How many working Andalusians does it take to keep a fellow-countryman on the dole?

More than some people think.

The Pearly Gates to this year's Seville Fair. St Peter has nipped off for a sherry. <a href=''>CC from Wikimedia Commons</a>.

The Pearly Gates to this year's Seville Fair. St Peter has nipped off for a sherry. CC from Wikimedia Commons.

Some friends had a wonderful time at the Feria de Abril but came back amazed that for every person working in Sevilla there seemed to be another apparently able-bodied person doing nothing. I tested their hypothesis against the new INE unemployment stats, and in fact the ratio (final column) is slightly more than 2:1 in Andalusia, as against more than 5:1 in the Basque Country:

Is Andalusia more hard-working as a whole than the home of the regional administration? How many of the “employed” are only formally on the books, for social security or other reasons? Etc etc. Of course I haven’t got the faintest.

If Greece doesn’t cause the IMF to implode, they will presumably eventually turn their attention to Spain and we may discover interesting stuff like what happens to the figures if you include the substantial black economy, whereunder the intriguing practice of sharing fiscal numbers. I suspect that the picture won’t be be vastly different–grosso modo Madrid is your best bet (the Basque Country trails even Andalusia on employment-to-population), and stay the hell away from Extremadura.

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  1. A Catalan founded the Feria de Abril that is the best event in Seville. It is a disaster that the Andalusians are now running Catalunya.

  2. So what happened to all those Catalan merchants who thronged through the country after 1714? And isn’t it true that the decline of Catalonia vis-à-vis Madrid dates from long before Montilla, as well as long after Franco?

  3. Please note unemployment rate is only below 15% in:
    – Basque Country & Navarra (which have Concierto Economico)
    – Cantabria (which receives an unjustified amount of funds from the net givers – Catalonia, Balears, Madrid – even when its distance to the mean is not dramatic – as would be the case of Andalusia & Extremadura)

  4. So you too would like the removal of crazy medieval shit like the Concierto Económico, so that Basques and Navarrans will pay taxes on the same basis as other Spanish citizens? The massive cuts in public spending that the government (or the IMF on its behalf) will have to announce soon will have to involve radical pruning of the duplicative bureaucracy that has grown up in the autonomies, and I can’t think of a better place to start than this. Not just now, anyway.

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