The Word on the Street

International Edition - April 2014


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.

Bando de la Huerta Festival,

More information about traffic fines

In our last newsletter we linked you to an article from Money Saver Spain about paying traffic fines. Its popularity suggests that many of you have been caught doing a little over the limit. So, we've now written our own article about what you should know when it comes to traffic fines. We hope you never have to use it:

Child poverty

Serious concerns are being raised about child poverty in Spain. The charity Save the Children is urging Spain to do more for deprived children where, it claims, one in three children are at risk of living in poverty.

The charity has launched a petition which calls for:

- child benefit payments to be made to all families living below the poverty line
- an increase in the amount paid
- a move to monthly instead of twice yearly payments

Currently a family with one child who has an income of below 959.93 euros currently receive child benefit of 291 euros.

If you live in Spain and would like to add your signature to the online petition, you can sign here:

Wrong facts about Spain

In the last newsletter we gave you 30 facts about Spain. In this article David Ruiz provides us with 10 wrong facts about Spain. It's a good reminder how important it is to form your own judgements based upon meeting and knowing the people rather than from what you hear in the press.

After all, there is as much difference between the people in the same country as there is between the people in different countries:

Which parents' day do you celebrate?

It can be very confusing at this time of year if you have a child living with you in Spain but you originate from another country. Which mothers' day/ fathers' day do you celebrate? They all seem to come at once and you have to be careful that you don't slip through the net and end up not being celebrated on any of them!

Just as a reminder, so that you can give the hint if necessary, mothers' day in Spain is on 4th May. Don't miss out!

Top 10 Unfortunate village names

We won't spoil it by telling you them all now but some of them are very unusual. We'll just give you a flavour - 'Cenicero' which, if you know your Spanish, means 'ash tray'.

To find out the rest we'll let you take the link. Perhaps you have some of your own:




Confusion about the resident tax declaration

It's the end of the Ábaco roadshow in the Costa Blanca Region. At four different locations we have been explaining to residents and non-residents about tax in Spain as well as helping resident pensioners to register for Imserso, the subsidised Spanish holiday programme.

We were delighted to meet so many of you but also concerned about the amount of confusion and uncertainty there still seems to be when it comes to making a resident tax declaration.

If you couldn't make one of our events but have questions about tax please contact Jane at 96 679 3748. It is coming up to the deadline for resident tax declarations on the 30th June. Jane and other colleagues will be happy to help you with this too.

If you are unsure about whether you should make a resident tax declaration in Spain:

For more information about the resident tax declaration:

Watch out if you've had a home improvement done in the last 15 years

We know that some people in the Torrevieja area have been contacted about home improvements they have made to their property in Spain without having the town hall's approval.

The law is just about to get even tougher. The window for requiring property to be returned to its previous state or acquiring retrospective planning permission is increasing from 4 to 15 years.

People might be surprised about the type of home improvement that requires permission. Our articles explain a little more:

Taking estate agents to task over the EPC

There has been a lot of confusion around the Energy Performance certificate (EPC) and what exactly was expected from house sellers and estate agents. Numerous warning have been issued about how the Spanish government is going to ensure compliancy. It had all gone quiet…until now.

We have recently heard that action is being taken against those estate agents that are not following the new law correctly. It has been reported that five estate agents in Navarra are to be prosecuted for advertising homes without showing the EPC rating.

The estate agent is required to show at least the performance certificate grading (A - G) and emissions amounts in their windows, on their websites and on portals where they might be advertising the property for sale or for rent. For more information about the energy performance certificate in Spain:

Source in Spanish:

Will we be able to enjoy the chiringuito this summer?

The chiringuito or 'beach bar' is a feature of Spanish beaches. It provides welcome refreshments as well as miscellaneous beach paraphernalia - all aimed at making your holiday that little bit better.

However, at the time of writing this article you won't find them operating on most of the beaches of Orihuela Costa. To find out why:


Festival Run Down

This is perhaps the best and most succinct run down of the more unusual and spectacular festivals celebrated across Spain during the year. It reminds you that wherever you are based there is something worth seeing coming up soon:

10 alternative impressions of Barcelona

Barcelona is an incredible and wonderful city with lots of character. On a recent short break there I was entranced by its cosmopolitan nature, vibrant nightlife and spectacular architecture.

In my collection of impressions, these do feature, but there are some 'alternative' ones too. One of which must be the worst cash machine in the world…would you use it?:

Henry Moore in Spain

Until the 6th May, there is an open air exhibition of Henry Moore's works in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento in Valencia. Henry Moore did visit Spain and, according to this article in Murcia Today, was particularly moved by the tragedy of the civil war.

To find out more about the exhibition and Moore's connection with Spain:

A Place in the Sun somewhere near you?

Well it might have been this Easter. The Euroweekly newspaper tells us that the Place in the Sun crew have been for a return visit to Nerja. Apparently the film crew needed a little help avoiding being swept up in a Semana Santa (Easter) procession:

What makes an expat a successful expat?

Casey Fleser shares with us her seven tips for being a highly effective expat. Which of these seven habits did you follow?

It would be interesting to hear from you if you have some tips of your own that you think make for successful expat life:

Comments about the Spanish news

There are a few sources of information about what's happening in Spain written in English. This is a relatively new one:

Matthew Bennett has been writing about Spain and emailing information about the news here for a while. In this publication he is branching out and provides some interesting editorial about some top stories.

For other ways of accessing what's happening in Spain in English and for information about the Spanish newspapers read Ábaco's article:

Money, money, money… where the rich live

You'll need lots of this if you are going to buy property on one of these ten streets listed as 'Spain's most expensive addresses'. They don't all look that inviting either:

Neither does Bishop's Avenue in London, renamed as Billionaire's Row. It might represent what money can buy, but would you really want to buy it? Read our article about the abandoned mansions in London and changing perspectives on the value of real estate:


Ábaco Advisers: (+34) 96 670 3748

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