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SPIEGEL alert light. Generation Sovereign Crash
The problem for Spain's politicians: The Spanish youth they are losing now is a group that should have been an ally for reforms.

... But in contrast to other countries young people are in Spain are on limited job contracts especially long. That's due to stringent lay-off protection in Spain. According to a study by the World Bank only a few countries make it more expensive to terminate a permanent employee. Thus the OECD says there is a "strong segmentation of the market between temporary and permanent jobs" which "influences the career of young people in negative ways".

... It's also a generational conflict that exacerbates the crisis and not just there. In Greece a third of people under 25 is unemployed while early retirees draw opulent pensions.

... The Spanish government under Zapatero has tried to do something about the plight. Last summer it passed a labor market reform that sought liberalization of job protection and compensation. Businesses were to be encouraged to give younger employees more indefinite contracts.

But that hasn't helped Zapatero. His PSOE is dismissed by the young Spaniards almost as much as the conservative PP... Though the wrath is understandable -tax hikes and cuts in welfare also hurt the youth. But in contrast to the older generations they could profit from the reduction of privileges.

The loss of trust in the EU is also alarming. While finance and domestic politics had already been completely out of favor, Europe offered some hope. Even in January the news agency EFE reported that young Spaniards were longingly waiting for the arrival of the German chancellor. The reason for that was a Spiegel article reporting the intention by the CDU to dampen the lack of skilled workers in Germany by recruiting Southern Europeans.

Now Merkel has accused the Southerners of laziness and pressed for sharper reforms. That's not received well in Spain. On a poster of a demonstrator Merkel was equated to the hated finance world: "Fuck Angela Merkel and the rating agencies!"

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Fri May 20th, 2011 at 04:40:11 PM EST

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