Crisis? What crisis?

The world-wide recession has hit Spain badly, although in Spain they refer to the “crisis” (pronounced cree-sis).  We have noticed several shops and bars closing over the last couple of years, occasionally re-opening under new management before the inevitable happens and they close for good.  Existing shops and bars are always coming up with ofertas to attract customers and some bars that previously only opened in the evenings have started opening earlier in the day for desayuno.  The Spanish tradition of going out for breakfast is still going strong, in spite of these tough times, and bar-owners are doing what they can to stay in business.

The special offers are particularly helpful for British pensioners living here, who have seen the value of their pensions plummet because of the worsening exchange rate.  We have happily taken advantage of the Thursday special menú del día at Bar Las Delicias, which costs a mere 3.80€ for three courses including drinks, and are strong supporters of the various Ruta de Tapas promotions that have taken place over the last few years. 

Even before the summer sales started, many shops were advertising special offers.  I ventured into Juan Guardiola, one of the most expensive clothes shops in Jumilla, when I spotted their “Outlet” sign.  I emerged triumphantly with a matching evening top and skirt plus another top for a grand total of 25€.  Female readers will understand when I boast of saving over 100€!

The last time we went into Murcia on the bus, we were sorry to see that the shop advertising “Precios Anti-Crisis” had closed down.  Presumably because, even with their precios anti-crisis, the crisis had proved too much for them.

In spite of the crisis, new shops and bars have been opening in Jumilla.  I think this is a sign of Spanish optimism, plus their willingness to word hard.  Rather than bemoaning their lot and signing on for the “paro”, they choose to start their own business.  I hope for their sakes that they manage to ride out the storm.  We are more than happy to support them by shopping in the new shops and having coffee (or wine) in the new bars for as long as our dwindling pensions allow us!

A young man I know through facebook has been writing messages on his facebook wall, advertising the fact that he is looking for work.  He makes it clear that he is willing to work hard and prepared to take a lowly position, though he would hope to progress.  If I had work to offer, I would be happy to employ someone who is showing a bit of initiative.

We also saw in La Verdad, one of the regional papers, that the budgets for fiestas have been cut back.  To me, that sums up living in Spain in these hard times: they wouldn’t dream of cancelling a fiesta, however they recognise that spending needs to be curtailed.  Jumilla hasn’t been as badly hit as some towns, possibly in recognition of the fact that this year is the 40th Fiesta de la Vendimia, however the budget has been cut by 30%. 

Apparently this is likely to be achieved by savings on fireworks and concerts, though the line-up just announced for the concerts taking place during the Fiesta looks pretty good to me.  Pablo Abarán is a young singer-songwriter whose debut album went to no 1 in the Spanish charts and gained him a platinum disc.  Joana Jiménez won the TV competition “Se llama Copla” and apparently she is the voice of the moment.  Having listened to them both on youtube, I am looking forward to hearing them perform live in Jumilla.

As for saving money on fireworks – nobody told the organisers of the Fiesta de San Fermín, judging by the number of fireworks lighting up the sky!

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  1. Jack Scott’s avatar

    A while ago Liam did a cost of living analysis comparing Turkey, Spain and the UK. Spain came out on top in terms of value. A few years ago Turkey would have won by a mile. The trouble is Turkey’s booming and inflation is high. I hope Spain recovers soon. Times are tough and people suffer. Who knows? We may found ourselves there one fine day.