¡Viva España!

But in order to vivir, my Spanish friends, you’ll need less of this:

Tens of thousands of protesters amassed in Madrid and other Spanish cities on Saturday to voice their anger over harsh austerity and the way the country’s being run in the wake of its financial crisis.

In Madrid, demonstrations turned violent and two police officers were injured, Spanish national police said on Twitter. Forty people were arrested.

Many in Spain have been struggling since the global financial crisis knocked the bottom out of the country’s housing market and sparked a major recession that left thousands jobless.

The country’s unemployment rate stands at 26% — its highest level ever — and the situation is even worse for young people, with more than 55% of 16- to 24-year-olds out of work.

With no income, many are finding themselves unable to afford the mortgage payments on homes that are no longer worth the prices paid for them.

The situation has compelled growing numbers to demonstrate against what they see as the gross unfairness of everyday life in Spain in 2013, where struggling citizens are evicted, even as hundreds of homes lie empty.

And more of this:

I’m not unsympathetic. Unemployment, homelessness—hopelessness—suck, even in sunny Spain. Especially in sunny Spain, as 26% unemployment demonstrates. (And I thought misery loved company!) But there’s a reason the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain) are the PIIGS and Germany is Germany.

To oversimplify, the Germans don’t take siestas.

As I learned from Mark Steyn, seeming generosity is anything but generous when the consequences are that only a single generation (or two at most) profits from “generous” social benefits. The 55% unemployed young people need to have a serious talk with their parents, not the government. (Well, both actually.)

Still, lovely song.

4 Comments »

  1. Joe said,

    February 24, 2013 @ 9:10 am

    George Harrison magic …………..wow

  2. Joe said,

    February 24, 2013 @ 9:31 am

    Sh*t …I must be getting old, I’ve just watched the video another half a dozen times and there are tears in my eyes. I remember in the early 60′s outside the Locarno Ballroom in Coventry England they gave away free tickets to see the beatles because sales were slow……wow again.

  3. Bloodthirsty Liberal said,

    February 24, 2013 @ 10:31 am

    It got to me and Mrs. BTL too, Joe.

    For a coupla reasons, I guess. They do it very well, sweetly and sincerely played and sung. And the counterpoint of the hopefulness of the song and the seeming hopelessness of the situation could not be more poignant. The middle-aged woman barely able to keep her tears back is the greatest commentary.

  4. Bloodthirsty Liberal said,

    February 24, 2013 @ 3:19 pm

    Great video! Thanks, BTL.

    - Aggie

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