14 Jun, 2010 @ 19:28
1 min read

Spain in meltdown?

THE European Union and the Spanish government have denied that an economic rescue package is imminent.

Reports in the German media claimed that Spain’s economy is teetering on the brink of collapse.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper reported that the Spanish government is set to ask for a multi-billion euro bailout package.

However, the European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, denied this was the case.
“The European Union isn’t preparing to give financial aid to Spain,” he insisted.

“We will lead discussions this week in Brussels concerning the crisis.”

Barroso explained that fiscal consolidation and other reforms are necessary for economic growth.

And the Secretary of State for Spain’s treasury, Carlos Ocana, maintained that the worrying reports were false.

The FAZ had quoted German government insiders talking about the alleged big-money salvage bid.

“We will lead discussions this week in Brussels concerning the crisis,” said the source.

“It has intensified to the point that the states do not want to wait until the EU summit on Thursday in Brussels.”

But European Union economic spokesperson Amadeu Altafaj also roundly rejected the reports.

“There is no truth in this whatsoever,” affirmed Altafaj. “I categorically refute these claims, it is very strange that a country like Germany is making such assertions.”

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. One of the qualities necessary to be a Member of any Government is to be able to lie and Carlos Ocana is no different to any other member of Zapateros Govt. So when he said reports that Spain was about to receive an aid package were untrue the average reader knew he was telling porkies. Spain IS in fact receiving a minimum of £100 Billion up-to £200 Billion in aid from the EU to save it following Greece down the EU Toilet!Very soon,no matter what Zapatero or anyone else says,it’s true!

  2. Paul is quite correct, I mean who has more economic credibility, Spain or Germany? Yep, easy one to answer. I hear that the EU’s Mr Baroso is reported to have said that Spain is heading back to the path of possible dictatorship unless they can sort out their economic mess.

  3. Spain is reaping what it has sown, greed pure and simple.
    Instead of cutting salaries get rid of half of the staff of the town halls who were taken on in the good times, trouble is with the system as it is they cannot afford to pay them off. Start at the root of the problems, employ people on merit, not because they are related to someone. All these people want is their salary at the end of the month, they are not interested in helping people although that is what they are there for. The Junta are trying to shut the door after the proverbial horse has bolted, what a farce.

  4. Hi Fred, nice to see you’re still on the link? I can give you and others a recent “Classic Waste of Taxpayers Money” in fact perhaps the Olive Press should run a competition as to which Council they consider come-up with the biggest waste-project? In Chiclana dela Frontera where the Council is run by Jose Maria ROMAN,Socialist Dictator of PSOE they authorised the building in Los Gallos of a Medical Centre after months of deliberation and backhanders.There was however NO SURVEY COMPLETED ON THE SITE as the British interpretation for a survey is considered, even though the Council employ numerous architects and engineers and there were at least 3 of each on site at some time who worked for the Building Company.When the work was completed several months ago at a cost of 6 MILLION EUROS it was found that an UNDERGROUND RIVER RUNS UNDER THE SITE AND THAT THE BUILDING IS SINKING AND CAN NEVER BE USED!No consultation with local people was made otherwise it is a possibility that this small fact may have been identified BEFORE a brick was laid? How can Spain SAVE money with imbeciles like this in charge of anything?

  5. Paul, I listen and hear what you say. The stupidity of this place defies belief, and they are not one-off stories – this happens all over the place. I just don’t understand why Spain has to be like this. To think they lead the EU – it’s a joke.

  6. @Paul Have you got any evidence for your story about the health centre in Chiclana de la Frontera? Maybe a link to an article.

    When someone calls an elected Mayor, the “Socialist Dictator of PSOE”, I tend to suspect a lack of objectivity in their view.

  7. gohome,
    the epitomy of a stupid Spaniard. Your country is bankrupt, your caxas have €445 billion of bad debts and nowhere to go but hell.

    Right now secret negotiations are taking place for Spain to borrow €150-200 billion from the mugs in northern Europe.

    Why do you think BBVA & Santander have bought into banking in the UK and the USA because they know that Spain is finished economically – oh I forgot gohome you don’t think and don’t know anything about the REAL state of Spanish economic life – why am I not surprised (because I know the Spanish – heads stuck firmly up rectums).

    I bought a pair of 6f8g signal valves (for hi-fi) from a Spanish Ebay seller. Firstly he posted them knowing that there was a strike by Correo Espana (not very clever) then we got into Ebay pms, a common occurence when things are not going smoothly.

    We talked about the problems in Spain and he mentioned that he ‘saw the economic problems first AT THE END OF 2007’ – I said that I had seen these problems early in 2002 – where were all the people coming from to buy these apartments – does’nt this illustrate perfectly just how out of contact the ordinary Spanish are with the real world – they just don’t get it – THEY HAVE TO CHANGE BUT THEY CAN’T.

    I read today in Granada Hoy that there are in Spain over 300,000 illegally built homes in Spain, now get this the morons cannot understand how this all happened – you don’t believe me – read the article.

    Now here’s the thing – guess who has to pay for all the corruption – the scum in the local councils, the totally corrupt lawyers, the notaries, the architects – no of course not – that’s right, the mugs who bought these properties.

    Reckon on €80-100K per home.

    On Monday I shall have a bone to pick with my local mayor – I have seen a piece of land for sale – 2000sq m for €23K with full planning permission – why did’nt he let me know – he knows I’m a Celt who is very capable of flying into a ‘blood rage’ – could this be our ‘piece of land’.

    Unlike totally corrupt Spain – If I buy a piece of land with planning consents – I know this will hold forever and a day.

  8. The persecution of European citizens by the Spanish Authorities are accelerating.
    There is now very little to distinguish the criminal developers, legal system, judicial system, local governments and regional governments, they are all collaborating to plunder the homes and steal the belongings of elderly European citizens. While the Priminister explains he has no powers, he has however the power to advise Europe how to handle its finances.
    You complain at your own peril, with the risk of being hauled of to court, charges in Spain no longer required.
    Should you think this somewhat over the top, then why are so many abandoning their retirement homes?
    The barbaric treatment of elderly expatriates by the Spaniards has to stop.


    Spain is running the EU currently; they’ll have to impose sanctions on themselves, lol. Spain is an amazing country. It exists within the EU and yet they seem to be exempt from European law and all the human rights legislation. Just go over to the Court of Human Rights website and have a little peek at their pending human rights abuse cases. Spain features very highly indeed. Rather than expats getting compensation, the EU bails them out more! You couldn’t make it up and it is a travesty.

  10. Hi Fred,
    With no judicial system, the legal framework cannot survive, so the weakest are made the victims, the Spaniards revert to a totalitarian dictatorship and the elderly British expats. are thrown to the dogs, or in the bull ring.
    I will take your advice and have a look at the Court of Human Rights website.
    Can anyone answer, what the Spanish are trying to achieve by their barbaric behaviour?

  11. I have to say that with the modern age of the internet and news and hundreds of TV channels, Spain is driving itself in a downward spiral. Word is out and Spain has given itself such bad press that it will be hard for the Country to return to the good times. Even after one of the world cup games there was the Spain Paradise lost programme being repeated, with Len and Helen prior on there.
    The topic of Spain comes up in many conversations in the UK and I have to advise people that it is too corrupt to buy a property there, that it is in a mess and best avoided for many years to come. I went to my apartment in May, in a concrete jungle near the sea, and there were hardly any holiday makers there, the place was empty. I talked to another new Bar owner and he said it is dire. I did not want to tell him but it has always been dire for all of them for the 11 years I have owned a place there. He said his winter electric bill is €350 euros and when the A/C comes on in the summer it goes up to €850, that was why he had it off and I was sweating inside the bar!! Nice bar as well, real Irish bar with most of the interior imported from an old bar from Ireland. 4 people in there on a Saturday night. I think a lot of people that used to go to Spain were property hunters and now they have gone they are in double trouble. They, the Spanish, must be pretty thick to think they can carry on like they are.
    When I see a Spaniard in a Porsche I wonder how many people he had to rip off to get the car. He probably has moved area or looks over his shoulder the entire time. I don’t think success when I see a nice car and a Spaniard inside, I think corruption. I think, abagado, estate agent or politician. I think I even hold a dodgy UK banker in higher regard than these people. At least the dodgy banker is spreading the pain rather than taking all assets from a pensioner who has worked all their lives and in many cases only own one home and have carried out some very hard and labour intensive jobs to get that one home. These people must be going through a very unreasonable amount of stress.
    I see and know many people that come to the UK from other Countries. Once they have been here for a while they find it hard to go back to own culture. The garlic belt, South America, they are all the same. My hardest decision in the UK is if I should upgrade to 50mb from 20mb on my virgin broadband service, shall I get a flat screen TV for my home office etc. Spain is turning people off, it does not welcome many people and all that racism is holding it back. It is not really the place for big business because they make everything so difficult. I could live there when I am older but in the back of my mind all I can think of is all real corruption and negativity. Why should these people have to suffer, by writing this and putting people off of Spain I am doing my bit to help with changing things, or am I helping to start a civil riot when unemployment reaches 30% because no-one is going there? I think the marches are the best way to keep the pressure up. If I won the lottery I would fund a few demonstrations to Almeria from all over Spain and invite all TV stations from around the world.
    The pressure is really on the Spanish now, people power and communication is working while the EU turning a blind eye is being disgraceful. What is the point of having the EU other taking from the rich Countries to prop up the corrupt countries. Politicians, no back bone, just large bank balances.

    Expats fear the arrival of Spain’s fast-track demolition
    Britons living in Spain have been warned that some face “express demolition” of their houses under a tough new law announced by the regional government of Andalusia

    The Junta de Andalucía’s new housing tzar, Rosa Urioste, at a meeting in Chiclana yesterday (a PSOE-run Cadiz town with many ‘viviendas ilegales’ and an active British property owners association), says that the – wait for it – three hundred thousand illegal homes in Andalucía
    ‘There are rules’, shrieked, Rosa Urioste, ‘and they must be obeyed’

  13. Give Rosa Urioste some credit for recognising that rules exist but didn’t she know that rules are made to be broken and they have been, mainly by her own countrymen and it gets worse because the rules that Rosa Urioste refers to have been broken in a collosal way and at all levels of spanish AUTHORITY and INDUSTRY.

    But now that she has started to point the finger, perhaps she is really exhausted by the enormity of this farse, is the new tzar Rosa Urioste offering an easy way out for herself and her colleagues, too much work really to sort out here, in too deep, so let’s look at a quick solution and one where they won’t lose out financially and at the same time try to make us think of the generosity of her solution – What, they aren’t going to demolish our homes after all.

    I’m no fool.

    Why doesn’t the Junta de Andalucia accept that it is at fault and 100% responsible for what has happened here?

    Another solution is that the lot should be demolished, starting with the properties and developments owned by the big shots, especially those properties not yet sold where the banks have got their money invested in too, you know, the very same properties that the Junta de Andalucia invested in a new website on behalf of the developers and constructors to help sell these same properties, AND THEN, the little guys, us individuals, demolish our properties too, but with regards to the latter, not before the Junta de Andalucia produce another Law that states that all the investment monies are to be returned to the mainly northern european property purchasers who bought in good faith and return our investment together with financial compensation in recognition of the despair that has been caused, and in addition, the return of property purchase taxes paid on this massive figure 300,000 illegal properties, I’ll take mine in a brown bag and afterwards, there will be no need to up-date the poorly maintained Catastro, never was of any use anyway.

    The Junta de Andalucia should give us the chance to get out without us losing a cent or have they started something that they now don’t know how to finish.

  14. Buenas,

    Il est evident que les representants de l’Etat les maires et conseillers ont laisser faire les constructions,parce qu’ils ont des interets probablement cachés. Les constructions ont été executés en toute connaissance de cause. L’achat des terrains et des matériaux n’a pas pu être cachés à ce niveau de développement.
    Ces maisons doivent être légalisées à des coûts raisonnables discutées et convenues. Qu’ont fait les notaires durant l’enregistrement des actes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Pourqoui n’ont ils pas vérifiés
    Ces types irresponsables nous ont trompés!!!!!!!!!!!!
    et ils doivent payer en nous aidant

  15. Juan diego,
    I believe most of us agree with your comments,
    however corruption in Spain has reached the point where all relevant bodies, governments, central, regional, local, police, judicial system, legal system, banks, estate agents, developers, builders are involved in criminal activities and true to type none of these criminal factions trust each other, a recipe for the disastrous situation many of us find our selves in.
    The criminals are running the show, a “military dictatorship” may be the only solution left, which leaves very little hope for all the expatriates who invested their life savings, in the belief that a relatively safe and peaceful retirement was possible in Spain.

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