Gay de Liébana: «The More Corrupt a Country Is, the More Laws It Has»

12/02/15
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On Wednesday, 11 February 2015, economist José M. Gay de Liébana gave the lecture «Too Many Laws? A Help or Hindrance for Economic Development?» to students of the Faculty of Law in the UIC’s main lecture hall as part of the continuing education conference cycle organized by the Faculty.

In response to the question posed by the lecture, Gay de Liébana asserted that Spain is in “a state of over-legislation”. This is true, he said, because “everything is done by passing one law after another. When different situations arise, laws are changed and new laws are passed instead of enforcing the original law”.

Over-legislation is therefore an obstacle to the country’s economic development. “According to the IMF, 2,700 barriers have been created at the regional level in Spain. This is hindering the country’s economic development”, explained Gay de Liébana. He added that every year the European Union alone passes nearly 3,000 laws and “this number is multiplied exponentially when the laws are transposed into the legislation of each Member State”.

A surfeit of laws entails a certain degree of legal uncertainty, which, Gay de Liébana said, “is what leads many companies to pay their taxes outside Spain”.

After his analysis, Gay de Liébana gave the students some encouragement by saying, “You young people must learn from this experience and change the entire country from the bottom up”. He went on to say, “Change is possible, but it has to be done from the inside”. Finally, he said, “We have to think about what we want from the European Union, above and beyond monetary union”.

The lecture was held within the framework of the continuing education conference cycle organized throughout the year by the UIC’s Faculty of Law. The cycle attempts to familiarize students with new trends and demands in the legal industry through talks with highly regarded professionals with firsthand experience.