News in Spain




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May issue 2012

Man loses testicle in 5 a side football game in Barcelona.

A man playing five a side football in Barcelona has lost a testicle after being assaulted during a game.

The official record of the match shows no incidents greater than two yellow cards, and reports indicate several players surrounded the referee without being able to see what was happened.

Police say they have established the 22 year old player was kneed in the groin in an off-the-ball dispute and the attack was not accidental.

At half time the ambulance arrived and took the victim to hospital. He’s not been named but apparently has decided to give up playing football, despite practicing since small.

The player, from the Club Esportiu Terra Negra team, has denounced the aggression, presumably from a player from the Jesús i María club.

Ryanair thanks the SEPLA pilots for the strike action in Iberia

Ryanair has issued a statement thanking the Iberia pilots for their strike action. The statement said ‘We are beginning to gain affection’ for SEPLA for ‘threatening’ once again the Iberia passengers for the summer season.

The SEPLA union pilots have called strikes every Monday and Friday until the end of July in protest at the creation of the new Iberia Express airline.

Ryanair has commented that this is encouraging passengers more and more to look for tickets ‘guaranteed without a strike’. It criticizes SEPLA also however for not taking the passengers or their families into account and for creating a summer ‘of anguish and uncertainty’.

Meanwhile Iberia management have gone to the courts over the pilots’ action, considering the strike could be illegal and in demand of economic compensation for the damage being caused to the company, calculated at 3 million € a day.

Dani Pedrosa allegedly caught cheating in a sailing exam

Dani Pedrosa - EFE
The top Spanish motorbike rider is accused of having an earpiece in his ear during the examination for yacht's captain.

Spanish motorbike rider, Dani Pedrosa, is reported to be among 21 people who were arrested by the Guardia Civil last Saturday in investigations into the alleged purchase of exams to qualify as a yacht captain.

Pedrosa has been indicted and was allegedly in a group of ten people detained on Saturday when doing the exam at the Polytechnic University in Valencia. He’s accused of taking up the identity of another person and of copying with the use of an earpiece.

The Government Delegate for Valencia, Paula Sánchez de León of the 21 arrested, four were part of an organisation which gave the exam answers and were found outside the hall, seven had taken the identity of someone else and ten were being informed by an earpiece. The instruction judge has imposed reporting restrictions and so the names of those detained has not been released by the court.

The biker was released Saturday night, but later was indicted in the case which the Guardia Civil have been working on for months.
Pedrosa’s agent has claimed that his client was in Switzerland the whole weekend.


The British Consular Network, Spain - Four arrests at Murcia pig farm

Animals were being ill-treated on the farm

Archive Photo EFE

Four workers on a farm in Murcia have been arrested for ill-treatment of the pigs. The Civil Guard arrested the manager and three other workers at the Fuente Álamo farm after the Igualdad Animal organisation denounced a continued crime of ill-treatment to the courts. It’s alleged that the men used iron bars and used knives to give birth when the sow was still alive.

The animal protection organisation presented the denuncia after being showed a video. It had been recorded by one of the workers at the farm who, after three years, decided to take action. He said the killing of pigs with a knife was common and ill-treatment was ‘constant and routine’

The four men, two aged 40, one 32 and one 22, are now before the Instruction Court in Cartagena. When the Guardia Civil inspected the farm, with vets from the Direction General of Animal Husbandry in Murcia, there were more than 3,000 females and 7,000 breeding pigs.

German envoy in Madrid to inspect the books while the Financial Times editorial slams the Rajoy budget

The Rajoy administration has now been in power for 100 days

Mariano Rajoy will today, Monday, explain the Spanish budget to an emissary from Angela Merkel’s government. He will receive Volker Kauder, and inform him of the changes carried out in Spain in the last weeks.

Kauder is President of the CDU parliamentary group in Germany.

Meanwhile the Spanish press has been reviewing the first 100 days of the Rajoy administration, the time traditionally in Spain for generosity to be shown to the new Government. But it has been a 100 days of labour reforms, spending cuts, and a General Strike.

A very harsh editorial in the Financial Times this morning describes the 2012 budget as ‘strange and worrying’. The paper notes in his favour that Rajoy should not have found himself facing reducing the deficit from 8.5% to 5.3%.

‘The EU should have let Madrid leave the target at 5.8% because the Spanish debt is one of the lowest in the developed countries and because too much austerity can reduce growth and increase the risk of Madrid failing to meet their objectives.

The FT says it will not be easy to make 17% savings in the Ministries, and thinks the decision to freeze wages in the public sector could meet opposition. It also doubts the effectiveness of the fiscal amnesty and the government expectation of the measure bringing in 2.5 billion €. There are concerns too about the higher taxes on businesses, and says it would have been better to increase VAT/IVA.

In conclusion it says that ‘This budget runs the risk of exacerbating social tensions without creating the conditions to allow a fall in the costs of Spanish bonds, and although the EU is guilty of imposing unnecessary austerity, Rajoy’s budget could have been better designed’.

Pension, Benefit and Healthcare Team

On 6th April 2010, the rules surrounding the UK State Pension changed. You may know that the UK State Pension Age for women has started to gradually increase since the Pension Reform Act came into force last year. However, did you know that there are also other changes that could affect you and your UK pension? If you have not yet reached UK State Pension age, you should be aware of the following:
- Men and women now only need 30 qualifying years of UK National Insurance contributions to get a full basic UK State Pension - Men and women now only need 1 qualifying year of National Insurance contributions to get some UK State Pension - Parents and carers, past and present, may be given new National Insurance credits that will count towards a UK State Pension. For full details on all the changes, and how they could affect you, see www.direct.gov.uk.

Although the PBHT can help customers in many ways, Martyn, PBHT Officer in Alicante, pointed out last month that there are some questions we cannot answer as we do not have the expertise to do so. One such topic is tax. However, our website of the month for October, www.hmrc.gov.uk, might be able to help where PBHT can't. And it's not just tax that is covered. National Insurance numbers, National Insurance contribution records, paying voluntary contributions… It's all there, so why not take a look.

Did you know that if a British child is born in Spain, the parents can choose to register the birth of the child in the
Consular Birth Register in Madrid? It's important to be aware that, although you must register the birth with the Spanish authorities, there is no obligation to register it in the Consulate, and it won't affect the child's eligibility for a British passport which you, as parents, can apply for at any time. However, many do choose to register. Benefits include the possibility of purchasing a British-style Consular registration certificate and having a permanent record of the birth held at the General Register Office in the UK. Full details on how to apply, documents required and fees can be found at: http://ukinspain.fco.gov.uk/en/help-forbritish-nationals/living-in-spain/births-deaths-marriages/birth-registration

As we have highlighted previously, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is designed to cover a person for necessary treatment in a public hospital whilst they are on a temporary stay in another country.
Unfortunately, there have been cases in Spain in which a person has been asked to pay a deposit and/or sign a payment agreement at a public hospital despite producing a valid EHIC. In these cases the hospital wished to charge the cost of treatment back to the persons travel insurance, rather than accepting the EHIC.
While taking out travel insurance is important, private medical insurance should not take precedence over the EHIC, providing the card is valid and being used in the correct way. If you, or someone you know, has had their EHIC refused at a public Spanish hospital, it may be possible to apply for a refund of any costs incurred via the Overseas Healthcare Team who can be contacted on 0044 191 218 1999.

eu your europeWEBSITE OF THE MONTH
Our website of the month for September really has something for everyone. The Your Europe section of the European Commission (EC) website is specifically for those who are working, living and travelling within the EU. For example, if you want to know more about social security and tax matters as a worker in another EU country, or are looking for a job abroad, see the "Work‟ section. Or perhaps you want to know more about accessing healthcare whilst living or travelling in Europe? There's a great healthcare section too! And while you‟re on the internet, why not also browse the rest of the EC website – the amount of useful information, including specific information for Spain, may surprise you!

Do you know where your passport is right now? For the majority, the answer is probably yes. But if the question was 'Do you know when your passport expires?' The positive responses would probably drop rapidly.
'Being aware of when your passport expires is becoming increasingly important', says Andy Hamilton, Head of the Regional Passport Centre in Madrid. 'If you don't have a valid passport, and need to travel urgently, you'll have to pay for an emergency passport, which is an expense most of us could do without. We understand that it's not always easy or convenient to send your passport in to be renewed at the exact point it expires, which is why people can send in their renewal application any time in the 9 months before without losing any validity'.
'Over the next couple of years, customers will see some changes to the current passport service. We're working toward a single system where all persons can apply directly to the UK, something our customers tell us they want.
During this period of transition, keeping an eye on when your passport expires will be really important to ensure you're not unduly inconvenienced'. More information on the upcoming changes can be found on our website, http://ukinspain.fco.gov.uk.

Tpdehe Plataforma en Defensa de l'Ebre (PDE)


We would like to offer you news stories relating to our struggle to protect the river Ebro and its eco-systems. The first is in English but the other news items are in Catalan or Spanish so we offer a brief summary.


1. The European Comission will take the Spanish state to court regarding the more-than-two-delay in publishing the River Basin Plan for the Ebro. http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/11/729&type=HTML

EU Press Release Brussels, 16 June - The European Commission is referring Spain to the EU Court of Justice for breaching two pieces of EU environment legislation.

The EU Water Framework Directive requires Member States to publish a management plan for each river district by 22 December 2009 at the latest. Spain is required to adopt 25 plans in total, but has so far only adopted and communicated one (the Plan de gestión del Distrito de Cuenca Fluvial de Cataluña).
Despite earlier warnings (see IP/11/91), as the plans have still not been adopted almost a year and a half after the deadline, the Commission has decided to refer Spain to the EU Court of Justice.

2. The lack of flow in the Ebro (closely related to the delay in publishing the Basin Plan, and hence a "minimum environmental flow") is causing serious problems. An excessive growth of river algae, for example, has led to serious health and social problems for the local population due to the massive expansion of the "black fly" (Simuliidae). Another potentially more serious problem occurred recently when river algae blocking the water pipes of the cooling pumps at the nuclear power plant in Asco, led to a 40% drop in power.

The Plataforma en Defensa de l'Ebre (PDE) is a group of volunteers campaigning to protect the river Ebro, its eco-systems and, consequently, the livelihood of many people who live on and around the river. Please Contact the Platform for the Defense of River Ebro : [email protected] for more information.


Pension, Benefit and Healthcare Team CALLING ALL PENSIONERS!! The International Pension Centre (IPC) recently started a "life certificate" campaign and will soon be sending forms to many of you in Spain. As we´ve mentioned before, the life certificate is a form you must complete, within a certain time period, to demonstrate you continue to have the right to a pension. It is important the letter reaches you as soon as possible. We would therefore like to ask you to ensure the IPC hold your up to date contact details. Although you will have provided them with your Spanish address when you first moved over, if you have since moved house, or your address has changed due to increasing urbanisation in your town, inform the Pension Service on 0044 191 218 7777. Remember, you should inform the IPC of any changes in your circumstances, such as changes in address, within 28 days as you could receive correspondence from them at any time throughout the year. If "updating your details with IPC" is a resolution you keep all the way through to 2012, you´ll save yourself trouble regarding your pension in the year ahead!
A message from the British Consulate. We know that the withdrawal of the old "Residencia" ID cards has caused inconvenience to many British citizens living in Spain. However, ultimately this is a matter for the Spanish Government in the same way that not going ahead with the UK ID card project is a decision taken by the British Government. As you may know, Spain withdrew the Residents Card for EU citizens in order to comply with the EU Directive 2004/38/EC on the freedom of movement within the European Union which prevents a member state from issuing compulsory ID/residence cards to citizens of another EU country. Nevertheless, we will continue talking to the Spanish authorities in order to find an alternative solution that can help British and other European residents. In the meantime, the only legitimate form of ID for British citizens that is recognised by the Spanish authorities is the British passport, although you may find that a photo driving licence, a photo credit card or a certified copy of your passport is accepted in some shops and stores.

January 2011 ISSUE


If you cannot get a cedula for your house, there is now a certificate you can get from an architect which states that the building does not conform to the cedula law, i.e it doesn´t qualify. ( This only applies to properties registered as viviendas)
If you sell your house with this certificate the status of it will not change. In the new escritura it will still say "vivienda", but with a small amendment? (I don´t know if that´s the right word) that says it does not conform to the law of the cedula. It basically means you don´t have the right to mains water and electric.
If it says in your nota simple "vivienda" that is what will go in to the new deeds, and it will get registered at the land registry as such.
To obtain this certificate you need to take your escritura and N.I.E to an architect. He does not need to come to the house and there is no time limit on it.

That´s all there is to it really, only took them a year to come up with it!!!
Perelló Properties Direct S.L
Tel: (0034) 977 490605
Fax:(0034) 977 490865
E-Mail: [email protected]
Web: www.ppdsl.com


Provided by the Pension, Benefit & Healthcare Team here at the British Consulate.

I can confirm that those who are 'empadronado' (registered at the town hall) in the region of Catalunya and have no access to healthcare by any other means (either from Spain or the UK) can now access healthcare in Spain free of charge. This means that the Catalunya pay monthly scheme (87€ per month) or the means-tested route into healthcare are no longer in existence.

This change is due to a new law (Ley 21/2010, de 7 de julio, de acceso a la asistencia sanitaria de coberatura pública a cargo del Servicio Catalán de la Salud) which came into effect in Catalunya on 01 October 2010, further details of which can be found here: http://www.gencat.cat/diari_c/5672/10189023.htm

To apply for a health card in this way (Tarjeta Sanitaria Individual) applicants should go to their local 'Centro de Atencion Primaria' (CAP) where they will have to fill in an application form: http://www10.gencat.net/catsalut/archivos/240z214sol_cast.pdf and present photocopies of their NIE/DNI, passport and padrón certificate with an issue date of less than 3 months.

UK nationals will also need to present proof of no entitlement to healthcare from the UK which can be obtained by contacting the Overseas Healthcare Team in Newcastle on 0044 191 218 1999. Applicants under 18 will also need to present a copy of the 'Libro de Familia'. The health card, once issued, will be sent by post to their home address

Proof of Social Security number only needs to be presented if the person applying is the dependent of a contributor to the Social Security system.

I hope this answers your query however if you do have any further questions then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us again.

Kind regards,

Laura Leeman | Officer | British Consulate | Plaza Calvo Sotelo 1,2, 03001 Alicante
Tel.: +34 965 216022 | fax: +34 965 140528 | FTN: 8361 2004

Catalunya Data Portal Launched! The government of Catalunya has launched an open government data portal. The Catalan regional government has launched an open government data portal, adding to a growing list of international, national, regional and even local open data catalogues, where citizens can find public data for re-use. This is not just an important step for Catalunya, offering citizens a great resource, but also an important step and very good news for PSI and PSI re-use in Spain and Europe in general. The portal can be found at Dades Obertes Gencat (open data generality of Catalunya) http://dadesobertes.gencat.cat/



The SUPER SLICK new AVE train

This S103 model has a 200 metre long aluminium chassis carrying up to 404 passengers, it even has reclining seats that swivel to face the direction of travel, and these seats even have video and music players.
The aim of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is to have 10,000km of high- speed track in Spain by 2020, meaning that 90% of the population will be no more than 30 miles from a station through which the train passes.
December saw the opening of lines connecting Madrid to Valladolid and to Malaga, which have slashed journey times and proved hugely popular. Carrillo describes the success of these two lines as “unprecedented and well ahead of what we expected. Traffic has doubled on the Malaga line, and grown by 75% on the Valladolid line.”
What the AVE offers is unavailable in the rest of Europe in terms of comfort, speed and punctuality. Do not read on if you are a British commuter used to delays, if an Ave train arrives more than five minutes late, passengers are reimbursed the full price of their ticket, the main problem for those hoping to get their money back is that the trains are almost 98% reliable.
New Rail Link Between Seville and Barcelona Announced
Plans were announced last week for a new high speed train route for Andalucia, to connect Seville with Barcelona and also Malaga with Barcelona without having to go to Madrid. A date has not been set, but the plan is to provide a link south of Madrid which connect the existing AVE lines from Barcelona and Andalucia.
ave train


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