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Everything posted by mijas99

  1. No, you can register self-employed (like I do) if you have many clients. If you have only one client e.g. your UK employer, then you can draw up a very simple TRADE contract which basically says that you are a freelancer working on a contract basis and so you are responsible for your own social security contributions
  2. You only have to pay for health if you are not working legally in Spain. If you have a legal contract and therefore are making social security contributions then the health service is free and excellent. It is at least as good as the NHS, probably better I have been working remotely with an internet connection from all over Spain since I was 27 - 7 years ago. Still working off my London contacts. Saved a lot of money on the way, got married and have children. The lifestyle here is absolutely incredible on a London salary. I can't believe that more people don't do this!
  3. Depends on the country In Spain, it has nothing to do with house prices and everything to do with a lack of jobs
  4. I didn't say things are merry in Spain. I said people are not against the Euro There are weekly protests in most of the Spanish cities. Every week people are on the streets protesting (99.9% peacefully, I have even taken by little kids to them), mainly against the cuts to health and education, but also against the corrupt politicians and the political system in general But nobody is even discussing the Euro. It is completely irrelevant to Spain's problems as far as Spaniards are concerned
  5. Yes, there is absolutely no desire to get rid of the Euro here in Spain. Spaniards blame their own politicians for the economic crisis, mainly, and the capitalist system second, but not Europe and definitely not the Euro The only country that wants to leave the Euro is the UK, and they were never in it
  6. The claim is based on the "median" i.e. average German/Italian/Spaniard, not the mean The average German isnt very wealthy actually. Wages for non-professionals are very low, especially in the East. Tens of millions of people have 1, 2 or 3 "mini-jobs" that pay 500 euros per month for 20 hours per week. Meaning they can never buy a property. The professional class in Germany get paid very well, and own all the property, but they are not the "median" German Spanish and Italian household economics aren't so devisive, wages are low for almost everyone relatively, and so are the spread of assets
  7. I've seen similar figures for Spain to with the "median" Spaniard having around Euro 150k wealth compared to only about 50k in Germany It is because the majority of German' rent so have few assets The majority of Spaniards (85%) own their own home (or have a mortgage on one). But your average Spanish family doesnt own only one home, they may have one, two or three properties in the village of their grandparents, or a holiday flat on the Costas or a flat granny used to live in, in the city. And no mortgages on any of them But as there is no property market because everybody is still asking r
  8. Yes there is quite a bit of that. People dress very well and have to look smart when they go "de paseo" with their families. It gives the impression that they are very well off, when in monetry terms they probably are not, although the extended family probably has a bunch of property assets which act as their security blanket. I have to say that the salaried professionals behave very different to the black market workers. They are two different classes if you like
  9. Yes that is true, but didnt really happen here in the Asturias and most of the North. It doesnt account for why so many people here seem so well off
  10. There is a bit of a North South divide here Andalucian cars are a disaster, but in the North the cars are immaculate. Although, again, people tend to buy a car new and then drive it for the next 10-15 years and then perhaps give it to a son/daughter or a nephew etc. The second hand car market is por value for money as a result One difference is you dont see many top of the range flat screen TVs in the houses you visit, even if the family is well off. Plenty in the shops though!
  11. Timing is all important in Spain. If you go on a public holiday then the bars and restaurants will be heaving Still, things are nowhere near as bad as they should be given a 27.2% unemployment rate, despite a 5 year month on month reduction in consumer spending I live in Oviedo, a relatively wealthy Northern town. A decent 3 bed flat here costs 300-500k and that is even with a 30% reduction, they were even more expensive a few years ago Salaries are pretty low, maybe 2k euros per month average, but people have lots of assets as nobody ever sells anything. So a middle class family may have a
  12. One of my clients is a market research company based in China. They provide market research reports on the Chinese market for European and American brands, in English. 10 years ago when I started, these reports would have managed and written in London. They deliver these projects at roughly half the price - and from what I have seen, with no deteriation in quality. In fact the quality is better, especially because the Chinese 20-somethings who write these reports can add all the cutural insight. Anyway, the point is, the Chinese dont only make stuff, they are also turning into a knowledge en
  13. It wasnt a flippant comment, believe me I do the maths We've had the property 7 years, lived in it the first 3.5 years, been renting it out since then as we escaped left the country, had tenants the whole period. Ground rent/service charge is £1k per year. Deposit was 10%, Mortgage has averaged around £1100 per month. We rent it out for £1350 per month which covers the mortgage, estate agents fees and service charge. Repairs have been averaging £300 per year. Works fine for me, so far we've paid off over £50k of the mortgage and put very little money into it We were lucky that we bought in
  14. That was my thinking when I bought in Putney in 2003, I was expecting house prices to crash back then as they were ridiculously high. Still the mortgage payments were less than the rent so it made sense to buy. So I chose a desirable 1 bed flat in a good street in Putney rather than a 2 or 3 bed in a not so nice place in London. My thinking was that property in nice areas hold their prices better because wealthy people arent so reliant on credit. I looked at past prices too. We bought for £235k in 2003. The flat sold for £191k in 1999 and £140k in 1993, so I though that was a steady progress
  15. No need for a referendum, the house can pass it, they are having two meetings on 31 Aug and 2 Sep (I think). If 60% of the house vote for it then the amendment is passed, no need to even go to the senate. So, the change will take less than 2 weeks to take effect and will be in place well before the general elections in November I should add that this is the first amendment to the Spanish constitution since it was founded 30 years ago
  16. The IU i.e. the Spanish communist party were against the policy There are some serious left-wing elements to Spanish politics and actually even more so amongst Spanish youth. The Republican spirit is still strong among a large part of society. The Indignados movement (bless them) are based on a spirit of Spanish anarchy which doesnt mean going round robbing Nike trainers, but rejects institutionalism and gives the power back to the people. For me, this is the future and I hope when the current system goes bust, the young Spanish people will repopulate their grandparents villages and create
  17. Not quite. The PSOE and PP are constantly in each others faces like Barcelona and Madrid after a tackle from Pepe or Marcelo. Which is quite apt. The PSOE act holier than thou and do lots of tippy tappying without actually ever doing anything, while PP claim the support of Franco and the pope while at the same time being entirely corrupt and saying there is a global conspiracy against them This is the only poilicy I've ever seen them agree on, which makes me think, like you, that UEFA, sorrym the EU are forcing their hand. But let's not forget that Spain's debt is lower as a % of GDP than t
  18. I've lived in Spain for many years and I can confirm that yes there are 100,000s of empty recently built properties. However, for the average Spaniard there is little impact, as these places are either on the Costas and been built for foreigners or Spanish 2nd home owners, or big empty mini-cities built in the near-desert close to Madrid (only 1 or 2 of these) where few people bought. Where most Spaniards actually live property is probably 10-20% down on peak prices, so similar to the UK. On the foreign parts of the Costas property values are down at least 50%, this is where the real bubble wa
  19. That's the key. One could even say that the Brits in Spain are more exposed to the Spanish housing market problems than the Spanish! The average British expat ghetto is placed in the middle of nowhere where there are next to no jobs and few services and shops. This means the properties only appeal to other British expats and the odd expat Northern European. In these places I'd say property prices have halved over the past 5 years and still have a way to go. However, in the major cities, Barcelona, Madrid etc, prices are maybe 10-20% down i.e. this reflects what the official government figur
  20. The question I've asked myself since I've been living in Spain the past 3 years, is how can unemployment more than double, from 9% to 20% and there be no social unrest (well, very little). Having asked around a bit, I think it is because firstly, the government has brought it an emergency bill guarenteeing 450 euros a month for every family in the country (it sounds very little but previously there was no minimum income guarentee). But more importantly, there is a lot of flexible cash in hand work in Spain. An incredibly large amount of it! There are a lot of family businesses especially in
  21. The guy who made that video throughout keeps making generalisations about Spain that only apply the very cr*ppiest worst bits, like the part he decided to live in. The infrastructure is rubbish because the parts of the Valencia and Alicante provinces where there are these huge urbanisations have no jobs - and they never have had any. They built these places in the middle of nowhere. So no Spanish people want to live there. It is the expat ghettos that are suffering the most because foreigners were stupid enough to live in these places with no infrastructure and nothing going on. There are c
  22. The benefits you get in Spain depend on what you have paid into the system. You need to have worked for 6 months to get any unemployment benefit at all. If you have around 4 years of contributions you get around 1000 euros a month for 2 years, but then it runs out and you get nothing. The government are handing out an emergency rate of 450 euros per month to families with no income at the moment because unemployment is so high. There is no housing benefit, but there are subsidised low rent housing if you earn very little. I actually prefer the Spanish sytem to the UK one. You dont see many te
  23. There are three reasons that I can see 1. The US is a big country and built lots of new housing in areas where there werent the jobs to back up the mortgages 2. The US were a lot more carefree in handing out mortgages to people who couldnt afford them 3. The US unemployment rate is higher than in the UK. Although the official figures are 10%, it is more like 18% once you include those that have given up going to the employment office. That's getting towards the same level of Spain! I know some areas of the US have crashed dramatically e.g. Florida, Phoenix, Detroit, parts of California, bu
  24. I'm not sure you can blame Spain's economic collapse on the train system. I lay that blame very clearly on the construction boom and political corruption. The AVE trains have generally been a big success, certainly for the Madrid Barcelona and Madrid Sevilla links. Although politicians got involved such as the Mayor of Madrid who made sure a line that cost hundreds of millions got built to Guadalajara, her home town! There are currently less than 50 people using this line each day! Every crappy little town wants an AVE line and pressurise their local politicians to lobby for it, hopefully the
  25. In Spain a lot of companies will ask that your degree gets certified that it is as good as a Spanish equivalent. Unfortunately most of the time the UK degree fails because the Spanish regulators have strict measures that mean you need to have done specific modules that may not have been covered in the UK degree. So a student with a UK degree must go to a Spanish uni to top up on the modules that their degree didnt contain (a Spanish degree is 5 years, compared to 3 years in the UK). For anyone who wants to get a graduate job in Spain with a UK degree the best option is to work for 3-4 yeards
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