mercredi 13 juin 2012

Spain: Five hundred years of missed opportunities .*

The current banking crisis has its roots in anti-economic thinking that dominates in the country since the Reconquista and the discovery of America, and who did not develop. A mindset which accession to the European Union in 1986 did not change.

The model uneconomic Spanish.

        What is happening in Spain? Under the mandate of Prime Minister José María Aznar (1996-2004), the country was still seen a model pupil of the EU's growth.
       European structural funds flowed into the fourth largest economy in the euro area up to 150 billion euros.
       But they are not thriving businesses that are out of the ground on poor soils of Andalusia and Castile, but wasteful investment projects whose remains are now also the dilapidated castles of the time of the Cid.
       Each other and are the expression of a social model that characterizes uneconomic Spain for half a century.
       Spain has experienced the modern era in voluntary isolation that ended only in the 1960s, when the dictator Francisco Franco opened the country to tourism. Spain is coming late and laboriously in modernity, "agitated and squeezed like a guest who arrives at a final banquet and trying as best he can to catch what he missed," wrote Juan Goytisolo in 1969 in an essay which continues today, "Spain and the Spaniards."
       With the same eagerness that Spain began twenty years later, to spend the windfall in the form of EU structural funds.       
        But instead of investing in a productive society, she wanted to be part of Europe as soon as possible and to modernize, which meant mostly say look modern.
       The money was used wisely at first, but later with a rush fueled by ultra-liberal land policy of José María Aznar.

Ruinous latifundias,

       The triumphant success of the anti-economism, however, had started as early as 1492. At the time, Spain had not only discovered America, but had also won the last remnant of Arab rule in Granada, before hunting the country's Jews and the Moors in the following centuries. However, the two communities held the reins of handicrafts and trade.
       While the Christian gentleman, he had a horror of the work: all work was prohibited under a strange code of honor and he saw that divine mission in the military.
       The wealth of the colonies slipped through the fingers of the Spaniards as liquid gold. Central Europe was enriched with Inca gold while the Spanish nobility rested passively on the income of ruinous latifundia.
       For three centuries, all that was akin to a productive activity was prosecuted for heresy by the Inquisition. Anyone who ventured to do research, reading or tinkering was in danger of ending up on the stake.
       On disappearance of the Inquisition, the torch of immobility was taken over by Spanish Catholicism.
       The secularization of the country itself has failed to break through the shell. It was only in the Basque Country and Catalonia that has emerged from industrial sites. It certainly created transport links, but while the impeding.
       Thus, there was a rail network, but the gauge was not the same as in France for not too close to Europe. Europe stops at the Pyrenees, they said now.

Powerful anarchist movement.

       It was not until the nineteenth century to see the emergence of a bourgeoisie shy dynamic mercantile politicized. Spain is the only country in the world to have seen the emergence of a powerful anarchist movement. It now shines through indignant at the Puerta del Sol in Madrid, who are united by anti-capitalist revolt but who fail to federate.
       Anarchism has triumphed in the 1930s before being crushed by Franco's coup and during the Civil War. Franco Spain has sharply reduced the time of the Inquisition.
       To calm reign, he deliberately promoted the status quo in the aftermath of his victory. The number of owners has exploded thanks to the housing and financial aid. In doing so, he laid the foundation stone of the speculative boom that was to come later.
       If she has brilliantly overcome the political upheaval that occurred at the end of the dictatorship in 1975 and has adopted a liberal society, Spain has however remained blocked at the time of the late Middle Ages economically.
       Number of Spanish newspapers and blogs today are characterized by self-serving rhetoric and partisan bickering. Parochialism forbidden to Castile or Andalusia model to take on the Basque Country and Catalonia, both regions, however, more productive and, conversely, will stubbornly refuse to share their expertise with the rest the country.

Tear down the barrier of the Pyrenees.

       For Spaniards, Juan Goytisolo writes, it is less to draw material gain as a task to get involved personally. But the Anglo-Saxon markets, governed by the cold efficiency Protestant, do not leave time for such a strategy to bear fruit on a commercial level. Lack of funds, the changes needed to rebuild the education system and research by focusing on the practice are impossible today.
       As long as Europe does not decide to tear down the barrier of the Pyrenees by releasing targeted assistance for the modernization of the economy and education, Spain will be forced to take refuge in one of his traits character who, according to Juan Goytisolo, has always hindered his ascension: his lack of ambition.
The Spanish know endure a crisis. They did it for 500 years.
*Article published on 1 June 2012 in Munich Süddeutsche Zeitunge by Sebastien Scoepp.

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