It's Time For A Change - Here's An Idea

Published on 04/11/2011 in Living in Spain

In with the NEW and out with the OLD seems to be on everybody's lips these days. A change is always wished for but even though sometimes it does not always turn out for the better, it is as refreshing as a swim in the sea in these perfect days of September. As an expat from the UK some 14 years ago, I was privileged enough to enjoy Spain when the Peseta was in circulation.

I remember well, going out with Cinco Mil Pesetas and after having a complete evening of fun, dining, partying and even including the taxi fare home I still woke up with change in my pocket the following morning as well as some memorable hangovers too.

And this was enjoyed as much by my Spanish family of friends who also shared these glory days.

It has been sad to see the decline and I feel very sorry for my fellow Spanish brothers and sisters as it is their country, and such a beautiful country it is, that has suffered greatly from entering into the Euro zone.

With modern day ethics promoting change in every direction which includes the environmental sector for which I am trying to promote with my company Independent Community Surveys, change is also required in our own day to day lives.

For example here arises the birth of a debate for which I find interesting:-

As we know coastal and some inland regions of Spain rely heavily on tourism for income. As the purse strings tighten when the tourism cash injection falls, the local authorities have no choice but to cut costs even further thus creating a downward spiral effect for their affected communities.

And now when a tourist now visits one of these towns and finds that the streets are dirty, streetlights not working, abandoned shabby looking palm trees line the main promenade, beaches are not so nice and most of the local business have now since closed and instead of having a thriving pedestrian street lined with restaurants bars, gift shops and bistros there now lies a semi deserted street full of signs of business closed and trespasos offered.

With nothing to do the tourist will look elsewhere for his/her next family vacation.

Can we help?

Cleaning own streetWith soaring numbers of unemployed people reaching record breaking figures then what if the government was to introduce a bill of order for the unemployment system which would enable us to help ourselves pull the country out of the whirlpool of recession.

This bill would apply ONLY to all healthy & able to work citizens currently claiming unemployment benefits, a doctors certificate can determine either or.

Please note these comments are purely hypothetical and are more than welcomed to be scrutinized and debated upon

The bill would enable the local authorities to utilize the manpower of a claimant of unemployment benefit for a period of maximum 8 hours in a 7 day working week and only would be permitted to use such workforce for simple non comprising tasks i.e., street cleaning, beach cleaning, painting ect.

Which day you wish to offer your service shall be left up to you though a weeks prior notice shall be required and can be done via postal offices, governmental agencies and of course online services.

All formal training and supervision shall be granted as well as certificates of workmanship given to each individual at the end of each task achieved.

HOWEVER, it would be forbidden to use the expertise of a professional i.e. a doctor as such of what that would be expected in their normal environment for "cheap" alternatives in local hospitals. Same applies to all professionals, shopkeepers, teachers, dentists, architects ect ect ect

Everyone would be treated as an equal.

The benefits of such a bill would include that all claimants who have contributed these weekly 8 hour shifts shall be granted an extension to their benefit right as well as the obvious that a cleaner, healthier looking town would attract tourism thus bringing back the urgently required cash injection thus creating jobs and we could be well on our way back on the road to recovery.

Of course many of you may ask how does a local authority that is debt ridden afford to buy materials and safety equipment which would be required for such work to take place. The answer would be through the assistance of the main governmental bodies or even as far as getting assistance from the Euro zone which to date has severely damaged such communities.

The only other contributing aspect that must be addressed is price freezing. There can be no more of this "oh it's a recession and now that I have less clients I am going to make up for the loss by increasing my prices". A company or business shall be restricted to making more than 100% profits on goods offered to the public thus a more economic pricing structure shall be available to the consumer.

Which brings us back to how Spain used to be. The Spanish made good profits and the tourists made good savings and both enjoyed Spain as a country for which it should be enjoyed for. Sun Sea & Sangria

Lets roll up our sleeves and get stuck in.

Written by: Andres

About the author:

Independent Community Surveys provides cost cutting information which can reduce your monthly community contributions. Enviromental issues have raised the prices of electric and water in these past few years and with most communities unaware of how much wasted resource they pay for then our plans are just what you need. Please contact us at for a free information brochure.

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andy said:
10 January 2014 @ 15:10

Hi Andres nice idea in an ideal world, were people are all willing to be responsible for their actions but as we all know there are more watchers than doers in this world. whether you call it voluntary, vocational or training or community work it will always have its knockers as that is the easy option.

Sam said:
11 January 2012 @ 01:14

Loving the idea ;)

Jim said:
23 November 2011 @ 14:50

If someone is unemployed the should have to work to receive money.

These terms already exist, they are known as a wage and a job.

If work needs done people should be paid a proper wage to do it

Paul Millsom said:
06 November 2011 @ 13:00

Just cannot understand why there is so much litter and mess everywhere I go.

On my last holiday in costa del sol I found myself pick up mess myself from some of the eye sores. Why the local british retired residents just walk and drive past it every day is a question that I cannot answer.

Ron Garza said:
05 November 2011 @ 20:21

I agree too. There are things (like getting rid of graffiti on walls and chewing gum on sidewalks) that do not pose a conflict of interest with ongoing maintenance which, may I add, I was very impressed with in Spain.

molly farr said:
05 November 2011 @ 14:03

Molly Farr ยท 73 years old
I live in a village on the river ebro.
It is not dirty run down.
and in the last two years we have had new roads and many other improvements.

Alan Hogg said:
05 November 2011 @ 11:29

I take your point and at a first glance it looks a good idea. But, consider this. What if you are a street cleaner or a painter or someone who works for the council already. Would you not be in fear of your job if the council were able to employ the unemployed for nothing. Do you think that sooner or later, someone is going to say, "why do we need employees when we get people to do menial jobs for nothing"?

Jen said:
05 November 2011 @ 10:51

This already happens in the village where we have a house in La Alpujarra. The unemployed are employed by the town hall to clean the streets, do painting, repair stone walls and any other task that may be necessary to improve the village. I don't know any details relating to their contracts, or whether it is common throughout La Alpujarra, but it certainly makes a difference to the appearance of our village.

pat said:
05 November 2011 @ 10:37

The same system( 8 hours forced labour a week) is trying to get implemented in France .
It was also in full use during ww2 , only 24
hours a day , it surely allowed Germany to
have the cleanest streets in the world , until
the bombs started to fall, that is .
I doubt trade unions would let this one through.
Simple reason is you would give the opportunity
to many a council to lay off their little paid
workers to replace them by free labour.
Now, we all know , that most people on the
dole or not, do some blackwork .
You only have to look at expats pools and gardens to see scores of only english speaking
often retired " helpers" , taking jobs away from
locals , and not paying proper taxes or IVA .

From what is rumored , the next spanish government is intent on a very serious clampdown with this .
practise what you preach , and get your local
Paco by paying him decent declared wages ,
to repaint your house , do your cleaning,etc...
Same thing applies to other expats , such as
the Dutch , Germans , and a fast surge of
Russians , bringing in their own cheap labour force by the charter full .

jACK gREIG said:
05 November 2011 @ 07:29

I totally agree but also feel they should work around 20 hours. Whats 20 hours out of 168 per week when they get money from the state?
They never got money for nothing from their old employers when working (nor would have expected too) so why now? In the UK - thats part of the problem of getting some to work - they get free money for doing nothing!
However in general its a great idea

Fed up and hard up said:
05 November 2011 @ 02:11

I have thought for years that the unemployed should have to make some sort of community contribution to qualify for benefit, and not just in Spain. A limit of 8 hours per week is too generous, I would expect at least 20. I understand the argument that we shouldn't exploit people, cheap labout etc. but in todays world we cannot afford to let people sit idle and collect benefits if they are able to do something.

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