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Media Bollocks And The Expat Brexit

Long before the seed of a life in Spain presented itself to us, we´d noticed, everyone must´ve noticed, {the British Government dictates} that the media discredits Spain at every opportunity.

Why?

This is the country most British expats move to, but basically the authorities want us to stay put in our country of origin.

Why?

Politicians will tell you expats pay tax in another country and do not contribute to the UK economy. Yes of course we pay tax living here, and rightly so. But not contributing is a total fallacy, an insult to people here with private pensions, tax is paid at source. Paying into the UK system there all our working life doesn´t come into it,, no concessions, we still have to contribute to a country we don’t live in. FACT!

In addition to that, we´ve all been kicked out of the NHS too, something else we´ve paid for, and are still doing so… Go back there for a brief visit, and without private health insurance or a Spanish EHIC card. (Yes, we can get a Spanish one, Spain´s decision). Break a leg and your bank card requires a plaster cast too…

So is our still ongoing contribution, as (still ongoing) UK citizens, ongoing towards housing, feeding, clothing, and welfare of immigrants without citizenship or residency? Hmm…

Are we resentful of all of the above? No… Should we be? Probably, but life´s too short so sod it…     

In contrast some of the “shock headlines” that originate from the UK Government´s resentment of, not having it all are deliberate scaremongering:

“British expats flee from crisis-hit Spain”

Reality: During the financial crisis the only Brits who reluctantly HAD NO CHOICE but to return distraught, were mainly those who´s businesses failed or lost their jobs. {Personally I´d rather live in a cardboard box under a palm tree} A fellow expat once said to me, “If I had to go back for good, I´d be like a dolphin out of warm seawater.” So True…

Update on the here and now: Business is beginning to improve significantly, more Brits and other northern Europeans are moving / buying here than ever before. Properties are being built on demand and even with a 20% unemployment rate Spain has the fastest growing economy in Europe.

Contrary to popular belief in the UK that expats and holidays keep this country running. {Hey, I know, I used to live there} Expats generate just 2% of GDP, and the millions of holidaymakers who flock here generate more. But what Cameron and Co will not tell you is this country does not rely on tourism for it´s economic recovery. It is not the backbone of industry or finance, merely an income that will never disappear, and it´s increasing. The number of holidaymakers in Spain last year broke all records, and is set to be even higher this year… 

So putting tourism aside, (temporary fleeing for two weeks per year). Can we please have an accurate news item in the press about how many people are “Fleeing from crisis-hit Britain for good??”

“Brit houses demolished in Spain”

Reality: What goes unsaid is the fact that those houses were illegally built on council land. Buy a plot that´s “up for sale” and build a luxury villa, easy right? Oh dear, the buyers never did the research required, nor asked the local council if it belonged to them. Every 4 – 5 years local councils do an audit of the land they own, parkland that cannot be built on. By anyone…

Consequently, the “owners” could have lived there quite happily for several years without discovering they´d broken the law. Bye Bye villa, Bye Bye dream. Should´ve officially checked who´s land it was first… But it´s still Spain’s fault…

The Times newspaper reckons: “Every day 100 British expats quit Spain as uncertainty over June’s EU vote triggers exodus from Europe”

This particular statement begs two basic questions:

1) Why would any expat quit this country before a referendum, without knowing the outcome yet?! Nonsense.

2) How and where did these strange statistics come from. Has the office of national statistics sent out employees to do an enforced survey, for every passenger from Spain, at every airport? Impossible.

 

Furthermore, the ultimate proof that the media is clutching at straws are it´s reports about the number of British expat (residents) in Spain. They can´t even get that right, and even worse, disagree with each other:

BBC version = 760,000

Independent newspaper version = 380,000 

Daily Telegraph version = 319,000

Reality: We´re nudging the million mark…

“The Spanish Government is corrupt”

Reality: So is Britain´s…

Furthermore at least they´re quietly getting on with doing something about it here. Cleaning up their act, without the {equivalent} corker of a sentence from all UK politicians “WELL WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS…”

Except:

“What we need to do” just doesn´t ever happen anyway, (between bickering amongst each other) it´s all waffle, and EVERY Brit knows that.

There´s no quibbles about the sunshine and lifestyle here… But when there´s a few hours of sunshine one day per year in the UK, and it coincides with a freak cool one here, even the weather forecasters join in with glee. “Today´s temperature is a degree higher than Spain´s!!!!”  Why not compare it with other European countries that meet the Med? Well,, we all know why…

In summary: We have the right to be where we want to be. We´re the ones who got away. We took the leap. We see outside the lines. All of us expats here have personally experienced resentment and jealousy, but it´s not our problem!

I mean, move here and you have to put up with the likes of this in your face every day…

2014-03-18 14.51.15

And this…

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And this…

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And this…

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And this…

SAM_1168

And this…

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And this…

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And this…

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And these everywhere…

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And these…

SAM_2511

And if you’re still into greenery, the branches never go brown or lose all their leaves…

2014-08-21 14.24.11

Worried about a referendum media scrum? No doubt if the UK closes the door on Europe, it´ll be an open court for false reporting. I can imagine a corker of a headline now:

“All expats in Spain will have to leave immediately, go back to Britain, apply for a Visa, and wait,, he he.”

The rumblings of an as yet unconfirmed rumour: Just to pour cold water on the media “fun” before it´s begun. The Spanish government is considering giving UK residents of Spain a Spanish passport… He He…

2 thoughts on “Media Bollocks And The Expat Brexit

  1. Thanks for such a nice compliment!

    It's a shame more Brits can't see through the “spin” they get told.

    Even I believed it when we lived in the UK, till we came out here to stay for a while before buying. The reality was a true revelation.

    Just coming here on holiday to places like Benidorm isn't enough to see it.

    H

    Like

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