(220) Spain reels

Spain should be enjoying the fruits of EU membership and decades of general progress on top of a strong (and diverse) sense of culture and a warm climate.  The unemployment and fiscal mental illness of the country at the moment makes for some tough reading instead.  Within the lifespan of today’s Generation Xer’s Spain had a 1930s style Fascist government.  The country was always much beset by poverty and separatist movements (at times quite violent) and the historical burden of civil war was never far from mind.  Despite these negative factors, Spain did well in recent decades, becoming more fully industrialized and trade orientated.  Large investments were made in education and infrastructure which make it harder to fully understand the present mess.  According to Eurostat data the unemployment rate in Spain hit 25.5% this summer with much higher rates for youth.

Amid poverty, food ‘expropriations’ spread across Spain
Web site wagingnonviolence.org gives some coverage to politically-motivated raids on food stores and residential squatting for poor families in Andalusia.  It’s tough to imagine Canadians and Americans pulling nervy, creative stuff like this at Wal-Mart, but one never knows.

In Spain, millions forced below poverty line Voice of America video 2:43
VOA visits Mostoles, a working class suburb of Madrid and finds engineers going to community kitchens for meals, people out of work for years now and a gloomy sense of the future.  Spain/EU approaches to public finance and banking seems to have produced dysfunctional effects not dissimilar to those produced by American and British approaches.