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Spanish report Spanish report
by Euro Reporter
2009-04-18 11:46:36
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Business Brief

House prices have fallen by 6.8% according to the latest numbers and are now back at levels last seen in 2006. The inter-annual rate has shown price falls in all of the regions of Spain, and increases only in the North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. The numbers come from the Ministry of Housing, which notes the biggest falls are seen in Madrid and neighbouring provinces. Málaga, with a 10% fall in prices over the past year, leads the falls along the Mediterranean coast. The latest numbers show that new housing has caught up and is now falling at the same rate as resale property. Prices compared to the last quarter of last year were 3% lower.

The bad debt level at Spanish banks and savings banks has reached 4% for the first time in 12 years. The current rate is four times the 1.13% registered in 2008, although the rate of increase, month on month, has slowed slightly according to the numbers from the Bank of Spain. The volume of what are described as doubtful credits has increased by four in the last year, with the savings banks leading the bad debt ranking at nearly 5%. Bankinter has taken 100% control of Línea Directa, the Spanish Direct Line insurance company. It paid 426 million € for the 50% which it did not hold, which was in the hands of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Last year Linea Directa made a 71 million € profit, up 15% on 2007. It has more than a million and a half policies and more than a million clients in Spain.

The Ministry for Industry is reported to be studying obliging petrol companies to install at least one green pump on every forecourt. The new law being drafted intends to support biofuels made from vegetable oils, maize, sugar beet or sorghum. Biofuels made up 1.8% of the total in Spain last year and that was up to 2.1% in the first month of this year, but the legal target for this year is 2.5%. The EU target is 10% in the year 2020. French hypermarket company Carrefour has announced a 5.6% fall in sales in Spain, with its supermarkets seeing the largest reduction, with sales down 9.8%. They say that sales are continuing to show volatility, despite a promotion which has taken savings of up to 25% on 10,000 lines. Thousands of milk farmers, 15,000 according to the organisers, demonstrated in Madrid, demanding the Government take action to help the industry. They want to see more control on milk imports.


Airlines slammed for not revealing cost

Iberia, Air Europa, Spanair, Vueling and Easy Jet are all named in the Spanish report. The Spanish National Consumers Institute has warned that some web pages of airlines do not give complete information. Many give no information about the costs of the premium 807 phone numbers they use. The consumers report mentions Iberia, Air Europa, Spanair, Vueling and Easy Jet.

The code of conduct in Spain says they should say how much phone calls cost and specify the maximum cost per minute, all taxes included, and whether the call is made from a land line or mobile. Last year the Consumers Institute, which is dependent on the Ministry of Health and Consumers Affairs, found other irregularities linked to the price of tickets in Iberia, Spanair and Vueling as well as the availability of promotional offers and other conditions.


Beating up a homeless man in Alicante

Reports say the youth then tried to set his victim alight. The man is in hospital in a coma. A 17 year old youth has been arrested after stabbing a homeless man and trying to set him on fire at a branch of the La Caixa bank in Alicante. The aggression happened at about 1,30am on Friday morning and the 42 year old victim is now in a coma in the Alicante General Hospital.

The police say the 17 year old is in their custody after he brutally beat up the man, with sources close to the investigation saying he then tried to burn the man alive.
It happened in the Avenida Novelda in Alicante.

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