España paranoica

How do you say “conspiracy theory” in Spanish? Ah yes, teoría de la conspiración. José Blanco, Spain’s development minister and the man delegated to explain to London investors on Monday why they should stick with the country’s bonds, thinks there is a conspiracy by financial markets and the international media to take down the euro.

So my colleague Izabella Kaminska pointed out on Alphaville. And the Spanish media went bonkers, because the FT had (quite wrongly) already become the focus of their story about Elena Salgado, the economy minister, visiting London. Here’s El Mundo:

‘FT’ se burla de la ‘paranoia’ de Blanco mientras Salgado da explicaciones sobre España

ABC:

El Financial Times llama «paranoico» al Gobierno el día que recibe a Salgado

And Nueva Tribuna:

FT llama “paranoico” al Gobierno español

Expansión was more rational, treating the story as a minor item, while bloggers – and, for poor Izabella, angry Spanish readers – poured out their scorn at the capitalist system, as exemplified by the FT and the “especuladores” in the bond markets.

They need to pull themselves together. The media is just carrying the message of the markets here: bond buyers see a risk that Spain’s budget plan is not going to be enough to stabilise the deficit and cut borrowing. The Spanish press should be telling their readers the government needs to explain better how it will enforce its cost-cutting plans (the markets remain sceptical given the risk of provoking serious political opposition by doubling up the recession), rather than attacking the international media.

Still, at least the level of outrage helps explain why the Spanish (and perhaps the Portuguese) governments are so touchy about being lumped in with Greece in a certain unfortunate acronym.

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Christopher Cook is an FT editorial writer. Before joining the FT in 2008 as a Peter Martin Fellow, he worked for three years for the Conservative party.

Lorien Kite is deputy comment editor, a post he took up in 2009 after four years as a commissioning editor on the analysis page. He joined the FT in 2000.

Ian Holdsworth became assistant features editor in 2009 and was previously chief production journalist for the features pages.


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