An end to the Eldorado dream

LAST UPDATED: 28 Mar, 2009 @ 12:11
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An end to the Eldorado dream

Tens of thousands of British pensioners in danger of going below the poverty line as exchange rate plummets• Tens of thousands of British pensioners in danger of going below the poverty line as exchange rate plummets
• Six OAPs have called one local charity for repatriation help in just three days

THE OLIVE PRESS APPEAL By Paul Whitelock

TENS OF THOUSANDS of British pensioners living in Spain are in danger of falling into penury.

Trapped by rising prices, a property market that has completely collapsed and a pound that has plummeted almost 30 per cent against the euro many are on the verge of being forced home to the UK.

With the two currencies nearly at an unprecedented one-to-one parity, it means that those surviving on state pensions have seen their monthly payments fall by over a hundred euros.

Private pensions are similarly affected by the falling pound, while those who support themselves from the income on their savings have been hit by swingeing interest-rate cuts.

While a year ago £1 was worth 1.4 euros, in recent days the two currencies have effectively reached parity: £1 buys 1 euro.

One local pensioner, Janet Allwood, treasurer of Age Concern in Estepona, has seen the value of her state pension drop from 586 euros a month to 402 euros.

“We are frightened to spend anything,” says Janet. “We are even worried to spend on airfares to see our grandchildren and have stayed in Spain for Christmas.”

But Janet revealed that many are far worse off than her. Over the last few months Age Concern España has seen a ‘significant’ rise in the number of Britons being referred in desperate need of assistance.

“We’ve been called to help people who have been forced to give up their homes,’ she revealed. ‘Some can’t even afford the airfare back to Britain.”

In one case the Olive Press has learnt, the family of an elderly pensioner suffering from Alzheimer’s, was effectively left to wander the streets of Estepona.

It is a similar story at the Age Care Association in Fuengirola, which offers welfare information and advice, practical support and emergency help when needed.

Its president Dr Charles Betty told the Olive Press that there has been a huge increase in the number of people contacting the charity for advice on repatriation in recent weeks.

“Over the last few months we have had a steady stream of calls from people saying that if things don’t improve soon they may need to go back to the UK,” he sai. “In the last three days alone I have had no less than six separate requests for help.”

The Olive Press has discovered that most expatriates are now shopping much more carefully and at the cheaper supermarkets, such as LIDL or Dia.

Interestingly people who live in rural areas are actually finding that small local shops are often cheaper than the big supermarkets.

Local shopping

Sandra Edge, who has lived in Montejaque, near Ronda, for the last six years, said: “We always used to go to Ronda two or three times a week to shop. Now we probably only go to Ronda once every two or three weeks and shop locally, which has proved to be surprisingly cheap and saves on petrol.”

She added: “We used to eat out regularly, two or three times a week, but now we can only afford to eat out once a month if we’re lucky!”

Her husband Philip has seen the value of his pension fall by a third in the last few months.

At the same time their health insurance premiums have also rocketed by almost six per cent.

A major problem is that many expats emigrated to Spain some years ago when they were in their sixties and have now reached their late seventies and early eighties and are beginning to suffer health problems.

Dr Betty of ACA said: “They are struggling to pay their health bills. Many have already cut their losses and are heading back to the UK where they are still entitled to free NHS care.”

One funeral director told the Olive Press that hundreds of pensioners were currently going back. “Business is slow because the old folk are going back to the UK to die,” he said.

The Age Care Association (ACA) in Fuengirola has a hospital and home visiting team and a Help Desk which is available every Wednesday between 10 am and 12.30 pm at The Manila Bar, Los Boliches in Fuengirola. Contact the charity at 691 761 088

Age Concern Espana can be visited at www.acespana.org or at 902003838

31 COMMENTS

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  1. This crisis is certainly having a very negative effect on a lot of people, and the shame of it is that many of the people worst affected placed their trust in the banks and pension providers, but the times seem to have changed for the worse.

    We know several people in Ronda who are being forced to consider a return to the UK, and as you mention, they cannot sell their houses here to provide for their life back home, it’s a desperate situation for all.

  2. One cannot live in a Capitalist system and expect any different really. Capatalism is corrupt; it has failed, and it will fail again. If one wants to live by market forces then boom and bust will be an ongoing phase. Depressing, but true.

  3. What do you suggest then as an alternative Fred? The “honest” Socialism like the UK has seen for the last 11 years under the Labour Party led by probably the most corrupt Government EVER to hold power, led by Blair and his sycophants who sold off peerages to the highest bidders and Labour donors and supporters, who cheapened the once highly-respected name of the United Kingdom, who welcomed back to the Cabinet Ministers who had been found guilty of near Criminal offences on more than one occasion, whose own hands were involved in what was at the very least a “suspicious death”? A Robin Hood Chancellor Gordon Brown who robs the poors Pension Fund OF 5 Billion Pounds a year in Tax every year SINCE 1998 to subsidise the rich MP’s already Gold Plated Index Linked Pensions and Expenses paid for by the taxpayer causing Final Salary Pension Funds to collapse, refuse entry to new members and pay out thousands less than they were going to meaning people about to retire after saving for 30 or 40 years in their work employment plans were now unable to, thanks to Mr.Brown.Tell these people that Capitalism is corrupt Fred !

  4. Paul you hit the nail right on the head
    If the British Government and by this I mean the M.P.’s, were forced to give up their gold plated pensions and live in the real world I wonder how many of them would have gone into politics
    The majority of them are in it for what they can get not what is good for the British people and the U.K.

  5. “The majority of them are in it for what they can get not what is good for the British people and the U.K.”

    That is your (perhaps cynical) opinion or assertion, but you don’t KNOW that that is the case! Many MP’s work hard for their constituents and for the benefit of the country. Compared with people running private companies they are not over paid either.

  6. Robert – what planet do you come from or should I say do you personally feed from the British taxpayers trough or have a family member that does – come on tell us the truth. MPs don’t work hard, except at lining their own pockets now or in the future through directorships and only an idiot would think that New Labour had anything to do with social justice.

    They are frequently drunk in the House and if they are so in-articulate that they need to employ speech writers then they should’nt be MP’s – try pushing a broom – ah but then the pay and perks are’nt so good are they?

    Fred – you are spot on. I/we have had a very good finacial year in 2008 but then I understand the corrupt capitalist system very well, I managed a return on capital of 23%.

    I switched our money from currency to currency, I missed the turn over Christmas £1=E1.01 to £1=E1.12 – DAMN but hey don’t be greedy.

    I have forseen for a few years now that those on a tight budget were going to be in trouble at some time. This does’nt apply just to Spain but France and Portugal as well and sad to say but it is going to get much worse.

    If the Euro does’nt work and falls apart, this will destroy Spain/Portugal/Italy and Greece, the Greeks have just had their bonds downgraded and Spain and Ireland are in the firing line as well.

  7. Robert,
    you expose yourself fully by not answering my question, do you delude yourself that others can’t see the same – pathetic.

    Every day the truth of my argument is exposed in the media.

    UK politicians feed at the trough every day – pensions that bear no relation to that of the mug taxpayers who fund them – expenses that are unbelieveable.

    The tory scum who ’employed’ his own sons when they were both at university. The NuLab minister whose husband helped the ultra rich to NOT pay tax, also involved with the neo-Fascist, Berlesconi – it goes on and on.

    Now, try and find your cojones and tell us what your involvement with the gravy train is – otherwise people will think you are really cowardly.

    Parliament to start work (and I don’t mean turn up) at 7.30AM on the button, 10 minute tea/coffee break, half an hour for lunch – same as a factory/building site. No slobs allowed, physical fitness obligatory (we simply can’t expect mental health can we?), physical incapacity is no problem – look at all those wonderful REAL athletes in the REAL Olympics.

    All pensions to be the same as Joe Bloggs. No directorships allowed for 50 years after leaving parliament and real punishment for those who lie and steal from the taxpayer – after all there are far to many toxic waste dumps that need clearing up – oh yes with a working week of 80 hours.

    Now how many of the scum from all parties would seek re-election.

    Thatcher and Blair would have been far more beneficial to the UK if they had been processed for fish food. Both totally corrupt liars and con artists.

    To put this topic to bed why does’nt the OlivePress conduct a simple poll – are politicians as a whole decent, honest and working hard for the general taxpayer or – corrupt venal scum who only look after themselves and the elite who really run the country for their benefit alone.

  8. Paul, it is difficult to suggest an alternative, and I fear that there is no alternative. The root of all the problem is man himself; one cannot take the drive out of man. This basic instinct to take and to have more and more is a primitive construct that leads to all the problems we now see. This problem will never be solved until a massive catastrophe occurs and systems and procedures can be changed from the root up. Raising sea levels by a metre should do it – that’s coming very soon now.

    Everyone has an option. Vote green. I did. Planet first, politics second (or third).

  9. Stuart your ridiculous, intellectually challenged, statement isn’t worth a reply.

    Just because someone doesn’t share your rather sick, bizarre and extremist views on politicians, doesn’t mean that they are connected to politics.

    The majority of voters would disagree with you – thank goodness!!!

  10. Well, having read the above I would just like to say that our MP in the UK is great. We can contact her easily via e-mail and we always get a quick response. Her efforts for instance with the disabled here have been wonderful.

    I would have to say Mr. Crawford that your views are rather petty and ridiculous. I find your comments extremely rude and show a rather low IQ.
    They bear little relation to the article in question and only seem to portray a rather sad person.

  11. So the Capitalist system has failed us. What a surprise! And the hugely overpaid experts – fund managers, dealers & traders, etc., and not forgetting media pundits – are all proclaiming loudly that “Hey. We didn’t see this coming…”

    Now flash back to almost 50 years ago and the emergence of hippies, or to rename them according to the Thatcher era view – Traveller Scum. For all you nice folk living out there on your company pensions and perks, ask yourself why these people opted out (or at least tried to) of the mainstream “money” society and accepted a life of being marginalised, beaten up & trashed. Remember all those signs in the 1970’s & 80’s? “No Dogs. No Hippies”. And hey. Surprise, surprise. Here we are, with exactly what a lot of the hippy-travellers forecast as happening now sitting, not so much on the doorstep, as comfortably snuggling up on the soon to be reposessed sofa.

    It’s the same with the environment. Impressive how many people have such lucid hindsight. Strangely, my memory when I was an activist with Greenpeace on their ships in the 1980’s was that I was labelled a terrorist, a fanatic, a dangerous, deluded person. Global warming? Organic food? Water & power use management? Nah. These things ain’t happening. All the deluded fantasy of a drug-raddled, aging, hippy-traveller.

    Anyone who really believes that the self interests of those who run the Capitalist financial system extends beyond the limits of their snouts or that the political system (and yes, there are honest politicos but they operate in a very monolithic system), which is essentially financed by these people, is going to protect the interests of the small people is just as deluded as those who wanted to lock up the environmental protestors of 20/30 years ago.

    Communism as a system ultimately collapsed through the weight of its own improbability. Plus the war in Afghanistan. To me, it looks like Capitalism is going the same way. Interesting times – Hey!

  12. You have a fellow gravy train travellor Robert, in Stuart Allsop. These two cretins epitomise everything that is wrong with the UK. They cannot refute what I say with concrete evidence to the contrary so hiding behind the internet they resort like the cowards they are to insults – do either of you fancy a face to face – of course not you are too cowardly – I wonder what parasitic way they earned their money to live in Spain? – lawyers/accountants.

    You are like the scum estate agents telling everyone that now is a good time to buy. The Times publishes a fairy story about how prices have only fallen 16% in Spain and censors cut out my post saying that the reality is more like 40% and falling – not vested property interests surely!

    Gavin your post said it all. It was always a question of which would fall first – state capitalism or Engli-Saxon capitalism (Engli is the correct way to spell the name of the north Germans). My one point of contention is that Russia was ever a real Communist state, maybe for the first few months but then the scum who were never at the front took control with a complete contempt for the ordinary Russian peasant – I mean the vermin like Lenin/Stalin.

    Everyone cheered when the drunken fool Yeltsin stood on a tank – the truth was that the lawyer Clinton who could’nt keep his trousers zipped up did everything he could to destroy the voice of the Russian people, which were the honest parliamentarians (unlike our own scum)who could forsee the looting of Russian/Soviet resources. Clinton was completely successful and now the former USSR is a clone of the US where the real power is with a handful of uber rich families who control everything. It never ceases to amaze me how stupidly brainwashed so many Americans are but then I have to lump them with the Brits – to be conned once by Bush/2000,Blair/1997 should have been enough but no it requires courage to stand up to the neo-cons and I don’t see Americans or Brits in real numbers who are capable of this.

    Fred is right, only when the majority of serfs find the swill bowls empty will there be change but the question is Fred – here come the redshirts just like the blackshirts.Until there are enough human beings who are prepared to get their hands dirty and accept total responsibility for their lives – like the REAL hippies there will be no change.

    Funnily enough the only ones to call the US ratings agencies what they really are – fraudsters are surprise, surprise fellow Americans.

    Just today, the English half of the Soros fund (remember the ERM debacle)has warned people to “get out of Sterling”the unthinkable is being said that the £ may well become worthless. I do hope that the cretinous cowards like Robert and Stuart(to think that creep shares my name, revolting)have all their assets in Sterling – I’d like to see them begging on the streets but slime that that are too clever by half.

    Gavin – I can build my own home, taught myself horticulture from the age of 13, no what the wrong end of a gun looks like (Pamplona 68) and how to handle weapons thanks to Brit/Australian and French special forces mates, I and my partner a retired paediatric nurse lecturer are in no danger but there are many who don’t have these skills and they will suffer, those are the ones I feel sorry for.

    Fred is also right about rising sea levels. When I lived in Ortigueria/Galicia I happened to meet a retired HM cartographer who iterated the same point – over 200 million Bangladeshis’- who live at sea level where are they going to go/Queensland/Australia sinking fast/the whole east coast of England/The south from Dorset east to Kent/The whole of the Netherlands apart from around Driepuntanland – it goes on and on. Wars fought over the most valuable commodity of all – water.

    But hey the cretins will never buy this until their feet get wet and they realise they are going to drown but hey look on the brightside – more fishfood.

    Remember the lessons of the Weimar republic – a piece of paper is at the end of the day just – a piece of paper, a loaf of bread is something real – How will all those gullible Brits living in Spain or indeed back home eat when Sterling becomes worthless, simply because there is nothing real to back it up and in case you don’t know already, 63% of food eaten in the UK is imported – a rock and a hard place comes to mind.

  13. Stuart Crawfords last post is hilarious. I can’t decide whether he is seriously deluded or just a windup merchant!

    The person who accuses others of name calling, calls people “cretins”.

    “They cannot refute what I say with concrete evidence” ….. It is difficult to refute nonsense, deluded ramblings you seem to think make sence. You say I haven’t “answered your question”, but you haven’t asked one! There isn’t a question mark in your posts.

    “hiding behind the internet …” Where are you Stuart? Going to publish your address?

    “I wonder what parasitic way they earned their money to live in Spain? – lawyers/accountants.” Well actually I’m a retired farm worker and agricultural development worker. My “Gravy train” was working as an Agricultural volunteer.

    What was yours?

  14. No matter what all of us Brits. think of our status here in Spain, we are merely economic migrants. No different to the Poles, Rumanians, Afghanis etc that have swelled the British/Spanish shores. The only difference being those that tend to come from the UK have money to support themselves, either in intended perpetuity (pension) or by the availability of work.

    The situation has changed for both types of economic migrants:
    A) The pound has taken a hammering and pensions/investment income has suffered.
    B) Work availability through usually, construction has dried up.

    Everyone who came here made a calculation on their survival on an estimated income. They forgot, investments go DOWN as well as up.

    No doubt these pensioners are asset rich, cash poor.

    What about non-pensioners? Those that needed work to survive, now have mortgages on their houses, maybe a new family and can no longer to pay for them? Is their cause being championed?

    I too survive here, a distinct lack of work, no income from our Restaurant. How long can we last?

    One thing is for sure, I won’t be looking for the U.K. Government to bail me out. It was me that put me here and it was my calculated decision, not Gordon Browns/Tony Blairs/Maggie Thatchers etc.

    Solutions?

    The pound is favourable for cash movements to the UK so, sell you property cheap and suffer the misery in the UK with the DSS holding your hand and realising you WERE beeter off in the sun after all!

    Adios!

  15. As a pensioner I understand what everyone is saying except for one thing. When we all moved out here we came because we wanted a ‘better’ life. What we did was to gamble on the future staying as good. Sadly, it didn’t. Once Spain began its building boom the alarm bells should have started ringing. I have had a home here for over 20 years and it goes in pockets. Unfinished properties that are skeletons for years and in the time I have been here this is the third such period. I honestly don’t think anyone should expect the British government to bail them out – their decision to come and as there is almost parity pound to euro you might reflect on how pensioners in England are coping.

  16. I think that Jackie H’s comments are very telling because at the end of the day the cost of living here is lower and the standard of living must be HIGHER.I have a single private pension to live on which as everyone knows was paying 1.45euros – in July ’07 and whatever it does now, so we are ALL in the same boat and have to eke things out as we can.Things in the UK cost much more,people are losing jobs and their homes poor souls,crime is through the roof.I’d take poison before I returned there!

  17. Paul things are not cheaper in Spain than in the UK. Having been back a few times recently, and last year, and having spoke to other people in the UK, many things are now on a par if not cheaper than Spain, and there is much more choice in the UK. There is no choice here – the shops are abysmal and never even change their stock regulary. In Dunnes stores they have an item for 12 euros marked as 8 pounds! Great math eh? Dunnes are Irish, but even they have succumbed to the Spanish madness.

    Crime here in Spain is off the scale; our neighbours were gassed and robbed recently, including their baby! Spain is in a much worse position than the UK, and on top of that, if you are an expat living here, you have to deal with corruption and enormous ineffeciency at every turn. Simple things become so difficult here, and that can be the last nail in the coffin for people already stressed out with the economic climate. Spain is a very backward nation and it needs the EU to seriously kick its ass!

  18. Whilst fully supporting your campaign to get help for hard-up Pensioners living in Spain, I cannot help but think that we are perhaps (hopefully) panicking at the current exchange rate situation.

    I did not hear anybody mentioning a couple of years ago that they were so fortunate at being able to experience the favourable rate they were then receiving!

    Maybe it is a typical British attitude – only moan about the weather, the exchange rate, etc. and seldom (if ever) praise how good life is over here when compared to the miserable weather and economic climate being experienced in the UK.

    Having said all of that,I cannot describe how angry I am at the letter written by an MP to a worried Pensioner stating that he does not care about Brits in Spain. What does he want them to do – return in their thousands to live off the State, become ill and put pressure on the NHS? He needs to come here and see how happy and healthy the Brits are and realise that all they want is to live out their days without being dependant upon Government assistance. They paid into the System all their working lives and are still contributing in taxes on their pensions and savings – it is not too much to ask to receive the same consideration as those less fortunate at not being able to leave the UK.

  19. Spain does not care about its own pensioners, let alone expats! Just look at the state of the infrastructure – here in my town people cannot even walk out of their houses properly because there are no proper pavements and the road is all uneven and very dangerous for an elderly person. The street lights are all broken and everything is overgrown and left to pot.

    Even the young mothers cannot push their prams out for a walk. There are no parks, no nicely maintained communal areas. Dog excrement everywhere, litter and debris – SPAIN IS A MESS and is almost like a third world country, as many have commented on here. I talk to my local Spanish neighbours and they have nothing but anger to express about their local authorities, who DO NOTHING about any of this year after year, after year.

    So, get it out of your head that Spain is so fantastic to its young and elderly – it is a fallicy and my neighbours detest their local authorities for essentially forgetting they even exist!

    This is the reality of Spain in 2009.

  20. Andy (post #1),

    Ronda Today has this text “Spain in recent years has made great strides in becoming one of the world’s top ten economies, and may soon eclipse Italy and France as a major economic powerhouse within Europe.”

    Err, needs a rewrite I think!

  21. Wow, we seem to be living in different countries, Simon. I don’t know what has to do the crazy bureaucracy with the rating of a whole country. If Spain is third world, you come from the seventh by the level of your education and the width of your vision, mate.
    This is for pensioners. First of all, in Catalunya, Navarra, Old Castille, Asturias, Cantabria, the Basque Country, pensioners are quite well taken care of. Hospitals and residences are quite new, good installations and qualified personnel. Those who don’t like being robbed and gassed, if you’d try, for instance, Santander in the first place, as well as not roasting your skin the day you arrived, you might have a total different vision of this country.
    Moneywise, when the things were supposedly very good, i didn’t hear (or said, for that matter) anything but complaints. The whole brotherhood of the european mafias (UK has three alone, not counting the IRA) came down to wash up their dirty cash, through the brick to the euro trick. That was the part that Spain had to play to get along with our new first world friends (Bush Sr smile here). It’s not a big conspiration really, i think it’s just good old chaos.
    Now the party’s over. Those of you who didn’t see it coming, ie. the lot of you, the lot of us, can hit our heads against the wall if you want, but that’s gone, and the missed “opportunities” and its long tentacles with it. Now, what’s next? Or will we start complaining again about the past when the shrew gatherers are sorting our the future?
    Fact due: The UK government HAS to protect the 350.000 pensioners living in Spain, because Spain is nice and warm and healthy for them, and if after a goddamed life working and fighting wars one person cannot get a relaxed retirement, to hell with all efforts, I still can pay taxes for twenty years, but i’ll become a hippie and i’ll support myself growing marijuana, which is now hot business and knows no crisis and it’ll either secure my retirement in a nice villa or in a nice institution for elder criminals, four meals a day, tv and card games, workshops and possibly paid job as gardener in public parks, where i’ll plant more marijuana to ensure the detention. I don’t even smoke, so it’ll be all profit. Who could call me immoral?
    There are many fronts in this war, just concentrate in the one that most interests you, and don’t listen to end-of-the-world proclamas. Spring’s coming soon here, whereas it’ll be some months ’til it’s warmer up north. Things get cheaper in spring, off with the heating, longer days, abundant fish, outdoor activities and so on. Most of you’ll get through it without going anywhere, but if is the crisis you fear, try Australia, as they didn’t hear of it and it’s warn too and they speak funny english, like in here. Wish you well.

  22. My father insuisted in his private pension in euros and off shore. His british company paid for this and his pension is unaffected by the fluctuation of the pound. His british state pension is now virtually worthless. Most of those who have settled in Spain could have done this but they chose to keep the GBP in the hope that it would increase in value. Bad luck because they backed the wrong horse.

  23. maybe Mandellsohns the monsters idea of joining the euro may help the oaps. frugality is an option. making a diners club where food is swapped or made for eachother on different days may help. one thing s for sure! the spanish are not going to help!

  24. Hi all,
    back online after 3 months here in France and finally found the time to take a look at the Olive Press site.

    Well,well,well – you would’nt think it possible but those two wallies, robert and stuart allsop (they simply don’t deserve upper case, in fact I don’t think they even deserve lower case – do you?)look even more stupid and than back in January.

    Let’s start with the first prat Robert – “sick bizarre view of politicians – the voters would’nt agree with you”

    I think anyone with half a brain can tell from your vocabulary that you were never an ordinary farm worker – so we know you to be a rather pathetic liar and no farm worker anywhere in the UK EVER earned enough money to come and retire in Spain.

    Why don’t you get in touch with the Telegraph and tell them they have a “sick bizarre view of politicians and that the “voters would never agree them”.After all it was this newspaper that set the whole furore in process.10 months on and it’s you who looks so sick and bizarre.

    Of course maybe I should have some sympathy with you as you could be seriously dysfunctional and living a half life on Largactyl medication (taking too little or too much) – no my first assessment is correct.

    stuart allsop – it’s you is “a rather sad and if you really believed what you said you must really have an extremely low IQ to believe what you wrote – but then everyone can see that now – I wonder if you’d make a good clown but then again no, to be a good clown requires a great deal of intelligence.

    I think we can all agree to dismiss anything these two twats post here from now on.

    Gavin, you wrote some extremely telling comments and just the other day I was looking through some old alternative newspapers from the 1970s and came across one written by a well known Anarchist of the times his forecasts and prescription for avoiding just the mess we are all in now were particularly telling.

    He talked about the obsession with youth and how the elderly had so much to offer a ‘real society’.

    Decades ahead of his time he was damning about ‘the culture of greed’. It was only a few months ago that Gordon ‘Gecko’Brown was saying that “in 20 years we can double world growth” – this is seriously delusional stuff from the morose moron from his bunker at No. 10.

    Messy spaniard,
    you need to wake up and smell the coffee pal – you Spanish have been looting the fish for decades. I remember the wonderful shoals of mackeral that used to appear every late summer off the coast of southern England when I was young – you took the lot and they are gone for ever. Where I lived in northern Galicia the Rias used to be full of fish and that was only 30 years ago – now there are none. Now you are looting fish all over the planet – how do I know this because my neighbour downstairs in Ortigeuria was a cook on the fishing boats – so don’t try to tell me I don’t know what I am talking about – the boats he worked on never caught any fish in Spanish waters

    Your country is nearly bankrupt but ‘no shoulders’ Zapatera will never tell you that. You have over 20% unemployment and that does’nt include over 4 million jobsworths. Without huge handouts from northern Europe you would still be poverty stricken – you have never paid your way in Europe.

    All the factories that have closed will never re-open – you simply can’t compete – try having less fiestas and work harder and smarter.

    You have severe water shortages now and still you irrigate stupidly and build more and more golf courses.

    By 2050 virtually all of Spain except for small pockets high up in the Pyrenees will be desert.

    Your country is totally corrupt from top to bottom – 80% of all €500 notes are in Spain – show a Spaniard a cheque and they run a kilometre. Here in Spain we tried to pay for fuel oil (for our rented apartment)with cash, no way said the driver we only take cheques – the French don’t mind a paper trail. Receipts in Spain – don’t make me laugh.

    You have such a wonderful country – really just how many illegal houses and apartment blocks do you have – 400,000 – do you know how many illegally built houses we have in the UK – zero pal that’s how many.

    We don’t have people roasted alive in their homes every week and the do you know the quality of Spanish building – crap – total crap. 20 year old apartment blocks falling down all over Spain. Take a tip from me and ‘pull your neck in’your going to have more problems in just staying alive.

    Like nearly all Spanish you are in denial syndrome about yourselves and your country – like I said – wake up and smell the coffee.

  25. The Spanish public must be the most badly informed people on the planet. It’s not their fault; their government feeds them NO information on other countries apart from Latin America, so they get to see how their country compares with Bolivia each time the news comes on! Mind you, Bolivia is actually less corrupt than Spain now of course. If the Spanish saw how Northern european countries were run, they’d lynch the government tomorrow.

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