Throughout the course of the economic crisis, it has been easy to forget that the United States is not the only country that is suffering. In the New York Times, an article was published today about the current state of Spain, a country struggling to escape from the European debt crisis. With Spain on the brink of another recession, Spanish companies are now looking abroad for new business and financing. According to the article, “Standard & Poor’s downgraded the country’s long-term debt rating, to AA- from AA, because of its poor growth prospects and troubled banks.”
The article spoke a lot about Telefónica, the former Spanish public telephone monopoly. The company announced in September that it would create a “new digital unit in London for its most promising mobile and online businesses,” setting off major alarms in Spain. While the company claims that its move to London is not an abandonment of Spain, it is concerning for the country, whose rate of unemployment is already higher than 20%, compared to the average 9.10% in the United States. Also, there is not much merit behind the comment, since the company’s investments in Spain has fallen to 24.5% of its global capital investments in the past financial year, from 27.6% in the 2007 financial year. While the search for business and financing outside of the company can not yet be described as an exodus, this is exactly what the article says should be the priority of the next government after the election on November 20.
There is no doubt that, as Americans, we have the responsibility to be aware of the current economic situation in the United States. However, I also think that it is important for us to be aware that we are not the only country experiencing hardships. Spain is only one of the MANY other examples.