Whenever people go into desperate, self-serving denial, we are often in for some good, mirthful, dry, wry humour. Yesterday it was the turn of Mr Cristobal Montoro, Spain’s Minister of Finance, a gentleman who – with his appearance of a bookkeeper awfully worried that his boss doesn’t grasp the figures at all - really looks his part. As he presented and defended the national budget for 2013 in parliament, Mr Montoro made two immortally funny remarks.
The first one was that ‘this is the most social budget ever in the history of our democracy’. Once you manage to stifle your hilarious laughter over such a sheer absurdity, you can only shake your head in total disbelief. A social budget? Which cuts jobs, unemployment benefits, health care, education and a string of other advantages from the poorer part of the nation, as it tosses billions to the banks, spares the coffers of the Church, and pardons – nay: REWARDS! - big time tax evaders? You really gottabe kiddin’ me! Nobody believes that. Not even Mr Montoro himself, I trust.
The other hilarious remark was that ‘2013 will be the last year of recession in Spain’. Now, Mr Montoro is not a stupid man, and I usually do appreciate his calm style and his matter-of-fact technocracy. But this one really is too rich, because, you see, I’ve been hearing that things will have improved in 9 months time for four years now! Time and time again, as another round of middle class bashing or poor folk squeezing is being announced (to create jobs and generate growth, of course!), it turns out that Spain is in happy expectation of a full recovery! Alas, so far, it has always turned out to be a false pregnancy. And I fear that this lovechild which Mr Montoro begot with his beloved Troika Austerity will also turn out to be a sorry pseudocyesis.
Which leads us to the real question: Will this crisis ever end? Well, yes, dear reader, of course it will. Nothing lasts forever, not even wars, or epidemics, or the worst mismanaged crisis since the South Sea Bubble. And as in wars and epidemics, the question is not: will it ever end, but ‘what will be left standing once it does?’ And that’s another matter altogether.
Talking of jokes: that last one is rather funny too. For it does make you wonder what Lady Thatcher – she of the famous anti-EEG NO, NO, NO!!! – thinks of the European Union now…? After all, bien etonnés de se trouver ensemble, I suppose: those fellows whom she hated with such a vengeance, are now realizing the political program she was dreaming of, to the very last letter!
By the way, here is one more of those Agitprop editorials from the known Eurosceptic Red Commie Fascist newspaper The New York Times, written once again by a blockhead who does not understand how Peace and Prosperity, or Growth and Employment, are best reached.
(Oh, and DO note that even the chilly-hearted boys and girls of the IMF suddenly seem to have discovered that slash-and-burn austerity (which, by the by, they invented, slapped onto Africa for 5 decades and then applied to European nations…) is not the miracle cure that they always said it was! Are they perhaps afraid they might be held responsible for the results? And are now making ready to blame it all on those horrible devils, the Germans? The rats, it seems, are leaving the sinking ship. Sauve qui peut!)