In real life, I am an ancient historian, and was a university lecturer in Classics & Ancient History specializing in rhetoric, law and politics before moving to Tenerife. I’ve been here now for an astonishing ten years that has gone in a flash, after finding Higher Education had become little more than a processing factory for successful graduates who would be in debt for decades, or unsuccessful ones who were set up by the system to feel like abject failures after being encouraged to aspire to a level of education that was simply beyond them. Tenerife was our holiday home from home before 2004, and the obvious place to choose to retire. It is a sub-tropical haven with a pretty much year-round Spring climate and a language and culture both exotic and familiar. For anyone who wants to stay in Europe but in a place with a buzz, and who has rheumatoid arthritis, like me, and so needs steady humidity and kind temperatures, it is just about perfect.
I live with my husband in a tiny 200-year-old Canarian cottage on the edge of a mountain village a kilometer above the west coast. Our garden is full of flowers and trees, and lizards who now clearly consider us protection and food source combined. We have to resist constant demands for more egg mayonnaise, and shuffle them out of the way as they run at us for more banana now please! One thing I love about living at altitude is that we have seasons, something I think expatriates’ bodies simply need, and in Spring the air is heady with blossom scent from fruit and almond trees, and in autumn it’s a glorious relief to see autumnal colour and falling leaves while watching the mist rolling up the barranco like a steam train! Here’s a view from up here that I never tire of, looking out over the sea to the light show over La Gomera that is different every day. The “blessed isles”. Yes, indeed!
Over the last decade, I have spent quite a bit of my time indulging my interest in houses and homes, particularly interior design but also architecture – ancient architecture was always one of my favourite sidelines in work. My main fields, however, of rhetoric, law and politics have been the launchpad for considerable research into modern Spanish law and politics. If I see this website as having any function beyond that of personal enjoyment, it is as a source of advocacy for anyone thinking of moving here, or actually living here and struggling with bureaucracy and legalities. Ideally in such a place, people would be stress free and fulfilling their ideal of “living the dream”, but all too often it turns into a nightmare. I hope this site is helpful to anyone looking for accurate up-to-date information about what is happening here as well as a straightforward guide to the legalities and bureaucracy involved for resident and visiting foreigners, and their rights and responsibilities.
Please investigate the tabs across the top of the page. They lead to information and advice on being legal, owning property or living here – there are also a few private sales for those looking to buy property – as well as questions and answers on a wide range of related topcis. There are links to pages on everything from the rights of consumers generally to those of patients in the health service in particular, and from keeping dogs to donating a body to science! Under “Useful Stuff”, you’ll find some Spanish vocabulary, links to jobs available for English speakers, books written about Tenerife, essential places to visit, readers’ photos, how to stay safe in heat and water, and a full calendar of “what’s on” with links to detailed information about events.
Below on this page are the latest of regularly-updated posts about news and events; for earlier items, just look to the right and click on the main news link or on a particular date in the calendar (just hover over a date and it will show you the posts made on that day). The right hand column also has buttons to “follow me” on Facebook, Twitter or by RSS feed; a search box to help locate news items or information of interest; links to recent comments made by readers (please do express opinions or ask questions – just click on individual headlines to find the comments box); and the latest news from the BBC and in English from El Pais. The final tab at the top of the page is to Links and Laws, a whole range of legal, official, practical and inspirational resources for anyone with an interest in this wonderful island I call home.
COPYRIGHT: Apart from press releases or where expressly stated otherwise, I have written every single word of text on this website myself. The entire content therefore belongs to me or the source I quote and the copyright is protected and reserved. Readers are welcome to take text without permission as long as they expressly name and provide a link to this site. If anyone wants to use anything without crediting me in this way, please ask first.
Latest news and events in Tenerife
Click HERE for the What’s On Diary
A donde vamos hoy (Where are we going today) has published the ten oddest corners of Tenerife (link). I don’t think it needs much translating even though it’s in Spanish … the names are clear, and the pictures show what these quirky places are all about. What a wonderful and interesting island this is!
Two women are in serious condition after nearly drowning in a swimming pool at an apartment complex in Playa de las Américas this lunchtime. Emergency services were called shortly after 1.30pm with reports of the double near drowning, and arrived to find two women, one 55-years-old and the other of 60, both in cardiac arrest. After resuscitating and stabilizing them at the scene, the younger one was transferred to Hospitén Sur, while the 60-year-old was taken to Hospital Quirón Costa Adeje.
I have an update – more a consolidation report, really – from José Escobedo of the situation now that the 2013-2014 judicial year is over and the courts are now closed for August. I will be meeting with him in a couple of weeks to discuss the questions he poses at the end, which evidently relate to how the law is interpreted in respect of advertising, and to what the result will be of the current legislative review and, I imagine, what internal changes to the law might arise with regard to “regulating vacational property”, the Ascav campaign. I will post again, obviously, after that meeting.
I am pleased to report that I have now had trials in all 4 courts in Santa Cruz. The last trial took place in July in court 3; initially this was the only judge reluctant to accept that fines issued from internet inspections were ilegal. In fact the Government presented a precedent in this court in which this judge rejected the claim of an owner who have been inspected on the internet.
I can now confirm that I have court decisions from all courts (1,2,3, and 4) confirming that these massive inspections made on internet are null and void and consequently ilegal.
As a result of this legal work and subsequent court rulings, the Government is canceling the fines to those owners who have been fined based on inspections made on the internet. Recently we have received a substantial number of resolutions from “Presidencia” of the Canarian Government confirming that the fines are illegal and outlining the Court decisions that have already been issued in our cases ref. this matter.
May I point out, that this fine cancellation is not automatic, but has to be applied for by the owner who has been inspected on the internet, fined and probably had an embargo placed on his bank acc. or property. There are a number of people who advertised on the internet and been fined who do not even know about this, specially those who were advertising property in homeaway.com parent web pages.
It is also important to note that we have had cases where owners or estate agents have been wrongly advised and when they received the first letter, have written to the authorities admitting that they have been letting properties or have been advertising properties on web pages. In these cases there is little we can do but we have managed to reduce the fines.
Those owners who have been fined for internet advertising and have lost the opportunity to challenge the fines through the ordinary appeals, have now got a last chance to get the fine cancelled and remove the embargoes on their property and accounts …. provided that they have not already admitted responsibility.
The legal battle is now over and there still a small door open for those who have been illegally fined if they use the right and last legal resource.
Finally, the main question now is where do we go from here:
1) Can owners rent their property?
2) Is the law going to change soon?
The coastal village of Puertito de Güímar will host the third Gran Fiesta de los Vinos de Tenerife tomorrow, Friday 22nd. The event celebrates Tenerife wines and there will be tastings on offer courtesy of some 18 bodegas from all over Tenerife. The wine fest will be held in the plaza de Las Indias and surrounding areas from 8pm until 2am with glasses of wines costing €1 and tapas €2. Can’t get much better than fabulous wines and tapas for six hours of an August evening next to the sea!
The scheme introduced in February last year whereby new autonomos pay a flat rate of €50 in social security contributions has resulted in 267,964 new sign-ups, 12,072 of them in the Canaries, the Ministerio de Empleo said yesterday. The Canarian figures break down into 4,395 in the under-30 band and 7,677 in the over 30. Nationally, Andalucia, Cataluña and Madrid are where the largest concentration is found, with almost half of the new autonomos.
The flat rate of €50 was approved by Parliament to support entrepreneurship, part of an overarching strategy of enterprise and youth employment, a programme set out for the years 2013-2016 and aimed specifically at those under 30 years old. Subsequently, however, the scope of the legislation has been increased so that the flat rate was €50 euros for all new autonomos regardless of age.
The measure means that for the first six months following registration as self-employed, new autonomos benefit from paying just 20% of the amount of normal social security payments, an average of around €250 a month. After this first six months, the payments rise for another six months to 50% of the norm. After this first year, autonomos over 30 pay 70% for the next six months. Anyone can benefit from these measures providing that they have not been registered as autonomo at any time in the last five years.
Arona Ayuntamiento has announced a promotional evening in Los Cristianos for this Friday, 22 Aguust. Noche Azul will see the town centre transformed into an entertainment and commercial venue between 7pm and midnight, with over 100 businesses taking part. The measure is, clearly, intended to bring business into the town, but it should be good fun too for visitors and residents.
The areas that will have all sorts of things going on – workshops, music, street entertainment, bargains, food samples, and so on – will be Curch Square, Avenida Suecia, the plaza de La Pescadora, Paseo Marítimo, Avenida Los Playeros, Calle Juan XXIII and Calle La Paloma, and pedestrian streets Estocolmo and Roma. The whole evening will be rounded off by a Mad Pirates performance from Viana Shows, and of course, with fireworks. Below is a thumbnail, click for full size, of the full programme of events.
The Guardia Civil says that its organized crime teams have broken up an important international drug trafficking ring in the Canaries which used drugs mules to bring in supplies from various European countries. The operation, codenamed Chaleco, was initiated last year after police became aware that there was an organization behind the distribution of heroin both in Tenerife, and has now seen 17 individuals arrested – 11 Guineans, 4 Spanish, 1 Senegalese, and a Cabo Verdean. The route into Tenerife was via LAnzarote, where the ringleader is said to be resident, and owner of an internet cafe which served as a supply locus.
During the police operation, 3.5 kilos of heroin were seized along with 1.5 kilos of cocaine, 5 kilos of a drug cutting substance, €34,650 in cash, 30,000 Guinea franks in cash, a taser, an extendable truncheon, 3 defence sprays, a vehicle, and a range of drugs preparation equipment. The Guardia Civil says that with these arrests this drugs ring is now totally broken up, and that the points of sale, primarily in La Laguna and Santa Cruz have been completely closed down.
Tráfico has announced a speed control campaign for this week lasting until 24 August, and focusing on conventional roads rather than motorways. Tráfico says that at least 350 deaths a year could be avoided if everyone complied with speed limits, and that someone knocked down at 80km/h has no chance of surviving the impact, whereas at 30km/h the risk of death is reduced to just 10%. This campaign will, as normal, use support from local police forces for checkpoints.
Update 15 August: The windsurfer has been identified as Los Abrigos resident Michael Rausch, a German whose life was miraculously saved after being noticed floating in the water by a local resident, rather than emergency services who had been seeking him for several hours. His fellow surfers lost sight of him around 11am in El Médano, and lifeboats, Policía Local, Guardia Civil and a helicopter were all dispatched, but found no trace of him. It was just before 5pm that a Los Abrigos woman, Maribel Marcelino, spotted what looked like a body floating 100 or so metres from the coast. She called a pair of the village’s fishermen who took a boat immediately, and found Michael Rausch, utterly exhausted but still alive: they hauled him, with some difficulty since he was unable to help them, into the boat and brought him into to the little harbour. He is said to be suffering from hypothermia, but will be fine.
Original post 14 August: Emergency services have helped save the life this evening of a kitesurfer who got into difficulties off the coast of Los Abrigos. A GES helicopter and lifeboat joined the search for the 45-year-old man who was found with hypothermia and exhaustion after 6 hours in the water. He is, though, alive and well.
Update 14 August: Aena workers striking about the government privatisation plans have postponed the planned action days for a few weeks, they say, in order to establish a common action plan with other airports and relevant organizations and institutions.
Original post 12 August: Many will be aware that unions have called for industrial action at the end of this month in Tenerife’s airports. At present, all that is clear is that it will take place – in some form still to be clarirfied – between 27 and 30 August. Today, however, both north and south airports have announced that there will be a sit-in tomorrow between 8am and 8pm in protest at Aena’s privatization. Unions have called for a final decision to be taken at the end of the sit-in to ratify strike action at the end of August.