Paul Krugman posts an interesting graph on his blog, The Conscience of a Liberal.
The blue line is for Germany and the red one for Spain.
No fiscal rule would have constrained the Spanish housing bubble and its consequences, writes Krugman. Agreed.
The graph raises other questions: Is Germany still a model of orthodox macroeconomic management? And could Spain simply have reacted to the crisis with the only policy instrument that it still could control? Apparently the change in budget policy was intended to dampen the impact of the crisis, absent any possibility to use a national monetary policy. It is not a question of government profligacy but the result of the euro.