Spanish PM cites financial disaster of Brexit linked expat and tourism losses

Published:  26 Jan at 6 PM
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The reality of Brexit is hitting hard on the Spanish prime minister as he foresees the massive financial loss to the country should expats leave and tourists stay at home.

Speaking to the media at a news conference in Madrid, PM Mariano Rajoy stated Brexit is a critical threat to Spain, as its impact on the 17 million British tourists and more than 300,000 officially registered British residents could mean a huge loss to the country’s GDP.
Rajoy is a hardliner as regards Brexit, having made it clear recently that he rejected Theresa May’s attempts to pick and choose her own terms, ignoring the link between free movement and the single market.

In spite of his stance, he told reporters more falls in the value of sterling would impact UK expats’ purchasing power and deter British tourists from visiting. Further concerns, he added, are based on the fact that the UK hosts many Spanish companies’ investments and is Spain’s third commercial companion. France and Germany, he said, are to hold decisive elections this year which may affect the two countries’ determination to support efforts by the EU to push the project further.

Meanwhile, according to the Olive Press, expat homeowners in Spain are to face soaring fuel costs, as the unusually cold weather has resulted in vastly increased demand for electricity. Consumer associations are warning this month’s bills are likely to rise by as much as 20 per cent above the norm.

Although householders on fixed rate contracts will be protected to some extent, those open to fluctuations in the energy market will be hard hit at a time when the fall in sterling has knocked off between 20 and 30 per cent of theirpension income. Spain’s wind and solar generating capacity was badly affected by the extreme weather conditions at the same time as power consumption soared due to the sub-zero temperatures.
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