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The Forum > Article Comments > From indignation to citizen rescue plan: the first year of 15 May Movement > Comments

From indignation to citizen rescue plan: the first year of 15 May Movement : Comments

By Daniel Raventós and Julie Wark, published 5/6/2012

The 15 May Movement has become a visible point of reference, an externalisation of people’s rage and anxiety.

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If 15-M or any one else wants to tackle Spain's problems seriously, it will be important to identify the underlying causes. The origins of Spain's debt problems lie in a decade long debt-fuelled property bubble, undertaken not by government but by households and companies. In other words, by the Spanish people. When it collapsed, as these bubbles always do,Spanish households and companies owed foreigners huge amounts of money. These debts were backed by mortgages on properties many of which are now virtually worthless. Spanish banks also hold unknown numbers of these mortgages.

The world has lots of experience in dealing with this sort of crisis. The largest banks need to be bailed out, as has been the case in Ireland so that debt levels can be brought down and the yield on Spanish government bonds reduced.

As to austerity, that's what happens when you borrow large amounts of money and can't or won't pay it back. It's silly to blame the Spanish government for taking advantage of the situation to reform the country's discriminatory labour laws and reduce entitlements it could never afford in the first place.
Posted by Senior Victorian, Tuesday, 5 June 2012 11:02:20 AM
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