The Word on the Street

International Edition - December 2010


News and Information from Spain


Welcome to the December 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.

Sierra Nevada ski station - Granada

Poinsettias adorning a Spanish home

Legal and Tax Updates

We have an urgent message for non-resident Spanish home owners. We were recently contacted by a lady living in London who had been sent a letter in English from the Alicante tax office. She had no fiscal representation and hadn't paid her property taxes. The letter was to inform her that her property would be put up for auction if she didn't settle her debts within two weeks. To find out more read our article here.

Unsung heroes

We are so sorry. In our round up of Spanish sporting heroes in November's newsletter we left some out. Thank you to Paul Gill and Denis Carton who reminded us that Spain has done very well in the World Moto GP championships this year with Marc Marquez , Tony Elias and Jorge Lorenzo all winning their classes. How could we miss them out?

Gossip on the forums

What the word is on the streets

Do you/ don't you need to change your UK driving licence to a Spanish driving licence if you are a resident in Spain? It's been debated so many times in so many forums. Following consultation with two gestorias the answer is 'no' you don't need to change your licence. Until you're licence is up for renewal that is. However, not everyone, including the Guardia Civil, knows this. So you may still receive a fine if you are stopped. The solution? You're probably best to change it anyway just to avoid any unpleasant roadside exchanges.

It's a good time to…

…buy a new car in Spain. The combination of the slump in car sales, the opportunity to search around on the internet and it being the end of the year makes it perfect if you are considering a purchase. At this time of year sale rooms want to get rid of their old stock and offers can be quite aggressively pitched. So, if you've got the money and you're looking for a very special Christmas present - now's the time to buy!


It's Christmas!

You might be coming over for Christmas and New Year or perhaps you live here and are celebrating it in Spanish style, either way this is our Top Ten Tips guide to enjoying Christmas and New Year in Spain

1. Celebrate on Christmas Eve - this is when the big family meal takes place and presents are exchanged

2. Relax on Christmas Day- take the opportunity to have a stroll along the beach or even a lunchtime barbecue -weather permitting

3. Ditch the hype. Christmas in Spain is a much more low-key event. If you've got fed up of media build-up, it's the perfect place to be

4. Take advantage - Boxing Day isn't a bank holiday here!

5. Bring some grapes to your new year event and join in with popping one in to each of the 12 dongs

6. Take part in a new year fiesta, but get some sleep first - they don't start until the UK is off to bed at midnight!

7. Watch the three kings arrive- they make so much more sense than Santa Claus. Spanish children (generally) have to wait until the 6th January for the Magi to bring their presents. Just think, you can use this incentive for good behaviour throughout the festive season

8. It's not just children who can celebrate the Three Kings - it's the perfect antidote to early January depression.

9. Turn the heating up. Christmas Day has a tradition of having glorious sunshine in Spain - but it's still chilly

10. Congratulations - you're out of the rut! It can be so easy to get stuck in the same tiresome routine over Christmas, celebrating it somewhere different gives you the chance to try something new.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Christmas nougat

Typical Spanish Christmas nougat


Coming out?
What's coming up?

If you're coming over for Christmas - take note of our Top Ten Tips. You might also like to visit the nativity scene or 'Belen' which can be found in front of the Church 'Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepcion in Torrevieja town centre. Belen in Spanish means Bethlehem and is much more than your usual nativity. It not only includes the nativity scene but historical events from the Middle East at the time of Jesus' birth (with a few 'can you spot' adaptations).

Do you enjoy reading?

Do you like reading with a purpose? We've found a website that will broaden your horizons - particularly if you like to travel. provides lists of different books set in different countries. You might even start with Spain...

Worth a visit

Whilst it's cold, why not get even colder with a spot of ice skating? The Costa Blanca might not be somewhere you'd associate with ice but you can find plenty at Elche ice skating rink. It's actually located at a squash club on the 'Altabix' in Elche. You can find out more about the ice rink and other activities in Elche at

Slow down!

Why does everything have to be done at such a fast pace? Are we in danger of information overload? Are we really any better off? That's what the Slow Movement have been asking themselves and others. If, like me, you didn't even know that the ´Slow Movement´existed, try typing the word 'slow' into Google to find out just how fast this movement is spreading. Or, if you can make time in your busy schedule why not find out more about the movement or visit the slow food website

Make sure they know

Mobile phones can be a wonderful thing. They keep you in touch but they can also help others to help you. The Spanish red cross are running a publicity campaign to encourage people to add an emergency contact under Aa. This way, if the emergency services need to contact someone on your behalf, they can.

abacomagazine #e21

Ábaco Asesores: (+34) 96 670 3748

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