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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 29th December 2013, 05:51 PM
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I used to live in the Fontarron area of Madrid, next to Vallecas and the "Parque de las tetas" where they were camping out. Perhaps even more frustrating is that many of the flats around that park were given away to gypsies in an attempt to get them off the streets. And now the people whose taxes paid for that found themselves on the streets (or at least camping in a park) instead. Unfortunately the people in the video are under the usual Spanish illusion that giving people more employment rights and effectively making it more expensive for companies to hire people will somehow make more jobs appear.
There is some truth in that...However, low wages mean that workers have very little money left over to buy non-essentials. Low spending power means less money changing hands for goods over counters. That means lower profits and consequently lower tax revenue.
If wages are too low then, as people require food, warmth, shelter as well as other essentials, these wages will somehow need to be topped up. In the UK it's via tax credits which is a subsidy to employers. In Spain I suspect it's largely via the black economy which means that the government and legitimate employers lose out.
Since 1945, UK workers have had employment rights undreamed of before the War. Paid holidays, the Minimum Wage, maternity rights, paid sick leave...doom and gloom forecast by some employers when these and other rights were introduced. They did not lead to the economic disaster some predicted.
What has brought economic disaster and forced down wages is globalisation. Open markets, free movement of people and capital...these are the culprits.
And they weren't the product of some loony left or trade union-inspired conspiracy....
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Old 29th December 2013, 05:56 PM
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I know its a 'cultural thing' and all of that (15 years in Asia and I had 'culture' coming out of my ears)................................ but when me and my daughter are wandering around Feungirola high street watching shops systematically close before our very eyes, on a Saturday, for their afternoon kip! leaving us wondering where to spend hubbys worldwide wide (heavily taxed in Spain) income I have to assume those folk mustn't be short of a bob or two?!!! In one little store that sold scarves and bits and pieces the shop girl seemed genuinely miffed we were in her store at all (I am guessing nap time was approaching!?).
& in all of our years overseas in expat communities (mostly oil/gas & shipbuilding, but also encounters with automotive, nuclear power plant, Nike & aerospace industries) I only encountered one native Spanish man & he was ships crew so just visiting. I literally met folks from all over the globe (Spanish speakers - Mexicans, Chileans etc) but no Spaniards. Folks all going where the work is. In latter years we met a couple of young Spanish students, girls, who had degrees and were doing their Masters at a Korean University. One of them was my son's tutor. Lovely girl, learning Korean as that is where she saw her future. Having held down 5 part time jobs in Spain before leaving. Thankfully my daughters second language is Korean, Mandarin or Japanese would be next on the agenda not Spanish. Got to think of her future! & its not here! We simply have not encountered the same work ethic here as we did in Asia.
When I wander around Fuengirola, it seems to me pretty pointless for shops to stay open when its siesta and there are so few shoppers, its soul destroying and a waste of time and money - but, most do open again in the evenings when there are potential shoppers around.

I dont believe their siesta mentality can be the blame of their issues. IMO it balances out. Asia is probably going to undergo some changes in the foreseeable future - from what I know - which admittedly, isnt a lot. They work for very little financial reward and maybe getting a peeved at their superiors and reaping the benefits????



Jo xxx

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Old 29th December 2013, 06:12 PM
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Some Asian countries have higher wage levels than the UK. If you want to know where the lowest wages are paid, look at the labels on cheap clothes on market stalls!

I have at times wondered why in winter siesta is still observed. But then it's usually because I think I can't wait a couple of hours to buy something not really that important...and I'm not sure that Spaniards should drop a custom they've had for decades to satisfy an impatient English shopper!

'Work ethic' is usually prefaced by the term 'Anglo-Saxon'. Many people think that Europeans have the work-life balance right. When my OH owned her business in the UK she very often worked a twelve hour seven day week and missed holidays.
The business was profitable but there's more to life than work and money which is why eight years ago we packed up and left the UK to start enjoying life.
Of course people should do a fair day's work for a fair day's wage...but I don't think any economist or politician has -yet - blamed the laziness of Spanish workers for the country's plight.
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Old 29th December 2013, 06:36 PM
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I watched this piece of socialist drivel the other day. People are crying expecting the government to give them more jobs. Lower taxes and contributions for employers, lower stamp duty, encourage investment, (shame the mega casino is now gone) and maybe things will start to grow.

What do they want the government to do, start building extravagant infrastructure projects again? That is why there is so much mess to deal with now. The government are struggling to pay and have no slack for job creation.

I have never been out if work during the last recession and this one. I think people need to move for work to other parts of the country and the world if need be. Tough yes, but things are tough and people need to be creative instead of hoping the administration is going to save them.
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Old 29th December 2013, 06:55 PM
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Very little financial reward?? I think maybe you are getting the sweatshops of Bangladesh mixed up with the Worlds Largest shipyards building multi billion dollar oil platforms, factories where your Galaxy phone is designed and manufactured etc etc! I am sure there is a Hangul word for work ethic, shall ask my daughter when she comes out of the shower.
Whatever changes Asia undergoes (Japan, China & Korea) I very much doubt it will be down to a peeved worker rising up against their superior.
I honestly don't think there is more to life than work and money when you are raising 2 children in this world. Its a lovely idea but 'enjoyment' aint gonna pay the school fees or the rent!
& what came first the abandoned streets or the fact that everyone knows come 1.30pm the shops will be shut til 5pm anyway? If I were on my 'uppers' I would have my shop door open all hours on the off chance someone would come by and make a purchase. Every sale would make a difference even if it was just one impatient English shopper!
If this economy was booming I could understand it. But on one hand we have a Boys from the Black Stuff feel and on the other hand we have a siesta under a palm tree. I don't get it.
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Old 29th December 2013, 07:09 PM
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Very little financial reward?? I think maybe you are getting the sweatshops of Bangladesh mixed up with the Worlds Largest shipyards building multi billion dollar oil platforms, factories where your Galaxy phone is designed and manufactured etc etc! I am sure there is a Hangul word for work ethic, shall ask my daughter when she comes out of the shower.
Whatever changes Asia undergoes (Japan, China & Korea) I very much doubt it will be down to a peeved worker rising up against their superior.
I honestly don't think there is more to life than work and money when you are raising 2 children in this world. Its a lovely idea but 'enjoyment' aint gonna pay the school fees or the rent!
& what came first the abandoned streets or the fact that everyone knows come 1.30pm the shops will be shut til 5pm anyway? If I were on my 'uppers' I would have my shop door open all hours on the off chance someone would come by and make a purchase. Every sale would make a difference even if it was just one impatient English shopper!
If this economy was booming I could understand it. But on one hand we have a Boys from the Black Stuff feel and on the other hand we have a siesta under a palm tree. I don't get it.
And there was me thinking galaxy was a chocolate bar (it might as well be since I had to ask my son what it was lol)!! You're knowledge of the world/spanish economy isnt the same as mine. Apparently there are 260 million+ migrant workers in China alone who actually dont get paid more than around 200 a month apparently. The government legislated minimum wage is 160 a month? But back to Spain, where I'm from opening a shop all day and night in the vain hope that a shopper will come and buy a souvenir isnt cost effective or good for the soul! Spains problems are a bit bigger than that. What it needs is some investment and some real prospects



Jo xxx
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Old 29th December 2013, 07:31 PM
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Didn't you guys know, Spain is out of the recession. So sayeth some moron politician a few months back and all because there was a marginal improvement for a few weeks out of how many in a year?



China isn't the problem, not in my opinion.

What is, is the attitude that folk have here when they are in work. How many times have any of us gone to a government office and seen no end of folk just sitting around, not actually doing much if anything? I personally have lost count at how many times I have been sent from one office to another to get a stamp, to go to another to get an appointment so I can return to the first office and be told I need then to go to some other place and start the ball rolling all over again.

And how many times have you seen the whole of the emergency department in some hospital go on a coffee break, leaving patients without anyone to attend to their needs no matter how much hollering anyone does that they are surely bleeding to death.

But here is a thing, instead of throwing people out onto the streets because they fall behind with the mortgage, how about the banks let them stay in their flats, houses etc because fact is, they cannot sell them for love nor money so they may as well have the owner sitting there, looking after it than leaving it empty to get vandalised etc.
Goverment/council workers have never made anything, in any country, except spend their time working the system (in general terms) so there is no point comparing that lot to workers that I alluded to.

Never seen that in a hospital here yet, but there is still time I guess.

Banks ? for sure the rest should have followed Icelands lead and let them go to the wall (well most) and once gone use taxpayers money (if needed) to buy the default mortgages for a song & then let the owners stay in place just paying a reasonable return ...... win win IMO.

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Old 29th December 2013, 08:34 PM
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The siesta bit reminded me of a couple who had been in the local Opel dealers, for a couple of hours, ordering a new car. Salesman said " you'll have to leave now & come back at 5 to finish"
"why?"
" We close now at 2 until 5"
They left & went a bought a Seat.

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Old 29th December 2013, 09:03 PM
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I watched this piece of socialist drivel the other day. People are crying expecting the government to give them more jobs. Lower taxes and contributions for employers, lower stamp duty, encourage investment, (shame the mega casino is now gone) and maybe things will start to grow.

What do they want the government to do, start building extravagant infrastructure projects again? That is why there is so much mess to deal with now. The government are struggling to pay and have no slack for job creation.

I have never been out if work during the last recession and this one. I think people need to move for work to other parts of the country and the world if need be. Tough yes, but things are tough and people need to be creative instead of hoping the administration is going to save them.
So you disagree with the British Conservative Government's massive infrastructure plans, commencing in 2015, which, according to David Cameron, will create tens of thousands of jobs and create billions in revenue? Too 'socialist' for you?
If you think mega casinos are the future for a sound, productive economy, most people who know about a real, productive economy would suggest a lie-down in a darkened room.
Have you thought why no government, however right-wing, has implemented those measures you see as simple panaceas? Have you considered the consequences?
One of the reasons the Spanish Government's debt is so huge is the financing of the paro. People without work cost money and they don't spend money.
When Christine Lagarde tells Europe that austerity isn't working, don't you think she might know what she's talking about?
I'm afraid things are more complex than your simple solutions would suggest.
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Old 29th December 2013, 09:09 PM
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So you disagree with the British Conservative Government's massive infrastructure plans, commencing in 2015, which, according to David Cameron, will create tens of thousands of jobs and create billions in revenue? Too 'socialist' for you?
If you think mega casinos are the future for a sound, productive economy, most people who know about a real, productive economy would suggest a lie-down in a darkened room.
Have you thought why no government, however right-wing, has implemented those measures you see as simple panaceas? Have you considered the consequences?
One of the reasons the Spanish Government's debt is so huge is the financing of the paro. People without work cost money and they don't spend money.
When Christine Lagarde tells Europe that austerity isn't working, don't you think she might know what she's talking about?
I'm afraid things are more complex than your simple solutions would suggest.
BBC News - Why Spain's regions owe so much money

And that lagarde women is the biggest piece of socialist crap out there and a hypocrite to boot who wants to confiscate 10% of everyone's savings, who tells the Greeks to pay their taxes when she has a tax free income.


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