Why Spain Lectures Other Countries on Immigration


Italian voters in April returned Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to a third term in office. The center-right leader was given a strong mandate to crack down on runaway immigration and spiraling street crime, two hot-button issues that are intrinsically linked, not just in the minds of Italians, but in those of many other Europeans too, especially in Spain.

As a result, Spanish Socialists are (rightly) worried that Berlusconi’s get-tough approach will jeopardize their own fantastical vision of turning Europe into a post-modern multicultural utopia.

It therefore comes as no big surprise that Spanish Socialist Deputy Prime Minister María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, who is also commonly known as Spain’s high-priestess of political correctness, recently lashed out at the no-nonsense immigration policies of the new Italian government. Her pontifical rebuke declared that the Spanish executive “rejects violence, racism and xenophobia, and therefore cannot agree with what is happening in Italy.”

De la Vega’s outburst came after Italian police raided the illegal encampments of gypsy squatters in Rome and the southern Italian port city of Naples, and arrested some 400 immigrants (from Romania as well as Albania, China, Morocco) allegedly associated with various crimes. The police action was in response to vigilante violence in which mobs, provoked by rumors that a Roma teenage girl had attempted to steal an Italian baby, torched a gypsy slum in a low-income suburb of Naples. The incidents follow a series of highly-publicized crimes in Italy involving Roma and other immigrants.

According to an opinion poll published by the center-right Il Giornale, most Italians are weary of unregulated immigration and want to expel unemployed Roma, known in Italy as “nomads”. Almost seven out of ten Italians said they favored DNA tests and fingerprinting of all Roma for a census.

Demonizing the Opposition

Since Spanish Socialists (more often than not) have trouble winning arguments on their own merit, the preferred tactic is to demonize their opponents instead. And so De la Vega’s comments were echoed by the new Spanish Minister for Labor and Immigration, Celestino Corbacho, who felt obliged to accuse Berlusconi of wanting “to criminalize those who are different.”

Meanwhile, Spain’s newly anointed ‘Equality Minister’, the 31-year-old Bibiana Aído (who as the youngest cabinet member in Spanish history has a cumulative total of less than five years of professional work experience), took Berlusconi to task for including only four women in his 21-member cabinet (in contrast with that of Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, which has a female majority) and said that Berlusconi might benefit from psychological therapy in order to cure his sexual prejudices. Just for good measure, she added: “I do not know if it would be very effective. He would need many sessions.” (And Spanish diplomats wonder why Spain gets so little respect abroad.)

Then, as if on cue from the Zapatero government itself, the Spanish leftwing mass media unleashed a merciless anti-Italy propaganda campaign, not unlike the ones they usually reserve for bashing the United States. Sycophantic commentators warned that Italy was being taken over by “fascists” (Spanish leftists routinely use the word “fascist” to describe anyone who does not subscribe to their enlightened ideas) and admonished Italians to adopt Spain’s morally superior “tolerant” approach toward crime and immigration. And just in case anyone missed the point, some Spanish newspapers published trite political cartoons blending the Italian flag with a swastika.

Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni reacted angrily by saying: “The criticisms leveled at us I find totally unjustified and are due to ideological prejudice or a lack of information on the matter.” Franco Frattini, Italy’s foreign minister and former European commissioner for immigration said that Spain should mind its own business and that Zapatero should exert some discipline over his ministers, noting that: “Frankly, it is time to stop these [political] pitch invasions,” which are “pointlessly polemical.”

In any case, European Commission spokesperson Pietro Petrucci says that Italy had not violated any European Union laws on the free movement of labor. And Zapatero is now trying to defuse the controversy by way of linguistic gymnastics: He says his ministers have been “misunderstood”.

Spain’s Blame Game

The entire episode is oddly reminiscent of Zapatero’s visit to Mexico in July 2007, when he ended a state dinner by declaring that: “There is no wall that can obstruct the dream of a better life.” The “wall” that Zapatero was so worried about was the anti-illegal immigrant fence along parts of the 2,000 mile (3,200 km) border between Mexico and the United States, and not the 10-foot (three meter) high triple razor wire-topped fences that separate the Spain’s north African colonies of Ceuta and Melilla from those people in Morocco and the rest of Africa who have dreams of a better life in Spain.

At the time, Zapatero was trying to divert attention away from the fact that more than a dozen would-be migrants were killed, and many more injured by rubber bullets or beatings, in their bids to enter Spain via Ceuta and Melilla. Moreover, a damning report by the New York-based Human Rights Watch accused Spanish authorities of mistreating and neglecting hundreds of migrant African children at holding centers on the Canary Islands.
This year, Amnesty International, in its annual report for 2008, laments the treatment of immigrants in Spain, charging that the country does not respect immigrant rights:

“Reports of human rights violations by law enforcement officers and subsequent impunity continued to be widespread. Asylum-seekers and migrants were denied access to Spanish territory and processed in extra-territorial centres in conditions that did not comply with international standards. Unaccompanied minors were expelled without adequate guarantees for their safety. Victims of domestic violence continued to face obstacles in obtaining protection, justice and reparation, with migrant women facing additional difficulties in accessing essential resources.”

Among other examples, the report highlights the use of restraining belts in the transfer of immigrants, some of whom have died from asphyxiation. The report also condemns the high levels of domestic violence in Spain, noting that 71 women died at the hands of their partners here last year, and that 48 of the victims were foreigners.

The Politics of Immigration in Spain

Apart from the strategic threat that Italy’s immigration crackdown poses to the post-nationalist multicultural vision that Spanish Socialists have for Europe, there are two more practical (and inter-related) reasons why the Socialist Party has latched onto the immigration issue: Domestic politics and fear that the immigrants expelled from Italy will come to Spain instead.

During the recent general election campaign in Spain, survey after survey showed that Spanish voters perceived the center-right Popular Party to be far better equipped than the Socialist Party to tackle the issues of immigration and crime. The PP, for example, called for immigrants to sign an “integration contract” that would obligate them to learn the Spanish language and observe the basic norms of Spanish society. This idea resonated with many Spanish voters from across the political spectrum. They worry about the long-term effects on their country of the growing numbers of immigrants who are happy to draw on the financial largesse of the social welfare state, but otherwise refuse to integrate into Spain in any meaningful way.

As a result, the Socialists are now trying to make these issues their own. But they are doing so by reframing the question of immigration through the use of post-modern word games that give the appearance that they have a more benevolent approach. For example, while Italy wants to “deport” its illegal immigrants (bad), Spain is far more humane because it wants to “voluntarily return” them instead (good). And anyone who even dares to suggest that Spain has an immigration problem is branded as “xenophobic”.

Italy’s new immigration measures, drafted by Interior Minister Roberto Maroni of the anti-immigration Northern League, include a stipulation that immigrants must secure and maintain a minimum wage and a decent level of accommodation or else they will be sent back to their country of origin “for reasons of public security.” Most Italians (as well as most Spaniards) would probably find that to be a reasonable quid pro quo.

Indeed, Franco Frattini, the Italian foreign minister, reminded Zapatero that Spain has itself been “very tough” on immigrants and implied that Madrid’s policies have even served as a template for Rome’s new thinking.

But Spanish Socialists are worried about the fallout from Italian policies. More than anything else, they fear that Italy’s tough new policies will divert migratory flows towards Spain. Instead of saying so, they couch their concerns in the language of European solidarity by arguing that Italy’s new approach to immigration “does not contribute to a common European policy.” Moreover, European Affairs Secretary of State Diego López Garrido says that Italy should have discussed its plans with its European partners.

Immigration Reality in Spain

For any regular observer of Spanish politics, López Garrido’s comments are sheer chutzpah. Up until early 2005, half of all immigrants in Spain were undocumented, a problem that Zapatero decided to “fix” by granting the largest blanket amnesty in Spanish history to nearly one million of them. This unilateral action earned Zapatero (who never misses an opportunity to preach about the merits of multilateralism) the lasting enmity of most of the major countries in Europe.

In the words of French President Nicolas Sarkozy: “We see the damage caused by the phenomenon of massive regularization. Every country which has conducted an operation of massive regularization finds itself the next month [in a position that] does not allow it to master the situation anymore.” (At the time, Zapatero advised Sarkozy not to “lecture him” about immigration, although the Spanish prime minister enjoys lecturing others on the same issue.)

And so it is. By rewarding illegal immigrants with Spanish (and thus European) documentation, Zapatero has unleashed what is known as the “call effect” to people as far away as Kashmir who now believe that Spain is an easy gateway into Europe.

But while the politically correct prime minister regularly boasts that his “humane” approach to immigration has added a multitude of new contributors to Spain’s financially unsustainable social security system, he has been less willing to acknowledge that his leniency has triggered an avalanche of uncontrolled immigration.

By any measure, Spain is a powerful magnet for immigration: During the past ten years, the number of immigrants (both legal and illegal) in Spain has skyrocketed ten-fold to 5.5 million; immigrants now make up a whopping ten percent of the total population of Spain (up to 15 percent in Barcelona), a country that for much of the last century was an exporter rather than an importer of immigrants.

But official statistics confirm that today (just three years after Zapatero’s amnesty) there are now more than one million new illegal immigrants in Spain. And according to a recent report [pdf] by the National Statistics Institute (NIE), more than 80 percent of those immigrants in Spain whose wives and children remain in their countries of origin want to bring them to Spain. Demographers calculate that this will add another 650.000 immigrants (all under the age of 16) to Spain within the next several years.

According to the latest data from the Ministry of Labor and Immigration, at the end of March 2008 there were 4,192,835 legal immigrants in Spain.

The top ten (documented) immigrant nationalities in Spain as of March 2008:

1. Moroccans - 675.906
2. Romanians - 664.880
3. Ecuadorians - 413.642
4. Colombians - 264.549
5. British - 206.168
6. Bulgarians - 136.504
7. Italians - 130.905
8. Chinese - 126.057
9. Peruvians - 123.161
10. Portuguese - 109.576

The problem for Spain is that most if its immigrants were drawn by a fast-growing economy that was based on a boom in real estate. But the construction bubble has burst and the economy is in a tailspin, especially in the construction sector that employs large numbers of immigrants. Analysts predict that economic growth will drop from 3.8 percent growth in 2007 to only 1.6 percent to 2.1 percent in 2008, and 0.7 percent to 2.0 percent in 2009. Meanwhile, unemployment is expected to reach 10 percent by the end of 2009 from 8.6 percent at the end of last year.

A slowing economy will test the tolerance Spaniards have for its immigrant population. Although racism (especially against Moroccan Arabs and Romanian Roma, but also against the native Spanish gypsies who are known as gitanos) is as prevalent in Spain as it is anywhere else in Europe, most Spaniards vehemently deny there is a problem.

This self-perception was dented in February 2008 when Spaniards hurled racist abuse against Lewis Hamilton, the British race car driver, at a Barcelona racetrack. The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), Formula One’s governing body, threatened Spain with the loss of its Formula One Grand Prix races, saying it was “surprised and disappointed” at the abuse suffered by Hamilton. (Interesting insights can be gleaned from the comments by Spaniards to an article in the London Times.)

And in 2004, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) fined the Spanish national football team after Spanish fans made monkey noises at black players in the England team. The event came after the Spanish coach, Luis Aragonés, called France player Thierry Henry a “black shit”. He denied that his choice of words was racist and he refused to apologize.

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance says in a report that Spanish authorities are in denial about the problem of racism in Spain. It charged the Zapatero government with “cowardice” in tackling the issue.

When asked in late April about rising unemployment and Spain’s immigrant population, Zapatero told the public television channel TVE that “many of them will perhaps decide to return to their countries.”

So far, Zapatero and his cabinet are locked (smugly) in a state of denial, willfully blinded to the fact that immigration in Spain is spiraling out of control. (The former Minister for Labor and Immigration, Jesús Caldera, says that runaway immigration simply proves that Spain is “the envy of Europe.”) Much easier, it seems, for Zapatero to lecture other countries than to acknowledge his own shortcomings.

Soeren Kern is Senior Analyst for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group.


Illegal immigration

Atlanticist911, good post.

I live in Phoenix Arizona so I know all too well the realities of unchecked ILLEGAL immigration.

Of course fools will imagine me a racist who hates immigrants but nothing could be farther from the truth.

I have no problems with any people who wish to immigrate to America, JUST DO IT LEGALLY.

Enough of this searching for better life so I'm here ILLEGALLY stuff.

What person in the world is not searching for a better life for himself and his family? Does that mean the USA should open our borders to anyone in the world looking for a better life?

I think not! All you open borders nutjobs can pound sand.

Come to the USA LEGALLY and you are welcome. Come to the USA ILLEGALLY and you are NOT welcome.

Speaking of Spain.....

....name a country in the New World, where I reside, that Spain had a presence that isn't a corrupted failed state?


Spainish culture corrupted every piece of the New World that they ever touched. They plundered with cruelty and left a legacy that is twisted and fascist.  


Europe will be an Islamic colony in 30 years, between their basic fascists instincts, Marxist or otherwise, and decadence there is nothing that can change that course. They've already reached an accommodation with radical Islam. The only group that just might escape their burqas are the Brits, but, that's not a sure thing either. 


Immigrate while you can.

Spanish Speaking Hypocrites!

Isn’t it funny how Spanish speaking peoples, whether from Spain or Mexico, love to lecture others about their treatment of illegal immigrants? Yet these same countries are also the biggest offenders and seek to project their offenses on others.

In North America, the Mexicans are invading the United States in a similar fashion to how the Moslems are invading Europe. These illegal aliens want all the benefits that the United States offers but refuse to assimilate into the American culture. Instead, they arrogantly refuse to learn English while at the same time demanding that the US accommodate their special needs as they line of for more government handouts (education, healthcare, bilingual government documents, welfare, etc…).

Mexico loves to hector the US about its “racist” and “xenophobic” ways because we seek to stop illegal immigration and build a wall on our southernmost border to prevent the unending flow of illegals, who are mostly Mexican. Yet Mexico has built a wall on its southernmost border to prevent any Central or South Americans from entering their country. Galling hypocrisy!

Try being an illegal immigrant in Mexico and see what happens to you. You’ll be deported just after you are beaten up and spend some time in a Mexican hell-hole prison. You might even be killed by the Federales if you’re not careful.

Mexico has some of the harshest laws in the world and certainly in North America when dealing with illegals in their country.

Just like the Spanish, who build walls to protect their settlements in Morocco and refuse entry to North Africans, their brothers in Mexico engage in similar behavior by rejecting Central and South Americans.

So hang in there Italy (my mom is Northern Italian and my father is Sicilian) and know you’re doing the right thing regardless of what some Spanish speaking hypocrites say.

Viva Italia!

BTW, Kappert is a real mindless twit!

gypsies on the peninsula

The gypsy population on the Iberian Peninsula has lived there in a savegarden, while in other countries, e.g. Germany, Holland, France, the gypsy population was either 'incorporated' or 'criminalized'. In Spain and Portugal, you can can clearly distinguish between Spanish/Portuguese folks and Roma ethnicities. In both countries, Roma are still discriminated and put into the 'black market' niche of distributing faked Chinese products. On the other hand, we have scholars in universities with Roma background, and gypsy football players worth millions. The persecution of gypsies by Christians in an old European problem and far to be solved. The abrupt opening of EU to the east, logically triggered a mass migration to the West. Our politicians knew that, didn't they? Søren Kern's article does not mention gypsy problems at all, it is a shallow (love that word) bureaucratic article without passion.

@ kappert

Live a few months in gypsy country in Slovakia or Rumania and come back to tell us all about it, you will not speak the same type of drivel anymore.

and another thing

If you took the time to visit Romania before you spoke of it so callously you would see that the cities and the architecture is not just similar but identical to European architecture. It is by no means a very rich country (unless you consider its vast green landscapes, forests and mountains) because it has been under communist rule until 1989; You forget sir that Romania remains the most christian nation in the whole of Europe with over 89% of its inhabitants adhering to Christianity.

Why don't you think before you speak for a change ?

@ december

I just saw your second posting.
I know much more about Rumania than you think, I was at least 20 times in Rumania in the 60'S and 70's. I loved your museum and your very good impressionist paintings. I loved the Goya's.
I hated the antics of your communist sympathizers and Ceaucescu fans. I hated Nastase and his antics in the Intercontinental Hotel with the daughter of Ceaucescu. I hated your corrupt police.
Yes sir, I lived in the Intercontinental hotel when the whole night shift was picked up and never seen again.
Any more questions?


Clearly you know a lot about communist Romania and are not only older than me but, it seems, also in politics. I'm only a 21 year old student and i barely remember anything about what the country used to be like before.

I'm not saying the country was not as bad as you portrayed it, but really, you should visit cities like Timisoara, Sibiu, Brasov and Cluj-Napoca(my home town) in present day Romania; i promise you the country "feels" european; just not as rich.

@ december

I know Brasov. I had a very nasty near-accident there with my car during a snowstorm in the evening. No lights, no visibility. All of a sudden I thought having seen something glittering in the headlights of my car and I stopped instinctively. 3 meters before my stopped car a pope in black crossed the street with a row of small children, also in black. What I had seen was the reflection of the children's eyes. I sat in my car for 1 hour, praying and thanking God I had not killed those children. Then I looked for a hotel.

mind your words sir !

I cannot believe your ignorance !
I am a Romanian citizen (not Roma or Gypsy) and i will lose my head before i will allow you to mock my nation and call Romania a "gypsy country" !

Romanians fought and perished along side the forces of the Axis in the second world war ! I am disgusted that you would willingly say something like that.

"According to the 2002 census, Romania has a population of 21,698,181 and, similarly to other countries in the region, is expected to gently decline in the coming years as a result of sub-replacement fertility rates. Romanians make up 89.5% of the population. The largest ethnic minorities are Hungarians, who make up 6.6% of the population and Roma, or Gypsies, who make up 2.46% of the population. By the official census 535,250 Roma live in Romania."

I humbly beg you to allow me to be a Romanian nationalist without calling my country a "gypsy country".

@ december

I said: live in gypsy country in Slovakia and Romania. I did not say that Rumania is a gypsy country, only that there are areas where Gypsies are creating their own ghetto.
By the way I was in one of those ghettos under Ceaucescu, visiting a gypsy violinist who played in the Plaza Athenee Hotel. He lived in a cardboard pasted big box constructed around a huge tree. I do know how they lived and how they survived.
When I was cheated by a steel manufacturing company in Ploesti through the good offices of Negrescu, the Director General of Metalimport, I sent an official letter to Negrescu with copy to Ceaucescu to forget my name and the name of my company for eternity, because I didn't want to work with thieves.
I could tell you some more stories about that time but I guess you have already an idea.
By the way, I respect you for loving your country, I really do.

Also, i would like to

Also, i would like to apologize for my "tone of voice" and my criticism; i was obviously very rude to you and it is not my place to speak in this manner.
I am also very sorry about your bad experience with Romanians.

Please understand that the general confusion of gypsies (or as they demand to be called - rroma) with Romanians and the association of gypsy crimes in western Europe with our country is a very sensitive issue here and one we would very much like to clear.

Again, i am very sorry for speaking to you the way i did.

@ december

My dear friend, absolutely no problem, you just showed me you are a man.

right you are

First of all, gypsies create their own ghettos wherever they go; you could just as well live in such a ghetto in Italy or Spain nowadays.
It strikes me as curious that you know the name of our former dictator yet you think so poorly of us.

You implied that before someone criticizes the gypsies they should live like them for a while; well sir you couldn't be more wrong. There are many rich gypsies here who earned their vast fortune through thievery and real estate fraud; trust me, "honest gypsies" are very rare.

Moreover, during the dictatorship of Ceausescu, nearly all gypsies were given 100% free apartments to live in but after very little time they burned the parquet and the furniture for cooking and brought horses in as high as the 4th floor !

Even now they live in unfinished houses with no windows, illegally built, yet all houses have satellite dishes but no toilets or bathrooms at all. They never go to school even though they are granted fully paid accommodations and scholarships, by law, in absolutely all Romanian Universities; despite this positive discrimination they refuse to become at all civilized.

I am very curious to see how European authorities deal with them now that so many have emigrated west (because there they can beg "in euros") because your governments have been criticizing us for years and years.

P.S. They even have songs about (and i quote) "going to spain and italy to send their children out begging on the streets because italians and spaniards are retards".

The European welfare states are just ponzi schemes

And this is why immigration will never be stopped by European elites. In the 1990s, the elites thought they could solve this problem by having all European countries borrow at the same rate as Germany, and hence, the euro was born, which would lead to lower interest rates, helping spur European economies. This growth dividend helped in some respects, but instead of using it to shore up the European financial system, countries like France decided to go the way of the 35-hour work week. And frankly, countries like Spain and Italy shouldn't be able to borrow at the same rates as Germany. And so now the predictable thing is happening; credit spreads are diverging, as investors gravitate toward the safer economies like Germany, fleeing government paper from countries like Greece, Italy, Spain, etc. Governments are going to have to cut spending. And at the worst time, during an economic slowdown, and as the credit crunch starts to spread from the US to Europe.

Take pensions as an example: for years, most European countries have run a pay-as-you-go system whereby the younger generation will pay directly for the retirement benefits of their parents' generation. In other words, Europe's pension systems are massive pyramid schemes; they work as long as the base grows and ever more people contribute to the bottom of the pyramid. The problem, of course, is that in a growing number of European countries, the base is no longer growing. This is why European elites won't stop immigration from anywhere; because to do so would require cutting spending and eliminating benefits, which no one there seems to have the will to do.

Milton Friedman: "It seems to me that Europe, especially with the addition of more countries, is becoming ever-more susceptible to any asymmetric shock. Sooner or later, when the global economy hits a real bump, Europe's internal contradictions will tear it apart."

Francois Fillon: "I run a state (France) which now stands in a situation of financial bankruptcy, which has known deteriorating deficits for fifteen straight years and which has not voted a balanced budget for twenty-five years. This cannot last."

immigrants paying our pensions

Ugly wrote: "Take pensions as an example: for years, most European countries have run a pay-as-you-go system whereby the younger generation will pay directly for the retirement benefits of their parents' generation. In other words, Europe's pension systems are massive pyramid schemes; they work as long as the base grows and ever more people contribute to the bottom of the pyramid. The problem, of course, is that in a growing number of European countries, the base is no longer growing. This is why European elites won't stop immigration from anywhere; because to do so would require cutting spending and eliminating benefits, which no one there seems to have the will to do."

In fact, even now, third-world immigrants push white people's retirement benefits downwards. That is because instead of simply having to pay for the retirement benefits of the previous generation, we now also have to pay to feed and take care of the under-performing, crime-prone, third-rate immigrants that our governments bring here to replace our children. Our children won't be able to improve economic productivity and take care of us in the future, because they will have been replaced by low-IQ immigrants.

Excellent post Vincep1974...

Excellent post Vincep1974...

A good reminder and from what I'm now seeing in Italy I will say is "Viva Italia". Finally, at least one country in Western Europe is starting to get some common sense and do its duty as a nation and protect its people. The article by Soeren Kern is an excellent article. She pretty much "pegs" Socialists for what they are.

This is what American writer

This is what American writer Mark Twain had to say about Spain when an American ex-pat in Paris wrote Twain complaining about how the Spanish-American war was giving America a bad image in Europe.


Read the link for the whole thing





Is it Spain's respect that we are going to lose? Is she sitting sadly conning her great history and contrasting it with our meddling, cruel, perfidious one - our shameful history of foreign robberies, humanitarian shams, and annihilations of weak and unoffending nations? Is she remembering with pride how she sent Columbus home in chains; how she sent half of the harmless West Indians into slavery and the rest to the grave, leaving not one alive; how she robbed and slaughtered the Inca's gentle race, then beguiled the Inca into her power with fair promises and burned him at the stake; how she drenched the New World in blood, and earned and got the name of The Nation With The Bloody Footprint; how she drove all the Jews out of Spain in a day, allowing them to sell their property, but forbidding them to carry any money out of the country;


how she roasted heretics by the thousands and thousands in her public squares, generation after generation, her kings and her priests looking on as at a holiday show; how her Holy Inquisition imported hell into the earth; how she was the first to institute it and the last to give it up - and then only under compulsion; how, with a spirit unmodified by time, she still tortures her prisoners to-day;


how, with her ancient passion for pain and blood unchanged, she still crowds the arena with ladies and gentlemen and priests to see with delight a bull harried and persecuted and a gored horse dragging his entrails on the ground; and how, with this incredible character surviving all attempts to civilize it, her Duke of Alva rises again in the person of General Weyler - to-day the most idolized personage in Spain - and we see a hundred thousand women and children shut up in pens and pitilessly starved to death?

Are we indeed going to lose Spain's respect?


Is there no way to avoid this calamity - or this compliment? Are we going to lose her respect because we have made a promise in our ultimatum which she thinks we shall break? And meantime is she trying to recall some promise of her own which she has kept?


Is the Professional Official Fibber of Europe really troubled with our morals? Dear Parisian friend, are you taking seriously the daily remark of the newspaper and the orater about "this noble nation with an illustrious history"? That is mere kindness, mere charity for a people in temporary hard luck. The newspaper and the orator do not mean it. They wink when they say it.

And so you are ashamed. Do not be ashamed; there is no occasion for it.

[Mark Twain. Written in 1898, first published in 1923 - Ed.]