"Weekly Report"

Business over Tapas (N.º 507)

Business over Tapas (N.º 507)

  • 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

miércoles 30 de agosto de 2023, 20:01h
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It’s certainly odd that the 23 players in the Women’s team, La Roja, that won the football World Cup in Sydney, beating the English Lionesses in the finals, shouldn’t be the protagonists of this story, but rather it’s the fellow who kissed the unwilling Jennifer Hermoso during the presentation of the gold trophy who has taken over the entire news networks, becoming inter alia the turd in the punch-bowl of women’s pride.

This week, even Donald Trump’s angry mug-shot was relegated to the inside pages.

We have found a balance in the classroom; a parity in politics; harmony in the workplace and even equality in the army; but the sports-ground remains the preserve of the alpha male: the Spanish macho.

The 2010 world champion Iker Casillas said, “We should have spent these five days talking about our girls! To be proud of winning a title we didn’t have in women’s football.”

The losing English team meanwhile put out a message on Saturday, describing the Real Federación Española de Fútbol as ‘a sexist and patriarchal organisation’. Luis Rubiales is a football chauvinist, but he’s certainly not alone.

With this humiliation doled out (once again) to half of the Spanish population. Rubiales and his mates show that parity and respect for women in sports is as far away as ever.

So, we shall leave him, with his 700,000€ annual income (plus his 3,000€ monthly housing support from the RFEF) currently at risk.

He doesn’t really need anything more to be said about him here.

Here’s more at Sport: ‘Luis Rubiales: Five years with more bad than good’.

Here’s his back-story with The Olive Press.

Here’s El Mundo: by Monday, FIFA had suspended Rubiales without pay and without his official car.

Here’s the joke.


Why live on the coast or in a city when you can buy an old ruin in a tiny and forgotten pueblo in the middle of nowhere? The price, maybe? From 20Minutos here: ‘For sale an abandoned palace in one of the most beautiful villages in Spain for 125,000 euros’.

The number of Americans moving to Spain is on the increase (although, at 41,953 on the padrón - figures for last year, it’s still pretty low). From Market Realist here: ‘As digital nomads with more freedom or retirees seek to explore new horizons, Spain has emerged as a popular destination for Americans making the move. A recent report from the General Council of Notaries in Spain shows that the American population in Spain increased by 13% between 2019 and 2021. Home sales to Americans also surged by 88% during the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2019. As per CNBC, Americans paid the second-highest prices, after the Danes, among expats buying property in Spain, at an average of 2,852€ per square metre’.


Will this hot summer impact future holiday choices? From Majorca Daily Bulletin here, ‘Balearics tourism will be most affected in Spain because of rising summer temperatures’, adding (oddly), ‘West Wales is due to become a big "winner" because of changing demand’.

There comes a time – the summer onslaught of tourism – when the restaurant doesn’t have time to attend the local trade, or allow one to sit over a coffee and a newspaper. We might keep them going during the lean months, but they don’t have time for us when the customers start to block the doors. The times of touristphobia are past, now it’s the age of the localphobia says an article at Hule & Mantel focused on Barcelona, where there are five visitors for every local resident. Some places, we read, won’t even let you eat unless you come with a companion. Sure, says another restaurant-owner, but on the other hand - the tourists may spend more, but who is going to be my regular customer in February?

Influencers (Wiki) are those with a YouTube channel and endless promotions and advice for their supporters, who may run into millions. Thus, when these folk turn to vacation recommendations, says El País here, they can swamp a destination into collapse. Unless you like queuing, don’t allow yourself to be influenced.


From The Corner here: ‘The Consumer Price Index increased by 0.5% in August compared with the previous month and raised its year-on-year rate by three tenths of a percentage point to 2.6%, mainly due to the rise in fuel and liquid fuel prices.

With August’s rise, inflation has now risen for two consecutive months, after rising four tenths of a percentage point in July to 2.3%, according to advanced data published on Wednesday by the National Statistics Institute’.


Alberto Núñez Feijóo has until late September to find those elusive four deputies to vote for his candidacy. Can he do it? (He won’t get a second chance). He is even looking at a deal with Junts per Catalunya (who are usually cast as a villain by the conservatives). On Wednesday, he met with Pedro Sánchez to see if he could find a way forward. Maybe, a great alliance of PP and PSOE, with Feijóo in charge for a two-year session followed by fresh elections? Cadena Ser was looking at this interesting proposal here. At any event – nothing came from the brief meeting beyond a statement from the PSOE: ‘Feijóo thinks he is offering to run a municipality of 5,000 inhabitants, rather than a country’. Following this encounter, one wonders now what can Feijóo constructively do to fill the time before the investiture debate a full month away?

Another way to go is to appeal to the common sense of just a handful of the PSOE deputies (or rather, their future opportunities that a new political extension might bring them). Such is the attraction of switching sides, the tamayazo or tránsfuga. El País has a reader’s letter on this very subject…

Forgive me for thinking that the Partido Popular is always focused more on the economy (or the personal economy of its members and perhaps even supporters) than it is on the issues of the day. From El País here: ‘The PP pays several of the members of its leadership, starting with Alberto Núñez Feijóo, extra money that is added to the salary they receive as parliamentarians (no: the PSOE doesn’t). It cannot be a second salary, because that is prohibited by law – whoever receives a public salary cannot receive another from a private source – so the PP finds another name: on some occasions they are "representation expenses" that are paid directly by the party; in others, a bonus paid by the parliamentary group to which the leaders belong – in the Congress or the Senate – and which comes out of the public money assigned to the group…’ In Feijóo’s case (says the article) there’s an extra 71,000€ in the last nine months. Of course, Feijóo was saying only the other day on YouTube here: ‘Working in politics and earning some decent cash just isn’t possible’.

With the departure of Ivan Espinosa de los Monteros, the new spokesperson for Vox is Pepa Millán. Known as a Covid-denier, Pepa rose in the party to be their congressional spokesperson thanks to the law of parity. The 28-year-old law graduate replaces Espinosa de los Monteros in the chamber, an election with which Abascal tries to settle the internal crisis in the party by bringing in some new faces’ says elDiario.es here.

An article at elDiario.es explains how the Senado operates, the upper house which is comfortably held by the PP, in the event of a PSOE/Sumar government: ‘The right will try to squeeze Sánchez's meagre majority in Congress and will resort to its absolute majority in the Senate to weigh down, and even torpedo, the government's actions’. The PP has 143 senators, the PSOE has 92, and there is an ERC/Bildu alliance with 11.

InfoLibre has a ‘map of the setbacks’ in the regions and municipalities where the PP rule with Vox. There’s rather a lot of them here.


‘From next year, Andorra will require basic knowledge of Catalán to grant or renew the residence permit. The required level will be basic and can be studied in a 30-hour course’. More at El Nacional .Cat here.


Following some tension at the Gibraltar frontier last week, we read at GBC News here that: ​‘Stringent checks at frontier apparently scaled back Friday night – the Gibraltar Government says 'common sense has prevailed'. This followed the threat by the Gibraltarians of tit for tat reprisals says VozPópuli here. Squabbles about territorial water are currently high, however.


‘Spain, France & Germany: The New Powers of Europe?’ A video on YouTube here.


An email to Business over Tapas purporting to come from Microsoft tells me to change my password. The email comes via [email protected]. What, I wonder, is the point? I also got a ‘We were unable to deliver your package’ and a ‘I love your posts, so witty and wise, and I just want to be your friend’ – all in the same afternoon.


Pedro Sánchez suggests to Núñez Feijóo that the PP might like to agree to renew the CGPJ, the General Council of the Judiciary, held in a deadlock for the past almost five years by the PP, before the end of 2023, whoever ends up as president.


The Doñana National Park (wiki) wetlands are approaching the point of no return and will end up as nothing more than an "evil-smelling puddle" according to a new report. The report on the state of water warns that ‘the areas in a state of alarm have tripled in one year’. The story comes from El Plural here. One of the competitors for the water supply in the surrounds is the strawberry grower. From La Mar de Onuba here: ‘Huelva is the European leader in strawberry production (between a quarter and a third of the total, depending on the campaign) and the world's largest exporter. With more than 11,000 hectares, the red fruits of Huelva contribute more than 500 million euros of production value’.

El Plural is concerned here about a (still un-ratified) PP/Vox partnership in Murcia and the fallout for the Mar Menor, which could find itself in extreme danger from ‘the negationist policies of the far-right’. For a political deal to be struck in Murcia (the alternative is fresh regional elections), the PP must accept the Vox demand to weaken the protections surrounding the lagoon and allow the local farmers to continue with their contaminative activities, much at odds with the water quality of the Inland Sea.

‘Climate crisis in Spain: Abandoned farms, makeshift migrant camps and drought, Lewis Goodall reports’. A video on YouTube here. (Thanks to Jake)


The Animal Welfare Law begins on September 29th. This includes dog insurance and dog-owners’ classes (this second one, by Internet, sounds a bit far-fetched). There are 81 new rules (many of which haven’t yet been finalised due to the recent parliamentary parenthesis) says Cadena Ser here.

Javier Milei is the far-right candidate for the presidency of Argentina (he describes himself as an anarcho-capitalist says wiki) now running as leader in the second round of elections for late October. El Mundo reports that Milei says (in the event that both he and Spain’s Pedro Sánchez should be the winners in their respective countries) that he will ‘cool relations with Spain to the maximum’ as he doesn’t like socialism. He’s friendly with Santiago Abascal though, so there’s that.

An odd story appeared on Monday at Marca here: ‘Rubiales' mother, on hunger strike for the "inhuman and bloody frenzy" against her son. Ángeles Béjar has locked herself up this morning in the church of the Divina Pastora de Motril’. We looked in on her on Wednesday afternoon and found her still defiant. From El Mundo here: ‘Rubiales' mother faces her third day on a hunger strike. Ángeles Béjar remains locked up in the church. The parish priest has authorized a mattress to be placed in the sacristy’. For those who want to read more about the ineffable Luis Rubiales, The Guardian has about a dozen stories on him in the last few days, here.

There are many Arab words in Spanish, which is hardly surprising considering the eight hundred years of Moorish occupation of Iberia. Words like albaricoque, tambor, zanahoria, aldea, almacén, taza, jarra and so on. But many Spanish family names are also descended from the Arab, as 20Minutos says here with a comprehensive list.

From Mapping Spain here – how healthy is the healthy Mediterranean diet?

See Spain:

El Cronista takes us for a view of Guadix, in Granada. A beautiful and rather forgotten city with many homes built underground – in cuevas. People who live in caves – some of them are quite luxurious – are (rather unfairly) known as trogloditas.


Macaco/Estopa - Con La Mano Levantá – on YouTube here. Nice one.

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