SPAIN now has the fifth biggest economy in Europe, has a standard of living well above the average but still it receives millions of euros every year from Brussels to bring the country “up to standard.” With bullet trains sweeping the country, a well funded health service, new motorways, airports, thousands of modern council houses, I think you can safely say that all is well in Spain. I would say that parts of Britain are not in such a good condition. Prime Minister Zapatero will be meeting with his French and German counterparts on Monday with European Union spending top on their agenda. Germany, the European Union's biggest contributor, has said that “enough is enough” and part of the aid which now goes to Spain should be diverted to the new members in Eastern Europe. I agree. Spain is now a modern European country and probably the time has come for it to start repaying the enormous sums it has received from Brussels. Naturally, no-one wants to give away a free lunch and Zapatero is going to fight hard. But for the European Union to work Spain should stand aside. Eurosceptics claim that Brussels is just a big gravy train, in some cases they have a point. The European Union's policy of helping poorer countries to get on their feet is a good one but those poor countries, after years of investment, must realise that their time is up and allow others to have a bite of the cherry. While Spain is one of the most pro-EU countries in the European Union it will be interesting to see whether Brussels is still riding high in the opinion polls when the European Union cash runs dry. Zapatero should accept that Spain has come a long way in the last ten years. Under former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar there was even talk of them trying to join the G8, the club of the richest countries in the world. The time for begging bowls in western Europe is over now it is the time for those in the East.

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