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Hi Nick. How are you finding life in that area? In terms of the economy, services, cost of living etc? I haven't been out there for about 18 months and just wondering how bad things are being hit by the impact of Spain's unemployment etc.
There are quite a few comments on the forum about the impact of unemployment, or not, and Spain's economy. Unfortunately they are very often labelled as merely being negative, not informative. Some are of the opinion that people already living in Spain are on a mission to prevent others from coming! What the motive for that could be is hard to fathom. However, you could try

  • looking at El País in English
  • Search the BBC news for items about Spain
  • Search Huffington Post/ Time/ The Economist. They all have short, medium and long articles about these themes
  • Search the forum for unemployment/ work/ jobs/ economy/ economic etc
There is news of Spain starting the path towards economic recovery. When reading about this at least two things should be taken into account.

1. There will be elections next May.
2. Where the recovery is starting from ie what the state of the economy is right now, what the rate of employment is right now and how long it will take for "recovery" to happen


Have fun digging and delving!
 

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Hi Frank-B.
We are not out there full time just yet. We have spent a week every month out there for about the last 10 months and to be honest not noticed much shift either way.
 

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Your opinion Hepa, we live in an apartment,our community areas are beautifully kept and we have great neighbours.The majority of people in Spain live in apartments, I doubt they are all dirty and noisy as you suggest.Generalisations like that don't help anybody.
 

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There are quite a few comments on the forum about the impact of unemployment, or not, and Spain's economy. Unfortunately they are very often labelled as merely being negative, not informative. Some are of the opinion that people already living in Spain are on a mission to prevent others from coming! What the motive for that could be is hard to fathom. However, you could try

  • looking at El País in English
  • Search the BBC news for items about Spain
  • Search Huffington Post/ Time/ The Economist. They all have short, medium and long articles about these themes
  • Search the forum for unemployment/ work/ jobs/ economy/ economic etc
There is news of Spain starting the path towards economic recovery. When reading about this at least two things should be taken into account.

1. There will be elections next May.
2. Where the recovery is starting from ie what the state of the economy is right now, what the rate of employment is right now and how long it will take for "recovery" to happen


Have fun digging and delving!
What do we know about life in Spain? We only live (and some of us work) here.:D

Seriously, though, I don't know what to make of the situation in our area. A couple of houses have been sold, a couple that were partly built have been finished, a couple of new businesses started up in the village and a couple closed...unemployment in the area has increased, although that could be seasonal factors kicking in.

There certainly hasn't been much extra economic activity over the Christmas period, in fact we thought it was quieter than last year.

So...I suppose an optimist would say that things might be looking up...un pocito.
And you have to be an optimist to view posts pointing out the realities of the employment situation here as 'negative'. Still over 40% looking for work here, youth unemployment approaching 60%. Maybe things are better in the more Brit immigrant areas?
 

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Hi Nick. How are you finding life in that area? In terms of the economy, services, cost of living etc? I haven't been out there for about 18 months and just wondering how bad things are being hit by the impact of Spain's unemployment etc.
I can't speak for that area - we're a bit north of there & in a town with very low unemployment compared to the rest of Spain.

On the face of it here, everything is as normal - a lot of the bars & restaurants are busy, there are expensive shops which are open & trading & you'd think that there was no 'crisis' at all -it seems to be, & pretty much is, a thriving town

However when you scratch the surface it's a different story - we have soup kitchens which are busy - the Red Cross, Caritas & other organisations are feeding a lot of families every day by delivering staples such as rice, pasta, oil etc to them - & even clothes & there are beggars outside supermarkets


All of this doesn't affect the vast majority of people living here - but some things do. Simple things like the physio clinic at the state clinic having its hours cut by half. Receptionist staffing levels at the same place cut - so the phone doesn't always get answered.

Less teachers in schools - & if they are sick the school has to wait 2 weeks before they can even ask for temp cover - so some classes just don't happen. You might think this won't affect retirees - but there are strikes by teachers, parents & students - the schools stay open but with skeleton cover - so some people take time off work on strike days - so less people to serve you etc.

Supermarkets, restaurants, bars & other stores have less staff generally, & often working for a pittance - so more queues. longer to get served etc. - & maybe less smiles

less street cleaners

I could go on - but wouldn't want to appear negative.....

don't get me wrong - if you're coming here with no need to earn a living, it's still a wonderful place to live - but far from perfect
 

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Your opinion Hepa, we live in an apartment,our community areas are beautifully kept and we have great neighbours.The majority of people in Spain live in apartments, I doubt they are all dirty and noisy as you suggest.Generalisations like that don't help anybody.
it's not for everyone though, is it?

before we moved here I would never have dreamed of living in an apartment - we tried it when we first came, & if there had been a safe outside place for the kids to play we would likely still be there - I always felt safe with two little kids when my husband was away working

next week, nearly 11 years after moving from that building - we move back. Teenagers don't need a safe garden & we can't wait - it feels like we're going home :)
 

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Whenever I see a Town name I don't recognise I do a Google Earth. I'm getting a Monover in the middle of the campo near Madara, that can't be right, can it ? And Pinoso, comes up as El Pinos.

Expert guidance please. If I'm going to live here, I need to know where places are.

Derek
 

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Whenever I see a Town name I don't recognise I do a Google Earth. I'm getting a Monover in the middle of the campo near Madara, that can't be right, can it ? And Pinoso, comes up as El Pinos.

Expert guidance please. If I'm going to live here, I need to know where places are.

Derek
Pinoso - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
 

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Thanks for your helpful replies to my questions folks, and pointers for more sources of info. I think the thread did read as a bit discouraging at the start (old thread obviously). It's the nature of online communication in many ways.

But if we move on to the dire economic situation, then of course, it's bleak ('negative') and there's no point denying it or putting a bunch of flowers in front of it to make it look better.

I haven't been over to my plot near Pinoso in a good eighteen months now, and have struggled to find real assistance in that area, from the ex-pats I've met out there. Not being negative here either, just factual! There seems to be some kind of an inertia unless you have a load of cash to put in people's hands, or a house to buy, in the case of estate agents. But perhaps it's a sign of the times really, not particular to Spain. People in the UK are generally less inclined to help, since the cultural shift that's taken place here in the last 30 years or so. It's sad to watch.

My attitude as someone quite sick of the money-driven, rat race mentality, is to try to make the best of whatever situation I might find out there. We want to live simply, off-grid, and to minimise our reliance on the kind of money you need to live a mainstream life in the UK, for example. It may even be an idea to start a new thread on the subject once I've had a look at what's been written already. Not sure how feasible that's going to be, but I need to make a trip or two out there again, establish some friendly contacts in the area, and take it from there.

Any further suggestions or ideas are welcome.
 

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I have seen quite a lot of effects of "La Crisis", but then again I do live in close quarters with Spaniards, with my husband and daughter both being Spanish and by virtue inheriting a Spanish family of 40+ with ages ranging from 89 to about 3 and a half. I also work with Spanish people in, at the moment, 6 or 7 companies. This gives me I think, a real life picture of some areas of the economy and employment. I am very aware however, that what happens to a well qualified person in Bilbao is very different to a semi skilled worker in Madrid which in turn is different to an untrained skilled worker in Jaen. On the other hand I also speak Spanish, I listen to the news, I read and I have to say, I don't think everyone does.
I very much agree with some of the comments already posted. On a superficial level a lot seems unchanged, but scratch the surface, ask a little about the hairdresser's sister or the shop that's changed hands for the nth time and you'll get a better picture of what's really happening.
In the month of December for example I read an article about how 1 in 4 hairdressers in Spain has closed down. A friend's hairdresser told 2 different clients of how her turnover has gone down by 40% (so the shop is still open, but making much less).
We hear a lot about how many people are becoming self employed and how that is so very positive. Well, you can put the spin you want on anything if you try. Of course there are success stories with self employed people setting up their own businesses. There are always people who can turn a bad situation to their advantage with a bit of luck, hard work and support, but look at this information about people signing on and off the social security as self employed

Loads of people signing on, and even more signing off, until very recently! And even so, the most recent figures are not up to the 2008 numbers which was when the crisis started to hit. Another thing to be taken into account is the fact that many companies now ask for their workers to be self employed, especially service industries whereas before you were contracted. This makes it much easier for the company all around, so many of those self employed workers have actually been forced into this way of working rather than being enticed by government conditions. So, it may indeed be good news that there are more self employed people, butas this article from infoautónomos says, many are "autónomo" out of necessity due to a lack of opportunity in the job market and it remains to be seen how many will actually become established businesses
Evolución de los autónomos en España: número, altas y bajas. | Infoautónomos
A este crecimiento parecen haber contribuido de manera significativa la generalización de la tarifa plana para autónomos aprobada en septiembre de 2013 en el marco de la Ley de Emprendedores. Fenómeno paralelo al hecho de que muchos nuevos autónomos de los últimos años estén emprendiendo “por necesidad” ante la falta de oportunidades del mercado laboral, por lo que hace falta más tiempo para ver si consiguen consolidarse en el mercado y sobre todo si tienen capacidad de creación de empleo.
This is why I think it's very important, just as it is in our countries of origin, to look behind the numbers to find the reality.

Please note, I have not told anyone they're crazy for thinking about coming. I have not called any stupid either. I have limited myself to giving what I myself would deem information.

Now you can do with it, and all other posts that I've made on the subject, what you like, but negative it is not:)
 

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=Frank B;6052426

I haven't been over to my plot near Pinoso in a good eighteen months now, and have struggled to find real assistance in that area, from the ex-pats I've met out there. Not being negative here either, just factual! There seems to be some kind of an inertia unless you have a load of cash to put in people's hands, or a house to buy, in the case of estate agents.
Hmmm, I'm not sure what you mean here Frank.
What kind of assistance are you looking for?
There have been posts about being off grid in the past, not sure how successful they were though. Maybe do a search on here.
If this is an area you want to find out more about I think there are a few like minded people in the Baleric islands and Malaga area, oh and there's a thread here titled Maella where it seems there are loads of people buying up plots of land and broken down farmhouses...
Another idea that comes to mind is working as a volunteer on a similar project in Spain. There are 2 or 3 links on the first page of the Spain FAQ's
Also in the FAQ's there is info about renting and buying in Spain
 

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Thanks Pesky. Yes, the picture we get via the media and statistics, versus the on the ground picture are often very different. In the end I guess a lot of it boils down to how easy it is for the individual to put food on the table. Have you noticed much change in the price of necessities?

I won't go into the unhelpfulness of those I mentioned, other than to say that I've been promised help out there and it's amounted to nothing, or a reversal of the promise after spending money to travel out there, do the ground work, set up a plan, only to have to start from scratch again because people proved unreliable. Trying to organise basic work from the UK has proven next to impossible too, which is why I was asking about anyone who is living in the Pinoso area or who may have contact details of trades people etc out there. Zippy-watkins PM'd me some useful info in that regard - thanks Karen (and apologies for hijacking your thread! Wasn't intentional!) :hippie:
 

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About six months ago, a mini-market started up in a small shop on the edge of the village. It sold all the kinds of things you'd find in a SPAR-type shop in the UK. I really thought it would do well as we don't have a grocer's as such in the village, we do have a butcher, baker and fishmonger but no general store as such, certainly not one that stays open until gone ten at night. There are a lot of elderly people and quite a few young mums in the village who can't get to the supermarket down the A7 who I assumed would be eager customers.
The store closed a couple of weeks ago as did a shop hiring wedding and First Communion outfits - that kept going for two years, a minor miracle. The DVD hire shop closed recently too.
A Chinese shop, a herbalist and what every small village really needs,:rolleyes:, a puti-club, have opened in the past few months.
I give the herbalist and the puti-club six months maximum.
 

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it's not for everyone though, is it?

before we moved here I would never have dreamed of living in an apartment - we tried it when we first came, & if there had been a safe outside place for the kids to play we would likely still be there - I always felt safe with two little kids when my husband was away working

next week, nearly 11 years after moving from that building - we move back. Teenagers don't need a safe garden & we can't wait - it feels like we're going home :)
Nothing wrong with pisos, it's a matter of taste. We lived in a ground floor piso for five months when we first moved here and it wasn't for us. It certainly wasn't dirty, the grounds were very well-kept and the neighbours were pleasant....but we had lived in a detached cottage with very thick walls and no near neighbours in the UK and in a large detached house in a dormitory village of Prague so we just couldn't adjust. Plus we have a big dog.

One thing I would say, though, is that many urbs seem to have flats that are rented out as holiday lets so you get a constant stream of 'strange' people. People on holiday like to relax and enjoy themselves so tend to be more noisy than settled tenants too.
 

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Nothing wrong with pisos, it's a matter of taste. We lived in a ground floor piso for five months when we first moved here and it wasn't for us. It certainly wasn't dirty, the grounds were very well-kept and the neighbours were pleasant....but we had lived in a detached cottage with very thick walls and no near neighbours in the UK and in a large detached house in a dormitory village of Prague so we just couldn't adjust. Plus we have a big dog.

One thing I would say, though, is that many urbs seem to have flats that are rented out as holiday lets so you get a constant stream of 'strange' people. People on holiday like to relax and enjoy themselves so tend to be more noisy than settled tenants too.
there's nothing actually wrong with the apartment we're in now - ground floor with a largish private terrace & well-tended communal garden & pool

but we've just never settled here, so when the one we're moving to suddenly became available we jumped at it - we know the neighbours already because we've kept in touch, & it's just been refurbished too -and it's much closer to work & the beach :)




now.... where's that packing tape?
 

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One thing I would say, though, is that many urbs seem to have flats that are rented out as holiday lets so you get a constant stream of 'strange' people. People on holiday like to relax and enjoy themselves so tend to be more noisy than settled tenants too.
I think the use given to the flats is a very important point to consider for a number of reasons. If the flats are used for holiday lets that may mean
a)lower quality building materials used
b) the community meetings being even more of a nightmare than usual as flat owners don't live in the building or may not even live in the area so it's very difficult to reach agreements about maintenence and upkeep of the building
c) Renters who are not there long term don't tend to take the same care with noise levels, or with neighbourly relations
d) Some times of the year could be full to the brim with parking problems noise etc and other times of the year pretty lonely and desolate. This happens inland as well when Spanish people may go back to their hometowns and little villages can be overwhelmed in July and August

PS. I can think of three large complexes of flats in this town that have wonderful grounds with lots of grassy areas and very big, tall trees and a pool or pools. There are lot of others that don't have this though and are just more normal. This is not a holiday area, nor a "expat" area although it was used as a weekend house kind of place for people in Madrid and there are still a few houses on our urb that are used as such
 

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Whenever I see a Town name I don't recognise I do a Google Earth. I'm getting a Monover in the middle of the campo near Madara, that can't be right, can it ? And Pinoso, comes up as El Pinos.

Expert guidance please. If I'm going to live here, I need to know where places are.

Derek
Hi Derek, that confused me at first too: two names for the one town. Pinoso and El Pinos. A lot of the road signs there are dual language apparently i.e. Castillian and Valencian.
 

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Our particular block of about 55 apartments is about 95% Spanish,most of them younger than us(60ish).Our neighbours(madridlenos)we haven't seen in 14 years.They only come for a fortnight in August when we tend to be somewhere cooler.The one thing I have noticed recently is that arrears in the community fees seem to be creeping up,which is understandable.Any problems with noise or minor vandalism seem to be nipped in the bud very quickly as everybody tends to know each other and no one wants to be wasting community funds.However this is not a holiday urbanisation which I would avoid like the plague.
 

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Hey Zippy:

Hold your head up and crack on. The people giving positive and negative advice are just trying to give you a 'warts and all' opinion of life around Spain.

It's quite strange how sometimes you have to bite your lip when you read some of the scare stories on here? As a city person, London, I can assure you that many of the negatives on here would be tripled by my own current experiences living in the worlds greatest city ...

Red tape, theft, dubious councils on the Costas? Like it doesn't happen here (UK) x10.

The main negatives in Spain are unemployment, red tape and widespread corruption.
 
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