Costa del Sol property & lifestyle, news, views, advice & information

Spain goes Full English for Eurovision in first time in its history

Author:   |  February 8th, 2016

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Barei has been chosen to represent Spain at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, and will do so singing in English for the first time in Spain’s history.

The Eurovision Song Contest is an odd enough spectacle at the best of times, but chuck in the added oddity of a group of second-rate boybanders rapping in terribly clichéd and broken English and it becomes – for native English speakers at least – an even more perplexing, some might say endearing, occasion…

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Brits in Spain urged to speak up or miss out on EU referendum vote

Author:   |  February 5th, 2016

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The silent majority may indeed hope that the UK remains inside the EU, but it’s precisely their silence that is worrying many British expats.

The numbers remain shocking whenever and wherever they are published, but let’s look at them again. There are only 283,000 Brits officially registered on the padrón as a resident of Spain. And of that minuscule figure (minuscule because it represents perhaps one quarter of the actual number of Brits who currently live in Spain), only 11,000 are registered to vote in the UK.

It is statistics like this that has every politically engaged Brit abroad – be they in Spain, France, Germany or elsewhere in the European Union – rather worried

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Spain economy grew 3.2% in 2015 as recovery takes firm hold

Author:   |  February 4th, 2016

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The Bank of Spain is the central national bank and the supervisor of the spanish bank system. On the first half of 2012 it has endured a lot of criticism for its possible responsibility in the banking crisis, specially because of the Bankia cases. This building, one of the official Bank of Spain headquarters, is located at plaza de Cataluña, Barcelona, Spain.

The Bank of Spain has welcomed the latest data, not least because recovery has been driven largely by domestic consumption.

Amid concerns that a new global economic crisis could be in the offing later this year, Spain’s economic performance in 2015 offered plenty of encouragement.

As predicted by many leading economists towards the end of last year, the Spanish economy grew by 3.2% in 2015 – putting the country towards the leading pack of strengthening European economies

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Expat problems are universal… except in Spain

Author:   |  February 3rd, 2016

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Expats who move to Spain will find that their list of grievances is encouragingly small.

The thrill of living life to the full in a fresh and exciting country is real. From the moment your plane touches down, life becomes a near-endless assault of new experiences, new people, new sounds, new smells and new sights…

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Spanish second-most popular language on Facebook and Twitter

Author:   |  February 2nd, 2016

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On social media, Spanish is second to English as the world’s most widely used language.

English is (perhaps ironically) known as the lingua franca of the world, with more people speaking it as a second language than any other. Whether at a bar in Germany, a restaurant in Thailand or hiking through the hills of Peru, chances are that a smattering of English gets most people a long way.

French, Chinese and Spanish have each long jostled for second-place in this unofficial chart, and new data released this week appears to show that Spanish has won the battle royale

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Approval of Spanish mortgages up 7.3% year-on-year

Author:   |  February 1st, 2016

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These days, Spanish banks and finance houses are undoubtedly much more willing to approve mortgages than they used to be.

For those thinking of buying a home in Spain, 2016 certainly looks like being a good year, and to that end national daily El País was prompted to run an article on the subject of mortgages – and how to choose the best deals – earlier this month…

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Spanish King wades in to try to resolve parliament deadlock

Author:   |  January 29th, 2016

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Spanish King Felipe (L) and acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy pose before their meeting at Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, Spain, January 22, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Ballesteros/Pool

King Felipe of Spain (left) met with the four main party leaders last week, and will do so again next week to try to break the current Parliament deadlock.

The ongoing deadlock at governmental level in Spain could be resolved next week, with the four main party leaders due to meet King Felipe to try to reach an agreement on how best to form a parliament as soon as possible.

Since the vote on December 20 last year left no party with a significant majority, Spain has been left in limbo as the various parties concerned – the Popular Party (PP), Podemos, Ciudadanos and the Socialists – seek a compromise that could prove workable…

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Spain ranked best place in the world for solo travel

Author:   |  January 28th, 2016

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Travellers hoping to see the world on their own can find no better place for solo travel than Spain.

Getting away from it all to find one’s inner self is becoming ever more popular as people have greater disposable incomes, travel becomes cheaper and the world opens up.

But solo travellers thinking of heading to the traditional “inner journey” locations of Thailand, Cambodia or South America need not look so far from home because a new report has found that Spain is actually the best country in the world in which to travel alone…

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Spanish property transactions increase for 18th month in a row

Author:   |  January 27th, 2016

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The Spanish property market has enjoyed 18 months of sustained growth as prices, mortgages and number of buyers all increase

For the 18th month in a row, the number of homes sold in Spain has grown, according to new data published this week by the country’s General Council of Notaries.

This sustained recovery of the housing market is great news for would-be investors and current homeowners, bringing with it steady price increases, growing market confidence and greater interest from many different buying groups…

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Three ways to gain in Spain 2016

Author:   |  January 26th, 2016

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2016 is shaping up to be a great year for Spain, economically, socially, and in terms of its global image… why not be a part of it?

All of the evidence – be it from economists, real estate experts or tourism websites – appears to suggest that 2016 could well be Spain’s year.

But while GDP increases, record overnight stays and various percentage-point increases in property transactions are all well and good, what does it all mean to the average sun-seeking, home-hunting Brit hoping to enjoy their own small slice of Spain’s good fortune?

Well, whether you are interested in a sunshine summer getaway, a savvy investment or a change of lifestyle, here are three ways to take advantage of Spain’s expected upturn in 2016…

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