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Mac's Poll - Let's Vote

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POLL- Would you be willing to have a COVID vaccine when they become available?
27 October 2020

Typically, the creation and rigorous testing of a vaccine can take up to 15 years. However, since January academics and pharmaceutical companies have been working around the clock to complete a COVID vaccine in record time and many people are wary of the end result.

In a recent survey, 66% of adults said they would get a vaccine when one becomes available, with 15% opting not to. However, nearly a fifth (19%) were unsure of whether they would or not. Supposing that vaccines will not be compulsory... will you have one when they become available? Please cast your vote...




Like 0        Published at 19:57   Comments (0)

The tallest cross in the world - Should it be demolished?
17 September 2020


The Valley of the Fallen is a monumental complex located in the Madrid town of San Lorenzo del Escorial. One of its main elements is the Cross of the Valley of the Fallen. The complex has been part of the National Heritage since its opening, which took place on April 1, 1959.

Francisco Franco ordered its construction, and he was buried there next to José Antonio Primo de Rivera up until his exhumation last October. The burial place of Spain's fascist dictator General Francisco Franco had been the subject of fierce debate for decades. But the final chapter arrived on 24 October 2019. The government exhumed and moved Franco's remains to a cemetery in Madrid. But why were there calls for Franco's remains to be moved in the first place? And why has the issue proved so controversial?

Franco ruled Spain from 1939 until his death in 1975. He was buried in a mausoleum within the Valley of the Fallen, leading to the site becoming a shrine for the far-right and thus loathed by many Spaniards. Spain's socialist government wanted the Valley of the Fallen to become "a place of commemoration, remembrance and homage to the victims of the war". It saw the presence of Franco's remains there as an affront to a mature democracy.

Many descendants of Franco's victims supported the idea of burying his remains elsewhere. But the issue has largely split public opinion across Spain.
Last August, despite objections from his closest family and the right-wing parties, the government approved the exhumation. It wanted to find a more low-key burial place where the dictator's followers would find it harder to pay tribute but also distance the dictator from the bodies of so many fallen soldiers.

Now he is not there, the Government has taken a further step just this week. Their intention is to make the priests leave the priory and for it to become a civil burial ground. This now leads on to the next discussion, if they want the complex to be a civil burial ground what do you do with the cross? The debate has started and some are pushing for it to be demolished.  The cross is without a doubt one of the most remarkable features of the Valley of the Fallen. It stands just above the Basilica. It is the highest Christian Cross in the world measuring 150m from the base. At the foot of the Cross, we can observe the statues of the four evangelists, as well as the symbols that correspond to each of them: Luke and the bull, Matthew and the winged man, John and the eagle, and Mark and the lion. As for the arms of the cross, they measure 46.40 meters each and it is possible to see it more than 40 kilometres away.


Inside there is an elevator that allows you to go up to the top. The Cross of the Fallen was made of reinforced concrete and covered with berrugo masonry and carved stone. To put its height into perspective, the Cross of Jesus in Rio de Janeiro is just 38m tall from the base, the Statue of Liberty is 93m from the base and St Paul's Cathedral is 111m to the tip of the main spire.

Given the magnitude of the construction and that it is a symbol of religious faith, do you think that it should be demolished because its construction was ordered by Franco? Please cast your vote.

Like 0        Published at 17:17   Comments (16)

How well do you handle Spain's Summer heat?
04 September 2020

The summer is pretty much coming to an end here but the heat is still on. I for one would happily head off to a cooler climate as I find the heat quite unbearable during July and August, especially the humidity in the Valencia region. But the heat keeps attracting people from all over Europe and many can't get enough of it, even though this year saw numbers drop considerably due to the current Covid-19 situation. But truthfully, can you all really handle this sweltering heat? Do you really like it, love it or hate it? Please cast your vote and leave a comment...


Like 0        Published at 13:25   Comments (4)

POLL - COVID 19 SPAIN - Do you feel comfortable.....?
10 July 2020

Now that all regions in Spain are now living the "new normal" apart from a handful of places that have been put back into quarantine, it is possible to start seeing how the general population is reacting to this new way of living. Certainly, the first couple of weeks after lockdown was lifted we noticed a large surge of people going to bars for a beer or a snack, now that restaurants are also open as well as cinemas and gyms, it begs the question, just how comfortable are we going to these places, especially when we see new cases popping up all over the country. That said it is to be expected until there is a vaccine. The coronavirus isn't just going to disappear overnight.  So how do you feel about visiting certain places now? taking into consideration that all places are following hygiene guidelines, from what I have observed, and that social distancing, generally speaking, is being respected..Please cast your vote:

Like 1        Published at 11:21   Comments (5)

POLL - Have you enjoyed being at home during lockdown?
09 June 2020

Two months of confinement have helped Spaniards rediscover the benefits of being at home.  A study carried out by the leading DIY, home and garden marketplace, concluded that  80% of Spaniards claim to have enjoyed being at home during the coronavirus confinement. The reason? They have spent more time with their loved ones, and they have also taken advantage of their free time to carry out small renovations, tidy up and reorganise the house, and other tasks that previously, due to time, they could not have done. 

By spending more time at home, it seems that the Spanish have come to love being at home more than before. The main reason participants enjoyed their homes so much during quarantine was being able to share more time with their loved ones, especially households with children (51%) compared to households without children (31%).  18% also felt more protected and safer at home while 15% said it was because they had more time to organise the house and redecorate it to their liking. How did you find lockdown? Please cast your vote and post your reason in the comments section below...




Like 0        Published at 21:52   Comments (5)

POLL - Do you think Spain's guaranteed minimum income scheme is a good idea?
01 June 2020

The Spanish government just approved a "guaranteed minimum income scheme" set to help 850,000 vulnerable families. It is not the first welfare program of its kind in Spain: there are already 17 different schemes in Spain run by each of the regional governments. But the distribution of this aid is very uneven and only reaches around 300,000 homes. The new scheme from the Social Security Ministry will nearly triple that figure.

 Finance Minister María Jesús Montero called the guaranteed minimum income scheme “a giant step in the fight against inequality in our country.” The program aims to lift around 1.6 million people out of extreme poverty, a group that represents 12.4% of the population, compared with the EU average of 6.9%. And 26.1% of the population is at risk of poverty, meaning that they are living on less than 60% of the median income, or €8,871 a year.

The plan for a guaranteed minimum income dates back to December 2019, when the Socialist Party (PSOE) and Unidas Podemos struck a governing agreement after the inconclusive results of the November general election. In this deal, the parties agreed to create “a general mechanism to guarantee earnings for families with no or low income.”

The coronavirus crisis accelerated the plan and in April, the government released the first details of the minimum income scheme, which is set to cost the government €3 billion a year. Drafts of the welfare program have been seen by several ministries. However, these texts are not final, meaning some of the details may change when the royal decree is published in the Official State Gazette (BOE). This is what is known so far about the minimum income scheme and how it will work.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible, claimants will have to be of legal age and under 65, given that above that age there are non-contributory pensions that pay out a minimum of €462 a month. If the beneficiaries live alone, they must have been emancipated for at least three years and be at least 23 years old.

In theory, the payment will be made out to a single individual but destined to the entire household. To be eligible, families must be in a vulnerable financial situation. A family is defined as vulnerable when their monthly income is €10 or more below the minimum income for their situation.

Are migrants eligible?

Yes, migrants who have been living legally in Spain for at least a year can apply for the guaranteed minimum income.

How much is the minimum income?

There is not a set amount, as payment depends on a family’s income and their overall situation. The lowest rate will be €462 a month for adults who live alone, and the highest €1,015. But the scheme will complete family income to those levels, rather than paying out that amount.

How is a family’s income calculated?

A family’s earnings are calculated based on their net income from the previous year. This does not include grants or rental assistance. Given that this method could leave out the economic victims of the coronavirus crisis, the latest draft of the scheme includes an additional provision which takes into account a claimant’s income from this year. This provision will be in place for all of 2020. The decree also considers setting conditions to assess an individual’s loss of income in a year so that they do not have to wait for the following year to claim the minimum income.

A family’s assets, such as property and savings, is also calculated toward their income. But this does not include the family home.

.How will it be funded?

The figures provided suggest that the program will cost around €3 billion a year, to be funded through government transfers to the Social Security system. How the government will fund it is still to be clarified...

Do you think this is a good idea? Please cast your vote...



Like 0        Published at 20:33   Comments (5)

POLL: Would you feel comfortable travelling to Spain this Summer?
26 May 2020

As air travel to and from the U.K. takes off, but threats of quarantine and travel bans lurk, summer trips abroad for British travellers are on hold, not over, though.

Even with the much-feared U.K. quarantine coming into effect June 8, summer holiday hopes are within view. There is still a possibility of future exemptions to the quarantine, the British government said in a statement on Friday. It will continue to look at the option of “air bridges”– similar to travel bubbles–between countries with low transmission rates. Together with bolstered screening measures, this would “remove the need for quarantine measures for incoming passengers.”

This could dramatically change holiday outlooks for Brits. For now, the quarantine will apply to all travellers, (bar the Irish). That includes returning British holidaymakers.

Supposing "air-bridges" are agreed between certain areas of Spain and the UK, how would you feel about visiting Spain this summer or in the coming months?

And if you are living in another country, Germany, France, Holland etc. Would you consider visiting Spain this summer?

Please cast your vote:


Like 1        Published at 11:58   Comments (27)

POLL - Will you start socialising with friends and family as soon as you can?
13 May 2020

About 51% of the population is now enjoying the extra freedom 'Phase 1' offers, although the metropolitan areas of Spain's largest three cities remain on 'Phase 0', along with Granada, the Costa del Sol, nearly all of Catalunya, and significant portions of Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, and the Comunidad Valenciana.

The government has explained what those living in 'Phase 1' areas can and cannot do, and what those who are not may be able to do in a week or two, depending upon how the virus develops in their territory and the availability of healthcare facilities in reserve to cope with a hypothetical second outbreak.


Visiting friends and family

This is now permitted to some degree – either meeting in the street or in your or their homes – unless they have tested positive for Covid-19, are recovering and in the requisite 15-day home isolation period, or are showing symptoms compatible with the disease.

Anyone considered 'high-risk' due to pre-existing health problems – anything affecting the cardiovascular or respiratory system, anything that compromises their immune system such as being in treatment for cancer, or anything which means contracting Covid-19 would automatically be much more dangerous for them – cannot be visited or have visitors.

The elderly cannot have or make visits.

Those considered high-risk 'due to age' are not permitted to receive visitors, meet others on the street or go to other people's houses, although it is not clear where the cut-off point is. The immune system starts to weaken from around age 60 to 70, those aged 70 or over have specific time slots for going out walking or exercising unless they live in a town with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants, and anyone aged 65 or over is given an exclusive or 'priority' slot for supermarket shopping, but people in this age bracket are not, these days, considered 'elderly', or even, necessarily, 'middle-aged'. In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) classes those aged 66 to 79 inclusive as 'middle-aged', and 'elderly' does not start until age 80; however, people of approximately State pension age are thought to be more vulnerable to Covid-19 and the average age of those who have died from the condition is over 73.

So it may be better not to meet up with anyone if you are 65 or more, nor to visit anyone or invite them round if they are in this segment of the population.

How many people can visit each other at once?

Maximum groups of 10 people are allowed in any one house, including members of the household – a person living alone can have nine visitors, but a couple with three children cannot have more than five.

This is also the case when people gather on the street to meet.

So when your region enters phase 1 or if you are already in phase 1, how do you feel about socialising at the moment?

Also, Do you think the Government's plan is sensible?



Like 0        Published at 19:27   Comments (1)

POLL: Which type of property are you most likely to choose as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis?
23 April 2020

Gardens or on everyone's mind at the moment, especially those who don't have one. Once the quarantine is over, gardens, terraces and balconies may be less urgent as occupants will then be able to go outside again and catch some fresh air and sunshine – but if this situation ever happens again, having a private outdoor space is likely to make it far less of an ordeal.

So, has this health crisis changed the way you'll choose your future residence, be it in Spain or any other country?

Residents on urbanisations or in apartment blocks are not allowed to use communal facilities such as swimming pools, gardens or terraces – only exits and entrances – meaning balconies have become hugely important for the latter, and private courtyards, gardens and pools for the former. Ultimately having a garden is to be able to do exercise and stretch your legs may be a decisive factor.

Filters on searches for properties with outdoor spaces, in general, have been applied 40% more than usual, although homes with gardens appear 128% more often than those with terraces or balconies, according to data from property portals across the board.

This begs the question... if you are looking to buy or rent in the future, how are you thinking?

Which type of property are you most likely to choose as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis?

Please cast your vote:


Like 1        Published at 18:18   Comments (6)

POLL: Which are your favourite white wines from Mercadona?
17 April 2020

Don't be fooled by the prices, Mercadona sells some excellent wine and not just 'for the price'. They are genuinely good wines, the thing that is quite unbelievable is the price they are able to sell them at. Thanks to the volume they sell you can get a top wine for next to nothing. Every year Mercadona's red wines seem to hit the headlines and receive excellent reviews, however, there is not so much press coverage of their white wines or any as a matter of fact. White wine sells a lot less in Spain and even more at this time of year, but white wine is extremely popular with the British and other nationalities and I know many of you are looking for some good value recommendations. So, who better to ask than the people buying it on a daily basis? All of you...

I have selected some of the best selling white wines in Mercadona for less than €5. Please take a look and select up to three of your favourites. Hopefully, this will help determine which are the most successful...If I have missed any gems please comment below!


Like 0        Published at 19:42   Comments (9)

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