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For Better Or For Worse

Have you ever thought what might happen if your spouse or partner was suddenly taken ill and you had to deal with your joint affairs? If they needed to go back to your home country for lengthy treatment and you decided to sell up and go back to be near family you would be confronted with a serious problem if your property is in joint names. In order to sell property all of the owners would need to be physically present to sign. And what if they couldn’t be there? They could execute a Power of Attorney in, for example, the U.K. which would then have to be notarised, translated officially and certified by a Spanish consulate. This process is both lengthy and costly. Fortunately, there is an inexpensive, hassle-free and painless way to avoid this: the Mutual Power of Attorney.

A Power of Attorney gives someone the right to do things on your behalf, for example to sell your share of a property or to represent you in dealings with government authorities. As its name suggests in a Mutual Power of Attorney each person gives the same rights to another. It is particularly useful for husbands and wives or long term partners.

What do I need and what will it cost?

You need a properly drafted Spanish Power of Attorney, a good English translation and an interpreter fluent in English and Spanish to explain to you, in front of the Notary, exactly what powers you are conferring on one another. Once the Power of Attorney is executed you take it home, put it in a safe place and never look at it again. Hopefully. And it will cost you less than €200 between you.

What if we fall out of love?

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A guide to Granada's tapas...

The first thing that springs to mind when I think of Spain, is tapas. If like me, the first thing you think of when waking up is food, if you love trying new exciting dishes, watch Masterchef religiously and generally are a huge foodie, then Granada is most definitely the place for you. Whereas in the rest of Spain you pay for your tapas (and quite often an arm and a leg if in tourist spots!), here in Granada it’s on the house! Order a glass of wine, a cold beer or even a soft drink and within minutes a plate of delicious food appears in front of you to enjoy. From the traditional Patatas Bravas to the less traditional tapas, there really is something for everyone. With hundreds of different bars in the city, it can sometimes be difficult to know where the best ones are. TripAdvisor and Google will give you their own list and they are without a doubt worth looking at, however, some of my favourite bars don’t seem to get a mention. So here goes... my guide to Granada’s tapas bars... 

Cunini Located round the corner from Granada’s impressive cathedral this bar is on one of the busiest squares of the city. During the many sunny days you can sit on the terrace and enjoy the pop up flamenco shows. A glass of wine is €3 if sat on the terrace and is usually accompanied with a fish tapas dish: battered cod bites, garlic king prawns, fried fish, squid, calamari... The portions are huge, sometimes the barman even brings out two tapas instead of one. They are also very generous with their wine measures. I would 100% recommend, make sure to get their early though if you want a spot! Address: Plaza Pescadería, 14, 18001 Granada

Rincón De Rodri Another fantastic tapas bar that specialises in fish dishes is El Rincón De Rodri. Again, I highly recommend getting there early to get a spot, it is very popular with the locals. Some of my favourite dishes are their garlic king prawns, plancha squid, fried battered cod or paella. The star of the show is their homemade alioli that accompanies most of the tapas. The portions again, are huge, the wine is of quality and the beer is cold. What more can you ask for? Prices are pretty standard for Granada, €2 for a beer, between €2.50 and €3 for a glass on wine, €2.20 for popular soft drinks. Address: Calle Músico Vicente Zarzo, Granada

La Sitarilla This bar is the epitome of Spanishness. The first thing you notice when you walk in is the delicious smell of Carne in Salsa. The bar is very large, with two large additional seating areas, in case it gets very busy (which it always does). The walls are decorated with paintings of different landscapes of Granada. The food is absolutely incredible. Their Carne in Salsa is exquisite. My favourite dish is their Porra Antequerana, a sort of Solmorejo (a cold, refreshing soup). I often go to the bar just to order that one dish. Prices are very reasonable, service is quick and the atmosphere is fantastic...Address: Calle San Miguel Alta, 7, 18002 Granada

K-ito Located close to the University’s main campus this tapas bar is very popular with students but also with locals. There is a real mix of generations which is something I love about Spain. The great advantage of it being in the student area is that the tapas are HUGE (because students are always hungry, right?). Each tapas is accompanied with homemade patatas and alioli as well as a side salad. A usual tapas there is a marinated pork skewer. I can rarely eat more than two tapas before getting full. So for €4 you can eat a delicious meal. The bar itself is tiny but there are tables outside, so I would recommend going on a warm evening so that you can sit outside.Address: Calle Goya, 5, 19002 Granada

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Christmas Traditions in Granada: Los Dulces de Navidad

Around this time of year, in Plaza Bib-Rambla in the Albayzin, the air is constantly fragranced with sugar. Here you will find the epicentre of one of Spain, and Andalusia’s greatest Christmas traditions: los dulces de Navidad.

Casa Pasteles, situated on the Plaza, is one of the best cake shops in Granada and it is renowned for these handmade sweets and biscuits. During November and December, its bakery (just behind the square) makes thousands of these individually wrapped creations and it opens a special shop (on the other side of the square) to sell them. The classic Christmas sweet is bars of turrón, a type of nougat that traditionally only contains egg whites, honey and almonds. You will find this everywhere but the joy in Casa Pasteles comes from trying lots of their own creations. Many of the sweets start from a marzipan base: try the panecillos de limón (marzipan with lemon), the bocaditos (marzipan filled with fruit jam and covered with milk chocolate) or the delicias de naranja (marzipan filled with pieces of candied orange). 

Other specialities include individual turróns, some made with hazelnuts as well as almonds, some covered in chocolate. There are pralines, balls made of figs and raisins mixed with a little liqueur and chocolate-covered coconut. One of the most traditional little cakes are the mantecados, a type of shortbread biscuit. Watch out, if you are a vegetarian, because sometimes these can be made with pork fat (la manteca de cerdo).

If you are in Granada before Christmas, go and visit the Casa Pasteles pop-up shop and choose a selection of these beautifully-wrapped local specialities. Then, like many offices, businesses and schools, fill a bowl with them for your friends and guests to try over the holiday season. Eat your heart out, Willy Wonka.

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December Holidays: Día de la Constitucion and La Fiesta de la Inmaculada Concepcíon

There are four public holidays in Spain in December and the first is one of the few not related to religion. 

El Día de la Constitucion (or Constitution Day) recognises the moment when the country moved towards modernity. On the 6th December 1978, a new constitution was approved in Spain, thanks to a referendum. After Franco died in 1975, a new political system was required, there was a general election in June 1977 and the new government began to draw up a new constitution. 88% of voters backed the change, which shepherded in democracy, after years of being ruled by a dictator. It is now a national holiday, which means that most businesses and schools will be closed and transport services may run reduced services. This year it falls on a Tuesday, which means that many businesses will also observe a ‘puente’ and not work on the Monday either. There is another national holiday during the same week, La Fiesta de la Inmaculada Concepcíon (the Feast of the Immaculate Conception) on December 8th. This is a holy day of obligation and many Catholics will attend special church services. It falls this year on a Thursday so, be aware, that if you want to get anything done that week, Wednesday 7th is your best bet!

 

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Spanish Property Prices To Rise By 6% Per Year


Spanish property prices are likely to rise 6% a year, for the next three years, according to Humphrey White, the head of Knight Frank estate agents in Spain. As Spanish Property Insights reported last week, White considers that this relatively low rate of increase means the price rises are ‘sustainable’. Underlying these rises are several factors: White stated that, post-crash, Spain is ‘leading economic growth in Europe’; recent global reports by Knight Frank show that Barcelona and Madrid are amongst the top world cities preferred by the super-rich, for living in, and Madrid is seventh in the world for foreign investment, ahead of Berlin and Singapore. What’s more, the combination of attractive cities with good transport links and property and a highly-qualified and professional workforce means that foreign investors are finding Spain an attractive prospect. 

Such economic confidence, at a time when many countries are not feeling quite so stable, whether financially or politically, is great news whether you are a resident or thinking of becoming one.

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