“La Krisis” In Spain

The first thing I do every morning as soon as I wake up is flick on the radio.   Whatever station I happen to be tuned into, the topic never varies: It’ll be yet another dissection of the economic crisis.

Everybody is affected, either directly or indirectly. The statistics are truly horrifying: Unemployment in Spain stands at 27.5%, and youth unemployment (people aged 25 and under) is a staggering 56.4%. This makes Spain the worst hit country in the Eurozone after Greece. Roughly half the people I know here in Toledo are out of work … it’s a very sad situation indeed.

You don’t have to look very hard to see the signs – dilapidated buildings, an army of beggars and homeless people (who are clearly not alcoholics or drug addicts) lining the streets, daily demonstrations against the government’s punishing spending cuts and mass lay-offs and, of course, an ever-expanding scrawl of graffiti on the walls.

Krisis

KrisisKrisis

The stencil image is of Mariano Rajoy, Spain's current Prime Minister.

The stencil image is of Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s current Prime Minister.

I’ve previously put up two short posts on this topic, click here and here if you want to see them.

How is the global economic crisis affecting the places in your corner of the world?

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21 thoughts on ““La Krisis” In Spain

  1. northern_star

    It’s been going on for a few years in the UK now, as you know. For me, closing the shop and my freelance work drying up at the same time resulted in a major tightening of the purse strings. Treats were thin on the ground and there was a drive of ‘make do a mend’ for me personally. One of the ways I saved money was to shop in charity shops which was actually great fun.

    But I am bored of looking after the pennies now : )

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  2. pollyheath

    Interesting post!

    Russia actually has a very low unemployment rate (6-7%) — kind of a hold over from the USSR. I mean that everyone has a job, but the UNDERemployment here is out of this world. Most Russians I know make around 30,000 rubles a month ($1000). Rent on a one-bedroom apartment is 27,000 a month at the lowest end.

    I wonder though, that it might be a little better here than in Spain. At least if you’re in a god-awful job, you’re generally too busy to run around and graffiti/complain too much.

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      It’s the same here – the people who do have jobs often earn very little, i.e. they would struggle to pay the rent on an apartment by themselves.

      At my ‘point of origin’, i.e. Bavaria, the rate is a deceptively low 3.9%, but a lot of people are working in ‘mini-jobs’ paying 400 Euros a month. I’ll be there in a month’s time to visit family, and hope to be writing a bit more about this…
      Thanks for your feedback on the situation in Russia!

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  3. Expat Eye

    The black economy is thriving in Latvia. Figures say (if you can trust them) that it’s at around 40%. So the unemployment figures can’t really be trusted as a lot of people are working, just not declaring it or certainly not declaring all of their income. It’s pretty common for smaller companies to pay half into your bank account and the other half into your hand. That way, both you and the company pay less taxes.

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      Yup, tax evasion is rife here, from what I can gather. Seeing that all my money is paid into my Spanish bank account by companies not situated in Spain, I can’t cheat 😦

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      1. Expat Eye

        Makes you admire people like that Don Quixote impersonator even more! I like people who get up off their arses and try to do something about their situation, instead of sitting around grumbling about it!

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      2. ladyofthecakes Post author

        Yep, even if they are not paying taxes. Once you register as self-employed, you immediately have to pay €254 a month to Social Security. I mean, that might be more than you’ll be making! It’s crazy. In the UK, it used to be around £30 quid, and then you might pay more at the end of the year, depending on your earnings. Everyone can afford thirty quid to start off with.

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  4. TBM

    London is suffering. It seems a new place in the hood closes down each week. Such a shame to see empty businesses that used to employ people. The only business that seems to thrive are people who install scaffolding. I see them everywhere. We have bets which building on our street will get hit next.

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  5. ottominuti

    Belgium is fine compared to Southern Europe so far. Shops are emptier than in early 2007, when the markets were still roaring but they are not closing down so often. They do start their sales already in May, though, something unthinkable a few years ago. Unemployment in Brussels is very high (around 30%) but the public system still allows generous unemployment cheques. The system will collapse at some point but so far the effects of the crisis have been mitigated by the government up here.

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      1. ottominuti

        The region of Brussels is made of several municipalities: in some of these the unemployment rate is over 30%! Official datas put it a little higher than 20% for 2012 but I heard at the radio the average unemployment rate for the cityis now more around 30%. Flanders (the region north of Brussels) are a completely different story, having an unemployment rate below 4%.

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      2. ottominuti

        It’s a complicated topic but yes, one of the main points in the political diatribe between the two regions is certainly the economic disparity…which is just enormous these times…

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