The Word on the Street

International Edition - September 2013


News and Information from Spain


Welcome to the September 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.

The Island of Tabarca

The Island of Tabarca, Alicante

Warning! Don't be deceived

When it comes to believing that something good is going to happen to us, most of us can be tempted into taking things at face value.

For example, there are fraudulent emails around claiming to have been sent from the Spanish Tax Authority and announcing a rebate - if you enter your account details first! Now, a client has contacted us about a letter they had received claiming they were a winner in the Spanish national lottery. Again, it's fraudulent.

This letter announced that our client had won hundreds of thousand of euros which were ready to claim once he'd paid 10% of the prize money.

The letter immediately sends out warning signals:

- It contained poor grammar and was written in a 'sloppy' way
- It required money to be sent before anything could be claimed
- The person receiving the letter has not entered any draw - he had been 'selected' In the end, there is very little that truly falls into our lap.

In the end, there is very little that truly falls into our lap.

Tread carefully

It's an unfortunate fact that with every new piece of legislation it seems as though there is someone waiting to jump on the bandwagon and sell you something to enable you to 'comply'.

You may already have seen this article in the Telegraph warning expats about fraudulent energy certificates:

If not, it's worth reading particularly if you are intending to sell your property or rent it out in the near future.

Do you like Hemingway?

If you do then you might be interested in this website dedicated to him - if you've not found it already:

The Hemingway Project is a collection of blogs, interviews, reflections all around the theme of Ernest Hemingway, and the perception of the world as portrayed in his books. If you've read and enjoyed his writing - or even if you're just curious, it's worth a visit.

British behaviour abroad

Apologies to our other nationalities, we only have here the British statistics. They tell us how many Brits travelled to different countries, live in different countries and ways in which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has had to help them. Not surprisingly, the FCO are keen to point out that alcohol is at the root of many problems that Brits have when they are abroad.

Along with the statistics it provides some useful advice for those travelling and indicates what the FCO can and can't do on your behalf.

The Island of Tabarca

The Island of Tabarca, Alicante



The power of attorney - a handy way of purchasing property from a distance

The weather is beautiful and the streets are full of people on holiday enjoying the sun, the atmosphere and the food. Many of them are also glancing in estate agents' windows. Whilst you are here on holiday it can set you thinking that perhaps buying a holiday home in Spain would be a good investment.

With prices at a record low we are seeing considerable interest from purchasers. But what if you find your ideal property at the end of your holiday? How can you purchase your property when you are back in your own country again?

The good news is that this is perfectly possible. If you have found your property but just don't have time to go through the purchasing process whilst you are still in Spain, the power of attorney is one way of doing it.

If you would like to find out more about the power of attorney and how you can purchase a Spanish property whilst in another country, read our article on Spain Explained:

Which is your favourite airline?

'Which' magazine has been doing research into consumers' favourite airline. You have to pay to get the full details but Tumbit does share with us a few headlines from their report. BA comes top and Ryan Air bottom. Perhaps not surprising considering the bad publicity that Ryan air has recently been attracting:

The future of fast trains

The tragic train crash in Santiago de Compostela brought rail travel into the spotlight. This is an interesting article about the present and future of Spain's rail network translated into English from El País:

Celebrating Dawn

You do get some beautiful sunsets and sunrises in Spain. Here are just a few of them, taken by Forum members:

A famous client

Brian Young has been a client of Ábaco's for six years and is thoroughly delighted with his house in Polop, Alicante. He contacted us recently with the exciting news that his book, 'The Eagle Has Fallen' has now sold over 10,000 copies.

The book is about a Spanish Roman legion which disappeared without trace following their move from Cordoba to Britain. What did happen to the Ninth Hispania Legion?

If you want to find out more, you'll just have to read the book! To visit the website got to:

Best barman

Who is the best barman you know? What makes them so good? However impressive, it's unlikely that they'd top David Rios, the Spaniard who has just been awarded the title of Best Barman in the World. Apparently his signature cocktail is the 'Basque Gold Punch' and he will now spend the next 12 months on a global tour. Lucky him.

Two extra salaries

Traditionally there have been two extra salaries paid out in July and December to employees in Spain. These are administered a little like a Christmas bonus might be. Although the practice is dying out to some extent, it is still a feature of many people's salary here. For more information:


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The Island Of Tabarca

One place you might like to visit if you find yourself in the Alicante region is the Island of Tabarca. This is the smallest inhabited island in Spain and can be reached by ferry from Torrevieja, Santa Pola or Alicante.

It hosts a museum dedicated to its interesting history, some excellent seafood restaurants, a beach and a rocky coastline, world famous for scuba diving. During the winter months it can be particularly peaceful. For more information:

If you are tempted to visit you might like to contact José on 00 34 653 10 77 91. He organises visits to the island with a guided tour and lunch. The trips go out on Saturday mornings leaving from Torrevieja Port. They are conducted in English and include for 35€ lunch, afternoon tea and a trip on a boat with submarine vision.

If you would like to take part in this guided tour you will need to contact José to make a reservation.

An alternative holiday

The climate, the beaches, the open areas of land all help make Spain somewhere where you can relax and enjoy yourself cheaply. In this article we hear how some Spaniards and Spanish businesses are making sure that a vacation isn't out of the question for those strapped for cash:

Somewhere to visit

If you are based within travelling distance of Valencia then you really should pay a visit to Valencia's central market. The building, the setting and the food on offer combine to make it a really popular tourist attraction as well as a very good place to buy fresh seafood and other food items. This article describes in more detail just what you can hope to find there and the photographs give an idea of how stunning it is:

Moors and Christians

Valencia's central market

Well done Elche!

Everyone loves a David and Goliath challenge and there was one on Ábaco's doorstep on Wednesday 25th September. That's when the mighty Real Madrid took on Elche CF, a team only recently promoted to the first division.

There was particular excitement in the Ábaco offices for two reasons. Firstly, we have a staunch Elche CF supporter, Luis Gimeno, in our marketing department and secondly Jane Blandford from customer care has a daughter, Donna, who plays for the ladies team.

One of the perks for Donna is that she can attend the Elche CF home games. Here is some of her report into this eventful match with Real Madrid.

"The match got off to a great start with no real threat from the visitors. In the second half the voices were raised in the packed stadium as Elche scored in the 90th minute. Not one person was sitting in their seat. History had been made! It looked like the dream of taking a point from the almighty Real Madrid.

But it was not to be. A controversial decision right at the last minute gave Real Madrid a penalty. The final score, 2 goals to Elche's 1. In spite of the final score, it was a very enjoyable match and a fabulous atmosphere. I feel very privileged to have been given the opportunity to watch it in the stadium itself."

Donna Welch



Ábaco Advisers: (+34) 96 670 3748

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