Weekly Report”

Business over Tapas (Nº 519)

Business over Tapas (Nº 519)

  • 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 04 de enero de 2024, 02:30h

03ENE24 – 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.


The question we might ask at the beginning of this year is ‘What is in Store for Twenty Twenty Four?’

Nothing good by the looks of things.

The Government seems to be limping onwards, with sustained attacks from the right-wing, the media and the other usual suspects (including, unfortunately, some dark corners of the military), but it is sustained by a hodgepodge of small parties who all want one thing or another and – if it wasn’t for their dislike of the rightist Partido Popular with its sinister ally Vox – then any fracture could take place, followed by a triumphant motion of censure from the PP (thankfully, Vox doesn’t have enough seats to call for one).

So, we have the eternally squabbling lefties and commies and regionalists on the one side… with the conservatives and the far-right, often walking in step together, on the other.

This would be manageable, but the social media, particularly TikTok, is doing all it can to raise the temperature.

With the ever-growing and largely unsolvable issue of the illegal migrants coming to Europe, the elections coming up (Galicia’s has been brought forward to February apparently to help the image of Núñez Feijóo the PP leader who urgently needs a victory) then the Basque Country to follow probably in June (no chance for the PP there), along with the European elections, there will likely be fresh gains for the authoritarian parties. Later, in the second half of 2024, Orban’s Hungary takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

There are elections elsewhere in 2024 – presidential elections in Russia in March (oh, the suspense – who could be the winner: the wily dictator or that fellow shivering in the Gulag?), a General Election probably in the UK in May (where despite the Brexit being shown to be a disaster, there’s barely any pro-EU politicians with a look-in) and then later, Gor love us, Donald Trump might take the USA again.

Then there’s the invasion of Ukraine, which ‘is estimated to have caused tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilian casualties and hundreds of thousands of military casualties’.

And Gaza with over 22,000 deaths in three short months.

Many more migrants, or refugees, or asylum seekers will be looking for our protection this year. The choice is stark: either tend to them or turn them away: left or right solutions?

We have another worry as the summer rolls around: will it be even hotter this year? How much hotter can it get? It’s one thing living on the coast, or in the north of Spain, but what about those who live inland, where temperatures last year were as high as 47ºC and stayed that way for weeks on end. Indeed, this past year of 2023 has been the hottest since records began say the weather-folk gloomily.

Inflation worries us, as the prices are always on the rise. Maybe the wealthy suppliers are getting just a bit too greedy. Perhaps we shall post something on Facebook about them, although Spain’s wealthiest man, Amancio Ortega, gets a huge number of ‘likes’ and ‘hearts’ each time his name comes up on that platform.

Spain’s second wealthiest person, by the way, is his daughter Sandra.

Some good news might be the repeal of the 90/180 day rule for foreign home-owners (as they adapt to the new EES enter/exit IT system at all Schengen border crossings).

Maybe things will sort themselves out, with sensible people being returned to government, the world’s various wars being resolved and a cooler summer season than we either expect or deserve.

Anyway, and sorry for the above. Personally, I’m quite cheerful: I have a new house to live in with a nice view and a garden to potter about in - and it’s about a hundred metres above sea-level, you know, just in case the poles suddenly melt...


The Government and EH Bildu (a left-wing Basque party) have agreed to stop all desahucios (evictions) of ‘vulnerable people’ during 2024 says El Digital Cartagena here.

From RTVE here: ‘The City Hall of Barcelona has fined the owner of a building with 420,000 euros for illegal tourist rentals’. We read that ‘This is an "exemplary" sanction for an owner who had been avoiding files for some time. He rented 14 floors of a property in Ciutat Vella on platforms such as Booking or Airbnb without having a license’.

Always on the lookout for a bargain, Catalunya Press reports on ‘a rental for 600 euros in Barcelona: you sleep in the closet and live with the risk of electrocution’. The nest is a mere 20m in size. The photos are worth a look.

Where do most US and UK people decide they would like to live. Fascinating Spain has one take on that question…


From El Huff Post here: ‘Iberia cancels 444 flights due to the strike from January 5 to 8: more than 45,600 travellers affected. The company has reported that it will offer other travel options to relocate affected customers, as well as allow the modification of dates or the refund of the amount of the tickets…’

From Sur in English here: ‘One million fewer British tourists visit Spain this year compared to the pre-pandemic boom year of 2019. The country received visits from 20 million British passengers between January and November of this year, which represents a 5% drop on the record-breaking year before Covid’.


From SVI here, we read that ‘Brits are increasingly choosing to live abroad as more than 200,000 seniors chose to live in the EU’. It says, ‘…The Department for Work and Pensions revealed that over a million (1,152,585) British pensioners are currently living overseas while receiving their UK state pension. Indeed, this number surpasses the count of pensioners currently residing in London (922,162)…’


Público headline: The labour market added 539,740 members on average throughout last year with a record of 20,840,000 employed in December, while unemployment fell by 130,197 people in the year, to 2.7 million, the lowest figure for a year-end since 2007’.

‘Spain’s top banks break another record with nearly 26,000 million in profits in 2023’ says La Información here. That’s 24% up on their 2022 figures. ‘Banco Santander will surpass the barrier of 10,000 million euros, while BBVA and Bankinter will record the highest result in their history and Banco Sabadell will take its profits beyond 1,000 million in 2023’.


From The Corner here: ‘Pedro Sánchez has announced that Carlos Cuerpo, secretary general of the Treasury and International Finance, will replace Nadia Calviño at the head of the Ministry of Economy, Enterprise and Trade, following her departure to chair the European Investment Bank (EIB). On the other hand, the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, the PSOE’s number two and until now fourth vice-president, will become first vice-president…’

It’s a great shame that the two strands of the far left, Sumar and Podemos, have once again messed things up says Público here. The Galician elections suddenly came round (they were pencilled in for June) and no one – beyond the absolute-majority Galician PP – was ready for February 18th. So, Sumar’s Yolanda Díaz and the Podemos regional leader Borja San Ramón – who share about 99% of the same policies – had decided to go in together, when suddenly, the Ex-Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias says that his party should support the BNG – a local independent group (Wiki). When put to the vote among Podemos militants, around 60% agree – leaving Sumar with egg on its face. The chances of either Sumar or Podemos now taking a seat in Galicia seem most unlikely. El Confidencial titles it ‘Iglesias takes his revenge’.

Opinion from El Huff Post here: ‘The right is angry and has started a great national revolt against the evil social-communism of that demned ‘Perro Sanxe’, protected by God, Spain and history. What does this mean? That they are turning upside-down Pedro Sánchez's books on display in the bookstores and then they think that they are making a revolution when they are only making a fool of themselves. Especially because later a bookstore employee will have to come and put right the books that some numb-nuts with room temperature IQs have turned over to upload the protest to their Twitter account…’

Around 300 far-right idiots spent New Year’s Eve outside the headquarters of the PSOE in the Calle Ferraz in Madrid with a huge mannequin of Pedro Sánchez which they lynched. More here (pictures and Twitter video). A man arrested by the police says he was merely doing a favour for a group called Revuelta (the Vox junior movement). The presenter of the ugly event was a character often found on YouTube who calls himself InfoVlogger.

elDiario.es opinion here: ‘The extreme right normalizes violence in its offensive against the Government. The episode of Pedro Sánchez's hanging piñata on New Year's Eve is preceded by Santiago Abascal's threat to "hang the president by his feet" or by Ortega Smith's recent attack on a councillor in the Madrid Plenary Session’.


The Olive Press recalls the ‘highs and lows of Gibraltar’s 2023’ here.


From The Guardian here: ‘Brexit has completely failed for UK, say clear majority of Britons – poll. Only one in 10 feel leaving the EU has helped their finances, while just 9% say it has benefited the NHS, despite £350m a week pledge according to new poll’. The best pro-Brexit story we could find was from The Express here: ‘Brexit bonus as winemaking costs slashed’ (apparently, they now retail wine in pints).


From Bilyonaryo here: ‘Spain’s antitrust watchdog said Tuesday it had opened a probe into oil giant Repsol over possible abuse of its dominant position in the country’s fuel market. Repsol may have offered additional discounts at its petrol stations between March and December 2022 while raising wholesale prices for rivals such as independent petrol stations, the CNMC, as the watchdog is known, said in a statement. The watchdog said it opened the probe against Spain’s second biggest oil company after complaints were filed by two associations representing independent fuel station operators. The CNMC has already opened investigations into Cepsa, Spain’s second-largest oil company, and British energy giant BP on suspicion they carried out similar anticompetitive practices in the energy market.


‘Is Spain facing the end of democracy, a condition that was restored less than half a century ago? It isn’t just foreigners who are constantly asking this worrisome question. We Spaniards are asking it ourselves as 2023 comes to a close. The concern stems from elections held this year and the government it produced. That it is called a “Frankenstein coalition” gives a sense of why many of us worry…’. The benign start to this column, found at the ‘conservative American political website’ The Daily Signal (wiki) here, and penned by Matias Jove from Vox, then turns to ‘…Because now, in order to grant his partners what they ask for, Sanchez must first dismantle the rule of law. And that’s the third and most serious—and most worrisome—objection to Sanchez’s drift…’ An article on the news-site’s owner, The Heritage Foundation, and its efforts to aid Donald Trump this year is here. And here, a recent piece from them called ‘The Fight for Freedom in Spain’.

Spaniards have been watching less regular TV says El Huff Post here. We learn that that the elderly have it on for an average (!) of up to seven hours a day, but the younger viewers are increasingly choosing video for their entertainment. The all-over average across Spain currently stands at just over three hours of TV a day, down half an hour from 2021.

El País has an article about ‘institutional advertising’ (something the foreign-language media here can only dream about). This is heavy public spending in the media which supports the governing body. In Madrid, we read, much of this bonanza goes to four far-right news-services: OKDiario, Periodista Digital, El Mundo and El Español. The article says: ‘Within this Madrid media bubble it is simply impossible to understand why Pedro Sánchez and his henchmen are not already in jail. Not only the traditional right-wing media contributes to imposing this framework, but above all a gigantic army of digital media that has been created in different waves aligned—and fed—by the great power base of the PP…’.

Now, as far as the ordinary reader is concerned – ‘institutional advertising’ is the full page one will find, more or less every day, in his newspaper of choice: Eat More Andalusian Oranges or Drive Safely over Christmas or Don’t Waste Water. All fair campaigns – but used to help finance the media whose prime function is to be independent from the authorities.


Red Eléctrica reports that there is practically no coal-produced energy remaining in Spain. ‘The As Pontes thermal power plant is now history and has been completely disconnected from the Spanish electricity grid. With this disconnection, coal-use becomes practically residual. In the past four years, Spain has removed more than 7,500 MW of coal from its electrical system’. Item from El Periódico de la Energía here.

‘Alarming climate record: the most important nature news of 2023 is also the last news of the year. 2023 closes with an alarming climate record: the warmest year since records exist’. Muy Interesante has the story here. Maldita (a fact-checking site) has ‘The climate records that 2023 has broken, the warmest year ever’.


From La Moncloa (Govt website) here: ‘Sánchez stresses the role of MareNostrum 5 in boosting the EU's reindustrialisation and strategic autonomy. The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, has visited the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre - National Supercomputing Centre (BSC-CNS) - to inaugurate the MareNostrum 5 supercomputer, which will play a fundamental role in boosting Europe's reindustrialisation and strategic autonomy, in line with the priorities of the Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union’. *Belgium took over the presidency of the Council of the EU on January 1st.

From The Local here: ‘Measures to help with the cost of living crisis, an increase in taxes, new rules for Spain's self-employed workers and free train travel extended, these are just some of the changes that you can expect in Spain in 2024.

‘The United Kingdom’s Embassy in Madrid has issued a statement reminding its citizens living in Spain that their “Green Certificates” issued by the Extranjería office or the National Police office are still valid. According to the statement, holders of the A4 green certificates, or those holding the certificate in credit-card sized piece of paper, retain the right to reside and work in Spain under Spain’s implementation of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement’. SVI reports here.

The Instituto Cervantes says that Spanish is used in less than eight percent of Internet traffic. El Confidencial has the story.

Politicians want to get their message to as many people as they can. So, says elDiario.es here, they focus on social media, and keep it easy, digestible and derisive.

A new political party is out there, says El Confidencial. This one leans left, but doesn’t support regionalism. It’s called Izquierda Española and will fight the European elections presumably against the PSOE. A lawyer called Guillermo del Valle is the brains behind the party. In Guillermo’s Linkedin account, we read that ‘…I am director and spokesperson of the think tank El Jacobino and I frequently participate as a political analyst in media outlets such as El Mundo, El Español, Cuatro, Trece TV and others’. All right-wing publications. The news of this political birth is greeted by Público as being a mixture of Ciudadanos and the UPyD – that’s to say, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

The longest surname in Spanish is Garroguerricaechevarria. El Mundo says that there are thirteen of them in the phone book.

The mayor from Puente de Génave (Jaén) is evidently a merry old soul, and this is evinced by his 2024 calendar which shows images of Franco, José Antonio Primo de Rivera and sundry other attractions. The mayor – but you knew this already – is from Vox.

From 20Minutos here, we read of those cities who haven’t got around to implementing the ZBE rule for low emission traffic, and what the fines are for those cities that are now in the program.

From Brett Hetherington here: ‘Barcelona's cannibal restaurant and murderous barber. Legend has it that a certain inn was known for the quality and cheapness of its meat dishes’.

From Paste Magazine here: ‘The Hard Rock Hotel Madrid Is a Rock ‘n’ Roll Respite. With local culture, endless beats, and artsy interiors, it’s the Spanish capital’s best new party spot’.

See Spain:

Infobae brings us Castellar de la Frontera in Cádiz, the village overlooking Algeciras which is surrounded by castle walls. Wiki says: ‘The village was abandoned in the 1970s and its inhabitants moved to the aptly named Nuevo Castellar. The derelict state of the village attracted a number of Germans who took over the empty houses and built temporary dwellings outside the walls. The village was later repopulated reporting a population in 2012 of 3,202. On clear days you can see the North African coast, Gibraltar and the villages on the mountains near Málaga to the north…’

From Condé Nast Traveller here: ‘The ultimate guide to spending 48 hours in Córdoba. This two-day itinerary in Córdoba has everything: Moorish history, flamenco dancing, spa indulgences, and a soup that deserves UNESCO recognition’.

Fascinating Spain brings us the most beautiful pueblos of Almería. One day, I’ll write about some of the villages that don’t get the usual mention… (Bédar, Lubrín, Senés, Olula del Río, Tahal, Velefique and so on)


Here’s Los Puntos with their 1973 hit Cuando Salga la Luna on YouTube. The group, incidentally, comes from Cuevas del Almanzora in Almería. They are still active today.

¿Te ha parecido interesante esta noticia?    Si (0)    No(0)

0 comentarios
Portada | Hemeroteca | Índice temático | Sitemap News | Búsquedas | [ RSS - XML ] | Política de privacidad y cookies | Aviso Legal
C/ Piedras Vivas, 1 Bajo, 28692.Villafranca del Castillo, Madrid - España :: Tlf. 91 815 46 69 Contacto
EMGCibeles.net, Soluciones Web, Gestor de Contenidos, Especializados en medios de comunicación.EditMaker 7.8