Great Recession

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The best of all possible worlds

‘The best of all possible worlds’ is a simplistic expression stemming from the philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s complex 1710 Essays of Theodicy. Voltaire lampooned it, its idea of evil and its alleged optimism in Candide, in which he had his character Pangloss declare that ‘all is for the best [...]

Spain’s protests over pensions: no room for populist measures

Old age pensioners (OAPs) have been protesting across Spain at their ‘miserable’ pensions which since 2014 have stopped being automatically indexed to inflation and have risen by only 0.25% a year under reforms aimed at making the creaking system sustainable. The population is ageing at a much faster pace [...]

Sedition in Catalonia (2): nationalism vs cultural diversity

It is often claimed that the trigger of the recent independentist surge was the Constitutional Court’s rejection in 2010 of some of the key articles of the new Catalan Statute of 2006, which had been approved by the Catalan Parliament with two-thirds support, by the Spanish Parliament with an [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega A time of general distrust

Distrust permeates our societies: distrust in governments, in parliaments, in the news media, and even corporations have lost ground in this respect. Trust in senior executives has fallen by 12 percentage points in one year, to 37%, mainly because of the way businesses are perceived and how they treat [...]

Not everything has gone badly in Spain

In times of national angst, such as that caused by the struggle for independence in Catalonia, the most serious crisis in Spain since the attempted coup in 1981 and which turned violent when people tried to vote in last Sunday’s unconstitutional referendum, it is easy to become despondent and [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega A vertical moment

There are horizontal periods – indeed some people, Thomas Friedman among them, believed some years ago that the world was definitively flat– and periods in which verticality imposes itself again. In many ways, we are once again moving from the horizontal to the vertical with, for example, borders where [...]

Spain finally bounces back – after nine years

At some point before the summer Spain will regain its pre-crisis (2008) GDP level. This will doubtless be the cause of some celebration in the conservative Popular Party (PP) government, which for the last six years has been getting to grips with the problems. Spain’s Great Recession, following the [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The western middle classes: decline, stagnation or rise?

The decline of a section of the middle classes in the west could be behind the electoral upheaval and the growth of populism in a large number of societies, but what is the truth of the matter? And if it is the case, what accounts for it? Globalisation? Technology [...]
Real Instituto Elcano - The Elcano Royal Institute | Príncipe de Vergara, 51. 28006 Madrid (España - Spain) | 2012 -2016 | Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0