Municipal elections were in 2003, 2007 and 2011, regionals in 2003, 2006 and 2010, with the national-socialists in power until the last of both but already under pressure in Barcelona in 2007 and, due to the voting system, in all three regionally. With the municipal transport company losing some €80 million in 2011 and presumably comparable in previous years you’d expect to see the blue line racing away from the red at the beginning of mandates to reduce the deficit and then racing back pre-elections to placate voters. That happens, and in greater degree for the crucial 2010-11 round, but if I were the PSC I think I might be regretting not having raised prices substantially more in 2008 to allow room for smaller increases in 2010-11. Polling seems to suggest that the new, national-conservative regional and municipal governments are seen as having to make the best of a bad job, and I wonder how long that will last.
(Numbers: Badalona bitàcola, corrected for definitive IPC figure for 2011)
I’ve been running various scenarios for group travel in Spain over at Baldie Enterprises, and basically you have to be out of your mind to use public transport in Spain, which appears increasingly to be yet another service subsidised from general taxation to the benefit of the well-off. While it’s not quite in the same league as the Nigerian fuel subsidy scam, I believe Trias, Barcelona’s mayor, is in favour of ending public funding for TMB’s deficit, and with some quite alarming difficulties looming it is not difficult to imagine voices calling for its privatisation.
- Barcelona debt
“Clos!” mutters a wealthy neighbour every time it rains, confident that doom is imminent for Barcelona’s dentally salient mayor. In fact the AA rating assigned by Standard and Poor’s to the latest offering of municipal debt is just another sign that Barcelona is in pretty good shape, [insert preposition here] 20 years of Catalan socialist rule. …
- Regional nationalist parties are actually under-represented in Congress
The villains are the PP and the PSOE, and the principal victims IU and UPyD.
- Spanish local politicians, actually quite reasonably priced?
Potential earnings of Spanish mayors and executive councillors were the Dutch system to be adopted.
The socialists in Madrid are bitching full time after being slaughtered in the regional and municipal elections. Miguel Sebastián, Zapatero’s disastrous choice as mayoral candidate, has announced his resignation. “What’s he resigning from?” enquires senior national colleague, the excellent Alfonso Guerra, “what was he?” Fellow loser in the regionals, Rafael Simancas: “I’m staying on because …