27-Apr (Financial Times) — When Mariano Rajoy was elected prime minister of Spain last autumn, it looked like a silver lining had appeared in the dark clouds over the eurozone. Despite his repeated support for austerity, Mr Rajoy had sent the people of Spain a message of hope for the future. His big election win suggested significant popular support for his reform agenda.
Five months on, this sense of hopefulness has all but disappeared in Madrid. With unemployment approaching 25 per cent and yields on 10-year bond rates stuck near 6 per cent, politicians’ rhetoric has changed too. Speaking on the radio this week, the foreign minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, admitted the government’s near-despair when he said that “Spain is undergoing a crisis of enormous proportions”.