You would find it hard to locate any reliable reports in the British Press about the current uproar that is underway in Spain. Like it or not, the Spaniards have realised that their train wreck of an economy is heading very swiftly towards the buffers of a full blown Grecian- Style bailout that no one in Europe can afford. As I write this, a new budget full of further "austerity" measures is underway (by which, I mean that all the money pouring into the Spanish Treasury is not pouring out again on shiny regional airports that nobody flies into to) and millions of Spaniards are on the streets deciding that there is no point in being governed if it means you cannot help yourself to money earned by or borrowed from others.
Profitable regions of Spain like Catalunya are demanding that they be cut free from the millstone of the enormous debts carried by banks who couldn't lend fast enough to fuel the fake property bubble that ran unabated from 1985 to 2008. One and a half million are on the streets demanding independence from Madrid barely months after the Basques abandoned an armed struggle for exactly the same. Civil servants and pensioners expect to see their incomes slashed, savings plundered and taxes hiked to repay the folly of the get rich quick madness that has engulfed Europe since the shiny new Euro coin first sparkled in the pockets of the Germans in 2002. A decade later and it seems only by the Germans leaving the flailing currency can any semblance of normality return to Europe.
I spent last week sunny myself on the white beaches of the Greek Isles, marveling at how the Greeks can still manage to drive Mercedes and drink €4 beer in the afternoons whilst non EU Albanians and Serbs picked the crops from the fields - the difference between the Spaniards and the Greeks is that the Greeks know how to avoid their taxes and let others do the work whilst proclaiming poverty. Spaniards are much more accustomed to looking to the all powerful state to alleviate their suffering rather than inflict it in hand fulls. They look on in disbelief as their beloved Socialist institutions constructed to exorcise the menace of Franco are abandoned because the tax yield for the bloated state can no longer satiate it's unending appetite.
The real question our European politicians need to be asking is whether to save the vanity Euro, they will allow Spain to fragment into autonomous regions or whether indeed they have the power or resources to stop it. One thing is for sure, whatever happens in Spain will set the tone for a decade of civil unrest that will see the Europe the federalists dreamed and schemed so desperately to create lie in tatters on the scorched earth.