Friday, November 19, 2004

From the Spanish welfare queen 

When you want to learn something, learn from the best:

"The country that receives the most financial aid from Brussels is now planning to tell others how best to spend it. Spain has announced that it wants to advise Poland on the use of EU money for infrastructure projects.

"Spanish infrastructure minister Magdalena Alvarez said that her country could become a 'model' for new member states, according to German newspaper Handelsblatt.

"Spain receives large amounts of money from the EU for infrastructure - last year and the year before it received a net sum of eight billion euro, more than any other member state.

"However, the funds are not bottomless and with the entry of ten, generally poor, new member states into the EU on 1 May - Spain's turn with the money is slowly running out. Ms Alvarez's gesture comes via pressure from the Spanish construction industry, according to Handelsblatt. With structural funds flowing to the member states in central and east Europe, Spanish industry wants to conquer new markets."
Poland and other Eastern and Central European states could, of course, in return teach Spain and other Western colleagues the value of low corporate taxes in stimulating economy and investment. Not, however, if France ever succeeds with its proposal to cut structural funds from countries with corporate tax rates below the EU average.

All of this slightly reminiscent of the red state/blue state controversy as to who is the biggest drain on government spending.

(hat tip: Tanker Schreiber)


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