Sunday, December 16, 2007

Interesting results from Spanish surveys, studies, reports, etc.


GUESS WHICH WORLD LEADER SPANIARDS CONSIDER TO BE THE WORST. If you guessed US President George Bush, you were only off by two. Bush came in third to last, behind Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the pentultimate position, leaving Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez to reign as the international leader held in lowest esteem.
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This terrible trinity of the worst was the result of a poll of 12,000 Spaniards conducted by the Elcano Royal Institute (Real Instituto Elcano), a Spanish think-tank. The survey, which was carried out between November 26th and December 3rd, had Chávez finishing last in the popularity poll with a 1.4 ranking. Next came Castro at 1.9, Bush at 2.2, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega at 2.9 and Russia's Vladimir Putin rounding out the bottom at 3.4. The most respected leaders were EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, with a 6.2 rating, followed by former IMF director Rodrigo Rato with 6.1, German Chancellor Angela Merkel with 5.8, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a tie at 5.3.
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MOST SPANIARDS SUPPORT ZAPATERO'S FOREIGN POLICY, according to the same Elcano study. Of the respondents, 54% view the Spanish Prime Minister's foreign policy efforts positively, while 39% take a negative view.
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CONSUMER PRICE INDEX UP AGAIN according to statistics released on Friday by Spain's National Statistics Institute (NIE). November's CPI was 4.1% compared with 3.6% in October. In addition, the European Central Bank, in its monthly economic bulletin released the day before, noted that inflation has risen in Spain, Portugal and the euro zone in general.
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SPANIARDS UP TO THEIR NECKS IN DEBT according to a study by The General Association of Consumers (La Asociación General de Consumidores), ASGECO. The Study of Family Indebtedness (Estudio sobre el endeudamiento de las familias) released by the organization last week reported that 40% of Spanish households have difficulty making ends meet each month, only 30% have money left over at the end of the month, and nearly 60% face the possibility of having to obtain a second mortgage on their homes.
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BARCELONA HAS THE HIGHEST CINEMA TICKET PRICES IN SPAIN AND CORDOBA THE LOWEST according to a comparison done by FACUA.org Consumers in Action (Consumidores en Acción). The survey of movie ticket prices at 104 cinemas in thirty-three cities across Spain found that the price of admission can vary up to 90% nation-wide. Barcelona, A Coruña and Madrid have the most expensive cinemas, against Jaén, Cadiz and Cordoba, the lowest priced. The average price nationally is 5.41 euros. Ticket prices have risen 3.6% over 2006, when the previous study found an average price of 5.22 euros. The average was 5.05 euros in 2005, 4.80 in 2004 and 4.62 in 2003.
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In the report, FACUA denounced as illegal the practice of prohibiting movie-goers from bringing with them beverages or food from outside cinemas. The association recommends that consumers request a complaint form from cinemas to denounce this irregularity, since it is a violation of the General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users. (La Ley General para la Defensa de los Consumidores y Usuarios.)
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TWO OUT OF EVERY TEN RAMBLERS ARE LOCALS according to a study by the Barcelona NGO Friends of The Rambla (Amigos de La Rambla / Amics de La Rambla). Only 2 out of every 10 people who walk along Barcelona's Las Ramblas are Barcelonans, whereas nearly 60% are foreign tourists. Another 20% or so are visitors, too, but from Spain rather than abroad, with about 10% of these from other parts of Cataluña.
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Of those surveyed, 34% said that Las Ramblas' diversity and cosmopolitanism was what attracted them most; 20% felt there were usually too many people on the famous paseo; 15% indicated that they felt insecure and vulnerable to theives and 5% were there in order to get to La Boqueria public market. The most traveresed section is between Plaza Cataluña and Plaza Real. Most people enter Las Ramblas from Plaza Cataluña, whereas the point of access least frequented is Arc del Teatre street.

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