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Eye on Spain Poll of the Week

Every week we ask you to vote and comment on a popular subject. The following week we publish the results for you to see what the general consensus is and what other people say about it. Have your say and vote in this week's poll.

Poll results: Will the EU need to bail out Spain?
11 May 2010

In last week's poll we asked:

Will the EU need to bail out Spain?

243 responses were received and the verdict is:

Spain EU help chart

The following comments were submitted by the respondents:

Under normal circumstances: no. But if hedge funds continue to speculate (some people earn loads of money by spreading rumours alone), it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

Anything that helps the exchange rate will do me - currently @ 1.178 euros to the pound and going up -Yippee!

Not if the present Government is sensible enough to reduce IVA for the Property Market for a 12 month period to say 3% instead of increasing it to 8%. This may give the Market the Impetus it needs, similar to what the Scrappage Scheme has done for the Car Market. Otherwise, unless the Euro weakens against the GBP thus encouraging the return of the Brits to the Spanish Property Market, they will have to find another way to strengthen the Spanish economy. Duncan

The president Zapatero has sold out Spain and has wrecked the economy. Since the socialists won the lections in 2004 his goverment has managed to loose Spain its international credibility, brought in two may tax laws and reforms that has seriously affected the second largets if not the largest money earner, Construction and the Real estate industry. This is home grown and seriously out plays the global downturn. They have managed to spend the 45.000 Million euros that was in the kitty since 2004 and now have a 20% of the population unemployed with families finding it hard to get to the end of the month. Companies going broke on a daily bases because thay can't get finance from the banks who are supposedly the administrators of the goverment money to help out these failing companies.  This government is incapable of finding a solution and I see that we could be going the same route as the Greeks if something drastic is not done now immediately.

It's not if, but when and how much. We are seeing a Greek tragedy unfold, but the Spanish comedy is also playing out. See what comes from the meeting today between Zapatero and Rajoy- then watch out for falling bricks.

As the Greek & Spanish economies are very similar, it seems inevitable that Spain will need some kind of bailout !!!




The Irish Government began 18 months ago implementing painful tax increaes and reduced public servant salaries which are having the desired effect resulting in Ireland no
longer 'at risk'. In fact GDP is expected to grow nearly 1% in 2010 and 3% in 2011. If Spain requires a 'bail out' - which I doubt - and because of the size of it's economy it would precipitate a very serious crises for the Euro. The next economy - and it's not even in the Euro - to come under the microscope of the market vultures is without doubt the British one. Wait for the General Election to settle and the British public will wake up very soon to the reality of how bad their Public finances are; Greece is in the 'halfpenny' place by comparison! Sterling to drop several percentage points against the Euro during the next few months.

Spain has a long history of good Government  always paying its way, good money management,

Spain became greedy with prices and taxes going up  and up.The euro went up against the pound making things worse for the British.The government upset a lot of people with it's corruption and forced demolition of property.All this just as the credit crunch came along. Spain needs tourism but failed to nurture it and now will have to pay the price with unemployment and lack of revenue. As the U.K starts with a new government it will be making financial cuts so less people will be able to go to Spain for a holiday. If Spain does not start to woo the tourists back they will go to other countries like Turkey where it is cheaper and service is better and Spain will be well and truely in the brown stuff and crying out for financial help.

I will say "No" because if they do.... talk about the domino effect! You will have Euro Zone country after country trying to jump on the band wagon and follow suit, and we would end up with the fall of the Euro as a single currency.

Kind of like "Damned if they do and damned if they don't!"

Spain certainly not. That's just a hoax. Anyone with some knowledge of the figures knows that there is problem at all.

The IMF stated so as well an April 24th that there is no fundamental problem at all with Spain. It's a hoax started by journalist who can't read financial figures. Spain has one of the most solid banking system in the world *says the IMF,

I have no knowledge of Ireland or Portugal, but the poll as posted is silly>
a People don't know and believe everything. It's not fit for a poll
b It just stimulates the hoax and the superior feelings the Brits seem to have if they are talking about some countries like the ones mentioned. 

If Spain thinks that they will need help from the EU, they have all the rights being member of the EU. At the other hand, I believe that the Spain is doing all that they can to avoid this. Let's hope for the best.

There won't be any money left after bailing out Greece and Portugal.

Portugal next , thenSpain

No bailouts for anyone!!! You make your bed and you sleep in that bed !......Spain should get out of the EU and stand on it's own feet ! The EU and The UN are worthless........G.

If Zapatero doesn´t wake up...... Spain is next.

Yes, EXPAT experience, the Spanish hide the truth, and have layers of public servents, not used to efficiancy, so hardly surprising they do not know they are in trouble.

I voted yes.
You only have to look around to see that an economic turnaround is a long way off.

Spain will not be able to avoid the disastrous conequences of over borrowing and fuelling a construction bubble which has now burst. It would be better off outside the Euro and withdrawal would be the first step to reviving the fortunes of this great country.

When the EU grants stop Spain will run out of money. Although they have invested some of the grants usefully in road infrastructure they have not invested in industry. Construction and Tourism will not support the country. Inflation is out of control and it is cheaper to live in the UK for food, housing, clothing and electricals. There is little or no competition between businesses. Wait for the UK to follow with public sector pension deficits of 900 billion let alone the other small (in comparison) black hole.
I hope the next UK Prime Minister will offer the Sterling to  the stronger EU countries, so they can opt out of what seems to become an ever weakening Euro currency. It also helps avoid Greece to have to step out the Euro.

Without an industry it will be very hard for spain to cope , thats why Spain needs expats with skills in order to keep the ecomony going.
Like Britain under New Labour and Greece under their 'socialist' regime, Spain have squandered the revenue from the boom years.

Spain is fortunate in that the regions have ensured that much of the EU's dictat and orders are ignored.  We in the UK have suffered intense oppression from them and they rule our every move.  Can't even do simple DIY in our own homes without informing them of what we are doing.  I love Europe as individual, different, independant nations but I hate the EU. The Euro has caused the problems in Greece as the Greeks cannot devalue to save their economy.  They should leave the Euro and get the Drachma back. The tourists will love that.
let them get back to the peseta

the banks will be ordered to sell off the properties on their re possesed and handed back books for half the value of the mortgage owed to them, this will partically capitalise the banks
and will give breathing space to the government.

But it would be better off out of the EC, only then, where would Europe go on holidays that easily....? Ha!

Yes... But lets hope it doesn't come to that.

Whether Spain likes it or not foreign owners especially the British are economically important for them and for Spain to get through the current economic crisis they will have to ensure stability in the housing market.

But there won't be enough money in the kitty after Greece and Portugal so sky high taxes and retrenchment


But we hope it won't come to that.

Yes - along with God knows how many others.

it will teach the smart arsed mayors they are not in control,that they still need keep pumping money into the system.but as they know better than the expats,and try to stuff them at every its our turn to see them squirm.
still it won,t affect them as they haved stashed there only affects the average joe.
Because the politicians are lying. But then what´s new?

"Its The Property bubble Stupid."

I think Spain is a large country which has one great natural resource which of cource sun shine and tourisim. It will recover.

It may not be as wide ranging as the Greek situation, but Portugal and Spain are next in line.  Unfortunately, there is only so much the existing financial forces can do...but Spain does need help in developing new industries, jobs, jobs, jobs.  Those empty buildings must be turned into something constructive.  mfk

Contagion will not spread!

Spain can and should fix the problems by itself. But for this purpose the government should take serious and unpopular steps.

External money could only delay the crash and finally cause much more problems.
With Spain & Portugals credit rating now downgraded it won't be long before the Euro nosedives.

And if we look at what's happening in Greece where the man in the street is suffering badly, due to the usual corrupt Politicians and Rich Fat Cats just getting richer, it's no different here or anywhere in the world.

And no matter what the media say's the recession is not over, this is a wake up call.

all very worrying as we have just invsted money in our Spanish bank!

Will they have to bail out Britain too with these horrific levels of debt Labour have built up?

I cant even see that there is any doubting this one. With the downgrading of Greek Govt debt and the snowball starting to roll towards other areas of the Eurozone I think its inevitable. I just wonder if the EU/IMF have a big enough wallet.

Spain had a fool proof economy with money coming in one way, stopped by greed and corruption in the local mafia powerhouses . pensioners ,holiday homes those that do not need jobs but supply the economy.see BHtheTRUTH on youtube for just one case.

Maybe some short term loans but not a full greek style bailout.

I think it will def. happen The property market is on its knees and the holiday market is not far off!

You only have to look at all the unfinished properties in Spain to see that nothing new is selling. Spain has frightened off its cash cow with the amount of corruption that has taken place. I can't see anyone wanting to invest there again when there are better options to be had.

Many Town Halls are in financial trouble and over budget.There appears to be no remedial action being taken.

I think it is quite possible that Spain will eventually need to be bailed out. Their economy was boosted for the last decade by the building industry and international property sales but with both these now on their knees, what else have they got to fuel their economy?  Portugal and Ireland are likely to need assistance before Spain and If it does come to this, then I think we can kiss goodbye to the Euro, as all confidence in the Euro will be gone and the currency will collapse. The problem with the Euro zone is that all the member countries have to conform to a single fiscal policy and cannot make adjustments to suit their own individual economies. So you have strong economies like Germany and weak, bankrupt economies like Greece, Spain, Portugal etc all working under the same financial policy. Worrying times ahead for the Euro zone methinks, glad the UK is outside it.

Like 0        Published at 15:10   Comments (1)

Poll of the Week: Will the EU need to bail out Spain?
05 May 2010


Like 0        Published at 13:52   Comments (2)

Poll Results: Can you hold a conversation in Spanish?
05 May 2010

In last week's poll we asked:

Can you hold a conversation in Spanish?

266 responses were received and the verdict is:

Speaking Spanish chart

It appears that the majority of respondents can manage to chat away in Spanish, which sort of goes against our original understanding on this matter.

The following comments were left by the respondents:

but ... in a few weeks we start living out of Spain in stead of elsewhere in Europe. First thing to do is 4 weeks of lessons, so that I can tick your box in another way next time.

Diploma level - but only after 4 years of hard work!!!

Problem Ive found with ex-pats trying to learn Spanish has been that their command of the grammar of their own language is very poor and consequently they are unable to absorb the building blocks of Spanish grammar.

I know a lot of verbs and can put together sentences but as soon as the Spanish speak to me I do not know what they are saying

If you really want to learn Spanish you have to completely immerse yourself in the language and learn Spanish the same way you learnt English, and most toddlers can do that fairly well! all the translating and studies just complicate the issue.  

I've found that there is a useful website called www.spanishdict. which helps learn vocabulary and pronounciation.

I am not as fluent as I would like and sometimes struggle for words which I find frustrating.  I am naturally a fast talker in English so I do feel somewhat stilted.  I feel the more time you spend with Spanish people the better you become although I suspect the grammar is not always correct!

Living,as I do in Casares,it is essential to be able to converse with the people here and it is lovely to chat with my Spanish neighbour over a cup of coffee.

in the late eighties when we were renovating(near Jalon) I could cope with all the building terms etc, and make myself understood. Gradually over the years it has become less and less necessary to do so, and I think I have lost much of what I knew then.

Mijas Town Hall provide lessons for all 'strangers'

15 euros a MONTH will get you 3 lessons a week. 4 levels, brilliant teachers and these run from October to May.

1 did all 4 years - was a struggle at times but 10 years down the line am I glad I stuck at it.

Living in Quesada it is difficult to find Spanish people to talk wih when I visit for holidays.  Would love to link up with a famiky who want to practise their English in return for opportunities for me to practise Spanish.  As a retired teacher who has had lots of experience teaching children and adults who arrive in Engand with little or no English I would welcome a chance to meet up with Spanish families for mutual help.  Anyone oiut there who may be interested in setting up a voluntary 'Conversation Exchange?'

I can converse with Spaniards, and they can understand what I say, but - in Andalucia - I can't always understand them!

I do think that if you're intending to live in Spain for any length of time, you should make an effort to get on in the language.

Depends a bit on the Spanish person.  If they speak fast . . and then with a regional accent . . .

I spent a month last year in Salamanca at the Don Quijote school learning Spanish. Fantastic experience, well worth the money as I am now much more confident in speaking. Also listened to the Michel Thomas CDs up to advanced level. Can now do my necessary business in Spanish as well as chat.

Understanding Sanish, or reading a newspaper, no problem although I have trouble on the phone with no body language and the rapid speach.

Talking Spanish is more difficult and llimited to present tense; the school I was at folded before I progressed beyond that.  However the Spanish are very patient and I can, eventually, get the message across.  The important thing is to keep trying.

I think I would be fluent by now if I could get lessons for a couple of hours every day with a native speaker.  I've tried once and twice a week for an hour/two hours (and done my homework) and it's not enough!

I have tried with lessons here in England but find it hard, I can manage some conversations but I have to really know the topic first.  Hopefully by the time we move to Spain permanently it will be better

As a Dutch national I have been trained to speak various languages from a young age. Unfortunately, Spanish was not one of them and being older now I find it extremely difficult to speak Spanish and even more difficult to understand the replies I get. Have not given up yet though.

I learnt spanish at a level and used to be very good, but not had much practice for many years! Would love to get back into it!

Hola, yes I speak fluent Spanish as I lived in Spain the most of my life, I was brought up in Fuengirola, Malaga, lived in Granada with my husband and two children, I now live in England but would love to talk to Spanish people as I miss that very much, waiting to hear from you, hasta pronto

It depends who I'm speaking to. Our farmer neighbours
( lovely people ) have , like most locals around our area
 ( Antequera  )  very strong Andaluz accents, which can make it very difficult to understand them. If I was talking to someone who spoke clearly ( and slowly ) and with less of an accent I would be able to converse more !!

I can speak a bit more than 'dos cervezas por favor' but not hold a conversation yet.  I'm finding it very difficult to learn the language but am persevering.

Really a struggle. Easily for my hearing in the north and when travelling better As soon as we hit the c De Sol we get spoken to in english before we open our mouth and I am not wearing shorts and socks with a hanky on my head!!

I can order food and drink with no trouble, I can say few simple sentences about myself. I probably understand much more then I can express myself... still learning though..watching news is good as they speak very clearly..

Lack of practice is my problem, I take one lesson a week but it is important to practice speaking Spanish, knowing how to use verbs is a good thing.  I have met a few Brits who say yuo don't need to know verbs, I don't know how they often hear "I only want to learn enough to get by".

I'm afraid a lot of Brits have the attitude that "it'll do"

In all honesty I fall somwhere between "no problem"  and "just about".

When I came to live in Spain in june 2003 I had never been to Spain before and I knew no Spanish. I took classes and got to a reasonable standard in about 9 months and then stopped. Without any Spanish neighbours to practice with, a lot of my Spanish went. However, two months ago I started classes again and this time I am determined not to lose it.

I love your site - keep it up!

I can understand a lot more than I care to admit.  With me is a confidence thing, if I cannot Habla Perfecto then I always push my husband forward to do the talking - his pronunciation however is terrible - got all good fun and I enjoy laughing at him making a fool of himself!!

It's a beautiful launguage, I go to classes once a week, and enjoy the company and the challenges.

Present tense is coming along.

But the business of two past tenses is beating the pips out of me.

I am learning in a classroom in Holland through the medium of Dutch, which doesn't help this poor, confused English soul.

I realise that I need practical experience in Spain.

A few weeks holiday is never enough, and there are so many Brits down there to occupy limited communication channels.

somewhere between "dos cervezas" and "just about" really

i believe that i can get by

Problema surely?

I have been speaking spanish for the last 35 years, in my opinion , it is almost an imposibility to have a stress free lifestyle here without the Spanish language , or understanding of it..

But, of course, there is always more to learn.

Mi espanol no es el cojones de pero. :-(

Can manage with the guy who came to fix the damp, but in trouble when it's a chat over the garden fence. Suddenly everyone's talking at 120 k/h and it's about the kids' school, the traffic, Barcelona football, weather and why we mad Brits clip our hedges ourselves. No entiendo!

It's difficult as all speak in English, but fortunately have some spanish friends who can't speak English. Remembering the vocabulary is the problem if you haven't spoken spanish for a while.

A lot of retired people have made Spain their home. Unfortunately, learning a language involves quite a lot of memory which often declines with age. Despite trying to learn it, retaining it is the biggest problem.  When the teachers start on the verbs, a lot of us are lost since we never learnt at school (some 50 years ago) what a verb was. With English, there's no need to know what a verb is. We were told what nouns and adjectives were and that sufficed until we had to start learning Spanish.

There's no better way to tackle a language than having a go at a real conversation with a native speaker. In general, Spanish people are pleased if you try to speak their language and will patiently wait whilst you try to remember words that you can't recall instantly. Some of my best experiences in Spain have been from being with a group of Spanish people and being part of their conversation. It's well worth putting in the effort.

I'm fine with asking questions, and a bit of conversation, its when the reply comes back too fast that I get stuck!

Ordering food is all very well, but unless we are engaging with local people about the issues that matter to them, then we are merely holiday-makers (however much time we spend there).  This year we have had to be very sympathetic with our neighbours (all part of a fruit & veg growing co-operative) about the heavy rain and its impact on the land, the loss of crops, and how they are all struggling financially.  We also chatted to the city mayor while Barry was taking Semana Santa photos on behalf of the Turismo Puente Genil Facebook page.

Have been doing spanish lessons, 2 hours a week, for the past year.  Some good days, some bad days.

I think it is essential to learn Spanish if you intend to live permanently in Spain.    It is a bit annoying on the coast though to order a whole meal for example, in Spanish, and then to be addressed in nothing but English!

I learned Spanish solely through listening and speaking with my Spanish neighbours - no lessons at all.   That is how you learn as a child and it still holds good today.

It is invaluable to learn any languages,specially when you choose to live or frequently visit a country.

Spain is no different and although the language is some what difficult it is not impossible to learn this beautiful and so useful language.

Do not expect the locals to speak your language instead take time to learn some basic Spanish for your own benefit and take this challenge like part of everyday life. Slowly but surely it will come.

I mastered the vocabulary first with Greetings then foods, furniture, and so on. used scrabble and children's card games, listening to Spanish news both on radio &TV and topping it up with some news papers, and of course watching the live conversational programmes with the wonderful language courses on learn Spanish.: Current interactive programme "Mi Vida Loca" is Very interesting and easy to follow and with several episodes with Pratice sections, Grammar, and test sections that one can repeat over and over until one gets it right.

Many local town halls are offering Free basic,intermediate and advanced courses as well. So there id no excuse no matter how old you are learning is for lifetime. Remember "Practice makes it perfect."So forget about that time you spend windows hopping as pass time,looking at things you already have and window shop the language anywhere you can and donot be ashamed to speak it it will get better

I even talk to myself to pratice questions and answers as
well as the answers and the spellings. just five a day will do.  Most of all keep writing things down as this will help you remember it and to improve your memory the numbers game works wonders. Count and count to 100 and then the sums and you can just go on and on and on until you learn to speak with out thinking and translating  it from your mother tounge.

One can also do the GCSE papers as one advances.

Conjugate just 3-5 sentences at a time in present ,past and future and repeat them with -I,you,he/she,we,you(P) and they.
 This will prepare you for much of the daily conversation. .

Please lets give the benefit of doubt and learn to live with them and conversing in a common language before the government make it compulsory for all the extranjeros to learn and speak Spanish before they arrive.          

Improving but not up to conversational standard. Can sort out problems just but it is not always in Spanish, a bit of English thrown in and also Sign Language. But getting there.

As a teacher would say on the report, Could do Better, needs to Try Harder.

¡Pero tengo un problema con "no problemo"!

Need to work at speaking the lingo!

I know the odd word but to put into a conversation No. I tried some lessons but when you are retired the brain does not absorb the details as quick as the young!!!

I try very hard to talk with the locals. The phrase I use a lot is, puerde hablar mas despacio por favor. There is a Geordie couple who live up the road and I can't understand a word they say. I'm now studying georgdie.

My husband and I plan to live in Spain for a few years and I believe it is wrong to arrive in another country and not attempt to speak their language.  In readiness for our move I studied Spanish for 1 year remotely and, at the end of it, achieve a Grade A at GCSE level.  One of my finest achievements!!

Would describe my level of conversation as "good working knowledge" i.e accent and depth of vocabulary good but certainly not fluent. Rusty after 50 years but capable of

successful brushing up.

Susanne and I, we go to school to learn Spanish. It's hard work, as we also have our regular work as pastors in the English Church, but we want to get integrated in the canarian's life as much as possible! Best regards.

Must admit I forget some words so it probably quite often sounds like spanglish but the spanish are very forgiving  jan

estoy aprendiendo el idioma en casa y tambien en la escuela de noche,  pero es un poco dificil para me, yo quiero aprender mucho mas y mucho rappido!!   

Luckily I´m fluent, Being married to a Spaniard for 20 years & having 4 children helps.  To get there, you need to fully integrate.

3 lessons a week, then going home to speak & watch UK TV is not going to get you there.

we can speak parts of sentences..   so in between your four answers..

I learned to speak Spanish, lucky for me, when I was eighteen. I went to Cartagena, Murcia, to a Spanish family, to look after their children. Four of them,actually, aged 7,6,5, and 4 years old. Id gone for sun sand and sea. When I got there no one spoke English. So it was a case of having to learn their language. It was the best thing I ever did. I eventually worked for British Airways as Cabin Crew. Ive never looked back!!! Regards Linda Whyborn

Just passed my GCSE (O Level to my generation) with a Grade A. Wish I'd shown as much effort when I was at school!

Do other people in the UK have the same problems as me in finding evening courses at the next level? I live in Bristol so there are three colleges and two universities but no part time Spanish classes after GCSE. Any advice? (Please don't recommend tapes/CDs as I can't hear well enough to use them!)

Good range of vocab and can read better than speak - need more practise.

Learning to speak the language is one thing, learning to listem is another. Anyone looking to learn Spanish should ensure that their course content has a good balance of listening excercises and techniques.

My Spainish is very bad I´d you it enough and sometimes I have a slight stammer, which makes me loose confindence even more. I must try harder which I keep saying, but I can read it and I think pronouce it.

the first choice you have is should say(si,no problema)

I have been learning at night school in the UK for nearly 2 years and can order a beer or a coffee or a tea.

The problem is not using the language in between the classes.

I can speak Spanish resonably well but I am hopeless when they speak to me

I've been learnin!g Spanish for about 4 years now and I love it!  I would say my level is advanced in terms of listening and reading but intermediate for speaking.  I can hold a conversation quite easily with a Spanish speaking person as I understand them well, but wish I could recall more vocab when I am doing the speaking.  If I eventually realise my dream to live in Spain, hopefully my speaking will come along leaps and bounds!  For now I will carry on practising when I can with the Spanish friends I have made on the internet and the one Spanish person I have managed to find in the North East of England!!

Im fluent in both written and spoken Spanish.

I'm at the stage where I can ask a question in reasonable Spanish - but can't understand their answers - any tips as to how I get over this stage?  I visit Spain regularly but live in UK and haven't found anyone local for one on one conversation.

I have spent the last three years learning Spanish at home in the uk, I can speak and talk to myself very well indeed! however, when I am in Spain, I cannot understand a word in response to my questions, they understand me perfectly, but I do not understand them as they talk so quickly. Is this just me, or all Spanish learners?

Though |I'm sure if I lived in Spain, and had daily practice, I'd be 'Si, no problemo at all'

creo que es mucho mejor attendir una clase gramática en lugar de clase conversación.

Living in Coin - you have to know some Spanish!

Yes, although with a fair bit of groping after verb endings... I usually take a trial-and-error approach to these.

I would like to be better but can't find enough people to practice with but have only been here full time just over 5 months.  I put my name down at my local town hall and got a call to join a class already started but I'm rather over my head as it turned out to be intermediate but it's free and I must be learning more translating the excersises before I can deal with them.  I won't be giving up. Carol

When the person I am speaking with is standing next to me and the conversation is in context then I can usually get by. It is a different matter when it is a phone conversation, particularly if I am the recipent of a call. I suppose it is down to practice, practice, practice!

I am fluent at Spanish having studied and taught Spanish for a living.

No tengo nungún problema, porque he estudiado el español durante cinco años.

Having a conversation is much easier if it's about a particular subject.  We had spanish builders into our house in Spain and I managed fine as I'd swatted up on words for beams, partition walls etc.  The problem is when you meet someone in the street and they say something.  Fine if it's hola or que tal but if not it could be about anything on earth!!!!  My usual response is the great british one - say something about the weather!  Jean

I speak fluent spanish. Sorry to correct you - problema (not problemo)

I am trying to learn Synergy Spanish, although I am a bit slow I can now have converse in short sentances.  I also subscribe to a free internet Spanish course called Spanish dict. They have interactive lessons and send daily words for you to learn. Just looking at one a day broadens your vocabulary.

trying to learn lingo but struggling, did manage to ask where huevos (eggs if spanish not correct) were in a supermarket. Quite an achievement I thought.

Have still not got round to learning anything but have all the tapes, cd's and books etc

ablo mucha espanol.he aprendido espanol por dos anos mas o menos.Me mucha gusta el espanol porque al ayudarme mi comnicar con mucha hente aqui y entener las colturas y costumbres de hente vive aqui


Like 0        Published at 12:26   Comments (0)

Poll of the Week: Can you hold a conversation in Spanish?
19 April 2010


Like 0        Published at 17:55   Comments (2)

Poll Results: Were you in Spain during Easter this year?
19 April 2010

In last week's poll we asked:

Were you in Spain during Easter this year?

339 responses were received and the verdict is:

Being in Spain chart

It's good to know that the majority of EOS members were able to spend some time in Spain over Easter.  Luckily the volcano in Iceland didn't erupt during that time!

The following are the comments left by the respondents of where they went, or didn't go, during Easter week.

Respondent comments on where they were at Easter:

Stayed in los alcazares ..went to the medieval market over Easter ..watched the Berber invation on the beach ..

A great time was had by all ....

in our house in murcia

condado de alhama

Duquesa Village, Manilva

Stayed with my girlfriend who lives in Mataro, Costa

Maresme, north east of Barcelona.

We stayed in our apartment in Sabinillas and had a fantastic time. Couldn't believe how good the weather was!!!!

Vinas del Golf, Casares

la envia outside roquetas de mar



los alcazares

Punta Prima Orihuela

Our own apartment in Punta Prima on Costa Blanca

Stayed in Barry's house in the fertile Genil valley, near Puente Genil. Went to most of Semana Santa processions, even the really early / late ones! HAd a great time as ever and wish I could spend more time there.

Stayed at home (west of Madrid)... we ate, drank wine, read and had a wonderful time!!!!

mijas pueblo

At home in Selva, Mallorca


Mijas pueblo

Our Apartment in Duquesa Village, Manilva, Malaga

Own villa Mazarron

My apartment

My house in Aguilas, Murcia. Weather was great!

Polaris World La Torre

At my own home, Mijas Costa

At our home in Gran Alacant, Santa Pola Alicante. Great weather (makes a change for Easter)

Working on our apartment getting it ready for the summer.

We stayed at Condao de Alhama for the week before Easter going back to the UK Easter Saturday,

nueva andalucia

La Aparecida, Orihuela

playa flamenca costa blanca

I stayed in my villa just outside Corralejo in Fuerteventura, Islas Canarias

Alameda Del Mar

Playa Flamenca

Costa Blanca


Rojales, Costa Blanca. Had a great time with the family.

At our villa outside Guardamar, Costa Blanca

1st Week in Manilva.

2nd Week split between Mojacar and Murcia

hondon de las nieves

yes ... we have a house in Fuente de Peidra. The weather was fantastic after a long cold winter back in the UK and the Easter parades brillant.

La Finca Golf, Algorfa, Murcia

At La Manga Club


Hurchillo, near Orihuela, Costa Blanca

We stayed in Calahonda in a lovely apartment at the top of the hill. The complex was Cascadas de Las Lomas. The views were amazing.

I live in Mojacar, 04638, Almeria

Palomare, Costa Almeria

Stayed in my Brother's villa Cerros Del Aguilla, Mijas, and went home Good Friday at midnight - spooky - imagine the old Departures Terminal (2) with only 2 other people the customer side and that is what hubby and I walked into !!! Customs side there was less than 100 and on our easyjet flight 20 - we were informed - poker faced - to move along we had four aisles each to sit down in..............

I live in Coin, stayed in my house there.

Calahonda (Cascadas de Las Lomas)

Went to the UK to visit family.

Easter was a total non-event. Weather awful. Everyone looking fed-up and white as ghosts.

I was sorry to say goodbye to the grandchildren.. but couldn´t wait to get aboard the plane.

Back to sunshine (for a while at least ) ;-)

own apartment in Elviria

Crevellent, 0330.Alicante.

San Juan de los Terreros

Have put yes,but not actually over Easter itself.We are staying in Daya Nueva,near Almoradi on the Costa Blanca.

we live in Salar Granada area

San Javier

Calpe, and I saw the sun pop out more than once over the Easter period. I'm not sure how many times it did actually pop out, but I seem to recall it was five times - mind you I could have blinked a couple of times, so I will give it the benefit of the doubt and say six times - I think. I'm sure the weather will get better - won't it?

Lovely week in Estepona, skipped the processions this year.

stayed in my own holiday home in Dominion Beach Estepona

la marina

In our own property in Torreblanca, nr Fuengirola

Málaga, for the processions

at home villamartin cost blanca

Arcos de la Fontera

Almoradi, Costa Blanca

We were there for the week up until Easter Saturday house hunting around Nerja.

Valle Del Este, Vera, Almeria.

Altea, costa blanca

Las Lomas de Marina del Este

La Herradura


La torre pokaris world


"@home in el campo -Jesùs-Tortosa.Baix Ebre.Southern Catalonia

Calanova Grand Golf

My Apartment in Calaceite at Torrox Costa

in Velez de Benaudalla (Grenada)

at ou apartment

La Torre (Polaris world)


Initially at a friend's place near Velez-Malaga, then at our place near Vera.

In a little village called La Tercia, and it was great,plenty of tapas sunshine and of cause sangria!

My Villa in Mazarron

I now live in Spain and was joined by my daughter, her partner and two children.

Our apartment in La Cala de Mijas

525 Hotel Alcazares

we do not come easter as it is too expensive to fly and the weather is still a bit iffy we are over last week April first week May.We stay at the San Fermin hotel in Benalmadena excellent place.

In my beautiful house in Els Poblets.

Madrid and Toledo

We live here full time. In Frigiliana the most beautiful of the white villages in the Axarquia.

San Cayetano, Murcia

Valle Romano Apartments Estepona

At my holiday house in Aguas Nuevas, Torrevieja.

I was there 6th till 12th, had a great time scrapping flaking paint from walls and wiping mold from everywhere.Sunny spain roll on next year lol.

Stayed at our own apartment In Arroyo de la Miel 25-31 March.

Balsicas, Murcia

Not all of your readers are visitors. I live permanently in Castellon.

We made the decision not to be in Spain for Easter because our past experience of some of the Brits during Easter week has not been good to say the least. Stag and Hen parties,Rugby clubs e.c.t. We would have liked to see some of the local fiestas and palm Sunday parade but we opted out this time. We will be back in Spain within the next two weeks. One of the perks of being retired is we can come and go as we please but we are never away from Spain for long.

Vera Almeria


We stayed in our lovely Spanish home near Villamartin


I stayed in Murcia and saw 10 days/nights of different processions. Temperature a lovely 26 degrees or more and it has been a lovely winter in the Murcia region. All visitors have been happy with the warm weather there. Nights though have been cold. Murcia's processions very very colourful with beautiful pasos.

I stayed at my apartment at Playa Golf 2 in Cabo Roig


Stayed at home,

try to avoid School holidays whenever possible.

Peak time flights are also a factor so tend to visit out of season.

Hacienda Riquelme

La Finca, Algorfa

Mallorca! Absolutely wonderful.

I stayed in Torrequebrada in my apartment.

We stayed at home in our cave house in Cantarranas in Granada area, nice and peaceful, we are thinking of selling but think we might be making a mistake, it is so cheap here, might be a good idea to stay until the world financial situation changes but as oldies we think we might be sleeping in and had every intention of moving up to Albir.

At our home in Purias, Lorca, Murcia

in my villa where i live all year round


sierra golf balsicas

At home (Torremolinos)


Great time and wonderful weather in Mosa Trajectum,Murcia.

Spectacular celebrations on Easter Sunday in Murcia City.

elviria, marbella

Moraira -Costa Blanca

We stayed in our own apartment at Hercesa - Cala Nova Golf



Costa Orehula

roda golf murcia

we were in england finalizing the sale of our property.


Yip and The parades through Arroyo de la Meil were fantastic...first time not rained for years during the week and from a crowd perspective its not as full on as Malaga so some good pics which I have on my face book

Almadraba apartments in Puerto de la Duquesa.

Had a great time.

We live in Totana and attended the majority of the processions, which were fantastic.

Long may they continue to be a part of the culture and do not get caught up in Politically Correct culture like what is happening in the UK with our culture, with people trying to do away with them because they might upset some other ethnic races.

I stayed in Arcos de la Frontera where we had sun most days and some quite hot weather - returned with a tan at least. In Arcos Easter is very interesting with processions during the evenings of Semana Santa and culminating in a bullrun on Easter Sunday. The weather was perfect for touring and visiting places away from the coast (Sevilla, Jerez and Ronda)- when often its too hot in the summer.

we live in the taberno area on rambla los pardos weather great


San Juan de Los Terreros

yes was there for a week and a couple of day in Feb also going again in May for a week and then off again in June for 8 weeks happy days just love it

Stayed in Torreblanca del Sol in our apartment

Own apartment

Condado de Alhama, Murcia.

In our Apartment in Duquesa Village.

At home in Benalmadena entertaining our first guests this year.

In Castalla (Costa Blanca)

Arcos Gardens Golf Club


Near Mojacar

Villablanca Huelva

I stayed at my own villa on El Valle Golf Resort, Murcia

was at my villa on camposol costa calida.

weather was not too bad, roll on september.

keep up the good work. george

We stayed in Moraira,we had eight nights,it was the best easter weather we have had for the last 4 years.

in england


We stayed in our one and only beautiful home and watched some of the religious processions on TV.

Costa Oriehela

corvera golf and country club

We live in Totana and attended the majority of the processions, which were fantastic.

Long may they continue to be a part of the culture and do not get caught up in Politically Correct culture like what is happening in the UK with our culture, with people trying to do away with them because they might upset some other ethnic races.

Vera playa

Playa Flamenca

At home in Benajarafe

I stayed at home in Calahonda.

La Marina Pueblo

Condado de Alhama (Polaris World), Murcia

los boliches near fuengirola. verv relaxing

was only there for 3 days , Monday to thursday

Stayed in Formentera del Segura


cox, 03550

Sierra Nevada

unable to go family reasons

duquesa fairways, GREAT

la chismosa

Almeria saw a couple of the semana santa processions

In my apartment in La Mata, Costa Blanca and the weather was great.

En Coudete, Castilla La Mancha con los amigos de Colombia por 3 dias y en Cuenca (Casas Colgandos) great place, Historical but very interesting and unique

see attached Manue in a restaurant translated for English speaking visitors

Como tu quieres

i am working in georgia at the moment judy

We stayed in our apartment in los arqueros benahavis.

Hotel Barcelo Cala Vinys, Majorca

At home in Calasparra

Work comittments.


Own apartment in Benalmadena, usually rented out long term but tenant departed back to UK. Made a really nice break!

We stayed/are staying in Almoradi (inland Costa Blanca) from

the middle of November until 23rd April.

At home in Moraira.

Miraflores on the Mijas Costa, Costa Del Sol. It seemed unusually quiet everywhere. On the plus side it meant we could explore more easily, found a lovely riding school for my daughter at La Cala. The weather was quite good, compared to England that is.

We had a lovely time in Daya Nueva, Alicantie

At homre, in Calosa de Segura

We stayed at our little 2 bed house in Quesada,had a great week weather was good cant wait to get back in 4 weeks


Daya Nueva

La Marina, (Nr Santa Pola) Costa Blanca

Polarisworld. Condado de Alhama

At home (Tibi, Alicante)

At my friend's in Algorfa - Lo Crispin


Berlin, Germany

in my apartment

Condado De Alhama (Polaris) Murcia

working at home

Villa Martin Costa Orihuela

La Torre, Polaris World, Murcia.

Yes stayed on Mojacar Playa at Rio Abajo - a very nice small complex with swimming pool. First went to Mojacar in 1973 (yes I am that old). Then owned time share and then lovely apartment in La Parata Mojacar, but this visit I rented. My how things have changed in Mojacar I had not visited for about 8 years and now it is overflowing with empty unsold apartments. Do not know if I will bother to go back.............

Calasparra, Murcia

Porto do Son, Galicia

At our apartment in Playa Flamenca.

Duquesa village duquesa costa del sol

Granada - the festivals and stay was fantastic!

We stayed in our recently finished townhouse in San Cayetano, Murcia for the first time as a family holiday,

We really enjoyed the break and the weather was good too, warm enough to get in the pool and on the beach.


Good base for playing golf etc.

Restaurants and golf clubs say they are not getting the usual customers.

Many offering good value packages

My apartment in Algorfa.

Villamartin near San Miguel


We stayed at home as the prices were so high to fly to our house in Spain

Santiago de la Ribera

Staying at our apartmnt on the Miraflores urbanisation between Fuengirola and Marbella, and as usual had a tremendous time.


our house in Mazarron

Arcos de la Frontera

Had a super time in Isla Plana, it is near to Puerto Mazarron, Murcia area. We enjoyed the sun,sea, food and all the festivals.

We stayed in Bahia Principe Tenerife all inclusive. It was very good but very isolated and outside the hotel the shops and little pubs/restuarants are dying a slow death. Their is nobody here and the big all inclusive hotels just vacuum up all the tourist spare Euros's.

Puerto de Mazarron

We stayed in Vera Playa

At my apartment in Murcia

Marina Duquesa

San Miguel de Salinas

Murcia region

San Cayetano, Murcia

Costa Blanca

at home

Like 0        Published at 15:27   Comments (0)

Poll of the Week: Were you in Spain during Easter this year?
12 April 2010


Like 0        Published at 20:35   Comments (3)

Poll Results: Do you check the latest news from Spain at least once a week?
12 April 2010

In last week's poll we asked:

Do you check the latest news from Spain at least once a week?

312 responses were received and the verdict is:

News in Spain chart

It is clear that the majority of our readers DO read or watch some form of news from Spain at least once a week.

Read the following comments left by our members for this poll:

I subscribe to rss feeds from

I am concerned at the unemployment levels. My worries are that with the illegal immigrants and unemployed we may see an increase in crime.

i also get Round Town News on line every week which keeps me in touch with Costa Blanca news. I have an apartment in Puerto de Mazarron

I live in spain: I want to know what is happening in my country.

Everyday I read


watch the news at 9pm on Tve1 and have Tve 24hora news on during the day

We use Typically Spanish site about three times a week to view the newspaper digest in English.

On Fridays we get the web version of CostaBlanca news.

Regular updates of news on various site such as SUR and Manilva Life, and of course EOS would be much appreciated

I find that watching some of the spanish news channels helps me to improve my language skills.

The sub titles are easier to understand than the machine gun verbals.

I view the Costa blanca news and Coastrider online, on a weekly basis.I feel it is important to keep up to date with all news in the Torrevieja/Costa blanca areas. Les Fraser Edinburgh

Every day on

I check at least once a day!!

we always want to know whats happening in spain,we live here so should know as much as we can about the goings on in spain.

I haven't missed a single 'Eye on Spain' news item since I became a member, and very much appreciate the comprensive articles and and up-dated news on the your website.

I think only idiots would choose to live in another country and take absolutely no interest in what is going on there.  Having said that I do know some people who believe the ostrich approach to life is the best way to get through it...!

I check the Costa blanca News website every week to see what is happening in our area when we are not there.

Yes, each time I read your email. I enjoy the content and keep it for further reviews at a later date.

Hello I check the latest news from Spain every day.

We only have Spanish tele so we only watch the news on TVE or on Murcia tv

I read the Costa Blanca News every week on line

I usually check Sur in English and every week to read up on the latest news. Very often interesting snippets are posted about the area in Spain I am interested in (Costa del Sol)...

Justin: I've clicked on the button because, in the case of my wife and I, it's actually true.

But, sorry, that is a fool's option in a poll of this kind taken among a survey group likely to consist mainly of expat Brits.

I think it is likely that you will get many answers from people who read Sur-in-English, Euro Weekly News and smaller English-language expat papers of the same kind, who will take it that this is putting them in touch with "the latest news from Spain" since these papers are produced in Spain, distributed in Spain, and have advertisements with Spanish addresses and telephone numbers

That's ... so sad. The expat English papers don't even begin to offer anything approaching any kind of meaningful glimpse of "the latest news from Spain".

I voted no. Here is my feeble list of excuses, although I am going to try harder.

1. I check the English news - culturally, the gap is huge.
2. Spanish news tends to be so extremely localised that I never feel as if I'm getting the big picture, only a glimpse of one corner.
3. A lot of news stories are continuations or updates. In English papers, you usually get some kind of background to fill you in, however brief. I don't find this to be the case in Spanish papers.
4. OK, the big one - I am lazy! My Spanish makes it all more hassle, even though I can read it reasonably well. I only need the dictionary for about once every paragraph or so.
I look on Andaluz T.V news at least once a week it is not in depth but gives me some basic information about news events in the Costa del Sol.

Amazing that people do not read the news. If yo don't know what is going on how do you prepare for change/affect change.

We have friends in Spain, and like to keep up on the news. We hope one day to move there ourselves.

Yes, at least once per day!

We watch spanish news on spanish tv and read spanish magazines and papers as well as english papers printed here

I've got all the online newspaper sites as favourites, usually check them at least once a week. That said I'm talking about the papers that are primarily for the Brits of course!

There's a really good Spanish news website that I visit frequently. The language is fairly simple and there are lots of pictures so it's easy to understand!

I heartily recommend it to anyone who is learning Spanish and wants to keep up with the latest news in Spain:

It just depends what you mean by news. I check the weather weekly and whats happening around the Antequera area and southern Spain. and thats it. Nothing nationally.

I live in the uk but have a home in the Costa Del Sol. I keep in touch by reading Eye on Spain and Sur in english every week.

It is very important to read/watch the Spanish news as there is always things and information that may affect our daily life.

It is a perfect way to improve our language skills and be able to engage in conversation with the Spanish community and other friends too.

I enjoy some local papers that publishes important local issues in Spanish, English,German and often in Norwegian all side by side to serve the local community and this is great way learn these languages.

The National news Papers such as "El Mundo," "El Paias" also offers some special offers ie free DVDs Peliculas en Español and of course all about La Bolsa and great travel offers too.

Much better than picking up "Trash paper like "The Sun" at a hefty price.

They also offer some fabulous traditional and political humours sketches that will crack a laugh or at least make you a smile and brighten up a cloudy day:)

So enjoy reading The Spanish News. They are also available in Cafes and restaurants to browse.

It is a perfect way to improve our language skills and be able to engage in conversation with the Spanish community and other friends too.

I enjoy some local papers that publishes important local issues in Spanish, English,German and often in Norwegian all side by side to serve the local community and this is great way learn these languages.

The National news Papers such as "El Mundo," "El Paias" also offers some special offers ie free DVDs Peliculas en Español and of course all about La Bolsa and great travel offers too.

Much better than picking up "Trash paper like "The Sun" at a hefty price.

They also offer some fabulous traditional and political humours sketches that will crack a laugh or at least make you a smile and brighten up a cloudy day:)

So enjoy reading The Spanish News. They are also available in Cafes and restaurants to browse.

Like 0        Published at 15:24   Comments (0)

Poll of the Week: Do you check the latest news from Spain at least once a week?
05 April 2010


Like 0        Published at 21:41   Comments (0)

Poll Results: Do you believe Spain still offers a low cost of living?
05 April 2010

In last week's poll we asked:

Do you believe Spain still offers a low cost of living?

342 responses were received and the verdict is...

Cost of living in Spain poll results

An overwhelming majority of people now believe that Spain can no longer be classed as a cheap place to live.  But what did people actually say about it?

Read the following comments left by our members for this poll:

However I think you need to live a Spanish lifestyle: buying in local markets plus eating and drinking in Spanish bars and restaurants. On the few occasions that we venture into a British bar, we usually find that they are charging more for food and drinks! We have also gone into British supermarkets and again you are paying far more than in Día, Consum or Mercadona.

As an example of eating out: locally we can have a ménu del día for between 7.50€ and 10€. This includes a shared salad, 3 courses, bread, wine and coffee. On a visit to London last week, I had lunch with a friend and the special offer menu was £9.99 for 2 courses, plus £3.50 for a large glass of wine with your meal. More expensive and less filling, so I needed to go out for dinner later on that day!

Spain does not offer a low cost of living now. Absolutely not. If you spend a month or two in the UK, you will find that your grocery shopping is reduced by at least a third and the high quality of food on offer, including fruit and vegetables (supermarket fruit and veg in Spanish supermarkets must be among the worse in Europe) is far superior to that in Spain. Also eating out is cheaper. There are so many two for one offers available and early bird menus, that it is definitely cheaper to eat out in England now. Alcohol is more expensive but if you drink in the cheaper pubs such as Wetherspoons then that, too works out cheaper. Jane

Compared to the cost of living in Ireland, Spain is still very good value.

Rip off Britain? Costs nowhere near as much as rip off Spain. pretty much all goods are way more expensive in Spain and that includes the normal food shopping!

I buy Rioja and Cava (and a lot more besides) cheaper at the Co-op in Birmingham than the Mercadona in Fuengirola.

If you include the Canary Islands in this poll then yes we do. I am not saying that the bars and restaurants are as cheap as they were but living here is definately cheaper than the UK. Including water which we have VERY little resources from the sky!!

They come up daily, with new ways to rip off pensioner ex pats.

I would say that grocery prices are pretty much on a par with the UK, but without the special offers "3 for 2" or "bogof" that are to be had in the UK.
Fuel prices at the pump are still a little cheaper but continue to creep upwards.
Services are not cheap - electricity, water and phone are all big monthly outgoings.
Capital goods are expensive here!!

Roll on to the end of the credit crunch - the sooner the better.

The Street markets are still the best value in Eastern Almeria...


I have been visiting southern Spain for the last 10 years now and just recently have noticed how nearly everything is cheaper in the UK -including cooked chickens !!. I am a golfer, and it was always the case that golf in Spain was cheaper and better than in the UK - not anymore. While there are some good deals around, paying 130 euro's for a round plus another 50 euro's for a buggy is a joke. I fully understand the weakness of sterling has not helped, but it is fast becoming a rich mans sport. I have watched our society dwindle from around 30 players each year to 13 this year !! The only possible saving grace for Spain is that Portugal is even more expensive !! Martin Bayes

The main difference in people's opinions is due to those who are prepared, and want to live 'Spanish' and those nglish' shops and purchase food that they are familiar with. Purchases at farmers markets and at local carnicerias offer not only better value but normally better quality.

I don't think that things have gone up that much, but the dreadful exchange rate is making things seem that way. You can't blame Spain for that.

Really, why ask the question. Surely you can think of better questions to ask than this? It is so obvious. I predict that circle graph will be 15% to 85% No.

It is as expensive for shopping as the U.K. I have even found it more expensive than the supermarkets. The spaniards need to start lowering their prices to make it more attractive to the brits again.

When we came to Spain about 10 years ago, as an example petrol and diesel was equivalent to about 60pence per litre.

Currently it is about the same price as in Britain.

I actually think it`s more expensive in spain than the UK, BUT THE WEATHER IS MUCH BETTER!

Car Hire, Restaurants and food in general are much higher. I can never understand why 1 litre of freshly squeezed orange juice is always more expensive in Spain than the UK yet the raw ingredients are on the doorstep in Spain and vegetables too that are grown in Spain are cheaper in the UK !!!!!!

Food has become a lot dearer these days

With the exchange rate and the price of food and goods in the shops we found it very expensive in March.

Back in Scotland the cost of living is much less apart from the fuel.

Food/groceries/cleaning materials are often MUCH cheaper in the UK.
There is no REAL competition between supermarkets here.
Telephone /internet is a rip-off; electricity might be slightly cheaper here.
Good things - no television tax, rates low, car tax low.
Bad things - Property taxes for buying & selling are high. Estate agents fees are obscenely, excessively, grotesquely and unwarrantably over the top.
high charges for furniture/white goods/insurance/telecom

Not for visitors who have to exchange GBP for Euros.

We are pensioners who moved to Spain two years ago now. The pound was around E 1.48 or thereabouts. We rented an apartment ,subsequenty moving to a diferent area. Need I say that the pound also moved, but in a downward spiral. Trying to keep our head above water is a nightmare. We are teetotal, don't go out to a restaurant but once a month, we watch TV and play board games for amusement. I used to buy a newspaper, but I simply cannot afford the scandalous cost of Euro 2.00 plus. Supermarkets must think wer'e made of money and a fixed pension goes nowhere. Other nationalities must be laughing at us - they must think we get the same pay as them. We would go back home if we could afford to - and that's a fact. We are absolutely disilusioned with it all.

the only comment i would like to make that i think the euro was a great excuse to rob everyone . i can go to the u.s.a. & the far east much cheaper than i can spain , the only things that spain has got going for it is the people , culture & short flights . yours frank peat
But then where else would you reccomend !!!!!

As with every country, some things are less expensive than UK and some more expensive - Europe wide we are now seeing price normalisation as big businesses move in and fix their prices at the most the market will stand.

Of course it's cheaper here in Spain. All you have to do is remember the stark realities of the the appalling council tax levied; the rip-off water rates; the disgusting rate of duty/tax on diesel and petrol; the annual vehicle excise licence; the TV licence; the cost of a 'pint'; the exorbitant cost of, and the cartel surrounding, gas / electricity / oil, just to try and keep warm in the winter. I just could not afford to go back, let alone return to the cold and grey and drab and drizzle that's so prevalent for many months of the year.

yes you just have to look in right places the bars and pubs around boanza belemadena and los bolohis in fuengirola are still cheap
Many estate agents would sell their granny too!!!

It is not as cheap as it was 10 years ago,
but I still believe you can afford a good way
of life that does not cost too much. Jan

Spanish supermarkets are far more expensive than in the UK. Also they have few offers on sale. Taxes in Spain for the non resident are still way to high and in many cases unfair!

Despite the frustration of rising prices its still relatively cheap.

As visiting property owners in Mijas Costa it seems that despite the recession and lack of tourists, prices are still rising and with the poor exchange rate (£/euro) it is certainly no longer cheap.

Maybe some years ago but now it is pretty expensive. Jana

Maybe away from the coast the costs are less, but beer at 2.50-3.50 is hardly cheep in fact its proberly dearer than England

I know that rates are lower but the cost of food is very comparable to UK - with hardly any difference between shops. We need a company like Tesco to come here and wake them up. Cloths are also pricey with very little competition. Boradband costs are also much higher here.

compared to the Netherlands

With IVA (VAT) going up, salaries static, why I wonder are the supermarkets not trying to compete more than they do by reducing prices in line with majority of the UK supermarkets?
Or is there a hidden agenda which they have all previously agreed upon ie. not to compete and get into a price war???
It will also be interesting to see what effect the proposed total smoking ban will have on the bar and restaurant trade. As we know they are already suffering be they Spanish owned or other!
In Ireland, the cost of living is falling rapidly in response to the recession. In Spain there seems to be no response at all to changed economics. Spain is now more expensive for day-to-day living than Ireland, UK, France and Germany in my experience. You never get the sense that you have a bargain, and you often get the sense that you have been ripped off. There seems to be an attitude among Spanish people that northern Europeans are made of money and have more money than sense. Poor value and expensive, I think.

In a country that grows alot it is expensive to buy fruit and veg. Seems to be far cheaper and better choice in uk.

Things aren't what they were but comparatively living in Spain particularly a little further inland is still relatively cheap.

At current exchange rates it costs about the same to live in Spain as it does in the UK

I voted " no" but certain things are cheaper than in my home country. Food and things are about the same, utilities are much more expensive, property taxes however are much lower. The later is a good incentive to buy property in Spain.
buy wisely!!!

electricity has become expensive, & lots of foodstuffs are more expensive than britain

its a sorry state of affairs, but the cds is now more expensive than going out in any large city in the UK.

I dont think the value of the £ against the euro has helped as that has been a 40% increase in costs, this in turn has kept a lot of tourists away. the bar, restaurant and shop owners therefore have put up their prices to compensate for the fewer numbers of customers...its one nasty circle that nobody can get out of.

mainly due to a strong euro vs pound
We moved over to Spain over two years ago at the start of the "credit crunch" .We believe that because we are outdoors more we need less money to entertain ourselves than Scotland ,where often it was a trip to B&Q on a rainy Saturday to upgrade the house ,or shopping when we did not need anything now we take a walk on the beach,visit friends or a game of golf. There are many great savings in Uk supermarkets and there are many great savings on many food comodities in Spain. Utilities in the summer months are lower ( unless you keep aircon on) and few have central heating here for the winter months so can save quite a bit. All in all we can live on less money here in Spain than we did in UK but I also think its because we have changed our attitude to what is important in our lives

On the coast, things are far more expensive than the UK now. I now go back to the UK to buy most of my clothes, household goods etc! You can still find excellent value a few miles inland though.

I don't get a cost of living rise from my Spanish employers so I've been on the same wage for the past 4 years but..........the price of bread, milk, coffee, tea and other essential weekly shopping items have increased in price ... and what about petrol too (as I need a car for work).

I would be fascinated to know how the locals live!!

Their response to falling trade is to increase prices. I don't think anyone has a basic grasp of economics or how competition works.

Having recently been to the UK it is much cheaper to shop in supermarkets and quality wine is comparable also eating out can be as cheap as here.

half and half, yes the prices have gone up but chicken fish eggs veg are still very reasonable, if you are shopping for "english" products then the prices are high, but if you shop around the spanish shops then you can eat at a reasonable price .. restaurants on the fronts are expensive go inland and they are much lower.

We have just been back to the Netherlands and we were shocked about the prices there. We buy in the big supermarkets here and we half or less for a piece of fresh fish than in the same sized supermarkets in the Netherlands.

Dining out is still possible for 8 to 12 Euros per person if you know your way around which is impossible in Amsterdam. The mortgage is lower at the moment because Spanish mortgages follow the Euribor.
So a definite Yes.
(I almost forgot about the cheap parking here and the laughable 3 Euros fine you have to pay if you were in a zone with paid parking and came back too late. We used to pay around 80 Euros fine if we were more than half an hour late and paid parking was the only option in the Dutch cities.)

The UK is getting more and more expensive. With petrol, booze,and cigarette prices always increasing. The three main things for a working class person, but yet the wages are staying more or less the same, if you take into account, that the tax codes are now staying the same. In Spain they look after the working classes and their own first. We should take a leaf out of their book. Have you tried getting a job in Spain (Costa Del Sol)anyway. They will give a job to their nieces, nephews, cousins etc first. Its a closed shop. Unlike us. Having said that, you can still fill your shopping basket up for half the price than it is here and with lots of goodies, Cava, Wine Beer!!! Salud....

Spain is Spain, travel for 15 minutes Inland and you will see a totally different enviroment.
Beautiful thriving Towns and villages,with regular fiestas, etc.


We have house in small spanish village in the south ,but have found since the euro has came in the cost of living in spain is steady getting more and more expensive and you were saying it was quite you have seen nothing yet going by the opinion of most people who holidayed in spain over the last 3 or 4 years they all think spain has become so expensiveand will be given it the elbow for the likes of turkey ,like its even cheaper to go for a drink in the uk.In my opinion spain is on a slippery slope down and i would not be opening a bar or restaurant in the near future .

Cheaper on a lot of things than England, but electricals, clothing and furniture are certainly more expensive. I would challenge anyone to get a Chinese meal in England for the quality and price you get it in Spain. eating out and drinking are cheaper, but overall the gap is narrowing.

20% to 30% cheaper than Ireland/U.K. but gap narrowing ,inevetiable since became a member of E.U.

OK! Spain is not as 'cheap as it used to be' as people keep saying, but then again it is still much cheaper than many of its European partners in the Eurozone, and the overall cost of living is still cheaper than the UK.

I think the cost of food can be more here in Spain because there is not the competition between supermarkets like in UK. Buying British goods from British shops can be expensive. The cost of living is certainly higher than it was when we moved here 8 years ago. Although "rates" are cheaper as is petrol and diesel the exchange rate has made a difference to our standard of living. Housing can be a better buy but not if new houses are purchased on a housing estate.

no, more expensive than home

It may not be as cheap or as affordable as it used to be but its a vast improvement on prices in ireland where i have just moved from

It is not as good as it was but none the less if you go to Spanish places for eating out and coffees etc it is still good value. The foreign owned places seem to be the more expensive including English and German. Furniture is very expensive in comparison to UK. Or perhaps it's just on the coast! (our place is in Mojocar). If you live in the UK you do not expect to eat out very often or drink every day at your local pub and at home. But when living in Spain this is how you expect to live. All you need to do is scale back a little and remember that it is probably raining in the UK!

i very much depends on the individual circumstances,

do you know what??? the answers you get will depend on how long the respondent have lived here,, if you still look for 'tetley' or horlicks' then its not as cheap as it was,, BUT!! if you have integrated even a bit, then you will have found excellent 'Spanish' alternatives , and the answer will be a resounding 'YES' far too many Brits hanker for their lost brand names, I live in Spain ,and buy Spanish, is it cheaper ,,, You bet your bippy,

Brit. bars and shops rip people off. There is also no middle of the road purchasing power in relation to clothing both childrens and adults and also furniture. its either cheaper rubbish which is not really cheap or very very expensive top end of the market which goods are still not fabulous. i have had a house in spain since 2001 and the prices have shot up in relation to cost of living even menu of the day which was once 5 euros is now between 8 and 15.

I find Spain very expensive now and prefer to bring all my goodies back from the UK, it is cheaper to drive my car to the UK & fill up with shopping for a couple of weeks.

Still much cheaper than uk when council tax , water rates , insurance , TV Licence are taken into consideration.

It's a third world country (infrastructure,attitudes, services) with close to first world prices. It's not as expensive as London or Paris yet, but give it time. Since the 80's it has become a very, very expensive place to live

I suppose the difficulty is that the Brits still tend to compare prices back to the Pound Sterling. Technically in Euro terrms prices have not increased as dramatically as some people are making out. It is the weakness of the Pound that has been the problem. Gone are the days when we got 1.5 Euros to the Pound. These days are gone forever and whilst a change in UK Government would be desirable, it will not improve the Exchange Rate significantly.

Some things have gone up - especially if you use the 'british' supermarkets, but many things are still cheaper. Wine, beer, and fresh products are relatively cheap, as is eating out if you choose the right place. The real killer is the exchange rate. And don't forget the weather - although it can be cold on winter nights, it is nowhere near as cold as the UK. Try paying for heating oil from November through to April.

As a new early retiree to spain (8 months) I can honestly say yes. Shopping for food at both supermarkets and market is cheaper about 15% although wine is 50% less. Council tax equivalent is 75% less and car tax 50% less.Eating out 50% + less expensive. Some things are more expensive but overall it's still relatively cheap. I think lots of expats who have been here for a few years or more maybe don't realise how much everything has increased in the UK.

having just spent a week in spain both my husband and I thought that prices have just shot up since our last visit there a year ago. It appears cheap at first viewing but then if you want a decent meal one has to pay a price that is certainly not cheap.

compared to london spain is cheaper by at least 6% ie petrol power and food if you eat local food buy english and you will suffer in your pocket

We live in the UK, and had dreams of purchasing a property in Spain around 5 years ago, but due to the continual price rises had to abandon our plans - we simply could not save at the rate property prices were rising.

Is it still cheaper to live in Spain, we have come back from a week in Fuengirola and found prices are going through the roof and eating out is no longer a given, certainly at some of the more expensive restaurants.

Last October we also visited family near Limerick, Eire and found a similar situation where the cost of living is almost out of control and unemployment looming everywhere.

I think the continual increase in the cost of living will not only affect residents in both countries, it will alsol damage tourism very quickly, which in the case of Spain is still the biggest earner.

We live on a pension and visit Spain 2/3 times a year. Over the recent 18 months we believe the cost of supermarket produce has risen to match and even pass those in the UK. Restuarants again seem as expensive as the UK and no longer a cheap option Vs dining at home or in the holiday apartment.

It is still relatively cheap to buy your property, but the living costs have risen considerably, I find food costs now seem to be cheaper in UK. I still prefer being poor in Spain than UK

Of course, it depends on where (and what you do, of course). Madrid is v expensive (on a par with my home, Paris). But elsewhere you can still find good, inexpensive restaurants, etc and my food bill is generally less in Spain than home. Of course, people based in Britain have the exchange rate to contend that's a diff story!
Everything has gone up - food in supermarkets, restaurant prices, bar prices, utility bills. Definately not as cheap as used to be...

no , I recently had to call a service engineer to look at my fridge. It took 15 minutes, no parts required . 100 euros!!!He did smile when he asked for it in cash but didn't LOL.
My Son and daughter in law are here at the moment and cant believe the prices. Baby nappies are more than double in price than they are in the UK.

No nothing is helping the consumer over this crisis in Spain!!

Airline charges can make a big difference. You should support the low-cost firms.

Raising prices will definately have an adverse effect.

Hotels should offer really good deals outside July and August.

Overall, Spain is still relatively cheap to live. A lot of people who comment that UK is cheaper, either have been away from the UK for too and remember it before they left. Others don´t seem to take ALL costs into account. UK is in for a rough time after the election, I know where I would rather be. Once the sun comes out in Spain for a few weeks people will forget all this countrys problems and will be enjoying the beach.

Join the European Market and your living costs will increase.

It is cheaper to eat out in the UK and wine / beer is almost the same. If you are prepared eat in your property in the Almeria area on Mediterranean type food then you may save a little but not much. Other costs like buying property is very expensive.

The fact that the UK is not tied to the Euro certainly helps.

When I first moved to Spain in 1998 it was still possible to buy a house for 20,000 pounds sterling! Food and eating out was very reasonable, but now the cost of everything has soared through the roof probably due to the euro.

United Kingdom now has much more choice and is cheaper for nearly everything I have found on a visit back.

I dont find it cheap at all espeially as i have a have my villa up for sale as can not aford it any more

No it is well in common territory with England as regards prices Mike Gill

My husband and I have an apartment in Almoradi. When we were out in February we had a five course lunch with a bottle of wine and 3 glasses of beer for 22 euros. In the evening the same meal is 25 euros for 2 people. Could you get this anywhere in the UK? By the way the food was great.

Regardsless of the weak pound...Nothing on the Costa del Sol is cheap anymore. To eat out and drink in the local bars is more expensive than London. In England many restuarants and pubs have special offers to attract customers in these tough times. On the Costa del Sol it seems many of the bars and restuarants have INCREASED their prices! whats the logic?

People's view on this is often conditioned by the way they choose to live in Spain, i.e. in expatriate colonies and opting for foodstuffs with British brands and consequently higher prices. Spain still offers a quality lifestyle at a lesser tariff for those who are willing to be more adventurous and discriminating.

As a Canadian dollar traveller the Euro prices in Spain make it too pricey for what you get. Our focus is switching to South and Central America for a Spanish heritage environment.

leave the coast and move inland. apart from being much cheaper, the life is much more spanish, very friendly and "never a dull moment"

from Carole in a little village in the province of Granada

I think that food in the supermarkets have gone up, even the fruit and vegtables from the markets seen to be increasing in price, we all know that the Electric has increased in price and our heating bill for the winter was really high.

I know we shouldn't compare prices with the UK but i'm sure we all do especially the food.

Exchange Rate is predicted to rise to 1.3 Euro's to the £ over next 2 yrs. (Views of a major UK bank, not just wishfull thinking). If/when it happens it will again be cheaper for people with income in £'s.

It depends on what sorts of things you buy. Fresh produce - fruit, veg, salad, fish etc and beer and wine are all cheaper than the uk.

Processed food, which is bad for you, are dearer, so it just depends on your lifestyle - we find it much cheaper.

Things like low council tax,no TV licence, cheaper alchohol allow Spain to appear cheaper to live than say the uk, but if you look at other costs,electricity fuel,telephone etc,then I think Spain can no longer be said to be cheap. In our area we are facing urbanisation charges of 44000 (forty four thousand euros,per houshold.

Spain has become uncompetitive. The only thing cheap here is housing. Everything else I think is cheaper in northern europe. And the quality of what we have to pay for is really quite poor here, too. Once, Spain was the destination of first choice for Brits and others and was excellent value for money. Those days are over. And with the strictures placed on the economy due to the disastrous adoption of the Euro, I can't see any way out for Spain.

All Europe will have the same living costs now and in the future, thats what the EU is all about, so it will all boil down to a life style choice,

Compared to the Peseta, before joining the EU, when the idea of Spain was born; Spain today faces challenges in maintaining growth and standards that other visitors are accustomed to. Spain is still moderate in general, but in the most populated cities it is comparitively expensive. The ratio of quality to cost is "Buyer be ware". Outside this zone however, you can make a go of it if you are resourceful. Like anything, "you get what you pay for". This although is a standard that is superior to the many that come to Spain and also for many the intangible qualities of Spain overide costs. But the question affecting families who've come for a better life including the Spanish, the answer for the moment is yes it is. The ratios economically just are not here to support the standards that everyone is reaching for.

Like shopping in all countries make use of the local shops and pick & choose at the Supermarkets.

Just checkout the price of petrol today...this will be passed down the line by distribution companys into the products we buy. I can't wait to retire to my Casa!

to all in britain do not buy any property in spain? you will be losing as I did. do not invest. it also corrobted country. I lerned a lesson? is a death trap?????

But only if you budget sensibly

As a pensioner I still have a better quality of life here, I would not have the same in the UK, It all depends on your lifestyle.

With the exchange rate as it is it is more expensive than U.K.

Everybody seems to blame the low exchange rate, but Spains prices have only gone up pro rata to the UK's.

If you compare what you got for a pound sterling three years ago, of course things seem dear,

You have to look at what a Euro buys not how much it cost to buy a Euro
And it's obvious!

Everything seems to rise incrementally despite inflation remaining low, especially social security, taxes and power. Where does it all go?

I think if you live inland away from the tourist areas and the costal resorts that cater for Brit pack, and reside in the real spain it is much cheaper than the UK

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Poll of the Week: Do you believe Spain still offers a low cost of living?
29 March 2010


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