By Don Quijones: If recent reports from the Spanish government are to be believed, the Spanish economy is now officially out of the woods. Not only is the worst behind it, but it’s now positively humming along at a growth rate of, um, 0.1% per year. It is, as Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro put it, a “lesson to the world.” Oh really?
By Don Quijones: If Spain and Catalonia were playing real, rather than figurative, Russian Roulette, the revolver would be loaded with two or three bullets. Now an extra one was slipped into a chamber: prize-winning economist Juan Valerde announced that Madrid may have to “bomb Barcelona” in order to put a halt to the region’s rising separatist aspirations.
Countries like Germany and Turkey have demanded explanations from the U.S. and U.K. governments regarding the NSA’s and GCHQ’s surveillance and wire-tapping program. But Spain’s Rajoy regime has remained conspicuously silent – despite the fact that this surveillance is a clear infringement of Spain’s domestic and external affairs.
Spain’s government plumbed new depths of political chicanery and incompetence this week when it openly admitted that it had tampered with evidence in the Bárcenas affair, a corruption case implicating many of its senior ministers.
By Don Quijones: Hyper-connected Goldman Sachs has managed to manipulate and profit from every financial bubble since the Roaring Twenties. And now they’re doing it all over again with the creation of a carbon trading bubble. But Goldman is not the only one with skin in the game.
By Don Quijones: Since taking office, Rajoy’s government has done everything within its means to alienate the Spanish public. Its key election pledges – taxes wouldn’t be hiked, banks would never be bailed out, vital services would not be cut, unemployment would be a priority, the economy would improve… – all turned out to be lies; and its corruption scandals are mushrooming. But now it has a new strategy: a territorial tussle with the UK.
By Don Quijones: Uruguay rarely draws international attention. Sandwiched between its much larger, much rowdier neighbors, it is, and has been for decades, a relative oasis of calm. But that is about to change: Uruguay is on the verge of becoming the first ever Latin American country to decriminalize the consumption of marijuana.
BBC’s article about the political funding scandal gripping Spain featured a photo of hapless leader Mariano Rajoy licking his lips like a “dirty old man.” It spread like wildfire across the social media, setting off a cacophony of calls for Rajoy to resign for the irreparable damage he’d done to Spain’s overseas image.
Contributed by Don Quijones: The first four items the G-8 dealt with was the need for governments to share information to “fight the scourge of tax evasion.” If only their primary targets were multinationals, banks, and hedge funds that pay a pitiful fraction of the taxes they owe in the countries they operate. But they’re going after the little guy.
Contributed by Don Quijones:Two weeks ago, Miguel Blesa, former president of Spanish savings bank Caja Madrid, went to jail for his role in the bank’s demise. Finally, a TBTF bank chief got nailed for his role in the financial crisis. But it was too good to be true! Now a witch hunt against the judge has begun.