It’s become the fastest growing economy of Europe – with no PM for 300 days.
Spain’s economy has been thriving for the last 300 days, it is rated as the fastest growing European economy as per the IMF with a growth rate of 3.1%, the village/ town markets are full of tourists and are bustling with activity, the unemployment rate has climbed down to 20% from a high of 27% but shockingly there isn’t a politician in sight to take credit for all this. So what exactly is going on?
There have been 2 national elections in the last 300 days on the 20th of December, 2015 and the 26th of June, 2016, but both were inconclusive as no single party crossed the 175 seat mark needed to govern the country. This is the first time in over 4 decades that no party has had a clear mandate to rule the country. With national parties being unable to form a coalition government, the country has been ruled by a caretaker government for the last 300 days!!!
Spaniards are unanimous in their belief that career politicians are selfish, corrupt and greedy who only pass laws to satisfy the person paying the maximum bribes. They bend easily in front of international finance bodies to pass laws that tax common citizens unnecessarily and make their lives difficult. The bloated government machinery does nothing but harass citizens for bribes to do tasks they get salaries for. As per a report in Vox, only 2.3% of the Spannish population felt that a lack of a national government. This survey was conducted by Spain’s Centre of Sociological Investigations in July.
For Spaniards it is the local/ regional government that is important as they are the ones who initiate development projects and are responsible for a lot of the country’s budgetary expenses. The financial budget for 2016 was approved by the previous government before the elections and hence all payments to various government departments, pensioners, vendors and bureaucrats are happening on time. Every public service is functioning efficiently as central government bureaucrats have been unable to play mischief without an elected government in place. The local level corruption that takes place is not much as strong communities are able to nip that in the bud and ensure that their communities get what they deserve.
Mr. Mariano Rajoy had won the elections in December and July, but the halfway mark still eludes him. He is currently the caretaker PM and heads a caretaker government. He has the support of 170 members of parliament out of the 350 and has till the end of October to cross the majority mark. If he does not succeed, there will be another general election in December – the third in the last 1 year. He is unable to get any support, abstentations or walk outs from other parties to cross the halfway mark due to the common public belief of him being corrupt as he is embroiled in multiple scams and shady deals.
The caretaker government does not have the power to pass any bills or take any decisions regarding foreign policy, finance or the country’s defence. The current rosy situation will start deteriorating if no government is elected in the next 2 – 3 months as a country without an approved national budget cannot function.
If you’re thinking that this is a world record – you’re wrong!! It’s not even a European record!! Belgium was without an elected national government for a staggering 541 days after the 2010 general election.