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Jan 1st 2015 : Have a coffee and kiss goodbye to the Spanish bar ?

Wed 31st Dec 2014
Jan 1st 2015 : Have a coffee and kiss goodbye to the Spanish bar ?

Tomorrow - January 1st 2015 marks a poignant date for many small and family run shops and stores across Spain and marks an uncertain future for many.

Twenty years ago a law was passed which effectively obliged local authorities to put in place strict rent controls to protect small businesses for abusive landlords. The measures ensured that any annual increases in rent were linked to inflation and intended to retain the identity of the Spanish Town.

However whilst the law - passed in 1995 under the PSOE administration of Felipe Gonzalez - only guaranteed protection for 20 years, the PP have defended criticism from the opposition by claiming that it is both their policy, and that they have had almost 10 years of government to address the issue if they so chose.

Estimates are that around 200,000 such businesses will be effected by the measures, with some 55,000 businesses being expected to be forced to close down - resulting in the further loss of some 120,000 jobs which the already 24% rate of unemployment can ill-afford to carry.

One undeniable and iconic part of the Spanish Town Centre, large or small, is the local bar. Open for business for an early morning Coffee until a late night Copa, and often operated by several generations of the same family whilst living on the premises. Since the start of the economic crisis 6 years ago, it is the smaller Spanish bar that has probably suffered the most : A ban on indoor smoking; A clamp down on the use of Olive Oil (coincidentally inacted at Midnight Jan 1st 2014) and a fall off of consumer spending have all resulted in the closure of many bars in recent years.

Sadly, it seems that this is yet another measure sent to test the mettle of the Spanish bar-owner, and that the faceless Politicians will not be happy until the general public will be taking their morning Coffee in McDonalds; Starbucks or whichever soulless and faceless corporation has the economic muscle to roll with the punches.

Recommended Reading :

* Spain to enforce pointless EU law from midnight

* Spain sees closure of 27 bars per day during crisis

Comment on this Story

They won't be happy until they have done the same to Spanish Bars as they have to the British Pub - soon to become extinct.
Robster - Thu, 1st Jan 2015
I agree it is very sad and unfortunate, but it is all part of a market economy : Supply and demand. If a private landlord can charge more for getting a new tenant, why shouldn't he ?
C Shaw - Wed, 31st Dec 2014

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