Spanish politicians spent $220 million on the sparkling new Castellon airport on Spain's Mediterranean coast — $40 million alone was spent on TV ads and other marketing. They also paid $600,000 for ferrets and falcons to kill birds that endanger aircraft.
Yet no plane has yet taken off. Construction, which began in 2004, went over budget, partly to fund a 75-foot statue of a local politician out front.
Spaniards march through the streets of Madrid, Nov. 27, 2011, to protest spending cuts, high unemployment and political corruption. The government is proposing an overhaul of the country's two-tier labor system, in order to close the gap between temporary and permanent workers.
Credit Pedro Armestre / Getty Images
For his age group, Spaniard Miguel Viada is one of the lucky ones. The 25-year-old has a temp job, at the help desk of a tech company in Madrid. But three out of his four roommates are unemployed.
They spend hours on the computer, sending out resumes, he says.
"It's impossible. They find jobs, but for one month, or something like that. And not in very good places or situations," says Viada, who has a master's degree.
Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon (center) arrives at the Supreme Court in Madrid, Spain, on Jan. 24. The crusading human-rights judge is on trial for his attempt to investigate the more than 100,000 disappearances during Spain's civil war in the 1930s and the subsequent dictatorship of Francisco Franco.
Credit Juan Medina / Reuters/Landov
Thousands marched in Spain on Sunday in support of Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish judge who became an icon for human-rights activists when he indicted former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998.
Now, Spain's most famous judge is on trial, after turning his investigations toward the country's own fascist past.
Garzon, 56, is a champion of universal jurisdiction — the idea that the most heinous crimes need to be prosecuted, no matter where or when.
Spain is the latest country to change its government over Europe's economic crisis. In a parliamentary election yesterday, Spaniards voted overwhelmingly to toss out the socialists who have ruled for almost eight years. They brought in Mariano Rajoy, leader of the conservative Popular Party.