DESPITE Spain’s uncertainty in the Eurozone, as ex-pats there is definitely an air of optimism here on the Costa del Sol – even though VAT here has gone up.
My wife Elaine and myself can’t avoid the TV images of the horrendous weather the UK is experiencing this summer – and our hearts go out to everyone back home. Here, the contrast is extraordinary with soaring temperatures and cloudless skies, the beaches, restaurants and bars are filling up.
Despite high temperatures and no rain for almost five months, authorities are confident here that there will be no water restrictions this summer. Water levels are lower than last year, but with 75% of total capacity in reservoirs, general usage and irrigation are guaranteed.
OK, so people will have a to pay a bit more. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his PP Party have raised the VAT level from 18% to 21% on most items and the tax on restaurant food etc will go up from 8% to 10%. He hopes this will help to save 65 billion euros.
Despite the difficulties tourism here is up and by early July there was an avalanche of last minute bookings, giving the region a 73.5% hotel occupancy, Spain seems to be a favourite again!
Regular visitors will welcome the news that there is to be big crackdown on ‘looky looky’ men on the coast who pedal illegal goods and constantly harass holiday makers. Local town halls are to instigate more surveillance and hand out tougher fines to suppliers and pedlars. Thank goodness, they are an on-going nuisance.
Dozens of top line artists are set to perform at sell-out concerts on balmy summer evenings.
This year sees the most concerts we have ever known in a single season with acts like George Benson, Sting, Tony Bennett, Boney M, Simple Minds, Paul Anka and loads more, all eager to entertain to huge crowds. And with the long awaited opening after five years work, the controversial San Pedro tunnel will help to whisk revellers to the shows and the many classy clubs in Marbella, now once more attracting celebs from around the world.
The second Malaga Airport runway opened at the end of June which should help cope with the growing number of holidaymakers and potential property seekers.