8 Nov, 2011 @ 10:01
1 min read

Living not so easy in Spain

THE number of Spaniards living below the poverty line has reached nearly 22 per cent – over two per cent more than in 2009 – according to latest figures from the National Statistics Institute.

The poverty threshold is currently set at 7,533 euros a year for a single-parent home, 11,300 euros for homes with two adults and 15,820 euros for those comprised of two adults and two children.

Despite this, the number of families failing to budget for the month has dropped by 1.5 per cent – suggesting families are managing their finances better.

The survey also found that almost 39 per cent of families cannot afford to take a week’s holiday – that’s over five per cent more than in 2008.

Eloise Horsfield

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  1. of course a vast number of spaniards work black. Try and find a spaniard for any possible job from plumbing to tiling to any kind of repair work and you will not know his real name and you will have to pay cash. These people are all listed as unemployed and draw unemployment benefit. It’s the Greek way of club med existence that is financed by the EU and IMF with endless bond issues. Without the 3 trillion euros that have flowed into spain from foreigners over the last ten years spain would be back to donkeys and growing fruit and vegetables. Actually the country would be a lot nicer and the people friendlier. Now they just want to rip off foreigners by any means possible. As a spaniard said “as long as we have sunshine they will always come back even if you treat them like dirt.”

  2. If you look at the figures it costs a self employed person 270 € a month to be legally employed, to employ somebody full time another 500 before paying them, so for one person to have a business and employ someboy will cost them an avarage of 1750 a month, before profits and with no benefits at all accept the luxury of working, as you know in uk it costs about 24 gbp a month to be self employed. Its not the spanish in general that are treating foreigners like dirt, its the spanish goverment treating the spanish like dirt. If they werent so greedy and charged self employed people in spain 4 times the amount they do in england a lot would be happy to pay this. and spain would get a better credit rating with less unemployed. It is near impossible to create small business in Spain at the moment so even less work. I understand your frustration as it sometimes seems like it has become more hostile towards foreigners but this is the spanish goverment harrasing people for money, actually raising the price for the luxury to work from 250 a month to 270 a month during a recession.
    what it amounts to is that first the banks were holding people to ransom with mortgages and rasing the euribor stupidly to the point poeple couldnt pay their mortgages. Now the banks are actually holding goverments to ransom, if you dont believe me think about it for a minute, who is asking for berlusconi and George Papandreou to step down? the imf no less ( International Monetary Fund ), because their countries have bad credit ratings? the same credit agencies that perhaps rated as AAA all the subprime mortgages that got us in this mess to start off with?
    Makes you think, but the facts are to get out of a recession you have to foment small businesses and jobs not economicaly cripple the population to the point they have no choice but to work on the black to feed their children. But like I said before their only concern is to get a better credit rating so they dont have to pay more interest on borrowed money. SO they can borrow some more.

  3. Felix,
    good post but please clarify the €3T. Surely this is what foreigners have spent in Spain and all the EU subsidies combined?

    I can’t see any difference between the servile mentality of either Brits or Spanish. Both have political establishments that treat the ordinary citizen as a piece of doo-doo – and who is to blame for that – the cowardly citizens themselves.

    Jay – nobody forced the Spanish or the Brits to buy completely overpriced properties in either country – if you think like a herd animal then you will be treated like one – quite simple that but not one ordinary Brits or Spanish want to confront because then they are face to face with their stupid cowardly greedy .

    Sub-prime – not one foreign banker used due diligence to actually examine what the US banks were offering. Had just one bank sent a gofor to actually go look at the quality of the mortgages or those who had them – the game would have been up and the USA would have imploded.

    True the Bank of Spain stopped any Spanish bank from buying the SIVs but failed to act to stop the insane pace of apartment construction in Spain – bingo – they had their own toxic mortgage situation which today they are in complete denial of – still.

    Personal indebtedness in the UK is over £1.5T – why because so many (not all) took on debt that in one moment of personal truth they would have known they never could repay.

    You point the finger at Italy without mentioning that Italy’s problem is State debt not personal debt like the UK and Spain. Italians have healthy bank accounts as do Germans.

    The reality is that many in the West must accept a lower standard of consumerism and as Felix pointed out – the Spanish would be a lot happier and healthier, so too would the Brits. Neither the ordinary Brits or Spanish had much money in the 60s’ but both were happier peoples then – I can speak from personal experience having travelled through Spain and the UK extensively then.

    I was told that Guadix was a very poor part of Andalucia. My response was – why do I see so many expensive autos on the road – silence was the reply.

    I live in rural France and the French started ‘not’ spending money some years ago. All the farmers are prosperous here (the land is very fertile) but still they drive small economic autos and live within their means – quite unlike the Spanish or Brits.

    I have zero sympathy for all those Brits or Spanish who overspent – perhaps some time spent homeless in ‘cardboard city’ will focus their brains (if they have any) on the ‘real world’ and what is really important in life – but I’m not holding my breathe.

  4. Hi Jay, I tend to agree in great parts with your view on the wrong banking policies and the resulting problems …..


    Felix is 100% right Spain was a much better country in many aspects, with seemingly poorer but proud and happier people, on the slow but sure and maybe natural way to a better future.

    Now with all the EU influx Spain and Greece and Portugal and and have put on really big shoes that need to be stuffed with € bills in order to fit ……. thus the majority own their 1st to 3rd born to the (Happy) Banks.

    New fashionable Spanish names include:

    Pedro Caixa, Unicarmen Caja, Santa N. Der and his brother Bebe U. Vea

    The Spanish banks inevitably, on the other hand will be owned by N. European (mostly German) countries and banks tomorrow.

    Then new fashionable Spanish names will include:

    Pedro Sparkasse, Alonso Allianz, Carmen Commerz and Pepita DeutscheB

    Thats what I call a cultural blow out sale ….. or in other words who won the war now ????

    Re.: The autonomo payment for self employed I don’t find €270 exaggerated, considering it includes access to an OK health service and wait also a pension fund (for toothless pensioners who are slow in chewing 1 extra hard pizza per week)

  5. LIFE IS NOT EASY IN SPAIN IF YOU FOLLOW THE LAW. I have been living here for almost 10 years and have found my time here a big disappointment. I have a decent buisness which i have worked very hard to build but like many i am suffering in these difficult times. As a foreigner here i have always followed the “it’s not my country to cheat” rule which means i follow the law of the land to the best of my ability and try to be a good example amoungst both the foreigner / local communities.

    The problem is when you tend to follow the law it can makes things very tricky and i actual feel i am worse off than others who do not. Of course other buisness who dont follow the law run the risk of being caught but this does not seem to be the case. i have a bar and my prices or not cheap but not expensive but are set at a level which they need to be to cover costs. A lot of my rival buisness will under cut me as they can afford to do this as they are paying staff cash in hand so dont have the overhead of social security. Another example is the smoking ban which has and has not hurt me but does effect me when the weather is bad. On a rainy or windy day i am forced to close my TOLDO which means customers cant smoke(the law); however many of my rivals will do the same thing but wont stop smoking and this has been going on since day one of the ban.

    I often wonder how long i could go on if i didnt pay any taxes, social security and basically became illegal. I honestly believe if i did this i could go not months but years before i was caught. There is a bar near me that opens 6 days a week 10 hours a day and is owned by 2 non-european, non-spanish speaking foreigners. This bar has been open for 2 years and the 2 owners work it yet their tourist visas ran out 21 months ago. I know the owner(buisness in reg as company) who tells me he has never paid any tax, retension or social security since being here yet remains open on the sea front in a busy town every day, what crisis

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