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The other day an article on Iceland brought home to me the curious fact that in Spain, with its rich cultural heritage, there is a very general contempt, public and private, for any kind of intellectual or creative work. In Iceland, a land with a non-existent architectural heritage and a language that nobody else speaks, the government has just decided to redouble its support for education and culture. They know that there is no kind of wealth more reliable than that which comes from knowledge; and that cutbacks should hit, not education, but political parasites.

Precisely in matters concerning education, and since long before the crisis, our governments have shown a mix of ineptitude and indifference that worsens as the crisis deepens. We bring up the rear of international rankings in educational quality and scientific research, but we are international leaders in internet piracy. At the national, regional and local levels, political hacks continue to enjoy huge salaries and run up expenses as they close libraries and schools.