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Signs of the times
Posted: 14 October 2012 11:37 PM  
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Hey all,
I’ve recently been thinking about all the signs of the times I see around me. In what ways are the effects of la crisis visible on a day to day, street-level basis?

I have a few ideas of my own but I wanted to throw it out there to the community to see what you have noticed. If you were telling friends and family back home about the differences you notice here in Spain now compared to five years ago, what would you tell them?

I’ll tell you mine after I get a few of your responses.

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Posted: 15 October 2012 02:47 PM  
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Out here in the campo in Granada…

1. Rubbish collection used to be nightly except Sat night / Sunday morning now occurs only three times a week.
2. Groundwork and Landscaping in public areas has stopped completely.
3. Street lights used to be maintained such that a single light failure would be repaired within 48hrs now it takes weeks.
4. Work on the much needed new tram system in Granada City has stopped completely.
5. Construction of three new bypasses for local villages on a trunk route has stopped completely.

to name but a few…

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Posted: 15 October 2012 09:45 PM  
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Foxbat, that’s some serious austerity. Such a tragedy because those projects become mothballed and eventual eyesores, bringing down property values and creating slums.

From NYTimes: “The indicators are grim indeed: Cement production has reached its lowest level since the 1960s. Car sales are down 37 percent from last year. And on weekdays the public squares of Madrid are filled with the unemployed — young and old — whiling away the hours.

Even the wealthy are feeling the strain. In the boat slips of Barcelona, “For Sale” signs hang on nearly every moored yacht.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/16/business/global/spain-may-pay-price-for-delaying-aid-request.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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Posted: 15 October 2012 10:13 PM  
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Spain’s credit rating to one level above junk , S&P
Groundwork , yes has stoped , as has the price for open a road going up .
Telefonica stop all colour photo copying and coffee , try two push ebilling for 90% of its clients and two charge on post bill , extra fee ,
El País cut 1/3 of its workforce 128, send 21 into early retirement and exact a 15% pay cut from the remainder. PRISA also cut jobs Prisa announced that it would be cutting its 2,500-strong global workforce by 18%.
El Mundo to cut staff aswell
state broadcaster TVE announcing a plan to reduce salary costs by 25%
Petrol and Diesel prices incress by 1 cent this week this led by the fuel company
Cost of a price of drinks looks set to rise up 10 cents after Diageo , blamed the increase on rising barley and energy costs

Autonomous regions cutbacks as 17 regional governments collectively have large debts of their own.

Valencia, which built an airport at which not a single plane has landed ,
The regional governments also found themselves spending more - on big infrastructure projects, on education for the immigrants’ children, as well as on providing increasingly expensive healthcare, especially for the growing elderly population.

Then the bust came.

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Posted: 15 October 2012 10:29 PM  
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close to home re Cement production… between our village and the next is a quarry that proces aggregate for a lot of building purposes and for new roads. Through 2010 the road up to the quarry was a constant stream of 10 ton trucks carrying away production of the quarry.During the last quarter of 2010 it was noticeable that the amount of heavy traffic was dwindling. On Christmas Eve 2010 the gates to the quarry were closed. The owners of the quarry I think consider themselves highly fortunate if one truck per week turns up. The gates only open in response to a call in advance. The workforce which always was on the low side anyway now I think comprises one guy on call out…

A lot of the product went into the foundations of the Granada Tramway System (now seemingly delayed indefinitely) and new road or road reformation projects which have also been put on hold. in the Granada province area. Grim times indeed.

Another perfectly apparent problem is that as unemployment rises and the people struggle to make ends meet, more and more animals particularly dogs and cats are being abandoned. Abandonados have always been a problem in Spain, indeed in Madrid and a lot of major conurbations it is now an offence to feed street dogs… Refuge Centres are full to bursting point and literally thousands of animals are being killed in City and Provincially run perreras. A perrera used to mean a kennels but now just equates to a killing station. Regrettably its not just the Spanish people abandoning their animals, many returning Brit expats have been leaving their pets behind to fend for themselves.
One has only to look at the increasing number of protests from all walks of life here to realise that, in the view of the electorate there just isn’t an answer and far right wing governments across Europe are all following the same path, the same hiding to nothing.

When one reads articles like this http://www.thinkspain.com/news-spain/21824/number-of-millionaires-set-to-double one soon realises that capitalism is alive and well but not for the man in the street.

fb

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Posted: 16 October 2012 12:22 AM  
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Yes the hole of Eu has got More Expensive , exchange rate have fallen , 100 pounds dose get more then what did 5 years ago ... ha , thats called the stock market up and down ... (just down now ) but spain is getting more Expensive ....

but recession thinks go pair shape , but there still people who can make money .... one off my bosses is just that guy ..... light technology ... but there nothing two help him employ here , it cost two much ... get do some where eles ...

Utility bill just keep managing two go up ... light fuel tv phone and etc .... Food gone up 25% in last year .... public power in block gone up by 800 euros in last year ... lift ! and think it hit the 1000 euros by Dec petrol is € 1,52 ..... so is there any thinking coming down ..... ?

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Posted: 16 October 2012 02:05 PM  
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I’ve seen the price of a caña hit some lows in Madrid. €0.70 in some bars…

FB, that really is sad about the animals.

About the capitalism vs the man on the street… the problem is that he’s just not working hard enough. wink

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Posted: 16 October 2012 02:12 PM  
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http://www.atlantic-umbrella.com/positive-reflection-during-uk-recession.php

Excerpt from end of the article:

“Through the past ten months companies and households in the UK have been taught a tough lesson in borrowing and living within one’s means.
We can either choose to take these valuable lessons and convert them into something useful that could in turn encourage economic recovery, or we can sit and wait out the storm whilst moaning and shifting the blame.
The real question is…
What are you doing? ”

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Posted: 16 October 2012 05:19 PM  
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About the capitalism vs the man on the street… the problem is that he’s just not working hard enough.

Mmm… It could be argued that in order to work, one needs to be employed. The measures introduced by Rajoy on employment were supposed to encourage employers to take on more staff; that backfired because most employers took advantage of the fact that under the same legislation employers were able to dispose of the workforce far more easily and cheaply.

As for not working hard enough… tell that to the Spanish guy who is replacing the roof on the house opposite me. Yesterday he started work when it was still dark, at 7am and finished at around 2130. He was back again today again at 0700 and is still hard at it. he never stops for coffee breaks takses about 20 minutes for lunch, doesn’t follow the Spanish Siesta theory at all. I just wish to hell I had known him before I engaged a dodgy Brit to handle the reform of my house back in 2006!

Not working hard enough…?  One could ask why the Air Tanker Conversions of the Airbus A-330 for the RAF have been transferred from my former employer in the UK To Seville…

Another sign of the times…
Hunting rights in Spain’s most popular National Park sold to the highest bidder to raise more cash

http://elpais.com/elpais/2012/10/16/inenglish/1350388188_159609.html

...and…

Cries from the Man in the Street…

http://elpais.com/elpais/2012/10/16/inenglish/1350386886_288683.html

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Posted: 16 October 2012 09:35 PM  
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Hey FB, I was being a bit sardonic. raspberry Not funny perhaps (too soon).

But I will point out (in disagreement?) that Rajoy needs to go further to unlock the labor market from the insanity of job security in Spain that creates the zombie employees. I firmly believe (terrible word, I know) that the labour laws here are a major problem for the economy and the culture they create.

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Posted: 17 October 2012 10:14 PM  
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I firmly believe (terrible word, I know) that the labour laws here are a major problem for the economy and the culture they create. “

I very much agree with you, Expatriator.

Besies in order to work one does not have to be, necessarily, an employee.  Self-employment, by becoming a small businessperson is always an option.

Another point is that an easing of the labour laws would encourage more and more to start up a small business, maybe even taking on one, two or three employees, as a start.  And that, btw, does not make the small businessperson a “capitalist”.

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Posted: 17 October 2012 11:16 PM  
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people have two have money two spend .... if a person was to spend extra 50 euros per month , putting throught the system ... there IVA/VAT ,  works taxes ands would kickstart the economy again .... that extra 600 euros perperson in spain that over 18 ....

eatting out , shopping and more

Spain 2001 census   40,847,371 so we say that 30.000.000 x 50 euros x12 = 18.00.000.000 euros


foreign tourist we get extra 50 euros of every tourist , In August 2012 Spain beat its own record of monthly arrivals, having registered 7.9 million visitors
that extra 395.000.000.00 ...

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Posted: 18 October 2012 03:32 PM  
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I do indeed see your point, Jur.

Money does need to start circulating again. 

On the other hand it was the rampant consumerism which was, in large part, at fault for the present state of affairs.  As we say in Ireland: “people lost the run of themselves”.  People went outlandishly mad.

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Posted: 18 October 2012 04:27 PM  
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Campana same need two do in ireland aswell , every one i chat two here in spain uk Germany and Ireland , cutting back , no spending any more , it got to a stage where there cut back at the supermarket in ireland , no going out to the Bar eatting out , wage cuts , public wages highter vs private wages . €200,000 for pm of ireland , 2nd to him is on 184,405euros Ministers get €130,042 , Mariano Rajoy Brey - Prime Minister only get € 78,000.00 , will have look it up again but ireland 4 -5million Spain 46 million real see the irish are pipping some one off there ...
ireland problem was every one be came a Builder , are a Developers . buy new cars .... people lost the run of themselves”.  People went outlandishly mad.

again i am talking about day two day thinks , supermakets , bars , restaurants , clothes , shoes ,

people lost the run of themselves”.  People went outlandishly mad.

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Posted: 20 October 2012 05:24 PM  
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Yeah, I know people are so much more budget conscious these days, which is good on a personal level. To be honest, I was amazed at what people seemed to be able to afford back in 2005-2007 given that most folks I knew were making 1500€ per month (or less) - Spaniards, not exapts. They over extended themselves. The pull back will bite hard, and for a while. If only there was a less painful way of shrinking the entire cost structure of the government while stimulating a bit more spending.

Any ideas?

Have you all heard of the efacturas initiative to reduce corruption and the black economy? I for one think this might do the trick.

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Posted: 20 October 2012 11:56 PM  
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mon at 8 pm Uk time brith in franch and how there getting on ....

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