July is an incredibly busy month in Spain!
The summer holiday period officially begins, meaning that not only are Spanish families taking vacations, but families from all over Europe are descending on Spain for their own breaks in the sun.
In addition to this, the summer sales period has begun this month, and a whole host of festivals will be held across the nation.
Here’s everything that changes in Spain in July 2022:
Travel chaos continues
Last month, the Spanish authorities announced that they would be allowing Britons to use the e-gates at passport control in Spanish airports to ease congestion, but unfortunately travel chaos in Spain is set to continue this month. Europe has experienced widespread flight cancellations, strikes, and staff shortages, and these are only set to continue this month. Cabin crews based in Spain from the airlines easyJet, Ryanair and Lufthansa have announced that they will be striking this month.
EasyJet staff are scheduled to go on a nine-day strike on July 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 15th, 16th, 17th, 29th, 30th and 31st. Meanwhile, the Ryanair strike, which started on June 24th will continue on July 1st and 2nd. German carrier Lufthansa and its budget airline brand, Eurowings are also planning to cancel more than 3,000 flights this summer due to a combination of staff shortages and strikes. Obviously with such extensive cancellations and strike action, many tourists are expected to be impacted.
An Update For British Drivers
Although nothing has been confirmed, some analysts are predicting that this may be the month we finally get a reciprocal post-Brexit driving license deal between Britain and Spain. According to Hugh Elliott, the British Ambassador to Spain, “The UK and Spain are now in agreement on the core issues that have been problematic and we’re now very close to finalising the actual text of the agreement.” As many British residents in Spain have been unable to drive using their British licences in the country since 1st May 2022, this decision would come as a relief.
Intelligent Speed Assistance Mandatory in Spanish Vehicles
If you have your driver's licence and are free to drive in Spain, you need to know that from 6th July, all new cars sold in the country (and across the wider EU) need to have automatic Intelligent Speed Assistance technology installed. This is part of the General Safety Regulation in the country. This technology will limit speeds and warn drivers to slow down if they break the speed limit, and this role will apply to all newly launched models from this date.
€200 Crisis Payment Available
As part of their new draft of measures to help those struggling with the rising cost of living, the Spanish government are set to offer a one-off €200 payment to the most vulnerable individuals living within the country. It is estimated that 2.7 million people will benefit from the scheme. The payment can be requested either by individuals or by family groups, but only one payment per household is permitted.
VAT Cut on Electricity Bills
In another move set to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has announced that the government will cut the VAT payable on electricity bills from ten percent to five percent. This new discounted VAT rate will be applied to all electricity bills from July, and no end date has currently been announced for this reduced rate.
The Summer Sales Begin
Whilst there are no longer state mandated sale dates in Spain, 1st July is the date given as the official start of the summer sales in the country. This is the perfect time of year to benefit from some big bargains in the country, and find the goods you need at discounted rates. Once the initial sale period is over, you will begin to see other signs such as “segundas rebajas” (second sales), then “terceras rebajas” (third sale) and finally “remate final” (final push). Discounts will increase considerably depending on which sale period a store is offering, with the biggest sale figures being around 70%.
Bringing Back the Heat
Spain has already experienced an early heat wave this year, and the scorching heat is set to return to the country again this month. We can expect temperatures to reach over 40 degrees in the south of the country during the first week of the month, whilst in the middle of the month (between 11th and 17th July) much of Extremadura and Andalusia will experience temperatures around 40°C, while it could also reach 38°C in Bilbao and Madrid. Temperatures will be above average across the whole country.
Summer Festivals in Spain
Perhaps the most famous Spanish festival, the San Fermín Running of the Bulls, will take place in Pamplona from July 6th – 14th. This is a huge event that attracts visitors from all over the world. Another big festival taking place this month is the Fiestas de Santiago Apóstol, held in the Galician city on July 25th. If you’re a music fan then Bilbao’s BBK music festival will be running from the 7th to the 9th. Pride celebrations will also take place all over the country this month. Perhaps the biggest of these is Madrid’s LGBTIQ+ festival, which will take place from July 1st to 10th throughout many areas of the city.
New law to improve rights of domestic workers
Finally, a proposed now law to improve the rights of domestic workers could be improved this month. This will give domestic workers the same rights as other employees in Spain. A third of the 536,100 domestics (mostly women) who work in Spain are not signed up to Spain’s social security system, meaning that they don’t get many of the benefits that they should be entitled to. It also means that many earn under the minimum wage. The aim of this bill is to address this and provide extra protection for domestic workers.
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