I come back to this blog almost three years on – so much has changed since then although much is still the same.
As far as the economy is concerned, a couple of years ago Zapatero’s Government was talking about the famous “green shoots” . Economic recovery was on its way. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The downward spiral has continued its path since then and now Spain, along with the rest of Europe, is immersed in its worst economic crisis ever.
Meanwhile the Partido Popular has taken over the best part of the country, their latest conquest being the central Government in Madrid, with Andalucía likely to fall into their hands in just two weeks’ time. The new Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has introduced reforms that would have been unthinkable back in 2009 although these are unlikely to stop unemployment approaching the six million mark by the end of 2012. While the official unemployment rate in Spain is just over 20 per cent, the figure here in Andalucía and Malaga is already higher than 30 per cent: it’s quite staggering to think that nearly one in three members of the active population is currently out of work. Combine these with pensioners, children and students, etc and it leaves those of us still lucky enough to be in work in a real minority. Thousands of households have no income whatsoever, at least officially. It’s quite clear that many are surviving on money gleaned from undeclared work and hand-outs from fortuntely still united families, but all the same soup kitchens are overwhelmed and charities are finding their supply of donations not nearly enough to cope with the demand for aid.
Yes, this is a very different scenario the the one when I left off this blog in 2009. But be reassured that there are some things that never change: abortion is still an issue under debate, with the new PP Government considering undoing the reforms made by the Socialists just a couple of years ago; chiringuitos and illegally built properties are closer to a solution but not quite there yet; corrupt politicians (and now, allegedly of course, royals) are still crawling out of the woodwork; and the people of Malaga, albeit jobless and on the breadline, are preparing for their Semana Santa with the same fervour as ever.
Filed under: General by Rachel Haynes