La Crisis – Spain’s Economic Nightmare

12 Jun

Crisis!  Oferta(Sale) Anti- Crisis!  The crisis has arrived and looks like it is here to stay.   Europe’s economic crisis is hitting Spain hard. You have probably heard how most of Europe is struggling with their economy.  Although Spain has not been hit as hard as Greece, the effects have been drastic.  Currently the unemployment rate here is a little more than 24 percent[1] !  We think the US is struggling with a rate of 8.2%![2]  This makes the worries of the US look petty.  There has also been talk of Spain possibly getting removed from the European Union.  This would allow them to go back to their old form of currency which would be very weak in comparison to the Euro.  Sometimes it is hard for me to remember the crisis, as Spain is a beautiful, modern, and sophisticated country.  However, I cannot compare this to the pre-crisis time. But the effects are starting to show.  My roommate, a recent graduate from the Architecture School at Complutense University in Madrid, is currently jobless and is currently filling her time by taking English classes in hopes of becoming more marketable.  And another friend from the program has a roommate who had been working as a Dietician for the same company and was just  informed that she had lost her job.   Although the clues of the crisis has been surrounding me my entire time abroad, Spain’s desperate state has really hit me in the past few weeks.

It really caused an up rise when the Universities decided to double tuition.  I found out I was incorrect in my statement in saying the Universities were free.  However the tuition was only around 500 Euros a year but is now increasing to around 1000 Euros!  Although in comparison to what we pay in the US this seems small and petty, imagine how outraged we would be if the Purdue decided to double their tuition.  Of course, doing this in midst of the crisis, caused extra anger by students as they organized strikes and made it well-known that they were not happy.  Spain in general is much more politically active, or at least they make their political point of views much more public than we do, especially on our campus.  Therefore, it was no surprise to me to see signs everywhere encouraging people to fight this increase and join in the strike.

Another eye-opening event was my witness of an almost comical strike, protesting the increase of the subway prices.  I was waiting for the metro one day, and I saw a group of people dressed “fancy” in way that was clearly meant to be mockery.  They looked like they had just found their childhood dress up box and decided to reminisce on old times. When the train finally pulled in the station I was shocked as the group on the platform starting cheering as hundreds of people dressed just like them flooded out of the train shouting and cheering as they ran on the platform and then ducked into the next car.   They continuously chanted” ¡Pobres No! ¡Pobres No!”  Which is translated as “No poor people!”.  Their whole idea was to show that now the metro was just for the rich.  Take a guess at how much the increase was…it had to be substantial to cause all of this ruckus right?  Well you would be right, if you consider at 2 Euro increase for the monthly unlimited use path a lot of money.  If a monthly price went up that much n the US, people would grumble but just suck it up and pay.  It just goes to show you how precious money is right now.

It is a scary time for Spain.  And things do not seem to be looking up.  My heart melts for this country.  I cannot imagine it falling apart but I have a terrible feeling that the effects are going to start hitting even harder.  I hate to say this but I feel lucky that I get to escape the crisis.  Although I absolutely love love love Spain and want to stay here, I understand that things are just going to get worse.  It is kind of selfish of me to think like this.  In July, I get to pack up my bags and don’t have to be effected by the crisis.  I get to return to the US and live a fairly worry free life and just watch my favorite foreign country slowly crumble.  It pains me to think about all the Spaniards that cannot escape what is coming.  I think of my unemployed roommate.  I think of my friends are probably fearing everyday that their parents are going to lose their job.  I think of the countless beggars on the street who are asking for any little change I have to help them feed their family.  They cannot just pick up and leave like me.  Their entire life is here.  Is it fair that I just get to reap the benefit of their culture and then just pick up leave, escaping the tragedy that is to come?  Spain gave me so much: an appreciation of culture, new friends, a new language. I got to experience the great things about Spain not having to worry about the economy.  But to my Spanish friends the crisis is real and is a constant fear in their lives. Spain future is rocking and I hope when I return someday, it will be back to the thriving, economically stable beautiful country it once was!

“Unemployment Rates by Country.” Trading Economics. n.p. Web. 3 Jun 2012. <http://www.tradingeconomics.com/unemployment-rates-list-by-country&gt;.


[1]“ Unemployment Rates by Country”

[2]“Unemployment Rates by Country”

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2 Responses to “La Crisis – Spain’s Economic Nightmare”

  1. Linguamania Vigo June 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Muy correcto, this is what I would call “value-added intercambio cultural”.

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  1. Effects on Spain: La Crisis – Spains Economic Nightmare Purdue Students Abroad | Euro Economy - January 7, 2014

    […] Read more: Effects on Spain: La Crisis – Spains Economic Nightmare Purdue Students Abroad […]

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