Tied up in paperwork

Spanish street market
Street markets are popular in Spain

With such high unemployment you’d think the councils across Spain would be eager to help people to increase trade, gain employment etc, but it seems they still have no clue what “help” means.

Street markets have long been popular in Spain and most towns have their own market day. However, a small town in Castilla-La Mancha has noticed a decline in the number of traders and as a result of this, and deepening financial worries, the number of customers has also fallen.

To address this, late last year the town hall began advertising for new stall holders. Below is the list of conditions that must be met for all new stallholders.

  • 2 signed photos of the holder (and the employee).
  • Photocopy of the ID of the holder (and employee).
  • Latest tax accounts and proof they are paid up to date.
  • Address of bank.
  • Photocopies of ID card of anyone authorised by the holder.
  • Documentation of relationship of the authorised with the holder.
  • Certificates if a farmer selling produce issued locally.
  • In the case of local sellers a certificate to show you are on the voting list.
  • Social Security documents and proof it has been paid for the past 12 months.
  • Your bank details.

Seriously? You need all this to trade in a street market? No wonder people aren’t getting back into work.

The Spanish mentality that everything needs to be checked, copied, stamped, copied again and stamped, has to change. This is the case for everything here: if you need to claim unemployment benefit you have to cut down three Canadian Redwoods to provide enough paper for all the documents required and if anything is missing then you have to start all over again.

Until this is changed nothing will fix the unemployment problem. No matter how much money you throw at it if things remain so complicated and full of bureaucracy people will remain confused, worried and unemployed.


4 thoughts on “Tied up in paperwork

  1. Couldn’t agree with you more. It’s insanity. The monthly flat-rate national insurance/social security payment for all autonomos regardless of their earnings amount also just baffles me in a time when the government should be doing their all to encourage entrepreneurial endeavours and start-ups.

  2. Ahh.. that old chestnut. I’ve often thought that was nothing more than a tax on being self-employed. It’s scandalous really and is a disincentive for people wanting to start a business.

    With the current climate that is something that should just be dropped, no changes, no questions, just drop it. Self employed people will still pay SS, only based on actual earnings, not some arbitrary fee dreamt up years ago.

    Without the prospect of paying that for the first few months, when trade is understandably slow, I’m sure more people will take the step and start trying to help themselves rather than relying on government handouts.

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