The Word on the Street

International Edition - July 2011


News and Information from Spain


Welcome to the July 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.

Cadaqués, Catalonia

Tossa de Mar
Costa Brava, Catalonia

Not more scams?

I'm afraid so. This time it's to do with tax. Some of our clients have received e-mails supposedly from HMRC or Agencia Tributaria. The e-mail states that they are eligible for a tax refund and, you've guessed it, enter your bank account details here. Whatever you do, don't! If you're a client of Ábaco's we will have already informed you if you have a rebate due and your account details are already on the tax declaration form.

For more information read our article here. It includes some handy advice about avoiding phishing too.

In the news

Domestic Violence remains an issue for Spain with three deaths reported recently in 48 hours. It is important to note that the courts are taking a very strong line on this crime but it does not seem to be having much of an impact.

It should be emphasised that a high proportion of the incidents do not involve Spanish nationals. Of the three recently reported one couple was from Bolivia and in the second the man was from Ecuador.

Some blame the machismo attitude of men in Spain and the transition from dictatorship to democracy with the subsequent influx of women into more high-powered and influential roles.

Others suggest that the increasing pressure on families due to the economic crisis and rising immigration are having an effect upon the services available in some areas leading to a rise in the statistics. There are suggestions that in some cases men are being unfairly accused with no right of reply.

An interesting report can be found here.

The Culture Spain website is an interesting one with lots of information about Spain including an English translation of the Spanish newspaper El País

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abacomagazine #e22

A very uncomplimentary tax

It's been in the news a lot - an additional tax, we call it the 'complimentary' tax, that can be levied on property purchasers up to four years after they have bought a property in Spain. To clear up any misunderstandings and to find out what you should do about it, click here.

On the forums What works for you?

There are two subjects that come up every year and always attract lots of comments on the forums. How do you get rid of mosquitos and cockroaches? These two pests can make life a misery at certain times of the year and the debate thrives around what works and what doesn't.

If we concentrate on the mosquitos for this issue, the forum's suggestions for warding them off include:

- Marmite
- Listerine
- Lavender water
- Citronella plants
- Eucalyptus incense sticks
- Electric fans
- Tonic water
- B1 tablets
- cats

To read more around this debate:

We'd like to know what's worked for you. Please e-mail us on

We could perhaps even compile our top ten tips for tackling troublesome insects.

Ongoing saga of Ryanair

If there is one name that seems to attract a reaction it's Ryanair. Since we identified one way of avoiding their booking charges we've had several e-mails from you with other suggestions too. Thank you.

You've told us that if you open a Solbank account you receive a pre-paid card that you can use for free when booking your Ryanair tickets. One of our clients obtained a virtual card from Rural Caja which you can pre-load from your current account, can be used for internet purchases and will not incur Ryanair charges.

Another client goes further than this though. Why bother with changing your card? Just dispense with Ryanair instead and use Aer Lingus because.. "they give you more leg room, have better, leather seats with a wrap around collar for added comfort. Their service is usually first class and they do not charge for booking with visa." This must be Peter's favourite airline. What's yours?

Morella, Castellón

Cadaqués is a small fishing town where Salvador Dalí lived. Costa Brava, Catalonia


Coming over?
What's coming up?

Moors and Christians

We know it happens every year but if you haven't been yet you really must attend one of the local Moors and Christians fiestas over the summer. Most towns have their own parade which is then followed by an evening and morning of celebration. Don't plan anything for the day after if you can!

The parades usually begin in the early evening and are sometimes followed by fireworks. The celebrations continue well into the night with many bars and clubs staying open until 6.00 or 7.00 in the morning. It's usually a real family affair and you don't need to worry about taking children with you.

Some parades happening at the moment and due to take place include:

Villajoyosa - July 24th to July 31st
Almoradí - July 29th and 30th
Javea - last week of July
Elche - August 11th to August 16th
Benidorm - late September
Altea - last week in September

It's a little too late for some areas but in case you'd like your visit to coincide another year, here are some that have been already:

Rojales - July 2nd and 3rd (sorry too late for this!)
Guardamar - between the 15th and 25th July
Moraira - July 15th and 16th
Orihuela - July 22nd and 23rd

You can find out more about the history behind this fiesta from

In an emergency

We came across some useful advice and information about what to do in the case of an emergency in an Angloinfo newsletter.

The European-wide emergency telephone number is 112 and this can be used in any country in the EU from any telephone, including a public payphone (free of charge). To remember the number (the newsletter suggests for teaching a child but it helped me as well) it's 1 mouth, 1 nose and 2 eyes.

For a very useful page that includes lots of emergency numbers and advice go to

Bobbing along…

For most of us the idea of a day at the beach is relaxing in the sun and perhaps having a paddle. But for some that's just a little too tame. If you do want to be a bit more energetic then you could always try some snorkelling or scuba diving.

Max's Scuba Diving Centre in Torrevieja offers a wide range of recreational diving and snorkelling courses from beginners right up to advanced open water divers.

Their 'Discover snorkelling' course lasts for half a day and is for any age. Their 'Discover scuba diving' course can take place in either the swimming pool or the sea and is another half day experience. You can find out more by going to their website:



Ábaco Asesores: (+34) 96 670 3748

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