Sunday, February 06, 2011

THE ECONOMIST: Reforming Zapatero.
HAS Spain changed at last? The prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who is mistrusted by the bond markets and unpopular with Spaniards, would certainly like the world to think so. On February 2nd he signed a solemn “social pact” with unions and employers, covering pensions, collective bargaining and more. It was, Mr Zapatero declared, the most important such deal since the Moncloa pact of 33 years ago.

Under its terms Spaniards will, albeit with many exceptions, retire at 67 (instead of 65). Or at least they will do so in 2027, the year when the reform fully kicks in. That is far off, but Spaniards are set to be among the longest-working people in the European Union. First, however, they must find jobs. Unemployment at over 20% and rising is proof that Spain urgently needs a lot more change.
Keep reading.