Any legal questions related to Coronavirus situation in Spain?

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18 Mar 2020 16:37 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9261 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

Please, fel free to share them here and we will try to answer them



_______________________

Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA

Lawyer

Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria



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18 Mar 2020 19:33 by william02 Star rating in Guardamar del Segura. 27 posts Send private message

william02´s avatar

Dear Maria,

We are trying to get back home earlier than planned to Canada. We were booked to leave in May but we were able to reschedule flights for April 1 and 2. For April 1st we had reserved a  flight from Alicante to Paris. We could not modify our plane tickets due in May ( Alicante to Paris only), so we had to buy new tickets,that was a few days ago. Today this company tells us they have cancelled our flight and offer us to modify it or reimburse it. Well we can't modify it because we already reserved with the airline flying us from Paris to Canada,  and we can't remodify this flight without calling ( they are unreachable, too many calls...), so we asked for reimbursement online. So they send  us a message, saying the reimbursement will in the form of a voucher for a another flight, no  direct reimbursement. Is that legal? Since they are completely responsible for cancelling the flight, we purchased the tickets only 4 days ago, given the coronavirus situation, they should not have offered the flights, or should offer direct reimbursement. 

Thank you

William02





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18 Mar 2020 20:02 by Jarvi Star rating in Halifax UK and Sucin.... 720 posts Send private message

William

These are your rights - the link at the bottom is where I got the info from

Cancellations: Ticket refund or replacement flight?

Airlines are required to inform you of a cancelled flight as quickly as possible and must also offer you a replacement flight. Even if you are not entitled to compensation (e.g. the airline informed you more than 2 weeks earlier) they must also offer you a replacement flight or refund the full price of the ticket at the price at which it was bought.

You can choose the following options:

  • Reimbursement of the initial ticket price
  • Alternative transport by air or rail within a reasonable time frame
  • Alternative transportation at a later date (depending on availability)
  • A return flight to your departure point as soon as possible
  • https://www.flightright.co.uk/your-rights/flight-cancellation

 


This message was last edited by Jarvi on 18/03/2020.



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18 Mar 2020 20:11 by Marksfish Star rating in Vera, Almeria. 2548 posts Send private message

Marksfish´s avatar

If booked on a credit card, do Canadian banks offer the same protection as a UK bank? If so, you could contact the card issuer and see if you can get a refund from them if you are struggling with the airline.

Mark





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18 Mar 2020 21:51 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9261 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct
 If  it is the company that cancels the flight, passengers affected by flight cancellations as a result of the global health emergency declaration have the right to:

Information, assistance and refund of the ticket amount, or if possible, alternative transportation to the final destination as soon as possible or at a later date at your convenience.

As the cancellations are due to an extraordinary circumstance outside the company, as stated in the European Regulation, the passenger is, in principle, not entitled to the financial compensation between 250 to 600 euros that the law provides for the cases of cancellation of flights that are produced by other circumstances. But, there are cases where they are entitled.

Passengers can claim for a compensation due to the cancellation due to COVID-19 if:

- There are evidences that the cancellation was due to financial reasons

- There are no restrictions to fly to a risk zone

In the event that the company does not comply with its obligations and does not respect its rights, you must forst claim against it and, in case of no response, or if it is not satisfactory, you can file a claim with AESA, using this claim form.

Official info on AESA claims here: https://www.seguridadaerea.gob.es/lang_en/particulares/cancelac_retraso/default.aspx

 


This message was last edited by mariadecastro on 18/03/2020.

_______________________

Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA

Lawyer

Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria



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18 Mar 2020 21:53 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9261 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

Yes, good alternative, as Markfish says!:

If booked on a credit card, do Canadian banks offer the same protection as a UK bank? If so, you could contact the card issuer and see if you can get a refund from them if you are struggling with the airline.

Mark



_______________________

Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA

Lawyer

Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria



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18 Mar 2020 22:54 by william02 Star rating in Guardamar del Segura. 27 posts Send private message

william02´s avatar

Thank you Maria.

The airlines are overwhelmed by calls and e-mails ( so they say in all their automated replies). From what you indicate in your message I should have the right for a reimbursement, not a voucher for another flight. I have replied to the airlines e-mail, displaying my discontent harsly, I doubt they will reply. I will look at the AESA form and send it  out. 

William02

 





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18 Mar 2020 23:00 by william02 Star rating in Guardamar del Segura. 27 posts Send private message

william02´s avatar

Thanks Jarvi and Markfish.

I will look into the credit card insurance, but I am a bit doubtful because, from what I heard, flight cancellations due coronavirus is something that was to be expected, and if the airline is at fault, is only them who are responsible and should pay out. Anyways I will see.

William02





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19 Mar 2020 10:07 by ads Star rating. 4007 posts Send private message

Hi Maria,

Perhaps many will be wondering what is happening with regard to courts and the judicial system in Spain? Likewise with legal teams?

Are they on a form of lockdown or in your experience are any of these legal and judicial systems being prepared and expanded to seek out solutions going forward via far greater use of the internet? How significant an impact is this currently having on for instance your own client base?

P.s. Hope you are managing to stay strong. :)


This message was last edited by ads on 19/03/2020.



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19 Mar 2020 19:32 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9261 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

CORONAVIRUS  GOVERNMENT MEASURES IN SPAIN

The new government measures, announced by President Pedro Sánchez this Tuesday, the 17th of March, are summarized in a mobilization of up to 200,000 million euros if the boost of private resources is computed. The battery of decisions encourages companies to prioritize temporary employment regulation files (ERTE) over definitive ones (ERE), meets the social needs of groups considered vulnerable and seeks to protect large Spanish listed companies from interference from outside Europe. In more detail, they are as follows:

GUARANTEES TO MOBILIZE 200,000 MILLION

Pedro Sánchez announced on Tuesday the mobilization of up to 200,000 million euros, around 20% of Spanish GDP, to face the impact of the coronavirus crisis. Of this amount, 117,000 million come from the public sector and the rest would be injected through the revitalization that will be achieved in private resources.

SOCIAL INJECTION FOR AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITIES (REGIONS) AND CITY HALLS

 600 million of those 200,000 are destined to the financing of basic benefits of the social services of the autonomous communities. "We are not going to leave anyone behind, especially the most vulnerable," stressed the chief executive. Of this sum, half goes to a contingency fund that would strengthen the care for the elderly, homeless and in elderly homes. Another 300 million will relax the spending rule of the municipalities, who will be able to use their surplus if they invest it in social measures.

MORATORIUM FOR THE PAYMENT OF MORTGAGES

The Government has imposed a moratorium on the payment of mortgage payments to banks for those who have seen their income reduced or have become unemployed due to this pandemic. "No one will be evicted in this crisis," said the president. The moratorium covers people "in a situation of special vulnerability", which will be decided based on income and family situation. This measure to make exceptions within  defaultings will impact the balance of financial entities.

FOREIGN TRADE AND SEARCH FOR VACCINE

These measures, with the State as guarantor, presents in its line of guarantees an additional sum of  2,000 million for exporting companies, so as to facilitate the restructuring of agricultural export credits when it has been burdened by any type of drought. 30 million are also reserved for vaccine research for Covid-19.

NO CUTTING OF SUPPLIES

Household budgets are also taken into account on the social side of this package of measures. In addition to the moratoriums for the payment of mortgages, vulnerable groups will also have support in dealing with the payment of "basic supplies" such as water, electricity and gas. For a month, a period that can be extended as this crisis progresses, cutting off these supplies is prohibited.

 

INTERNET CONNECTIONS, ALSO "ESSENTIAL"

Among the "essential" public services, the Government has had internet this time. In the confinement forced by the pandemic, connections have proven essential, with unprecedented spikes in online traffic due to the weight of telework, distance education and leisure activities at home, in addition to calls and messages. In fact, last Saturday it was decreed that among the few establishments that may remain open are those of "technological and telecommunications equipment".

THE GAS CYLINDER WILL NOT RISE

Gas cylinder prices and the regulated gas rate will remain unchanged for the next six months. The Executive does not want price increases in these rates, understanding that many consumers at risk of being vulnerable depend on it for energy. Last Saturday, the Government already warned that it could "adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the supply of electricity, petroleum products, and natural gas."

EXTENSION OF THE ELECTRICAL SOCIAL BONUS

As a complement to the prohibition of  power supplies  cut among vulnerable groups, the Government has also established an extension to the validity of the electric social voucher for beneficiaries who must renew their application, a process that can be carried out until September 15th. This bonus consists of a discount on the electricity bill, which ranges from 25% to 40%. According to data from last February, more than 1.29 million families enjoy this help.

TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT REGULATION FILES IN IN FIVE DAYS AND WITHOUT COMPUTING IN UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

The royal decree provides for an acceleration of the mechanisms and deadlines to carry out any type of Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE), files that would be decide  in just five days. The State would take care of those affected, so that they receive benefits even if they had not contributed the time necessary to access the unemployment benefit. This exceptional period will not count in the computation of the unemployment benefit that the worker accumulates.

DISCONTINUOUS PERMANENT WORKERS

The unemployment benefit is extended to the cooperative worker members as long as they can prove that the suspension or reduction of the working day has been due to the effects of this health crisis. Discontinuous permanent workers and those who carry out permanent jobs, but in a repeated periodical manner, may also benefit from unemployment benefit, provided that "their employment contracts have been suspended due to the exceptional situation".

 

 

COMPANIES EXEMPTED BEFORE SOCIAL SECURITY

The royal decree law not only makes the ERTE more flexible to try to avoid a flood of layoffs, but also allows the Social Security quotas to be exempted from paying  by the companies for the workers affected in those files. The companies, in fact, would not even have to make a request to the General Treasury of Social Security; directly, this will not invoice the contributions of previously identified employees.

TOTAL REDUCTION OF DAY TO CARE DEPENDENTS

Those who have dependents in their care, up to a second degree of consanguinity, will be able to "organize their work time in a more satisfactory way to be able to attend to their obligations of care " Thus, working people may reduce up to 100% of the working day or reorganize it according to their needs before the closure of schools and social centers. This possibility of conciliation must be communicated to the company with a minimum of 24 hours in advance.

70% OF THE REGULATORY BASE FOR SELF-EMPLOYED

Those activities which are  "severely affected" by Covid-19  can also  benefit  in the chapter of self-employed workers. The conditions for doing so are that the work has been suspended due to the state of alarm or that billing in the month prior to the request has been reduced by at least 75% compared to the average recorded in the previous semester. The amount would be 70% of the regulatory base and also paying fees to Social Security will not be obligatory.

SELF EMPLOYED WITH EMPLOYEES IN CHARGE: BENEFIT AND ERTE

The self-employed with dependent workers may also request this benefit. They should process an ERTE for these and, in turn, access the aforementioned extraordinary benefit. Whether you have employees under responsibility or not, the benefit has duration of one month, extendable until the last day of the month in which the current alarm status ends, as long as it is extended. Some members of the Executive have already pointed to the possibility that the scenario will continue.

SHIELD TO THE LISTED COMPANIES

The Executive wants "to prevent companies from countries outside the European Union from taking control of Spanish entities in strategic sectors, taking advantage of the conjunctural drop in the value of their shares in this situation," the Prime Minister warned yesterday. Therefore, the Spanish listed companies are being armored at a particularly difficult time, as they have accumulated large losses on the Stock Exchange due to the impact of the coronavirus.

NEITHER RENEW THE DNI NOR PASS THE ITV

Every National Identity Document (DNI) that expires during the state of alarm decreed last Saturday will have 12 more months of validity, "until March 13, 2021", as the Government explained yesterday. Likewise, drivers are no longer required to pass the Technical Vehicle Inspection (ITV) during this exceptional period, so the review has been subject to an "immediate suspension" throughout Spain.



_______________________

Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA

Lawyer

Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria



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19 Mar 2020 19:41 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9261 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

Hi Maria,

Perhaps many will be wondering what is happening with regard to courts and the judicial system in Spain? Likewise with legal teams?

Guaranteeing the essential services of the Administration of Justice in coordination with the Ministry of Justice and the State Attorney General, the Permanent Commission of the General Council of the Judiciary ( CGPJ) has agreed in extraordinary session the suspension throughout the national territory of the scheduled judicial proceedings and of the procedural terms, in view of the measures contained in Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14, declaring the state of alarm for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19 .

A new scenario is established for an extreme situation - Scenario 3-, in which only the essential services of the Administration of Justice are maintained

Legal teams: We are trying to telework and do turns at the office.

Are they on a form of lockdown or in your experience are any of these legal and judicial systems being prepared and expanded to seek out solutions going forward via far greater use of the internet? Courts are closed.  How significant an impact is this currently having on for instance your own client base? As far as Courts will remain  closed, judicial proceedings wil not adavance, lamentably.

P.s. Hope you are managing to stay strong. :) We are doing our best!



_______________________

Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA

Lawyer

Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria



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23 Mar 2020 05:10 by Weescottie Star rating. 36 posts Send private message

We're due to complete on a house purchase in Andalusia in a couple of weeks.  Will this be possible during lockdown do you think??  Logistically I'm thinking not possible and also sensibly thinking it might be worth looking at options to pull out and taking the hit on losing our deposit.





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23 Mar 2020 14:57 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5233 posts Send private message

Scot,   are you in spain?  If so suggest you call lawyer if you are using one, and or the notary and the vender to see the position for them. Probably most professionals are still working. 

 


This message was last edited by johnzx on 23/03/2020.



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23 Mar 2020 15:08 by DaniMenzes Star rating. 41 posts Send private message

Hi Scottie

You may not lose your deposit, the contract might be invalid due to caravan forced to be mature.





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23 Mar 2020 16:19 by Weescottie Star rating. 36 posts Send private message

Hi there, thanks both!  Spoke with lawyer earlier, he says nothing to be done.  We will lose 10% deposit unless we can agree something with vendors.  





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23 Mar 2020 17:00 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5233 posts Send private message

Scot.  You still do not say if you are on spain. If you make that clear maybe you will get some suggestions





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23 Mar 2020 17:07 by Weescottie Star rating. 36 posts Send private message

Hi there, sorry, yes resident in Spain.  This was to be a second home for short term rentals.  When we went initially to our lawyers, it was discovered that the title deeds didn't match the reality of the house, a roof terrace and extra bathroom had been added and not recorded.  The vendors were asked to have it all legalised prior to completion at their cost.  This delayed things a bit.  Amended mutually agreed completion date to allow this regularisation was 15th April. Maybe lockdown will be over by then, I very much doubt it!  





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23 Mar 2020 18:03 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5233 posts Send private message

Scot.  Seems as the vender is a party to the agreement that the property, paperwork etc needs to he 'fixed' before completion, I would have thought if further agreement cannot be resolved, the deal is dead and therefore null and void.  


I have never employed a lawyer when buying and selling in spain but, even though I have a generally poor opinion of them, I would have thought a professional should easily  be able to sort this out. If not what are you paying for ?

good luck 

 

 

 

 


This message was last edited by johnzx on 23/03/2020.



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23 Mar 2020 20:28 by Weescottie Star rating. 36 posts Send private message

What our lawyer is saying now is that although agreed date to complete is 15th April, if the vendor hasn't had time due to exceptional circumstances to complete all paperwork regarding this, we need to allow him extra time therefore delaying sale...but we cannot cancel our purchase without losing deposit??  I don't think this sounds right??  He says approach vendor direct to see if we can negotiate something?? 





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23 Mar 2020 21:00 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5233 posts Send private message

It would appear in the circumstances, extending the time period to suit you both would seem reasonable   That way the transaction which you both wanted will eventually proceed

i do find it odd though that your lawyer wants you to sort it out.  

 





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