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“Hellenization” of Spanish politics or How PM Rajoy lies about the Greek loan

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is adamant. He will fight against new Greek government and his leftist counterpart Alexis Tsipras till the end. Then Mariano Rajoy has a lurking enemy in his own football field: Podemos and Pablo Iglesias!

It doesn’t matter whether SYRIZA and PODEMOs have a lot or just a few things in common. PM Rajoy is concerned that if SYRIZA manages to achieve some austerity relaxation, his days on the Spanish PM’s chair are counted.

Already before the parliamentary elections Rajoy rushed to Greece to support his pro-austerity colleague Antonis Samaras. It didn’t work. Money was just wasted on flight tickets paid by the Spanish taxpayers… SYRIZA won.


Mariano Rajoy

So what does PM Rajoy do in order to undermine his enemy abroad? He blocks any Greek attempts to reach some concessions by the Euro zone partners, he does his best to crash the slightest hint of a compromise.

I often discussed the Rajoy-SYRIZA conflict with my colleague blogger from Spain Todos Somos Griegos. She had recently published an interesting report and I asked her to translate it in English. Here it is:


The slogan “First we take Athens, then we take Madrid” of Alexis Tsipras and Podemos during SYRIZA’s pre election rally is the perfect justification for the Spanish government to block  any concession to  Syriza in Europe. Although SYRIZA rally was attended by representatives of most of the European left parties, including the United Left of Spain (IU) , the party closest to SYRIZA, the prominence that was given to Pablo Iglesias is the main reason the Spanish government of People’s Party, to some extend the Socialist Party and the mass media not only discredit SYRIZA they also block any compromise situation in the European Union with Greece.
Harsh stance in Eurogroup meetings
During the Eurogroup meeting in February Rajoy had the harshest and most uncompromising stance against Greece, even towards the proposal to dissilve the Troika. Despite the fact that the troika had caused a true humanitarian and economic disaster, Rajoy insisted that Greece must follow the same path, in unprecedented partisan egoism, because any minimal concession to Greece,  could serve in the future to Spain and other southern countries.
It’s very unfortunate that both,  the government and the PSOE (SocialDemocrats- agree that concessions to Syriza can skyrocket the vote to Podemos .  have sent to Brussels, separately, a warning:
“if the troika made excessive concessions to the reforms demanded Syriza in Greece, the door will open and votes for Podemos can skyrocket at a time crucial for Spain and for the EU. “
One hundred days before local and regional elections in Spain and the anti-SYRIZA campaign can level up, reaching the most abject manipulations.
Copy-Paste Conservative Greeks 
The People’s Party has begun his campaign centered on the idea of “either PP or chaos” (looking like a carbon copy of the one made by his counterpart Samaras in Greece). Any negative news about instability in Greece, is being used to demonstrate to the Spaniards that “populism brings chaos”. Pro-government media join the choir.
An example of the Spanish press: Podemos slogan ” Tick Tack” indicating time is running out is being displayed with an picture of Tsipras.  Is this the Hispanization of the Greek reality or the Hellenization of the Spanish reality? The examples are many…
To justify to the Spanish voters the incomprehensible hardness against Greece the government  is not scrimping of manipulations, nonsense and lies, in order to influence the Spaniards not only against SYRIZA, but also against all Greeks and their supporters in Spain (Podemos and other “radicals”)
Lies about the Spanish bailout to Greece
Foreign Minister, García Margallo, said that
“Had Spain not given  €32.744 billion to Greece, it could have increased the unemployment benefits by 50 percent or increase pensions by 38 percent.”
In an interview on Spanish TV, FM Margallo stressed that “we must defend the interests of Spanish taxpayers before this loan,  because Spain has been more supportive than anyone with Greece, contributing with more than 10% ,when we corresponded a share of 8%,” with some Spanish bloggers wondering where Margallo got this 8% from.
In principle, it seems that the numbers and figures mentioned by the Government differentiate form each other depending on who speaks.
The economy minister Luis de Guindos had talked of €26billion.
Depending on who makes the statement, the Greeks owe each Spaniard €300  or €600 or even more. Regardless of the exact number Spain contributed to Greek bailout, Margallo’s billions is a lie anyway.
The bailouts to Greece have been implemented through funds based in Luxembourg. These funds issued debt to turn repay Greek debt. Therefore, Spain has not put €26billion billion but has been limited to endorse that amount. If we consider this nuance we have a first big difference.
 In the first Greek bailout through bilateral loans, Spain paid directly €6.6 billion. And this is the real Greek debt to Spain. The second Greek bailout was  through the European Financial Stability Fund. With this mechanism states do not directly disburse the amount, limited to endorse emissions EFSF debt.
Spain is basically guarantor of Greece and it has not taken the loan money to Greece from the pockets of the low pensioners and the poor jobless.
To say it simple: if you’re guarantor to someone’s loan to the bank 1) the borrower does not owe you 2) you will only be called to pay to the bank if the borrower will be unable to pay back the loan.
Rajoy’s People’s  Party could build its argument based on the truth that “Spain has a risk of €26 billion.
The lie about the Spanish loan to Greece is becoming central to the People’s Party. Deputy Secretary of Studies and Programs of PP, Gonzalez Pons, said the same nonsense in a press conference.
“What is worst is that Spain lent to Greece €26 billion, while 26 million people in Spain could have benefited from this money.
I don´t advocate that we don’ t pay. I support the return. We still need this money.”
Fact is that Spain never gave all this money to Greece, it only runs the risk of being a guarantor. And these loans shall be returned in a period of 15-30 years anyway…
Even the Spanish Finance Minister Guindos, has said that Spain will ensure no loss of the €26 billion it has given to Greece”.  However, when PM Samaras was still in power, the same Guindos used to say: “We have an exposure to the Greek debt.” He never said that the money was borrowed.
 The Greek reality has become a key of the Spanish political discourse. Before the rise of Podemos, Foreign Minister Margallo was advocating to remove the Greek debt.
In general, there has been much indignation in networks about all these false statements.  Today Television Network reminded that  only €6.5 billion went from Spaniards’ pockets directly to Greece.
Rajoy, PP & corruption scandals
The irony is that the party with several public corruption charges worth billions of euro* appeals to the elderly and the jobless and tries to establish them a “victim of the Greeks.”
Airports, without airplanes, looting of municipalities funds, the Formula-1 circuit,  the rescue of Spanish banks, the housing bubble, highway companies rescued by taxpayers’ money, looted money for the education of jobless, millions of euros spent by state banks’ managers for “hostess clubs”, cars, computers, etc. The list of corruption and funding exploitation is long, is endless…

(*) Corruption in Spain: Brought by the European Union:

More than 1,900 have been accused and at least 170 have been convicted in 130 corruption cases with EU Funding. Approximately 80% of them belong to Rajoy’s People’s Party. The same  government party is accused by the prosecution of illegal funding  Link:
Other persons have explained that “Greece doesn’t owe us  €26 billion”
Original text in Spanish here and more info here!
I suppose Rajoy should also subtract the Greek loan to Spanish bailout as Greece’s contribution to European Stability Mechanism was almost €20 billion.
BTW: The other country with a harsh stance against Greece is Portugal. However PM Pedro Passos Coelho’s government shows some kind of better manners than its Spanish neighbor. Sad we hardly hear anything about Portugal…

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One comment

  1. maria augusta marques

    Portuguese authorities including president (country) pm, vice pm, finance etc are according with rajoy/guindos. Greeks owe about €270 to each portuguese…
    They have a joint complaint to brussels and are talking in a regular (daily?) Bases Media aligned! Sorry greece