“ Are You Looking for an Alternative Country? Consider Spain


Posted and filed under General Articles of Interest, Miscellaneous.

So says top entrepreneurial influencer, Martin Varsavsky.  More and more people´s work is now “location independent” so expats are thinking of where they should put down some sort of roots. We’ve said before that Spain may be the best place in the world to live. We are not alone in our opinions.

Martín Varsavsky (@martinvars) is an interesting character. Born 1960 in Buenos Aires he is an Argentine entrepreneur based between Silicon Valley in California and Spain. He is famous in the world of startups and investing having been involved in FON, Gogo network, Urban Capital, Medicorp, Viatel, Jazztel, EINSTEINet, Ya.com, Eolia and Prelude Fertility. He is really worth following on twitter for his various social/economic rants.

Last week on that twitter feed he started a debate. He asked a series of questions that really got people thinking about Spain:  Check out his feed for the full thread – he certainly got people here and in the USA talking about the advantages of living in Spain!  I have changed a few of the sentences, edited slightly but the meaning of his tweets have not been altered at all. So a few points made by Martin Varsavsky:

  • Just landed in Madrid; I was flying from San Francisco; (having been) traveling around the U.S. where I have lived for 20 years. The debate on San Francisco vs Madrid, makes me wonder…..
  •  “(are you) Looking for an alternative country to live? Consider Spain ̈. That’s quite the endorsement; Consider moving to Spain, he cant make it more obvious where he prefers to live!
  • “Spain with the fastest growing large economy of Europe, is a welcoming democracy, Spain is loved by the millions of foreigners who live here.” Again, all true. We love living in Spain. Not just the fastest growing economy in Europe though, the opportunities for small micro businesses here is huge. We are seeing more content creators, bloggers, and others who can work from anywhere, set up a base in Spain. Setting up solopreneur enterprises is fast  becoming the norm here.

More points..

  • How can Spain spend 70% less on medical care per annum yet people who live there, live 4 more years than people do in the USA? We chatted about this in blog posts- If it’s true that poor quality food intake, stress levels and that loss of control feeling are killers, well it makes sense that people are moving to Spain and statistically living longer.
  • Continuing; Why is medical free (even for tourists) in Spain. It is paid for by Spanish taxpayers as a human right yet it is cumbersome and so incredibly expensive in California? When our son fell in the bathtub, we had a $12,000 bill. It happened in Stanford University ER, just for a few stitches. All my children were born in the public hospital in Torrevieja, Costa Blanca. We had a private room, the highest level of care imaginable and it was all free. As it happened we had private medical insurance in Spain but the public hospitals are of such a high standard, we never used our private medical care!
  • Why are homeless people so rare in Madrid? And yet so common in San Francisco. Here GDP per capita (in Spain) is half that of the US?The GDP of Spain per capita is half that of our US counterparts. I guess it suggests they use the money better here in terms of public services.
  •  Why do we, in California, have a murder rate 5 times higher than in Spain? Gun crime is just not something we even think about in the Costa Blanca. Never.
  • Why are universities in Spain free? There is no student debt (in Spain) but in the USA the student debt is higher than the total GDP of Spain? I think there acrually is a small charge for 3rd level education in Spain but compared to the USA, its tiny- maybe a few thousand per year. My cousin in Chicago, is a lawyer, 40 years old and still has student debt!
  •  Why are there more people in the USA in jail or on parole than there are inhabitants in Madrid, the 3rd largest city in Europe?
  • Why is litigation so rare in Spain and so common in the USA? We will take a client’s´ case seriously if there have a litigation matter against the banks or a major developer in Spain. However, if we have a client with a case that’s just has no chance of success, we are not wasting their time, or that of the courts!
  •  Why is the inequality in the US double that of Spain? Spain borders Africa and has a much larger illegal immigration problem than the US. Yet Spain provides amnesty for those who work for 3 years in the country. In the USA we separate parents from kids? The concentration camps (as referred to by Martin on his twitter feed) on the Mexico / US border are unlikely to be judged well by future generations. Spain is not perfect. Here housing costs are high and good jobs in many sectors are tougher to find. After the referendum it appears, half of Catalonians want out; there is an unacceptable level of corruption politically and yet in Spain:

cancer does not mean bankruptcy.
pregnancies come with maternity leave for both parents.
long vacations available to all.
Gun deaths/ opium deaths are almost unheard of.
After the credit crisis in 2009 when unemployment shot up, crime surprisingly went down.

I just thought it was worth sharing how a wildly successful entrepreneur compares life in Spain to that in California. Sure, it’s true, not everything is perfect here but it’s maybe a good choice for anything thinking of creating a new life! If Spanish Solutions can help you with your move to Spain, please just get in touch!


Ian Comaskey

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