June 19th, 2012
12:22 PM ET

Spain vs. Uganda in Twitterverse

By Fareed Zakaria

We know that texting while driving is dangerous. Spain's prime minister learned recently that texting while negotiating a bank bailout is also a bad idea.

Mariano Rajoy reportedly typed out this message to his finance minister: "We're the number four power in Europe. Spain is not Uganda."

I don't know how it leaked out, but Ugandans have taken their dissatisfaction to Twitter using the hashtag, "Uganda Is Not Spain."

One Ugandan tweeted, "Dear Spain, I would rather live on Ugandan bananas than beg for loans. How's the austerity soup?" Another said, "Hello, pot, this is the kettle. You're black."

Now, we did a little comparison of our own anyway. Uganda's economy will grow at over 4 percent this year. Spain's will contract by almost 2 percent. Uganda's public debt is 25 percent of GDP. Spain's is 68 percent. In the last five years alone, the average Ugandan's income has increased 15 percent. The average Spaniard saw his contract by 6 percent.

One Spaniard may have gone overboard tweeting, "If only we were Uganda." Well, Uganda's economy is one hundredth the size of Spain's.

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Topics: Africa • Economy • Europe

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