Ana Fuentes | The musical chairs for top institutional renewal in Brussels has begun. At stake are the presidencies of the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Central Bank, as well as the representative for Unión diplomacy. For Spain, opportunities may open up. Yet the government has to deal with the after effects of the Catalan conflict, which has not questioned its democratic legitimacy, although it may compromise its margin of maneuver.
Luis Alcaide | Spanish government with its parliamentary minority has administered, but without exposing itself to dangerous risks difficult. It has pushed its budget, with its own proposals, knowing it will not be approved. But as Groucho Marx said “here is another one”. The increase in the minimum wage has already shown their socialist colours. We need to continue to take care of the economy. It is not that easy, but not that hard either.
More than 93% of German companies believe that the economic situation in Spain is ‘good’ or ‘satisfactory’, 25 points higher than two years ago. This is according to the bi-yearly survey “German Companies in Spain” published by German Chamber of Commerce for Spain in collaboration with the IESE Business School.
The main problem from today onwards is not that Catalonia obtains independence, because there is zero possibility of that happening. It’s rather the weakening of Spain and Europe. Prime Minister Rajoy has the law on his side, but he is politically weak. He needs to look for back up outside, from Europe. But effective support, not notional.
What’s happening in Catalonia? The narrative put together by those in favour of independence is quite incredible: how is that so many Catalans feel so badly treated in a democracy like Spain’s? The crisis in Catalonia threatens the stability of Spain and even the European project.
The Corner | The fiscal situation is one of the arguments the pro-independents in Catalonia have been using. And in this regard, we wanted to share with our readers a snippet from a televised debate between Josep Borrell, a former president of the European Parliament, who describes himself as “Catalan, Spanish and European,” and Oriol Junqueras, leader of the pro-independence Catalan Republican Left (ERC) party.
In Madrid, much of the media and most commentators, -not to mention the big national parties — tend to be bewildered, if not outraged, by the secessionist drive. When in Catalonia (or at least speaking to independentistas), I find that the opposite is true: disenchantment with and disdain for the Spanish state is almost a given and the word “independence” tossed around as if it were a football.
MADRID | By Fernando G. Urbaneja | Hundreds of thousands of Catalonians marched for the third year in a row to claim their national sovereignty. The pro-independence way in Catalonia -which comes from a feeling more than a century old and from time to time strongly emerges to fight for its goal- is behind these demonstrations and tries to capitalize them.
MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | According to the US-based organisation One, corruption takes around $1tn a year out of poor countries and kills millions. Yet this evil is not strange to developed nations. In Spain, 127 politicians are facing corruption charges although they have not lost their jobs. The last big scandal affects former Catalan leader Jordi Pujol, who in July admitted hiding an inheritance abroad for more than 30 years. A storm embarrassing the current ruling regional government who has called a referendum in November on whether the region should break from the rest of Spain. Madrid may seek criminal charges, Spanish Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro (see picture above) said on Tuesday. For some analysts, this could be a strategy to dent nationalism support.
MADRID | The Corner | They keep coming and, more important, they spend more money, which adds to the recovery. Foreign tourists visiting Spain spent €2.63 billion in the first semester, a 7.8% more than in the same period of 2013, according to official data. British citizens are the biggest spenders, followed by the Germans. Tourism is a crucial sector of Spanish economy, accounting for more of 10% of GDP.