Life goes on as normal for some in Spain, but many are suffering
If you’re a regular reader of my blogs, you will know that I’ve often been frustrated by the way the British media reports on Spain. In a culture where good news is no news, the worst of Spain’s crisis has been magnified and misunderstood in equal measure by willfully ignorant UK journalists happy to tell only one side of the story.
But sometimes, you have to listen to them. You have to check in, read what they’re writing and at least try to comprehend their stance. And occasionally, you have to admire their reach, influence and ability to garner reader engagement.
The master of this is the Guardian. Self-styled as a serious newspaper for left-leaning liberals, its readers are never short of an opinion or two. Be it football, celebrity, Europe or politics, their comments section is pretty much the busiest found anywhere on the web.
So it was with some trepidation that I clicked on Monday’s headline, which reads: Spain’s housing crisis – readers’ panel. But you know what? It makes for fascinating reading. The article ‘above the line’ –pieced together by the journalist – is a good scene-setter, but it’s what is happening ‘below the line’ that should be essential reading for anybody considering buying a property in Spain.
The commentators are passionate, informed, and impartial. They tell their own stories, not something spun or cherry-picked by an editor with his feet tossed absentmindedly on to his desk over in rainy London.
These are ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’-type tales. And largely, they are tales of loss, woe and misfortune. They do not paint a pretty picture of life in Spain at the moment. They confirm what the British press have been telling us – Spain is suffering, people are unhappy and in debt, and things are only going to get worse.
But look again. What else do they tell you? They tell you that this is a rich source of opinion and conjecture, and that only a media behemoth like the Guardian could achieve such a response.
But they also tell you why Spain is such a beguiling and popular country.
They tell you not to overreach yourself when buying property. They tell you to do your research, act sensibly and to work hard if you’re looking for employment. And they tell you that while things are bad at the moment, there are opportunities for people who have the cash, capital and desire to live in one of the most beautiful and varied countries in Europe.
In short, they tell you what we here at VIVA have always been telling you: Spain is no country of endless milk and honey right now. There is a crisis; that much is unavoidable and it would be a dereliction of our duty to ignore that. But if you have the means and the will, Spain is still a great country in which to buy property and put down roots.
So put the kettle on and have a read. And if you don’t find the comments refreshing, enlightening, inspiring and frightening in equal measure, then you know what to do – kickstart a similar discussion right here.
We’re always happy to hear about your experiences of living in, moving to, or purchasing property in Spain.