Every country will have its moment in the spotlight. Italy is preparing in the wings as we speak. But today, on the Eurofiscal Corruption Contest, Spain is on stage.
It is the mantra of the main political parties and media across Europe, that the present crisis is the result of too many people taking on loans they could not afford. Neither the bankers nor the politicians, according to the accepted story, saw the crisis coming or could have seen it coming but have been engaged in heroic attempts to rescue us from a crisis of our own making. THIS IS NOT TRUE.
First, people did not ‘take’ loans they could not afford. The loans were ‘offered’ by bankers whose job it should have been to advise their clients on whether the loan was wise and sustainable. The bankers offered no such advice but instead pocketed the bonuses which came from selling as many loans as possible to all and sundry. So a more accurate summary of who is morally guilty, is that people accepted loans they should have known they would not be able to afford if ever the market turned down, but which were offered to them by professional bankers who assured them they would be fools not to get on the property ladder. Second, a vast number of the loans which have gone bad in Spain were not in fact ever made to ordinary people. They were made to developers and construction companies. It is those companies which have defaulted.
I am not saying ordinary citizens bear no responsibility. My concern is to stick a knife into the diseased carcass of Spanish Politics and bring to the surface the parasites who have gorged themselves on the flesh of Spain for decades and insist that their blame be recognized..."
Golem XIV, The Spanish Entry in the Eurofiscal Corruption Contest
By Wilfrid Owen
War broke: and now the Winter of the world
With perishing great darkness closes in.
The foul tornado, centred at Berlin,
Is over all the width of Europe whirled,
Rending the sails of progress. Rent or furled
Are all Art's ensigns. Verse wails. Now begin
Famines of thought and feeling. Love's wine's thin.
The grain of human Autumn rots, down-hurled.
For after Spring had bloomed in early Greece,
And Summer blazed her glory out with Rome,
An Autumn softly fell, a harvest home,
A slow grand age, and rich with all increase.
But now, for us, wild Winter, and the need
Of sowings for new Spring, and blood for seed.
Austerity, so the young may die, to salve the Banks' and Politicians' pride.