the Spanish countryside and there are regions in which rainfall has well, fallen, by up to 75%.*

*New Agriculture Ministry data shows that water levels ([…continue reading and leave your comment here][dailycomment])*”


1. **SPANISH RESERVOIRS HAVE 20% LESS WATER**. According to new Ministry of Agriculture data. The worst-off are the Duero basin, which has lost more than 25% of its capacity over the last 12 months, and the Tajo basin, which has lost more than 23% of its capacity. ([ABC][abc2])

2. **SPANISH BANKS €152 BILLION DEBT WITH THE ECB**. The total amount of loans taken out by Spanish banks at the European Central Banks won’t stop growing. €152 billion is 47% of theta total debt lent out by the ECB to all European banks. What is going on in the Spanish banking system? ([La Tiza][latiza])

8. **PAYMENT PLAN DEFAULTS UP 1,1% IN JANUARY**. in a country where total private debt is much greater than total public debt, the fact that more and more Spaniards cannot even pay for the stuff they’ve bought with payment plans is significant. Spaniards have a total of €667 million in unpaid bills, which is up 12% on January 2011. ([Libre Mercado][libremercado3])

5. **RAJOY: THE 2013 DEFICIT WILL BE 3%**. Whatever need to be cut will be cut, but Spain’s deficit will be cut to 3% in 2013, according to Spain’s prime minister. He says that his cuts will affect growth “*in the short term*”. We’ll have to see about that. ([Libre Mercado][libremercado2])

7. **RUBALCABA: CUT DEFENCE SPENDING FIRST**. He suggests cutting spending on defence, raising taxes on the rich and making tobacco and alcohol more expensive before reducing healthcare spending. ([Público][publico])

9. **SPAIN’S DEFICIT COMES FROM FRAUD, NOT PUBLIC SPENDING**. has an interesting graph up today which shows that Spain’s deficit comes not from its public spending—although you can’t spend what you don’t have—and more from its lax of tax income; i.e. Spain has a massive underground economy. ([][escolar])

10. **THE JUDGE DOESN’T BELIEVE URDANGARÍN**. He reckons all the data points towards the King’s son-in-law knowing very well what he was up to over at Nóos. The judge doesn’t believe the duke stopped his shady dealings once it has all been discovered, either. “Urdangarin was always behind the whole network of companies.» ([La Vanguardia][lavanguardia])

6. **ROSA DÍEZ WONDERS IF THE CONSTITUTION IS APPLICABLE IN CATALONIA**. The leader of UPyD doubts it is still applicable in the northern Spanish region. She has tried to wind up the conservatives by suggesting that a region choosing not to pay its taxes is rather bad for Spain’s image abroad. ([Libre Mercado][libremercado])

3. **FOOTBALL FINAL PROTESTS PLANNED**. Catalan and Basque independence groups are planning to protest at Spain’s version of the FA Cup Final in May, when Barça plays Atlético de Madrid in Madrid. They want a peaceful protest but one that: “*is a big anti-Spain demonstration*”. ([El Mundo][elmundo])

4. **FLAG WAR IN CATALONIA**. The Catalan deputy first minister doesn’t want his town halls starting a flag war and refusing to fly the Spanish national flag. If they don’t want to fly it over their town halls, the correct option, in his opinion, would be to work towards changing the law. ([ABC][abc])

Thank you for reading.

Regards from Murcia,




  • sirio

    Spanish Reservoirs contain 20% less water than a year ago? But last year was they were near capacity weren’t they? Which should put them at over 60% full right now…let me have a look at the link…  I was right! The current number given in the article is 62,47%. 

    That’s not bad, hopefully we’ll get a two or three weeks of rain over the summer and make it through till next autumn with a bit of margin.       

  • MatthewBennett

    Read the daily comment about this first and see if you think the same thing after reading it…