Spain, The Nucleus Of Europe: How Realistic An Idea Is This?

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Recently there’s again been talk of a two-speed Europe. During the mini-summit two weeks ago, Merkel, Hollande, Italy, Rajoy, gave the green light to this latest spin. Let’s see how far it goes.

Rajoy took advantage of the situation to flex his muscles and say that Spain would be at the nucleus of this two-speed Europe. If Spain is at the nucleus, which countries would be those included in the second or third speed?

Nothing would make me happier than dreaming about Spain co-leading Europe. I don’t know why, but it seems a very audacious idea to me.

Spain is not in a position to flex its muscles either politically or economically. From a political point of view, we are living as if it isn’t the case, but Spain as a nation is about to break up, largely due to the disastrous central governments to which we have entrusted power in the last three legislatures.

Rajoy, in particular, has shown that he has anything but the capacity and will to take the lead to solve the most serious problem we have, Cataluña. He seems to have foisted it on Europe, which is a pretty shabby thing to do as Spain’s Prime Minister.

We will see if this Europe, so protean and uncertain, can stop Cataluña in its tracks, or ends up getting lumbered with it all. It’s not clear, or at least it isn’t clear to me. Economically, you can see just from a couple of images that Spain is far removed not only from the leading countries now, but even from the European average.

Images telling us that there is something which grates about the Spanish economy. And it’s not to do with the distribution of income, as some upstarts woud have us believe, but with an obvious structural problem.

In reality, Merkel has ulterior motives in this compliance with a two or more-speed Europe, as is suggested here: she is trying her luck to turn herself into a world leader in this new world which Trump wants to destroy. She would be the alternative loser to Trump, defending the liberalism which the US has thrown on the rubbish heap. Up to now, Germany has spoken in the name of Europe. But it may be that Europe is lagging behind, and two or more speeds would get rid of the burden enabling it to play a new role in the world.

About the Author

Miguel Navascués
Miguel Navascués has worked as an economist at the Bank of Spain for 30 years, and focuses on international and monetary economics. He blogs in Spanish at: http://http://www.miguelnavascues.com/