Why the Euro-cream turned sour in Spain
In the second in a series, Elizabeth Nash reports on the potential Emu pain for Madrid
Wednesday 13 December 1995
He announced this week spending cuts of 900bn pesetas (pounds 4.8bn) over the next year but gave no indication where they might fall. Obvious targets are, as in France, pensions, social services and public-sector employment. Mr Solbes pledged to make no cuts in these areas.
Spain differs from France in two important respects.
First, the Spanish Socialist government has been achieving budget cuts for years by strenuous arm-twisting, accompanied by threats of worse treatment if deals are not reached. Second, Spain's welfare state, though an advance on what the government inherited when it came to power in 1982, falls far short of that enjoyed by the French.
The private sector takes much of the burden of health care and pensions which in France or Britain is borne by the state. The idea of a "cradle-to-grave" state provision is incomprehensible to most Spaniards, who look to their families to fulfil that responsibility.
Mr Solbes insists that Spain will meet the EU criteria for a single currency by 1999 and that trends are moving in the right direction. But Spain fails all the Maastricht criteria and Brussels fears it may not catch up in time.
"Our political advancement in Europe is fundamental," said Mr Solbes yesterday, when asked about prospects for a single currency.
Failure to meet the 1999 deadline would be a crushing blow for a nation that views EU membership as the seal upon its existence as a modern democracy.
But for millions of Spaniards, especially the unemployed, the European dream has already turned sour; further welfare cuts could tip the present mood of cynicism and apathy into one of revolt.
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 German man found living with 300 rats in tiny apartment
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...
£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...