Weekly Report

Business over Tapas (N.º 466))

Business over Tapas (N.º 466))

  • A digest of this week's Spanish financial, political and social news aimed primarily at Foreign Property Owners: Prepared by Lenox Napier. Consultant: José Antonio Sierra

jueves 13 de octubre de 2022, 18:44h

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It’s likely going to be a tough winter in Europe, and one solution for those who can afford it – and there’s an oxymoron – is to head south to the Mediterranean.

We read of a new type of holiday – one that would need to stretch for six months to fully avoid the northern freeze – called ‘thermal tourism’.

Well, for the British the figure would be for three months tops to be exact, what with the Schengen rule of 90 days in any 180 for non-EU visitors to most of the Old Continent. November through February maybe. Still, it’s better than nothing.

While those living in the colder parts of Europe will be welcome to consider moving south for an extended period, the promotions are probably more centred on a couple of weeks holiday in the sun before returning home to chilblains, woolly hats and hot toddies. After all, we are talking here about the powerful hoteliers and their lobbying over at the Ministry of Tourism, rather than Ethel’s empty flat overlooking Garrucha harbour.

The Greeks and the Spanish are both working on their campaigns, as they welcome the chance to bring extra tourism out for the low season: “Wanna feel 20 again?” asks one of the billboards slated to appear in London and other capitals across the continent. “With warm winter temperatures up to 20C, Greece is the place to be,” it proclaims, next to an image of an older couple lounging on a yacht, wine glasses in hand.

A senior Spanish tourist expert brings the clincher to the table when he says: “From what we’re seeing, people are realising that it’s cheaper to come here than it is to put the heating on at home”.

However, you should probably be laying in some firewood (or whatever the equivalent is in non-smoking areas) before you sign up: it’s going to be an almighty shock when you return to your chilly casa!


El Economista warns that the housing bubble may be coming to an end: ‘The global real estate market is approaching the precipice: housing faces a drastic cyclical change’ it says, adding, ‘…the rises in interest rates, the loss of purchasing power of families and the slowdown in the economy are putting housing on the edge of the precipice’. The European Central Bank believes that for every point that rates rise, house prices could fall between 5 and 15% in the euro zone.

Spanish Property Insight brings us ‘Spain’s new Digital Nomad Visa in a nutshell’.


The budget airlines have such small profit margins that they have taken to charging for anything ‘extra’ that they can think of. Some of these unexpected expenses are plain ‘illegal’ (excuse the pun). Charging for hand luggage, for example. Yes, you could put in a claim, and win (after all, it’s a point in European law), but how many people will bother? The budget airline won’t care… The case is made at El Blog Salmón here.

The Costa del Sol recovers direct flight route to New York with flights next summer with United Airlines between Málaga and Newark International. More at The Olive Press here.


José Antonio Sierra, a journalist consultant for Business over Tapas, is based in Málaga where he prepares his weekly podcast ‘Tiempo de Mayores’ on Radio Adaja. Each week, José Antonio interviews different heads of associations and people who have a relationship with the elderly and wish to share their project or situations. You can listen to him here.


elDiario.es lists where the public money is destined with the 2023 budget here.

Those municipalities with over 500 inhabitants that don’t rate a bank outlet will soon be served by a ‘generic’ cash machine says La Vanguardia here.

The cost of groceries rose year on year by 15.2% says the consumers association OCU (September figures) quoted by La Información here.

Antonio Garamendi, the head of the CEOE (wiki), has asked the Government not to speak of ‘ricos y pobres’ (the rich and the poor) as such a term can only ‘radicalise’ society.


El Huff Post writes that ‘The prestigious German magazine Blätter has highlighted, in one of its articles published in its October issue (here), the energy policy that the Government of Spain and, specifically, Pedro Sánchez, is committing to.

The German media has valued the work that the Spanish Executive has been carrying out since the beginning of the invasion in Ukraine and notes that the NATO summit in Madrid "became a public relations coup in terms of hospitality in the south of Europe with impressive images of the gala dinner in the Prado and warm and friendly hugs from those present”. It continues: “Within the EU, Spain has been able to successfully assert its positions during the crises of recent years”, says the article, which also supports the work of Spain and Portugal with the so-called Iberian exception…’

Judge Carlos Lesmes, president of the CGPJ, finally threw in the towel on Monday (the General Council of the Judiciary is something like a government of the judges). His post and indeed the whole make-up of the CGPJ is four years past its renovation date (blocked by the PP). On Monday, Pedro Sánchez and Alberto Núñez Feijóo met for three hours to look for an answer to the impasse. elDiario.es says that there could soon be a solution. Ctxt says cattily that the right-wing Lesmes wasn’t bothered about his improper four years as ‘acting president’ (and his 150,000€ a year stipend), but rather he didn’t want to embarrass Felipe VI at the celebrations for the Día de la Hispanidad (Wednesday).

Vox has just finished its Viva22 summit in Madrid, with a surprise message of support from an American politician we may remember. El Mundo says: 'During his brief speech, in a recorded message on board a plane, Donald Trump defended the importance of the frontiers, the conservative agenda, and he thanked Santiago Abascal (the Vox leader) for "the incredible work he does." "We are all experiencing a unique situation. We have to make sure that we defend the borders, the conservative agenda", he proclaimed, adding that "Spain is a great country and that I hope that it will continue as such", once again giving his "Congratulations" to Vox and its leader'. Other messages of support came from Italy’s Meloni and Hungary’s Orbán.

‘Trump speaks via video at rally of global far-right in Spain’ says The Associated Press here. ‘Let’s get back to 1936’ was one of the songs from the band called Los Meconios enjoyed by the crowd says La Cadena Ser. To wrap this up, here’s Agencia6 with ‘Fascism, LGBT flags, satanic porn and Christian lawyers. The strange contradictions of Vox in Viva22’ (some amusing/alarming photos).

The new general secretary for Vox (Javier Ortega Smith has been promoted sideways) is Ignacio Garriga (wiki), who is an Opus Dei trained man of colour. El Mundo here.

…and, whatever happened to Macarena Olona, the Vox candidate for Andalucia? (video)

How much to politicians earn? Some 900 politicians across Spain earn more than Pedro Sánchez says La Información here, including party leaders, regional presidents and some mayors. Oddly, Spanish politicians are the fourth least-paid across the EU.

It was hard for Spaniards living abroad to be able to vote, thanks to an artifice called the voto rogado (wiki) introduced eleven years ago. Mostly, indeed, they threw up their hands and simply didn’t bother with the visits to the consulate and so on. In 2008, 32% of them had voted in the General Elections; by the next ones, in 2011, the figure had dropped to just 3.7%. This rule has finally been changed and a juicy 2,270,000 votes are now in play for local, regional and national elections. Cue flights to South America and Northern Europe where many potential voters can be found…


Last week, the Catalan president Pere Aragonès of the senior coalition partner Esquerra Republicana, fired his vice president, Junts per Catalunya's Jordi Puigneró as his number two after a day of crisis talks both within and between the two parties. From Catalan News here: ‘Why the Catalan coalition government collapsed after just 500 days. Different strategies towards independence end ten years of cooperation between two main sides of movement’. The seven new ministers in the Generalitat (all pro-referendum – if not necessarily pro-independence) are listed at Vilaweb here.


An indignant opinion piece in the El Heraldo de Aragón here titled: ‘Concerning Gibraltar (Still!)’. It says that Gibraltar (Wiki) should be reunited with Spain and that ‘…Gibraltar is a military colony of the United Kingdom; this is its only reason for being. To facilitate the manoeuvres and operations of the Royal Navy anywhere in the world, to control Spanish communications and to rule in the Strait of Gibraltar. If, incidentally, it can continue to annex Spanish territory, as it intends with its maritime strategy, then so much the better…’.

‘Spain to introduce new regulations for under-18s at Gibraltar border from Wednesday. Every minor must be accompanied by an adult and if the person accompanying them is not their parent more thorough checks will be carried out and personal details will be recorded’. Item found at Sur in English here.


Opinion from The Guardian here: ‘Britain is slowly waking up to the truth: Brexit has left us poorer, adrift and alone’.

‘The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, has warned that it’s not clear how long the unity and solidarity of the European Union can last in reference to the national consultation that Hungary has announced to sound out the opinion of the population about the EU sanctions on Russia. “Putin may have been wrong in believing that we were going to break our unity although it is still not clear how long it can last because there is a European leader who is calling his country for a referendum to propose to its citizens that in December they do not renew sanctions against Russia”, warned Borrell during a recent talk on ‘How the War in Ukraine has changed Europe’ given in Madrid…’. From El Huff Post here.


El Confidencial here: ‘A judge is under investigation for giving a tip to Russian mobsters linked to PP politicians on the Costa Blanca. The police document in a report the relationship of the magistrate in Benidorm with criminals from the east and the conversations of those investigated where they allude to her as ‘being fast asleep’’.

Staying with investigations that fizzled out… From elDiario.es here: ‘The Russian mafia, corruption in Murcia and other cases closed due to the deadlines for criminal investigations. The archive of the investigation into the activity of the Russian mafia in Alicante is the latest in a list of legal cases archived due to the limits on the instruction periods inaugurated by the reform promoted by the Partido Popular in 2015’. Several examples are given.

The former Valencia region president Eduardo Zaplana faces up to 19 years in jail if convicted of corruption says The Olive Press here. ‘In May 2018, Eduardo Zaplana was arrested for money laundering and bribery’ says Wiki here.


Ana Rosa Quintana is Spain’s favourite talking head, with a popular show on Tele5 every morning (since 1997) to discuss current affairs (from a conservative point of view). Ana Rosa has been away for a year suffering from breast cancer but has now returned to the show following ‘a miracle recovery’. Her very first discussion suggested to someone the clip of Rutger Hauer in his Blade Runner death soliloquy with ‘I've seen things you people wouldn't believe…’, as here: “I have seen Ana Rosa Quintana, after overcoming cancer, complaining about the increase in government spending on public health”. (Twitter: Anacleto Panceto). From El Confidencial here: ‘The Government increases the resources allocated to Sanidad by 6.7% to 7,049 million euros, with the aim of strengthening the capacities of the National Health System (SNS), according to the General State Budget Bill of 2023’.

All of the media are running articles along the lines of ‘Amber Heard seeks Spanish Solitude following battle with Johnny Depp’, before telling their readers exactly whereabouts in Spain she is hiding. That’s the spirit!


Ecoembras (Motto: ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’) is a non-profit recycling agency (their page is here) funded by the plastic-bottle makers and users. They are the ones behind the colourful recycle bins. They claim around 70% recycling of plastics whereas Greenpeace puts the figure nearer 25% (here). Recently, the Government has shown that it is not happy with the company says Moncloa.

The man who never got the memo: the socialist mayor of Vigo (a city famous for its lavish Christmas decorations). From Público here – ‘Abel Caballero will turn on the Christmas lights in Vigo on November 19 in the midst of energy saving in Europe’.


From Sur in English here: ‘24 of 30 poorest places in Spain are in Andalucía, data shows. El Palmar de Troya in Seville province is at the bottom of the list for annual income per inhabitant while the highest incomes are found in Madrid and Barcelona’.

Carmen Mola is a popular and prizewinning thriller writer in Spain, with several books to her name. But, wait a moment, Carmen is actually three writers, and they are all male: Jorge Díaz, Agustín Martínez and Antonio Mercero Santos. But (almost) no one is complaining, as their/her latest book is released: La Bestia.

The Spanish Civil War virtual museum is here. It says. ‘Welcome to the Virtual Museum of the Spanish Civil War, the first museum dedicated to this central event of 20th century history. The conflict in Spain between 1936 and 1939 generated unprecedented global engagement, and more than 80 years after its conclusion, it remains the subject of both interest and controversy’. The Guardian writes it up here, saying: ‘The online history centre launches against backdrop of renewed debate over the conflict’s legacy’.

‘At midnight on July 30, 1749, screams, turbulence and tears were heard in a large part of the Spanish population. Military bodies were mobilized in a coordinated manner that night to act simultaneously in all the enclaves where Roma families had been located. The so-called Gran Redada, or Great Roundup, had the objective of arresting and imprisoning all the gypsies in Spain with the intention of separating men and women to achieve the "extinction of the gypsies". This was the plan of Zenón de Somodevilla y Bengoechea, the Marquis of Ensenada, prime minister of King Ferdinand VI. Some 9,000 gypsies were arrested during the operation and sent to centres, in what several historians, including Antonio Domínguez Ortiz, describe as a genuine genocide attempt planned by Ensenada. However, the unfathomable scope of the plan and the resistance of the victims made the procedure fail...’ says Muy Historia in its article about the Gypsy Pogrom of 1749.

*The gypsies, we read, can trace their arrival in Spain back to 1425.

See Spain:

What’s it like living in Teruel? (Aragon). Ask an Expat at Mapping Spain here.


Here’s the eclectic María Arnal (wiki) with Marcel Bagés performing Ventura on YouTube.

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