Sun,sea, sangria and STRESS....that's Spain.....

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11 Feb 2015 20:04 by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 779 posts Send private message

Just when one thinks that living in a Spain has been successfully accomplished the civil servants throw yet another curved ball that is akin to a Laurel and Hardy skit.

After being a fully paid up resident for 7 years, last year I didn't receive paperwork for the road tax. After several unsuccessful attempts at the Ayuntamiento outreach in my village I was directed to go to one of the 4 Ayuntamientos in my nearby Murcian city. 

Duly went and form collected without hassle...but ..not only was the address different but I now apparently lived in Almeria !!  

Although all Ayuntamientos here are computerised the address could only be changed by a jobsworth at another townhall !!!  Time consuming but did as advised .Then paid my dues and relaxed....wrong move....in Spain if something appears to be sorted efficiently ....it probably hasn't been.

This January  I received a letter from Agenciá Tributariá in Murcia referring to an embargo on bank account because of unpaid road tax.......

Spanish friend contacted the local AT and with "stamped" paperwork confirming there was no outstanding debt was told that only the AT in Murcia City could remove the embargo. However to do so it had to be done in person.

Don't know what was more stressful. Trying to find a parking place in a very busy city or being told, by civil servant at office that sent the letter out, that we were in the wrong place. The AT we needed other side of city. No amount of discussion would budge him.

After much "Victor Meldrew" speak by our Spanish friend we decided to give it one more try only to be told, at the next offices, that we had been in the correct building in the first place and although PC was showing embargo cancelled only the first office we went to could sanction its deletion from the files. Until this happens the bank account is at risk...

That was the point when the towel was thrown in the ring....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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11 Feb 2015 23:02 by hugh_man Star rating in Kent/Roda . 1593 posts Send private message

hugh_man´s avatar

Sorry to hear if your experience, but as you say, sums up Spain precisely.

I have heard lately of the use of embargoes on bank accounts by various departments including tax offices, Town Halls and Traficos of late.

Whilst it is good to know the authorities are chasing funds due, it is worrying when you try to do the right thing but are still embargoed.

 





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12 Feb 2015 09:33 by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 779 posts Send private message

Wrote this an eye opener to the frustrating beaurocracy  in Spain......just in case there is anyone still not yet aware. Personally never done stress but this country is a heart attack waiting to happen for those who do.

The 2  questions I would dearly like answers to to ...but as yet remain enigmas ......is why was my address changed and how come Murcia are collecting road tax for Almeria!!!........but maybe one day.....

 

 

 

 





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14 Feb 2015 09:43 by Woodbug Star rating. 371 posts Send private message

THis is the reason most ex-pats only keep monthly 'working cash' in a Spanish bank. There are trillions of £'s in banks worldwide that could be in Spanish banks if the systems here could be trusted. 





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14 Feb 2015 09:44 by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1235 posts Send private message

On our many visits to various parts of Spain, I have often imagined that I was walking into an episode of Fawlty Towers, albeit with a plethora of Manuels. We tend to take everything in our stride and find the Spanish to be both amusing and endearing, but of course we are not dealing with local government officials, if they are anything like the reception staff at the apartment complex that we will arrive at in April, god help you expats.

But having said all this, I dread having to deal with local government officials in the UK, and now that the Inland Revenue don't allow personal visits or take telephone calls It's impossible to get any assistance/advice on complicated issues. Perhaps expat stress in Spain is exagerated by the recipients not knowing all of the rules, and in many cases not being able to vent their displeasure in the manner that an indigenous Spaniard would.



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14 Feb 2015 10:21 by Tadd1966 Star rating in Los Montesinos. 1755 posts Send private message

Hephaestus

I spoke to the UK Inland Revenue only yesteday on the phone and discussed a few tax issues an dthey wre very helpful and patient

 

~~now that the Inland Revenue don't allow personal visits or take telephone calls...........



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14 Feb 2015 10:39 by newworld Star rating. 937 posts Send private message

14 Feb 2015 10:52 by Woodbug Star rating. 371 posts Send private message

Hephaestus: Perhaps expat stress in Spain is exagerated by the recipients not knowing all of the rules, and in many cases not being able to vent their displeasure in the manner that an indigenous Spaniard would.

In many,many cases here nobody knows the rules - not even the administrators! Rules and regulations in Spain (of which there are millions) change by the day and few get to know about the changes, so it is just expected that when you must get involved with authority it is never going to be straight-forward affair.

In one town I lived in several years ago, it took 7 visits to the town hall and a visit from the Guardia to process my padron - after 5 months of collecting different papers and stamps - I just gave up. I needed a new padron from my current local authority last year and it took about 10 minutes to do the paperwork and the document was printed there and then........... no one system is the same. Permissions granted by an ayuntamiento can be overturned by the Junta and regulations that apply in Andalucia may not in Murcia or Valencia and vice versa so it is just the luck of the draw.





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14 Feb 2015 11:16 by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 779 posts Send private message

Hephaestus wrote.."Perhaps expat stress in Spain is exagerated by the recipients not knowing all of the rules, and in many cases not being able to vent their displeasure in the manner that an indigenous Spaniard would." 

Mentioned several times that it was a Spanish friend assisting us( actually an aesoria..so someone who definitely knows the rules) and, as I have observed here on many many occasions, they accept what they are told by those in authority sometimes with a polite query but certainly NEVER by venting displeasure.

Whether this is a natural programming of the indigenous people, the fact public buildings have armed guards or the result of recent history......I know not...but certainly, even the most laid back, in UK, wouldn't tolerate being given the run around especially by those employed by the state.

 

 

 





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14 Feb 2015 11:26 by Tadd1966 Star rating in Los Montesinos. 1755 posts Send private message

newworld

excellent video, should be posted to every politciian in spain - they might learn something



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14 Feb 2015 12:28 by camposol Star rating in Camposol. 1408 posts Send private message

It may be the luck of the draw, but that's no comfort to some poor devil  who got permission to build from the local council, only for it to be overturned, years later by the regional council, with all the stress and financial hardship that incurs

It's not  something anyone should roll over and accept, while those around you roll eyes, shrug shoulders and bleat" This is Spain" or " If you don't like it, go home!"





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14 Feb 2015 12:58 by hugh_man Star rating in Kent/Roda . 1593 posts Send private message

hugh_man´s avatar

 

Totally agree camposol

Sadly it will take whole generations to change the rural, "this is Spain attitude", which by the way is not as prevalent in many successful Spanish Global companies based in the major cities.

Just take a look at the problems created in Greece by a similar outlook and funding a public sector retirement age of around 55.

Are we surprised the Germans who have an incredible work ethic and efficiency are fed up with bailing out these idiosyncratic and wasteful countries.

Does not make it right, but at the end of the day though, we do have a choice to stay or go.

 





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14 Feb 2015 13:38 by ads Star rating. 4023 posts Send private message

There's a big push by the EU to promote growth, so these aspects need to be fed back to the powers that be (at EU and national level) with the emphasis on good workable administrative solutions,......sometimes standing outside the box and replicating sound standardised administrative methods that have been proven to work elsewhere, instead of reinventing the wheel, or trying to constantly fix a broken system, requires a radical review.... not beyond the realms of possibility in this day and age if commitment/willingness to embrace change to the benefit of all could be given at the highest level.

Suggestions/solutions should be embraced in Spain and not considered as a threat, but it requires an understanding that change, if managed well and researched from a wider perspective to replicate best practice (and there perhaps lies the problem) would help Spain to grow.

 


 





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14 Feb 2015 13:52 by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1235 posts Send private message

My only clash with officialdom in Spain was in my smoking days, so over 5 years ago. We were coming through hand baggage inspection at Malaga airport when a member of the Guarda Civil started to take an interest in our bags, he gleamed with delight when he spotted our Calahonda purchased cigarettes. He started ripping 10 packs apart and opening individual packs, he came up to me and said "confiscado Gibraltar", I produced the tobacos receipt that I had been given a few hours earlier, he attempted to snatch it off me but I wouldn't part with it. I thought 'in for a penny in for a pound' and said "bandido" to him, he threw all of our cigarettes onto the floor and steamed off in a huff, the sympathetic looks given to me and my wife by airport staff spoke volumes.  



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14 Feb 2015 14:19 by ads Star rating. 4023 posts Send private message

Solution.....Perhaps you should have offered him a cigarette to calm his nerves ;)

(There again...perhaps not if it would have been interpreted as bribery and corruption, ha!)

 





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16 Feb 2015 09:13 by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1235 posts Send private message

We have American relatives who have always thought that Spain must be a mirror image of the bribery and corruption rife South American states and islands that they have visited on holidays. After all Charle (Lucy) Luciano used to use pre Castro Havana as a base for Mafia business when he, as 'boss of bosses', had been deported from the USA.

Perhaps you expats ought to get yourselves a supply of little brown envelopes. wink  



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16 Feb 2015 11:01 by Woodbug Star rating. 371 posts Send private message

Little brown envelopes? They have to be b****y big ones in Spain to make any difference!

 





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16 Feb 2015 12:12 by Team GB Star rating. 1245 posts Send private message

Team GB´s avatar

Little brown envelopes ran out years ago!! they are all using white DL self seal these days :-)



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16 Feb 2015 14:39 by Woodbug Star rating. 371 posts Send private message

Without those litte see-through windows in the front I assume!

 





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