Despite the improvement in macro data over the last few years (GDP has risen by 13% and employment – Active Population Survey – 12.1% from its lows), the consequences of the crisis on the destruction of Spain’s businesses fabric still remain.
Many argue that Spain lacks a proper government, with the one in office proving unable to secure parliamentary backing for the 2018 general budget.
Mario Esteban and Miguel Otero-Iglesias | As in many other European countries, Chinese investments in Spain have increased spectacularly over that past years. Nonetheless, there has not been a public or political debate around the topic, and even less a thorough reflection by the government, the media and the academic community at large about the implications of these investments.
Spain banks 2017 results confirmed that last year was one of transition for the interest margins. Looking to the future, the pillars of the banking sector’s strategy will continue to be the reduction in problematical assets and the improvement in profitability, within a context where a sustained recovery is still pending (average ROE in 2017 of 7%, on a par with 2016).
It seems obvious that the most sensible thing to do with respect to retirement is to try to save something and invest it well to complement the meager pension which, foreseeably, the State will give us when we retire.
Toxic, unproductive or problematical, or however you want to call those assets which were the ruin of the Spanish banks, are not easy to get rid of. Assets linked to the property bubble reached over 300 billion euros at the worst point of the crisis, between 2011 and 2012. But thanks to the lenders’ huge efforts, the last official figure from the Bank of Spain stands at 190 billion euros.
A report from the European Commission published on Monday said that Spanish households’ gross available income was still below 2008 levels up to the first half of last year, in comparison with other EU countries’.
Last October the Chinese investment fund Orient Hontai agreed to buy a majority stake in Spanish sports rights group Mediapro for $1 billion in order to change the Asian country into a global soccer powerhouse. Today the deal has been materialised and Orient Hontai officially become new owner of the Spanish soccer championship usually known as la Liga, Europe’s third-richest league.
In 2020, rail passenger traffic will be opened up to the competition in Spain. Looking ahead to this situation, Renfe will launch a new low-cost, intelligent AVE high-speed train. This will be called EVA and it will have all the new technologies, while tickets will be between 20% and 25% cheaper.
New generations favouring autonomy and independence are calling for a second transition: democratic or economic? Or a mix of both?