Spain 40 years after Franco

My post for Oxford University Press, tied to my book.

November 20, 2015

Inside Spain (19 October-17 November)

Troops complete withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Catalan parliament defies Constitutional Court order to halt secession process.
Brussels warns on budget deficit targets.
Unemployment drops below 5 million for first time in four years.
Ibex 35 companies lift profits 22% in first nine months.

November 18, 2015

Spain 40 years after General Franco: change of a nation

Spain has changed beyond recognition since General Franco died 40 years ago. The country telescoped its political, economic and social modernisation into a much shorter period than any other European country.

November 16, 2015

Spain 40 years after Franco

My talk at the Gibraltar Literary Festival.

November 15, 2015

The curiosos impertinentes: 19th and 20th century British travellers in Spain

Talk given at Gibraltar Literary Festival.

November 12, 2015

Erdoğan’s snap Turkey election gamble pays off: ruling AK regains absolute majority

The ruling neo-Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recovered the absolute majority in Turkey’s snap parliamentary election that it lost in June, but with not enough seats to push through constitutional reforms to enable him to become an executive president.

November 2, 2015

Spain should raise the school-leaving age

Sir, Spain certainly needs to improve its education system (“Recovery position”, The Big Read, October 23). The early school-leaving rate hit 31 per cent in 2009, more than double the EU average, just as the country entered a deep and prolonged recession.

Students who dropped out flocked to work in the oversized construction sector. They were the first to lose their jobs and are poorly qualified. Today the rate is down to 22 per cent, still way too high. A much more knowledge-based economy remains a pipe dream until the rate is down to single figures. It would make eminent sense to raise the school-leaving age from 16 to 18.

October 26, 2015

Inside Spain (21 September-19 October)

Rajoy presides over UN Security Council session, adopts resolution on women and peace.
Catalan Prime Minister Mas in court for organising independence vote.
Brussels deals blow to Madrid and orders re-write of 2016 budget.
Acciona and Germany’s Nordex to create global wind-energy player.
VW ‘guarantees’ €4.2 billion investment in Spanish plants.

October 22, 2015

Cómo hacer que Turquía salga de su limbo en la Unión Europea

Turquía tiene poco que celebrar este mes cuando cumple 10 años de negociaciones para su adhesión a la Unión Europea. Únicamente se han abierto 14 de los 35 capítulos del acervo comunitario (el último, en noviembre de 2013), y solo uno se ha cerrado provisionalmente.
Tribuna publicado en ABC.

October 6, 2015

Turkey’s 10 years of EU accession negotiations: no end in sight

Turkey’s accession process to the EU is in limbo: only 14 of the 33 chapters of the acquis that require negotiations have been opened in 10 years (the last one in November 2013) and just one provisionally closed.

October 5, 2015