Friday, 30 September 2016

British Expats Launch Legal Appeal Against President Jean-Claude Juncker of the European Commission

 British Expats Launch Legal Appeal Against President Jean-Claude Juncker of the European Commission

Its clear too all that the commissioner
has a problem with Britain
Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Commission, has taken a strong stance on the UK following the Brexit vote from this past June. He has said time and again that there shouldn’t be any official negotiations between the EU and the UK until the British government invokes Article 40 – the clause in the EU agreement that triggers the two-year withdrawal process a country has on their way out of the Union.

Many expats from across the EU as a whole disagree with this stance and have launched the organisation called Fair Deal for expats. They hope to launch official action against Juncker in the general court of the EU in Luxembourg.
The main grievance the Fear Deal for Expats group has is that because Juncker is forcing the UK to invoke Article 50 before beginning negotiations he is cutting off the chance for diplomacy before this happens.

The chief of the EC has stated that he wants to make it difficult for the UK to benefit from leaving the EU. Given what his job entails it makes sense for him to have this stance but it also alienates and restricts millions of people in the EU, especially British expats who have been living, working in Spain and prospering in European countries such as Spain, France and Germany.

Juncker said back in June that he had used his power as the president to forbid Commissioners from talking with representatives from the UK and that such an action goes against his style.

This lack of official dialogue means that hearsay and scaremongering have become the order of the day and the latest reports are suggesting that Brits would need a visa to visit the EU after the Brexit is formally triggered.

Such scaremongering benefits nobody and while Juncker may have tried to protect EU citizens with his actions they have undermined the growing majority of British expats.

John Shaw, the spokesman for Fair Deal for Expats, which is based in France, said that the British and Europeans had gotten used to the antagonistic rhetoric Juncker is known for. He added that they will not stand for his dictatorship and bullying and that enough is enough. Shaw added that while Juncker is demanding that the UK trigger Article 50 without delay he’s also forgetting that they are a member state right now and should be allowed to hold discussion with other member states.

Fair Deal for Expats has also focused their aim on the British government. This coming October they are hoping to block a judicial review that would mean the Prime Minister is solely responsible for triggering Article 50. The group believes that the decision and responsibility should fall on all of Parliament.

Even though there is a lot of uncertainty across Europe at the minute Spain has seen for themselves that the impact of the Brexit is nowhere near as bad as it was feared it would be. At least for Spain and buying property in the Costa del sol and other parts of spain haven't seen a drop in demand which is very encouraging .

Thursday, 29 September 2016

August Traffic in Southern Spain May be Ending But “Operación Retorno” is Just Beginning

August May have Ended But “Operación Retorno” is Just Beginning

At the end of August there is a definite busier flow
of traffic heading North 
With the end of August comes the annual migration of thousands of mammals (people) making their way back to their homes in the north after spending time getting suntanned in the south. Having headed down south to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand they are now headed back north to get back to their regular lives and routines after living it up for a few months. This whole process is commonly referred to as “Operación Retorno” and is when Spaniards from the north make their way back home after spending time living in the southern Spanish sunshine.

What started as a small trickle of traffic on the motorway quickly became a torrent of vehicles of biblical proportions as everyone heads back where north and returns where they came from. August has ended and it’s time for regular life to resume once more. 

August is traditionally the month when many Spaniards take time off to hit the seaside and shake off the city heat to enjoy the more forgiving and beautiful coastal climate. The result is packed beaches, supermarket queues and traffic jams a mile long, and almost no chance of reserving a table in a restaurant. It also means that everything is filled with life and activity, businesses boom, and even the staunchest of southerners can’t help but get lost in the atmosphere of fun. Summer along the Costa del Sol is always fun for everyone who stays there; whether permanently or temporarily. Things really come to a head when Operación Retorno starts up though.

The beaches in Spain are still busy but it’s more pleasant than before. It doesn’t take nearly as long to travel in the car. The weather is still good without being stifling. You have less trouble getting a parking space or a taxi. You might be able to go to a restaurant without booking in advance. The summer feeling is still there but there’s a lot less people. Prices become cheaper and kids go back to school and, overall, there’s just a lot less noise.

If you’re in the know then you know that May, June, September and October are the best times to take a trip to the Costas. With Spain currently seeing record numbers of tourists, even compared to previous records set just last year, it can be a little much to stay around during the summer months. Now though people can look forward to the peace and pleasantry that comes with less people being around.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Property Prices in Spanish Mediterranean up 6.2% in Year to August

Property Prices in Spanish Mediterranean up 6.2% in Year to August

Property prices in the Costa del Sol are still
moving in the right direction and now is a great
time to buy.
Properties sold on the Spanish Mediterranean Costa del Sol maintain their value and respond positively to the fluctuations in the Spanish property market more than in any other location in Spain.

Property prices on the Spanish Mediterranean coast have risen in prise by an average of 6.2% in the past 12 months according to new data from Tinsa.

On a regional level the biggest price rises were seen in the Costa del Sol, Costa Brava and Costa Blanca. Next came the properties in the Canaries and Balearics, which saw prices rise by an average of 2% compared to last year.

On a nationwide level however property prices are slightly down. The Tinsa data showed that average prices for Spanish property were down around 0.5% across the past 12 months. There’s currently no definitive reason for why these prices have gone down but some experts are suggesting that the lack of a Spanish government has caused confidence to go down in some places.

Tinsa uses their IMIE General Index data to analyse property prices and this has been their job for over a decade. The most recent data shows that Spanish property prices are still around 42% below the peak they enjoyed in 2007 which would show that the market has corrected itself since the boom and subsequent crash that followed.

Property prices in Spain were between 1,320 and 1,340 on the index since autumn 2014. This August saw the average value reach 1,322 on the index which also suggests that prices have stabilised in the past two years.

As is almost always the case in Spain there appears to be a big regional split. Property prices in small towns and inland regions have gone down by 2.8% in the past year. However prices are up 6.2% on average in the Costa del Sol, continuing the trend of rising property prices that began in 2013.

Mediterranean property prices have gone down by 46% since2007. This is still above the national average and shows just how unsustainable the prices during the boom of 2007 were. The market is much more sober these days and things become more attractive when they are sober.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Spanish Mortgage Activity up 19% in the First Half of 2016

Spanish Mortgage Activity up 19% in the First Half of 2016

Spain has certainly moved in the right direction and
the next 7 years are fantastic for buying property
The data from the Spanish National Statistics Institute (INE) is available and it shows that 146,605 mortgages were registered up to June 30th 2016. This is an increase of 19% in a year-long period.

When you look at the past 12 months as a whole you’ll find that over 270,000 mortgages were approved in Spain during this period, which is also a 19.1% increase compared to the previous year.

In just June there were 25,274 mortgages approved, which was a major 15.5% increase year-on-year. The amount of money loaned was also up 7.5% over last year up to €112,516.

This data confirms what studies and market reports have been telling us all year; there is a significant boost in the amount of interest in Spanish property in 2016. 2016 also saw property prices stabilise as confidence and stability returned to both the real estate industry and the Spanish economy as a whole.

Many of these mortgages are offered at fix rates because the Euribor rate, which regulates repayment terms for much of Europe, is currently low. The result of this trend is that more people are buying homes. In fact data from the Official College of Property Registrars of Spain has shown that382,000 property transactions took place in the 12 months leading to June 2016, which is the highest number of property transactions in five years.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Study Shows Med Diet Better for The Heart Than Statins

Study Shows Med Diet Better for The Heart Than Statins

Spain is one of the healthiest places in the world to live
with 320 days of sunshine and its wonderful
Mediterranean diet, which helps you live longer 
It’s been shown by a new study that people who eat the Mediterranean diet are able to protect their heart better than people taking certain blood pressure correction and heart-protection medications.

The Mediterranean diet is the kind of diet that you find in countries like Spain, Italy and Greece. This Med diet involves plenty of olive oil, fresh fruit and v
eg, and fish. Don’t worry though; you don’t need to eat this diet in a bodega to get the benefits!

While there might be some health benefits to this socially inclusive way of eating the study from the IRCCS Nuromed Institute in Italy was focused entirely on the foods involved. This study showed that when heart patients were fed this Med diet their chances of dying an early death was slashed by a massive 37%, just over twice the 16% cut that heart medicine provides.

The researchers say that they can’t directly compare the figures and added many heart patients should combine the effects of both the Mediterranean diet and heart pills to get the best protection.

Even so the results were bound to draw attention in the medical world. The research would appear to back up several other studies and all of the anecdotal evidence that shows the health benefits of eating the traditional Mediterranean diet.

When people eat plenty of olive oil, fruits, vegetables and fish they ingest less fat and more beneficial nutrients. This nutritional balance has been shown to protect against diabetes, heart disease, and even some forms of cancer because of the anti-inflammatory effects of these foods and the nutrients they contain.

The study was headed by Professor Giovanni de Gaetano who went on to say that the Mediterranean diet was more effective than medication. Professor Gaetano also suggested that the government should begin subsidising fruits and vegetables and even make some fruit and vegetables freely available at doctor’s surgeries.
There are seven million adults dealing with heart disease in the UK alone.

Professor de Gaetano said that the study showed people eating a Mediterranean diet showed 37% less chance of dying from any cause compared to people who were eating poor diets. He added that the Mediterranean diet is accepted as being one of the healthiest diets there is. There have been several other studies into the Mediterranean diet that have shown how effective it is at reducing the chances of developing chronic issues and dying from any cause. Most of this research was focused on the general population though. These were people who were already healthy. De Gaetano wanted to look into the effects on people who already suffered from cardiovascular disease and if it would still be the best option for them.

The research would show that the diet is just as effective, if not more so, for people who need to control these conditions. Combining the Mediterranean diet with statin could provide the ultimate two-pronged attack to control these conditions without the negative side effects of medication such as muscle pain.

The study was done on 1,200 Italians who were followed for seven years. These participants all had heart disease and were instructed to record the foods they ate during this seven year period. How well they adhered to the Mediterranean diet was scored using a nine-point scoring system and, after other factors were considered (smoking, weight, gender, and exercise levels), the study showed that there was an average 21% reduced chance of death from heart disease with people following the Med diet. This went up to 37% for the people who strictly followed the diet.

Spain offers many chances for people to follow the Mediterranean diet as the cost of living in Spain is low and most restaurants and supermarkets make all the ingredients available at affordable prices. When you combine this diet with the outdoors lifestyle and a healthy climate it’s not hard to understand why the Spanish life expectancy is higher than most of Europe.