23 Sep, 2010 @ 18:03
1 min read

Spain is a better place to live than Britain

By Wendy Williams

It is official – the UK is one of the worst places to live in Europe.

And Spain is one of the best.

Aside from the glorious sunshine, the Spanish get 41 days annual leave compared to only 28 days a year in the UK, and they enjoy a longer life expectancy.

Moreover, UK food and diesel prices are the highest in Europe – in fact only Ireland and Sweden pays more for drinks than the UK.

And the UK’s spending (as a percentage of GDP) on health and education is far below the European average, which had a significant impact on its rating.

These findings are based on the uSwitch.com European Quality of Life Index which ranked ten European countries according to 16 factors.

The study found France and Spain are the best places to live in Europe and the UK and Ireland are the worst.

According to Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, money can’t make you happy and whereas some countries work to live, UK consumers live to work.

She said: “We earn substantially more than our European neighbours, but this level of income is needed just to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table and our homes warm.

“There is more to good living than money and this report shows why so many Brits are giving up on the UK and heading to France and Spain.”

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 [email protected]


  1. 41 days annual leave? That’s news to me. I work in Spain and get 25 days annual leave, the same as I got in most of the places I worked in the UK.

    The quality of life is certainly better in Spain, but the employment culture still leaves an awful lot to be desired. And seeing as work makes up a large part of most of our lives, it’s an important factor to take into consideration.

    I certainly didn’t see much quality of life when my boyfriend was studying for his ‘opposiciones’ as a teacher, fearful that failure would mean another year or more of substitutions in any part of Navarre (a large region don’t forget).

    I agree, however, that the ‘funcionarios’ (who do manage to pass their ‘oppository’ exams) get it easy – I’m sure they’re the ones enjoying the 48 days annual leave. But wherever you look – and funcionarios are in a lot of places – hospitals, post offices, leisure centres – it’s hard to find much of a culture of accountability.

    I defy anyone – both Spanish national or otherwise – to tell me they haven’t had a run in with their fair share of these public workers, so long in the same post some of them barely have the drive or initiative to make a photocopy.

    But no wonder they’ve lost their drive. Because, contrary to what seems to be popular belief here, knowing there’s someone to answer to – e.g. the public – does make you do your job better and has the knock-on effect of creating greater job satisfaction.

    Things are not perfect in the UK. Brits spend too long working and commuting and too little time, for example, eating and preparing food.

    And maybe we do ‘live to work’ too much, although arguably this has led to the creation of ‘work appraisals’ and the concept of – as I mentioned before – job satisfaction. Employers admire drive and encourage ambition. They do not necessarily sweep you aside because you have less certificates than other candidates. Experience is valued and interviews are all important.

    I think Brits have a lot to learn, from the French, the Spanish, the Swedes… from other European countries with a, perhaps, healthier approach to living. But it isn’t all one-way traffic – the Brits have things to teach too.

  2. Once again a meaningless report already contradicted by people who live here. Sure, the sun and the views are pretty, but with no work, no prospects, super red-tape, inefficiency, apalling infrastructure and endemic corruption, Spain quickly becomes a no-go as a destination to consider seriously as a place to come and live and work.

    Furthermore, the report does not mention the appalling mess of Spain’s infrastructure and its run-down facilities and the massive cuts in expenditure. It also makes so mention of Spain’s worst recession since modern times and the fact that they are going to be in a state of recession for a long time to come.

    Remember the last Quality of Life report that said in Spain you can earn 40% more than the UK? lol, what a joke these reports are. Talk to an average Spanish family about quality of life in Spain and let them tell you about how depressed they are with their country and its lack of efficiency and general prospects.

  3. Spain is a great place to live,The people in general are happy and kind..The countryside is some of the most spectacular in the world..there is just one thing that spoils it????..some Ex pats constantly moaning and sniping at every thing they read..however there is a cure to this malaise ..LEAVE…if you fit the bill…and you know who you are…..broke back Britain awaits…but don’t put a cat in a bin when you get there.”OH THE CRUELTY IS AWFUL”

  4. Spain has good food, weather and is relatively safe but the politicians, estate agents and lawyers have messed the place up.
    It is not a good place to make money unless you are the Mayor or one of his relatives. Many of these Mayors and Town Hall Planners own their own building Companies as well. Corruption is everywhere you look and they are not even trying to hide it most of the time. When I was trying to obtain planning permission for a large extension once, the Town Planner told me I had to have a Road built by one of the Companies the Town Hall utilised, I wonder who owned that Company! I gave up in the end but someone lost out on the €90k I was going to spend.
    I could not agree with Fred more. I did leave as well and I am still winging! It is much better for me in UK than Spain. I just go there for a few holidays each year now.
    When i am old enough to retire I am not sure if I would even live there full time. I purchased my first property there 11 years ago and it all gets rather tiring dealing with these people after that length of time. Sure, if you are 65, just moved there and have 15 years left, sold your only home in the UK then you will probably put up with it until you have had it. It is all exciting at first but that faded away for me.

  5. Schofield can moan, but nobody else is allowed to lol. The problem for you Nick is that what I said above is all true, but you are just in denial of the facts. I have said before, on numerous occasions, that Spain has great countryside, beautiful views, pretty villages and the old folks are nice etc, but that is not a criteria on which you solely base moving and living in another country.

    If you can’t get a job, training, business support, proper Internet, proper service, a modicum of efficiency from your local council, and on top of that have to read about endless corruption scandals and see fellow expatriates being shafted left, right and centre, then it does take the appeal of Spain away as it is not a massively ethical place to live. As reap said, Spain literally tires you out. No wonder everyone is on a siesta lol. If you are moving here as a retiree with a nest egg, Spain is fine, but if you are considering coming here to live and work with a family, think again. That’s my opinion Nick, and you’ll have to live with that lol. As for “broke back Britain”, that must make Spain “paralysed from the neck down” then.

  6. I agree Fred. I was once positive about Spain but as the years went by the Spanish ground me down! I am sure everyone who goes there are positive to start with as well and probably thinking like Schofield but if you need to do anything or make any money you have a lot of trouble ahead of you. I was also quite positive when I only had holidays there and did not live there.
    I have three good Spanish friends so they are not all bad. Most of the Spanish are looking for an angle to con you out of some money though, or try and take a bit of your land. Sometimes it can be funny. There is an old lady near my house who has two walking sticks and she goes around stealing peoples tomatoes etc. One old neighbour threatened to hit her over the head with a lump of wood if he catches her again.
    In these small villages as well, they are all playing mind games with each other, these Spanish. The English are all gossiping about each other. I find that quite funny as you ask who is doing what and I just sit there and listen to the knives going in.
    I compare Spain to when I was younger. I was early 20’s, and a friend lend me his convertible Porsche. Fantastic, but after two weeks the novelty had worn off and it was just like any other car but faster. Apart from the weather, cheap property and the ‘Council tax’, Spain is like an old banger. You need a bit more than just those things to make it good.


  8. OK, getting things into proportion…

    Moving to another country IS tough and it IS tiring. Culture shock is still a vastly underrated affliction.
    Which brings us to the crux of the matter, and one that has been mentioned in previous comments: Retiring to Spain to live by the pool under the sun in an ex-pat community (or whatever) is not the same as having to function here on a daily basis.

    If you are used to the nepotistic culture; the fact that – particulary in the south – 2pm actually means any time after 2pm; and you’ve grown up and been educated with the ‘I’m lucky to have a job at all’ mentality, then your quality of life won’t be so severely affected.

    Spanish people in Spain may well have a ‘better quality of life’ than Brits living in the UK (however you wish to measure that) but 2 and 2 do not make 5; moving to Spain as a Brit is tough and no amount of sun, sangria, sand or tapas makes up for that reality.

  9. Still suffering from the syndrome I see Nick, zzz. I haven’t made any mistakes, just expressing my opinions, and they are accurate too. One notes that Nick never takes up any points raised, because he knows them all to be correct and just can’t admit it. You really have problems Nick, are you on medication lol.


  11. My old friend Fred,
    Have you ever thought that most of you British people have chosen to live in a fringe of land that stretches no more than 30 kms inland from the coast?. That you can not find a job…, what did you expect? First you learn Spanish and then apply. Unless you are a fisherman or an state agent there’s no future for you here. Have you ever heard about Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao…? These are some of the more advanced cities in Europe. Would you have something to offer there apart from your negativity? Of course, forget the see/sun/sand culture, the sangria and the siesta time. If you lived and worked in one of these cities you wouldn´t feel to live in Spain, at least the Spain that brought you here and that you deeply detest. Anyway I´m sure that you are smart enough not to attend my words and you´ll keep moaning from Montejaque, although the TV signal is weak…..

  12. Juan, what you say is partly true, that inland Spain could never offer the sort of employment that say, larger cities and other expat hubs like Marbella can – how could one expect it to? I never expected it to. However, your comments do not apply to me personally, as I am employed.

    Lets face it, business support, taxation, training etc is all non-existent and terribly run – that’s why Spain’s black market is so large. Spain really has totally forgotten about its rural people. And my TV signal is perfect Juan; satellites are wonderful things – try one.

    Nick, comments from a madperson (that’s you) are best left in isolation. And Spain really does want my type of person; my work assists Spain’s economy and I pay more taxes in a month than you earn in a year (assuming you do work, but in reality you are probably a plumber/electrician/estate agent/builder/blogtroll ‘hybrid’ lol). Keep taking the tablets…


  14. Well yes, I generally agree with the report, Spain is a better place to live than the UK. One big proviso – you must be Spanish to appreciate the difference. Foreigners are not liked, despite the wealth they have brought to the country.
    But there are other provisos, the main one is, come here with pots of money to pay-off the hoardes of corrupt officials who would otherwise seek to ruin your life. (Juntas, planners, notaries, architects, lawyers, etc.)
    But if you come here as an honest pensioner, having worked hard all your life, and come face to face with Spain’s appalling corruption, life is hell. I haven’t (yet) but thousands have.
    Spain today is so different to the Spain I loved on my first motorcycle tour nearly 50 years back, everyone was friendly and helpful, even if as poor as Church mice. That’s why my dream was to live in Spain. In many ways a shattered dream.
    Foreigners are also often accused of trying to change Spain. Mostly they simply seek to warn the population about making the same mistakes made in their own country.
    A final conclusion? If the UK had a lot more sunshine, it would be a much HAPPIER place to live than Spain.

  15. Exactly, 99% of people would not even move from the UK if it had Spain’s weather. As many have found out, having good weather is not worth all the other hassles in the end.

  16. Sunshine? And what about food, wine, charm, women, nature, Cadiz province, El Camino de Santiago and the Romanesque routes, the light and the night, the outhome life, toasting with friends later than eleven, Ibiza and the Mediterranean sea, the mountains….. I´ll stop not to laugh any more.

  17. Food? Maybe in the north. I had a fantastic meal in Valladolid last Saturday. Down here in the south all one needs to qualify as a chef is a can-opener and a microwave…

  18. It is very hard to gereralise about the UK or Spain, purely because of the diversity in both countries.
    The main plus for ex pats living in Spain is the weather, the people are generally more polite,and of course the proximity of returning if and when desired.
    However, when it wants to be,Spain is a Third World Country, and I have never ever met anyone else who has moved here,that hasn’t been ripped off by people one would never question in the UK i.e.solicitors or accountants.
    Unfortunately the worst are the ex pats who rip off other ex pats.
    Spain relies very heavily on the GBP,but are we made really welcome.
    As for employment, forget it for the next few years, generally pay is low, yet the Spanish themselves, especially in Andalucia are more intersted in their fiestas then actually doing a good day’s graft.There is no urgency, “the manyana syndronne” will never change, and having lived here for many years one has to accept it or not.
    As for the UK I see anarchy in the not too distant future.

  19. Taken from your article A Divided Society.

    In Malaga, the average wage is 20,659 euros, while in Marbella people earn 20,512.

    Which goes to prove my point about low wages in most probably one of the dearest pleaces to live on the coast.

  20. “In Malaga, the average wage is 20,659 euros, while in Marbella people earn 20,512.”

    Malaga is just a slightly bit larger than Marbella of course, so the averages would be different. Again, hard to compare like for like when the things being compared are so dissimilar.

    Juan is correct, Spain is large and varied place and has much on offer, but noone can experience all those things you mention at one time; I am specifically talking about moving to Spain to live and work, and living in one region, and if you are doing that it is unlikely you’ll be partying in Ibiza and the next day touring Cadiz lol – you know, “real life”, Juan. Most of the expats who come to live in Spain are retirees and their experience of Spain is a simple one; they come for the climate primarily.

  21. Fred,
    If you are specifically talking about living and working in Spain, then one of the main requisites is to speak Spanish, learning another language is something the English generally either don’t do or can’t be bothered, or more likely expect everyone else to speak English .

    Marbella is cosmopolitan and as you well know is not typically spanish.My daughter works in Madrid,and would never have achieved her position without fluent spanish.
    I agree entirely about the retired ex pats who come to settle here long term.

  22. I’ll ignore your personal insult Juan. You accuse Fred of that sort of stuff, yet engage in it quite happily yourself.

    The fact is, if you draw a line of longitude through the middle of Madrid and count the number of Michelin starred restaurants south of it and compare that to the the number of them north of it you’ll know that I’m not talking nonsense. I’m not saying Michelin stars are the be all and end all, but they certainly give a good indication of what’s happening in the restaurant world in a certain area.

  23. Duke, working in Spain does not always require Spanish language skills as there are many English speaking companies and instituations that only speak (and require one to speak) English, and I know a few people who have full-time work in English-speaking companies based on the CDS. It goes without saying that to live and function in Spain one needs to speak some Spanish.

    I think Juan was saying that it is best not to eat in places where lots of expats eat, and was not intending to be, dare I speak the word, ‘racist’. Such accusations must only apply to me of course, lol. Are you taking notes Schofield? – you’ve gone very quiet again and missed that post from Juan, tut tut.

  24. Restaurants – I mainly stay inland in Spain, in the South, in a Spanish area. Within this area all restaurants that I have tried are very poor, especially since the recession kicked in. The majority of Restaurants (99% Spanish Restaurants in my area) only serve the same food. Of course I am only talking about a 20 mile radius from my property and this was not the case in Barcelona where the food was great. I found the variety and quality at some coastal areas to be a lot better. I agree there are a lot of ‘fast food’ places there as well. The best meals I have had have been in the busy coastal areas.
    If you are a reasonable cook you can prepare so much better food with the local produce or grow your own and cook, even better. The quality of salads and vegetables in Spain are great.
    I also think as many restaurants have seen customers disappear they have cut back on the quality of the food to keep profits up and what they are serving nowadays in my area you may possibly give to your dog but you would have to think about it twice.
    I know I am in Spain and the theme you read is keep your mouth shut you are a foreigner, but if they want some of my money they should make a bit more of an effort. The longest I have waited for my first course was 45 minutes in my area. Fawlty Towers- it is exactly like in my area with the service. It is much easier to invite a few people around, cook your own good food and share a few drinks.
    One of my kids has asthma as well and when I went to the last recommended place this summer we had to leave as the cigarette smoke was causing him trouble. I give it a go now and again hoping things have changed but they never do.
    Going back to the expat thing, I knew someone who used to visit other thriving countries and see what was good there and bring the ideas back to UK and when the business was successful they would sell them on and go to the next thing they had on the go. They made millions. Is it good to be stuck in a time warp where you can only have the same thing all of the time. I am not saying we should have a McDonalds on every corner either but my area of inland Spain needs to give people a good reason to go out and spend their money.

  25. I only recently started to blog on here, but why do some folk get so personal with others?It’s all about opinions.nothing more and nothing less.
    The article was headlined as” Spain is a better place to live than Britain.”
    If one needs to work one looks at it in an entirely different perspective than if one is retired.

    It is a learning process when living here, and more often than not that can be costly.

    People come here for a varity of reasons and there is no doubt that Spain has not seen the worst of the recession as of yet, and perhaps let’s review the situation in a year or eighteen months time.

  26. I know this site is paid for by an English language newspaper that is Andalucia orientated but I do get sick and tired of so many talking about ‘the sunny weather in Spain’.Remember that many use these internet forums to research the possibility of living in Spain.

    It simply is’nt true that all of Spain is sunny – it is’nt, don’t use the word Spain when you should be specific – Andalucia/Murcia/Extramadura – these regions have far more sunny days than rainy ones but these 3 areas are not the whole of Spain. Try spending a year in Barcelona – horrible humidity and lots of rain. Or living in Galicia like we did with month after month of grey days with only wind and rain, this applies to the whole of north west Spain.

    Good food in Spain – all over Spain the Spanish serve the same damn thing – meat and chips (with everything).

    I have travelled all over Spain and mostly the food is unrelentingly bad. A sandwich/bocadillo is a classic example a long roll, no butter or margarine, no lettuce or other salad vegetables – compare that to sandwiches in the UK – no comparison nor with the Netherlands/Scandinavia etc.

    Many French who have never visited the UK also come out with b/s – simply put the UK (not just London) has the some of the best restaurants in Europe. Pub food nowadays is top class. I am lucky in that I have an excellant restaurant just across the road here in the Aveyron and it is exceptional value as well but nowadays if you want to eat well in France you have to pay serious money, the menu de la jour of 20/25 years ago has all but gone, it does though offer much better quality and value than Spain.

    There are only two places in Granada that I rec. to those who know what good food is – the House of Wu in the San Juan de Dios and a Veggie takeaway called the Piano, started by two young English women (I forget the address but tourist info can provide that)their first effort is in York.

    When I lived in the Netherlands I found that young Dutch women had’nt a clue about cooking and the best food – Indonesian. Germany starts with good ingredients and then murders them – Turkish restaurants are the only places I eat in there.

    Norway (Stavanger/Bergen) excellant sea food but the rest is not to my taste and hold onto your wallet – it will scream.

    So, for an astounding number of first class places to eat – head and shoulders above the rest of Europe – the UK.

    Reap – good post as always from you – the Spanish will not or cannot change. I learned from a friend’s wife who is also a pro cook that some Argentinians’ opened a beef and beefsteak restaurant in Guadix – they roasted their beef joints and charcoal grilled their steaks and served top class Argentinian Malbec wine – it went bust.

    This Spanish pro cook sneered at my description of Gigot d’Agneau and raved about the way that the Spanish ‘cook’ a lamb joint – swimming in oil. BTW she had never tasted a gigot but she knew – of course she did – she was Spanish.

    I can understand what the UKers like about Spain but for the life of me I do not understand how Germans and the Dutch can tolerate living there. In both Germany and the Netherlands there are proper controls that benefit the whole of society. The professional classes and they are truly professional unlike cowboy UK and Spain – you want to work as a plumber/bricklayer/estate agent/ insurance agent etc. – where are your qualifications. Construction/site agents in Germany have to do a degree course first. How many site agents in the UK take backhanders to let shoddy work go through – plenty – I’m not even sure there is such a thing as a site agent in Spain.

    Here in France too, many UKers moan about the regulations and rules – they are the same all over mainland Europe. It’s only rip-off cultures like Spain/Portugal/Ireland/Italy and Greece and the UK where laissez faire is the norm – guess whose housing markets are in a state of collapse and the ordinary mug taxpayer is picking up the bill.

    The elite are trying desperately to keep the housing market Ponzi scheme afloat in the UK and Spain – they will not succeed and to all the Spanish who want the return of the Peseta – they will not believe the rampant inflation that will follow – who will want to be paid for oil or gas in Pesetas?

  27. Justin,
    My comment is not an insult. I suppose that these posts are so cold and doesn´t show the real aim of what is written. There are so so many restaurants in Andalucia, and of course, so many different qualities. When a restaurant focuses on turists it usually lowers the quality. Regretably that is a fact. You’d better dont eat a paella unless you are in a recomended place or a beforehand known by you. A paella can be a stunning experience or an insult to the costumer. So, as it is known as one of the most tipical spanish dishes if one fails in the election of the restaurant then paella is a sh*t, which is untrue. I guess my opinion is authorized as I come from Madrid, which gives one the chance of travelling through Spain in a few hours and I have done several times. There is no region in Spain where one couldn´t eat well, it´s just a question of succeeding in the election. Perhaps I find it easier as I can ask the locals but there are ways even if you are a tourist. And of course,expensive restaurants rarely dissapoint,but I hardly see “many of you” (which is not an insult) eating in them. However I am used to see tourists eating in a pizza restaurant or a Mcdonalds close a very good spanish restaurant and I find it a pity. Now that I live in Andalucia it´s a luxury to eat in Sanlucar, El Puerto, Jerez, Ronda, Sevilla, Marbella, Granada…. although sometimes I feel like asking for the complain sheet.

  28. Juan, You told me to avoid eating in restaurants where there are “many like me”. That is nothing more than an insult. You have no idea what I am like or who is like me. And now you try to imply that I am a tourist. A bit of an assumption on your part no? I am not a tourist in Spain, I live here, and considering I have lived most of my life, from a very young age, in Spanish-speaking countries I certainly know how to get a recommendation – and believe me, that is not the key to a good dining experience. Luck has more to do with it. I’ve been to many places in Spain, on the recommendation of locals, and had the most horrific “can-opener and microwave” meal experiences. Mostly in the south of Spain I might add.

    Talk about making sweeping generalisations. Just the sort of thing you and others accuse Fred of, but when you make them, it’s OK?

  29. OK, Justin, understand what you want to, that´s is your business. I have explained once and that is enough. Just one thing, as I´m proud of myself I will never find an insult that anybody could be like me, so if being like you is an insult, only you know why.

  30. People like you Juan, they have tunnel vision with a pair of rose tinted spectacles superglued on to the end lol. Whenever I have to have the unfortunate task of passing by a Burger King establishment, it is always full. With Spanish people.

    What a fallacy this “mediterranean cuisine” concept is. Were chips always part of Spanish cuisine? lol.

  31. Fred, Justin R,
    as I have remarked before, the Spanish can never be wrong.

    Like Fred, in relation to the Spanish I have been called a racsist, really stupid this, since the Spanish are not a race, nor are the English, both nationalities are a hotch-potch of different racial origins.

    Fred and I (and others) have made anti-Spanish comments with good reasons because we have had to endure corruption first hand. Because foreigners go to the back of the queue. I myself have had to endure two cases of blatant judicial corruption, once in Galicia and once in Andalucia. The second judge, a female was eventually prosecuted for blatant corruption concerning her boyfriend.

    Juan – paella is not a ‘Spanish’ dish it is Arab like all the best recipes in Spain excepting the Euskadi cuisine.

    Here in France I have to endure dubbing of all non French language programmes, so stupid this because with sub titles the French would pick up foreign languages so much quicker. The only country in Europe that does not dub programmes is the Netherlands – all foreign programmes are sub-titled and guess which people are head and shoulders above the rest for language skills!

    A Spanish friend explained to me what exactly happens when the Spanish and the Catalans dub a film or programme – they deliberately change the voices to match their own! – they change the humour and the actual content to fit in with ‘their take on life’ – so what they end up watching has little to do with the original film.

    I for one could’nt imagine watching an Almoldivar or Bunuel film that had been dubbed – what would be the point!

    Any people that cannot take a look at life through a foreign/different perspective have real problems that they need to take a look at and to be fair a lot of ‘English’ have this mentality as well.

    Having travelled through most of Spain both in the 60s’ and recently, I can say without doubt that food was certainly better then than now.Which is the complete reverse of the UK.

    A few years ago the newspaper Granada Hoy gave away a complete book of ‘traditional’ Granada recipes. Of course they were all either Arab or Jewish based – I have never seen a single one offered in any restaurant in Granada province.

    Here in France we have really enjoyed watching a series of programmes where Gordon Ramsay was parachuted in to save failing rstaurants. Most of these restaurants were in the USA or the UK. However one of them was about a young English chef and his restaurant somewhere outside Malaga. He really took on board what Ramsay had shown him and when Ramsay came back after 6 months or so, he had got even better. The food looked wonderful and we both said we wish we could have found a single restaurant that offered that kind of quality. What was also obvious was that 100% of the cliental was foreign – where were the Spanish?

  32. Stuart,

    I agree with you in principle but you are completely mistaken on two points:

    1st Paella is an Arab dish?.. Well, is so far as all the best ‘English’ and Irish dishes are north American (the potato being non-autoctonous to our isles).

    2nd: the Netherlands is the only European country that doesn’t dub everything? I think you’ll find Finland, all of Scandanavia and Belgium do not dub, and even when I was in Croatia a couple of years ago everything was in original version and with subtitles. All the residents of those countries (and more besides) are excellent at languages, particularly English.

  33. I started to read this column with an avid interest, until I reached good old Fred’s plethary of apathetic comments ! The only attribute or stance both your opinion or view contains regarding Spain or the Spanish people is derogatory. I have lived happily in Spain for seven years with my wife & disabled daughter, she suffers from Cerebral Palsy. Yes we have experienced problems and red tape, but as an ex-employer in the UK I had to deal with the like of the Health & Safety Executive and Her Majestys Customs & Revenue etc, do you really want to swop stories ?? We moved to Spain to get away from the violence and Americanisation of the UK and the “F**k you” attitude which is now prevalant amongst the population. I was sick of members of the pulic who feel that they alone have a God given right to ‘Get in my face’ which now afflicts most of its people. My daughter was regularly pushed to the ground in Tesco’s, because she couldn’t get out of other peoples way in time. I am old enough to remember an England when your word was your bond and we all expected a fair days pay for a fair days work. In the last two years of running my high street retail shop, I was approached no less than six times by people ‘claiming to have had an accident ‘ whist on my premises in an attempt to falsley claim compensation, I was constantly pestered by delinquents smoking dope and committing shop lifting & vandalism at will, witnessed by a judicial system & a police force and community that too couldn’t give a f**k, so long as they had an excuse to take no action. The UK is on a very slippery slope, hospitals with killer bugs, meat with BSE, immigrant problems, the like of which I have not witnessed in 60 years of life, terrorist threats from many sources. Combinee the former with a growing section of the indigenous population which is fat, loud, ignorant and un-educated in the main, and lets not forget, systematically bankrupting our country with fictitious Social Security Benefit fraud. I, as a father and a husband, had had enough. Now, as a semi intelligent individual, I no longer wish to frequent local bars, for they are full with arrogant English & Irish who don’t speak a word of spanish and expect the world to give them what they desire, on a platter. I have a mentally handicapped daughter who can speak to a Spaniard in his own language, in his own country, can you ?? I expect not much if it doesn’t revolve around ordering booze or food. We live in a foreign land, we are the immigrants. We look down on immigrants in the UK who cannot speak english, maybe the Spaniards don’t like the fact that a majority of us cannot or will not, speak Spanish !! Go back to that which you obviously long for, OR stay & work towards Spain becoming a better place, after all, 30 years ago, it was our desires for cheap HOLIDAYS with cheap BOOZE which kick started the Spànish economy. Yes Spain may, at this moment, be on its knees, but it is considered to be the act of a bully to kick someone when they are down. To abbreviate, put up or shut up !!

  34. There are many incorrect assumptions in your rant, Allen. I don’t look down on immigrants in the UK – perhaps you do, seeing as you cite that as a reason for moving from the UK? I don’t blame immigrants trying to come to the UK – who wouldn’t do it to get a better life for their family?

    And, I am working and living in Spain and paying taxes in Spain, and supporting Spain with my skills, thank you very much. I also speak Spanish to Spaniards, not English.

    The term “derogatory” is relative to the person interpreting it; you interpret in your own way. My comments are balanced if you re-read them, and are factual based on my own experiences. Please tell us which parts you specifically do not agree with and then we can debate those point by point. I rather suspect that you will not answer that and prefer the dictatorial approach (which of course destroys your own argument at the same time).

    Are you hired by Mr Schofield by any chance or has he got yet another alias now? lol


  36. Dear Fréd,

    (Sorry to disappoint, never was a wilting rose, I will answer you. Thought you would have realised by now that ‘Assumption is the Mother of all mistakes’ but never mind, here we go !!! )
    Just a small point, I find it quite interesting you should use an acute accent in your name. I hold my hands up, I have never seen Fred spelt the way you spell it, is your heritage British ??

    Seems your defensiveness is quite acute as well. If you read & digest properly that which I wrote, sorry, ‘ranted’ about ? I stated that the main reason for us moving was, at the risk of repeating myself, the current attitude of a lot of people in the UK, at the same time, to gain a better quality of life and security for my daughter, as the general consensus of opinion in the UK is somewhat aggressive now, to say the least, even towards persons both mentally & physically disabled. I am not looking down on immigrants, I merely stated that which is apparently obvious to the rest of the world, And I quote “The UK has an immigrant problem, the like of which I have not witnessed in 60 years of life” I did not state that the immigrants were the problem the UK has, far from it. I place the blame for that, fairly & squarely at the door of our exalted ex Prime Ministers, liars & fools, the pair. Nice try to paint me as a racist, flawed though, as I have several immigrant friends, both European, Indian & Afro-Caribbean. Why, may I ask, have you not contested or rebuked the more than valid point about BSE or Clostridium difficile, Or indeed the Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus which are rampant in UK hospitals, only today I was reading a BBC article on yet another threat, “Experts are also concerned a new killer ‘superbug’ is emerging in the UK called Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) MRSA”.
    You also missed completely the Benefit Fraudsters, several hundred whom live here in Spain, alongside the genuine tax-payers. We pay Autonomo, and the litany of other Spanish taxes that goes with living here legally.
    The term ‘Derogatory’ is, I am afraid, not relative to any persons interpretation & I quote the Oxford Dictionary Definition :
    Derogatory = Adjective
    showing a critical or disrespectful attitude: That would be difficult to mis-interpret, don’t you think ?
    Which I believe, just about relates very well to the, to use your terminology, ‘Rants? of people. May I remind you of your own words ?? “Once again a meaningless report already contradicted by people who live here. Sure, the sun and the views are pretty, but with no work, no prospects, super red-tape, inefficiency, appalling infrastructure and endemic corruption, Spain quickly becomes a no-go as a destination to consider seriously as a place to come and live and work” And as for the comment you made ” If you can’t get a job, training, business support, proper Internet, proper service, a modicum of efficiency from your local council, and on top of that have to read about endless corruption scandals and see fellow expatriates being shafted left, right and centre, then it does take the appeal of Spain away as it is not a massively ethical place to live.”

    Most of the ‘shafted ex pats I know have usually just been shafted by other expats, and as far as bureaucrats, I think ‘People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones’ just about fits the bill. Take a look at some BBC archives of Westminster over the last couple of years, I don’t think the UK comes out very clean in regard to fraud & crime amongst its politicians and bureaucrats. I seem to remember a lot of controversy over fraudulent expenses etc. To cap it all, wasn’t it Blair who took us to war, illegally, against Iraq ?? Maybe he is a racist ?? How far out of line do you have to be ??

    I find that my argument, far from being destroyed, is in fact, based on facts, taken from, the public domain. As far as the false accusation of me being yet another alias for Mr Schofield, if I am, then he obviously suffers from Bi-Polar Disorder, or is it quite simply, that you are wrong, yet again ??

    I do however, truly applaud you for working here and speaking Spanish. I truly believe, as does my wife & daughter, that it is the height of ignorance, to set up home in any foreign country and refuse to learn the language. And I am so tired of hearing “I am too old to learn ” The same people are never too old to demand that the rest of the world pays homage to them, and the Spaniards are the ones who should learn to speak English”. Very sad . On the employment front, my wife works, I am retired, I guess that gives me more years of experience to draw on, or does that make me an old fart who is out of touch ? But, hey ho, never say die ! ( Lol sounds so wet, modern day texting, good way to kill our language, don’t you think ?)

    kindest regards,

    yours respectfully,

  37. FRED !!!!, OOPS sorry, I mean Fréd, Could you be wrong again ??? Your words::: “Malaga is just a slightly bit larger than Marbella of course, so the averages would be different. Again, hard to compare like for like when the things being compared are so dissimilar¨”
    Marbella measures 116 square kilometeres, whereas Malaga comes in at 386 square kilometeres, making it 3.32 times larger than Marbella.By anybodys standards, thats quite a bit more than “Slightly bit larger” I thought it better to point this out now, lest I am accused of being a ‘Sizeist’ as well as a ‘Racist? ‘ at some later date. You see with age comes the wisdom of checking all of what you say, before you say it ! Have a nice day.

  38. The article that Spain is the best place to live, rather than the UK, raised many comments, which now seem have lost their way in a welter of bickering. Neither foreign nor Spanish citizens need this; we must, at all costs, live together and try to overcome our differences in a friendly way. There are huge problems here in Spain which we must use every effort to rectify, rather than waste energy in arguments.
    We all know of the pitfalls and undesirable characteristics of BOTH countries, they DO exist in Spain to a possibly higher degree than the UK, but Spain does have other redeeming features which I need not re-state.
    The UK has been a civilised, democratic country for hundreds of years, its civil war 350 years in the past. Corruption and poverty should not exist, they do, but on a relatively minor scale. Spain is only 70 years away from its civil war; we must expect huge differences, in attitudes and many anomalies, some of which may have roots in the civil war which saw such incredible inhumanities from both sides.
    For those happily settled in Spain, without problems, that’s great, enjoy the wonderful experience. But for those who have been s*** upon by a system whose level of corruption defies quantification, life is literally a nightmare. We are not talking ‘the few’; we are talking potentially tens of thousands. What more miserable, primitive, ugly sight can there be than pensioner’s houses being bulldozed? What an incredibly foul image for Spain to project to the entire world!!!
    I would hope that the average Spaniard would wince and feel shame at such public humiliation of the entire country, fostered by its corruption. The answer, as always, use your democratic vote. We all, including our Spanish hosts, know the culprits, vote them out of office!!!
    As for the UK and its problems, apart from the weather? I feel that bending over backwards to try to aid immigrants, the unemployed, two world wars, combating world poverty and distress, totalitarian regimes, etc., has left it seriously weakened, with too many people happy to depend on handouts. Cutting public spending is the only, painful way out. But it will take 50 years, if ever, to re-build the UK’s shattered industries on which Great Britain prospered and which paid the price of social benevolence.

  39. Allen, you need to rant less and keep to topic. “Slightly bit larger” is a figure of speech, a play on words, a jest. No need to correct anyone, everyone else understood it apart from you, lol.

    Btw, diseases do not stop at borders; the same problems can be found just about anywhere. BSE was in Spain too. Do you think MRSA miracuously does not exist in Spain? My goodness, you need to get out more.

    So you think the UK has a problem with immigration, and so you move to Spain and cause them more strife with their own immigration issues. Around 10% of Spain’s population are immigrants, or are you not counting yourself in the equation? The natives of every country wish there were no immigrants, and Spain is no different.

    And despite what you say, derogatory is a relative term and what you might personally find derogatory, or disgusting, or rude etc (insert adjective of choice) another person would not, Allen. That is the simply point point I am making, but which seems to elude you.

    Schofield, just because you are happy and having a great time in Spain does not mean everybody else has to agree with you. You need to get real and realise your opinions are not the only opinions in the World. And fix your keyboard while you are there.

  40. I so agree with Juan R regarding the food here. In the main it is diabolical, and you don’t need to look at a menu as every place serves the same old same old. Recently went to Gerona and had marvelous food and great choice, also the smoking laws seem to have reached that area so dining was a pleasant experience. Here in the south you leave most restaurants feeling like a kipper, and smelling like an ash tray. Even one of the comercial shopping malls has now abandoned the lip service it once paid to the laws and is allowing smoking in many public areas in total contravention. To me the worse part of living in Spain is not knowing which laws I must obey and which it is acceptable to just ignore LOL!!!

  41. Well, where to start!

    Misony – Scandinavia is not a part of Europe it is – Scandivania. Belgium is in reality two countries and though the Flems can and do speak English, that is a rarety in Wallonia. The Dutch not only speak English but also German and French as well – don’t bother trying for a job in the Nethelands unless you are tri-lingual.

    Yes Paella like all the best recipes is Arab, Gazpacho/Arab. Why do you think that so many Arab names have persisted because the Aryan savages that invaded the peninsular had such a primitive vocabulary and cuisine.

    We used to watch the programme pueblo a pueblo, we used to say perhaps this village will have something approaching real food but sad to say it always looked like puke and they dared to use the word gastronomy, especially in the Alpujarras which was created by the Arabs but they were all killed or chased away by the Swabians and yes I have travelled through Swabia – identical small people.

    Allen agree about many things you said about the UK but that’s what happens when the general population has a serf like mentality – you get treated like serfs.Come to that this applies to most of Europe’s peoples – immigration was good for profits for – the ultra rich – you blaming Blair shows your political leanings. When I suggested to a Spanish friend that there was no need for foreign labour to bring in the olive harvest, why can’t your two unemployed daughters do that or that I knew of plenty of Spanish men in their 30s’ who were’nt prepared to work in construction he was shocked!

    The use of grossly underpaid immigrant labour was fine until it affected the general population.

    Obviously you have never communicated with Spaniards in general or you would know of plenty as I did that had worked in Germany for 10 years or more and spoke – not a word of German. I knew one ganador who had worked in Sydney for 12 years, had never tried Aussie food or wine and spoke – not a word of Oz English. Or the couple I met in a friend’s bar in Ortigueria – arrived in Eastbourne in their mid 20s’stayed 27 years and spoke appalling English and had never tried any English food – it goes on and on.

    Tony you betray your Englishness when you talk about the UK being a civilized country for 350 years – that was when the English began and and went on to become the biggest slavers in the history of this planet or the savage treatment of the Irish and Scots, the Highland pacification campaign of 1746 used as a textbook classic in terror tactics in the SS training colledges of Nazi Germany and Austria. And before you come up with the abolition of slavery and the English being the first to do so – it was a simple costs benefit argument and that the English slave owners were paid £200 for every slave they freed- not a lot of English know that, do they?

    Apart from these points Tony I agree with most of what you say but this mirrors the attitude of many Spanish as well.

    Both the Spanish and English were and are brainwashed at school and both never bother to deprogramme themselves and find something resembling the truth about themselves and the history of their respective countries.

    Voting for change – don’t make me laugh. Is there anyone who has’nt seen that most of this planet is in reality ruled by an elite and it does’nt matter what colour shirt they wear, they dictate how the game is played – do you really believe their is any difference between right and left anywhere in Europe

    When and if the Spanish change they will still have to deal with desertification and every new golf course is their collective grave being dug a little deeper. It’s too late to reforest now.

    You all keep on about the terrible injustices of the housing scams and it’s all true but even when or if there is any kind of just settlement you are still left with the problem of water or rather the lack of it. One rainy winter is irrelevant – it’s the trend that counts.

    I realise for retirees with only a decade or so of life left they can be blase but the rest of you?

  42. I dont mind living in spain but hate owning a business here. Yes there are pros and cons to comparing the UK to Spain but when it comes to work or business Spain has to one of the worse places to live. Yes i speak spanish, yes i pay Taxes ( alot of taxes)and yes i follow 95% of the law. However the problem lies not with the law but with the inability for it to enforcered which makes Spain a very fustrating place to live. I wish i had never brought a business here and although i would be happy to retire here at the moment i regret coming here. The problems lie with Town halls, police, Lawyers, builders, corruption fiestas, customer service and in general an inability to change i could go on…..

  43. Mark gives a very correct and truthful account of Spain, and mirrors my own experience. It’s such a frustrating place to try and get anything done that it easily outweighs the benefits of the nice climate and pretty pueblos that everyone (i.e. mostly retirees who don’t have to work here) mention. As Mark says, even learning the language is not the magic panacea. The ‘justice system’ in Spain is apalling – it truly is the Wild West of the 21st Century, and it has a severe attitude problem to running and fostering business.

    If anyone tells you otherwise, they are telling porkies.

  44. As I’ve said many times before, Fred, if it’s so terrible, LEAVE. You’ve already had one offer of a lift to the airport, why not just accept and go and leave those of us who like it here to enjoy ourselves in peace.

  45. As for Stuart Crawford, I think he’s just trying to impress us cos he’s lived or worked in so many foreign countries. Actually, Stuart, all that reveals is that you have failed in every country you’ve tried – maybe because you’re the misfit!

  46. Duke

    October 3rd, 2010 10:00 am

    I only recently started to blog on here, but why do some folk get so personal with others?It’s all about opinions.nothing more and nothing less.

    Well said, Duke. I’ve not contributed to this forum for a long time, because I got fed up with the personal abuse from the likes of Fred, Stuart Crawford and others.

    I’ve been writing regularly in another forum which is much more respectful of people’s opinions and the information that contributors offer in good faith to others.

    I see that little has changed despite warnings from the OP editor. It’s a shame – it could be a good website forum, but, sadly, is not.

  47. Every country around the world has it’s problems many which can be solved and some which cant. I have lived in Spain for 8 years and would love to see someone sort the country out as it has so much protential with a lot of the problems being those which could be solved. I can only speak of my experiences in the South but a lot of the people that live here are there worst enermies. We are living in some of the hardest times in modern history but people still think nothing about cheating their taxes, employing benefit collecting no contracted staff and all this openly without a care (both foreigners and locals). In Fuengirola we had 2 fiestas on a thursday and a tuesday a week/10 days ago and nearly 50% of the town took off friday and monday. Everywhere i went to try buy goods for my business the fiesta was always the excuse be it the market not having fruit to the bank not having change. Why and earth doesnt the Spanish goverment see the damage to the economy these extra days off cause and surely moving the fiesta to the nearest friday or Monday to the date is the right move like most the world does. I am currently waiting for roof of my business to be fixed (since last december) which my landlord has recieve the insurance pay out money but yet hasnt paid the builder who has stopped working after 2 days because bounced cheques. This is the same builder who broke my neon sign and another roof on his first day in the job yet somehow it wasnt his fault and hasnt fixed the problems which are causing me loss of earnings. When i now try and contact my landlord he refuses to answer the phone or when he does threatens me with saying he will close me down if i dont shut up because he has friends in the town hall. Of course i am in the right, have a solid contract but as a tax paying, law following resident have rights which are almost impossible to enforce because the legal system here is so slow. I want to see a better Spain but while where i live remains and operates as some sort of wild west bandit show it will never change which is really sad.
    I hate to speak negative about the place i call home and often voice my opinions to my Spanish staff and friends but nearly always get the same response which is “it’s always been like that” while not seeming to understand the concept of change / moving forward. I am very objective and passionate about the problems here but not only find it fustrating to live here but also to get anyone to understand a need to change.

  48. Pablo, am I intefering with your personal life in some way? You don’t have to read blogs or make replies. Your personal experiences are not any more valid than mine they are; they are equally as valid. You even agree with me sometimes…

    Paul, you really are a drama queen sometimes. You talk about ‘respecting opinions’, but that’s exactly the opposite of what you do. You don’t respect that I have an opinion, do you? It is not difficult to quickly contradict what you are saying – as usual.

    Btw, you got your socks on yet lol?

  49. I have been at work now for over an hour waiting for 3 different builders to turn up to price up jobs, one of which is a big job worth 3000 euros plus. it’s now 10.15 and how many have turned up? 0 and they wonder why the country has problems

  50. Mark,

    I am shaking my head and laughing at the same time. It is a nightmare living in Spain. Good to see you telling it how it is.


    Keep going. I think a lot of people would like to see the sugar coated advice on these web sites so they can keep the Spanish myth going and sell more houses for them only to be knocked down later. It will be difficult for anyone to sell properties in Spain the way the Town Halls, Estate Agents, Lawyers and Governments carry on. People are just saying no thanks and voting with their feet. Carry on Spain if you want no growth / money and high unemployment.

    A high handed arrogant attitude does not get you very far in most countries around the world. They all end up being like Iraq, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria….

    Spain is probably somewhere between Zimbabwe and UK with attitude and even the Spanish Born Euro MP likened Spain to Zimbabwe so it is not just me that thinks that.
    The Country will not prosper with that attitude. Spain, carry on to receive more of the same. The world knows what is going on.

  51. well myself I lived 3 years in Spain and 3 years in uk london and I realised 2 things that if u want good social life ,fiestas or whatever chose Spain and if u want succes ,bussines and money chose uk and to be perfect and u want both of them go to Romania .

  52. Pablo,
    you have never heard of fixed term contracts have you. The failures are the Spanish who spend 10 years in Germany doing menial work because they have no qualifications – they are the labourers or waiters and are lucky to have 20 words in German at the end of that time. Of course there are exceptions but not many.

    I worked in Norway on fixed term contracts on for example the then world’s biggest oil platform – the DB100. I worked in Wilhemshaven doing NDT work on German submarines – you hav’nt got a clue what NDT work is have you?

    It is the likes of the Brits and Dutch or Germans that have the skills to work all over the world – you are exhibiting the classic Spanish mentality – envidioso – jealousy, which is just ahead of the second Spanish characteristic – corruption.

  53. We phoned our Spanish neighbour the other day and he said in the local town a ‘soup kitchen’ has been set up for the people who can’t afford to feed themselves now, this is not for tramps, it is for the every day people. I was quite surprised about that but that is how bad it is in Spain now.
    Living the dream…

    Good place to retire to if you don’t have to deal with the Spanish corruption. I feel sorry for the hard working people as the corruption is stopping them working. Not many people would invest more money in Spain at the moment with all the corrupt politicians and Mayors.

  54. There are many sunny countries in the Mediterranean zone and in other parts of the world, why to choose Spain? a so negative place to live.

    Fred: you say that your work helps the Spanish economy and that you pay a big amount of taxes, please, would you be so kind to tell us which is your work? Thanks.

  55. Marcelo, I can only comment on what I find. I do not live in the other parts of the world, so I restrict my views to my experiences in Spain. As I’ve said, you can have a good life in Spain if you have no ambitions and comittments, and are retired with a nest egg, and just want to take it easy in the Sun (although that is not easy either of course). However, to come to live and work here, set up a business etc, I would strongly advise against it – Spain does not function correctly and its support systems are non-existent. Are you looking for a job Marcelo lol?

  56. I would happily live here if i didnt have run a business or work. I wouldnt say coming to Spain is a regret but if i knew how things work here i would of gone elsewhere.

  57. Marcelo, one does not only don’t only pay tax Spain if one works.

    Every time I buy something I usually pay 18% in IVA (unless it’s food etc). That’s nearly one fifth of everything I spend in Spain goes in tax to the government. Anyone just living in Spain is going to be paying a lot in taxes.

  58. We are outdoor people and thanks to the ‘island mentality’ of weather news in the UK I did’nt realise just how bad the climate is in north west Spain would be or we would never have considered moving to Galicia.

    Every other country in Europe I have lived or worked in shows the whole of Europe, Scandinavia and most of northern Africa in every weather forecast. I could have seen just how bad the weather is and blanked Galicia. The Spanish do an overview of Europe and Scandinavia every Sunday – Why can’t the English change and do the same.

    I knew that the weather would be hot behind the Sierra Nevadas but I never dreamt that 45C + would become normal summer weather in the Guadix region.This info would have been enough for us to blank Spain completely – information is everything.

    I just wonder how many of you Brits are couch potatoes. We once made the mistake of asking another Brit couple much younger than us to come for a walk – what a joke, they were pathetic, they were exhausted within half an hour.

    As many have said if you don’t have to work and if you are lucky enough to buy a genuinely legal property then Spain can be fine. However don’t listen to idiots that make the sweeping statement that Spain is sunny – only the south is.
    And very importantly I add if you are a slob, couch potato who thinks a 5 minute walk is exercise then fine.

    Near the beginning of this thread a Spaniard called Carlos made what is both A sad and hilarious statement that, even though he has never lived in the UK – ‘ he knows that Spain is better’.

    As I said earlier – information is everything. If all the foreigners had access to real facts on life in Spain, then only those who accepted the status quo would have come and be happy and the rest of us would have either stayed at home be it the UK/Netherlands/Germany or chosen another country.

    For us that other country is France. There is much I could say on this country but that is not relevant to this thread or i/net site. Because I am streetwise we could just pack up and leave.

    Today no one has any excuse for not finding out all the information nec. to move to another country, sadly this was not so just 10 years ago, that’s how much the i/net has changed things in this one decade.

    My advice is trust no one who is going to make money from your move, always assume they are lying. Do not buy – rent first. The Brits especially are obsessed with buying property – how many would have thanked the Gods for renting and avoiding the horror they find themselves in now.

  59. Marcelo, i would love to leave now and i wish i could because i have really started to hate the country where i live and its backwards ways. However, i have a business, my kids are in school here and i have a huge mortgage, so tell me what to do as i am trapped. By the way i employ 5 spanish in my business all who have contracts, pay all my taxes and only try to use local Spanish business to do work. If i could sell up tomorrow i would leave but that is not going to happen in this present econonmic climate there is always the hope of the lottery.

  60. Oh by the way i have lived in four different countries on 3 different continents so have a little life experience. It’s sad to say but take away the sun from Spain and you nothing about from a backward place which refuses to change. I speak about the South as i dont know about the rest of the country. If i have to hear another ¡joder, hace frio! this week i will scream, it’s 15 degrees aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh

  61. I would not agree with Stuart that it is possible to find
    out all the information necessary to move to another country – in Spain it just isn’t! There are just too many things to find out, and most are not researchable in any event. Hindsight is indeed a beautiful thing. Spain is a most disappointing venture.

  62. Fred, 10 years ago there were no forums that I know of. If I could have eyeballed this forum and seen half of what is said on here by people who came with the best of intentions as we did – we would’nt have.

    In reality for those who enjoy an outdoor life, winter is the only time to be in southern Spain and the northwest is green because it rains all year round. The Picos de Europa are amazing as is the whole coast of the north west but you really have to be lucky with the weather.

    That Spanish construction is crap I knew before we came but the unbelieveable corruption across the whole of Spain is something I did’nt know and that is so easy to find out about now but was’nt before we came.

    The one mistake that so many Brits made because of this obsession with buying property we did’nt make.

    Though we love it here in the Aveyron there is a very good chance that the Euro will not be here for long. Politically constructed monetary systems simply don’t last and looking at the bullying of Ireland by proxy carried out by politicians at the behest of bondholders and French and German banks it could be over very soon, so I’m glad that once again we are renting.

    Forget about illegal properties – how many will be able to pay for private health insurance if the EU collapses. The economic fall out will be horrendous and how will local populations treat foreigners especially if they are seen as easy scapegoats by perfidious politicians,you yourself have remarked at how many Spanish blame us for all theri self induced problems.

  63. Well I agree with some things and disagree with some others. I am spanish from a small town, close to barcelona, and i’ve been living in northeast england (hull) for 2 years now. I know hull is not the best place to live though.
    I would like to clarify some things like the one that said that try to spend a year in barcelona, the humidity and loads of rain there…well, the brits would love the barcelona weather at any point of their geography..but no, sorry but u cannot compare the weather of barcelona with the uk. Barcelona is sunny, humid? yes, but sunny and quite warm comparing to the uk. It rains a lot???? well…in winter 6 or 7 days a month, in summer maybe 2 or 3 days a month…thats a lot??? but when it rains…rains a lot, but doesnt last for weeks like in england.
    About the food…I prefer spanish food for miles and miles and miles…it is healthily definately and no we dont like butter or margarine in sandwiches…is just pure fat, we prefer olive oil, sorry. Is that bad??? well i guess is very personal…but spanish food is better than english in all ways, and that can be said for most of the world. Is a fact. How many english restaurants are around the world??? (and I mean in parts where are no brits) there are no english breakfast if some english comunity is around. Why???because non-english people dont like it. And is a fact!!!
    About employement?? well thats the reason why i live in the uk. It is better paid here, more respected and better conditions but the quality of life for me is better in spain. Not in all spain though..but what i compare is Hull with my hometown Tarragona…and definately it is better back to spain. Although here is cheaper than where i come from. So for money The UK, for quality of life (if u dont need loads of money to live) Spain. Thats what I think.
    And for that reason…I will be back to spain soon :)
    Even though I like brits, they are friendly and nice with me, specially in the north, cant speak about the south though

  64. Xavi, your quality of life in Spain could soon diminish if you can’t get a job, or employment benefits, or you can’t get your house ‘legalised’, or you can’t get a mortgage to even buy a house (tried recently?), or when your country eventually requires its bail out and the austerity measures *really* kick in. I bet you can’t wait to get back lol.

    Unless you are a retiree with a nest egg, a decent quality of life is very hard to achieve. Quite simply, without steady work and future prospects, nothing else falls into place. That is my experience of living and working in Spain and the many friends I have seen come, and go, over the years.

    When people of a working age talk about ‘quality of life in Spain’, most mean to bum around all day with no job and sit on the beach in the Sun eating sardines lol.

  65. Xavi83,

    You summed that up well, and your English is very good. I have been to Barcelona with my Wife and we thought the food was fantastic and the entire experience was good. It was like new years eve every night. People go out late in Spain. I think next time I will stay a bit further out as in the centre is was a bit loud in the streets until about 6am but we had a great time there. The roads and transport systems are great.
    The food is a million times better than the South. If they took the corruption away it would be a perfect country to live but trying to change the mentality is either a long term thing or impossible.

  66. xavi83,
    you don’t know much about your own country do you?

    Ever been to the whole of north west Spain – Galicia, Cantabria,
    Asturias,Pay Vasco – it rains and rains and rains – I know because I lived there.

    You simply are’nt telling the truth about food in the UK and stupidly you mention English food – where have you eaten – how many restuarants have you tried – how many pubs. Do you mean England or the UK – you probably mean the UK as you again stupidly refer to Spain as if it is one homogenous region which it is’nt and in fact you live in Catalunya, where many refuse to speak Spanish at all.

    Having eaten all over Spain I can say categorically that the normal menu all over Spain is ‘meat and chips’.

    You unfortunately exhibit the mentality that is to be found all over Spain, irrespective of region – you cannot look at yourselves as you really are and cannot take on board what is the reality of countries you visit or live in.

    Quality of life has to include the home you live in – all Spanish home construction is total crap – seen how many apartment blocks fall down after only 20 years and that is in Catalunya – you have no building standards control and lets talk about how many people have died from gas explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning in Spain – it does’nt happen in the UK does it.

    How could any open minded (are there any?) Spaniard who has worked in Switzerland/Germany/Britain not come home to Spain and demand outright to live in identically specified homes – you never do, do you – can you even admit how inferior your Spanish construction is.

    You make no mention how the whole of life in Spain is permeated by the corruption system – ‘enchufargo’ – do you count that as quality of life as well?

  67. This article is a load of tosh. The UN released a report in 2010 which placed Ireland as the 4th best country IN THE WORLD. While Spain ranked below Israel at a low 19th. Germany also ranked above France and Lietcheinstein,Switzerland and Belgium were also seen as more developed. Spain is not a better place to live. The Employment is high,it rains plenty,the sun does not always shine,the towns are grubby and overpriced. They have got eh petrol wrong as well,Norway,Finland and Greece pay more as well. Who wrote this??? they should be fired!!! If the UK was worse,why are Brits leaving Spain in droves to return their and many other European countries banging on the door all the time!!!

  68. In what way is Spain better than Britain? Ah, the weather? hostile heat for all of the summer months- In every other way Britain is better, I lived 30 years in Spain, it’s great but The UK is far better, I feel lucky to have a second crack at the whip. I’m plugged in here, and enjoy city life and relax and feel very at one with the beautiful countryside- yeh, Spain was O)K but thank goodness I came home (I spoke Spanish fluently and mixed with Spaniards, my children are 1/2 Spanish, I am very fond of my ex whois Spanish) but madly perhaps, I feel that my children have been denied all this . The UK rocks!

  69. in Short:- take the SOL out of Costa Del sol… and it reverts to a wasteland…The area is blessed with a good climate…take that away and..there is nothing…! even the charm that was once there vanished in the 1980’s…!

  70. ……. it seems that most posts come from around the famous C-d-S zone – as a reminder the C-d-S was created with the “rather” British retired lower middle class in mind and has not a lot to do with Spain but has become much more the “Banger & Mash Province” you craved and now seem to hate, maybe now that your money doesn’t separate you soooo much from the terrible uneducated corrupt heathen Natives anymore ??? I guess in the end you all got what you deserve …… now its back to social services, disgusting food, hoodlums, shitty weather, rich Arabs and happy sheep ADIOS MUCHACHOS

  71. “C-d-s … has not a lot to do with Spain”

    Maria, I don’t think the (Spanish) people living in all of the large coastal towns and cities along the Costa del Sol would share your opinion that they have not a lot do with Spain. Malaga for a start. Perhaps you need to go back to school for some geography lessons? lol

  72. Mark has hit it on the head… “I dont mind living in spain but hate owning a business here. Yes there are pros and cons to comparing the UK to Spain but when it comes to work or business Spain has to one of the worse places to live.”

    Like most who are not retired it becomes a trap if you have opened a business and have based your life in Spain (or rather the CDS)…and now in crisis for the past 4 years (Marbella at least)…it is harder to sell and go…! The bubble has burst…Spain is not cheap any longer and it’s in tatters…coruption has been a major point in it’s downfall. marbella natives knew one and all 100% what was going on…but turned a blind eye as all was going well…the moment it imploded…they were all up in arms…. ! Well you get what you deserve… when you vote..but then again all parties are as bad as the other! How many town halls are in debt?…Ronda, Estepona, Coin etc…how?…easy..you become Alcalde and then employ every idiot in your family and their friends to run the place…!

    But really the real problem is also the fact that in Andalucia they are happy to take your money but in real terms resent you. Jealousy is a major part of the spanish make-up. So yes… OK to live say 6 months of the year…but apart from that..? The CDS has had it’s day !

  73. “all of the large coastal towns and cities along the Costa del Sol”

    which large coastal towns and cities along the Costa del Sol do you mean ?

    There is only one

    Torrebenalfuengimarbelspedroestepoonasotogee ?

    if this city represents Spain for you then well – Nada really ?

    I evidently wasn’t talking about the city of Malaga because it has nothing to do with the origin of commentators in this post or how many Brits are living there in your humble nitty gritty opinion ?

  74. Welcome ad and Maria Pepina de la Huerta (is your name for real? You’re certainly no Spaniard with your wry sense of humour and colloquial English!) to this thread. You both make good allies for Fred, Stuart Crawford, reap and all the other don Sabelotodos, with their/your negativity about Spain.

    Clearly there are two (or more) Spains. You shouldn’t really talk about Spain as a whole when what you mean is the CDS. In the Spain where I live the country is not in tatters, the bubble has NOT burst and it is still cheaper than the UK for most things.

    That notwithstanding I think M P del H’s views on the CDS are very perceptive: “the C-d-S was created with the “rather” British retired lower middle class in mind and has not a lot to do with Spain but has become much more the “Banger & Mash Province” you craved and now seem to hate, maybe now that your money doesn’t separate you soooo much from the terrible uneducated corrupt heathen Natives anymore ??? I guess in the end you all got what you deserve …… now its back to social services, disgusting food, hoodlums, shitty weather, rich Arabs and happy sheep”.

    Yep, I’d agree with that – that’s why I don’t live there and why I don’t visit more often than I have to!

  75. I see Ms Pepina did an abrupt U-turn when she realised Malaga is on the CDS lol. Malaga actually has a large expatriate population. Never yet seen Bangers & Mash in Malaga (city). At the end of the day, the CDS is what the Spanish have allowed it to become. They pandered to tourists and sold their soul to the concrete mixer.

    Paul, contradictory comments you make. You ally me with Ms Pepina when I was actually in disagreement with her on this specific point.

  76. @Maria Pepina de Huerta

    explain to me why if you know about “terrible uneducated corrupt heathen Natives” and life is so bad/ corrupt in the South why does the rest of Spain stand back and do nothing about it? Last time i looked the country had a few money worries so maybe it would be wise to apply the law for once. Just if things like: “working without contract, working without contract while claiming “paro”, none paying of tax on rented property (long term/short term), crazy tax declarations” were all cracked down on Spain would be in a much healthy position.

    It is a normal way of life in Andalucia to cheat taxes and break the law. When someone is caught out they are considered unluck rahter than getting what they deserve. I am constantly shocked at the openness of the law breaking/ tax dodging here which in these hard times puts you at a LARGE dis-advantage if you follow the law. Normally in hard times the strongest survive but not here. To give you an example of had bad it is, i do buisness with a local firm who make money from machines in my bar. At the end of the first quarter he handed me declartion to give to my gestor for the turnover of the machines in that period which was 186euros. I refused to sign this as the actually turnover was 2245euros and to me what he was doing was wrong. Of course he got angry and got back in his brand new 4×4 Audi and drove off with various hand gestures. This is why when i see an Andaluz in a nice car here i dont think they must be successful but wonder who they ripped off to make their money (goverment/people), of course they could of sold a piece of land but honestly working hard for it, no chance.

  77. ad, there is a reason why they may resent you, I am sure it is not personal, but rather a form of protecting their way of live ……

    After 20 years living here and being integrated, family and all in Andalucian live I have yet to meet one Spaniard who is jealous about anything a foreigner can throw at him – au contraire most think you are a poor tonto who has no clue whatsoever ……..

    Andalusia has thousands of years of an extreme mix in culture, I say extremely because the 700 year Arab rule from around 700 to 1400, there is nothing similar in Europe where two such clashing cultures mixed for so long, long ago one might say but these 700 years surely left the Andalusian gene pool mixed sort of like interesting coffee 50% Arabian – 50% Iberian, with all the mixes that make up a true Iberian !

    I think what you and many others who came to the CdS didn’t grasp was that this is not per se California ….. it has similar weather and fauna but that is where all similarities end.

    It certainly is not the cultural mix you will find in a Starbucks Coffee House in Santa Monica, CA ……. what you will find in Santa Monica, CA is a fairly young, historically speaking, population, who’s forefathers have shed a lot of their cultural straightjackets and left this old continent because they wanted a better live, then the feudal system most EU countries (I know …. EU) had back then offered, so they went and conquered this newly found country east to west, pioneer style…….. once they had done they founded Hollywood, started making movies and Hamburgers ……. who says history is complicated ?

    They say, even though not as easy as it used to be, you can still go there and if you aren’t lazy, are willing to work, are business savvy and have your Mamas best recipe for a good Burger, you can became a millionaire within no time ……….. and it is true, I know of several stories !

    I went there in the early 80’s, to lived there for about ten years, first to study – then to make my millions …….. turns out even though I studied and I make a killer Burger, I somehow spent more time on the beach checking out the girls and waves……… thing young man used to do. So I guess am lazy at heart, nor business savvy, I have always spend more then I made and was never good in asking others to invest in any of my ventures (1st rule of success – never use your own) ……. eventually I came back to Europe, but just couldn’t deal with the wannabe Americans, even worse while trying to be like them, criticizing them all the time……………

    Spain was, until the introduction of the, in my humble opinion, useless for some countries, Euro, a great country to live in, at least for someone like me, …….. the people where much friendlier, the food was better, prices were normal – in accordance with the average income, food, housing etc. etc. we had normal roads, none of that highway madness that has crisscrossed the country but then the amount and type of cars on the roads where normal too but most important – it was a society that didn’t run around trying to find happiness behind the Armani, Rolex, BMW Owned by the bank BS.

    Now thanks to greedy opportunistic banks and their puppet politicians all that has changed …. and in my view definitely not for the better, the retiring expat community that has evolved on the CdS and other ghetto enclaves in Spain has come here believing that their style of live, mostly “Crappy American TV Series” influenced idiotism (Dallas, Denver & Co – derived Coronation Street ……) should be doctrined on the poor natives so they can also see the light ?

    The Pound – Peseta come Euro exchange gave their money much more value for about ten years and thus they felt even more superior, telling the Spaniard how to everything – Eat, drink, drive, talk,………….. one wonders how they even lived before the so Educated Brit Saviour Ret. appeared and one can guess why most Spanish didn’t really want to have too much to do with these arrogant knowitall’s – Well no worries thanks to the imbecile “money is everything” system washing over the country, it will take some generations but they will soon be just as lost as most of them ……..

    As to working here …….. I have always worked as a service provider, mostly bridging cultural differences for companies coming from N. Europe and N. America and done quite well, I think because I know and respect both sides of the bridge ……

    This is not California, there is very little opportunity here ….. its a rather antiquated feudal system protecting itself ! Important try to see it through the eyes of the locals not through yours, you are the immigrant after all – so even things that you think are hot shit might not work here as in Manchester, Frankfurt or, or or ………. Make sure that you can live of the Expat (a lot are returning home because of money reasons – too bad so sad) or be prepared to wait a long time to succeed …….. Please remember Europe is great because we are all different so please lets respect those differences ?

    In 200 years we will all be living in a Deutsche Bank owned Disneyland anyway — at least the ones still alive then ………..

  78. What I said at the end of my sentence is that Paul Whitelock should go back to darning socks in Ronda if he is going to keep writing silly things like suggesting I am cosying up to Ms Pepina.

    And Karl, please stop censoring and editing posts. If you need something to do, fix your website which gives an ‘error 500’ almost all day this week so far.

  79. Not ALL Brits, Maria, just the likes of Fred, Stuart Crawford et al.
    I like it here (inland Andalucía) and I like the Spanish and I’m ashamed at the attitude of some of my fellow countrymen towards both.

  80. The problem with people like Maria and Paul is of course that they are in classic denial syndrome. Their view of Spain is that nobody should be allowed to make any criticisms, even if they are valid.

    Maria, should people stop moaning about planning and legal abuses in Spain? Should they stop moaning about Spain’s useless government, that can’t even balance the books and provide jobs for its young people? Should people stop moaning about the awful fact that a large percentage of people live in poverty in Spain? No, of course not.

    Maria, you must have missed the march of the indignant. They were Spanish people btw.

    Why is it shameful to criticise the ridiculous way in which some aspects of Spain are run, Paul? What is shameful is that you cannot write any critical articles about your new host country, even though, secretly, you have lots of dislikes, but to air them publically would be at odds with your position of Spanish advocate blogger.

  81. I have made a few posts on the above, some go back to last year.
    I have just returned back from Spain after a long holiday. People in Span (Spanish working age people) are fairly down now and my neighbours come out with their guns if a stranger comes along the road now. I think a few gipsy types are out and about to see what they can steal.
    Most of the neighbours are fairly self sufficient with growing their own food so they will always have food on the table. They go hunting as well and shoot anything they can eat. They only plant trees that give a return so you never see anything planted because it looks good, nothing wrong with that. In general I would have to say my neighbours are fine but there is an underlying tension in the air in Spain. 5 million people unemployed at the moment. My Wife speaks good Spanish, almost fluent I would say, and she often tells people that you are better off not knowing the language as your view on the country is better if you don’t understand the arguments that are going on between the various neighbours.
    The management of the country is what is letting Spain down. As in my posts above, the corruption is everywhere and until they address this they are going nowhere. I do not know of anyone in the UK who does not know of land grab, holiday homes from hell with the Priors etc. Trying to build anything is almost impossible or modify your house. The Town Halls are corrupt. No wonder there is no work people gave up trying with planning permission. My Brother has had plans in the Town Hall for 7 years. He gave up many years ago. After 8 months of my plans being in the Town Hall for an extension I gave up as well. People walk away from it where they can, like me, but many others are not so lucky.
    I was talking to some people on the way out to Spain the other week and they were as green as grass. Sold a house in the UK moving to Spain. They had already handed a deposit over and when I asked them if the property had an escritura they did not even know what one was. The funny thing was when I told the couple, the husband even seemed a bit offended that I would be putting his Wife off buying the place. Some people are still eager to throw their money away.
    Spain is a bit like the house makeover programmes that used to be seen on the TV in the UK, Spain has gone past this fashion now and most people are not interested anymore. In the UK the post works, not everything goes missing or is stolen, there is more to do and it is not as boring. Yes, I can afford to retire to Spain and that was once my aim but I don’t think I could do it now. The people and culture are more important than a few rays of sunshine. We don’t all live in a rough area in the UK as well so a few riots on the TV don’t bother me. One of the driving factors for many though is that they can swap their 3 bed semi in the UK for a bigger property in Spain. I just cannot think of too many positive things to say and I have lived in Spain as well so it is not just coming from someone who does not know the country. The country for me is just good for a bit of sunshine in the summer. That is it. I really understand where Mark is coming from. I often think that these people in their nice cars must have conned someone, via property or no paying their taxes.

  82. For once I’m on Fred’s side. I don’t think anyone is criticising the general population of Spain, except for their apparent apathy. Thus an ex-mayor who has spent 5 months in prison for suspected embezzlement and general corruption, can still gather 25% of votes in local elections!! Pure apathy or just possibly endemic corruption at work?
    This produces problems which we as immigrants see almost daily but seems to be accepted as ‘normal’ by most natives. Of course the more informed know how to manipulate this to their own advantage, thus small-time back-handers, etc., leading eventually to gross injustices.
    What is mainly being criticised is the overweight establishment which sits right on top of the people, in effect robbing them of the means to live a ‘normal’ life. I know a Spanish employee working for one of the Juntas, she says it is totally overstaffed, with large numbers having little or no work to do. A rather extreme example of the long-dead British disease of ’empire-building’ with pay determined by the number of staff ‘managed’.
    I’ve also heard it said that most of the bosses of big companies, banks, utility service providers, etc., are in some way connected to whats left of the Franco regime and its cronies; and they know exactly how to keep the workers in their place.
    I feel nothing but as-one with the people I see on a daily basis, scratching a living from their olive orchards, a dozen or so goats, odd-jobbing, etc. but also feel uncomfortable with my own relative wealth.
    But if we, as mere immigrants, can attempt to point out what we think is wrong with the Spanish System and open the eyes of even a few, then we should be viewed as friends of the Spanish people.

  83. I must be mistaken. I though this subject was “Spain is a better place to live than Britain”, not “Let’s moan about what we Britts don’t like about Spain”. I’ve got my eyes wide open, Fred, my country is not perfect (neither is yours), and Movements like 15M are not just about complaining against corruption and politics (its seems you only read British press) but its main purpose is to propose measurement and ideas that could improve Spain and make it a (even) better place to live. I honestly don’t undertand why all the Brits that are complaining don’t go back to their country, since Spain is such a terrible place. I wouldn’t stay somewhere where I’m not happy. You’re most welcome if you want to stand up and work to improve all those things you don’t like. If all you’re going to do is nothing but keep moaning I still recomend you take a plane. BR

  84. Fred. Listen to Maria – she’s talking sense. You should take a few hours (no, it would be weeks!) to re-read all the posts you’ve ever made on OP threads over the last couple of years and try to consider them objectively. They really are extremely negative.

  85. Maria, I have never said my country is perfect.

    It is very difficult for many ‘Brits’ to move back to their home country because of Spain’s massive problems with its housing sector. “Irregular” houses, the collapse of the economy and Spanish banks, an impotent Spanish government, and of course the massive devaluation in Spanish property values and endemic corruption at all levels, has left many expats unable to move, simply because the economy does not facilitiate it. I’m sure you realise that, but still you eluded to mention it.

    And before criticising the British press you should take the time to realise that the Spanish press all sing from the same hymn sheet. Spain has a very closed system when it comes to accessing information. Journalist Rosario G. Gomez, in El Pais, summed it up very well:

    “British journalists know, to the last penny, what it costs the treasury to pay for official cars, compensation to IRA suspects, or the placement of cameras that measure the speed of cars. In Spain, to learn about waiting lists at hospitals is a titanic task, and the salary of a news anchor on public television is a state secret.”

    You said that I’m welcome to stand up and work to improve all of the things I don’t like, and so I am doing just that. Unless people express their opinions, this cannot happen can it? So you’ve answered your own question. Getting on a plane will not solve Spain’s problems. It needs to attract professional people, who purchase homes and gain employment, and pay taxes. Losing people is the last thing Spain wants, hence the PR exercise the Spanish government is undertaking to tell all the expats how ‘safe’ Spain is.

    Paul, conversely, all your highly positive posts about Spain also attract attention, mainly for not being rooted in any sort of day-to-day reality lol. In your eyes nothing at all is wrong with Spain, and of course you know that not to be the case but choose not to write about it.

  86. “Paul, conversely, all your highly positive posts about Spain also attract attention, mainly for not being rooted in any sort of day-to-day reality lol. In your eyes nothing at all is wrong with Spain, and of course you know that not to be the case but choose not to write about it.”

    You’re evidently reading the wrong stuff. Check out http://www.a1-solutions-spain.com/content/en/paul-whitelocks-andalucia-blog, my own blog, where over the last 12 months alone I’ve written at least 15 articles which are negative about or critical of Spain. The subjects covered range from bureaucracy, to the maltreatment of animals, naming and shaming Telefonica and other big companies for poor service, crime, noise, the rising cost of electricity, waste in government, etc.

    As for my OP blog, my brief was to be up-beat about the Serranía de Ronda, Andalucía and Spain, although a couple of negative posts have crept in, eg https://theolivepress.es/spain-news/2011/08/21/the-accent-smoking-beer-and-red-tape/

    Top and bottom of it is, you rarely write anything positive about Spain, whereas I, more often than not, do. I guess we balance each other out…

  87. I confine myself to the OP, not personal blogs. However, it is reassuring to see that you find Spain highly annoying and inefficient as well. See, you moan as much as I do Paul lol.

  88. Come on, you’re making a good start Paul. 15 articles in 12 months is one and quarter a month, so just multiply that a few times each month and you’ll be well on your way. Come on, there’s loads more to moan about.

  89. Trouble is, Fred, I’m quite a prolific blogger and in the last 12 months I’ve posted 178 articles. Of those 15 were “critical” so the other 163 were positive. Sorry, I’m not in your league and never will be!

  90. Expats? Hahaha Brits always call themselfes an expats. Even in Norway where surely they moved for a weather ;). You are
    immigrants. You don’t like it where you are? Go back home ! Simple.
    I would like you see calling Polish or Czecks expats.

  91. Sorry british, but it is true. Spain is solo much better. I´m sure that you guys are super proud of being british and stuff like that but you don´t have anything to be proud about.
    Most of the other countries in Europe are better than the UK.
    France, not having the weather that they have in Spain, is so much prettier, the people is so much nicer, and the food is definitely so much better.
    Italy, prettier, people is nicer, weather is amazing… even with the economic crisis you are still going to live better there than in the UK.
    Spain is full of culture, amazing food and the most important thing, amazing people. We love meeting people from around the work but when it comes the turn of the british… You guys are cold, and you think you are the best when you are not. And another think that sucks about you is that you think that you are to good for being part of the EU, I´m looking forward for you to leave, so we don´t have to see your ugly red faces.
    Another thing, Gibraltar is Spanish and if you don´t give it back we will take it from you and I´m sure that we would have the help of the EU and the USA.
    Everybody around the world love Spain and hate England, wake up and realize it. I´m sorry but it´s how it is.


  92. Now there goes a nitwit. Couldn’t find something current to punish the British readers of The Olive Press (who all like Spain), so had to trawl (troll) the articles back to something written in 2010. Vaya tela.

  93. Old story, 2010, my comments would be the same today as in 2010, nothing has changed over there, good weather and a lot of corruption. If you do not need to earn a living there maybe you will find it better.

    • i’d rather live in spain and earn less you do know they pay cheap houses in uk you get paid more but you pay a lot more for houses so don’t see a massive difference between money wages and spain has attitude correct environment sunshine nice people and not depressing lifestyle on the other hand uk s depressing

  94. Preliminary figures from Spain’s national statistics institute (INE) show the number of UK citizens officially registered as residents in Spain dropped by a massive 90,000 (or nearly 23%) in 2013. Spain is losing its appeal and as Reap says, nothing has changed in nearly half a decade.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Goat and raisin cook off

Next Story

Bonjour Mr President!

Latest from National News

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press