1) Less bureaucracy and paperwork
|(Source: Randy von Liski)|
Now, I’ll be the first to acknowledge that the United States is far from innocent when it comes to giving foreigners the run-around on visas and residency applications; however, the experience I and countless other language assistants have had in Spain dealing with extranjería (the foreigners office) has shown the Spanish bureaucratic state to be a convoluted nightmare, from inconsistent requirements that change from one functionary to another, to fee-payment schemes that are often impossible to complete during normal business hours, and to the complete lack of coordination between the Education and the Interior ministries when it comes to the language assistant program.
The endless paperwork and bureaucracy is definitely part of the culture. As an example, to renew for another year at my school, one of the steps was to simply send a form via snail mail to the regional government in Santiago, but my school insisted I have teacher’s sister who worked there deliver it, so they went through this byzantine procedure of making copies, officially stamping and signing everything, entering things into a leather-bound register, and so on. I stood there in shock and wondered why putting a stamp on an envelope was so hard.
Finally, the heavy paperwork really puts a burden on entrepreneurs and small-business startups, because it’s simply so expensive and difficult to incorporate here! I can’t for the life of me find the original article, but I was reading something by a Malaysian tech company talking about their experiences incorporating in the Netherlands and in Spain. The process in the Netherlands was painless, required maybe one form and a fee of 20 euros or so. Spain took upwards of a year to complete, hundreds of copies and forms—all of which had to be officially translated—and a final cost of 10,000€.