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Spain announces €400 culture pass ‘birthday gift’ for teens turning 18

Teenagers turning 18 in 2022 will receive a €400 culture pass to spend on anything from books, concerts and cinema tickets, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced Wednesday.

Spain announces €400 culture pass 'birthday gift' for teens turning 18
Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP

Speaking at Ljubjana’s EU-Western Balkans summit, Sánchez said the measure would improve young people’s access to culture, and at the same time, help the Spanish culture industry, which has suffered great financial losses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The announcement comes just a few days after the government announced it would launch a housing scheme that would give 18 to 35 year-olds mid-income earners a monthly €250 discount off their rent.

Both measures were announced as part of the Spanish government’s agreed budget for 2022, although this still needs to be approved by the Spanish Cabinet in its meeting on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Spain to give young mid-income earners €250 monthly rental allowance

It follows similar legislation in Italy and France, where governments have distributed €500 and €300 bonuses respectively for young people to spend on culture.

Ione Belarra, leader of junior coalition party Unidas Podemos and minister of Social Rights, said the culture pass was her party’s proposition. “The budget agreement will include a youth culture pass, after a proposal by Unidas Podemos,” she said in a tweet.

Vice-president Yolanda Díaz, leader of Unidas Podemos, said that “supporting the arts and young people’s futures was an essential condition in the budget, which must act as an impulse for culture”.

Who will be eligible for the culture pass?

The money will be allocated to all young people from the moment they turn 18 years old, starting in 2022.

The Culture and Sports Ministry, in charge of rolling out the new scheme, which will cost €200 million, calculates half a million young people will be eligible across the country.

What can the culture pass be used for?

The money, said Sánchez, can be spent on things like buying books or going to the cinema, the theatre and live concerts.

However, the money will be divided into different sections, so not all of it is spent just on books, for example. Precise details of how many sections it will be divided into have not yet been announced. It’s also not yet clear whether the pass will be used with an app, like in France and Italy, or a different system.

After Sánchez initially said the culture pass would include bullfighting, Spain’s Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, later said it would not be covered, and neither will subscriptions to streaming platforms, according to Cadena Ser.

On the other hand, young adults will be able to use the culture pass to buy video games.

Iceta added that: “it’s like an 18th birthday present, and I would love it if they spent it at the opera or a classical music concert.”

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LIFE IN SPAIN

What to do about insects and other pests in your home in Spain?

Bugs and insects can sometimes be a problem in Spanish homes, particularly during the summer months. Here's what to do if you get an infestation and how to prevent them from happening.

What to do about insects and other pests in your home in Spain?

Fruit flies buzzing around the bins, cockroaches in the kitchen and ants invading your food cupboards can be a common sight in your Spanish home, more often than not in summer.

But what can you do when insects invade your home? 

What types of pests are common in Spain?

Bugs and insects that commonly invade homes in Spain include fruit flies, ants, stink bugs, cockroaches, pantry moths, plaster bagworms and mosquitoes.

Those who have pets may also have a problem with your animals bringing fleas and ticks into the home too.

READ ALSO: Ticks are proliferating in Spain: How to avoid them and protect yourself

These can cause a nuisance, not only flying around your home and biting you (in the case of mosquitoes, fleas and ticks), but they can get into your food and lay eggs in your cupboards.

How can I get rid of bugs in my home?

One of the most important ways you can keep insects and other bugs out of your home is to eliminate food sources.

This means always doing the washing up as soon as you’ve finished eating so there are no scraps laying around, sweeping kitchens and dining rooms regularly and putting opened food items in the fridge instead of the cupboards.

You also need to make sure you regularly empty your rubbish bin and that there are no gaps between the lid and the bin that flies can get in through.

Dusting, hoovering and general regular cleaning will also keep other insects at bay such as plaster bagworms and moths that lay larvae on your walls and ceiling.

Those with pets should make sure that animals are treated with flea and tick protection and combed through with special flea combs to make sure bugs are not stuck in their fur.

Summer can of course be very hot in Spain, with temperatures regularly in the high 30°Cs or even low 40°Cs in some parts of Andalusia and other regions, meaning that windows and doors are often left open to ensure a breeze. Unfortunately, this means that your home is more accessible to insects too.

If you can, get a fly screen for your doors and windows, so you can leave them open, but no bugs can get in. These fine mesh screens can be bought from hardware or home stores such as Leroy Merlin and can simply be lifted into place when you need them.

If you can’t get screens installed, then consider planting certain plants on windowsills or balconies. Lavender, basil, lemongrass and mint are all natural insect repellents.

Electric fly swats, ant traps and sticky paper can also all help eliminate pests in your home. 

READ ALSO: What venomous species are there in Spain?

Insecticides

When the situation becomes worse, simple everyday cleaning won’t suffice and you may need to use insecticides to kill the infestation. There are many different brands in Spain. Both Protect Home and Compo have several different products you can use.

If you don’t want to use chemical insecticides, natural ones made from white vinegar, citrus plants, or peppermint oil can also work.

Pest control

If the situation becomes completely out of control and you find that insects are not only entering your home but that they are breeding there too, it’s time to call in the professionals. Pest control services are available across Spain.

The first step is to check your home insurance to see if they will cover this service. If they won’t, they may be able to suggest a company that can help.

Otherwise, a quick Google search for ‘Control de plagas’ (pest control) and then your area should provide you with plenty of options.

According to the home website Habitissimo, pest control services in Spain can range from €80 up to €2,000 depending on the type of infestation you have, how serious the problem is and how big your property is. On average it will cost you around €267.

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