27 February 2015


Can you help?

Email Totana (Murcia)
February 16, 2015
Dear editor,
Can you help me out? I live six months of the year in Totana, Murcia. I have property completed in 2006.
Last year Iberdrola said they needed another document regarding the property. The property is expensive and signed off properly.
Iberdrola cut the supply while we were in England and all the food has rotted in the deep freeze. I have employed a person in Totana and my Spanish friend has also visited the Iberdrola office and town hall.
I visited the Iberdrola office and sent emails to which I never received a reply.
I wish to contact Iberdrola head office but cannot find anything I understand online.
Can you help?
I hope so. I am 76 my wife 70 and having ongoing treatment for cancer, we really don’t need this.
Please advise of anything you can.
Best regards,
Roger C Bennett

Driving licence saga

Email Benimassot (Valencia)
February 12, 2015
Dear editor,
After reading Robert W Barnes’ letter of the 31/01/2015 regarding the nightmare of changing over to a Spanish driving licence it reminded me this is a job I have been putting off for the very same fear of the nightmare that is any administrative task here, but it must be done.
He recommended the services of a lady called Paula Smith of Translation Services, as much as I have searched I can’t find any contact details and I would like much to speak with her and hopefully use her services to obtain my licence.
I wondered if Mr Barnes or anyone else could give me her contact details.
Thank you,
Matt Armstrong

Dear Matt Armstrong,
We have forwarded your email to Robert Barnes and we are sure he will be able to give you contact details for Paula Smith.
Good luck,

Living in Spain

February 20, 2015
Dear editor,
As regards all of us ‘wannabes’ Españoles life here in all status has its ups and downs, but I refer to ‘Leaving Spain a lot poorer’ in Feb 13-19th paper.
It was 10 years ago with the large influx of exhibition enticed Brits we joined the Notary queue.
Although we had put down our deposit and regular monthly money into Dénia town for the purchase from 2002, we decided to stay a few weeks which turned into a few months with a motorhome in the Dolores Catral area.
We could write a book or TV series on the ‘ happenings’ in this area.
Watching with grief so many families’ dreams perish as well as one great, fine man endine up in hospital as well as losing his home. Not entirely everyone’s fault but they did not do the full homework before following the yellow brick road!
One thing we did learn was to go to the local tax office each year and pay the then few euros to check on land registry.
After buying in a bank-guaranteed ‘urb’ set of apartments costing just short of a quarter of million pounds, thankfully with a legal ‘cédula’, we were aghast after two years to not only find we owed a small sum of money to Suma that we knew nothing about, but that our home was still in the builder’s name!
We used an English based solicitor, paid all his bills and when we complained he told us that we had to pay another €600 to put his fault right!
Needless to say we had a year’s fight on our hands to get our deeds.
We demanded the €600 back and only got a proportion after many visits and negotiations.
So be forewarned!
There should be a catalogue of must dos and don’ts before anyone invests in Spain.
As a volunteer in both the local hospital and local groups, it’s been a hard time for singles, especially in the recession.
Very pleased to hear of the new UK consul considering this in her list of priorities. Note that although dreaming the dream, these people have invested heavily into Spain and its economy over the years here.
We fell entirely in love both with the area and the Spanish on a one-day visit to our home, still the best place on Earth but, not without frequent challenges!
We also learned Spanish – at least as much as our brains would allow us to!
‘Suerte a todos’
Hasta luego,

Motorhomers aren’t ravers

Email Gran Alacant
February 22, 2015
Dear editor,
I agree with Roger’s comment about the problem with motorhomers in Los Acázares and other places on the Costas.
I too have a motorhome and enjoy the life on the move, but I have to say that some of the campsites do tend to have higher charges that drive us away from them.
There are few areas about on the Costas which are very good value. Here you can empty all your waste tanks and fill up with water at a reasonable cost.
Spain needs to invest more in these areas as France does. Mentioned are the ones at La Marina €8-10 a night. Yes they do not have club houses, restaurants, etc, but we do not want these facilities, just basic living needs.
Unfortunately as in any group there are the ones who spoil our reputation by pouring their toilets and emptying their waste water down the drains. The police should, if they catch them, fine them heavily and maybe ban them from the area. I can understand why residents complain when the motorhomes are on their doorstep.
I would say I do not think the motorhomers are noisy as most are around pensionable age and older, so I do not think they would be having raves, etc.
Yes as Roger says please do not tar us all by the same brush.
Just a comment for Robert Barnes, yes they do support local shops and restaurants, you only spoke to one shopkeeper and do you honestly believe anyone would go ask for one egg!
Best regards,
Bill Winterburn

Sensationalist journalism

February 21, 2015
Dear editor,
I read with interest the front page article which appeared on the topic of pension tax. I always find these types of articles as ‘sensationalist journalism’.
I do not have much sympathy with people who get caught in the net, so to speak. For as many years as I can remember the rules have been that if you reside in Spain for more than 186 days of the year you are classified as tax resident.
As a result of this you are required under the tax laws to submit a yearly tax return. This goes for pensioners as well as they are not exempt from this ruling just because they are pensioners.
There is a double taxation agreement with the UK so you cannot pay tax twice. Therefore people are only panicking because they have ignored the rules and thought they would get away with it.
Unfortunately for them the Spanish authorities are now tightening up, not before time.
Best regards,
Clive Ward

A dangerous sickness

Alfaz del Pi
February 11, 2015
Dear editor,
There’s a sickness in Alfaz del Pi concerning youths of 15 to 19 letting people’s car tyres down. This I find extremely dangerous and not amusing, especially as I am an older man with disabilities – not easy to change a wheel.
I got mine pumped up, but the garage said that there was nothing wrong with the tyre. Someone playing a prank…
So look out anyone parking in Alfaz del Pi, sick children or young men, need a belt around the ear.
Maybe boot camp for young offenders of sick pranks. Extremely dangerous as a half-deflated tyre can cause the tyre to exit the rim and cause a serious accident and could kill the occupant, or others on the roads. This has to stop.
Michael Day

UK TV channels

February 18, 2015
Dear editor,
I am not quite sure why so many expats pay so-called IPTV companies to install their system and then also pay the company a monthly charge to receive UK channels.
I installed my satellite system for 100 euros and do not need any internet. I receive all BBC HD channels and ITV1. I pay no monthly charge and have always had excellent reception.

Dear Roy,
When the new generation of satellites for UK TV were ordered a few years ago everyone knew this would cause some changes to the coverage area of UK TV. And to make matters worse the satellite owners published a coverage map that suggested it would be almost impossible to receive any signal outside the UK.
All this caused a lot of uncertainty, possibly fuelled further by people who stood to make a financial gain out of the situation.
Here we are a couple of years later and the new generation satellites have been broadcasting for more than a year. Most people on the Costa Blanca probably didn’t even notice the changeover and carried on viewing as before, while some at the southern end of the Costa Blanca may have had to opt for a slightly bigger dish.
With the uncertainty gone, people can now be reassured that if they do opt for the satellite route there will not be any more major changes in the next 10 years.
So this just leaves the question of the pros and cons of either system. Satellite TV is better quality than IPTV. This is because it is original broadcast quality and hasn’t been compressed to send it across the internet. It is also free of monthly charges.
All parts of the system are within your property, making repairs easy. And it is not dependant on the speed and reliability of the internet connection in question (i.e. no buffering, etc. when the internet is sluggish).
In short, if someone has the choice between the two systems the natural answer would always be satellite 100% of the time, but in situations of poor coverage (Andalucía for example) or for properties where satellite dish installations are prohibited IPTV maybe be the only option.
Rowland Creed

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