Spain After the Crisis

Spain - The Situation

Spain lived the high life for almost a decade as rampant spending and a huge housing bubble built on a huge flood of credit allowed the country to transform itself and destroy countryside under a welter of construction projects, many of them badly thought out of course.

The boom ended as credit dried up in a combination with interest rates rising and mortgage payments not being made leading to repossessions, unemployment in the construction sector which acounted for 12% of GDP directly not to mention indirectly related industries such as furnishings, decoration, flooring and a long etcetera.

As we are now at the half way point of 2009 and the inexorable rise in unemployment has been softened by a huge programme of public works and the seasonal holiday market jobs that have been created what are the perspectives for Spain and the economy in the future both near and far and what opportunities exist?

Queues at the Job Centres

Long queues have become more common at job centres
Long queues have become more common at job centres

Unemployment

Unemployment has grown very fast and reached four million people in the first half of 2009.It was then slowed but is expected to reach 5 million by the end of the year, or rather over 20% of the workforce, before starting to come down as the World pulls itself out of recession.

Spain's labour force is difficult to get into on a permanent basis because if you get a permanent job it costs a fortune to dismiss you. Therefore employers always make temporary contracts if at all possible. Until this situation changes you cannot expect to see many permanent job offers available.

On the other hand the culture in Spain means that it is a land of opportunity because there is not the same levels of competition in entrepreneurial businesses as in many other countries. Ambitin in Spain is often limited to being a civil servant and the current situation has increased this tendency as civil servants' jobs are seen as the only safe ones in the current climate.

Opportunities

There are many opportunities to be had in Spain, both now from inside the crisis and in the future once this partiuclar crisis is over.

Work

If you are a professional working via the internet or you can base yourself anywhere in the World, Spanish house prices have come down so much now that the excellent lifestyle afforded by Spain to anyone with a bit of money and security is now much more available.Relocation to better quality areas with excellent infrastructure in communications terms through roads, rail, plane and possibly the most important broadband internet is now very possible. Speeds of up to 20 megas are now possible in many of the big cities in Spain allowing conference calling, video conferencing and much much more. The Spanish economy has not really taken great advantage of these advantages yet but for an entrepreneur the opportunity is huge. remember that you have a highly educated workforce in an economy where you can take your pick of the best University educated professionals at a really reasonable price to work for you.

Property

Houses for sale in Spain have come down in price in some areas by over 50%, if you can find a distressed sale of which many are available. Examples of this include properties in Marbella with original asking prices of over one million Euros now being available at an asking price of 440,000 Euros with offers seriously considered. Banks are willing to give 100% mortgages on these properties as they do not wish them to be on their books and turning into toxic assets.

Lifestyle

Spain was always a great place to visit and live as the lifestyle is much more outdoor and social than many other countries. Much of this is down to the climate of course. Not much of this aspect changed during the boom years. It is still a place with stret parties, holy days for minor Saints in every village all year and much more going on all the time. It is never a quiet place but that is not why people come here of course.

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