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Juan Carlos Molero, Professor at School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra, Spain

Making a Virtue of Necessity

Thu, 13 May 2010 09:04:38 +0000 Published in Newspaper (Navarra)

The events of the last few weeks, starting with the final approval of the bailout for Greece, followed by the collapse of the Spanish stock market last week and ending with a weekend full of meetings in Brussels, have given the starting signal for a radical budget cut. It cannot be said that the President of the Government has done nothing to date. It is true that measures have been taken, to highlight just a few, in March a Sustainable Economics Law was passed, we have spent 2009 benefiting from the Plan E aid and the State General budget for 2010 was presented with a 4% cut of expense with respect to 2009.

However, the problem is that many other measures have not been implemented. Thus, a reform of the labor market has not been carried out in time and has been put on the back burner for the end of May. Only a feeble attempt was made to announce a pension reform. A proper restructuring of the public expense was not considered and, above all, a budgetary savings policy was not implemented when Economics was doing better. result We cannot make a virtue out of necessity. What is now being hastily implemented had to be implemented in a calm manner two years ago together with the recognition that the crisis existed. Moreover, it should have been implemented together with some measures that were applied and implemented in due time.

At summary, the current extraordinary cut, let us not forget that a cut of 5 billion euros was announced back in January, was necessary many months ago and should have been accompanied by structural reforms, which are still pending today and should also be implemented immediately. Moreover, it is a social cutback for pensioners, mothers-to-be and civil servants. However, worst of all, it is a social cutback that could have been avoided and that, to our humiliation, we were able to implement from Spain, without the current European and even American tutelage and imposition.