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El blog de Maria

Your daily Spanish Law reporter. Have it with a cafe con leche.

Baby2009: Bienvenido al mundo
31 December 2008

Bienvenido 2009 * Welcome 2009

 As a baby, may you fill our lives with hope and strength while we care for you  to be a prosperous year, not just in the financial sense, but ....

in art, friendship, projects, sharing, laughing, creating, helping each other, having real-deep fun, working together, enjoying same sun, creating transparent and fair structures, enjoying truth, children, nature, philosophy, elderly and handicapped people, simple richness of life...

As you, 2009, come without much to offer, you give to us the oportunity to create what is necessary to make you have a good existence...and enjoy the way along...

Yes, Susan.. I know  I should have been a motivational speecher rather than a lawyer.

Feliz 2009!



 By Maria L. de Castro

By Chris230 at

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A mensaje de Navidad from Maria de Castro
23 December 2008



 This is my favourite Christmas image. I know that many of you are not Catholic, even not Christian and even not believers and... I fully respect, from the deepest part of my soul, every one´s personal beliefs and ways of illustrating and living these festive days, but, ..... at the same time , as friends of mine who you are already, I wanted to share this tender and human image of Jesus and Mary, whcih I really like.

It trasmits humanhood, hope, ternderness... It portrays a very reachable God.

I wish you peace, deep joy, hope, strength, balance, cooperation sense, optimism, determination, tenderness, simplicity and austerity... my most cherished treasures, for these Christmas days and next 2009, which we will run together.

I promise I will try to become a little bit more of a good person this year.

Best from my family, my team and me.



By Maria L. de Castro


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Legal tip 23. Right to housing benefits of foreigners in Spain
22 December 2008

Provision 13. Right to housing aids of foreigners in Spain

Resident foreigners have right to access the public system of housing aids under same conditions of Spanish nationals.


By Maria L. de Castro





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Moratorium on the payment of mortgage loans In Spain. In force from December, 3rd of 2008
18 December 2008

The moratorium measures are in force since 3rd of December 2008:

Applicable to resident foreigners according to Provision 13 of Foreigners Act

Royal Decree 1975/2008.

CHAPTER II Moratorium on the payment of mortgage loans

Article 3. Mortgage loans.

Debtors of mortgage loans made prior to September 1st of 2008, for an amount inferior to 170,000 euros and only for  habitual domicile purchases  will be eligible for public financial support measures which are explained  in this Chapter under the  terms and the requirements provided for  them herein.

In every case, the application of these measures will require the prior agreement between the interested party and  the lending  bank or company.

By  the before mentioned agreement, the beneficiaries will accept the terms and legal effects of  financial measures  exposed in this chapter, and in particular ,those obligations towards the State derived from this.

Article 4. Purpose of the financial measures.

Financial support measures above mentioned will cover up a maximum of   50 per cent of the monthly mortgage loan instalments bettween January 1 2009 and December 31 2010, with a maximum of 500  euros per month.

In the case of multiple debtors of the same mortgage loan, the  limit of 50 per cent of the monthly instalment and  500 euros a month will not be  exceeded, even if more than one of them meet the requirements to be beneficial of the measure.

These amounts will be compansated from January 1st of  2011 through their distributed payment  during the remaining months of the  mortgage loan devolution period with a maximum of 10 years.

Article 5. Eligibility for the measure.

1. Debtors of mortgage loans referred to in Article 3 of this real decree  need to meet  any of the following situations prior to January 1st  2010 in order to  be beneficiaries of the measures outlined in this chapter:

a) To be an  employee worker under unemployment condition  at least during the three months  which are immediately preceding the application, and to be entitled to contributory or non-contributory unemployment benefits.

b) To be a self-employed person who has been forced to cease its  work activity and  has remained in that situation for a minimum period of three  months.

c) To be a self-employed person  who attests full income inferior to three times the  monthly  Public  Indicator of Multiple Effect Income ( IPREM) for at least  three months.

d) Being the holder of a  widow's pension due to death occurred after the contracting of the loan  mortgage, and in any case, at a later date to Sept. 1st, 2008.

2. In any case, it will be a prerequisite for eligibility to this aid  that the  debtor is not in arrears.

Article 6. Accreditation of  conditions.

1. The concurrence of the conditions specified in Article 5 of this Royal Decree will be proved before the loan Bank or company through the following documents, as appropriate:

a) In case of legal situation of unemployment, by  the corresponding certificate issued by the  National Service of Employment ( INEM). 

b) In case of cessation of activity of the self-employed  person, through the corresponding  certificate  issued by the  Taxes National Department  (AEAT) on the basis of the declaration of  cessation of activity made by the affected person.

c) In case of  self- employed persons with income  inferior to three times the  monthly indicator of Public Income Multiple Effect through the certificate  of declaration under liability made by the affected before the Taxes National Department ( AEAT). 

d) In the case of widow pensioner,  by certificate issued by the Social Security Office. (INSS)

2. False statements of mentioned elebibility conditions will produce the  immediate loss of  rights provided in this Royal Decree.


By Maria L. de Castro



Cordoba esparto grass mat by Protozoo at

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Legal tip 22. Can my landlord increase the rents... suddenly?
17 December 2008

Stablishment of rent amounts is on a free basis.

The periodic legal increase of the rent depends on the kind of contract that you have.

For home rentals, there is a maximum during the first five years which is the IPC ( Indice de Precios de Consumo: CPI in English) and there is freedom of rent pricing once those years have passed. 

No maximums are legally set for non-home rentals or seasonal rentals.

The increase of rent price cannot be sudden and random.


By Maria L. de Castro


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Legal tip 21. Am I being overcharged by the Community of owners?
17 December 2008


The share quota fee in the Comunity of Owners is, according to provision 5 of the Horizontal Property Act, fixed:

- In the Horizontal Division Notary deeds ( which must be at your disposal)
- By agreement of all the existing owners.
- By arbitration or Court decission.

The base for calculation of this is composed by several factors as:

* Net usable area of every apartment, in relation to the whole development.
* Interior or exterior location of the apartment within the building
* Use that presumably and reasonably the owner is expected to perform on the commun elements and services.


By Maria L. de Castro


Grazalema ( Cadiz). Where my dad was born!


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Legal tip 20. Right to health care of foreigners in Spain
17 December 2008


Provision 12. Right to health care of foreigners in Spain
  1. Foreigners registered in the local census of the town they usually reside , have right to health care under same conditions than Spanish nationals.
  2. Foreigners being in Spain for a stay have right to public urgent health care if they contracted any serious illness or suffered an accident, whatever the cause might be. They will have right to the continuity of that health care till they are discharged.
  3. Minor age foreigners  being in Spain for a stay  have right to health care under same conditions than Spanish nationals.
  4. Foreigner pregnant women being in Spain for a stay have right to health care during the pregnancy, delivery and post partum.

By Maria L. de Castro



 Barbate (  Costa de la Luz, Cadiz) beach by Chodaboy (

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Legal tip 19. Labour rights of foreigners in Spain
16 December 2008

Artículo 11. Labour rights of foreigners in Spain.

1.  Foreigners in Spain can be members of professional associations under same conditions of Spanish nationals. They just need to have authorisation for stay or residency permit.

2.  They can also  exercise their right to strike.


By Maria L. de Castro


Zahora beach ( Costa de la Luz) by Sevillano at


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Legal tip 18. Right to work and social security of foreigners in Spain
12 December 2008


Provision 10. Right to work and to Social Security
  1. Foreigners meeting legal requirements established in this Act and related regulations will have access to work  asself-employed or as an employee. The same will have right to access to the Social Security system according to current legislation.
  2. Resident foreigners can access work positions for the Public Administration in Spain in equal conditions as national citizens of European Union countries, according to the legal principles of equality, merit, ability and publicity. They can stand for public employment.


By Maria L. de Castro

" Andalucia verde" By sunshineband.

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Play this and win.. 100% success guaranteed
11 December 2008


I was very conforted to read the below pasted perspective from the OECD, it matches with a blog post I wrote back in summer: Financial crisis=creativity times.  

I am a strong believer of that the excess of material resources cut human creativity. It is not that  I die for difficult times, but they have proved to be very enriching, teaching and dignifying in my life and in the life of great masters of humanhood... so, let´s take the challenge of these crisis times.

Let´s play a game:  This is the beginning ( nothing easier happened before) and  that we need to create better financial, social, economic, legal, cultural, educational, philosophical.. spaces. It is fun... and I promise.. absorvent and addictive:

Some ingredients... please add others you have in your mind... yes, you do have them.

Experience, learning, language, culture barters... I go to yours, you come to mine

Equilibrium on what we really, naturally need... less is more

Human, solidarity and spiritual rather than  just monetary resources... were great artist  born and die rich? Van Gogh?

Happiness of a long, long way to go. Enjoyment of hard work... to creation of oportunities... hard, hard work but lots of joy promised. Smile while you work?

Deep study, new formulas, open discussions, contradiction of the non contradictable: dressing, travelling, technology...

Healthy and constructive questioning of  what is socially practised and correct... shopping malls?

Magic world of  children, handicapped, old people... the mistery of "fertility" ( against  just productivity... we are not products!) of non functional members of our society..

Youth.... going abroad ( to the North and to the South... Africa?)

Spontaneous couples of developed-undeveloped towns exchanges... We all win

What do you suggest??


By Maria L. de Castro


Oh yes!   this is the article from the webiste


Economic Survey of Spain 2008


Contents | Executive summary | How to obtain this publication | Additional info

Published on 19 November 2008. The next Economic survey of Spain will be prepared for 2010.

An Economic Survey is published every 1½-2 years for each OECD country. Read more about how Surveys are prepared. The OECD assessment and recommendations on the main economic challenges faced by Spain are available by clicking on each chapter heading below.

Bookmark this page:


Chapter 1: Main challenges, macroeconomic developments and policies

Residential construction is slowing sharply towards a level which is sustainable in the long run and investors and consumers are also adjusting strongly to a marked deterioration in financial conditions in the wake of the international financial crisis, as well as to deteriorating job prospects. The slowdown is already having a significant impact on unemployment. Beyond this downturn some of the drivers of historical strong performance may weaken, notably vigorous credit growth, unusually low real interest rates in the wake of the adoption of the euro, exceptionally strong immigration and rapidly rising female labour force participation. An overall robust financial system in international comparison will help limit the economic consequences of shrinking housing-market activity and international financial market turbulence; and the ongoing large rise in tertiary attainment provides a significant potential to raise productivity growth, which has been weak on average over the past decade. However, in part as a result of strict employment protection for incumbent workers and low mobility, young qualified workers are often not employed in jobs commensurate to their skills, the inflow of young workers with a low education level into the labour market remains very large, and these workers are seeing their employment prospects deteriorate. Once the crisis is past the challenges will therefore be to improve the matching of workers to jobs so as to help limit the impact of the downturn on the labour market and improve the placement of highly qualified workers. Further reforms of the education system are also called for in order to cut the number of drop-outs from lower secondary school and to raise efficiency throughout the system. Reforms to intensify competition in product markets would also raise productivity performance.


Chapter 2: Improving the matching of workers to jobs

The deceleration of economic activity and the necessity for structural change in order to return to sustainable growth imply a need for a better matching of workers to jobs. This chapter looks at the main institutional features and policies in the labour market that are behind the mismatch between qualified workers and available jobs, which is severe in international comparison. A well designed strategy to activate the unemployed can help ensure that unemployment benefit recipients find a suitable job as fast as possible and minimise the risk that the availability of unemployment benefits unduly reduces work incentives. An adequate level of coordination between the administration of unemployment benefits and activation policies lowers the risk of benefit traps if activation policies are used to ensure that recipients re qualify for unemployment benefits. Reform of employment protection legislation would help to increase the employment prospects of highly qualified young workers and other groups who face entry problems. Immigrants have high participation rates and relatively low unemployment, but they hold precarious jobs for which they are overqualified. Hence, there is scope to increase their labour market integration. Housing market policies need to focus on removing barriers to geographic mobility, and the wage bargaining system should be reformed in order to ensure an efficient allocation of labour by allowing wage agreements to reflect firm level conditions.


Chapter 3: Raising education outcomes

Impressive progress has been made in raising participation in early childhood education as well as tertiary educational attainment over the past 30 years. However, the inflow of poorly educated youth into the labour market is unusually heavy for a high income country, largely on account of elevated drop out rates in lower secondary education which, in turn, reflect one of the highest grade repetition rates in the OECD. The supply of workers with intermediate vocational skills is surprisingly low, despite the high returns, in terms of labour market outcomes that these skills offer, even if they have recently deteriorated. There is room to raise learning outcomes up to the end of compulsory school, as measured by PISA, although, owing to a compressed distribution of such outcomes, the share of poorly performing pupils is not unusually large. While significant reforms have been undertaken to address these problems, more measures are needed to reduce grade repetition and raise education outcomes, by improving accountability of schools and school staff, as well as by raising school autonomy further than has already occurred. Vocational training needs to become more attractive. In tertiary education, few Spanish universities have attained a high level of international standing, and scope remains to improve the contribution tertiary attainment can make to gains in economic welfare, notably by reforming funding arrangements.


Chapter 4: Fostering competition in product markets to boost productivity

While significant advances have been made in strengthening product market competition in a number of areas, there is still considerable scope to enhance the role it can play in boosting productivity growth. Barriers to competition are still significant, including in sectors that produce intermediate goods and services, extending their negative impact on productivity throughout the economy. This chapter looks at the barriers to increased competition in goods and services markets and analyses the improvements introduced in recent years. These reforms concern sectoral aspects such as the regulation of network industries – in particular, the energy, telecommunications, transport and postal sectors, as well as other markets including savings banks, retail trade and the regulated liberal professions. Recent measures announced by the government, for instance in some network industries and in professional services, are a step in this direction.


How to obtain this publication                                                                                   

The Policy Brief (pdf format) can be downloaded in English. It contains the OECD assessment and recommendations.The complete edition of the Economic survey of Spain 2008 is available from:


Additional information                                                                                                  


For further information please contact the Spain Desk at the OECD Economics Department at  The OECD Secretariat's report was prepared by Andrès Fuentes and Eduardo Camero under the supervision of Peter Jarrett. Research assistance was provided by Sylvie Foucher-Hantala.

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Legal tip 17. Right to education of foreigners in Spain
10 December 2008


Provision 9. Right to education of foreigners in Spain
1. - Every minor age foreigner has same right and obligation to education as Spanish nationals, these rights comprises: right to free and compulsory basic education, right to obtain the corresponding qualifications and right to access the public system of grants and aids.
2.- Public Administration will guarantee enough number of places for those who apply for pree-school education, which is voluntary.
3. - Foreigners will have the right to access the non-compulsory education under same conditions as Spanish nationals. In particular, foreigners will have access to every education level, to obtain the corresponding qualifications and the right to access the public system of grants and aids.
4. - Public powers will promote the necessary education for the better social integration; will full acknowledgment and respect to their cultural identity, for those resident foreigners who need it.
5. - Resident foreigners can access teaching and research positions according to current legislation. Furthermore, they can create and direct education centres according to applicable law.

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Legal tip 16. Freedoms of assembly, demonstration and association of foreigners in Spain
05 December 2008

Provision 7. Freedom of foreigners to assemeble and demonstrate in Spain

1. Foreigners will have the right to assembly under same Law requirements than Spanish nationals and they will be allowed to exercise it once they have authorisation for stays and residency in Spain.
2. Promoters of assembly or demonstration to be held in public transited areas will communicate it in advance to the relevant authorities, according to what is established in Assembly rights Act. This authority won’t prohibit or modify it but in those cases stablished in the just mentioned Act.

Provision 8. Freedom of association
Every foreigner will have association rights under same Law requirements than Spanish nationals and they will be allowed to exercise it once they have authorisation for stays and residency in Spain.
 By Maria L. de Castro
A picture by SantyMB ( A balcony in Baeza ( Jaén), Spain 

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Legal tip 15. Right of foreigners to vote in Spain
04 December 2008


Provision 6. Public Participation
1. - Resident foreigners in Spain have right to vote in municipal elections reciprocally to rights of Spanish nationals in their home countries and according to what is established in Law and Treaties.
2.-Resident foreigners, registered as inhabitants of a municipality, have all the rights of local nationals according to Municipal regulations. They can be heard in all the matters affecting them according to the pertinent regulations.
3.-Local Councils will have an updated registration of foreigners inhabiting the municipality.
4. - Public powers will facilitate foreigners the right to vote in their home countries.
The picture below has no relation at all with the text above, just for your enjoyment:

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Legal tip 14. Right of foreigners to free movement in Spain
03 December 2008

Well.. it is not easy to do translations of legal texts... but I keep trying for your information.

Provision 5. Right to freedom of movement

1.- Foreigners in Spain have , according to Title II of this Act,  the right to free movement within the spanish territory and to choose their residency with no further limitations than those generally stablished by Treaties and Laws or those taken by the judicial authorities as a protective measure in a criminal  or an extradition procedure which may have the foreigner as an accused party, a victim or a witness, or as a consequence of a final judicial decision.  

2.  Nevertheless,  specific limitative measures  can be taken in such situations as: state of exception or siege according to the Constitution  or  due to public safety reasons and in an exceptional, proportionate, justifiable and  individual basis  by order of the Home secretary  and according to the legal guarantees of the penalty system.These llimitative measures, which can not last for more than the indispensable and proportionate time according to the cirnumnstances that justify them, can consist of periodic appearance before the relevamt authority or orders to walk away from borders or specific population centers.

What about this?


By Maria L. de Castro

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Legal tip 13. Right of foreigners to documentation in Spain
01 December 2008

Provision 4. Right to documentation

1. Foreigners in Spanish territory have a right and an obligation to keep their  national identification documents issued by their country’s authorities, together with the  Spanish documentation that proves their situation in Spain.
2. Every foreigner with a resident visa for a period longer than six months will obtain the foreigner identification number, which they will have to apply for within one month from the entrance in Spain or since the authorisation is granted.
3. Foreigners won’t be deprived of  their personal documentation but in those cases and under the requisites established in this Act and in the Citizenship Protection Act of 1992.

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