The Entertainer Online - News for residents and friends of Mojácar. Updated regularly. Large non-commercial list of useful links about Spain. Since September 2002.
The Entertainer Online is a blog which goes back to 2002. The webpage - or rather a webpage called 'The Entertainer Online' - as the Internet version of the newspaper 'The Entertainer' which I ran from 1985 to 1999 - goes back further still to March 1996 (here's one at the 'Wayback' dated from November 1998). I think we were about the first foreign paper in Spain and maybe the sixth Spanish one to have an Online edition.
Here's an article from the Webpage from 1998 (how much of it remains true today?):
Living in Spain - the Foreign Residents
The Spanish authorities would be well advised to consider this form of 'tourism' and to encourage its growth.
For a foreigner, living in Spain is now far easier than in the past, particularly for EU citizens. 'Work permits' and 'residence permits' are now just a formality, since all Europeans have the right to live and work where they will inside the European Union. However, the majority of foreigners who live in Spain are, of course, retired. They have lived a full and fruitful life elsewhere and have decided to retire to what can only be described as the warmest, safest and most comfortable part of Europe - the Mediterranean coast of Spain and her islands. They live in or near the small towns dotted along the coast, away from the cities, and evince little interest in returning 'home' again. Those that do eventually move, move inland into the 'real Spain' - to the Andalucian hinterland or elsewhere.
The Mediterranean coast of Spain could be likened to southern Florida twenty years ago - a place of opportunity, beauty and tranquility (well, it's a lot prettier!). Many foreign-run businesses now operate along the coast and in the islands with everything from dentists and doctors to English food supermarkets, realtors, builders and, um, newspapers. There are theatre and choral groups, clubs, associations, golf, bowls, water sports... life need never be dull. Spain itself is a fascinating and beautiful country to get to know, and residents make keen travelers. Certain foreigners have already voted in local elections, and by May 1999 - the time of the next local vote - all European citizens resident in Spain, and possibly all non-Europeans as well, will be able to vote. This will give the foreign residents a greater say in how their community is maintained and developed, as well as better protection from the occasional town hall 'excess'.
Communications in Spain have improved dramatically in the past few years, and there is now a coastal motorway that runs from the French border, down through Barcelona and Valencia, and along the Costa Blanca and Costa de Almeria. This motorway will soon be completed on down to the Costa del Sol and Gibraltar. A second motorway through Granada currently connects with Málaga and continues to 'the Rock'. The rail-system is adequate, but slow, with the exception of the high-speed AVE link between Madrid and Seville (and on to Cadiz). Air-links are good, with airports in every main city, plus Gibraltar, although it must be said that the Almeria airport is a 'horror'.
Prices in Spain are average, with both housing and labour rather cheaper than elsewhere, and clothing, cars and gasoline rather higher. The weather, however, is better here than anywhere else, and that's the main thing.