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Geoff Hurst among thousands of investors reclaiming Spanish property losses

World Cup legend Sir Geoff Hurst is among thousands of Britons offered fresh hope of retrieving money feared lost following the Spanish property crash almost a decade ago.

Hurst, famous for scoring a hat trick that helped England win the 1966 football World Cup, believed he would never see again the £250,000 deposit he made on a Marbella property investment in 2004.

The developer, DUJA, promised to hand over his new house in Marbella’s ‘Aloha Royal’ resort by 2007. But when the Spanish housing bubble burst in 2008, the developer failed to meet bank loan repayments and went bust, taking Hurst’s deposit with it.

The bank failed to protect Hurst’s down payment – a practice that became routine once banks sensed the impending crash – leaving Hurst, 74, to write off his loss.

But then he heard of successful claims made by Spanish residents who also did not have bank guarantees, and has now appointed Spanish legal firm Bufete Salmeron to retrieve his lost deposit.

Fernando Salmerón, director of Bufete Salmerón, was the first lawyer in Spain to achieve a ruling obliging Spanish banks to return deposits to victims of the off-plan property crisis.

The historic verdict, which was awarded in December 2013 in Seville on behalf of two separate clients, was reinforced by the Spanish Supreme Court in December 2015.

“Now three years on from the 2013 cases and one year on from the Supreme Court ruling,” said Salmerón, who is currently handling almost €3m (£2.6m) worth of claims in Spain on behalf of British clients.

He added: “There are still thousands of Brits who are unaware that they can get their money – as well as interest and legal fees – back. Those who are aware might be wary of entering into overseas legal battles or may doubt that they can win their case against big banks.” 

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Doble nacionalidad para británicos con mas de diez años de residencia en España

Are you cdoble-nacionalidadonsidering your future post Brexit?

Perhaps you would like to sign a petition giving you the opportunity to have Nationality in UK and Spain?

Then pop over to Doble nacionalidad para británicos con mas de diez años de residencia en España signed this change.org petition to allow the roughly 24,000 British people who live, work and pay taxes in Spain, the right to double UK-Spanish nationality.

As things stand, the most sensible thing to do now for people in their position in response to Brexit is to take on Spanish nationality, but under current legislation, that means having to renounce their British nationality to the Spanish authorities at the same time, as they do not allow Brits to have double nationality (they do allow this however to all South American citizens, and a few other countries, so it is quite possible).

Giving up British nationality probably feels like renouncing a great part of their identity, and allowing double nationality with the UK would solve this serious problem that Brexit has created.

Zika virus could hit Europe within WEEKS: Madeira and the Black Sea are on high alert - but France, Italy and Spain are also at 'moderate risk'
  • World Health Organisation says Madeira and parts of Russia and Georgia on the Black Sea coast are at high risk
  • In these areas there are established populations of the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes - known to carry the Zika virus
  • 18  countries - a third of Europe - at moderate risk of the virus because Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are present
  • Expert: UK is low risk but the country still needs a contingency plan as infected travellers could arrive in the country
  • Scroll down for a full list of the countries most at risk of Zika - which causes birth defects and neurological problems

The Zika virus is expected to hit parts of Europe in late spring and summer, health officials warned today.

In its first assessment of the threat Zika poses to theregion, the World Health Organisation's European office said theoverall risk was small to moderate. 

Overall, a third of countries in Europe have a 'moderate' risk of an outbreak of the virus, which has been linked to severe birth defects in babies.

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Ebola 'What is it? and Where did it Start!'

Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). In past outbreaks the death percentage was 88% now it has been reduced to 53.8%, either by medical care or due to mutation. It is unclear.

The recent outbreak isn't just the worst single Ebola outbreak in history, it has now killed more than all the others combined.

Healthcare workers are visibly struggling, the response to the outbreak has been damned as "lethally inadequate" and the situation is showing signs of getting considerably worse.

The outbreak has been running all year, but the latest in a stream of worrying statistics shows 40% of all the deaths have been in just the past three weeks.

So what can we expect in the months, and possibly years, to come? The stories of healthcare workers being stretched beyond breaking point are countless. A lack of basic protective gear such as gloves has been widely reported.The charity "Médecins Sans Frontières" has an isolation facility with 160 beds in Monrovia. But it says the queues are growing and they need another 800 beds to deal with the number of people who are already sick.This is not a scenario for containing an epidemic, but fuelling one.

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Festivals

Lots of festivals are celebrated in Spain.

The year starts with a bang on Nochevieja (New Year's Eve) when it is traditional to eat una uva (a grape) on each of the chimes of midnight. This is supposed to bring them luck for the New Year. It's rather tricky!

Nochevieja - New Year's Eve

las uvas de la suerte - the lucky grapes

People in Madrid gather in the Puerta de Sol and can be heard wishing one another:

¡Feliz Año Nuevo! - Happy New Year

The Reyes Magos arrive on 5th January and walk through the streets, sometimes on camels, throwing sweets to children.

Before going to bed the day night before, children put their zapatos (shoes) on the windowsill. When they awake the next morning, their shoes are full of presents.

los Reyes Magos - The Wise Men

los regalos - presents

los zapatos - shoes

los caramelos - the sweets

Another festival that is celebrated all over Spain is Semana Santa. This happens over Easter and there arelots of religious parades depicting parts of the Easter story.

Semana Santa - Semana Santa

As well as national fiestas there are regional ones too.

Valencia, a big city in Spain, has a special puppet festival called Las Fallas. Puppets are paraded down the street and there are lots of fireworks.

Las Fallas - Las Fallas

los fuegos artificiales - the fireworks

los petardos - firecrackers

La Feria de Abril is a two week long festival in Seville. There is lots of dancing and singing and many people wear flamenco dresses.

La Feria de Abril - La Feria de Abril

DID YOU KNOW…St George, the patron saint of England, is also the patron saint of the region of Cataluña and the 23rd April is celebrated there by men giving women una rosa (a rose) and women giving men un libro (a book).

una rosa - a rose

un libro - a book

How about a festival that’s all about tomatoes?

La Tomatina happens in Buñol and it’s all about los tomates – tomatoes! For one hour there’s a huge food fight where everyone throws tomatoes at each other- it gets very messy!

La Tomatina - La Tomatina

los tomates - tomatoes

You might have seen signs saying Aquí se habla inglés when you’ve been on holiday in Spain. This means English is spoken here.

You can use the same construction to talk about what happens at festivals. Can you guess which fiesta is being described in each of these phrases?

Aquí se habla inglés - English is spoken here

Se tiran los tomates - Tomatoes are thrown

Se comen uvas - Grapes are eaten

Which one would you like to attend?

¡Felices fiestas! - Happy festivities!

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Art

There are many famous Spanish artists. Here are some words you might need to talk about them.

un artista - an artist

el dibujo - the drawing

una obra de arte - a work of art

Diego Velázquez painted portraits of kings and noblemen as well as poorer people. His most famous painting is Las Meninas: a group of maids are shown taking care of Spanish princess, Infanta Margarita.  You can see this painting in the famous Museo del Prado in Madrid.

Diego Velázquez - Diego Velázquez

un pintor - a painter

un retrato - a portrait

expresarse - to express (oneself)

Perhaps you’ve heard of Pablo Picasso? Lots of his paintings have ‘squashed’ faces, where you can see all sides of the face. In his Weeping Woman painting, you can see the woman’s eyes and ears all at once. Picasso finished his first painting, Le Picador, when he was nine years old. It shows a man riding a horse at a bullfight. 

Pablo Picasso - Pablo Picasso

el pincel - the paintbrush

Salvador Dalí is a famous Spanish artist. He has painted unusual pictures of boats pulled by butterflies and elephants on stilts.  One of Dalí’s most famous paintings is called La persistencia de la memoria (The Persistence of Memory). It shows pocket watches melting on a beach.

Salvador Dalí - Salvador Dalí

Es una pintura de oleo. - It's an oil painting.

DID YOU KNOW…the earliest examples of Spanish art are found in Altamira where there are cave paintings from over 30 thousand years ago? 
Joan Miró was a painter and sculptor. He also created huge works of art on walls using la cerámica (ceramics or tiles) painted in bright colours.

DID YOU KNOW…the earliest examples of Spanish art are found in Altamira where there are cave paintings from over 30 thousand years ago? 

Joan Miró was a painter and sculptor. He also created huge works of art on walls using la cerámica (ceramics or tiles) painted in bright colours.

Joan Miró - Joan Miró

un escultor - a sculptor

una escultura - a sculpture

Many of Miró’s paintings are very simple and use shapes.

un círculo - a circle

un punto - a dot

un cuadrado - a square

una línea - a line

un espiral - a spiral

una estrella - a star

Works of art are not just found in galleries. Antoni Gaudí designed many buildings in Barcelona such as la Sagrada Familia, a Catholic church that looks like an ant hill. 

un arquitecto - an architect

Antoni Gaudí - Antoni Gaudí

la Sagrada Familia - la Sagrada Familia

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Spanish sport

Many sports are popular in Spain.

el tenis - tennis

el baloncesto - basketball

el fútbol - football

el golf - golf

El baloncesto es muy popular. - Basketball is very popular.

DID YOU KNOW…Spain has a very competitive basketball league and there are many Spanish basketball players in the American National Basketball Association (NBA)?

If you go to watch one of these sports you might want to show your support by shouting:

¡Venga! - Come on!

¡Adelante! - Get in there!

¡Gol! - Goal!

Handball – el balonmano – is a very popular sport in Spain. It is a very fast game where both teams try to throw the ball into their opponents’ goal.

una pelota - a ball

el gol - the goal

un jugador - a player

marcar - to score

DID YOU KNOW… The Spanish Royal Family has had several Olympians? The King Juan Carlos, his wife Sofia and their children Principe Felipe and Infanta Cristina have all competed in sailing.

la vela - sailing

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Music and dance

When people think of Spain, they often think about music and dance. 

la música - the music

la canción - the song

La guitarra (the guitar) is a very popular instrument in Spain. People often play the guitar while others dance. 

el instrumento musical - musical instrument

la guitarra - the guitar

el saxofón - the saxophone

el piano - the piano

la batería - the drums

Bagpipes aren’t just played in Scotland: in the north of Spain, in the regions of Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria, you can find la gaita, bagpipes!

la gaita - bagpipes

La gaita is played in traditional folk music, usually with un tambor (a drum).

un tambor - a drum

Me encanta la gaita. - I love bagpipes

bailar - to dance

¡bailamos! - Let's dance!

Flamenco is a very popular dance in Spain. Traditionally, when someone dances Flamenco, people nearby will play the guitar or clap their hands. The dancers clap or stamp their feet and women wear long dresses with lots of frills. 

Flamenco - Flamenco

dar palmas - to clap the beat

Another popular dance in Spain is la Jota. It is danced in twos with couples raising their hands over their heads and playing castanets. 

la jota - la Jota

las castañuelas - castanets

DID YOU KNOW …The dance’s name ‘jota’ comes from an old word ‘xiota’ which means to jump. And it’s true: la Jota involves lots of jumping!  

saltar - to jump

Can you name any famous Spanish composers? Manuel de Falla is un compositor (a composer) who wrote un ballet (a ballet) called El sombrero de tres picos (The Three Cornered Hat). 

Manuel de Falla - Manuel de Falla

un compositor - a composeur

un ballet - a ballet

Joaquín Rodrigo wrote a famous piece of music called Concierto de Aranjuez which includes la guitarra and la orquesta (orchestra).

Joaquín Rodrigo - Joaquín Rodrigo

la orquesta - the orchestra

un groupo de música - a music group

And of course, there are plenty of other types of music to be heard in Spain as well. All of these are very popular:

la música pop - pop music

la música rock - rock music

el hip hop - hip hop

la música electrónica - electronic music

Me gusta el hip hop. - I like hip hop.

Odio la música pop. - I hate pop music

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Culture

The culture of Spain has developed over many years and has been influenced by the people that have lived there.

Spanish is also called el castellano. This is because the language comes  from a part of Spain called Castile.

el idioma - the language

el castellano - (Castilian language)

Spanish is a bit like French and Italian because all three of these languages come from Latin, a very old language.

Everyone in Spain understands Spanish or Castilian, but some parts of Spain have their own language which can be very different. 

In Galicia people also speak el gallego.

el gallego - (Galician language)

In Cataluña people also speak el catalán.

el catalán - (Catalan language)

In el País Vasco people also speak el euskera.

el euskera - (Basque language)

Spain is un país católico (a Catholic country). This means there are many Catholic festivals celebrated throughout the year.

un país católico - a Catholic country

la religión - religion

The Alhambra is both a palace and a fortress in Granada, in the South of Spain. It was built on top of a hill by los moros (the Moors) who conquered the south of Spain. It was first meant to be a fortress protecting the area but was later turned into a royal palace.

The Alhambra is both a palace and a fortress in the South of Spain. 
(audio) Alhambra
It was built on top of a hill by los moros (the Moors) who conquered the south of Spain and built La Alhambra in Granada. It was first meant to be a fortress protecting the area but was later turned into a royal palace.
(audio) una colina – a hill
los moros (the Moors)
It is a very beautiful building: it is red because of the clay used to build it. It is surrounded by gr

la arquitectura - architecture

Alhambra - The Alhambra

una colina - a hill

los moros - the Moors

La Sagrada Familia is a huge church in the city of Barcelona.  It does not look like most churches and some people say it looks like an ant’s nest or even a very big sand castle!

One strange thing is that while many people like to go and see La Sagrada Familia, it’s still not finished. It started being built in 1882 and may not be finished before 2024!

La Sagrada Familia - La Sagrada Familia

una iglesia - a church

¡deprisa! - hurry up!

la construcción - the construction

Bullfighting has a long tradition in Spain. El matador fights a bull in the bullfighting arena, waving his cape to confuse the bull. Some people think this is an art, some think it’s cruel to the animal. What do you think?

la corrida de toros - bullfighting

el matador - bullfighter

la plaza de toros - bullfighting arena

la literatura - Literature

There are many famous Spanish authors. One of the most famous is Miguel de Cervantes who wrote Don Quijote de la Mancha. In this book, Don Quijote is a brave but silly knight who thinks windmills are giants and tries to attack them!

un libro - a book

una historia - a story

una obra - a play

DID YOU KNOW…Miguel de Cervantes died on the same day as British playwright William Shakespeare?

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Spanish Speaking World

DID YOU KNOW… Spain is not the only place where Spanish is spoken?

Spanish is the official language in 21 countries.

Some of the countries are written the same way in English and Spanish, but are pronounced differently. 

Argentina - Argentina

Bolivia - Bolivia

Chile - Chile

Colombia - Colombia

Costa Rica - Costa Rica

Cuba - Cuba

Ecuador - Ecuador

El Salvador - El Salvador

España - Spain

Guatemala - Guatemala

Guinea Ecuatorial - Equatorial Guinea

Honduras - Honduras

México - Mexico

Nicaragua - Nicaragua

Panamá - Panama

Paraguay - Paraguay

Perú - Peru

Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico

República Dominicana - Dominican Republic

Uruguay - Uruguay

Venezuela - Venezuela

Some have an accent on them to show where to put the stress on the word.

DID YOU KNOW…some of the countries have names that have a meaning in Spanish. For example, Costa Rica means ‘rich coast’ and Ecuador means ‘equator’.

The Spanish spoken in South America is slightly different to the Spanish spoken in Spain, just as the English spoken in England and the USA is not quite the same. 

Some words are different, for example,
un coche (Spain)  un carro (Mexico) - a car
un ordenador (Spain) una computadora (South America) - a computer

DID YOU ALSO KNOW…People in Andalusia in the south of Spain also pronounce these letters in this way?

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