“¿Qué ha hecho Zapatero..?” [ .. ] “España ha necesitado reformas que no se realizaron cuando era posible y llegarán demasiado tarde con la recesión” [ .. ]
[ .. ]
Seis meses antes del estallido de la crisis financiera mundial, no era un secreto que España se dirigía hacia un precipicio de incertidumbre y dolor: Un tsunami amenaza a España. Dos años más tarde, entramos en esa zona de tormentas:
“Familias más frágiles” [ .. ] “Más pobres… riesgos de más racismo…” [ .. ] “Necesitamos a los inmigrantes, que son más flexibles que los españoles” [ .. ]
[ .. ] Other much-needed measures to transform Spain’s economy, such as better education and more research, are either not happening or will come too late for this recession. Even trade unions are angry over the opportunities missed in a decade of rapid growth. “We were walking with feet of clay,” says Jesús Pérez, employment secretary of the General Workers Union.
So what is Mr Zapatero doing? He claims that a €33 billion public-works programme will lead to 25,000 new building projects by May. Spain’s low debt burden creates some room for manoeuvre. Yet even a recovery by December will be too late for a first wave of jobless who will by then be running out of their statutory unemployment benefit. Mr Zapatero has pledged to look after them, but that will cost money. The welfare system is less generous than most. Spaniards traditionally fall back on families for support, housing and jobs at times of crisis. But the family nowadays is weaker, smaller and sometimes led by single parents.
Caritas, a church-run charity, saw a 75% rise in requests for help during 2008. It is seeing two novelties in this recession: those needing help are often struggling to pay for their homes; and many are immigrants, who tend to be the first both to lose their jobs and to use up their welfare. Victor Renes, Caritas’s research chief, worries that racism may now raise its ugly head.
Mr Zapatero is offering immigrants lump-sum payments to go home. Yet some economists want immigrants, who form a go-anywhere, do-anything pool of workers that will be critical in a recovery, to stay. “They are more flexible than Spaniards,” says Pablo Vázquez, director of the Foundation of Applied Economics Studies. “We think immigrants are necessary and can help us overcome this crisis.” [Economist, 30 diciembre 08. Longer dole queues. The social consequences of fast-rising job losses].
Las negritas son mías.
- Economía en este Infierno.