Saturday, November 08, 2014

More pain for those living in S-pain

Spanish bureaucracy  driving many expats 'around the bend' 
It is becoming increasingly frustrating to have your main residence in Spain and I for one have had enough of Spanish bureaucrazy and have long moved  my main residence back to Ireland, from where I write now. I'm in touch with La Gomera all the time and will continue to 'support and report' but I will only come to the Canaries for 'extended holidays' as a non-resident in the future, making sure that I am at least 183 days a year at home as required by European residency regulations. 
The new tax laws requiring expats to declare and tax at exorbitant rates all their combined foreign assets worth more than 50.000 Euros in Spain (even when they had been already taxed in the country where they are) with the threat of severe fines for non-compliance has driven more than 600.000 Europeans, most of them British and German, back to their home countries in just one year, rather than for example selling their family home in order to be able to pay the Spanish taxman.
More counter-productive measures
In January 2015 new traffic laws will complicate life in Spain even further for those EU  citizens who hold driving licenses from other European countries. Spain insists now that if you're a resident from another EU country in their lovely territory you must change your existing EU licence to a Spanish EU licence What's the point of having an EU licence when it isn't accepted by EU member Spain ?  Tenerife News reports:

Spanish driving licences 

There are impending changes in the laws regarding driving licences that are due to be implemented on the 20th January 2015. At present if you are stopped by either the Policia Local or Guardia Civil and fined for not having a Spanish licence you may appeal this fine and Tráfico have assured us this will be quashed.
However once the new laws have been imposed the whole situation changes and many will find themselves in a very difficult situation. If you hold a Green Certificado de Registro that shows you are resident in Spain you MUST after six months exchange your European licence for a Spanish one. You are not legally permitted to renew your UK licence as you are NOT RESIDENT THERE and this is stated quite clearly on the DVLA renewal form, although many people chose to ignore it. Many people hold a Residencia even though they are not actually resident here for example swallows or those people who come and go quite often and have in the past (before the change in the rules making it more difficult to obtain Residencia) obtained these in order to obtain reduced air or ferry fares and/or to register with a social doctor here whilst maintaining a GP in the UK and having seemingly the best of both worlds.
For those people who hold ONLY a white NIE form then they do not have to exchange their licence but could be obliged to have a medical periodically here if there licence doesn’t have an expiry date (age dependent on how frequent that would be) in order for their licence to be valid for driving in Spain. This information would then be recorded and registered on Tráfico’s system to validate said licence.
As you can see this is going to cause complications for some so we suggest if you are in any doubt to please contact me at with your exact circumstances so that you can be advised on an individual basis.
I am being advised that those holding Spanish licences and trying to insure a car in the UK (something that many people do) is becoming increasing difficult.
Emma & Graham Swain

No comments :