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News and information from Spain
International Edition - April 2019
Welcome to the April issue of 'The Word on the Street'. This is your monthly news and information from Spain provided by Ábaco Advisers. We hope to keep you in touch with the news, events and just a little bit of gossip.
Should I make a Spanish will?

This is a question that we’re often asked by clients. And our answer is usually, yes. You can read the reasons why in this article on our Spain Explained web page:

Make sure your home improvements are legal

There is no doubt that Spanish property remains good value. Many people prefer the option of buying a second hand property and then refurbishing it to their liking. Perhaps this includes adding a swimming pool or building an extension.

Whatever you decide to do to your property it is vital that you ensure that you have the correct planning permission. The system is different in spain and you need licences for even small changes that you make to your property.

In this article we describe some of the misunderstandings and why it’s important to get the correct paper work:

Renting out your property – the rules

Many people buy property in Spain to rent out for additional income. It is a good idea if you want to buy a property here but don’t need it for yourself just yet. For others it is an investment that they might sell on in a few years time. Whatever your reasons for renting out your property it is important that you follow the rules.

In this article we describe the process for renting your property and what the tax implications are:

What to watch out for if you’re buying in Spain

Many of the difficulties that people had when buying in Spain are no longer as common. However, there can still be problems if you don’t know what to look out for and don’t take the correct advice.

In this article we tell you about 10 pitfalls of buying a house in Spain and how you can avoid them:

What to watch out for if you’re buying in Spain
It’s election time in Spain

Spain is in the middle of election season. The general elections are on Sunday 28th April and in May there will be the local town and regional elections. People who are resident in Spain but are not Spanish nationals are able to vote in the local elections but cannot vote in the general or regional elections.

Voting takes place on a Sunday and you vote for the party you want rather than the individual representing them. Each party has its ‘list’ of candidates and the number of these who take office depends upon the number of votes the party receives.

The pre-election campaign is relatively short. For two weeks you will see billboards erected and hear the different parties on the campaign trail. However, the day before the election no campaigning must take place and definitely not on election day itself.

The Guardian has published an interesting article about the Spanish general elections, highlighting the main issues:

The Local has published some interesting articles to help keep you informed about the Spanish political situation:

Where should you have the right to vote? This is a controversial subject that has attracted a lot of attention in recent years. For example, if you are a British national you no longer have the right to vote in Britain after living 15 years in another country. If that country is Spain then you don’t have the right to vote there in the general elections either.

Others have also found themselves in this void of voting rights. Including some people who were born in Spain but inspite of this are not automatically entitled to Spanish nationality. You can read more about the issues in this article:

Change of date for May Fair

Torrevieja’s May Fair or Feria de Sevillanas, has been put back a couple of weeks to allow for all the necessary contracts to be in place. The fair will now be held from 29th May until 2nd June. However, straddling May and June is still better than the year when it had to be moved to October instead!

If you haven’t already put this date in your diary then you really should. It’s one of the most popular fiestas in the area and opportunity to watch flamenco for free with profesional, semi-professional and amateur dancers.

Have you paid your road tax?

The date for paying your Spanish road tax is nearly upon us. If you have a car in Spain then you need to pay this annual tax before 6th May in some parts of the country. It’s easy to do so provided you are in the allotted time. If you live in Torrevieja, then you can pay on the SUMA website. You just need your NIE and reference number and it’s perhaps one of the best payment systems we’ve seen here.

However, if you leave it too late you will have to go into the SUMA office where you will be required to pay a small fine as well as settling the original charge. So make sure you do it on time!

Twelve contrasting landscapes

One comment that you hear from many people who are not natives of Spain is just how varied the landscape is in different parts of the country. Travelling widely you can visit many different towns and cities and be surprised that they exist within the same border.

In this article from Eye On Spain, we are introduced to 12 breathtaking landscapes that are all very different but belong to this lovely country:

Has the book you’re reading been censored?

If you’re reading the book ‘Burmese Days’ by George Orwell or ‘Thunderball’ by Ian Fleming in Spanish you might be surprised to discover that you are reading a censored version. It’s not well known but between 1936 and 1966 every book published in Spain had to be submitted to the national board of censorship.

This might no longer be the case but some books have continued to be published in the censored version even though Franco is long since dead and buried.

The Conversation explains more about this unusual state of affairs:

Delicious insects

It’s a growing trend that is supposed to be environmentally friendly. Insects are on the menu in Spain. House crickets and mealworms are just two of the tasty dishes that we could expect to see in Mercadona in the next few months. Perhaps.

A warehouse in Lorca is being converted into a production centre for insect food. Not tempted? The use of insects to provide protein-rich food has taken off in some countries. It could be Spain that takes it up next:

Last year The Guardian wrote about Carrefour’s experiment with spicy chilli buffalo worms and smoked crickets:

Too fond of mum’s cooking...

Or dad’s of course. It appears that the average young Spaniard doesn’t leave home until they’re 29. The EU average is 26, suggesting that Spaniards are likely to spend more time in the nest than their peers in Sweden and Denmark, for example.

There are a number of possible reasons for this. Lack of employment, low salaries and temporary employment all make it difficult for them to get on the property ladder. There might also be an element of choice. Spaniards are generally more family orientated than some other nationalities:

The Average Young Spaniard Doesn’t Leave Home Until The Age Of 29
What interests you?

We would welcome any suggestions for future themes you would like us to cover either in the newsletter or in an article on Spain Explained.

Please let us know by email at newsletter@abacoadvisers.com.

Thank you!
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