Pain in Spain and the Catalan Crisis

In recent days, our media have been full of stories about the impact of Scotland and Catalonia seeking independence.  One key issue for both is whether they would automatically become member states of the European Union, or would need to apply (my view has always been that they would be obliged to apply, and it won’t be easy). The following article (slightly shortened here) was written by me a month ago, on my last visit to Spain, but has become even more relevant.

I was prompted to write it because of my long-standing interest in national Constitutions as a “window into the national soul”, and by a fascinating visit to the Museum in Cadiz where the first Spanish Constitution was launched. But I was also  pushed to write by the fact that in the same week, the Catalan government announced new “regional” elections with a focus on independence, whilst the Spanish government announced its latest mega-austerity package.

What I did not realise – it emerged from the Spanish statistics authority’s figures on unemployment issued last week – was that over the last year, Catalonia’s unemployment has grown by more than any other Spanish region, with an increase of 192,000 out of the total of 800,000.

A fascinating but lethal combination – with far wider implications for all Europeans, as we are starting to realise.

Read @ Policy Research In MacroEconomics