The time has come to shatter these myths about the Spanish

If it´s your first time in Spain you need to know a few things if you do not want to be considered a naive ignorant. First of all forget easy old stereotypes and your prejudices. Soon you will find out you had the wrong concept about Spain. Spaniards speak Spanish, not English, or Dutch, or Russian. English is not the only langauge in the world. If somebody speaks English don´t criticize and expect it to be “perfect english”, Spaniards learn Romance languages easily, not Germanic, after all you are the one that has to adapt to the country and the language. Many foreigners are creating the same problem that many people always complain about in their country.

Spaniards are focus on family, real, genuine friendships and the creation of lasting memories is truly awe inspiring. You will discover in any Spanish village that people value time with friends and family much more than they do material things – that’s true wealth!. It is a much more human place to live… people still understand that people come first and economic development second and they preserve many values that have been lost long time ago in northern countries

Think about it, most of you trade 5 days per week to buy 2 days at the weekend which you then use in shops to acquire products that give us a sense of status – we’re trapped in this cycle. If you ask a Spaniard if he wants more pay or more free time, he will choose more quality time to spend with his family and this is good and it does not mean Spaniards are lazy, they just try to find the perfect balance. They are sure that we were born with a greater purpose than just going to work, paying bills and dying.

Myth: Spain is broke. While there’s no doubting many people are struggling, the IMF still lists the country as the 13th biggest economy in the world. The Financial Times also points out a few positives: Spain has a trade surplus, for one, and the debts of the regions only make up 17 percent of the national total.

Of course the world financial crisis has affected a lot the economy, specially the unemployment…but the numbers of unemployment ratio showed in the news are far from reality…not representative of the situation because there are lots of people working within the informal economy. So don’t imagine this like an Apocalipsis with people robbing everywhere and everyone to survive, because it is simply did not happen and it’s not happening. In fact is considered the 3rd safest country in the world.

Spain is not a poor country at all, although there’re poor people unfortunately,… but that happens even in the USA. Spain is the 4th economy of the European Union (after Brexit), holds the 14th position in the world GDP ranking, has one of the better public health system all around (1st position in transplant surgery), one of the best life expectancy, 1st touristic destination in 2017, etc. If you come to buy in Spain, don’t think you are coming to save the country.

Spain’s Economic Nightmare Finally Over … ter=google

Is Spain a developed country?. Yes, very much so. By some metrics it leads the World. It’s part of the OECD, and OECD countries are all developed countries. According to the OECD Better Life Index, Spain is a top ranking country for community and work/life balance, and is in the top tier for health care. Infrastructure, especially transport infrastructure, is some of the best in the World. Spain is very successful at developing high-speed rail networks ( for other countries also) compared to richer European countries like the UK and Germany. Regions of northern Spain, especially the Basque Country and Catalonia, are a hub for major aeronautic and energy industries. Southern agriculture fuels all of Europe.

Spain has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe, it feels very safe to walk around, and there are as many public amenities, e.g. children’s play areas, buses, and museums. So yes, not the absolute richest place, but with a lot going for it, and it’s very well developed. On the downside, it scores quite low for average personal income (although incomes are still well above the global average), and unemployment is still very high but reducing gradually.

Remember that Spain is the most complex and diverse country in Europe. People from Malaga and people from Barcelona are like from different countries, with different cultures and speak different languages. The north is totally different from the south, so don´t put everybody in the same basket. Corruption is in politicians that handle public funds. Bribery is not widespread in business or in the police as in other countries.

Most Spaniards do not like bullfighting and there are anti-bullfighting associations throughout the country. They are forbidden in some provinces.

It´s a Catholic country but only a small part of the population are practitioners. (13%). In fact it is a very liberal country and one of the first in the world to legalize gay marriages. They don´t eliminate womans last name when married and they can choose the order of children´s last names from father or mother first. This is more in tune with the 21st century than other developed and civilized countries.

The siesta is another stupid stereotype. Only retired people and children can do it. That does not mean people do not take a nap on weekends or in vacations. We have the longest day in Europe and we can take more time for lunch, if you are lucky and your work place is not far, you can go home for lunch with your family and relax 20 minutes, but no time for siesta.

Spaniards are always late. With friends they might not be so strict about being punctual. In a professional environment it will be considered rude to be late. In my job I make appointments and meet people from UK, Holland, Belgium, …every day. Some are on time, some are late and 2 out of 10 don´t even show up!!!???

“Mañana”. Correctly select the professionals and services you hire. There are good and fast ones and also slow bad ones, just like in your country I suppose.

Spaniards are lazy. According to statistics published by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), Spaniards worked an average of 1,665 hours a year. This is 100 less than the OECD average (1,770), but 300 more than in Germany (1,388) and France (1,489).

NO, all Spaniards do not know how to dance flamenco, only some people in the south.

Spain is not Mexico, just like UK is not USA. So don´t look for big hats, tacos, or other American stuff. The tortilla here is a totally diffent thing.

They all do not have dark skin, brown eyes and black hair. They come from Iberians and Celtics. During the arab invasion far less than 1% of the population mixed with arabs. Christians did not marry Moorish. So many Spaniards have green or blue eyes and most have light skin. All Nordics are not blond with blue eyes.

They cannot complain about the weather, but not the whole peninsula does not have a climate like the Mediterranean coast or the islands. No, Spain is not tropical and it´s not summer all year. there is a cold winter in some areas.

The more south you move, the more hot and laid back life. The more north, the more European, so the best area is in the middle. That is why Costa blanca north, Denia, Javea, Moraira, Altea, are some of the prefered areas.You might think heatstroke and sunstroke are not anything to worry about in this country, but you’d be wrong. Medical authorities recommend not to stay out in the open in the hours with more sun, from 14:00 to 18:00h. That´s why shops close, people look for shade or a fresh indoor place and drink a lot. So adapt to the schedule. Oh my God, a siesta maybe?

If you go to Rome, do like the Romans…

If you are a racist, xenophobic or a religious fanatic we do not want you here.

As an American living here, all of the above is correct, and there are many more positives that I could add to the list. Fot those of us with relatives that are racist, xenophobic, or religious fanatics keep in mind that the negative stereotypes can be useful in dissuading these relatives from coming to visit or immigrating (i.e. you wouldn't want to come to Spain, they are all communists and it is worse than Venezuela, you just don't hear about it on the fake news! You would have a much better time in the Philippines! )

Best thing I've read all year!!! Awesome!!

Ahh.. good old fashioned generalisation and contradiction.

To be fair you could of posted this as a negative rant and it would still just be a glossy generalisation.

In general I'd agree with most of the original post. Generalising is always tricky and even what appear to be hard facts are open to interpretation and spin

Nonetheless, the basic drift of the post that Spain isn't some strange anachronism within Europe is absolutely true.

Omg the stereotypes about Spain are extremely similar to those about Greece. Don't be sad though Spaniards because we, Greeks, know that you also work hard, that you have a nice country but there is not summer all the time, that life quality is more important than money and that the crisis may have affected you, but life goes on.
Actually the only thing that we Greeks can't understand is how it feels to be the 14th stronger economy on earth (lol).
Tu hermanos grecos :)


There are many advantages to living and working in Spain.
But I just do not understand how it can be said that the Spaniards work hard?
For example how many have wait weeks for spare parts for white goods (example)to be delivered:
Wait a few days before the technician is at your door:
I believe in some parts of Spain you cannot get postal deliveries to your door:
"Official" offices close around 13:30/14:00 hrs.
The same with banks.
Shops close Sunday, unless they serve the tourist trade.
Night staff in Hospitals are conspicuous by there absence. Hence the averts to help guard your relatives during a stay.
Funcionarios just waiting to only stamp your form. That is their one an only job.

I would have say that Spain is not in quite so good a financial position as the government would have you believe.
There is a serious problem with the state pension fund. In English from the end of 2016
An early article noting these facts from 2013
Another article in English
It is now down to Rajoy to reform the system, something for which he has been reluctant to do so far.News in Spanish
There is still a property bubble effect in Spain. Banks own millions worth of property which is from defaults. As I read it not much of that stock is selling quickly. There are a few reasons behind this. Low wages, relativity high unemployment, great job insecurity. A fair number of self employed now with no stable income.Banks cannot lend on the premise of these effects. So another problem arrives.
Spain last year had problems with meeting the EU's deficit targets. Somehow the EU backed down on fining Spain for not keeping within these figures.
The way Spain is governed means the Government has little control of the spending of the autonomous communities. Once again a complex issue for Rajoy to solve.

Spain has to also solve Catxit this October and maybe receive less money from the EU after Brexit. in as little as 18months time.

Spaniards work more hours a day than other European countries is an evidence. Don´t put everybody in the same basket.

I have known many Dutch and English lazy people in the Spanish company I worked at and they were fired, but I do not say their whole country is lazy.

When I lived in London I called for a DSL internet conexion and they were 3 months late. Every time I called they said "tomorrow, tomorrow", surprise! the "mañana mañana" in the UK.

As a Catholic country they  close shops on Sundays. If you don't like it , adapt or move.

There are many Funcionarios that work a lot and do a good job. Once again don't generalize.

Hospitals were I live work very well, 24 hours.

I agree with you about our politician, banks, state pensions, and some other things are crap.

If you don't like it , adapt or move.

Once again don't generalize.

Oh dear!  :(

I have known many Dutch and English lazy people I have known many Dutch and English lazy people

Just 2 nations I just happen to have in my profile. Lucky I did not give them all.   :offtopic:

Oh before I go I never wrote anything about a hospital not working 24 hours a day I said that the night staff are conspicuous by their absence. I think you will find that is the same in Alicante too.  Read these adverts.

rubencito :

Once again don't generalize.

You are kidding right?

Your whole post is a massive generalisation. I'm not saying that what you are pointing out is not true of some people but equally the complete opposite is true of some people too. The "Myths" are not actually myths when they actually do occur. But again that would be a generalisation to paint all of Spain with that brush too.

The truth of the matter is there is a whole lot of middle ground where the vast majority exist which lays between the glowing positivity and and glaring negativity.
Life goes on regardless, you will face the same joys and struggles that you would in most places just with a Spanish flavour. Swings and roundabouts as they say.

Well, we all have a different view of Spain and the Spanish according to our own experiences.
We can agree that things are different in Spain which is a little perculiar in comparison with its neighbours e.g siesta, Also in Summer offices don't function even when officially open, it is perfectly okay  not to get official things done because it's summer and plenty of the staff are on holiday .
Spain isn't perfect nor do UK and other countries.
Therefore  you cannot speak for everyone.


Bravo!  Well said!

Just wanted to point out
under my own point of view
that Social Security / Public Healthcare - Hospitals network -- Primary Care Facilities - Medical / Non-medical Staff  & in Spain
--  one of best in the world.--

*** saving lifes...looking after patients - & follow-ups- working day - night-shifts nonstop.. priceless ***

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