British buyers in Spain this spring and summer can choose from even more flights. As property buying season begins, there is also good news on Spanish mortgages. Spain is taking health and plastic pollution seriously too, with new rules. And the weather? Well that just gets better and better!
Blue Air, a budget airline whose headquarters are in Bucharest, will be offering several flights to Spain from Liverpool John Lennon Airport this summer. It already flies to Alicante and Mallorca but will be adding Málaga on the sunny Costa del Sol to its Spanish destinations. A spokesman for the airline said “Málaga is an incredibly popular destination and we can’t wait to commence our first flight in June.” Blue Air will offer two flights a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with fares as low as £31.70.
BA takes Monarch slots
British Airways is also increasing its flights to Spain. Starting on 25th March there will be more regular flights from Gatwick to Málaga, Alicante, Lanzarote and Tenerife. BA’s capacity at Gatwick Airport has expanded since the company bought slots which belonged to the now defunct Monarch Airlines, resulting in weekly flights increasing to 35 from 27 for Málaga and and to 22 from 14 for Alicante.
And… EasyJet increases regional services
Spain’s popularity means that you can fly from almost anywhere in the UK to almost anywhere in Spain with ease, especially in spring and summer. Easyjet has announced flights from London Luton to Reus, Belfast to Valencia and Bristol to Seville. Reus, 100 kilometres south of Barcelona, is a popular airport for top coastal resorts and the Portaventura World theme park.
New mortgage law to encourage fixed rates
The Spanish government is to bring in a law aimed at lowering the risk of defaulting on mortgage payments by promoting fixed rate mortgages. At the moment around 90% of Spanish mortgages are variable rate loans and are linked to the Euribor which can go up or down. Currently it stands at its lowest ever rate but it is likely to increase in the near future, pushing up the cost of a mortgage. The law will increase from six to nine months the time from which the bank can claim repayment of a mortgage and start repossession.
Banks will no longer be able to require their customers to take out insurance and other ancillary cover when signing a mortgage contract
Banks will no longer be able to require their customers to take out insurance and other ancillary cover when signing a mortgage contract unless they can prove that it will be in the customer’s interest to do so. The banks are most unhappy about this as selling insurance is a lucrative business for them. The banks will be permitted to offer discounts on certain products.
It is hoped that this new law will prevent the problem of customers failing to understand the full implications of the mortgage contract. In the past, the so called “floor clause” has resulted in the banks having to reimburse customers.
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Andalusia brings in free drinking water – by law!
Concerned about the region’s health (and the use of plastic bottles), Andalusian authorities have brought in a law which requires all bars and cafés to serve free drinking water to customers if asked for it. They will have to allocate a jug and glasses at no extra charge too, but the water could well be tap water. Free water will also need to be accessible from vending machines and fountains near parks, schools and other public locations.
In a bid to cater for single people, grocery shops and supermarkets will have to offer fresh food in different sized packets, while restaurants will be expected to provide different sized portions to allow for smaller appetites. Families must also be considered. There will be restrictions on treats sold in schools with regard to calories and sugar content. School meals will be based on the Mediterranean diet and there will be controls on publicity aimed at children promoting food and drinks.
Worrying statistics show that 16.6% of Andalusia’s population is clinically obese and this is particularly noticeable with the under 18s, 23% of whom are now obese.
2017 was Spain’s hottest year
Last year Spain’s weather smashed its previous record for heat. Accurate records only go back to 1965, but until last year the hottest was 15.1ºC. In 2017 the average was 16.2º and, according AEMET the national weather agency, was also the second driest year on record. AEMET believes that this the result of climate change.
Spain is world leader in organ transplants
Despite some cutbacks to medical services, Spain is the world leader in organ transplants. In 2017 doctors performed 5,259 transplants, the highest number being kidney transplants, followed by liver transplants.
The American Journal of Transplantation hailed Spain as the model which should be followed in other countries and Spain’s Health Minister, Dolors Monserrat said 2017 was the 26th consecutive year in which Spain has been number one in the rankings and went on to say “In the last three years the donation rate per million population has increased by 30%, something extraordinary when starting from a situation of excellence and if you take into account how difficult it is to be a successful donor in the current epidemiological circumstances.”