“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”, so wrote 18th Century Irish statesman Edmund Burke, and these words were chosen by Spanish economist Pedro Pérez Fernández to conclude his speech at the inauguration of the 21st Adeje Summer University, in the presence of the full council and the Rector of the University of La Laguna Eduardo Doménech Martínez .
Held in the impressive Convento de Adeje, on the Calle Grande, the opening took place in the presence of many invited guests from Tenerife’s political and financial circles as well as members of the public who were all welcome to attend. Pedro Pérez Fernández was part of Spain’s economic adminstrations from 1979 to 1993 in a number of government departments, and spoke of the development of econonic politics, particularly in this current crisis, which will celebrate six years in existence next month, he reminded people.
He said, “economics is full of myths and common misconceptions…but it is the presence of (strong) internal institutions that will guarantee growth and the proper distribution of wealth and determine national prosperity.” Problems begin when those institutions are paralysed or wander from their set remit and the speaker blamed weak institutional guidance in Spain as one of the reasons the crisis continued here whereas, for instance, the administrations in the United States had adopted a Kensyian approach, in other words active government intervention in the market place, and were now officially out of recession. Citing examples of poor management in Spain the economist mentioned airports with too few passengers, ports that are not cost effective and the fast rail network which loses money every time a train leaves the station.
Finishing his speech Pérez Fernández was a bit more upbeat and referred to Adeje as one example of a region where institutions did work and where political decisions had helped make Adeje one of Spain’s leading tourism destinations. He also praised the council for continuing to host this summer university despite financial constraints.
The university runs for a week and inlcudes a diversity of courses on everything from dealing with cranial injuries to film production, innovations in tourism and the role and place of the family in the 21st century.