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spain
air bridges
low cost airlines
out of the blue
spending time
Is It Just Me Or Has Spain Lost The Plot
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Is it Just Me Or Has Spain Lost the Plot

You do not need to live in Spain to see the problem, money, or the lack of it and a bureaucratic system incapable of doing anything useful or quickly. Tourism at least is showing signs of economic recovery but will this continue?

The State can not pay Pharmacist's for the drugs which the Health Service prescribes. Roads are falling apart and parents wonder if there will be heating in schools this winter. Unemployment is at levels which are economically scary and a tragedy for those involved. At a time when the State should be bending over backwards to help enterprise, bureaucrats decide to attack it.

A colleague who runs a Property Rentals business told me about the recent behaviour of a government statistics office. Four times a year tourism statistics are collected by the office, if they are not provided or are late a fine is issued. We are not talking about “Tax type” information, but the sort of statistics bureaucrats live for, “how many guests”, “from which countries”, “what do they pay” etc. Out of the blue they need more statistics that will take 1 or 2 staff several days to prepare, with a deadline and the threat of a fine. So instead of spending time on marketing and boosting inward tourism to Spain, staff are filling in forms. When the department was asked who will pay for the staff time, they had no answer beyond we need the information and there is a fine. More costs for business and nothing in return.

Alicante has recently opened a new airport which serves a major tourism area including Benidorm one of Spain's top destinations. Much bigger and better than the airport it replaced but it comes with a big “But”. Alicante is served by many low-cost airlines notably Ryanair. The “powers that be” decided the new terminal would only use air bridges to embark and disembark passengers, as a result airport charges for airlines increased. Ryanair did not want the air bridges. It cost too much and takes too long to get everyone on and off planes. Neither of which suit the low-cost flight model. Ryanair insisted they wanted to continue using the airport tarmac and buses to the terminal building, the airport operator insisted they must use the air bridges.

The ensuing dispute ended up in court and at the moment will probably result in Ryanair pulling most of its flights from the Airport. This will cost hundreds of local jobs and hit the local tourism sector hard with the loss of 600,000 passengers next year. That’s 600,000 international travellers spending money, eating, drinking, partying and exploring the local area. Many of those will be using hotels and villa and apartment rental companies. Some will be here to buy property which can have a dramatic impact on local unemployment. Not only is it more difficult for them to do so but availability of low cost flights is a big factor for those buying property overseas. The airport operator could change their procedures but it would appear do not want to. So the hole that Spain finds’ itself in gets a bit deeper.

Sadly Spain is on its knees due to over reliance on the property sector which was decimated by the global financial crisis. Spain is a great country, a major economy in Europe and will no doubt recover. But the recovery will be as a result of the efforts of private business, who not only face all the usual challenges of business but also an overly bureaucratic system more intent on serving itself than the needs of the country and its citizens.


Street Talk

hi Rob, My wish to you is a very good morning and the next parts of the day. This is a very spooky article. Also very informative. Thank you very much.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks for commenting. I see health is an interest area of yours. IIf a pSpanish harmacist is presented with a prescription they are required by law to supply the drugs. Many of the Spanish regional Governments which pay pharmacists have not done so for six months or more. So a pharmacist is faced with a stark choice. Close the doors to the business or supply drugs without payment. Many are closing down and others are shut only opening on a rota basis to cover emergencies. I do not know the "health debt" but figures like 10 billion euros are being discussed. Thanks for your interest

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Welcome

  
  about 1 decade ago
Sylvia2  

Good article. It's pretty scary all over.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks for the support. My first article, good to see positive feedback. I travel a lot usually on business and 99% of the time solo. Whilst it can be lonely it can also be a major benefit. I get to explore where I want, when I want and how I want. Not always advisable but usually rewarding.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Sylvia2  

I'm a huge fan of solo travel. I wish I could do more but it's money factor. I try and go somewhere once a year though. Yes, I can be lonely but the pros outweigh the cons, such as what you just said about doing what you want when you want without compromising. I've written an article on my post about that. I'm jealous, wish I could travel for business although I know it's not always glamorous.

  
  about 1 decade ago
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