Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “unemployment spain”

Spain in 2014. What sort of a place is it now? Benalmadena Costa


Having been coming to Spain for almost 50 years there have been a number of clear changes that are visible to the naked eye. It is clear that with unemployment rates being 50% in the under 24 year olds and 26% in all, things are not good. There are however islands for hope. Firstly many of the British have left and areas like Benalmadena Costa have been at least partially reclaimed by the Spanish. Resultingly there are fewer dreadful ” English Cuisine” restaurants on offer and far more traditional Spanish restaurants. Secondly prices have fallen dramatically. A pint of beer in a decent beachfront bar is rarely more than 1.95 euros. Three course meals tend to be anything from 10-15 euros and often throw in half a bottle of wine. Thirdly, the ecology is changing. Far more birds and far fewer cats. Parakeets abound as do pigeons. ┬áThis has become a decent holiday destination, flights to malaga are less than 3 hours from London and cheap. Crime is not visible, surely it happens but safety seems better than say in London. This is a place to re-visit. Lastly, the Spanish do things in different ways. Only the Spanish could have equipement outside their bansk that potentially could be used to break in.

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Benalmadena Costa. No signs of unemployment here in Spain.


Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish conservative prime minister, is duly announcing to those who will listen that despite unemployment rates of 27%, that rise to 57% amongst the youth, that the worst is over. What this translates to is that unemployment will fall to 25% by 2016. Not overly encouraging. Although not an expert on the economic aspects of Andalucia I have to report based on a week in Benalmadena that there was no evidence of massive unemployment. That observation has to be caveated by the fact that I was hardly looking for unemployed Spanish youth whilst lounging on the beach. There was a single eastern european beggar outside Mercadona ( the Spanish Tesco equivalent). What was obvious though was that there were far fewer British expats and tourists there than before, a linear annual decline. Fewer English type restaurants and bars, and where these had closed down they were replaced by Spanish bars. As a consequence presumably of all this, less tourists and more indigenous Spainish, prices have fallen considerably. A beer would cost 1-2 euros. In the best bar along the beach side Palm 5, a beer cost less than 2 euros. Glass of wine, and thats of a proper size, was 1-2 euros.

The only clear evidence of economic recession was the absence of building of flats and apartments. But frankly the rate they were building 5 years ago was ridiculous. Benalmadena costa may be a nice place but not that nice. But it is not Monaco! Outside our apartment there is a crane towering over a half finished block of apartments. This in itself is not exciting but when put into context that I have taken the same photograph now for 5 years. That crane has not moved in 5 years. The half finished block remains unfinished and I imagine will look just like that next year.

 

Benalmar Playa

Benalmar Playa

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Benalmadena Costa

Benalmadena Costa

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