The Politicians in a Panic

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13 Jul 2012 15:46 by Woodbug Star rating. 371 posts Send private message


Spain claims to be holding an empty pot, has no money and can’t afford to maintain decent healthcare, pensions or unemployment benefits. No social housing is being provided and education is suffering badly.
The government as usual, has announced panic measure to please Germany and France and ignored their self-created massive bottomless money drains by not looking for a solution further than the end of their several banqueting tables.
Why in the past few days, have Mr. Rajoy’s crusaders  awarded €40 million compensation to Instalaza the weapons manufacturers because the UN has banned their best selling product, the cluster bomb!
Why does Spain insist on keeping 42 of its government owned, or majority shareholder airports operating, despite making a loss every year.
Why are they still paying out millions each year for the new Castellon Airport that has been finished for two years and not a single aircraft has sat on the tarmac yet…….. Why? Well, they built the runway incorrectly – it’s too narrow, and the licensing authorities won’t allow it. Nobody has been held to account for this massive cock-up, or for not noticing the problem before it was completed. No effort has been made to sort the problem out and the Government just pretend that it hasn’t happened.
Why are they ‘tolerating’ the black economy in Spain? The uncollected taxes could wipe out Spain’s debts in no time and give the long suffering ordinary Spanish people some respite from rising taxes and cost of living increases. The BE is worth €240bn – that’s 22.5% of the Spanish GDP. This equates to 70% of the total Spanish Healthcare budget.
Spain accounts for 18% of the whole European usage of the €500 note (Once known as the Bin-Laden as they were rarely seen). It is fact that the €500 note is used in high value cash deals.
There are estimated to be 4 million undeclared jobs in Spain valued at €82bn per annum, and here lies the problem. The cost of employing staff in Spain is huge and as an example - for each member of staff earning €2,000.00 an employer has to pay another €500 to the government. The strict employment laws are too risky for an employer to take on extra staff as he/she can be forced to keep them in work. Lower the contributions,  encourage employers by  changing the laws and jobs just may reappear again.
Why is the Government securing more funding for its dodgy Banks who can’t repay what they already owe? They are, or may already have by now, appointing two independent auditors to review the banking industries needs and they are to be BlackRock and Goldman Sachs.
Would this BlackRock be the same BlackRock that charged Portugal and Italy fortunes to tell them the obvious? And would this Goldman Sachs be the very same chaps who ‘cooked’ Greece’s books to enable them to slide into the Eurozone?

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13 Jul 2012 17:39 by rod Star rating in Uk and Spain. 469 posts Send private message

Welcome to SPAIN have a NICE DAY


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13 Jul 2012 20:20 by GuyT Star rating. 497 posts Send private message

Rod, please hombre, give me a break, please tell me why you arbitrarily use blocks for some words. I mean, why do you DECIDE that this word should be in blocks WHEREAS others are in lower case. It's the same in all YOUR posts. It's like I'm in Bletchley Park trying to BREAK your unfathomable code.


Tell ME more, amigo. Por FAVOR!


This message was last edited by GuyT on 13/07/2012.

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13 Jul 2012 20:37 by normansands Star rating in Kent. 1281 posts Send private message


yes but everyone will tell you the Spanish are really nice people.

thay can't help it if they LOVE their CORRUPTION can they???????

live and let live just don't let them in to the EU, without LEG IRONS.



N. Sands

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14 Jul 2012 00:24 by irenemontague Star rating in liverpool/carvajal . 795 posts Send private message


Great post thanks


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14 Jul 2012 11:13 by normansands Star rating in Kent. 1281 posts Send private message

yes indeed, great post if true, every time you think you have the measure there is more to learn, thank you


N. Sands

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14 Jul 2012 12:04 by acer Star rating. 1424 posts Send private message

I think we all know enough to realise that Woodbug's post is largely true. 

The one that I really don't understand is the attitude towards collecting taxes - absolute stupidity.  It surprises me that such a high percentage actually pay given the complete lethargy by the Spanish authorities.  With the way things are, that percentage is likely to decrease making things worse.

To be happy and laid back is a lovely national trait - but someone needs to realise that a sea change is desperately needed, before the whole country hits the rocks.

Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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14 Jul 2012 13:20 by Woodbug Star rating. 371 posts Send private message


This gets better……………… Mr. Rajoy has announced that he intends to investigate this alleged underground activity and has said that before the ‘Spanish Inquisition’ commences, if those offenders put their hands up to being a bit naughty and pay Mr. R and his mates 10% of the fiddle, then no more will be said about it as long as they don’t do it again. Is this where Monty Python got the sketch from?
Why not put a cardboard honesty box outside El Congreso de la Diputados and all the transgressors can chuck their 10% in (in cash, of course),  on the way past!!!
It doesn’t stop at lump labour and cash business deals by the proletariat – the top Bananas are at it as well (no surprise there then). The Infanta Cristina – the King of Spain's daughter has been caught employing staff on the lump and false accounting.. Her husband has been accused of fiddling the charity he founded, false accounting, money laundering and setting up false companies.
Did I mention in my last post that the minister who sanctioned the €40 million compensation pay-out to Instalaza had been a high ranking official in the said munitions manufacturer, only resigning last year when he decided to be a politician.
It recently occurred to me that Politics is the only profession where no qualifications, no experience, or references are required to land a top job! Can you imagine a company appointing a board of directors who had never run a business before, with a technical director who had previously sold carpets, a financial director who had driven a taxi for years and an MD who was a qualified optician? That company would probably end up like Spain Greece or Italy.
Aristotle got it right when he said ‘A democracy is a government in the hands of men of low birth, no property and vulgar employments’
Do you think he is right, or are Woodbug and his old mate Aris just a pair of old cynics?

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14 Jul 2012 13:54 by normansands Star rating in Kent. 1281 posts Send private message

Good Lord,

what will those nice Spaniards get up to next - "truth stranger than fiction".

my mother is not around but I have confirmation from my sister that I arrived upstairs in our humble 2 up 2 down.

does that mean that I am "high born"?????

was your mate a royalist???



N. Sands

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14 Jul 2012 14:57 by Woodbug Star rating. 371 posts Send private message


Well Norm, I fear that I do not possess the qualifications to adjudge if you are ‘high born’ on the information supplied by your good-self. Perhaps the individuals who have had your acquaintance for some years may be better placed than I, to make such a judgment
 I can however, in answer to your question confirm that my old pal Aristotle was a staunch Liberal of his day,  and the most celebrated Royalist amongst latter day philosophers and mathematicians, was Rene Descartes the 'Father of Modern Philosophy'. ( Why 'Father of Modern Philosophy’ when a much shorter Rene would have sufficed, I don’t know – strange lot these scholars)
For your file I would further confirm that Plato voted Conservative and Mr. Barouch-Spinoza (the Dutch one) harbored revolutionary tendencies. I trust this information is of interest to you and I hope this identifies the political leanings of these learned gentlemen to your satisfaction.

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15 Jul 2012 15:23 by homefinder Star rating in Moraira. 36 posts Send private message

homefinder´s avatar

Thanks Woodbug for a very interesting post, I would like to adda couple of points.

Taxes Generally: Unless social security contributions by the employer are reduced there seems no way forward for improving the economy but there is a real problem in this respect.
Personnal income tax (IRPF) is not particularly low compared with other countries but, as Weedbug states around a cuarter of the economy is black. Therefore without clobbering small businesses (which are the backbone of any economy) they just don't collect enough.

Spanish National Characteristics: A lot has been said about German competitiveness and, from what I have seen, most of the other northern Euiropean peoples are the same, including the Brits. Meanwhile, in the face of the worst economic crisis everr, they still have their 4 weeks holidays and national & local fiestas (which normally result in a "puente").
I don't thnk that they really want to change much and I don't think that foreign residents or tourists would want them to change.
However, unless they do change, I cannot see any way forward for them within the Euro.

Germany could leave the Euro: This would provide a solution but that would only be temporary because that does not resolve the economic differences between north and south. 

So it loook like the Euro is doomed!

Homefinder - Moraira

_______________________ | Holiday rentals & property sales

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15 Jul 2012 15:24 by hamtune Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

 Very well said Woodbug. Given the overall attitude to tax collecting, they seem to be able to cane law abiding Brits efficiently enough. No doubt to compensate for their own shortfalls.

Keep blogging :o) 

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15 Jul 2012 15:27 by midasgold Star rating in Mijas.. 91 posts Send private message

Hi Woodbug,

I think we have a scolar  here - great posting.

The words p#ss up and brewery come to mind with your revelations.

The latest is the new San Pedro tunnel (multi million) and bypass where someone

"forgot" to build a suitable exit road to accomodate the large volume

of traffic.

If lucky, there is another day.

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15 Jul 2012 16:36 by haydngj Star rating in ALGORFA. 403 posts Send private message

haydngj´s avatar

expats paying taxes to the uk when they should be paying them in Spain. Is that not dishonest? You talk to most expats and they think they can pay taxes where ever they want sod the Spanish.we only want the sun and sangria


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15 Jul 2012 16:43 by iangrantsinger Star rating. 12 posts Send private message

Whoever decided in the first place that it would be a good idea for Northern & Southern European countries to share the same currency was a complete moron.

Northern European countries economies have traditionally been based on manufacturing, where the Mediterranean countries have relied heavily on tourism and agriculture. Assuming they could all survive using the same economic and financial structure was just plain stupid.

Ailing economies have to have the option of devaluing their currency, to make their tourism or export industries more affordable to other countries.

Please, someone, form a "common sense" party!

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15 Jul 2012 19:47 by Pilgrim Star rating in Costa Calida. 234 posts Send private message

Pilgrim´s avatar


I enjoyed your post immensely. Maybe "enjoyed" is the wrong word because I dearly want this country to be able to raise its head again, with dignity but as your post indicates, many of the actions taken by Sr. Rajoy and his cohorts will have the opposite effect!!

Plus, one particular niggle I have, as has been mentioned elsewhere, the infamous siesta. What do you say to business people from other countries. "do not call Spain between 2pm and 5pm, we are all in bed". That´s everything needing to be done twice a day for a start!!

The latest fiasco is the 10% payment for medicines. I fall beneath the 18,000 a year ceiling. My bill came to 11.36, so I thought I would be capped at 8 Euro but no, my slightly feisty Pharmacist told me to keep the receipts, then probably in six months time, I can claim the difference back. I later read that you must also keep the top part of each prescription and the receipts, take photocopies of them, plus copies of your passport, green sheet and medical card, then take them all, together with all the originals, to either the Correos or the Ayuntamiento, PHEW!!!

I think I´ll donate my 20.16 Euro every six months, to help the country´s financial recovery.




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15 Jul 2012 20:10 by midasgold Star rating in Mijas.. 91 posts Send private message


Yes lets have SIX bits of paper for the refund when it could be done at time of

purchase - this is why Spain is in the cack..

If lucky, there is another day.

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16 Jul 2012 14:39 by roy.lawton4 Star rating. 1 posts Send private message


Thanks for an excellent analysis with appropriate hard data, credible conclusion, and recommendations.

The data on the "black economy" is a real eye opener. You convince me that if this is sorted, in a short space of time years Spain could be back on its financial feet.

Why then do you appear to "back off" when talking about "clobbering small business?¨"      Why did president Rajoy say "we have to increase the rate of (VAT) tax from 18% to 21 % because many people are not paying their fair share of taxes?"  

We can all see the answer :-

- make everyone pay their fair share of tax.

How could this be done:-

* Re inforce and reinvigourate and if necessary retrain the tax authorities (HACIENDA), supplemented with the best talent from the remainder of the overgrown public sector.

* Focus on VAT cheats , Income tax cheats, ExPat cheats, Benefit cheats, Money laundering cheats.  

* Announce an anmesty of three months and the substantiall penalties while training the Tax Fraud teams.

Do all this without fear. Meet corrupted self interest resistance with a very eficient publicity machine and the law.

Thank you for stmulating these thoughts with your analysis.



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16 Jul 2012 15:40 by homefinder Star rating in Moraira. 36 posts Send private message

homefinder´s avatar

 Well – Woodbug really started something here!

 I am answering Royspan’s post –

 I actually mentioned small businesses getting clobbered and what I really meant was that, because insufficient taxes are collected elsewhere, the whole welfare effort (pensions, sick-pay, medical, unemployment etc.) has to be entirely supported by the employers contributions.

In earlier times, before Spain joined the Euro zone, that arrangement worked OK because salaries were relatively low. Since then we have had raging inflation and, coupled with 1 months annual holiday + 16 or so days national and local holidays + absenteeism due to the “Puente” culture + the black economy, there is little hope for small businesses.

So your ideas would seem fine but in the real world (of Spain today) it just won’t work because the “Mediterranean attitude” is too deeply embedded in the culture.

I would go further by saying that, in the present economic climate, very few businesses can survive without at least a little, perhaps quite a lot, of “creative accounting” simply due to the fierce competition from the clandestine sector.

I have lived and run my own businesses in Spain for 40 years and it has never been as bad. I wonder how many other business people agree with me.

In my view the only way is for Spain to leave the Euro, re-introduce the Peseta and let it devalue.



This message was last edited by homefinder on 16/07/2012.

_______________________ | Holiday rentals & property sales

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17 Jul 2012 06:24 by prospain Star rating in Spain & Hong Kong. 38 posts Send private message

prospain´s avatar

Good post Woodbug

Just to clarify Spain's thinking.

In Spain it is a tricky problem to find the particular calibration in timing that would be appropriate to stem the acceleration in risk premiums created by falling incomes without prematurely aborting the decline in the inflation generated risk premiums. Spain recently announced its new, easy to use and improved cutting edge technology leverages innovative, robust and high-performance outcomes while uniquely positioning it to focus on world-class partnerships. Next generation outcomes are easily scalable and flexible up to 120 percent. Spain teachers are educators these days, or classroom mangers, or learning facilitators who posses effective instructional delivery skills which they demonstrate in microteaching sessions. In Spain teaching is called the learning process and learning is called adjusted behavior. Students don't study; they spend time on task in their learning environment. Today marks the 20th anniversary celebrations of Spain’s outside the box organizational resources. Their government believes in parallel logistical options. They believe the solution can only be dot-com digital flexibility. The Spanish bankers recommend three dimensional administrative mobility. Spain now offers diplomas in synchronized reciprocal innovation. Their politicians recommend holistic policy programming.

Don't steal. The government hates competition.

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