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Spain, the “perfect storm”: why we are how we are (I)

This morning in a series of tweets I explained that Spain was in the middle of a “perfect storm, a combination of elements in their worst form that generated the worst possible scenario for a country deeply immerse in a serious economic crisis.

The worst possible regulation together with the worst possible politician class together with the worst population mentality and behavior caused the worst imaginable housing bubble together with the worst labor market together with the worst corruption and waste of money. That is, the perfect storm: Spain”, I tweeted.

I also proposed an ‘impossible’ way to get out from that horrible scenario:

How can we get out of this? Well, only with three ‘impossibles’: changing entirely the political class, changing people’s mentality and assuming our mistakes and that we are the only ones able to solve them, not waiting for others to help us, making the needed sacrifices. As I said, three ‘impossibles'”.

So that is the situation. It sounds poetic, novelistic. However it isn’t. In a series of articles I would like to put specific information, numbers and data which will bring poetry to the harsh reality, and show you how we reached the “perfect storm” scenario.

This first part consists just of numbers, a comparison of numbers of Spain with other countries. Only raw numbers, without opinions or comments. There you will understand one of the elements described above. Here they are:

  • Airports: Spain: 52 airports (only 8 profitable) – Germany: 39 airports.
  • Politicians and public officers: Spain: 445.568 – Italy: ~220.000 – Germany: ~ 150.000.
  • High speed train railways (2010): Spain: 3.744km – France: 2100km - Germany: 1.400km.
  • Motorways (2007): Spain: 14.689 km – Germany: 12.500km.
  • Towns/city halls: Spain: 8.116 – US: 3.141.
  • Senators: Spain: 260 – Germany: 100 69 – US: 50 100.
  • Official cars: Spain: 40.000 – US: 1000.

And know let’s put it in context, with the population of each country: Spain (48M), Germany (82M), Italy (60M), US (313M).

As I said, it is not needed to comment anything. Numbers speak by themselves.  

Updated: I corrected senators numbers in Germany and US. Thanks @noatodo.