Last week I tweeted that I knew the current President of Spain, Zapatero and I knew the head of the opposition Rajoy and that I thought they were both unable to lead Spain away from moral, business and financial default. That they are mediocre thinkers who speak no English and are not really aware of what works and doesn’t work outside of Spain. In my view anyone who gets news about the world economy in Spanish is getting poor coverage, news in translation are biased, especially in Spain where there is a very bad understanding of the English speaking world. While most people are unaware here, antiAmericanism in Spain is rampant.
A good example is that in Spain everyone talks about the 20% of the people who don’t have medical insurance in USA in horror (and it is horrible) but not about the over 50% of Spaniards who are prisoners of their mortgages since in Spain, as opposed to USA, mortgages have unlimited liability and if you have negative equity you are a slave of the bank for the rest of your life. In socialist Spain you cannot return your home to the bank and walk away free as in capitalist USA. Moreover in USA 20% of people don’t have medical insurance but here over 20% of the whole population and 30% of those under 30 don’t have a job. And the others who do, earn salaries that are pitiful compared to the cost of living (mileurismo). The amount of years people have to work to buy a home here is much greater than that in USA or Germany.

So in my opinion a candidate that really understands the US economy and Northern European economies and who even understands Asian economies and can make deals with top CEOs of foreign companies to invest in Spain is crucial for our future. We also need a president who understands wealth creation, who understands the Silicon Valley quality job machine and how some parts of Spain have actually similar economies. We need a president who understands that social justice can only come after significant wealth creation.

So I am pleased to share that we now have a meeting scheduled with Rubalcaba. It will take place on August 17th at 17 hours. Easy to remember 🙂

Now the key question for Rubalcaba will be how can he be so different to the President he served for: Zapatero. He was in the same government and in charge of the same policies that saw unemployment shoot up from 8% to 20%. Rubalcaba as a candidate is as if Obama resigned because of a huge economic and financial crisis and Biden campaigned against a Republican having been the VP of the government that bankrupted USA. Still I think that before I speak about Rubalcaba I meet with him and then report about the meeting. And that’s what I will do. Maybe Rubalcaba did not have room for action, maybe he does have different ideas. In general I dislike to speak about people I don’t know. So let’s see what he thinks.

Lastly I would like to say that as opposed to my native Argentina, where ruling families like the Menems or the Kirchners, or governors like Scioli make hundreds of millions of dollars in a shameful cleptocracy this is not the case in Spain. It is not that in Spain Zapatero has been a corrupt president. Compared to say Berlusconi, Zapatero is a model of ethics and morals. The problem of Spain is not as many here think, corruption which is very small by the standards of other Latin nations. The problem is lack of imagination, creativity and overall awareness that Spain is part of a globalized economy and can only be saved by learning what works and doesn’t work in globalized economies. With a GDP of $1.5 trillion Spain still matters. And I sincerely hope my adopted nation gets out of the economic crisis it is in to thrive once more in the global economy.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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