SPAIN Every now and then Arturo Pérez-Reverte (about whom a lot here), has a rant. One of the writer, journalist, member of the Academy of Letters, novelist, columnist and polemicist's most famous was about the state of the nation's education, which, alas, we never got round to translating. Thing is, his rants very often, maybe always, say the things most people want to say - and sometimes in the kind of language they want to say things in. Below is a translation/interpretation of an open letter to Mariano Rajoy, President of the Government (i.e. Prime Minister) that does not have his (or Rajoy's) approval but because the subject matter could very well be one of the principal reasons Spain is in the mess it's in, we feel he wouldn't mind.>>>"Culture, Education Health Services, the higher, middle and lower classes, plundered. But the idiotic administration-political-autonomous (regions), don't even touch it. Let me see if I understand it, Mr. President... Even to die I have to pay 21%...
"Mr. President what exactly is the use of 390 Senators? What are 350 Deputies and 54 eurodeputies for? Could things be any worse than they are with only half of them? Are you serious?
Sub-question: if a councillor from Villacantos del Botijo [an imagined small place], for example, needs to hire 15 advisors ... What the hell is the use of that councillor, except to feed numerous friends and relations?
What is the use of 1,206 autonomous regional parliamentarians and 1,031 provincial deputies? Do you know how much these people earn? And how much they eat?
"The regional set-up, spread about under seventeen umbrellas, duplicated, costs us €90,000 million every year. Saving just half ... do the numbers, Mr. President, I'm a man of letters.
"Given all that, how is it possible that this Government full of leeches takes it out on families and not on themselves? That, instead of bleeding this rabble, it takes it out on the carers, on the health service, on education, on culture and small business? On those who are really on the front line, who are trully working, instead of on that bunch of layabouts, shameless and manifestly incompetent? And what about that absurd, unsustainable autonomously regional business that so many louits have been living off for more than thirty years? 17 [regional] parliaments, 17 ombudsmen, some of them with their own embassies, corporations, institutions.
Businesses that are almost private (some fully so) with taxpayers' money. The only consolation is that we have been voting the depradators in consistently. We are not innocent.
They are our own projections, our own creations. Thirty years fattening them up with our own imbecilities and political apathy. That is, when there was no direct complicity from the citizenship: Valencia, Andalucía... With Courts of Justice that are politicised, or at least, venal, often slow and lazy. Perpetrators, unpunished. Citizens, defenceless. These politicians of all signs (even union people, my God!) placed in side building societies to favour parties and friends. All of them, unpunished.
I will believe a President of the Government, of whatever colour, when he confesses publicly that this sorry State is unsustainable. When someone says, Mr President, looking at us in the eyes, "I am going to fight for a Great Pact with the opposition. I am going get rid of this stupidity, to rationalise it, reduce it, control it, adjust it to the realities, to need. I am going to dimantle every one of those businesses I can. And those I can't, I will set their limits to the max. To the indispensable.
"There are two autonomous regions that may be excused a few things, within limits. And the rest can blow. If you want to get into politics to serve the people, pay for it out of your own pockets.
"But I doubt you'd do that, Mr President. You are as much a prisoner of your rabble as is the PSOE of theirs. That touch of Jacobism is already impossible.
"Funny; those who are incapable of controlling it in their own country do nothing but talk about sovereignty in Europe. They can't control their own politicians. To put it another way, Mr President: THERE ARE NO BALLS.
The same people will carry on paying, more and more, and th same people will continue to enjoy themselves. The regional 'busines' benefits too many people.
"You, Mr President, like the opposition if it were in government, or anyone else trying to govern Spain, will always take the easy road. To attack a population that is crushed, with over five million unemployed, instead of attacking your own shameful partners and buddies. You will carry on making us poorer, less healthy, less educated. Even fun times or cultural activites to forget it all will be impossible.
"Sometimes, when I loose the plot, I find myself wanting intervention from abroad. Give it all to Frau Merkel: historical rights, defenders of the people, linguistic somersaults, embasies and all the rest of the regional stuff. She'd laugh so hard she'd get hiccups. Or Hicuppen, or whatever they call it over there.
The poet Cavfis said it in 'Waiting for the Barbarians'. Maybe the barbarians can find a solution, after all. once and for all. Let the barbarians invade us, once and for all. Let them all go to hell and may Common Sense recognise its own. If there are any left. Christ, I feel better already, Mr President.
"I can make it to the end of the month. But there are lots who can't.
"My only reliable party is a library, More people should vote for them.
"But, you know, I don't actually think that the problem is of too many civil servants. I think it's about running around under the radar. All those friends and chums giving each other bank credits, contracts and privileges, no matter what their position or parliamentary seat.
"I don't mean anything by this, but to shut up about it when I have a voice with which to blaspheme, that would be obscene. So I do for those without a voice.
"It would be easier to keep quiet and sell my novels. But then I would be too ashamed when asked why I'm keeping quiet."