A digest of this week’s Spanish financial, political and social news aimed primarily at Foreign Property Owners:
Prepared by Lenox Napier. Consultant: José Antonio Sierra
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October 24 2019 Nº 323
The crunch-time continues, with Brexit, Catalonia, Spain’s forthcoming elections and Franco’s trip (today, Thursday) to his new resting place. All four of these items are subject to spin, lies, truths, inventions and facts (in no particular order or composition). We have, nevertheless, already made up our minds, and whatever is written or reported will not change them.
With this is mind, we thought we’d write about Yoga this week.
From El País (and ignoring the influence of both the medical profession and Big Pharma) we wonder, is yoga a fake? Amazing question! According to the Spanish Govt, the answer is a faintly alarming ‘maybe’: ‘Last February the Ministry of Health launched the ‘coNprueba‘ campaign (here) with the aim of informing citizens about pseudo-therapies and pseudo-sciences. 73 of the 193 techniques analysed have now been categorized within the category of pseudo-therapies, since they do not have any scientific support, while 66 more are still under evaluation. Among them we can find yoga. But, how could this ancestral discipline have sneaked into this list? The Department of Health gives a brief answer: «It is currently being evaluated to see if it has provable value in scientific knowledge or evidence to support its effectiveness and safety.»…‘.
The article speaks of ‘sects’ and ‘charlatans’ (and, Goodness, there are quite a few of these knocking about here in Spain), but, yoga?
Here’s a short video from the Ministry of Science, together with the Ministry of Health. The various pseudo-therapies admitted by coNprueba (so far) follow (in Spanish, we’ve no idea what half of them are in any language): Análisis somatoemocional, análisis transaccional, ángeles de Atlantis, armónicos, arolo tifar, ataraxia, aura soma, biocibernética, breema, cirugía energética, coaching transformacional, constelaciones sistemáticas, cristales de cuarzo, cromopuntura, cuencos de cuarzo, cuencos tibetanos, diafreoterapia, diapasones, digitopuntura, esencias marinas, espinología, fascioterapia, feng shui, flores del alba, frutoterapia, gemoterapia, geobiología, geocromoterapia, geoterapia, grafoterapia, hidroterapia del colon, hipnosis ericksoniana, homeosynthesis, iridología, lama-fera, masaje babandi, masaje californiano, masaje en la energía de los chacras, masaje metamórfico, masaje tibetano, medicina antroposófica, medicina de los mapuches, medicina ortomolecular, metaloterapia, método de orientación corporal Kidoc, método Grinberg, numerología, oligoterapia, orinoterapia, oxigenación biocatalítica, piedras calientes, pirámide vastu, plasma marino, posturología, pranoterapia, psicohomeopatía, psychic healing, quinton, radioestesia, rebirthing, sincronización core, sofronización, sotai, tantra, técnica fosfénica, técnica metamórfica, técnica nimmo de masaje, terapia bioenergética, terapia biomagnética, terapia de renovación de memoria celular (cmrt), terapia floral de California, terapia floral orquídeas, terapia regresiva.
Among the therapies still under investigation we find acupuncture, hippotherapy, Thai massage, osteopathy, meditation and yoga.
And after a bout with Franco, Catalonia, elections and Brexit, a half-hour of yoga is decidedly an efficacious remedy
‘The first domino piece has either fallen or is about to. For the last few months, the residential market has seen that the juice that had fuelled the recovery of the sector since 2014 is now beginning to run out, despite the entry into force of the new mortgage law. While it’s true that political instability and the incipient economic slowdown may distort statistics during the coming months, the truth is that housing was already showing symptoms of exhaustion much earlier…’. El Confidencial here.
El País finds twelve amazing places which are currently on the market.
‘Canary Islands holiday crisis amid fears 500 hotels popular with Brits could go under following Thomas Cook collapse’ says The Sun here.
‘The AirBnB of motor-home rentals launches in Spain. Camplify, which was started in Australia and also operates in the UK, is to spend 1.2 million euros entering the Spanish market’. Item from Sur in English here.
The banks continue to close offices (making it even more inconvenient for The Customer). From Friday’s El Mundo here: ‘The Banco de Santander closes 175 offices today’ (as part of the permanent closure this autumn by this company of 1,150 offices).
‘Spain has 2,198 super-wealthy people, 5.3% more than in 2018. According to the Credit Suisse global wealth report, 3.9% of people who own more than 50 million dollars worldwide live in Spain’. From El País here.
Spanish General Election: Sunday November 10th.
From Cuarto Poder here, as the Partido Popular rises once again in voter support, ‘Pablo Casado closes the doors to possible would-be candidates coming from the failing Ciudadanos party. PP leaders say they have received multiple calls from people who militate or have militated in Cs, even from those who were erstwhile candidates’.
La Vanguardia reports that the PSOE remains as the leading candidature (despite the Catalonia crisis), with the PP rising fast and Vox in third place.
The electoral commission has obliged the PSOE to recall its (rather hopeless) video ‘Everybody’s Land’. Item plus ‘that video’ from El Mundo here.
An interview with the leader of Unidas Podemos produces a great title at ElDiario.es here: ‘Pablo Iglesias: «Sanchez has been looking for votes with Catalonia, it has not gone well and that is why he’s flying out the mummy by helicopter»’ (Franco, geddit?)
Protests continued with a massive march on Saturday through Barcelona, says El País with a photo of 525,000 (figure from the Guardia Civil) angry about the harsh sentences given to their leaders by the Supreme Court.
‘No end in sight to unrest in Catalonia. The demonstrations, some of them violent, are still going on in Catalonia a week after Spain’s Supreme Court sentenced nine separatist leaders to between nine and 13 years in prison for sedition’. Article from The London Free Press here (actually, the heavy rains this week have cooled their jets somewhat).
‘Hong Kong is exporting its protest techniques around the world. The “Be Water” nature of Hong Kong’s protests—fluid, flexible, and fast-moving—has taken on a new form half way across the world in Catalonia: as a tsunami… Item from Quartz here. The article notes ‘…Perhaps the strongest tactical link between the two protest movements is the focus on the Bruce Lee-inspired “Be Water” philosophy (here), which translates into unpredictable, creative, and agile protests that flow like water and move quickly throughout the city…’. *The webpage of Tsunami Democràtic, linked to in the article, was closed down by the Courts last Friday (here).
On Monday, the European Parliament decided against a debate on Catalonia.
Pablo Iglesias defends his proposal to grant pardons to the imprisoned Catalonian politicians as ‘this would contribute towards a resolution in the troubled region’ he says.
Analdo Otegi takes a shot at Catalonia: ‘As we learned in the Basque country, true democracy requires there to be peace on both sides’. Article from The Guardian here.
Oriol Junqeras said from his prison cell this week that ‘It’s an honour to be here in jail for serving democracy. I most certainly won’t ask for a pardon’. El Huff Post story is here.
An interior minister from Aznar’s time, Jaime Mayor Oreja, reckons that the Catalonia crisis, Brexit and the French Yellow-jackets, are all down to easing the laws on abortion.
You can’t have a good crisis without lots of fake news. Here are the best on Catalonia.
From Sur in English here: ‘Fabian Picardo wins Gibraltar general election. The GSLP-Liberals go into their third term of office at the helm of the Gib government with 52.5% of votes’.
Thousands of British expats and Spaniards joined forces for anti-Brexit protest on the Spain-Gibraltar border last Saturday. “Brexit, it affects Spanish people as much as British people, I just think it’s really sad”. Found at The Olive Press here. From the same source: ‘A Spanish political group has said it ‘hopes the UK returns’ even if it leaves the EU soon. The Pan-European party Volt issued its message of unity to Britain during an anti-Brexit protest in La Linea attended by thousands on Saturday’ (here).
‘Genealogy of Spanish corruption. Paul Preston (Wiki) traces 140 years of recent history in his new book Un pueblo traicionado (here). A period – we are told – that has been marked by venality, political incompetence and the social and territorial gap’. El País reports here.
From the ABC here: ‘Brexit: the British ex-pats aren’t convinced’. An excerpt: ‘…Clare Williams, who works in a real estate office in La Cala de Mijas, confirms the worry. «We have many clients who are British who have put their homes up for sale for fear of what might happen,» said Williams, who also narrated her fear of a loss of rights in Spain. “Especially for my children. I have two children who go to the University here and now I don’t know what will happen with their scholarships, for example”…’.
El País speaks with John Le Carré in Mallorca here ‘Brexit is the greatest foolishness ever’, says the novelist.
From El País in English here: ‘Brits in Spain resort to Irish ancestry to stay in the EU after Brexit. Ireland used to receive around 6,000 applications for citizenship a year before the 2016 referendum. But last year alone it received 25,000, some from British nationals living in Spanish territory’ (and soon, fingers crossed, Scottish too!).
Vox tells its folk not to give interviews to hostile news-sites. It has even provided a handy list: –Público, ElDiario.es, La Marea, El Plural, Todo es mentira (Cuatro), El Español, El Mundo (except for Álvaro Carvajal and Javier Negre), El País (‘as a general rule’), El intermedio (Wyoming), Infolibre, Revista Contexto CTXT and Business over Tapas.
From El Confidencial here: ‘Spain leaves the poorest region of Portugal without water: «This can be the ruin of us». Spain has done something unprecedented this year: withholding a large part of the Tagus river flow that she is treaty-bound to transfer to Portugal. The effect is catastrophic’.
The Mar Menor is dying, chocking on its lack of oxygen says El País here. ‘Pollution from fertilizers from intensive agriculture together with wild urbanism are behind the environmental catastrophe that has ruined the largest salt lagoon in Europe’ it says bleakly.
La Verdad de Murcia says that four experts on the environment have abandoned the Comité Científico del Mar Menor through discrepancies with the committee’s tactics and political affiliation. They aren’t the first to leave the agency.
Vox apparently blames the collapse of the Mar Menor on those people who want to live like the wealthy folk do, says El Digital Cartagena here.
La Opinion de Murcia has a video of the Mar Menor, showing the marked contrast between now and twenty five years ago.
Uncontrolled discharges of sewage are an ongoing problem on the Costa del Sol, particularly in Nerja and Coín says ElDiario.es here.
‘The vice president of the European Commission does not give credit to the small amount of solar energy installed in Spain given its ‘potential’. Frans Timmermans, the vice president of the European Commission, is «perplexed» that «there is not more solar energy production in Spain»…’. From Ecoticias here.
From El Confidencial here: ‘Those that disappear without a trace in Spain: «There are many people, more than we think». Is it possible to disappear completely today, in a hyper-connected world where all our steps are monitored? In our country, there are still thousands of open cases’.
Granada’s ‘Antonio el Tonto’ – a colourful lorry-hijacker also remembered as ‘El Pirata de los Camiones’ and now gone to his reward – is buried in vulgar splendour. He has a bronze Gucci bag on his plinth, a statue (he’s wearing a Rolex watch), a lighter and a pack of smokes, and now rounded off with an aluminium full-size replica of an Audi Q5. The pictures (yes, yes, show me the pictures) and story are at Público here.
20 Minutos says that Latin gangs in Madrid now have around 1,200 members, and they are getting steadily more violent and are often armed with guns.
From El País in English here: ‘The UK blocks Spanish judge from questioning Julian Assange over spying allegations. The magistrate has requested to interview the WikiLeaks founder by videoconference as a witness, and says the refusal by British judicial authorities is unprecedented’. A very poor show indeed.
Ten important drugs were to have had their prices reduced this autumn, but the Government, says ElDiario.es here, has now been persuaded by Big Pharma not to lower their prices (Sanidad says ‘it’s to guarantee supplies’). The drugs in question are Epinefrina parenteral, Levotirixina sódica oral, Metotrexato parenteral, Itraconazol oral, Ampicilina parenteral, Bencilpenicilina parenteral, Apomorfina parenteral, Amoxicilina, Lidocaína parenteral and Heparina parenteral.
This eccentric four-wheel drive with two motors (one in the front, one in the back) was used by the Guardia Civil in the sixties. The Citröen 2CV Sahara. Here.
The twenty-five hungriest radar-traps in Spain (map) here.
Geográfia Infinita brings us a useful article on Spanish wine production, with a map here.
While some of us like four walls and a bed, there are other options when it comes to a hotel. Eye on Spain brings us the ‘Top Ten most memorable places to sleep in Spain’. These include a converted bullring (!), a cave and an old Gypsy caravan.
Cultura Inquieta has Spain’s nine most beautiful train stations.
Some good news for those who live in the Province of Alicante…
British nationals in the Alicante province wishing to apply for residency can take advantage of new appointments made available in the central foreigners’ office in Alicante. Appointments are only for British nationals who live in the province of Alicante who want to apply for their green residency certificate (Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión) before the UK leaves the European Union.
Appointments will be processed under normal EU rules, which mean that applicants have to bring along their padrón, the correct application form and proof the correct fee has been paid. Applicants also have to bring proof of income and healthcare cover in Spain.
To make an appointment, please visit the appointment booking website here:
…….then select the province *Alicante* and in the drop down menu, select
POLICIA CERTIFICADOS UE (EXCLUSIVAMENTE PARA REINO UNIDO) and follow the steps to confirm your appointment time.
For more information on supporting documents needed please visit:
Margaret from Ecreu firstname.lastname@example.org
Until a government takes power in Madrid with a comfortable electoral majority, no sober attempt is likely to be made by the current Socialist government, or anyone else, to take on the ‘independentistas‘ where they ought to be easy to beat: on the political battlefield. For the foreseeable future, but with unforeseeable consequences, the youths of Barcelona will still be lighting the matches and the adults in Madrid will still be providing the fuel.
A couple of my friends alerted me that their European Health Cards (Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea) were expired. Turned out, mine was too! This is the European one you need for free health treatment if you go out of Spain to the European Economic Area. It’s the one non-resident Brits in Spain use for their free treatment here. It’s the one that might not be valid after a no-deal Brexit. Here is the link. It really is very easy to apply for online. It’s gratis. They send it you by post.
From Bloomberg comes the sobering news that ‘European banks combined are now collectively worth less than Apple Inc’.
Business over Tapas on Facebook here.
Hard Spanish News (silly stuff) on Facebook here.
Enviado por José Antonio Sierra