A SPANISH LIFE NEWS: “Clausula Suelo”: What is it and can you claim money back from the banks?

Over the last 20 years or so, buyers from all over the world have flocked to Spain in order to buy their dream Spanish property. In doing so, many of them used tracker mortgages and, as a result, may have been paying too much interest on the money they borrowed.

Tracker mortgages offer interest rates that track the Euribor (European Interbank Offered Rate) which is a reference rate that is updated daily. It takes into account the average interest across all the countries in the Eurozone. Tracker mortgages are good because if interest rates are good because if the interest rate falls, then the amount of interest a borrow pays should also fall.

Many Spanish banks, however, have been found guilty of not passing the decrease in interest onto their clients when the rates dropped in 2009. Instead, they included a minimum rate of 3% to 4% in their mortgage agreements meaning that borrowers never benefited from the lower rates and banks continued to enjoy high profits from their lending activities.

The “clausula suelo”, or interest floor clause, caused many to lose their entire life savings as well as their homes because they could not keep up the repayments. The Supreme Court in Spain agreed that many of the clauses in the mortgage agreements are unfair and have ruled that mortgage holders are able to claim back their money.

In some cases, the amount of money which can be reclaimed runs into thousands of Euro.

If you have been affected by having a Interest floor clause mortgage and would like our help in recovering your money, then please send us a email to: admin@aspanishlife.com as we will be able to help you.

La Marina

A SPANSIH LIFE NEWS: Moving Abroad Can Be the Perfect Choice

Every year, thousands of people all over the world choose to pack up their possessions and move to another country. For some, it is the chance to start over in a new location, for others, it’s a place that they have always wanted to live. Whatever the reason may be, for many, moving is the perfect choice for them. These are some of the best reasons for finding a new home.

A Chance for a New Life

If you have been through a tough few years, the thought of going to a new country to start over can have a lot of appeals. Though many people move to other areas of their own country, due to divorce, lack of work or to move closer to family, there is still the chance that old problems can resurface. However, moving to a new country gives you the chance to begin a new life and the opportunities that go along with it.

The Chance to Learn a New Language and Culture

One of the most difficult moves can be to a country that doesn’t speak your language. Not only will you be in a new country, but communication may be difficult. However, there is a lot of excitement from learning a new language and becoming immersed in a new culture. If you are planning ahead, then you may have time to learn a few phrases before you go. If not, then you will have a lot of fun learning as you go along.

Becoming More Sociable

If you have lived in the same location all your life, then meeting new people might not happen often. That’s why moving abroad is also a good idea, because it can encourage you to meet new people and make new friends. If there is a language barrier, then seeking out others from your country is an effective way to make friends and learn the language too.

Learning the Value of Possessions

One of the things that you will soon realize when moving to another country is how little possessions mean to you. When you moved, you most likely just took a few things and some clothes because you cannot take everything with you. However, possessions are just a collection of things and do not define who you are or where you live. Starting somewhere new can lead you to a less materialistic lifestyle.

Where you choose to go is a matter of personal choice, the important thing to remember is that you enjoy the experience along the way. In the end, it will make your life richer for the new experiences and people you meet. Before you make the move, though, ensure it is the right step for you and your family.

La Marina

A SPANISH LIFE NEWS: Family-Friendly Things To Do In Costa Blanca On A Budget

Alongside the typical overpriced package holidays available in Spain, there are countless family-friendly things to do in Costa Blanca on a budget. From going snorkelling at Tabarca and exploring life below the water to touring around The Santa Barbara Castle or simply spending a day at a beach equipped with multiple facilities suitable for both you and your family, there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

If you’re heading on holiday abroad, and you face a financial emergency, then you may be able to apply for an online payday loan to provide you with the monetary assistance that you urgently require. However, ensuring that you budget in place for your holiday, and have a savings fund in place, can help to ensure that you have the holiday of a lifetime, without any worries! Below, we explore the top family-friendly things to do in Costa Blanca on a budget.

Go Snorkelling At Tabarca

If you are seeking family-friendly things to do in the Costa Blanca on a budget, why not go snorkelling around the stunning Isla Tabarca or Tabarca Island? Situated off the coast of the Costa Blanca, this island boasts marine life you will struggle to find elsewhere unless you know exactly what you are doing, including octopus, red mullet and sea bass.

Not only is this location along the sunny coast the perfect location for a family day trip, but should you decide to explore the beautiful Tabarca, you can venture around the small fishing village which is the perfect place to taste some of the best local cuisine.

Explore The Santa Barabara Castle

The views from Santa Barbara castle over Alicatnte are stunning
The views from Santa Barbara castle over Alicatnte are stunning
Located at the very top of Benacantil Mountain, The Santa Barabara Castle is a must-visit when in Alicante. Situated 166 meters above sea level, not only will you be able to see almost the entire bay of Alicante when visiting this iconic castle, but by embarking on a private tour, you will enter exciting places that are currently closed to the public, including the dungeons, and other memorable experiences for just €2.00!

Once you have completed your tour, you can have lunch in the Castle restaurant. We strongly suggest trying out the paella!

Terra Mitica Amusement Park

If walking around a castle doesn’t sound like it will entertain your little ones for very long, why not visit the Terra Mitica Amusement Park instead? This magnificent theme park is divided into five themed zones, which are: Egypt, Greece, Rome, Iberia and the Islands. Opened in 2000, the park now boasts an array of popular water rides including Giant Splash, Log Flume and Rapids as well as numerous roller coasters, including the heart pounding ZacSpin Coaster. Better yet, you can get admission to this amusement park for as little as €28.00, so you certainly won’t be breaking the bank for a day full of family fun!

Go To The Beach!

With more than 200km of beaches to choose from, why not go to the beach for an inexpensive family day out in Costa Blanca? Many of the beaches you can go to in Costa Banca are equipped with free facilities such as toilets, play areas, lifeguards, beach-side bars and restaurants so you can enjoy watching your loved one’s splash around safely while you enjoy sipping a cocktail watching the sunset beyond the horizon. Playa de Levante, Playa de San Juan and Cala Ambolo are just three of the most favoured Costa Blanca beaches across the board. Priceless fun in the sun!

Visit The Algar Waterfalls

For just €5.00 between June and October, why not visit the iconic Algar Waterfalls? Whatever you do, be sure to bring a swim suit, towel and a dry change of clothes! Though the areas surrounding the waterfalls can be slippery, so small children may struggle, it is still a great place to visit, which is why so many families embark on the journey along the river each year starting in the small town of Callosa d’En Sarria. Just don’t forget to take sunscreen along with you!

There are numerous fun family activities on the Costa Blanca suitable for those who want to stick to a budget. From going on a snorkelling adventure in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea to going on a road trip to Terra Mitica Amusement Park which attracts thousands of tourists every year, there is something that your entire family can enjoy, for less.

La Marina

A Spanish Life News: Rajoy says that Spain and the UK will maintain their current “wonderful relationship” following Brexit

Spain and the UK will maintain their “wonderful relationship” following Brexit says Rajoy

The President of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, stressed in London, where he met with the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, that the second phase of Brexit negotiations will start “as soon as possible”. He also thanked Theresa May for her position on Catalonia.

​At the press conference that Mariano Rajoy and Theresa May offered the media at the start of their meeting, they agreed that Spain and the United Kingdom maintain close and fruitful relations and that these will continue following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.

The President of the Government of Spain described bilateral relations as enjoying a “wonderful” period: the United Kingdom is the leading destination for Spanish investments and the fourth ranked trading partner while, in turn, the United Kingdom is the second ranked investor in Spain. “But the most important aspect is the relations between the people”, said Mariano Rajoy, who recalled that 18 million British tourists visit Spain each year, half a million British citizens live in our country and 250,000 Spaniards reside in the United Kingdom.

The President of the Government argued that both governments have been “very active” in defending the rights of citizens in the negotiations for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. He also expressed his “absolute conviction” that the second phase of these negotiations will start “as soon as possible”. The goal, he maintained, is “to preserve the wonderful relations” that exist between Spain and the United Kingdom.

Respect for the rule of law

As regards the situation in Catalonia, Mariano Rajoy thanked Theresa May for the support she offered the people and Government of Spain over this matter. “Without respect for the rule of law and for the laws of a country, there is no democracy”, he stressed.

For her part, the British Prime Minister expressed her “support for the President of the Government on the issue of Catalonia” and expressed that “it is fundamental for the rule of law to prevail and for the Spanish Constitution to be respected”.

To end, the President of the Government pointed out that combating terrorism is a priority for both countries. “We have been hit very hard, but we will win this fight and to ensure this it is fundamental, as indeed we have been doing, for our intelligence services work together ever more closely”, he remarked.

Royal British Legion - Orihuela-Costa, Spain

La Marina

A SPANISH LIFE NEWS: Torrevieja prostitute’s price of silence

Two women have been arrested and charged by the Guardia Civil for blackmail and threatening behaviour after they extracted over 90,000 euros from a resident of San Miguel de la Salinas.

The man had paid one of the women, a 32-year old Romanian, for sex, over 12 months ago, since which time she had been threatening him. Either he paid her money or she told his wife that she was a prostitute who had regularly been providing her husband with sex.

He chose the former and in the ensuing period he is understood to have given the woman two cars and over 90,000 euros in cash.

The man met the prostitute, a hostess in a Torrevieja club in December 2016. Apparently, he had several sexual encounters with her.

Everything seemed to go well until she began asking for large amounts of money in exchange for her silence. The first time was 40,000 euros. The man agreed and made the payment through the prostitute’s bank account. He thought that would be an end to the situation, but he was wrong.

Shortly afterwards she demanded another 25,000 euros. On that occasion, it was not to her bank account, but to that of a male relative. Once again the sanmiguelero agreed to the request and paid for her silence, but it did not work either. The woman asked again for another 25,000 euros and this time she wanted it paid in cash. She also asked for two cars which he gave to he and never saw again.

With the situation having gone on for over a year the man finally chose to denounce the situation to the San Miguel Guardia Civil who opened their investigation in December 2017. They found that it was not one but two women who have been pocketing the cash, the Romanian and her 36-year old Bosnian friend.

Both were subsequently arrested and charged with crimes of extortion and threatening behaviour. The two women appeared in court last week but after being charged the pair were released and are now awaiting trial.

Torrevieja

A SPANISH LIFE NEWS: Brighter BREXIT outlook forces up UK Pound

The pound is at its highest level against the US Dollar since the EU Referendum, breaking GBP/USD 1.39 earlier today (Friday). It has also climbed against the euro, rising 1.2% midweek to 1.1350.

Brighter Brexit

This pound-positive activity is due to a brighter Brexit outlook; both Spain and the Netherlands suggested they would support the UK remaining closely aligned with the EU in terms of trade and Jean-Claude Juncker hinted that Britain could rejoin the EU after Brexit. This new-found optimism had a positive impact on the markets but as we know everything is temporary and there are bound to be more Brexit hurdles very soon.

Quesada

Illegal traders move off beaches into the towns

Now that the summer is effectively over and the weather is beginning to cool, Torrevieja and La Mata shopkeepers are redoubling their efforts to rid the streets of the current proliferation of so-called “manteros” and the “organised groups of illegal street vendors”.

Until a few days ago their presence was mainly confined to the beaches where they sold products ranging from footwear to sports equipment and sun wear, illegal copies of shoes and well-known sports brands, even jewellery, clothes and fruit and veg.

Torrevieja’s president of the Association of Small and Medium-sized Traders (APYMECO), David Sánchez, has been critical of their presence since July, when his organisation issued a statement denouncing the massive presence along promenades and beaches in the illegal sale of products.

He said that Torrevieja City Council “has not done anything about it” to dissuade these people who have now moved their businesses onto the streets, with little police presence to dissuade them from doing so. “The problem is far more serious than the police are giving it credit. It is an endemic problem that is causing serious damage and untold losses to many existing legal businesses, damage that they really cannot afford or sustain.

Sanchez now demands “urgent and drastic measures” from the city council and the police the illegal traders cause seriously damage to the businesses of Torrevieja that cannot be reversed. “My members religiously pay their taxes,” he said, pointing once again that the local administration has failed to provide answers to the formal complaints.

Having already suffered with the economic crisis of recent years, the damage being caused by illegal traders to genuine businesses is, without a doubt, another problem for those shopkeepers who have been able to survive. For all these reasons, the president of APYMECO urges the merchants to report, as many times as is necessary, the presence of these manteros in their areas to ensure that the Local Police are at least out on the streets.

Since 2012, when the Torrevieja City Council first introduced the Operational Reinforcement Group, one of its many tasks has been the control of illegal street vendors and the seizure of counterfeit products in the main tourist areas of the city, especially along the seafront in Juan Aparicio and La Cura beach. The responsibility should also extend to in the beach at La Mata, although there have been hardly any visits of the GRO during the summer season.

Following their clampdown 2 or 3 years ago the GRO now seems to have taken their eye off the problem as a result of which it is once again close to reaching epidemic proportions, another season of which will undoubtedly result in the closure of many more Torrevieja businesses.

Quesada

Torrevieja lifeguards rescue 56 people in July. Be safe out there!

The lifesaving and rescue service that man’s Torrevieja’s packed beaches provided assistance on a total of 1,116 occasions during July. Included in those figures is one of cardiorespiratory arrest, in which it was possible to stabilise the affected person, and 56 rescues of bathers from the sea.

Javier Manzanares, the councillor for Beaches, announced the figure on Friday, saying that 406 people were treated for injuries at the various lifeguard posts with a further 406 needing attention for jellyfish stings and 46 for insect stings.

The high temperatures also took their toll on the beaches, with 22 people treated for sunburn and dehydration.

Other interventions include 35 lost persons of which two were children who were playing in the sea without adult supervision

The day on which most interventions took place was on 30 July when there were 66, and those with the least, the 5th and 7th July with 10 interventions on each day.

The councillor said that he was satisfied with the work of the lifeguards adding that “during the month of July there were no fatalities on any of Torrevieja’s beaches.”

Torrevieja

Elche streets flooded by over 10,000 pink shirts!

More than 10,000 people took part in the annual Amacmec run against breast cancer in Elche on Sunday morning.

The traditional race, which is organised by the Association of Women Affected by Breast Cancer in the city (Amacmec), and now in its thirteenth edition, gathered on the Paseo de la Estación de Elche for the event that it is hoped will raise thousands of euros for cancer treatment and research.

There were two distances for the thousands of participants, over both 5km and 10 km courses. In addition, there were a number of parallel activities, the most popular of which was once again the Zumba demonstration which was provided by Amacmec’s own associates, some of them still receiving chemotherapy treatment.

During the event, many of the participants remembered family members who had passed away from cancer, but there were many more also who had managed to overcome the disease.

Other activities included youth dance groups, encouraged to attend by the beautiful sunny morning.

As the race leaders approached the finish line, the area around the Paseo de la Estación had become a large party in anticipation of their arrival. There was music as well as free refreshments, cocoa, fruit and water, and there were also a number of physiotherapists offering their services to those in need.

The amount raised is still to be determined so at this stage the board of the association has not yet decided how the money will be spent. What is certain, however, is that it will be used for both research against cancer and to finance Amacmec’s activities in the region.

Elche

HOUSING CONSTRUCTION ACCELERATES ON THE ORIHUELA COSTA

The construction sector has maintained its steady recovery in the province of Alicante and is now growing at an even faster rate. Constructor’s applications to launch new projects have increased in recent months, especially in coastal municipalities, such as Guardamar, Torrevieja, Orihuela Costa and Pilar de la Horadada.

The towns of Torrevieja and Orihuela continue to lead the way with new housing construction, not only in 2017, but also during the last three years. What the data indicates is that the recovery has now been consolidated and is beginning to accelerate. According to experts, 2017 has so far been very productive in the real estate sector. Some of them say that they are likely to achieve the same figures that they did back in 2004.

The most recent study by the company TINSA, on the situation here on the coast, published on 14 June, shows that in our region, the sector is “in a clear recovery”, despite a slow-down with the rate of home purchases by Britons following Brexit which is being offset in part by the increase in purchases by Swedes, Norwegians, Belgians and Russians who are now buying houses in the area in increasing numbers.

The company also states in their report that in the Orihuela Costa “about 120 homes have been reactivated, with new product being built mainly for the holiday market

According to the TINSA report, based on data provided by the Ministry of Public Works, new construction applications in Orihuela Costa in 2015 were 448, while in 2016 they rose to 1,038, an increase of 132%, a Growth much higher than that of Guardamar, with 66%, Torrevieja, with 27%, and Pilar de la Horadada, with an 8% increase in the number of applications for new work.

Faced with this data on the Oriol coast, the there is little new construction activity in Orihuela city and the districts, not only during 2017 but also in recent years. In fact, the licenses granted by the Department of Urbanism are practically all for promotions on the Orihuela Costa, according to the councillor, with new licenses in the city only given and are for minor works, “generally reforms.”

Orihuela
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