Weekly Report”

Business over Tapas (Nº 498)

Business over Tapas (Nº 498)

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

jueves 29 de junio de 2023, 01:55h

28JUN23 – MADRID.- For subscriptions and other information about this site, go to businessovertapas.com email: [email protected] ***Now with Facebook Page (Like!)***Note: Underlined words or phrases are links to the Internet. Right click and press 'Control' on your keyboard to access. Business over Tapas and its writers are not responsible for unauthorised copying or other improper use of this material. Subscription and e-mail information in our archives is never released to third parties.


Here’s a tricky one – a piece on homosexuals: the LGBTQIA+ (I had to look up the complicated acronym on Google, and got the answer, refreshed with a colourful graphic of rainbow flags and confetti). As usual, as we lean over backwards, the opposite doesn’t enjoy the same service. See, I had also looked up: ‘Manly fellow drinks a beer and cleans his Harley while scratching himself’ and found it wasn’t similarly decorated by the friendly search engine with a frolic of whistles and belles.

Those who belong to or sympathise with the Gay movement must eternally be aware of the hatred, disdain and the politics of those who wish them ill, broadly increasing as one heads towards the right end of the political spectrum, and culminating in a recent headline regarding Vox, which is ‘concerned about the "alarming increase" of homosexuals and transsexuals in Spain’. This from a group which, it would be safe to say, is not partial to the gay lifestyle at all. They are in little doubt: the Government must be secretly putting something funny in our tap water.

It is said, mind you, that those who are most vocal in their anti-gay rhetoric are sometimes the very same ones who would stay in the closet, or who get caught in some deeply embarrassing and melodramatic, er, misunderstanding – like the Hungarian far-right and anti-gay MEP József Szájer who had to abruptly leave a homosexual orgy back in 2020 through a window, naked, as the police came through the front door.

Or maybe he was merely in search of a better education.

Life goes on. Those of us who think of ourselves as ‘normal’ might look down on the antics of our gay friends, but there’s probably a bit of jealousy mixed in as well: the jolly mixture of theatre, camp, pride and adventures (contrasted with the insults, vexations and sometime violence received).

They say that it’s one in ten of us, about the same as the number of left-handers (who used to be known as sinister). Perhaps we just need some patience; but meanwhile, the silent majority rules.

Encouraged by Vox (and the Republicans, the Iranians, Meloni’s Italy, the Opus Dei, apparently the Ugandans and a number of other totalitarian governments and organisations), the messages and comments of LGBTIfóbia in the social media have increased in the last few years, at the same time as the democratic governments have been working hard to remove the traditional opprobrium (particularly in a macho society like Spain) against the gays. Indeed, Pedro Sánchez wore a rainbow bracelet in his TV interview with Pablo Motos on Tuesday.

One isolated news-item – a mixture of a student rag and an ill-judged attack on the collective during Gay Pride Day (June 28th) has a leaflet over at the university undergraduates’ residence in Málaga calling for a small reward of twenty euros to be paid for anyone reported as suffering from the homosexual epidemic in a ‘Gay Hunting Month’ (this phrase is in English). Serious or just some silly prank? I don’t know, but it’s not quite the same as being beaten up for holding hands with one’s same-sex boyfriend.


‘Spain's economy increases pace of growth, going up by 0.6% in Q1. GDP of country surges by 4.2% year-on-year, completing Covid recovery’. Item from Catalan News here.

From Spanish News Today here: ‘Spain pushes through a number of financial aid measures before the elections. Among the measures is a 15% income tax deduction for those who purchase an electric car in Spain’.

How much does your bank charge in commissions? From El Mundo here: ‘Banks increases commissions on small savers by 3.2% while they resist paying out anything on deposit accounts’. The worst appears to be Santander, Sabadell and CaixaBank who charge an annual 240€ administration fee says the article.


General Elections July 23rd.

From El Huff Post here: ‘The Spain that is coming: what to expect from a future government between PP and Vox. The right and the extreme right have already agreed on programs and measures in municipalities and autonomous communities that could be extended to the rest of the country’. If the polls are correct, then the PP will win the elections, but will only be able to form a government with the support of Vox. We have already had a glimpse of what that would mean for España. Among other things, lots (and lots) of flags. The article lists a few other things to expect. From Reuters here: ‘Spain's conservative PP party lead narrows one month ahead of national election, poll shows’.

From LaSexta here: ‘Pedro Sánchez complains that the PP "has gone far to the right" and affirms that his own ambition is to "govern in coalition with Sumar" (with video). Pedro Sánchez: ‘in twenty days, Spain has gone backwards by twenty years’ (El Huff Post here).

‘The Sumar leader Yolanda Díaz proposes to reduce by law the working day to 37.5 hours per week in 2024’ says Noticias de Navarra here.

A question at Reddit asks ‘Why has the popularity of the PSOE fallen so much?’ An answer gives us (partially):

The approval of the "Only yes is yes" law and the subsequent reaction to its consequences.

The Sahara and the gas issue with Algeria.

A (possible) lack of firmness in the response to the Moroccan provocations.

The appointment of the ex-minister Dolores Delgado as attorney general.

The promised repeal of the gag law (Ley de Mordaza) has not yet materialized.

The publication of the 2012 tax amnesty list, also promised, is still pending.

Populist measures in an election year.

Failure to comply with the coalition agreement.

Attribute successes (such as the Labour Law) to the government and failures (‘Only yes is yes’) to Podemos.

From Spanish Property Insight here: ‘Along with reducing income tax for lower earners and the number of government departments, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, the leader of the opposition PP party, has said he will review all laws passed by the current government with the help of the radical Basque party Bildu, including the new Housing Law, if his party wins power in the General Election due on the 23rd of July. The new Housing Law protects squatters, and introduces the possibility of rent controls countrywide’.

The PP/Vox alliances continue, with Aragón. From El Confidencial here, ‘This is the new speaker of the Court of Aragón: a fan of Donald Trump, homophobic and a climate change denialist. Some of the ideas of Marta Fernández (Vox) were collected on her social networks before she deleted her messages on the day of her appointment as speaker of the Chamber of Aragón’. The new president is Jorge Azcón (PP). The outgoing president of the region Javier Lambán (PSOE) describes the PP/Vox alliance there as ‘indignant and grotesque’. Back in Valencia, the new speaker for the Corts Valencianes (parliament) is the anti-abortionist Llanos Massó (Vox). Expect some changes locally…

Extremadura is proving to be a headache for the PP after the regional party leader María Guardiola was heavily critical of Vox following the inconclusive results. As fences are slow to mend, the President of the Assembly has called for a debate for the region’s new government to be held next week, with only one candidacy available: the outgoing president Guillermo Fernández Vara PSOE. Failing this says El Huff Post, and a second try a couple of days later, the PP will be allowed another chance with Vox, or there’ll be fresh elections.


From Catalan News here: ‘Spanish snap election: who's running in Catalonia for July 23 vote’. Some old faces return to the fray…

From El Punt Avui here: PP and Vox. ‘The attack strategy against the Catalan language is firmed up in both the Valencian Region and the Balearic Islands’.


From Declassified UK here: ‘Britain secretly turned Gibraltar into a major NATO spy base. A formerly secret UK military report reveals that Gibraltar’s “main value” to Britain during the Cold War was its role as a covert NATO military and intelligence outpost – which it kept hidden from Spain’.


From La Vanguardia here: ‘The electoral storm unleashes with ferocious intensity on the beginning of the Spanish mandate of the European Union, in its most convulsive moment since the fall of the Berlin wall and with a savage war at its doors. Spain assumes next Saturday, July 1, for the fifth time, the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU. Pedro Sánchez will thus take the reins, at least to begin with, of a European semester, until December 31, which was previously been held by Felipe González, in 1989 and 1995; José María Aznar in 2002 and last time with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero in 2010…’


From El País here: Why many private doctors still count in pesetas: "We are paid at the same rate as we were 25 years ago". The competition authority CNMC is investigating health insurance and the hospitals that work for them amid complaints from physicians about the low rates they receive. The private doctors contrast their payments from the insurers here (baremos means fees). An example cited in the El País article: ‘a home visit by a traumatólogo was paid 4,000 ptas (24€) 25 years ago while now he gets 24.64€ for the same visit. What happens, a doctor tells the reporter, is that private healthcare is made up of hundreds of markets: one per province and, in each of them, one per specialty. “The companies know this and they are very strong, especially since in most places we doctors have not been able to organize ourselves. Negotiations are one on one and, of course, there the professional is the weaker party. And if you do not accept their conditions, the threat is that they will expel you from the medical team and you will be left without patients”. The story was originally broken by Cinco Días last week here: ‘The CNMC receives a barrage of complaints from doctors due to the pressure on the rates they suffer from insurers’. One doctor says he is paid the same rate as in 1989. The result, he says, is that young medics don’t want to work in the private sector. Another claims that, taking the cost of living into account, he is now paid half of what he got twenty years ago.

Most doctors in private medicine (there are around 50,000 of them) are autónomos says EPE (October 2022) here. They charge somewhere between 7 and 15 euros a visit.

The three main health insurers in Spain are Adeslas, Sanitas and Asisa.

Thanks to Robin for the link. He says: ‘Although we are in the Social Security here as a working man, like many Spanish families we took out Private Cover too. I became a friend of our local GP, and remain so today, and was staggered to hear from him what really went on between The GPs and local Specialists, and the Medical Insurers. It’s absolutely appalling! Over a period of time he pulled out of all these Contracts and his Insured Customers were faced with a tough choice! Some like me stayed with him and pay Cash, others had to find an alternative Doctor’.


There will be a televised debate between Pedro Sánchez and Alberto Núñez Feijóo, on Atresmedia (Antena3, La Sexta) on July 10th. The PP says it doubts the neutrality of the (public) RTVE. The PP says it will also accept one further debate between all the parties with parliamentary representation.

El sanchismo’ is an invention of the right says Pedro Sánchez to Jordi Évole during an interview on LaSexta here. It’s a tactic used by Trump and adopted by the conservatives across Europe to dehumanise one’s political opponent, he says, adding that ‘El sanchismo’ is defined by lies, manipulation and malevolence. ‘I should have taken more notice of the corrosive factor and the venom being injected into the political system’, he says.

Oddly – abroad – the media talks and worries about ‘el antisanchismo’ in Spain.

On Tuesday night, the President appeared in another TV interview, with Pablo Motos and his slightly silly El Hormiguero on Antena3, here. (A BoT reader says ‘it’s the first time I’ve watched this show for longer than a few moments’). El Periódico describes the interview here as ‘tense’. The interview with Ana Rosa Quintana (Telecinco) is now set for July 4th.

Núñez Feijóo has been on the interview trail too. He tells Carlos Alsina at Onda Cero that ‘The choice is Sánchez or España’. Alsina responds with – ‘So what you are saying is that those who vote for Pedro Sánchez are voting against Spain?’ ‘I didn’t say that’ is the reply. An invitation to be interviewed by Jordi Évole has been turned down by the Feijóo camp.

Clip from the ex-president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero: "It is the first time in Spain and perhaps in the world that in an electoral pre-campaign for the president, the candidates are not asked by the media about the economy or about the current employment figures. There is something strange going on, of course".


The WWF has a poor opinion of the unfolding Doñana tragedy, and asks supporters to sign a petition. It says ‘A new bill to grant amnesty to illegal farmers who steal water from their aquifers endangers the survival of the National Park. The Parliament of Andalucía must paralyze this proposal that represents a real mockery of society and national and international institutions and the death sentence for Doñana’. Meanwhile, NASA has published a ‘devastating’ photo of the Doñana region from space this week, showing ‘flooding anomalies not explained by climate’ says Diario16 here.

The Junta de Andalucía is offering public land for hunting classes says La Voz del Sur here. We read that Rastrea, an association that attempts to protect ecosystems within the region, considers the current government of Andalucía to be ‘medieval’ (sic!).

From The Olive Press here: ‘La Viñuela reservoir in the Axarquia region of Eastern Málaga starts summer at historic low at just 9.2%’. The reservoir supplies some 200,000 customers.


The ‘lona del odio’ – the ‘canvas of hatred’ (an enormous anti-minority advertisement for Vox erected in Madrid) – was attacked on the weekend by a group called Futuro Vegetal, splashing red paint on the provocative message. elDiario.es quotes a spokesperson for the ecologists: “Vox is a political class that is dedicated to polarizing the population to abuse its concerns and use it for electoral purposes. Faced with its policies of hate and fear, our love; in the face of their batons and their fascism, our fury”.

An interesting essay on what, precisely, is Vox (Wiki) – at Menéame here. The writer says that it’s a hard shell, with nothing inside. No experience, no program and no analysis. Just a search for power and control. It is a totalitarian party (wiki) with excellent international contacts. My own opinion (having had a godfather -wiki- who financed the National Front in the UK in the sixties) is that it’s just another party based on hatred. Hatred for the coloureds, the gays, the intelligentsia, the foreigners, the aristos, the Muslims, the separatists and of course any woman who doesn’t know her place.

I am also convinced that if Vox won the field, the hatred wouldn’t go away.

The Marbella mayoress Ángeles Muñoz has raised her salary – after all, it’s a full-time job – to a level slightly above the salary of the President of Spain says LaSexta here. Talking of salaries – Alberto Núñez Feijóo refuses to reveal his income from the Partido Popular (which should be added to his wage as a member of the Senate) says El Independiente here, despite being ordered to by the President of the Senate Ander Gil, until after the elections, when he will no longer be a senator.

From Ethic here: ‘Spain, a country that suffers from a low standard of living. Poverty, job insecurity, the excessive use of antidepressants or the serious increase in housing prices are some of the factors that damage the progress of the bulk of the population of our country’.

Miss Universo Murcia 2023 is called Athenea Pérez. She’s pretty and her father and grand-father are from Murcia, but her mum was born in Equatorial Guinea, making Athenea – as we read in 20Minutos here – both a mulata and the target for racist attacks. Murcia always was a bit old-fashioned. The girl speaks in an interview with Ana Rosa Quintana.

An article from Mallorca about the new British mayor of Sant Joan at MSN here (Thanks to Norman).

The police warn home-owners that cacos (burglars) apparently check if the door-mat (you have a felpudo, right?) is moved here and there – evidence that someone is in the apartment and not away on their hols. If you are absent, get the neighbour to move it around now and again. Yep, the stuff they put in the newspapers these days. Ask the neighbour while you’re at it to empty the post-box and move the drapes when they check in. Defeated, the cacos will go and spy on another home for a while. Plan B, by the way, is to fix a bigger lock.

The Guardian feels that the famous siesta is little more than a fiction in Modern Spain. Rubbish!, says I, awakening from a post-prandial snooze.

From Eye on Spain here: ‘The Life and Influence of Salvador Dali: A Surrealist Master’.

Watching the Canal Sur TV, it was a slam-dunk that Málaga was going to win the nomination for Expo-2027. Then it abruptly lost to Belgrade. How was such a thing possible? An article at Sur in English blames the Chinese.

The San Fermín bull-runs (‘los encierros’) will be shown as usual on national TV live from Pamplona: July 7th to 14th from 7.30 to 8.30am on TVE1.

Pacma, the eccentric political party that fights for animal rights, says it won’t join with Sumar as the left-wingers didn’t even invite them, says ECD here.

Bullfighters’ school, a nicely-told photo-essay at The Guardian here.

The actress and singer Carmen Sevilla died earlier this week. Here she is, performing Estando Contigo on the Ed Sullivan show in 1965.

See Spain:

Fascinating Spain brings us to seven of the most delightful town-plazas here.


El Himno de Riego performed by the Casa de Asturias Bagpipe Band in Mexico City. This is the song that is sung in the Spanish exile schools in Mexico. The lyrics were written by the Spanish Republican Maestro Marcial Rodríguez. On YouTube here, and with words, here.

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