Tilting at Windmills

Whilst in Paris we took the opportunity to treat ourselves to the International Herald Tribune which combines the New York Times news services together with features and articles from elsewhere. It made a refreshing change from the U.K. national papers and we did consider swapping our Telegraph subscription for the I.H.T., relying on the internet for more U.K. centred news.
One breakfast meeting was made joyful by the news that Spain is bidding to host the Olympic Games in 2020. A Wall Street Journal article contained the following extracts:

·“We need two different things: power for the economy and an element of enthusiasm for the population,” Víctor Sánchez, managing director of Madrid 2020,
·
Skeptics point out that Madrid is among the most indebted cities in Spain. Ratings firm Fitch recently downgraded Madrid’s regional government, predicting its debt could more than triple—to €23.7 billion ($29 billion)—in 2014 from 2010. The country’s economy, meanwhile, is enduring a double-dip recession and the government is pushing through a €65 billion austerity program.
·
“This is not the moment to be thinking about this kind of event,” says José García Montalvo, an economics professor at Barcelona’s Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
·
”In these bid documents, there is always an element of unreality,” says Matthew Burbank, a political-science professor at the University of Utah who studies the Olympics.
·The IOC gave Madrid the best score of all three finalists, but added: “Careful monitoring of Spain’s progress on economic issues is needed to further assess future risks of delivery.”
It’s good to see optimism combined with ambition in these dark days. On the other hand the lunatics are thinking that they may be in charge of the asylum. The full article may be viewed on:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303644004577524684025592386.html

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