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PostThoughts on Today's Spain; Some Clarifications (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela, 11/14/13 5:42 am)
My thanks to Anthony J. Candil for providing figures on the critical situation in Spain (13 November). Perhaps some additional macroeconomic figures should also be quoted, but they are not necessary to show the existence of a undeniable crisis.
However, the point I was trying to raise with my comments, was not the lack of well-known statistical figures to support statements on Spain, but that if such strong opinions are expressed, implying dramatic and desperate situations or exaggerated conclusions, perhaps they should be elaborated, better articulated and supported.
Regarding this particular aspect, some precision perhaps is needed on the items Anthony mentioned:
1) Princess Cristina of Bourbon has not been indicted for fraud and illegal earnings, but her husband has been prosecuted for fiscal fraud and corruption. Of course this does not mean that Spain's Royal House, as an institution, should not be severely criticized for its current role and poor performance. In fact, the King's public image is now so deteriorated that in my "opinion" he should resign.
2) Mr Rajoy has not been accused of double accounting, or receiving illegal payments, but the former treasurer of Rajoy's party is being accused of fiscal fraud, regarding some dubious funds donated to the party. In the course of the investigation he alleged to have given "black money" payments (not declared) to some members of the party (which has not been proven), including to Mr Rajoy. It is evident that this allegation does not help to sustain the government's credibility.
3) The "local savings banks" Anthony mentions are by no means in bankruptcy, though they might have a weak financial situation due to the high rate of unpaid mortgages.
4) I agree with JE comment on the defense budget. Though I do not know actual figures, I doubt that Spain spends less on defense than Andorra. If that would be the case, I believe Spaniards should be proud of this fact.
5) About the ethical crisis or problem of corruption, I have already sent some comments on the subject (12 November) , expressing my interest in understanding the impact of corruption on any economical crisis.
One should not attempt to seriously communicate ideas on any subject, unless the facts we present are confirmed and sources are credible. It is tempting to express opinions, or to quote the media on a particular subject, but to objectively state ideas and concepts requires some well and deeply supported knowledge. It is pure common sense.
JE comments: Yes. When he has the chance, I hope José Ignacio Soler will fill us in on Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro's move towards power-by-decree. After the recent removal of opposition deputy María Mercedes Aranguren from the unicameral legislature, Maduro is now one vote shy of the three-fifths majority his party needs to rubber stamp all laws. A troubling threat to what remains of Venezuela's democracy.