The Word on the Street

International Edition - February 2012


News and Information from Spain


Welcome to the February issue of 'The Word on the Street'. Your monthly news and information from Spain provided by Ábaco Asesores. In a couple of columns we hope to keep you in touch with the news, events and just a little bit of gossip.

Torre del Oro - Sevilla

Torre del Oro

In the news

Schools lose out in Valencia

Marches around the Alicante region have been held to express anger at the cut backs and lack of funding for schools. Public schools have not received money from Valencia for almost two terms and there are proposed changes to teachers' salaries and conditions of service.

Teachers and parents are worried that what is happening is the systematic undermining of the state education system in favour of the private sector. This can only lead to a two tier system for those who have and those who have not. A worrying state of affairs when we are talking about the future of children, wherever we might live. For more information:

Working longer = economic prosperity?

In Spain at the moment we are faced with a reduction in the number of bank holidays and the disappearance of the siesta. But will this make the country more prosperous? We've found a couple of interesting articles that look at whether Europeans should 'up' their working life game.

This article considers whether there might be better ways of improving productivity:

Electricity Bills

If you elected to stay with your electricity provider's government controlled rate rather than going into the free market scheme you can expect a change to the frequency with which you receive bills. They are reverting back to bi-monthly billing with all bills being calculated from a reading rather than an estimate. Good news and something of a relief for those finding the ups and downs of estimates and actual, difficult to weather.

What to expect from your ITV

I'm just about to experience my first ITV test with a scooter. I found this account of what to expect (albeit for a car) was pretty accessible:

A bit of ship spotting

I found this rather intriguing Marine Traffic site. I'm not sure who it's of use to but if you've got a spare few minutes and don't know what to do with them you might like to take a look:

It shows which ships are out at sea and tells you what they are and where they are going. You can adjust it to focus on wherever you are in the world. I'm more of a landlubber myself but still found it an interesting distraction.

Looking for Spanish classes?

The Leader Newspaper are organising Spanish lessons in the Orihuela Costa region to start from middle to late February and running for 12 weeks subsequently. They are aimed at all different levels and might be worth a look if you're keen to learn:

An interesting article

Or at least I thought so. It helps explain why it's so difficult to find films in their native language in Spain.


Complimentary tax

As you will already know if you've been reading our column in the local newspaper, RTN: complimentary tax demands are being issued thick and fast. This is the tax which can be levied up to five years after a sale took place.

It is a 7% tax on the difference between the Tax Authority's valuation of what the property is worth and what it is sold for. It's something to be aware of if you are considering buying a bargain. Although it's hard to estimate how much the tax might be, you can appeal if you receive a tax demand. Ábaco have had a very high success rate when appealing against this tax. For more information:

Welcome Costa del Sol

This will be one of the first newsletters some of our new Costa del Sol clients receive. After our recent non-resident campaign through Eye on Spain we have an increasing number of clients from this region. Welcome and please submit any suggestions or requests you might have for our newsletter.

Hold on to your old passport

What do you do with your old passport? Most people probably keep it somewhere but aren't too concerned if it gets buried amongst other memorabilia. After all, do you really want to be reminded that you had bad hair days ten years ago too?

However you might feel about your old photo, we do recommend that you keep your old passport somewhere handy. Your Spanish mobile phone or landline contract might be based upon this passport's number and you might be asked to recall it some time in the future.

San Javier v. Corvera

The battle of the airports continues. One of our clients has asked us to bring the discussion up-to-date. Here goes.

Currently the main airport in the Murcia region is San Javier airport. A little distance from the city of Murcia itself, San Javier has been a very popular airport for those with properties along the Orihuela coast. However, it has a rival. Corvera airport has been publicised as replacing it, at least for commercial flights.

There remains uncertainty about the exact opening/ closing of the respective airports and debate continues. The change over has not been helped by the collapse of the property market and the economic downturn in other European countries, like the UK. However, the last projection is that Corvera will open in the summer/autumn 2012 and San Javier will return to being a military aircraft base.

Recent images released in La Verdad newspaper show Corvera airport close to completion and now at the 'beginning testing' stage. Jet2 have announced that they will start flying from there in November 2012.

The new airport is closer to Murcia itself and further inland. It is 30km away from the existing San Javier airport and will mean a longer journey for those used to landing there and living in the Orihuela Costa region.

However, there are other accounts suggesting that it is more likely to be 2013 when Corvera is open and that in the meantime San Javier is actually still having improvements made to it. It is claimed that because the contracts were already issued the work is to continue even thought there are plans to scale San Javier down:

The plot thickens as some airlines still seem to be taking San Javier as a going concern. Ryan air announcing the opening of a route between San Javier and Edinburgh

Just another airport controversy to add to the list it seems.

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A trip to Seville…

…is a must at some point. It's a beautiful city that's full of history, atmosphere and, apparently free places to go and enjoy. In this article we're given ten free things to do there:

This article gives us a real flavour of the city. If you're not tempted…

It's also coming up to the busiest time of the year for Seville. Holy week or 'Semana Santa' is a spectacular and moving occasion. There are processions and floats leaving churches all over the city. This year the week runs from 1st to 8th April. Below are some accounts you can read about how the occasion is marked in Seville:

The procession itself doesn't look like it's for the faint hearted. Watching the YouTube video on this link, you hope for their sake it's not too hot a day.

Of course, Semana Santa is celebrated everywhere in Spain but perhaps Seville has the 'flourish' when it comes to presentation and reputation.

Want to warm up?

Someone on a forum asked recently about spas. The idea of warming up in a hot tub seems like a good one at the moment. The following are some suggestions in the Costa Blanca and Calida regions. Anyone with recommendations for further south - please let us know:

Fit4all have a spa, gym, beauty treatments and café/ restaurant:

This one in Quesada was recommended on the forum: Hotel Laguna:

For a bit of 'Thalassotherapy' there's always the Thalasia in Murcia:

The Sandos Monaco Hotel and Spa Benidorm receives a few mentions from satisfied customers:

Reales Alcázares - Sevilla

Reales Alcázares

A European perspective

This rather interesting website has news articles from the press of different European countries:

It is an interesting way of getting alternative perspectives on the top news stories, particularly valuable during the current political and economic climate.

Do you know someone…

…who likes to perform? They would need to be between the ages of 4 and 30 but could get a chance to take the stage at Benidorm Palace. It's an opportunity for young people to show case their talent. If you fit the brief or you know someone who does you can find out more information from the website:

The shows are taking place through March, April and June and we have been told that there will be talent scouts there too.


Ábaco Asesores: (+34) 96 670 3748

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