Business over Tapas
A digest of this week’s Spanish financial, political and social news aimed primarily at Foreign Property Owners:
Prepared by Lenox Napier. Consultant: José Antonio Sierra
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June 23 2022 Nº 451
It’s getting hotter each time around, and worse still, it’s getting hotter earlier.
This may be because I’m getting older, and it’s just a subjective opinion, or it could be that the meteorologists, climate scientists and environmentalists are right: global warming is occurring and, on first impression, that’s not good.
The record high temperatures reported this year at the poles must be a concern. All that ice melting into the sea can only mean that, sooner or later, the coastal cities are in for a nasty shock. It’s starting already with Venice, and perhaps we have seen those mock-ups of London, the Netherlands or Seville under water.
And really and for true, using less shower-water; or putting the plastic bottles in the right-coloured trash-container; or cutting out the inconsiderate use of ear-wipes, are all very commendable things to do, but at the same time – it won’t make an atom of difference. The major polluters: the oil companies, plastic container-users, the coal burners, the cruise ships, those who chop down the forests and those who sell us the SUVs – none of them will slow down their drive for profits – even if it kills them.
Recycling – the great panacea to our industry-encouraged over-consumption – is more of a chimera that a reality. Did you see that mountain of unsold clothing dumped in Chile? Did you think that plastic can be melted down and used again? The Chinese don’t want our old plastic bottles or the sun-bleached sheets from the invernaderos anymore. How about those accidental fires over at the vehicle and tire-dumps?
Spaniards are worried about the climate-change which they are experiencing, but they are not necessarily prepared to do much about it. No one accepts a higher tax on petrol, or to eat less meat, muchas gracias.
We put up with not getting a free shopping bag from the supermarket – as we load all of the heavily wrapped-in-plastic products we took off the shelves into a cloth-bag. Who are we fooling here?
Those of us who are older must worry for our children and those that come after. We think that they won’t have it as well as we did: even if they can afford an air-conditioning system.
This latest heat-wave we have suffered in Spain, where apparently half-cooked baby birds fell from their nests in Córdoba, is said to be nothing compared to what is coming in the years ahead.
Most of Spain is on a high-plateau. The coastal bits are relatively benign, but the inland parts of the country suffer temperature extremes. Ándujar (Jaén) has just reported a new June record for Spain, at over 44ºC. Last year’s August 14th record of 47.4ºC in Montoro (Granada) still stands for the moment. The World Meteorological Organisation says that this last heat wave just ended was around 10ºC hotter than the usual for this time of the year in Spain and France and furthermore, ‘was a harbinger of things to come’.
Together with the fires (another sad record in Zamora this week with 30,000 hectares burned), the polluted lagoon at el Mar Menor in Murcia and the generic desertification across much of Spain, we are indeed facing an uncertain future.
Summer, by the way, began on Tuesday – what we just went through, that was Spring.
From Spanish Property Insight here: ‘Could the new digital nomad visa in Spain, currently under discussion in the Spanish parliament as the ‘Start-up Law” be the answer for UK and other non-EEA professionals who wish to live and work in Spain? If so, what would be the tax consequences of this new nomadism? We look at the visa’s rules and assess its conditions’.
From SVI here, ‘Over 7.7 million passengers from international airports were welcomed in Spain during May, marking a total of 87 per cent of those who arrived in the same month of 2019, before the spread of the Coronavirus, according to the figures provided by Turespaña, based on Aena records…’
How much is truthful reporting, how much is Brexiteer propaganda? From The Express here: ‘Spain holiday warning: Prices explode in popular British hotspots. Holiday prices have soared in Spain with the average holiday costing 24 percent more than in 2021’. The unstated reason appears to be higher costs in transporting the tourists to their destination.
‘EasyJet cabin crew union in Spain announces plan for nine days of strike action in July’ –item from Sur in English here.
Spain’s official tourist website is here. Start with ‘where to go’.
Información here has the details of how to get onto the Imserso program and join in one of its 800,000 holidays for seniors. Register between June 27 and July 19 for the October 2022 through June 2023 season. Senior foreign residents can also partake. Abaco Taxes explains the program in English: ‘Subsidised holidays in Spain. A gift from the Spanish Government’.
According to Aiudo here, 20% of the population in Spain is 65 years old or more. By 2050, says the INE, the likely number of Spaniards over 65 will be nearer 30%. From AA (Turkey) here, we read that ‘With just under 337,000 babies born last year, Spain saw the lowest number of births since record-keeping began eighty years ago’.
Oh, who needs cash? The banks are working quietly behind the scenes to make cash a thing of the past says Business Insider here. The article says, it’s a bit like 120 years ago, when the early automotive adverts asked – ‘Who needs a horse?’
They say: ‘It seems that card payments and digital money are increasingly displacing the use of cash, something that benefits large financial institutions. However, the disappearance of paper money would be a very negative event for the economy, especially for those people who do not have access to banking services’.
From Hosteltur here: ‘May closed with 2,608,600 Social Security affiliates linked to tourist activities, which is 409,615 more workers than a year ago and 32,962 more than in the same month of 2019, according to Turespaña data, which notes that employment in tourist activities accounted for 44% of all hirings in May and represented 12.9% of the total number of affiliates in the national economy…’
The Government has announced that the IVA on the electric bill will be reduced from 10% to 5% as part of the ‘Plan Anticrisis’ to be fully revealed on Saturday.
‘The biggest security operation in Spanish history is planned for the NATO summit to be held in Madrid on June 29 and 30. Nobody knows yet whether President Zelenskyy of Ukraine will be attending but the government is taking no chances and 10,000 officers will be deployed just to protect the VIPs’ says Sur in English here. One of the points to be approved at the conference is to extend the protection of the NATO area to cover both Ceuta and Melilla says ECD here.
The election results for Andalucía: The PP’s Juanma Moreno won with an absolute majority (57 out of 109) and, thankfully, the party won’t need the support of Vox in the next legislature.
Everyone else tanked.
Juan Marín, the Ciudadanos candidate and erstwhile vice-president of the Junta de Andalucía, has quit politics after the dismal showing for his party, which fell from 21 seats 1n 2018 to none this time around.
At the moment – and excuse the simplification – Moreno is flying higher than the other PP champion, Isabel Ayuso. Moderation over hard-core conservatism. Here is El Huff Post.
In a major article, Cinco Días looks at the issues confronting the new government of Andalucía: unemployment, inequality and health. It says that ‘Although analysts predict growth slightly above the national average, this is conditional on the highly volatile tourism sector. Half of the surface of the autonomy is agricultural and 50% of its municipalities live almost exclusively in the countryside; however, employment in these regions is marked by high rates of temporary employment…’
The national leader of Ciudadanos must look to her future says elDiario.es. Inés Arrimadas has gone from one massive loss of votes to another and she is now considering re-booting the party with a new name to face the election-cycle of 2023. El País (paywall removed) says that the party members are calling for her resignation after the last polling disaster.
Mónica Oltra (Wiki) was the vice-president of the Valencian Community, having resigned from her post and her party (Compromís) on Tuesday. Mónica was one of the small group of politicians in the front-line of Yolanda Díaz’ new political movement Sumar. The drama, which follows from the usual exquisite media-attention on left-wing leaders (elDiario.es here), is to do with an improper relationship between her ex-husband and an underage girl. From Infolibre here: ‘Mónica Oltra, upon resigning: “My case will go down in the history of political, legal and media infamy”’. The accusations against her come from various far-right activists including Santiago Abascal. Her post in the Valencian government has been taken by Aitana Mas from the same party: Compromís.
SVI says that ‘The EU is to Launch Biometric Entry/Exit System in a Few Months’. The article says that ‘Once it starts being functional in September, the system will protect the Schengen zone. In full respect of fundamental rights and data protection, the system will register the person’s name, type of travel document, biometric data (fingerprints and captures facial images), as well as the date and place of entry and exit. In addition, the system will also record entry refusals…’
‘Andorran judge indicts Mariano Rajoy over Operation Catalunya. He is being investigated for alleged pressure by police officers on the Banca Privada d’Andorra to obtain Catalan politicians’ bank details’ says Ara here. From Público here: ‘Rajoy, Juan Carlos I and Martín Villa: unpunished in Spain and investigated abroad. While the courts of Andorra, the United Kingdom and Argentina are investigating former President Rajoy, the King Emeritus and the former Minister of Francoism and the Transition, Rodolfo Martín Villa, respectively, in Spain the courts either terminate the same investigations or does not even initiate them’.
20Minutos with the GfK DAM agency reports that the leading Spanish news-source in visitor numbers for May was 20Minutos, with over 14,750,000 different visitors. Behind them comes El País, El Mundo and then La Vanguardia… The average daily readership for the news-site in May was 2,470,000. It’s also the case that they don’t have a paywall…
Some climate-change myths and bulos are discovered at Maldita here.
A misleading headline this week says that three out of every four cars will not be able to circulate in 2023 thanks to the new Climate Change Law. In fact, cities over 50,000 will be obliged to introduce areas where only electric cars may operate to help cut down on pollution. 20Minutos explains here.
From The Guardian here: ‘Burning planet: why are the world’s heat-waves getting more intense?’ There’s a section on Spain about ¾ way through the article.
In all, 40,000 hectares (155 square miles) of forest was burned in the various conflagrations last week. Indeed, the Sierra de la Culebra (Zamora) fire – the primary home to Spain’s surviving wolf population – was the largest fire seen in Spain in the last 20 years.
In Madrid, the new square at the Puerta del Sol – the ‘kilometro cero’ centre of Spain – has been presented. As we can see here, it’s missing a few trees.
From Visit-Andalucia here: ‘Should My Vehicle Be Registered in Spain? Anyone wishing to import a vehicle into Spain must be a permanent resident, own property in Spain or have a rental agreement for a minimum period of one year and hold a Spanish driving licence’. The article goes through the rules.
Driving through Portugal – how to pay the toll-roads. Here with Vive Portugal Web.
‘Spain has gone from being one of the European countries with the cheapest fuels to one of the most expensive. At the same time, oil company margins have gone from 11% in 2013 to 21% in 2020’. An audio from CadenaSer here.
Visit-Andalucia brings us an interesting article on ‘The 14 Sieges of Gibraltar: “probably the most fought over and most densely fortified place in Europe, and probably, therefore, in the world” – Field Marshal Sir John Chapple’.
From Descubrir here, we read of five Spanish castles converted into hotels.
(Did we just lose our vote? Editorial BoT 450)
Sadly Lenox is wrong. Our rights if we have lived here and on the padrón for 3 years are as before.
Great opportunity to welcome chaos.
Best wishes, Margaret
The ECJ ruling means that individual countries are not obliged to grant a vote in local elections, however each country can if it wants to.
Given that bi-lateral agreements are also international treaties, it would seem a tad bizarre that the ECJ would unilaterally decide to override international law, and would (quite reasonably) make them little better than Boris Johnson & his morally bankrupt government!
The treaty signed by Robin Walker MP and Minister Marco Aguiriano, on the 21st January 2019, was designed so that British citizens living in Spain and Spanish citizens in the UK can continue to participate in local elections in the future.
As Lenox has already pointed out, UK nationals will need to have resided in Spain for three years to exercise their rights under this treaty.
I’m sure we all hope that this is “just a storm in teacup”, as if the ECJ is now preparing to rip up international treaties, perhaps other rights guaranteed to the UK Immigrant Community under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement may also be under threat!
Sur in English here: ‘EU ruling does not affect UK expats right to vote in Spain. Expats in Spain can still go to the polls and stand in local election, despite the effects of Brexit’.
SVI here: ‘Brexit Consequences: Britons Residing in EU Unable to Vote & Stand as Candidate in Municipal Elections’.
A tough and powerful ten minute film Yo Me Drogo with flamenco accompaniment from Uña y Carne at YouTube here.