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HOLIDAYS

Spain’s public holidays in 2018: Official list

Spain will have a total of 10 public holidays celebrated across Spain in 2018 plus additional dates in each region. So get organized and start planning some weekends away.

Spain’s public holidays in 2018: Official list
Photo: anyaberkot/Depositphotos

Disheartened at the thought of going back at work after the Christmas holidays? The good news is that you can start planning your puentes – the Spanish custom of taking the day off to bridge the weekend with the holiday.

READ MORE:

Here is the official list of all the public holidays across Spain in 2018, as published in Spain's BOE official state bulletin.

This year sees nine national public holidays across the whole of Spain – 10 if you include the December 8th holiday which is celebrated everywhere bar the Canary Islands – plus each region will have its own holidays on top.

These celebrated nationally are:

January 1st: New Year’s Day. (Monday)

January 6th: Three Kings’ Day (Saturday)

March 30th: Good Friday

May 1st: Workers' Day (Tuesday)

August 15th: Assumption of Mary, (Wednesday)

October 12th:  Spanish National Day, (Friday)

November 1st: All Saints’ Day (Thursday)

December 6th: Constitution Day (Thursday)

December 8th: Immaculate Conception, (Saturday) Except Canary Islands.

December 25th: Christmas Day (Tuesday)

Apart from these national dates, all regions have additional holidays with authorities choosing to celebrate different dates. See below for the full list of additional public holidays by region.

 

Andalusia

February 28th: Andalusia Day (Wednesday)

March 29th: Maundy Thursday

 

Aragon

March 29th: Maundy Thursday

April 23rd: St George’s Day and Aragon regional day (Monday)

 

Asturias

March 29th: Maundy Thursday

September 8th: Asturian Regional Day (Saturday)

 

Balearic Islands

March 1st: Balearic Regional Day (Thursday)

March 29th: Maundy Thursday

April 2nd: Easter Monday

 

Basque Country

March 29th: Maundy Thursday

April 2nd: Easter Monday

 

Canary Islands

March 29th: Maundy Thursday

May 30th: Canary Islands Day (Wednesday)

 

Cantabria

July 28th: Cantabrian Day (Saturday)

September 15th: Patron Saint of Cantabria – Virgen de la Bien Aparecida – (Saturday)

 

Castilla-La Mancha

March 29th: Maundy Thursday

May 31st Castilla-La Mancha Regional Day (Thursday)

 

Castile and León

March 29th: Maundy Thursday

April 23rd: Castile and León Day 

 

Catalonia

April 2nd: Easter Monday

September 11th Catalonia National Day (Tuesday)

December 26th (St Stephen’s Day)

 

Ceuta

March 29th: Maundy Thursday

August 22nd: Eid al-Adha – Festival of Abraham’s Sacrifice – (Wednesday)

 

Extremadura

March 29th: Maundy Thursday

September 8th: Extremadura Regional Day (Saturday)

 

Galicia

March 29th: Maundy Thursday

May 17th Galicia Literature Day (Thursday)

July 25th: St James’ Day / Galician Regional Day (Wednesday)

 

La Rioja

March 29th: Maundy Thursday

June 9th: La Rioja Regional Day (Saturday)

 

Madrid

March 29th: Maundy Thursday

May 2nd: Community of Madrid Day

 

Melilla

January 2nd (Monday after New Year's Day)

March 29th: Maundy Thursday

August 22nd: Eid al-Adha – Festival of Abraham’s Sacrifice – (Wednesday)

 

Murcia

March 19th: San Jose (Monday)

March 29th: Maundy Thursday

June 9th: Murcia Day (Saturday)

 

Navarra

March 29th: Maundy Thursday

April 2nd: Easter Monday

 

Valencia

March 19th:  San Jose (Monday)

April 2nd: Easter Monday

October 9th: Valencia Day  (Monday)

 

And don't forget your local municipality will also have two days of holidays, dependent on the local patron saint days.

MONEY

Rampant branch closures and job cuts help Spain’s banks post huge earnings

Spain’s biggest banks this week reported huge profits in 2021 and cheered their return to recovery post-Covid, but ruthless cost-cutting in the form of thousands of layoffs, hundreds of branch closures and the removal of many ATMs have left customers in Spain suffering, in this latest example of ‘Capitalismo 2.0’. 

A man withdraws cash from a Santander branch in Madrid.
More than 3,500 Santander workers lost their jobs in Spain in 2021 and a further 2,000 more employees working for Santander across Europe were also laid off. Photo: PHILIPPE DESMAZES / AFP

Spanish banking giant Santander on Wednesday said it has bounced back from the pandemic as it returned to profit last year, beating analyst expectations and exceeding its pre-COVID earnings.

Likewise, Spain’s second-largest bank BBVA said on Thursday that it saw a strong rebound in 2021 following the Covid crisis, tripling its net profits thanks to a recovery in business activity.

It’s a similar story for Unicaja (€137 million profit in 2021), Caixabank (€5.2 billion profit thanks to merge with Bankia), Sabadell (€530 million profit last year), Abanca (€323 million profit) and all of Spain’s other main banks.

This may be promising news for Spain’s banking sector, but their profits have come at a cost for many of their employees and customers. 

In 2021, 19,000 bank employees lost their jobs, almost all through state-approved ERE layoffs, meant for companies struggling financially.

BBVA employees protest against layoffs in May 2021 in Madrid. Spain’s second-largest bank BBVA is looking to shed 3,800 jobs, affecting 16 percent of its staff, in a move denounced by unions as “scandalous”. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

Around 11 percent of bank branches in Spain have also been closed down in 2021 as part of Spanish banks’ attempts to cut costs, even though they’ve agreed to pay just under €5 billion in compensation.

Rampant branch closures have in turn resulted in 2,200 ATMs being removed since the Covid-19 pandemic began, even though the use of cajeros automáticos went up by 20 percent in 2021.

There are now 48,300 ATMs in Spain, levels not seen since 2001.

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Apart from losses caused by the coronavirus crisis, Spain’s financial institutions have justified the lay-offs, branch closures and ATM removals under the premise that there was already a shift to online banking taking place among customers. 

But the problem has been around for longer in a country with stark population differences between the cities and so-called ‘Empty Spain’, with rural communities and elderly people bearing the brunt of it. 

 

Caixabank laid off almost 6,500 workers in the first sixth months of 2021. Photo: ANDER GILLENEA/AFP

Just this month, a 78-year-old Valencian man has than collected 400,000+ signatures in an online petition calling for Spanish banks to offer face-to-face customer service that’s “humane” to elderly people, spurring the Bank of Spain and even Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to publicly say they would address the problem.

READ MORE: ‘I’m old, not stupid’ – How one Spanish senior is demanding face-to-face bank service

It’s worth noting that between 2008 and 2019, Spain had the highest number of branch closures and bank job cuts in Europe, with 48 percent of its branches shuttered compared with a bloc-wide average of 31 percent.

Below is more detailed information on how Santander and BBVA, Spain’s two biggest banks, have reported their huge profits in 2021.

Santander

Driven by a strong performance in the United States and Britain, the bank booked a net profit of €8.1 billion in 2021, close to a 12-year high. 

It was a huge improvement from 2020 when the pandemic hit and the bank suffered a net loss of €8.7 billion after it was forced to write down the value of several of its branches, particularly in the UK. It was also higher than 2019, when the bank posted a net profit of €6.5 billion.

Analysts from FactSet were expecting profits of €7.9 billion. 

“Our 2021 results demonstrate once again the value of our scale and presence across both developed and developing markets, with attributable profit 25 per cent higher than pre-COVID levels in 2019,” said chief executive Ana Botin in a statement.

Net banking income, the equivalent to turnover, also increased, reaching €33.4 billion, compared to €31.9 billion in 2020. This dynamic was made possible by a strong increase in customer numbers, with the group now counting almost 153 million customers worldwide. 

“We have added five million new customers in the last 12 months alone,” said Botin.

Santander performed particularly well in Europe and North America, with profits doubling in constant euros compared to 2020. In the UK, where Santander has a strong presence, current profit even “quadrupled” over the same period to €1.6 billion.

Last year’s net loss was the first in Banco Santander’s history, after having to revise downwards the value of several of its subsidiaries, notably in the UK, because of COVID.

The banking giant, which cut nearly 3,500 jobs at the end of 2020, in September announced an interim shareholder payout of €1.7 billion for its 2021 results. “In the coming weeks, we will announce additional compensation linked to the 2021 results,” it said.

BBVA

The group, which mainly operates in Spain but also in Latin America, Mexico and Turkey, posted profits of €4.65 billion ($5.25 billion), up from €1.3 billion a year earlier.

The result, which followed a solid fourth quarter with profits of €1.34 billion, was higher than expected, with FactSet analysts expecting a figure of €4.32 billion .

Excluding non-recurring items, such as the outcome of a restructuring plan launched last year, it generated profits of 5.07 billion euros in what was the highest figure “in 10 years”, the bank said in a statement.

In 2020, the Spanish bank saw its net profit tumble 63 percent as a result of asset depreciation and provisions taken against an increase in bad loans due to the economic fallout of the virus crisis.

“The economic recovery over the past year has brought with it a marked upturn in banking activity, mainly in the loan portfolio,” the bank explained, pointing to a reduction of the provisions put in place because of Covid.

In 2021, BBVA added a “record” 8.7 million new customers, largely due to the growth of its online activities. It now has 81.7 million customers worldwide.

The group’s net interest margins also rose 6.1 percent year-on-year to €14.7 billion, said the bank, which is undergoing a cost-cutting drive.

So far, it has axed 2,935 jobs and closed down 480 branches as the banking sector undergoes increasing digitalisation and fewer and fewer transactions are carried out over the counter.

At the end of 2020, BBVA sold its US unit to PNC Financial Services for nearly 10 billion euros and decided to reinvest some of the funds in the Turkish market.

In November, it launched a bid to take full control of its Turkish lending subsidiary Garanti, offering €2.25 billion ($2.6 billion) to buy the 50.15 percent stake it does not yet own.

The deal should be finalised in the first quarter of 2022.

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