There has always been debate about just how beneficial it is for a country to be part of the European Community. For some countries it has been more controversial than others. There is continuing stress on relationships due to countries’ individual economies and perceptions held about the value (or not) that membership actually brings.
Some pieces of legislation can appear to work for a country and others against it. Either way, there is safety in having another ‘interest’ in a country’s affairs outside those of its own leading political parties.
For example, the news that Spain is being taken to the European Court of Justice for discriminating against non-residents will be seen as a necessary intervention by many. The Spanish law currently states that capital gains tax in Spain will not be paid on the sale of a permanent Spanish residence provided the money raised from the sale is invested in buying another permanent residence in Spain.
Nothing wrong with that perhaps. What is under question is the fact that if you are a non-resident, the situation is completely different and much more expensive. A non-resident selling their property in Spain will have capital gains tax to pay even if they go on to buy another property.
If a Spanish resident sells their main home in Spain and purchases a permanent home in another European country they are also charged capital gains tax. The concern being that this is an infringement of a person’s right to free movement across Europe.
For many people, a court ruling in the right direction could have a very significant financial implication. Non-residents and those wishing to return to their home country, will be watching very carefully for Europe’s decision on this.