Spain

10:01pm

Wed March 7, 2012
Planet Money

The European Central Bank, As Seen From A Bar On The Coast Of Spain

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 12:14 pm

JOSE LUIS ROCA AFP/Getty Images

"I have a little bar. A drinks bar," says Chadd Ritenbaugh. His bar is called El Catalonia. It's in the port of Marbella, on the Spanish coast.

"Just sun, sand, and sea," he says. "It's just kind of empty at the moment."

Ritenbaugh bought the bar in 2009. Since then, business has gone downhill. He tried, and failed, to sell.

"Nobody's out buying bars right now," he says. "Banks in Spain are not lending a cent — a euro cent."

Chad himself tried and failed to get a bank loan. "Absolutely nothing," he says.

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9:04am

Sun March 4, 2012
Europe

Financial Woes Keep Spanish Airport Grounded

Spanish politicians spent $220 million on the sparkling new Castellon airport on Spain's Mediterranean coast — $40 million alone was spent on TV ads and other marketing. They also paid $600,000 for ferrets and falcons to kill birds that endanger aircraft.

Yet no plane has yet taken off. Construction, which began in 2004, went over budget, partly to fund a 75-foot statue of a local politician out front.

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10:01pm

Tue February 7, 2012
Europe

Labor Law Changes May Offer Relief For Spain's Youth

Spaniards march through the streets of Madrid, Nov. 27, 2011, to protest spending cuts, high unemployment and political corruption. The government is proposing an overhaul of the country's two-tier labor system, in order to close the gap between temporary and permanent workers.
Pedro Armestre Getty Images

For his age group, Spaniard Miguel Viada is one of the lucky ones. The 25-year-old has a temp job, at the help desk of a tech company in Madrid. But three out of his four roommates are unemployed.

They spend hours on the computer, sending out resumes, he says.

"It's impossible. They find jobs, but for one month, or something like that. And not in very good places or situations," says Viada, who has a master's degree.

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1:13pm

Mon January 30, 2012
Europe

Tables Are Turned On Crusading Spanish Judge

Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon (center) arrives at the Supreme Court in Madrid, Spain, on Jan. 24. The crusading human-rights judge is on trial for his attempt to investigate the more than 100,000 disappearances during Spain's civil war in the 1930s and the subsequent dictatorship of Francisco Franco.
Juan Medina Reuters/Landov

Thousands marched in Spain on Sunday in support of Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish judge who became an icon for human-rights activists when he indicted former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998.

Now, Spain's most famous judge is on trial, after turning his investigations toward the country's own fascist past.

Garzon, 56, is a champion of universal jurisdiction — the idea that the most heinous crimes need to be prosecuted, no matter where or when.

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11:53am

Fri January 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Fitch Downgrades Credit Of 6 E.U. Countries, Including Spain, Italy

Fitch Ratings announced it was cutting the ratings of Italy, Spain, Belgium, Slovenia, and Cyprus.

Italy and Spain, two of the biggest eurozone economies, suffered a two-notch drop. Italy went from A+ to A- and Spain went from A to AA-.

Bloomberg reports:

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