“El optimismo de Zapatero está fuera de lugar” [ .. ] “Rajoy, un líder poco convincente, queda fuera de juego” [ .. ] “Fragilidad económica de España” [ .. ] “El paro puede crecer” [ .. ] “España necesita reformas de fondo…”
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En un editorial severo y ajustado, Financial Times ofrece unas perspectivas agridulces sobre el futuro de España a corto y medio plazo.
[ .. ] A second successive term in office, with an expanded majority, is a personal victory for José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the prime minister. But there is little else to celebrate. After an uninspiring first four years in office, Mr Zapatero now faces the daunting task of rescuing an economy that is heading for the rocks.
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The rightwing opposition Partido Popular, which never became reconciled to losing the 2004 election in the wake of the Madrid train bombings, can no longer cast doubt on the legitimacy of the Socialist government. Mariano Rajoy, the PP’s unconvincing leader, should step aside. This would allow his successor to seek bipartisan accords of state and draw a line under the four years the party has spent trying to paralyse the government through attempted constitutional challenges.
Mr Zapatero’s optimism is misplaced. Neither of these policies offers the panacea Spain needs. It will not take long to fritter away a €20bn fiscal surplus, equivalent to about 2 per cent of gross domestic product. Any boost to the economy from tax cuts and railway building is bound to be temporary. It will do nothing to address Spain’s economic fragility.
Its dependence on a construction boom and high private sector debt make Spain acutely vulnerable. Tax cuts will not help the 400,000 immigrants who are already out of work. It is unrealistic to expect to redeploy many of these workers when overall unemployment is rising.
Rather than pray for a tax and spending miracle, Mr Zapatero requires a bolder agenda to improve productivity. This would tackle a neglected education system and dismantle barriers to competition. Without these reforms, his second term risks being a damp squib. [Financial Times, 10/11 marzo 08 Zapatero’s mission].