A round up of news from the Spanish papers, including slow sales of the traditional Christmas hams. Those great greasy looking pigs legs that are hanging in bars all over Spain. Look disgusting but taste fantastic. If the Spanish are cutting back on their stomachs then truly we are all screwed!
Banks and Savings Banks in Spain have admitted that they have stopped lending to companies and families. A Survey published on Friday by the Bank of Spain shows that the banks admit restricting the granting of credit between July and September, and that the fall will continue in the last quarter of the year.
It is also of note that families are asking for less credit, especially when it comes to mortgages.
Shops in Spain are coming up with more imaginative ideas to try and rescue Christmas sales, with discounts, interest free credits and gift cards are being seen by shops both large and small.
One area of Spanish tradition which has been hard hit by the slow down is the sale of top of the range Pata Negra ham. Sales are down by as much as 20% in the current Christmas campaign. Normally 60% of ham sales take place in the run up to Christmas.
The European stock markets have rallied today in response to the more detailed plans announced over the weekend by Barack Obama on the television programme, Meet The Press.
By midday the IBEX 35 had rallied in Spain by more than 5%, as the promise of more investment in infrastructure in the United States is expected to create two million work places. The rally in Spain, which weakened later, was led by Endesa, Ferrovial and Abengoa.
The Nissan car company and the unions in Spain have reached an agreement under which the 3,500 redundancies at the factories in Barcelona will only be temporary. Under the deal the workers affected will be without work for a maximum of 75 days, with 90% pay.
A new negotiating panel is to be set up which will plan the future of the companies under the deal.
The Ministry for Industry, Commerce and Trade has awarded the tender for the use of the 11818 directory enquiries number to Telefónica for three more years.
They are allowed to continue to run the service, but they have to reduce tariffs by 33%. The Ministry say they will carry out consumer surveys on the services next year ahead of possible changes.
El País notes today that the Martinsa real estate company overvalued the worth of its land by upto 19,000%. The paper claims that the company ended 2007 with profits because of these accounting irregularities, and gives as an example some land in Las Palmas worth a million € in their accounts, but valued at 179 million. A plot in A Coruña sold for 1.5 million appeared in the accounts with a value of 84 million.
An increase in electricity prices of 3.5% in January is being prepared by the Ministry of Industry. It comes as talks are underway on the matter in the power industry which has requested larger increases in price.