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

31/05/21. 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:

Pablo Casado says he will support Pedro Sánchez against the current importunities and aggressions of Morocco – as long as Sánchez tosses his partners the Unidas Podemos from the Government.

The PP certainly has some interesting proposals while the remarkable sense of timing of Pablo Casado is once more in evidence. As we learned, the conservative leader met six days before the migration crisis with leaders of two Moroccan parties – the Istiqlalthat and the RNI – that, inter alia, are claiming Ceuta and Melilla (cities with a combined Spanish population of 170,000 souls). And he did so after leaking the decision of the Spanish Executive to provide humanitarian aid to the leader of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali (smuggled into a hospital in Logroño by the Spanish Secret Service).
In the Cortes, an attack against Sánchez in the regular session of control was answered by Sánchez saying he wasn’t sure which country Casado was representing in his aspirations, and he quite understandably questioned the PP’s leader’s loyalty to Spain.
We remember last year’s efforts by Pablo Casado to stop the aid from Brussels that Spain needs following the Coronavirus crisis.
His loyalty to the notion of democracy, that noble concept, appears to be in some doubt (after all, who was it who won the elections in December 2019?) as he blurs the concept of opposition. His efforts appear to be to destroy rather than build, with an ambition for himself rather than for the country he hopes one day to represent.
The Spanish joke that his nickname is fraCasado, or ‘busted’.
From El Periodico here: ‘In Pablo Casado's opposition to the Pedro Sánchez government, one line has almost always been imposed: criticize everything, oppose everything. The rare cease-fires are brief, like when the president of the PP allowed himself to be seduced by the temptation of the centre. But lately, perhaps following the results from the Madrid elections, Casado’s opposition for-its-own-good has reached the top of his game…’.
Imagine how strong Spain would be if they all pulled together.

Housing:

The rules regarding the extension of a five or seven year rent are explained at 20Minutos.

La Usucapión is the right to take over ownership – or usurpation – of a property after a period of time without any rightful owner coming forward. Conceptos Jurídicos explains the details here.

‘Halting evictions and standing up to banks in Spain. Spain’s housing market, largely unregulated and controlled by banks tied to foreign interests, has seen many people evicted from their homes over the years. But those affected have had enough’. The report comes from New Frame here.

From ‘Demolition in Vera’ at Spanish Shilling here (‘the garage’ here and ‘the demo’ here) to The Mail’s ‘British expat couple, both 77, who have lived in a garage for 13 years after their Spanish home was bulldozed, finally win legal battle’ here. The story of the Priors.

Tourism:

‘Spain opens up to vaccinated tourists from 7 June - regardless of where they are from. The PM Pedro Sánchez made the surprise announcement at the Fitur international tourism fair in Madrid this past Friday says Sur in English here. A short video-statement from the president (speaking in English) regarding British tourists here.

‘A three-month Europe-wide campaign has been launched by Spain's tourist board urging foreign travellers to return, backed by an €8 million investment and social media advertising. “You deserve Spain,” reads the slogan across different photographs, the most frequently-seen being one of a family, from the back, standing on a beach looking out over the sea…’. An item from Think Spain here.

While Spain says ‘yes’, the UK says ‘amber’. From Hosteltur here: ‘The Government of the United Kingdom has promised to consider tourism for its citizens to islands such as the Canary Islands or the Balearic Islands separately from the rest of the country…’.

El Economista says that Spain can expect a return to the beaches this summer of around 70% of the 2019 figures, as we continue to wait to see just what the UK’s plans are.

Seniors:

The Imserso 2021 holidays should return after the summer. El Correo has the latest here.

Finance:

Judging by credit card spending, says El Economista, consumers are starting to see the end of the tunnel. The headline says ‘The key indicator that confirms the arrival of the economic recovery in Spain’. The story is here.

The wealthiest population by municipality lives in Pozuelo in Madrid. They enjoy an average income of 28,300€ per annum. The poorest is Níjar in Almería, at 7,300€.

The Government calculates that Spain will need to receive "hundreds of thousands of immigrants" to cover the costs of pensions’ says VozPópuli here. ‘The country needs at least 191,000 immigrants to come to work each year for the next thirty years. In 2050, we need to have welcomed some 5.7 million new foreigners who would add to the 2.1 million who already work in our country’.

The extension and conditions of the temporary redundancy scheme that’s allowed millions of Spanish employees to receive 70 percent of their wages during the coronavirus crisis, the ERTE or furlough system has been extended – after long talks from the various sides – until September says Diario de Sevilla here. The signing by the Government, the CEOE employers association and the unions will hopefully sign the accord on Thursday.

‘The Minister of Labour Yolanda Díaz has multiplied by five the number of labour inspections in the campo and inspectors have discovered fraud in one out of every three’ says InfoLibre here. It’s not totally surprising, as those who work long hours in the agriculture sector will affirm, and the president of ASAJA (the agrarian association of young farmers) has warned in a video at Spanish Revolution that “You are not going to destroy this sector, we guarantee it. I do not know when we will put the tractors on the public roads, but I give you my word that this time we will not be peaceful. If you do not withdraw the inspections and do not withdraw that questionnaire, we will not be peaceful”. The ‘questionnaire’ from a department of the police called UCRIF (‘Unit against Immigration Networks and Documentary Falsehood’), relates to the false employment of immigrant labour which is common in the sector. We read that ‘Last year, Yolanda Díaz met with ASAJA, along with other agricultural groups like COAG and UPA, and she explained that “verifying by the Government the conditions in which these agricultural workers are living is an essential first step towards the guarantee of their dignity and their rights”. One issue that stumps farmers is the low price they receive for their produce, as the buyers have tremendous power over them (see ‘Mercadona limits milk prices’ here or ‘We are not delinquents, we are the ones who bring the fruit and veg to your fridge’ here).

Politics:

Two recent polls give a victory to the PP. Antena3 says ‘Electoral overturn if there were general elections today. The PP would beat the PSOE and could govern with the support of Vox’. El Plural leads with ‘The Mother of all Polls: Ciudadanos is on the brink of disappearance and the Right is close to an absolute majority’.

From El Español here: President Sánchez has 10,000 million euros and 130 measures to help repopulate 'La España Vacía': the empty Spain - 3,400 municipalities where the population figures are receding. This includes better communications, more public services, 5G, renewable energy and so on. On Saturday May 22nd, Sánchez invited a group of mayors from the emptied towns to come to meet at the Moncloa. The ones from the PP (no doubt following instruction from the Calle Génova) declined the invitation en masse.

The Plan España 2050 is the proposal of the Government’s long-view towards Spain in thirty years, with ‘reforms in education, healthcare, taxes, jobs, pensions and the environment over the next three decades’ says El País in English adding, ‘…The 675-page document received input from more than 100 experts from various fields and ideological backgrounds, and it is now open to amendments by political parties, local and regional authorities, unions and employer groups, non-profits and universities…’. elDiario.es has the full ‘eleven points to the plan’ here. It says ‘…includes a 35-hour workday, an incentive for immigration, changes in personal income tax, delayed retirement age and green energy to seek climate neutrality’. Not everyone is enthusiastic: ‘It’s an insult to the intelligence of the Spanish people’ says Pablo Casado unhelpfully (EuropaPress here). ‘Casado says Sánchez should concern himself with the Ceuta of 2021 rather than the Virtual Spain of 2050’ according to El Periódico (of course, he could do both).

In real terms, says La Información, the future for Spain – from today’s perspective – is a mess; with a country suffering from poverty, inequality and a shortage of young people. Spain will become drier and hotter and it warns that ‘…"Fires and floods will be more frequent and destructive, the level and temperature of the sea will rise". The effects on strategic sectors such as agriculture or tourism will be devastating: "They will suffer severe damage, 27 million people will live in areas with a shortage of water, and 20,000 will die each year due to rising temperatures". The result of these adverse conditions will be depopulation, which will cause rural Spain to lose almost half of its current inhabitants with increasingly large and less sustainable cities, into which 88% of the population will be crowded…’.

The beleaguered Ciudadanos leader Inés Arrimadas hopes to "re-boost" the party with a convention in July because their project of "liberal centrism is more necessary than ever". elDiario.es reports here.

The Madrid regional president Isabel Díaz Ayuso says that her strategy won’t change – ‘continuous confrontation with the national government’. Like Groucho sings – whatever it is, I’m against it!

‘Vox agitates xenophobia in Ceuta bypassing the bans of the courts’ elDiario.es reports that ‘The far-right party tries to capitalize on every last detail of the crisis with Morocco. Santiago Abascal circumvented on Monday the prohibition of a political meeting in the autonomous city by calling an act disguised as a press conference. The numbers of the detractors of Vox surpassed those of its supporters’.

Catalonia:

‘Pere Aragonès: a discreet and moderate path to Catalonia’s youngest president. The ERC politician with a background in economics has held political offices since becoming MP at the age of 24’. Catalan News has the background to the new regional president here.

The Spanish government now leans towards pardons for the Catalonian politicians imprisoned over the Pròces says El Periódico here. The Supreme Court is against any amnesty for the twelve says 20Minutos here. The PP says that such a move ‘makes a mockery of democracy’.  We remember some past PP amnesties with Público here.

Melilla and Ceuta:

There are a number of items in last week's BoT regarding the Ceuta crisis - where around 8,000 immigrants suddenly arrived in the Spanish enclave from Morocco while the Moroccan police all carefully looked the other way. Behind this story of tragedy lies another of politics. Morocco wants Melilla and Ceuta - the two Spanish enclaves in North Africa.

El Faro de Ceuta reports that many children now under protection in Ceuta (700 at one point) were told that the footballer Ronaldo was there waiting to meet them! Some were pulled from school without their parents knowing, says La Información here. Some of the children have since been moved to the Spanish mainland – with thirteen pencilled in for Andalucía. Vox was so appalled by this acceptance of thirteen (13!) children for the region that they have pulled their backing from the regional government. ‘Get the PSOE to support your budget’ says Abascal at VozPópuli here. The LISTA land law is the first proposed law that Vox has decided not to support, says elDiario.es here, leaving the proposal for ‘the return to bricks and wild urbanism’, as the lefties call it, without enough support to pass. With Vox’s abstention, the PSOE, UP and allies with 50 seats beat the PP/C’s with 47. All because of 13 Moroccan kids…

Morocco says that if the leader of the Polisario leaves Spain the same way he entered (disguised with the aid of the secret service) then ‘the crisis will take a turn for the worse’. The EU warns Morocco that it supports the Spanish position fully.

A story from The Guardian dated Sunday: ‘Hundreds of child migrants crammed into warehouses in Ceuta’.

Europe:

The British Ambassador Hugh Elliott says in a short video here that we Brits don’t need a TIE if we have a green-certificate, but it’s nevertheless recommended that we get one. He probably has a point.

Ah, The Express: ‘EU shamed for 'overburdening' British expats with Brexit paperwork - UK 'watching closely'. EU members have been warned the UK is "closely monitoring" the treatment of British nationals amid concerns some countries are failing to live up to the terms of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement’ (here).

An entertaining proposal comes from Italy’s Maredolce (in English) here: ‘Joining the European Union can solve most of UK’s problems at once’.

The Coronavirus:

‘Two weeks after the end of the State of Alarm in Spain, the fall in the coronavirus rate continues at a slightly slower pace. The lifting of restrictions has not brought an explosion of new cases, as epidemiologists had feared. But the improvement in the data is stabilizing after a month of a clear downward trend’ says El País in English here.

Diario Sur says that ‘Fitur (the Spanish tourist fair) returns optimism to the tourism sector’. The news-site says that ‘Regional President Juanma Moreno foresees that by June 30, 75% of Andalusians will be vaccinated’.

Spain has begun to vaccinate the 30,000 homeless says Euronews here.

Corruption:

This one’s a shocker: From The Guardian here - ‘A united nations of crime’: how Marbella became a magnet for gangsters.

From Diario16 here: ‘The EU Prosecutor's Office will end the privileges and judicial impunity of the Spanish elites. Among the most surprising attributions of the new European Union Prosecutor's Office that begins its activity on June 1 is the possibility of stopping an ongoing criminal investigation and transferring it to another EU country if elements of judicial corruption are found’.

La Información warns of ‘tarjetas revolving’ – a kind of credit card that adds up the interest as high as 30% per annum. Some 200 of these issued by various shops, gas-stations and other companies are in circulation.  In a lawsuit brought by the consumer’s group Adicae, ‘…it is stated that these cards "escape the control of transparency and have been offered to consumers through an aggressive marketing policy, causing serious damage to them by charging, on many occasions, more than double the amount that was requested".

Courts:

British expats are warned over ‘fraudulent’ residency applications following a spate of arrests says The Olive Press here. A gestoria called One-Way Services located in Quesada, Alicante, appears to be at the bottom of the problem says the paper.  The subject gets mauled by readers at Brexpats in Spain on Facebook here.

Media:

The number of unique visitors to the Spanish media is quoted by El Español here. The leaders in order of visits are La Vanguardia, El Mundo, El Español, El País followed by El Confidencial and 20Minutos...


Contrainformación looks at (and lists) the media coming from the extreme-right in an interesting round-up here.

Spot the difference: El Mundo May 18: ‘A group of people receive Pedro Sánchez with shouts and insults upon his arrival in Ceuta’ and El Mundo May 24: ‘Hundreds of radicals gather outside the hotel in Ceuta where Abascal was staying and disrupt the Vox meeting’.

Business over Tapas is 400 this week. The bulletin began in January 2013 and followed on from a weekly digest prepared by property advisor Per Svensson. Our thanks to him.

Ecology:

From the ‘Informe España 2050’, InfoLibre looks at ‘Government experts propose a sustainable 2050 without interior peninsular flights, with a lowered meat consumption and with an extra two degrees of warming’.


From elDiario.es here: Spain generates around 1.6 million tons of plastic packaging waste each year, and recycles slightly less than half of this. In addition, within the 17 million tons of mixed municipal waste, which include toys, cutlery, plates, wrappers, buckets, baby bottles and so on, around two-thirds of this general waste is not recycled, according to statistics from the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

In the best of cases, the plastic garbage ends up in municipal landfills. Otherwise, the waste is often tossed directly into the campo, or worst of all, into the sea on which Spain depends so much for both the fishing sector – it’s the leading country of the EU - and also the tourism sector. The United Nations Environment Program calculates that Spain chucks more than 126 tons of plastic waste into the sea every day. That’s almost 46,000 tons a year.

From Canarias7 here: ‘The "plastic soup" is up to a kilometre thick in the waters off the Canary Islands’. Tests have found shreds of plastic up to a kilometre deep in several locations around the shorelines.

The electricity bill will be calculated in a different way from June 1st, depending more on ‘when’ rather than ‘how much used’. The cheap-rate is from 12 at night to 8.00 in the morning plus weekends. Full details are at El Mundo here.

Various:

ThinkSpain looks at Spanish names – the most common and the rarest. First names, diminutives and the two apellidos – last names: it’s all here.

When one sees a graffiti that says ‘Viva Franco’, one nice way to ‘fix’ it is to add ‘Battiato’. The Italians are particularly pleased, says Público here, following the recent death of their revered singer/musician Franco Battiato (Wiki).

‘Almost a million Spaniards still do not have access to a good Internet connection. Despite the improvements achieved in the last three years, Spain has not met the European objective of ensuring a minimum connection of 30 Mbps to 100% of the population before 2021, says a report’. elDiario.es sympathises with those of us (!) who still have old copper-wire systems.

La Vanguardia says that anyone who drinks six beers or more each day is an alcoholic. They mean tercios, I think. The WHO has a test for drinkers here.

El Español finds six cities with sneaky radar systems tuned to fine those who exceed the 30kph speed-limit. The story here. There’s an ‘App’ called Social Drive which ferrets them out, apparently. Málaga is so browned-off by the 30kph speed-limit that it is looking at raising it to 50 says VozPópuli here. For one thing, it’s causing more traffic-jams.

Aragon will guarantee a minimum income of 522€ per month to any immigrant who settles there and is registered on the padrón. More at ABC here.

‘A petition calls for a smoking ban on all Spanish beaches. More than 283,000 back call to rid Spain’s coastline of smoke and discarded cigarette butts’. From The Guardian here.

Spain has an ever-growing list of ‘The Most Beautiful Pueblos in Spain’. It’s in reality a commercial agency of some sort, popular – for obvious reasons – with the local tourist departments. Find them here. Anywho, El Huff Post says that another eleven pueblos have now joined the growing list.

See Spain:

AndalucíaMía brings us an article in English on Competa in the Málaga Axarquía here.

Visit some lesser-known ancient ruins that are a must-see in Andalucía and the Costa del Sol with The Olive Press here.

Staying with Andalucía, Fascinating Spain takes us to Granada and its best pueblos here.

The eight best castles to visit with children is brought to us by El Español here.

‘Magaluf Ghost Town,’ a look at the weirder-than-fiction reality of Mallorca’s notorious party resort. El País in English says that ‘One of ‘Variety’ magazine’s ten emerging Spanish filmmakers Miguel Ángel Blanca has made a documentary about the tourist destination that blends fact and make-believe, horror and comedy’.

Finally:

A new type of music emerges from the poor immigrant barrios in Spain and elsewhere. elDiario.es has an article about this type of rap-style music called Drill with various examples to enjoy (Morad, Chief Keef and Bebegrande). Here’s one from Barcelona’s Bobe and Ghetto Boy with Fat Fat on YouTube.