IT appears that sun, sand and sangria can’t buy happiness after Spain ranked a dismal 37th in the 2016 World Happiness Report, behind Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Denmark emerged as the happiest country in the world thanks to its high GDP, good
social care and excellent medical care.
At the other end of the 157-country table, the landlocked African nation of Burundi beat ISIS-ravaged Syria to last place.
But the real shock came in Spain’s continued slump, ranking 14 places behind the UK and just one above Algeria.
Saudi Arabia, a country where women cannot drive and beheading is a common punishment, came three places above Spain in 34th.
The report, released ahead of the UN’s World Happiness Day this weekend, considered numerous factors including health, family relations, job security, political freedom and government corruption.
Behind Denmark came the usual suspects of Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Finland.
Portugal was the major European shock, ranking in an astonishing 94th place, behind countries damaged by Civil War such as Somalia and Libya.
Meanwhile the USA came 13th, Russia 56th, China 83rd and South Africa 116th.
The Middle Eastern country Israel came in 11th, but, somewhat unsurprisingly, the Palestinian Territories which Israel occupies and builds illegal settlements on ranked 108th.
The Spanish are generally a cheerful people, but sadly they don’t have much to be happy about when it comes to the country as a whole. Unemployment is through the roof, especially youth unemployment, and no end in sight, opportunities are scarce, corruption is endemic and has actually risen recently, wages are low (minimum wage is half that or more from other EU countries). On top of that they have had a disastrous sucession of governments, implementation of many draconian laws, and currentlly cannot even form a government. The largest number of Spaniards left Spain in the last year, and the brain drain continues. Investment in Spain is also at its lowest for a decade. Happy times indeed. Best to try and forget about it all. Denial is the Spanish way and one can begin to see why.
Agreed Fred, but it could all be so very different if only the place was run properly and became more flexible. Spain has this habit of shooting itself in the foot on so many fronts, the so called illegal property situation being a case in point.
The UK is far from perfect but Spain needs to adopt the same approach to small business which creates wealth and jobs in the UK. They also need to look at their tax system which is far too draconion and scares off business and new investors. Spain will never be successful unless it frees itself up and makes itself user friendly and attractive to investors.
Spain should be the best place in Europe to live but at the moment, is not as good as it either could be, or should be. It’s all there for the taking if they have the will to move forward.
They can take the Podemos “state owned everything” route if they like but they will end up like Venezuela with the most miserable economy in the world and further down the list than they are now.
As opposed to the “Rajoy owned everything route” eh Jane? Levity aside, this really is a country ripe for a “Big Daddy” leader. A wary eye needs to be kept on the military.