Weekly Report”

Business over Tapas (Nº 542)

Business over Tapas (Nº 542)

  • 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 13 de junio de 2024, 13:25h

13JUN24 – 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.


Things became a little heated over the weekend, as we arrived at ‘el día de reflexión’ (when campaigning is over, the politicians traditionally go to the beach or stay home with the kids and the media must talk of other subjects) and then the Sunday vote for the European elections – where Spain will provide 61 of the 720 MEPs.

Not everywhere was quiet on the Saturday, as (unbelievably), the Madrid Superior Court of Justice allowed a type of prayathon outside the headquarters of the PSOE in Madrid – you know the drill, people wrapped in flags and calling for Christ the Lord …and the resignation of Pedro Sánchez.

The things which make Spanish democracy interesting.

On Sunday, a few anecdotal stories made the news. For example, Pedro Sánchez and his wife being insulted outside the polling station (as usual). One of the list of Alvise Pérez’ Se Acabó la Fiesta (an extreme and peculiar party) Vito Quiles – a popular fake-news journalist – was improperly asking for the vote on Sunday on his Twitter account. There was also a gussied-up drag-queen called Pitita found in charge of a Barcelona polling station (‘there wasn’t time to change for the evening gig’ she/he says).

One editorial over the weekend reckons that the Judge Peinado (the one chasing after Begoña Gómez) and Alberto Núñez Feijóo (I’ll be glad when I don’t have to type that name any more) were converting the European elections into a plebiscite against Pedro Sánchez.

In other news, the PP were found to have made an advert using the AI-created fake voice of José Luis Zapatero in an attempt to win over voters.

The European Parliament is important – it decides around three quarters of all laws, and one can only imagine where things would have gone if the far-right were running the shop when the pandemic hit. We would all be taking the horse-diarrhea drug ivermectin or worse still, denying that there was even a health issue.

So, the results (here in Spain): The PP got more votes than the PSOE, returning 22 MEPs to Brussels (against 20 for the socialists) following a low turn-out of around 49%. Vox has six deputies and the remarkable Se Acabó la Fiesta arrives with three seats (and very nearly 4.6% of the vote). The ongoing squabble between Sumar and Podemos did neither of them any good (just 3 and 2 MEPs respectively) and Ciudadanos – unsurprisingly – disappears. The leader of Sumar Yolanda Díaz has since stepped down.

Did the Begoña Gómez story make an impact on the results? I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Across Europe, the big winners were the far-right anti-immigration parties. Nevertheless, the pro-European centre-right held.

Those poor immigrants – blamed by the left for allowing the racism of the right to flourish.

An American report sums up the situation in Europe: ‘For decades, the European Union, which has its roots in the defeat of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy, confined the hard right to the political fringes. With its strong showing in these elections, the far right could now become a major player in policies ranging from migration to security and climate…’


There are two main reasons for eviction – one because you stopped paying the monthly dues and the other is because you’re an okupa. Evictions for non-payment of one’s mortgage are comparatively few, and the Government – in most cases – offers some protection for the tenants. However, renters in arrears have little excuse. From El País here: ‘Evictions due to non-payment of rent grew by 12% in the first three months of 2024. The total number of expulsions reaches 7,424 in the first quarter, being the first rise in two years, according to the CGPJ’. From Idealista (in English) here: ‘Spanish rental agreements: what to do if your tenant does not pay the rent in Spain’.

From elDiario.es here: ‘The illegal occupation of homes falls to its lowest figures in Andalucía despite the voice of alarm from PP and Vox during the recent campaign. In 2023, the Ministry of the Interior recorded the lowest number of complaints in the last five years’.

‘Property prices in Spain will increase more than previously expected this year’, says Bankinter in their latest report seen by The Olive Press here.

From elDiario.es here. ‘700 euros to live in a workers’ slum in Ibiza. We meet Zidamed, who works in a five star hotel in Ibiza, earns 1400€ a month, and lives in a shack’.


The cost of a Schengen visa rose this week, the European Commission has confirmed. It increased in price by 12.5%. The basic fee for a Schengen visa rose from €80 to €90 for adults and from €40 to €45 for children. The Commission has blamed the price hike on inflation in member states. Details from Schengen News here.

Why rent a short-term holiday home when you can rent a yacht? Or maybe a gin-palace? EuroNews looks at ‘The ‘Airbnbs of the seas’. We read that one provider - Click&Boat – claims that “boat rental has grown by 42 per cent in the last two years in Spain”.

From The Olive Press here: ‘hotels with capsule rooms similar to a futuristic spaceship are in two southern cities – Granada and Málaga, and soon in Seville’. The article says that the Futurotel capsules are as cheap as 25€ a night.


From Sur in English here: ‘Andalucía's free card for the over-65s: what discounts does it entitle you to receive and how do you apply for it? The Junta's 'Sesentaycinco' scheme offers discounts from more than 1,000 businesses and others benefits related to the health and wellness, tourism, culture and leisure sectors’.


From The Corner here: ‘The International Monetary Fund, raised its growth forecast last week for the Spanish economy this year by half a point to 2.4%, although it also warned that inflation is reluctant to moderate and that sluggish investment and rigidities in the labour market could weigh down developments in the medium term…’

The IMF’s Country Report on Spain says: ‘The Spanish economy has been resilient to successive shocks, whose effects were mitigated by unprecedented policy support that is now being phased out. The labour market performance has been exceptionally strong, and some of its perennial deficiencies—most notably the large share of temporary workers and high unemployment—have eased. Growth is projected to reach 2.4 percent in 2024, and headline and core inflation are expected to converge close to the ECB’s target before mid-2025. Risks have become more balanced but are still tilted to the downside for growth and the upside for inflation, including predominantly domestic risks (political fragmentation, under-execution of NGEU spending) but also global risks (energy price volatility, geopolitical risks, geo-economic fragmentation)’.

From 20Minutos here: ‘Foreign tourism drives the economy: without its contribution, Spain’s GDP would have fallen 0.2% in the first quarter’.

Following the recent cyber-attack, the Banco Santander recommends customers to change their passwords says ECD here.


Pedro Sánchez has issued an ultimatum to the Partido Popular, which has been blocking the regular renovation of the CGPJ (the senior judges’ assembly) for the past five and a half years, to submit before the end of June ‘otherwise, the Government will take action’. The PP has already answered to say that they wouldn’t trust the government not to try and control a reformed CGPJ (sic). Both items are at 20Minutos. The plan would be to weaken the powers of the CGPJ and their control over appointments to the Supreme Court and the Superior Courts of Justice says El Economista here.

The Amnesty Law (to do with forgiving those involved in the Catalonian unrest centred on October 1st 2017 -wiki) has now been published by the BOE (State Bulletin) and passed into law. This either calms the situation in Catalonia or gives them an unfair edge… The prosecutors involved in the pròces insist they are against any amnesty for Carles Puigdemont or the other leaders of the 2017 independence attempt. The Partido Popular have taken their complaint to the European Commission.

Alvise Pérez and his Se Acabó la Fiesta got three seats in the elections. Simply put, he’s a kind of far-right version of the British Monster Raving Loony Party (Wiki): his main election-promise being to build a huge jail and put one person in it – namely Pedro Sánchez (video). Another example of him is on YouTube here. Here he’s in another video, where he supports the anti-abortionists Hazte Oir. He is known, says Newtral, as a publisher of fake-news on his own YouTube channel. Now with parliamentary immunity, Alvise Pérez says he intends to remain in Spain. A subject that is picked up here by El Salto Diario: ‘Alvise Pérez's party (party) has just begun – and it will keep him away from the courts. The extremist agitator has achieved his objective of obtaining judicial immunity to hinder the criminal cases pending against him. Currently, he faces two legal proceedings’.

‘Why on earth did you vote for Alvise asks LaSexta here (notably, all the voters were male says the article). ‘Well, erm’, they answer, ‘to make a point...’

LaSexta journalist Antonio Maestre here warns that Alvise may just be starting, as most voters – those who don’t follow social media – had still never heard of him until this week. But now, you see, they have (with video). Onda Cero says it is hard to explain Alvise Pérez – whose party has leached 800,000 votes from Vox: ‘Defining Alvise Pérez from a political point of view is not an easy task. We are talking about a far-right agitator, with a certain influence on social networks and who has quite a few legal cases behind him, some for which he has been convicted. By the way, when Alvise Pérez enters the European Parliament as an MEP - in addition to pocketing more than 400,000 euros in the next five years - he will enjoy parliamentary immunity that would guarantee him, among other things, "to freely exercise his mandate without being exposed to arbitrary political persecution"…’ Plus he’ll take another million or so in government subsidies.

In short (in my opinion), a cockroach.

From El Mundo here: ‘Alvise's ideology: closer to Nayib Bukele (president of El Salvador) than to Abascal with "the largest prison in Europe on the outskirts of Madrid". The leader of Se Acabó La Fiesta is closer in his proposals to the Salvadoran leader than he is to Vox, with whom he shares the campaign against illegal immigration’. Apart from his mega-prison in Madrid, massive deportations and a cash only society, says 20Minutos here, Alvise has practically no proposals or program. His support, apparently, largely comes from his promise to donate his European salary to a random supporter. From ECD here: ‘The PP does not recognize Alvise as part of the “centre-right bloc”’.

From elDiario.es here: ‘Murcia establishes itself as the great bastion of the extreme right in Spain: one in five voters chooses either Vox or Alvise’.

Yolanda Díaz, Second Vice-president and the Minister of Employment, has abandoned her post as the head of Sumar following the disappointing election results. Izquierda Unida, one of the Sumar partners, is for the first time no longer in the European Parliament.

From El Huff Post here: ‘The PNV and the PSOE have signed a coalition pre-agreement for the Basque Government. The investiture session of the new lehendakari Imanol Pradales from the PNV will be held on Thursday, June 20’.

European elections:

From The Huff Post (USA) here: ‘Far-right gains in EU election deal stunning defeats to France's Macron and Germany's Scholz. Far-right parties made major gains in European Union parliamentary elections, dealing major defeats to two of the bloc’s most important leaders’. Curiously, the upcoming elections in Britain will no doubt bring in the left.

From El País here: ‘Ultra forces shake the EU but pro-European parties retain the majority’.

The Guardian features some of the more eccentric of the new intake into the European Parliament. Check out the fellow from Cyprus, 24 year old Fidias Panayiotou, the YouTube prankster was got 19.4% of the vote!


From The Guardian here: ‘Why is nobody talking about Brexit in the UK election? The once defining issue in British politics has barely featured in this summer’s campaign’.

The Israeli Foreign minister has been playing with his new AI program on his computer and has created a picture of Pedro Sánchez and Yolanda Díaz – covered in egg (with photo). This because Spain has recently criticised the goings-on in Gaza.


From El País here: ‘The Supreme Court has frozen the sentence for the unofficial accounts (Caja B) of the PP in the Caso Bárcenas since April so as not to interfere in the various elections. Two months ago, the court resolved all the appeals presented against the sentence handed down by the National Court in 2021, but has postponed the writing and publication of the ruling’. Comments on Reddit here.

Another day, another hack. From VozPópuli here: ‘Cyber-criminals put the data of 27,000 El Corte Inglés customers up for sale. The company assures that its systems have not been cyber-attacked, but that the information would have been stolen through a malicious program installed on third-party mobile phones’.

Miguel Bernad, director of Manos Limpias, the organization that denounced Begoña Gómez, the wife of the Spanish president, for corruption, is interviewed by Semana here. ‘“Pedro Sánchez will have no choice but to resign”. Sr. Bernad says in the interview that he expects Pedro Sánchez will be gone in the days to come. Manos Limpias is another far-right group which specialises in complaints against public figures says Wiki here.

Begoña Gómez:

María Begoña Gómez Fernández (born 1975) is a Spanish marketing expert and wife of Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, the Prime Minister of Spain. Gómez was director of business outsourcing in the Inmark Group until her husband became Prime Minister of Spain in 2018. From 2018 to 2022, she was executive director of the Africa Centre of the Institute of Enterprise. Since 2020, she has been the extraordinary Chair of Competitive Social Transformation of the Complutense University of Madrid…’ … ‘On 24 April 2024, a judge opened an investigation into Gómez for possible influence trafficking and corruption following a complaint by Manos Limpias, an obscure anti-corruption non-governmental organization with links to the far right led by Miguel Bernad, formerly the secretary general of the far-right National Front…’ (Wiki). Clearly, if the courts could find Sra. Gómez guilty of corruption or malpractice, then Pedro Sánchez would be in a very difficult position.

The investigation into Sra. Gómez is even causing a fuss in judicial circles. From El Plural here: ‘The Superior Court of Justice takes the first step to charge Judge Peinado for revealing secrets against Begoña Gómez. It is the second complaint that the journalist Máximo Pradera filed within the framework of the investigation against the wife of the President of the Government, Begoña Gómez’.

An editorial from the director of elDiario.es: ‘Everything that is not normal in the investigation against Begoña Gómez. Without waiting for the statements of the witnesses, against the criteria of the UCO (Guardia Civil Serious Crimes Unit), without more evidence than the complaint from Manos Limpias and five days before the elections: Judge Peinado enters the campaign by citing the wife of the President of the Government as a defendant…’

A piece from El Economista accusing Begoña Gómez of malfeasance has now been withdrawn and an apology has been printed in its place here.

The European Public Prosecutor's Office has now taken over part of the inquiry into Begoña Gómez and possible links with the misuse of European funds says elDiario.es. This could end up as letting Judge Peinado off the hook if she is later declared innocent.

Javier Pérez-Rojo is a professor of constitutional law at the University of Seville and he takes Judge Peinado’s command of the law to pieces in a short video here.

A court in Badajoz admits another complaint from Manos Limpias against Sánchez's brother ‘based (once again) on press clippings’ says La Cadena Ser here.


It turns out that Vito Quiles, the ‘journalist’ from EDA TV mentioned in the editorial as being on the list of Alvise’s Se Acabó la Fiesta, was under a search and arrest order issued on May 27th (but not publicised until after the elections, as normal judges do). The news broke on Wednesday while he was to be found in the Congreso – where a journalist who is also in a political party shouldn’t be anyway. He was forced, says an item at El Periódico, to leg it… although the court later during the day claimed that it merely wanted to locate him…

From El Confidencial here: ‘EU Justice knocks down Ryanair's appeal and endorses the rescue of Air Europa. The high court of Luxembourg confirms that the Spanish SEPI aid scheme, with which Air Europa was rescued, was legal, knocking down Ryanair's appeal’.

‘Two sentences on sexual assaults on gypsy minors use stereotypical and racist subjectivities, such as the false normality of marriages of 12-year-old girls’. An opinion given on court sentencing at ctxt here.

From The Huff Post here: ‘Soccer fans sentenced to prison for racist insults toward black Real Madrid star. The insults briefly stopped a match between Real Madrid and Valencia in May 2023 and prompted widespread calls for action in Spain’.


Who owns which and what? A complete list of media ownership here (I had to blow it up to see it). One caught my attention: El Debate (a very right-wing news source) is 100% owned by La Asociación Católica de Propagandistas. For a fair and balanced view, no doubt.

Do they really take The Sun seriously? According to 20Minutos here, British tabloid readers consider Magaluf to be ‘the Spanish tourist destination named as 'the European capital of infidelities'. The second best European destination to ‘echar una cana al aire’ (new to me, it means ‘to have a fling’) is Benidorm. Sun readers are so predictable.

Another article from the UK covered here by El Huff Post. The Telegraph says that ‘Spain is now Europe’s most despicable nation. Madrid’s anti-Israel stance is shameful, rewarding Hamas and tying the hands of the Jewish state. Britain under Labour would follow suit’.


From elDiario.es here: ‘Climate change eats up 45 metres of Spanish coast weakened by construction in five years. The Government will declare a coastal stretch in Málaga to be in serious regression, illustrating the threat to the Spanish coast: four times as many storms are impacting a coast-line weakened by multiple constructions’. The stretch between Torremolinos and Málaga City has retreated 45 metres since 2016. The article says that almost 40% of Spain’s population lives on the coast, along with countless hotels and commercial attractions.


From Xataca here: The price of olive oil has risen so much that thieves are starting to cut down olive trees to take them whole. According to the Government, 523,568 kilos of olives have been stolen in Andalucía in this campaign alone’. A later article at 20Minutos reports that there has been a ‘reasonable harvest’ this time around and olive oil prices are expected to fall in the shops.

Who speaks what, where? In Barcelona City, Spanish is consolidated as the most spoken language. Only in the Gràcia neighbourhood is Catalán the leader. La Razón has the story.

‘Spanish foreign minister José Manuel Albares has announced that Spain will intervene in the case brought by South Africa against Israel for alleged genocide at the United Nations' top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Albares said the decision has been "meditated for weeks" and that the positioning is aimed at "ending the war" in Gaza and in commitment to "international laws…’ From Catalan News here.

From La Verdad de Murcia here: ‘Fifty per cent of Spaniards distrust the independence of the judicial system. The number is nevertheless better than last year's report when 56% of those surveyed described the independence of the judiciary as being "bad" or "fairly bad"’.

A popular album in the 90’s was the Gregorian Chant from The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos (Burgos). It sold at least six million copies. It was in fact recorded some twenty years earlier and, says Wiki here, ‘was re-released by Angel Records in 1994 when it was marketed as an antidote to the stress of modern life’. All good fun. EPE nonetheless says this week that ‘The choir of monks from Silos that sold millions of records 30 years ago never saw a penny’. The songs were in the public domain. The good news is that the small town now has a thriving tourist industry.

Here they are with Introitus Spiritus Domini on YouTube.

See Spain:

La Razón takes us to Pedraza, a medieval village in Segovia with only one entrance through the city walls. With photos and videos.

From Fascinating Spain here, ‘The Festivals of the Moors and Christians’.


Antonio Carmona and Alejandro Sanz - Para Que Tu No Llores on YouTube here.

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