STAYING WITH The Economist, this is a very harsh -- and very accurate -- piece on Zapatero and Spain's economy:
Aides to José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Socialist prime minister, claim that Spain is the victim not just of a speculative attack but also of a plot led by “the Anglo-Saxon press” to destroy the euro.Reat it all.
To this piffle the best retort is: grow up. It is true that Spain is not Greece. Its public debt, relative to the size of the economy, is lower than that of Britain or the United States. It has not had to bail out its banks. And fears of financial contagion have made the markets unnaturally volatile. But there are good reasons for investors to worry about Spain.
[...] To make matters worse, Mr Zapatero looks out of his depth. He was a popular leader in the good times, during Spain’s long boom. But he failed to see the bust coming. When he belatedly recognised that the economy was in trouble, he misdiagnosed the problem as an imported recession that he could safely wait out. He carried on doling out public money and raising pensions and public-sector wages while shunning reform. Over the past month the markets have grasped that this course, if he persists in it, would lead to ruin. They are one step ahead of the government, which has reacted with fumbling confusion, abruptly launching an austerity plan and a vague scheme for labour-market reform, only to withdraw bits of both at the first cheep of protest.
Many of Spain’s troubles start at home.