Why Spain Sucks

The reason why today’s Spain sucks is straightforward: it is a country of Suckers. Historically this attitude towards southern Europe has been typical of countries like France in the 1980s and 1990s and now Germany. It is time to acknowledge that we have what we deserve. The French used to say in post-World War II Europe that Africa would begin at the Pyrenees. They were somewhat right.

Spain is a country of Suckers because our political leaders have become Suckers. They are no longer necessary and have become an extractive, fat and inefficient ruling elite. It is time to cut the fat and become lean.

Spain is a country of Suckers because Spaniards have become Suckers. A country that could be the Florida or California of Europe, which could be managed and governed like Scandinavia is today the shame of a continent, closer to Greece and Portugal than to Italy and France. We have what we deserve.

In a recent lunch a Professor of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid confessed that Spain had to accept the status of a Louisiana or Arkansas in the United States. Not that is anything wrong with being the Louisiana or Arkansas of Europe, but the aspiration should be to become California or Texas.

Europe is way different from the United States of America, there is no common identity, there are no common goals, no patriotism is possible in the absence of a continental leadership democratically elected gifted by the rigor and the charisma of Margaret Thatcher and François Miterrand.

I am ashamed of being Spaniard, I am not proud at all. Why would I or should I be? Some claim to be proud because Spain has won the Football World Cup in 2010, because Rafa Nadal is one of the World’s top tennis players, because Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are among the World’s best football clubs. What a shame. Where are our Universities? Who was the last Spaniard to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, Physics or Chemistry? What are our top-notch industrial and technological companies? Where are our entrepreneurs?

“Spain is different” is a motto that was created during the 1960s and used by the late Manuel Fraga Iribarne to promote tourism in northern Europe. Philosopher José Ortega y Gasset pointed out that “Spain is the problem and Europe is the solution”. Former University of Salamanca President Miguel de Unamuno would argue “Me duele España”. These three statements summarize the reality of a country whose character has not changed in two hundred years.

I was born in Valencia, Spain. I am a World Citizen independent from my place of birth or residence. But I know Spain and Spaniards deeply and I love them with all of my heart. And I know that Spain and Spaniards deserve better. We cannot trust our future to Angela Merkel and a defunct European Union commanded by José Manuel Durao Barroso, Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton, Catherine what? Whereas everyone in Europe knows who Silvio Berlusconi is, rather few know who are the commanders in chief in the technocratic European Union. If only Europe had a leadership with the rigor of Angela Merkel and the charisma of Beppe Grillo!

The Financial Times and The Economist never get it right when they analyze the pain in Spain crunching numbers and analyzing ratios and indicators. Spain no longer works because it is a country of Suckers. Unless we get rid of the Suckers we will continue to be on the wrong path to nowhere, or let me rather say, to hell.

If you have not heard two of Spain’s most critical voices please stay tuned. Writer Arturo Pérez-Reverte and Rafa Nadal’s uncle Toni Nadal may surprise you with some of their recent statements.

How can we get rid of the Suckers? A Sucker-free Spain exists in a nearby future. I have called this fiction-state Reypública. Some may call me an “afrancesado”. Sure thing we need more afrancesados in our streets demanding change, taking control of the situation, moving forward with vision and enthusiasm.