26 Apr 2015 12:17:
Please bare with me here. This will be a long-winded answer to the simple question, 'How difficult is it to get a job?'.
Our love affair with Spain ended last year when we decided to spend a few weeks in the Costa del Sol area to make a final decision on whether to continue looking for a winter let. Having owned a property in Catalunya and being lucky enough to sell at a profit before the Crisis really took hold, it had been our intention to buy another place in Spain further south where the weather is warmer. For the past few years, we have spent time in Spain on the Costas Blanca, Tropical, Luz and del Sol looking for a place to buy and every year the prices have dropped, so much so that we decided it was a better idea to rent for 6 months of the year and do without the hastle of owning our own place. Part of that decision was based on the fact that we would (legally) have to pay rental tax whether we rented the place out in the summer or not (whilst we weren't there) and the possibility that we would be charged property tax on the price that the property WAS and not its present price. The Spanish ideas to collect tax seem to know no bounds. Goodness knows, they need the cash.
Every year we have returned to Spain we've found it an increasingly-depressing experience. It has saddened us to see so many unfinished properties decline to such an extent that they can only be recovered at great expense. Should they knock them down and recover the landscape? Every time we visit an area we know, we see more shops/bars have closed down and, more worrying, we have seen the number of beggars increase. When we came to know that some of those beggars (particularly outside Aldi and Lidls) are middle-aged men with families to feed, it brought us to tears. What could we do? When we ventured inland to the small villages we prefer, it wasn't so bad. The Spanish are good to their families and neighbours and everyone seemed to be coping. BUT, the real deciding factor for us was the feeling we had, wherever we went, that we weren't wanted. The last time we were in Benalmadena, we felt like intruders. Yes, the Spanish were polite when we spent money in their shops or bars but we were, largely, ignored on the streets where, previously, our smiles and holas were answered. For the first time since we started to spend time in Spain, 15 years ago, we were happy to be going home to the UK. We are now looking for a winter let on the Algarve amongst the Portuguese who actually like having us there. Britain has long- held an alliance with Portugal that has never waned. We feel guilty that we've given up on Spain but, to be honest, as pensioners we want our winters in the sun to be a relaxing experience amongst friendly locals. We are looking for a rental from a Portuguese family and will spend our money in the local Portuguese shops and bars. We always remember we are foreigners, taking advantage of the best of what another country has on offer.
In answer to the question of jobs in Spain...there is still time to watch the program on BBC iplayer Costa del Sol:Last Brit Standing which you'll find in the Lifestyle category. No doubt, it is very one-sided as all these sorts of programs are, but as far as jobs are concerned....take note.
I know people in Spain who love it there and won't be going back to the UK any time soon, if ever, but they are living in the villages or they have established businesses on the coast....and they are learning or have learnt to speak Spanish! I couldn't beleive it when I watched the afore-mentioned program and saw Brits that have lived in Spain for many years and hadn't even learnt the language! Doh! I can understand how frustrating it must be for an already-stretched Healthcare System to have to pay for interpreters. Us Brits can be lazy when it comes to learning a new language, yet we expect those coming to the UK to speak English.
There will be people reading this that have a completely different opinion to the one we have formed and it would be lovely to read about them and the situation that makes life so much better for them. However, the Spanish costas are out for us for now and I can almost hear the locals saying, 'Good riddance!' in Spanish, of course. We can understand these sentiments and wish them all the best...
Thread: How difficult is it to get a job?