Business over Tapas Nº 543

A digest of this week's Spanish financial, political and social news aimed primarily at Foreign Property Owners: Prepared by Lenox Napier.

News in English 20/06/2024 Redacción Redacción
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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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It’s been so hot here recently (thankfully, the weather changed for the better after the weekend) that I decided it was time to have a look at the two antique air-conditioning units that top and tail my digs. I had only the one mando, which needed batteries, but that was an easy challenge well within my capabilities. The other air-con didn’t have a control or any buttons or knobs as far as I could see.

I know that the global warming – you can believe it or not, I don’t care – is besieging us and each year it’s a tiny bit hotter, and well, I’m a tiny bit older too.

My daughter sent round a capable young fellow called Ashley (born and raised in the pueblo) to see if he could work his magic. 

I thought I had better clean up the bedroom and so moved things here and there, creating some space for air-conditioning mechanics, and discovered why the bedroom unit wasn’t working after I pulled a heavy trunk away from the wall.

Yes, friends, it had been left unplugged.

By the time Ashley arrived, I was down to just one non-functioning air-conditioner.

This particular piece, a relic from the days of Francisco Franco, is in a room full of lots of books and my elderly computer and is decorated with a cane-and-plaster ceiling which is generally heaving with geckos.

We feared that the small and amiable lizards probably looked on the rather fuzzy-looking box located above the small window as a kind of Geckos’ Graveyard. Switch that thing on and there’d be bits of grated lizard all over the house.

Anyway, it turned out that there is a way to open up these things, and buttons are revealed. ‘Huh. Who needs a mando’ I wondered.

And, it works a treat. Sort of. No reptile’s entrails to speak of.  

Now I have to upgrade the computer with a new operating system. Maybe Ashley knows someone. Like the air-con, the old box of tricks has seen better days and it never fully recovered from the millennium bug fright, you remember, when the internal calendar was going to return everything back to 1900: Goodness, how the time has gone.

The power here is erratic, with those annoying micro power outages, which is why I must remember to ‘save save save’ as my late father in law, a retired IBM technician, would say.

To counter this, some years ago I bought an eternal battery (well, good for three minutes anyway) which also controls any fluctuations in the voltage. One can never be sure.

Anyway, it doesn’t work and when the power goes, it goes too.

There’s probably a lizard trapped inside it. 



From El País in English here: ‘Not in the city, not in the countryside: In Spain, rental pressure leaves tenants with nowhere to go. Prices exceed 30% of average income in urban areas in almost all parts of the country. Experts talk about ‘a second gentrification’ of people who were expelled from city centres to the periphery and now find themselves pushed beyond that’. 

Sur in English says: ‘Málaga's property paradox leaves more than 150,000 houses standing empty and unused, while new properties are still being built. The province is sixth in Spain for the highest number of properties standing vacant and, in some towns and villages in Málaga, that number amounts to 40% of the total housing stock available’. 



From 20Minutos here: ‘Prohibitive holidays: Spain faces summer with skyrocketing accommodation and restaurant prices. Sleeping in a hotel already costs 37% more than in 2019 and eating in a restaurant is 20% more expensive’. The article begins: ‘Millions of Spaniards are beginning to count the days before they pack their bags and go on vacation after a long year of work. Summer already feels close—it will officially start on Friday—and the desire to have a beer at a beach bar or sunbathe in the sun is increasing. But this year we will have to dig deep to enjoy a vacation that seems prohibitively expensive…’

From El Mundo here: ‘Spain will be the number one tourist destination in the world in 2040. We will surpass France and the United States as the country with the most international tourists on the planet, according to a report carried out jointly by Google and Deloitte’. Then, El Mundo again (the next day): ‘Spain does not have capacity for more tourists: external demand will ease GDP growth in 2025 due to the limits of the sector. BBVA Research warns that the country is facing significant supply restrictions that will mean that the sector's contribution will not grow next year’. 

From Idealista here: ‘Over 90% of tourist flats in some Spanish cities may be non-compliant. The Ministry of Social Rights, Consumption and Agenda 2030 investigates tourist rental platforms’.

From EuroNews here: ‘Albania, Cyprus, Ireland: Europe’s best non-Schengen countries for when you’ve used up your 90 days’ 



The Diputación de Málaga has launched a European project to promote healthy lifestyles among older people. The BASE (Back to a Healthy Society) project has the collaboration of the Málaga City Council and the UMA University, and has already begun to develop actions in Alcaucín and Torremolinos. Video here. Furthermore, The Málaga Provincial Council has allocated 200,000 euros to adapt homes for people with disabilities or people over 65 years of age, and the subsidy can be requested until July 19, inclusive. The representative of Equality, María Dolores Vergara, notes that the purpose is to cover expenses to guarantee the beneficiaries, who reside in municipalities with less than 20,000 inhabitants, maximum family and social integration and the improvement of their quality of life. The report is here



‘The president of Anfac (the Spanish Association of Automobile and Truck Manufacturers), Wayne Griffiths, has resigned due he says to the Government's inaction over electric cars. Griffiths had renewed his position in December for one more year, on the condition that the Government promoted the necessary measures to accelerate electrification. "None of what was promised has been fulfilled", he said’. Griffiths is also the CEO of Seat and Cupra. The story can be found at El Mundo here

From El Independiente here: ‘Madrid is the autonomous community that contributes the most to the regional financing system, almost triple that of Catalonia, and Andalucía is the one that receives the most. These are some of the data extracted from the liquidation of the communities that Hacienda publishes and the Fedea study centre analyses every year, and that are useful in the midst of, once again, controversy over whether Catalonia should obtain "special financing" similar to the Basque Concierto económico (wiki)’. 

Diario de Sevilla considers the importance of tourism for Andalucía (tourism accounts for 13% of the regional GDP), the increasing number of short-term tourist apartments and citizens’ protests. Andalucía has 82,454 (legal) tourist apartments, known as VUTs. 



Following the European elections, the various parties of the left in France have put together a united front within 24 hours in preparation for the upcoming general elections there. Here in Spain, with both the Sumar and Podemos losing big on June 9th (with less than 8% of the vote between them), is anything being done to fix the issue? Following the poor results, Yolanda Díaz resigned as head of Sumar and a group of four are holding things together there. Podemos says that it won’t bend the knee and Antonio Maíllo, the leader of Izquierda Unida, says ‘let’s not be defeatist over this – after all, we are still in government’.  

One of the major issues between the PSOE and the PP is the political control which the judiciary – chosen and protected through machinations from the PP – have exercised on the nation’s politics and politicians. Renewal of the CGPJ as we know has been blocked by the PP for the past five and a half years. reports here that the Government says that ‘It is time to take politics out of the courtroom’. 

La Nueva Tribuna writes of the extreme political party Se Acabó la Fiesta and asks ‘Is the party over or is the fun just beginning?’ The party got 800,000 votes in the European elections without appearing in any debate and is known only through its Internet presence. The article says that although there doesn’t seem to be any program, Alvise Pérez says he will raffle his wages in some way (there’s obviously no list of who voted for him, so he will have to come up with a cunning plan). His main thrust, of course, was to obtain five years of immunity, and thus, says the article, the fun is just beginning. El País interviews Alvise Pérez (worth reading via ) and elsewhere, writes an opinion. It looks like they think he’s a cockroach too. 

What says Aznar about the Government? “It’s an ultra-left coalition that wants to end the constitutional order and end the historical continuity of Spain”. His solution is to call for a ‘permanent mobilization against the Government’. here and CadenaSer here

Pedro Sánchez says in the Congreso that the Partido Popular, Vox and Alvise are like those Russian dolls – each one smaller and more radical than the last (video)… 

Something one doesn’t see every day: The Falange Española has come out in defence of Ana Peleteiro, the newly-crowned European champion of the women’s triple jump. Ana was born and raised in Galicia, and she is Black. From the Falange, with a photo of Ana on their Twitter-feed: ‘For us, patriotism is incompatible with racism. We understand our Motherland to be a project of life in common, which shelters all of us who love Spain and are willing to work to make her a common space of progress, coexistence and freedom’. The photo says, ‘When One Carries Spain in One’s Heart, One’s Race is the Least Important’. 



From here: ‘The attorney general orders the prosecutors of the Procés to apply the amnesty law for all crimes. Álvaro García Ortiz is committed to demanding that the arrest warrant against Puigdemont be lifted and accuses the prosecutors of the 2017 independence case of going against the spirit of the legislation and of including “inconsequential” and “extravagant” political considerations in their proposal’. The story also makes Catalan News here: ‘Prosecutor urges Supreme Court prosecutors to back amnesty law for Catalan independence figures’.

*There is some plotting in judicial circles in Madrid to force García Ortíz to resign. 



El Huff Post quotes The Mirror as saying that ‘Spain demands that the United Kingdom immediately withdraw its military base in Gibraltar’. 



From The Guardian here: ‘Fewer than 200,000 of the estimated 3.5 million British people living abroad for more than 15 years have applied to vote in the UK general election despite the change in law in January returning their right to participate in the ballot…’ 



Nolotil under examination. From The Guardian here: ‘EU drugs watchdog probes painkiller linked to deaths. Campaigner welcomes investigation into drug after hundreds of suspected adverse reactions’. El Huff Post here: ‘The safety of the most consumed medication in Spain is to be reviewed. The European Medicines Agency is preparing to examine the side-effects of the drug’. The Olive Press has been campaigning about the dangers of Nolotil for quite some time. 

‘Revealed: The highest and lowest-rated regions for public health services in Spain’. The best are Navarra, the Basque Country, and Asturias. The worst are the Valencian Community and Andalucía says the Federation of Associations for the Defence of Public Health (FADSP) – as found at The Olive Press here

‘An investigation concludes that 71% of the analysed chicken samples sold at Lidl carry bacteria resistant to antibiotics. A European study reveals the existence of pathogens resistant to antibiotics in the samples taken. These microorganisms can cause urinary tract infections, pneumonia or septicaemia, according to experts. In Spain, 17 of the 24 samples were contaminated’ says Público here



The Judge Peinado (the one who is investigating Begoña Gómez) lives in an almacén, a storage barn. The almacén is registered as such on the catastro in the pueblo in Ávila where it is located. Nevertheless, it has two stories, a swimming pool and a tennis court. More of a chalet, really. The judge’s daughter is a councillor for the PP in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid). Luckily, no one is going to go and bother to take photos of what is, after all, just an almacén. The story at El Plural here. Video here. El Plural in an opinion piece: ‘Ay, si el chalé sin licencia del juez Peinado fuera de Begoña Gómez…’ – imagine if that unlicenced chalet had belonged to Begoña Pérez… (or worse still, Pablo Iglesias!) 

From El Economista here: ‘Begoña Gómez accuses Judge Peinado of violating her rights by not clarifying why he is investigating her. “Especially if we take into account that she is summoned to testify in a few days about facts that she is unaware of", says her lawyer’. 



From LaSexta here: ‘Journalist Antonio Maestre's explanation as to why the PP has not renewed the CGPJ for over five years: "They are the only ones responsible. The system has always served the PP while they (the PP) had the majority to appoint judges who would give them a conservative majority." And if they don't have that majority, then they simply "block it". (Video from Al Rojo Vivo). 

‘Judge García Castellón, who never found it necessary to investigate Esperanza Aguirre, M.Rajoy or María Dolores de Cospedal for the great corruption scandals of the PP in the last decade but does find ‘terrorism’ in Puigdemont and Lord knows everything in Podemos, has spoken about lawfare. To deny it, of course’. daily subscription (free to readers). 

A property law-firm I know and trust – Vásquez Lawyers here



From Reuters Institute here, an analysis of the Spanish media: ‘The Spanish media market is characterised by intense rivalries between major conglomerates, the continuing importance of broadcast news, and innovation online. Local and general elections in 2023 heightened political, media, and social polarisation, with news organisations covering the elections in a market defined by low media trust and decreasing interest in politics and information…’ A graphic shows the percentage insertion and reach of TV, print, radio and online media. 

La Marea on right-wing influencers here. ‘The Six Heads of the Hydra from the 11M’. Following the terrorist explosions on the Madrid local trains on March 11, 2004, just three days before the elections, the ruling PP of José María Aznar insisted (despite evidence to the contrary), that the work had been done by ETA. A viewpoint held to this day by the then director of El Mundo, and current director of El Español Pedro J Ramírez. Others followed Ramírez’ departure from El Mundo into different posts as reporters (or regular inventors of bulos, as the article prefers). Here we meet Alfonso Rojo (Periodista Digital) who is described as ‘on the right of the extreme right’. Here too, we find folk like Eduardo Inda, (OK Diario), Casimiro García Abadillo (El Independiente) and Joaquín Mansó (El Mundo). From a younger generation, there’s Javier Negre (and some other names to watch…) 

El Gran Wyoming is a popular political TV commentator with his own show, El Intermedio, who makes his points through (mild) comedy. Some good points nonetheless. The show appears on LaSexta and here he is quoted as saying that the right wing of the PP was never forced out of the party, but rather it left under its own steam to form Vox, and similarly, Alvise left Vox to form his own ever more acute party. Thus, says El Gran Wyoming, there’s only the one partido de derechas (with a few schisms). With video. 

VozPópuli says that there is a ‘Campaign against tourism in Spain: the British press warns of plagues, fines and "anti-tourist sentiment". The protests against the growth of tourism and the business model in different areas of Spain have caused British newspapers to underline more strongly these negative aspects’. Let’s see – The Sun, The Daily Express, The Mirror and the truly terrible Birmingham Mail are mentioned. 



The ‘Bandera Negra’ distinctions come from Ecologistas en Acción. Since 2015, they’ve awarded two to each maritime province – one for beach contamination and the other for poor coastal environmental management. From The Independent (slightly missing the point) here: ‘Canaries beaches among those named as Spain’s worst ‘black flag’ spots – see the rest of the list’. From The Olive Press here: ‘These are the 48 beaches handed ‘black flags’ for pollution, mass tourism and over development’. 

‘A judge lifts the blockade on the illegal wells of the Casa de Alba next to Doñana despite the opposition of the Prosecutor's Office. The court considers that the wells do not put the aquifer at risk and it withdraws the precautionary measures imposed in October on eight facilities with which, according to the Environmental Prosecutor, “illegitimate irrigation” has been carried out for at least a decade: in a single year they would have been extracted without a license some 305 million litres’. More at here

From Euronews here: ‘After months of deliberations, the EU’s Nature Restoration Law has finally been approved. The first-of-its-kind regulation aims to restore Europe’s damaged ecosystems and boost biodiversity’. 



El Rey Felipe VI was crowned King of Spain ten years ago this Wednesday. Videos here and here.   

Following the story of the elderly woman who was about to be evicted by the city (to allow more tourist apartments), Cádiz football club has stepped in and bought the house, thus allowing the 88-year-old to stay in her home where she has lived since 1967 and to continue with her humble monthly rent of 97€ per month. The item is at RTVE here

‘There are currently 30,722,465 vehicles registered in the country. The average age of them continues to rise and now exceeds 14 years’ says Sur in English here

These words we bandy about… from The Guardian here: ‘Populist, nativist, neofascist? A lexicon of Europe’s far right’. 

An ill-behaved and drunken female passenger was being ejected from an airliner due to fly out of Lanzarote when she suddenly bit a Guardia Civil says La Voz de Lanzarote here (‘con diversas dentelladas, arañazos, patadas y empujones’). Following this aggression, she will have missed her flight home to London. 

The Federació Balear de Balconing is an unpleasant group that celebrates tourist-deaths through falling off (or jumping from) hotel balconies. The Daily Mail has the details.  

ECD provides us with a useful list of Spanish teen-slang here. ‘Boomer’ for example, means an old coot. ‘Un heater’ is a troll, a hater; ‘Stalkear’ is self-explanatory; ‘Ser una Cabra’ means to be the greatest… and so on. For Goodness sake, abuelo, try and keep up! 

Considered as one of the great books of black and white photography, 'España oculta' by Cristina García Rodero has just been re-issued says Xataca here. Christina was commissioned in 1975 to document Spanish traditions and fiestas (Video and photos). 

Twenty facts about the Spanish Inquisition here at (a bit simplistic). 



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El Septeto Santiaguero with Los Ejes de mi Carreta on YouTube here. El Septeto Santiaguero (The Santiaguero Septet) is a traditional Cuban band (wiki). I counted around ten of them (including the girl).


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Business over Tapas Nº 542

News in English 13/06/2024

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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