Saturday, 17 September 2016

Three Great Reasons Spain Should Welcome September

Three Great Reasons Spain Should Welcome September

If you’re British or Irish then you likely remember the feeling of dread that came with September; schools opened back up and it was the official end of all the fun and games of the sumer.

September in Southern Spain is one of the nicest months
Back in Blighty September means that the sky turns grey, the wind whips up, the thermometer goes down, and millions of people head back to school and work with the memories of summers spent under the sun washed away by the autumn rain that pours down.

As such you aren’t likely to feel much sympathy for those who live along the Costa del Sol who will be happy the summer is ending as it means the tourists are going home, including those taking part in Operación Retorno, and the roads return back to normal.

The tradition of Operación Retorno, when northern Spaniards head back home, doesn’t make a lot of sense when you think about it though. It’s true that they need to head home for school and work but it’s also true that September is one of the best times to see the Costa Del Sol.

Just like a beach with rockpools will only show its true beauty after the tide goes out, the Costa del Sol comes to life during September. The so-called “shoulder months” of the summer, which are May and September, are deeply enjoyed by many locals and it’s not hard to see why.
1.      The Temperature Goes Down

July and August are the hottest months in Spain and it’s not that unusual for temperatures to reach above 40 Celsius during this time. While the temperature doesn’t nosedive in September it still goes down to a more forgiving 30 Celsius which makes all the wonder of the area that much more pleasant.
2.      Queues Shrink

No matter what it is you’re trying to do; from ordering a drink, to shopping, to just validating your parking, everything is more accessible in September. September presents a perfectly balanced atmosphere. While it’s no fun to be with too many people it can be just as bad to have no people around at all. There is still the feeling of summer in the air but moving in and around the area becomes much easier.

3.      Spirits are Lifted

Summer might be a fun and happy time along the Costa del Sol, but you only really get to have fun and relax after you’ve created some space for yourself on the beach on the Costa del Sol or escaped into one of the smaller and quieter resorts of the south. Everyone is a lot more temperamental during the summer months because of a mixture of heat, crowds and confusion. It throws everyone’s moods out of whack. Things slow down after September arrives though and everyone is just that little bit brighter and happier because of it.

Friday, 16 September 2016

€5m Spanish Pad Bought By Bieber

€5m Spanish Pad Bought By Bieber

It’s well-known that Justin Bieber loves Spain and is a supporter for Barcelona FC. Now the star can call himself a Spanish property owner.

Justin has bought a wonderful Villa
The Canadian pop star may not make the best business decisions in the world but he recently showed that he can make great decisions when he bought one of the most desirable properties in the country.

22-year old Justin Bieber bought the Lanzarote luxury villa after spending time on the Canary Island with his 17-year old girlfriend Sofia Ritchie; daughter of Lionel Ritchie. Bieber loved the Island so much he had to buy property there.

Local reports suggest that the property has beautiful panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and it will make an ideal home away from home for Bieber when he needs time to relax and collect his thoughts.

It’s reported that the home exchanged hands for €5. A princely sum for the prince of pop but it’s hard to argue the villa wasn’t worth it. The six-bedroom, five-bathroom property covers 2,000 square metres and comes with a stretch of private beach.

The home also has an outdoor swimming pool where one can relax and take in unparalleled and unspoiled views of the nearby volcanic terrain.

Lanzarote has always been a popular tourist spot but it’s only recently that the biggest and the best celebs have found their way there. The rich and famous tend to go to Marbella instead. Majorca has also become more popular for people looking to escape Hollywood over the past few years.

If what you want is the kind of property that could only ever be bought by the elite of the world then you need to head to the Costa del Sol. The Costa del Sol can proudly call itself the home of many of the biggestand best villas in all of Spain.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Whitehall Blocks Expat Voting Rights Change to Maintain 15-Year Rule

Whitehall Blocks Expat Voting Rights Change to Maintain 15-Year Rule.

Its a sad state of affairs that Britain continues to keep outdated laws 
Long-term British expats living in Spain and all over Europe who are hoping to be able to vote in British general elections will no doubt be disappointed by the decision Whitehall took to reject the proposed changes to the 15-Year Law. David Cameron promised to get rid of the controversial 15-Year Rule that said expats who had lived outside of the country for over 15 years could no longer vote in general elections. It seems like his promise has been overturned by the new government that replaced the former Prime Minister.

Whitehall ministers have said they feel that changing the law would be too complex and will instead be maintaining the status quo now that David Cameron, who pledged to change the rule as part of his 2015 election manifesto, is no longer in charge. The change was also intended to enable those expats to vote in the EU Referendum. With that in the rear-view mirror politicians see the rule as less of an issue now.

Cameron made the promise when he called out for long-term expats to vote for him and his Conservative Party during the last general election. The promise went on the backburner after Cameron secured his second term. Instead Cameron chose to make his promise of an EU Referendum a priority.

The irony of this choice is that if Cameron HAD changed the law before the Referendum then he could still very well be in power and the UK would likely still be part of the EU as those expats would most likely have voted, and voted in their droves, to stay in the EU.

The Daily Mail is reporting that the issue is once again being put on the shelf now that Cameron has gone and the UK is attempting to avoid the Brexit and it seems the wave of brits wanting to move to places like spain is even on the up!  Geoffrey Clinton-Brown, one of the campaigners who hoped to change the law, believes that civil servants dislike the idea of difficult changes. Whitehall say that one of the difficulties in changing the rules is that electoral registers are only kept for 15 years. As such it would become difficult to find out which constituency these long-term expats used to live in. Cliff-Brown believes that this just an excuse to stall the issue.

The U-turn is actual a contradiction of the Tory party line they’ve been touting for over two years. The former Party chairman Grant Shapps said that British citizens are Brits for life. They will always have the right to be protected by the military and travel on a British passport and that the Tory party believes it should also give them the lifelong right to vote.

The Daily Mail is also reporting that a former Foreign Office Minister has now admitted that making the change would be more complex than it was first thought it would be. This difficulty, combined with the lack of political will by the government, has left many expats unable to vote with no change in sight.

The Commons Leader David Lidington says that the matter is more complex than it appears. The change would mean having to create a new system of voter registration which is difficult because of the lack of voter registers from over 15 years ago. The government would need to find a way to allocate people to constituencies and then prove that they lived where they say they did.

Clifton-Brown is refusing to accept any of their excuses. He says that it shouldn’t be too difficult for people to provide some evidence that they used to I've where they say they did. There are many ways to do this including doctor’s notes, passport numbers, and National Insurance notes. He believes any of these can, and should, be used as proof of address.

One thing is for sure, Brits will still keep moving out of the UK to southern Europe regardless whether they can vote or not as the healthier lifestyle and the cost of living in places like spain coupled with the amazing 320 days of sunshine will always temp people away from the wet and dismal uk.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Spanish Summer Tourism Up 20-30%

Spanish Summer Tourism Up 20-30%

what a wonderful years Spain has had from all the extra tourism
Spain has seen a surge in popularity thanks to being one of the most accessible, beautiful, welcoming and now safest countries in Europe for summer sun. The World Travel and Tourism Council are touting the rising terror threats along the eastern and southern Mediterranean as being the primary reason Spain has seen a bumper summer this year.

The head of the WTTC, David Scowsill, says that Spain is expected to see a 20-30% increase in the number of tourists flocking to the country by the end of the summer. The current climate is also benefiting Portugal and Italy and boosting their tourism numbers.

Scowsill says that the perception of security plays a major role in choosing a holiday destination. Turkey, Egypt, France and Tunisia have all seen an increase in terrorism and, with that, a drop in tourism as travellers choose safer destinations such as Spain.

WTTC data shows that Egypt is seeing around half of the tourists that they usually do and the reputation of France has become seriously damaged following the spate of deadly terrorist attacks across the country.

Turkey has become majorly affected as the country has seen some of the worst terrorist attacks and it also shares a border with Iraq and Syria; the two “home countries” of ISIS.

This particular trend has been noticed by more than just the WTTC. The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) are also expecting that 2016 will be a year of broken records for Spain. The representative for the ABTA, Sean Tipton, said that Spain will definitely see record numbers of tourists from all around the world including the UK.

This strong summer system will really benefit Spain. It will provide a much needed boost to the employment figures of the country but will also increase the chances of tourists coming back year after year and increasing numbers even further next year. Spain saw 32 million tourists during the first half of the year. This was half of the number for all of 2015 and it doesn’t include the two busiest months of July and August.

These holidaymakers will provide a big boost to the local economy where they stay but they may also decide to become Spanish property owners; boosting the economy even further. All in all 2016 looks to be a great year for Spain!

Monday, 12 September 2016

Tackling the Summer Spanish Crazes of Sand-Hogging and “Balconing”

Tackling the Summer Spanish Crazes of Sand-Hogging and “Balconing”

Sand-hogging is a practice that has existed for as long as people have been holidaying in Spain but “balconing” is a relatively new phenomena for the country and seems to be something only a narrow subset of British holidaymakers are taking part in.
The crazy risks young people are taking isn't worth
it as record number make a slight mistake a pay the price

The two Spanish summer crazes are on the increase this summer and it’s getting so bad that even the authorities are having to do something about it. Sand-hogging is an extension of the infuriating practice whereby people “reserve” a hotel in spain poolside lounger by placing their towel or book on it only to never actually use the lounger for hours after doing so. They know that no one would want to use the lounger if someone else’s property was on it.

Balconing is a far more disturbing and dangerous craze. It’s where people, particularly young and drunk Brits, record themselves jumping into the pool from the balcony. As you’d expect the higher the balcony and the drunker the person the better. Spanish authorities are now stepping in to do something about both of these practices and people have been fined and hospitalised as a result.

Local councils in Valencia have been using fines of up to €720 to people caught using towels, parasols and sun loungers to reserve a spot on the beach in the morning but not coming to the beach until much later.

Spain has really seen a popularity boost in 2016 and, with that, it’s become much more difficult to find a nice spot for yourself on the Mediterranean beaches. Spain has decided to adopt the approach that Italy took. Italian authorities began issuing fines for sand-hogging earlier this year.

Near Valencia, in Gandia, the town hall even brought in the police to help put an end to the practice by removing the abandoned objects from the beach to free up some space and discourage people from leaving things on the beach. Carlos Peiro, a local who has had enough of the practice, told El País that he sees many people set up camp during his morning walks and then never return and he doesn’t think that doing such a thing is right.

Sand-hogging is something primarily done by older people while balconing is definitely something done by the younger generation. One surgeon who looked into the phenomenon says that the practice has become something of a rite of passage for tourists in Spain.

Xavier González, a surgeon with Son Espases Hospital in Palma de Majorca says that the practice is endemic and has become some kind of initiation rite to some tourists.

The study looked at people who received hospital treatment between 2010 and 2015 for injuries caused by falling or jumping from a balcony. The Local is reporting that 60% of the 46 people who received such treatment were British, with Germans and Spaniards in second and third.  The average age of the people who were injured was 24 and all of them were male except for one lone female. The average height that these people fell was 8 metres, or 26 feet.

The study doesn’t include the number of people who died as a result of their injuries but it does mention that the craze has rung up almost €1.5 million in hospital fees. Many of the people who are injured balconing are left permanently disabled or in intensive care for some time.

Spanish authorities are now fining people who they catch attempting the leap and informational leaflets discouraging the practice are being issued at the more popular youth destinations in an effort to stop people from taking part in the craze.