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Category: News (169 articles)

Cheaper passports on the way for British expats

Recent 'efficiency savings' mean UK passports are soon to become 35 per cent cheaper

From April, Brits living in Spain will be able to enjoy a 35 per cent saving when they renew their UK passports.

Three years of ‘efficiency savings’ – largely as a result of the controversial decision to close many of the UK’s overseas passport processing centres, including the one at the British Embassy in Madrid – means that the cost savings can now be passed on to Brits living overseas, according to the British Foreign Office… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 27/03/2014 [0] Comments 
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Spain’s attraction grows as more foreign cash floods in

Spain's economy has been bolstered and boosted by huge volumes of foreign investment

For Mariano Rajoy, 2014 could not have gone much better so far. The Spanish prime minister ended 2013 with scandals blowing all around him, the Royal Family lurching from crisis to crisis, and an economy that – while recovering – gave off the nervous air of a quivering chihuahua.

But what a difference a few months make. After earning the backing of the European Union for Spain’s impressive labour market reforms, and drawing praise from the International Monetary Fund, this week saw Rajoy’s premiership win the plaudits of Madrid’s famously sceptical academics, the backing of a number of international companies, and the approval of global economistsContinue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 21/03/2014 [0] Comments 
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Poundland on its way to Spain

These British bargains will soon be available in Spain

British discount retailer Poundland – famed for its bargain deals of multipack crisps, drinks packs, plastic toys and low-priced cleaning goods all priced (yep, you guessed it) at a quid – has recently announced that it is set to open ten trial stores in Spain.

The arrival of a Poundland store on your local high street in the UK is often met with trepidation. Its presence – much like off-licences, bookmakers and pawn shops – is usually a fair indicator that an area is on a rather downward trajectory, economically speaking.

So does the news that the company behind the stores, Poundland Group Plc., fancies expanding to Spain spell that further gloom is on the horizon? Actually, the exact opposite could well be closer to the truth…

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Author:Ian Clover 19/03/2014 [0] Comments 
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Cut-price Spanish villages? Not on the Costa del Sol

Buying property on the Costa del Sol is about lifestyle, not bargain hunting

You may think it strange that a VIVA news story focuses on why the Costa del Sol isn’t the cheapest place in which to buy Spanish property.

You may think, given that we sell property in the Costa del Sol, it would suit our interests to write stories telling of how there are many bargains to be had up and down the coast.

But if VIVA has learnt anything during its time overseeing the Costa del Sol property market, it is that honesty is always the best policy. Which is why recent reports in the British media that lift the lid on Spain’s ‘ghost villages’ are welcome news… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 14/03/2014 [0] Comments 
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Spain jobless figures continue to fall

Spain's economic recovery is beginning to create more jobs

Official data from Spain’s Labour Ministry has revealed that the country’s jobless total fell by 1,949 in February – the first time since 2007 that the shortest month of the year has seen a fall in unemployment.

This latest round of job creation means that there are now 4.81 million unemployed people in Spain – a figure that still accounts for 25 per cent of the working age population and remains one of the highest in the EU… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 04/03/2014 [0] Comments 
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New expats moving for fun, not work

The joys of overseas living are increasingly the reason why Brits become expats

A recent survey by international networking forum InterNations has found that 17 per cent of the 11,500 expats polled said they moved countries because they enjoy living abroad.

While this percentage was lower than the 34 per cent who emigrated for work, the gap has narrowed – particularly when compared to more established expats. A similar poll by insurer Axa PPP of 1,000 people who have lived abroad for more than two years found that more than half moved because of their career.

The results suggest that work opportunities, while still the most decisive factor when relocating, are no longer the overriding reason why people seek a new life overseas.

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Author:Ian Clover 03/03/2014 [0] Comments 
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From drag to driver: Spain now one of Europe’s leaders, say Rajoy

The Spanish Prime Minister is confident that Spain is now a key part of Europe's future

In a rather bullish state of the nation address this week, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy spoke of how Spain is no longer a drag on Europe, and is now seen as a key driver in the continent’s economic future.

That message of positivity was delivered on the back of an encouraging set of figures released by the government that showed a better-than-expected one per cent rise in GDP forecast for 2014. Such an increase, although modest, would allow for sustained job creation in Spain for the first time in six years… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 28/02/2014 [0] Comments 
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Spain debt rating upgraded with a positive outlook

Spain's fledgling economic recovery has now been recognised by credit agency Moody's

International rating agency Moody’s has upgraded Spain’s economy by one notch, a move that reflects the country’s careful rebalancing of its economy and the introduction of more flexible labour laws – the effects of which have created a more sustainable growth model.

While this is good news indeed for Spain’s economy, the fact that the country has been upgraded from Baa3 to Baa2 shows that there is still plenty of work yet to be done before ministers can claim that Spain is truly out of the woods… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 26/02/2014 [0] Comments 
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Tax reforms on way as Spain PM eyes re-election

Will a more streamlined taxation system help along Spain's economic recovery?

Spain’s inefficient tax system – which boasts some of Europe’s highest rates but lowest levels of collection – is set for a drastic overhaul this summer, with changes introduced early next year as Mariano Rajoy redraws the battlelines for the 2015 election.

After pushing through recent reforms in the labour market and pensions sector, Rajoy is aiming for a third successful overhaul; economists having praised the government’s initiatives for helping Spain emerge from recession at the end of 2013… Continue Reading

Author:Ian Clover 10/02/2014 [0] Comments 
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Spanish households returning to former wealth levels

Spanish wallets are feeling fuller than at any point in the past eight years

Amid the government-deficit-miracle-recovery-bailout-EU-export-growth chatter that has come to define stories about Spain over the past two years, it can sometimes feel like one key demographic gets forgotten – the Spanish public.

While tourism soars, the property market recovers and the export industry booms, the only time the average Spaniard is mentioned is usually when referring to unemployment levels…

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Author:Ian Clover 29/01/2014 [0] Comments 
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