NEW Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will be sworn in as leader of Spain today with a clear mandate from the Spanish people to pull the country out of recession. The task he faces is enormous. Unemployment stands at five million, the economy is close to recession again and government coffers are empty. Rajoy has announced spending cuts of 16'500 million euros and local governments (the Balearics included) will be told to cutback.
The measures Rajoy will be forced to take will make him deeply unpopular with the electorate. The Spanish economy is in a real mess but the medicine is going to be hard to swallow. Rajoy is going to have to make similar cuts to those which were unveiled by Prime Minister David Cameron when he came to power. The cuts will put him on a collision course with the unions especially those representing civil servants. Spain has a small army of government employees and they are expected to be in the spotlight when the spending axe starts to fall. Rajoy wants to cutback on local administrations. In the Balearics there are four layers of government; the councils, the Council of Majorca, the local government and the Central administration´s regional offices. They all have their own civil servants and in many cases there is duplication between departments. The cuts are going to be deep and hard but they are needed if Spain is to ever recover from this dreadful and long recession.