little glossary …

Updated 12 February: The comments haven’t disappeared, it’s just that I’ve turned this post into a page HERE, and the comments are now on that.

Original post 11 February: Just because my correspondence suggests it’s needed …

Freedom of Speech: a constitutional privilege or restriction whereby Governments allow their nationals more or less of a right to say things without being prosecuted, jailed or executed as a punishment for saying them. It is not a right to comment on a private website, nor even on social media generally. Even the likes of Facebook and twitter are not countries or Governments, and so can and do control what is allowed to be posted on them, banning fake news, bullying, libel, hate incitement, violation of official secrets or Court injunctions, etc. The principle can be easily explained by analogy with our ability in the west to go about our business freely without state interference but without any right just to walk into other people’s private houses on demand. Privately owned websites can be run as their owners choose, including denying other people access to post, comment, or even view. Not being allowed to comment on a blog post does not violate any right to free speech, which is a constitutional matter unrelated to private ownership rights. 

Misinformation: posts that actively seek to mislead or unwittingly pass on false information. Not something you don’t like or something you disagree with. Fake news must be wrong in essence, not just disagreeable to a particular reader.

Passport: can’t believe this is needed but a passport is a document issued by a country to its own nationals, ie someone with citizenship rights. No-one can get a passport from a country in which they do not have citizenhip rights, and so it follows that a British national, with citizenship rights in the UK – see HERE – does not have the right to a passport in any other country where they do not have those rights. A passport holder cannot simply exchange their passport for that of another country just as, currently, residents in Spain are changing their EU Registros for a third-country TIE – these are documents of residence registration, not nationality. Spain does not allow dual nationality except in very specific circumstances that don’t apply to British nationals and so, in a nutshell, to get a Spanish passport you have either to be or become an actual Spaniard, and if you’re British this means renouncing your British nationality.

Property Owner: someone who owns a property in Tenerife (or anywhere else). These will either be residents or swallows … or indeed they could be tourists staying in a hotel while letting out the property they own. In short, the residential or tourist designation of someone who owns a property is unrelated to their actual ownership. Their rights of ownership are those that I myself enjoy, the responsibilities those that I myself have to comply with. All property owners pay IBIs (rates), utilites bills, and so on, and enjoy full constitutional protection for their own enjoyment of their own property provided only that that enjoyment falls within the law. If a property owner is visiting Tenerife and staying in their own property they are visiting their own property and staying in Tenerife as neither tourist nor resident, but as visiting foreign private investor.  

Resident: someone who is legally registered with the police and who is already in possession of their Certificado de Registro or TIE … not the application paperwork or confirmation of application approval. Final certificate only. 

Swallow: not an official definition but a term used for someone who migrates like the bird of the same name to a place for part of the year usually for weather reasons. Not counted as a tourist for official purposes including budgetary considerations because not staying (usually) in legal tourism accommodation. 

Tenerife Government: there is no such thing. In Spain, there are national and regional Governments, the latter having many devolved powers: here that is the Canarian Government. The Canaries have island administrative councils, called Cabildos, which operate above the municipal Ayuntamientos and have some local legislative powers but are not “Governments”. Please see THIS article with full information on how Spain is administered but one minor point that keeps arising should already be clear – that the Canaries are indeed part of the EU because they are a region of Spain which is a member, their different tax status in certain situations is because they’re a far-flung part of Spain, not because they’re a different country.

Tourist: someone staying in legal tourism accommodation. Not privately owned property unless it is registered as a Vivienda Vacacional and is being occupied through a booking done under that regime.

Happy to add to this if you have any suggestions, and of course you are more than welcome to comment as usual, which means subject to my own private ownership rights …