British Expats get to vote in Spain – 2019

In May British expats are allowed to vote in municipal elections in Spain according a Treaty between Madrid and London signed. This treaty was signed by Mr Walker and Mr Aguiriano, meaning that British citizens living in Spain and Spanish Citizens in the UK can continue to participate in local elections, in the future. However, in the future, UK nationals will need to have resided in Spain for 3 Years to excercise their rights under this treaty; for Spanish nationals to vote in local elections in the UK will remain the same.

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Important EU Exit information for UK nationals if there’s no deal

European Union (EU) exit information for UK nationals in the absence of a withdrawal agreement.

Until 29 March 2019, the UK remains a full member of the EU and UK nationals retain their legal status as EU citizens. There will be no change to the rights and status of UK nationals living in the EU while the UK remains in the EU.

The UK continues to call on the EU and Member States to protect the rights of UK nationals in the EU in the event of a no deal. We want UK nationals to be able to stay in the Member States that they live in when we leave the EU, and for their rights to employment, healthcare, education, benefits and services to be protected.

The UK cannot act unilaterally to protect all of the rights of UK nationals in the EU. However, where it is in our control, we will support UK nationals. The citizens’ rights in the event of no deal policy paper provides some details of how we will do this and further information will be set out in due course.

Technical Notices are also available for detailed sector-by-sector information on the actions citizens and businesses should take to prepare for an exit from the EU with no deal.

We will continue to provide updates to UK nationals in the EU on GOV.UK and through our network of Embassies, Consulates and High Commissions as it becomes available. We advise that you subscribe to updates from the relevant Living in country guide for the EU country you’re living in.

Below we have provided information across a number of areas in the event of a no deal EU exit.

Living in an EU country after the UK leaves the EU

Continuing to live in an EU country after the UK has left the EU depends on the EU and its Member States, and whether they reciprocate our offer in this policy paper on Citizens’ rights in the event of a no deal Brexit. Our offer guarantees the right of EU citizens in the UK to continue their lives broadly as now. A number of Member States have already given political assurances to UK Nationals about their residency rights. The European Commission has also published a No Deal Contingency Action Plan which calls upon EU Member States to take a generous approach to UK nationals who are already resident in their territory. This includes a call for Member States to take measures so that all UK nationals legally residing in a Member States on 29 March 2019 will continue to be considered as legal residents of that Member State without interruption. We will continue to work with the EU and all of the Member States to make sure UK nationals are given firm reassurances as soon as possible.

Applying for permanent residency in an EU country

We can’t confirm that registering as a permanent resident will protect your status and rights in the country you are living in: this will depend on the approach that the EU and each EU Member State takes. You should keep in touch with your local authorities and be ready to cooperate with them once they confirm any action UK nationals may be required to take.

Third country family members joining you in an EU country

EU Member States determine their own immigration policies. You should consult your host country’s immigration authorities. We have set out our position on family reunion and we will be asking the EU and its Member States to do the same as soon as possible.

Staying in an EU country with an EU spouse

EU citizens with non-EU spouses, long-term partners or other family members are usually entitled to register them in their EU country of nationality. The right to register non-EU family members should include registering UK nationals as family members once they are no longer EU citizens. For further details see the EU’s guidance on registering EU family members in another EU country.

Working in an EU country without a visa and residency status

If you are working in the EU as an employed or self-employed person and you have a UK-issued A1/E101 form, you will remain subject to UK legislation for the duration of the period shown on the form. However, after 29 March 2019 the form may no longer be recognised by the EU country/or countries you work in. You should contact the relevant EU country’s authority to see if you need to start paying any social security charges. We are in contact with Member States on changes for UK nationals in a no deal and will provide updates as and when information becomes available.

Entering and working in the UK

The right of UK nationals to enter and return to work in the UK is not affected by the UK’s exit from the EU. You will be able to continue working in the UK after our exit.

Travel around the EU with a British passport

The rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. After 29 March 2019:

  • You should have at least 6 months left on your passport from your date of arrival. This applies to adult and child passports.
  • If you renewed a 10 year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date, making it valid for more than 10 years. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months that should be remaining for travel to most countries in Europe.

The new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey. You can use this tool to check a passport for travel to Europe.

Travelling with pets to and from the UK

UK nationals will still be able to bring pets to and from the UK after the UK leaves the EU. Information on how to bring your pet to the UK can be found on Pet Travel to Europe after Brexit. You should contact your vet at least 4 months before you plan on travelling to any EU country with your pet. More information on the documents that would be required to enter or re-enter the UK will be made available for pet owners on GOV.UK. For more information on travel back to the EU visit Taking your pet abroad if there’s no Brexit deal.

Continuing education in the EU

Continuing education in the EU and any required fees will depend on the immigration requirements of your host Member State and/or the requirements of the educational institution you are studying at. You should contact your host country government or your institution for advice.

UK students may have entered into arrangements to enrol on courses with universities in EU countries. You should check with the relevant institution whether these arrangements will hold after the UK leaves the EU.

We believe that it is strongly in both the UK and the EU’s interests to continue Erasmus+ projects. The Government underwrite guarantee means funding is available to UK organisations to support their students to continue their placement in their host EU country. We are seeking to agree arrangements with the European Commission to ensure UK students can complete their exchange.

Recognising professional qualifications

The European Commission has published guidance on professional qualifications. Where UK nationals have already been recognised by an EU country as holding valid professional qualifications this will remain valid after the UK leaves the EU. The Commission has advised holders of qualifications obtained in the UK before the UK leaves the EU to obtain recognition in a EU27 Member State before 29 March 2019.

Paying for healthcare in EU countries

UK nationals living in, working in, or visiting the EU may find that their access to healthcare in EU Member States will change after 29 March 2019. This will depend on decisions by each country. However, the UK is seeking bilateral agreements to maintain healthcare rights as a top priority. You can find out more about healthcare abroad.

For people visiting the EU, we recommend buying travel insurance to ensure you can travel safely. You should make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy, and that the policy is sufficient to cover possible disruption. The FCO has guidance on what your travel insurance policy should cover.

If you already have travel insurance to cover your trip, your insurer should let you know if there will be any changes to the way your policy is serviced that will affect you after the UK leaves the EU. If you have questions about what your travel insurance policy covers, or whether the policy is sufficient to cover possible disruption, you may wish to contact your insurer.

UK state pension and benefits

The UK Government will continue to pay state pension, child benefits, and disability benefits to eligible UK nationals in the EU. Find guidance on benefits and pensions in a no deal scenario.

Personal pensions and annuities

If you live in the EU or European Economic Area (EEA) and have a personal pension or annuity with a UK-based provider, your provider should have made plans to make sure you can still get payments from your personal pension or annuity, even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. If your provider needs to make any changes to your personal pension or annuity, or the way it provides it, they should contact you. If you have any concerns about whether you might be affected, you should contact your provider. If you are unsure whether you have an occupation pension or personal pension, you should contact your provider to check.

Occupational pensions

There is nothing in UK pensions legislation which prevents occupational pension schemes from making pension payments overseas. We do not expect that this will change as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU. If your pension is paid into a UK bank account, your bank should contact you if they expect any changes as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU. If you are unsure whether you have an occupation pension or personal pension, you should contact your provider to check.

Banking, insurance and other financial services

Many UK providers are planning to continue providing services to EU and EEA residents. If your provider needs to make any changes to your product or the way it provides it, they should contact you in a timely manner. If you have any concerns about whether you might be affected, you should contact your provider.

Inheritance tax and wills

Any valid will made under UK law before the UK’s exit from the EU, including wills that apply to property situated in the EU, will remain valid under UK law. However the effect of the will in relation to property abroad continues to be subject to the law of the country in which the property is situated.

The UK’s exit from the EU will not change any existing UK rules for inheritance tax. Inheritance tax is levied on transfers of worldwide assets by individuals domiciled in the UK, and transfers of UK assets by non-domiciled individuals.

Tax payments

The UK’s exit from the EU will not change existing double taxation arrangements. These ensure that everyone (not just British citizens) living in a country that has a treaty with the UK will not pay tax in two countries on the same income/gain, and determines which country has primary taxing rights. The UK has double taxation agreements with all EU countries which will continue to apply after our exit from the EU.

Driving licences

Holders of UK driving licences who are resident in an EU country should exchange their UK licences for a driving licence from the EU country you are living in before 29 March 2019. If you haven’t exchanged your UK licence after our exit from the EU, you will be subject to the domestic laws of that country and how they treat non-EU licence holders, which could mean needing to retake your driving test. Many EU Member States only recognise third country licences for up to 6 months. EU issued driving licences will continue to be recognised in the UK after our exit from the EU. You can find more information on driving licences.

Motor insurance validity

If you are driving a UK-registered and insured vehicle, all UK motor insurance providers will continue to provide third party motor insurance cover for travel to EU or EEA countries. You will not need to purchase additional third party motor insurance policy cover if driving in these countries with a UK-registered vehicle.

From 29 March 2019, if there is no deal with the EU, the UK will not be part of the Green Card-free circulation area. Drivers of UK registered vehicles will need to carry a Green Card when driving in the EU, EEA and all other countries that recognise Green Cards. If you are driving a vehicle that is registered and insured in your host country, you will not be affected. You can find more information on vehicle insurance.

Owning or renting property in the EU

Some EU countries have laws which govern property ownership and differentiate between their own citizens, EU citizens and non-EU citizens. You should check with local authorities about how these might apply to you.

Voting in local elections in EU countries

The UK is seeking bilateral arrangements with individual Member States to preserve reciprocal voting rights for both UK nationals living in the EU and EU citizens in the UK.

Family members in prison in an EU country

The impact on UK nationals in prison will depend on the approach the EU country takes. A range of mechanisms exist which enable offenders to be returned to their home countries. If there is a no deal EU exit, the EU Prisoner Transfer Framework Decision will cease to apply, and in that event we will use the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and its Additional Protocol after we leave the EU.

First Published 21 December 2018

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Brexit latest: An open letter from the British Ambassador to Spain

I wanted to update you on the recent developments on our exit from the European Union. As many of you are no doubt aware, on Sunday November 25, there was a special European Council on Brexit. EU leaders agreed the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU.

Citizens’ rights is a key part of the agreement, so this represents a big step forward in providing certainty for UK nationals living in Spain. As the British prime minister said following the European Council: “If you are one of the over three  million EU citizens who has come and built your life in the UK – come to be our colleagues, our neighbors and our friends – you need a deal that guarantees your rights. If you are one of the almost one million UK nationals living elsewhere in the EU, you need the same. This deal delivers for you all.”

I and the team strongly recommend you ensure you are correctly registered as a resident, as is your current obligation

The next stage is for the UK Parliament to vote on the deal the government has negotiated, which is expected on December 11. The European Parliament will also vote on the agreement.

If approved, the Withdrawal Agreement will secure the rights of one million UK nationals living in the EU. It means that the 300,000 British people who have chosen to make Spain their home have a legal guarantee that they will be allowed to stay here after the UK leaves the EU on March 29, 2019.

The Agreement also defines the Implementation Period as running from March 30, 2019 and until December 31, 2020. All UK nationals lawfully residing in Spain on December 31, 2020 will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. Under the current rules, UK nationals living in Spain must register with the Spanish authorities (at the Oficina de Extranjeros or at a designated local police station) to be legally resident here. Therefore, I and the team strongly recommend you ensure you are correctly registered as a resident, as is your current obligation. For detailed advice on registering, please see gov.uk/living-in-spain. We will, of course, update our advice if the Spanish authorities announce any changes to the registration requirements linked to Brexit.

UK nationals and their families covered by the Agreement will continue to have broadly the same access to healthcare, pensions and other benefits as they currently do

During the Implementation Period, you will be able to visit, live and work in the EU broadly as you do now. If you want to move to a different Member State, you will be able to do so during the Implementation Period.

UK nationals and their families covered by the Agreement will continue to have broadly the same access to healthcare, pensions and other benefits as they currently do. And you will be able to leave Spain for up to five years without losing your right to return if you have acquired the relevant residency status. If you have any questions about who is covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, please see the UK nationals living in the EU pages on gov.uk.

Next steps

  • Make sure you are correctly registered with Extranjería here in Spain (please see gov.uk/living-in-spain)
  • Sign up for email alerts to stay up to date and find out about our outreach events, by visiting the Living in Spain guide on gov.uk.
  • Follow our “Brits in Spain” social media channels, including on Facebook.

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New legislation to declare income and assets abroad

On 1 October 2018 the British HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) department  introduced a new legislation called “Requirement to Correct (RTC)”.  This will require UK taxpayers declare their foreign income and assets to the HMRC .

Therefore, from the 1st of October 2018, for those who fail to pay the relevant tax by this date, there will be higher penalties on their foreign income and assets.

About offshore income and assets

As the HMRC defines:

“Income is considered to be an offshore income as it comes from a territory outside the United Kingdom, which includes:

  • Interest from overseas bank and building society accounts
  • Dividends and interest from overseas companies
  • Rent from overseas properties or if you rent out your UK property whilst living in another country
  • Wages, benefits or royalties earned outside of the UK”.

Included taxes

The RTC legislation would apply to:

  • Income tax
  • Capital gains tax
  • Inheritance tax

Some offshore activities that may involve paying tax

These activities must be declared to HMRC:

  1. Renting property abroad
  2. Transferring income or assets from one country to another (including Channel Islands, Isle of Man, the EU or any other

What should you do?

In case there is UK tax due on foreign income or gains, or tax on UK income transferred abroad, you should tell the HMRC .

To get 90 additional days you can use the  HMRC’S Worldwide Disclosure Facility.

To read more about the new legislation you can take a look at the  official guidance or for a more in-depth explanation you can download the official brochure.

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Valencia – House Hunting and the Market Overview…………………..

The coastal province of Valencia is cheaper and more manageable than Spain’s major metropolises, making it an appealing alternative for many home buyers.

Spain’s residential market has been on a gradual rebound since around 2012, when luxury properties began to recover following the global recession.

During the financial crisis that began in 2008, home prices fell 30 to 35 percent across the country, she said, noting that they have since risen by about 8 percent overall, although prices in Madrid and Barcelona have recovered more rapidly.

The recovery is expected to continue, with the International Monetary Fund predicting that Spain’s economy will outperform those of Germany and France in 2018. In Valencia, third-quarter sale prices averaged about 1,900 euros a square meter (or about $200 a square foot) this year.

Old Town, a historic neighborhood known for its winding streets, Central Market and medieval cathedral, is one of the most popular areas with tourists and foreign buyers. A typical two-bedroom apartment there sells for around 300,000 euros (or about $340,000), while a two-bedroom penthouse in a fully restored building can go for around 500,000 euros ($565,000).

Foreign buyers are also interested in seaside properties,  although they often prefer the beach areas just outside city limits, where more property is available and there is more new construction. While prices vary depending on location, a two-bedroom apartment in these areas generally goes for 250,000 to 500,000 euros ($280,000 to $565,000).

For foreign buyers, the appeal of Valencia — Spain’s third largest city, with a population of roughly 790,000 — lies in its affordability and manageable size relative to Madrid and Barcelona, as well as the access to a historic city center and Mediterranean beaches.

“You can get from one side of the city to the other in 15 minutes, and for people who don’t want the typical holiday resort, this has more of a cultural and elegant feel.”

Foreign buyers account for roughly 10 percent of all sales in Valencia, according to the Registrars in Spain.

The country’s Golden Visa program grants non-Europeans “the fast-track right to residency” if they invest at least 500,000 euros ($565,000) in real estate.

There are no restrictions on foreign buyers in Spain. But buyers from outside the country are strongly advised to work closely with a real estate agent and a lawyer who will perform the necessary due diligence.

Taxes and fees, including legal fees and the 10 percent transfer tax, typically amount to around 15 percent of the sale price. The real estate agent’s commission in Valencia is usually 4 to 5 percent, and is split between buyer and seller. There are also other combinations….

Mortgages are available to foreigners, although typically not for more than 70 percent of the sale price, and less than that for investment properties. – Villas Valencia can assist. Just let us know what you are looking for as we only charge 3 %.

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Want to live longer? Valencia, Spain is the town, country to move to……………

Spain is set to overtake Japan as the country with the longest life expectancy, according to a study.

By 2040, it will have an average lifespan of nearly 85.8 years, moving it from fourth place to the top of the table, and beating Japan’s average lifespan of 85.7.

Singapore is projected to be third (85.4 years), followed by Switzerland (85.2 years); Portugal and Italy (84.5 years); Israel (84.4 years); France (84.2 years) and Australia and Luxembourg (84.1 years).

The average lifespan in the UK is expected to rise slightly from 80.8 years to 83.3, jumping from 26th place to 23rd.

Overall global life expectancy is forecast to increase by 4.4 years for both sexes by 2040, according to the study published in The Lancet.

The world’s two largest economies have differing fortunes, with China rising from 69th to 39th in the rankings (81.9 years) and the US dropping from 43rd to 64th (79.8 years).

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Panama are all forecast to add at least three years.

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Spain’s holiday rental laws

According to the Tourist Movement on Borders agency, Frontur, Spain received 13.7 million international visitors during the first quarter of 2018, a 6% increase on 2017 figures. With 1.4 million visitors choosing to stay in holiday rental accommodation, a healthy increase of 7% year-on-year, and that’s just the official figures. Taking into account that many short stay homes remain unregistered in Spain, we expect the actual figure to be much higher.

It’s been five years since the Spanish government excluded holiday rentals from the LAU (Ley Arrendamientos Urbano) and delegated the task of regulating the industry to its 17 regional governments. There are only a couple of the 17 autonomous communities that as yet haven’t regulated holiday rental accommodation. Find out the latest status in our region…:

VALENCIAN COMMUNITYIs it regulated? Yes under the original Decreto 92/2009 which was updated in 2015 Decreto 75/2015
Since: July 2009, with the last amendment in May 2015
Essentials: Owners must wait until they have registered to start rental activity, and have to start renting within two months of registration.
Points to watch out for: If you manage five or more properties you must register as a Tourist Company. Further applications for registration in the districts of Ciutat Vella are suspended, whilst the government discuss the protection of environment and culture in the area.
To register your property: Download the application forms and present your Declaración Responsable at a local tourism office, online with an electronic signature or at the post office. Owners must also now get permission from their local town hall before they can register.
Documents required: Property escritura (title deed), First Occupation Licence, passport or DNI (national identity card), company escritura if you are registering as a rental management company.
Note: Registration codes for private owners start VT and managers and businesses EGVT. Followed by a code for each province.
The Valencian government have produced an excellent guide for holiday rental owners to help them get registered


In regions where regulations have yet to be introduced, owners should still be able to rent out their property for short-term accommodation under the original LAU (Urban Tenancy Act), as long as there has been no ruling to exclude holiday rentals. In this case, it is not permitted to advertise the property anywhere – on or offline – as tourist accommodation.

A legal contract must be prepared for every guest. We recommend you check with a legal representative for your region.
Holiday rental regulations are changing frequently across the regions. It’s advisable to check for updates with your local tourist board.

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Spanish Holiday Rental Taxation for non-resident Landlords

The beginning of 2018 saw fresh changes to the way in which buy-to-let landlords are being taxed in Spain. Not paying your taxes is no longer an option – you could be facing huge fines, when the Spanish Tax Office (AEAT) finds out you are letting your property, whether you are resident or a non-resident landlord, and fail to report your rental income. A tax advisor or accountant will be able to tell you, just how much you can save in tax with the latest changes in taxation rules. Broadly speaking, the changes are these:

You will qualify for landlord tax relief, if you are a resident of the EU or wider EEA area. You must attain a tax residency certificate from your home country, to prove that you are tax payer in that country, and a non-resident landlord in Spain. Why?

On 1st January 2018, the Common Reporting Standard, of CRS, came into force in Spain. More than 100 countries in the EEA singed up to the CRS agreement in an effort to reduce tax evasion. In essence, there will now be an automatic exchange of fiscal information between these countries on individual taxpayers.

The United Kingdom and Spain have both signed up to CRS, which means that both countries’ tax authorities will be automatically aware of your taxable rental income. If your rental income is derived from Spain, that’s where you will be taxed. Your Spanish bank should have written to you at the start of the year with a request to disclose your tax information. Not doing so could result in the closure of your account.

Whether you rent out your Spanish property directly to holiday makers or let it via tourist sites like Airbnb, the Spanish tax authorities are now in a position to find out and fine you heavily, if you do not report your taxable rental income. The American giant Airbnb was finally forced to sign an agreement with the Spanish tax authorities, and similar tourist accommodation websites are also forced to sign such an agreement, as the Spanish Tax Office is cracking down on illegal lettings, and passed a new law on holiday lettings intermediaries, which came into effect in June this year. Such intermediaries are now forced to report to the tax office on property identification, landlord’s rental income from the days let out etc. If the letting intermediaries fail or refuse to report, they can be fined up to 600,000 euros.

In an effort to discover landlords who fail to report their rental income, tax authorities now regularly trawl tourist accommodation websites with specially designed software, as well as places like Facebook and other social media sites, where private landlords advertise their holiday rentals.

With the help of an accountant or tax advisor/lawyer, you should be able to reduce your non-resident landlord tax bill by at least 40%, if not more.

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Spain…..Positive news for the Spanish House Market

Prime property sales in Spain’s key cities and sales in resort areas have been key drivers  in the first half of 2018. Prime sales increased by 27 per cent year-on-year.  Meanwhile, key second home destinations such as Marbella, the Costa Brava, Valencia and Ibiza all saw significant growth compared to the same period last year.’


‘Properties above €1.5 million and new homes are selling particularly well. Northern European buyers have been the most active with French and British buyers accounting for over 50 per cent . We are currently looking at a number of high-end projects in the area as demand for turnkey homes, particularly from foreign buyers, grows year by year.’

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British expats have been urged to ensure that their tax affairs are in order

British expats have been urged to ensure that their tax affairs are in order as

HM Revenue & Customs escalates efforts to target those who live abroad.

The taxman has massively stepped up the use of EU laws designed to increase

co‑operation between tax authorities. Experts say this is accelerating after the

amount of tax HMRC collected from people living overseas trebled in just a year.

This is part of a wider push on tax avoidance by the Government, which has

reduced the estimated amount lost from £4bn in 2011-12 to just £1.7bn in 2016-17.

Now the tax office is casting its gaze across the Channel.

In 2017 it made 1,006 requests to foreign authorities, resulting in the recovery of £5.7m in tax….

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………………Universal Health Care………..

By Gwynne Dyer

            Nothing is perfect, and that definitely includes health care. On the 70th anniversary of the first full-coverage national health care system that is ‘free at the point of delivery’, Britain’s National Health Service, English people have been marching in the streets demanding better funding for the NHS, and Donald Trump naturally got the wrong end of the stick again.

             Back in February, as part of his war against Barack Obama’s attempt to improve the coverage of the rudimentary US health care system (‘Obamacare’), Trump claimed that the marchers were protesting because the British system is “going broke and not working.”

             It’s tough trying to defend the existing US system when every other developed country provides universal health coverage for its citizens, but Trump battled bravely onwards, later tweeting that the Democrats in the United States “want to greatly raise taxes for really bad and non-personal medical care.” Like the British allegedly suffer under the NHS.

             In fact, the English National Health Service (Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate but similar systems) is, in former Conservative cabinet member Nigel Lawson’s words, “the closest thing the English have to a religion.” It is almost universally loved, and the protests were about government under-funding of the NHS.

             Even the Conservative government that has strictly limited funding increases for the NHS over the past seven years, despite rising demand due to an ageing population, has now been forced to yield to popular demands. Prime Minister Theresa May announced last week that the NHS would get a funding increase of 3.4% per year over the next four years, giving it an extra $27 billion annually by 2023.

             But are the English right to love their health-care system – and are the French and Germans and Russians and Japanese and the people of almost every other developed country right to revere their own similar systems? The United States may be the odd country out, but it does spend far more on health care than anybody else.

             The United States spends 16% of its entire Gross Domestic Product on health care, almost twice as much as the average (8.2% for Japan, 8.4% for the UK, 8.5% for Australia, 10.4% for Germany). In theory, that ought to mean that Americans are healthier than everybody else and live longer. In practice, it’s just the opposite.

             The United States is the only developed country where the average life-span is less than  80. In fact, it’s barely 78 years in the US, whereas everywhere else it’s in 80-82 range. The US also has the highest ‘preventable death’ rate of any developed country, and the highest infant mortality rate by a very wide margin. Americans spend more on health, and get less back, than anybody else.

             They also spend far more of their time worrying about health care. The principal cause of personal bankruptcies in the United States is ‘catastrophic’ health emergencies, and all but the very rich have to devote much time to finding affordable medical insurance. Elsewhere in the developed world, nobody really thinks about that. The care will be there when you need it, and nobody goes bankrupt.

             The model that was pioneered by Britain’s NHS on July 5, 1948 has been so successful that it is now spreading into many developing countries as well. India is still a poor country, but its National Health Policy 2017 goals include a commitment to “progressively achieve Universal Health Coverage.” China is working to provide affordable basic healthcare to all residents by 2020. And so on.

             Attitudes change over time. In the 1930s nobody thought that there was some sort of basic human right to health care. The well-off paid for their own, and the rest depended on charity (which wasn’t very dependable). What changed that attitude was the Second World War, a time of great national solidarity and sacrifice in every country.

             It was the worst war in history, but it produced a generation who believed that the people who had shared in the sacrifice (in both the countries that won and those that lost) must not be left behind in the peace that followed.  The will was there to do new and great things, and they did them.

             It is no coincidence that the same year of 1948 saw the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which said (among other things) that “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services.”

             The world had turned, and what had been a privilege became a right. One that is still widely abused or neglected, of course, but it has nevertheless spread across the entire planet in the past 70 years. Why did the United States miss out?

             The answer is probably a free-market ideology so strong that it enabled the insurance companies and the medical profession (which opposed the idea of a national health system in every country, at least initially) to win the political battle in the US and strangle the idea in its cradle. It keeps coming back even there, but for the moment Americans must go on paying the costs of their ideology.


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Valencia (Spain): Best European City to Buy Property in 2018

An Independent Company specialized in International Real Estate services, sees 5 top opportunities for American investors to buy property in Europe.

Here is the ranking of the 2018 survey:

1. Valencia (Spain)

2. Paris (France)

3. Berlin (Germany)

4. London (United Kingdom)

5. Venice (Italy)

Reasons to choose Europe

1: The strong current US Dollar to Euro exchange rate. American buyers can expect a positive outlook if choosing to invest in European Real Estate.

2: Geo-political stability throughout Europe and market performance benefits.

3: European cities are best known and appreciated for their culture, history and cuisine.

4. Excellent standard of living as well as an opportunity to amplify investments in real estate.

As a result, European real estate purchases made by American citizens have increased since last year (UK +2.6%, Spain +2.5%, France +2.4%, Italy +1.9% and Germany +0.85%).


Valencia has seen an increasing presence of foreign buyers after its market crisis. With relevant capital inflows, infrastructural projects have since been under development, selling for an average price of $195/sq. ft., half that of those in Madrid and Barcelona. The percentage of foreign investors on overall real estate transactions in the central area of Valencia is more than 30%, 18.2% higher than 2017.

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About Us

Villas Valencia offers properties in Valencia at Spanish prices. What`s more, we don`t charge the buyer (as most other agencies do). We are an English locally run estate agent company dealing with properties in a picturesque area around the city of Valencia.


You are the only agent we dealt with your knowledge of the area and the buying process left us at ease that everything would be taken care of. - Mr & Mrs P, in Naquera

Your advice was clear and brilliant. You completely understood our requirements and objectives, facilitating our new purchase. Thank You! - Mr L, Now living in Lliria

You offered a great service from start to finish, clearly explaining all our options and helping speed everything through. You translated everything we needed quickly.

- Mr T, Second home in Montroy

Villas Valencia was fantastic and exceeded my expectations. I will and have recommended you to others. Thank you for all your referrals for building work. We love our new pool! - Sean, house in Rocafort

Thank you for all the help buying our property in Valencia. With so much to think about, you explained everything well and made it all very easy. Cant wait to move out there fully and enjoy a G & T on our balcony with you.

- Ben, house in Naquera

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