Wednesday, March 14, 2007

On the way up

When you see the odd dilapidated building about it is easy to assume that Spain is still behind other countries in terms of wealth. That is far from the truth.

In 1993, the Spanish economy contracted 1 percent. Today, Spain is the continent's economic champion. Since 2002, it has created more than half of the 5 million new jobs in the 13-nation euro area, according to Eurostat, the EU's Luxembourg-based statistics office. Spain contributed more to growth in the euro zone in 2005 than any other country, adding 65 billion euros to the economy compared with France's 51 billion euros and Germany's 34 billion.

In 2006, Spain generated the second-highest growth, after France. Rapid expansion creates booming financial markets. The Ibex 35, Spain's benchmark stock index, was the best performer among 18 West European indexes in 2006, gaining 31 percent. As of February 27th, the Ibex was up 1.9 percent this year.

However financial security isn't everything. The agricultural area of the Vega Baja is still desperately short of water. There is a fear that 30 million kilos of broccolis and 20 million kilos of artichokes could be lost if the Vega Baja does not receive water immediately. On top of that there are hundreds of thousands of citrus trees which are just coming into flower require water.

The potential loss is estimated at 15,000,000 €. The worst affected areas are Rojales, Guardamar del Segura, Formentera del Segura, Dolores, Daya Nueva, Daya Vieja, Callosa de Segura, Catral and part of Orihuela.

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