Cronyism in Spain according to the Guardian

A good article has appeared in the Guardian on the antiquated and unproductive system where the corruption of “amiguismo” prevails.

The journalist has talked to some spaniards who work abroad – in London, Holland, Germany, the US. They all miss the sunshine, the food, the strong family bonds, the warm, easy Spanish way of living. They also share – and here is the thing – an exasperation with the Spanish way of work.

One, who started out as a waiter, is now the operations manager of a successful restaurant chain. “To have got ahead the way I have in London I’d need an uncle with good connections. I didn’t, so I left.”

Another one works in the digital video industry. He had entered some work for a prize, but a number of prestigious British companies were running against him so he had no expectation of winning. Yet win he did. On pure merit. The notion of an unconnected unknown like him winning an equivalent prize in Spain was, he said, unthinkable.

For the author of the article, the lessons from these two stories, entirely typical of Spaniards abroad, are clear: the Spanish are not inherently idle; the labour market in Spain does not sufficiently reward talent and hard work. The Spanish disease that both these young men said they had fled was “amiguismo” –”friendism” – a system where one gets ahead by who one knows.

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