Weekly Report

Business over Tapas ( N.º 469)

Business over Tapas ( N.º 469)

  • 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 08 de diciembre de 2022, 23:34h

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After a month away, I notice that Spain is preparing itself – already – for the general elections to be held (probably) next December, a year from now. The governing coalition parties are naturally beginning to underline their differences, with an eye on the voters, while remaining united against the troublesome opposition parties of the PP and Vox (Ciudadanos is now practically extinct).

Insults, fake news and exaggerations are the weapons of the right wing in the current climate. Maybe such a tactic can be converted into votes. One headline says that there is an unbearable climate in Congress, ‘with several deputies and political leaders speaking of the spiral of verbal aggressiveness that politics has experienced in recent days’. The President of the Madrid Region, Isabel Ayuso, helps this tactic along in her modest way with ‘We are on the way to a dictatorship, subjected to a tyrant who endangers the rule of law’. She of course means Pedro Sánchez.

The House-Speaker Meritxell Batet has asked the deputies to tone it down – ‘Parliamentary debate should be used to wrangle, not insult’ she said on Monday.

A witty put-down, known as una zasca, is the best answer to a hostile insult, as the strongest words rain down on the Government from Vox’s leader Santiago Abascal. Pedro Sánchez answered one such recent broadside with the comic reply: ‘You are like la Caperucita Roja – Little Red Riding Hood – saying that the forest is full of wolves’.

For the right or the left to claim the next government, the far-right or the far-left will probably need to (once again) be a fellow-traveller. The PP evidently has an evident problem with Vox’s Abascal, and so, inevitably, does the PSOE with (the increasingly fragmenting) far-left of Podemos, the IU, Más País and Yolanda Díaz’s Sumar. Yolanda might be the most popular political leader at the present time, but she is seen as pulling the far-left apart (as usual).

Before next year’s general elections, Spain will have both municipal and some regional elections to be held in May 2023. These will perhaps bring fresh encouragement to one party or another and will be a step forward to the main prize.


EPE reports that Spain’s first ‘micro-casas’ are now available for rental. The 847 abodes, (500 of them are just twenty-five square metres) are in a macro-complex in an industrial area of Madrid about an hour from the city-centre and start at 788€ per month. The residence, run by the US Greystar Management (here), also offers common facilities, such as a yoga-room, a gym and a laundry. With video.

‘The installation of prefabricated houses in rural areas has increased in recent years due to a "legal vacuum" that has allowed these types of buildings to be installed on rustic land if they did not have water, energy and waste supplies connected. However, a few weeks ago, following doubts raised by the public, the prosecutor of the Environmental Coordinator Chamber, Antonio Vercher, sent a letter to the network of special prosecutors to clarify this issue. In it, sellers and buyers were warned that installation of prefabricated houses requires the necessary permits the same as "those built of brick and cement"’. Item from 20Minutos.

From Spanish Property Insight here: ‘Housing access problems in the Balearics have led the regional government to look at ways to restrict non-resident demand for second-homes as politicians in the Canaries make similar noises…’

El País in English says that ‘Ibiza is getting out of hand: How the party island became the backyard of the mega-rich. Capri. St. Tropez. Now Ibiza. The tourism industry is flourishing in the third most expensive destination in the Mediterranean but the flow of wealth threatens to displace almost everyone else’.


elDiario.es: ‘Government measures on energy make Spain the country in the euro zone where prices grow the least. Inflation for Spain in November (year on year) was just 6.6%, the lowest figure in the euro zone, where the average reached 10%...’

Público: ‘Unemployment fell by 33,512 people in November and stands at the lowest figure since 2007’.

From El Economista here: ‘Fitch confirms the 'A-' rating with a stable outlook for Spain’.

Fitch Ratings says: ‘Rating Drivers, Stable Outlook: Spain's ratings are supported by a large, high value-added economy, strong governance indicators, and human development rankings above the 'A' peer median. High levels of public indebtedness constrain the ratings. The Stable Outlook reflects Fitch's view that robust nominal GDP growth will result in a gradual decline in public debt as a share of GDP through 2023 and 2024…’

Tax revenues are higher than expected, says La Vanguardia, with Hacienda reporting that it was already close by the end of October – with 223,000 million in hand – to the collection planned for the entire year.

From elDiario.es here: ‘The Banco de España confirms that company profits grew seven times more than wages in 2022. The institution says that companies have transferred the increase in costs to sales prices and have improved or maintained their profitability during the current period of high inflation’.


The suspicion is that support for the leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, is beginning to deflate, although he will no doubt leads the party to the next general election a year from now. elDiario.es calls him ‘the Incredible Shrinking Man’ here. Of his two possible successors, the firebrand Isabel Díaz Ayuso and the slightly more moderate Juanma Moreno are waiting more or less patiently in the wings…

El Huff Post looks at ‘some of the other news, hidden by the political noise of the last few days’. Spain has the lowest inflation in the Euro-zone, Unemployment is down… Of course, there are some low spots as well…

Ciudadanos has pretty much run dry as more councillors leave the party for the PP or retirement from politics. Right now, however, focus is on Edmundo Bal, a deputy and second-in-command for the party, who is looking to take the reins from Ines Arrimadas in the next party primaries in January. Bal says he is a centrist politician unlike Arrimadas, who always supports the conservatives. Following a meeting between the two on Monday, Bal says he will continue as an alternate candidate.

The Sumar movement – is it a party yet? – of Yolanda Díaz, could end up as the third political force in Spain says elDiario.es here. The Olive Press looks at the options here. However, if Sumar and Podemos go separately rather than together to the polls next winter, says La Ser, they could lose up to 25 seats.

From El Mundo here: ‘The Strasbourg-based Council of Europe insists on the election of the CGPJ by the judges and shows its "greatest concern" for the four years of blockade’. The General Council of the Judiciary is something like the judges’ government. It should be renewed every five years and is currently four years overdue.

The long-time member of the PSOE, ex-president of the Madrid Region and blistering critic of Pedro Sánchez, Joaquín Leguina, was stripped of his party membership early this week says the ABC here.

From The Economist here: ‘The Spanish are too grumpy about their politics. Things are actually going quite well’. El Huff Post comments on the article here.


The 90-day rule: ‘Currently, visitors from outside the European Union, including the UK, can visit Schengen countries for 90 days in every 180-day period. According to a report by Publituris, Spain will ask Brussels to lift this rule for British tourists, with Spain's Secretary of Tourism, Fernando Valdés, stating that this restriction "goes against the interests of Spain", adding that “it is a rule that, unfortunately, is not something that Spain has established by itself or can get rid of”. Spain now intends to pressure Brussels to exempt British tourists from the rule, stating to the press in Spain that “it is in the country's interest to lobby and convince the EU to make an exception”…’. From The Portugal News here.

The Schengen map will change soon, with the addition of Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia. Or maybe not, as according to 20Minutos, a veto might be coming from the Netherlands.

Digital Nomad Visa: ‘Talented Britons who have been lost to Europe because of Brexit barriers should move to Spain using its new digital nomad visa, the Spanish digitalisation minister said. The visa, which is aimed at citizens from outside the European Economic Area, is expected to come into force next month and will offer tax breaks as an extra enticement. It is part of the Start Up law, which was passed by the Spanish parliament on Thursday, and is part of Spain’s push towards a more digitalised economy…’. iNews reports here.

Inflation in November: Euro-stats (graphic) here.


With the multiple alternatives to the traditional TV channels, it’s not surprising that things aren’t going well for Mediaset, says Cronica Libre here: ‘November: Telecinco records its second worst audience data in its history and Cuatro, the worst November in its 18 years of life. The latest returns reveal a deep crisis. Elsewhere, only 1 out of 10 people watch the national TVE. The Sexta does not reach a 6% share. Only Antena 3 endures the brutal drop in viewers in what has been the month with the lowest television consumption so far…’.

The media lives from advertising, both commercial and (in the fortunate case of Spanish-owned newspapers and radio) public. These ‘institutional adverts’ – you may find a full-page or so in most daily newspapers – help keep the editorial focused on what is to be safely reported. Here we read that the conservative government of the Madrid region, for example, spent 300,000€ on the radical far-right OKDiario cyber-news site just in 2021 (out of a total received by that digital newspaper last year of 474,000€). The article at El Salto goes on to contrast readership numbers and institutional advertising with various left and right-wing news outlets.

Historian Ian Gibson is interviewed in his home in Madrid by elDiario.es here.

Sur in English hit their 2,000th edition milestone this week. The story here.


Cañamo editorialises about banning golf courses (sic!). It says ‘…It is estimated that the annual cost of maintaining a golf course ranges between four hundred thousand and two million euros per year, employing an average of thirty workers. There are about ten thousand campos de golf in Spain, whose annual maintenance cost for eighteen holes works out at approximately half a million Euros…’ Then there’s the high water consumption…

The Government will change the Law on Mining to improve the extraction of minerals necessary for the energy transition, says El Periódico de la Energía here. ‘The Mining Law was approved almost 50 years ago and now there are plans to change the law to improve extractive processes’. The rules regarding the extraction of minerals from privately-owned property are dealt with (in English) here.


he Emeritus, Juan Carlos I of Spain, has been deemed by a British court to be immune from any case brought against him (such as the one from Corinna Larsen) in the UK from events prior to his abdication in 2014 says El Periódico here.

A number of explosive packages have been received – and made safe – in various high-profile offices in Spain, including the President’s seat at the Moncloa; the US Embassy; the Ukrainian Embassy in Madrid (this one exploded, slightly injuring an aid there) and others. The packages appear to have come from Valladolid. The EWN, quoting the fake-news OKDiario, claims that the packages were sent by someone connected to ‘the ultra-left’. The one sent to Vox probably got lost in the post.

Found at Colin Davies’ blog Thoughts from Galicia here: ‘The British embassy has provided more information about how a post-Brexit driving licence exchange will work once an agreement between Spain and the UK has finally been reached. Among the steps UK licence holders resident in Spain will have to take are a ‘psychophysical aptitude test’ and – in some cases – a ‘brief interview with a doctor’. This, however, is a standard test that holders of Spanish driving licences must pass when renewing their document. Yes, it certainly is. I’ve been through it at least thrice’.

The Abogados Cristianos is a right-wing lobby that regularly waxes indignant with lesser or greater impact on some social issue or other. They then go to court. Recently, the Post Office produced a stamp celebrating the centenary of the Communist Party in Spain. The Abogados Cristianos reacted and managed to get a judge to – briefly – stop sales of the abhorrent item. However, the judge soon gave up, and, following this, the Correos have been obliged by public demand to print three times the original run. Now an offensive magazine cover from the comic Mongolia (in, admittedly, pretty poor taste) has attracted their attention…

The Olive Press reports that Barcelona is to become the first city in Spain to levy an ‘Amazon tax’ on the larger delivery companies in a bid to keep the traffic moving a bit more smoothly. The tax will be signed into local law by the end of February.

Apparently, the Banco de Santander branch in Mojácar had its ATM wrenched from the wall a few weeks ago – and the bank had no sooner installed a new one when it, too, was taken in a second daring midnight raid.

As accusations of at least one death occurring on Spanish soil during the Melilla crisis last June 24th, a migrant made the trip from Morocco to Melilla on Thursday by hang-glider, easily crossing the seven metre high wall, and has apparently evaded capture.

‘The medieval monks who forged a nobleman’s will to appropriate a valuable church. Spanish scientists have discovered that the religious community of San Pedro de Cardeña in Burgos doctored the document out of greed - but forgot to eliminate the original’. A story found at The Guardian here.

From The Collector here: ‘Ten Crazy Facts about the Spanish Inquisition. Do you think you know about the Spanish Inquisition? Some of the ten crazy Spanish Inquisition facts in this list will surprise and even astonish you’. Good stuff!

See Spain:

Escapada Rural brings us seven abandoned villages, with photos.

‘Montefrío, the Village with the Best Views in Spain’ is at Eye on Spain here.


Reggae with Las Cafres: Casi q` me pierdo on YouTube here.

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