In 2011 every Spaniard who has an income pays on average 1000 Euros tax per month. In other words, to pay his/her taxes to the government an average Spaniard works:
2.17 days a week; or
13 days a month; or
5.2 months during the year.
How was this tax calculated?
The average gross salary per month for 2011 in Spain is calculated to be 2292 Euros.
The tax to be paid for 2292 Euros is 711 Euros with average tax rate of 30.03%.
Then the net income for 2292 Euros becomes 1581 Euros. But the story about the taxes did not end.
Every time when we buy something we pay value added tax (VAT). The base VAT rate in Spain is 18%. If we assume that we spend all our income (we eventually spend it by buying car or house). When calculate the 18% VAT on the net salary of 1581, the additional tax paid for VAT is 285 Euros. Now the total amount paid in tax sums up to 996 Euros which I have rounded to 1000 at the beginning.
Where does this money go?
The money paid in tax goes directly to the government’s budged. Then they are distributed to the public sector and services such as:
Public administration – such as people working at the town hall
All of us pay tremendous amount of money to the government and to pay this money we essentially work for the government. Therefore, all of us should be acknowledged that when it comes time to use the services from the government we should insist for the best quality possible because we already paid a lot for it. It is pity that most civil servants do not realize their responsibilities to the people (tax payers) and abuse with their money as if they are nobody's and magically appeared from somewhere.
The problem is that many companies for example, Dell, HP, Apple, Canon and many others write in the warranty card of the warranty period of the purchased items is 1 year which violates the already set law buy the state. If your purchased item breaks between the 1st and 2d year after you have bought it and the seller refuses to repair it for free then you should show the seller the text from the link above.
Although the police banned the protests for the day of the local election in Spain they still continue. People are angry on government’s measures to fight with the economic crisis in the country. These measures favor the business and the rich companies by cutting from the social welfare and people’s social benefits such as healthcare, public service, retirement etc.
In Barcelona the main stage of the protests is Placa Catalunya. Mostly young people are gathered here to protest the politicians who do not care of the. There are set camps in the middle of the square and posters all around with messages criticizing the government and demanding social centric approach for the crisis solution. The protesters were organized in a community way providing cleaning, cooking and other basic services for long stay at the site.
Indeed, it is the time when the government of Spain and also other governments around the world start listening to their people but not the banks. Instead of making laws that will make the people poorer and banks richer they should shut down the blood sucking banks and ill-fated companies and return people’s rights and freedom of political and economic control.
Before planning your trip you should know when air traffic controllers plan their strikes.
The syndicates of air traffic controllers has presented a notice of strike. The notice was submitted to the Ministry of Labor in Spain on 08.03.2011. The strike is intended to be against the privatization of AENA.
The dates which has been requested for strike are:
April – 20, 21, 24, 25 and 30
May – 2, 14, 15, 19 and 20
June – 13, 23 and 30
July – 1, 2, 3, 4, 15 and 31
August – 1, 15, and 31
These dates are not final and it may happen that the syndicates agree for the demands of the air traffic controllers and no strike happens.
And my opinion on this matter. I don't know what these people want actually. They are very well paid and want more. In December 2010, air controllers had an unofficial strike which caused huge damage to the Spanish economy. This strike was because the state restricted air controller extra hours thus limiting their upper bound income from 500 000 Euros to 250 000 Euros which they could potentially earn doing extra hours. Yes, indeed it hurts to be able to get half as much as before. But still their salary stays to be crazy number compared to the Spanish salaries.
Now an air controller who reads this message can put an argument saying that their job is very responsible because of taking care of thousands of passengers. Indeed it is important but not so important that air controllers cannot be replaced by other people. I personally believe that many people with decent education can do this job and therefore I don't see a reason air controllers earn 250 000 per year while most of the engineers in Spain earn about 30 000 per year (this is 8.3 times less).
Unfortunately there are not many low cost flights from western Europe to Ukriaine. Usually you may end up paying a regular flight fare at the range of 400 Euros or more. But if you search for a bit more around you might be able to combine multiple low cost flights.
Soon I had to go from Barcelona to Lviv. Here is how I managed to fly low cost.
1. RyanAir from Barcelona to Venice-Treviso – 32 Euros
2. WizzAir flight from Venice-Treviso to Lviv – 61 Euros
3. RyanAir flight from Venice-Treviso to Girona (Barcelona) – 10 Euros
Total: 103 Euros
WizzAir, flies to Lviv and Kiev from Venice-Treviso. You can try to combine your trip in similar way with other low cost airlines. But be careful to be at least 2-3 hours between the flights in case the first flight has some delay.
Also, Lviv is a very very nice city with very nice people. I strongly recommend you to visit it. There are some photos I took from Lviv which you can see at my flickr.
I have just seen one Google advertisement of an agency that offers their services for helping foreigners to issue NIE – Número de Identidad de Extranjero – number. The subject agency charges the insane 165 Euros + Expenses for a NIE number application on your behalf.
The agency shows that the normal procedure is very complicated as it requires waiting on queues, involves notary, lawyers and other bureaucracy. And to safe you all these "complicated" paperwork, the agency offers you a service to apply for NIE number on your behalf and obtain the NIE number in 2 weeks – for 165 Euros + Notary Expenses.
Actually, the application process is very simple and very fast and costs about 6 Euros (which I believe the subject company will charge it to you as an extra fee). When you come to Spain, what you need to do is:
2.Go to any bank, show them the NIE application form. The person will understand that you want to pay the fee for it. Take the receipt.
3.Check from internet at which police station you need to submit this form (Where to apply for NIE). Non-EU citizens sometimes may need to wait on a queue about 1-2 hours. The usual waiting time for EU citizens is about 10 minutes. The reason for this is that places to apply for NIE numbers are different for EU and non-EU citizens.
4.At the time of application, you will be immediately issued the NIE number.
If you want for any reason to apply for NIE number without coming to Spain, you can do it through the Spanish embassy in your country. Call the embassy and ask them how you can do it. I believe it will be cheaper than 165 Euros + Expenses. But anyway, I don’t see a reason why one would need a NIE number without ever coming to Spain.