Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Simiocracia

Mariano Rajoy, the man who proudly proclaimed in January that he would always show his face and never hide from the crisis, left today's Spanish senate session by the back door to avoid having to answer any questions from journalists. This on a day when Spain has again been battered by the markets, to an extent that has previously provoked the dreaded EU "rescue" for other countries. All of which comes the day after an increasingly panicky government tried to placate the markets by throwing them a bone in the form of €10,000 million worth of additional cuts in Spain's health and education services. Because, as we all know, health and education services cause tremendous problems for a modern, 21st century, economy. Just as they did in the 19th century. These are services which have gone, in the space of just 3 months, from being "untouchable" to being top priority for cutting. The PP made very few concrete commitments, but they have already broken almost all of them.

Rajoy seems to have very quickly achieved the difficult task of making Zapatero look like a far sighted, long-term strategist by comparison. Those who so freely accused Zapatero of constantly improvising are now all over the place, although they maintain their ideological focus. Hence the offer of cuts in education and health in response to all the attention focused on the financial sector and its dodgy finances. The latest cuts figure was announced yesterday buried in the third paragraph of a press release, and with no indication of any sort of where the cuts are to be made. It's had no effect of any kind when it comes to improving Spain's situation, nor was it ever likely to. But now the government has created a situation where the cuts will have to happen, or they will be punished for not doing them.

This seems like a suitable time to recall how little Spain's public services have to do with the crisis here, which is above all a problem of construction related private debt. From the creator of the admirable Españistan we now get Simiocracia.



via Graham Hunt

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi! as a Spanish citizen I completely agree with your views. When I was a child education was not a priority, we were 38 children per class, and were very lucky if our schools had music or english teachers. A science lab was only seen in American movies. It looks like this is where things are going again. Most of us left Spain long ago. When the construction boom was at its peak, people with scientific or technological skills were not welcomed. You earned more as a builder than as a nurse. Some had ideas and became entrepeneurs, but the government was mainy supporting the construction businesses and not really caring about young entrepeneurs.

Anonymous said...

This government is at the mercy of powerful lobby groups ( the catholic church and some of its more recalcitrant branches). How are they going to make any sensible economic decissions?
They only want to protect the interest of a minority of rich people.
Unfortunately, this is what we have ( or voted for). I think your term "simiocracia" suits it perfectly!

Lenox said...

One of the concepts of 'lobby' here in Spain is the 'colegio profesional' which exists, like a guild, to protect its members, fix prices and act as the only expert in town. The prices, of course, doubled to cover the beaurocratic costs of membership...

santcugat said...

Soon we'll be back to 38 kids per class.

ejh said...

Well, it's just gone up from 25 to 30...