After months of denials and prevarications, the Spanish government has finally done what many economists have been predicted it would have to do for months, and asked for a 100 billion-euro bailout for its sieve-like and utterly corrupt banking system.
The endless eurozone crisis provokes a despairing weariness. The G8 has come and gone in Camp David, bringing, so it seems, a solution no nearer. Yet another EU summit will gather later this week. No-one is holding their breath that something fresh and decisive will emerge to halt the ever-mestasising threat of sovereign default. Yet, something has recently changed. To weariness, now add raw alarm. Over the years, European politicians have repeatedly cried wolf, invoking deadlines for a final solution to the euro-crisis that they have then declined to honour. Now, the new deadline is the Greek general election on 17 June. David Cameron has even labelled it a referendum on membership of the eurozone.
The latest statistics on the Spanish economic crisis are truly devastating. Unemployment is now at 24.44 percent, close to the record of 24.55 percent in 1994. In Extremadura, Andalucia and the Canary Islands the figure is 30 percent.