Collectors Pay Hundreds For Old Peseta Coins 

Anyone who still has Spain’s old currency in their possession has until the end of next year to change it for its equivalent in euros at the Bank of Spain, but depending how old and collectible the coins are, selling them online might earn you more.

Peseta coins sold to date have fetched between €45 and €20,000.

Examples include one-peseta coins dating from 1947, These 72-year-old pieces were the first in which dictator General Franco’s face appeared on the reverse and are known colloquially as rubias (‘blondes’) and have fetched between €200 and €1,400.

A 2.5-peseta coin from 1953, has a market value of between €750 and €1,700 and the 50-peseta coins minted in 1957 ‘retail’ at about €775 on eBay – although the ‘test versions’ which were not actually released into circulation have been sold for as much as €10,000. The 2.5-peseta coin from 1946 (before Franco appeared on the reverse) and the non-circulating ‘test coins’ can fetch up to €10,500.

The most lucrative has been a five-peseta 1949 piece, auctioned by Cayón Subastas eventually went for €36,000.

Traffic Authority Scraps Peak-Rate Phone Line 

FACUA-Consumers in Action formally requested the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) to scrap its premium-charge phone number.

For drivers wishing to complain about, or appeal against, fines issued as a result of on-road camera footage, or that taken from other non-human highway vigilance systems, the only telephone number available on the DGT’s website was 902 508 686.

This has now been changed to 987 010 559

Numbers starting with 902 or 901 are charged at much higher rates than local or national calls, but many companies and even public services continue to use them. These included the Andalucía and Galicia regional health services, where patients had to ring a high-cost number to request GP appointments or change or cancel them.

Is Spain Becoming A Cashless Society?

Debit card use has soared in Spain and cashpoints are having to be adapted to offer other functions besides withdrawing notes, according to the Bank of Spain. A record 85 million credit and debit cards were known to be in circulation, most of which were the latter, which accounted for 48 million. The increase in debit cards and their use is likely to be linked to changes in financial institution practices – new criteria were introduced in January 2018 to comply with a European Union directive on card payments.

Anecdotal evidence points at great changes on the high street in terms of card payment acceptance, with increasing numbers of shops allowing debit card use for even small amounts. Until last year, it was mainly only supermarkets which would permit card transactions for purchases of any sum, whilst those shops which did accept cards imposed lower limits ranging from €10 to €30, and many more were ‘cash only’ premises.

Whilst younger generations prefer cashless systems, older Spaniards and residents remain more likely to use cash and cashpoints are now having to adapt or disappear. The very elderly generally prefer to withdraw their cash in person at their local bank and do not trust cashpoints. 

The cashpoints that remain are now likely to offer more interactive and personal services, such as applying for loans or insurance policies without the need to go to a branch in person, or simpler operations such as topping up a motorway toll card or public transport card.

Cashpoints increasingly feature ‘contactless’ facilities, meaning cards do not have to be placed inside the machine, removing the risk of their being ‘swallowed up’ by a malfunction and reducing that of cloning and permitting cash withdrawal even where the magnetic band is damaged.

Some banks are now starting to employ a ‘code’ system, where a number sent to the customer’s mobile phone is keyed into a cashpoint for card-free withdrawal.

First Iberian Lynx Born in 100 years in Pyrénées

Although the cub came into the world on May 28th it has only just been announced. The lynx is said to be in excellent health and is the son of two Iberian Lynx who have been at the MónNatura shelter centre for the past 11 years. Whilst the birth was not in the wild, it was as close as possible to the Lynx’s natural stamping grounds.

No Iberian Lynx has been born on the Spanish side of the French border mountains since the turn of the 20th century.

Rafa Nadal to Marry 

Rafa and Meri Perelló became engaged last May in Rome, although having been together since Meri was 16 and Rafa 19, they did not appear in a hurry to tie the knot.

In January’s ¡Hola! magazine it was revealed that they were due to wed this year on their native island of Mallorca. Even though the venue and the date – the Fortaleza estate in Mallorca on October 19th – have now been revealed in the world’s media, security will be watertight, so there will be no chance of fans gate-crashing or the paparazzi catching stealthy snaps.

It was originally thought Meri and Rafa would be having a small, quiet wedding, but some of their most high-profile friends, including Spanish tennis greats Feliciano López and Fernando Verdasco, are on the guest list and even the Rex Emeritus King Juan Carlos I, with whom Nadal is said to have ‘an excellent relationship’ should be going.

Meri was 14 and a school friend of Rafa’s little sister Maribel Nadal Parera when they met and he was 17, but they did not start going out until she was in sixth form and he had just left school. They have been together for 14 years and Meri works for her future husband’s charitable foundation as project developer alongside its chairwoman, Rafa’s mum, Ana María Parera. Meri accompanies Rafa on every tour, but has never lived anywhere other than the island of Mallorca. Nadal’s fiancée gained her business degree at the university in Palma, where she worked before getting the job with the Rafael Nadal Foundation. 

Benidorm, Barcelona, Ibiza and Marbella Among Top 2019 Hen and Stag Destinations

Benidorm has reportedly hit number one for stag party destinations in Europe for 2019. UK-based tour operator The Stag Company says Benidorm is top, with Prague second, a listing shared by the British stag party website Last Night of Freedom. They describes Benidorm as having a ‘vibrant nightlife and warm weather’ and ‘as lively by day as it is by night’ and describes easily-available activities including go-karting with barbecue and beer, ‘bubble football’ and paintballing.

Most lists feature Barcelona in the top 10, although behind the more northerly destinations, which include the UK cities of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Liverpool, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, and Brighton.

For hen weekends, traveller site Trivago puts Brighton, UK at the top and Marbella second, calling it ‘the classiest resort on the Costa del Sol’. Ibiza is third, describing the island as the ideal place to ‘siesta by the pool during the day’ before ‘hitting up…the clubs by night’, 

For Spaniards, the island of Ibiza and the cities of Barcelona and Granada have become increasingly popular for hen and stag weekends.