RECENTLY I was a guest on a Spanish radio station and was asked my opinion on the alleged exodus of British residents from Spain. It was a nationwide radio show and one of the other guests was a Mayor from a region of Alicante. He claimed that he had seen a massive decrease in the number of British residents in his area and blamed the drop in the value of sterling against the euro as the reason. I said that in the Balearics we had not noticed a major fall in the number of British residents. However, a recent poll carried out across Europe said that 63 percent of Britons, living on the continent, had thought about moving “back home.” I would say that at the moment the Spanish government are doing a very good job of “scaring” British and other foreign residents.  The recent announcement that foreign residents must give the Tax Office details of all their wordly assets and also plans to crackdown on unpaid taxes on pensions has sent shockwaves through the British community across Spain. Then ofcourse there is the recession.   I think the Spanish authorities need to clearly underline the fact that they want foreign residents to settle here. They should try and make the whole process as simple and as painless as possible. Also, there is no need for senseless legislation which will just scare people away rather than making them feel at home. Sterling has increased in value against the euro so perhaps the time has come to roll out the red carpet again!


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