By Andrew Pearce

DESPITE the worst recession for 60 years, almost 60 per cent of Spaniards are spending the same – or more – on Christmas.

Ignoring the economic doom and gloom, the average spend per family of 735 euros is well up on the European average of 583 euros.

Some three per cent of Spaniards plan to splash out even more in a bid to forget their 2009 woes.

When the big day comes an average of nine gifts will have been bought per household, each costing an average of 45 euros.

Of those who plan to cut back this festive period, they say it will be on clothes, booze and less trips to the cinema and theatre.

The study carried out across Europe, revealed that the Irish are planning to cut back the most.

Meanwhile, Spanish national lottery fever is sweeping across the country with the grand draw set to take place on December 22.

Despite costing 20 euros a ticket, families are hoarding as many as possible as they dream of winning the famous El Gordo jackpot.

Isa Escobar, 27, from Arriate, revealed that every member of her family had bought a ticket, estimating between them that some 200 euros were spent in a bid to secure some of the two billion euro prize pot.

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