Rajoy has a chat with Trump

Mariano had what was described as an “extensive and productive” chat with Trump today. (Further investigation shows that it lasted exactly 15 minutes). Madrid said that Trump was very interested to hear about Rajoy’s reactivation of the Spanish economy. Rajoy said he talked at length on bilateral relations, security and the economy. As Trump hung up, Rajoy shouted down the phone that he would offer to mediate between the USA and south America. No news Continue reading

Netflix comes to Spain this October

Netflix, the online movie streaming service, will launch in Spain this October. Initially it will be available through Vodafone TV at an unspecified price. People using Vodafone TV will have access to all the content through their smart TV, decoder or tablet app, however they watch their TV. It may launch on its own later on, not specified yet. No news on whether they will offer original language shows or just the dubbed versions, although Continue reading

Health Tax on Fuel is illegal, rules EU court – must Spain pay back 13 billion euros to us drivers?

The EU has ruled that the centimo sanitario is illegal, opening the way to a court ruling that Spain must return the almost 13 billion euros collected to drivers. It’s a tax that the regions are allowed to apply at their discretion to fuel sold at the pumps, and the reason why Murcia is slightly cheaper for gas than Andalucia (Murcia doesn’t collect the tax). It’s known as the impuesto sobre las ventas minoristas de Continue reading

Spanish “green tax” on fuel probably illegal, says EU

The “centime sanitario” tax levied on petrol and diesel is against EU legislation, according to Nils Whal, chief lawyer to the EU. The EU has taken the Spanish tax to the general court in Luxembourg which is expected to issue a ruling on the tax within the next few months. They are expected to rule against Spain, and order the return of around 13 billion euros collected via this tax. Spain was taken to the Continue reading

UK & Spain sign new tax treaty to catch evaders

Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain have agreed to develop and pilot a system to make it easier to catch and deter tax evaders whereby a wide range of bank details of individuals will be automatically exchanged between the five countries, the U.K. Treasury said Tuesday. The announcement comes as hundreds of thousands of UK expats in Spain panic as the deadline looms for them to inform the Spanish tax agency of all their assets Continue reading

Let’s break Spain into a “Federal” state, urges PSOE

The PSOE is now urging the government to turn Spain into a full Federal state, with full powers to the regions, as an alternate to the breakup of Spain if Catalonia tries for full independence. It was first officially suggested last week by the President of Andalucia, Griñán, and the sentiment was echoed today by Rubalcaba, the leader of the PSOE. “I quite like the German model” he told reporters. Rubalcaba also said that the Continue reading

Spain “is in a new recession” admits new government

The new Minister for the Economy, Luis de Guindos, has said today that Spain is currently in a recession, and is likely to continue with negative growth at least until the middle of 2012. The shocking admission from the new government comes as it prepares the nation for a massive, sweeping round of cuts this Friday 30th. Rajoy has said he will cut some 16,5 billion euros from the budget for next year, freeze salaries Continue reading

Shock at max speed reduction

Spain is in shock after the government, without bothering to consult anyone, announced that as from the 7th of March the max speed limit will be just 110 kph, down from 120 kph. Why? I don’t know. The media -united in decrying the measure as unnecessary and ridiculous- doesn’t know. The opposition parties don’t know. The official reason is that by making people slow down by 10kph the country will save 15% in fuel. Zapatero Continue reading

Spain loves teaching, but people just use the government cash to fiddle the system

Spain loves the whole idea of “education” and “formation”. Politicians use long phrases such as “Long enough we have suffered economically, and in unemployment terms, without having to suffer as well without the possibility of educating ourselves whilst our bodies are idle” Bastante sufrimos en términos económicos y de desempleo para que suframos también en términos educativos mientras estamos parados”, [Rubalcaba 25/10/10 on investment in education] or  Savater (the philosopher): “We must define the common Continue reading