The Trader has written timely pieces on the imploding Spanish economy. Here is an authentic piece from one of our readers, living in Spain as an expat. Courtesy Anna Billqvist.
Spain is now suffering severe cut packages, in order to save money, but very few ideas that will get us back on feet. The Spanish people feel that there is very little we can do. Perhaps we need something different, a change of mentality.
Why not try quality rather than quantity at work? Who says we need to work more hours to achieve better results? What if we organize ourselves and use our time more efficiently? Written procedures, so that things can be done even if the key person is not there. More confidence between boss and employee, so they feel that they work together towards the same goal, instead of continously suspecting that they are being used by the other. Nine-to-five working hours, not the split working days that we are used to; loosing time driving to work and back twice a day, coming home at nine in the evening and totally dependent on nannies and family if we have children. That would make us more productive at work and at home.
Police fight black economy – by fining teachers who put up notes for private lessons and arresting africans selling illegal CDs. Meanwhile prostitution sales reach 50 million euros each day. Young people from poorer countries are exploited and abused, brothel owners call themselves hotel owners and claim that they only rent rooms to prostitutes. Nobody cares, because judges, lawyers and politicians are among the customers.
Drugtrade is a another huge market. Nobody cares for that either, for the same reasons. Spain is one of the biggest consumers of cocaine in the world. A a recent political scandal revealed that millions of euros from a fund for unemployed were spent on cocaine. By politicians. Then they apply to tax payers´conscience in order to collect more taxes.
In school – aren´t we a little blind when we accept our new so called “billingüal schools”, without questioning them at all? We´re happy that our pupils will be experts in english, but we don´t see that their teachers´knowledge in english is not good enough to teach chemistry or history in that language. The children don´t understand them and don´t dare to ask, because it has to be in english. Nobody asks why children in central and northen Europe have better skills in language, without bilingüal schools.
Is it productive that pupils use two hours to do their homework every day, because they have to copy all the questions? Or is it a waste of time,energy and paper? Why do our pupils have longer school days than the average in Europe, but have among the worst results, accordning to the PISA report?
Spain has hardly any resources to spend on environment right now. But couldn´t we just pick up the trash from our own pick-nicks? Or stop trowing cans from the car window? Meadows and lakes are full of trash – at the same time we spend huge sums of the taxpayers´money promoting rural tourism. Everybody sweep outside their own house, shine their facades and polish their cars. But “nature” is too far to care about.
There are still things that can be done, without spending money. Recessions come and go, but society seems to remain the same, no matter what ecomomical measures are taken by politicians.
For a quick review of the EZ crisis click here.
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