Steven Hill for The Atlantic, Madrid, October 18, 2013–It’s been more than a rocky few years for Spain. It’s been a rocky half-century. Run by a military dictator until the 1970s, Spain emerged in the early 2000s as a model of social democracy and the poster child for the European Union. Then the global economy collapsed in 2008, and suddenly Spain was suffering from Depression-era levels of unemployment and an economy melting down like a Dali horrorscape. In a few years it had gone from budget surpluses, a growing middle class, and generous social supports to wrenching austerity policies and collapsing wages, triggered by the massive failure of Spanish banks.
Read more in The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/10/to-hell-and-back-spains-grotesque-recession-and-its-surprising-new-economy/280678/