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A General Moan - Things that irk you about Spain!

A General Moan - Things that irk you about Spain!

Old Feb 21st 2022, 6:36 pm
  #76  
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Default Re: A General Moan - Things that irk you about Spain!

I know of a young Spanish couple who both work at a supermarket and they bought a very nice, brand new apartment near the coast a few years ago. They have a car and a decent standard of living. I doubt their British counterparts would be able to buy a property and achieve that standard of living on a supermarket salary.

The very generous gift and inheritance tax rates in Andalucia are another huge positive.
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Old Feb 21st 2022, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: A General Moan - Things that irk you about Spain!

Originally Posted by Lynn R View Post
Another indication of the fact that (apart from the poorest and most marginalised in society) Spanish workers have a higher standard of living is that 23% of them now have private health insurance - the figure for the UK is 11% so although people are paid a lot more there, fewer of them can afford some of the things the Spanish can. And a higher proportion of Spanish workers can pay for these things despite being burdened by excessively high taxes - or so some people try to tell us.

https://www.infolibre.es/politica/se...1_1195792.html

The rate of home ownership in Spain (latest figures available) is also higher at 75.1% compared to 64.5% in the UK, although it has been falling slowly in both countries in recent years.

Also quite a lot of Spanish seem to have second homes (or at least visit family homes)
In August you cannot find a parking space in Albir and the local Police even turn a blind eye to parking on roundabouts due to the number of visitors.
Last summer there were hundreds of cars that were visiting (mainly easy to tell because they had Madrid or Barcelona plates) In normal times when you walk around almost all the cars are from Alicante area dealers (well unless they are German, Polish, Dutch)
Don't see many UK plates these days, did see two illegally parked in the carpark next to Comsum last week, but there were also German and Dutch ones that have been there months.
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Old Feb 21st 2022, 7:55 pm
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Default Re: A General Moan - Things that irk you about Spain!

Originally Posted by Lou71 View Post
I know of a young Spanish couple who both work at a supermarket and they bought a very nice, brand new apartment near the coast a few years ago. They have a car and a decent standard of living. I doubt their British counterparts would be able to buy a property and achieve that standard of living on a supermarket salary.

The very generous gift and inheritance tax rates in Andalucia are another huge positive.
No you can’t buy a house in the UK unless you have a big deposit and earn a good wage. House prices are at an eye watering price. Buying property in Spain is also so much easier than the conveyancing way that we did it in the UK. It’s not uncommon to hear of people buying houses for cash in Spain. Try doing that in the UK.
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Old Feb 21st 2022, 8:17 pm
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Default Re: A General Moan - Things that irk you about Spain!

A lovely and informative thread!
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Old Feb 21st 2022, 8:51 pm
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Default Re: A General Moan - Things that irk you about Spain!

Originally Posted by Lou71 View Post
I know of a young Spanish couple who both work at a supermarket and they bought a very nice, brand new apartment near the coast a few years ago. They have a car and a decent standard of living. I doubt their British counterparts would be able to buy a property and achieve that standard of living on a supermarket salary.

The very generous gift and inheritance tax rates in Andalucia are another huge positive.
You'll probably find people across the globe who own property and work at a supermarket. I have seen unemployed own nice houses here in Ireland and there will be others who work and struggle to pay rent. There's a reason why there are so many Okupas in Spain and the idea of cheap housing only works when there is work available or you can work from home and have some security. Even in Bulgaria the sun shines and German pensioners can live a life of luxury, it would be naive to believe that all young Bulgarians are well off though.
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Old Feb 22nd 2022, 6:58 am
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Default Re: A General Moan - Things that irk you about Spain!

As the average Brit in Spain has probably zero knowledge of the political situation in Spain and appears to think the ability to numerically fill in a couple of boxes on a modelo 100 indicates a deep understanding of the country, I really dont think they fully appreciate what it is like to be of working age and living in Spain as a native. Brits are obsessed with property and measure everything in those terms. Spanish people dont really worry about property per se but the attainment of stable work. In Britain people work hard but believe you me the Spanish really graft. They literally work 12 hour days 6 days a week. There are no long term benefits with flats, child allowances, free school meals, gym discounts for single parents, free adult education courses, free dental care, generous personal allowances, tax free savings, etc. Its hard here and you cant live off the sun and cheap beer and say life is great.
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Old Feb 22nd 2022, 7:39 am
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Default Re: A General Moan - Things that irk you about Spain!

Originally Posted by agree_to_disagree View Post
"1. Obsessions with certificates/qualifications

I am frustrated by this obsession with Spanish companies and institutions to only see merit in someones certification and academic qualifications, rather than their actual skills in life and this has created an inherent arrogance in the society I feel. i.e you're looked down upon depending on your degrees or even your lack of degrees."

It is not an "obsession" as you suggest! This is simply nonsense! Academic qualifications are a prerequisite to do certain types of employment, period. This is the international norm! "actual skills in life" are a nice to have and rather subjective. Get real!

"2. Education obsession for kids

While, I have observed families are much closer in Spain than in the UK, i.e its not uncommon to see the whole family walking and being together here and also its nice seeing children actually using parks compared to the UK. BUT it really grates on me that parents and schools force so much "school" onto their kids. Some of my own students (kids and teens alike) seem not to have lives like ordinary kids."

More nonsense! Parents everywhere put their children under pressure to succeed. I think you problem is that you are obviously living in an educational bubble type environment and can't see the wood for the trees!

"3. Strange "style over substance" attitude.

I have found it is an absolute sin in Spain to wear something considered "winter" clothes in Spring or Summer and vice versa. Also, to wear clothing which are a little old or a tad bit worn out is exceptionally frowned upon and people judge you for it. This is also passed this onto the kids, kids I find are very well dressed. But for me this grates on me as it seems very phoney to me. I also find a kind of Snob attitude to this as well, connecting with the education/work qualifications plus the fashion for me it creates a weird snobbery. (don't get me wrong, men and women are very attractive in Spain and look great even into old age BUT.....)"

Nobody wants to go around in rags or indeed have their offspring in rags. If you are happy to go around in rags that is your business, but it has nothing to do with being snobbish, it is simply having pride in ones appearance!

"4. Table Etiquette

This is a seriously big thing in Spain, at least with regards to my wife and her family, I don't actually know if this is throughout Spain or just a class thing, i've got no idea??? But having the correct forks and knives on the correct side and the use of a fish knife etc seems to be a big thing in Asturias according to my experience and well.... connecting it to the above, seems a little pretentious to me."

This is a basic life skill! If you have not got a handle on that by now, it is time you should do. It has no in any way pretentious and suggest so is absurd!

"5. Lack of Critical Thinking and soft skills

I have found my interactions with Spanish people of all ages to be very black and white, there's not a lot of thinking outside the box. Even down to the Covid-Mask mandates, everyone is very fixed on wearing the mask without really questioning it or even rebelling against it. I find this a bit odd myself, just because the majority seem to aimlessly follow and there is no real desire to see other points of view or to rebel against it. A thing I have a hard time with my own students in classes is to get them asking each other questions - they genuinely are not interested in knowing more about class mates and this is across all ages, from kids upto business executives. Thinking critically in Spain is essentially non-existent (at least in the North). Philosophical or even Spiritual ideas seem a little void in Spanish culture too, it feels to me in most of my dealings, things are totally black and white. There's definitely this way or the highway attitude."

No clue the point you are actually trying to make here with this ramble...

"6. Spanish people can't really do Small Talk

I don't know if anyone has found this, I have tried to interact with neighbours and people in the street and always hit a brick wall. For me I use Small Talk as Spanish practice, but ultimately its more harder than it's worth."

Lose the chip on your shoulder! Now perhaps you understand how immigrants who move to the UK feel. It is a bit different when the shoe is on the other foot.... You need to try to integrate as best you can and not expect someone to roll the red carpet out for you.

Enough said!
This reply.

I have no idea what most of this was on about, definitely not true from my experience of 6 years living in multiple places like San Javier to Murcia central, Madrid to Barcelona. I can quite easily make a comment whilst in a shopping queue and people will chip in with a comment or a joke. Really confused. Perhaps you should try integrating more.

a definite chip especially point 5. I hope Brexit comes round for you to vote leave again and keep fighting your anti mask and anti vac vibe. Absolute nonsense. Good luck 🤷🏻‍♂️

Last edited by breakfasttea; Feb 22nd 2022 at 7:45 am.
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Old Feb 22nd 2022, 10:35 am
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Default Re: A General Moan - Things that irk you about Spain!

To be fair the OP probably is more integrated that the vast majority of the people commenting here and that is the problem. The more you learn the language and have access to the culture ( OP is married to a Spanish person , works, and lives in an area less populated by foreigners) the more you actually see and understand. I feel that much of what he says has an element of truth as I am plugged into Spain in the same way. I speak Spanish and I do hear people remark about Chans etc when I'm standing in busy queues. People do get frustrated if they have to wait in the doctors queue whilst some non Spanish speaking Brit insists on trying to explain something to the receptionist- we all feel like that sometimes ( normal complaint people utter is get a translator to help- why expect the Spanish healthcare to speak English). Also it's true about obsessed parents about education- I know, I'm a teacher and the Spanish are obsessed with B1, B2 blah blah blah!!. It's also true about clothing but I cant be bothered to explain something that is just understood by all even if Brits think it's stupid. Thirdly Spanish dont problem solve as teams as might be the case in other companies. They tend to rely on hierarchies to decide things based on experience. Dominic Cummings approach to high-level problem solving scenarios would never exist in Spain as it equalises power between managers and workers. I do think Spanish do a form of small talk but it is not like in Britain where it is used to politely keep things neutral, in Spain they are much more direct about things and expect you to be the same.
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Old Feb 22nd 2022, 11:49 am
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Default Re: A General Moan - Things that irk you about Spain!

1) "To be fair the OP probably is more integrated that the vast majority of the people commenting here and that is the problem."

Now sure how you can make the ridiculous assumption that people who use this forum are not 100% integrated in life in Spain. I meet British people once in a blue moon, it is that rare.

2) "The more you learn the language and have access to the culture ( OP is married to a Spanish person , works, and lives in an area less populated by foreigners) the more you actually see and understand."

The OP chose to marry a girl from Spain and once the honeymoon period of a wonderful new life in Spain ended and reality of the routine drudgery of just getting on with life kicked in, he suddenly became aware that I suspect he was not at all over enamoured new his new found reality. Equally this could happen to some London moving up to the far flungs of Scotland to a small community where everybody is related to everyone else and you end up being swamped and overwhelmed by their spouses family. I have the feeling that the OP is not a happy bunny at all in their new life...!

3) "People do get frustrated if they have to wait in the doctors queue whilst some non Spanish speaking Brit insists on trying to explain something to the receptionist- we all feel like that sometimes ( normal complaint people utter is get a translator to help- why expect the Spanish healthcare to speak English)."

Please get impatient everywhere if they are in a queue waiting in a queue for someone who is fluttering around, not knowing what they are doing, everywhere, not just in Spain, so I'm not ever sure why you comment on this?

4) "Also it's true about obsessed parents about education- I know, I'm a teacher and the Spanish are obsessed with B1, B2 blah blah blah!!."

You're a teacher! Of course you're sick of hearing about it, but teaching is your chosen profession, so of course you will have to listen to parents want the best education possible for their children. Again this desire is universal that parents want the best for their kids is universal and not unique to Spain.

5)
It's also true about clothing but I cant be bothered to explain something that is just understood by all even if Brits think it's stupid.

Like I said before, if you want your kids to around in rags that is your business! Quite normal that parents want their kids to [email protected]@k smart and not unique to Spain.

6) "Thirdly Spanish don't problem solve as teams as might be the case in other companies. They tend to rely on hierarchies to decide things based on experience."

You're away with the fairies on this one altogether! Hierarchies exist with more experienced people at the top which have the AUTHORITY to make wide reaching decision. Again this is a universal way of working in any organisation. People lower down the 'food chain. in organisation tend to collate information that then get passed up 'food chain' for decisions, again a universal way of working! Aligned with their experience and autonomy, managers and their subordinates have roles in organisations. That is what I think you need to get your head around! Not sure what the reference to Dominic Cummings is meant to mean?

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Old Feb 22nd 2022, 12:22 pm
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Default Re: A General Moan - Things that irk you about Spain!

Originally Posted by Ronnyone View Post
To be fair the OP probably is more integrated that the vast majority of the people commenting here and that is the problem. The more you learn the language and have access to the culture ( OP is married to a Spanish person , works, and lives in an area less populated by foreigners) the more you actually see and understand. I feel that much of what he says has an element of truth as I am plugged into Spain in the same way. I speak Spanish and I do hear people remark about Chans etc when I'm standing in busy queues. People do get frustrated if they have to wait in the doctors queue whilst some non Spanish speaking Brit insists on trying to explain something to the receptionist- we all feel like that sometimes ( normal complaint people utter is get a translator to help- why expect the Spanish healthcare to speak English). Also it's true about obsessed parents about education- I know, I'm a teacher and the Spanish are obsessed with B1, B2 blah blah blah!!. It's also true about clothing but I cant be bothered to explain something that is just understood by all even if Brits think it's stupid. Thirdly Spanish dont problem solve as teams as might be the case in other companies. They tend to rely on hierarchies to decide things based on experience. Dominic Cummings approach to high-level problem solving scenarios would never exist in Spain as it equalises power between managers and workers. I do think Spanish do a form of small talk but it is not like in Britain where it is used to politely keep things neutral, in Spain they are much more direct about things and expect you to be the same.
It just shows that people live different lives and have different views. Apart from location, sun-seeking pensioners will always have a completely different view as long as it works out for them.
Their view is that a person who lives in social housing in the UK will be considered poor, a person who owns an apartment in Spain is doing well. You have to look further than that and it's worth nothing to people who own property in an area with no employment. First of all a lot of Spanish want to stay in the place they grew up in and it's now becoming impossible to find affordable housing. It's not just Madrid, Malaga, Barcelona, Sant Sebastian but look to Mallorca, Ibiza etc. and the list doesn't end. There is hardly any social housing available and for a country with such a low fertility rate, there is a high amount of child poverty.
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Old Feb 23rd 2022, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: A General Moan - Things that irk you about Spain!

Originally Posted by Jon-Bxl View Post
My biggest moan is the Banking system. Ive had awful service. The worse ever So last year I shut down my account, moving all the direct debits to my Belgian account. That was a hassle, but Im so glad its all done now....

So not much left to moan about now

Jon
Try ING, an excellent bank. Mostly online, but the staff in the branches are very helpful. Better than the two previous two mainstream banks that I've used.
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Old Feb 23rd 2022, 4:41 pm
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Default Re: A General Moan - Things that irk you about Spain!

Originally Posted by Barriej View Post
In fact the vast majority we know here are normal pensioners, there are the odd ex civil service with huge taxpayer donated pensions but we don't tend to travel in the same circles as them so its not a worry (for them I don't care)
I"m an ex civil servant and our pensions are not taxpayer donated. We paid for them by a deduction from our salaries over and above income tax and NI contributions. And the vast majority of civil service pensions are not huge. Just in case anyone believed your ill informed comment. This is an old link, but that old canard of civil servants getting huge tax payer funded pensions has been thoroughly debunked. https://fullfact.org/news/does-avera...illion-pounds/
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Old Feb 23rd 2022, 5:01 pm
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Default Re: A General Moan - Things that irk you about Spain!

Originally Posted by SteveDW View Post
Try ING, an excellent bank. Mostly online, but the staff in the branches are very helpful. Better than the two previous two mainstream banks that I've used.
ING is a Dutch bank so if you will be included as overseas assets which would mean a Modelo 720 declaration, if you have more than 50k euros.

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Old Feb 23rd 2022, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: A General Moan - Things that irk you about Spain!

Originally Posted by agree_to_disagree View Post
ING is a Dutch bank so if you will be included as overseas assets which would mean a Modelo 720 declaration, if you have more than 50k euros.
No, they give you a Spanish IBAN and always have so it's treated as the same as any other Spanish account. If it goes belly up you will need to deal with the Dutch savings protection authority though.

Last edited by DLC; Feb 23rd 2022 at 5:13 pm.
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Old Feb 23rd 2022, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: A General Moan - Things that irk you about Spain!

Originally Posted by agree_to_disagree View Post
ING is a Dutch bank so if you will be included as overseas assets which would mean a Modelo 720 declaration, if you have more than 50k euros.
Whoever is the ultimate owner, I find it a refreshing change from my previous banks Santander and Caixa. The staff are very competent and it has longer opening hours than other banks in Spain.
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