16 November 2011

General Elections in Spain

This Sunday we will see an uncommon show nowadays in Europe: a government is due to fall because of a democratic elections and not because of the turmoil in the financial markets. However, the reasons behind this fall is clear: the economic crisis plus many other polemic decisions taken by the current government will finally have their effect.

But what is the future for Spain after these elections though? According to the surveys, the conservatives will get an absolute majority. This means change in government and, specially, that there will not be need for parliamentary compromises although it does not imply that we will see big changes. The structural problems will remain the same: lack of productivity and industry, high unemployment and stagnation... Not to mention politics. Spanish democracy really needs a reform: a new electoral bill, a reform of the legislative power, a reform of the regional system and new measures against corruption mainly. None of these will probably take place: both the socialists and the conservatives find themselves very comfortable in a regime that only they can rule thanks to many Spaniards scared of voting a different party or not voting at all.

But there's something sure. The policies drawn by "Europe" since 2009 will follow even harder. Spanish people will get used to austerity. After all, the country has to pay now what we couldn't afford before but cheerfully enjoyed. A long term solution cannot rely on the current institutions or even economic and labour culture though. Spain should face a deep change, much wider than changing a government. It's naïve thinking that the usual politicians, those that have been there for years, even decades, including Mariano Rajoy, can drive a truly change.

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