The Word on the Street

International Edition - November 2012


News and Information from Spain


Welcome to the November 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.

Poinsettias adorning a Spanish home

Poinsettias adorning a Spanish home

Spanish Wills

We have been receiving a number of queries recently about the content of Spanish Wills. There is new legislation from the European Union. Until now it was the inheritance law of nationality that applied. So for example, if you are British your will currently follows British inheritance law. From 2015 the contents of your will shall be determined by the inheritance laws of the country you live in. There will still be an option of choosing your inheritance law of nationality if you prefer, but this will need to be stated on the will itself.

We have been asked if this means that foreigners who have already made a will in Spain will need to make another one. Our inheritance department have advised us that you should not consider making a new will for this reason just yet. There is some uncertainty around the legislation and we are currently checking this with the European Union. We will let you know as soon as we have clarification whether there is any need to make a new will.

'Abuelos' take the strain

One reason often given by people for moving to Spain is the value that Spanish people place on the family. It can be frustrating at times for those trying to make their way in, but you can't fault the principle that as a family you stand together. In this article we hear about the 'abuelos', the grandparents who are keeping the infrastructure of Spain running- They are continuing to support their families long after they should have been in front of the fire with the pipe and slippers. Perhaps being needed is no bad thing:

Who's the best?

At speaking in English? Well hopefully the British should do pretty well on this survey. However, if we are talking about other nationalities, the Swedish should give themselves a pat on the back. They have been selected as the best non-native English speakers, according to Education First's English Proficiency Index 2012.

In second place was Denmark, followed by the Netherlands in third. Spain was 18th only making the category of 'moderate proficiency'.

To have a look yourself:

It's another poll

It's always interesting to find out if your views reflect those of other people. This latest poll asked, 'what is the biggest concern for expats living abroad?'. It should be noted that it doesn't specify which country you might have moved to but seeing as it's on 'EyeonSpain' we can assume that most respondents had Spain in mind when they completed it. The results:

1st place = bureaucracy
2nd place = health concerns
3rd place = language barriers

Sounds familiar.

You can read the other posts or even email your suggestions to us and we will print them in the next newsletter.

What is your biggest concern?

Some good news for Spain

It's a sad fact that good news for one person can mean bad news for someone else. In this case it's Belgium that would seem to be losing out on the Ford production line and Valencia that's due to benefit:

Not Spain but still very interesting

During my searches for items for this newsletter I do occasionally find an article of interest that has nothing specifically to do with Spain. Such is this, but I just love the idea so much that I thought you might be interested to read about it too. We get fed up of being inundated with marketing that simply tells us how wonderful everything is. Not only is it wrong but it's boring too.

Now one hotel is actually making a profit from taking exactly that view. They openly advertise themselves as the worst hotel in the world. And guess what? People want to stay there! It's in Amsterdam but maybe there is a message in this story for all of us:


Abaco Update - Last chance saloon!

No, it isn't the name of a new spaghetti western being filmed in Almería (although there have been some good ones). It's our way of warning anyone who has received a letter from the Spanish tax authority (Abaco clients can relax at this point) and have not yet put their tax affairs in order.

Please remember: Non resident property owner tax deadline December 31st 2012.

Read more about the letters by clicking here.

Giving some hope

If you would like to read a thumbs up for Spain you should try this Channel 4 article. It points out just why Spain is a completely different case to Greece and, is extremely positive about the country. Yippeee!

and there's more:

Reasons to be cheerful about Spain

However worrying the economy might be at the moment, there are many things to be positive about in Spain. We liked this little video on You tube which includes a number of slickly presented 'reasons to be cheerful' about Spain. You might agree with all of them, I've left out some of the more controversial:

- incomes for tourism grew by 14% in 2011
- last year 57 million tourists visited Spain
- exports have increased by 18% between 2009 and 2011
- Spain lead the extension of the Panama canal
- Spain constructed the first high speed train in the middle east
- Spain constructed desalination plants in Adelaide and the desert of Atacama
- Spain is developing a vaccine against Alzheimers
- 12% of Spain's energy consumption is renewable
- Spain comes out as the top country for solar energy installations
- Spain is a big player in the world of fashion with Zara and Mango, popular around the world
- It has the third highest life expectancy for men and second highest for women
- Spain boasts the highest number of organ donations in the world

What will be, will be at Corvera

It looked like the wind was blowing a little more favourably in Corvera's direction:

However, we know how quickly that can change:

Tumbit gives us some 'illusive' dates for our diary. Some important opening ceremonies to come - but in which year will they be?

Bardem is a Bond baddy

They say that playing the bad guy is the most enjoyable role for an actor. In the latest Bond movie it's Spanish actor Javier Bardem who gets the opportunity. The latest 007 'Skyfall' has Daniel Craig as the charismatic spy again and Bardem as 'Silva' the blond-haired baddy.

For a little more background on how Bardem came to have the role:

Where to go this winter

Chances are that if you like Spain you're not overly keen to take a winter holiday in a snow-clad destination. However, this article from National Geographic Traveller includes Granada in it list of Top 10 Winter Towns. Have you been to any?:

And yet another survey

This time from HSBC. In 2012 over 5,000 expats answered questions relating to finances, quality of life and what it's like to raise children abroad. Overall in the 'experience' category Spain came out 3rd. It didn't do so well in the economics category coming in at 22nd out of the 30 major destinations, bringing its overall rating down to 13th overall.

It's the easygoing lifestyle, the weather and the food that keeps Spain buoyant in spite of everything.

If you'd like to find out more about what they were saying about moving to Spain:


It's November - so let's talk about Christmas

We thought we'd do a little newsletter feature on where to buy your Christmas trimmings, some events in Spain and our own summary of what a Spanish Christmas looks like.

Apologies again to those who love Spain for its low-key Christmas.

The trimmings - it looks like IKEA are keen to have your custom. From baubles to poinsettias they are advertising a whole range of Christmas goodies on their Spanish website:

If you prefer something a little smaller to browse around and you live in the Alicante region, you might want to try The Christmas Shop in Lakeside, San Luis, Torrevieja. This relatively small shop (at least in comparison to IKEA) is packed with everything you could want to celebrate Christmas.

If you are wanting to order something from the UK you still have time. John Lewis provides a reliable service if you want to experience a little of the old home comforts without investing in a Christmas flight:

Alternatively you might choose to pick on Nordstrom to deliver your goods:

The events

Madrid's Christmas market runs from November 28th to December 31st this year and can be found in the Plaza Mayor. The market dates back to 1860 and includes more than 100 stalls:

Not to be outdone, Barcelona has it's own fair share of Christmas markets:

Christmas Spanish style

There are many aspects of Christmas tradition that Spain shares with its other European neighbours. However, it does have its differences too. If you've chosen to spend Christmas over here then finding out more about celebrating Spanish style is definitely something you should do.

The main meal is celebrated on the evening of the 24th December and Christmas day itself is a much more relaxed occasion, perhaps more like Boxing Day in the UK. Christmas is spread over a longer period and is not as intense around the 24th and 25th. There is no Boxing Day and there are far fewer decorations and trimmings generally.

Dia De los Reyes ( the day of the 3 Kings - Epiphany) is perhaps one of the most important parts of the whole event. It is the time when traditionally children receive their presents and you will find parades organised in most towns to celebrate. It is traditional for children to leave their shoes out at night for the three kings to place their gifts in. You will also find the three kings' cakes, Roscón de Reyes, in the shops. These include a little gift for one lucky person concealed in them:

If you will be in Spain over Christmas: Feliz Navidad

Santa Claus on the beach

Learning the language

It's a while since we've made any recommendations for language learning. This sight,, was recommended on a Forum and from first inspection looks a good alternative for those interested in learning on line. You can try it out first, but there is a small monthly subscription if you decide to take it up:

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Ábaco Asesores: (+34) 96 670 3748

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