SPAINS ANNUS HORRIBILIS

Economic experts are already calling 2008 Spain’s annus horribilis, as the principal economic indicators continue to worsen. As inflation and unemployment figures rise, the population’s confidence in the government drops. A survey carried out for the El País newspaper last week shows that more than 80% of the people questioned who voted for the Socialist Party believe there is an economic crisis (however much the government tried to deny it), an opinion shared by more than 90% of whose who voted for the Partido Popular. Forty percent of the Socialist voters said the government is not doing anything to alleviate the crisis while 37% believe it is. More than two thirds of those surveyed said their economic situation was “bad” or “very bad”, the highest number to say that since 1995. Just of half believe the economic situation will get worse, 31% said it will stay the same and only 10% believe it will get better. Two thirds described the crisis as “important” and an equal number said it would be “long”. Economics minister Pedro Solbes admitted last week that the crisis would last longer than the government had anticipated and that growth estimate was now expected to be zero, at which point recession begins.

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