Greece and the threat of exclusion from the euro zone is one of the most discussed topics recently. When it comes to unemployment, which reached high levels both in Greece and in Spain, the European institutions are in touch with national governments, helping to find solutions. For example, Greece managed to get a total of 26 billion euros through bilateral loans from Spain, even though the country itself is in crisis. The sum is “what we spend in a year on unemployment benefits in a country where the unemployment rate is 23%. In addition, Spain was forced to borrow at interest rates higher than those Greece currently pays”, said Luis de Guindos, Spain's Minister of Economy, in a recent press conference.
It's interesting to see what happens now at the political level in both countries. After a "historical victory" for Syriza after the January elections in Greece, its counter-part in Spain, the anti-liberal party Podemos, has recently managed to gather 100,000 people in the center of Madrid, demanding an end to austerity measures in Spain. Podemos ("we can" in Spanish) is an ally of the new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Looking forward to the elections in Spain in November 2015, there already are predictions that the victory will be for Podemos. Recently Podemos reached 26% in the polls, scoring better than the opposition party to the Prime Minister, who would get only 20% of voters. Votes in Spain will be further boosted for Podemos, however, if the policy of the new Greek government will succeed.
Dan LUCA / Brussels
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