Michael Eaude

Spanish imposition

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Eurozone crisis: Spainish imposition

Throughout the economic crisis of the last two years Spain's Socialist Party (PSOE) prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, insisted, "My government will never make workers pay the consequences of this crisis."

But on 12 May he announced government spending cuts. Unemployment has already been climbing. It has officially reached 5 million (20 percent), the highest figure in the European Union (EU), with some areas even higher (30 percent in Andalusia).

Job massacre in Spain

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

This January, as unemployment in Spain reached 3 million, the Minister of Labour, Celestino Corbacho announced, "The worst is over. We will not reach 4 million." The April figures place unemployment at 4,010,700 - 17.36 percent of the labour force and the highest figure in Spain's history. 766,000 jobs were destroyed in January, February and March.

These figures, the highest in the European Union, reflect the destruction of Spain's construction industry. In 2006 total building in Spain was equal to building in France, Germany and Britain combined. For several decades Spain's economy has depended on construction, as anyone who has holidayed on the ruined Mediterranean coast can testify.

No Sun-Lit Rooms

Issue section: 
Author: 

Review of 'Soldiers of Salamis', Javier Cercas, Bloomsbury £14.99

In January 1939, just before the end of the Spanish Civil War, 50 top-level prisoners, among them priests, fifth columnists and Falangists, are marched in the rain to a clearing in the forest near the French border and machine-gunned. In the chaos one of them escapes. He crouches shivering in the bushes. Suddenly, he hears a branch crack. A young Republican soldier is pointing a rifle at him. Another Republican shouts, 'Found anyone?' The soldier stares at the fugitive, then calls back, 'No one here.'

Watching the Detective

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Review of 'The Angst-Ridden Executive', Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, Serpent's Tail £6.99

One of Europe's best known writers, Manuel Vázquez Montalbán was born in Barcelona in 1939, the year of Franco's civil war victory. He became an underground activist when he was a 20 year old student. Arrested in 1962, he was beaten up by the notorious torturer, police inspector Vicente Creix, and spent 18 months for political offences in Lérida jail. Throughout his successful literary career he has remained faithful to the PSUC, the Catalan Communist Party, which he joined while in prison.

Subscribe to RSS - Michael Eaude