The mind goes numb. Spanish unemployment jumped by another 237,000 people in the first quarter to 6.2 million, or 27.2 per cent.
The country is losing 3581 jobs a day. There are 1.9 million households where no member of the family has a job.
The unemployment rate has reached 36.8 per cent in Andalusia, Spain’s most populous region. The rate of unemployed youth is 57.2 per cent, rising to 70 per cent in the Canaries.
This is in spite of mass emigration by Spanish youth. El Pais reports that 260,000 young people aged between 16 and 30 left the country last year. A great number have gone to London. Others have gone to Germany, or the Persian Gulf, or further afield. Such is the Spanish diaspora, unseen since the mass exodus after the Civil War, or the Conquista.
Nothing like this has been seen before in modern times. Spain’s jobless crisis in the 1930s was much milder, and for a good reason. Spain was not strapped by the deflationary disaster of the interwar Gold Standard. It went its own way.
The government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said this week that the crisis is ”dramatic” but insisted that the country has regained the confidence of the financial markets and is at last on the road to recovery. Sadly this is not the case. The bond vigilantes have been quiet only because the European Central Bank has promised to backstop the Spanish debt market. The crisis in the real economy is getting worse…
There are a few lone voices willing to utter heresy. I am an avid follower of Ilusion Monetaria, a blog by ex-Bank of Spain economist Miguel Navascues. Navascues calls a spade a spade. He exhorts Spain to break free of European monetary union oppression immediately.
On the left, Catalan economist David Lizoain says the time has come for Social Democrats to ask whether the European monetary union is doing more harm than good and therefore should be dismantled. I leave you with this extract from Lizoain: ”On account of the architecture of the eurozone, the countries of the European periphery cannot engage in a fiscal stimulus, a monetary stimulus, a competitive devaluation, or a financial restructuring. Trapped in the midst of recessionary downward spirals, their policy space is extremely limited. The eurozone framework has generated an economic depression and a crisis of democratic legitimacy. These are fertile conditions for even greater political failures, not for success.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor
Spain’s unemployment rate has climbed to a new record of 27.16 per cent in the first quarter of 2013, as a deep recession sparked by the collapse of a property bubble ravages the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy. The jobless rate jumped from 26.02 per as the number of unemployed climbed by 237,400 people to 6.2 million, … Continue reading »
Spain’s official population fell last year for the first time since records began as immigrants fled a five-year on-and-off recession that has sent unemployment soaring. The number of residents fell by 206,000 to 47.1 million, the National Statistics Institute said on Monday, a figure entirely accounted for by the fall in the number of registered … Continue reading »
Thousands of striking workers of Spanish flag-carrier Iberia protested noisily in Madrid Wednesday, furious at management’s plans to cut 3,800 jobs following its merger with British Airways. To the din of horns and smoking firecrackers, workers massed outside the company’s headquarters, waving red and yellow Spanish flags and signs such as “Get your dirty hands … Continue reading »
Europe’s lost generation / Youth unemployment exceeds 60 percent in Greece, is above 50 percent in Spain and tops 40 percent in Portugal
Children across Europe are being driven into poverty by harsh government austerity and youth unemployment is soaring, threatening to create “lost generations” that could fire up a new continental crisis. Global charity Caritas said on Thursday that around three out of every 10 children in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Italy and Spain are in or have … Continue reading »
Labor unions representing most workers in Spain’s Iberia airline have called 15 days of strikes to protest the company’s plans to lay off 4,500 workers. The stoppages by Iberia’s ground staff and cabin crews will be held Feb. 18-22, March 4-8 and March 18-22. Raul Melero of the USO union said Wednesday that the strikes … Continue reading »
Over the past two years, Ana María Molina Cuevas, 36, has worked five shifts a week in a ceramics factory on the outskirts of this city, hand-rolling paint onto tiles. But at the end of the month, she often went unpaid… With the regional and municipal governments deeply in debt, even workers like bus drivers … Continue reading »
Hunger. Austerity. Unemployment. Secession. Three people killed at a Halloween party stampede. Not a day goes by without bad news about Spain. With family ties to Spain, I have always considered the Iberian peninsula my second home. After graduating from college in New York in 2009, I moved to Madrid. According to data released by … Continue reading »