Política, Brexit, turismo, actualidad, finanzas, Cataluña, ecologismo, medios o corrupción son algunos de los temas que trata este boletín informativo

10/09/19. 
Opinión. El periodista Lenox Napier repasa la actualidad española en su boletín semanal Business Over Tapas, al que puede suscribirse por 60 euros anuales. Puede obtener más información en su web (AQUÍ) o en su perfil (AQUÍ). EL OBSERVADOR / www.revistaelobservador.com ofrece este contenido tres días después de su lanzamiento...

EDITORIAL

Rather than comment on the hellish subject of Brexit as it will affect – indeed already is affecting – the UK, since British BoT readers will have an unshakable opinion on the subject one way or the other while foreign readers remain bemused, we can only look at the results as these will affect us from outside the deck: the Britons living in the EU-27 and the Europeans in the UK both.

As for those who are married to a foreigner, well God help us all!
‘...Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament could complicate Britain’s relations with the European Union by “delegitimising” his government’s no-deal Brexit policy in European eyes, according to Norbert Röttgen, chairman of the German Bundestag’s influential foreign affairs committee...’ says The Sunday Times (here). Yes, it may be bad for European affairs (like Catalonia leaving would be bad for Spain) as the EU would be smaller, with less population and GDP; but the effects of high politics is about the people who are caught up by them – not the governments and their statistics.
From El País in English comes ‘Brexit is a recurring nightmare for many of the 3.5 million EU nationals living in the United Kingdom and who, for the first time, do not feel so welcome in the country. When Britain voted to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum, most EU residents in the UK were unprepared for the result...’. Indeed, as noted in El Español here, between one thing and the other, ‘Brexit has poisoned the lives of five million people, says the British living in Spain’.
We Brits in the EU-27 are (vaguely) thought to be around 1.2 million, although nobody seems very sure.
Not that all the Brits resident in Spain are against Brexit, as The Olive Press discovers here, although they probably should be, as we learn more.
Now, we shouldn’t panic and start building false doors in our attics (and start keeping a diary), but it does appear that we are not particularly treasured by our hosts, and a push against Europeans from London would probably mean a similar push against the expatriate (or immigrant if you insist) Brits in Europe. The difference being, most Europeans in the UK are there to work, while many of us here in Europe – Spain and Portugal in particular – are here to retire, or to take it easy, or are on the run from some unpleasantness.
Soon, Brits tourists will need visas, GB stickers on their cars and, as The Guardian says, ‘...to be prepared to wait for four months before you can take your ferret on holiday with you...’.  A useful site called Get Ready for Brexit comes from HM Gov here. For residents (those with the green letter from the immigration police), things may be a little easier, but only because there are less of us and no one has got around to considering our future (so nice to hear when you are retired). However, there may be a freeze on pensions from London from next year.
A Spanish TV channel helpfully showed V for Vendetta (trailer) the other night (the Guy Fawkes with the ‘anonymous’ mask movie). Innocent fun, no doubt.
Boris Johnson wants to resolve the Irish border issue (except that Europeans would be able to stream into the UK over a non-existent Irish border), but the UK has another European border which also needs resolution. The one with La Linea.
Whether Brexit will be better for the UK (honestly, who still believes that?), it certainly won’t be for the Brits living in Europe.

Housing:

‘The Complete Guide to Registering Your Holiday Rental in Andalucía’ with Rental Tonic here.


Tourism:

‘After years of growth, Spain now tries to turn its tourist model towards another one of less quantity but more quality: fewer tourists arrive but those who come spend more. In the middle of the tourist season, the prospects are good, as an increase of 1.7% in the arrival of international visitors and 3.2% in spending is expected...’. Spain is, of course, more interested in the result than in the numbers of visitors. Yet El Mundo may have overlooked that tourists increasingly use credit card payment, which can be followed, whereas simple cash payments cannot. With all of this, Spain is making a large effort to improve its installations; with (says El Mundo) 5,000 million euros invested this year by private business.


El País has figures for July here, with British and German visitors slightly down.

The editor of a magazine called Diario del Turismo Sostenible, Xavier Font, talks about the cost of tourism to Cuarto Poder here. The massification of tourism, where in 2018 there were 1,400 million tourists (here), means a grave threat to the environment. How to reduce this? Xavier shares his proposals.

Benidorm, the pioneering resort disdained in Spain but praised abroad. Applauded for its sustainability but vilified for triggering mass tourism, the coastal city has some of the most iconic skyscrapers in the country’. An article from El País in English here.

Spanish-based pilots join cabin crew for September strike action at Ryanair. The strike is in protest at the closure of the airline's bases in the Canaries and Girona’. Sur in English here.

Finance:

Over half of all the debt owed by the various political parties is in the hands of two banks: CaixaBank and the Banco Santander. The largest debtor is the PSOE with 45 million euros owed to the money-lenders. The story (and full disclosure) is here with ElDiario.es.


Employment was sharply down in August, with 54,371 more people registered on the paro says VozPópuli here.

‘On January 1, 2020, Regulation (EU) 2019/943 governing the internal electricity market enters into force for all EU Member States. For Spain it is not just another rule. The regulation requires cleaning up the electricity bill of concepts that are not related to the supply, demand and price of energy. The new electricity bill will have to reflect real costs and not include other charges...’. Will this make our electric bill cheaper? Let’s hope so. The item comes from La Información here.

Disturbing numbers come from ElDiario.es on online gambling here. Spain plays 17,000 million euros on Internet gambling each year, 40% of which is on sports bets.

From LaSexta comes ‘The effects of a possible hard Brexit are already noticeable in Spain as British investment falls’ (with video).

Politics:

With no government in site, citizens are now becoming impatient with their politicians, says El Mundo here. According to the newspaper, most people do not want further elections, and would rather than Pedro Sánchez found a solution to the current impasse.


El Español has the results of a survey giving showing good results for la Izquierda in the event of a fresh election, the PSOE rising by 2.5 points to 31.3, giving them 139 seats (123) and Unidas Podemos would bring another 37 seats. The ‘España Suma’ (a PP-inspired coalition of the right, with Ciudadanos and Vox) would not be enough.

Alberto Rivera, who’s Ciudadanos is falling in popularity at this time, says he wouldn’t join with the PP as ‘España suma (Spain adds)’, he says ‘but corruption subtracts’. El País has the story.

Several senior PP ‘barones’ (regional leaders etc) are also unhappy with the idea of España Suma and an alliance with Vox, says El Mundo here.

With all the autonomous regions added up, the Partido Popular governs, with the approval of Ciudadanpos and Vox, over the lives of 21.7 million people.

El País has an article on the four tiny municipalities governed by Vox. These are Vita (Ávila), Barruelo del Valle (Valladolid), Navares de las Cuevas (Segovia) and Cardeñuela de Riopico (Burgos). All four alcaldes used to be in the PP.

Corruption:

More major Partido Popular names fall as ‘The judge charges Esperanza Aguirre and Cristina Cifuentes for corruption in the ‘Caso Punica’ – the huge corruption case in the Madrid Community (El País here). Judge García-Castellón considers that Aguirre "supervised" the hidden accounts of the Madrid PP and has called another 40 people for October, including the then president of Indra Javier Monzón, currently the non-executive president of Prisa. It seems the construction of hospitals, roads and other public works all supposed a 1% tariff to the PP during the leadership of Aguirre and Cifuentes.  El Español says the practice goes back as far as 2003.


Courts:

‘Judge Eduardo Muñoz Baena has acquitted the Partido Popular of the destruction of the party7 accounts on the hard drives of their former treasurer Luis Bárcenas in 2013’. The story is at El Mundo here.


From The Olive Press comes some good news for Spanish hotels: ‘Fake food poisoning claims by British holidaymakers in Spain down to ‘zero’ in 2019 after fraudsters fined up to €15,000 by UK courts. False legal actions cost the Spanish hotel industry over €50 million in 2016’.

Brexit:

Millions of EU Nationals in Britain haven’t applied for Settled Status, says The Huff Post here. ‘There’s a long list of reasons why 2.6 million people have not yet applied to settle in Britain after Brexit’...


UK nationals living in Spain: your healthcare access after Brexit. The British Government speaks here.

From BBC News here: ‘A £3m grant to help UK nationals living in the EU with residency applications has been set up by the government. Charities and voluntary organisations will be able to use the money to support UK nationals preparing for Brexit with a focus on those who may struggle with the paperwork. This includes pensioners, disabled people, those in remote areas, and those needing translation help. About 1.3m UK-born people are resident in the EU...’.

The Schengen Visa Page here says ‘The Entry/Exit System (EES) is a new scheme that will be established in the near future, by the European Union. The main purpose behind the founding of the EES is to register entry and exit data of non-EU nationals crossing the external borders of EU Member States in order to strengthen and protect the external borders of the Schengen area, and to safeguard and increase the security for its citizens...’. It says, among other benefits ‘To assist in the identification of third-country nationals who do not or no longer fulfil the conditions for entry’.

Various:

Anglicisms are creeping into Spanish life. From Cinco Días, a report on the English words and phrases adopted for commercial use (even when they don’t make perfect sense), like ‘New fragrance, new woman’ and ‘Sunset Style with blind effect’ (sunglasses).


From El País in English here: ‘Why the Spanish language is losing ground in Gibraltar. Younger generations are using English almost exclusively, a fact educators blame partly on social media’.

The Junta de Andalucía has agreed to financially support Spanish language classes to those Andalusian migrants in Catalonia and elsewhere in Spain says El Periodico here.

They are growing cacao in Málaga, and Spain’s first national chocolate can’t be far behind.

There are said to be around 500 pickpockets working the Madrid metro system.

Gambling, like every other industry, is about parting customers from as much money as is possible. Here we look at the ways gambling halls are designed to entice one to pull the handle just one more time.

How do restaurants get their clients to spend more? Well, as always, there are some tricks says El País here.

The Spanish are masters at getting round pettifoggery. Here we read that doctors, tired of having to sign repeat prescriptions for  ibuprofeno and paracetamol, have taken to diagnosing their patients as ‘chronically ill’. The story is at Confidencial Digital.

‘Following the boom in low-cost aircraft in Europe, another type of low cost has flourished: that of buses. There are already several companies that offer this service such as Flixbus or BlaBlaBus. However, sad to say, in Spain, thanks to the monopoly system in road transport concessions, low-cost buses aren’t allowed...’. From Business Insider here.

No surprise to read in Euronews that the mental health of parents improves dramatically when their kids finally leave home. The original study comes from the University of Heidelberg.

‘Ah, the campo’, says an article at Soberanía Alimentaria here. ‘No matter the social class or the ideology, the idealization of the countryside is present in both the extreme right, that associates it with the purity and authenticity of the country, and the radical left, that sees in the flight to the countryside a way of anti-capitalist life in rebellion against the demands of the system. And this idealization is just another more subtle form of contempt, because those who live in rural areas do not see themselves as equals. They have no right to simply live their lives: they have an obligation to respond to the expectations of others...’. And how do we foreign residents treat the pueblerinos?

Here, from Eye on Spain, are fifty curious facts that, they claim, you didn’t know about this country.  One of them is ‘Spain has a bar for every 165 inhabitants’.

From Endesa the electric company comes ‘How to change your contracted power’ here (in English).

See Spain:

From The Guardian here: ‘The Júcar gorge: Spain’s very own Grand Canyon. This dramatic 40km limestone gorge, off the tourist track in rural Castilla-La Mancha, has historic villages and troglodyte dwellings and, now, a chic new cave hotel’.


‘Reccopolis, the Versailles of Spain’s deserted interior. The palatial complex was built by the Visigoths in 578, and has been the focus of archaeological studies for more than a century’. An item from El País in English about the remains of the palace in Guadalajara.

Fascism in architecture with The Guardian here: ‘From bombs to Benidorm: how fascism disfigured the face of Spain’.

Letters:

Dear Lenox

Thank you for your emails and all the information that you get for those of us not as proficient in using our computers or those like myself too busy to do it. I find BoT a great help and of much interest and very informative. TH

Finally:

Work and residence procedures for Brits living in Spain after October 31st: A (rather odd) video on YouTube here from Blackbright News. It seems we will have the same rights as before, for 21 months after Brexit, except our voting rights which will disappear at once (will our few British councillors stay on?).