Thursday, April 12, 2012

The pain in Spain is in the plain and everywhere else

As we tackle our own problems, Spain is the middle of a political and economic crisis that few of us can understand:

"Here’s just a brief summary of the ugly statistics: 

(1) The government in Madrid expects the economy to shrink by 1.7% in 2012 – its third contraction in four years. 

(2) Unemployment continues to rise. It is now more than 23%, and youth unemployment is above a staggering 50%. 

(3) Housing prices are down 22% from their peak, and are likely to continue to drop, perhaps by 20% or more. This puts extreme pressure on the balance sheets of an already shaky banking sector."  (Time)

How do you get yourself out of that mess?  It's not easy, to say the least.

Spain has structural problems, or the kinds of problems that take a long time to get yourself out of.   Spain has gone through a lot before but this is the kind of crisis that challenges your democratic institutions.  We could see a lot of young Spaniards get disillusioned with democracy and fall prey to extreme slogans from both the left & right.

Last, but not least, Spain is the 4th largest European economy.  This is not Greece.  This is much bigger than Greece.

Click here for our chat with Jose M Guardia from Barcelona: 


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