Updated on Saturday, 8 August 2020 - 02:32

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"I've been reinventing myself my whole life." Although Julio Carballeda has placed a red and yellow touched by mourning on the balcony of his house in Aranjuez, he analyzes the economic impact of covid-19 with the distance of those who have already had to leave a lifetime behind in Venezuela. This worker has not stopped adapting, from playing football to serving beer in a stadium while others are fighting for the ball. On the verge of 60, he refuses to swell the unemployment lists: now, he prepares orders online .

The working life of this man from Caracas, who is already considered a tariff, is especially difficult to grasp or summarize; it escapes through the gaps that end up being opened between the planned plans. "My colleagues in the hospitality industry do not quite understand that the sector is not going to work at 80% until the end of the year, November or December, and before that it is difficult for them to have the extra reinforcements, if the usual templates are already in ERTE" , explains about the activity to which he has been dedicated since his arrival in Spain.

Certainly, Julio has had to reinvent himself more than once. This health crisis, for example, surprised him as a bar manager at the Wanda Metropolitano , promoted after serving as a waiter for half a year. The company that used it for each event or match, Center Plate, has withdrawn due to the sudden disappearance of events and sport, at least of the entire game that was taking place behind what the television cameras and those that take the photographs that later make the front pages of sports newspapers. To say that football is played 11 against 11 is to ignore the whole economy that develops off the pitch.

"The effect of covid-19 in sports is not transparent. When you watch a game, you think there is football, because there are players , but ... what about the one who puts the sandwich, the watchman, the usher, the Security? The activity is still 95% missing. We have no idea of ​​the chain that generates a single Atlético de Madrid match in the system in the Wanda: I can only sell 45 barrels of beer of 30 liters each, two hundred of pizzas, as many bottles of water if it is summer, 70 soft drinks ... ". Among so many numbers, Julio insists on mentioning Adecco, the ETT that made him debut at the mattress stadium.

The consequences of tourism

Before the ravages of the coronavirus, Julio combined that position at the Wanda with specific support for the Hotel Barceló de Aranjuez - "I have very good English and a certain presence" -, a focus of tourists who stopped their activity due to the pandemic: "To open 10, 20 or 30 rooms out of a total of 300, it does not compensate you or maintain electricity ", he acknowledges. Tourism will lose 54% of its GDP in 2020, around 83,000 million euros less according to the calculations of the employer Exceltur. International forecasts, for example those of the IMF, place common tourist destinations such as Spain, Italy or Croatia among the economies most affected by the health crisis. In Spain tourism generates more than 12% of GDP.

With the omnipresent pandemic, people shut down, but consumption persisted, so Julio joined a Lidl supermarket in the Canillejas area, not far from the Wanda, and helped cover the peak of "the explosion of fear in the that everyone wanted to store food but there was hardly any capacity to replenish it. " At that time, panic reached products such as toilet paper and both hands and gloves were lacking to properly sort orders.

Take advantage of the 'boom' of electronic commerce

Electronic commerce was around 49,000 million euros last year, almost 25% more than the previous year, but even so, Spain still suffers from a lack of acceptance of e-commerce among SMEs, around 99% of all the country's companies and those that cover almost 70% of employment. So much so that the European Commission has warned of "a relatively weak performance in digitization" of these small and medium-sized companies.

That is why it is not surprising that, from Lidl, Julio jumped to another large supermarket chain such as Dia, specifically in Doctor Esquerdo street, "preparing orders mostly for Glovo" that were indicated through a mobile application of the restockers, so digitized like customers. Dia improved its sales in the second quarter by 16% compared to the same period of the previous year, despite the fact that it had previously undertaken a store closure.

Flee from Venezuela, stranger in Spain

Just as "cold" is not the same as "frozen" when these shipments are organized, neither is the Spain of the coronavirus similar to the Venezuela of Chavismo. "Crime there is enormous. Many Spaniards do not understand it and I always give them the same example: here you take your mobile phone with all normality inside the metro and that is unthinkable in Caracas. Even so, they insist: 'And is it really? For so much? "At 56 years old, stable job, a good house and a good car, I left Venezuela. That gives an idea of how the country is, besides to come to a country like Spain, from where they are telling you that there is not much available work, "says Julio, who has just turned 59. His achievements in this country stand out for having been achieved in a labor market that tends to marginalize older workers, despite the notable aging of Spanish society.

In the 80s, who today is a replenisher in Spain played as a professional for the Venezuelan Deportivo Galicia - a Venezuelan team with obvious reminiscences of Spain, where Julio's parents come from. This former soccer player, with dual nationality, did not complete his psychology studies and ended up settled in a private soccer academy , the Los Cortijos club, first as a coach and later as a director, in charge of managing the expectations of a total of 185 kids. However, he was defeated by Chavismo and headed to the country of La Roja. Here, he often changes position and is among the veterans of the market, but there is no one to beat him.

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  • Spain
  • Venezuela
  • Lidl
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