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I have never studied politics and I do not have any career as a writer, journalist or blogger that would endorse these lines. Thus, I just aspire with this article to transfer the feeling of a majority of the Spaniards about our current situation and about what we watch in the news. I will therefore make a superficial analysis about the causes, realities and consequences of the situation in Spain.
The so-called “Spanish miracle” was those happy years when we kept growing and growing (up to 4% GDP) while Europe got into a rut. We also kept building new flats, investing in speculation (rather than in industry or real economy) and squandering in pharaonic and useless projects (meaning building sites). At the same time, politicians, building companies’ leaders and bankers, all at once, didn’t stop filling their pockets. In this way, we forgot quickly the times when our fellow countrymen had to leave to look for a brighter future to Germany, America… So after all, this bubble burst and we went back to the harsh reality. At the moment, youth unemployment is at 57.6%; thousands of young people don’t take the train with their carton suitcase, like in the 60’s; instead they buy in Ryanair a flight to the adventure trying to flee from the lack of hope and opportunities.
|El jueves: Thursday (the name of the magazine) ¡lo confesamos!: we confess it! ¡no damos abasto…!:we’re overloaded with this country make yourself your own front-page New case of: corruption / tax fraud Mr/Ms of [political party] [friend /spouse / co-worker] defrauds the amount of EURxxxx ¡Rajoy, Rubalcaba (politicians) will take immediate action ¡Estamos hartos /desesperados! : we’re sick of it / we’re desperate Corruption we’ve reached a point where even Eljueves are overloaded
This new generation of expatriates is compounded by both workers from the service or building sector who search for any unskilled post, and by health professionals and engineers. Many of them have higher education studies and were grown in a welfare state with a suddenly frustrated economic strength , which meant the reversion of their expectations of finding a job, becoming independent and prospering. Hence, the only option they have is to emigrate (almost 1m people left Spain in the last two years). Some of them reached their career goals, whereas many others become cheap workforce, with marathon shifts and low wages or are even forced to come back empty-handed.
And then, the only answers we receive from our politicians are social cuts and deterioration of working conditions. Conclusively, they want to convince us that the only way out to the crisis is to give up the welfare state and social protection, to work more for less so as to be more competitive, as apparently Spaniards are all to blame for this state; all of us who have lived beyond our means, believing that we had the right to a quality education and healthcare, to fair wages and salaries… As if that were an anomaly resulting from the boom period, something impossible that needs to be redressed; as if that was the mistake, instead of the squander, the corruption and the incompetence of our leaders, instead of the tax evasion of companies or even the exploitation of workers in other countries, something that forces us to set to work at their level to be competitive.
We are currently taking these backwards steps, inasmuch as hiding behind the excuse of the need to contain the public debt (which has already reached €882.339 m, 83.5% GDP), they are taking down the welfare state, widening the gap between rich and poor and leaving many people to fend for themselves, such as some eviction and repossession victims people who have even committed suicide.
Nonetheless, even all of this is not working: this shock therapy based on austerity is accentuating the contraction of the economy, destroying even more jobs, without even achieving the goal of reducing the deficit; hence, the debt keeps growing becoming un-payable. This magic recipe that has been imposed on us to overcome the crisis is actually an “austericide”.
Moreover, the straw that broke the Spaniards’ back is the corruption of those same ones who force us to tighten our belts. We find out every day on TV a new scandal about a politician who swelled their account in Switzerland at the expense of public funds, about a businessman who evaded some millions in tax and will never go to prison, let alone give back a single cent. They lie to us, they deny the evidence and they offer ridiculous explanations to go out without paying for their crimes. In that way, they lead to the citizen think that they’re laughing over him.
In conclusion, the initial passivity of citizens has become in indignation and almost daily demonstrations that apparently don’t stir our politicians’ conscience: they neither resign nor modify their policies one iota. Therefore, they foster the despondency, the mistrust in the political class, its institutions and the future of the country.
Adrian is a graduate in Industrial Engineering, from the Politécnica University of Madrid. Interested in current social issues, but always with a very critical point of view. I am a reading enthusiast, from papers to all sorts of novels, watching films and series. Adrian will spend 2013-14 in Warsaw, Poland, completing further academic study.
More in this series: Australia, Colombia, USA, South Africa