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Mac's Poll - Let's Vote

Curious to know what the general opinion is? Cast your vote and let's see!!

POLL : If you could, would you take out Spanish Citizenship?
31 January 2020

Growing numbers of Britons are taking official Spanish language exams in order to become citizens of Spain, motivated by fears about Brexit. Figures published by the Instituto Cervantes show a 21% increase since last year in the numbers taking Spanish as a foreign language diploma, which is a requirement for anyone wanting citizenship.

The institute, which is responsible for promoting the Spanish language and culture around the world, says more than 400 people in the UK will take the exams this year, compared with 227 in 2015. “Certainly this is related to Brexit and the desire to keep a European passport,” Ignacio Peyró Jiménez, its London director, said. 
Since the Brexit vote, the applications by British residents in Spain to become residents has increased by 431% and this figure is expected to climb

Brits living in Spain had no real need to take Spanish citizenship since, other than being barred from voting in national and regional elections or standing for Parliament, their rights as expatriates were identical to those of any Spaniard.

Citizenship requirements changed in 2015, but are relatively within reach – the language test is set at level A2 or a good GCSE grade and two years’ worth of classes or home study is normally enough to achieve this standard.

A sociocultural and constitutional knowledge test must also be passed – 25 multiple choice questions to be answered in 45 minutes, of which 15 must be correct or 60%.

Successful applicants then must agree to renounce their nationality of birth and swear allegiance to the Spanish Constitution.

In practice, the UK doesn’t allow its native-born subjects to give up their British citizenship, even though joint nationality is not available to Brits living in Spain.

But for those concerned about future restrictions on movement between Spain and the UK, Spanish nationality may, strangely enough, make this procedure easier; a British-born subject is unlikely to be denied the right to spend an indefinite time in the UK as a visitor to, for example, care for family members in need, and with a Spanish passport, re-entry to Spain is guaranteed however long they have been away.

So what do you think? 

Would you take out Spanish citizenship if you could? Please cast your vote...



Like 1        Published at 20:08   Comments (6)

POLL: Who needs the other more? The EU or The UK?
08 October 2019

Nearly two years ago data from a Eurotrack survey suggested that one third (33%) of Britons thought that the EU needed the UK more than the UK needed it. With a further 28% of Brits saying that the EU and UK needed each other equally, this meant that more than six in ten people thought that the EU needed the UK at least as much as the UK needed the EU.

On EOS the results weren't that different:

37.13% of EOS members said the EU needed the UK more then the UK needed the EU and 25.18% said they needed each other equally.....Now almost two years have passed and the situation is rather different. Do you think the UK still stands from a position of strength or has it weakened? Who needs the other more now?


What do you think? Please cast your vote...


Like 0        Published at 17:46   Comments (27)

POLL - Brexit: What do you think is most likely to happen?
25 September 2019

The most likely outcome of Brexit is that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union within weeks with no agreement in place on its future relationship, according to recent surveys.

Britain and Northern Ireland is set to leave the superstate trading bloc on October 31. It is the third deadline for the U.K.’s departure after previous extensions were granted in order to resolve how Britain would withdraw and conduct future trading with EU members.

Fears of no-deal have increased due to a new U.K. government ramping up planning for an abrupt exit while also reducing negotiations with the EU.

According to the latest CNBC Global CFO Council quarterly survey, 43.5% of chief financial officers now view no deal as the most likely scenario. Almost a third (32.3%) predict a deadline extension, 8.1% expect a deal can be struck by the end of October, 3.2% foresee a second referendum while the remainder (12.9%) are not sure.

What do you now think is most likely to happen regarding Brexit?

Please cast your vote:


Like 0        Published at 11:32   Comments (29)

POLL: What do you rate most highly about Spain?
17 September 2019

Apparently Spanish cuisine is what tourists say they like best about the country. In fact, in recent years, more than seven million of the 60 million tourists who visited Spain did so purely to undertake a food-related activity.   Despite the universal fame of Spain’s creative and cutting-edge cuisine, tourists who come to the country are attracted by its traditional offering, for example, the widely-known dishes such as paella, gazpacho, and serrano ham.

This is hardly a surprise, given that less than 100 out of the 250,000 restaurants, bars and eateries in Spain focus directly on the most innovative types of cuisine.

But how do you feel about this? 

Is it the cuisine that you rate most highly about Spain? Please cast your vote... 


(There is also an option for you to add your own idea so please feel free to do so if the options don't satisfy your reason)

Like 1        Published at 13:11   Comments (1)

POLL : How well do you speak Spanish? Have you improved?
10 September 2019

George Orwell wrote in 1938: "The only way I could get along was to carry everywhere a small dictionary which I whipped out of my pocket at moments of crisis. But I would sooner be a foreigner in Spain than in most countries. How easy it is to make friends in Spain!"

 More than 70 years after the publication of Homage to Catalonia, hundreds of thousands of Orwell's fellow countrymen have followed his lead, eventhough many have now returned due to the crisis. The British are still the largest contingent of foreigners in Spain. But how well does that population speak Spanish? 


These are a few views of expat journalists, expat politicians and locals on the subject:


  • "Brits tends to live in a bubble. With more and more information available in English, there's less reason to learn Spanish and, as a consequence, less opportunity to understand the local culture. Many residents speak no more than 10 Spanish words in an average week – usually restaurant Spanish – and they pride themselves on 'getting by'.”
  •  "By moving to Spain, most have opted out of the rat race, substituting social responsibility for social activity within the numerous Brit clubs, amateur theatre and charity groups that have mushroomed over the entire Costa Blanca." 
  • "It's difficult. I try to practise my Spanish but people come back to me in English."
  • "British people do not seem to integrate terribly well.They are very good at societies, book clubs, social organisations of different kinds but, in general, they seem to associate more often with other expats.”

Can you relate to any of these thoughts?

Research has shown,  using Spanish in everyday situations and sticking to regular classes can help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease, say, doctors.

Learning a foreign language could put back the first signs of dementia by at least five years, 

Expatriates in Spain are at a particular advantage since those who regularly use the language they have learnt are even more likely to fight off Alzheimer's than those who have merely studied one and let it lay dormant. Whilst crosswords, sudokus and other 'thinking' puzzles have long been lauded as a tool for fighting off memory loss and confusion in old age, experts believe that those who speak two or more languages have even more chance of retaining their mental faculties.

They say learning a language is a more powerful type of mental exercise, and builds up a bank of 'spare' brainpower which helps the mind to keep working for longer and more effectively, slowing down the debilitating effects of Alzheimer's.

Medics behind the research, which took place at York University in Toronto, Canada, say this is rather like keeping a spare battery for your mobile phone or an emergency tank of petrol in your car.

"It means your brain can keep going for longer because there is more in the safety tank," they say.

The part of the brain that controls memory, decision-making, reasoning and expressing oneself in words is made stronger, more flexible and more resistant to damage by learning and using a foreign language.

Doctors claim the sooner a person starts to learn a language, the more beneficial it is for slowing down the process of dementia and age-related confusion.

Researchers found that the average Alzheimer's sufferer began to see the early symptoms of their condition in their mid-70s, or younger, where they only spoke one language.

But those who spoke two or more languages - or were actively learning one - tended to be in their 80s before they were diagnosed with dementia.

Additionally, the process of the mind breaking down - including loss of short-term memory - took hold much more rapidly in monolingual patients.

However, they warn that learning a language will not actually prevent Alzheimer's - it will simply slow down the associated mental deterioration and stop the condition from manifesting itself for much longer.


6 years ago we ran this poll and the results were not that surprising for some...



I thought it might be interesting to see if the EOS members have improved at all in recent years and if there is now a larger percentage of Spanish speakers amongst us...


To help clarify some of the options :

  • "Fluent", I would describe as having no difficulty discussing any topic that you could discuss in your mother tongue. The odd grammatical mistake may happen, even as it does when using your mother tongue. We all make grammatical errors every day without realising it most of the time, but they normally go unnoticed. You would also have very good control of the phonological features of the language.
  • "Having a decent conversation" is basically being able to talk about most topics that you would in your mother tongue but you may be occasionally limited by vocabulary or grammar but most certainly able to communicate with a good degree of fluency although with some degree of hesitation. You would also have good control of the phonological features of the language.
  • "Enough to get by and be understood" would fall short of being able to produce well constructed and extended discourse, but you would be able to communicate and be understood. But your vocabulary is limited as would be your phonological control of the language.

So please cast your vote:



Like 1        Published at 15:03   Comments (11)

POLL : Does Spain still offer a lower cost of living?
30 August 2019

Many think Spain isn't what it used to be while others find it still to be cheaper than the UK. I thought it might be interesting to get a general feel for this subject amongst the EOS members, especially as after my recent trips to the UK I have noticed a considerable difference in prices in supermarkets compared to Spain, that being UK supermarkets were noticeably cheaper in many departments. So does Spain still offer a low cost of living or has it become more expensive, to such a point that it isn't as attractive as it used to be?

Please cast your vote and leave a comment! 

Like 0        Published at 11:58   Comments (17)

POLL: Do you feel you live a healthier lifestyle in Spain?
25 July 2019

The Spanish have the highest healthy life expectancy in Europe – and beat Australia, Canada, Norway and the USA as well. This in part is thanks to an excellent healthcare system, ranked seventh in 2000 on the only occasion the World Health Organisation has compiled a league table. The UK was 18th. But it is not just the structures or even the skills of the doctors that matter. It is also the state of health of the people who arrive in the clinics.
Maybe the Mediterranean diet, heavy on fruit, salads, fish and olive oil, is responsible for the low death rate from heart disease – Spain has the 3rd lowest level of years of life lost. It also does well on a number of cancers – pancreatic, prostate, breast and oesophageal. Families still care for ailing relatives – taking daily meals to those in hospital is normal and premature deaths from falls are low. 

According to the European League Table, comprised of data collected over a 20 year period by medical journal, Lancet, Spain is the healthiest place to live compared with 18 other countries in the EU.
Ranking number one for life expectancy, Spanish residents live for an average of 81.4 years-two years longer than people living in Britain. They can also expect to enjoy up to 70.9 years of good health, compared with only 68.6 years of healthy life for the average Brit. The UK was left lagging behind in 12th place behind Greece, Ireland and Germany. It is also considered that the Spanish attitude to drinking alcohol and the weather plays an important role, encouraging a more outdoor lifestyle.

Do you feel you live a healthier lifestyle in Spain?

please cast your vote...


Like 1        Published at 21:38   Comments (3)

POLL: Should all beaches be alcohol-free in Spain?
10 July 2019

LIFEGUARDS on Spanish beaches want to see alcohol banned to keep bathers safe, pointing out the dangers of drinking and then going into the sea.

In the same way as the public is now conscious of the extreme risk of driving after having consumed alcohol, the Spanish Life-Saving Federation (RFESS) says that same awareness needs to be created among sunseekers.

Although children are the most vulnerable to drowning in pools and the sea, statistically, most victims are adults, the RFESS says.

Exactly a third of those who drown are pensioners, according to safety and prevention commission coordinator Jéssica Pino.

“Age-related physical problems, such as a reduction in mobility, heart conditions and the greater risk of heart attacks that come with age are among the main risks,” Sra Pino says.

“The middle-aged and the elderly are not conscious that their abilities, response times and mobility are gradually reducing – add to this the lack of a culture of first aid knowledge in Spain, and the risk is higher.”

What do you think? Should all beaches be alcohol free or would we be tackling the problem in the wrong way?


Please cast your vote...


Like 0        Published at 16:39   Comments (8)

POll - What was your main reason for moving abroad?
03 July 2019

What is it that drives someone to move abroad or retire miles away from "home". Are they fed up with their home nation?Need a change of environment? or do they need to find a cheaper place to live so they can further enjoy the rest of their years? Some say it is just down to the weather and can't take anymore grey skies and cold wet mornings, but somehow I think its more than that. In my case it was very simple I was fed up of England and wanted to expand my horizons and you?

Please share your opinon and cast your vote ..


Like 0        Published at 23:41   Comments (17)

POLL: Should the 15-year voting rule for UK expats be abolished?
19 December 2018

If you're a British expat who has lived outside the UK for at least 15 years, then current legislation denies you the ability to vote in parliamentary elections and referendums.

It's a policy that, suffice to say, has become very controversial given recent events. Long-term expats already feel that their fate was taken out of their hands when they were denied a vote in the EU referendum and this year's General Election, which was an election largely based around Brexit.

The 15-year rule comes from the idea that after someone has lived away from their home country for a long period of time, they lose their connection to it, but this isn't necessarily true. Moving abroad doesn't mean all ties to the home country are cut, and changes in policies may still directly affect an expat's life no matter how long they have been abroad.

What do you think? Please cast your vote…


Like 0        Published at 13:47   Comments (16)

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