Thursday, August 30, 2012

Monuments to greed

Mariono Rajoy and the PP blame Spain’s problems on the previous socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero but in Valencia, it was the PP party who held power so who do we blame for the problems in our region? The regions in Spain are responsible for 40% of public spending covering health, education and other welfare services.

Although many of Spain’s autonomous regions are in difficulty, nowhere did they spend more than in Valencia which is why Madrid ordered the region to cut its deficit by two thirds or face government intervention. Now Valencia is the area with the highest number of house repossessions and the highest unemployment rate at 27%.

We all recall that Francisco Camps was ousted by his own party amid allegations of corruption. No doubt, he was not the only one who was guilty of lining his own pocket at the expense of the region. There would have been countless others who offered generous contracts in exchange for backhanders. These were the people responsible for white elephants such as the airport at Castellon and the the 26m euro hospital at Lliria which hasn’t opened in the 3 years since it was built.

The Victorians were fond of building follies in Britain but at least they never pretended these were anything else but whims. The politicians in Valencia tried to con us into thinking theirs were great works, essential to the growing society of the region. So Valencia has a deficit of 4.5% of GDP and it needs a bailout of 3.5bn euros.

Will the airport at Castellon ever open? The locals think that they landed on Mars before they got to the new airport.

1 comment:

Charles Smythe said...

It's not just Valencia in deep trouble. Much of the €18bln on offer from the Spanish govt. will end up on Spain's eastern Mediterranean coast, with Catalonia, Valencia & Murcia at the front of the queue.

And data from the European Central Bank shows that outflows from Spanish commercial banks reached €74bln in July, twice the previous monthly record. This brings the total deposit loss over the past year to 10.9%, replicating the pattern seen in Greece as the crisis spreads.