Inside Spain (21 October-18 November)

Including: stand-off between Catalonia and Madrid remains after mock referendum on independence; banks pass the ECB’ assessment with flying colours; corporate titans propose way to radically cut unemployment and Spain shoots up the Doing Business ranking, cuts time needed to start a business.

November 18, 2014

The Gypsy Scholar and the Cambridge Don: Walter Starkie and JB Trend

My lecture at the Gibraltar Literary Festival on 15 November.

November 15, 2014

How to radically cut Spain’s unemployment: feasible or wishful thinking?

November 12, 2014

Spain leads the world market in infrastructure development

A spate of major contracts won over the last month in Australia, Brazil and the US has strengthened Spain’s already commanding position in the global infrastructure market. The potentially most interesting development is Ferrovial’s take-over bid for Australia’s Transfield Services, as it is a stepping stone to China.

November 5, 2014

Spanish banks pass the ECB assessment with flying colours

Spanish banks sailed through the latest EU-wide health check, signalling they do not need any more capital. This follows several years of tough adjustments as a result of the near collapse of the financial system in 2012 that triggered a €41 billion bail out (exited in January).

October 27, 2014

Inside Spain (22 September-21 October)

Main events include: Spain wins UN Security Council seat; Catalan President scraps independence referendum, plans another form of consultation; public debt to exceed 100% of GDP in 2015, forecast to decline as of 2016, and Telefónica completes €8.6 billion purchase of Germany’s E-Plus.

October 21, 2014

Gibraltar Literary Festival, November 14-16

I will be speaking about two forgotten 20th century Hispanists, Walter Starkie, a gypsy scholar, and JB Trend, the first professor of Spanish at Cambridge University, and will also chair a panel on whether Catalonia should be independent or not.

October 20, 2014

Turkey’s EU accession: trying harder, but still failing

The European Union’s annual report on Turkey’s accession negotiations, which have advanced at a snail’s pace since they were opened nine years ago this month, is like an end of term student report card. If an overall grade were to be assigned to Turkey it would be a C, with the comment that the government […]

October 10, 2014

The distance between Spain’s image and the country’s reality

Even before Spain’s crisis and despite some notable political, economic and social achievements, the country’s image abroad and within Spain was out of sync with reality. This situation worsened during the recession, which is now over but the gap persists.

October 2, 2014

Inside Spain

My review of what’s happening in Spain. This one covers two months as it is not published in August when Spain closes down. Otherwise, published every month since 2004.

September 23, 2014