Saturday, 7 May 2016

Spain Set to Re-join GMT if Rajoy is Re-Elected

Spain Set to Re-join GMT if Rajoy is Re-Elected

Spain is giving a lot of thought to the idea of moving their clocks back one hour to return to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) so that the time zone of the country is in line with the geographical location of Spain.

Spanish time zone could come in line with UK
Mariano Rajoy, the current acting prime minister of Spain, has taken another look at the issue and has said that he will go ahead with the change should he be re-elected. He says that the change should benefit Spain and improve the quality of life for the Spanish people.

Spain changed from GMT to Central European Time (CET) back in the 1940s. It was change brought in by General Franco. Franco wished to bring the country in line with Nazi Germany; who Spain was allied with at the time. Even though the Spanish capital of Madrid is further to the west than London Spain has always been an hour ahead of the UK since then. Spain currently has the same time zone as Serbia, a country 1,550 miles to East. As a result of the current time zone Spaniards are currently able to be active and work for longer.

The hot climate of Spain means that things are often done a little later in the day than in other countries. As a result Spaniards find it easier to stay active and work into the later hours when things cool down. Because of this Spain currently has a vibrant nocturnal culture with the streets coming alive in the late hours. Some people in Spain don’t eat in restaurants or have their dinner until around 10 or 11PM.

Rajoy has argued the benefits of bringing Spain back into GMT along with the Canary Islands however. He believes that if Spain was to adopt GMT then the working day would be over sooner and the country would be able to improve their GDP by adopting closer business ties with Europe by having similar working hours. He also believes that such a change could increase productivity so it matches the levels of more northern European countries.

Such a change could also mean the end of the Spanish two hour lunch break eating local cuisine  which could lead to a bit of resistance within Spain, even though the time zone change is a remnant of a time when Spain was under the iron fist of a dictator like Franco.

It’s unlikely that a decision will be made one way or the other before June however. This is when Spain goes back to the polls to have another general election after their last one in December ended with a hung parliament.

Friday, 6 May 2016

British Consulate Reveals Anxieties Brits Abroad Suffer From

British Consulate Reveals Anxieties Brits Abroad Suffer From.

While people may have an image of the quintessential Brits abroad but anyone who’s ever been to Spain, whether they are on a holiday or an expat, know that Brits in Spain love to go to Costa del Sol.
The expat community of Spain provides a look at Britain as a whole with a wide range of age, orientation, class, wealth and outlook. British expats are just as diverse, open-minded, adventurous and have a great sense of self-deprecating humour than every Brit at home.
Most brits settle well but some do not and are a fish out of water
It’s nice to be reminded that Brits abroad join many clubs and societies in Spain and can find themselves like a fish out of water, no matter how well they manage to integrate themselves. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) released data that shows the different anxieties that Brits are likely to have when moving abroad.
The data is about different calls the British consulate receives, some of which border on bizarre. One standout is the poor man calling and asking where he could find some good quality bacon in his new country. A woman in Lebanon contacted the consulate to find out where she could get an English butler.
One caller in Malaga called and asked why there were so many nudists around him without realising that he had found his way on to a nudist beach in spain.
There was a British woman in Russia who contacted the consulate because she was disappointed she had not been given a guided tour by the embassy after arriving in St Petersburg.
Foreign Minister James Duddrige says that the consular staff do everything they can to help Brits who are struggling abroad. He did ask that Brits remember the consulate are there to help people who have genuine emergencies and shouldn’t be seen as directory enquiries.
He urged the public to really think about their problem before making the call as every time they deal with a call about nudists or butlers they miss the chance to help someone in a life or death situation.
It’s important for Brits to remember that in most places, especially in the Costa del Sol in Spain, there is a huge community of resident expats in Spain who are there to help you out. They can help you deal with most problems such as finding bacon. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and shops that are designed to appeal to Brits and help them find what they love best.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Brits In Spain Need to Speak Out Soon or Miss Their Chance With EU Referendum Vote

Brits In Spain Need to Speak Out Soon or Miss Their Chance With EU Referendum Vote

The numbers may be shocking but it’s worth taking another look at them. There are currently just 283,000 Brits officially registered as a Spanish resident with the padrón. This number is small because it’s only around one quarter of the actual Brits living in Spain. Of this number only 11,000 of them are still registered to vote in the UK.

These are statistics that should worry every Brit with an interest in politics outside of the motherland. It doesn’t matter if they are in Germany, Spain, France or anywhere else in the European Union. They need to correct this oversight.

Brits in Spain need to register their vote
David Cameron recently told the European Commission his plans to renew the terms of the UK’s membership of the EU. He set out a series of reforms, proposals and promises that he would offer British people to entice them to stay in the EU. The vote will still be left to the British people though and a referendum vote could happen as early as June.

Nobody is quite sure what the so-called “Brexit” would do for the EU or Britain itself. There is one thing for sure though. If the British leave the EU then it makes things difficult for the millions of Brits who are already outside of the UK and living elsewhere in the EU.

This is why the British emabassies in Spain and France have launched awareness campaigns to get Brits living there to go and register to vote in the referendum. It’s called the Your Vote Matters campaign and, given how much they will be affected, it’s hard to argue with the name.

Foreign Office Data suggests that only 5% of overseas voters have registered to be involved in the referendum. Other embassies, such as those in Germany, Ireland, Poland, Austria and Denmark are getting involved and using social media to further the awareness campaign.

The British Ambassador to Spain, Simon Manley, met with a community of expats living on the Costa del Sol to show his support for the campaign.

He said that even though expats are interested in the referendum not enough of them are really aware of it. He urged the expats to become more aware about the referendum and how they can get involved. They can register to vote through the government website ( and you should encourage other people you know to do the same.

Brits who have been abroad for less than 15 years are able to vote through the constituency they used to live. It is pretty simple to register from overseas but it can take longer than most people realise.

This is why expats with properties inland Spain and elsewhere are being encouraged to visit They should have their passport with them and their previous UK postcode ready to speed up the process.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Air Travel in Spain up 14%

Air Travel in Spain up 14%

Spain set for another bumper year for air travel
Easter came around a little earlier than usual this year which led tourism experts to believe travel spending could be down. People enjoy a sunny Easter more than a cold and miserable one. A miserable one is far more likely in March than April.
This year Easter happened during the last weekend of March. This actually caused a rise in tourism as Spaniards fled south for some sunshine. Spanish airports were kept super busy with all this extra traffic.
Fuel prices are also at a near-decade low so air fare prices aren’t getting much higher. As a result this early Easter brought in 14% more travellers to Spanish airports over March in last year.
The Spanish aviation industry released information showing that 16.47 million people found their way through the airports last month. Each and every one of Spain’s 18 busiest airports saw more people than last year.

This data might not be good for environmentalists but almost everyone else will enjoy the sign that the economy is recovering. The highest increase was seen at Palma de Majorca where 26.1% more passengers arrived in March 2016 over March 2015.

Other increases were seen in Alicante (25.1% increase) and the Malaga Airport in the Costa del Sol that saw a 21.8% increase.
When you extrapolate out for the entire first quarter of 2016 then Spanish airports saw 42.74 million passengers during the first three months of 2016. This was a total increase of 14.4% over the first quarter of last year. The traffic in Malaga airport was up 18.2%. If this trend is to continue then it looks like Costa del Sol could have a fantastic year.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

5% Increase in Price for Spanish Properties Predicted by CBRE

5% Increase in Price for Spanish Properties Predicted by CBRE

Real estate experts CBRE believe that Spanish house prices could rise by up to five percent on average during 2016. More houses are being sold and built which is bringing up house prices.
CBRE annually release a Real Estate Market Outlook and their most recent one highlights a series of positive indicators for the residential resale housing market in Spain. Their report has found that more homes will be sold and built leading to less unsold properties in Spain over the whole year.
Great news for sellers as prices are expected to rise

The main thing to come out of the report is the expectation that the average house price in Spain will rise by 5.9% on average with a 6.3% peak rise in the third quarter.

CBRE also expect that 20% more properties will be sold in 2016 over last year, putting power behind the claim that the Spanish property market has recovered.

One area of the market that hasn’t seen this increase yet is the new build sector. Even so CBRE are confident that as many as 60,000 new homes could be built in 2016, which would be an increase on the 45,000 homes built in 2015. This is still less than the previous peak of 160,000 homes per year though.
The trends are still positive and point to plenty of growth. Madrid, Barcelona and Costa del Sol property in Andalucía for sale have always been the most prominent parts of the real estate market and this year they will be joined by Bilbao, Valencia, and Malaga as the demand for property has gone up in these cities.

The CBRE does have some warnings though. The main problems are the slightly decreasing population of Spain, a lack of confidence in buyers, and an economy that is still fragile. These should temper the optimism that people feel but this report, when taken with other studies and statistics from Spanish real estate institutes, serve to add to the belief that property in Spain has become a good investment once more. Now is the time to buy or sell your home in Spain as more buyers and investors are fuelling the market.

Spanish Properties prices are increasing  

Monday, 2 May 2016

Spanish Holidays not Likely to Sell Out Despite Claims from Media

Spanish Holidays not Likely to Sell Out Despite Claims from Media

Costa del Sol is looking for another record breaking year
The British press are infamous for scare-mongering but every so often something comes along that people can’t help but believe because they’re so astonished by it.
This time the Daily Star was at the centre of the problem with their headlines about how apparently Spanish holidays are sold out after more people than ever booked a holiday.

Now it is true that Spain is seeing more holiday bookings and it’s also true that this is because British holidaymakers are going to Spain because more classic locations, such as Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt and Greece are becoming more unstable.
However it’s moronic to suggest that Spain could actually sell out and be unable to welcome any new tourists as part of the Easter holidays. Spain is great at bringing in millions more people in one go. They’ve always been good at handling the Easter surge as parts of the country are filled with Spanish tourists as well as European ones.
Hotels manage, roads manage, airports manage, and tour operators manage. Everything carries on. The only thing you’re likely to see is a small rise in prices during the really busy weeks. This is just how business works. Add in the extra space offered by services like AirBNB and private rentals and there’s really no truth behind the idea that a Spanish tourist shouldn’t be able to find a place in the sun.
The Daily Star managed to scare people even more by suggesting there was no more room on flights. They even had a RyanAir spokesperson suggest that they might potentially run out of seats. Do you really expect a company like RyanAir to actually say they have run out of seats and are not flying any more though?
The idea that there would be no more flights to Spain is ludicrous. There are plenty of good reasons that Spain is the top tourist destination. They have sun, sea, and a great lifestyle everyone enjoys. The reason that it’s stayed number one is because of how well it handles all these tourists. Spain may be busy but they always let anyone, no matter their age or background, come and find a piece of paradise.
It may get expensive to stay in Spain in the peak months but you’ll always find great value for money, security, convenience, great Beaches, peace of mind and you’ll be sure to find a lovely place in the sun. Spanish-Holidays-will-Sell-Out-2016