(AFP) – Oct 27, 2008
MADRID (AFP) — A restaurant in Gijon in northern Spain has started offering a lunch time "anti-crisis" menu for just one euro to help its customers in the industrial port face up to the sharp economic slowdown.
"We don't make money but we are not losing money either," one of the managers of Dario's restaurant, Emilia Jimenez, told Spanish media, adding that business on weekends makes up for its budget-priced Thursday lunches.
The restaurant launched the offer earlier this month to try to attract customers at a time when consumer spending is contracting sharply in Spain, which is going through an abrupt economic slowdown.
Waiting times for a seat were long on Thursday as the 49-seat establishment served nearly 200 people.
For one euro (1.26 dollars) customers were served seafood soup, ribs with rice, chicken or anchovies with salad, along with bread, a drink and dessert.
Lunch time menus in Spain usually cost around 10 euros.
Spain is experiencing a rapid rise in unemployment as its economy, which just last year was one of the fastest-growing in the developed world, lurches towards a recession due to the end of a decade-long property boom.
The country's unemployment rate rose to 11.3 percent in the third quarter, its highest level in more than four years and the highest rate in the 27-member European Union, from 10.4 percent in the second quarter.
The Washington-based International Monetary Fund predicts Spain's unemployment rate will hit 14.7 percent next year while the economy will shrink by 0.2 percent that year. Spain's economy expanded by 3.7 percent last year.
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