SPANISH Spending habits are changing. Spanish consumer confidence has remained low for nine months, with 76 per cent now believing that their personal finances will go badly over the next 12 months, Nielson found.
The crisis influences what they buy, 86 per cent told a survey by marketing research specialists Nielsen.
Lowering their electricity and gas bills are principal targets for 73 per cent of Spanish consumers. Sixty eight per cent of the Spanish have cut down on leisure spending, they said, and 63 per cent now spend less on clothes. A further 53 per cent have switched to more economic brands when buying food.
TELEFONICA has seen its headline net income rise 20.6 per cent in the first three months of the year. The multinational company made €902 million world wide, but after excluding exceptional items from last year and this, net income was down 7.9 per cent. Sales fell 8.8 per cent to €14.142 billion.
For the first time Brazil became the company’s biggest market, despite a 9.5 per cent drop in sales to €3.26 billion. Meanwhile its European division saw a fall of 10.5 per cent in revenue, a drop the company blames on the economic crisis. The Spanish arm was particularly badly hit with operating revenues down 16.4 per cent.
Latin America as a whole accounted for more than half of Telefonica’s revenues for the second quarter in a row. At the end of March the company had debts of €51.809 billion, an increase of €550 million since the start of the year.
A devaluation of the Bolivar in Venezuela added €873 million to Telefonica’s debt pile.
ALMERIA Tourism Department, continues to promote the city as a tourist destination in national and international markets. Within Andalucia, the Tourism Department and the Almeria Turistica Municipal Company continues to promote the city in Cordoba, Sevilla, Malaga and Granada, holding meetings with members of the travel sector.
The campaign is carried out with promotional and informative material, offering guided tours, hotels, restaurants, maps and other information regarding the city.
One of the most popular proposals is the Almeria to Santiago de Compostela route which is popular with hikers who enjoy the challenge of walking more than 1,350 kilometres across Spain.
Almeria Tourism Department is also heading for cities such as Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki, to attract tourists who want sun and sand, combined with nature, culture and leisure.
Published in Costa de Almería
HACIENDA plans to slap an extra 10 per cent tax on alcohol. The present €8.30 a litre of alcohol is set to rise to €9.13. Spain imposes one of the lowest tax rates in Europe with only Italy, Romania and Bulgaria charging less.
Wine, which is not taxed on alcohol content, is unlikely to be affected by the changes. Beer’s alcohol content is currently charged at €1.99 per litre and will probably be unchanged. The tax rate is applied to the volume of alcohol, not of beer. So a litre of beer at 5 per cent alcohol content would attract a tax on 50 milliliters of alcohol.
A definitive decision regarding both has yet to be made, government sources revealed. Once the increase goes through, retail prices will depend on alcohol content and whether manufacturers pass on all the extra cost to the consumer.
Hacienda now intends to introduce the higher tax without delay to forestall stockpiling by retailers or the hotel and catering trade.
THE annual Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Malmö, Sweden, this weekend. Thirty-nine countries will be competing, with Asturian group El Sueño de Morfeo representing Spain with their song, Contigo hasta el final (With You Until The End), sung in Spanish, while Bonnie Tyler has been chosen to head the UK’s entry, singing Believe In Me.
The song for Germany is Glorious by Cascada, which some claim was plagiarised from last year’s winning song Euphoria by Loreen of Sweden. Russia will be represented by Dina Garipova with What If; Norway’s entry is I Feed You My Love from chart-topper Margaret Berger, while Denmark will be represented by Emmelie de Forest singing Only Teardrops, with all these in English.
Hosts Sweden will be represented by Robin Stjernberg who beat 10 other contestants to appear in the contest with the song You, which is also sung in English. While Armenia will be among this year’s line-up of contestants, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Portugal, Slovakia plus Turkey have all announced their withdrawal.
Published in International
SPANISH house sales went up for the third month in a row, although this was widely put down to a rush to complete transactions before tax breaks expired.
Meanwhile British expats living in Spain have had to comply with a new law requiring residents to declare overseas assets worth over €50,000, including bank accounts and other financial information. Failure to make an accurate declaration can lead to large fines.
As relatively few Spaniards have assets outside Spain, some Spanish politicians have said they regard the new requirement as discriminatory. They fear it may lead to an exodus of expats, putting further pressure on the property market.
One piece of potentially good news is that the European Commission has decided to refer Spain to the EU's Court of Justice for discriminatory real estate tax rules that prevent non-residents from enjoying the same tax benefits as residents.
According to the Spanish legislation, capital gains from the sale of a permanent residence are exempt for tax if the money is used to buy another permanent residence.
However, this provision only applies to Spanish residents, therefore discriminating against non-residents who can end up paying much higher taxes.
In practice if a person living in Spain moves to another member state, and sells a permanent residence in Spain to buy a new house in another member state he or she will be taxed on the capital gains made on the sale.
Conversely if he or she had stayed in Spain and bought a new house there, he would not be taxed.
The Commission considers that this is an obstacle to free movement of persons, workers and self-employed, and therefore breaches the EU Treaties.
Published in Property
IN clearly difficult economic times, with the insurance sector decreasing for the fourth consecutive year, Linea Directa Aseguradora has closed 2012 with the highest profit levels in its history: 121.5 million euros before tax, representing an increase of 13 per cent on the previous year.
There have been three main reasons for this: the sharp rise in the number of customers, effective underwriting risk management and the improvement of all the company’s processes and services, which have enabled it to reduce expenses without diminishing the scope of the cover offered.
As a result, the total number of policies, which since last February has exceeded two million, rose by over 105,000 last year, mainly thanks to the Home Insurance Area, which in the five years since it was launched, now has over 230,000 policies without having resorted to mergers or acquisitions.
The International Area, a strategic business
Linea Directa offers its foreign policyholders living in Spain all its services in English and German. As a result, purchasing the policy, making enquiries, dealing with accidents, sending documentation and 24-hour road assistance can all be carried out both in English and German, at a time which suits the policyholder and with only one phone call. In addition, Línea Directa’s International Area offers its policyholders a translation service which they can use for dealing with repairers.
The International Area is a key strategic factor for Línea Directa, through which the company offers its foreign customers totally exclusive services, discounts and offers.
Call now: 902 123 104
Published in Advertising Feature
SPAIN has been popular holiday destination among Europeans, but now it seems Americans want a piece of the action too. According to the country's tourism research agency Frontur, arrivals from the US increased by 35.7 per cent to almost 100,000 in March 2013 compared to 2012. This is the highest growth rate of any nation.
The Costa Blanca is proving to be a popular spot for holidaymakers and there is good access between the area and the US. Direct flights operate from New York, Atlanta, Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, Newark, Charlotte, Dallas and LA to Madrid. Then there is the high-speed rail link to Alicante.
However, it isn't just the Americans that are increasing Spanish tourism. Overall tourism was up 7.9 per cent year-on-year in March 2013. In fact 9.4 million tourists visited Spain between January and March.
British tourists made up just less than one in five (19.9 per cent) of all arrivals in the country, while Germans accounted for 11.9 per cent of total visitors. The French also increased their share in tourism, with arrivals rising by 16 per cent. Scandinavians were up 13.8 per cent year-on-year.
THE Ashley Madison dating agency for the unfaithful has apologised to Queen Sofia for using images of her for an advertising campaign.
The advert was first published in magazine ‘El Jueves’, but it was the company’s later decision to create its own publication with images from its controversial advertising campaigns that led the Queen to sue them.
The image showed a woman with the face of Queen Sofia, embracing a young man, both dressed in their underwear, and with the slogan “now you don’t have to spend the night alone.”
They have now apologised publicly in the Spanish press and promised not to use images of her again. Images of King Juan Carlos I, Prince Charles and Bill Clinton were also used in their advertising campaigns upon their arrival in Spain in 2011.
Published in International
FOREIGN tourists to Spain spent €3.28 billion in March, up 13.7 per cent over the same month of 2012.
On average each person spent €963, and average spending per day of €110 represented increases of 5.4 per cent and 5.1 per cent, respectively, according to the Egatur Tourist Expenditure Survey, prepared by the Institute for Tourism Studies of the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism.
The Canary Islands and Catalonia were the major sources contributing to the growth in the month, with visitors from France, the Nordic countries and Germany.
Germans came top in terms of spending in March (up 13.4 per cent), and Andalucia was the region to benefit most from this result, followed by the Balearic and Canary Islands.
Tourists from the United Kingdom spent a total of €632 million (up 2.2 per cent on March 2012), mainly in the regions of Andalucia and Catalonia. Spending per British tourist increased while their average spending per day remained stable.
The Nordic countries were third on the list, spending a total of €558 million in Spain in March (up 25.7 per cent), and the Canary Islands (the main destination for these tourists) benefited the most from this growth.
However, tourists visiting from France recorded the largest increase in tourist spending in Spain in March, with a total figure of €400 million spent, and an increase of 43.5 per cent with Catalonia the main preferred destination for these tourists.
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