Do we need a government, that is the question, or can we live without one?
Spain has now been without a government for 3 months, and there is no sign of a new government being formed quickly. If this continues, surely chaos will be the result. How can a country carry on with no government? Well, this is not a unique situation. In 2010 and 2011, Belgium went 590 days, or 20 months without a government. Elections held in 2010 were inconclusive and despite numerous attempts, a new government was not formed until the end of 2011. So, how did Belgium cope? Was there anarchy? Did the economy suffer horribly?
What do you think? Did Belgium and its economy collapse without a government? Surprisingly, the answer is no. In the time without a government, the trains arrived on time, hospitals and schools remained open and civil servants were paid. Economic growth was at 2.1%, compared to the EU average of 1.5: foreign investment doubled and unemployement was around 8.5 % compared to the EU average of 9.4%. Belgium even held the EU presidency during this time, and did so successfully.
So, what is the message from this? We don’t need a government? Well, not exactly. The caretaker government kept the country running without making any major decisions. But with the Euro crisis at the end of 2011, political parties had no choice but to forget their differences and form a government to make the important decisions necessary to save the country from economic crisis.
So, it seems that a country can function without a government as long as there are no major decisions to be made.
Will the same happen in Spain or will there be a government formed quickly?