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Category: News (200 articles)

Spanish households returning to former wealth levels

Spanish wallets are feeling fuller than at any point in the past eight years

Amid the government-deficit-miracle-recovery-bailout-EU-export-growth chatter that has come to define stories about Spain over the past two years, it can sometimes feel like one key demographic gets forgotten – the Spanish public.

While tourism soars, the property market recovers and the export industry booms, the only time the average Spaniard is mentioned is usually when referring to unemployment levels…

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Author:Ian Clover 29/01/2014 [0] Comments 
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Tourists swell Spanish coffers by €60 billion

Foreign tourists spent more money in Spain last year than ever before

Government figures released this week have revealed that foreign tourists to Spain spent a record €59 billion in 2013.

Compared to 2012 spending was up by 9.6 per cent, generating 10 per cent of the country’s economic activity for the year.

“Spain closed 2013 with a historic record in international tourism spending,” read a statement from Spain’s tourism ministry. As ever, it was the British tourists who spent the most, accounting for one-fifth of all expenditure – a whopping €12 billion overall… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 28/01/2014 [0] Comments 
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60 million foreign tourists visited Spain in 2013

The sun, the sea, the sand: still Spain's biggest draws

Spain enjoyed a record-breaking year for tourism in 2013 when more than 60 million foreign nationals visited the country, according to latest official figures from Spain’s leading tourism association, Exceltur.

The association also found that overseas visitors spent a combined total of €45.1 billion, with Brits, Germans, French and the Russians making up the largest chunk of visitors… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 20/01/2014 [0] Comments 
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President Obama applauds Spain's reforms

The Obamas with Prime Minister Rajoy at the White House

After visiting the White House this week, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will have been rather pleased to have left the hour-long meeting with the glowing endorsement of none other than Barack Obama ringing in his ears.

The meeting between the two premiers was a chance for Rajoy to show a sceptical world that Spain can still be taken seriously on the global stage, while for Obama it was a chance to display his knowledge of foreign affairs, praising Rajoy’s leadership in introducing a raft of economic reforms that he said were “unpopular but necessary”… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 17/01/2014 [0] Comments 
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Spain car subsidy scheme receives €175 million boost

Car owners can earn up to €2,000 from scrapping their old vehicle

Spain’s successful car scrappage scheme has been given a €175 million injection of capital by the government in an effort to generate an estimated €1 billion in additional related tax income.

Car owners wishing to take advantage of the scheme are eligible for a price reduction of up to €2,000 when they scrap their old car and buy a brand new one. The scheme is partly funded by the government and partly funded by carmakers… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 14/01/2014 [0] Comments 
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Two working-class towns share elGordo’s Xmas spoils

Jubilant winners of elGordo receive the finest Christmas present imaginable

It had to be, really. In a year in which things got slightly better for the average Spaniard, 2013 was still a tough 12 months of redundancy, unemployment, job insecurity and money worries for many.

And nowhere more so than in the country’s unheralded towns and pueblos. Sure, the cities had it bad and the coastal resorts had to duck and weave in order to stay competitive, but it has been in Spain’s forgotten corners where the recession has been most keenly felt. Which is why the Basque town of Mondragón only recently hit the headlines following the news that Spain’s largest consumer appliance company – Fagor – had to recently shed 2,000 jobs in the town…

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Author:Ian Clover 23/12/2013 [0] Comments 
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Spanish government to give tourism a €221 million boost

Ronda's natural appeal will be given a welcome boost by Spain's tourism industry next year

It’s the backbone of the economy, its most famous export, and the entry point for millions of new love affairs with Spain every year, so it’s only right that it gets a rather generous gift this Christmas.

The Spanish Secretary of Tourism, Isabel Borrego, has announced this week that the Spanish government will provide its tourism sector with €221 million in the form of grants and loans in 2014 in a concerted effort to make the country even more irresistible than it already is… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 20/12/2013 [0] Comments 
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Spain has turned a corner, says PM Rajoy

The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, insists that 2014 will be better for the country

Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has given a frank and candid interview with leading British, Spanish, French and German newspapers in which he declares that Spain has turned a corner and he is positive about what 2014 may hold.

Despite a 12 months that may have looked disastrous on paper – youth unemployment sticking stubbornly above 50 per cent, debt levels reaching 100 per cent of GDP, and only slight growth following a two-year recession – Rajoy insists that his austerity efforts were the right thing to do, and that tough labour reforms have helped create a more competitive employment landscape for all concerned…

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Author:Ian Clover 11/12/2013 [0] Comments 
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French connection: The Pompidou Centre expands to Málaga

The 'Cube' in the new Muelle Uno district of Málaga city

The iconic 'Cube' is located in Málaga city's new Muelle Uno district

Barely had the paint dried on the two 7-storey urban art interventions recently created in Málaga by none other than Shepard Fairey, aka Obey, and D*Face, aka Dean Stockton… than the capital of the Costa del Sol is making art news around the globe yet again. This time with last Friday’s announcement by Málaga mayor, Franciso de la Torre, that an agreement has been reached whereby Paris’s prestigious Pompidou Centre will be opening an annex at the iconic ‘Cube’ situated alongside the cruise ship terminal in Málaga Port in 2015…

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Author:Carolyn Mowlem 03/12/2013 [0] Comments 
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Spaniards up spending as confidence, and cash, returns

La Canada Shopping Mall

Spanish consumer confidence is returning as the country eases away from recession

Cast an easy-going eye over the sparkling horizon formed by a sun-drenched Mediterranean and the word ‘bleak’ will no doubt be far from your thoughts. But it is exactly that word which has shaped many Spaniards’ lives these past few, recession-hit years.

At least, that’s what the headlines tell you. But in a country that places great emphasis on familial support, social bonds and a love of life, a collective fall in incomes was never going to be felt as keenly as it might in somewhere like the UK, where consumerism and materialistic one-upmanship form part of the everyday experience… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 29/11/2013 [0] Comments 
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