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
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.
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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.
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.
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.
The mayor of Torrevieja, Jose Manuel Dolón, has told the Local Police to increase their vigilance in respect of urban cleanliness in the city, particularly regarding the matter of the defection of dogs that is left behind by their owners.
He said that he is a great animal lover himself and there is absolutely nothing wrong with owners taking their dogs for a walk but when they foul the mess must be cleared up and not simply left behind for people to walk in.
Dolon said that articles 15 and 22 of city regulations show that hygiene must be maintained in the city and that the excrement must be removed without fail.
The Local Police imposed just 8 infractions in 2016 but now, after a summer focused on other priority services, he has asked them to enforce municipal regulations and both warn and punish the owners of dogs where this is appropriate.
The mayor also requested members of the public to politely but firmly encourage irresponsible dog owners to clear up after their dog. “However, if you don’t feel that you can approach someone,” he said, “report dog fouling to the local police – particularly if you know who is letting their dog foul regularly.”
In December 2015 the mayor promised that he would clamp down on anyone who didn’t clean up after their dog had defecated in a public place. He promised there would be no mercy and that offenders would be hit with fines of 3000 euros.
The promise came from the Los Verdes leader, whilst he was under increasing pressure from residents to remove all of the ‘Pipican’ and WCcan’ facilities in the town.
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.”
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.
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.”
At a press conference held on Monday, Torrevieja’s Councillor for Security, Javier Manzanares, announced that, following the weekend’s Simulated Exercise, the Municipal Plan for Seismic Risks will be updated by the participating experts who were involved in Saturday’s activities.
In making the statement Manzanares appeared alongside a leading expert in Seismic risks, the architect Joaquín Blanco, as well as the administrador de fincas and President of the Association “Torrevieja 1829,” Isidoro Carrillo, a group that remembers the catastrophic eruption that caused so much death and devastation almost ninety years ago
Manzanares said that the amended information would be disseminated through a series of lectures and talks with many different groups, in schools, colleges, homes for the elderly and associations. He confirmed that the Town Council would advise such organisation when the information and dates have been confirmed.
The purpose of the briefings would be to advise members of the public how to act during and after an earthquake, thereby providing knowledge that could save many lives, such as the need to move away from areas with high buildings and to go to areas of wastelands as well as the location of necessary medical facilities and the requirement to take, and to provide information for, a census.