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PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post Greece on Brink of Default
Created by John Eipper on 06/30/15 11:15 AM

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Greece on Brink of Default (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 06/30/15 11:15 am)

I enjoyed reading the 30 June post by Anthony Candil. Moreover, I agree with most of his interpretation of the European situation. One statement deserves some explanation. Anthony wrote: "I think the end of the Euro is close and perhaps the end of the European Union. In my view, Germany and France are mainly responsible for such a failure."

It seems to me that despite its many blemishes, the EU has been a wonderful human social/political and economic experiment. The 2008 US-engendered financial crisis no doubt provided the trigger for worldwide financial problems, especially in Europe. The US and Europe are still reeling from developments since. If the EU falls apart as it seems to be doing, very likely the reason will be much more complex than just some action or inaction by the German and French governments. Therefore I would be grateful if Anthony would elaborate on his statement.

JE comments: Predictions of the EU's demise seem premature, especially because we've heard this story before.  But is a "Grexit" now inevitable?  I hope EU insider Ángel Viñas will join our conversation.


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  • Greece on Brink of Default; View from Catalunya (Henry Levin, USA 06/30/15 12:43 PM)
    We spent the last four days at Cala D'or in Mallorca without access to the Internet, but with access to newspapers and TVE noticias. We are now back in Vilassar de Mar, trying to escape the heat wave which has smothered both the Peninsula and the Baleares. Our Spanish friends and colleagues and the Prensa are very nervous about the Greek vote and EU outcome. Perhaps they see ripples or storm waves that will affect Spain and Catalunya. But they are not explicit about that, just anxious for this thing to be resolved.

    What is the great outcome for Greece with Grexit. Drachmas will be highly unstable and fall from whatever low value will be created officially. Most Euros have been sent out of the country for "safekeeping." The Greek credit rating will fall like a lead weight from its present unenviable level. Greece will need to import, but will have little to export and bad credit to balance its imports. Who will invest in Greece? Certainly not Greek citizens or institutions. Their best outcome is to become a ward of Russia or China, just to piss off the Europeans and USA, but beyond the Mediterranean ports and opportunities to annoy the West, what is in it for Russia or China? Greek corruption is legion, and payment of taxes is only for suckers. Who will rescue the country; certainly not the Greeks. And with dependence on imports, inflation will follow. Psychologically, the Greeks are being sold a piece of goods that austerity is a undeserving punishment (correct probably for those who have suffered most, and incorrect for those who have suffered least). And if Germany eases up and provides forgiveness for any substantial amount of additional debt, the Christian Democrats and Angela have probably had it.


    My prediction: A last-minute agreement with some complex formula for reducing Greek indebtedness that will not be fully transparent to the EU countries who are fed up with Greece, and a new agreement that will be of five years duration and renewable if progress is made. Just a guess.


    JE comments:  So glad Henry Levin has weighed in here; it's been some time since we last heard from him.


    So will the Russian or Chinese cavalry charge to Greece's "rescue"?  Putin in particular must be looking at the options. 



    Next up on this important topic:  Ángel Viñas.


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  • Greece on Brink of Default (Angel Vinas, Belgium 06/30/15 12:55 PM)
    Well, I cannot but reply to John´s kind invitation to comment on the Greek stalemate briefly. It´s going to end badly for everyone. The EU will survive and strengthen its integration process in the Eurozone. Non-Eurozone members may be safely remain outside. Just creating a more integrated economic union among 19 members will absorb all the energies of the EU. And what about Greece? It is ironic that the country which invented hubris might likely fall prey to it.

    The Greek people have all my sympathy. Over the current Government no doubt eminent people will render their verdict better than me. However, in 25 years of work in and with the EU and other international organizations, I have never seen such an appalling negotiating technique at work. I´m on record having said after the first skirmishes that I had the nasty suspicion that Mr Tsipras might have a plan B. If he wanted to take Greece out of the Union he wouldn´t have been able to design a more appropriate approach to achieve that lofty goal.


    This is not to ignore the sufferings of the Greek people. I simply think that should the referendum end with a No, the future for the Greeks will be even bleaker. The EU will also suffer but less so. We´ll see who falls prey to Nemesis in the forthcoming months.


    JE comments:  So is the Tsipras government deliberately sabotaging the negotiations, in order to make a Grexit inevitable?  Ángel Viñas appears to think so.


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  • Does Germany "Own" Greece? (Anthony J Candil, USA 07/01/15 7:54 AM)
    This is in response to Tor Guimaraes (30 June).

    According to George Friedman of Stratfor:


    "The European creditors--specifically, the Germans, who have really been the ones controlling European negotiations with the Greeks--reached their own terminal point more recently. The Germans are powerful but fragile. They export about one-quarter of their gross domestic product to the European free trade zone, and anything that threatens this trade threatens Germany's economy and social stability. Their goal has been to keep intact not only the euro, but also the free trade zone and Brussels' power over the European economy.


    "Germany has so far avoided an extreme crisis point by coming to an endless series of agreements with Greece that the Greeks couldn't keep and that no one expected them to keep, but which allowed Berlin to claim that the Greeks were capitulating to German demands for austerity. This alleged capitulation helped Germany keep other indebted European countries in line, as financially vulnerable nations witnessed the apparent folly of contemplating default, demanding debt restructuring and confronting rather than accommodating the European Union.


    "For the Germans, Greece represented a dam. What was behind the dam was unknown, and the Germans couldn't tolerate the risk of it breaking. A Greek default would come with capital controls such as those seen in Cyprus, probably trade barriers designed to protect the Greek economy, and a radical reorientation of Greece in a new strategic direction. If that didn't lead to economic and social catastrophe, then other European countries might also choose to exercise the Greek option. Germany's first choice to avoid the default was to create the illusion of Greek compliance. Its second option was to demonstrate the painful consequences of Greece's refusal to keep playing the first game."


    In other words, and in plain English, Germany, seconded by France, owns Greece. They have it by the balls, their economy. It's been a while since my last visit to Athens (in 2007), but I recall seeing almost everything linked to German companies or even owned by German firms: banks, food markets, heavy industry... everything.


    Now it seems that the Greeks are fed up with this silent takeover by Germany.


    I still recall the words of a German diplomat to me, in London, sometime in the early 1990s: "This time we are gonna make it, but without Panzers and Stukas, just with money." Well, apparently they're not going to succeed, but they will plunge Europe into a deep crisis of which maybe they will end up suffering most.


    As I've said before, Spain is next. At the next Spanish polls, radical groups like Podemos (the Spanish equivalent to Syriza) will likely own the political landscape and the situation will repeat.


    Maybe I'm too pessimistic, but what else I can be?


    And all this happening when the Islamic threat is approaching. Haven't we seen this movie already? (E.g. The Fall of the Roman Empire.)


    JE comments:  The latest reports indicate an eleventh-hour deal is being reached to avoid a Greek default.  WAISer Henry Levin sends this NYT link, with the comment that despite the lack of clarity, it is a face-saving agreement for all.


    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/02/business/international/greece-bailout-tsipras.html?emc=edit_na_20150701&nlid=26333478&ref=cta&_r=0


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    • Does Germany "Own" Greece? (Tor Guimaraes, USA 07/02/15 8:49 AM)
      My gratitude goes to Anthony Candil for sharing the Stratfor information (1 July). The "problem" of German productivity and economic/financial dominance has been felt throughout Europe. I have observed local resentment at German ownership of "everything" as they invest the Euros they earned from exports. As a capitalist I can hardly criticize anyone for being more productive and smarter than I am.

      My interpretation of what is going on in Greece places the blame squarely on the incompetent and corrupt Greek leaders. They are the ones to blame for the suffering of the Greek people. Similarly, our incompetent and corrupt American leaders are responsible for the staggering decrease in the US standard of living for the middle class over the last few decades. This middle-class deterioration seems to be a common denominator throughout the world with some interesting exceptions (i.e. China, Japan, and Germany). For most countries the primary difference from country to country is a matter of the starting wealth at a given time and the speed of deterioration. In a special case like the US with its still huge economy and enormous political, economic, and military influence everywhere, the sharp degradation of its middle-class standard of living and incredible income inequality does not yet seem as painful to the people. But, to use the analogy of Greece as the European economic/financial dam for the Germans, if/when the US dam would ever break, the entire world will be in shock.


      JE comments:  Now, for Greece, it's all up to Sunday's referendum.


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    • Spain and Greece: Parallels (Anthony J Candil, USA 07/02/15 10:05 AM)
      The problem, in response to Henry Levin (1 July), is that with face-saving only you don't keep the economy going.  [Hank Levin would certainly agree with this appraisal--JE.]

      Greece needs much more than that, I'm afraid.


      Face-saving today will be much more painful tomorrow.


      The amount of debt is so huge that there is simply no way Greece can overcome the issue. And besides that, there are many other problems that add to the equation.


      As for Spain I'm glad our friend José Ignacio Soler (1 July) has seen a different Spain and in much better shape. But the figures are available to everybody, and I don't need to present them here. The average salary in Spain is about U$16,000 per year; you don't go too far with that.


      Unemployment is close to 25 percent, and the debt is over 100 percent of the GDP; youth unemployment is close if not over 50 percent, and these figures are for real, no matter how nice the country looks when we are visiting.


      If all that doesn't look like Greece, tell me what it is.


      Anyway, I wish all fellow WAISers a happy 4th of July!


      JE comments: The July 4th weekend is just around the corner. Best wishes to everyone in the US region of WAISworld.


      One thing about Spain's economy: even when things were "booming" pre-Crisis, unemployment was a chronic problem.


      José Ignacio Soler has sent a detailed travelogue of his recent Spain trip.  The WAIS queue has grown a bit lengthy, but I'll post by tonight (or tomorrow at the latest).

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      • Spanish and Greek Economies (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela 07/04/15 12:15 PM)
        Regarding Anthony Candil's post of 2 July, in which he compares the Spanish and Greek economies based only on the debt, unemployment rate and average salary, and he concludes that "if all that doesn't look like Greece, tell me what it is"!

        I am not an expert in economics, but common sense suggests to me that one should take a closer look into the complex aspects and structure of any country´s economy to be able to asses it and to be able to compare it to any other. For that reason I am not going to enter into that debate. However, I append a list of some important general indexes, found everywhere if you look carefully, where, I believe, the differences are clearly shown between both economies and how well are they suited to confront a crisis the size Greece is experiencing now. Judge by yourselves and, please, do not misjudge my naïve assessment, because I am not saying that Spain has fully overcome its crisis yet.


        By the way, my impressions on Spain are not only based on "how nice the country" looks when visiting it from the perspective of a regular tourist, if the idea were perhaps to discredit my perceptions; I am from Spain and actually live there part of the time. I enjoy having many relatives, friends, acquaintances, colleagues and business-related contacts.


        Going back to the numbers, these indexes are from 2014 end year. The differences today, in July 2015, are even greater: for example on the DGP, GDP growth, unemployment, fiscal deficit, industrial production, and several others.


















































































































































































        Index



        Spain



        Greece



         

         


        2014



        comment



        GDP Thousand millions Euros



            1.031.196



               174.466



         



        GDP per capita Euros



                  22.193



                  15.871



         



        World Ranking Size of the economy



                          14



                          46



         



        Debt



         



         



         



        Public Debt  Thousand millions Euros



            1.007.220



               316.438



         



        Public debt % /GDP



        97,7%



        181,4%



         



        Public debt per capita Euros



                  21.677



                  28.603



         



        Debt ranking



         BBB+



         CCC



        According to Standars and Poor, Finch, etc.



        Fiscal Deficit % GDP



        -5,58%



        -2,57%



         



        Prime risk  public debt



                        117



                    1.300



        Lower the better



        Trade



         



         



         



        Exports Millions Euros



               335.599



                  58.415



         



        Imports Millions Euros



               309.329



                  64.143



         



        Trade Balance millions Euros



                  26.270



                   -5.728



         



        Export Increment  2014-2013



        2,60%



        -3%



         



        Unemployment %



        25,00%



        26,00%



         



        Internal consumption increment



        2%



        -0,50%



         



        Foreign investment Thousand millions Euros



        15.500



        1000



         



        Production Industrial Index %



        2,7%



        0,7%



         



        Other
        social Indexes




         



         



         



        Corruption index



        60



        43



        Higher
        the better




        Corruption ranking



        37



        69



        Lower
        the better




        Competitivity  index



        4,55



        4



        Higher
        the better




        Competitivity  ranking



        35



        81



        Lower the
        better




        Human developing Index



        26



        28



        Lower
        the better




        Life expectancy Years



                          84



                          80



        Higher the better



         


        JE comments:  Spain appears to be "ahead" in every category.  For example, I see that Spain has a significant trade surplus, which is always a good thing.


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        • Greek and Spanish Economies (Anthony J Candil, USA 07/05/15 1:17 PM)
          A warm thanks to José Ignacio Soler for his very detailed post of 4 July.

          I'm glad to know that Spain doesn't look like Greece, and therefore there is nothing to for the Spaniards to worry about.


          Why then are they blaming the current government for many failed policies?


          I've read some reports prepared by a professor of economics at the U of Madrid who is saying almost the opposite and blaming the authorities for lying to the country. His name is Roberto Centeno.


          Anyway, I can see José Ignacio is Spanish and, no offense intended, his attitude reminds me of Colonel Moscardo, when reporting to Franco in September, 1936.  He said: "Sin novedad en el Alcázar" (nothing to report), when the Alcázar was actually totally destroyed.


          Anyway, I'm glad to know I'm wrong.


          JE comments: Well, the results are in, and Greece has overwhelmingly voted "no" on the latest bailout/austerity program. Is a Grexit now inevitable? That is my understanding.  Eugenio Battaglia has sent a note of congratulations to the Greek people.

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          • A Note on Civility (Henry Levin, USA 07/07/15 12:00 PM)
            The "gracious" response of Anthony Candil (5 July) was insulting to José Ignacio Soler, who in his highly respectful response to Anthony's assertation that "Spain will follow Greece" did not claim that Spain lacks challenges. What José Ignacio said was that its challenges will not lead to its falling as the second domino after Greece, as Anthony flatly asserted. Soler proceeded to demonstrate this reality with an objective comparison of economic data. Perhaps Sr. Candil has his own privileged access to the statistical Alcázar. If this is so, he might wish to explain that more clearly rather than using an insulting analogy for characterizing the data that José Ignacio presented.

            I am at my home in Catalunya at this time, and can suggest from direct experience that Spain is far from Nirvana. But, neither is it Greece. The OECD expects that the Spanish growth rate for GDP will exceed 3% this year, the highest in the EU. There are plenty of political and economic challenges here and differences of opinion, but tonterías about el Caudillo and the Alcázar are not substitutes for hechos (facts).


            JE comments: This is the second trip to the woodshed today in WAISworld. Please, colleagues: let's be civil!


            Getting ready to board the plane in San José. Next posts will be from LAX, where I have a two-hour layover.

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            • A Note on Civility (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela 07/09/15 6:57 AM)
              Regarding the post of Antonio Candil, in response to my arguments about the economies of Greece and Spain, and later the comments by Henry Levin and most recently by Eugenio Battaglia, I must say that I did not feel any offense, although I was somewhat disappointed.

              The problem is not to be offended by historical figures, whether Franco or Moscardó, or even the situations, which are purposely metaphoric, but to use such references to discredit a solid argument by means of sarcasm. Anyway if this was the case, this strikes me as a very poor argument.



              Perhaps Col. Moscardó wanted to be ironic or Franco wanted to be sarcastic, overlooking the reality of the destroyed Alcázar; or perhaps Antonio used the metaphor to suggest I was being ignorant and denying the reality of Spain. Maybe he was just trying to be sarcastic about the subject discussed. As a philosopher once said, "irony and sarcasm are used frequently to disguise ignorance."



              And the end, no offense was taken.


              JE comments: Civility in WAISworld = one happy editor. Anthony Candil has sent a comment on this same topic. His post is next.

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            • Spain and Greece, Revisited (Anthony J Candil, USA 07/09/15 9:04 AM)
              I'm not going to feel offended by Henry Levin's commentary of 8 July. My understanding from the beginning is that here at WAIS we respect each other, no matter how different we can think or even feel.  I never tried to offend or insult anyone, and if that's been the case I apologize.

              Nevertheless on the issue we're talking about, of course Greece and Spain are different, but that doesn't mean that Spain is not next after Greece, no matter how distant apart they are.


              Both Spain and Greece have far-left anti-establishment parties, born out of the indignation caused by many years of austerity and endemic corruption, which set the goal of toppling established parties in both countries.  In Greece's case, this was on 25 January when a snap general election was held and in Spain, on May 24, when Podemos triumphed in many towns and local elections.


              Greece's Syriza and Spain's Podemos, part of the same bloc in the European Parliament, want an end to austerity and a major restructuring of their countries' debt. Syriza is pressing for debt forgiveness, the consequences of which could include Greece's exit from the eurozone.  This week's referendum in Greece has shown overwhelming support for the present government no matter what.


              A Greek exit from the euro zone is considered unlikely, although Germany appears to be more sanguine about a Grexit. Finland has already emerged as a major hurdle to negotiating a new bailout deal with the Greek government.


              Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's attitude and fears has cast a spotlight on the similarities between the two countries. They certainly exist, but so do differences--and to a greater extent.


              First, yes, the Greek crisis has been much deeper than Spain's: its GDP has fallen by around 25% compared with 7% for Spain. Greece, unlike Spain, was forced to accept a sovereign bailout by the "troika" (the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF). Some of Spain's banks, however, had to be rescued. Madrid exited this programme a year ago, whereas Greece is still beholden to the "troika."  But that doesn't make the Spanish situation much better in the end.


              The unemployment rates in both countries are similarly massive (see Figure 1). Spain lost 3.8 million jobs between 2007 and the third quarter of 2014, according to Eurostat, and Greece's much smaller economy (2% of euro-zone GDP compared with Spain's more than 10%) 1.1 million. While Spain generated 553,400 jobs during this period (representing 14.5% of those shed), Greece created 107,000 (9.2%), but certainly Spain is far bigger than Greece in every aspect.







              As well as a weaker labor market, Greece's general-government gross debt is not much higher than Spain's (175% of GDP as against almost 145%, according to the Bank of Spain; this is considered unsustainable and not just by the radical left).  This explains Syriza's determined push for debt forgiveness that is frightening Europe's leaders. Greece began its crisis with a debt load of more than 100%, while Spain's level was under 40%. Both countries are running current-account surpluses in GDP terms (an estimated 1.5% for Greece last year and 0.2% for Spain).


              More than any other European leader, Rajoy stands to lose the most if Syriza wins the struggle against its creditors and the ECB, as his government's austerity measures, more than Greece's, are producing a glimmer of light in what has been a long tunnel of recession. Rajoy's dogged sticking to orthodox reforms and spending cuts has made him something of a poster boy for the fiscally conservative German Chancellor Angela Merkel, but at almost two-thirds of Spaniards are now furious and against him.


              The recovery in Spain as announced by the government is something yet to be seen. Foreign investment is to be scrutinized and analyzed before coming to happy conclusions in a hurry.


              Bond yields show there has been a decoupling between Greece and the rest of southern Europe, including Spain. The risk premium (spread) on Spain's 10-year government bonds over the benchmark German bunds has come down from 3.54 percentage points in October 2011, one month before the general election which swept the Popular Party back into power, to just over one point, while Greece's has declined from 23 % to 9.


              Among the crisis-hit countries, Spain has been apparently the most reform-minded. The labor market is less dysfunctional, as a result of reforms in 2012 that reduced severance payments for unfair dismissals and given companies greater flexibility to set wages and working conditions themselves, rather than through sector-wide bargaining.


              Spain is now however creating jobs at lower rates of GDP growth than before. In previous cycles, employment rose when growth hit 2%. Jobs were created last year with growth of around 1.4%, though many of them are temporary and precarious, Careful with this! GDP growth this year is put at more than 2%, but maybe this is too optimistic.


              Both Spain and Greece, like it or not, however, still rank at the bottom of the World Bank's latest classification of countries by the number of weeks of indemnity pay for termination of a contract after 10 years' employment in the same company--26 in the case of Greece and almost 29 for Spain.


              A Syriza victory now against its creditors and the ECB could boost Podemos' electoral prospects, though this could easily change if Syriza's policies fail to make any headway or if they deepen Greece's crisis.


              However an unraveling of the conservative Popular Party's reforms seems unlikely, as it is becoming clear that the party won't do well in Spain's election likely due to be held by December this year if not earlier.


              Some of the latest voter-intention poll by Metroscopia, gives Podemos 28.2% of the vote, the Socialists 23.5% and the Popular Party only 19.2%.


              However the color of the next Spanish government is far from certain, and most probably Podemos would not be able to govern on its own. It would need to form a coalition with the Socialists.


              The real test of the extent to which Spain is not bracketed in the same "basket case" category as Greece will come if, as expected, Syriza wins over the ECB and its victory contaminates Spain.


              No one is sticking their neck out and saying the contagion for Spain would be minimal, and my view is that it looks like Mr Rajoy is appearing increasingly nervous. Why?


              He shouldn't be if Spain and Greece are really so apart and so different.


              Pax and Lux!


              JE comments:  My apologies to Anthony Candil.  This post has been stuck in the queue since yesterday afternoon.  I sometimes encounter delays with formatting charts and tables.


              Spain's unemployment has always been difficult to explain.  Historically, the figure has been extraordinarily high even in boom times.

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              • More on the Spain-Greece Comparison (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela 07/14/15 7:00 AM)
                I am very surprised by the statistics mentioned by Antonio Candil in his 9 July post comparing Greece and Spain. It was not my intention to drag on this particular debate, but the quotations and figures Antonio mentions to support his position are once again a little imprecise or at least biased.

                Particularly, Anthony quotes "some of the latest voter-intention poll by Metroscopia, [which give] Podemos 28.2% of the vote, the Socialists 23.5% and the Popular Party only 19.2%."


                Well, according to the last voter-intention poll by Metroscopia, from July 4th, the results are: 23% PP, 22.5% PSOE, 21.5% Podemos and 15% Ciudadanos. Let´s take into account that Metroscopia is a company regularly quoted by the newspaper El País, well known for its traditional opposition to the PP and its sympathies for the socialist PSOE. Additionally there are some other polls which show greater voter-intention support for PP. In fact the PP was the traditional party most voted for in the May 2015 municipal elections.





                http://elpais.com/elpais/2015/07/04/media/1436027130_315840.html



                Antonio also wrote: "Spain is now however creating jobs at lower rates of GDP growth than before. In previous cycles, employment rose when growth hit 2%. Jobs were created last year with growth of around 1.4%, though many of them are temporary and precarious.  Careful with this! GDP growth this year is put at more than 2%, but maybe this is too optimistic."


                According to the International Monetary Fund and the OCDE (Employment International Organization)'s official public statements of July:


                1) Spain is the driving force in Europe, for the GDP growth and employment creation.


                2) It will have a GDP growth from 2.1% to 3.1%.


                3) It will create more than 600,000 jobs this year at a 2.9% rate.



                http://kioskoymas.abc.es/noticias/economia/20150710/sevp-espana-pais-crecera-empleo-20150710.html






                http://www.larazon.es/economia/espana-crecera-un-3-1-en-2015-y-un-2-5-en-2016-segun-el-fmi-NA10230836



                http://www.larazon.es/economia/espana-liderara-la-creacion-de-empleo-en-la-ocde-entre-2015-y-2016-PB10229402


                Again, I must stress my opinion that Spain is not free of crisis, but it may be on the right path to overcome it and it is very much better prepared now to confront a possible contagion from Greece than it was 3 or 4 years ago. In short, it is very doubtful Spain will follow the Greece path.


                JE comments:  So Spain's problems may not be as desperate as we thought--especially the statistic about 600,000 new jobs.  Granted, ABC (first link above) a PP-leaning newspaper.  I'm not sure about La Razón


                It's been too long since we've heard from Jordi Molins in Barcelona.  Jordi, care to weigh in?

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          • Colonel Moscardo and the Alcazar (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 07/08/15 5:03 AM)
            Regarding the recent exchange between Anthony Candil and Henry Levin, I am still asking to myself what can be insulting about the Toledo Alcázar and Col. Moscardó. Regardless of the side on which they were fighting, Moscardó and the defenders of Alcázar were heroes.

            I will always consider the defenders of Leningrad as enemies, but they defended their city as great heroes. Is this so difficult to understand? My father fought until the last artillery shell at Cape Bon, but when he had a British officer prisoner, he always invited him to his table for dinner.


            The enemy shall be fought but not hated.


            JE comments: But is the chivalric warrior code alive anywhere today? What about 50 years ago? World War II was probably its last bastion, and also the conflict that guaranteed its demise.

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