The Spanish general election campaign will soon get underway and the ruling Partido Popular of Mariano Rajoy will be underlining their so-called economic miracle. It must be said that over the last four years the Spanish economy has recovered and Rajoy should be congratulated. But is this economic miracle being felt by ordinary households? Well there is no simple answer, but I suspect that most Spaniards have a bit more cash but they are still much poorer than they were when Spain went into recession five years ago. Wages have been reduced if not slashed and, while unemployment is falling, the majority of new jobs are on short-term contracts paying the basic wage. “We will never see a return of the days when householders had large incomes and could splash out,” said one shopowner this week. “People are still watching their pennies,” he told me. So Rajoy has a mountain to climb. He must convince the Spanish public that things are getting better. The opinion polls suggest that the Partido Popular will win the election but not with an overall majority, which will leave the door open for another coalition government, similar to the one which exists in the Balearics, which is led by the Spanish Socialist Party. Rajoy's government should have cut taxes earlier and provided greater help for those whose income dropped dramatically during the recession. He may be the toast of the International Monetary Fund but normal Spaniards are still waiting.
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