How Are Things in Your Area?

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08 Jun 2012 13:06 by maddiemack Star rating in Grantham, Lincolnshi.... 194 posts Send private message

I have just had an email from my friend who, for the past 8 years, has regularly spent time with her husband in various regions of Spain ie; 1 to 3 weeks at a time...several times a year.  Some of those times, my husband and I have joined them and had a wonderful time doing all the things one would expect to do whilst on holiday in Spain.  We had been planning our next trip together, fully aware of the difficulties that Spain and its people are experiencing at the moment.  But we do love Spain...the country and the people...and we try to give something back by spending our money in Spanish supermarkets, bars and restaurants.

I was upset, however, although not really surprised, to know that my friend and her husband have decided not to go to Spain at all this year as they are very worried by all the problems there at the moment and how it is affecting the Spanish people and other nationalities that reside there.  They have been keeping an eye (via TV news, newspapers, internet) on what is happening in Spain and, in her words, they do not want to get caught up in any riots; they are worried that they could be mugged (by someone in desperate circumstances) or stopped by the Police and fined for something they haven't done.  They are sure there must be an increased number of stray cats and dogs on the streets that have been turfed out by owners that can't afford to keep them; and there is an increased likelyhood of being 'ripped off'.  Is there really any need to think this way?  Much as I think my friend is vastly overreacting, I can see for myself when I watch the news from Spain that these are desperate times. Is this media hype?

What are things like where you live.....anyone?



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08 Jun 2012 13:23 by Marksfish Star rating in Vera, Almeria. 2556 posts Send private message

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I was out in the Vera/ Mojacar area last month. Things seemed the same to me. I did notice it was cheaper for me with the exchange rates better. No increase in stray animals, people on the beach at weekends, shop/ bar staff still friendly. We are going out again at the end of the month when the resort will be in full "holiday" mode and see what difference it makes.

I have noticed that our Spanish holiday bookings are not as voracious as in previous years,but that has been offset by an increase of Brits wanting to venture to Andalucia and take advantage of the cheapness again.

Mark





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08 Jun 2012 13:27 by Daniels Star rating in Waterlooville & Pent.... 220 posts Send private message

Where else are your friends thinking of going? Greece, Italy, Ireland, Germany, France, any of the EU countries are all in the same boat with huge cut backs, and rising unemployment everywhere. Maybe America? Been in the S**t the longest and maybe just starting to come out of it now. Far East? slow down in their economy, cut backs happening here too. Middle East - pick the right spot like Dubai you might be onto a winner in 5* - 6* accommodation, although you're only ever a few hundred yards from real poverty. Australia? that has it's moments and areas!

For me, Spain is a great place, I only visit 4 - 5 times a year but always felt safe 99.9% of the time (wondered off the betten track in city centre-nothing happened-just felt very wrong). Murcia, Mazarron area. There are good and bad people and areas in all countires, you pay your money and take your chance.

I hope you all go to Spain, helping their economy while having a great holiday.



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08 Jun 2012 13:59 by D_B_S Star rating. 178 posts Send private message

Daniels, clearly someone who doesn't know the UAE or Australia very well.

Missed out some of the great gems of Asia although you will have to travel for more time but the airlines will treat you well and Sterling goes a bit further than it will in Oz.

David



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08 Jun 2012 14:09 by Sanchez1 Star rating. 853 posts Send private message

Where else are your friends thinking of going? Greece, Italy, Ireland, Germany, France, any of the EU countries are all in the same boat with huge cut backs, and rising unemployment everywhere.

Are you seriously saying that Germany is in the same boat as those other basket cases you list?  Spaniards are heading over there in their droves for work.



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09 Jun 2012 08:18 by tuktuk Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

What madness is this? I suggest Maddiemack commits herself........and never ever leaves the UK.....did she miss the UK riots last year because she was here in Spain





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09 Jun 2012 08:23 by dustyjack Star rating in Near Gandia, Valenci.... 9 posts Send private message

I live in a small town near Gandia.  Been here 8-9 years now.  Nothing has changed as far as people's attitude to foreigners is concerned at all.  Nearly every local family has been affected by the crisis in some way, usually through unemployment.  A couple of shops have closed down.  The Farmacia shuts for a day's Strike every so often.  If anything we seem to be having more Fiestas than ever!

The people are just as friendly and laid-back as ever.  They have the orange-groves to fall back on so I think that cushions them against the immediate effects of the financial crisis here.  Some Grannies are quite happy that the youngsters have come back into the nest as they cannot afford to live on their own and unemployment looks like being long-term.  A Son of one of the Bar-owners is currently washing dishes in an hotel in London for 200 Euros a week, but that is as much about perfecting his English-language skills as anything else.  Interestingly enough he, and his friends, have simply walked into jobs in England with no trouble at all.  So maybe that says something about the "jobs shortage" in Britain.  Meanwhile the Bars here are employing Lithuanians so what can one say?

Please don't worry about your reception here if you are thinking of a Holiday.  The locals will be very pleased to see you and your money will do some real good in what is a difficult time.

 

 





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09 Jun 2012 08:34 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5239 posts Send private message

Maddie,  you should have started your post with, 'Once upon a time .....'    
 
That how all the best fantasy stories start





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09 Jun 2012 09:11 by icaru Star rating in Kalkan Turkey. 46 posts Send private message

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 More theft.  Especially of the copper cabling in street lighting.



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09 Jun 2012 10:18 by neatrees Star rating in Vera Playa. 62 posts Send private message

I live in the same area as Marksfish and I agree with what he has said about the Vera/ Mojacar area.

I as far as I can see, everything  is keep calm and carry on. My bookings are a mixture of British and Spanish, about the same as every year.

The Spanish businesses that service our community are doing their bit to help in this tough economic time.

The weather is still good, so come on over.



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09 Jun 2012 10:22 by amh Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

My wife , son and myself have been to our house in Spain (in between Marbella and Puerto Banus) for 5 weeks this year. Members of my family will be there from 01/07 -05/09, due to work commitments I can only afford to be there for 4-5 weeks.
There are a lot of businesses that have gone belly up (TGI Fridays in Puerto Banus is one major victim ), but
more businesses have sprung up to replace them. There have never been so many good deals in bars and restaurants, two for one for drinks in Old Joys Piano Bar on the port is one example. The designer shops are still busy, the Rollers Lamborghini's Ferrari's are still in abundance.
Go to Spain, take advantage of the weak euro, the good weather and all thatSpain has to offer!



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09 Jun 2012 10:27 by Acapulco Star rating in Costa Blanca South.. 341 posts Send private message

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 The British media, particularly the BBC, seem to be mouth pieces for government propaganda. Obviously the UK government want people to stay in the UK and spend their money there.

I have lived in Spain ,Costa Blanca,for almost 4 years now and still enjoy every minute of it Never heard of or seen any riots in this area and in fact there seems to be small improvements going on here all the time., gardens and roads being tiied up etc.

I feel safer here than I did in the Uk and when I speak to family and friends who have been to visit us they tell us how fortunate we are and advise us not to go back to the uk as life is better in Spain.

A few weeks ago we toured Southern Spain and went into Portugal and saw no sign of bother although life is obviously more difficult for local people that need to work,especially in Portugal.

Last night we took a coach trip into Benidorm for a night out and had a great time, never felt threatened at ant time.

There is a greater police presence on the streets over here, maybe that helps as a dterent but I think a lot of it is down to the nature of the people.

I would say to the opening poster, leave your friends in the UK and come and enjoy Spain.



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09 Jun 2012 11:36 by mefa Star rating in Iznajar Spain. 12 posts Send private message

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 We too have been resident here for four years, we live inland overlooking the lake of Iznajar.  Travelling around our local villages the locals are still really welcoming saying hola on meeting in the street (I tried saying hello to strangers on my last visit to the UK, got some odd looks.).  Living here in Cordoba province we are just over an hour from the costa's but the pace and style of life is so much more relaxed, crime is virtually none existent and the local police and Guardia are really friendly and part of the community.   This region relies on the olives for thier main income and although the market value for olives has decreased  the increasing sales of olive oil is keeping the local farmers busy.  Traditional tapa's bars here still give tapa's with your drinks without them being requested and at no addition cost in most cases.  We know where we would rather be given the choice between here and the UK for feeling safe and getting good value for money.   If your friends don't want to come to Spain because of media reports in the UK tell them to look around them before making their final decision.





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09 Jun 2012 12:01 by rowantree Star rating. 10 posts Send private message

We have lived in Aguilas for almost 2 years (owned holiday property here for 5 years before moving out) The way Spain is being portrayed in the British media is very unhelpful, and does not reflect either the true economic situation or the attitude of people here. Yes Spain has it's financial problems and high youth unemployment but so does the UK;  banks were being bailed out in the UK before it happened here, so I can't help thiinking that someone somewhere has a vested intererest in painting a very gloomy picture for some European countries (Spain included) I think we need to ask some serious questions about who benefits financially from destablising certain economies???

Our town is very Spanish, there are no real concessions to foreign tourists, the shops and services are geared to middle class Spanish people who flock here in their thousands every summer (the town population increases 7 fold in July and August)   Business Growth over the last few years has been very slow but now the town beginning to show signs of growth again, property prices have actually gone up a little bit, there are new high quality designer shops and bars opening and construction (albeit on a small scale)  is being started

Recently we have recently visted Mazzaron, Cartagena, Teruel, Calatayud, Oviedo, Bilbao, Toledo, Aranjuez, Murcia, Novelda, Oihuela, Mojacar, & Adra ., and we felt safe everywhere we went, there were no riots, or signs of trouble, sure some towns were more affluent and prosperous than others but on the whole the Spain we saw bore no resemblance to the pictures being painted in the UK media. I came back to the UK in April and although it was great to see family and friends, the UK had an air of gloom and the people in the streets, in bars and shops looked beaten down and hopeless, I did  not feel safe when out alone and couldn't wait to get back home to Spain.





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09 Jun 2012 12:10 by DonLochnagar Star rating in Mazarron. 161 posts Send private message

I live in Camposol near Mazarron.  If there are any problems in Spain, I don't see them.  The restaurants are busy and much cheaper than they have been previously.  There are no 'hoodies' hanging about the streets, the weather is beautiful and the people cheerful.





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09 Jun 2012 12:28 by alec01 Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

My personal view is that things dont look to good in Spain with the economic situation getting worse, hopefully things could addressed and the situation improved soon.

We have been back in the UK for 2 1/2 years now after living in Spain for 3 years, I can honestly say that me and my family cannot wait to return, live and work back in Spain asap. I have set my own business up here in the UK, with a view of returning to Spain and opening the same business there. I was made redundant in Spain and know how difficult getting work is.

People always think the grass is greener, but it isnt. We returned to the UK excited to reunite with friends only to find our real friends we have just left behind in Spain along with our fantastic lifestyle for us and the kids. The Spanish are always welcoming and nice to us, people forget that the UK is probably one of the worst places to live (unless you can claim benefits). Drug taking and crime are sky high, along with child grooming and prostitution. Dull wet grey depressing.  And we came back to this!

 

So to answer your question How are things in your area? 

Not good, Stay in Spain, work hard and do whatever you can to stay afloat. Spain will recover as people in the UK start to get sick of the weather again and start to get a little money behind them, they will start to look again at Spain, and see the cheap house prices and start to buy, this in turn should help to kick start the economy and jobs a plenty off the back of this. The question you should be asking is when will this happen? Unfortunatly I dont have a crystal ball but hopefully it will happen sooner than later!

 





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09 Jun 2012 13:48 by migueldelnorte Star rating in Rias Baixas, A Coruñ.... 5 posts Send private message

alec01 - To answer your question "How are things in your area?" it really makes a big difference where in Spain you wish to visit. Obviously, big cities like Barcelona and Madrid are focus points for any protests, whereas the smaller towns are only infrequently involved. Protesters want media coverage so big crowds are essential. For the media, bad news improves their ratings and sells newspapers or gains advertisers. However, for the vast majority of those of us who live here in Spain, life goes on as normally as possible under the restraints of an economic recession.

If you are looking for peace and quiet with the opportunity to enjoy the best of the Spanish traditional way of life, then look to the more rural or northern areas of the country. We live in a coastal region of Galicia up in the north west of Spain where obviously the people suffer from the same economic problems as the rest of the country but where violence is very uncommon. True, bigger places like Vigo and Santiago de Compostela may have their occasional protests but not riots.

This area is a fantastic place in which to live and to visit. The people we have found to be more welcoming than in the South and since we previously spent 20 years on the Costa del Sol, we can properly compare the two regions. Galiciancuisine is legendary in Spain for its excellence with some of the best seafood available as well as very good locally produced meat and as for the wines, well if you've never tried a bottle of Albariño, then you haven't lived! As this is not a Mecca for foreign tourists, unless you are a pilgrim to the cathedral in Santiago, then you will find restaurants and shops that don't ever rip you off. This is an area that is popular for those from the big spanish cities like Madrid who want to get away from stress and crowds and have a really good holiday. There's plenty to see and do and there are many unspoilt and uncrowded beaches. As regards the weather it is nowhere near as bad as we had been told prior to coming here and although you might find some rain, it is not like soggy Britain. We have had many visitors in the last 5 years, and on rainy days one only has to go for a short drive usually to find some sunshine.

I can assure you that we still have plenty of bookings for our holiday cottage mainly coming from the UK or Malaga including repeat visitors. So take heart and come on out. The Spain you love is still there waiting for you if you just look in the right places. So back to your question - things in our area are fine - see you soon!



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09 Jun 2012 15:30 by migueldelnorte Star rating in Rias Baixas, A Coruñ.... 5 posts Send private message

Sorry Alec01, this last was meant to be addressed to Maddiemack as answer to her original question. Anyway, hope that you too will be able to return to Spain soon!



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09 Jun 2012 16:02 by pearllinda Star rating in javea. 19 posts Send private message

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 Well, I live in glorious Javea and things here are buzzing, everyone I know has work and the restaurants and bars are busy,the sea is blue and our new Mayor is forward thinking so things are all hapening to attract new business here. I cant think of anywhere else I would rather be. I  am beginning to think the whole ''crisis'' is a politicians ruse to get us all scared !



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09 Jun 2012 16:07 by camposol Star rating in Camposol. 1411 posts Send private message

Rowantree-don't agree with you about feeling safe in Spain. In this area burglaries and muggings have increased.I was sad to read that a couple cancelled their trip to UK as they didn't want to leave their home. Another couple said they never go out together anymore, so that there is always someone at home. As for Benidorm, many have experienced muggings. Where I live, I wouldn't go for  walk on my own-I feel very vulnerable. There are so many people here desperate to sell their houses for silly prices, to go back to UK. Having lived here 11 years, although there are some nice aspects to living in Spain, it is not the less stressful, cheaper to live in country you have been led to believe. 





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