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Spain's Society And Economy In Flux - Articles Surfing
A self-confessed Spanophile, (made up word) was shocked on his return to Spain. The economic powerhouse of the Iberian Peninsular has been metamorphisizing at a great rate. The pace of daily life has accelerated, prices have been catapaulted in line with the rest of Northern Europe, and the noise level has risen at least 10 decibels.
That may sound like mixed news, good news even, but not when you view it against a background of stagnant wage levels, inter-generational tensions and a persistent ma**na mindset. The future well-being of the inhabitants of this rich, vibrant, but very new economy is in doubt.
Castilla is hundreds of years old, modern Spain is not.
1982? Were you watching a World Cup, or listening to Duran Duran, or enjoying the fruits of centuries of democracy? A young Spanish man would have been polishing his boots and telling his new wife that he would be alright, even if he had to go and fight to protect the constitution. Yes, in 1982, just 4 years into a democracy, there was a Coup d'*tat underway in Spain. There was only one person who could stop the rot and guarantee that conscript's life.
Spain's king is a real hero
Spain is under attack.
Spaniards aren't responding quickly enough to change
Putting aside the shameless corruption and controlled profit-skimming still practiced unfettered by some former Franco entrepreneurs, the majority at the head of nuclear family life view the old ways as the best. Family is sacrosanct. They have their way, because fathers and mothers still carry sway, and families still sit around the lunch table and meet for Christmas, Holy Week, fiestas, birthdays, weekends, anniversaries and days off, without fail. But there is growing domestic tension.
The TV is blaring and the teenage kids are dressed like Eminem with Playstation and Zapping addictions. The light on the horizon, the trendy 30-somethings driving the economy forward with incredible websites and great engineering minds, still phone their mums every day. That is, the small percentage who ever got it together to leave home and go to Madrid. Something has to break in this old v new scenario.
The lines are drawn
If Spain could realise what is coming from excessive credit and inflated prices for houses, they would stop right now and say, "Oops, let's not go there." Spain is heading for an economic rise and a social fall, followed by a problematic economic fall. History does repeat, and never lies, look at 1990's Britain, mis amigos. Learn, inwardly digest and realise there is a decision to be made. Pay up and shut up, or keep things as they were and forgo the trappings of a "success" that will never be as sustainable as the retro family tradition.
Spaniards would probably be indignant, saying they have every right to be rich. Esc*chame. Listen up. Ignore the idea that you can have it all, balancing work and play to attain wealth beyond your parents' dreams. Spain is no Sweden or Denmark or Holland. You are too happy and cheerful and noisy as a race to mimic the coolest economies on earth.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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