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Is Madrid declining?

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Sandbanks
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Is Madrid declining?

elpais.com/elpais/…1381325756_737127.html

"Great bands hardly ever come to Madrid anymore, and the city's once-famous nightlife is fading away."

Is this true? Has anyone noticed that? The article talks about how dirty the streets are, clubs and bars shutting down, tourism down, culture is dying. That's sad, Madrid is so beautiful, is the article exaggerating? For people that live in Madrid or visit often, is this true?

Brussels, Belgium
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1. Re: Is Madrid declining?

yes, no, maybe...

hard to say, I think there are a few hints that could be read as there is a tendency of decline. Sure there is an impact to the economic situation madrid and the rest of spain is facing for more than 5 years now... So you discover that those famous cinemas are suddenly closed, that the nice coffeeshop you went to is closed or that a theatre is lowering their prices and trying to survive with half the staff they had 6 years ago. Or indeed that this famous international band is not stopping in madrid for their european tour...

But still there is a long way to go to decline. It is still a vibrant place, full of life. People are still out and about, enjoying bars and cultural life. I think the article of el pais is a bit pessimistic in that aspect. It took me especially by surprise the issue about the dirtiness of the streets, as I still consider madrid to be one of the cleanest european capitals and I havent noticed any change over the last years in that aspect.

Barcelona, Spain
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2. Re: Is Madrid declining?

I did read that article and I would like to know other's opinions too.

My last visit to Madrid was a few weeks ago. I was walking around the city centre and certainly my impression was that it was dirtier than before. Then I asked my colleagues and they also complained about this. It's a shame if this becomes a trend, we all know there are financial issues, but such bad impression will have a negative impact in tourism.

I can't say about nightlife as I usually go on daytrips and I'm a bit old for that in any case.

3. Re: Is Madrid declining?

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4. Re: Is Madrid declining?

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Barcelona, Spain
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5. Re: Is Madrid declining?

Hola myscreen123! It looks we were writing at the same time :)

Certainly some business are closing all over the country (for many small cinemas and some other activities, that idiotic tax on cultural events of the 21% VAT has been their final straw). This is happening here in Barcelona too, and in other cities I visit often, so sadly that did not catch my attention, while dirtiness did.

Maybe Madrid is still cleaner than other capitals, but the other day the areas of central Madrid I walked (mainly Latina, Fuencarral...) were dirtier than some of the "worse" areas in central Barcelona, when it used to be the opposite. I walked around El Raval two days after my visit to Madrid, and this made that (bad) impression even more consistent.

My next visit to Madrid will be on December, this time for 3 days, and I really hope to get a different impression.

karachi
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6. Re: Is Madrid declining?

The El Pais article is grossly exaggerated and having just spent nine days in the city enroute to Barcelona, Cordoba, Extremadura and Lisbon I can confidently say that things have most certainly not hit rock bottom- far from it. Yes, the Spanish capital has it's fair share of problems- which major metropolis doesn't?- but to dismiss it as a "dirty" old dump is hardly justifiable. The ever increasing graffiti on public buildings has admittedly marred the city's overall vibe of supreme elegance and enough has probably not been done to address this issue- or so I have been told by those in the know how of things- but this hardly implies that the city is a lost cause. I am a frequent visitor to Madrid and have immense affection for the place. To my mind it is the perfect amalgamation of art and commerce on the lines of London, Paris and Milan. The city's cultural cornucopia embracing world class museums, art galleries, private collections, grand architecture, theatre, drama, stage, music and cinema is one without equal throughout Europe. Its vast and superbly diverse gastronomic scene too is still thriving. The warmth and friendliness of its people- crisis or no crisis- is a yardstick I'd still use to gauge and judge others- often unfavourably! This is the city I love with an all consuming passion and I'm absolutely miserable being away from it. It puts me on cloud nine, imparts strength, reliability, confidence and acceptability and I adore it to bits warts and all - no offence to those who obviously don't but just a wee bit of balance does one no harm either.

Manchester, England
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7. Re: Is Madrid declining?

Just been for my first trip and loved it! Was amazed by how much money and wealth seemed to be around as I'd expected things to be in a sorry state due to the state of the Spanish Economy but not so. It was buzzing and clean and safe. Only annoyance was the amount of beggars on the subway. Found it impossible to use a single train and not be asked for money by someone, saw the same horrifically burnt guy at least a half dozen times shouting and screaming his way through the carriages... Not good.

8. Re: Is Madrid declining?

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9. Re: Is Madrid declining?

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Removed on: 12 October 2013, 13:06
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London, United...
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10. Re: Is Madrid declining?

The newspapers in Spain seem to have political leanings just like anywhere else in the world. We hear a lot about this during election fever time in UK when the pundits are wondering which newspaper will "back" which party. It was interesting to read a BBC piece about the Press in Spain and they described El Pais as follows:

It is no coincidence that this daily emerged only after Franco's death and fast became the top circulation paper in the country, backing the then government of socialist Felipe Gonzalez. El Pais (The Country) continues to support the socialists and was one of the most vociferous critics of Spain's involvement in the 2003 Iraq war. Like its main Madrid rivals, El Pais is compact size and comfortably straddles the line between authoritative and entertaining. It has a number of regional and international editions.

................

I was in Madrid in August and was very happy to discover a superb city to visit and had absolutely no complaints about litter etc. Am looking forward to seeing much more in future. I think the citizens of Spain do need to be told sometimes what they are allowed to do as explained in the Independent article. For example I recall a general laissez-faire to dog fouling in streets and then things started to change when local town halls and cities introduced laws and fines. Suddenly streets started to get cleaner. So often it is the requirement of local authorities to be strict with laws for the good of the community as a whole.

But Madrid is marvelous.