Read in Catalan

The newspaper Handelsblatt, one of the references for business information in the German press, has placed Spain as one of the ten poorest member states of the EU. Specifically, Spain occupies tenth position from the tail of Europe in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), just slightly better off than Poland, and followed by Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Latvia, Croatia, Slovakia, Greece, and finally Bulgaria with the lowest GDP in the European Union.

"Spain is among 17 of the 27 EU members that have a GDP below the community average. With a GDP per capita of 84 purchasing power standards (PPS, a fictitious currency to compensate for price differences), the Kingdom of Spain's 505,944 square kilometres is the tenth poorest country in the European Union. Being the second most popular travel destination in the world, Spain's economy fell by 10.8% during the pandemic, more than any other economy. Bookings for the summer of 2022 are higher than the record year of 2019. However, even this will not be enough to return the country to pre-pandemic economic output," notes the newspaper. The lack of diversification in Spain's economy is causing the country to hurt.

By comparison, Poland has a slightly lower GDP per capita, and ranks as the ninth poorest EU country. With its GDP of 77 PPS, the government in Warsaw is immersed in a dispute with the European Commission over the application of EU law in the country. The worst-placed state, Bulgaria, has a GDP per capita of 55 PPS, and is fighting to prevent neighbouring countries such as Albania and North Macedonia from entering the EU.

All this, at a time when the responses across the European continent to the flow-on effects from the war in Ukraine have put several presidents and prime ministers in the spotlight. In fact, in some of these countries, there is significant public disenchantment with leaders in the wake of decisions adopted over the crisis. And in fact, one of those who is most harmed on the European scale is Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez, according to a survey by Euroskopia, a consortium made up of eight demographic companies from several European countries, published in the newspaper El Mundo. The study, carried out in Italy, France, Greece, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Austria, indicates that compared with prime ministers and leaders of Europe, it is Sánchez who receives the worst public rating: a fail mark of 4.5.

Another Spaniard who appears on the list of leaders evaluated by survey respondents is Josep Borrell, the European Union's high representative for foreign affairs. The former Socialist minister also gets a fail mark (4.7). Meanwhile, breaking down Sánchez's scores, he is harshly assessed by the Spanish (4.2), but seen even worse in Austria (3.9). The only countries that approve of Pedro Sánchez's management are France (5.0), Portugal and the Netherlands, where the average is 5.5. Paradoxically, Borrell gets a pass mark in Spain (5.2), and also among the Portuguese (5.4), Dutch (5.3) and Polish (5.1) citizens.