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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

My family and i would like to relocate to Malaga sometime around the 3rd quarter of next year and I have some questions for all you expats out there living in Spain.

1. I look at some Spanish real estate websites and noticed that one can rent a 3 bedroom apartment for about 500 EUR/month - is this true?
2. I realize that the job market isn't in the best shape over there, but would it be possible for me to find a job in IT with very little experience? My Spanish isn't too bad, but nowhere near a professional level. I'd really like to work in IT, but I could teach English as that's what I've been doing for the past couple of years. Websites you could recommend?
3. How are the schools/universities over there? We'd like to send the kids to the better schools in Malaga (obviously). They are 9 and 14.
4. Are there any free Spanish courses available for newly settled immigrants?

I suppose I still have a lot more questions, but this will do for now. All suggestions and/or comments will be greatly appreciated.

Pawel
 

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Hola Pawel

If you can make it all work I would thoroughly recommend the Malaga province in general terms for a place to live with your family. As for the specifics:

1. probably yes though this is at the low end of the range
2. one employment major website is wemploy (Google it)
3. the primary schooling for my young kids is great. Not so sure about secondary education where your hear mixed reports.
4. I don't think you'll get a free course. My local council's course is 70-80€ for a term (a few months) I think.

Good luck with your move.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hola Pawel

If you can make it all work I would thoroughly recommend the Malaga province in general terms for a place to live with your family. As for the specifics:

1. probably yes though this is at the low end of the range
2. one employment major website is wemploy (Google it)
3. the primary schooling for my young kids is great. Not so sure about secondary education where your hear mixed reports.
4. I don't think you'll get a free course. My local council's course is 70-80€ for a term (a few months) I think.

Good luck with your move.
Thanks a lot. I'll look at the website you mentioned and I'm glad to hear that schools are quite good.

As far as Spanish is concerned, 70-80 EUR for a few months sounds like a bargain to me.

Pawel
 

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I live in Málaga province and its a lovely place to live. As for work in IT, well theres a technology industrial estate in Málaga, but its feeling the pinch and I know of a couple of well experienced chaps who have recently lost their jobs there, one has just returned to the UK, the other - I'm not sure, but I dont think he's got another job yet. Interestingly, neither of these chaps could speak Spanish to any great standard, BUT, the were and are very experienced in their field! So I guess I'm saying that getting work is not going to be easy or very secure.

Schools, well my daughter goes to a good spanish secondary school, she did go to a state primary for a while and TBH it was appalling. The British and the Spanish children didnt get on or mix and the Brits tended to spend more time "off sick" than learning anything, but thats just one of many, and I'm sure there are good state primarys around. We put my daughter into international for a while, but we couldnt afford it for too long, so we found this secondary school, where she's struggling with the language, but getting there ?????? IMO, all spanish schools vary greatly in their ability to deal with british kids, some stick the brits in a class room and just get them colouring in all day, some try to intergrate them, some have a lot of bullying issues...... It seems to me that the better schools are the ones with very few British kids in them - in general. My nearly 15yo son goes to a local international school which is great - he's doing his GCSEs. Maybe you should look at that for your 14yo - its a tricky age and to expect them not only to do well at school, but understand, read and write spanish is a tall order, especially as theyre about to take life deciding exams. But Interantioanl schools arent cheap, so you need to budget for them before you do anything else if thats the route you choose to take

As for you teaching english, sadly its so overdone here - there are companies, classes organisations, individuals.... all advertising english lessons - even some schools are offering bilingual teaching for the spanish children, so unless you're really good and can get known then its not gonna be easy!

Properties are as they are in the UK regards prices/costs - its cheaper to rent in Spain than the UK, but dont be blinded by something thats unrealistically cheap, you'll find that there´ll be a reason, you get what you pay for so take a look at it before you sign on the dotted line

Jo xxx
 

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Hi All,

My family and i would like to relocate to Malaga sometime around the 3rd quarter of next year and I have some questions for all you expats out there living in Spain.

1. I look at some Spanish real estate websites and noticed that one can rent a 3 bedroom apartment for about 500 EUR/month - is this true?
2. I realize that the job market isn't in the best shape over there, but would it be possible for me to find a job in IT with very little experience? My Spanish isn't too bad, but nowhere near a professional level. I'd really like to work in IT, but I could teach English as that's what I've been doing for the past couple of years. Websites you could recommend?
I don't work in IT (I'm an English teacher), but as Jo has said I don't think you necessarily need great Spanish to work in this area. The more you have the better, but I don't think it's essential. The problem is more likely the 19 -20% unemployment that Spain is suffering at the mo. Is teleworking for a UK company an option?
You might be able to pick smth up teaching, but it'll probably be bits and pieces and probably badly paid. There seems to be little work in this dept in the south in general. There's more money in teaching English in companies but you need experience - and a car!
3. How are the schools/universities over there? We'd like to send the kids to the better schools in Malaga (obviously). They are 9 and 14.
The education issue has been debated lengthily and passionately in other threads, but the general opinion seems to be younger children in state school older children English based secondary school. But look up the other threads, they're really interesting
4. Are there any free Spanish courses available for newly settled immigrants?
The Spanish courses in the ayuntamientos are usually heavily subsidised and as you have seen, are at bargain prices, but I think you may find pretty cheap courses in academies as well
I suppose I still have a lot more questions, but this will do for now. All suggestions and/or comments will be greatly appreciated.

Pawel
Hope this is of some help
 

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Hi All,

My family and i would like to relocate to Malaga sometime around the 3rd quarter of next year and I have some questions for all you expats out there living in Spain.

1. I look at some Spanish real estate websites and noticed that one can rent a 3 bedroom apartment for about 500 EUR/month - is this true?
2. I realize that the job market isn't in the best shape over there, but would it be possible for me to find a job in IT with very little experience? My Spanish isn't too bad, but nowhere near a professional level. I'd really like to work in IT, but I could teach English as that's what I've been doing for the past couple of years. Websites you could recommend?
3. How are the schools/universities over there? We'd like to send the kids to the better schools in Malaga (obviously). They are 9 and 14.
4. Are there any free Spanish courses available for newly settled immigrants?

I suppose I still have a lot more questions, but this will do for now. All suggestions and/or comments will be greatly appreciated.

Pawel
You may get lucky in IT in Gibraltar - IF you have good certification and a degree. My husband tried to get a job in Gib 2 years ago and found nothing there. There was plenty of IT workers already and had their foot in the door already. If you have any contacts there, you can get in with alot of effort.

You could still live in Spain and work in Gibraltar.

Without Spanish you will not find an IT in Spain unless you try Madrid.

We came to CDS 2 years ago and got lucky with a job in the North of Spain. But the wages are really low and not enough to get by one (especially with kids).

You could at least try some of the employment agencies and see what they say and suggest. Worth a shot.

As jo jo says already, Malaga province has plenty of English teachers. You will need a CELTA and get some experience. Perhaps offer some lessons while you are in the UK to get some experience.

Really the best chance of finding work - either IT or teaching is in Madrid.

As for schooling - my daughter was 9 when we came and we thought at first an Internatlonal school. We decided to try out the spanish system and although she has picked up the language, she doesn't enjoy the school or learning in spanish. Even after two years, she wants to go back to the UK :(

For your 14 year old - it will be too hard to go a spanish school. I would recommend an International school for him or her.

There are cheap properties available on the costas. When were there, many expats where leaving and it was beginning to look at bit empty and lifeless. There is alot of unemployment there - I think around 40% in Andulucia. Hard times.

If I was in your position now, I would suggest that you leave it a few years, perhaps when your children have left school and are independant or able to work themselves. Learn the language (3 to 4 years I would say).

The other option is for you to come and get a job and then get your family to join. You may get lucky and get a decent paying job that you can afford rent (budget say 750euros per month) and international school (500euros per month).

Spain is lovely but I can tell you, the grass is not greener.
 

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You may get lucky in IT in Gibraltar - IF you have good certification and a degree. My husband tried to get a job in Gib 2 years ago and found nothing there. There was plenty of IT workers already and had their foot in the door already. If you have any contacts there, you can get in with alot of effort.

You could still live in Spain and work in Gibraltar.

Without Spanish you will not find an IT in Spain unless you try Madrid.

We came to CDS 2 years ago and got lucky with a job in the North of Spain. But the wages are really low and not enough to get by one (especially with kids).

You could at least try some of the employment agencies and see what they say and suggest. Worth a shot.

As jo jo says already, Malaga province has plenty of English teachers. You will need a CELTA and get some experience. Perhaps offer some lessons while you are in the UK to get some experience.

Really the best chance of finding work - either IT or teaching is in Madrid.

As for schooling - my daughter was 9 when we came and we thought at first an Internatlonal school. We decided to try out the spanish system and although she has picked up the language, she doesn't enjoy the school or learning in spanish. Even after two years, she wants to go back to the UK :(

For your 14 year old - it will be too hard to go a spanish school. I would recommend an International school for him or her.

There are cheap properties available on the costas. When were there, many expats where leaving and it was beginning to look at bit empty and lifeless. There is alot of unemployment there - I think around 40% in Andulucia. Hard times.

If I was in your position now, I would suggest that you leave it a few years, perhaps when your children have left school and are independant or able to work themselves. Learn the language (3 to 4 years I would say).

The other option is for you to come and get a job and then get your family to join. You may get lucky and get a decent paying job that you can afford rent (budget say 750euros per month) and international school (500euros per month).

Spain is lovely but I can tell you, the grass is not greener.
Very sensible advice. If you have a family, now is not the time to make a move. There could well be no upturn in the Spanish econo0my for two or three years.
As presumably most immigrant workers would be on temporary contracts the job situation could be fragile.
And if you came to Britain post 2004 Pawel, presumably you have worked and paid UK tax and NI so you would be entitled to some Social Security benefits and more or less free state health care under the NHS.
That would not be the case here, certainly not until you have qualified, and is a very important factor in considering a move to Spain, especially where children are concerned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just to clear something up, I'm not from the UK and have never lived in the UK :) I currently reside in Warsaw, Poland. I'm self employed and this past year has been really tough. Companies have been slashing budgets left and right, and I fear that it's going to get worse before it gets better.

I'd like to move for a number of reasons. Should any of them sound irrational, do let me know:

1. I'm tired of settling for less. Real estate is expensive here, far too expensive for what you get.

2. I don't like corrupt officials. This mostly has to do with the fact that as a result of the local government's misconduct, buildings are built where there are no road connections, no urban development plans, and no room for parking. I live in such an area,
feel that I pay too much even though it's on the lower end of the scale, and I can't afford to live in a nicer place.

3. Traffic. I suppose large cities are always crowded, but that's one of the reasons I don't want to live in a large city with inadequate infrastructure.

4. No salary standards. A Junior PHP Developer might earn 400 EUR/mo while a cleaning lady will earn 500 EUR/mo. Go figure.

5. I like Spanish.

6. I like the sun.

7. I like laid-back people who don't get on your case for petty things.

Thank you for all your comments.

jojo:


If experienced IT staff have lost jobs, it will probably be difficult for me to land one.

Our kids - actually, my girlfriend's kids are not British but I suppose all children might have difficulty integrating, but it's also our role as parents to ease them through the whole process. I seriously doubt that we'll be able to afford an international school.

As much as I enjoy teaching English, I'd like to get into IT as that's something I've always wanted to do. I suppose it'll be a bit difficult to start from scratch in IT in Spain if I don't speak Spanish fluently.

I don't know what property prices look like in the UK, but we pay 450 EUR/month here in Warsaw and supposedly we got a great deal. The income to rent ratio here is pretty bad.

Thanks for all your input jojo.

Pesky Wesky

I guess teleworking for a UK company is always an option :) Seriously though, I do generate a little bit of income working at home, and I'm sort of hoping that my secret project :D will help me in becoming independent of my location on the globe. But then everyone has a plan :)

I will look through the forum and check out some threads on education and I'll probably find a Spanish course once...if I ever...get there. Thanks.

NorthernLass

Gibraltar is not really on my agenda, and neither is Madrid. Thanks for all the info, I suppose all news is bad news these days. Wonder if the grass ever gets greener :)

To be honest though, I *have* to move :p It's just a thing. I was thinking about heading out to Ireland just to make a little bit of money and *then* relocating to Spain. I don't feel like sticking around here any longer. Incidentally, how much does a decent paying job pay in Spain?

mrypg9:


After reading all these entries I'm really having second thoughts. I'm very determined, but don't want to end up in the gutter.

I'm not entitled to any Social Security, the only thing I've done is pay Social Security here in Poland, a nice 200 EUR/month regardless of income if you're self employed.

So perhaps I should try to relocate to Ireland by myself? Just to get some experience and get qualified? Wonder what the situation is like over there.


Pawel
 

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So perhaps I should try to relocate to Ireland by myself? Just to get some experience and get qualified? Wonder what the situation is like over there.


Pawel

IRELAND ???? AAAAGGGGGHHH!!! Thats not a very good place right now either. Its on the brink of bankruptsy!

Spain is a lovely place to live and bring children up, but its not easy to get work. My husband works in the UK and commutes while I kive here with the children.

Right now, I dont know where a good place to live would be - in fact when things are bad, as they have been, then very often to only thing to do is nothing and stay put, until the storm passes. That said, maybe you could try a 6 month trial in Spain and see how it goes???? You may hit lucky with work, but if you dont you could go back to Poland with experience, ready for next time when things are better???

Interestingly, I've heard that Poland (apart from the weather) is "up and coming". My nephew is about to marry a girl from Poland and they're planning to live there(altho his ability to master the language is shameful lol), He's hoping to get work fairly quickly when they get there???!!!

Strange world isnt it, everyone swapping countries in search for their paradise

Jo xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yikes! On the brink of bankruptcy? Sounds bad. But then again it's the hub of the IT industry in Europe, and I'm kind of a geek :)

It looks like there is no good place to be I suppose. But still, some places are better than others.

Poland is up and coming, it certainly is, but I'd like to live in a place that's already up there :) I think that once the storm passes, it'll be one of the first to boom once again. I could probably move to a small town here, but Warsaw I'm done with. I think I may be getting old as the commotion of big cities tires me. :)

So for a change of mood, perhaps you could share all the lovely things Spain has to offer from your point of view jojo.

Thanks.

Pawel


IRELAND ???? AAAAGGGGGHHH!!! Thats not a very good place right now either. Its on the brink of bankruptsy!

Spain is a lovely place to live and bring children up, but its not easy to get work. My husband works in the UK and commutes while I kive here with the children.

Right now, I dont know where a good place to live would be - in fact when things are bad, as they have been, then very often to only thing to do is nothing and stay put, until the storm passes. That said, maybe you could try a 6 month trial in Spain and see how it goes???? You may hit lucky with work, but if you dont you could go back to Poland with experience, ready for next time when things are better???

Interestingly, I've heard that Poland (apart from the weather) is "up and coming". My nephew is about to marry a girl from Poland and they're planning to live there(altho his ability to master the language is shameful lol), He's hoping to get work fairly quickly when they get there???!!!

Strange world isnt it, everyone swapping countries in search for their paradise

Jo xxx
 

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Yikes! On the brink of bankruptcy? Sounds bad. But then again it's the hub of the IT industry in Europe, and I'm kind of a geek :)

It looks like there is no good place to be I suppose. But still, some places are better than others.

Poland is up and coming, it certainly is, but I'd like to live in a place that's already up there :) I think that once the storm passes, it'll be one of the first to boom once again. I could probably move to a small town here, but Warsaw I'm done with. I think I may be getting old as the commotion of big cities tires me. :)

So for a change of mood, perhaps you could share all the lovely things Spain has to offer from your point of view jojo.

Thanks.

Pawel

Apparently alot of the IT moved out of Ireland when it changed to the Euro, that and the recession have taken their toll on poor old Ireland and it is suffering. I dont know all the details, but on the UK news the other night they were saying that Ireland was about to reduce everyones wages by 10% and schools were being closed to try and save money. I've heard its very expensive there too. However, if you're keen, dont take my word for it, have a proper look, cos I'm really not an expert on the Irish economy - I just listen to bits and pieces!!!

As for what Spain offers??? Well, not alot at the mo cos its turned cold lol. But for me its the big open spaces, the scenery, the laid back atitude, the feeling of freedom and of course in the summer, I love the sunshine, the beaches and simply being able to go outside and enojoy the outdoor lifestyle - something you cant do in the UK!!! Its not without its downside and the novelty does wear off. I've been here for two years and I still get a "buzz" every morning when I look outside and see the beauty here


Jo xxx
 

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Dzien dobry, Pawel. Jak se masz?
I have just come from Prague, well a year ago, and I know Poland fairly well, having spent time in Krakow and Skawina. So I understand your feelings about present-day Poland, although the Polish economy is currently in better shape than the Spanish or the British, for that matter.
Unemployment is extremely high in some parts of Spain, Andalucia for example where it is probably higher than the official 19% rate. So you will find it difficult to get a job here on the Costa Del Sol. I would think you would need fluent Spanish and a high level of skill to currently take a job wherever you went as many Spaniards are also looking and every nationality looks after its own first.
I had to smile when you mentioned corruption. Spain has experienced some of the worst municipal corruption in western Europe. It seems as if every Mayor on the CDS has been sacked or locked up. But Spain is making great efforts to change this. It's a different kind of corruption to that of the former Soviet bloc states, though.
The main thing that would concern me would be coming here without a good job already lined up, if you have children that is. Yes, you can rent for 500 euros a month but utilities bills can easily add another 200 euros to that. The cost of living depends of course on your tastes but it's more than in Poand.
Yes, it's hot in the summer -so are parts of Poland - but it's cold in winter, very cold in some places.
Why not come over on your own and see the situation for yourself? No second hand advice is as useful as your own experience.
Members of my own family emigrated to Australia, America, Canada and I went to Prague!!My relatives all prospered in their new homelands but they all had homes and jobs lined up before they went, as did I.
But nothing ventured, nothing gained, as we say.
Nigdy musiesz odwage!
(Excuse my bad grammar!)
 

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There are currently thousands of highly skilled IT professionals looking for work in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The bursting of the construction bubble in Ireland and the banking crisis in the UK have put an awful lot of IT workers at all levels out of a job. Can't see it improving for a long while.
The EU states whose economies could be described as 'basket cases' are known as the PIIGS -Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. We have problems in the UK currently but underneath we are still a strong economy with a reasonably solid base whereas these countries have fundamental structural problems.
Jo is right, the Irish economy is looking very sick at the moment.
 

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I'd like to move for a number of reasons. Should any of them sound irrational, do let me know:

1. I'm tired of settling for less. Real estate is expensive here, far too expensive for what you get.

2. I don't like corrupt officials. This mostly has to do with the fact that as a result of the local government's misconduct, buildings are built where there are no road connections, no urban development plans, and no room for parking. I live in such an area,
feel that I pay too much even though it's on the lower end of the scale, and I can't afford to live in a nicer place.

3. Traffic. I suppose large cities are always crowded, but that's one of the reasons I don't want to live in a large city with inadequate infrastructure.

4. No salary standards. A Junior PHP Developer might earn 400 EUR/mo while a cleaning lady will earn 500 EUR/mo. Go figure.

5. I like Spanish.

6. I like the sun.

7. I like laid-back people who don't get on your case for petty things.

Thank you for all your comments.

Pawel
Hi Pawel,
I just had to come back to you about your number 2 in the above list. There's no doubt about it - corruption in Spain is alive and kicking and here's an article about it.
Democracy fears as corruption spreads 'all over Spain' - Feature : Europe World
Most of it has to do with building, real estate, licences etc but as the article says it's pretty much extended all over Spain and we're talking about big money.
There's not so much corruption like if you pay a bit more your paper work will go through quicker, give me a pack of cigarettes and you'll go to the top of the queue, it's more high up officials doing big money deals between themselves.
And number 7...
Those civil servants are about as petty as you can get. And the community associations that you have to belong to if you live in a block of flats or residential area can be hard to deal with sometimes, although I have no problem with the people in general and I'm very glad I'm living here and not the UK!!
 

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Apparently alot of the IT moved out of Ireland when it changed to the Euro, that and the recession have taken their toll on poor old Ireland and it is suffering. I dont know all the details, but on the UK news the other night they were saying that Ireland was about to reduce everyones wages by 10% and schools were being closed to try and save money. I've heard its very expensive there too. However, if you're keen, dont take my word for it, have a proper look, cos I'm really not an expert on the Irish economy - I just listen to bits and pieces!!!

As for what Spain offers??? Well, not alot at the mo cos its turned cold lol. But for me its the big open spaces, the scenery, the laid back atitude, the feeling of freedom and of course in the summer, I love the sunshine, the beaches and simply being able to go outside and enojoy the outdoor lifestyle - something you cant do in the UK!!! Its not without its downside and the novelty does wear off. I've been here for two years and I still get a "buzz" every morning when I look outside and see the beauty here


Jo xxx
It's not cold Jo, I had my brekkie on the balcony this morning!!

as to eveything else everyone else has said - absolutely right - this is not the time to be moving countries unless you have a very definite job lined up
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi Pawel,
I just had to come back to you about your number 2 in the above list. There's no doubt about it - corruption in Spain is alive and kicking and here's an article about it.
Democracy fears as corruption spreads 'all over Spain' - Feature : Europe World
Most of it has to do with building, real estate, licences etc but as the article says it's pretty much extended all over Spain and we're talking about big money.
There's not so much corruption like if you pay a bit more your paper work will go through quicker, give me a pack of cigarettes and you'll go to the top of the queue, it's more high up officials doing big money deals between themselves.
And number 7...
Those civil servants are about as petty as you can get. And the community associations that you have to belong to if you live in a block of flats or residential area can be hard to deal with sometimes, although I have no problem with the people in general and I'm very glad I'm living here and not the UK!!
Thanks.

Well, there's corruption here at the top - no doubt about that. I'm talking about the kind of corruption that may stifle urban development and generally makes life difficult for the average citizen.

The construction sector here in Poland has been booming for the past few years. From what I know, Spain had its construction boom a while ago.

What really irks me is the fact that municipal governments will issue building permits without an urban development plan and no demands set in place whatsoever. The area of Warsaw I've just moved to, for example, has brand new blocks of flats. There's

1. No street lighting. I'm just renting the place here, but people who have actually bought apartments signed petitions to get the street here lit.
2. No parking on the street as it wasn't made wide enough to accommodate on-street parking and there are "no parking" signs everywhere. This was certainly deliberate as you either pay for a parking space or you are forced to park in the mud.
3. Some roads are unpaved, many are in poor shape and have no drainage.
4. Traffic is horrible for the dumbest reasons - no traffic lights, no roundabouts, no right of way signs.
5. Public transport is in place, but only buses.

Now, to be honest with you I would understand all of the above (or at least try to) if the prices here were low, but at 1500 EUR per sq. m. it is just appalling.

Now it's not like that everywhere around here of course, and there are some nicer areas and municipalities that are governed properly, but then prices are sky-high in those areas.

People don't really have time to get involved in civic duty as they're working their butts off to pay off their mortgages and there's definitely no sense of community here, which is sad really.

And so I have had a certain dillemma because it'd be nice to change some of these things, but then again I think I want to enjoy life as well :)

So anyway, that's my rant for the day and it might even be a sin to say such things given the horrible conditions some of the people in this world face, but then we all want to live better, don't we?

Thanks for your input. Recently a scandal popped up here in Poland regarding cement production companies. They were fined to the tune of 125 million EUR by the Consumer Protection Agency for price rigging and the government here has done quite a lot to put corruption in check, but it'll be a while before things stabilize. Corrupt cops are everywhere and if you've ever driven in Poland you know that safety is definitely not the police's main concern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Pawel - my bad Polish - I wanted to say 'Nigdy musiesz stracic odwage'.....or something like that!:D
Nice :) Hope you don't mind me correcting you, but it should say "Nigdy nie możesz tracić odwagi" or "Nigdy nie trać odwagi" which translates to Don't Ever Lose Courage. Hope this is what you meant to say!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
There are currently thousands of highly skilled IT professionals looking for work in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The bursting of the construction bubble in Ireland and the banking crisis in the UK have put an awful lot of IT workers at all levels out of a job. Can't see it improving for a long while.
The EU states whose economies could be described as 'basket cases' are known as the PIIGS -Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. We have problems in the UK currently but underneath we are still a strong economy with a reasonably solid base whereas these countries have fundamental structural problems.
Jo is right, the Irish economy is looking very sick at the moment.
PIIGS :clap2: Love that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Dzien dobry, Pawel. Jak se masz?
I have just come from Prague, well a year ago, and I know Poland fairly well, having spent time in Krakow and Skawina. So I understand your feelings about present-day Poland, although the Polish economy is currently in better shape than the Spanish or the British, for that matter.
Unemployment is extremely high in some parts of Spain, Andalucia for example where it is probably higher than the official 19% rate. So you will find it difficult to get a job here on the Costa Del Sol. I would think you would need fluent Spanish and a high level of skill to currently take a job wherever you went as many Spaniards are also looking and every nationality looks after its own first.
I had to smile when you mentioned corruption. Spain has experienced some of the worst municipal corruption in western Europe. It seems as if every Mayor on the CDS has been sacked or locked up. But Spain is making great efforts to change this. It's a different kind of corruption to that of the former Soviet bloc states, though.
The main thing that would concern me would be coming here without a good job already lined up, if you have children that is. Yes, you can rent for 500 euros a month but utilities bills can easily add another 200 euros to that. The cost of living depends of course on your tastes but it's more than in Poand.
Yes, it's hot in the summer -so are parts of Poland - but it's cold in winter, very cold in some places.
Why not come over on your own and see the situation for yourself? No second hand advice is as useful as your own experience.
Members of my own family emigrated to Australia, America, Canada and I went to Prague!!My relatives all prospered in their new homelands but they all had homes and jobs lined up before they went, as did I.
But nothing ventured, nothing gained, as we say.
Nigdy musiesz odwage!
(Excuse my bad grammar!)
I really have no idea what the situation in the UK, Ireland, or Spain for the average Joe. The stats for Spain look pretty bad. In Poland things have slowed quite a bit. There's been a major shift in consumer spending and people are definitely much more thrifty now and I know a few that have lost jobs.

I used to have so much work that I had to turn down new customers, and I aquired all my new customers via word of mouth and never really focused on developing the business itself with no real strategy in place. Now I'm working hard on marketing, but I don't know if I can keep my head above water for long.

I think your advice is sound. I should work on stabilizing my own finances before venturing out into the wild with no certainty.

Just out of curiosity though, how much would a mid-range 3 bedroom apartment in Malaga cost? I'm talking about buying. Is 200k EUR realistic?
 
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