The Word on the Street

International Edition - May 2012


News and Information from Spain


Welcome to the May 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.

Denia marina port boats, Alicante

Denia marina

More queries about health care

Understandably, the announcement that Spain is clamping down on the use of healthcare by immigrants has caused some anxiety amongst the foreign population. We received these two questions recently from a newsletter reader:

Will it be necessary to show Fiscal residency through completing an annual tax declaration?

The short answer is that completing an annual tax declaration is the best way of proving fiscal residency. Being a fiscal resident comes with benefits. It means that you do not have 3% of the sale price retained if you sell your home and you do not have to pay inheritance tax if your spouse should die. Your annual tax return could be needed to demonstrate your income bracket when the co-payment system of paying for medical prescription is in place.

Will prescriptions for chronic problems be exempt from the recently introduced prescription charges?

Full details of these arrangements are as yet vague. However, the best source of current information we've found is on the British Embassy site:

We do welcome your questions and comments.

Airlines again

This is one subject we always get feedback about. Understandably, maintaining affordable and reliable links between your home country and Spain is a priority. The general 'will he/ won't he' of Ryan air over the past few years is one reason for the lack of certainty. Spain has contributed too with its rather hit and miss deadlines for opening airports.

We received an email after our last newsletter to point out that B.A. are still worth keeping in mind if you're looking for a flight:

"Very recently, I returned to Spain with BA. They were cheapest at that time. Moreover, with the baggage allowance, free drink and sandwich on board, their value for money was even better.

It is worth looking on their web site, and making the comparisons with the "cheapies". For example, the 23 kilos of hold luggage is free with B.A. In addition to 10 kilos cabin, plus a hand bag or lap top.

Even if they are dearer on the seats, they become more competitive over all, to say nothing of bigger and better planes, to make travel more comfortable."

Corvera airport update

I think I might as well keep this as a regular feature. It changes every month. Now it looks like there are doubts about Corvera opening at all. As the article suggests, why leave it until now?

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Ábaco update

The temperature is rising and so are the number of people in our offices. It's coming up to the annual resident tax declaration deadline (30th June) and our tax advisers are busily meeting with resident clients to make sure the paper work is done and everything is in order.

There have been even more enquiries this year about the benefits of being able to demonstrate fiscal residency due to the uncertainty about health cards. There is still lack of clarity about what 'proof' will be needed to get a SIP or to benefit from lower prescription charges. However, whatever is decided in the end, having made an annual tax declaration ensures that you are as well prepared as you can be.

To find out about some other reasons for making one read our article.

Phishing Alert!

This warning has come from the Spanish Tax Authority. There is an email being sent out that supposedly informs you that you are due to be reimbursed some tax. It begins, 'Después de los calculus anuales pasados de su actividad fiscal …'

Not surprisingly it then goes on to ask for your details and credit card number so that you can be reimbursed. You're perhaps amazed that people fall for this. But they do and it's surprising what you will believe when you want to. For the record, the Spanish Tax Authority never ask for confidential information by email.

More likes and dislikes

We've been looking at all those aspects of Spain you love or hate. Here, Britt Bohannan Arechiga indicates her eight favourite Spanish things:

1. cursing - it's part of everyday speech here, so no big deal

2. flexible hours - you don't have to worry too much about being late

3. 14 to 16.30 - not much point in trying to get anything done between these times

4. willingness to take risks for the sake of tradition and having a good time - e.g. the Fallas or the Catalan tradition of 'Correfoc'

5. honesty in public places - paying for your drinks when you're ready to go and asking 'Quien es la ultima?' to establish your place in the queue

6. bargaining for rent prices - there's flexibility in making arrangements when renting a property

7. public displays of affection - warm greetings and lots of touching

8. cheap booze - not exploited negatively by the Spanish - they can take their drink

Perhaps nothing particularly new here for anyone who has spent any significant amount of time in Spain but interesting reading a different perspective. Some of these aspects of Spain might be changing with the increasing pressure to be more like Northern Europe - what a shame!

The parador

Parador hotels were the first chain of hotels to be established in Spain in the 1920s. They combine the facilities of a luxury hotel with areas of natural beauty or historic sites such as castles, palaces and monasteries.

This website includes a list of all the parador hotels across Spain and information about them:

House swaps

We've had a query recently about house swaps and house swap websites. We have had clients who have successfully arranged a house swap to everyone's satisfaction. It's a particularly popular alternative at the present time.

We found the following website but would be interested to hear from anyone who has had experience of swapping a house (permanently and not just for holidays). Can you recommend a website? Here's the one we found:


Moors and Christians

How quickly has this year gone? It's time to start talking again about the Moors and Christians fiestas that we see in many towns and cities around June/ July time. For anyone who hasn't already seen one of these parades or taken part in the after-show party, it really is worthwhile.

The procession includes a variety of flamboyant costumes and begins late afternoon/ early evening. The partying goes on well into the morning with traditional fiesta chances to eat and dance.

Arrangements vary enormously between districts so do try and check with a local source what time is best to go and where you are best to place yourself. Parking might also need a little forward planning.

Some of the dates we're aware of so far include:

- Rojales - last week in June

- Quesada - first week in August

- Mojácar - 15th - 17th June

- Villajoyosa - July 21st - 31st

- Orihuela - July 15th - 21st

Almeria: Festival of Speed

On the 29th June at the Circuit of Almeria at Tabernas, there will be a Festival of Speed that includes:

- Over 50 cars and bikes
- The opportunity to buy high-speed thrill laps
- Displays of classic cars and bikes
- 4x4 Track with test drives
- entertainment and extras

You can find out more information from:

Famous Colourful Houses in Villajoyosa, Alicante

Famous Colourful Houses in Villajoyosa

Riding School

Are you or do you know of a young person who loves riding? META Riding Centre organises summer camps, stay-overs, as well as morning sessions and hacks.

The horse camps last for a week and they are running from 10th June to 10th September. The pony club operates all year round and you can take part in a morning session which includes a riding class, horse handling, artwork, games and the swimming pool.

Find out more:

Another website for you

This seems to be an increasingly popular thing to do. Bring together articles from different parts of the world and translate them into English to give a different perspective on the news. Worldcrunch publishes articles on its website from all over the world that are written in English or are translated into English.

It can be really interesting to read an article about what's happening in your own country from the perspective of a journalist who's based somewhere else. Click here to view this website:

Morning on Calpe beach

Morning on Calpe beach


Ábaco Asesores: (+34) 96 670 3748

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