It is hard to move to live in another country, surrounded by strangers, with different customs (although, we all seem to enjoy the challenge and the adventure). How hard is it, though, to return to one’s own country again? Perhaps age, or family concerns, or illness, or the death of one’s lifetime companion will be the leading reason why someone must return. How do they manage, once they are back? It is said that after ten years away from your country, you have moved a decade in one direction, while your old home has moved a decade in another.
Is there any help or advice back in the UK, or Germany or Holland for the weary son who returns to the homeland? Will they ‘kill the fatted calf’?
Probably not. It must indeed be very lonesome and sad to be in such a position. It is not unheard of for the ex-expatriate to ask for his ashes to be returned to Spain on his death.
Another group that must face – doubtlessly more often – the return to their country of birth is the Spanish, often studying or working abroad. They may come back to Spain, perhaps, and feel uneasy. They have adopted different customs and life-styles. They had found new companions abroad and now feel that their ‘stay-at-home’ friends no longer understand them. Codigo Nuevo has a report on this subject titled ‘Deciding to return to your country after having migrated is almost as hard as leaving’. It’s sometimes hard to leave; perhaps it is usually far harder still to return.
Returning to a regular item in Spanish news, El Mundo says that half of all Spanish pueblos are at risk of disappearance. An interactive map tells the reader how many people live in any municipality, together with its extension in square kms, population density and average age.
How about this one: ‘Six reasons you should reconsider buying property in Spain’ from Overseas Property Alert here. The reasons are generally financial/tax considerations...
‘The SOHA Association in La Axarquía, eastern Málaga, estimates that more than 25,000 homes have been saved from demolition since its creation’. Headline in a local site called Axarquía Plus. Well done the SOHA (find them here).
Similarly, over in Almería there is the AUAN. From La Voz de Almería: ‘Those affected by the acquisition of off-planning dwellings in the province, especially in the Almanzora and Levante regions, have started their latest offensive that, if carried out, would allow the regularization of thousands of homes in Almería and the autonomous community. The Abusos Urbanísticos Almanzora-No (AUAN) association, which brings together a large number of those affected, has presented its arguments for the future Law for Sustainable Urbanism in Andalucía (LUSA)...’. The AUAN is here.
SURVEY OF EUROPEAN MIGRANTS AND MEDIA IN COSTA DEL SOL
This survey is being conducted by Málaga University.
Findings will be summarised in statistical reports and will be part of the results of a National I+D Project, led by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. If you are a European Union, Russian or Norwegian national and live in the Costa del Sol for at least part of the year, this survey is for you. Your co-operation is greatly appreciated. This survey is entirely confidential and anonymous. The survey here.
It’s no secret that the hoteliers (and their political friends) do not like Airbnb. It may be a big pie, but, By Gum, it’s all for us. ‘Madrid, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Vienna, Paris, Reykjavik, Krakow and Brussels want to cool Airbnb's jets. The eight European capitals have agreed to write to the European Commission to demand new rules to control tourist rental platforms, so that among other obligations, they would have to provide data on their customers’. Hosteltur has the story here.
From Sur in English comes ‘A ray of light for the elderly and the lonely’. The newspaper says ‘Age Concern Fuengirola-Mijas is a non-profit-making organisation staffed entirely by volunteers. The group was formed in 2014 by a small group of devotees who recognised that there was a need to help older expats living in the area...’.
The Corner looks at the issues facing Spain’s social security and pensions. The article begins: ‘For the past eight years, Spain’s Social Security has been in the red. From 2010 to 2016 its budget deficit was financed via the Social Security Reserve Fund, created from budget surpluses in previous years. However, in 2017, with the Social Security Reserve Fund running out, the State Treasury granted a loan to Social Security to finance its budget deficit, something which is also expected to happen this year and which highlights the existence of a structural problem in Social Security funding, according to CaixaBank’s analysts...’.
La Voz de Galicia admits ruefully that elderly expatriates would be better off in Portugal...
The Minister of Employment Fátima Báñez has announced that her department will impose sanctions against companies for each temporary contract they sign without justification says 20 Minutos here.
Beware of owing more than fifty euros... you might end up on an official debtors list. As
La Información says: ‘Millions of Spaniards are on some list of defaulters, an inclusion that can cause them some problem when going to a bank to apply for a personal loan, for example. In the files of the National Association of Credit Financial Institutions (Asnef) and Equifax alone there are data from more than 4 million citizens who may have some kind of debt. A significant percentage of those affected are consumers who have not paid a telephone bill and they will appear automatically in these lists, but others have been victims of identity theft. To address this situation, the Government is finalizing a legal reform...’.
Spain pledges to boost defence spending to €18,000 million by 2024. The Minister of Defence, María Dolores de Cospedal, said the increase was in line with the Government’s plans to increase military spending to ‘around 1.53 percent of GDP’ as it currently spends €10.4 billion, according to AFP figures...’. More at The Olive Press here.
‘Did you miss Spain’s non-resident tax declaration deadline? Here’s what to do. December 31st was the deadline for the non-resident tax declaration. This is the form that every non-resident is required to complete annually. It’s a busy time of year and so it isn’t surprising that it can fall off the list of To-Dos. If this applies to you there’s no need to panic. It is possible to submit a late declaration but just be aware that you will need to pay a small fine. However, don’t delay. The longer you leave it then the more the fine will be and, when you do come to sell your property or bequeath it, outstanding bills, like this, will need to be settled...’. From Spanish Property Insight here.
A book called ‘Timocracia’, (something like ‘scam-ocracy’) has some of the ways that Government or private companies rip us all off. The headline at RT is ‘300 examples of how Spanish companies and governments scam Spaniards. The book compiles the main abusive practices used by companies and public administrations’.
A video clip from El Intermedio on La Sexta with journalist Jordi Évole: ‘We are totally anaesthetized; otherwise it would be impossible that, with so much corruption, we don't all go out to protest’.
As events in Catalonia continue in their complications, a TV channel called Tele5 publishes some written phone messages from Puigdemont in Brussels to a politician back in Catalonia: ‘this is the end of the line. You will need to find another candidate’. The Partido Popular seemed pleased by this piracy. More on this at The Guardian. Meanwhile, as it all unravels, ‘The ex-consellers Lluís Puig, Ponsatí and Serret, who are in Belgium, will renounce their parliamentary positions’ says Europa Press here.
From El País in English: ‘Catalonia facing a new impasse after vote on leader gets postponed. The delay of investiture session and Carles Puigdemont's refusal to back down could lead to a new election’. As The Local reports: ‘The speaker of Catalonia's parliament postponed a crunch vote Tuesday to formally re-elect ousted president Carles Puigdemont into office, delaying his controversial comeback bid...’.
No one in the Moncloa is singing victory quite yet. "Moderate optimism", says the Government: the suspension of the investiture is not yet a victory for the moderate sectors of ERC and JxC, in whom they trust to reach consensus on a candidate who will put an end to the Puigdemont era, allow repeal of the Article 155 and to avoid new elections. More on the Government’s view at El Español here.
‘The Banco de España refuses to seize 101 Million Euros from the Banco Santander’. Put it down to friends in high places, says Diario 16 here.
A useful link called Brexit Brits Abroad begins ‘What does Brexit mean for UK citizens living in the EU27?
Welcome to the official website for the research project BrExpats: freedom of movement, citizenship and Brexit in the Lives of Britons resident in the EU27. The project is led by Dr. Michaela Benson and funded by the UK in a changing Europe.
What is the research about?
BrExpats is an innovative sociological study that questions what Brexit means for Britons resident in other European Union member states. Through the research we aim to raise awareness of the diversity of British citizens living in the EU27 and their lived experiences of Brexit. Working closely with Britons living across the EU27, it keeps a finger on the pulse of how they experience Brexit and its impacts on their lives as it unfolds...’.
The British Consul for Alicante, Sarah-Jane Morris, is coming to talk to British nationals about any concerns they have relating to Brexit. Gloria Diego from Lextax Consulting will also explain how these changes impact residency rights in Spain. Any British nationals who want to find out more about how Brexit might affect them and what they can do to prepare, are very welcome to attend this open meeting. Please note this is a free entry event as places are limited, we recommend to arrive early in order to secure your seat. Tuesday, February 20th 2018 at 4:00 pm. Casa de Cultura, Plaça de Baix, Javea. (Thanks JD).
From Brian Cave. A call to action: Votes for Life. Many Britons who live abroad feel abandoned by their National Government. The elderly who live in the Far East or Africa have long suffered a diminution of their income because the Government refuses to increase their State pension. Now The Referendum has brought a feeling of this abandonment to Europe, especially to those who have no vote because they moved to Europe fifteen years ago or more. On February 23rd some progress might be started to put into history this abandonment of the British Citizen by the British Government. But you, the reader of this page must take action. You need to lobby - I know it is tedious but for our fellow citizens we must do it. Note that the address of the House of Commons is London SW1A 0AA. Information of all MPs is located here. Could you write preferably by letter post to one or more MPs. Especially to Labour MPs?
From Buzzfeed News: ‘This Leaked Government Brexit Analysis Says The UK Will Be Worse Off In Every Scenario. BuzzFeed News has seen a new Brexit impact assessment, which says leaving the EU will adversely hit almost every sector and every UK region’.
‘Spanish government declares victory in first round of Brexit negotiations. A senior figure in Mariano Rajoy’s Spanish government has said that the Spanish administration feels the first round of Brexit negotiations concluded in December 2017 represent a victory for the Iberian nation. “We have already won the first battle and now we have the upper hand,” the source told Spanish daily El Pais. The EU has granted Spain the right to veto any transition period rules applying to Gibraltar’. Item from ‘The Local ‘Brexit & You’ report (by email).
From Dutch News: ‘Next week, five British nationals living in the Netherlands will hear if their bid to keep European citizenship after Brexit will be referred to the European court. London barrister Jolyon Maugham QC, who is funding the legal action, says if they win, it will have profound consequences...’. Yes, that would be good.
‘Brits wanting to live in Spain could have until Dec 2020, pre-Brexit. This would be mean a nineteen-month extension from the current March 2019 deadline after the EU said a little more time will help ease Britain's exit from the bloc...’. More at The Olive Press here.
‘Journalist professionals live in times of darkness and anxiety. In this first phase of the digital revolution, the extraordinary proliferation of new media has not brought about an improvement in the quality of information, indeed quite the opposite. According to the latest EPA, there are 31,000 unemployed journalists in Spain. The media business model is broken and aberrations and false and manipulated news are all around. But hope in news veracity begins to return, with the arrival of Blockchain...’. From an article at Media-Kits which throws up the large number of out-of-work writers (we thought this was important) and which looks at the future of reportage. How does this work? Here’s Forbes attempt to explain: ‘How Blockchain could start to make waves in Media and Entertainment In 2018’.
They are planning to re-open a large gold mine outside Tapia de Casariego in Asturias. Not everyone is delighted by this, says La Voz de Asturias here. Black Dragon Gold is a Canadian company interested in the estimated one million ounces of gold suspected to be buried there...
Weather extremes: where does it rain most in Spain – where least? What are the hottest and coldest temperatures, recorded where? All this and more at an interactive map here.
King Felipe VI had his fiftieth birthday this week and allowed the cameras into the Royal Palace. El Mundo reports on the man behind Spain’s Royal leader.
Many people in rural Spain still accept the mystical healing-powers of the curanderos. But, more than this are the santeros, the wizards who can cure the crippled and talk to the dead. Their capital is Jaén in northern Andalucía. A report from El Español here.
From El País in English: ‘Chufa, the super food from Valencia. The tuber known in English as tiger nut is widely used here to make a popular drink called horchata’.
That jocular Sunday Times article has now attracted more criticism from thin-skinned editors, like the one over at the ABC: ‘Spaniards are "Screaming, rude, ungrateful and untimely."...’. (Here). And here is a short video about ‘We Spaniards’ from another indignant source. ‘Dear The Times – you will never have our magic!’ it says.
This one is fun – fly over the Sierra Nevada with Frank. Video at YouTube here.
‘To the south of Antequera is Torcal, a limestone mountain range where erosion has sculpted a formidable labyrinth of rocks with fantastic shapes...’. Eye on Spain and ‘A labyrinth of rocks’ here.
I challenge you (I hope I am allowed to do that ?!!) to put these links on your BoT mailing so that some of your readers may understand the reality of things current ?
JD ‘Matt Ridley warns Lords about sabotaging Brexit (Video)’ and ‘EFT Adviser Matt Ridley on the opportunities of a 'no deal' Brexit (Video)’.
Here is the new Spanish 2018 Eurovision song. It’s called ‘Tu Canción’.
Business over Tapas February 1 2018 Nº 243
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
For subscriptions and other information about this site, go to businessovertapas.com
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