The Spanish Challenge: 20/04/2012


  1. IMF: A LOST DECADE FOR SPAIN. I reckon they’re being shy. After saying two days ago that we’d better forget any nonsense about 3% deficit targets for 2013, the IMF has said it doesn’t forecast Spain getting back to its 2008 GDP level until 2017. Unemployment will be solved by 2023. I don’t what they’re basing so much optimism on. (El País)
  2. FUNCAS: RECESSION IN 2013. Funcas is an association of Spanish building societies, so they know quite a lot about what’s going on in the Spanish economy. A few weeks ago, they had Spanish GDP growing at +0.2% in 2013, which is better than nothing, but they have just revised it all the way down to −1.5%. They blame the new government’s desire to slash its way down to the 3% deficit target next year and assume the Spanish government WILL raise VAT again. (Expansión)
  3. RAJOY: THERE’S NO MONEY. “We have to do these reforms because there is no money to pay for public services.” He talks of asking for “a bit of effort” from honest Spaniards. And what will he ask of Spain’s richest investors, the banks, the construction companies and the country’s habitual tax evaders? (ABC)
  4. LARA: THERE’S A LOT OF CHEEK. “It’s not true there is no money; there is loads of cheek, though.” So says the leader of United Left. It’s difficult to disagree with him, looking at the other stories. He says outrageous things like we must «get rid of tax havens for the Sicav investment funds» or put in place «a fair tax system»… (Libertad Digital)
  5. A SPANISH BAD BANK…?. The Bank of Spain is testing the waters to see whether people think a bad bank which is not a bad bank is a good idea, to try and do something with the hundreds of thousands of unsold houses around the country. They prefer to talk of a «real–estate company managed by an expert». Which means the current plan isn’t going well at all… (El País)
  6. HOLD THAT CANARY ISLANDS OIL…!. The Fuerteventura and Lanzarote local governments have presented legal challenges at the European level against the national government’s royal decree in order to try and stop them looking for oil in the islands’ waters. “Up to now, we’ve had more response and dialogue from European institutions than from the Spanish government.” (El Mundo)
  7. PRE-RESPONSIBLE FOR STREET VIOLENCE. Dark times are coming to the Iberian Peninsula in terms of peaceful co-existence. Spain’s Home Office wants to make political parties and trade unions criminally responsible for the street violence carried out by their members, and parents responsible for their children’s violence. (El País)
  8. HUGS WILL BE CRIMINAL. Not really hugs (works better in Spanish) but the arm-linking that goes on to resist the police in peaceful demonstrations. The government wants them to be considered an attack on the forces of order. The thinking goes like this: “We’re not talking simply of disobeying a direct order from a police officer but about those people who passively resist and as a consequence there is a behavior which is equivalent to an aggression on the principle of order.” (El Mundo)
  9. ACCOUNTING FOR FOETUSES. Up in Galicia, the conservative regional government wants to start accounting for fetuses so that mothers can receive housing allowances. The idea is “to value the life-to-be as just another family member.” (Público)
  10. LA VOZ DE ASTURIAS CLOSES. After 89 years of stories, one of Spain’s most historic newspapers closes following a period of administration which it has not survived. They blame a “a collapse in advertising revenues”. (La Voz de Asturias)
  • Patricia

    Sad to see La Voz cease operations. I spent a summer in Villaviciosa. Had a blast.