VV's Diary

August 24: Rajoy wasn't invited

Spain is not part of the leading political group, although it is economically

Merkel, Hollande, and Renzi met this week to talk about re-launching the European Union after Brexit. The press talked of the meeting of the Big 3, which they are. But in Europe --without Great Britain-- there is another big nation, and not far away: Spain.

And where three can meet, so can four. But Rajoy wasn't there, and nobody --not even the Spanish media-- missed him. Spain is a big, economically powerful country. Its recovery has been remarkable. The other three countries are going through a low patch. Germany’s leadership is undeniable, but it is not so strong nowadays. France has a great historic role, but it is not doing too well. And Italy is said to now be the great invalid of Europe.

If we looked at the numbers alone, Spain should have been there. But it wasn't. Because it is not perceived as one of the driving forces in Europe. With a caretaker government, a surreal political crisis, a president with no charisma, a democracy that is barely rooted and prides in its poor quality, Spain is not part of the leading political group, although it is economically. It is not a locomotive, but rather a nation being towed. It doesn't have its foot on the gas pedal, but rather on the brake. And in a meeting focused on acceleration, nobody invites a specialist in braking.