Yesterday (Dec 21, 2012) was a horrible day for Spain

I belong to the PP, People´s Party, the main Conservative party in Spain. I voted for them in the last national elections because I expected them to fight for Civil Rights and Justice, as they did when they ruled from 1996 to 2003 under Mr J.M Aznar. Today the Conservative Minister of Justice A.L. Gallardón, has unveiled a proposal of bill that goes straight agains its electoral promises, and in line with the Socialist Party programme. It would undo a reform made by the Aznar government, that gave some influence to Judges in the elections of their main managerial and disciplinary organ, the General Council of Justice. If the bill pass, this organ would be fully elected by the Parliament. If you think this is good, you might remember that in Spain the Parliament represents Political Parties interests, not The People. So without a electoral reform, this are really bad news.

And this comes atop of another recent reform made by the same minister, a reform to put a tax to access to the Courts. A tax with a minimun of 100/150 €, that added to other costs/ features of our procedure-law, makes Justice unafordable for many people and subjects: Starting with fines by the State, that are frecuently below that limit.

Spaniards had already lost the right to appeal (except if you were rich) with the previous socialist primer minister, J.L.R. Zapatero. We lost the right to claim against admnistrative actions in some topics, like traffic fines. Now we have lost the mere access to courts in a wide arrage of affairs, and our meager independence of Justice is under attack.

I did not vote this guys for this. I did it for them to enhance democracy, to protect Civil Rights, to protec taxpayers and customer against abuses.  When I see what they are doing, I feel sick.

 

Why I do not believe in Public corporations

A senior colleague I respect (socialist), with a looooong curriculum in directive positions, asked to me a few days ago… “what´s your problem with public corporations?”, “don´t you think that the Estate should have economic activities and use it´s profits for the public wellbeing?”.

And I said, “no”. First of all,  because if we (officials) were good businessmen, we would be businessmen, not bureaucrats. Second, because corporations do not thrive or collapse only (not even mainly) due to their managers´ quality. There are lots of factors, including pure luck, that determines the fate of a company. And when things go wrong, it closes.

While in the public sector, especially in Europe, when things go wrong, we raise taxes. And if we can´t do it anymore, and we finally get broken, it´s all the State the one that falls, not only the collection of stupid-empty-airports (And ski resorts, and circus, and theaters, and swimming pools, and railways, and…) that have generated astronomically absurd losses.

The public sector must be small because we, the managers, can´t cope with more. Specially, the politicians can´t cope with the failures in risk-taking. Nazis tried to solve it killing the managers that missed the targets, but it was not precisely a story of success, wasn´t it? And we can´t be harsher than the Nazis, or the (early) soviets, can we? Because the ones we ought to kill at the end would be, precisely, the ones that give orders.

And that would -still- not solve the problem that taking risks and failing goes hand to hand.

Perhaps the power balance between Germany and Spain has changes, again, and Spain should leave the Euro

You should know that my theory has “always” been that the central-european banking system and it´s undue influence in the ECB created in 2003 the “peripheral” (and core) debt problem, and is heavily burdened by it. Besides, the German industry would be fully loaded with southerner commercial debt.
But recently there have been news about the trade deficit with Germany turning “positive”. (Ups)
And now I have received this.

http://www.cotizalia.com/opinion/disparate-economico/2012/10/22/merkel-a-rajoy-comase-su-propio-desastre-7584/
This expert economics-journalist says that during this year, and thanks to the intervention of the ECB, this situation has changed. Central-european banks have got debt repayments but they have not repurchased, and the Spanish bonds have passed to Spanish hands (that, and that German and French banks have no structure to make real investments, what explains the negative interest rates in the U.S. and Central Europe).
The activity of the ECB would be part of a German plan of “re-nationalization” of the public debt, up to a threshold of 85%, when the default (or a bailout with harsh and unfair conditions) would no longer hurt Germany, but the new holders of Spanish public debt (the Spaniards).
Banks and German industries would get rid of the problem they created since 2003, with the invaluable support of our inept former prime minister J.L.R.Zapatero and of our current short-sighted prime minister M.Rajoy, that (as always) has let the time pass for his own purposes (to win the regional elections that are being hold this autumn) and allowed our tactical advantage to disappear.
Be it by an evil German plan, or due to the effects of the Basel rules (never enough criticized), If this is true there are reasons to be scared to the bone.
If what he says is true, I think Hispa-Greece would be quite likely.

But, as I commented in June, and tried to email to Mr. Rajoy in April, Spain has two weapons to stop the suicide spiral where the central-european-industry are taking Europe. One is to default, that would attack the banks. Perhaps we have lost that, but it only makes clearer that we must use the other, that goes straight against the commercial debt: To leave the Euro.

http://www.businessinsider.com/two-events-will-shape-the-next-tragic-act-in-europe-2012-7

Spain: Teachers and doctors do NOT back the incoming General Strike. BONUS – Regional Elections in Spain.

The main teacher´s union, ANPE, has announce today that is neither asking for nor backing the incoming General Strike (November 14) organized by the two main unions, CCOO and UGT. http://www.anpe.es/sin-categoria/2012/10/anpe-no-convocara-ni-secundara-la-huelga-general-del-14-de-noviembre/

This is hardly a surprise. ANPE didn´t back the previous General Strike that took place in March in a bitter press release that reminded “the other unions” how lonely and attacked ANPE was when tried to oppose to the PSOE spending cuts in 2010.  ANPE now rejects the political goals of “other entities and organizations”, like asking for a referendum about the spending cuts, in a clear reference to CCOO, UGT and the socialist party PSOE. And ANPE considers it a dangerous path of “Hellenization” of Spain.

But the main point is that ANPE criticizes the budget cuts in basic welfare-state policies made by the PP government, and they blame years of budget chaos and public corporations´ proliferation for the rocketing debt, and ask for deep structural reforms instead of mere financial measures. As I have defended here (http:/wp.me/p2KoGX-4), our problem is not the size of the Spanish State but its structure. The Corporate State is the real, and wasteful, ruler.

CESM (The doctors union) would not back it as well (I have hear it but I have not been able to confirm it yet), and the main news to wait for is what the main civil servants union, CSIF, will do. If they were able not to back the strike, and to do it for the same reasons than ANPE, it could reveal the citizens the real situation of Spain´s public sector and the divorce (that any insider and most of public servants know) between the two Political, Budget dependent Unions, and the Workers Unions.

BONUS: Regional Elections in Spain. Galicia. The PPs renew its absolute mandate in its stronghold of Galicia after a campaign where the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has been almost absent, and where the main PP´s star has been his political rival Esperanza Aguirre. Regional Elections in Spain. Basque Country. After four years of PP-PSOE government, the PP has lost 3 of 13 seats, and the PSOE has pass from 25 to 16. A hard hit for centralism in this regions, that has favored the nationalist- conservative PNV (27 seats), and mainly, EH-BILDU, a political party supposedly linked to the Basque terrorist group ETA. BILDU would be the second political force in this region (21 seats). After the recent moves of Catalonia in favor of independence, it opens a really gloom prospect for the future political stability of Spain.

My Spain´s Bail-out conditions part I – The Administration reform

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This is not really an article to be read except if you are a bail-out-conditions maker, and even for that people…
It´s a suggestion of 32 measure to strenghthen the control over the public administration and improve its quality. Some of them exists in some organisms or public corporations, but they are not widespread. And most of them are 100% absent of our daily life.

If anyway you want to read it, you could get a quickview about how the public administration really (do not) works, and a proposal of how to fix it. To go further you ough to have some knowledge about how it works and which laws exist´s, are mandatory, and are effectively enforced.

So, enjoy the read or, better, find a EU-Parliament or EU-Commission member, and retweet it :)

Ps: My proposals for dealing with the Corporate State, or for returning to Growth, are not here and will come later (next week). But the ones of this post could have a really strong effect on growth, taking into account the share of GDP that the State control, and the effects that it could have in the (also chaotic) private sector.

Measures Meaning   for management
Only exams´ selected public servants (“funcionarios”)   from A or B levels will   access to PLDs (Free Designation Positions) including central or regional   Ministers. The wage burden increases if outside staff is   incorporated for management positions. Besides, his appointment is often   arbitrary and the staff ´s competence, questionable. Once management becomes   strictly regulated and controlled, external managers will be allowed again,   with fewer risks of hiring (only) well connected professional scam makers. 1
Quality Accreditation across government   dependencies, with public description of processes and jobs. Coordinated and   supervised by the DGCS (General Directorate of Services´ Quality) and the DGM   (General Directorate for Modernization). The administration is a mess. Describing what it   really do,   by who and why, is   essential to locate duplicate or surplus organs. And is the basis for the   renewal of the access and promotion policy. The Quality Accreditation is the   formal way to get this, and publicity is needed (as always) to prevent it   being a fake-propaganda-measure. 2
The memories that motivate the existence of the   current PLDs positions will be published on-line. Citizens and public   servants will be able to ask for its modification or suppression. When a PLD is created its accompanied by  a memory. That memories have already been   considered by the Andalusian Supreme Court of Justice (TSJA) as shameful. To   enable the public review by the public and the civil service of the   Administration´s top positions, will help to reduce the number of departments   whose only meaning is it´s political dependence. 3
The rationale and conditions of PLDs´ designation   and firing will be published. They will have measurable targets and a timetable   to be agreed between the appointing and the appointee. Applicants should have   a valid accreditation for the body to which the PLD belongs and pass a   specific selection procedure. . When a PLD is created it´s accompanied by a memory.   That memories have already been considered by the Andalusian Supreme Court   (TSJA) as shameful. And  the   appointment of a particular person to become a PLD usually lacks any   motivation whatsoever related with that memory as well. We must stop this   transforming the PLD appointment in a contract at the end of a public   selection procedure. 4
Once there is the description of processes and jobs,   leadership positions will no longer really be PLDs. Candidates for Head of   Service, Director, Secretary General, or Minister, will go through a public   selection process. One requirement will be at least three years of experience   in the same or the immediately lower level during the past 12 years.The “free” election will take place via a selection   procedure of “competitive dialogue”. Being the “bids” the task´s plans, and   the bidders, the 3 best ones after a test-exam about the position current   duties and about the ones of the staff under their direct orders. The   decision will be taken during a joint session. The PLDs are often ill or straight unprepared to   perform the tasks for which they are appointed, appointment usually made   solely on the basis of trust. And once the tasks are learned, they become   “irreplaceable”. Literally, because the lack of real written   procedures for each management or technical position makes substitutions a real   drama at any level.With a selection procedure based on a definition of   the jobs-tasks, there will be bosses prepared and, at the same time, replaceable.   With the requirement of previous experience added to the open selection   procedure, we will avoid people jumping from recently hired to Director   General. This will hamper promotion possibilities of “young” star-managers,   but rewards for rent seeking and rent sharing (corruption) among bosses will   be reduced. 5
A person will not be allowed to be PLD for more than   eight years, consecutive or not, without spending three years, consecutive or   not, “recovering the sense of reality” in a technical position (not   a basic one), not counting for the purposes of those 3 years the interim   occupation of destinations. This limit is an additional and independent limit to   the 5 years foreseen in the measure 10. It is intended to give in more people   in the PLDs, and to avoid the surge of a     class of “professional PLDs” that simply rotate every five   years. It is intended to favour the renewal of knowledge among the   would-be-bosses because they do not have to simply come back to rest to a   basic position, they have to win a technical one and spend time on it, if   they want to resume their progress. 6
PLDs will consolidate personal levels till the 26   except in the internal audit units (“La Intervención”) that will have higher   levels . Reduce payroll M / Y and L / T.Forcing people with management experience to look   for PLDs once and again. Right now, once consolidated, the personal level   acts as a second seniority bonus, reducing the incentive to compete. Coupled   with other measures: Encourage competition specially in the access to   internal audit units (Intervención). 7
Remove the seniority plus (triennia) pro-future. It   is and will be somehow paid (with more justice) by the consolidated personal   level. Remove the current productivity payroll from the salary. Reduce the   salary gap between the PLD and the technical positions in their units with a   proportional scale. Reduce payroll: Medium and long term, because right   now, thanks to seniority and consolidation, the personnel expenditure is an   ever growing balloon.Rationalize and simplify the wage structure,  eliminating unreal pluses like ”productivity”,   as “productivity” measures without clear tasks and results are a sad joke. As   they way salaries have been fixed till now has been by decree, for each   position, in function of the budget of that unit and as a reward for connected   PLDs, a way to start reforming the salary structure is to link the PLDs   salaries (downwards) to the ones of the people they command. The lack of   other pluses will mean reward re-training and ambition, not mere seniority or   connections. 8
“Internal   affairs units” (Now the Audit Office and the General Inspection of Services´   Quality) PLDs will have levels from 27 to 30.    These levels are the only 27-30 that could be   consolidated. This will strengthen the supervisory bodies, enhancing   the economical attractiveness of these positions to promote competition in   the access to them. The measures about publicity of salaries and designation   procedures, jobs descriptions, claims against them by the citizens in general   and not only by the directly affected, etc, will protect this (as the rest   of) positions from political interference.It´s also aimed at meeting TSJA statements, such as   17/05/2011. 9
A person will be allowed to hold the same position   of technical responsibility or of PLD for a maximum of five years. If that   person has not got another position of technical responsibility or PLD, will   be reassigned to a basic position. Reduce payroll at Medium and Long Term. Avoid   creating power knots and opacity. Submit to periodic peer-review and renewal   sensitive materials and procedures. Rewarding re-training: A person passing   their exams, general and specific, can go from a technical position to   another, but will never do it (see measure 6) with PLDs. The periodical   renewal and, as always, the publicity that all the process involves and   creates, will prevent institutionalized looting. 10
The current liability plus foreseen for a given   (technical or PLD) position, will remain, but will be included in the   explanation of the job-tasks. Specifying which is the liability,   administrative or criminal, that the holder can endure, and how could it be enacted. Reduce payroll: Medium and long term, because right   now, thanks to seniority and consolidation, the personnel expenditure is an   ever growing balloon.Rationalize and simplify the wage structure,  eliminating unreal pluses. Liability is right   now an unreal plus. The staff is in fact irresponsible except if it plainly   robs, or have enemies among the politicians or the Unions. (…and only if   that person lacks enough connections to avoid the sanction). Where this plus   will be real, this will allow people to know its risks before asking for a   certain position. 11
Till the rules change, the newly appointed PLDs will   waive the special High Rank plus (Director Generals and above have it), and   the special layoff plus (“Cesantías”). The    outgoing PLDs will be asked to do the same and, if possible with the   current privacy laws,  a public list of   request, yes, and noes, wil be publish. If only exam´s civil servants are designed, the   layoff-plus lacks meaning. (I do not mean that it has a real meaning right   now) And the High Rank plus too, because PLDs no matter which will be subject   to the same consolidation and pluses rules that the rest of the staff. The   same can be said of early retirement severances. 12
Cars and drivers already owned by the State will   serve the staff needs, not the (usually private) needs of the higher rank   PLDs.Its use will be organized on a “reserved”   basis, be it made by “foot-soldiers”, technicians, or PLDs. They will always   go out from their headquarters. And will never pick someone at home. PLDs   will go to work by their own means, as the rest of the staff do. The meaning of public vehicles and drivers can be   only to save money, versus the would-be-cost of paying diets or taxis, or the   wage-hour-cost when traveling by bus. (As it happens now). Idle drivers   waiting all the day in case you (CEO) need the car for anything, sometimes   personal, while the rest of the staff incurs in extra transport costs,  is simply absurd. 13
The public competitions to become “funcionario” will   be conducted in two phases following the model of the European Commission,   which will be asked to help in the implementation of the system. A general phase,   with different contents for each group of profiles (“bodies”, like general   administration, financial one, audit, teachers, doctors…) will be necessary for   both for the first access to basic positions as to internal promotion or PLDs   access processes. A second phase, job-specific, will be needed to fill a   vacancy. The general phase will be based on psychometric tests and general   legal and professional knowledge needed for the body. That information will   be based on the common elements of concrete descriptions of the positions   comprehended in that “body”. That common contents will be made and published   by the Institute for Public Administration´s staff. When a vacancy ought to   be filled, the position description published in a fixed date will be the   basis of a specific exam. That is the job-description that is the target of   other reform  measures, and that is   periodically updated under the scrutiny of the DGCS,  linked to the goal of quality and   transparency in the administration. Public competitions are right now the realm of   arbitrariness, private academies, and random courts decisions. Not to mention   short exams leaked to some candidates.And are a rite of passage, as well, whose content is   forgotten as soon as the exam is passed, and has no relationship whatsoever   with the real work. When properly done, the current system guarantees that no   “connected” person access to the Public Service, but do not provide it   with  adequate staff and is a huge   waste of time and effort for the solicitors. The managers should edit handbooks   for the staff that will also be the basis for the accession system. A better   version of the “Guías de la Intervención” (Internal Audit Handbooks) would   make it.

These general and specific, theoretical and   practical exams for each body and position, will make the process transparent   and also relevant for our future work. And will take advantage of the quality   accreditations.

14
The IAAP will cease providing free training courses   for the already enrolled staff.  These   resources will be allocated to the development and updating of the curricula   of access to different bodies, or will de diverter to strengthen the DGCS staffs,   that will overview the concrete positions descriptions. The IAAP will   organize paid courses based on materials from the curricula. General training quality and utility is often   dubious and can be used to reward connected people giving them a plus as   teachers. The best way to really improve it is to stop financing it, and   demand that knowledge to thrive in the administration and offer clear   examining criteria and materials. The staff will get their training by their   own means, or will get that knowledge from the administration if it deserves   it. This way we also eliminate the bias in favor of the already enrolled,   that damages the public interest. 15
The qualifying examinations will take place at the   same time for external staff and for officials. The list of people passing   will not reserve “quotas” for none of both. Will be a 100% common process. The   ratings will expire after two years, be it for outsiders looking for their   first position, or for already enrolled people looking for promotion. To   participate in entrance exams or job-based internal promotion you will have   to have a valid Qualification. To consolidate personal grade you will need to   have a valid Qualification.. It will encourage (force) the staff to remain   updated if they want to thrive, be it consolidating the personal grade, or   promoting to technical or PLDs positions.    It will be a real update of their general knowledge, which will result   in better service to citizens. It will also serve  as an additional filter to avoid cronyism in   the access to specific posts. 16
When a person should abandon a position of technical   responsibility and fails to gain another by internal promotion, it will be   reassigned to a basic position. The salary of the technicians will improve   each year they came closer to the 5 years limit, thus encouraging them to   stay until the last minute, compensating the risk taken, and rewarding expertise. It will encourage the officers to take the   qualification examinations, which will maintain updated their basic skills.   This gives value to training, focusing (as other measures) salary increases   and promotion to “having proved knowledge” rather than “having   courses´ accreditations”. 17
Leaves with granted readmission will be reduced to   cases of forced leave. The re-entry from a non-active status will take place   in a basic position. In fact, “reentry” from a leave situation will cease   being a privilege and will only imply that if the person passes the entrance   exams, his/her experience and personal consolidated grade will be recognized. The reinstatement in case of forced leave is enough benefit   for working for the public administration. But a technical position of high   responsibility can´t be (as is now) subject to the will or luck of a certain   person. Moreover when the readmission is more dependent on “connections” than   on public needs and personal rights. In any case, the new accession system   makes it easier to leave and enter into the public administration. 18
Except for the personnel with customer service, for “external”,   “face off customers”, will be flexible. It will start with the current   opening hours of each building, usually from Monday to Friday, from 7:30 to 23:00,   and Saturdays from 7:30 to 15:00 to the extent that access control systems   allow it. The economic feasibility of introducing   Saturday afternoons, Sundays and Nights,   and telecommuting, will be studied and implemented as soon as possible. Flexibility favors conciliation without charging the  public administration with extra costs. It   will allow many people to give up the reduction in working hours, and especially   the weekends will provide extra time to conciliate during the working week.   This (besides increased working-hours control measures) will allow to   suppress undue advantages as leaves to go to the doctor, to go to training   sessions, to go to have breakfast or lunch… Flexi-time is a simpler and   fairer system. The current complexity of permissions, exceptions, etc. will   be reserved to the staff with customers´ service. 19
The staff with flexi-time will lose the time for breakfast,   most of the current paid leaves or absences from work, and the reduced hours   during summer and Christmas. Except for special situations, such as your own hospitalization,   or chronic illnesses.  The exceptional   situations when you keep the right to perceive part of your salary during a sickness   will depend on a medical board that will have resources enough to move to the   personnel home. This kind of measures will damage more to the people   that has legal or illegal leaves more frequently. A deep reform instead of   the patch work of linearly increasing the hours for all the staff. In   practice, achievers have increased their time at work while defaulters will remain   more or less the same. It is a quid-pro-quo and it should be explained this   way. And the long term leaves due to medical reasons should not damage to the   employer and benefit mainly to people at work, but be a part of the State´s   general policy. 20
The departments with flexi-time will not be allowed   to pay for working overtime (I’m thinking about the DG. Budget). Only public   service departments will, and always on a  transitory basis, have overtime payments. There are many departments with working-peaks and   lows that can be foreseen. The flexibility allows organizing the time. The   jobs description allows sharing staff for the peaks, instead of hiring new   one. Overtime is mainly caused by poor organization (and not for unexpected   increases in public demand) and are an abuse of public funds. 21
Till a fully functional job description and quality   procedures exists, there will be a minimum and maximum number of working hours   a week, and hours a month into the departments with flexi-time. In weekly or   monthly computation, workers will do more or less hours than average. On   annual basis, only less. The salary will be charged monthly upon the hours   actually worked. The time-debt will be drag to the next or following   annuities, but in case of change of position, the the-facto extra hours will   be charged at the lower salary. Once quality accreditation becomes fully functional,   the departments with flexi-time may approve its own schedules, with their own   minimum hours depending on their workload. Until that day arrives, a minimum   of 110 hours per month (5h/day on average), and a maximum of 198 hours per   month (9h/day), plus the extra hours linked to exclusivity, would be a good   starting point.This and making the evolution of wages dependent of the   fiscal deficit, and not of political whim (measure 24), will have savings-incentive   and other interesting side effects.. 22
Computer programs and forms used for European Funds   Control will be adapted to be used by the “Intervención” (Internal Audit) for   the functional control of the budget. The tracking system to monitor the compliance with   European Funds is a system for functional-control of the budget. As the   Spanish main flaw is that our public administration is driven by means, and   not by objectives, such a system, used without deception or restrictions (as   the ones we have now), could make us go through the XIX century and reach the   XX. 23
A temporary system of pay-revision for officers to   make them dependent on the fulfillment of public objectives (lesser % of   public incomes related to GDP) and on financial deficits-surplus, not of the   will of politicians, should be established. Correct (downwards) PLD salaries,   to adjust them at least to one of their unit´s staff. Such a system would induce spending cuts suggestions   from officers. To be anti-cyclical, in the short term, the increase of wages will   not be for reducing the deficit, but for generating surplus. We must not   forget that this system is temporary, because the ideal situation for public   deficit is 0. Neither deficit, nor surplus. 24
In the long run, once the positions will be properly   described, public salaries will be indexed (downwards) to the salaries of   their peers in the private sector, modulated according to deficit-surplus in   the public sector, to the budget weight in the GDP, and to the rank of the   position. I really do not know how to establish a “fair pay”   in the public sector. While in the private sector, if you pay too much or too   few, you suffer the consequences, in the public sector it´s always the   citizen who suffers.Anyway, there has to be a system, and  it has to take into account the different   cost of living among cities and the evolution of public finances and wealth. 25
The law about public procurement will be obeyed. The   Directive about public procurement will be incorporated banning the different   kinds of contracts without real competition now allowed (Minor ones, verbal   ones). To make a contract just with a hands shake is fast   and easy. It speed up management. If the money is yours, fine. But when the   money belongs to another it’s an invitation to fraud or abuse. All the public   contracts will be written and have enough competition. And of course there   will be no more services-contracts disguised as grants. 26
The money and time spend photocopying and printing,   using internet and the email, will be under control. The staff will receive online-reports   of visited pages (as already happens in some centers) and calls made /   received. They will have to mark if they are personal or professional activities   into an online form. The professional ones will explain briefly ít´s purpose.   Personal activities´ costs (calls, copies, pringting ,email and web) will be   charged and deducted from the working time. We will have to study how could   we measure the time spent in personal websites and the private use of   corporate email. The “Professionaly” marked activities will be auditable by   the Intervencion and subject, in general, to immediate publication to open   consultation for a specified period. The procedures to mark and access to   reserved or secret activities will have to be approved. Conciliating work and family life would be easier is   the public staff where allowed to engage in private activities during their   journeys.(Except for staff with customers service)The logic solution is that the time spent on   personal affairs has to be discounted from the working hours. And the resources   involved in a private activity have to be charged to the employee.

This will save money, and will do it the right way,  because (as happened with the proposed   schedule flexibility against a mere linear increase in working hours),   despite not being a punitive measure this will be a (greater) burden for   those used to not working and to abuse of the public resources.

 

27
The data about all the public or publicly funded activities   will, especially in regard to the accounting by entities or persons   concerned, except where it conflicts with the Data Protection Act, be of   public access. To avoid these conflicts any person who receives public funds will   sign in the aid application or contract concerned, a permission to publish the   data, although only data related to the activity to be undertaken with public   funds and to the conditions for compliance with the grant´s bases or   contract´s  terms. On the one hand it facilitates the audit of public   funds because it is open to the general public. It transforms the concealment   of any document, be it private or public, related with a procedure, in the   penal law via “forgery of public documents”.It´s not exactly a measure but an action line that   requires a detailed development that should deal with unwanted effects such   as the stigmatization of beneficiaries of aid, the voluntary exclusion of   applicants, the abuse of data by individuals or companies, etc.

It could go into conflict with ECJ previous   pronunciations about privacy and data protection.

28
To cater to the needs of citizens and officials, communication   departments will be created in all the DGs who lack them. Among others, they   will join the Public TV staff that has neither been fired, not decided to   leave the public sector. They will be the main contact for the DGCS in   implementing quality policies. The “Quality” (public or private), also   called the “administration” in Castilian, or   “bureaucracy” (sic) in French, is to control the processes inside   an organization, to know why things happen. But this knowledge must flow.   Bureaucracy without transparency is Donkey-cracy.As the 31 measure says, a Public Tv for entertainment   makes no sense in Europe´s XXI century. The remains of the State Owned Radio   and Tv will be part of the transparency policy of the administration. 29
New PLDs and technical will accept with its   designation to undergo surveillance cameras open to internet during their working   time. They may shut it down to protect their privacy, but that time will not   count as working time. Tests will be conducted with PLD before spreading the   system. On the long run, as it happens in some private sector   entities, human resources policy will combine objectives, incentives, and   presence. And the only really effective presence-control is cameras. And  someone has to endure the tests. Taking into   account the legitimate questions about the right to privacy, it has to be a   volunteer. The best, the top managers (PLDS). 30
Administrative tasks in hospitals, schools, and   general administration will be performed by administrators, not teachers,   doctors, nurses, and other technical staff. It will reduce payroll. Having technicians doing   administrative work is an absurd cost overrun. And besides, how often do   these tasks while bad nobody makes their own. This explains, by the lack of a   ruling class dedicated to the administration, the lack of coordination of the   administration and the failure of the Central Services of the Departments. 31
Cuando   haya que reincorporar a una persona con un puesto base por haber cesado, y no   haya ninguno libre, se creará o dotará la plaza en a Administración de   Justicia (Juzgados y tribunales), Sanitaria (hospitales, centros de   especialidades, y centros de salud), Educativa (colegios, institutos,   Inspección Educativa) . Lo mismo cuando se amortice un puesto base. Al   igual que con el SAE, o con Cultura, por ahora debemos asumir que los   funcionarios no sobran sino que están mal asignados, ya que los servicios   públicos esenciales (Justicia, Policía e Inspección), que aseguran la   igualdad de los ciudadanos ante la ley, se encuentran en una situación   calamitosa. 32

The Catalonian Government wants the Independence to keep investing in Ski Resorts…

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I am going to give an example to foreigners of what the Spanish Corporate State considers “basic services”. And that way you can get familiar with The Catalonian Government, nationalist, separatist, and austere as only Germans can be (I am obviously kidding).
Now, links to “La Vanguardia”, a catalonian-nationalist newspaper.
August 24 2012: The Catalonian government wants to get rid of its investments on ski resorts in Catalonia. Lluis Recoder, a Regional Minister, declares that being the formal owner the Catalonian Railway Company (Public – FGC) only makes things worst because FGC should be investing in railways, not in (broken, I add) resorts.

http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20120824/54340661763/generalitat-quiere-desinvertir-estaciones-esqui.html

October 17 2012: FGC buys a 51% of Vallter-2000 resort by 2.4 MILLION EUROS to Vallter Limited. The Catalonian Government argues that the sky resorts have a “strategic interest” for the Catalonian Nation.

http://www.lavanguardia.com/local/girona/20121017/54353127057/setcases-vallter-2000-ferrocarrils-generalitat-compra-mayoria.html

Meanwhile Catalonia has been closing hospitals and schools for years, and I am not talking about the current crisis but about the “boom” years. The Government, of course, has “real” reasons like nude protectionism or employment protection but, why do they protect resorts owners (that are the ones really protected, not the employees) instead of, say, doctors? Which is the economic explanation of this investment that you had -thoughtfully- discarded a couple of months ago?

This is… whose is Vallter Limited and who is going to cash in the famous 3% to 20% in bribes? And could you wonder why Catalonia has never recover its old economic power, lost during the 1990s crisis?.

What remains is a facade, a farce, with National Embassies of Catalonia worldwide and closed clinics. And their political elite is fighting to keep this facade alive, and pass the bill to the rest of Spain, to remain in power and to keep having the privileges that all the Spanish politicians think they deserve.
There is nothing more typically Spanish, more Corporate in Spain, than Catalonia, except perhaps Andalusia. I promise (and if I fail, please, remember it to me) to talk about the “double 3% scandal” in Catalonia, and the INVERCARIA scandal in Andalusia. They both are so simply laughable, that look unreal…

This is part of a reply I have given at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/10/spains-unfinished-transition-from-dictatorship-to-democracy.html#aPODF9k9Cv0X8R81.99

A rubbish bin for Neoclassic Economics, please?

Neoclassic economics take place in a fairy land out of space and time… for me, Economics is similar to Geology, not to mathematics. It should not talk to us about what could happen, in simple, elegant ways (Demand, offer, interest rate, aggregate whatever…) but about what has really happened in the past, what weird, strange, absurd ways people has taken here, or there, and what could we foreseen from here ahead. Like geology, that talks to you just a little about the big forces on earth, but after that has to concreet what in hell makes so different all that rocks that are made of the same SiO2, Economics should tell us what makes our lives so different, when we, as individuals, are so similar. And that is something that can´t be done comparing “aggregate demand in Spain, Germany, and Lesotho”.

Why is it so relevant now?

Because Neoclassic Economics, with all its merits but, mainly, with all its flaws, has ruled the world during all the XX century, be it in the “Democratic” or “Socialist” world (Read Osar Lange for the soviets). And it is doing the same with the XXI. We (North America, Europe, Japan) are in a terrible crisis. Our economic (?) policies are not only worsening things for us, but spreading chaos. Its time to ask for, to shout for a change. I think we need real-world economics, not ivory towers and ocasional helicopters.

Spain in flames…

I have read international media and saw the photos of huge protests in Spain. There are lots of fire and blood there. I have not been there, but I can tell you something: I live in Seville´s (the south of Spain main city) city center, I go to work and come back walking. 30 minutes to go, 30 to come back. Plus extra walk, daily, during the evening only to have fun. And never, ever, during the last year, have I found a protest against the government austerity measures. In fact, one of the main ones (because it has meant a game-change) has been that the almost-free medicines we enjoyed now have to be paid at a price linked to income. And it has not risen, at least on my direct experience, more than grumbles, because the reform is logic, and almost all the people supports logic measures.

Furthermore, about the social unrest in Spain, I want to tell you something difficult to believe. It exists, but I think this is not what you have seen on TV. Why. Because, at least in Spain, this protests are a fake. How could I know it if I have not seen them?. Well, I can guess, and I will tell you why.

I am a civil servant. In a previous protest, a supposed “general strike that stopped 80% of the country”, a group of Workers-Union “protesters” came to my work. We knew that that was going to happen, and I bet for arriving later than usual to avoid troubles. When I got there I found about a hundred people with red flags in my way, but leaving the area. Nothing happened to me, except that one person shouted at me, with irony, “go, and work hard, come on, you are late”, and I answered “yes, that is what I had planned”. Nothing else.

When I arrived at work, as I expected, nobody was on strike except the bosses. It looks weird, till you know that my region is reined by the Socialist party and the parading Unions were the two main (supposedly leftist) ones.

One of my colleagues, in my Unit, disabled, had her car´s windows broken, and her wheels stabbed. Another (friend of mine) had to turn round her car because of fear when she saw what was happening, because she had her little daughter into the car (she was going to park and let her child in a nearby childcare facility). I do not know what other parents did, or suffer. Some of the people that got in by walk received minor injuries. A pregnant woman was thrown to the floor (by mistake, they told me that the unionist said when he was attacked by the people that were with the woman). I asked my colleague last Tuesday (October 09 2012) about the trial and she answered me that she had quit, and that she doubted it had consequences. As there were “minor” damages and injuries, probably nothing would happen. Furthermore, as we were civil servants attacked in a protest that we were (supposedly) massively backing, we had no media coverage. The unionists were so shameless that they dared to complain about “excessive police in the streets”.

My colleague is sad, and feels powerless. For you in the rest of the world to understand, although there is something that looks similar, we do not really have economically-punitive-sanctions as you know it in the USA, in civil or penal law, and few police as well, so usually crime pays specially when it is made by “connected” people .

But that was not my point. My point is that all that people, 100 hundred or so, that attacked women, males, even somehow children, didn´t attack me. And I am not so formidable. That was because they were in a show, a violent one, but a show, for their Union. When it ended there, they simply left to continue in another place (they had a route, and I am not kidding). So when I see the current protest´s photos, and knowing as I know what is happening here, I can´t stop wondering how much of it is real, and how much of it is another violent show.

Who will pay for what?

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The money for the bail out will come from german taxpayers. The spanish government learned at  last, at the beginning of 2012- the truth. That centre european economy (Banks,  factories) is a dead man walking. That it has survived draining the blood of the  poorer but healthier economies of the periphery (I mean the UK, Spain, Ireland, The  Baltics). That mean that most of balance sheets in Germany and France, and the  north of Italy, are commercial credits against the euro-area. If Spain defaults  the entire centre european economy will collapse. From the very day Mr Mariano  Rajoy knew that, all the empty talk of Ms Merkel about austerity was doomed. The  problem now is how can you make it without german taxpayers to realize that their  politicians have been lying since 2000, or even before. And I think: there is no way. So they blame us (And it is easy). You can find a 2004 article at ‘The Economist’ about “Europe after Aznar”. You  can see at the EU commision webpage the shameful record of the proceeds for  excesive deficit agains France and Germany, and how they died when Spain changed sides in 2004 with the new socialist government. You can read about how Basel III banking rules were adopted in   2003- to favour investments in public debt and mortgages of AAA rated creditors.  The information about how the USA and centre Europe are screwing the world to  save some of its banks and big corporations at the expenses of its own taxpayers and of  other countries is there, for anyone able to read.

Of course we need a bail-out.And Germany needs a bail-out from the 1990s, not to mention  Italy or France. With many, many conditions.

We (Spain) have to dismantle and  rebuild the public sector. The industrial and banking lobby of centre europe has  to close and be rebuild (I must stress .- Its not “Germans must pay for their  sins”. Its “the industrial lobby, no matter wich country, and the banks that  have financed it, must pay for their sins”). The EU Commission has to recover  its role as treaties keeper. Right now it endorses a mad “new industrial policiy” designed for crazy politicians and equally insane industrials.

Neither the Euro, nor the Gold Standard is the rope that has tied us  together. We were already tied. We have been since the industrial revolution. But  we have failed in taking the right steps. From 1872 to today, our political institutions based on  XIX century nationalism have boost suicide policies that have ended in two world  wars. And since 2003, when the EU equilibrium was broken with Aznar´s departure, we are back in the  track that has carried Europe from the world leading power in the XIX century to  our current near-irrelevance. This new suicidal round, if completed, will let us  in a third-world-status. And the EU experiment, the best thing that has happen  to us in a century, was forced by the USA in a cold-war-environment. Pityful. Am  I making myself clear? I guess not. We (Europe) need an industrial and  institutional reform to adapt to a future shared with China, India, Brasil… We have to open borders to immigration, to  trade, to less political intervention, we need a more independent Justice… and Nationalism  and protectionism disguised as “welfare state protection” are in the way, and  are leading us straight to hell. Neither the Gold Standard. Nor the Euro. Our  anti-democratic institutions. Our nationalist Politics. Our History has been  defeating our destiny for 100 years and is going to kill us all, if we let it  happen again.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/spains-desperate-economic-situation-2012-10?op=1#ixzz28j2NNMmk

2/? The ERE scandal. Social Benefits. The Party that helps IOU.

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In Spain, if you work for a Trade Union, a Party, or for a state foundation, (The Corporate Statre), you can recieve anything. From luxury cars, driver, laptop, etc, to endless hours at work, a meager salary, and all kind of unexpected, disgusting, and somehow illegal surprises. “This do not -only- depends on your connections dear Joe, but, taking into account the prevailing chaos, of pure luck”. Sometimes this ‘unfair’ situation is recognized and rewarded….

Now, different but related, when you want to fire someone you have to pay a fixed amount. If you have ‘real’ problems and you make a mass redundancy, you have to pay less. The government is the one that go throughh your balance sheet and guarantees The Unions that you are not lying. After that, a agreement can be forged. Finally, there was a subsidy in Andalusia for companies with big problems, to make the redundancy easier anf guarante its survival. That´s the THEORY. Now, how did it really go? You are in trouble and you go to a lawyer to do all the paperwork. The very lawyer or the Union guys will tell you that he can’t help you. That you must go to This ot That buffete. Once there, you pay their fee and an extra of 12.000 euros in cash or, if you do not usually work underground, through bank for a false service: Say, you suddenly  need to review your factory sewage. The buffete will give you the bill on behalf of the other company. After that you go to one Union (CCOO) and you pay 6.000 euros. You go to anothe Union (UGT) and you pay 6.000. Your (new) lawyer will tell you who must receive this. Now you have your agreement with the Workers Unions. They will “convince” the workers and also, by several rules that protect the Unions, the agreement it´s almost mandatory for your workers. Now, on the track again, you present the agreement to the government, and its (always) approved. You recieve a letter that say you so, and a list of the workers affected. Surprise! There are 8 guys yo do not know. Your -connected- lawyer and the state owned charity ( IDEA Foundation) that gives the subsidy tell you that they will pay for the extra 8. That they belong to other companies too small to qualify for the subsidy. The subsidy means that they will pay for you to an insurance company that pays your workers + 8. You pay a bit, but far less than you ought to. Suddenly the government stop paying to the insurer. The insurer to the workers. And the workers come to visit you. No answer from your ex (connected) lawyer. The insurance company sues you for all your workers payments  (no mention about other companies and the extra 8). You watch the news and the talk about scandal, fraud… you find out that the extra-8 are politicans of the ruling party (PSOE) or unionists. One of them has been in your company since the day he (the politician, a former minister) was born.

Asked by media, our Joe, do you remember him? the poorly paid Unionist? He is in its 45s and he declares that he new that it was extrange to get a life pay, from the State, for servicies in a company he had never worked for… but that he had started working for the Union very young, in the hard days of the dictatorship, that his salary has always been scarce, and that this a a compensation for all his efforts for the public interes.  And I believe, that he believes…

Finally, while the trial starts, the insurance company claims deter credit, and your company closes. All the workers are fired. No one of them receives a golden-parachute, and the ones that had it before, do not have their monthly checks. Nice end for the Andalusian economy.

PS: I have been unable to find Joe´s real name. But the politician that started working in his first day of life is Antonio Fernandez García, ex-regional minister of Employment.

Ps2: If you want to know what´s the problem of which this is the sympthom, read “Fixing the crisis in Spain: History rules…” http:/wp.me/p2KoGX-4

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