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Cheerio, Spain!

Cheerio, Spain!
November 20
12:32 2014

We’ve picked up this interesting article from El Pais… it makes thought-provoking reading.This is one of many stories circulating around the Spanish press on the same topic in recent weeks.

The mistrust triggered by the new obligation by the Spanish government to declare assets located abroad, is just one of the reasons pushing hundreds of thousands of elderly Europeans to drop off the official town hall statistics, and in many cases, bid Spain farewell forever.

The municipal register flash figures released by the National Statistics Institute (INE), show that of the more than half-a-million foreigners who left the local “padrón” over the last year, were mainly EU citizens. Without counting Romanians and Bulgarians, 219,225 EU citizens disappeared from the local rolls in 2013.

“We are very worried about that law,” confesses Vilma Archer, a 72-year old British expat who has seen her Costa Blanca-based knitting group dwindle over the years.

Brits & Russians Boost Local Economy
Expats Leaving Spain

The law she is referring to is a new obligation to fill out a form (“modelo 720”) declaring one’s assets abroad. The government’s goal is to catch tax dodgers, but naturally many foreigners are wary of making this information available to Spanish authorities.

“We brought our money and our pensions over from the UK, and the Spanish government has no business butting in,” says Archer, sitting inside the cafeteria of an elegant hotel on the Alicante coast. “In Greece, they took the money out of citizens’ accounts. We’re scared. We know the Spanish government needs money and can take it away from us. Many friends have sold their homes and left. Others took their names off the padrón and are now renting so they won’t have to be registered.”

Torrevieja, another Alicante coastal town popular with foreigners, has lost 15,000 residents over the last year according to the preliminary figures. In Calpe, the padrón shows 5,000 fewer people, according to figures offered by councilor Saunders. “This represents losses of around €2 million,” she says. Torrevieja, like other towns, is going to launch a campaign encouraging foreigners to register with the town hall.

At Javea News we agree that times are worrying for residents that have enjoyed a healthy lifestyle in Spain over the last 20 years or so, but who now feel anxious about their financial future.

What do you think? Is European and Spanish democracy tightening the noose to such an extent that will it be the case of killing the goose that laid the golden egg?

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1 Comment

  1. ScorpionGrant
    ScorpionGrant December 03, 11:48

    Taxmen are the same all over Europe..now that we are all in the club!

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