Tag Archives: business owners direct

47.3% in Spain Expect Worse for 2013

13 Dec

An opinion poll carried out by the Government agency CIS, revealed 47.3% of Spaniards believe 2013 will be worse than 2012, whilst 31,7% think it will be much of the same. Only 12.6% had any hopes that it might improve, as predicted by the despairing Prime Minister Rajoy.
54.7% described the present economic situation as ‘very bad’. In the list of the 10 worst problems for the country, unemployment and evictions were top, followed by the political parties, the problems with the health system, corruption, the banks and immigration.



Spain faces cuts of €20 billion

13 Dec

Spain is facing EU subsidy cuts of €20 billion, which means that for the first time it will become a net contributor – that is, paying more in than it gets out.

The reduction, scheduled for the period 2014 to 2020, will reduce Spain’s GDP by 2%, further weakening the country’s already fragile economy.

The cuts will affect agricultural subsidies by 17% and ‘cohesion funds’, payments made to help balance disparities between the regions, by 30%.


Spain has taken painful steps to clean up its banks, but more may yet be needed

6 Dec

European Union regulators approved Spain’s plans to restructure its troubled banks, allowing them to get bail-out funds. One of the lenders, Banco de Valencia, is being sold off for a token €1 ($1.30).
THE delightful (though small) plates of tapas that often accompany an evening drink in Spain can, if eaten with gusto, end up replacing the meal they were meant to precede. After four years of appetiser-sized bank restructurings, bail-outs and reforms, Spain’s banking system may finally be getting its fill of public money.
On November 28th the European Commission approved restructuring plans that will allow it to inject €37 billion ($48 billion) in euro-zone funding into four Spanish banks. The money will allow for a clean-up of bank balance sheets begrimed by dud loans granted to property developers during the inflation of Spain’s colossal property bubble. Many of these loans are now worth just cents on the euro. Yet an earlier refusal by supervisors and banks to recognise the scale of the problem contributed to an erosion of confidence in both banks and in government finances.
Under the new plan, four banks including Bankia, itself the failed product of an earlier half-hearted restructuring of bust regional savings banks, will get cash from two of Europe’s bail-out funds. In return they have promised to cut their balance-sheets, stop lending to risky property developers and focus instead on lending to small and medium-sized businesses.

The sharpest cuts will be at Bankia, which has already been nationalised and which will receive public funds worth almost €18 billion (including €4.5 billion injected into the bank by the state in September). It will cut its branch network by almost 40% and its staff by 28%. Investors in the bank’s debt will also take a hit, with as much as €4.8 billion in additional capital coming from the mandatory swapping of hybrid instruments and subordinated debt for new shares worth less. Across all four banks, holders of hybrid instruments may take a hit of about €10 billion.
Forcing investors in some of the banks’ debt to take losses was a condition imposed by contributors to the bail-out funds to minimise the burden on taxpayers. Yet it will probably prove unpopular in Madrid, since much of this debt is held by tens of thousands of small investors, many of whom bought it after being assured by banks that it was as safe as deposits.
Bankia optimistically hopes to return to profitability next year and to be generating healthy returns by 2015. One bank, Banco de Valencia, was deemed beyond salvation. It will be recapitalised with €4.5 billion and then sold to CaixaBank, Spain’s third-largest bank.
A second key element of the bail-out will be the creation of a new “bad bank” in December. It will take dud loans from those being restructured. The government hopes this will help them regain the confidence of markets. It may also kickstart lending, and help revive an economy that contracted by about 5% in the year to August. Little detail was provided as to exactly how much debt the bad bank, known as Sareb, will take, but officials in Brussels said some €45 billion in Spanish banking assets would be transferred to it.
Officials in Brussels hoped that the markets would welcome the restructuring, saying it would “restore the viability of banks”. Yet even this new recapitalisation and restructuring plan may underestimate the voracious appetite of the Spanish banking system.
A report by staff at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released on November 28th sounded warnings of further loan losses as Spain’s economy contracts. Losses on corporate loans have already increased sharply, yet those on mortgages remain remarkably subdued (see chart). Some deterioration in these seems likely if, as the IMF expects, house prices contract and unemployment also rises.
The IMF reckons that house prices, which have slumped 30% from their peak, may fall further given the stock of unsold homes and weak growth in household incomes. Unemployment, already at about 25%, may rise to almost 27%, the OECD warned in a separate report this week. The main course of bank restructuring may have been served, but a sour postre (dessert) may still be on the menu.



Spanish ‘Road Shows’ results

6 Dec

Politicians and real estate promoters, have for more than a year, been travelling the world with ‘Road Shows’ trying to sell some of the more than 700,000 unsold dwellings which are dragging the Spanish economy downhill. Some of these expensive expeditions have been spearheaded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, others by regional governments, Diputaciones Provinciales, all assisted by the associations of promoters and real estate agents which caused the glut in the first place.
A latest ‘Road Show’ was organised by the Diputacion of the Malaga Province and the Patronato de Turismo de la Costa del Sol, with visits to UK, Russia, Sweden, Bulgaria and Germany. The cost, up to now, 40,000 euros of public money.
There are 40,000 unsold dwellings on Costa del Sol. 1,000 of them were offered for sale in the 5 countries visited. The result: not one dwelling sold.
The other ‘Road Shows’ have not fared much better, only serving to give the less than serious politicians and promoters the possibility to travel and stay in top hotels, eating and drinking in fancy restaurants, all at the expense of the taxpayer.
The grave failure of the ‘Shows’ is a serious warning to the ‘bad bank’ Sareb, which will be saddled with 90 billion euro’s worth of the property mountain.
It may be better to move in the bulldozers now !


Miranda Kerr & Andrés Velencoso for Mango

5 Dec

Miranda Kerr & Andrés Velencoso for Mango


The Spanish fashion brand chooses international top models for the face of its Spring/Summer 2013 campaign.

Mango has always looked to famous faces for its advertising campaigns. Models and actresses like Kate Moss, Isabeli Fontana, Scarlett Johansson, Penélope Cruz, Milla Jovovich, Lizzy Jagger, Karolina Kurkova, Naomi Campbell, Eva Herzigova, Inés Sastre, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington and Diane Kruger have all been Mango ambassadors.

Now Australia’s Miranda Kerr, best known as one of the sensual angels of lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret, is taking over for the Spanish brand’s new Spring/Summer 2013 campaign.

Chosen by People magazine as one of the best dressed women of 2012, the actress posed for a special photo shoot in New York, for top photographers, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin.

Mango has also updated its men’s line, H.E. by Mango, courtesy of Spain’s Andrés Velencoso. Since he modelled for Louis Vuitton with Jennifer López in 2003, he has become a key figure on the international fashion scene.

Since its creation in 1984, Mango has consolidated its position as one of Spain’s top international fashion companies, with the statistics to prove it: more than 2,500 shops in 109 countries, 11,000 employees, €1.408bn in turnover in 2011 and an export rate of 82%.

Munich is flagship destination for Mango.
E-commerce available at Mango shops.
Mango catwalk show at 080 Barcelona.

‘Three women and a baby’ case baffles officers

5 Dec

A STRANGE case of a ‘motherless’ baby at Mlaga maternity hospital has left National Police puzzled.
They say a young girl and her newborn baby were brought in by ambulance after having given birth elsewhere and suffering complications.

She was apparently accompanied by another woman.

But when the hospital tried to register the birth, they found the mother had given a false identity.

In the meantime, a security guard caught a third woman attempting to leave the building undercover with the same baby.

National Police have opened an investigation into who the baby’s real mother is, why the youngster gave a fake name and address, and why another woman tried to take the baby out of the hospital.

For the moment, the baby remains in hospital and is in the custody of the social services until the situation is clarified.

Officers say two of the women involved are Spanish and a third is from either Ecuador, Bolivia or Per.

Massive protest against loss of disabled people’s rights takes over Madrid

5 Dec

OVER 50,000 people, able-bodied and wheelchair-bound, joined a massive demonstration through Madrid on Sunday protesting against the ‘backward-moving’ policies which they say are robbing disabled people of their basic rights.
Some say they have lost their 400-euro monthly benefit, others say they have never received it, and cutbacks in funding for social services and healthcare mean many disabled people are struggling more than ever.

One young woman said she is entitled to no more than 55 hours of home care per month, and now has to pay for part of it herself, which she cannot afford.

Her partner was later fired from his job because he needed to work part-time in order to look after her.

And a deaf man said he had to pay 3,000 euros for a hearing aid and could not afford it.

We are trying to fight against our illnesses already we should not have to fight for our basic rights, too, another woman said.

The protesters said that in the last 30 years, improvements had been made albeit modest ones in helping disabled people integrate into everyday society, fund their care and medication, and get jobs.

But they say these positive steps forward are now heading backwards, with creation of jobs for the disabled being stopped and integration policies scrapped, meaning many disabled people fear they may lose their jobs.

And over 60,000 workers in Spain’s 2,000 specialist support centres could face redundancy due to lack of government funding and the fact that many regional governments have failed to pay these centres what they owe them.

It is said that regional governments across the country owe more than 300 million euros to disabled support centres.

Unions say the government’s labour reform makes disabled employees’ jobs even less secure, and those who are on a permanent rather than temporary job contract have fallen in number by 22 per cent.

The labour reform even allows firms to fire staff who take too many days off sick when they produce a sick-note.

Leaders of Spain’s main unions say this should not be allowed to apply to disabled employees.

Over 300 bus-loads of disabled people and their families, friends and carers, as well as professionals in the sector, came from all over Spain, with volunteers on hand to guide blind people who joined in.

An estimated eight per cent of Spain’s population (four million out of the total of 47 million) are disabled.