Joan Tapia (Barcelona) | We don’t really know where we stand with regard to this crisis, but it’s clear what we should do. The EU must act decisively to avoid an economic disaster that would affect all its members. Only God knows what will come next.
Articles by Joan Tapia
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Joan Tapia (Barcelona) | The PSOE-Podemos Coalition Government has not failed to confront its two main challenges: economic policy and Catalonia. However, now comes the most important issue: to approve the national budget for 2020 for which it needs a vote in favour of ERC. This time the abstention of ERC is not enough, as in the case of the investiture, which was achieved in exchange for the establishment of a dialogue between the governments of Madrid and Barcelona.
Joan Tapia | The latest data indicate that the economic slowdown in Spain is showing some signs of reversing. That is, the slowdown is slowing down and that the economic situation in the coming months may be somewhat better than expected by some of the most pessimistic analysts. The misfortune is that this slight recovery of economic optimism has no correspondence in the political field, as the result of the 10-N elections and the subsequent movements of the parties indicate a very difficult governance.
Joan Tapia | The downward revision of growth in Spain in the second quarter (from 0.5% to 0.4%), following that of the first quarter (from an optimistic 0.7% to 0.5%), and a slower rate of job creation, have disturbed forecasts and the economic climate.
Joan Tapia (Barcelona) | The possibility of new elections in November is beginning to sound the alarm about the ability of Spanish political parties to form coalitions. The Spanish economy is an animal of great strength which, once set going, is resistant and difficult to stop. So said to me a few months ago a distinguished Spanish economist who presides over one of the most respected think tanks.
Joan Tapia | The Bank of Spain, by raising its growth forecast for 2019 from 2.2% to 2.4%, has confirmed that the Spanish economy has begun the year better than expected. Thus are undone the catastrophic forecasts of some analysts and the political right.
Joan Tapia ( Barcelona) | The Spanish economy is doing somewhat better than expected, but both the slowdown and the extent to which governability depends on Podemos are worrying. We have spent weeks talking about the slowdown, but in the end GDP growth for the first quarter was 0.7%, compared to 0.6% in the last quarter of 2018 and 0.5% in the quarter before that.
Joan Tapia (Barcelona) | As I write this article, three polls have been published – in three Spanish newspapers ABC, El Periodico de Catalunya and Confidencial – which practically agree. If there are no changes in the twenty days that remain before the elections, PSOE will be the largest party with more than 130 seats, far distant from the PP which will remain on 80-90 seats.
Joan Tapia (Barcelona) | BBVA says that Spain could grow 2.4% this year (it grew 2.5% in 2018) and 2% in 2020. This would create 800,000 jobs over the two years and unemployment would fall to 12.6% (compared to 15.3% in 2018). Yet, BBVA also warns that the probability of an accident has increased. Spain’s public debt is 12 points above the eurozone average, around 100% of GDP. Moreover, the Catalan situation is explosive as it represents 16% of the population and 19% of GDP.
The political instability is not just a Spanish phenomenon. We are far from the climate of the thirties in the 20th century, but the increase in nationalist populism is worrying. 2019 is replete with uncertainties, but it is also true that unemployment in the European Union has fallen below 8% for the first time since the crisis and that in Spain the number of people affiliated with Social Security has recovered pre-2008 levels.