The Word on the Street

International Edition - February 2014


News and Information from Spain


Welcome to the February 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.

Carnival in Tenerife, Canary Islands

What kind of expat are you?

You might not like the idea that you can be put into a category or 'type' but the fact is that we all have certain characteristics by which we can be labelled.

In 'The Local' they have put together 11 different 'types' of expat, what characterises them and what their hopes are for the future. Which is your best fit?

Could you benefit from the new health scheme?

We know how important health care is and how confusing it has been for expats under a certain age to access it. For some, there has been a period of uncertainty since the Valencian health care scheme stopped accepting new participants.

There was also some confusion when it was announced that if you had been a resident before 2012 you were eligible for health care provided you weren't receiving it anywhere else and didn't qualify amongst the super rich.

Now another new scheme has been launched that, similar to the old Valencian scheme, allows early retirees, and those not otherwise eligible, to access national health care in Spain. Find out here what the Costa Blanca News have to say about it:

WIf you can read Spanish then this link will provide more detailed information:

Still leading on transplants

Spain has an enviable reputation when it comes to organ transplants. The latest news is that it recently set the transplant record with 45 in one day. One of these was the transplantation of a pancreas.

There's too much bad press about Spain, so let's celebrate something to be proud of:

Do you feel more emotional in the sun?

We usually associate sunlight with positive feelings. There's a sense of wellbeing when the sun is shining on us; when you have to squint you have to smile too!

However, in this turn around of thinking, the Independent reports some interesting research. It suggests that bright sunlight can actually increase rather than decrease depression. As sunlight heightens all emotions, why should depression be exempt?

It's an interesting perspective and might make you want to dim the lights if you've an important decision to make:


Must you make a resident tax declaration in Spain?

If you are a resident in Spain the rules around whether you should make a resident tax declaration can be confusing. Misleading information has sometimes been published that there is a threshold of 22,000€. This is not the case for many people. In our article we clarify for you whether you must make one or not.

Up and away with electricity bills

The price of electricity continues to be a huge concern for those owning property in Spain.

Many families are already having difficulty obtaining sufficient work to pay their bills. The increasing cost of what must be considered an essential is crippling an increasing number.

In this article from Expatica, we hear just how great the problem is becoming and how more and more are speaking out:

In Spain Explained we provide some of the background to this very thorny issue:

Have you checked the date on your passport recently?

Keeping your passport handy is very important when you are in Spain. Although many places will take other proof of identity such as a Spanish driving licences, some won't.

We were made aware recently of an unfortunate situation where a deceased person couldn't be removed to hospital until his passport was found and his status as a resident or non-resident confirmed.

It is a timely, if tragic, reminder of just how important it is to make sure you have your passport close by, and, of course, that it is valid.

You should be aware that arrangements for renewing British passports have changed. The article below from OnThePulse, provides more details of the new arrangements for how to apply for a British passport online:

Do you like Gordon Ramsay?

In case you are blissfully unaware, Gordon Ramsay is an ex-footballer turned master chef who is frequently on British and American TV screens, urging (not very politely) cooks and restaurant owners to do better.

He's a bit of a love him or hate him character. However you feel about Gordon Ramsay you might be interested to watch him as he targets expat restaurant owners on the Costa del Sol. Apparently he will be filming in May and June and if you are a resident restauranteur you might want a little help yourself. The show producers are apparently looking for restaurants, hotels and B & Bs to take part:




Carnival time!

It might be February but that doesn't mean there isn't time for dressing up in flimsy costumes, taking part in a parade and dancing on the streets. Yes, it's carnival time and most parts of Spain are celebrating in style.

Eurotourguide provides a guide to some events that you just might like to take part in:

For a look at some of Catalonia's most amazing carnivals:

50 official tourism brochures

If you want to know more about Spain and enjoy touring round the country then you might find one of these tourism brochures to be to your liking. They are free once you have submitted your email address and cover aspects of the different areas as well as some specific subjects:

Not a wave in sight!

Spain isn't just about sandy beaches by the sea. It also boasts its own share of fresh water beaches.

Even if you are a coastal beach devotee, you might enjoy taking a look at these wonderful photos:

Cross-cultural relationships - seven tips for making it work

What must it be like to fall in love with someone who doesn't speak your language when you don't speak theirs either?

On the one hand you can't discuss politics or compare the TV shows you used to watch as a child. On the other hand you've got so much to find out about one another.

This Expatica article explores the world of mixed cultures and provides seven tips for how you can make it work:

Take a 'happy' look at Valencia

There's not too much to this video, just a few people jigging around to some music in Valencia. However, it is quite infectious in its own way and you could test yourself to see how many public buildings you recognise and have perhaps visited.

Where would you visit to make a similar video of your own town?:

Fuentes del Algar, Callosa d’en Sarriŕ


Ábaco Advisers: (+34) 96 670 3748

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