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“No, I already understand how to copy and paste,” says the bearded man on his mobile to some kind of computer helpline. “What I want to do now is to send without revealing the sender, if it’s possible, of course.”
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His query relates to the map above, of a strangely modified Mediterranean. It takes a few seconds for the aberration to sink in: the Iberian peninsula, to the west of Italy, is gone, replaced by the Hellenic one, to Italy’s east. The sea’s basin, normally sheltered from the choppy Atlantic Ocean by bulky Iberia, is now left exposed by this second Greece, puny in comparison.
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This view of an Italy juxtaposed between two Greeces creates the rather disconcerting impression of a three-legged Europe cantering westward. Possibly off to its fiscal doom. For this work of political cartoonist Manel Fontdevila, published in the Spanish newspaper Publico on May 6th, refers to the current financial crisis in Europe.
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At the moment, that crisis has its claws sunk deep into Greece, where the political fallout of an emergency austerity package has seen general strikes, mass demonstrations, and even a few casualties. Greece is not the only country with extremely shaky public finances. A few EU member states (and, more importantly, members of the eurozone) in that (literally) unfortunate position have recently been lumped together under the unflattering acronym PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain).
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European leaders are taking measures to avoid a repeat of the Greek meltdown elsewhere in Europe, but avoiding contagion is not just a matter of cold, hard economical fact. Equally important are psychological factors. Fear of disaster might act as a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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The bearded man in the cartoon is accused of  being such a self-fulfilling prophet. He is Mariano Rajoy, leader of the opposition Partido Popular in the Spanish parliament. The main job of a politician in his position, obviously, is to criticise the government.
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However, blasting his opponent’s economic policy by comparing Spain’s fiscal situation to that of Greece might create exactly the kind of panicky atmosphere that could precipitate a crisis of Greek proportions. I presume this is why Mr Rajoy is attempting to send his controversial message while remaining anonymous…
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Many thanks to Fernando Jimenez Gonzalez for sending in this image, found here on the Publico website.