Spain government insists: crisis, what crisis?
Socialist administration's apparent refusal to face facts led other political parties to vote against its budget plans en masse in Congress on Thursday.13 June 2008
MADRID - Call it anything you like, but not a crisis. Those seem to be the instructions followed by members of the Spanish government since Spain's economy started to slow, inflation skyrocketed and unemployment surged at the beginning of this year.
The Socialist administration's coy use of language and apparent refusal to face facts led other political parties to vote against its budget plans en masse in Congress on Thursday in the first serious budgetary challenge Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has faced since first taking office in 2004.
But though he has yet to call the situation an economic crisis, Zapatero's references to the current economic situation have evolved over the last six months since in January he labelled anyone using the "C" word "unpatriotic."
"Talking about a crisis is pure doom-mongering and a fallacy. It's an accelerated deceleration," Zapatero said 14 January. By May he was speaking of a "transitory deceleration that has become more intense," which by this Wednesday had become a "strong deceleration".
On the same day, Economy Minister Pedro Solbes did let the "C" word slip for the first time - before correcting himself.
[El Pais / Fernando Garea / Ángeles Espinosa / Expatica]