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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.

The OECD urges Spain to increase VAT rate
30 November 2012

In in its biennial report on the Spanish economy, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is recommending that more goods and services are taxed at the standard rate of VAT, currently 21% and more environmental taxes are introduced.  VAT has already risen twice in recent years, from 16% to 21% for the standard rate.


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Spanish unemployment rate rises to 26.2% from 25.8% the previous month
30 November 2012

Figures out today show that the Spanish unemployment rate hit 26.2% in October, up from 25.8% the previous month.  This compares with Germany's rate of 5.4%, no change from the previous month and in Austria it fell from 4.4% to just 4.3%.  So it seems fairly obvious what unemployed Spaniards need to do to find work.  They need to go to the better performing nothern European economies rather than wasting their time in Spain hoping for a recovery that is likely to be many years away.

The 26.2% unemployment rate is likely to continue to rise as Spain's economy continues to deteriorate.  There are also going to be large scale jobb losses in the banking sector in the near future, particularly amongst the nationalized banks.

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BREAKING NEWS: Iberia strike 14th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st December
29 November 2012

The unions respresenting workers at Iberia -UGT, CCOO, USO, Asetma, SITCPLA and CTA-Flight - have called for strike on 14th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st December 2012, against the restructuring plan proposed by the company, which involves laying off 4,500 workers.

I don't know why anyone would bother travelling with Iberia anyway.  It's a crap airline and there is always a risk of strikes like this around holiday times.

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Spain to overhaul banking sector as Bankia cuts 6,000 jobs
28 November 2012

Spain is to overhaul its stricken banking sector after European Union regulators approved restructuring plans, as nationalised Bankia said that it would cut 6,000 jobs and report a loss of around €19bn this year.

Bankia, whose shares were suspended from trading on Wednesday by regulators, said that it would cut 6,000 jobs, or around 28pc of its staff, by 2015 as it tried to stem losses.

The bank said it intended to return to profit in 2013, but warned that it expected to report a loss of €19bn this year. Bankia will also close 1,100 branches as part of the restructuring.

Earlier, the European Commission approved restructuring plans for four of Spain’s nationalised banks, authorising a cash injection of almost €40bn (£32bn) from a fund secured by Eurozone partners.

Source: The Telegraph


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Spain to get EU bank aid in exchange for job cuts
25 November 2012

European authorities will transfer €35bn (£28bn) to Spain's state bank rescue fund on 15 December in exchange for massive layoffs at the country's four nationalised banks, including the state-rescued Bankia, according to reports.

The cash injection from European bailout funds will be disbursed to troubled Spanish banks two weeks after it is paid into Spain's orderly bank restructuring fund, according to El País.

Bankia, which sought a €23.5bn bailout from the state in May, is expected to be forced to axe up to 6,000 of its 20,000 staff, while Novagalicia bank must shed 2,000 jobs from of its workforce of 5,800, said the newspaper, citing European and banking sources.

Read the full article at the Guardian

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Spain Acts to Stem Repossessions, Create Bank of Cheap Housing
16 November 2012

Spain’s government passed a decree to prevent low-income families being evicted for defaulting on their mortgages, and plans to create a stock of homes that can be rented out cheaply.

The two-year freeze on evictions applies to families earning less than 1,600 euros ($2,048) per month that also meet other conditions such as having a child under three, at least three children, a disabled dependent or being unemployed without benefits, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said today after a Cabinet meeting in Madrid.

The government will also negotiate with banks, including state-controlled lenders to “make available” foreclosed homes they own to a facility that will let them at affordable rents to people who have lost their homes, Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said. He gave no more detail on the so-called social- housing fund.

Read the full article at Bloomberg Business Week

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Spain Suicides Spark Eviction Law Risking Bank Losses
16 November 2012

Spain, responding to street protests and reports of suicides linked to foreclosures, introduced rules to help protect families from eviction, increasing the risk of creditor losses and weakening an already fragile banking system.

Banks won’t be able to remove families who can’t pay their mortgages for two years, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said yesterday after the government’s weekly Cabinet meeting in Madrid. The rules apply to households earning less than 1,597 euros ($2,041) per month combined with certain other conditions such as young children in the property.

Spain is trying to balance the threat of social unrest with protecting the banks, four of which have been nationalized. While the rule is designed to help the poor without triggering a larger rise in non-payments it may increase the size of the nation’s bank bailout and harm the interests of European lenders with $110.4 billion of exposure to Spanish lenders.

Read the full article at Bloomberg Business Week

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General strike in Spain on 14th November 2012
12 November 2012

Just a reminder that the Spanish unions have called for a general strike against the Spanish government's austerity policies on Wednesday 14th November.   This will be the second general strike since Rajoy took power.  There will also be a general strike in neigbouring Portugal on the same day.


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UK au pair job gets 1,600 Spanish applicants
11 November 2012

AN incredible 1,600 Spaniards have applied for one au pair job in London.

Journalist Rosie Murray-West couldn’t believe how many Spanish youngsters (80% of the total) applied when she advertised on website Au Pair World last month.

“The pain in Spain meant we were suddenly awash with applicants,” said Murray-West, who works for the Telegraph.

“They are sometimes comically overqualified,” added the writer, who eventually settled for Spaniard Maria Del Mar Sainz, 27.

Sainz herself, who heralds from Valencia, explained: “We are a well-educated generation but we don’t have a future in Spain.”

The news comes as thousands of Andalucians are leaving home in a bid to find work abroad – many in the UK.

Around 80,000 people are believed to have left the region since 2011 to seek work abroad.

Read the rest of the article at the Olive Press

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Spain Prime Minister to Halt Evictions Following Suicide
11 November 2012

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will temporarily halt evictions of the most vulnerable families as the government devises measures to help people stay in their homes after a woman killed herself in Baracaldo.

The Spanish people are experiencing “terrible things and inhumane situations,” the premier said at an election rally in Lerida, Catalonia last night. The government “will defend the most vulnerable families affected by the evictions and act with seriousness, sensitivity and great humanity,” he said.

Amaya Egana Chopitea, 53, threw herself from the window of her apartment when representatives of Spanish bank La Caixa arrived with locksmiths to evict her yesterday morning, El Mundo reported. Egana and her husband’s mortgage debt of 164,000 euros ($208,640) rose to 213,000 euros because of charges and interest payments, while their home had been auctioned for 190,000 euros, the newspaper said.

Read the full article at Bloomberg

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Unemployment rate is a staggering 35.42% in Andalucia
07 November 2012

I've just been reading in the Diario de Sevilla that the unemployment rate for Andalucia currently stands at 35.42%, which is an absolutely staggering statistic.   Within Andalucia, the provinces of Jaen and Almeria have the highest unemployment rates at 39.13% and 38.44% respectively.

Spain is supposed to be a modern European country but these unemployment rates are more what you would expect in a third world country.

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Bank of Spain Sees More Defaults as Rajoy Seeks Fewer Evictions
07 November 2012

Spain’s bad-loan ratio will continue to increase, the Bank of Spain said, as the government considers changes to mortgage rules that the regulator credits with keeping down home-loan defaults.

Given forecasts for a continued economic contraction in 2013, “it is to be expected that the increase in bad loans continues,” the Bank of Spain said in its financial stability report today. The default rate for individual home mortgages was 3.1 percent in June, compared with 7.5 percent for non-home loans and 16.8 percent on company borrowing.

The Bank of Spain said the nation’s legislation, which leaves homeowners on the hook for their debts even after a foreclosed property is sold, has held down the default rate. Still, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government is considering changes to mortgage rules as the number of people losing their homes surges and the government faces mounting street protests for bailing out banks while imposing cuts on taxpayers.

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz said last week the government has set up a working group to try to prevent people losing their homes for defaulting on their mortgages. The government wants to take measures “as soon as possible,” she told reporters after the weekly Cabinet meeting.

Read the full article here: Bloomberg

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Ryanair targets 50pc increase in passengers over next decade
05 November 2012

Ryanair plans to poach tens of millions of customers from legacy carriers such as British Airways, Iberia and Lufthansa over the next decade to grow its traffic by more than half to 120m passengers.

The self-styled “ultra low cost carrier” intends to further stamp its dominance on the European aviation industry by attracting an extra 41m passengers and increasing its market share to almost a fifth over the next ten years.

Ryanair is already Europe’s biggest airline ahead of Lufthansa and easyJet, with a market share of 12pc.

But Michael O’Leary, the airline’s chief executive, believes it can replicate the success of Southwest Airlines in the US, which has 128m passengers and a market share of just over 20pc.

“Growth potential is almost unlimited,” said Mr O’Leary said. “If you take short haul per can see untapped growth available in large markets like Spain, the UK, Sweden, Belgium, Germany where we think there are significant opportunities.”

He added: “A lot of the growth will come from high fare, loss-making short-haul flights currently operated by the flag carriers switching over to Ryanair.”

Read the full article at The Telegraph

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Dream holiday homes becoming ‘millstones’ for divorcees after Euro property plunge
05 November 2012

A second home in Tuscany or the south of France has long been the ultimate aspiration for many families. 

But for couples in the midst of divorce, tumbling property values in countries hit by the Euro crisis are rapidly turning former “dream” homes into a “toxic” legacy, lawyers have warned.

A string of cases currently in the pipeline centre around the question not of which partner gets to keep the villa in Spain, Greece or Italy but which of them has to take it on.

One lawyer described the task of dividing the assets between warring couples who own a holiday home as like “a game of pass the bomb”.

Case notes in one separation currently being negotiated include discussions about how to deal with a “dead duck” villa in Spain which has tumbled in value but still has a hefty mortgage to service and little prospect of being sold.

Read the full article at The Telegraph

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Spain jobless queue hits 16-year record in October
05 November 2012

MADRID — The number of job seekers in recession-struck Spain soared to the highest level in at least 16 years in October, the government said Monday.

The number of people registered as unemployed hit 4.83 million in the month, a Labour Ministry report said, a peak unmatched since existing records began in 1996, and one of the highest levels in Europe.

Another 128,242 people joined the jobless queue in the month, pushing the total up 2.7 percent from September. Compared with a year earlier, the October figure was up by 472,595 people, or 10.84 percent.

It is the latest sign of a deep recession, which has gripped Spain's economy since mid-2011.

Read the full article at AFP/Google

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Fast-track railway line along the Costa del Sol to go ahead
03 November 2012

A PROJECT to build a fast-track railway line along the Costa del Sol has been prioritised by the government.

Part of the so-called ‘Mediterranean Corridor’ – the line from Almeria to Algeciras, via Motril – has been included in the country’s transport infrastructure plan for 2013.

It comes despite the 22% cut in investments in infrastructure announced by Public Works Minister Ana Pastor for next year.
The line could affect thousands of homeowners along the Costa del Sol if it runs, as planned, parallel to the A-7 motorway and then cutting across open farmland inland between Manilva and Algeciras.

Source: The Olive Press

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