Nick Clegg’s budget trip to Spain

Nick Clegg in Madrid

Photo credit: Foreign and Commonwealth Office,

Giles Paxman, British ambassador to Spain, has blogged about Nick Clegg’s visit to Spain last week.

While emphasising Britain’s interest in the Eurozone’s economic success, the Deputy Prime Minister showed he’s economising too:

The top priority, obviously, is tackling the problems with our public finances. Nick Clegg made the point strongly, in his long meeting with Prime Minister Zapatero and his speech to a packed audience of top Spanish movers and shakers, that this was a duty that we owe to future generations and that there is nothing progressive or modern about spending huge sums on servicing public sector debt when we could be spending this money on schools and hospitals.

It helped that the DPM was able to say all of this in fluent Spanish – although he admitted to me that with a Spanish wife and children he sometimes found it easier to talk in Spanish about bottles and nappies than budgets and yield curves. But the fact that he arrived in Spain on Easyjet, much to the fascination of his Spanish audience, made sure that the cost cutting message got through loud and clear.

You can read the full piece at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website here.

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  • David Langshaw 16th Jun '10 - 11:10pm

    Trivia Point: The Ambassador to Spain is the brother of the Newsnight presenter.

  • Still travelling by air though – when will the politicians live by the green policies they promote?

  • David Heigham 17th Jun '10 - 1:07pm

    I live in Madrid, and vote in Hackney.

    Nick Clegg and his message get unbelievable publicity and applause in Spain, And it is the more unbelievable because ther is – as yet – no real equivalent of the LbDems in Spain.

  • Is there a video / BBC report?

  • actually, sometimes BA is cheaper than Easyjet on the same line.
    @Linda: train to Madrid from London would take 18 hours (minimum), and is more expensive than flying. plus he was coming from Berlin so would have been even longer.

    Train is all nice and well for short journeys (I think flights from London to Plymouth or Manchester for example should actually be banned!) but it takes a lot more time for long distances (even counting the airport transfer times) and is often (much) more expensive, and tiring (I’m taking a train+ferry tomorrow to Dublin, because I have time and wanted to avoid flying, even though it’d have been cheaper to fly.. but I’m flying back from Belfast next week, because I don’t have the time).

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