News and information from Spain
International Edition - January 2022
Welcome to the January 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.
Changes to property transfer tax – New reference value in Spain
Changes to inheritance, donation and transfer tax

A new ‘reference value’ or Valor de Referencia has been introduced in Spain. This will have an impact on the amount charged in tax where there is any transfer of property such as through inheritance, donation or buying and selling.

The Valor de Referencia will determine how much the value of your property is considered to be for tax purposes and therefore how much you will be charged. To find out more about this new calculation read our article:

Changes to property transfer tax – New reference value in Spain
Ábaco Magazines
Our magazine is out now!

Our twice yearly Ábaco Magazine is now into its 43rd issue. If you are a client then you will be receiving yours shortly, if you haven’t done so already. If you’re not a client of Ábaco’s with an account, you can still read past issues of the magazine on here:

In our latest issue you will read about buying property to rent, how to beat the new tax laws, and how to transfer your money without incurring large transfer fees. And, of course, we also carry articles about living in Spain and advice about how to make the most of your Spanish property.
Living in San Javier Spain: The Definitive Guide
Living in San Javier

Those of you who used to fly to and from the old Murcian airport of San Javier, will immediately recognise the name but may know nothing of the actual town itself. It’s located alongside the Mar Menor and is a bustling little town that is popular with foreigners as well as the Spanish who live there. It is well worth considering San Javier as a possible location if you are looking for the ideal spot to move to in Spain. David Ruiz gives his account of this interesting part of the coast:

Living in San Javier Spain: The Definitive Guide
Non Lucrative Residence Visa Spain
What is the non-lucrative visa?

If you live in a country outside of the EU and wish to live permanently in Spain, then applying for the non-lucrative visa might be the next step for you. This visa, initially granted for a year, can eventually translate into permanent residency. The main catch being that it does not allow you to work or run a business. To find out more read David Ruiz’ article:

Madrid’s Bar Candela, legendary venue for flamenco, closes after 40 years
The Candela closes

‘Nothing is eternal, gentlemen, so get used to the idea’ these are the words said to have been spoken by Miguel Aguilera Fernández, of Bar Candela in Madrid. The bar was well known as a centre for ‘flamenco hangout’ and featured some famous regulars over the years. Unfortunately, it has now closed its doors and El País in English provides a fitting tribute to it:

Madrid’s Bar Candela, legendary venue for flamenco, closes after 40 years
The return of the festivals

Bit by bit we are seeing the annual festivals and ceremonies returning to the high streets of Spain. It’s been two years since many have hosted their carnivals. Some cities have decided to continue to embargo this highly popular February event but in some parts of the country we can see that the dust sheets are off the floats and the comparses (groups of performers) are preparing.

Torrevieja, at the time of writing, is intending to go ahead with its carnival this year as planned and if you expect to be in the town in February then it is definitely a spectacle that is well worth seeing. The daytime carnival will take place on Sunday February 20th in the town centre and the night-time carnival on Saturday February 26th. 

Carnival Torrevieja 2022

The carnival is an annual event that is common to many Spanish cities. However, other towns have festivals that are unique to themselves. Such is that of the Jarramplas festival. Every 19th and 20th January volunteers eagerly await the opportunity to be pelted with turnips by an angry crowd. Sounds bizarre? Well, it is but if you’d like to find out more then this article from the Guardian explains the origins of this rather wacky fiesta:

Turnip fever: the Jarramplas festival in Spain

It also looks as though Easter celebrations could be back on track. Orihuela has already released details of its plans between April 10th and 17th and it can be expected that other towns and cities will follow suit:

Chris Stewart's Driving Over Lemons to be made into TV comic drama about misadventures in southern Spain - Olive Press News Spain
Driving Over Lemons on screen

If you’ve read and loved Chris Stewart’s book ‘Driving Over Lemons’ then you’ll anxiously await the TV series. You can find out more about the plans to dramatize the story here:

November home sales close to boom-time highs
Positive sales figures

If you’re wanting to sell your home in Spain and you’re looking for some positive news then you might be interested in viewing Spanish Property Insight’s take on the house sale figures for November 2021. They suggest that home sales in November were the highest they have been for 14 years. Certainly, it seems as though the money some people saved during the pandemic is being channelled into dreams of holiday home sunshine:

November home sales close to boom-time highs
Parallel Mothers review – Almodóvar delivers an emotional bundle of joy
A film to make you think

It’s just been released (28th January) the film – Parallel Mothers - brings together a very personal look at the issues of motherhood alongside that of the legacy of the Spanish Civil War. It’s a Spanish film with Penélope Cruz as one of the mothers and is directed by Pedro Almodóvar. The Guardian gives it a five star rating and you can see the review and its official trailer here:

Parallel Mothers review – Almodóvar delivers an emotional bundle of joy

The Spanish engineer who created a ‘WhatsApp’ for his grandma with no cellphone or Wi-Fi
To grandma with love

There aren’t many of us out there who don’t have WhatsApp or a similar messaging service. Most people have several methods of sending messages to friends, family and colleagues. But for this 93-year-old, technology had passed her by until her Spanish grandson came across a means of communicating with her without the usual mobile phone or other device. It’s a heart-warming story (although a little technical in places) that puts meat on the bones of ‘where there’s a will…’:

The Spanish engineer who created a ‘WhatsApp’ for his grandma with no cellphone or Wi-Fi
Celebrating St. Valentine’s Spanish style
Celebrating St. Valentine’s Spanish style

St. Valentine’s Day isn’t a traditional Spanish event but, as with many inherited opportunities to celebrate, it has gathered momentum over the past few years. In this article we here about some other romantic days in the Spanish calendar:
In this article, the Spanish rail operator, renfe, try to lure us to special destinations to celebrate the 14th:
Alternatively you can read about Spain’s truly romantic day – the Festival of Sant Jordi:
What interests you?
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

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