Spanish tradesmen swallow their pride as recession bites harder

Published:  10 Oct at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain, UK, Jobs, England
Recent reports from expats living in Spain suggest that, in spite of the country’s desperate situation, it’s not all bad news for foreign residents in the sunny southern regions.

A favourite location for Brits in Spain has been the Costa del Sol region with its hot summers, mild winters and laid-back lifestyle. Even more laid-back, to the annoyance of many expats, was the long wait and the large bill associated with any repairs, renewals or additions to their dream homes.

Construction companies in expat areas rode the gravy train as regards high prices and the use of the word ‘manyana’ for years until the recession all but destroyed the country’s construction industry and left new projects unfinished. Previously ,many UK expats had found it cheaper to bring in workers from the home country for major projects, costed at half the price the locals were charging in the boom years.

Nowadays, a whisper about a leaking pipe, a crack in a wall, the erection of a small storage unit or roof repairs results in a queue of smiling Spanish craftsmen lined up at the door the next morning. Better yet, prices have dropped to a modest level and even simple jobs are tackled with immediate enthusiasm.

Local builders admit that the current economical climate has hit their businesses hard, causing them to lay off staff and cut expenses and living standards to the bone. It’s all very sad, but the apparent new sense of pride and a willingness to embrace the concept of customer service at least means that the builders should have enough work of a smaller nature to get them through.
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