Handbook of Microcredit in Europe
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Handbook of Microcredit in Europe

Social Inclusion through Microenterprise Development

Edited by Bárbara Jayo Carboni, Maricruz Lacalle Calderón, Silvia Rico Garrido, Karl Dayson and Jill Kickul

This timely Handbook offers a unique opportunity to consider the performance and national context of microcredit initiatives within the European Union.
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Chapter 15: Microcredit in Spain: The Role of Saving Banks

Silvia Rico Garrido, Maricruz Lacalle Calderón and Bárbara Jayo Carboni


15 Microcredit in Spain: the role of savings banks1 Silvia Rico Garrido, Maricruz Lacalle Calderón and Bárbara Jayo Carboni The purpose of this chapter is to analyse how microcredit loans are currently disbursed in Spain and to illustrate the unique role played by savings banks in promoting this new financial instrument geared towards society’s most underprivileged members. 1 National context Economic and social context2 Since the transition to democracy in 1975, Spain has undergone rapid economic modernization. With its admittance into the European Union in 1986, Spain’s economic policies have evolved and its economy has transformed into one of the most dynamic in Europe, growing at an average annual rate of 5 per cent up to 1990. In the beginning of the 1990s, the Spanish economy went into a four-year recession and has since entered a period of expansion that has persisted uninterrupted to today. In light of this trend, GDP growth registered 3.9 per cent from 2005 to 2006 (the highest in the last six years). The extraordinary dynamism of the Spanish economy can be attributed to a diverse set of factors, which capture not only the changes in the macroeconomy of Spain as a result of the process of convergence and integration in the European Monetary Union, but also several important structural components such as demographic shifts, principally driven by an influx of immigration. Since 2000, Spain has experienced one of the highest rates of immigration in the world (three or four times greater than the...

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