Spain is once again on the News… You guessed, it’s no good news. On Thursday, Standard & Poor’s have downgraded Spain’s rating from A to BBB+ creating a new wave of fears and concerns about the country’s situation and the future of the euro zone.
In a radio interview, Garcia Margallo, the conservative Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, affirmed that Spain is ” like the Titanic – if it sinks, the first-class passengers go down with it.” Yet, Margallo seems to forget that when the Titanic sank the first-class passengers were much more likely to save their hide in one of the few lifeboats available. On the contrary, the third-class passengers were doomed to die in the freezing water.
The lack of lifeboats was a pure economic choice: Titanic, like Capitalism, was never suppose to sink. Despite a hundred years to think over the unexpected fall of the Titanic, the same error was made again. Who said we were supposed to learn from the past ?
So if Spain’s economic first-class is to be provided with golden lifeboats, what is going to happen to the others ?
In Spain, the unemployment level is reaching records with a quarter of the working population jobless. The drifting youth (under 25 ) is unemployed at 52%. Indeed the situation seems desperate and we can only hope for some of them to find a wooden door to hang on to.
According to Margallo, the austerity reforms are an unavoidable pain and the only way to get Spain out of the dark waters. “When you take strong measures to treat a sick person, at first they become weaker, but if you don’t apply this treatment they won’t get better.”
So austerity it is and austerity it will be. Although Margallo did agree that austerity on its own won’t be enough to save Spain from drowning, no other solutions seems to have made surface.
So is it really necessary to remind Mr. Margallo that, in the end, the Titanic did sink and over two third of the passengers died. It was a nice try to illustrate the economic situation with a popular image, yet, Margallo sent there the wrong signal. The Titanic was a tragic and utter failure and I think we still want to believe in a better future for Spain.