Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Spain may be a fun place to visit and tour, but residents are leaving and taking their Euros out

The New York Times has a disturbing story Tuesday about the outflow of money and people from Spain, due to fears that it may have to drop the euro and that its own currency would then be worth little.
Some people are transferring their savings to banks in Britain or even Singapore, and some people are leaving to find jobs in these countries (or maybe in China). 

The story gives an example of a Bilabo resident who runs a travel service here.

I remember Bilbao, visiting it in April 2001, to see the Guggenheim museum. I was able to get a one-bedroom apartment (two days) for just $100 a night.  I found being in the city something like being on another planet.  As I arrived there, a major marathon was just finishing.  The ETA headquarters were nearby, but everything was quiet. At night, people would assemble in bars to watch soccer; pubs were so packed that it was hard to order food.  It was a bizarre place (sort of like it belonged in one of Clive Barker's other "Dominions" in "Imajica"), with signs in both Spanish and Basque. You had to take a bus (one hour) from San Sebastian to get to it, a relatively large city. I remember that San Sebastian seemed very rich, with its famous circular beach front.

I was there before the Euro, and dealt with the peseta. But in US Dollars, prices then were much less in Spain than in France.  Spain and Portugal had the reputations then of being bargains for visitors.  

The NYT story by Landon Thomas on the front page is here

Attribution link for San Senastian picture.  Looks like a setting for a Hitchcock mystery. It would be fun to live there, maybe even after a crash.  

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