Weekly Report”

Business over Tapas (Nº 512)

Business over Tapas (Nº 512)

  • 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 11 de octubre de 2023, 21:19h

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With the terrible events taking place in Israel/Palestine, perhaps some light-hearted subject is in order.

Let’s talk about Walt Disney and his connection with Mojácar (Almería).

Spain has a ‘long weekend’ – el Puente de Pilar – beginning today, Thursday.


We see South Americans working in menial jobs, and forget that some of their wealthier relatives are managing very well indeed. Those expat Venezuelans or Columbians who live in the best parts of Madrid (viz. el barrio de Salamanca), says Xataca here, are converting it into a kind of European version of Miami.

Can estate agents charge to show a rental to a client? ‘“Renting is like a competition, because it's no longer about looking at apartments until you find one that suits you and that you can afford. You have to meet more and more requirements.” Juan Carlos has found one “at a reasonable price and five Metro stops from the centre of Madrid” to live with his partner. “We have had to pass a kind of casting and the solvency examination of an insurance company…”’ he tells elDiario.es here


There were as many international tourists this summer in Spain as there were before the Covid and the Ukrainian crisis, but not from the same countries, says 20Minutos. The Russians for example have fallen with 542,000 of their holidaymakers visiting in June, July and August 2019 – whereas this year, there were none. The Brits and the German numbers are also slightly down this summer compared with before, but they have been substituted by the Portuguese, the Italians and los estadounidenses (those from the USA). No doubt, many arrived (briefly) on cruise ships.


‘The IMF forecasts a slowdown in the Spanish economy, which will grow 1.7% in 2024.

The organization maintains its prevision for this year, but cuts next year's forecast by three tenths, although it believes that the country will continue to expand above the euro zone’. Item from El País here.


From The Guardian here: ‘Mass protest in Barcelona against a possible amnesty for Catalan separatists. Tens of thousands joined conservative and far-right Spanish political leaders on Sunday to demonstrate in Spanish region’s capital as Pedro Sánchez weighs a move in an attempt to form government’. From Euraktiv here: ‘Sánchez admits to negotiating amnesty law to pardon Catalan separatists’.

Pedro Sánchez is currently doing ‘a round of contacts’ with the other political formations to gather support for his candidature as president, with the debate pencilled in for the week of November 6th. Here’s the take from elDiario.es after his meeting with Feijóo: ‘Sánchez asks Feijóo to respect the electoral result and abandon “his desperate attempt to agitate the street”. Feijóo accuses Sánchez of “massive electoral fraud” and assures that his party will defend democracy in Spain with “intensely” if an amnesty law is approved’.

The amnesty law – insisted on by the Catalonian independence parties – would draw a curtain over the illegal plebiscite on October 2017.

‘Spain is becoming harder to govern. Is this the future of our divided politics? Three months after a general election, attempts to form a government have so far failed – and hostility between parties is mounting’. The Guardian opinion here. It notes that ‘…The polarisation that now characterises debate among Spain’s politicians and the pundit class does not necessarily reflect the views of ordinary people. A 2021 study showed that there is little social fracture in Spain, with broad agreement on issues such as gender equality, the right to gender self-identification and the redistribution of wealth to poorer households. The climate crisis, face masks or Covid vaccines have never been as divisive as in other western countries. The one big source of tension, according to the study, is Spanish unity, and particularly Catalonia’s status within Spain…’

El País keeps up here with the latest political manoeuvring.

Coalición Canaria (which had previously supported the candidature of Feijóo for president) says that they will now support Pedro Sánchez to make it easier – they say – to defuse the demands of Junts per Catalunya. The party has just one deputy in the Cortes. The story here.

Ignacio Escolar in his weekly newsletter criticises Vox for, well, any number of reasons. But here, he says this: ‘My main concern with the Spanish extreme right today is not over their self-financing shenanigans, but how they have turned their supposed defence of the Spanish nation into a private business. Theirs is a false patriotism, because the country is defended with public schools, with pensions or with healthcare. There is no true patriotism without solidarity with your fellow citizens: love for the country is declared in declaring one’s personal income tax, not with putting a cute little flag on one’s watch-strap. Without solidarity, without a respectful and generous coexistence with others, patriotism is something else: a bad excuse to turn into enemies those who do not think like you, those who you deny rights and exclude from the plurality of your country…’


From Euronews here: ‘Housing crisis: Andorra is getting fed up with wealthy foreigners. Real estate rules are evolving in the small European state of Andorra, in an attempt to curb the housing crisis. Andorran MPs change real estate rules as internet celebrities and wealthy foreign investors flock to the tax haven. One of Europe’s smallest states, nestled between France and Spain, has introduced a temporary ban on foreigners buying property…’


Two Spaniards were reported missing in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict on Monday says a report at El Mundo here; one – a girl with dual Spanish-Israeli nationality – was later reported killed. There are 7,726 Spaniards living in Israel and another 513 in Palestine says La Razón quoting figures from the INE here. The Ministry of Defence has flown two aeroplanes to Tel Aviv to evacuate some 500 Spanish tourists says 20Minutos here.

NASA warns that it’s going to be a hot summer next year. Hotter than this past one.


‘The La Paz Hospital (Madrid) is dying between water leaks, fallen ceilings and pitted pipes’, says Público here. ‘The hospital, one of the largest and best known in Spain, had 300 maintenance workers, but cuts and privatizations have since reduced them to just 90. Meanwhile, the Government of Isabel Díaz Ayuso keeps any planned reforms paralyzed’.


‘Major airline in Spain suffers cyber-attack which has exposed customers' bank card details. Air Europa has urged passengers to immediately cancel the payment method used for reservations after the serious data breach which includes the complete number of the card, its expiration date and the CVV (three-digit security code)’. More at Sur in English here.


TeleMadrid covered the protest in Barcelona against the ‘amnesty’ with their usual enthusiasm, and wilfully added a photo from a previous protest in their report.

NIUS (Nueva Información Útil y Sencilla) was a type of ‘impartial’ quick-news web-service which has thrown in the towel after four years of reporting. It’s not easy running a newspaper (I ran The Entertainer for 14 years), but now, at least, we have the Internet to help us keep up to speed with the news (and – if you print, then at least it’s easy to make the newspaper in-house and send it to the printers, although how the free newspapers manage their apparently huge print-runs these days at over one euro a copy, plus a dedicated distribution system, is beyond me). NIUS appears to be continuing, at least, on Facebook, but their other links take us to Telecinco.

Media bias in some Spanish news-outlets appears on a graphic here from Political Watch.


Gabi Martínez, author of Delta (here): "It's happening right now – 30 degrees in October – climate change should be a prime time issue". Gabi takes us to the island of Buda, in the Ebro Delta, the second most important wetland in Spain and condemned to disappear due to the rising sea-levels. The story and video is at Cadena Ser here.

‘The people of Madrid unite in protest against the mayor’s logging’, says Público here.

We read that ‘Residents of several neighbourhoods in the capital have gathered in front of City Hall to show their rejection of the PP's policies. Since José Luis Martínez-Almeida became mayor, the capital has lost 19% of its mature trees’ – reported as at least 78,616 examples cut down under his tenure.


The king has invited Pedro Sánchez to form a government, and this has raised the ire of many rightists against the Monarch. Perhaps the sillier ones. The King’s obligation, says La Constitución Española, is to choose the most voted (Feijóo) and if that doesn’t work out, then to try again with the second most voted (Sánchez).

The Olive Press here reports that ‘Spain’s former monarch, Juan Carlos, has won a bid to throw out a 126 million pound London lawsuit brought by his ex-lover, who accused him of a campaign of harassment after she refused to return millions of euros to him…’

From El Periódico de la Energía here: ‘Renewable Energy Policy. The PP and Vox suspend all already-approved photovoltaic projects in Elche (Alicante). The City Council (controlled by the two parties) has suspended the construction license of 24 photovoltaic parks in which 100 million euros was due to be invested’.

The Guardian tells us that ‘The Spanish company PLD Space launched its reusable Miura-1 rocket early last Saturday from a site in south-west Spain, carrying out Europe’s first fully private rocket launch and offering hope for its stalled space ambitions. The start-up’s test night-time launch from Huelva came after two previous attempts were scrubbed. The Miura-1 rocket, named after a breed of fighting bull, is as tall as a three-storey building and has a 100kg (220-pound) cargo capacity. The launch carried a payload for test purposes but this would not be released, the company said…’

See Spain:

An article at National Geographic recommends a tour of Las Alpujarras here. Beautiful photos of the pueblos that are high in the hills south of Granada.


María Peláe entertains us with the strangely exotic Letra Menúa on YouTube here.

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