Saturday, 13 August 2016

Three Films You Need to See Before Moving to Spain

Three Films You Need to See Before Moving to Spain

Are you thinking about moving to Spain? These three movies will definitely get you in the mood.

It can feel like moving anywhere, even to Spain, is a laundry list of chores that never seems to end and just leaves what should be an incredibly exciting time the most stressful time.

Filling in all those forms and applications, all the legal and financial paperwork, doing all the packing and tying up all those loose ends…it’s easy to see how it can be overwhelming. It’s still important to take some time to remind yourself of why you chose to move Spain in the first place. These three movies are definitely a great way to do that.

Here are the three films you need to see before moving to Spain.

1.      Al Sur de Grande

“Al sur de Grande” means “South from Granada” in English. This 2003 movie is about a lost and demobilised soldier from England who makes his home in rural Andalucía for a year. It’s a great movie that will also prepare you for some of the big culture shocks waiting in Spain.

The backdrop of the movie is beautiful thanks to the Alpujarra hills nestled into the background. The dry humour and the excellent performances make this movie great by itself. But if you’re about to live in Spain yourself you’ll definitely connect to the Englishman as he does what you’re about to do. From the initial language barriers and small misunderstandings to the wide world of love the narrative of the movie could very well sync up with your own experiences.

2.      The Business

The Business is a 2005 movie filmed in and around Pureto Banús. The movie, released at the height of the gangster movie period, fits that theme quite well. It follows 80s wannabe wideboy Danny Dyer as he falls in love with the fast lifestyle and easy money of the Costa del Sol before feeling that his own personal morals don’t really match up with what he and his friends are doing. He finds himself knocked from his perch and in need of a new identity.

While many Brits won’t really see themselves in the characters in the movie the film still does a great job of capturing the “anything goes” essence of Puerto Banús that, while it’s not as prevalent as it used to be, is still there in places. There’s also plenty of glitz and glamour left so the movie still shows what you can expect from Puerto Banús as a whole.

3.      Spanglish

Believe it or not a US comedy from Adam Sandler set in L.A can actually prepare you for life in Spain. The movie centres around the ignorance of the Spanish felt by the Anglo-Saxons and showcases Sandler as he attempts to understand the language, passion, and soul of his Hispanic housemaid, played brilliantly by Sevillian Paz Vega.

Sandler’s wife, portrayed by Téa Leoni, showcases the complete opposite; she displays complete indifference and ignorance to her Mexican servants and enjoys her superiority over them. While Brits and Spaniards are much more respectful and honest than this the movie still contains important messages about cultural sensitivity, tact, and humility that will serve any Brit heading to Spain well.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Catalonia to Push for Secession Without Approval from Madrid

Catalonia to Push for Secession Without Approval from Madrid

Catalonia have been pushing for independence
for a long time

Many Catalans have been eager to get their independence but it looks like they’ve been held back at every turn, especially from a political standpoint.

The government of Catalonia has said that they will continue their attempts to break away from Spain even if they can’t secure the approval of the Spanish government.

The debates are becoming as heated as ever as is evidenced by Catalonia defying the Spanish constitutional court by talking about their own sovereignty in this manner. The parliament of Catalan put together a resolution to become an independent state nine months ago but their requests were never answered by those in Madrid.

Raül Romeva, the Catalonian minster of foreign affairs, has said that the Spanish state has left Catalonians feeling like they don’t have an alternative anymore. Their goal was to try and do what Scotland did when they sought independence; they wished to negotiate with the Spanish government and hold a democratic referendum. They are trying to talk to Madrid but they hear nothing in response.

Madrid would like to avoid seeing Spain break up and are even more apprehsensive following the recent Brexit decision and the idea that Scotland will once again call for a referendum for independence from the UK; a referendum that may very well pass this time.

Romeva has almost given Madrid an ultimatum, saying that the Spanish national government can continue to deny reality and believe that they can use their courts and legal processes to stop it, or they can accept reality and prepare for the inevitable Catalan independence.

A recent poll suggests that many Catalonian voters support the idea of an independent Catalonia and the current incumbent Catalonian government has already drawn up plans to come up with workable departments for collecting taxes, social security apparatus and a foreign affairs department ready for when they gain independence and need such things.

Romera believes that the independence referendum will be called within a year and believes that Madrid must accept what the Catalonian people want.

The stance of Madrid is really quite simple to understand; as Catalonia is not currently a nation any referendum they hold will not be legally binding in a Spanish or EU court. This is an impasse that Catalonia is determined to get past.

Romeva said that Catalonia would obviously be an ally ofSpain because of markets and infrastructure and other cultural and linguistic reasons. He also believes that Europe wouldn’t want to lose the socially and economically dynamic reality. As such any claim that an independent Catalonia would have no place in the EU is false.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Spanish Property Prices Increase at Double the Eurozone Average

Spanish Property Prices Increase at Double the Eurozone Average

Spanish property for sale gives investors a whole lot for their money and the Spanish market as a whole is becoming more stable and attractive each day.

Regardless of Brexit the future is bright the future is Spain
Now the latest data from EU statistics agency Eurostat has shown that property prices across all of the Eurozone have increased on average by around 3% in the last 12 months. Spanish property prices, however, have risen by over double that.

The data from Eurostat shows that the average value of Spanish homes has increased by 6.3% in the year up to the end of the first quarter of 2016. This increase is higher than the increase in almost every other country in the Eurozone.

The Eurostat data would also confirm that property prices have increased now for 8 quarters in a row, with this latest spike of 6.3% being the sharpest rise since the third quarter of 2007. It’s also the biggest average property price increase since 2008 for the entirety of the Eurozone.

The price of property in Spain is still around 32% less than it was during 2008 according to the data. So even though property prices are on the rise, and have been for two years, asking prices are still much lower than they were at the peak of eight years ago.

Many experts are happy with how things look which would suggest that the market is going to slowly correct itself and return to its once former glory through both foreign and domestic demand, banks being sensible about lending, and support from the recovering Spanish economy.

Staying in Eurozone it was Austria who saw the largest increase in property prices in the same amount of time. Property in Austria rose by an average of 13.4% while prices were down 1.2% in Italy and Cyprus.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Surge in Spanish Wine Expected for 2016

Surge in Spanish Wine Expected for 2016

While Spanish wine can be found on most tables in the world a lot of Spanish wine ends up bottled and labelled as being from Italy or France.
Spain's wine regions are some of the best in the world Spain wasn’t already thought of as a heaven on Earth with their superb beaches, wonderful climate, healthy Mediterranean diet and stunning cities and landscapes then throwing in that Spain is the largest producer of wine in the world will definitely seal the deal.

Data released this week shows that Spain is set for one of their biggest years for wine production with Spain set to make over 50 million hectolitres of wine this year. Don’t worry if you’re not sure what a hectolitre is. To put it simply one hectolitre is the same as 100 litres.

So that makes 50 million hectolitres a heck of a lot of wine.

But why is Spain producing so much wine? It’s believed by the associates and bodies of grape growers and wineries in Spain that the September harvest will be a particularly bountiful one. It’s even being suggested that there could be enough grapes harvested to surpass the old 52.5 million hectolitre record set a few years ago in 2013.

The relatively mild and wet winter and spring, followed by the intense heat of the summer, has led to a great crop this year. There has also been very little crop disease in Spain this year outside of a few incidents of mildew and other problems in Huelva, Galicia and Jerez. The majority of the wine will be coming from the hinterlands of Castilla-La Mancha however and the conditions there are said to be great for wine.

The Castilla-La Mancha isn’t the only place expecting a bumper crop though. Extremadura, Valencia, Ribera del Duero and La Rioja are also expecting great crop numbers.

The boost has also been helped by an increase in how many grapes are being grown overall. The demand for Spanish wine is on the up and wineries are responding by growing more grapes. While the domestic demand for Spanish wine is around 10 million hectolitres there’s little doubt that the increase in foreign demand could see well over 50 million hectolitres produced this year.

Another reason for the increase in Spanish production is that around half of all the wine Spain produces goes to wineries in France and Italy. The wine is then mixed with the wine in these countries and labelled as wine from there to sate the demands of people who still insist that the best wine is French and Italian; not even realising they’re purchasing Spanish!

Spain is still happy with this though because it means that almost all the wine made in Spain gets sold even if it isn’t labelled as Spanish wine. Even though Spain can’t officially take the credit for it everyone the world over is enjoying some of the best wine in the country; whether they realise it or not.