Back in 2008, the crisis was just starting…
And President Zapatero of the quote-unquote Socialist Party was able to get re-elected on a solid platform of “just deny that there’s a crisis and everything will be okay.”
Today, the Popular Party is in power – 4 extra years of watching the economy self-destruct under socialist management didn’t make anyone happy. And that led to the election of our current grumpy, bearded President, Mariano Rajoy. His platform is, apparently, “blame it all on the Socialists.”
Secretly, I think he’s a zombie.
In any case, our Minister of Economy, Luis de Guindos (who ran Lehman Brothers in Portugal until it collapsed… A guy with an impeccable track record, in other words) has been promising about once a month that the crisis is over and that we’ll soon see signs that the economy is getting better.
Mr de Guindos looks a bit like George Costanza from Seinfeld… An angrier George Costanza who you’d think twice about sharing an elevator with.
Today I woke up to the news of 6.202.700 unemployed people in Spain. A new record! That’s over 27% of the working-age population, in case you’re wondering.
And here we are, 5 years after the start of the crisis, waiting for that silver lining to appear on this dark, dark cloud. I guess we shouldn’t hold our breath…
Check out some articles about the Spanish crisis: Scenes from Spanish Austerity, From Málaga to Malagón: Corruption in the Spanish Government and some Austerity Pro Tips while you wait. This crisis ain’t goin’ nowhere!
P.D. Update, 2017: Well guess what? The Popular Party eventually adopted a strategy of “just don’t talk about the crisis” and the whole thing seems to have passed. As of summer 2017 the economy seems to be working again. Oh wait… except that people are getting paid less than ever.