By Jason Moore

JUST where has all the money gone? Spain is standing on the brink of financial ruin but just three years ago it came close to joining the G8 club of richest nations in the world. Just take the Balearics. It was once known as one of the wealthiest areas in the Mediterranean. Now, the Balearic government is being forced to close hospitals and make nurses and doctors redundant, simply because there is no cash. So where has all the money gone? Not only has Spain enjoyed record economic growth fuelled by tourism and the property industry it also received billions of euros in aid from the European Union. Unfortunately, no-one in their wisdom decided to put any money away for a rainy day. There was no need, because the country was booming. Well, obviously there was a need. Spain is quietely requesting a bailout from the European Union, on top of the bailout it has already received for its banks because it simply has no money left. It couldn´t even afford to bail out its own banks. The moral of this Spanish story is: put money aside for a rainy day and don´t spend more than you earn. If only Europe had followed this advice we would not be in the mess we are in at the moment. In Spain it wasn´t only the government. The regional authorities went on a major spending spree which in some cases they could ill-afford. Now, both government and regional authorities are just riddled with debt. A sad state of affairs but a reality, I am afraid.