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.

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Jose Luis on August 10, 2011  · 

Wow Martin, and you are keeping your hopes high that Rubalcaba will fit the bill? You’ve said it all, he has already been VERY involved.

BTW, any chance you could just try and convince him about making it EASY and FAST to create a new business in Spain? Don’t you think that cutting down on all the bureaucracy, paperwork and taxes needed to open a new business (before day 1) would be one of the greatest things he or Rajoy could do if elected?

Thank you and please report back on August 17th 🙂

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Cualquiera on August 10, 2011  · 

Martin for president! I really think you would do much better than any other current candidate, we need someone with your courage and hard working background

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Ignacio on August 10, 2011  · 

You just pointed out something very important: “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”. Yet most of the Spanish population and all the “indignados” movement is blaming corruption for the current Spanish crisis. And that’s a pity… not because I pity the politicians, but because while we focus on the tree of corruption we are unable to see the forest of the many problems that are actually damaging our economy and hindering our recovery.

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Parq on August 10, 2011  · 

Excelente oportunidad!
Tal vez puedas llevarle algunas propuestas (algunas ya las has comentado):
– Facilitar la creación de empresas.
– Disminuir el riesgo de inicio en autónomos. (pago progresivo según facturación o algo parecido. Los primeros meses es facturación 0€ y gasto 300€ más gastos fijos).
– Destrabar lobbies que impiden el crecimiento (por ejemplo, para hacer tour se requiere 5 autobuses de menos de 2 años de antigüedad más las licencias = 100K€ para empezar).
– Regular precios mínimos de mercado (para evitar el efecto dumping) pero permitiendo libertad en el mismo (valor agregado).

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Parq on August 10, 2011  · 

Next time i’ll post in english. (I was listening the interview in ondacero and I haven’t switch languages again!)

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Alvaro Martin on August 10, 2011  · 

Martin I completely agree with you. Now, don’t you think that the people that “rule the world” (call them Bilderberg) are not interested in Spain competing against the top-economies such as US, UK or Germany? i.e. I think Spain is meant to offer tourism and not much more… what would happen if Spain had a challenging economy delivering state-of-the-art products? Probably UK, France or Germany would not be very happy about it, having another competitor in place.

So, despite the fact that Zapatero and Rubalcaba are completely useless, I don’t think Spain will have any opportunity. They spread a huge amount of credit over our country and the party is over. Now we need to give back that money. And the plan is to “exprimirnos como limones”, not too make our economy more competitive 🙁

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