The Word on the Street

International Edition - April 2013


News and Information from Spain


Welcome to the April issue of 'The Word on the Street'. Your monthly news and information from Spain provided by Ábaco Advisers. In a couple of columns we hope to keep you in touch with the news, events and just a little bit of gossip.

                            tree with flowers on Murcia

A beautiful sunset in Santa Pola, Alicante

Murcia Today - new section

Ábaco has been supplying Murcia Today with material for a little while, so we are delighted to announce that the legal and financial section has had a make over:

Worries about Cyprus

One of our readers wrote to us following March's newsletter about concerns over Cyprus. They requested information about what the events there might mean for people here.

It is a very difficult issue to give a corporate view on as we can only really speculate. Because of this we have collated some of the most informative articles we could find covering a range of views on what has happened there and what might happen in Spain:

'The Local' reports 'Spain is not Cyprus: Euro bank boss' - and attempts to put minds at rest:

The 'Economist' offers a very long and in-depth account of what happened in Cyprus as told by Athanasios Orphanides - previously governor of the central bank of Cyprus - this article is reading material only for the seriously interested and those committed to finding out the history of what happened (albeit from one man's point of view):

This Guardian article tends towards the argument that what has happened in Cyprus is not a template for other Eurozone countries. We should perhaps take some consolation from this:

There has to be uncertainty about what the future holds. However, according to the current press, it seems as though Spain is not next in line as the most vulnerable country. A sigh of relief, unfortunately at someone else's expence.

SIP information

Confused about your SIP? Unsure what a SIP actually is or if you're eligible? For those who don't know, the SIP is the Health Card that entitles you to state health care if you are a resident in Spain.

However, obtaining or retaining your SIP hasn't always been straight forward. A new leaflet from Torrevieja hospital and available in the Tourist Information Office explains in more detail what the hospital has to offer as well as what documents you need to request healthcare. It's a useful summary but a shame that it's not available online.

For more information email:


Typically Spanish is back!

For fans of the Typically Spanish website who have missed it for the past three months, we are pleased to announce that it's back as a newly reformed Typically Spanish 2. A different look but the same coverage of the latest news in Spain in English. It is well-worth a visit:

European Day

European Day is on the Thursday 9th May. Have you got your activities planned? The title of the day is possibly not going to have everyone cheering in the current climate. A pity, as there are many positives to being part of a wider union. Different regions should have their own range of celebrations to mark the day. Wherever you are, do take time to raise a glass to our European neighbours and the future we can all hope to have together.


Ábaco Update

Habitation certificates

We sometimes find that people are confused about the two certificates:

The first occupancy certificate The habitation certificate

The first occupancy is the certificate that demonstrates that the property developer has met all the legal obligations and the property is legal. This is replaced by the habitation certificate when the property has a new owner.

For more information about both certificates:

A good time to buy

We don't need to tell you that property prices are low. If you are tempted but are anxious about ensuring that any purchase is 'safe' read our article, 'Buying a property in Spain'. It describes the step-by-step process to making a safe purchase of Spanish property:

It's not all bad news

If you were under the impression that the press only publish bad news about Spain, this article from the Telegraph 'travel' section might prove you wrong.

The article conjures up Almeria's mystery including the Tabernas Desert, the rocky coastline and the history of the area, linked to the Moorish legacy:

Iberia Express

It's had its ups and downs but it now looks as though Iberia Express is beginning to make a positive impression. It has been operating for just over a year and has clocked up a rather pleasing statistic - 94% of its 23,000 flights arrived on time.

Seeing the bright side

Or not. Apparently the best place to work in Europe if you want to avoid depression is Italy. Only 12% of the workforce surveyed there as part of an Ipsos Mori survey have been diagnosed with depression. France, Germany and Denmark all had 19%, Spain 21%, Turkey 23% and top of the league was Great Britain with 26%.

Of course, these surveys are not all they seem and there may be differences between countries in terms of the willingness and likelihood of the medical profession providing a diagnosis:

Workers in Germany are most likely to take some time off work with depression (61%) and those in turkey are least likely to (25%). Spain comes somewhere in the middle with 52% of those surveyed saying they were likely to take time off. In Great Britain it was 58%.

Interesting articles on The Local

The Local: Spain's News in English is an interesting and informative website containing articles from the Spanish press and interesting interviews with people living in Spain:

I rather like the article 'Ten terrible Spanish menu translations':

We've all seen them ourselves on the local menu del dia and it's quite understandable when google translate is your main source of language support.

My favourite is the poor 'chorizo to hell': some of the food on this selection of slides does look delicious but unfortunately the names given to these dishes are hardly likely to tempt you.

Amongst some of the comments about the article (some of which are a little critical) there are some even funnier translations than the ones given on the slide. Enjoy!

Little white lies

In this article, written by Karen McCann from Seville, we hear how she's learnt from her grandmother to apply a little white lie and avoid a social faux pas:

Situations we can find ourselves in whatever our nationality.


Where do you like to watch the sunset?

A key feature of Spain are the beautiful sunsets that you can witness throughout the year here. Where is your favourite place to watch them? These forum members share their preferences and their snaps:

Escaping the cold

It's been a cold Easter in many countries. For those already thinking about how they will do it differently next year, this article from the Guardian includes the top ten sun spots to escape to in the winter. The Marjal Costa Blanca Resort in Crevillente (Alicante) gets a very welcome mention:

Celebrating Elche

We've mentioned the delights of Elche previously in our newsletters, but we can't describe its merits to you in as compelling a way as you can see for yourself from this YouTube production.

It's a promotional film from Elche Town Hall of 10 minutes long. To avoid language difficulties the story of Elche and what it offers the tourist is told through images. If watching this doesn't make you want to visit, I don't know what will:

Cactus plants in the
Huerto del Cura - Elche, Alicante

Understanding Spain

If Spain remains a mystery to you why not explore this website and e-book:

It's quite a short book but it does provide an interesting perspective if not least on differences in punctuality.

Safety tips

Wherever you live in the world there can be concerns about the safety of your belongings. Spain is no exception to this and with the large numbers of holiday makers, petty thieves see plenty of opportunity to help themselves given half a chance. David Ruiz and Torrevieja Translations have reproduced some common sense advice that comes from the Guardia Civil.

Book suggestions

Following my request in the last issue of the newsletter for more book title ideas, one response directed me to a whole series: Packabook is an interesting idea for finding a quick selection of books that you might read to inform you about a particular place you are visiting or somewhere you might be considering moving to. Spain, of course, has its own page:

One of our readers also came book with the suggestion of a book of his own:

AQALAN is an e-book:

Marjal Costa Blanca Resort
Crevillente, Alicante


Ábaco Advisers: (+34) 96 670 3748

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