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Me with film crew ...
The unemployment rate in Spain has soared in the second quarter to a record 24.6% - to date the maximum  was 24.5% which was reached in the first quarter of 1994. The official number of unemployed people increased by 53,000 to 5,693,100 - but as everyone knows, in reality tis figure is much higher due to those that work for black money and do not register on the social security system. Experts have warned that implementing further reforms during a recession would increase job losses even further.

Daily stories in the UK national press report on the Eurozone crisis and whether Greece will leave the Euro ... always followed up by Spain and Italy. Headlines such as "Spain edges closer to disaster" and "Spanish meltdown fear hits UK shares"are splashed across the front pages but the UK are in the worse double dip recession in more than half a century! Headlines are there to sell papers and any distraction from what is happening at home takes the heat off the government.  It certainly makes people nervous and those that were maybe thinking of moving to Spain are put off with all this scaremongering. Yes times are tough, but any worse than in the UK?  At least here we have the sun and don´t need to put the heating on in July as has been the case. It was highlighted that a record number of Brits are now in fuel poverty - when more than 10% of your income is swallowed up paying for gas or electricity.

UK High Streets are now looking like ghost towns with units mainly occupied by either pound land shops or charity shops. Here we have our own pound shops ... Chinese ones, which are very popular and always busy!

At the beginning of July I accompanied British Director Alicia Arce and researcher Karolina Mottram in their quest to gather information about how the current crisis is affecting people living here for a documentary they are planning on filming. The programme is "This World" and last year a similar one was filmed in Greece, anchored by Michael Portillo. They chose the Valencian Region of Spain and started in the city of Valencia, making their way down the coast till they got to the town of La Nucia which is ap 10km outside of Benidorm.

Meeting with La Nucia Mayor - Alicia on end
They were interested in particular with the pharmacy situation and so we spoke at length to Carlos Moreno who has a large pharmacy on the San Rafael urbanisation. He explained in detail the crisis that the industry are in and planned action .... strikes, until the regional health authority pays for prescriptions that have been dispensed.

We went on and spoke to several other business owners including the editor of the most popular free British newspaper on the Costa Blanca "Round Town Times" Michelle Baker and ended the day with Bernabe Cano, Mayor of La Nucia and Bart Gommans, the Councillor for Foreign residents at the superb Camillo Cano Sports Complex. The centre was being viewed by a panel of judges as the town has been nominated for "European Town of Sports 2013" alongside 16 other European towns.

The two ladies hope to be back after they have compiled all their investigations and read through their notes with a film crew. The UK networks certainly like this region at the moment what with ITV - Come Dine with Me and also May the Best House Win, Channel 5 recording a second series of Benidorm ER and some secret filming for a comedy gag setup similar to Candid Camera. Two weeks ago "This Morning" broadcast the show from the Sol Pelicanos hotel in Benidorm. Last year Day Break did a 3 day broadcast from the Levante beach and also used the Sol Pelicanos - which is featured in the ITV comedy series Benidorm.
Will ITV be back for series 6 of "Benidorm" .....

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