The Word on the Street

International Edition - March 2013


News and Information from Spain


Welcome to the March issue of 'The Word on the Street'. Your monthly news and information from Spain provided by Ábaco Asesores. In a couple of columns we hope to keep you in touch with the news, events and just a little bit of gossip.

                            tree with flowers on Murcia

Fishermen's houses on the beach sand
Guardamar (Alicante)

A good article that sums Corvera up

There has been so much that has been said and written about Corvera airport that there hardly seems anything left to write but, wait and see… Having said that, this English translation from El Pais is perhaps the best summarising article we've come across. Read it and weep.

A little p.s. to this is that it's now been reported that Corvera has 'lost' the summer season (2013). Murcia Today are answering email queries with, 'sorry, we don't yet have a date for the opening of Corvera airport, so it's advisable to book flights for San Javier or Alicante.'

Addicted to A Place in the Sun

I'm rather addicted to programmes like 'A Place in the Sun: Home and Away' and 'A Place in the Sun: winter sun' These programmes combine several things I like to do:

1. looking round other people's houses
2. reflecting on the wonders of living in a sunny part of the world
3. taking a sharp intake of breath when people make bold and rash decisions

So many times the potential property purchasers are seduced by the difference in what money can buy at 'home' and what it can buy in one of the southern European countries often featured. The sun is shining, the property is bigger, it's no wonder that 'Away' often wins.

I was particularly interested to see on a recent programme of 'Winter Sun' a commentary on Spain's property market. The couple concerned were considering buying property in Gandia. Nick Snelling, from 'Culture Spain' was asked to contribute.

To find out more about what Nick Snelling has to say:

If you do happen to be in the UK you can even visit 'A Place in the Sun' yourself. From the 12th - 14th they will be in London Olympia. The event is an opportunity for property agents to advertise themselves under the heading of 'A world of Overseas Property Under One Roof':

They are also advertising free seminars on buying property in Spain:

It is worth making a visit to Nick's website where you will also find English translations of some news items from El País:

To host or not to host

Overall the reaction to Britain hosting the Olympic games was extremely positive. Of course, we have yet to see what will happen to all those stadiums in the long term. However, the games did create a significant amount of feel good factor.

Now it's Spain's turn to bid again. This will be the third time that they have tried to get a bid accepted to host the games. There are mixed views on whether such a bold step is wise during the current economic climate. Some of the pros and cons (mostly pros) are considered in this article from Iberosphere:

More book recommendations

Our newsletter is missing the regular input of good book titles to read. I've nearly finished my reading stock! If you have any examples of good literature with a Spanish theme please let us know.


Ábaco Update

It sometimes seems as though there are fraudsters round every corner waiting to catch us out. Luckily this isn't the case. However, there are a number of scams that are doing the rounds and one in particular has recently come to our attention.

Letters are being sent out to foreigners using the names of Spanish solicitors. These letters claim that the letter recipient is due to inherit a fortune and that all they need to do is to pay the Spanish income tax to access it.

Described like this on the pages of our newsletter, it might seem strange that anyone would fall for it. However, the fraudsters use false documents and stamps and after all, the promise of untold wealth can make us ignore our common sense reaction.

This is, of course, not a genuine inheritance case and you must not provide them with your bank details or send them any money.

Spaniards are doing it for themselves

Amid all the bad news about jobs, some people are choosing to create their own opportunities. In this article from Expatica we hear how 53,000 people registered last year as self-employed in Spain. Of course, making it work can be a different matter…:


I was aware that most of my movements will be picked up by a webcam somewhere but not, perhaps, just how available these are to the public. You can view webcams taking up-to-date photos of all the different parts of Spain. Why would this be useful? I'm not too sure. Other than if you want to see how busy a beach is or whether it's windy on your favourite spot:

Dates for your diary

There will be a series of public meetings to inform British expats about why and how they should register for healthcare whilst living in Spain. These meetings will include an explanation of the correct use of EHIC cards for British visitors. The meetings are open to the public and there is no need to register beforehand.

Future meetings about registering for healthcare include:

9th April - Oliva - Centro de Participación Ciudadana, Calle Eras de Juan s/n at 12.00pm

23rd April - Javea - Casa de Cultura - Plaza de Baix at 12.00 pm

7th May - Calpe - Casa de Cultura Jaime Fluix y Pastor at 12.00pm

21st May - Benissa - (venue to be confirmed) 4th June - Benitachell - Ajuntament del Poble Nou de Benitatxell

Prices are still falling

If you are trying to sell a house in Spain, it's bad news. If you're wanting to buy a house, it's good. Property prices continue to fall here according to the Knight Frank Global House Price Index. According to their league table, Spain is second to bottom with house prices falling by 10% over a 12 month period. Only Greece comes out worse with prices falling by 13.2%. So, who is doing best?

At the top of the table is Hong Kong, where house prices rose by 23.6% followed by Dubai at 19%.

See for yourself:

The Spanish love their pets too

If you were in any doubt then perhaps you should visit the Sr.Perro (Mr. Dog) website:

It's in Spanish but if you want to know about pet-friendly hotels, black-listed venues and see some heart wrenching videos and photos it might be worth opening up your google translate (if you need to).


Tour of Guardamar

If you live within travelling distance of Guardamar and would like to explore it further why not take a ride with Guardamar's tourist train.The tour includes La Senda de la historia, the castle, the archaeological site of La Fonteta and remains of the Phoenician city harbour. The tour price is 6€ for adults and 3€ for children aged to 12. A guide is available in English on Fridays and the ticket includes free admission to the Municipal Archeological Museum.

Reservations can be made at Guardamar Tourist Office. As there is a maximum of 15 people per tour it is important that you reserve a place by calling 965 724 488 or emailing

The Fallas

The Fallas in Valencia might be over but you can get a sense of the spectacle this year from this blog, video and set of pictures. Given the description of the noise and the mayhem, you might decide you'd rather read the blog than experience it first hand:

The Tapas route is ready to open again

It's the eighth time that the tapas route has opened in Torrevieja. This year it will be open from the 18th April to the 28th April. The frequent repetition of this event shows its level of popularity. In case you haven't tried it before, a number of establishments take part and invite visitors to their restaurants and bars to sample their selection of tapas.

This is followed by the opportunity to vote for your favourite. If you are an establishment that would like to take part you can by visiting the Torrevieja Tourist Office or registering online at:

If you just want to taste the tapas, participating restaurants and bars will be offering their selection between the hours of 12.00 until 4.30 pm and 7.30 pm to 11.00 pm Thursday to Sunday of the two weeks it's open. More information can be found at:

The tapas route
Torrevieja (Alicante)

If the world were a village

It can be difficult to get any real concept of the world - how many people live where, in what conditions and believing which religions. Translate the millions and billions into manageable numbers and suddenly we can perhaps build a picture. '

The World as 100 people' provides a very easily accessible image:

A similar idea is used in the book, 'If the world were a village'. This is really good to share with children who are also trying to understand their place in the world:

A very thought-provoking video version can be seen at:

A fitting points at which to say:

Felices Pascuas


Ábaco Advisers: (+34) 96 670 3748

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