With all the fuss around the Catalan elections, the first anniversary of Mariano Rajoy's election slipped by almost unnoticed. Of course it's still not a year since he (allegedly) took office as it takes a month or so after the elections for a change of government to take effect in Spain. Anyway what a year we've had, packed with hugely impressive achievements of all sorts. This is really just a small sample:
Unemployment - at the end of the third quarter of 2011 Spanish unemployment stood at a measly 4,978,300. Thanks to the rapid and forthright measures taken by Rajoy's government to reactivate the Spanish labour market, we have now reached the historic high of 5,778,100. The once remote possibility of having 6 million unemployed in Spain will now almost certainly be happening in 2013. If that perhaps seems a bit grim, it's not all bad news. Hundreds, if not thousands, of new jobs have been created in the public sector for friends and relatives of senior PP politicians.
Economic growth - if last year the economy was showing some weak signs of recovery (Spain was no longer in recession) the new government swiftly put paid to any of those old fashioned notions about the necessity of economic growth and now we have -1.6 growth and a profound recession which is predicted to last throughout next year at the very least.
Taxes - the party which took to the streets against an increase in sales tax when it was imposed by Zapatero quietly deleted the web page publicising this campaign shortly before Rajoy introduced a further increase in the same tax. Income tax has also been increased but then the requirements of having a balanced view oblige me to put the other side. The onerous burden of shared sacrifice means that the enormous fortunes stashed away in the SICAV investment funds have retained their hugely generous tax status untouched. A similarly generous tax amnesty for fraudsters has flushed out less than half of the target figure even on the government's own figures.
The banks - in one year we have gone from "we won't put a euro of public money into the banks" to the Bankia fiasco and possible fraud and the creation of a bad bank. Worse, that is, than the others.
Still, at least the pensioners have been protected? The last remaining unbroken electoral commitment of the few that Rajoy actually made has just fallen, with the breaking of the link between pensions and inflation. Rajoy had made a sort of implicit contract with pensioners, they would vote for him to protect their pensions whilst he made sure that future generations would never enjoy the same conditions. He lied.
Yes, it's been quite a year.