Friday, August 19, 2011

The Pope in Spain - can Spain handle the costs?

There are tens of thousands of people on the streets in Spain rioting over papal visit and its high cost in times when Spain should cut unnecessary costs and deal with unemployment problems. These are the main arguments. Let's do the math in order to decide.

It is thought that papal visit will cost around 50 to 100 million euros to Spain. Price tags offered also include costs like cleaning, security etc in addition to everything regarding Pope's well-being.

It is thought that one or even two million people will try to get a glimpse of the Pope, many of them arriving from other countries even from as far as Philippines or Brazil. It is estimated that about 500 000 foreign pilgrims visit Spain to see the Pope. Average tourist spends around 90 euros per day according to Spanish tourism statistics (link). So even assuming that a tourist spends only two days in Spain will cover the costs of the event. It is thought that actual number of foreign tourists can even exceed 1 million people.

Not to mention those extra 10 000 policemen or thousands of cleaners brought to the streets with Spanish government money (included already in the price tags brought out).

Poster saying "Not with my taxes"
Let it not be a monetary argument because it seems like a nice boost to Spanish economy at a difficult time. The protest should more focus on the views of young Spaniards towards abortions and same-sex marriages or 0,7% religious tax rate imposed to all people.

72 percent of all Spanish people describe themselves as catholics. Amonghst young people only 46% describe themselves as catholic.

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