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Wed 7 Jan 2015 12:36 PM

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Increased rents cause end for Spanish small businesses

About 200,000 mostly family-owned stores, bars and restaurants in Spain are affected by the law change that allows their landlords to raise rents to whatever they want, wiping out around 120,000 jobs in a country which already has a 24 percent unemployment rate, labor groups say.

Increased rents cause end for Spanish small businesses
Lluis Castello, 82, owner of Musical Emporium, works on his cash register during his last day open to the public on January 5, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. Musical Emporium is a music store founded in 1900 by the grandmother of Lluis Castello who has run the business since 1956. 50,000 shops will shutdown in the next few months due to a law change which allows the landlords to increase the rent without restrictions, affecting more than 200,000 jobs. The shutdown of traditional stores comes among protests against losing a part of the Spain's cultural identity as the spaces will be taken by international franchises. (Getty Images)
Increased rents cause end for Spanish small businesses
A pedestrian looks at the window display of Musical Emporium store during its last day open to the public on January 5, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. Musical Emporium is a music store founded in 1900 by the grandmother of Lluis Castello, 82, who has run the business since 1956. 50,000 shops will shutdown in the next few months due to a law change which allows the landlords to increase the rent without restrictions, affecting more than 200,000 jobs. The shutdown of traditional stores comes among protests against losing a part of the Spain's cultural identity as the spaces will be taken by international franchises. (Getty Images)
Increased rents cause end for Spanish small businesses
Lluis Castello, 82, owner of Musical Emporium, looks on during his last day open to the public on January 5, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. Musical Emporium is a music store founded in 1900 by the grandmother of Lluis Castello who has run the business since 1956. 50,000 shops will shutdown in the next few months due to a law change which allows the landlords to increase the rent without restrictions, affecting more than 200,000 jobs. The shutdown of traditional stores comes among protests against losing a part of the Spain's cultural identity as the spaces will be taken by international franchises. (Getty Images)
Increased rents cause end for Spanish small businesses
Leocadia Peris, 78, poses for a portrait at the casette tapes and LP department of Musical Emporium, during his last day open to the public on January 5, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. Leocadia Peris has been working in this store since the '40s. Musical Emporium is a music store founded in 1900 by the grandmother of Lluis Castello who has run the business since 1956. 50,000 shops will shutdown in the next few months due to a law change which allows the landlords to increase the rent without restrictions, affecting more than 200,000 jobs. The shutdown of traditional stores comes among protests against losing a part of the Spain's cultural identity as the spaces will be taken by international franchises. (Getty Images)
Increased rents cause end for Spanish small businesses
Leocadia Peris, 78, works at the casette tapes and LP department of Musical Emporium during his last day open to the public on January 5, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. Leocadia Peris has been working in this store since the '40s. Musical Emporium is a music store founded in 1900 by the grandmother of Lluis Castello who has run the business since 1956. 50,000 shops will shutdown in the next few months due to a law change which allows the landlords to increase the rent without restrictions, affecting more than 200,000 jobs. The shutdown of traditional stores comes among protests against losing a part of the Spain's cultural identity as the spaces will be taken by international franchises. (Getty Images)
Increased rents cause end for Spanish small businesses
People walk past the main entrance of Musical Emporium store during its last day open to the public on January 5, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. Musical Emporium is a music store founded in 1900 by the grandmother of Lluis Castello, 82, who has run the business since 1956. 50,000 shops will shutdown in the next few months due to a law change which allows the landlords to increase the rent without restrictions, affecting more than 200,000 jobs. The shutdown of traditional stores comes among protests against losing a part of the Spain's cultural identity as the spaces will be taken by international franchises. (Getty Images)
Increased rents cause end for Spanish small businesses
People walk past the main entrance of Musical Emporium store during its last day open to the public on January 5, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. Musical Emporium is a music store founded in 1900 by the grandmother of Lluis Castello, 82, who has run the business since 1956. 50,000 shops will shutdown in the next few months due to a law change which allows the landlords to increase the rent without restrictions, affecting more than 200,000 jobs. The shutdown of traditional stores comes among protests against losing a part of the Spain's cultural identity as the spaces will be taken by international franchises. (Getty Images)