Ofelia Marín Lozano | A business with a positive operating result is viable in the long run, even with a lot of debt. So is a country with a primary surplus. Spain has not achieved this since 2007, with the real estate bubble. But the different behaviour of countries in an ordinary, normal situation (their higher or lower deficits, their surpluses or not in good times) can mark a very different future evolution, which is not evident at first sight. These notable differences are well exemplified by a comparison between Italy and Spain.