Like all news-services, the Business over Tapas editors tend to choose items that they consider of general interest and avoid those that aren’t. While we try not to have a political agenda, it’s perhaps inevitable that there is one, as might be seen from the items below. We do of course try to be impartial, sourcing many different newspapers, news-sites, agencies and blogs, and we also avoid sucesos (news events of passing interest). Our aim is to provide news about Spain of interest to property owners and investors.
Our cause is to defend the rights of foreign residents in this great country. Our politics, perhaps, is to the right in national affairs, to the left in town and city hall politics. We are nevertheless strongly against political and corporate corruption. A letter from a reader this week suggests that we are biased towards left-wing reports. We shall attempt to be more balanced in the future.
From Mark Stücklin’s Spanish Property Insight: ‘The latest report from the Association of Spanish Notaries reveals that home sales were up by 8.6% year on year in September, and house prices up 2.4%. Sales in September totalled 40,094, a year-on-year increase of 8.6%. By property type, apartment sales went up by 7.7% and their prices by 8.9%. Most apartments were re-sales since new-build sales fell by 1.9%. Detached home sales saw an annual increase of 12%...’.
From 20 Minutos: ‘AUAN warns that the law continues to exclude irregular housing and asks politicians for an "urgent" solution’. The article begins: ‘The Abusos Urbanísticos Almanzora-NO (AUAN) association, which represents owners of unplanned housing in Almería, has warned that the legislative reform passed in 2016 has left out "numerous groups of houses" and announced that it will initiate a new round of contacts with political parties in view of the "urgent" need to provide a solution to these homes...’. Another article in a similar vein – in La Voz de Almería – says that a number of ‘alegal’ home-owners continue without basic services (water and electric) after many years of residence.
A study over at Hosteltur shows how many foreign and national tourists spent their holidays primarily aimed at cultural visits within Spain. Remarkably, almost 14.5 million residents and another eight million foreign visitors concentrated on seeing the sights rather than the beaches...
There are less bank branches around than a few years ago, and less tellers operating ever less desks within. The banks seem more rapacious these days, and have less time or interest for a customer who wants to cash a cheque or change a ten euro note into coins. For most of us, there’s now the multi-function cash machine – for the rest of us, there’s Wolf Street: ‘The War on Cash bogs down, despite best efforts of government, banks, and credit card companies...’.
The Ex-Minister for the Environment in Aznar’s government, Isabel Tocino, is now the new President of Banco Pastor, says El Mundo here.
34 Spaniards listed within ‘the Panama Papers’ have agreed to pay Hacienda 85 million in back-taxes says ABC here. There’s still work to be done. El Boletin notes that ‘Europe loses in taxes the equivalent of Spain’s entire GDP each and every year’.
The reputation of the PP for corrupt practices appears to be moving voters towards Albert Rivera and his Ciudadanos party. El Diario begins in its typically forthright way: ‘Mariano Rajoy said the other day that he was at his best and was ready to repeat as a candidate for La Moncloa. This apparent tranquillity contrasts with the alarm signals that have been set off at the PP headquarters. The application of the Article 155 in Catalonia and the tide of Spanish flags is evidently not helping the PP to recover in the polls. The depressing electoral expectations for Xavier García Albiol, their regional candidate for Catalonia, on 21 December and the fear of a possible independence victory or an ungovernable situation in Catalonia have only exacerbated the concern in Party Headquarters where they desperately see that they continue to lose votes in favour of Rivera...’. El Español says that the PP are admitting that ‘Rivera is doing a hell of a job’.
Público argues against the intervention of Russian hackers in Spanish politics here. The subject has been discussed in Congress without any proof being offered.
The Councillor for the Economy and Hacienda in the city hall of Madrid is interviewed by Cuarto Poder here. ‘Ahora Madrid are a threat to the Partido Popular, he says, our management makes them look bad’. Madrid has managed to cut its massive debt in the past year by 28%.
‘The Guardia Civil have confirmed to Brussels that they are investigating two suspected diversions of European funds to PP political campaigns. The EU Anti-Fraud Office had asked about one case they are investigating, but the UCO (the judicial branch of the Guardia Civil) is looking at two alleged misappropriations of three million euros for job creation...’. El Plural reports here.
‘Around 96% of the money defrauded in the ERE Inquiry remains without recovery, 20 days before the opening of the Chaves and Griñán trial’, says ABC here. The trial of the two previous presidents of the Junta de Andalucía will begin on December 13th.
From The Olive Press: ‘What expats need to know about investment funds in Spain. The collapse of Continental Wealth Management, an Alicante-based advisory firm, has left tens – possibly hundreds – of investors worried sick. CWM was not regulated to provide investment advice in Spain and was loosely regulated to provide insurance advice, through German-based Trafalgar International (who also do not appear to be registered in Spain). In the world of the investment ‘smoke and mirrors’ expat business, where few things are what they appear to be and what’s real is often portrayed to be something else, clarifying concepts becomes a necessity. So, let’s get under the bonnet of these clandestine firms (this article does not allude to properly regulated advisory companies) to know what are the real chances of victims caught by the lack of scruples of runaway bogus consultants...’.
An article at Media-Tics asks ‘What about the Charnego vote in Catalonia?’. There is a large number of Andalusians – known in Catalonia as ‘Charnegos’ – living in the troubled region. Around 1.1 million of them live there – of which 80% say they would stay in Catalonia even after they retire. Polls suggest that, yes, the Charnegos are somewhat more in favour of Constitutionalist parties. The article ends with this: ‘...Could we advance a profile of the current Charnego ? We think of the integrated Charnego who feels both Catalan and Spanish, speaks and understands Catalan and whose children already use Catalan as their first language. He is not particularly sympathetic to independence. The group is mobilized in general elections but not so much in regional elections, except for the last two, especially in 2015, because of its plebiscite nature on independence. When this collective votes, support for independence across the region decreases considerably. The Charnegos, in an ever-increasing proportion, feels represented by the Ciudadanos Party...’.
From Murcia Today: British property buyers were cheated out of 20 million euros by La Manga bank staff and estate agents, claims prosecution. The scam was perpetuated in a local branch between 2005 and 2007. The case is now in court.
From the Migration Policy Institute: ‘Safe or Sorry? Prospects for Britons in the European Union after Brexit’. This report—part of MPI Europe’s ongoing examination of what Brexit means for mobile EU and UK nationals—sketches a profile of the Britons living abroad in Europe and assesses their prospects in the years to come.
Could the threat of the loss of institutional advertising be the reason why the media is turning against Spiriman, asks Digital Sevilla here. In the last few days, there has been a tirade of articles against the Granada doctor who regularly denounces fraud and misappropriation in the Andalusian public health. For example, three adverts in one left-wing paper, next to an article against the doctor, are all tied to the Junta de Andalucía. Digital Sevilla then reports in a later article that Spiriman has now been removed by the SAS from active duties in ‘Urgencias’ at the Hospital de las Nieves in Granada. Spiriman’s latest video is here.
A site called The Objective considers the new wave of censorship through the courts against critics of the Powers-That-Be. El Jueves is currently being shaken from its tree.
VerTele has an article here regarding ’55 new examples of manipulation, censorship and bad practices at the RTVE’. The examples have been collected by RTVE employees.
From Colin Davies blog (for daily insights into Spanish living) here: ‘Not content with publishing Business Over Tapas, Lenox Napier now gives us Hard Spanish News. Which has gone straight into my RSS feed. Appreciated best if you speak Spanish’.
From Cadena Ser: ‘Aragón projects the largest photovoltaic park in Europe. The Cobra company will invest 330 million euros in Chiprana and Escatrón (Zaragoza). The regional government has declared the project to build twelve solar panel installations to be of regional interest’.
From El Confidencial: ‘It is not just the "worst drought in 20 years", it will be remembered as the worst in Spain's history: the disaster in data. We compare the current period with the major recent droughts (1980-1984 and 1992-1995) and the records leave no room for doubt. It's not over yet, but it'll be in the history books’. (Ironically, it’s raining in Mojácar and the power keeps going out – making it hard to complete this bulletin of Business over Tapas)
Across Spain, around 50% of all water is now in private hands. Agbar and FCC are the two largest private water companies, says Nueva Tribuna here.
The lack of drinking water is finding its way into the supermarkets. Already, one popular bottled water – Bezoya – reports that they are running low on stock.
An interactive map here lets you check the atmospheric contamination – the air quality – in your surrounds. It works anywhere in Europe. An explanation of the dangers of bad air is in Spanish at Sal & Roca here.
Press release from The European Commission: ‘The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether Spain's environmental incentive for coal power plants is in line with EU State aid rules. The Commission has concerns the support has been used to meet EU environmental standards that were in any case mandatory’.
Spain is concerned about the USA’s repudiation of Cristobal Colón – Columbus to the English-speaking world. Many of his statues have been vandalised and others have been removed following a historical re-write. ABC reports here.
Movistar is putting up its prices in January, says the OCU consumer group here.
‘The Leishmania genome reveals how this parasite, which affects 12 million people, adapts to environmental changes’ says NCYT here. Climate change is making its presence felt in Spain as this disease is on the increase in humans.
Fourteen useful words in Spanish – tasteful old insults that never die... From a blog called Ortografía y Literatura.
‘Spaniards face ham shortage as Chinese market gets a taste for jamón ibérico. Iberian ham has become the latest sought-after luxury from the west in China, but demand is outstripping supply’ says The Guardian here.
An article on Seville from A Reluctant Rambler. Worth reading!
‘The most important thing about travelling these days, as everyone knows, is what it will look like on Instagram. You have done the arms-aloft pose shot from behind on a big hill after a hike, the inflatable unicorn in the infinity pool and the Aperol spritz on the rooftop. But what you need for 2018 is somewhere new, somewhere undiscovered. The holiday company Thomas Cook is pushing two new untouched – by any tourist under 30, I mean – destinations for 2018: Costa Brava and Madeira...’. From The Guardian here.
Antonio Cortés – Caminito Viejo featuring Tamara here on YouTube. Antonio Cortés was born in Romania and adopted at an early age by a family in Nerja.
Business over Tapas November 30 2017 Nº 235
A digest of this week's Spanish financial, political and social news aimed primarily at Foreign Property Owners:
With Lenox Napier and Andrew Brociner. Consultant: José Antonio Sierra
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