Unbelievable, but true. A new report from the German Central Bank, or as it is called, the “Bundesbank”, has announced that, according to their calculatons, Spaniards are 33% richer than Germans.
According to them, Germans can only dream about possessing the wealth and prosperity enjoyed by the Spaniards.” But how could this possibly be true?
Stats offered by the Bundesbank cite the enormous patrimony accumulated by Spanish families, including properties, cars and objects of priceless artistic value: Spaniards enjoy an average net patrimony of 285,000 euros, while in Germany this average falls to some 195,000 euros.
Surprisingly, the report makes no mention of the overvaluation of Spanish properties that have fallen almost 30% on average from the moment they were purchased. The report does not take into account another important fact: most of these properties which are attributed to private owners are currently owned by banks, due to the real estate crisis and rise in evictions and debt default.
On the other hand – truth be told – the percentage of German homeowners is a scanty 44% compared to the astounding 82% of home ownership in Spain. This fact is largely due to the German tendency to rent, rather than to own their own home. On the surface this may seem like a disadvantage – living in someone else’s home strikes fear into the minds of Spanish families. However, the important savings in maintenance costs and real estate taxes speaks volumes to German prosperity.
Just a couple of years ago, the Bundesbank considered home ownership as a poor option to business growth. When putting together this report, this same bank should have realized what they have been preaching to the rest of Europe: “accumulating debt doesn’t necessarily mean you are rich.”
The German central bank offers the following reflection: The average German family disposes of 51,400 euros, while the average Spanish family (according to them) disposes of an annual net patrimony of over 178,000 euros. (No wonder we haven’t already been rescued!)
The same study compares the existing conditions of inequality between rich and poor, yet it neglects to include the fact that paying the bills in Spain is not as cheap as it is in Germany, where families receive substantial financial assistance in the form of subsidies and what not in the form of children’s dental care and the 170 euros each German family perceives per child every month!
To put things in perspective, a Spanish couple would have to have 15 children and earn less than 35,620 euros to even come close to receiving the amount a Geman couple with two children receives in subsidies for healthcare and benefits from the German government.
to announce: to make public, to speak in public about something
to cite: to give as an example
average: the median, the most common considering all the numbers
to make no mention of: to not say anything about
to attribute to: to make reference to
default: failure to pay
“truth be told” – to tell you the truth, to tell you the real story
home ownership: owning a house
real estate: referring to properties: houses, chalets, land
to speak volumes: to say a lot about
“no wonder”: why should anyone have any doubt
to neglect: to not do, to fail to do something
to put things in perspective: to give you the real picture