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Spanish Business News

The latest business, economic,property, stock market and financial news from Spain. Keep up to date with what is happening with the Spanish economy, stock market, the economic crisis, the euro zone debt sovereign debt crisis and the Spanish property market.

UPDATE: Social Security and Healthcare Crackdown in Spain - Some Real Life Examples
31 August 2013

A while back I wrote in this blog post about a dole claim that the Social Security office rejected because of suspected fraud.  This is what I wrote:

A friend of mine was recently denied dole because of suspected fraud in the claim.  He has built up just under 6 month's worth of dole entitlement in Spain but needed a couple of days extra work to unlock the 6 months dole.  So he asked his brother if he could "work" for his company for a few days in order to help him unlock his dole.  So my friend "worked" for 3 days and after that submitted his dole claim at the unemployment office.  Everybody does this in Spain, or should I say used to do this.  To some it may seem like fraud but to the Spanish it is called playing the system and is perfectly acceptable.  Anyway, my friend's dole claim was rejected for suspected fraud.  He has appealed and is waiting to hear back.  So it looks like the Spanish authorities are cracking down on this previously acceptable behaviour, and about time some would say.

My friend submitted an appeal at the end of 2012 and this month received a letter from the Social Security office to say that his appeal had been successful and that he would be awarded the unemployment benefits after all.  My friend is now working and he is unsure if he will get a lump sum pay out for the 5 months he didn't receive any dole, or whether the 5 months will just be added to his entitlement should he need dole again in the future.

It's no wonder Spain is in such a mess smiley.  But at least my friend is happy!!



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The Great Spanish Crash BBC documentary: Watch it here
22 December 2012

Just watched an excellent BBC documentary called The Great Spanish Crash.  It's around an hour long and is by Paul Mason, the economics editor of Newsnight on BBC 2.  It is a good account of how Spain got itself into this mess and goes back as far as the Franco era to explain why what happened in Spain happened.  Here's the video below.  Well worth an hour of your time:

 



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Gibraltar Live frontier webcam
11 December 2012

The Gibraltar government has recently setup two live webcams at the border in response to recent incidents where the Guardia Civil had been making cars queue for up to 6 hours to get across in to Spain.

The website shows two different views of the border area -  Winston Churchill Avenue next to the old air terminal building and the other shows the loop by the frontier fence.

The website is www.frontierqueue.gi/Default.aspx



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Another Spanish region requests a bailout from the national government
19 October 2012

I've lost count how many Spanish regions have now requested a bailout.  The latest to request a bailout from Madrid is Asturias, which is requesting 261.7 million euros from the rapidly depleting EUR18bn 'temporary' bailout fund.  From Reuters:

Oct 19 (Reuters) - The northern Spanish region of Asturias asked the central government for 261.7 million euros ($343 million) in aid on Friday, the eighth autonomous region to tap Madrid's regional liquidity fund set up to cover their financing needs.



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Spanish public sector waste: Story Number 1
17 July 2012

A lad I work with was telling me about his best mate in Madrid, who is a functionario (civil servant) at the Ministry of Defense in the capital.  He works in an admin/accountancy role and his official working hours are 8:00am until 3:00pm.  He disappears for breakfast around 9:30 am for half an hour, which is standard for public sector "workers".  He had noticed that after he and his colleagues got back from breakfast, some of his colleagues would then disappear with a sports bag for an hour or so.  He was intrigued as to where these people went to so he followed them one day and discovered that they were heading down to the Ministry of Defence gym in the basement of one of the buildings.  

So now this guy heads down to the gym for an hour or so after he's had his breakfast.  He also told my mate that they often leave at 2:00-2:30pm instead of 3:00pm as they should do.  So this guy basically works around 25 hours per week and picks up a full time salary of 2000 euros per month after tax.

What a joke.



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Spain attacks Argentina over nationalisation of oil company YPF
18 April 2012

Spain pledged to wage diplomatic and industrial war on Argentina after the country's populist president, Cristina Fernández, announced plans to nationalise the Spanish-owned part of oil company YPF.

"With this attitude, this hostility from the Argentine authorities, there will be consequences that we'll see over the next few days," industry minister José Manuel Soria pledged, calling it a hostile action against Spain. "They will be in the diplomatic field, the industrial field and on energy." Retaliatory measures for the expropriation of the Spanish Repsol company's shares in YPF will be announced after a cabinet meeting on Friday, while the European Union was also pulled into the dispute.

Spanish president Mariano Rajoy had blistering words for Fernández, speaking at the World Economic Forum on Latin America in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. "This damages Argentina's international reputation," said Rajoy. "What happened yesterday could happen to any other investment." Spain's foreign minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, claimed that Fernández had originally planned to time her announcement to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war on 2 April.

Read the full article at the Guardian



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Spain ups 2011 deficit estimate to 8.51 percent of GDP
29 February 2012

(Reuters) - Spain's public deficit in 2011 was equivalent to 8.51 percent of gross domestic product, Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro said on Monday, up from a preliminary estimate of 8.2 percent due mainly to overspending by regional governments.

The government's official target for 2012 is to cut the deficit to 4.4 percent of GDP, which would require unprecedented cuts of more than 40 billion euros (33.9 billion pounds).

Source: Reuters



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Unemployment to reach 27% in Spain?
29 January 2012

I've just been reading that investment bank JP Morgan is predicting that unemployment could reach 27% in 2012.  Citigroup is also predicting further rises to the unemployment levels, with Citigroup expecting it to reach 26%. 

The unemployment rate currently stands at just under 23%, or 5.3 million people.  Truly mind blowing numbers!  When will the Spanish finally twig that this is not a price worth paying to be part of the euro zone?



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Spanish central bank warns of double dip recession
23 January 2012

Spain's central bank said the debt-laden country will fall back into recession this year with the economy contracting 1.5pc.

The Bank of Spain said the country, which only emerged from an 18-month recession at the start of 2010 and grew 0.7pc last year, was suffering from an escalation in Europe's debt woes.

"In 2011 the modest recovery which the Spanish economy began a year earlier weakened as the eurozone sovereign debt crisis extended to a greater number of countries and financial market tensions strengthened," it said in a report.

Read the full article at the Telegraph



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Spain May Need Back-Door Bailout for Regions
11 January 2012

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy may need to skirt Spanish law to backstop the nation’s indebted regions, mimicking the European Union’s dodging of its no- bailout rule to save Greece, Ireland and Portugal from default.

“We consider the Spanish government should guarantee or take responsibility for the debt it has authorized the regions to issue,” said Albert Carreras de Odriozola, Catalonia’s deputy finance chief, in a telephone interview. “It must be possible to talk and find a mechanism.”

Catalonia, Valencia, Andalusia and Madrid, which account for 60 percent of Spain’s economy, are shut out of markets as they brace to repay 9 billion euros ($11.5 billion) to lenders this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Spain’s 10- year yield has risen to 5.3 percent from 5.09 percent on Dec. 30 when the government said its 2011 deficit had ballooned to a third larger than its target.

Regional shortfalls drove Spain’s deficit to 8 percent of gross domestic product, breaching the 6 percent pledged to the EU. Spain’s Parliament today examines 15 billion euros of tax increases and spending cuts announced by Rajoy’s government on Dec. 30 to compensate the slippage.

Read the full article at Bloomberg



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