Wednesday, November 16, 2011

These are the things I've learned in the two days I've been back in Spain:-

- My bank - Citibank - has (re)introduced charges if you get cash from an ATM which is not in the network to which they belong. Actually, it's worse than that; there are charges if you use any bank branch not belonging to them, whether or not it's in the Servired network. And so it was that I was told there was a charge of 18 euros to take out cash of 600 euros this morning, an operation which I naturally aborted and then walked to the city's only Citibank branch. This is going to be very inconvenient but I wouldn't put it past Citibank to try to dress it up as an improvement in their customer service. Banks appear to be a law unto themselves all over the world.

- If you get notification of a registered letter (certificado) the postman tried to deliver when you were out/away, you need to get to the Post Office to collect it within 15 days. If not, you might find your self waiting, say, 25 minutes to be told this was a waste of time because they've sent the letter back to the sender.

- If you've bought a house and the seller fails to pay the notary for the document (escritura) proving the prior cancellation of his mortgage, you will end up having to pay for this. As if this wasn't bad enough, you'll also have to pay the Property Registry's fee for receiving this document and removing the reference to the (cancelled) mortgage in their records. Of course, you can take the seller to court to force him to comply with his legal obligations but this is not usually an attractive option in Spain.

- There's a material distinction in Spanish between saying of a woman Es buena, as opposed to Está buena. In English, these both mean "She's a good woman". However, if I've got this right, the former means She's kind, generous, simpatico, etc. While the latter means something like She's so fit I'd like to bed her. Or words to that effect.

Finally . . . Here and here is all you need to know about the Gallego who'll be our Prime Minister as of Sunday, Mariano Rajoy. Not yet in office, he's already made his first major official gaffe, and worried the people who apparently make political appointments in Europe these days, the markets.


Ferrolano said...

Your issue with the bank is very simple. It used to be that people who deposited or invested with the bank were rewarded and those who borrowed from the bank were penalized by paying interest on their loan. This interest provided the reward to the lenders and investors and, paid the bank costs, salaries and bonuses.

That was before. Now, faced with dwindling interest rates and numerous defaults on the loans, the bank have no alternative than to bite the hand that feeds it; and that by taking money from those who have it – you obviously have money and Christmas bonuses are coming up and……… need I go on??

Bottom line, 18 Euros on a 600 Euro withdrawal sounds like usury to me and a change of banks may be in order. BTW, it is bank charges and treatment such as you describe that make me a supporter of the Wall Street “indignados”

Sierra said...

The newspaper photos of Rajoy jumping in the air at the Valencia rally last Sunday reminded me of a certain Neil "We're Alright" Kinnock at the 1992 Sheffield Rally. One assumes the outcome will be different this time.

Search This Blog