Thursday, April 25, 2013
Spain's Lost Generation
I would urge everyone to begin following what is happening in Spain right now; this report from the BBC certainly helps with the underlying causes of what could be a massive wave of discontent and unrest in Spanish society.
For years, the Spanish government has been trying to get a handle on the nation's fiscal woes through tough austerity measures; this has crippled Spanish society and sent millions to join a multitude of unlucky people who are now virtually permanently unemployed. Spain is facing a crisis that could create a powderkeg situation; anyone and everyone who can leave is leaving the country to find work in other countries in the Eurozone. When I lived in Germany last year, it was not uncommon to meet people working in entry level positions who were from Spain (as well as Italy and wherever else there was a "crisis" of unemployment).
The Eurozone has a single currency but an aversion to allowing actual politics to solve the problems that are undermining the currency. Austerity is being forced on societies like Spain's and that is creating an impossible situation for the people who live there to continue to tolerate.
Of all of Europe's nations right now, I would say that Spain is the most restive, and a revolution or a change of government is certainly possible. Massive displays of public unrest there would not surprise me at all. Is anyone paying attention? Well, the Eurozone ministers are, and they're not going to bail out Spain's government. Austerity is all they have, and they're going to keep forcing it on people, even those who can't take another summer of it.