The Word on the Street

International Edition - July 2013


News and Information from Spain


Welcome to the July 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.

Moors and Christians

Moors and Christians
Ibi, Alicante

Design recognition

We like to give Spain a plug when there's something to celebrate. This time it's a building in Teulada that's been given recognition by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The Teulada-Moraira auditorium has been nominated for the Stirling prize for the Best Building of the Year and is one of 9 buildings nominated by RIBA for a building created outside the UK but in the EU.

Another poll

But it is quite interesting. This poll from Eye on Spain gives some insight into the views of their subscribers. It reports on answers to 10 questions on the topics of happiness in Spain, integration, cost of living and safety, amongst others.

The poll reports not only percentages of respondents but also quotes, some of which make very interesting reading. For example, 69.66% of respondents believed that Spain still offers a lower cost of living compared to their homeland. For more results:

Moving between cultures

Many of our readers are residents in Spain, many are non-residents who visit several times a year. Some people split their time almost equally between the two countries. For those that do, the following article, 'Culture lag between two homes' may hold particular significance. Molly describes the differences she finds and how she copes when alternating between her home in Spain and her home in the US:

Doctors without borders

You might have heard recently that two Spanish women were released after almost two years of being held as hostages in Somalia. An incredible relief for their family and friends and, of course, to themselves.

They both belonged to Doctors without Borders or Medicos Sin Fronteras (MSF). MSF is an international medical humanitarian organisation that was created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971.

They provide independent, impartial assistance in more than 60 countries where there are problems due to armed conflicts, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care or natural disasters. In 1999 the organisation received the Nobel Peace Prize.

To find out more:

For more information about the release of the two hostages:

Bankers in trouble

Another good article from Iberosphere that suggests not every banker, at least in Spain, is getting away with it:

Another interesting website for you

This one is called Spain Made Simple and includes travel tips as well as Expat advice. It has separate pages for the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol and includes interviews of those who have moved here:

We invite your comments,
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Ábaco News - Taking care of landlords

Many people purchase property in Spain with a view to letting it out to a tenant. In most cases this arrangement works very well and provides a regular income for the landlord. However, occasionally the relationship breaks down between the landlord and tenant and rent remains unpaid or property is damaged.

Previous legislation tended to side with the tenant and finding recourse through the courts was difficult. However, the government has recognised the need to give more power to the landlord through new legislation.

Ábaco has published a series of articles about this:

What to do when your tenant defaults in Spain:

Stay legal when letting Spanish property:

Looking after landlords in Spain:

An optimistic outlook for landlords in Spain:

Evicting a tenant:

Iberia bucks the trend

The size and weight of hand luggage on flights continues to be a big topic of conversation. Arrangements have recently changed on EasyJet with a reduction in the size of hand luggage guaranteed to be kept in the cabin.The new guaranteed cabin bag dimensions stand at 50 x 40 x 20cm. You can still carry on the traditional 56 x 45 x 25cm size but, depending on demand, if the overhead compartments are full your hand luggage might have to be stored in the hold. For more information:

Taking a different approach, Iberia have also recently made an announcement. They have actually increased the size of their hand luggage from 55 x 40 x 20cm to 56 x 45 x 25cm. There is no weight restriction but it is expected that the hand luggage is light enough for the passenger to lift it into the overheads. The good news doesn't stop there.

You can not only take on one piece of hand luggage but also an additional 'personal accessory' such as a separate laptop or handbag. A great relief for those previously seeing all their hand luggage allowance taken up by their laptop:

Gas boiler update

Regulations have changed around the frequency with which your gas boiler must be inspected. Previously set at an annual inspection, the new regulations state that gas boilers need now only be inspected every two years.

However, there is some uncertainty about the impact this will or will not have on the contract offered by boiler maintenance companies. It can be assumed that most of them will want to retain an annual subscription to their service. For more information:

Were you a fan of Wilt?

It's not often that I get the Laugh Out Loud feeling, but Tom Sharpe's series of books about Wilt did actually make me chuckle. 'Wilt' finds himself in some absurd situations and the books make for light, amusing reading.

So it was with a mixture of sadness and interest that I realised that not only had Tom Sharpe died but that during his life he had also had an affiliation with Spain.

He spent the last 20 years of his life living on the Costa Brava in Llafranc, and died at the age of 85.

This is an interview with the author written for The Sunday Times by Mark Stucklin:


Moors and Christians

If you haven't already been to a Moors and Christians parade then it really is time to try it. If you spend time in Spain during the summer months, there should be at least one neighbouring town or district celebrating this highly colourful and splendid tradition. Here we have selected just a few dates but the local papers and websites should have details of some that are convenient for you. If you do take the plunge be prepared for a long vigil by the roadside and take with you drinks and snacks. You will also need to plan your parking carefully, particularly if you are looking for a quick getaway before the end.

You have to admire the fortitude of the participants who march through the streets dressed in all manner of costume - most of them not exactly summer-friendly.

Almoradi - 26th July to the 4th August - for a detailed break down of activities:

Aspe - 27th July to the 23rd August:

Murcia - 7th September to 16th September

Elche - 8th August to 15th August

Ibi - 13th to 15th September The website is in Spanish but there is a YouTube video that gives you a flavour of the Moors and Christians as it's celebrated in Ibi.

Do you enjoy a Mojito?

If you do then why not try one somewhere different. In this article, Molly introduces us to ten places where you might enjoy one:

The only problem is you would have to invest a significant amount of time and money testing out all her suggestions. Where do you enjoy your Mojito? We'd like to know.

Ordering from Spain

In the last issue of the newsletter we pointed out that Amazon were once more charging for deliveries to Spain. Subsequently, one of our readers let us know that although the ES site is usually free of charge for deliveries, prices do vary from other sites and can be more expensive. With a little research there are other shopping sites around which do deliver to Spain and can be much cheaper than using Amazon.

Your suggestions are always welcome!


Moors and Christians

Moors and Christians
Almoradí, Alicante

Moors and Christians

Moors and Christians



Ábaco Advisers: (+34) 96 670 3748

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