Friday, September 02, 2011


If you're a foreigner resident in Spain and have become so during the last four years, the fiddly bit of paper that proves this is now obsolete. And you have to get a new one, re-paying the (increased) fee. A pure revenue exercise? A new tax on foreigners? Who knows? I won't be bothering to do this. I use my old (long-expired) laminated residence card to prove my identity when using my credit card. And, if I'm ever stopped by the police - which will now happen tomorrow, of course - I will show them my (not expired) Spanish driving licence. Or my library card. As a bit of a joke . . .

Incidentally, what I love about the Certificate of Residence is that it gives the (alleged) names of both of my parents. Why?

Spanish banks have a reputation - at least in this house - for providing a relatively poor (though paper-heavy) service while extracting the maximum amount of money from their locked-in clients. The average annual fee for having a current account is now around 200 euros, though I'm not sure this yet reflects the 35% increase being talked about as an easy way for the banks to compensate for their piss-poor business strategies over the last five to ten years. The other thing they're famous for is continuing to chase mortgagors once they've defaulted and handed title of the property to the bank. Or pursuing their parents, if the borrowers were under 35 and had to get their loan underwritten by these. I don't know whether this happens in other European countries but I'm pretty sure it's rare in Anglo-Saxon economies. As is charging for a current account, of course. Anyway, the number of "underwater" properties whose owners are said to have negative equity is now estimated at 250,000, following price falls of at least 20% over the last two years.

As predicted, unemployment figures rose at the end of August. But there's always a question mark over these. Click here for an explanation as to why.

Driving in Spain. News that will not surprise many of us . . . A government survey shows that 60% of Spanish motorists in Spain hog the outside lane even when not overtaking. More here.

Which reminds me - Another Galician kamikaze driver was stopped yesterday, after he'd driven 30km the wrong way down the A52 autovia. After explaining - rather unnecessarily, I'd have thought - that he'd taken a wrong turn, and after testing negative for alcohol, he was allowed to go on his way.

Brits remain the main foreign group visiting Spain but their average spend Jan-July was 6% down on last year. In contrast, that of the Scandinavians, the French and the Germans was up. And, for reasons unknown, Dutch visitors were 27% up in July. Perhaps they came to see the country whose team outplayed theirs in the World Cup last summer. And was kicked to perdition in the process. Expiation?

Finally . . . I was pleased to see Google's Blogger had changed the name for those who access this blog as Followers. They're now known as Members and this gives me the opportunity to welcome to Fernando L., Vanessa V. and Filip M., who joined this last week.

All of which reminds me that Blogger now has a new Dashboard format, via which they give me a stack of statistics on readership. From this I (happily) see that yesterday I had far more Page Views than suggested by either of the counters over on the right. Which has to be a good development. Though I've no idea how accurate.

I also want to thank the kind reader who became the 140th person to access my blog via Google Reader. Though it took them 2 or 3 days to recognise his arrival. Someone told me . . .

Apologies for my self-indulgence.

8 comments:

Mike the Traditionalist said...

I registered as a foreigner in Coruña at the Ministerio del Interior/Dirección General de La Policía in 2005 and got a piece of white paper A4 size with my name, address, date and place of birth, United Kingdom national and NIE. Nothing else on the paper apart from the obligatory stamp and a signature. They had stopped issuing the photo card at that time which was a pity. I made a small copy of my passport and added the NIE and plasticated it. I was interviewed by the police when the idiot builder of this apartment block accused me of stealing his illegal vado. The police accepted the card and used it to write down my personal details. The law says you have to carry identification at all times but it doesn´t say it has to be legal.

Eugenia said...

I also have an NIE paper but have been wondering how and whether I can get a resident's ID card. Does anyone know the rules?

Colin said...

You can't. They aren't issued any more. Rubalcaba ended them about 5 years ago.

Mike the Traditionalist said...

When I registered in 2005 the card had been withdrawn and there was some confusion in the office. The person in charge only gave me an NIE because my bank insisted I have one for my account and not the number from my passport. I believe that later a green form was issued but I haven't got that one.

Colin said...

Yep, it's a green form but the old one now needs to be replaced, it seems.

Pericles said...

What is an "illegal vado" please?

Mike the Traditionalist said...

@Pericles
A vado is a licence from the city hall which gives permission to a person who owns a garage to have access to and from that garage. It also forbids anyone else from parking in front of that garage and causing an obstruction. In the case of the garage in our building it does not belong to the owners of the apartments but to the builder who built the apartments. He applied for a vado and useed my name and forged signature on the papers so he could get a discount on his taxes and claimed it belonged to the owners of the apartments. How is that possible with all the usual I.D. cards etc. needed for the most simple of things? Money, godfathers and I scratch your back and you scratch mine. In other words corruption.

Mike the Traditionalist said...

correction - read used not useed.

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