Spain’s second recession in three years is biting hard. Cesar Aguado and his wife Puri and their two children live in the small town of El Viso de San Juan. They are struggling to pay their mortgage and other bills.
Cesar is an electrician but was unemployed until the beginning of this month. Now he has some temporary work as a lorry driver.
“My prospects are terrible, because right now, I’m only replacing colleagues who are on holiday, so I expect to be kicked out on the street on September the 15th,” he said.
Puri lost her job in retail sales two years ago and is unemployed for the first time in her life.
“I’m not asking for any benefits, I’m asking for the opportunity to work, the chance to keep my home. I don’t need anything too expensive. I just want to keep my home and have an average standard of living,” she said.
For some analysts the answer lies in striking the right balance between the level of welfare and the motivation of those looking for employment.
“Government policy should be aimed at giving people incentives to look for work, rather than giving benefits to those who have no jobs, because that simply delays their search for work”, said economist Ignacio Cantos of ATL Capital.
But the latest figures show unemployment still rising, so not everyone who looks for a job will find one.
For many Spaniards the seemingly modest ambitions of keeping a home and paying the bills are becoming increasingly harder to achieve.