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

Spaniards and Brits both enjoy benefits of EU living, study finds

Author: Ian Clover  |  January 21st, 2015

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The study finds 30,000 Brits claim unemployment benefits in the EU, with 65,000 EU citizens doing likewise in Britain

Despite the oft-repeated narrative that immigrants are swamping the UK in order to bleed the country’s benefits system dry, recent data analysis has revealed that at least 30,000 British nationals currently receive unemployment benefit elsewhere in the EU.

The data, compiled by the Guardian, suggests that although there are more EU nationals claiming unemployment benefit in Britain compared to Brits claiming on the continent, the divide is not as stark as often claimed…

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Spain one of Western Europe’s best countries for cost of living

Author: Ian Clover  |  January 20th, 2015

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Spain's old-world charm is cheap as chips, while the modern resorts and cities remain affordable

A revealing infograph compiled by expat website MoveHub ranking the cost of living in 119 countries reveals that Spain is one of the most affordable places to live in Western Europe.

The data compared global prices against New York (at an average of 100) and found that the five cheapest countries in which to live are – unsurprisingly – located in Asia and North Africa, while Switzerland, Norway, Venezuela, Iceland and Denmark are the most expensive places.

In Europe, however, there was distinct east-west divide, with countries from Poland east – and southwards much cheaper than those in the west… with two exceptions

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A lesson in life overseas, from expats in the know

Author: Ian Clover  |  January 19th, 2015

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What does living abroad teach you about yourself?

There are many reasons why some people choose to live abroad – the search of a better job, a more laidback lifestyle, the chance to experience a new culture – but if there is one thing that unites ALL expats it is the fact that living in another country teaches them something about themselves they never previously knew…

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Plug that Gap: US clothing store opens first Spanish branch at Málaga airport

Author: Ian Clover  |  January 16th, 2015

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Common on the British high street, Gap had been absent from Spain until the Málaga store's opening

It’s as ubiquitous a sight on British high streets as Zara and H&M, but US clothing chain Gap is conspicuous by its absence in most countries in mainland Europe.

Present in France and Italy, the famous chain has no branches in Germany, Scandinavia nor eastern Europe, but has this week opened its very first store in Spain – at Málaga Airport’s T3 terminal, to be exact…

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Expat homeowners should not fear retrospective Spanish stamp duty

Author: Ian Clover  |  January 15th, 2015

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Some recent homeowners in Spain have been asked to pay retrospective Stamp Duty tax top-ups, but the scale of the problem is not so large

Reports last week in the Daily Mail have suggested that thousands of Brits who own property in Spain may be faced with a shock tax bill as the Spanish government seeks to claw-back ‘underpaid’ stamp duty.

However, the true risk of being handed a surprise retrospective tax bill is quite small, and those British homeowners who do receive a demand for extra payment are entitled to appeal…

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Spain considers tighter border controls in wake of Paris attacks

Author: Ian Clover  |  January 14th, 2015

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No passport queues are great, but at what price?

Spain’s Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz has told the El Pais newspaper that the government is considering tightening its border controls following last week’s attacks in Paris that left 17 civilians dead…

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IMF signals bottoming out of Spanish property prices

Author: Carolyn Mowlem  |  January 13th, 2015

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The IMF says Spanish property prices have come to, or may be near their lowest point

Published just over a week ago the International Monetary Fund’s January Multi-Country Report concludes that property prices in Spain, Ireland, Denmark and the Netherlands “have come to, or may be near their lowest point”…

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New Year’s Resolutions? Let Spain be your guide

Author: Ian Clover  |  January 12th, 2015

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Whatever your New Year's resolution, Spain can help you achieve it

It’s that time of year again when the post-Xmas binge guilt begins to subside, threatening your good intentions and meaning it is only a matter of time until your New Year’s Resolutions lie crumpled in the detritus of failure for another year.

So if you find that you are struggling, here is one simple tip to help keep you on the straight and narrow – move to Spain.

That’s right. According to Statistic Brain, the six most common resolutions made at new year are 1) Lose weight; 2) Get organised; 3) Spend less, save more; 4) Enjoy life to the fullest; 5) Stay fit and healthy, and 6) Learn something exciting – and life in Spain can help you achieve all of these, and then some…

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Three myths that no longer apply to Spain in 2015

Author: Ian Clover  |  January 9th, 2015

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Spain is set fair for a solid 2015, washing away many of the myths associated to it

If your New Year’s resolution is to no longer believe everything you read on the Internet, then you’re in luck (yes, I spot the irony here too, but bear with me) because 2015 is the year in which these tired old myths about Spain can finally be laid to rest…

Spain’s Queen Letizia brings splash of glamour to Three Kings parade

Author: Ian Clover  |  January 8th, 2015

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Spain's Queen Letizia is fast becoming a style icon

The traditional Epiphany parade in Madrid – held every January 6th to mark El Dia de los Reyes (the day of the kings) – was attended for the first time by Queen Letizia, who brought an understated flash of glamour and elegance to the occasion…

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