A friend of mine made a stand and vowed never to purchase anything from the Chinese “pound” shops which have taken the Majorcan high street by storm. He would always make his purchases from Spanish-owned stores until he realised that the majority of products he was buying were made in China. He has since abandoned his stance and has joined everyone else who shops regularly at “los chinos.” These shops are so popular that the words “los chinos” “the Chinese”have now entered the Spanish dictionary and while everyone else continues to founder on the High Street, the Chinese go from strength to strength. It is estimated that almost a third of all stores in Spain are Chinese owned! Incredible. Taking all this into account I had to laugh yesterday when I saw that the European Union doesn´t want to sign a free trade agreement with China because they fear an influx of cheap Chinese exports. For the benefit of the European Union, which appears to be looking the other way as usual, Iwould like to tell them that these exports have already arrived and the majority of Spaniards are making good use of them. My view on these Chinese owned shops is that they provide a useful service, offering bargain prices during these very hard economic times. Some Spaniards often question the legality of these stores and allege that they do not pay enough tax. I would say that it is a question of sour grapes. The Chinese are here to stay.
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