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EWN www.euroweeklynews.com

Steering a safe course when renewing licence

Q

I am a British resident in Spain and I have changed my British driving licence for a Spanish one. I have two questions: 1. I have renewed the part that permits me to drive a car but the category that covers small commercial vehicles expired at an earlier date and I failed to renew it. I now intend to buy a large motor-home. Can I still renew the expired part of my licence that covers this size of vehicle? It would be up to 7.5 You and the tons in the UK. 2. A friend is visiting Spain Law in Spain By David Searl in his transit van. The vehicle is UK registered, insured for any driver and is taxed in the UK. One of our friends is adamant that I cannot drive a UK-matriculated vehicle on a Spanish driving licence. This is not the first time that I have heard this. Is there any truth in it? R C (by email)

A

In principle, yes, drivers can renew the expired portion of their licences which allows them to operate vehicles up to 7.5 tons. Until a few years ago a Spanish driver who failed to renew his permit within three months of its expiry was forced to begin again from zero. Now renewals can be made at any time after it runs out. And, yes, some of the more advanced permits have shorter times between renewals than normal ones. Check at an official medical testing centre to be sure. Your second question has been answered here in an earlier edition of EWN but we will jog your memory. Of course the holder of a Spanish driving licence can legally operate a UK registered vehicle in Spain. Your friend may be confusing driving with owning. What you cannot do is own a UK vehicle and drive it in Spain on your Spanish licence. David will respond to queries but reserves the right to select letters which will be of interest to the greatest number of readers. You can also consult David through lawyers Ubeda-Retana and Associates in Fuengirola. ask@lawtaxspain.com or call 952 667 090.

FINANCE, BUSINESS & LEGAL

13 - 19 December 2012 Costa de Almería

Tasty deal gives Germans a crisp future A DEAL worth £397 million (€489 million) has seen favourite snacks like KP Nuts, McCoy’s crisps and Hula Hoops sold to a German firm. Intersnack has bought the brands from United Biscuits.

£££ THOMSON and First Choice owner TUI has posted a 32 per cent rise in earnings to £197 million (€242.5 million) after a surge in

B

ritish usiness riefs

late sales. Now next summer’s bookings are also up 12 per cent.

£££ TWO of the UK’s oldest nuclear power stations will have their

operating lives extended by seven years until 2023. French company Edf said Hinkley Point B and Hunterston B could safely be used.

£££ BRITISH AIRWAYS is looking to voluntary redundancies in a bid to shed 400 senior cabin crew. It has entered a 90-day consultation period with union Unite.

Ominous for Greece as funds held back until burden reduced IT is over a month since a so-called ‘troika’ agreed rules for clearing €44 billion from the second tranche of bail-out funds available to Athens. The funds were supposed to be available in mid-December, a date almost a month later than the original deadline. The original agreement cobbled together by the troika - the European Union (EU), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) involved a buy-back scheme intended to reduce Greece’s debt burden by 10 per cent of GDP, apparently with the aim of restoring the country’s long-term financial viability. But now, following delays in its implementation, the IMF has said it will not disburse funds until a eurozone buy-back scheme to reduce the debt burden is firmly in place. Even more ominous for Greece is that both Holland and Finland have intimated that should this delay linger on, they too will pull out. A fresh scheme has now been suggested and proposed, that Greece’s Central Bank should buy back €10 billion worth of

Jim Collins Costa Blanca

its outstanding bonds at today’s depressed market values, thus ‘retiring’ some €30 billion of the national debt. A bright idea to be sure, but many of the present bond-holders are reluctant to accept a further haircut on their stake following the 52.5 per cent loss already suffered earlier this year. They would prefer to hang on to their holdings in the hope of a better offer, even hanging on to collect the full face value upon maturity. The entire convoluted weave of proposals, plans, deadlines and agreements leading to an apparently uncertain financial future, does not attract favourable comment from bond fund managers. One gave his opinion that this Greek

COBBLED TOGETHER: Debt deal. Central Bank buy-back proposal “is just another milestone on Greece’s road to Hell, paved of course, with good intentions.” Bad as things are for Greece, the French also may be looking into the abyss. Figures just released show the Purchasing Managers Index for French manufacturing is now at 44.2, and with anything under 50 denoting contraction, the eurozone’s weakest, after Greece. “The figures are shocking,” said a sovereign debt strategist. “France has for some time been sailing dangerously close to the wind, but is now tipping into outright contraction following a year-and-a-half of nearzero growth.”

It seems the French car industry is the heaviest loser, usually employing 400,000 people but since the autumn shedding 40,000 jobs a month. Vehicle production has almost halved despite a scramble to expand abroad, but Renault and Peugeot have found themselves unable to compete with Volkswagen and even Seat. Of course, French bankers, always eager to look across the Channel for a culprit, have been quick to blame ‘Perfidious Albion’, telling anyone who will listen that Britain’s non-membership of the eurozone, (thus retaining its position as a world banking centre) is at the core of France’s economic woes. Ah, well, there’s no pleasing everybody.

Costa de Almeria 13 - 19 December 2012 Issue 1432  

News in English from the Costa del Sol. Costa Blanca North, Costa Blanca South, Costa de Almeria, Axarquia - Malaga East and Mallorca.