The Spanish papers continue to focus on the economy, in particular the decline in popularity of the Partido Popular since the elections, and the fact that the autonomous regions need 27€ billion to avoid bankruptcy. The fire at La Junquera (Girona) and the 3 deaths also featured on the front pages. No surprise that the victory by Alonso also featured heavily.
Online the news that 20% of British expats are planning on returning home for the Olympics can’t be good news for the English bars here in Spain, a double whammy as Brits not only stay at home for the Olympics but return home as well. Nearly 385,000 of the estimated 5.5 million British expats living abroad will return home in the coming weeks, 275,000 of whom have tickets to the London Games. Although there is some good news as tourist figures were up again in June. Six million foreign tourists visited Spain last month, 4.7% more than in June 2011 and the best results for the past three years, thanks mainly to the number of German and British visitors. According to the latest data published by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, 269,000 more tourists came to Spain in June 2012 than in the same month the previous year. Once again, the Balearic Islands were the most popular destination for foreign tourists, with a 5% increase in foreign visitors compared with last June.
On the subject of the Olympics Greece is sending its smallest Olympic team to London for 20 years. State funding for the individual sports federations has been slashed and athletes lack the very basics. So much for hosting the games providing a legacy …. take note London! The Games now are only about commercial gain, so holding them in a recession and hoping that people will spend lots of money has to be a disaster waiting to happen.
The regional government of Murcia announced today that it will be asking for between 200 and 300 million euros from central government to shore up its own finances. On Friday, the Valencian Community became the first region to formally request assistance from the Regional Liquidity Fund (FLA) – a system created just over a week ago and mirroring Europe’s national bailout fund – that allows regions to access financing under strict conditions. Valencia is Spain’s most indebted region, followed by Catalonia and Andalusia. Aware that international observers are wondering whether Madrid will be able to bring the largely autonomous regions in line with overall deficit targets, the state has ordered an 18-billion-euro reduction in regional expenditure this year. The regional deficit target is 1.5% of GDP, but Murcia’s deficit at the close of 2011 was 4.4%. Valencia’s is over 20%.
And ….. good to see the King of Spain has been sacked from his position at the head of the WWF after hist hunting elephants trip!
Listen to Chris Marshall discuss these and other issues relating to Spain on the Pippa Jones weekday show on iTalk FM between 1 and 3pm on Costa Blanca 102.7FM and Costa del Sol 97.1FM and 102FM sponsored by TorFX, a leading foreign exchange broker, offering excellent exchange rates for all your international money transfer requirements.