The Word on the Street

International Edition - December 2014


News and Information from Spain


Welcome to the December 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.

A Christmas tree in Puerta del Sol, Madrid

Getting to grips with the sales in Spain

If you like a bargain you might wonder how you can best take advantage of the sales in Spain

In Ábaco’s article we consider what you can expect from the Spanish sales and what your consumer rights are, just in time for the new year:

Would you rent one of these?

Some of us like to be different and some of us like to merge into the background. If you are a ‘different’ kind of person then rather than renting the usual piso or casa you might want to try a tepee instead.

Select from these weird and wonderful rental opportunities. Which one would you choose?:

Could you ‘blag it’ like Little Nicolás?

If you ever doubted that confidence is all you should read this article from El País in English about  Little Nicolás. This twenty year old managed to worm his way into the inner sanctums of Spain’s royal households and political circles. How did he do it? Read and see:

Thinking of buying property in a community?

Many houses and flats in Spain are part of a community of owners. The majority function very successfully. A few don’t. To work out which one your prospective property fits into, try  reading Sandra Piddock’s blog. She has some good advice:

The past, present and uncertain future of Corvera airport

We haven’t mentioned it in our newsletter for a while so now it seems like a good time. This is a comprehensive article on the background and current state of play for this ‘will it, won’t it’ airport.

‘Typically Spanish’ looking good

We haven’t referred to this website for a while. However, it is now revamped and looking good. There’s the usually blend of news but also some regular features including:

  • Spain on this Day – a historical perspective

  • The football league in Spain, Germany, France, Italy and England

  • Video clips of Spain

Well worth another look if you haven’t been there for a while.

Fun facts about Spain

This is a long and rather random collection of ‘facts’ about Spain.  Still good to test yourself against, or even better, test someone else:

Google captures the war images

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. These pictures prove it. Superimposed on modern Madrid are images from during the Spanish Civil War


It’s Christmas!

We’d like to wish all our readers a very Happy Christmas and New Year and, if you would like to find out a little more about celebrating Christmas in Spain read On The Pulse’s:

Guide to the Fiestas in Spain:

or our own article about the benefits and opportunities around celebrating Christmas in Spain:

Getting into cultural misunderstandings

It’s quite short, but I rather like this article about finding yourself stuck in the quiet compartment of a train with a cultural mix of people. However, we might ask, is it the culture or personality of those involved that creates this odd mix?:

Are you too embarrassed to open your mouth?

It can be difficult to overcome the shyness and embarrassment that can come with trying to speak another language. However, if you are ever going to get past ‘Hola’ then you need to try and not worry too much about the blushes.

Babbel offer some encouragement and share an embarrassing mistake:

Want to read Spanish literature?

We know that some of our readers are not only keen to visit or live in Spain but like reading books set in Spain too. Unfortunately translations of modern Spanish literature are few and far between.

However, a small publishing house in Madrid is trying to change this. ‘Hispabooks’ has been established by two English-speaking Spanish editors and has published some translated contemporary works.

To read more about them:

To visit the site itself:

Spanish Schindlers

Spain might not have been directly involved in the second world war but some Spanish citizens were. This article from El País identifies some Spanish ambassadors and diplomats who put their lives at risk to help prevent the deportation of Jews from the countries in which they were living.

They deserve to be remembered:

Spend, spend, spend, it’s Christmas!

Consumerism at Christmas is one reason that some  people choose to visit Spain during the festive season. From the beginning of October onwards the public are urged to spend, spend, spend. In Spain Christmas is celebrated predominantly as a religious festival and without the same level of hard sell.

To underline the consumerist level that Christmas has reached in some European countries, the Spanish art activist group, ‘Luzinterruptus’ visited the UK and last year erected their very own ‘special’ Christmas tree:

The Huffington Post also publicises some other pretty dramatic displays created by the group, usually with a social or conservationist theme:

Turron or nougat with hazelnuts, artisan pastry


15 pieces of art work in Barcelona that everyone can see

This collection form Huffpost Arts and Culture is a little different and if you are planning a trip then you would benefit from trying to include some of this interesting art work:

Barcelona air-raid shelter uncovered

It’s over 75 years since the end of the civil war but they are still uncovering relics. This time it’s in Barcelona and this air-raid shelter has been untouched since it was used. There’s even a working light bulb still in place and brandy bottles.

We can only speculate on what stories unfolded here:

Fed up of your usual aftershave/ perfume?

Why not ask for an ‘alternative’ perfume this Christmas. It’s called ‘Politics’ and is advertised as having the  ‘Aroma a chorizo’  (smell of chorizo sausage). It is being sold to raise money for charity and represents a dig at Spanish politicians as ‘chorizo’ is also a term that can be used in Spanish to mean a ‘thief’. Spanish News Today explains in more detail about this unusual gift:


Ábaco Advisers: (+34) 96 670 3748

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