The Word on the Street

International Edition - May 2013


News and Information from Spain


Welcome to the May 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

Park Güell, designed by Antonio Gaudí Barcelona

Tax stats

Making international comparisons is a growing preoccupation. It can be interesting to see how other countries perform when it comes to education, health and wellbeing. But what about comparing tax?

These statistics from a Eurostat news release do make quite interesting reading, even for me. According to this, the lowest implicit tax rates on labour are in Malta, on consumption in Spain and on capital in Lithunia. Here are some more statistics from the report:

- The largest source of tax revenue in the EU27 comes from labour
- The UK has one of the lowest tax rates on labour (26%) and Belgium (42.3%) the highest
- Tax rates on consumption were lowest in Spain (14%) and highest in Denmark (31.4%)
- Overall, tax revenue % of GDP is higher in the UK (36.1%), Sweden (44.3%), Germany (39.1%), France (39.4%) and in Finland (44%) than in Spain with (30.5%)

If you want to have a good look for yourself and see how the countries compare go to:

No revolution in sight

This article asks - why haven't the Spanish revolted? Circumstances are bad enough and the protests are loud but by and large society limps on. The same question could be asked around the globe. It's not just Spain where the inequalities between rich and poor are becoming every more evident. Makes you think:

More medical research

For most people spending time in the sun is therapeutic. If you've bought a house in Spain you're likely to agree with that.

We don't need research to tell us that the sun is good for us. We couldn't live without it. We also don't need research to tell us that the sun can be harmful too.

Over the years we have all become aware of competing research that gives out different messages. Here we have another example. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh suggest exposure to UV rays could actually lower blood pressure.

Perhaps take it with a pinch of salt (and we all know how controversial that can be) and wait for the evidence to contradict it. For the time being I'm quite happy to combine a little sunbathing with looking after my health too:

Third Culture Kids

Have you heard the term 'third culture kid'? It's a phrase used to describe an increasing number of children who find themselves living in a country that's different to their parents' nationality. It might have its problems sometimes for individuals but there are advantages to there being a growing number of 'global' young people:

There are websites and forums dedicated to TCKs. We thought this article on one website was quite thought provoking. Where should people be able to vote?:


Ábaco Update

Energy performance certificate

There has been a lot of speculation about the new energy performance certificate. The EPC has now become law and will begin to be implemented in June. People who are renting out their property or selling it will need to obtain one from a qualified engineer. However, there are exceptions too. To find out more if you will need to have one or not read our article: The Energy Performance Certificate in Spain:

Corvera - back in the spotlight

You noticed! In the last issue of 'The Word on the Street' there was no mention of Corvera airport. Following some enquiries from concerned readers, it has returned to its usual slot.

In spite of this gap in coverage not much seems to have changed. Murcia Today continues to have the most up-to-date and informed bulletins - so it's over to them for the latest on Corvera v San Javier:

Another ongoing saga

Had you completely forgotten about the prospect of Paramount? You could be forgiven if you had. Just as you think it's completely dropped out of the agenda there's another little snippet of information that suggests it just might happen after all:

Are you a guiri?

In case you don't know, guiri translates as a foreigner in Spain. It's not an offensive term but does bring with it images of a particular kind of Anglo-Saxon tourist. If you live in Spain and want to avoid being classed as a guiri then this set of photos and captions from The Local might be just what you need:

From the same website, for all our book lovers, there's The Local's recommendations for books about Spain:

A Place in the Sun in London

We mentioned in the March issue of 'Word on the Street' that A Place in the Sun was visiting London Olympia . If you want to find out more about how they got on and where the next exhibition will be you can read this article by Nick Snelling:

No longer a football-free zone

Apart from the odd reference to the Spanish national football team, there has been little coverage of football in this newsletter. That's not going to change, but two major footballing events at the end of the season mean that we are allowing it to make a guest appearance.

The first is the parting of José Mourinho and Madrid. Two articles published on Iberosphere make interesting reading:

The second is the promotion of Elche C.F. to the First Division. It's made at least one person in our offices, very happy.




Focus on Barcelona

What does Barcelona mean for you? Is it football? A popular destination for long weekend breaks or a Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé track? It has a fashionable image and a reputation that spans generations. It's perhaps one place that parents could take their teenagers without them complaining.

But, of course, it is much more than a party city. Its vibrancy and reputation originate from within its mix of historic and modern architecture and its controversial past and present.

We've routed out a few interesting articles for you about this amazing city.

This is a rather interesting account of the 'freedom' that Barcelona represents to one of its expat residents. The article comes from El País in English:
Here we have the official tourist site for Barcelona:

This AFAR 'experiential travel guide' includes the 16 best views of Barcelona:

Did you know that the patron saint of Catalonia is Sant Jordi (St. George)? A saint famous for saving a princess from a dragon. For more information and interesting bits and pieces about Barcelona too:

5 meals a day

Does the Spanish schedule seem confusing to you? Wondered why the beach looks like it's been evacuated at 3.00? This is a rather interesting article that explains quite clearly how the Spanish day is divided. It sounds like a culinary delight as long as it's not you who has to prepare all these meals:

Fine Dining

How much do you like Spanish food? There's usually plenty of garlic but it's not too spicy and you're in your element if you like seafood.

Spanish food is often at its best when it's at its most simple. You don't need many extras when the raw ingredients are fresh and succulent. On the griddle, a squeeze of lemon and the rest can take care of itself.

However, Spanish cuisine can be pretty fancy too. It's congratulations to Girona Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Costa Brava), named as the best restaurant in the world by the trade journal 'Restaurant'.

Spain had three restaurants in the top ten and was only just pipped by the US in terms of its overall ranking as a country. In third place came France followed by the UK. Well done Spain! It's not all about football.

For a full account of the winners and losers:

Celler de Can Roca

Celler de Can Roca, named as the best restaurant in the world
Girona, Costa Brava


Ábaco Advisers: (+34) 96 670 3748

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