27 Jan, 2009 @ 09:04
1 min read

Worst recession for 50 years


Jobless hits 12-year high as recession deepens and unemployment may rise to 18 per cent

SPAIN has gone into its worst recession for 50 years, estimate analysts.

The news came as Spain’s unemployment totals leapt more than expected in December to reach three million for the first time in 12 years.

According to official figures, unemployment now stands at 3.13 million – and that is expected to rise considerably in 2009.

“This is different to anything we have experienced before,” finance minister Pedro Solbes admitted.

His comments came as the country became the second country in five days to be downgraded by credit rating company Standard & Poor. Spain lost its AAA sovereign rating removed as its budget deficit swelled.

Solbes predicted that the economy will shrink by 1.6 per cent in 2009. The budget deficit will come close to 6 per cent. “We have used up the margin we had in public spending,” he said.

He is also predicting that by the end of 2009 some 16 per cent will be unemployed. Some banks are predicting 18 per cent.

The figures confirm that Spain has, according to the Guardian “the most troubled economy in Europe”.


It shed a million jobs last year, a feat not managed by any other European country since the 1930s, with another million jobs expected to go this year.

Spain already has as many unemployed workers as Germany, a country with almost double its population. Spain’s savings banks predict unemployment of 18 per cent.

“That is the stuff of social revolution,” commented one senior trade unionist.

“The real problems will come in the second half of this year,” said Victor Renes of the charity Caritas – when the first wave of jobless will be reduced to minimal aid from one of western Europe’s less generous welfare systems. Caritas has already seen demand for help leap 75 per cent in 2008.

According to statistics, in December, almost 140,000 people lost their job – the ninth straight month of increasing unemployment.

In Andalucía, a total of 208,561 people lost work in 2008. The total number of unemployed in the region now stands at 720,000.


  1. What can one say – Solbes (when you can understand his mumbling speech) in an interview with the FT about 9 months ago refuted entirely that Spain had ‘any real problems’.

    The trade unionist who predicts ‘social revolution’ is right on the money.

    Consider – 1.4 million empty properties/many Spaniards got mortgages when they should have been refused – Spain’s own sub prime and now the idiot Zapatero is promising mortgages for the unemployed, why, he does’nt have a clue what to do.

    Simple really – the sole motor of the Spanish economy, construction is gone – what else is there – nothing.

    The Spanish are hugely inefficient, they have far too many fiesta days. When I mentioned this to a bank manager who uses my favourite bar he laughed and said no “we want more”.

    The Spanish really are incapable of changing their mentality – it is rigid, incapable of absorbing any ideas that do not originate in Spain and going to work in northern European countries is a non starter because they have no language skills (sound familiar to the English?)and anyway there is no work.

    The Germans, Dutch and Brits are sick of propping up these corrupt brain dead countries of southern Europe. If Germany decides it has had enough the EEC will collapse as of course will the Euro.

    How are they ever going to be able to pay back the billions and billions they have borrowed against completely overvalued properties.

    The Spanish can never accept that they are in the wrong, are a xenophobic country of epic proportions – they will look for scapegoats.

    I have said this before but it needs re-iterating – they will take it out on foreigners, on those who have treated them with contempt, refused to try and enter into friendships with the Spanish and indeed live deliberately in self-imposed ghettos – I am of course talking about so many of the Brits.

    It is precisely this type of Brit that I and my partner refuse to have any contact with at all.

    All my neighbours are Spanish and I enter freely into political/social issues every day. They know that I have warned them for years of the problems that have now ‘come on top’. Indeed they now come to me for ideas on how to deal with the horrendous financial situation they find themselves in.

    Don’t under-estimate the potential for real social dis-order in this country and remember that there are 30,000 gun licences in Granada province alone.

  2. Stuart has got some valid points, although I do not agree with the “brit ghetto” bit. People have freedom to as they wish. If they want to integrate, great. If not, that’s their choice and they have the right not to integrate and stay private. To avoid somebody because they do not integrate is just plain silly Stuart…

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