SEVEN out of ten Spaniards will have to pay for their own Christmas work meals this year.

More businesses are becoming scrooge-like in ongoing attempts to cut down on expenses in the face of recession.

Around 70% of workers will be expected to pay for their own work dinner, typically spending between €25-30 each, according to a report by restaurant booking site eltenedor.

Although 80% of those questioned say they intend to go out for some sort of Christmas dinner, only 24% say they will have a meal with colleagues.

Although the total number of work meals has declined 4% since last year, 54% of Spanish people will pay for a festive meal out with friends.

And planning has started earlier this year with almost 70% of respondents saying they will make a reservation more than two weeks in advance.

The greatest drop is expected in Barcelona, where 25% of businesses will hold Christmas dinners, compared to 40% last year.

Celebrations in Madrid and Barcelona account for 20% of the celebrations

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