Posts tagged Spain
All-Time High Unemployment: The Economic Depression In Europe Just Keeps Getting Deeper
The unemployment rate in the eurozone is higher than it has ever been before. This week we learned that eurozone unemployment came in at an all-time high of 12.2 percent for September. Back in January 2012, it was sitting at just 10.4 percent. So anyone that believes that “things are getting better” in Europe is just being delusional. In fact, the economic depression in Europe just keeps getting deeper. The funny thing is that the mainstream media will barely call what is going on in Europe a “recession” even though the unemployment rates in both Spain and Greece are now much higher than anything that the United States ever experienced during the “Great Depression” of the 1930s. There haven’t been as many headlines about the financial crisis in Europe lately because the ECB has been papering over the debt problems of the periphery (at least for the moment), but the economic conditions on the ground for average Europeans just continue to get even worse. Later on in this article, you will read about a 25-year-old Spanish man with three college degrees that moved to London in a desperate search for a job who is now cleaning up poop for a living. The economic collapse of Europe continues to march on, and there is no end in sight.
All you have to do is look at the latest unemployment numbers to realize that things are getting worse in Europe.
In Italy, the unemployment rate is up to 12.5 percent.
In January 2012, less than two years ago, it was sitting at just 8.9 percent.
In Greece, the unemployment rate is up to an astounding 27.6 percent.
In January 2012, it was sitting at just 21.4 percent.
In Spain, the unemployment rate is up to 26.6 percent.
The youth unemployment statistics in the eurozone are even more horrifying…
Unemployment among the under-25s rose by 22,000 in September to 3,548,000 – nudging up youth jobless rate to 24.1%. In France, the youth jobless rate jumped from 25.6% to 26.1%, while in Italy it increased from 40.2% to 40.4%.
But as bad as those numbers are, they are nothing compared to what is going on in Spain and Greece. In Spain, the youth unemployment rate is up to 56.5 percent, and in Greece the youth unemployment rate is up to 57.3 percent.
And of course unemployment is not the only problem that the European economy is dealing with right now. The following are some more facts about the European economy that show that the economic depression in Europe just keeps getting deeper…
-European car sales are on pace to hit a 23 year low in 2013.
-The percentage of “bad loans” in Spain has soared to a new all-time record high.
-The number of mortgage applications in Spain has fallen 90 percent since the peak of the market.
-Citigroup is projecting that the unemployment rate in Greece will reach 32 percent in 2015.
-The number of unemployed workers in Cyprus is now five times higher than it was before the financial crisis of 2008.
-It is being projected that Spain’s debt to GDP ratio will rise to nearly 100 percent by the end of next year.
-The debt to GDP ratio of Portugal is already up to 123 percent.
-The debt to GDP ratio of Italy is already up to 127 percent.
-Even though Greece has implemented a whole host of “austerity measures”, the debt to GDP ratio of Greece is now up to 156 percent.
But what these numbers cannot really communicate is the tremendous amount of pain and despair that millions upon millions of Europeans are experiencing right now.
For example, consider the story of Benjamin Serra Bosch, a 25-year-old Spanish man that moved to London in a desperate search for a job. He has three college degrees, including a Master’s Degree from the IEBS Business School in Barcelona. The following is a rough translation of a message that he recently posted on Facebook…
My name is Benjamín Serra, I have two bachelor degrees and a master’s degree, and I clean toilets.
No, it is not a joke. I do it to pay the rent for my room in London.
I’ve been working in a famous chain of cafes in the United Kingdom since May, and for the first time today, after 5 months working there, I see it clearly. I have been cleaning toilets. My thought was: “I received distinction in my two degrees and I clean other peoples’ poop in a country that isn’t my own.” Well, I also make coffee, clean the tables and wash cups.
And I am not ashamed to do so. Cleaning is a very decent job. What embarrasses me is having to do so because no one has given me an opportunity in Spain. Like me, there are many Spaniards, especially in London. “You are a plague,” I was told once here. And let’s not kid ourselves. We are not young people on an adventure to learn the language and have new experiences. We are immigrants.
I’ve always been very proud, I am not going to deny. Those who know me, you know. And I have to bust out a smile at customers who look over my shoulder as I am simply a “barista” (as they call it here). Some are so outrageous that it makes me want to pull out my University and master degrees and put them in their face. But it would not really do anything. It appears that those titles now only serve to clean the poop that I clean from the toilets in the cafe. A pity.
I thought that it deserved something better after putting so much effort in my academic life. It seems that I was wrong.
As economic conditions continue to decline all over Europe, anger and frustration with the “European experiment” continue to grow. UKIP’s Nigel Farage expressed these sentiments very eloquently during a speech on the 23rd of October when he stated that “what we are saying, large numbers of us from every single EU member state is: we don’t want that flag, we don’t want the anthem that you all stood so ram-rod straight for yesterday, we don’t want EU passports, we don’t want political union.”
Unfortunately, the elite of Europe are so obsessed with their little experiment that the only “solutions” to these economic problems that they are even willing to consider involve even more European integration.
And Americans certainly should not be looking down their noses at what is happening in Europe.
What is going on in Italy, France, Spain and Greece will be coming here soon enough. In fact, even during the midst of this so-called “economic recovery”, poverty continues to absolutely explode in the United States.
Economic conditions in both the United States and Europe have never even gotten close to where they were prior to 2008, and now the next major wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching.
This is just the beginning. Things are going to get much worse in the years ahead.
This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Spain today, The USA tomorrow? A country in depression.
Spain is the country of Picasso, Miro, Gaudi, Salvador Dali, Don Quixote, and a former superpower (centuries ago.) Now it is a shadow of even what it was a decade ago. This report comes to us from a friend of ACC.
“…The grandparents are the safety net for the extended family. They provide lodging for the children and grandchildren. The grandparents have avoided debt and own more than one home mortgage free. They pay for groceries, school, and clothing for the children and grandchildren.
There is no hiring beyond what is absolutely necessary. The same people stock shelves, make deliveries and act as cashiers in grocery stores. Self checkout kiosks are ubiquitous.
Small business staff with family and friends who are paid under the table. Businesses open sporadically and share what business there is by deciding among themselves which days they will be open.
People who are working full time are almost all older than you would expect. They are tenured employees who do not quit until they qualify for a pension.
The wonderful network of toll roads is deserted. One can drive 50 kilometers and encounter maybe 10 speeding Mercedes and BMWs and no trucks.
The new high speed rail (AVE) is little used because it is so expensive. Intercity and long haul bus routes thrive.
NOBODY drinks wine – only beer….wine is too expensive. Café owners complain that young people don’t go out but instead buy their booze at supermarkets and drink in the parks.
There are many street side vendors who are in the country illegally.
It is considered bad form not to give to beggars (as long as they are not gypsies.)
Tax avoidance is common. You know when you get no receipt that the sale is not reported.
Abandoned cars are common (too expensive to put on the road.)
The 1% goes on – No one knows where all their money comes from.”
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
Driver was on phone at time of Spain train crash which killed 79 – investigators
The driver of a high-speed Spanish train, which crashed killing 79 people last week, was talking on the phone when the accident occurred, the investigators said after opening the “black box” recorders.
The Investigators say the train was going as fast as 119 mph (192 kph), which is almost twice the speed limit, before the crash and the conductor activated the breaks just “seconds before the crash,” AP reports.
The court statement also revealed that the driver was talking on the phone to an official at the national rail company, Renfe, when the crash happened.
He was apparently consulting a paper document at the time of the accident.
Conductor driver Francisco Jose Garzon Amo has been provisionally charged with multiple counts of negligent homicide.
Previously, the investigation revealed that he violated the speed limit regularly and even boasted about it on social networks.
The fatal crash took place on June 24 near the city of Santiago de Compostela when the train derailed after entering a high-risk curve at high speed.
Posted by Judy Morris
Spain Levies Consumption Tax on Sunlight
Proving that idiocy truly has no bounds, Spain issued a “royal decree” taxing sunlight gatherers. The state threatens fines as much as 30 million euros for those who illegally gather sunlight without paying a tax.
The tax is just enough to make sure that homeowners cannot gather and store solar energy cheaper than state-sponsored providers.
Via Mish-modified Google Translate from Energias Renovables, please consider Photovoltaic Sector, Stunned The Secretary of State for Energy, Alberto Nadal, signed a draft royal decree in which consumption taxes are levied on those who want to start solar power systems on their rooftops. The tax, labeled a “backup toll” is high enough to ensure that it will be cheaper to keep buying energy from current providers…..
Posted by Judy Morris
Spain’s Black Market Economy Is Worth 20% of Its GDP
The Atlantic reports:
Spain’s illicit economy–all that is unaccounted for because it’s illegal or unreported–is worth an unseemly 20% of the country’s GDP, according to a new report by Spain’s Foundation for Financial Studies (FEF). That’s higher than every other country in the European Union except Italy, with 21%.
Illicit activity, while technically illegal, doesn’t necessarily mean drug-related or violent. Much of Spain’s unreported business is due to labor law and tax circumvention, which varies widely from industry to industry. Some sectors are relatively clean, like Spain’s financial industry, where the rate of illegal activity is believed to hover below 10%; others are ridden with messy, unreported business, like the country’s construction industry–Spain’s most flagrant offender–whose rate clocks in at 35%.
The effects of such a massive, underground economy are substantial–for example, more than a million Spaniards are believed to be employed by the country’s unreported economy, and thus, unemployed by the country’s official economy.
Read the rest at The Atlantic, here.
41 IMF Bailouts And Counting – How Long Before The Entire System Collapses?
Broke nations are bailing out other broke nations with borrowed money. Round and round we go – where we stop nobody knows. As of April, 41 different countries had active financial “arrangements” with the IMF. Sometimes they are called “bailouts” and sometimes they are called other things, but in every single case they involve loans. And most of the time, these loans come with very stringent conditions. It is a form of “global governance” that most people don’t even know about.
For decades, the IMF has been able to use money as a way to force developing nations to do what it wants them to do. But up until fairly recently, this had mostly only been done with poor nations. But now an increasing number of wealthy nations are turning to the IMF for help. We have already seen Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus receive bailouts which were partly funded by the IMF, Spain has received a bailout for its banking sector, and as I noted yesterday, it is being projected that Italy will need a major bailout within six months. How long can this go on before the entire system collapses?
Well, that would depend on how much money the lender has.
And so where does the IMF get their money?
The IMF gets their money from a bunch of nations that are absolutely drowning in debt themselves.
The IMF is funded by “wealthy” nations that dominate the global economy. The following is how Wikipedia describes the IMF’s quota system…
The IMF’s quota system was created to raise funds for loans. Each IMF member country is assigned a quota, or contribution, that reflects the country’s relative size in the global economy. Each member’s quota also determines its relative voting power. Thus, financial contributions from member governments are linked to voting power in the organization.
These are the five largest contributors to IMF funding…
United States – 16.75%
Japan – 6.23%
Germany – 5.81%
France – 4.29%
UK – 4.29%
But those countries are in trouble themselves. The U.S. has a debt to GDP ratio of over 100%. Japan has a debt to GDP ratio of over 200%.
The truth is that these countries are funding the IMF with borrowed money.
So what happens when the contributors run out of money and can’t contribute anymore?
All over the globe, an increasing number of countries are reaching out to the IMF for help. For example, on Thursday we learned that Pakistan is getting a new bailout from the IMF…
Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund have reached an initial agreement on a bailout of at least $5.3 billion.
Pakistani Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar and IMF mission chief Jeffrey Franks announced the agreement at a press conference Thursday.
And the new government in Egypt is hoping that the revolution that just occurred will not stop the flow of IMF funds…
Lawlessness Is The New Normal
In various articles and in my latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism And Economic Dissolution Of The West, I have pointed out that the European sovereign debt crisis is being used to terminate the sovereignty of the countries that are members of the EU. There is no doubt that this is true, but the sovereignty of the EU member states is only nominal. Although the individual countries still retain some sovereignty from the EU government, they are all under Washington’s thumb, as demonstrated by the recent illegal and hostile action taken on Washington’s orders by France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Austria against the airliner carrying Bolivia’s President Evo Morales.
Flying back to Bolivia from Moscow, Morales’ plane was denied overflight and refueling permission by Washington’s French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese puppets and had to land in Austria, where the presidential plane was searched for Edward Snowden. It was a power play by Washington to kidnap Snowden from Bolivia’s presidential airliner in defiance of international law and to teach upstart reformers like Morales that independence from Washington’s orders is not permitted.
The European puppet states went along with this extraordinary breach of diplomacy and international law despite the fact that each of the countries is incensed that Washington is spying on their governments, diplomats, and citizens. Their thanks to Snowden, whose revelations made them aware that Washington was recording their every communication, was to help Washington capture Snowden.
This tells us how much morality, honor, integrity there is left in Western civilization: Zero.
Snowden informed the countries of the world that their communications have no independence or privacy from Washington’s eyes and ears. Washington’s hubris and arrogance are shocking. Yet, no country has been willing to stand up to Washington and to give Snowden asylum. Ecuador’s Correa was intimidated and slapped down by Washington and withdrew his offer to Snowden. For China and Russia, Washington’s favorite targets for human rights demonization, giving Snowden asylum would have been a propaganda triumph, but neither country wanted the confrontations that Washington’s reprisals would have caused.
In short, the governments of the countries on earth want Washington’s money and good graces more than they want truth and integrity or even their independence.
Washington’s sordid interventions against Snowden and Morales give the world another chance to hold Washington accountable before Washington’s hubris and arrogance force the world into a choice between accepting Washington’s hegemony and World War III. The countries, split among themselves and grasping for money and favor, are, instead, permitting Washington to establish that whatever it does is legitimate. Washington’s lawlessness is being established as the new normal.
The South American governments are unlikely to stand together against Washington’s affront. A few of the countries are led by reformers who represent the people instead of the rich elites allied with Washington, but most prefer calm relations with Washington and domestic elites. South Americans assume that Washington will succeed in overthrowing the reformers as it has in the past.
In Europe headlines are that “NSA surveillance threatens the EU free trade deal” and “Merkel demands explanations.” The protests are the necessary public posturing of puppets and will be regarded as such by Washington. The French government says the trade talks should be temporarily suspended “for a couple of weeks to avoid any controversy.” However, the German government says, “We want this free trade agreement and we want to start the talks now.” In other words, what Merkel describes as “unacceptable Cold War-style behavior” is acceptable as long as Germany gets the free trade agreement.
The lust for Washington’s money blinds Europe to the real consequences of the free trade deal. What the deal will do is to fold Europe’s economies into Washington’s economic hegemony. The deal is designed to draw Europe away from trade with Russia, just as the Trans-Pacific Partnership is designed to draw Asian countries away from China and fold them into US-structured relationships. These deals have little to do with free trade and everything to do with US hegemony.
These “free trade” deals will commit the European and Asian “partners” to support the dollar. Indeed, it is possible that the dollar will supplant the euro and Asian currencies and become the monetary unit of the “partners.” In this way Washington can institutionalize the dollar and protect it from the consequences of the printing press that is being used to boost the solvency of banks too big to fail and to finance never-ending federal budget deficits.
Reprinted with permission from www.paulcraigroberts.org
About Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
New EU Plan Will Make Every Bank Account In Europe Vulnerable To Cyprus-Style Wealth Confiscation
Did you actually believe that they were not going to use the precedent that they set in Cyprus? On Thursday, EU finance ministers agreed to a shocking new plan that will make every bank account in Europe vulnerable to Cyprus-style bail-ins. In other words, the wealth confiscation that we just witnessed in Cyprus will now be used as a template for future bank failures all over Europe. That means that if you have a bank account in Europe, you could wake up some morning and every penny in that account over 100,000 euros could be gone.
That is exactly what happened in Cyprus, and now EU officials plan to do the same thing all over Europe. For quite a while EU officials insisted that Cyprus was a “special case”, but now we see that was a lie. International outrage over what happened in Cyprus has died down, and now they are pushing forward with what they probably had planned all along. But why have they chosen this specific moment to implement such a plan? Are they anticipating that we will see a wave of bank failures soon? Do they know something that they aren’t telling us?
Amazingly, this announcement received very little notice in the international media. The fact that bank account confiscation will now be a permanent part of the plan to bail out troubled banks in Europe should have made headline news all over the globe. The following is how CNN described the plan…
European Union finance ministers approved a plan Thursday for dealing with future bank bailouts, forcing bondholders and shareholders to take the hit for bank rescues ahead of taxpayers.
The new framework requires bondholders, shareholders and large depositors with over 100,000 euros to be first to suffer losses when banks fail. Depositors with less than 100,000 euros will be protected. Taxpayer funds would be used only as a last resort.
According to this new plan, bondholders will be the first to be required to “contribute” when a bank bailout is necessary.
Do you want to guess what that is going to do to the price of European bank bonds?
Shareholders of the bank will be the next in line to get hit when a bank bailout happens.
After that, they will go after those that have more than 100,000 euros in their bank accounts.
EU officials say that such a plan is needed because bailing out banks with taxpayer money was creating too many problems…
The European Union spent the equivalent of a third of its economic output on saving its banks between 2008 and 2011, using taxpayer cash but struggling to contain the crisis and – in the case of Ireland – almost bankrupting the country.
But a bailout of Cyprus in March that forced losses on depositors marked a harsher approach that can now, following Thursday’s agreement, be replicated elsewhere.
Oh wonderful – the “Cyprus solution” can now be “replicated” everywhere in Europe.
This plan will now be submitted to the European Parliament for final approval. The goal is to have this plan finalized by the end of this year.
If you have a bank account in Europe with over 100,000 euros in it, get your money out now.
I am not sure how else to say it.
In Cyprus, there were retirees and small businesses that lost hundreds of thousands of euros overnight.
Do not let that happen to you.
And without a doubt, we are going to see a lot of banks fail in Europe over the next few years. This will especially be true once the next great financial crisis strikes.
But even though we haven’t even gotten to the next great financial crisis yet, the economic depression in Europe just continues to get even worse. Just consider these facts…
-Car sales in Europe have hit a 20 year low.
-Overall, the unemployment rate in the eurozone is sitting at 12.2 percent. That is a brand new all-time record high.
-An average of 134 retail outlets are shutting down in Italy every single day. Overall, 224,000 retail establishments have closed down in Italy since 2008.
-It is being projected that Italy will need to ask for an EU bailout within 6 months.
-Consumer confidence in France has dropped to an all-time low.
-The unemployment rate in France is up to 10.4 percent. That is the highest that it has been in 15 years.
-Government is now responsible for 57 percent of all economic output in France.
-In May, household lending in Europe declined at the fastest pace in 11 months.
-During the first quarter, disposable income in the UK declined at the fastest pace in 25 years.
-It is being projected that the unemployment rate in Spain will hit 28.5 percent next year.
-Just a few years ago, the percentage of bad loans in Spain was under 2 percent. Now it is sitting at 10.87 percent.
-The national debt in Spain has grown by 19.1 percent over the past 12 months alone.
-The Greek government says that the Greek economy will shrink by 4.5 percent this year.
-It is being projected that the unemployment rate in Greece will rise to 30 percent in 2014.
And it certainly does not help that China has essentially declared a trade war on Europe. That is not going to help struggling European industries at all.
I hope that more Americans will start paying attention to what is happening in Europe. The crippling economic problems that are sweeping across that continent will come here too.
And at some point there is a very good chance that we will also see Cyprus-style bank account confiscation in this country.
So don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. It is good to have your assets spread around a bunch of different places. That makes it much harder for them to be wiped out all at once.
What we are watching in Europe right now is really unprecedented in modern times. They are declaring open season on large bank deposits. In the end, a lot of people in Europe are going to lose a lot of money.
Make sure that you are not one of them.
Posted by Judy Morris
GMO lose Europe – victory for environmental organisations
”In Europe Monsanto only sells GM corn in three countries. GM corn represents less than 1% of the EU’s corn cultivation by land area. Field trials are only in progress in three countries. We will not spend any more money to convince people to plant them,” states Brandon Mitchener, Public Affairs Lead for Monsanto in Europe and Middle East, in an interview with Investigative Reporting Denmark.
The decision was taken quietly. The company found no reason to communicate it. This means that every agribusiness company has now given up on genetically modified crops in Europe – apart from selling them in Spain and Portugal.
Read the rest at Investigative Reporting Denmark: http://www.ir-d.dk/gmo-lose-europe-victory-for-environmental-organisations/
Nigel Farage: “The message this sends out to investors is loud and clear. Get your money out of the Eurozone before they come for you.”0
Capital is leaving southern Europe. One way or another, it’s leaving.
It is quite remarkable that just a couple of months ago the European supercrats were patting themselves on the back in Davos, sighing and telling the world that the storm was lifting. Someone please pass the caviar.
How wrong they were.
The EU sponsored theft of Cypriot assets has put the world on notice. The Europeans won’t give up their dream. They’d rather people suffer than admit to the pan-European failure. Greece languishes, as does Spain, Portugal is becoming part of northern Africa again, and even France, one of the great stars of the “north” looks less and less (much less) an equal partner to Germany these days.