The Word on the Street

International Edition - March 2012


News and Information from Spain


Welcome to the March 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.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Gaudí

Making sure it's not closed

In many countries it doesn't matter too much if it's a bank holiday, you can guarantee that there will still be plenty open. Not in Spain. In most cases a bank holiday does mean that everything closes except for your restaurants and bars and the odd local shop.

In order to make sure you're not caught out a good source of information about local and national holidays is available here:

It's in Spanish but it's colour coded and you can check different local areas. No excuses now for not having the fridge well-stocked.

Spain v. UK

One debate that comes up time and time again is the weighing up of the relative merits of the UK and Spain. Forum conversations, if they don't start that way, often end up with a kind of skirmish around which is best. I don't want to encourage any petty side-taking but thought you might be interested to read what the Costa Blanca News' Dave Jones has come up with in the case of Spain versus UK.

For the UK:
His arguments largely centre around the problems with house purchase, building work and illegalities. He brings to life the real issues that have been faced by many disappointed by the building industry and the legal processes.

It is a strong case against Spain but touches on only one aspect of it. Leaving plenty of arguments in Spain's defence:

In defence of Spain:
- Less congestion both on the roads and generally (more land and less people)

- The very varied terrain of Spain - mountains, seas, areas of semi desert, volcanic coastline - an interesting combination that enables all kinds of physical activities

- You can spend much more of your time outdoors

- The Mediterranean diet - fresh, healthy food at an affordable price

- Council tax is cheaper - around one third of that you'd pay in the UK

- A rich cultural heritage

- A feeling of greater personal safety

If you don't entirely agree with these you can take up the issue with Dave Jones. Alternatively we could create a list of our own… We would also be interested to hear from any other nationalities what their 'case' for and against might look like.

Noah's Ark

It felt a little like Noah's Ark on Tuesday when the rains came down. Based in Torrevieja, we suddenly found ourselves to be hitting the headlines with cars being dramatically washed down the streets. Apart from this day of torrents, it has been a very dry winter and you can't help but wonder during the very hot summer where the water comes from. This article perhaps throws some light on the issue:


Ábaco update

Residents - tax declaration time is here

It's that time of year when we're calling in our resident clients to complete their annual tax declaration. If you're a client you need do nothing - we will be in touch. If you're not and you're a resident, please contact us if you would like a free tax consultation to discuss your individual tax circumstances: 96 670 3748 or request our Free Pack on-line.

Road tax reminder

It's that time of year again when you need to be paying your road tax if you keep a vehicle in Spain. For those people living in the Alicante region this can be quite a straightforward process as SUMA are the official tax collectors. You can access information from here:

It's a rather neat document that tells you how you can pay and there is an English version. You've got quite a wide window at the moment with the deadline for payment being 4th May.Just don't put it in a drawer and forget about it.

For other regions different organisations might be nominated to collect your car tax payments. For example in Cartagena the tax collection office is OAGRC and the website is:

In some cases you might just need to pay your car tax at the local town hall. Whichever way you do it, just remember that as with other taxes, leave it too late and you will be fined.

Paramount - some good news?

It's looking as if the Paramount theme park could actually happen:

To keep up-to-date with Paramount developments past and present:

Corvera - more news?

The news on Corvera airport changes almost daily. From one source the latest news is that the first flight landing there will be in late June to early July. From another that flights will be delayed until the Autumn or winter of 2012. Perhaps the best suggestion is just to pick which ever alternative you prefer - you could well be right.

Do you live in the Murcia region?

If you do, this Murcia Today website (previously Simply Networking) is a good one to look at. It has lots of information about events and news for all parts of the region, including a weekly bulletin you can register to receive.

For example, if you're interested in finding out more about the therapeutic effects of mud baths and how you can enjoy them for free, you might like to read this article:

Knock knock who's in Almería?

It's Dr. Who of course! The Tabernas film set has hosted countless westerns in the past. Now it's hosting Dr. Who himself:

An insight into the British brain?

Take this with a pinch of salt or perhaps a cup of tea. A few comments on a forum about the British traditional reluctance to learn another language and a rather intriguing diagram of the average British brain. If you're of a different nationality - what might your national brain look like?

The article 'How not to Speak like an Expat' also makes quite amusing reading:


FOCUS ON Barcelona

Barcelona is famous for being cosmopolitan and is a fashionable destination for all age groups. There is plenty to see here as well as a vibrant night life enjoyed by a multi-cultural community.

There is an official tourist website: which provides lots of information about the history, culture and recreational facilities in Barcelona. From here you can access many publications about Barcelona online.

This is an interesting account of a visit to Barcelona:

Both Gaudi and Pablo Picasso are closely associated with the city. La Sagrada Familia cathedral was designed by Gaudi and started in 1882 but was left unfinished after he was killed by a tram in 1926. Work on the cathedral has continued although some people felt it should have been left as it was as a tribute to Gaudi.

For a 'Gaudi Tour' you can click here:

The Feria

May's not too far away and as it approaches we can look forward to the Feria. The Feria or May Fair has its routes in Andalucia. There are usually events going on all week culminating with a procession of men, women and children on horseback in traditional Andalucian costume.

There are different organised ferias in different areas. For example:

Seville - 24th until the 29th April

Jerez - 7th May until the 13th May

Torrevieja - 9th until the 13th

May To find out more about the feria in Seville:

To find out more about the feria in Torrevieja (and other local fiestas):

It's a really flamboyant and proud occasion and it's well worth finding the nearest one to you.

La Bloquería, Barcelona

The Boquería world famous market

A compulsion for lists

A compulsion for lists There's something about lists of 'bests' and 'worsts' that is addictive. The Guinness Book of World Records has built a whole library around our addiction. When I chanced upon one of the lists below I felt a sense of compulsion to move on to the next. See what you think:

Most hated airports

Most loved airports:

Most thrilling airports:

Beaches to avoid:

Most romantic nationalities:

A spot of Spain in Yorkshire

As a Yorkshire lass myself, I was rather interested to hear of how Spain was infiltrating a Yorkshire sculpture park.


Ábaco Asesores: (+34) 96 670 3748

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