The Word on the Street

International Edition - June 2013


News and Information from Spain


Welcome to the June 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.

Park Güell

The fiesta of San Fermín
Pamplona, Navarra

AVE - fast, fast trains

Spain is a big country and getting from one part of it to another can mean a lengthy journey. However, the increasing number of AVE trains look set to make travelling around the country a great deal easier.

The latest train to be inaugurated runs from Alicante to Madrid and is set to bring the travel time down between the two cities to around 2 hours 20 minutes - a 50 minute reduction on the fastest train travel time to date:

And from OnThePulse:

Concerns about Spanish Health Care

The Local comes up with another good article that summarises concerns about the direction that Spanish Health Care is taking. It does point out, however, that the situation is not irreversible.

Three issues are flagged up:

1. the end of universal coverage in 2012
2. co-payment for medicines
3. the impact of privatization on hospitals

Too good to be true?

Spanish Mayors and bureaucrats have received a great deal of negative press recently. How nice to actually come across a story that suggests they can be altruistic too. The Local again comes up with a rather pleasant story that states that the mayor of Jaen is halving his €1,000 salary to help the poor:

Any more volunteers?


Immigration is a topic that in the current economic crisis is bound to lead to some heated debate. This is an interesting article that perhaps puts it all in perspective. It focuses around the UK and Spain but could apply equally to the 'mood' in many other countries too:

The power of attack

The unrest in Europe continues to maintain its presence amongst the headlines. This is an interesting article translated into English from a German Newspaper. It points out that the current protests are more about preserving what's been (the welfare state) than attacking the establishment. It's an interesting perspective with a thought-provoking concluding statement:

'defence, which lacks the power of conquest, can never be as poweful as attack.' One for Facebook?


However hard you try to buy everything from Spain there are usually one or two items that just aren't quite the same. For some people, ordering from Amazon fills a gap. It was with delight that it was announced that you could order and have items delivered here for free. Unfortunately it looks as though this is no longer the case. However, you should remember that there is also a Spanish site that might prove to be a better option, although you may not be able to access all the items you would like:


Ábaco News - Imserso

Good news at last about the Spanish government subsidised holiday programme for resident pensioners. The window for new Imserso applications has opened again. They have not left us much time to submit applications but at least something is happening out there.

We do have a number of application forms that we were unfortunately unable to process last year. We will be working our way through those and aiming to submit as many as possible.

If you are not yet registered but had contacted us in the meantime, we have kept your details and will send you an e-mail to let you know our arrangements for assisting you to register.

Valencia is upping the game

Alongside the stories of gloom and doom there are also the slivers of hope. Some recent property figures from the Spanish Land Registry (el registro de propriedades) show a buoyant market with foreigners purchasing an increasing propertion of the property sold.

The overall number of house sales to foreigners has risen from 4.24% of overall sales in 2009 to 8.12% in 2012. Altogether in 2012, 24,938 Spanish properties were sold to foreign buyers. Britain was still the biggest market followed by France, Russia, Germany and Belgium.

To make the most of this, Valencia has launched its own website for property buyers:

The website content is available in English and covers some important topics in relation to buying and living in Valencia. If you are considering buying it is worth a look although there is perhaps a little way to go before it become an indispensable resource.

Corvera Airport on Facebook

Corvera airport is now on Facebook. Does this mean they are revving up for launch?

Here are other news stories surrounding the controversial airport:

Flight trouble again

Sometimes the more you try to impose restrictions, the more restrictions become necessary as a result. A perfect example of this is hand luggage on flights.

At one time your luggage just went in the hold. Then it got more expensive to put it there and the attraction of a speedier board and departure led to more and more people cramming everything into their hand luggage.

This in turn led to more and more congestion in the overhead lockers. Followed by more and more restrictions on size and shape. Well, it's not ended yet.

Just to add another twist to the tail, Easy jet are making their hand luggage even smaller from 2nd July. I wonder what will be next?

We invite your comments,
feedback and suggestions.
Please e-mail us at...

Celler de Can Roca

Elche CF football club
in the first division next season


San Fermín

Well, now that summer has finally arrived - in weather terms that is - it definitely feels more like the time to relax and enjoy ourselves. Most of us like to enjoy a few parties here and there, but how about 9 whole days of non-stop revelry and festivity? The Festival of San Fermín or "los Sanfermines", as they are locally referred to, consists of just that! The most well-known event of the whole fiestas is, of course, the running of the bulls, or the "encierro", which has become a world renowned event attracting over a million spectators a year.

Los Sanfermines are celebrated from 12pm on 6th July until midnight on 14th July in the city of Pamplona in Navarra, and are a continuous celebration of colour, music, dancing, eating, drinking, bullfighting, making friends, theatre and not forgetting the obligatory fireworks.

For a complete guide on the San Fermín fiestas take a look at the following website from the Navarra government tourism department:

The running of the bulls takes place every morning at 8 a.m. Hundreds of participants run in front of 6 fierce bulls and 6 steers through half a mile of narrow and cobbled streets. For a closer look but still at a safe distance away you can watch it on TV everyday or see this video:

Although the fiesta of San Fermín has been made famous through the bull-running event, this is really just a small part of the 9-day festival and there is so much more to see and do during the celebrations held in honour of the co-patron saint of Navarra.

Barcelona on the cheap

I know we covered Barcelona in our last issue of 'The Word on the Street' but if you had been left wanting to visit but not quite having the cash to do it, this guide to touring Barcelona cheaply might be just what you need:

How many bars are there in Spain?

What would you guess as a figure? According to a study by Coca-Cola there are 350,000 bars and restaurants. That comes out at one bar for every 132 inhabitants.

The survey, 'The connection between the people and the bar' inlcudes many interesting results such as:

- 30% of the Spaniards asked indicated that they would trust the waiter in their favourite bar with their house keys

- 36% say that they visit a bar several times a week.

You can find more results of the survey in The Local:

Book your Elche CF season ticket now

In the last issue of the Word on the Street we told you how Elche CF football club had come top of the second division and would be playing in the first division next season.

This means they will be playing in the same league as a couple of teams that even I've heard of - Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.

If you would like to see Elche at work you can now book your season ticket at a very reasonable price. The cost for an adult season ticket starts at 190€ and for a pensioner at 140€.

For more detail of the seats and prices available visit the club's website:

If you would like to buy a season ticket you should complete this form and take it to Gate 6 at Elche stadium:

Good luck next season Elche!


Ábaco Advisers: (+34) 96 670 3748

facebook twitter linked in