News from Spain: Horror as EU confirms UK holiday hotspot last to emerge from crisis | World | News

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Spain’s stance on vaccinations ‘very good news’, says Aspey

Despite an expected GDP growth of 5.6% for 2022, Spain’s economy will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023 – a year and a half after the rest of the world. Energy is a key factor in the European Commission’s stark estimates for Britain’s favorite holiday and retirement destination.

Energy prices have soared 72% in Spain over the past year, one of the highest peaks in the European Union.

According to the UOC, the largest consumer organization in the country, the average annual household electricity bill has risen from 675 euros in 2020 to 949 euros in 2021, an increase of 41%.

In a bid to protect consumers, Madrid has called on the EU to revise its charging rules so that households are charged less – a request currently under consideration.

The European Commission expects Spanish GDP to grow by 5.6% in 2022 and 4.4% in 2023 – figures far less optimistic than the Spanish government’s estimated growth of 7%.

The EU believes that the first quarter of the year, as a new wave of Covid infections simply cannot be ruled out, could still see “considerable adverse circumstances”, with workers on sick leave acting “like a brake on the labor supply”.

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Britain’s favorite Spain lags rest of EU in post-pandemic recovery (Image: Getty)

Analysts predict this could delay the start of the recovery after March. Until that point, the economy will slow to 0.6%.

From then on, however, they forecast stronger growth – well above other countries that have suffered less during the pandemic.

The recovery is expected to accelerate in the second quarter of the year and later, in the fourth quarter, pre-Covid levels should be reached.

If so, it will have happened more than a year later than for the bloc as a whole in the third quarter of last year, and yet, at 13%, unemployment will continue to be among the worst in The union.

Spain, after Italy, is the second EU beneficiary of Brussels’ 800 billion euro COVID-19 recovery fund, and the first to have its proposals approved.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez

Spain is one of the main beneficiaries of the EU’s COVID-19 recovery fund… Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez (Image: Getty)

The recovery plan, funded by issuing common EU debt, has been described as the country’s biggest opportunity since joining the European Community in 1986.

With the 70 billion euros it receives, the left-wing coalition government led by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez intends to carry out 110 investments and 102 reforms, as well as create 800,000 jobs in digitization, education and training, and green technologies.

The latter is part of a larger effort to combat climate change.

In line with the bloc’s requirements, at least 37% of stimulus funds must be spent on climate action. Madrid is aiming for 40%, with a focus on electric vehicles, energy efficiency in buildings and the development of a renewable energy hub.

Reforms, meanwhile, are promised in areas such as pensions, labor markets and taxation.

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The main tourist destinations in Spain

Before the pandemic, tourism accounted for around 12.4% of Spain’s economic output (Picture: Daily Express)

Travel is another important player in Spain’s economic recovery. Before the pandemic, tourism activity accounted for around 12.4% of the country’s production.

The government’s recent eagerness to welcome visitors suggests it knows it has to get it back.

One of the very few restrictions still in place for UK holidaymakers has now been lifted.

After coming under pressure from tourism bosses, an official government bulletin announced on Friday that British teenagers will only have to present a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before their arrival from Monday.

This represents a significant change from the previous rule, which required children over the age of 12 from non-EU countries to be fully stung, leaving many UK families no choice but to cancel their holidays in Spain because their teenagers were unable to comply.

Spain’s Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said: “We are committed to making traveling to Spain a safe and easy experience for our visitors, especially for families traveling with children.”

Also, unlike others in the EU, locals or visitors do not need to show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants or museums, and almost all regions have waived requirements for showing vaccinations. a Covid passport to enter bars and nightclubs – a plus in the context of a virus-weary society.

In 2020, Spain’s economy shrank by more than 11% to levels not seen since the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s – and that’s just over a decade after the 2008 financial crisis.

Now, with cases falling and new virus restrictions such as the wearing of outdoor masks being abandoned, it looks like Madrid is gearing up to shake up the economy, along with locals and visitors alike.

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