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IN PICTURES: Spain’s National Day

October 12th is Spain’s National Day - el Día de la Hispanidad. See the best pictures from the parade in Madrid with all its military pomp, controversy and…goats.

IN PICTURES: Spain's National Day
A paratrooper flies with a Spanish flag during the military parade on Spain’s National Day. Photo: OSCAR DEL POZO CANAS/AFP

October 12th is Spain’s ‘National Day’, known as el Día de la Hispanidad. Though somewhat controversial as its origins lay in celebrations of Christopher Columbus and Spanish imperialism, El Día de la Hispanidad has evolved over the years into a day of jolly jingoism and patriot parades.

READ ALSO: How Spain celebrates its National Day (and why not everyone is happy about it)

The biggest event on National Day in Spain is a massive military parade along Madrid’s Paseo de la Castellana – it is also Armed Forces Day.

The army, navy, air force, Guardia Civil and even the Spanish Legionnaires – who even bring with them their goat mascot –  come out in force to march along the capital’s grandest thoroughfare.

King Felipe VI, who is head of the armed forces, attends with Queen Letizia and their daughters, as well as the Prime Minister, and other leading politicians.

This year’s parade wasn’t without controversy, however, as Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez reportedly left the King waiting during the parade, and was then roundly booed and showered with shouts of ‘resign’ and ‘resignation’.

Not ideal for the Prime Minister on Spain’s national day, but the culmination of the event is always a fly-by from the Spanish Air Force acrobatics team, the Patrulla Águila.

We’ve collected some of the best pictures from the parade to give you a sense of what Spain’s Día de la Hispanidad is really like.

Horsemen of the Spanish Guardia Civil honour guard troops march. Photo: OSCAR DEL POZO CANAS/AFP
 
October 12th is very military-focused day, with the Spanish Legion, Army, Navy, Guardia Civil and Air Force all taking part in the parade. Often military families, or those supportive of the military or police force, take to the streets to watch the parade, and events also take place in Málaga, Huelva and Zaragoza. 
 

A paratrooper flies with a Spanish flag. Photo: OSCAR DEL POZO CANAS/AFP
 
 

(From L) Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, King Felipe VI of Spain, Princess Sofia of Spain and Queen Letizia of Spain. Photo: OSCAR DEL POZO CANAS/AFP
 
National Day is always attended by Spain’s political bigwigs and Royal Family. This year’s parade was not without political undertones, however, as Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez firstly kept the King waiting at the Plaza de Lima, breaking protocol, and was then welcomed with whistles, boos and shouts of ‘resign’ from spectators.
 
2022’s parade was also notable for its lack of a representative from the Spanish judiciary, notably the absence of Carlos Lesmes, who on Sunday announced his resignation as president of the General Council of the Judiciary.
 
 

The Spanish Legion’s goat takes part in the parade. Photo: OSCAR DEL POZO CANAS/AFP
 
As always, for many one of the highlights of the day was the Spanish Legion’s goat mascot.
 

Members of Spain’s Legion. Photo: OSCAR DEL POZO CANAS/AFP
 
4,000 soldiers marched along the Paseo de la Castellana as part of the event, with 150 vehicles and 86 aircraft.
 
 

Photo: OSCAR DEL POZO CANAS/AFP
 

The Spanish Air Force’s aerobatic demonstration team Patrulla Aguila. Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO CANAS/AFP
 
As is customary, the finale of the day’s proceedings was a fly-by from the Spanish Air Force acrobatics team, the Patrulla Águila, who release a stream of crimson and gold smoke to replicate Spain’s national flag across the sky.
 

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UNDERSTANDING SPAIN

Six out of ten Spaniards rely on word of mouth to find a job: study 

The preferred means of job seeking for unemployed people in Spain is to ask friends and family, official data reveals about a trend which is closely linked to the ingrained Spanish tradition of “enchufe”. 

Six out of ten Spaniards rely on word of mouth to find a job: study 

When it comes to finding work in Spain, it’s often more about who you know than what you know. 

Some call it ‘looking out for friends or loved ones’, others cronyism. What’s clear is that getting the intel on a job that’s newly available and potentially getting hired because of your contact is part and parcel of work matters in Spain. 

Spaniards even have a word for it – enchufe which can be understood as being ‘plugged’ into a job as a result of your connections. 

A work survey by Spain’s National Statistics Institute reveals how when it comes to looking for work, the first port call for Spanish jobseekers is the people they know.

A total of 57.8 percent of surveyed respondents said they asked family or friends about any jobs they knew were available, making it the most common way to look for work in Spain. 

This was followed by looking at job ads (48.1 percent), contacting companies and employers directly (41 percent), updating their CVs (35.4 percent), replying or posting job ads (34.6 percent), contacting a public job seekers’ agency (20.4 percent) or a private one (15.12 percent). 

In a 2020 study by Spain’s National Research Council, 40 percent of Spaniards admitted they’d gotten a job thanks to a close contact, with family members being the first to help them get their foot in the door.

So it’s perhaps no surprise that Spaniards are three times more likely to first ask their circle if they know of a job that’s up for grabs rather than going to their local unemployment office to enquire.

Although this way of doing ‘business’ may seem frustrating to Northern Europeans in Spain, similar Eurostat studies have revealed that in countries such as the Czech Republic (87 percent), Greece (88 percent) and Romania (96 percent) it’s even more common to ask friends or family first, whereas in Spain it happens in 72 percent of cases according to the European stats body.  

Interestingly, one 2.1 percent of unemployed respondents in the INE survey said they’d begun making plans to set up their own businesses. 

By contrast, data from Spain’s self-employment department RETA shows that the number of foreigners who are becoming autónomos in the country is increasing at a faster rate, with 20,000 new inscriptions every year.

“The lingering issue of Spain’s labour market is the intermediation between those looking for work and those offering it,” Asempleo, a Spanish association of recruitment agencies, told El Economista. 

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