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Monday, March 10, 2008

Good Sunday For Cheap Labour

"We'll price all the riff-raff out of town and make the place much nicer to live in"Good results yesterday for Labour's socialist sister parties in both the Spanish General Election and the French local elections. The past four years of socialist government have seen record economic growth in Spain, with low unemployment and a building boom fuelled by liberalisation and supported by the bringing in of more than three million immigrants to fill jobs. Given a choice between the PP's racist anti-immigrant appeals and the appeal of being able to afford immigrant nannies and cleaners and having your house value driven up by a building boom, the electors chose the latter. I wonder where they got that idea from? Meanwhile in France, electors were enthralled by the Socialist Party's new urban environmental policies, drives to improve garbage collection and recycling initiatives. I wonder where they got that idea from?


Your Man in Spain said...

Despite the Partido Popular losing, it’s a surprise how well they in terms of net votes.

Given the fact that in the last 3 years and 11 months they have presented nothing more than a totally destructive opposition in the Spanish parliament, focussing the entire time on ETA and how the Socialist Party was insulting the victims of ETA, how the President had assaulted the victims of ETA and how when ETA planted bombs in some perverse way it was all the fault of the government!!!!

Then, in the last month of a 4 year term, it suddenly dawned on Rajoy to focus on the economy. What other fool said it...."its the economy stupid"! Having said that, more of the same destructive opposition was aired by the PP, blaming global OIL, WHEAT and DAIRY prices as well as rising MORTGAGES on the central government....its a good job we all live in a non-globalised economy, are not a member of Europe and don’t sell any products to anyone outside of Spain...NOT!

Add to this the fact that Rajoy eliminated some of his best cadres from being presented alongside him in the election – for fear of a play for his leadership – the likes of the Mayor of Madrid and the head of PP in Catalonia, he also homed in on how immigrants where taking up school posts and hospital beds to the cost of ordinary Spanish people and how we were now IMPORTING villains...all in all, it is amazing how he pulled so many votes. Maybe it is symptomatic of how Spanish society (or the 10,169,973 voters) is tilting towards!

Finally, most astonishing, and rather disgusting, was that in his post-election result speech, Rajoy after talking about ETA, victims, terrorism every day for the last 4 years did not mention AT ALL this theme nor pay homage to the latest ETA victim which died just 24 hours before the election! DISGUSTING!!!!

Jose Gonzalez de Leguina y Castillo said...

Ahem you forgot to add

After a decade of growth, Spain is stuttering. Inflation is at a 10-year high and unemployment is the highest this century.

The Spanish housing boom is dwindling, exacerbated by the global credit crunch.

Wonder where they got that from?

Your Man in Spain said...

Hola Jose,

The unemployment figures are related quite closely to the housing market cool down.

The "socialist" government created 3 million jobs over the last 4 years with nearly half being for women. The slow down affecting Spain is a consequence of the global housing credit crisis exacberated by the US. Take into account that in the last few years Spain has built more houses that France, Germany and the UK put together.

Either way, the issue here is not simply the economy but more precisely that here in Spain people are suffering from political amnesia. The economy has been growing steadily and surely for the last 4 years – above the EU average – and house prices have been booming for over a decade. Such sustained growth and property inflation cannot continue indefinitely. What is happening today is not that house prices are coming down – in real terms (except major hotspots and in select locations) but merely that they are not rising at the same rate as before. Hence there has been a deceleration in the market – but it continues to rise.

Demand is waining - as most Spanish buy homes as investments and not as a dwelling - and sooner or later things had to come to a head. It is symptomatic of the free market economy and a simple issue of supply and demand.
What is surprising is that the same people who bought property did not complain when house prices where rising and rising and they made massive profits selling properties on the black market and speculating in the sector. Today, we have more than 33% of estate agents – whose office were mushrooming all over Spain – closing. In some respects, crocodile tears!

From a macro economic perspective, Spain has a budget surplus – contrary to most other EU countries – and is in a good position to weather this worldwide economic slow down. It is sometimes challenging to understand some “experts” insinuating a recession in Spain.

Food price increases are hurting everyone - worldwide. Which country in the world is not suffering this today? Due to droughts in China and major population growth there and in India as well as an increase in per capita spending of such countries this again is more a supply and demand issue. Add to this that countries such as Mexico are now in the bio-fuel crop market instead of wheat production as this gives better margins this only aggravates the problem. Oil prices are at record highs – in the last 15 days the price of diesel has gone up by 10% and we pay 1.10 Euros per litre.