The Word on the Street

International Edition - August 2012


News and Information from Spain


Welcome to the August 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.

Roman amphitheatre of Carthago Nova

Palm Trees in Elche,

Imserso- Spanish holiday programme for pensioners

Many of you reading this may have been registered by us on the Imserso programme. This is the subsidised Spanish holiday programme for resident pensioners in Spain.

It's usually at this time of year that we are able to submit new registration forms and those who have already registered receive letters confirming their details and preferred holiday destinations.

However, information about this year's holidays is late arriving and the window for new applications has not yet opened. We'd like to inform all those applicants who are newly registered with us, that we are still holding your forms and will submit them as soon as we're able.

We have been taking phone calls from people who are anxious to know whether the programme will continue to run at all. We do know that there will be a reduced number of holidays available this year but have received nothing to suggest that the programme is suspended. As soon as we have any concrete, reliable information to share, we will let you know.


If you used to watch The Fast Show you should remember the weather forecast sketch which certainly added to the impression that Spain is hot or 'scorchio' all of the time.

Of course, if you live here or visit regularly you know that's not the case and on occasions Spanish residents as well as holiday makers can become as hooked on finding the best weather forecast site as those living in countries where the weather is less predictable.

One of our favourite sites is:

This site gives you a very detailed hourly breakdown of what to expect. No weather forecast is foolproof but this one does seem to give reasonably accurate predictions. Perhaps you know of one that's better?

The laugh is on you

Perhaps one of the main differences we can find between cultures is their sense of humour. The British often feel that theirs isn't widely understood, particularly by Americans! But what's unique about the sense of humour of other nations and what's making them laugh?

This rather interesting series of articles was actually translated from Le Monde. The latest one being about a form of rather crude humour in Spain called, 'Torrente'.

Le Monde looks at English humour in the article:

and Swedish humour in this article:

Whether you agree with the articles or not, do have a look at the jokes at the bottom of the English one. I enjoyed them anyway!

Andalucia TV

If you live in or have an interest in Andalucia you might enjoy the Sol Channel. It's an online video guide to the area but it also includes videos about living and working in Spain generally.

I particularly liked this '6 golden rules for surviving in Spain':

And this article which takes a long hard look at manners and the Spanish way:


Ábaco update

Latest news

There are many changes happening both in Spain and the global economy generally. It's hard to keep up. To help you keep informed about what's occurring and how it might effect the Spanish property owner, we are making regular updates to Ábaco Online. If you are an Ábaco client you can keep yourself up-to-date with the 'Latest News' on the home page:


Sorry if we misled you. Just to confirm BA's wonderful new service is only currently running from Heathrow. In the last newsletter I wrote from 'selected London airports' I think in the hope that some time soon there will be more. With the galloping increase in flight prices a little extra competition and a few additional operators would be very welcome. Watch this space…

Corvera airport again

Well, what can you make of it all? On the one hand you've got this article which suggests it might be open before December:

And on the other hand you've got this forum posting which suggests that Jet2 will continue to plan flights next summer from Murcia:

We can perhaps all make predictions about what might happen. The story just goes on and on and on…

And now it's all over

IIn our July newsletter we introduced you to a few cynical articles about the Olympics. Of course, it did turn out to be a much greater success than the majority of people envisaged…at least for the British. For the Spanish it was anything but a success. This article from Iberosphere doesn't exactly explain what was happening at the Olympics for Spain but does look critically at Spain's reaction to it:

More book suggestions

Following the reference in July's newsletter to 'Fifty Shades of Grey' and our own recommendation of 'The Shadow of the Wind' I was delighted to receive more recommendations for good books to read, translated from Spanish.

Suggestions included books by:

- Ildelfonso Falcaones (such as 'Cathedral of the Sea' and 'The Hand of Fatima')

- Gabriel Garcia Marquez

- Javier Marias

Inspired myself by these suggestions I had an 'Amazon moment' and am currently reading 'The Hand of Fatima'. It's set in the Sierra Nevada and Granada region and the story has the conflict between the Moors and Christians as its backdrop. In some places it makes pretty grim reading but I am finding it a compelling book.

Any more recommendations are welcome!

Practise your Spanish

Euroresidentes is a website that describes itself as providing 'information, guides and help'. The news isn't very up-to-date but there is plenty of material on here, some of which might be of interest. In particular, blogs written in Spanish might be worth reading and translating to practise your Spanish:

Tio Pepe versus 'the apple'

I remember vaguely the time when the apple brand was but a quirky alternative to the PC used by some graphic designers and geeks. Now it's everywhere - iphones, Macbooks, itunes - we're bombarded by the apple logo to the extent that we might wonder where it will resurface next.

Apple is perhaps one of the most amazing stories of how a brand can rise again and sweep the board. And what more evident way of demonstrating your superiority than announcing it in the Puerta del Sol in Madrid - but will they dare put the apple logo there in place of Tio Pepe?:


Focus on Elche

If you're looking for somewhere interesting to visit why not visit Elche? This fascinating city is famous for its palm trees but there's much more to it than that.

Set within the Valencian Community, Elche has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. One of the reasons for this accolade is the Misteri d'Elx or religious plays that are performed during August. For those with Imelda Marcos tendencies it's also pretty famous for its shoe industry.

If you have time to spare and Elche is on your route you might visit:

- The Basílica - for a view over Elche and its palm trees

- The Archaeological and History Museum - an award winning interactive museum

- The Huerto del Cura - a botanical garden where you can find out more about Elche's palm trees

- The Municipal Palm Park or La Glorieta Plaza for a stroll

- The Salvador Artesano shoe factory outlet which is about the size of a football pitch

- The Fiesta Museum - which contains information about Elche's Mystery plays

Elche also has a pretty good football team and a substantial stadium. The club was founded in 1923, and now play in the Martínez Valero Stadium which was built for the 1982 world cup.

They have an impressive history and were in the 1st division for 19 years before dropping to the second division from where they regularly finish close to the top.

Their manager is confident that they will come in the top six in the league this year. He has even promised season ticket holders that they will watch them for free if they don't. Can't see that happening in many other European clubs.

There's a lot of intense rivalry and the local Derby between Alicante's Hércules CF and Elche CF can be hotly contested. Elche have certainly got off to a good start this season beating Hércules already and winning their first few matches.

To find out more about the team:

To find out more about Elche:

Eurotourguide includes more ideas and information as well as an Elche City Walking Route:

There are some stunning photographs of the city on the Spanish website:

Where's the party?

It can be very difficult if you arrive in a new town and want to know the best places for a good night out at short notice. It's the type of knowledge that can take years as a local resident to accumulate. This is the reason why 'party earth' was invented:

If you're planning a visit, you can use this site to find out more about the places to go in Barcelona and Madrid.

Click on here to see what they suggest in Barcelona:

An ornate building stands out against the deep blue sky in Cartagena

Mystery play
Elche, Alicante

We invite your
feedback and
Please e-mail us at...



Ábaco Asesores: (+34) 96 670 3748

facebook twitter linked in