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Spain - The future
Posted: 23 August 2011 08:28 PM  
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Just a few thoughts and questions about the future for Spain.  Spain has HUGE problems as a country with the size of its debt.  Fireman are having to pay for the ITV on their fire engines, policemen have to walk to crime scenes because there is no car, etc etc all have a lighter side if it was not so serious.

Spain’s problems are being aired in the international press. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/8712904/The-hilltop-Spanish-town-overshadowed-by-a-debt-mountain.html (Hold On, read the rest of the posting before going off to read this report)

But things are not all bad.  Remarkably Valencia Property (Find them on Facebook) are reporting barely being able to keep up with demand for property purchases.  Likewise at ExpatFinancialAdviceSpain (Also on Facebook) we are similarly busy helping with repositioning of money away from possible problematic institutions.

And I believe that we will have something to look forward to, a bright light at the end of the tunnel.  A change to the structure of the EURO could be very beneficial for Spain.  For arguments sake let’s say that Germany is in a different part of the new Euro system than the Spanish part (There are many reasons why Germany will leave, including not triggering defaults by expelling other countries).  With the Spanish part of the Euro weaker there will be a tremendous boost for the Northern Euro holders.  At present, Germans buying in Spain buy on a one to one basis because they are in the same currency.  BUT, when the MED is at a lower value Germans will be able to buy at half the price.  Spanish companies will be more competitive in the export market and the country will be able to reduce its debt with a bit of inflation.

I would like to propose the name of the new Spanish Euro as the MED.  Analysts suggest that the MED could be at a rate of
1 GBP = 1.90 MEDS.  Germans, Brits etc could get double their money by buying in Spain.  And wouldn’t this be a boost for those British people here with UK incomes.  Their income would also be nearly twice as much,  which will feed into the Spanish economy.

Until we see the politicians take control/responsibility we need to make sure that our investments are safe and secure.

Any suggestions for alternative names for the Spanish part of the Euro if not the Med?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/8712904/The-hilltop-Spanish-town-overshadowed-by-a-debt-mountain.html
EDITED BY JURDY

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Posted: 01 September 2011 04:50 PM  
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Interesting article and proposal.. Spain does have many problems, and the interesting highlight is the public sector..

“The EAE Business School has carried out a survey titled “El coste de la Administración Pública en España” (“The cost of the Spanish Public Administration”). According to this survey, from 2000 to 2008 in the European Union, the percentage of growth of total public expenditure per civil servant was 36.2%, in Germany it was 17.7% and in Spain it was 58.7%... Public administration seems to exist completely separate from the economic crisis. While unemployment increased by 1,280,300 persons in 2008, the number of civil servants increased by 116,200 people.”

And lets not even mention the amount of corruption that exists in that sector. With the new proposal to join the municipals, there is room for greater disparity (and corruption) in the allocation of funds and people aren´t happy.

Breaking up the euro into MED and NORMAL EURO is suicide for Spain, with a much larger economy than Greece and Portugal I doubt that it would be a good idea to group with them in a single currency. Would the market really care for this MED currency with all the risks? It´s like grouping all the bad apples into one big rotten barrel, and the semi good one on top is left to follow the rot. Really I think the solution is to either break up the Euro completely, a chance for each country to fend for themselves, or hold on for dear life. At least some grannies and nuns still have pesetas stashed away for the “if” event smile

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Posted: 01 September 2011 05:30 PM  
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Hi Gretina,

You make a good point about grouping all the bad apples into one big rotten barrel.  So here is another question.  If you put five bad banks together does it make one good one (especially in the short term)??

And just to be a little controversial.  Youth unemployment at 45%. Do you see any groups of youths hanging around on street corners in the middle of the day?  So could it be that some may be finding other things to do, like working on the Black? 

For the guys and girls who are in genuine difficults, I truly hope that Europe will start implementing some growth policies to increase employment for you.

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Posted: 01 September 2011 06:18 PM  
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Ironically there is already a case of grouping bad debt together to make a better credit rated product (cough… subprime mortgages USA.. cough, crikey it´s a crisis!) And BankInter is doing just that - grouping all the bad cajas together to make a super caja listed on the stock exchange, ready to fail (with a chance of survival since some nominee shareholders are buying under priced… cough China cough..).

All the unemployed are either working in black or studying at an INEM institution until they find a job or are at the Tomatina festival smile

There is a “You Need Spain” campaign, trying to market the brand out using footballers and the El Bulli chef guy, but all targeting China. So something is happening, although I´m not in favour of such a slogan… sounds kinda desperate!

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Posted: 01 September 2011 07:19 PM  
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smile  You are so correct.

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Posted: 07 September 2011 06:33 PM  
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Where the spain i know from the 80s/90s ? , been young out partying buyying a beer for 100 pesetas are less , yes it very good read , i see friends off my loss jobs here wich happen all over the EU and the world , Times are getting bad and will go to back to day people will have money under the bed again , the banks wont help any one out , politicians are embarrassed to admit the scale of the problem, or are afraid of losing voters. But Moia is a reflection of what is happening across the country. while us real people know about it , wage cut after wage cut , next i been payying two work ....
time to do what >?

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Posted: 17 October 2011 12:39 PM  
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http://www.elpais.com/articulo/english/Global/indignation/elpepueng/20111016elpeng_4/Ten

and a response from former president Jose Maria Aznar…

“...Meanwhile, former Prime Minister José María Aznar of the opposition Popular Party (PP) described the 15-M demonstrators as “no more than a poor anti-establishment movement that is linked to groups on the extreme left.”

“Their representation isn’t important to Spanish society,” the former prime minister was quoted as saying in an interview with the Ecuadorian daily El Universo on Sunday.

Is he that misguided? The whole world is turning to ratsh*t and this arrogant little P.P. weasel has the effrontery to suggest that these people ‘are of no concern’. His is the voice behind Rajoy, the guiding hand, the former leader of a far right party that was deposed immediately after the Madrid bombings.

The sad thing is of course that the P.P. will almost certainly win the next election and the reason that they will win has nothing to do with their popularity… it’s to do with the unpopularity of the PSOE. Just as the double act of Cameron / Clegg winning of the last UK election had nothing to do with their popularity and was all about the unpopularity of Labour. We have all seen what happens as a result of these knee-jerk elections. If you think things are bad in Spain now, just wait and see; they can and will get worse just as they have in the UK.

Its high time that former leaders of any country were permanently gagged and put out to pasture; they all cause problems that they can walk away from both in and out of office. They are like babies diapers, so full of sh*t they need to be quietly disposed of. Thatcher, Blair and Brown are prime examples from the UK; Blair is still at it, mouthing off at every opportunity just as Aznar is over here.

For Aznar to suggest that “Their representation isn’t important to Spanish society,” and “no more than a poor anti-establishment movement that is linked to groups on the extreme left” is dangerous to say the least and shows just how out of touch he really is; these protests were mounted by people from all walks of life, students, lecturers, white and blue collar workers, public service workers, housewives, pensioners.

I have some news for you Mr. Aznar… These people ARE Spanish society. Society isn’t the protected elite and that is what they are trying to tell you.

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Posted: 11 February 2012 07:00 PM  
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I have been living in Spain almost 1 year now (from New Zealand and also lived in London 5 years) and for me Spain is never really going to improve until people change their attitudes, way of life, way of thinking etc. It’s something hard to put into words… something I have just observed since being here. My wife is Spanish and also agrees since living overseas. Spanish don’t seem to have the go out and get it attitude.

I love Spain and Spanish people don’t get me wrong… I just think it’s going to take more the government policy and austerity measures to right the problems in Spain.

And also please start opening shops and supermarkets on Sunday! Were not living in the 1900s any more. There is definitely a market for it (when they are open on Sundays they are full of people). Even a simple idea like this could create jobs…

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Posted: 12 February 2012 04:12 AM  
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Hello Toro:

I really don’t think one can generalize.  I have lived, and worked,  here practically all my life (I am Irish), my husband is Spanish, and well, there are all kinds.  I know many very ambitious, hard-working and forward-thinking people.  Professionals who have made considerable discoveries, inventions, etc., writers, artists, musicians, the list is long.  Spain itself is very diverse, and every single person, and region,  in it is different.  Maybe some people do not WANT to be go out and get it types. 

Every nation, every country is different, and IMHO I would not presume to change a people’s attitude, way of life, culture, or thinking, no more than I would like them to try to change that of my country. 

Er, the shops and supermarkets, shopping centres DO open on Sundays, maybe not absolutely all of them but very many do.  In Spain, thankfully, there are still many family-run businesses, so I suppose they do need, like the rest of us, one day of rest per week. 

Personally, I think it is a bit much to think of “improving” a country after being here one year.  In all the yers I have lived here it never crossed my mind to think of telling them what to do.  LOL.
I have never been to New Zealand but I hear the lifestyle there is fairly laid-back too!

All the best
Patricia

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Posted: 12 February 2012 12:19 PM  
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Hi Patricia,

First of all I’m not trying to improve anyone or tell them what to do. Just giving my opinion.

And that’s obvious that there are many hard working ambitious people here, I think you will find people like that in every country in the world.

I think you pointed out my point perfectly “Maybe some people do not WANT to be go out and get it types. ”

Too many Spanish are just sitting back waiting for something to happen.. I’m not talking about going out and starting an empire or working as an executive. But yes you have to want to go out and get something in life… big or small .
Maybe your goal is too not be living at home with your parents until you are in your 30s, which is very common here… obviously a lot have to, but also a lot choose to… which is again a different way of thinking… better or worse is up to you…

I got my job here, over more than 200 Spanish. When I asked my boss why.. he said I was the only one who showed any interest, calling, going out of my way to show I wanted the job.

My Sports team is a mixture of people all around the world… and the Spanish people in the team are amazed at how we have come here and found jobs in this situation… most say they would never dream of doing anything similar

I have a few friends from the UK who worked in office jobs back home and become unemployed… so decided to fly over to Mallorca and walked boat to boat for more that a week to find a job. I could not imagine someone from Madrid who worked in an office, packing up/changing career and moving to Mallorca to take a risk like that.

Well I’m yet to find a supermarket that is open 7 days a week here…pls let me know any chains that do.

As I said I think Spanish are wonderful people… and as long as I have work here I won’t be leaving =)

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Posted: 12 February 2012 04:43 PM  
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Hello again Toro:

Re the open supermarkets, etc.  You will find that the OpenCor supermarkets (offshoot of Hipercor) and also Hipercors do open on Sundays, for example.  Personally I believe rampant consumerism is at fault for much of the present woes, so I am not a great believer in the absolute of Sunday opening, and there are far more interesting things to do than traipsing around a mall on Sundays.  Just my opinion.

Toro, people don’t HAVE to do anything.  Culture and ways of looking at life is a complex issue. 
And, as you get a bit older you tend to get a bit more tolerant!

As for living at home with the parents, well I think most people would prefer not to.  Many have to, and in many cases it makes sense, particularly in these times, where having, for example two offspring away from home, with a mortgage each, plus the mortgage on the home place, would be a considerable drain. 

I wasn’t making your point for you.  What I mean is that not everyone is cut out (educationally, emotionally or even physically), for the get out there and do it stuff.  It is of course up to each one.

I cannot imagine that if I became employed from any job flying to Mallorca to go boat from boat seeking work.  My take on it would be stay at home and look for another job there.  I can of course see the attractions of preferring a sunny island, and a job on the water.

It isn’t all black and white in life.  The office worker in say Madrid, who loses his or her job may have a whole raft of other issues to take into consideration before flying to Iceland or Aberdeen to work on a fishing vessel (just an example).  The person may have a family member to look after, someone infirm/elderly, may not even have enough to get to Aberdeen or Iceland to tough it out until the job comes up.  They may well want to take the risk, the Spanish have emigrated in very large numbers in the past (to Germany, Belgium, France), and are not shy of hard work.  Many of those emigrants returned to Spain eventually and set up a business here to give their offpsring a better life. 

The husband of a friend of mine works two jobs, one of which is night-time.  I do not know how he manages on so little sleep.  He is not the exception.

Good luck with your own job. 

All the best
Patricia

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Posted: 12 February 2012 10:39 PM  
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Hi all,
I actually see Toro’s point being a bit more pertinent to the current state of the economy than the credit Campana/Patricia is giving it. It’s easy to be defensive of the Spanish lifestyle that we all adore so much, but much harder to think about how to eat our cake too – the sense of entitlement, the voices of protest, are all just a little bit hypocritical (just a little bit!) given the attitude exemplified by some very visible Spaniards towards accountability to their work or schedules. Claro, there are a ton of (if not the vast majority) really hard working Spaniards too, some unbelievably so, but there are plenty who are happy to measure their lives’ successes by how little work they can manage without getting fired (the zombies). And sometimes they’ve frustrated the hell out of me (talk to Telefonica on the phone recently?)!

So yeah, you’re both right. But in light of the protests and economic turmoil Spain is currently in, we have to realize that recovery will come on the backs of the zombies and the corrupt - and there are lots of them!

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Posted: 13 February 2012 01:38 AM  
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Well, it all remains to be seen, as always.
I don’t think I gave any credit to the state of the economy, Expatriator.  The economy is in a rather dreary state in most places, Spain being no exception. 
I don’t adore the lifestyle in Spain at all.  For me it was never a holiday destination, I don’t like hot sun or lying around on a sunbed doing nothing.  In fact I always made a point of getting out of Spain for the mid-Summer months.
I like being in Spain, and I equally like being in my own country.  If I had to go to some other country, that would be fine by me too.  Life is what you make it.
I am a realist.  I have worked with, and for, Spanish people.  I am well aware that at times the bureaucracy can be frustrating.  I have been in the country a very long time. 
Of course, there are the visible Spanish politicans (I don’t think much of politicans anywhere, anyhow LOL), but in that case say so, say “Spanish politicians).  Don’t lump everything under “Spaniards”.  You get the time-keepers (the zombies) everywhere.  As you say, Expatriator, there are a vast majority of hard-working, and likely frustrated, Spanish people. 
The majority of my friends are Spanish, and among them I don’t know one who doesn’t complain about their politicians. 

I have had no occasion to talk to Telefonica recently, in reality I never had any problem with them.  I have had Movistar for as long as I can remember.  Maybe my attitude is good!  Who knows.

What gets to me is the constant “sniping and griping” so prevalent on “expat forums”.  Some of the stuff is not just bordering on racism but is IMO racism.  Where do some of these career complainers come from I ask!  And where do they think they are? In a time-warp, back in the times of the Raj, maybe!!

Time to wind up for the night now.

All the best to everyone.
Patricia

I actually see Toro’s point being a bit more pertinent to the current state of the economy than the credit Campana/Patricia is giving it. It’s easy to be defensive of the Spanish lifestyle that we all adore so much, but much harder to think about how to eat our cake too – the sense of entitlement, the voices of protest, are all just a little bit hypocritical (just a little bit!) given the attitude exemplified by some very visible Spaniards towards accountability to their work or schedules. Claro, there are a ton of (if not the vast majority) really hard working Spaniards too, some unbelievably so, but there are plenty who are happy to measure their lives’ successes by how little work they can manage without getting fired (the zombies). And sometimes they’ve frustrated the hell out of me (talk to Telefonica on the phone recently?)!

So yeah, you’re both right. But in light of the protests and economic turmoil Spain is currently in, we have to realize that recovery will come on the backs of the zombies and the corrupt - and there are lots of them!

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Posted: 13 February 2012 01:44 AM  
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Yeah, we’re lucky we have some fairly constructive people around here Patricia.

I’m afraid the times are indeed difficult though, so no surprise there is plenty of finger pointing and griping!

Have a good one!

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Posted: 13 February 2012 10:28 PM  
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I agree, Expatriator, that there are truly constructive and level-headed people on here. 

Yes, times are difficult, and liable to get more difficult I fear. 

All the best
Patricia

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Posted: 14 February 2012 06:37 PM  
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Hi Toro07:
Not sure where you´re based. But if you´re in Madrid, they´ve changed the law to allow shops to open on Sunday in the city centre. More and more are doing that. El Cortes Inglés is opened the first Sunday of each month. The one near Sol is open every Sunday. And that´s also why the “chinos” are profiting from the Sundays, they´re mainly here to fill the gap.

The issues in Spain are much deeper, and high on the top are the ethical problems. My husband (Spanish) also mentioned that a lot of the split in society is from the civil war where the same people who served Franco are still in the current government and just look at the state of the judicial system! Garzón suspended as judge, but Franscisco Camps pronounced innocent for corruption? The King´s son-in-law not even investigated for corruption? Hardly independent at all. This country needs to change from the top, but probably it´ll have to be the bottom who need to bring down the top as history had it (Anarchists).

The rest is just cultural, whilst I agree sometimes a little proactivity and perhaps change of attitude goes a long way, the state of this crisis is just horrendous. Another problem is that this generation (unfortunately mine), were overprotected from parents who built this country from the war, so they just became a bit over-reliant and less independent. If you speak to more Spaniards, you´ll realise there´s so many little perks in their culture that just stops them from being efficient. In the past, many of that generation emmigrated as well to look for work. I was surprised at how many grandfathers went over to Sydney to work on the Harbour Bridge and engineering boom in those times!!

George Orwell nicely put these issues in Homage to Catalonia - great book if you like to know more about the Spanish character! Now I just laugh them all off as “ahh that´s just Spanish”. As they insist “Spain is different”. We can´t force our logic on them and expect them to accept it. Being in their country, we have to accept their ways, frustrating as it may be! At least that puts us in an advantage in things such as Job placements. wink Should count yourself luckily employed! When they realise this, they´ll come around. In time, mañana mañana vamos a la playa!

Good news (well not sure if it´s good), there´s a lot of emmigration of the youths now, so maybe they can bring back their experiences and improve this country. It´s really up to them, not us (well maybe China) smile

PS. Coming to Spain makes me feel lucky to have come from Oz! Ah well. You always think the grass is greener!

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