It was over forty years ago, shortly after the Franco regime had ended that I drove through the centre of Spain heading for the Lines of Torres Vedras in Portugal, also then going through political upheaval. I was visiting places and battlefields of the time of Wellington's campaign during the Napoleonic Wars.
One feature seen on some buildings was stick pictures of a gallows with someone hanging from them with a names or names. There was always a degree of tension in the air. There were monetary problems and it was vital to be carrying pounds and dollars.
On a later visit a number of years after it had changed and for a while when the money was flushing in there was a surge of apparent prosperity. Many British moved there confident that the good times would continue to roll.
The question is how bad might it get and what tensions might erupt or re-erupt in a country that has known too much bitterness in the past. But this is Spain which has existed as a nation since the 15th Century and Portugal for longer, until the call of Europe pulled them into the Brussels based Empire of the Meritocrats and Bureaucrats.
If there is to be a major contraction in world trade and all economies are to be affected one way or another then what political entities will last in their present form and which ones could begin to disintegrate? As they do in time when the stresses of size begin to be too much.
We are fixated on Europe, supposing that the EU and Euro can somehow remain intact although damaged. What is not considered is that not only could the Europe project fall apart but states within it could face separatist movements and others outside could experience severe stresses leading to some form of disintegration.
In Spain the elections have installed a new government with ideas that are new in theory, but little in practice. The divisions from the past still exist but their problems compounded by major inflows of migration from peoples with different histories and beliefs.
Is The Great Game is about to begin again? And whose side will we be on?