The Vanguard of Disaster

Markel Redondo / Panos for TIME

Abandoned dream This choice lot in central Jerez was supposed to be the site of a cultural center called Flamenco City, but it was never built

Like millions of Spaniards these days, Marisa Sánchez has numbers running through her head. The regional bus company where she's worked for the past six years has slashed its routes, so during the long periods of time when she's not selling tickets, Sánchez obsesses over the figures that worry has carved into her memory — €620: the cost of her mortgage; €180: her monthly car payment; €50: the bill for the electricity her family of four consumes each month. Somehow the numbers never manage to add up to zero, which is the salary she has taken home since the...

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