Sun May 7th, 2006 at 11:11:25 AM EST
Do you want a break? Good news once in while...
Well..good news, excellent news below the fold...about Spain of course.
Today has been one of these weird days where all the good news come one after the other (And I am not only talking about Barcelona winning the National League with the best football seen in years).
On the first round of good news, the economic growth of Spain reaches 3.5 % as reported in El Pais. Growth quite balanced among different sectors. A little bit more than expected in construction but other than that quite balanced.
The same day the employment suffered the most dramatic increase seen in an April month in the last...well EVER. Actually, it was the largest reduction of unemployment in April since statistics are compiled (it started in 1980) according to El periodico. Reduction of unemployment strongly felt among women in particular (40.000 less). According to the same sources the number of people employed increased by 200.000 reaching the 18.5 million. Amazingly high for Spanish standards.
But that's not all...
From the front page (with format and title edit) ~ whataboutbob
Even if these were not good news today unions and bosses (patronal as we call them) have reached a very good agreement. A labour reform... yes a reform.. and a reform that makes sense. It is the BREAKING HUGE NEWS in Spain as we speak. A reform that does not mean fuck-ng the average Joe. An agreeemnt that takes into account the problem of the flexibility needed in the spanish service industry. Employees and employers were amazingly rational (even for Spanish standards which is normally high).
The list of reforms is quite large La vanguardia reports that the most important measure is forbidding that a single person can be hired temporally for more than 30 months: After that he must take an indefinite contract. If companies want to abuse the present system they will have to look for a new person each time. Unfortuantely formation contracts are out of this game. So there is an open window for the companies to cheat. But it will be a heck of a lot more difficult.
The number of inspectors will also increase, and now any fault will be extremelly easy to detect.
Another very important measure is the support that companies are going to get to advance the change from temporal to fix contracts. Quite some money if they hire women or young people in a very stable and well-paid job. More importantly, they could hire with a contract where the payback to the worker for firing is 33 days per year worked if they do the change in the next two years. After that only 45 days per year payback...as now.
But most importantly, ZP and Solbes have also been of the idea that work should not be taxed so heavily. So...what beter way to convince the bosses that reducing the money they give to the unemployment fund (the one that provides the unemplyment benefits when you are out of job) when you have a propelry and well-paid worker, why should you pay the same as the rest? So if you are a boss and you treat workers fine...you pay less to the government.
This is all for now...but just in case you need your bit of bad news...the house bubble is still growing in Spain..at a smaller pace..but growing...and the tehnological and science structure of Spain still lack resources and connection with the industrial complex....
Other than that (in growth, employment, social services,energy security,civil rights)..Spain is going fine....and with reforms...balanced reforms int he economy...Actually they are NOT REFORMS..THEY ARE AGREEMENTS!!!
What about trying it in other countries? You just need good bosses and good unions...I guess it shouldn't be so difficult. Sort of.