Why should Spain give us anything?

Melting pot?

ONE of the main gripes many Brits have about their country is that the powers-that- be bend over backwards to appease cosmopolitan ideologies spouted by people divorced from everyday reality.

There has always been a tension between the high-brow elite who believe they know what’s best for the commoners, and the visceral urge most people have to tell these patronisers where to stick it.

Whatever your opinion on how a country should treat its foreign born subjects, Britain is undoubtedly one of the most flexible nations out there when it comes to cultural immersion.

It’s a different story in Spain, where immigrants like the British, Chinese and Romanians can be given nothing but a hard time of it through bureaucracy, taxation, and hugely curtailed civic rights.

Unfortunately decades of fascism, cronyism, financial mismanagement and regional division, has left the Spanish economy in urgent need of a cash injection, with sun strapped Brits happy to oblige.

So inevitably there’s resentment at having to endure these northern hordes simply to pay the bills, and a flaky passive-aggressiveness ensues, especially towards guiris who fail to properly integrate.

 In Greece you can see the worst expression of this contorted relationship, with many locals learning Russian to please their new paymasters now that the Germans have left the building.

That’s a matchbox already catching fire, and who could blame the Greeks for rioting? Imagine your business suddenly relied on the whim of foreigners because your neighbours were all broke.

Most Brits wouldn’t last very long being forced to grovel in Polish in exchange for a wad of shiny euros, praying their new overlords don’t return to Warsaw and write a bad review on Trip Advisor.

Russians and Brits, used to getting their own way, would be humiliated by such a reversal, but many Spaniards and Greeks feel exactly the same, after all they were empires too once.

As experience will tell you, letting yourself be walked over doesn’t bode well for your chances of a fair shake further down the line, quite the opposite. It’s remarkably easy to become a victim.

Is it time Spain stood up for itself by cracking down harder on foreigners who don’t fully assimilate, letting off that pent up steam before it explodes all over their already fractured internal politics?

Frankly it’s embarrassing that many Spanish allow Brits and other foreigners to walk all over them, criticising their cultural traditions such as bullfighting, without offering a real fight.

Money talks but personal pride is hugely important to a healthy society. Spain has strong regional traditions, far more so than contemporary Britain, but they’re under serious threat.

A line needs to be drawn in the sand if Spain doesn’t want to become another lobotomised Trojan horse for cultural imperialism, and moaning foreigners should be first up for the chop.  


  1. Thank you sincerely for 90% of this article. I agree with most of it. I’m so sick of ‘entitled’ Brits who want ‘their’ country to be a nation of white WASPs with inferior outsiders forced to suffer fewer rights than they and be grateful for the privilege of even being allowed past customs, and who expect people born there to ‘integrate’ (ie, change their personality, dress and lifestyle to copy the majority) just because their parents or grandparents can’t trace their family tree back to Queen Victoria. And equally sick of these very same arrogant Brits expecting countries they are immigrants in (“Oh, but we’re not immigrants, we’re EXPATS. We bring money to the country so they should worship us; not like these foreigners who live on benefits in England”) to lick their boots, learn another language fluently so they don’t have to bother, grumbling at paying a translator to avoid a medical misdiagnosis.
    BUT I’ve found Spain to be HUGELY welcome of foreigners. It takes decades before anyone who isn’t their cousin or even from the next village to be considered ‘one of them’, but they’re a bit TOO understanding with lazy expats who won’t learn the language, and generally quite like us. I’d hate to be a foreigner in UK; in Spain, I’m proud of it, as they’re full of questions.
    AND, if a ‘tradition’ is cruel or a law is oppressive, it should be challenged, whether you’re foreign or not.
    We’re not guests; we’re taxpayers. We’re one of them. We don’t deserve extras, but we do deserve equality.

  2. What a sorry excuse for a newspaper article. “criticising their cultural traditions such as bullfighting” – ah, now the author is shown in his true light. What’s up? Not enough torturing of animals for you?

  3. I don’t agree it’s a ‘sorry excuse’ for an article; I think most of it was very necessary and true. But bullfighting is simply animal torture and murder, and this is wrong whatever colour you paint it. If it’s a tradition, it’s a tradition that has to stop. If you move to a country where playing football with kittens or trying to run over children was a ‘traditional sport’, you’d be sickened and would campaign to stop it. Child marriage, female circumcision and marital rape is ‘tradition’ in some places, but if it takes foreigners to stamp it out, so be it.
    And actually, most Spaniards are against bull-fighting and are far more vocal about it than expats. Most Spaniards adore animals and consider their pets to be their children. Vets charge a fraction of those in the UK, because they want people to treat their sick pets, not leave them to suffer because they can’t afford medical care.
    Also, if you’re a resident somewhere, work there and/or pay taxes, you deserve the same rights as any native. It’s your home, public authorities spend YOUR money, and you have a right to criticise. A lot of what expats complain about merely mirrors what Spaniards, too, think.
    If a ‘certain way of working’, different to your own country, is detrimental to the community or the economy (like shops being shut from 1pm Saturday to 10am Monday, and every afternoon in high tourist season) then again, you can criticise it.
    Moaning about shopkeepers not speaking a foreign language (ie English), though, is just pathetic.

  4. What a ludicrous article! On this very website is a financial report of the Spanish economy, it states that the deficit is €1.09 trillion against a GDP of €1.08 trillion, i.e. 101% debt against gross domestic produce. As a country Spain has very little to throw at this problem to rectify this situation, I think it unlikely that olives and citrus fruit will fill the hole and correct the deficit! Franco had a great idea in the 60s, he came up with a plan to sell sunshine to the northern Europeans and during the 60s, 70s and 80s the Brits, Germans, Dutch and a myriad of others came here in their droves to take a two week slice of the sunshine, they also put trillions of Pesetas into the economy. I suggest that Snr Rajoy and other parliamentarians are very much aware of what value is placed on tourism. If this means that the Spanish have to adapt to their wealthy cash cow, where is the problem? Tourists from Great Britain account for 23.6% of all foreign tourists. Germany (16.2%) and France (15’7%) come next. It makes sense for Manuel and Miguel to take advantage of this rather than become ever more parochial as the author is suggesting. As we go through the 21st century, isn’t it about time all blood sports were outlawed, it really isn’t “tradition” it’s whole sale slaughter!


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