… On one leg, article by Joan Tapia

It is already approved labour reform. But, Casado speaks of “pucherazo & rdquor; and Adriana Lastra assures that the PP has “bought & rdquor; to the two Navarre deputies who voted against their party’s order. Politics is still in a swampy area. The majority of Sánchez’s lefts have shown their inconsistency. And the transversal, the pragmatics of the pact with center-right liberals, its insufficiency. And Casado prioritizes cutting Sánchez’s hair in his image as the ruler of the future.

We are going on one leg when our economy would benefit from a firm step. Following Thursday’s meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde opened up the possibility – until now denied – that inflation will force interest rates to rise in 2022. The ECB will do so more carefully than the Bank of England, which has already raised them twice this year, but the market indicates that the trend has changed. Germany already has to pay (0.18%) for the first time in three years for its ten-year bond and the Spanish bond at the same term has risen from 0.5% in January to 1.02% on Friday. The financing of the public deficit will therefore not be as painless as in 2020 and 2021.

The left-wing majority of Sánchez has shown inconsistency and the transversal one, with the center-right liberals, insufficiency

A photo from Thursday at the end of the Congress vote explains a lot. Pedro SanchezUndaunted, he claps his hands. Yolanda Diaz and Maria Jesus Montero they embrace like two minister-militants and Nadia Calvino, in the middle, he raises both hands to his head with fright: “The one we have gotten rid of… and the one that awaits me & rdquor ;.

There is some optimism because employment is doing well and GDP growth in the fourth quarter has been high, at 2%. And the annual rate of increase in GDP given by Eurostat (fourth quarter over fourth quarter) is 5.2%, higher than the average for the euro zone (4.6%). But despite this snapshot, the film is worrying. Our GDP is still 4% below 2019 when the euro zone average has already exceeded it. Sure, tourism has recovered in 2021 (31 million visitors compared to 20 in 2020), but it is still a long way from the 83 in 2019. And things have been done wrong.

But the worst thing is that Spain is less prepared than most euro countries to face a change, albeit gradual, in the expansionary policy of the ECB. Jobs are created, yes, but unemployment is still 13% when the euro average is 7%. And in youth unemployment we have improved in 2021 but we still have 30%. No less than twice the European average.

And inflation, which punishes everyone, but impoverishes the least wealthy more, is at 6.1% compared to an average of 5.1% for the euro. And there are countries like France and Portugal (3.3% and 3.4%) that are much better off.

the keynesian economist Arthur Okun ‘invented’ his social unrest index which adds unemployment and inflation. Y the Spanish index is at 19.6 compared to the European average of 12 and well above not only Germany (8.9), but also France (10.8) and Italy (13.3). And the very good one from Portugal is surprising (only 8.7) which perhaps explains something of António Costa’s absolute majority on Sunday. These data do not respond only to the moment (high unemployment is a historical constant) and in 2021, with the ertes and the vaccine, we have come out of the crisis. But with an Executive without a persistent majority and with an opposition whose sole objective is to return to Moncloa, the high level of social unrest is the harsh reality.

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And if the policy of the ECB – which has financed our social measures for the last two years – tightens, we may lose some balance. because our high public debt, 122% of GDP compared to an average of 97.7% in the euro zone and 70% in Germany, has serious risks. The luck is that in this we are close to France (116%) and better than the rescued Portugal (130%), and Italy (155%).

Pessimism is absurd, especially when the IMF forecasts that we will grow by 5.8% this year. But it should be noted that reality is not rosy. And that walking on one leg, with a weak government and a tremendous opposition, the spectacle of the Congress on Thursday was the most contraindicated. Social unrest and economic difficulties are there – they are a serious threat– and neither demagoguery nor sectarianism suits them. Even less, the permanent anger.


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