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Category: News (169 articles)

Bill Gates invests more than €100 million in Spanish construction company

Bill Gates's interest in Spain's construction industry could spell good news for the sector

Microsoft co-founder and multi-billionaire Bill Gates has purchased shares worth €113.5 million in Spanish construction firm FCC in a vote of confidence that could signal the beginning of an upturn in Spain’s beleaguered construction industry.

Since the economic crash of six years ago, Spanish construction firms have struggled to finance projects, hamstrung by weak demand, a lack of bank credit and oversupply. But Gates’s latest investment may be a sign that a recovery in Spanish property may be on the cards… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 23/10/2013 [0] Comments 
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Santander CEO talks up Spain to the world

Botin has said that Spain's economy is enjoying a fantastic recovery

“Everyone is interested in investing in Spain,” Emilio Botin – the CEO of Santander who was recently voted the most influential businessman in Spain – told a New York press conference last week when asked about the financial situation in the country.

It was a bold claim, but Botin, perhaps aware of the positive impact his words could have, was not to be deterred, adding that the country was experiencing a ‘Fantastic’ period of investment, with trust in Spain’s economy ‘growing unimaginably’Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 21/10/2013 [0] Comments 
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Spain property prices fall at slowest pace for three years as market enters recovery phase

Price corrections abound throughout Spain's recovering property market

Property prices in Spain fell by the smallest margin since the end of 2010 in the second quarter of this year as the market continued to show signs of a recovery.

In the three months between April and June, house prices in Spain fell by just 0.8 per cent, which is the smallest drop for almost four years and a sure sign that the country’s five-year-long property malaise may soon be over… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 17/10/2013 [1] Comment 
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Beginning of the end for Spain’s crisis, says economy minister

Football aside, Spaniards have not had much to cheer about in the past few years

In an interview with the Associated Press this week, Spain’s Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said that Spain was approaching “the beginning of the end of the crisis,” adding that while there is still plenty of hard work ahead, the most difficult days are behind Spain.

The minister also remarked that Spain will need to boost growth significantly if the country is to once again possess the economic clout to be able to “make a real impact” on the European Union. To do so, de Guindos believes, Spain must move mountains to reduce its levels of youth unemployment – still the highest in EuropeContinue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 11/10/2013 [0] Comments 
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How do you solve a problem like Spain’s low literacy?

Spain performed poorly on the latest OECD study, but it's education standards are improving faster than almost all other countries

Spain and Italy have been ranked bottom among the 24 leading developed countries for levels of literacy and numeracy, according to a survey by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

But before any of those countries’ neighbours begin feeling too smug, the UK and France ranked poorly too, as did the USA. In contrast, Finland and Japan came out on top in most metrics, with the OECD ranking workers from these nations as among the most skilled in the worldContinue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 09/10/2013 [0] Comments 
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Spanish government to increase speed limit on some roads to 130 kmh

The fine for getting caught driving under the influence of drink or drugs in Spain could soon double to €1,000

Spain’s cabinet last week approved a proposed reform to the country’s road safety laws that could drastically alter its driving landscape.

Chief among the reforms is the proposed 130 kmh speed limit to be introduced to some sections of Spain’s tollways and motorways. However, the reform that could have the most serious repercussions for drivers in Spain could be the increased fine for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol – doubling from €500 to €1,000… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 08/10/2013 [0] Comments 
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"We are a plague" – the anguished battle cry of Spain’s lost generation

Benjamin Serra Bosch has become a voice for Spain's lost generation

“Make no mistake: the youth are not here to learn the language, have an adventure and new experiences. We are immigrants. We are a plague.” These are the words of Benjamin Serra Bosch, a Spanish immigrant in London who achieved a modicum of online infamy last week with his blogged rants against his – and thousands of other Spaniards’ – plight.

Serra Bosch, 25, boasts three degrees garnered from one of Spain’s leading universities, yet he finds himself marooned in London cleaning toilets at a well-known coffee chain… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 07/10/2013 [0] Comments 
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Spain jobless numbers rise again as seasonal work wanes

Spain's service industry shedded jobs in September, but the news was actually encouraging

In a not-wholly-unexpected turn of events, unemployment in Spain has risen for the first time in seven months as summer seasonal work dries up.

The number of registered jobless in Spain increased to 4.7 million at the end of September, a rise of 0.5 per cent as 25,572 individuals lost their jobs.

These statistics, from the Labour Ministry, revealed that the construction sector and service sector were worst hit, as the end of the summer season signalled the traditional shedding of jobs in these industries… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 04/10/2013 [0] Comments 
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Spain unlikely to need further financial help, say EU

Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, is happy with Spain's economic progress.

Telling news emanated from the EU on Tuesday as Olli Rehn, the European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, remarked that there is a good chance of Spain concluding its current financial assistance programme without the need for a successor programme.

Rehn was speaking during a visit to Paris, and his positive assessment is sure to resonate throughout the corridors of power in Europe… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 02/10/2013 [0] Comments 
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New residency permit ratified by Spanish Parliament

Spain will permit non-EU nationals to apply for residency if they invest at least €500,000 in property

Spain’s Parliament last week ratified a rule change to the country’s so-called ‘Golden Visa’ law allowing non-EU nationals the chance to apply for Spanish residency if they invest a minimum of €500,000 in Spanish property.

The rule change has been mooted for some time, and is designed to spur greater investment among wealthy buyers from non-EU countries, such as the USA, Russia and China… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 30/09/2013 [1] Comment 
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