In this time of crisis that we have been dragging, and with the great fall that the tax collection has suffered, which has caused debates on the sustainability of our pension system and its reform, the financing deficit of the autonomous communities and municipalities have derived in an asphyxiating fiscal pressure. Thus, the debate on the legalization of prostitution.
To illustrate the situation better, we will see the numbers that the prostitution sector manages. The estimated amount of this is 3.500 million euros per year, which represents 0.35% of the national GDP. To give you an idea, this supposes a volume similar to the footwear industry in Spain or to the contribution of the city of Malaga.
Have in mind that in Spain there are about 100,000 escorts, although only 20% of these escorts girls are Spanish. It is estimated that 39% of Spaniards have paid for having sex ever, with an average annual expenditure of 1,530 euros. That is, we spend much more on sex than on car insurance, buying fruit or vegetables. The 66% of the escorts girls practice in a brothel, to compare with the remaining 33%, that does it in the street.
To end with this battery of data, only 5% are luxury escorts. Now is when the question arises, should we regulate the sector? This is one of the largest money movements in the country, which could contribute to the desired increase in tax collection.
Why is it legal to sell tobacco if it generates thousands of deaths and illnesses a year, spending millions of euros on campaigns to stop smoking and generates a huge expenditure on public health? The tax reason seems enough to allow it to be legal to smoke. Now we come to see, briefly, the Dutch model, where prostitution was legalized in the year 2000 and already have extensive experience.
In the Netherlands, the sector moves the 2,500 million euros, that is to say to 0.4% of the GDP, surpassing to the mythical Dutch cheese sector. The legalization of prostitution was coming at the same time than laws against sexual abuse and protection of minors. Prostitution has been banned on the streets and can only be done in rooms equipped for this purpose, each escort girl has to pay for private health insurance, like any Dutch worker. As taxes are paid for this activity, the system is controlled through a licensing system, and final regulation is given to the cities. At the sametime than this legalization, any means of sexual exploitation is considered an offense punishable by imprisonment and the legal age for engaging in prostitution was raised from 18 to 21.
Clubs, escorts girls' agencies, X rooms, couples bars, or prostitution in private homes are allowed and regulated by a licensing system, and only in 13 Dutch cities are the famous showcases allowed, such as the famous of the Red Light district of Amsterdam.
Any companion has the right for social and health care and even to participate in a program of social reintegration for those who want to abandon prostitution, and municipalities are obliged to guarantee these rights as issuers of the corresponding licenses.
With all these data and comparing the two models, you can see the similarity of figures between countries, but while in Holland they contribute as another sector and are protected by law, having the right to social benefits and pensions, in Spain, escorts and prostitutes are left in the helplessness and at the mercy of mafias and sexual exploiters.
For all this, it would be useful to reflect deeply on whether the legalization of the sector is more convenient for all. .