posted on Mar, 25 2010 @ 04:37 AM
Well I can tell you things in Spain aren't good either. I don't sense any revolution in the air, yet, but people are definitely not happy and many
protests have taken place in recent weeks.
Townhalls haven't got any money and their latest scam is to fine people for everything and anything they can. For instance, there was a case in Euro
Weekly (I think) that reported about how a road is closed for repairs and people living there have to go to their townhall to get passes and if
they're caught on the road without a pass they're being fined. Another townhall - Estepona I believe, has no money and even had their phone lines
disconnected. The people working there were using their own mobiles to make necessary calls.
There are blocks of houses and apartments that have remained empty, since they were built. Hotels on the Costa del Sol have closed for the winter
season, for the first time ever because usually it's a year round destination.
Homes can be repossessed after just one late payment. People are having homes and land taken because the legal planning they received from the local
townhall turns out not to be legal at all - the townhalls just wanted the money for giving permissions! (see front page of last week's
SurinEnglish.com regarding the protests in Malaga).
Spanish citizens are moving in with each other, farming their land and working for cash. For us expats it's a bit more difficult as we don't have
family to move in with and many of us have no land to farm. With so many expats leaving, there isn't a lot of work for the rest of us to do -
Spanish tend to give work to other Spaniards and you can't blame them for that although the article in the Sur says that expats have brought in 7000
million euros so I don't know where that will leave Spain if the expats continue leaving at the rate they are?!
We're undecided on whether to stay here. Our friends and family tell us that there's no point moving back to Britain as it's getting worse there
and no future for our children. On the other hand, Spain has double the British unemployment - we're at 20% overall unemployment and 44% of under
25s are unemployed. It's not just about employment though - with most of our friends having moved back to their respective countries already, we're
missing a good support network of people to turn to, even just to talk things through with. All our friends that have moved back to Britain say it is
much better than Spain but our friends and family that have never lived here tell us that we're better off here. We have to decide, where we'll
personally choose to live, by the end of August so the children can start the new school year in September.
Basically, it's very tough here and I think it will get much worse in July when income tax and sales tax/VAT (IVA) goes up 1%. The pension age has
also recently been increased to 67.