Saturday, 30 July 2016

Spanish King Gives Deadline to Politicians to Form New Government

Spanish King Gives Deadline to Politicians to Form New Government

The Spanish King Felipe VI is stepping in to finally end the impasse that has crippled the Spanish government for around eight months now.

King Felipe VI insists that the politicians form a new government
Could this finally spell the end of the political impasse that has seen Spain without a government for eight months?

The signs are definitely there that Spain could have a new government as early as next week. King Felipe VI began the legal procedure that means the acting prime minister has just one week to form a new government.

Since the elections were held once again on June 26, following the failure of the last general election in December, Mariano Rajoy has stayed on as acting Prime Minister while the political parties attempt to come to a deal and form a majority coalition.

King Felipe VI is adamant that there will be no third election and held a meeting with the Speaker of Congress Ana Pastor to discuss the political deals, partnerships, and problems that the country could face. The main aim for King Felipe VI is to finally end the deadlock that Spanish politics has been in since December.

Interestingly enough the Spanish economy has managed to recover quite well during this time and the cost of living has been kept low. Both GDP and job numbers are on the rise. Some industries, such as the real estate industry, are doing very well right now.

There are still many issues that should be addressed at the highest level. One of the most urgent is that Spain may be fined by the EU for going past their deficit containment. As such King Felipe will speak with Rajoy, the head of the Popular Party (PP) to discuss what options he has. As Rajoy was the one who secured the most seats at both elections it is believed that he will be the one who needs to end the deadlock and come up with a solution that works for Spain.

The Socialists staked their own claim for leadership but they failed to get enough support from the other parties. This is one reason things have become so tricky. Many of the smaller parties don’t want to join up with the PP but the socialists, who came in second place, are also having trouble making deals with the other smaller and mid-size parties to create a coalition of their own.

Even though King Felipe is stepping in and issuing this deadline there could still be a third election in Spain, something that very few people at the top of Spanish society and government seem keen about.

Under Article 99 of the Spanish Constitution the monarch must meet with the leading candidates and decide if any of them is the best fit to form a government. Unfortunately the king doesn’t have the power to force them to make a deal.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Political Deadlock Extended as Spanish Socialists Reject Conservative Government Plan

Political Deadlock Extended as Spanish Socialists Reject Conservative Government Plan

Considering the political turmoil Spain is coping very well
Spaniards are thought of as being easy going when it comes to living in Spain and willing to just go with the flow. They can smile their way through summer and deal with tourists, they can find shade when the sun gets too much, and they can make the most out of any situation.

It’s probably why the Spanish people have such a disconnect with their politicians. The leaders of the country have been stuck in a political deadlock since last December with no one able to agree on who should be in charge. The country was forced to have another election last month and the end result was that there wasn’t much of a result.

Things were a little hopeful after the election in June. In the days following the election incumbent Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was left emboldened that his People’s Party increased their vote while the far-left Podemos Party saw their votes go down.

Things changed on Wednesday when the Socialists, currently the second biggest political party in Spain, said that they do not support Rajoy being the prime minister just as Rajoy was getting ready to go back to the job he’s had since 2010.

The leader of the Socialists, Pedro Sánchez ruled out a coalition between his party and the People’s Party even though he is on record saying he would do “whatever it takes” to avoid the need for a third election. Apparently joining forces with the centre-right PP is not something he can do after all.

Rajoy has been trying to convince the leaders of the smaller parties to group up and create a coalition with the PP but he’s not having an easy time doing it. This is because most of these smaller parties were created to fight the PP, not join up with them.

The alternative for these parties is the Socialists, who won the second-most number of votes in both elections. One option is for the Socialists could to join up with the liberal party Ciudadanos and Podemos. The problem here is that Ciudadanos only garnered the fourth-largest number of votes and won only 32 seats, which doesn’t equate to a lot of political clout.

Things were made worse for the socialists following the news that the leader of Ciudadanos, Albert Rivera, said that he and his party would abstain in a confidence vote in a conservative government. He essentially said that if the PP were able to put together a majority government then he wouldn’t fight them.

Rivera said that he was keen to remove the deadlock and move forward and that he believes a technical abstention would be better than having a third election at this point. He also spoke of his hope that the other parties would feel the same way and do the same thing.

An abstention from Ciudadanos would mean that the PP would need to find 23 additional seats to support the 137 they won in the election in order to create a majority parliament. If the Socialists were to also abstain then the election would basically go to the PP but this seems unlikely given Sánchez’s feelings about the PP and Rajoy.

So Spain is still where they were last December. Well, the economy is doing better, as is the job market and the cost of living in Spain is still relatively low. In fact outside of the political deadlock the country is doing quite well. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if they kept squabbling and let the country run itself.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Expert Predicts Next Five Years Will be Great for Spanish Property

Expert Predicts Next Five Years Will be Great for Spanish Property

According to one professor the outlook for the Spanish property market is great. The real estate expert said that now is the best time to purchase property in Spain. His confidence comes from all the data and trends that suggest the next five years will be truly great for the Spanish property market.

The future is still bright for property in Costa del Sol
The expert in question; the economics professor and director of the real estate programme at the University of Barcelona Gonzalo Bernardos is definitely in a good position to make such a claim about the health of the property market.

No doubt his words are going to be eaten up by the thousands of people who are considering buying property in Spain. His words will definitely be welcomed following the uncertainly of the Spanish property market after the Brexit, which threatened to undo all the good that went into the property market in recent years.

Bernardos believes that 2016 will be the first year in the five-year golden period of expansion; a period in which every property asset will grow in price. Mark Stucklin, a property insight expert, took Bernardos’ words to mean that Spanish property is definitely going to be a one-way bet for the next five years. People looking to invest in property would do well investing in the popular areas of Spain such as Barcelona, Madrid, Ibiza and Merbella, along with most of the Costa del Sol.

But just what is behind the confidence Bernardos feels? He also added that the low interest rates of Spain are helping make property there even more attractive and that the recent economic recovery is helping to create a perfect storm.

He says that the residential market in particular is becoming a refuge for investors once more and that a key part of this is the low interest rates. The low interest rates are helping to make monthly mortgage payments far more affordable than the average rental prices. With this expected five years of growth and better job security Bernardos believes that it makes sense for people to begin buying rather than renting.

Bernardos believes that the disastrous decade that was from 2006-2015 will be followed by five fantastic years of an excellent property growth from investors . The interest from investors, coupled with the strong economic growth, will see the end of the hangover and bring the real estate market to providence.

These are definitely decisive words. Bernardos is also confident that if another international economic shock happens it will be mitigated by an increase in spending in Spanish households and company investment with a focus on construction.

Bernardos even had some words for people who were worried that his words sounded as if they came from ten years ago. He assured those people that there will be no room for speculators in this new golden property market.

He added that even if speculative demand does make a reappearance it will be much lower than last time and that banks have learned their lesson and will not give people money to fuel their speculations.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Spanish Property Enquiries hits Ten-Month High

Spanish Property Enquiries hits Ten-Month High

There really is no doubt that British home hunters are looking at Spanish property. In a summer dedicated to sport, and with the Rio Olympics on their way, perhaps it would be fair to talk about the Spanish property market using sporting terms.

Regardless of the Brexit outcome Spain looks a great
place to buy property over the next 6 years
The Spanish property market has always been a “podium finisher”, which is to mean that it’s always been popular around the world. Now though a new report from has suggested that Spain will win the gold medal in 2016 and we’re still only half way through the year.

The data suggests that Spain has become the number one property market for the first time since last September and has overtaken the US as far as property enquiries go. reports that Spanish property enquires made up one in eight searches performed on the site in June, with a ratio of 12.27% of all searches being about Spain. This pushed the US down to third with 8.14% behind the UAE, where Dubai is, which was behind 10.12% of searches.

The quarterly data would suggest that the European destinations are becoming more popular than everywhere else though, as Spanish property enquiries went up 17% between the first and second quarter of the year. Italy also saw a major growth with a growth of 14% and there was also an increase in Portugal.

Things weren’t as nice for France however as the country slipped from fourth place to fifth with buyers heading to Spain instead.’s Director Dan Johnson commented that the rise in popularity for Spanish property fell in the same month that the UK voted they would leave the EU. So right now it’s still a little too early to see how the Brexit will affect this demand as many of the enquiries were made by Brits. This data would suggest that Brits love Europe (or at least Spain) more than their voting habits would suggest.

Johnson added that the appeal was down to more than just lifestyle attractions. He believes that Spain is also highly sought after by investors. The Spanish economy has been growing steady since the third quarter of 2015 and key areas have seen property prices bottom out now.

Even after the pound weakened following the Brexit vote the Euro also saw a bit of a drop. This means that property still gives investors great value in the UK and elsewhere, with mortgage rates at appealing all-time lows.

Johnson also revealed that, when it comes to transactions, last month was the busiest month for buying property in Spain since July 2013.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Spanish Growth Forecast Increased by 2.7%

Spanish Growth Forecast Increased by 2.7%

While the Spanish economic outlook has been looking good for a while the Economic Minister of Spain Luis de Guindos announced that the growth forecast for the rest of 2016 would be increased by another 2.7%.

Marbella in the Costa del Sol enjoying welcomed growth
The Minister says that Spain could very well pass the 3.2 increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) seen in 2015 as long as the political impasse in Spain – Spain has held two general elections in six months with no clear winner – comes to a close.

De Guindos said that he believes the current growth projections are very prudent and that he will revise the growth for 2016 in the next set of forecasts to be issued before the end of July.

The Minister was keen to stress that Spain is becoming an even better place to do business day by day, citing how the country has internationally recognised business schools, low prices on real estate, great weather, cost of living being so low and a solid infrastructure. All of which he believes make the country so appealing to investors.

The Minister believes that creating a stable government which would then form a strong economic policy could see the country outdo the growth they saw last year. The Popular Party emerged as the party with the most votes in the last election but, once again, they failed to secure a majority. The far-left party Podemos also lost votes in the election which suggests people are voting for stability; something Incumbent Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was keen to hit home.

While he has presided over a number of tough austerity measures it’s impossible to claim the country hasn’t ultimately had an economic upturn. Unemployment is down consistently and many industries such as hospitality and service have seen a rise in growth over the past few months.

Even the banking industry in Spain, which was reliant on an EU bailout following the last recession, has managed to head in the right direction. De Guindos believes that the banks can continue to act responsibly and help the country continue to grow. He said that the banks were cleaned up in 2012 after the bailout so the country doesn’t need to worry about the banks anymore.
All in all the out look for spain and residents is looking good.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Spanish Unemployment Falls at Fastest Rate in Ten Years

Spanish Unemployment Falls at Fastest Rate in Ten Years

The summer is helping to push unemployment down

Summer always brings with it a boost to Spanish employment. Millions of people flock to the country over the summer and that means more work needs to be done and more people are needed to do it.

This year the annual boost in employment has been the biggest the country has seen for a long time. Data from the Labour Ministry of Spain shows that unemployed dropped at the highest rate in ten years over June. This suggests that the economic recovery Spain has seen is staying strong.

Spain still has a bit of reputation for being a place without jobs for some of Europe. While there is still too much youth unemployment in general unemployment has continued to drop for the past few years.

The June figures show that jobless claims went down 124,349 that much. So now the total of unemployed people in Spain is roughly 3.76 million. Spain also saw almost 100,000 new social security registrations in June so now there are around 17,760,271 people employed in Spain; the highest for over seven years.

Most of these jobs were created by the bumper summer season. While some of these jobs are seasonal there are plenty of non-tourism related jobs. The El Pais newspaper shows nearly 40,000 people were hired in the hospitality trade in June, which may be classed as seasonal jobs. The retail sector saw nearly 28,000 new hires, with nearly 19,000 in administrative activities, 14,000 hired in manufacturing, and roughly 11,500 people hired in the construction sector.

No matter how you look at it Spanish industries are creating thousands of jobs a month which is great news for the economy and keeps the cost of living down in spain.