Voices on the Street: The Employed and Unemployed in Barcelona

Further comments from Catalonia came in today, and, no, the news did not get any better overnight.

Orion, 27, EFL Teacher

"Banks like La Caixa, La Caixa Cataluña, etc. are struggling to fulfill even the modest role they play in the financial system compared to American banks, which means some very viable small businesses are going down the tubes. Spanish banks extend a line of credit to businesses to ease cash flow problems.  These credit lines are fast being reduced because of the huge investment the banks made in the real estate and construction industries, investments which they are less and less likely to see positive returns on. Client complaints to La Caixa have risen 2000 percent in the last year.

"Spain is offering 10,000 euros cash to non-EU immigrants if they agree to leave the country for three years. Barcelona government has taken out adverts in the Metro ("Estas pensando en regresar?") to push the policy. The problem is that Spain is facing the burden of paying immigrants' unemployment wages since the industries they occupied like construction are currently going bust. The policy has not attracted huge numbers of immigrants."

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