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Signs of strain?
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 783
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:51 am    Post subject: Signs of strain? Reply with quote

Mostly for those who've been working in Spain a few years ...

I wonder whether the country is showing signs of strain due to the high unemployment, general financial chaos, economic recession and so on?

I was in Madrid and the south during the summer. There were quite a few homeless on the streets of Madrid, but I wouldn't know if there were more than normal. Bars and restaurants seemed to be doing a reasonable amount of trade despite the high-summer recess.

Down south in the small towns and villages of Andalucia, where I've been a regular visitor since 2006, things are certainly quieter. There are less tourists and I suspect the locals are tightening their belts a bit and eating out less, but things generally don't seem too bad.

Grateful for any input.
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Sublime



Joined: 23 Apr 2011
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen loads of people routing through bins in the last year (I hardly ever saw that when I was first in Spain several years ago), but if you can make a living out of it then why not. I mean, people become politicians don't they.
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sheikh radlinrol



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 889
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like Perilla I havenīt noticed the crisis in bars but one of my my studentīs family have a bar and she assures me otherwise. I saw a man yesterday checking parking meters in case people had left their change!
More significantly, I know of three young adults who gave up looking for work in Spain and went to England.
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 783
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sheikh radlinrol wrote:
More significantly, I know of three young adults who gave up looking for work in Spain and went to England.


And went to England? Holy smoke - they must be desperate!
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Moore



Joined: 25 Aug 2004
Posts: 730
Location: Madrid

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Madrid is doing surprisingly well: tourism is up here, and GDP for the city itself is actually positive (compared to an overall drop in Spain).

In terms of teaching, company classes here dropped off a few years ago, but private classes are booming as individuals realise how much they need English to compete in a global jobs market, as well as how much their kids need it too. Hourly rates are healthy (for teachers): 20 to 25 euros per hour.

No idea how this is affecting the provinces, but Madrid is still a good place to live and teach.






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sheikh radlinrol



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 889
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perilla wrote:
sheikh radlinrol wrote:
More significantly, I know of three young adults who gave up looking for work in Spain and went to England.


And went to England? Holy smoke - they must be desperate!

And holy smoke! No joke! They found work! But letīs be serious, folks. Spainīs economic situation is no laughing matter. The bars may still be full, of course, but our local paper shows photos of people queuing outside the INEM at 6 a.m. It also reports that families of four (father, mother, two kids) are all on the dole. Today, the local newspaper announced 305 more redundancies at a local factory. Sad
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smccartney



Joined: 25 Feb 2010
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw a lot of bin hoking in Zaragoza last year with the bins outside El Corte Ingles especially popular.
This summer in the south, Cadiz, Jerez etc I didn't see any until Seville.
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jonniboy



Joined: 18 Jun 2006
Posts: 696
Location: Riga, Latvia

PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Signs of strain? Reply with quote

Perilla wrote:
Mostly for those who've been working in Spain a few years ...


I dunno, are the people who've been there a few years really best placed to notice gradual changes like that? I mean it's kinda like the situation with my late gran when her health started to deteriorate, cos I saw her infrequently I noticed and was shocked by her appearance far more than my brothers who saw her every day.

Anyway, I've been coming to Valencia on and off since 2001, lived here 2003-2005 and recently returned for the first time since March 2008. It's early days but superficially I have to say that I really don't see much sign of a crisis. In Latvia when the crisis hit it was noticeable in terms of a pretty large turnover of businesses, especially bars and restaurants, many of which closed. Here, nope don't see it. All the bars I went to back then are still open and a couple of trendy cafe bar places have been added and seemed to be doing decent trade last night when I passed them. The only businesses which have vanished seem to be internet cafes and that's down to WiFi rather than the crisis.

Bin hoking by the way always happened in Valencia and don't see any big increase.
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Sublime



Joined: 23 Apr 2011
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgot to add. Some of the gyms seem to have closed down - I guess a lot of people are doing more 'free sports and exercise'.

But as a couple of others have pointed out, the tapas bars etc. always seem to be full. In fact I seem to be one of the only ones who has to cook cheaply at home. Sad

But wines cheap, even decent stuff, Wink

Might be bin hawking in a couple of weeks.
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 783
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:04 am    Post subject: Re: Signs of strain? Reply with quote

jonniboy wrote:
I dunno, are the people who've been there a few years really best placed to notice gradual changes like that? I mean it's kinda like the situation with my late gran when her health started to deteriorate, cos I saw her infrequently I noticed and was shocked by her appearance far more than my brothers who saw her every day.


Yes, that's probably true up to a point, but I think people working there are better placed to know of what's happening locally, whether students are losing their jobs and what's happening in neighbourhoods or towns where tourists tend not to go. I should have said those who've been there a while and regular visitors ...

Anyways, the general picture seems to be that things aren't too bad so far. Which makes me wonder, why? If the UK had 40% plus unemployment among the under 25s there'd be blood on the streets.

Is it the strong Spanish family unit that holds things together during hard times? Or, as some suggest, is it that the Spanish have never really become accustomed to the living standards and opportunities expected in some western countries, so the current situation is familiar territory? Bit of both?
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DMcK



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 93
Location: Madrid

PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know for a fact that bars (and anywhere else you can buy alcohol) are either not as busy as they used to be or people are going and making 1 drink last a whole night. sales are way down and have been consistently dropping for 3 years.
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jonniboy



Joined: 18 Jun 2006
Posts: 696
Location: Riga, Latvia

PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's definitely the case here. I've been to a few of my old watering holes from the 2003-2005 period and they've often been really dead. The only bar which is in any way livelier is one which has a plaza nearby where people have a kind of botellon outside and then go inside to speak to their friends.
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DMcK



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 93
Location: Madrid

PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

can we say "a drink in the street"? or "a carry out"

spanish is tilting
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 783
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thought I'd bump this as some time has gone by. The impression from Asia is that Spain is falling apart at the seams, but that was also the case a year ago and when I was in Madrid last summer things seemed OK, mas o menos.

How are things looking these days?
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jonniboy



Joined: 18 Jun 2006
Posts: 696
Location: Riga, Latvia

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of weeks back I was all set to hot tail it back to Latvia but here they've made me a better offer, increased money and increased hours. She's also hiring an additional teacher for next year. The second place I work for also expects to have at least the same number of students as before. Where things seem to have fallen off are in company classes, less adults, less privates (or privates who want to pay a reasonable rate) and summer work. My second academy has 250 students for the normal course and normally 45 on summer courses but he said he may have to scrap the summer courses this year due to lack of demand. A friend of mine who works in summer camps in the UK also has only 4 weeks this year compared to 6 or 8 normally, as the bulk of his students there seem to be from Spain or Italy.

I'll probably stay another year with Latvia still as the plan B in case the proverbial really hits the fan.
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