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New Contemporary Art Museum for Granada
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According to media reports a thirty-year-old contemporary art collector, Ana Martínez Frías, has acquired a 1.800 m2 historic building in Plaza Santa Ana, Granada, where she intends to create a mueseum of millenial art. Works from both new artists and established artists such as Avery Singer, Kelly Akashi and Anastasia Bay will be exhibited. The co
Lower Purchase Costs - Good News for Property Buyers.
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      Good news for property buyers in Andalucia!   For the rest of this year, that is for all purchases concluded before 31st December 2021, the Junta de Andalucía has reduced tax rates with immediate effect.   This table shows the changes: Purchase Price Existing Rate New Rate Up to €400.000 8 % 7 % €400.000 - €
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Rebuilding Notre Dame
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There has been a lot of controversy about the amount of money required to reconstruct France's most iconic cathedral and where that money should come from. The French government immediately committed to the reconstruction. It struck me that the Catholic Church itself, one of the wealthiest organisations in the world, would have been a better source
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Spain - Healthiest Country In The World
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According to data just issued by the Bloomberg Global Health Index, Spain ranks as the healthiest country in the world, replacing Italy, the leader in the last survey. The index is based on various factors including longevity, infant mortality, rates of obesity and tobacco consumption, the health system and access to clean water etc.  Currentl
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Spanish Used Property Sales Booming
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Although the overall level of property transactions are more than 30 % below their peak in the boom year of 2007, sales of existing houses, as opposed to new-builds, are fast approaching the levels seen in the boom. In 2018 422,500 used properties were sold compared to the height of 448.900 in 2007. More second-hand properties were sold in 2018 tha
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Spanish Unemployment - Good News
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The unemployment rate in Spain dropped, at the end of 2018, to its lowest level in a decade. From the peak of over 25% on 2013, the official rate has now fallen to 14.4%. Although still high compared to the EU average of 6.6% or the Eurozone 7.9% it is perhaps as well to bear in mind the prevalence of cash in the Spanish economy. Many people, altho
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Spain: Minimum Wage Hike
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From 1st January 2019 the socialist government of Pedro Sánchez increased the minimum wage by a whopping 22%, the largest ever increase since the minimum wage was introduced. The level is now set at €900 per month in a 14 month year (double payments were traditional in May and August) or €1.050 per month if paid on a 12 month basis. There is even a
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Spain: Mortgages Granted 1987 - 2018
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Recently published data on the number of mortgages conceded by financial institutions continues to show a modest but sustained upward trend as the graph from Idealist below shows. Rock bottom was hit at the end of 2013 but by late 2018 the number of mortgages granted, although a long way from the giddy heights of the boom years had returned to the
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Spanish Mortgages - Structural Change
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Partly caused by the banning of the minimum interest rate clause (la clausula suelo) in Spanish mortgages (see my earler article) there has been a dramatic shift from Base Rate Plus mortgages to Fixed Interest mortgages. At the end of 2015 Fixed Rate mortgages represented less than 10% of the total. By mid 2018 it was 40%. This has been accompanied
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Cheaper Spanish Mortgages
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Banks, not borrowers, must pay the costs The Spanish government, under pressure from the EU, has clarified who must pay what in terms of costs when a borrower agrees a mortgage loan with a bank. Previously, all charges were paid by the borrower and they were onerous. Now all of the charges, except a valuation of the property, must be paid by the ba
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Spain: Unrecognisable From Forty Years Ago
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I read an article recently which highlighted just how much Spain has changed since the death of Franco in 1975 and the adoption of the new constitution in 1978. Whilst many countries have experienced significant change in this period, Spain's transition from a dictatorship, under which industries producing poor quality goods were protected, to a mo
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Spain: Truly A Lay State?
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Spain is in an anomalous position with regard to separating the state from the Catholic church.  State schools are all lay institutions and religion is taught only as an option. In my daughter’s school the majority of students opt for Valores Éticos (Ethical Values) instead. This is an interesting choice encompassing debates about racism, citi
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Value For Money - And Very Tasty
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On a recent trip through Sevilla province I stopped to meet a colleague at a roadside restaurant near Marchena. I ordered a bottle of water while I was waiting. The waiter asked what tapas I wanted with the water. I opted for chipirones (baby squids). The dish arrived with a  potato and red pepper salad. Delicious. When I came to pay I could b
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Spain: Catholicism On The Wane
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According to research by the Pew Research Institute a significant proportion of Spaniards who grew up as Catholics have lost their faith in adulthood. The drop in adherents in Spain is one of the most pronounced in Western Europe. Only Belgium and Norway have seen a greater drop. Of the respondents to their survey undertaken between April and Augus
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City of the Pomegranate - True or False?
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Granada is the city of the pomegranate…or is it? It is pomegranate season in the northern hemisphere and, if you have spent any time in Granada, you will soon realise that this slightly grumpy-looking fruit is very much part of the city’s heritage. Look at some of the beautiful painted pottery, and you will see a pomegranate is the main motif; look
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The Valley Of Happiness
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One of the greatest draws of Andalucia is its geographical position. Apart from the obvious attractions of the heat and the sunshine, it also offers access to mountains (the Sierra Nevada) and the Mediterranean. And, if you want to find a property that is well situated to make the most of both of those, then it might be worth considering the Lecrin
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Holy Days and Holidays
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If you are from northern Europe and move south, whether to France, Italy or Spain, you will quickly become aware that there are a lot more holidays, or holy days, than in your own country. Sometimes they are connected to Catholicism, sometimes they are national holidays but they will all, without fail be celebrated in style. This week’s holiday, on
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High Days and Holidays: August in Andalucia

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Summer may be nearly over but we look back with fondness on exciting times last month. Unlike in countries in the North of the continent, here in Spain as in France and many other Catholic countries, the 15th August is a public holiday, a day on which no business will get done. For anyone used to a 24-hour culture of work, this can be ext
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Spanish Economy Booming?
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Back in 2008 if you wanted your name written elegantly in Arabic it used to cost €3. With the arrival of the crisis the street calligraphers dropped their prices. By 2011 you could get the same thing for €1. Today, for the first time in at least five years, the price has doubled to €2. A sign of things to come.....?
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Spanish Property Transactions Soar
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According to the June statistics from the Instituto Nacional de Estadisticas (INE) there were 36.856 property transactions in the month, which is the highest figure since January 2013. Even more important from our point of view is that the overall figure masks a fall in new builds. Excluding these, which make up less than 18% of total transact