Spanish people react to Sunday Times article which called them rude, lazy and foul-mouthed

The article has provoked fury in Spain - and among Spaniards living in London

The article has provoked fury in Spain - and among Spaniards living in London

Thursday, February 1, 2018

It's fair to say the Sunday Times' latest article about Spain hasn't gone down too well with those who hail from the Iberian country.

Published in the paper's travel section and headlined 'How to be Spanish', the article also said British tourists should "forget all notions of Anglo-Saxon politeness and decorum" when they go to a bar, and should have no hesitation about throwing food on the floor - as that's what local people do.

The article also suggests that, to fit in with Spanish culture, you have to "swear like a trooper" and "always be late - unless a bull's charging at you." In fact, the author says arriving anywhere less than 30 minutes late is considered rude.

The provocative piece has gone viral on Spanish media, and prompted a number of hostile responses. One news outlet, ABC, published a satirical guide of its own, offering readers advice on how to be English. Tips included queuing for everything, drinking as much as you can and fighting in the street.

To get a more reasoned, and local, viewpoint, talkRADIO spoke to a number of members of the Spanish community in London, asking them what they thought about the article.

Here's what they told us:

Sergio Arboledas, digital marketing manager, from Madrid

"This article has been a major talking point on social media, particularly in Facebook groups for Spanish people in London, provoking a tidal wave of racism towards British people and especially towards the newspaper concerned.

"In my opinion this type of article, whose only aim is to go viral, is very dangerous not just for the reputation of the newspaper, but also for the harmony between the two countries. Luckily the bulk of Spanish people living in the UK know that the majority of British people have a better opinion of our country and reject this type of cliche-ridden article."

Veronica Descamps, administrator, from Madrid

"I don't think it's fair they can publish something like that without being shamed publicly for doing so. When people say those sorts of things, there have to be consequences.

"In a country like Britain, the article is out of place. It's xenophobic."

Inma Pretel, sales manager, from Granada

"We don't feel represented by this article, but to generalise with only negative topics and stereotypes is to take humour and to weaponse it in a desire to ridicule and make fun.

"It's something I don't feel is necessary at any time, but it's even more stupid given we're in the middle of the Brexit negotiations."

Mario Garcia, IT technician, from Murcia

"They accuse us of being lazy, rude, dirty... how is it possiuble that a paper like the Sunday Times publishes such rubbish?

"I genuinely don't see how or why they can publish this."

Ricardo Ruiz, programmer, from Valencia

 "It reminded me of an article I once read, years ago, which said that Spanish people had brought flies to Europe.

"I was like 'what the hell' when I read it. It was crazy.

"At least we know this is not what the average English person thinks."