Expats in Spain Choose Pets over In-Laws for Christmas Company

If you’d rather spend this Christmas with your dog than your mother-in-law, don’t worry you’re not alone. 8 out of 10 expats feel the same way according to a survey from pet sitting website TrustedHousesitters.com

That statistic looks at expats worldwide. In fact when you look at the figures for the expats in Spain that were surveyed, the results were even funnier. 100% of expats living in Spain admitted to choosing a Christmas relaxing with their pets over topping up their father-in-law’s brandy glass.

If you’re thinking about your own particular in-laws and nodding your head in agreement, remember there’s another possible conclusion and that’s that expats in Spain simply love their pets. So much so that they’re willing to forgo the company of their lovely extended family in order to get some quality time with their dog. Well if you can believe that you can believe anything!

The reality of course is that we expats really do love our pets. The survey went on to show that 72% of us expats will be buying a present for our pets and almost half of us will be cooking a special Christmas dinner for our pets this year.

While the amount most people were expecting to spend on their pets wasn’t going to break the bank by any means (around twenty Euros) it’s certainly more than the average stocking filler costs and it’s probably more than a lot of in-laws can expect to be spent on them.

Interestingly, the majority of those who took part in the survey (83%) said that they wouldn’t let the economic crisis play a part in how much they spend on their pets. A small but notable 8% even confessed that they would be spending 60 Euros or more on their pets this Christmas.

Trusted Housesitters’ owner Andy Peck commented on the survey saying:

“I can’t say I’m surprised at the results. Judging from some of the calls for pet sitters we get from expats in Spain, it’s obvious that there are a lot of people out there who really do love their pets. It’s good to see that even though things have been bad economically, the pets can expect a good – if not better – Christmas than previous years”.

Could Catalonia Survive Outside of Spain?

It looks like battle lines have been drawn, as Catalan independence seekers gave victory to separatist parties in a regional election on the 25th November 2012. Catalonia is Spain’s most powerful economic region, and if the various separatist parties can reach some sort of agreement it could hold an independence referendum that will not be sanctioned by the Spanish government in Madrid.

Yet, while some of their politicians seem desperate to leave Spain, not all Catalans are convinced. Many are happy enough to speak a different language and leave it at that.

Economically, there are serious questions about whether the region would survive on its own. Just like the rest of Spain it has high unemployment. At the of September 2012 the rate was 22.56% compared with just over 25% for the whole of Spain, so it isn’t as though Catalonia is an economic powerhouse right now.

There’s a good chance that the rest of Spain would turn its back on Catalonia as far as buying goods is concerned, and that could result in some businesses leaving and relocating to other parts of Spain.

Independence would mean the population of Spain decreasing from its present 44 million people to around 36.5 million.

Bear in mind too that dropping out of the EU is something Catalonia wouldn’t really want to do. The Spanish are generally considered ‘good’ Europeans.

It’s true that places like Barcelona enjoy a big tourist industry, but unfortunately it’ll take more than the income derived from tourists to keep the economy in Catalonia afloat.

Maybe they just stick to the rivalry of the two major football clubs in Spain, Real Madrid and Barcelona, and forget any thoughts of independence!