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IN DENIAL: Guerrero

Wasn’t me THE alleged lynchpin in Spain’s biggest ever political fraud claims he made SIX previous confessions up. Former Junta de Andalucia employment boss Francisco Guerrero insists he did not personally gain from the ERE scandal, that saw up to a billion euros embezzled over a decade. He claims he only gave details of the so-called ‘reptile fund’ that he allegedly oversaw, after police put considerable pressure on him. Guerrero is facing eight years in prison for embezzling €65 million of money from the €647 million emergency public fund that he managed between 1999 and 2008. The money had been set aside to support struggling Andalucian businesses. Instead, Guerrero allegedly awarded fake grants to companies registered in the names of more than 100 of his family members, friends and fellow PSOE politicians. His driver, Juan Francisco Trujillo - nicknamed the ‘cocaine chauffeur’ - claims he set up bogus shell companies to receive public money to spend on ‘cocaine, parties and drinks’. CHASING CORRUPTION P6


expat paper in Spain FREE

Vol. 1 Issue 22 February 15th - February 28th 2018

ouch! Which original British expat was tortured by Spain for his loose lips?

SURFS UP Don’t miss our three-page travel special on Brazil



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Save our Terraces

Dozens of jobs and a big loss of trade in Santa Catalina if ‘nightmare’ new pavement law comes in


Exclusive By Gillian Keller

THE Olive Press is backing a campaign to protect the livelihoods of dozens of expat businesses in Santa Catalina. It comes after a draconian proposed law could see an estimated 42% of terraces in the Palma district shut. Many businesses fear a dramatic impact - and a loss of dozens of jobs - if the plan comes into effect. The new law to create more space for pedestrians would lead to 37% of terraces having to shut in Pere Garau area and around 40% in Es Jonquet. Of the capital’s existing 1,650 restaurant terraces, it is estimated around 500 would be 16/06/2017 affected. 15:36

AT RISK: Terraces are a staple for Mallorca visitors “It’s a complete nightmare,” said Bin Shah, owner of Bindi’s restaurant in Santa Catalina. “I completely rely on my terrace in summer and I don’t know how I would survive without it. “I would certainly have to get rid of a member of staff,” added the 50-year-old, from Loughborough. “I don't understand why they are doing it. I understand people need to get down the road,

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but what they are proposing is extreme. It’s so scary.” She continued: “We work with tourists from Germany, Sweden and England and they all want to sit outside as they don’t get that chance at home. This is very scary.” Under the new rules, pavements will have to be a minimum of 2.5 metres free of any obstructions, leaving little space for tables.

“This is only being done to keep a few elderly locals happy,” insisted fellow restaurateur Luca Veronesi, of Prosecco. The Italian added: “The authorities have allowed this area to become a hip and vibrant place and now they are going to completely alter it with this law. “This could potentially ruin a lot of businesses.” Manager Marie from La Lollija agreed. “We are just waiting to hear at this point, and hoping. Any changes to our terrace would be terrible for business.” The local restaurant association, the citizens defence association, and the Palma neighbourhood association have all united with business owners to get a temporary stay on the plans. They say the plans have come in after a few complaints about noise from terraces, and other irritations like more rubbish. One group complaining is Barri Civic, which claims there are too many terraces and not enough space for locals. Its president Marilen Mayol says that pedestrians are unable to walk down the pavements, ‘especially old people, people in wheelchairs and mothers with prams.’ She adds that the area is beginning to ‘become like Maga-

luf’. This week (Thursday) a planned meeting is set to take place at the town hall so all the relevent parties could get their views across. What is certain is that the restaurant scene in Santa Catalina is unlike anywhere else in Mallorca and has a very unique international vibe. While the area has gentrified and changed rapidly, it has brought substantial business that has mostly benefited the area.


“It’s a very small minority that want this change, everybody else is here for the vibrant life that has come with the restaurants,” said El Aqua Nauta owner Pitxi Vellver, from Catalunya. “It's thanks to the terraces that we have all this business and jobs… there were no jobs here a few years ago,” she added. One local British expat Vicky Edmondson, from Brighton added: “Most of my neighbours are a young international crowd, who love this mini metropolitan area. “It’s like a 'village inside the city' as we call it. It would be a big shame to destroy that.” Opinion Page 6



Dry spell TWO areas in Mallorca, Manacor-Felanitx and the Serra de Tramuntana, are on prealert due to droughts. Recent rains have not been enough to counter the two area's demand after last year's lack of rain.

Urban forest PALMA’S old dog track will see construction this summer to reuse the space as a modern ‘urban forest’, with walking paths and regional plants and trees. The space, spanning over 16,000 acres, has a budget of over €1 million.

Lisbon nights VUELING Airlines has announced a new route from Palma to Lisbon, Portugal starting in June. The new twicea-week flight joins La Coruña, Stuttgart and Vienna as the airlines new routes for 2018.

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February 15th - February 28th 2018

Beach patrol

Matthias Khun gets five years for building on protected land

EXTRA police are to be sent out to patrol the Playa de Palma area from next month. The additional presence will begin two months earlier than normal in a bid to cut down on any anti social behaviour around Easter. Last year, extra police did not get drafted in until May, causing trouble for some local businesses. Issues include street fighting between gangs, illegal street selling and prostitution.

By Gillian Keller

A WELL known German entrepreneur has been handed a prison sentence for illegal building. Matthias Khün - the longtime partner of Spanish film star Norma Duval - has been handed a six month sentence plus a fine of €10,800 for building on protected land in Ibiza. The German real estate agent, who owns Kuhn & Partner, carried out construction works on the private island of Tagomago without permission and licenses.


Among the offences he committed was building a 470 square metre concrete terrace adjacent to the main villa. He also constructed a stone shed, path and stairway without permission in 2007 to 2008. The island is catalogued as a Natural Area of Special Interest, carrying the highest level of protection. All construction work on the island is limited to the conservation, restoration and consolidation of existing buildings and prior authorisation must be obtained.

LAP OF LUXURY: Illegal building in Ibiza and (inset) Khun and wife

Prison for property mogul Khun, who owns property in Mallorca, has also been barred from working in real estate for two years. A more serious charge of destruction of the environment

was dropped after various experts testified that the construction did not compromise 'the conservation' of the area. The builder in charge of the

project, Guido Hecker, was also sentenced to six months in prison, a similar fine to Khün and two years probation from working in construction.

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SEIZED: Bags of heroin, cash and phones

A DRUG mule has been arrested after arriving in Mallorca with more than 1,000 grams of heroin inside him. The 28-year-old was pulled over after he was spotted acting suspiciously when he landed at Palma airport. When cops confronted the suspect, he became uncooperative and refused a full body x-ray. Police took him to Son Espases hospital where he was kept overnight until he had emptied his bowels. The mule had swallowed an astonishing 69 bags of heroin. His three cell phones and thousands of euros worth of Nigerian money were seized.

Caught green handed A GREEN-fingered Mallorca couple have been arrested after cops unearthed their marijuana den containing more than 400 plants. The duo, in their 50s, are charged with crimes against public health and for fraud after it was revealed they had been stealing electricity to power their harvests. Some 200 high-powered lamps, 36 transformers and several air conditioners were used to grow the recreational drug. In total, cops seized 434 plants and 40kg of marijuana.

Break-in bust POLICE have arrested a man allegedly behind numerous car break-ins and robberies in Mallorca. The 37-year-old was caught in La Vileta thanks to a residents who managed to uncover his stash of loot, including watches, suitcases, books and iPads. The man, who has 18 previous convictions, has been charged with four robberies and breaking into vehicles.

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February 15th - February 28th 2018


Tennis mum SHAKIRA’S sons could be the next Nadal and Federer. It comes after the Colombian songstress, who turned 40 this month, showcased her soon-to-be tennis stars in a video posted on social media. Milan, 5 and Sasha, 3, show off their impressive racket skills under the watchful eye of their

football star dad Gerard Pique. “Muy bien, Sasha! Muy bien, Milan!” Shakira, 41, compliments in the background. It comes after the singer made Grammy history when she became the first female artist to win twice in the Best Latin Pop Album category for her album El Dorado. Shakira will kick off her anticipated El Dorado world tour this summer.

Armin returns MEGA DJ Armin van Buuren is to return to Mallorca in August. The State of Trance radio host - who has been ranked world number one DJ by DJ Mag for five years in a row - will play at the BH Hotel in Magaluf. The DJ also has the most entries in the US Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart with an impressive 21 appearances. Some long-time islanders might remember his 1999 hit 'Communication', which was the summer anthem in Ibiza and Mallorca that year. Over his 20 year career, van Buuren has performed a number of sold-out gigs in Ibiza and Mallorca, including the popular BCM club in Magaluf. The famous Dutchman will return to Calvia after touring the world.

Mistress Morgan BETH Morgan appeared to be refusing to let her alleged dismissal from Coronation Street get to her as she relaxed by the pool in Spain. The 22-year-old actress, who played a lapdancer on Corrie, is rumoured to be joining soap Hollyoaks instead.

LOOK OUT: Douglas at S’estaca

Michael Douglas desperate to sell Mallorca pad as its put on market for third time ACTOR Michael Douglas and his wife, Catherine ZetaJones, have put their Mallorcan mansion on the market for a lucky third time. The couple have once again put the property, between Valldemossa and Deia, on the market for €36.5 million. Douglas purchased the mansion back in 1989 when he was still married to his first wife, the film producer Diandra Luker. Despite lowering his asking price from €50 million when he first listed the property in 2014, Douglas is still set to make a giant profit should he find a buyer. The 247-acre estate, called ‘S’estaca’, has seven accompanied guest houses, where Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer have all previously stayed. It also contains a large outdoor swimming pool surrounded by olive trees, perfect for cooling off, as well as a gym, games room, library, wine cellar and cinema.

Third time lucky

Kylie’s coming KYLIE Minogue will be performing in Spain as part of her European tour, it has been announced. The pint-size singer is to play the Bikini Club in Barcelona on March 16. The tour precedes the release of her new album Golden. "I just can’t wait to bring these new songs to life and throw in a few surprises for my fans,” she said.

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Seasoned expat conwoman ‘flees to France’ with cops in pursuit NOT WANTED: Rajoy

OUCH! A WHOPPING 85% of Spanish voters want Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to hand over his leadership to someone else. A poll by Metroscopia also found 62% of people who voted for him think ‘his time is over’. The 62-year-old has been in politics for nearly forty years and is the most veteran of Spain’s political leaders. He is the only one who is still the head of his party after all other groups – including the monarchy – have renewed their leadership. The drop in support comes after the December 2015 election yielded a hung parliament and before another vote in June 2016 saw the PP narrowly form a minority government. The economic crisis, several corruption cases and the Catalunya crisis have all played a part in eroding his popularity. While the next general election is not until 2020, a recent opinion poll showed Ciudadanos would win if an election was held today, with 28.3% support from Spanish voters, compared with only 21.9% for Rajoy’s PP.


POLICE are in pursuit of seasoned expat fraudster Paula Neale who has fled to France following an Olive Press probe. Detectives contacted us following a tip off that the mother-of-two was staying in a hotel in Catalunya and preparing to cross the border this week. She had been staying at Hotel Figueres, near Girona, and asked to pay for the room using her ‘husband’s’ credit card. It comes after four years of investigation by the Olive Press has uncovered more than 30 victims of her rental scams undertaken in various false names.


Neale, 43, took rental deposits for properties she didn’t own and allegedly ransacked properties she had rented before selling the stolen goods online. However, despite four stories and at least eight denuncias against her, she has yet to be picked up by police. This is looking increasingly unlikely after a receptionist at the hotel confirmed that Paula

ne ws

February 15th - February 28th 2018

Border drama ON THE RUN: Paula and (above) Spain-France border and her hotel had checked out on Tuesday morning. She had been planning to cross into France with her two children, Nina, 12, and Oscar, 14 and live in Bordeaux. Staff at the hotel said the room was left in a ‘complete mess’ after she left in a hurry, CHANGING FACES: Paula with police arriving within an hour. Neale fled to France Her plan to escape to France was rumbled by her own pal, actor Anthony Webster, who ratted on Neale when he found out her real identity. Webster told the Olive Press this week that he had recently befriended Neale online. He said she had promised to help his acting career and that she knew people in the film industry, claiming to be ‘a producer’. But after meeting her at the hotel and agreeing to drive her to Bordeaux, he said he felt ‘something wasn’t right’ when she claimed her mother had suddenly died and that she needed to leave immediately. He researched her online

and stumbled upon our catalogue of stories. He refused to leave his hotel room or open the door to her, setting off alarm bells for Neale, who packed up and left after repeatedly trying to raise him. Neale’s speedy departure came as the Olive Press was handing over details of various denuncias and victims to the Guardia Civil in Malaga. A detective confirmed they were ‘in a race against time’ to get an arrest warrant with Catalan police.


One of her victims, Sara Belmont, says Interpol has been notified but because the crimes were committed in Spain, she must be charged there. Family and friends back in the UK meanwhile, confirmed that she had made it across the border on Tuesday in a hire car. They claimed she had a long chequered track record of scams and probThey’re singling lems, and had a m NEW S e ou t! January 17th - January 30th 2018 5 third son, who Freeze on Seasoned conwoman was taken into plastic Paula Neale care. caught by the Olive Press a The friend defourth time scribed her as Still on-the-run an ‘unfit mother who long displayed erratic behaviour’. On one occasion she even pretended to be her daughter to try and strike up a All aboard! Balcon wins big connection with her long-lost son. PROBE: Previous story in the 10

the olive press


- October 16 - October 29 2014


Ashya thanks

BRITISH ambassador to Spain, Simon Manley, has thanked the Hospital Materno Infantil in Malaga for its treatment of Ashya King, on behalf of the British government.

Pensioner, 70, complains of discrimination after being ordered despite neighbour to take down extension, s all having the same

Top stamps

Strike four! SPECIAL edition of King Felipestamps Queen Letizia have and launched by postal been vice Correos. Showingserofficial photographs Royal duo, they of the can be bought for €1.

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ICELAND is the first supermarket in the world to remove plastic packaging from its own-label products. Customers of Overseas, which stocks Iceland products in 20 shops across Spain and Portugal, will benefit from the five-year plan to reduce plastics in 1,400 products. Calling plastics a ‘scourge’ on the world, Iceland managing director Richard Walker said: “A truckload is entering our oceans every minute, causing untold damage to our marine environment and ultimately humanity – since we all depend on the oceans for our survival.” Plastic ready meal trays will be removed first, followed by frozen vegetable bags changing to a paper based material.

ONE in seven youngsters coming to Spain on holiday have admitted they are drunk that on the plane, according to a survey by website Jetcost. com.

Big Willy

MANCHESTER City goalkeeper Willy Caballero has told Liga officials that La was approached he by a match-fixing syndicate when playing for Malaga last year.


A SEASONED British fraudster has struck again. Paula Neale - exposed in the Olive Press four times in two years - has brought her dirty tricks to the Costa del Sol again. The rentals conwoman has snared a series of unsuspecting foreigners through her well oiled ruse of sub-letting properties. A number of victims have lost thousands in lost deposits, after she took over a two-bedroom apartment in Mijas. Using the alias ‘Sharon Tate’ she rented the Riviera apartment for three months, before

THE first ever ferry link between Ireland and Spain has been announced by Brittany Ferries. The company presented its new route from Cork to northern Spain today. It will begin at the end of April and will link Cork and Santander, with two return trips per week. It is the first ever link between the two countries.


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A FINNISH grandmother ordered to demolish EXCLUSIVE year-old extension a nineBy Rob Horgan cused Estepona Townhas acHall of year being 'racially motivated' legal and hall afterbattle with the town 'singling' her out. they served her Terttu Balson, 70, with has been fined a demolition order and involved in an ongoing her six- for building€24,300 in 2008 a loft extension

without the correct planning only permission. resident facing court acSeveral other properties tion. the Seghers community in "It is completely discriminahave tory, similar extensions I cannot help but without think planning licences - including that it is not a coincidence Balson's next door that Spanish I amI have been chosen when neighbour - but Balson the only foreigner is the ing here," livshe told the Olive Press. Balson believed ceived planning she had repermission when she contracted ish architect Mario a SpanJones in 2005. Now however, she feels that he did not do his despite being paidjob properly take over the project€2,500 to and sort out the building licence. Jones, however, said he feels 'no guilt or responsibility that Balson is to blame and for the situation. He said: "I told her from the beginning that allowed to build. she wasn't ple get away with Most peoit but she hasn't. DESPERATE: Balson "She is definitely and dogs fairly treated and being unsure why. I hope I am not with so many foreigners that the ing on livtown hall is not targeting the her it happens coast I don't think because she is foreign. now." SPOT THE DIFFERENCE: Despite numerous "Maybe that sort Terttu’s ‘illegal’ extension and adjoining happened in the old of thing Estepona Town Hallattempts neighbour’s (right) days, but answer did not any of our questions. A WANTED property ster has been tracked frauddown to a luxury home in after an exclusive Benahavis, investigation this Olive Press month. According to neighbours in upmarket La Heredia urbanisation, Rebecca kids barely went Wells, 37, has fled owing money and rarely even to school to sevcame out to eral businesses. play. Keen horserider “She never mixed Wells who with the lospent eight years cal community here Offer an estate agent - posing as day she was gone and one sought by police,is now being unpaid electricity leaving an bill.” in the Olive Pressas reported The Olive Press has last issue, after four denuncias unable to contact still been were posted against her. her defrauding of Wells, over expats who “She owes money paid rent on properties butcher, restaurant to the DISAPPEARED: Wells she did not own. and La Heredia, baker, as well as for and the home where she rented Wells, aka Prior, a allegedly her car,” said one repairs to took a series of deposits for An expat couple neighbour. former neighbour Frank Cohomes reported concern for her four If you which she did not own. site Wells’ houseliving oppo- myn, president of the Palmchildren. have any information banisation reportedin the ur- eras del Golf urbanisation about Rebecca Wells, Comyn, who lived that they in Benalmadena Costa, saw her packing please has her for two years opposite contact newsdesk@theolive ily’s possessions all the famsaid: “The car on October 1 into a rental expose came out. the day our When the Olive Press visited a few days later, had clearly been the house and the family carabandoned Chrysler - was - a black Fabulous food and entertainment including dumped outside. apparently or New Years Eve Gala Dinner with a 5* Christmas Meanwhile another fine wine

FaNtastiC DEals

For Paying €1,700 fromChrist mas & NEw YEar November to change the locks she has preto February, Paula said she was vented anyone moving in Taken with her child and However, in else moving in. a ride for just the short black cat. amount of time she was over However, after reading our ex- this month, two disappointed pose on Neale in early Decem- couples ber, Belmont quickly started to “One arrived to stay. couple from Russia had ALL CHANGE: Passport names and investigate and found her prop- paid a two month (right) 2016 story deposit of erty being advertised to rent €1,400 the owner, mother-of-three, the for a year’s rental. They Sara Belmont, rumbled the whereauthorities in Gibraltar, through a variety of Facebook were gutted,” she believes Paula keeps groups. Belmont told the scam. Olive her money. One had been shared an incred- “ThenPress. The 41-year-old owner, a fire- She told a few hours later an Engthe Olive Press how she ible 4,000 fighter from London, has now was contacted times. lish couple turned up, also with by Neale through Fortunately she brought in police and contacted an online was able to a year’s lease and having rental website. paid move fast and after coming over a deposit.” It is unknown how many people in total fell for the scam, but her property was in a terrible state with a stereo and a toolkit also stolen. It took three days to clean. “It has got to IT has the best caves in Andalucia stop,” added Belmont. “When some of the best beaches in Malaga and provis this going to end?” So far she ince. has been unable to track down Known as ‘Balcon de Europa’ Neale, but has put up reward what fitting that Nerja has beenit is somenotices in various vets around one of the must visit destinatio chosen as ns this year. Calahonda. In 2017, the Olive Travel site Tripadvisor has listed the rePress twice exposed Neale’s sort among its top 10 emerging worldwide antics. But it has also emerged destinations. that we exposed her using the It is the only destination in Spain to be name ‘Sharon Tate’ in 2016 in tipped, with Gdansk, in Poland, Riga, in inland Malaga. A new UK numLatvia and Rovinj, in Croatia. ber Paula had been using did not answer our calls. UP UP AND

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olive press



Vol. 8 Issue

BENALMADENA. SEE SPECIAL The original SUPPLEMENT and only investigative English-language ON P21-36 newspaper in Andalucía

2- October



15 2014














includes 3 rounds


HUNTED: Rebecca on her Wells horse

Police probe alleged expat property who ‘took fraudster deposits homes she didn’t for own’

VICTIMS EXCLUSIVE are hunting erty fraudster an alleged who Costa del propSol owinghas vanished euros. from tens of thousandsthe The Guardia EXCLUSIVE of Civil confirmed is investigating By Imogen becca Wells days as horse-owninglast night Calderwood a holiday cias against after receiving expat it posits to me around rental, but Re- claim rent properties four denunBriton Wells,her. an 11-monthit and convinced she showed to. that she 37, One victim, accused me to sign has no “I want her contract. of duping also known as caught and clared. people into Prior, is told the OliveBritish expat Raymond punished,” Press: “I Wells, Page 11 paying de- posit on renting he dea mother-of-two Iost a €1,000Paul, hampton, “She had a de- same actually home she didn’t appears from Wolveronly rented own. to have trick repeated it for four the region at different properties the over the A Facebook around last campaigneight years. has launched by the now been ing to gather group, as possible. as many aimvictims In the case Yorkshire, of Paul, 60, as a deposithe put down from first month’s and €500 €500 rent at thefor the erty in propAugust. La Cala de Mijas in But after just three asked Paul days and his Wells clear out certificate‘so an urgent wife to energy dealt with’. matter could be “We were AN embattled two days, left in the dark for centre owner animal discoveredand upon returning rescue the place has another staying is ‘out of admitted there, with couple Kim our possessions control’. many of now Halliwell (above) he said. agreed to still inside,” has 15 dogs allow “We still and many an initial her Mijas cats to leave get some haven’t managed to an Olive kennels, following absolutelythings back, we are It comes Press investigation. furious filed a denuncia.” and have spected after police When Paul also inBLAZE: various the site, following set up an meeting denuncias F1 legend cuss whatwith Wells urgent mer staff. from forGachot to dis- After (inset) failed to had happened, we loses yacht she conditions’told of the ‘terrible Howevershow. in fire at Kim’s Rescue, their earlyanother couple Animal friends and in ers rallied up telling 20s also around supportsimilar him they hadturned aim of cutting with lost a animals the numberthe “Lots ofamount of money. her victims of The Oliveby half. worse situation are Press who knows than us, in a emergency meeting,attended an and various how are still spoke with to come many more found other centres woodwork,” new and has out he added. of the We have volunteers. Another now launched appeal is Stuart victim who lost to an Hall, 44, out animals. find homes for the and his Continues

It’s the


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A LUXURY nus is ownedyacht that burst into by Bertrand Gachot, ex-Formula Oneflames in Puerto The 51-year-old it can be driver Badan between Frenchman, €2 million 1989 and who raced morning. yacht Gilliana1995, is the ownerfor Jorthat blew of the Two crew up on Sunday members with serious were rushed burns to woman, to hospital, his 34, was The 23-metre one treated hands and another, €42,000-a-week Princessfor smoke inhalation. a Rentals. to rent, yacht Gilliana via Diamovit costs A source said: “Gachot Exclusive The driver is very upset.” Grand Prix was famously team for thrown the roundabout spraying out ceived a CS gas at of the Jordan at Hyde Park Corner, a taxi driver His race two-month prison on seat was for which stint. acher, making temporarily he rehis Formula filled by One debut. Michael Schum-

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Olive Press

Voting rights come nearer A NEW law will allow all expats to finally vote in UK elections. The Overseas Electors Bill, due for a second reading in the House of Commons on February 23, will give expats the right to vote no matter how long they have lived abroad. If successful it will then go to the committee stage before being voted on and becoming law. Currently anyone who has lived abroad for more than 15 years is disenfranchised from voting. Expats in Spain can only vote in local elections at present. It is not certain however, if expats would be allowed to vote if there was a second referendum on Brexit. “There is no one rule for who can vote in a referendum,” a spokesman for the UK Foreign Office told the Olive Press: “When a referendum is announced, Parliament will decide who can vote in it as part of the legislation on that referendum.” Of the estimated 1.2m expats living in Europe, around 800,000 were unable to vote in the last referendum, in which the leave vote won by just over a million votes.

Tragic tumble A CONSTRUCTION worker has died after falling down an elevator shaft in Palma. The Spanish builder, 41, hit his head and was knocked unconscious when he fell 15 metres at the site above the former Bluesville music bar.

Not child’s play THE UN has called for a ban on children witnessing bullfights or attending bullfighting classes. A panel of independent experts said it was concerned by the impact bullfighting could have on under-18s as spectators at events. There are 55 schools for young bullfighters around the country.

Easter strikes en route for Ryanair Home Insurance RYANAIR has warned there benefits may include:be strikes this Easter thanks to ‘laughable demands’ u Excess water consump tion in case of water damage claim. from its pilots. u Windows and Solar Panels breakage Its boss Michael O’Leary said the airline s. u All Risk accidental damage was prepared to fight the unreasonable de(building and contents). u Repair assistancepilots mands of the European-based service 24/7 who and DIY service. want conditions similar to ahigh-cost rivals. While the low-cost airline managed to dodge Christmas strikes by recognising unions for the first time ever, it has struggled to formalise relations since. The Expat’s No.1 choice Discover what more Liberty Seguros can do for you.

“We are getting laughable demands,” he said, adding: “Frankly we will never agree to those … if we have to take strikes in those jurisdictions, then we will take those.” But pilots insisted they only wanted the same conditions to those at low-cost rivals such as easyJet and Norwegian Air. Sources claimed pilots were not happy with a toxic working environment and a lack of trust between staff and management.


February 15th - February 28th 2018


Rocky towers


HARMFUL: Rocks undermine biodiversity

Timebomb SPAIN has been cautioned by the EU to clean up its act over violating EU standards on air pollution. Spain - along with eight other EU countries, including the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and the UK - now have to clean up its acts. If not, it will face sanctions before the European Court of Justice for non-compliance.

HEY stand tall, getting thinner the higher your eye follows its trajectory. Thick and heavy bases they are the rocky world’s equivalent to ant hills or just a pile of stones in the form of a tower. But these harmless constructions are damaging the environment as they uproot plants and displace insects, especially on the Balearic Island - where the issue is rife. Some say the mounds have mystical qualities, channelling energy from visitors but with tourism figures reaching new heights, the problem shows no sign of abating. “It is not only something affects our coasts. It is a global problem and has been for almost a decade,” warns spokesperson Toni Munoz, from the Grup Balear

d’Ornitologia i Defensa de la Naturaleza (GOB). “It has two kinds of impact: firstly, environmental, since moving stones uncovers the roots of local plants and disturbs habitats. Unique “The other impact is the landscape since this habitat prevents other visitors from enjoying a place in its natural state.” Many of the species are unique to its habitat and removing the rocks ‘impact the biodiversity of the coast’. It is not known where the custom comes from, and although the urge to Instagram the mounds is great ‘you have to dismantle the pile and place the stones carefully on the ground, without covering existing vegetation’.

Tyre trouble Police probe dumping of tyres while catching another flytipper in the act

AN investigation has been launched after a truck load of tyres were dumped at a local beauty spot. Police are probing the huge pile of old tyres flytipped at the Comuna de Lloret area, near the Sineu road. Detectives from the Guardia Civil’s environmental arm Seprona are trying to establish the owner of the truck. Mayor of Lloret, Antoni Bennasar described it as ‘a very serious ecological crime’. He said the wooded area was a popular local walking area and home to numerous animals and birds. Meanwhile, construction workers have been caught dumping 84 sacks of rubble in a protected space, near Cala Falcó. Police in Calvia started investigating the illegal

Bird call NEARLY 30,000 birds are wintering in the Balearic wetlands. Some 73 separate species are staying in 35 different wetlands around the islands, according to green group GOB. Mallard ducks are the most common visitor, with egrets and the peewit also regularly seen. Over 100 volunteers counted the different birds as part of the 52nd census coordinated by Wetlands International held in 143 countries around the world.

PROBE: Into tyre-dumping in natural beauty spot

dumping, after a neighbour gave them a license plate of the offending van. Incredibly, a few days later officers actually caught the accused in the act, dump-

ing bags containing tiles, bricks, concrete and sand. The local man claimed he was unaware of waste regulations and was also working without any offi-

cial licenses. He has been ordered to personally clean up the area, while his construction company faces fines of up to €45,000.

Rental revolution THE Balearic government has drafted a new law that forces rental car companies to switch to a 100% electric fleet by 2030. The new law hopes to phase out all fossil fuel vehicles by requiring rental car companies to increase their electric car fleet by 10% each year starting from 2020. This means by 2025 half of the fleet will be electric. During peak summer season thousands of vehicles clog the streets in Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera and the Balearics have the highest density of vehicles in Spain. Mallorca bears the brunt of this congestion with 90,000 rentals whizzing around peak season. Despite not solving congestion, the new law will, according the Balearic minister, Marc Pons, slash the fact that 35% of emissions are from cars. Therefore the government plans to invest €12 million to instal an additional 500 public charging points to add to the 350 points already there. The new law is expected to reach parliament before the end of March.

Working asses A LEGION of donkeys is being employed to lower the risk of fire in two key areas of Mallorca. Two groups of between 15 and 27 animals are to be sent out to graze the Llevant Natural Park, in Arta and the Galatzó area, near Calvia. In total, the donkeys will help to keep down 40 hectares of dried reeds and grasses that have caused various fires over recent years.. The donkeys will be supervised and overlooked by a local shepherd, who will help save them if a fire breaks out. The project has been allocated 150,000 euros and is a collaboration between Ibanat, the Balearic Institute of Nature, and the Natura Parc Foundation.


F e atu r e Mallorca’s original community newspaper

A campaigning, community newspaper, the Olive Press represents the huge expatriate community in Spain with an estimated readership, including the websites, of more than 500,000 people a month.

OPINION Makes no sense THE anti-tourism trend in Mallorca should be a cause for concern for expats and locals alike. The government’s latest assault on business owners in Santa Catalina and other key areas of Palma seems to make no sense. Restaurant owners have spent years turning the area into the place-to-be, and unlike Magaluf, there is virtually no ‘loutish’ behaviour or excessive partying. The new draconian restrictions on terraces will undo the tireless work of dozens of owners over the years - and even put some out of business. It would be a crying shame if they are punished, all in the name of pleasing a few disgruntled locals who don’t share the vision of Santa Catalina’s future with the majority.

Corruption chaos IT may come as a shock to many that Spain is considered as corrupt as both Brunei and Costa Rica. However, for those that have long followed Spanish politics, corruption cases have never been far away from the headlines. The Olive Press has long been reporting on the huge number of sleaze cases that have affected the country. Since we splashed on the Gurtel case seven years ago - with a picture of Prime Minister Rajoy on the cover - we have shone a torch on the worst excesses. And few come bigger that the huge embezzlement in the ERE scandal, officially reaching the theft of €855 million of public money. There are currently 22 politicians in the dock but clearly hundreds of people were complicit in making this happen. In order to stamp out the corruption which continues to blight Andalucia, it relies on everyday people to resist the temptation of financial gain and be prepared to be bravely blow the whistle when they know about it. On top of that the punishments must come swiftly and match the crime. Only then will society perhaps come to change. Depòsito Legal PM: 610-2017

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Spain’s political landscape has seen scandal upon scandal since it left dictatorship behind more than thirty years ago, and 2018 is packed full of them

February 15th - February 28th 2018


By Jed Neill


HEN Spain’s first free election took place in 1977 after 41 years of dictatorship, many thought a new dawn had spread across the country. Bringing it up to speed with European values of what democracy entailed, Spanish politics underwent a dramatic rebirth. But for some, old habits die hard, and political corruption in Spain has since stolen the headlines and unnervingly it is still considered one of the most corrupt countries in Europe. In 2017, the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) Spain claimed 41st position in the global rankings, sharing the place with Brunei and Costa Rica with a total corruption cost of €203 billion. We looked at the nine biggest corruption cases to be aware of this year.

Punica case Being underway since 2014, the Punica trial in Madrid is looking into 12 town halls, all of them run by the PP, and their involvement in a bid-rigging scheme that awarded up to €300 million in public contracts. Last year 12 people were arrested under Operation Lezo which investigated corruption at the Madrid regional water utility company Canal de Isabel II. This led to the resignation of former head of Madrid government Esperanza Aguirre and the arrest of her right-hand man, Ignacio González. Former advisor, Javier Lopez has since been spotted arriving at the Audiencia Nacional Court.


Forced to

step dow


joy’s PP


Gurtel case Mariano Rajoy became the first sitting prime minister to appear as a witness in a Spanish court as key figures in his Partido Popular are charged with fixing public contracts worth €350 million. The case, which began in 2009 is centred on Francisco Correa, a businessman who enjoyed being called Don Vito in reference to the Marlon Brando character in The Godfather. He is accused of paying bribes to party officials between 1999 and 2006 in return for contracts to carry out public works. Involving 37 politicians and business people in kickbacks-for-contracts scheme. This year will focus on the Valencian branch of the PP and the trial starts January 15 at the National Court.

ERE case An acronym for ‘expedientes de regulación de empleo’ the trial will examine alleged corrupt practices and embezzlement of funds under the socialist Junta in Andalucia between 2001 to 2010. Among those accused are two former Junta presidents, Manuel Chaves and Jose Antonio Grinan, as well as 20 former officials including six ex-ministers. The case was brought to public attention after irregularities were found concerning the granting of subsidies to struggling businesses to pay redundancy fees and early retirement packages. It is expected to go on for several months in 2018.




The Astapa case Estepona mayor Antonio Barrientos is accused of financial irregularities during his tenure between 2003 to 2008. Court documents reveal that under his stewardship there were three different accounting systems: one for declared finances, a second for covering donations, sponsorships and other favourable payments, and a third for personal gifts to town hall officials, amounting

na mayor Barrientos


to a fraud of €40 million. Judge Jesus Torres has been carrying the investigation since 2006 and within that time four suspects have died with 94 people under criminal investigation.

F e atu r e

corruption Eye on CORRUPT


Olive Press can be read in its entirety on And our site is updated daily with the latest news, February 15th - February 28th 2018 making it one of Spain’s most visited news websites.

Barcelona concert hall

Having dominated most of Catalunya’s democratic era in the noughties, the now-defunct Convergencia Democratica de Catalunya (CDC) has been found guilty of taking millions of euros in bribes in exchange for public work contracts. Building firm Ferrovial paid officials €6.6 million in bribes from 1999 to 2009 through the Palau de la Musica - a concert hall. Former CDC treasurer Daniel Osacar got four years and was fined €3.7 million, former Palau director, Felix Millet got 10 years and a €4.1 million fine and his deputy Jordi Montull got seven years and a €2.9 million fine. In the runup to the Catalan referendum they changed their name twice and now exist as the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) - the same one that holds a slim majority in the Catalan parliament.


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Cursach SACKED: Daniel Osacar

KINGPIN: Tolo Cursach

ARGED: Enrique Crespo

Mallorca’s nightlife King, Bartolome ‘Tolo’ Cursach spent 33 years allegedly bribing, threatening, coercing and mingling with the islands elite. This all came to an end in February 2017 when he was arrested along with Bartolomé Sbert and charged with 16 counts of corrupt practices with Tolo himself facing 80 years in jail. It is estimated €300 million went missing in one four-year period as he bought allegiances and paid off officials as his portfolio of 30 nightclubs became go-to temples of fun. The trial continues to roll on, with two prostitutes recently confirming a madame’s statement that a room in one of his night clubs was used for sex-parties to pay-off politicians.

Noos case stina and


Emarsa case This year will also see the judgment in the Emarsa case in Valencia, the investigation into the Emarsa company that managed the Pinedo wastewater treatment plant. The PP, which controlled the company until 2010 liquidated it only to find a financial hole of €17 million. An investigation followed and prosecutors found the company had paid €40 million to allied companies, and millions were spent on lavish expenses and huge salary bonuses paid to PP officials. Among the 24 defendants charged the two main defendants are former mayor of Manises, Enrique Crespo and Emarsa president, Esteban Cuesta.

go Torres


Brugal case An investigation that started in 2006 into the alleged bribes between public officials and Orihuela waste contracts, worth millions of euros in Alicante that were favourable to millionaire businessman Angel Fenoll. Deliberations will start February 19 with 34 people under the spotlight and counting, including two former mayors of the PP, José Manuel Medina and Monica Lorente, and seven other councilors of the same party. The prosecutor is asking for a jail sentence of 37 years for Angel Fenoll, twelve years for José Manuel Medina and eight for Monica Lorente.

The hus ban d of In fan t a of Spain, Cri s t i n a de B orbón an d l eader of n onp rof i t foun dat i on Noos Instit ute, In aki Urdan ag ri n , t hen Duke of Pal ma de Mal l orca an d business p ar t n er D i eg o Torres have been ac cus ed of embezzl i n g €6 mi l l ion for s p or t i n g even t s , an d mon ey launderi n g . Cri s t i n a was cl eared of all charg es by t he Pal ma cour t while Urdan g ari n has been al l owed to l i ve i n Swi t zerl an d s o l on g as he p res en t s hi ms el f to Sp an i sh au t hori t i es on t he f i r s t day of ever y mon t h. The l i s t of t hos e t hat were p ai d of f con t i n ues to g row and as of 2016 s tood at 18 p eop l e inc ludi n g s p or t s s t ar s an d comp any director s . The cas e i s l i kel y to be ap p eal ed to t he Sup reme c o ur t whos e f i n al j udg emen t coul d take mon t hs .

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owerman BE ‘APPY!

Malaga priest offers insights into Spain’s Golden Age

Powerman Mallorca – World Series Duathlon 2018 returns to Can Picafort on February 17, with the annual running and cycling event. Options include the Classic PowerA BOOK chronicling the adour app man, or theDownload Sprint, which is now and ventures of a Granada orphan half the distance. begin enjoying the best Spanish during Spain’s Golden Age has been published for the first news on the go. ire Straits time. Brothers in Band, Historia del Huerfano, or The the Very Best of Dire Orphan’s Story, was written Straits, are coming to Palby a Malaga priest and follows ma on February 17 as part a 14-year-old Andalucian who of their European tour. The leaves Granada for the Ameritribute band is considered cas to find his fortune. the best out there, with Its protagonist travels around keyboardist The Guy Fletcher the Spanish empire, seeing evOlive Press himself, saying: "I have to erything from the high-society admit that I thought it was parties of Lima to the mythical for news in mines Spain! a recordingTOP of us". of Potosi. He also sees Sir Francis Drake’s alearics Day assault on Puerto Rico and the Start making plans sacking of Cadiz. with neighbors and friends for Balearic’s Day Viceroyalty on March 1, where events Eventually he comes to emand activities fill the islands brace the monastic life in Peru. to celebrate their union. “There’s an awful lot of travelling, but you do get a sense of ragon sails what the viceroyalty of Peru was Puerto Portals in like from the inside and of the hosting another exchange of people and goods Dragon Winter Series, with between Europe and America,” the fourth and final race said Belinda Palacios, a Peruopen to all spectators on vian academic who spent two February 17 and 18. years editing the book back to



Time travel

BACK FROM THE DEAD: 17th century book on Spanish empire

life. The story was written between 1608 and 1615 by Martín de

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León y Cárdenas, an Augustinian friar born near Malaga in 1584 and who had travelled to Lima. It was supposed to be printed in 1621 but it never made it to the printing presses – probably because its author was worried it could upset his ecclesiastical career that would see him become an archbishop and president and captain-general of the viceroyalty of Sicily. It would be hundreds of years later that a Spanish academic rediscovered the manuscript in the archives of the Hispanic Society of America in 1965. Many attempts to publish The Orphan’s Story had failed, giving rise to rumours that something malevolent lurked among its 328 pages. “When I started working on it,

a lot of people told me that the book was cursed and that people who start working on it die,” Palacios said. “I laughed it off but I was a bit apprehensive at the same time. It’s taken a while because the people who have worked on it have died – one from a strange disease, one in a car accident and another of something else.” The curse has hopefully been lifted after it was recently published by the José Antonio de Castro Foundation, which is dedicated to protecting Spain’s literary heritage. Palacios said the book’s combination of fiction, autobiography and historical documents offers a ‘richly detailed, contemporary portrait of the author’s world’.

KING Ferdinand’s secret code used some 500 years ago has finally been cracked by experts in Spain. The code was used in letters between Ferdinand of Aragon and a military commander in Italy just before the final ‘Reconquista’ – recapture – of Spain from the Moors in 1492. Using more than 200 special characters, 88 symbols and 237 letters, they have peaked the interest of historians for centuries. Ferdinand wrote to Gonzalo de Córdoba using the code to give instructions on strategy during military campaigns and were written using a secret code in case they fell into enemy hands. They also included instructions on troop deployments while others lamented Córdoba for not consulting the king before launching diplomatic initiatives.

Shakespeare on stage FOR one night only, the acclaimed Moscow State Ballet will dance to the iconic romance of Romeo and Juliet to music composed by Prokofiev. Maria Allash and Adrei Merkuriev- stars of the famous Bolshoi Theatre, will grace the stages of the Palma Auditorium for a night of passion, and romance. Shakespeare's most well known scenes, including the romantic balcony scene and the feuding families, can be seen on Thursday, March 8.

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Rah Rah Sa Rua SA RUA in Palma had a record number of participants in the city’s parade with 42 troupes in costume and 16 incredibly decorated floats. The sunshine came out just in time to welcome thousands into the city for the carnival celebrations. The beating of drums could be heard throughout the streets as colourful costumed performers danced in front of the floats. Prizes worth €2,000 were awarded by a secret panel who judged both the troupes and floats for creativity, public reaction, and most importantly the most elaborate overall.

THE five islands join together on March 1 to celebrate Balearics’ Day, honouring the union of the islands in 1983. The last weekend in February kicks off the local celebrations, with traditional markets and live music of all genres. Tradition states families and neighbours get together to enjoy typical Mallorcan cuisine, leading to a mix-match of tables and chairs full of people and food on a small squares and patios. Balearics Day has been a public holiday since 1999, bringing Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca, Cabrera, and Formentera together. It is also a good day to poke around government buildings, as many are open to the public that day. The biggest celebrations are found in Palma, with activities and workshops, live music and fancy dress.


February 15th - February 28th 2018 February 15th - February 28th 2018


‘I Didn’t Expect the Spanish Inquisition!’ … and neither did William


Lithgow’s woes

T has been said that the comedic group Monty Python is to comedy what The Beatles are to music. High praise indeed as British comedy is measured in centuries, (think Chaucer and Shakespeare to Mr. Bean and Ricky Gervais). To be mentioned in the same breath as The Beatles speaks to Monty Python as one of the most enduring of all British cultural icons. Monty Python embodies the mastery of satire, deadpan absurdism, quirky characters, wit and humour. So vast is the group’s cultural impact that the term ‘Phythonesque’ is a recognized word in the Oxford English Dictionary. One of the most vivid examples of something ‘Phythonesque’ is the catchphrase; ‘I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition’. The phrase made popular in the Flying Circus series, has found its way into everyday speech. We often use the phrase in the comical sense to implore other people to stop with incessant questioning. But for one Scottish swashbuckling adventurer in the 17th Century, the phrase meant something much more literal but far less comical. Consider the tale of William Lithgow… William might be described as ‘politically incorrect’ by today’s standards.

COMEDY GOLD: Spanish Inquisition on Monty Python and (right) Lithgow being tortured by the Spanish

Bigotry, loud angry opinions and intolerance Bigotry, loud angry opinions and intolerance were certainly character traits of William Lithgow (15821645) but nonetheless, his accounts are colourful and perversely intriguing. As a young man, he left Scotland under duress. William, it HORRIFIC: Being hung upside down was a torture method seems, was caught in the arms of a young woman whose revengeful brothers retaliated by cutting off his ears (ouch!) dungeon life William was released through the influence of and ‘escorted’ him out of town. He then proceeded to travel 36,000 miles (always on foot) several English residents of Malaga. Mangled, crippled and unable to walk, he found his way back to England. After throughout England, Germany, France, Spain, North a brief period of convalescence, the spirted LithAfrica and the Middle East. He chronicled his gow accused the Spanish ambassador at the adventures (there were many) describing English court of ‘ungentlemanlike conduct various cultures, customs, climates and and deceit’. citizens. Getting no redress for his grievances, You might think these sojourns would and in true Lithgow fashion, William make any traveler more tolerant and physically assaulted the Spanish amopen-minded, but such was not the bassador. case for the earless William. He was British authorities had no choice but openly hostile towards those native to arrest him and he spent the next peasants he encountered describnine weeks in the infamous Marshaling them as ‘ruinous and vulgar’. sea prison. His written accounts suggest that he In spite of his unamiable personality, was not above the law as he shameWilliam Lithgow’s journals provide a lessly engaged in petty theft, assault wealth of interesting incidents. His prose and dishonest dealings. William was is clear and lively, and he was truly an no stranger to alcohol either. It was Wilintrepid traveler visiting and recording his liam’s religious intolerance however which adventures a good two hundred years before got him into the most trouble. other Westerners found this type of travel fashionHe held a very ‘uncomplimentary’ opinion reable. His accounts are some of the earliest examples garding Muslims but during his travels to Spain BRU- TAL: of travel writing. His journal: Rare Adventures and in 1621, William was quite vocal in his verbal vitLithgow was Painful Peregrinations (first published in 1632) is one riol towards all things Spanish---especially Catholiput through of the earliest examples of travel writing. It has been cism. horrendous described as a ‘forgotten treasure of early global litLoudly and publicly he proclaimed the Catholic torture for erature.’ clergy ‘hissing snake papists’. It got the attention “I never expected the Spanish Inquisition,” has beof Spanish authorities as this was the era of the criticising the come a popular catch-phrase in today’s culture. Since infamous Spanish Inquisition. Catholics in Monty Python coined the phrase in 1970, “I never exArrested as a spy and heretic, William was thrown Spain pected the Spanish Inquisition” has found its way into into a Malaga dungeon. There, he was subject to comic books (e.g. Batman series), online chat lines, some of the most dreadful tortures; He was hung daytime soap operas and as a popular meme. “I never exupside-down, his limbs were mangled and crushed, lacerated with tightened chords, subject to the ‘rack’ and other pected the Spanish Inquisition” is truly Phythonesque speech as it usually carries with it a comical overtone, but for the salty Inquisition-era engines of torture. He never renounced his and outspoken William Lithgow, the reality was another story. ‘prickly Protestantism,’ (his words). After eleven months of

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10 10


Food, drink and travel special

Jon Clarke (left) took his family on a surf safari in north Brazil, a surprisingly short hop from Spain

T’S a Brazilian beach version of the Grand National, except these are fishing boats, not horses. The teams start at the top of the sands and bit by bit edge their way down to the shoreline using an ancient roll-andshunt method with two large rolling pins. It takes about half an hour and the race ebbs and flows, as each wooden ‘jangada’ temporarily nudges ahead by a nose or two. Finally, the boats are disgorged into the briny and off they go in search of fish. Very much part of the colour of the perfect beach holiday in northern Brazil, the boats are said to date back to the ancient Greeks, and legend has it that Ulysses sailed in a jangada in The Odyssey. These fishing communities are the lifeblood of Ceara, Brazil’s poorest region, suffering from aching poverty particularly in its dry interior, not to mention its capital Fortaleza, which is largely a place to avoid, according to most guide books. But either side of Fortaleza you will find hundreds of miles of amazing beaches, largely virgin and little exploited by modern western tourism. Apart from a steady stream of surfers and kitesurfers, most visitors to Brazil head further south, taking in trips to Rio de Janeiro and its nearby resorts. More’s the pity, the region boasting 3000 hours of sun a year, temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees and a constant breeze to keep you cool. The real joy of Ceara though is how easy it is to get to. While most parts of South America take half a day to get to, this jutting out north-western corner of the continent is just over seven hours away by air. In other words, perfectly doable with kids. Going via Lisbon with TAP, we arrived early evening in Fortaleza and were comfortably installed in our first abode - a charming beachside villa in the village of Taiba - by 8.30pm local time. Being a badger’s tail from the equator it was still around 25 degrees, but incredibly mosquitoes and other annoyances were remarkably thin on the ground. This supposedly changes during the rainy season from January to March so be warned. Our home for the Christmas week, we woke up to the perfect set of gently breaking ‘rights’ and raced downstairs to rent boards from the local surf pro, Toniu, who charged us just 300 reales (about 80 euros) for the week and threw in daily lessons for the kids, Alfie, 9, and Maia, 12. We were soon out carving up the wonderful beach break, forgetting that 10am in Brazil is practically midday heat and the mercury was already hitting 30. After a two-hour session we retired to the shade and spent

We stayed in a hut in the heart of the jungle close to the park and woke to a family of monkeys swinging outside the rest of the day playing cards and reading, rehydrating with the best natural drink on the planet...coconut juice. Delicious as it is healthy, when served cold a coconut is almost a substitute for a cold sherry or beer (and certainly more acceptable at morning time). After a week of relaxing, reading and surfing, we were ready for the next part of our trip... and headed 30 minutes north for, um, another four days of relaxing, reading and surfing, this time in the better known resort of Paracuru. Another famous wave (with a legendary kitesurf lagoon just up the coast), the big surprise, yet again, was how few Europeans we saw. Our Polish hotel owner summed the place up as a ‘sleeping giant’ in tourist terms and explained how it is all set to change over the next few years with a huge planned refurbishment of Fortaleza airport (it was recently bought by German conglomerate Fraport AG) and a string of new direct flights coming in from Europe. Paracuru was distinctly younger and hipper than Taiba and

February 15th - February 28th 2018

Don’t miss this wave SURF BUMS: In Jeri and (right) dunes in Paracuru

Food and drink

Brazil has a great variety of traditional foods and its style is a combination of key ingredients brought by different cultures that landed here. It all started with the colonisation by the Portuguese in the 16th century, while the Italians brought pasta, the Spanish empanadillas, the Arabs spiha and kibbeh and the Chinese and Japanese another range of dishes. The country has a string of Michelin starred restaurants, but they are all sadly in Rio and Sao Paolo and outside of the big two, it is hard to get a grasp of where exactly one should eat. Local knowledge and pot luck seem to be the rules of the road. Drinks-wise, we bought half a dozen bottles of French and Portuguese plonk at the airport. But we hardly needed to bother, as the local supermarket had a surprisingly decent selection of whites and reds from Chile and Argentina (Brazil being generally one to avoid on the wine front). And then of course there is Cachaça (pronounced Ca-shasa) the amazing local spirit that goes into the famous Brazilian cocktail Caipirinhas, alongside sugar, limes and ice.

had a real party vibe about it. It was truly rocking for New Year, but the days either side saw groups of teenagers partying on the beach, playing volleyball and football until dusk. A ribbon of beach cafes place their tables literally on the

MAGIC: Making caipirinhas in Jeri

sand and there were some lovely walks in either direction, past dozens of coves in one direction and the other, the largest sand dunes in the world! The trajectory of our holiday was mostly a gentle 300km meander up the coast to the pot of gold, known as Jericoacoara, one of south America’s hippest resort.

February 15th - February 28th 2018


February 15th - February 28th 2018


Let your company

BOAT RACE: Jangadas head out to sea

VISTA: In Ubajara and (inset) monkeys, while (below) fish in Paracuru

Monkeys But, before our final push north west, we decided to take a trip inland to visit some monkeys. The three-hour drive to Ubajara, Brazil’s smallest national park, took us through stunning scenery and some of Brazil’s harshest land, due to low rainfall and poor soils. There is remarkably little written about the Ubajara area, which once featured in the Lonely Planet, but somehow got airbrushed out a few years ago, for inexplicable reasons.

We stayed in a hut in the heart of the jungle close to the park and woke to a family of monkeys swinging outside, looking decidedly envious of the breakfast that had been brought to our door. The park itself was a letdown. It turned out you could only visit in set groups at three different times of the morning and this, in our case, meant nearly 20 people, the vast majority in flip flops, and almost certainly never having visited a park before. It was excruciating, to say the least. Continues on Page 12

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Beach adventure

From Page 11

Our next abode, the stunning Posada Sitio Ipe in the nearby village of Vicoso do Ceara, made up for it. While nobody spoke English, (none of the staff could in fact remember an English visitor) it was both laid back and a touch colonial, rather like the nearby town. From here we were a short two hour drive north to Jericoacoara, the biggest surprise of our trip by far.

Tum and Jeri Arriving in ‘Jeri’ is all part of the fun. For this pretty seaside village is entirely surrounded by sand dunes and being a national park, can only be reached by official vehicles. It is just as well, as without such rules the place would be swamped, given the cult status it has garnered since being ‘officially discovered’ by the Washington Post in 1987… and being dubbed the ‘world’s best beach’ by the Lonely Planet in 2004. The once sleepy spot, which only got

electricity in 1998, is now an enchanting mesh of style and charm, a photographer’s dream full of colourful shops and restaurants and the sort of beautiful people you find in places like Ibiza or Tarifa. Few places in the world have the wow factor like Jeri. And much of its charm lies in the fact it has maintained its sandy streets (there’s no tarmac), it has a strict rule on street-lighting, and also charges a pretty steep, five-dollara-day tourist tax (under 12s are free), which goes towards maintaining the local environment. Not being easy to get to also helps, so the recent arrival of a local airport, with short connecting flights from Fortaleza, is of some concern. Currently, getting there, involves dropping your car around 20kms away in the rather humdrum town of Jijoca and contracting a local 4x4. That is, unless, like many arrivals you come straight up the coast on an offroad adventure from Fortaleza which

902 123 282

COWBOYS: Bringing cattle in near Taiba, and (left) a busy street scene in Jeri

takes from three to four hours (we did that on the way back to the airport, more of which later). What is so refreshing about Jeri is the huge mix of nationalities, the variety of places to eat (there’s plenty of sushi, Peruvian, Italian, etc etc) and the stylish places to stay. It’s popular with the French,

which always helps, and there is a real sense of activity here (pic left). Everybody, it seems, is practicing one sport or another. There is surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, paddle boarding, surf canoeing, each discipline given rules on where to practice - not that every-

one adheres to it. Then there are some fabulous walks along the coast, and at the very least up the nearby massive dune to watch the sunset, which is said to be one of the best in Brazil. We really got a sense of what a hip spot it was by simply visiting


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February 15th - February February 2018 28th 201813 February 15th - February 28th 2018

Where to stay and how to get there

FERRY: The 4x4 adventure goes across a river

the rooftop terrace of our hotel, This kicked off at 9am when Hurricane Gardens, at dusk, knowlegeable Canadian expat where DJs, fire-eaters and danc- Jeff Stone rolled up in a very ers kept a very urbane Sao Pau- robust-looking VW Amorok. In lo/Rio-style crowd bumping and bundled all the bags, plus the grinding until around 10pm. kids and off we went down the It was here that we met the only beach en route for our 10pm English tourists of flight home. the holiday. One, a A fabulous day fashion photograspent mostly A fabulous day pher based out of charging down spent mostly New York, anothvirgin beaches, er, an online pubcrossing creeks charging down lisher from Lonand rivers in a virgin beaches, don...and the last, variety of origia multi-millionaire craft, we saw crossing creeks nal marketing boss, plenty of nature, who planned Darare birds and vid Cameron’s ended up eating first successful election cam- supper in an upmarket restaupaign. It says it all. rant in Fortaleza, before Jeff All that was to remain was the dropped us at the airport in plenjourney back… and that turned ty of time. out to be perhaps the best ad- Contact Jeff at info@cumbuventure of all.

902 123 282

Hurricane Jeri and Hurricane Gardens (www.hotelhurricane-jericoacoara. com) in Jericoacoara offer the same mix of style and comfort as the group’s three hotels in Tarifa. Wooden built with a riot of tropical planting, there are two excellent restaurants, a hip roof-top bar and beautiful gardens overlooking the sea. A concierge can organise a huge range of trips from the door, while there are yoga classes every morning in the hotel.

TAP airline flies to various destinations in northern Brazil, via Lisbon, where under a new promotion you can lay over for up to three nights before taking the second leg.Visit www.flytap. com for the best offers. We took up the excellent option of staying a night in the Portuguese capital and did a bit of shopping and sightseeing en route.

SURFING BIRDS: Two lasses head into the waves in Jeri, while (right) a coconut gets prepared in Taiba


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Town hall bans AirBnB +TheolivepressEs after locals are forced to sleep in their cars BE ‘APPY! IBIZA has banned AirBnB and other online rental sites after high rents pushed locals to sleep in their cars. It comes as escalating rent problems in the summer caused by tourDownload ourare appbeing now and ists snapping up properties were previously begin enjoying thethat best Spanish available for seasonal news on the workers go. and teachers. Last year was said to be

Bargain basement


February 15th - February 28th 2018

February 15th - February 28th 2018

BnB ban a turning point in local frustration at rising tourists numbers, and this

year the town hall hope the ban will alleviate this stress in the busy summer

license to thrill

FLIGHTS to Mallorca were the third cheapest in Europe in 2017, according A STUNNING new viewpoint in Nova to a new study. Santa Ponsa has been opened to the The study, carried out by public. travel comparator liligo. The lookout will provide breathtakcom, ranked the 10 most ing views over the Malgrats Isles nateconomical destinations ural park and marine park. according to the average The children’s park at the viewpoint airfare. has also been modernised and imTOP for news in Spain! Barcelona (€103), Madrid proved. Pot holes in the pavement have been (€106) and Palma de Malfilled in while street lighting and lorca (€107), came first, drainage systems have also been imsecond and third respecproved. tively. In total flights to Parking spaces for bicycles have also Mallorca dropped in price been installed. by 7% from 2016 with the The overall cost of the two projects average stay on the island was €236,000. at 6 days.

The Olive Press

NEW: Viewpoint opens

season on the Balearics. Ibiza tourism councillor, Vicente Torres said: “The relatively recent arrival of online rental platforms has already created an unsustainable situation. “What we saw in summer 2017 was not positive for anybody, therefore we want to see rented accommodation priced for longterm residents, not shortterm tourists. “I fear that we will again see lots of people living in poor-quality tourist flats or living out of cars because of soaring rent prices.” AirBnB responded saying it wanted to help ‘local families benefit from tourism’, highlighting that the typical host will earn €7,500 a year for a 38 night stay. “AirBnB accounts for less than 5% of visitors to Ibiza and boosts the Balearics economy by more than half a billion euros,” said a company spokesperson.

BRONZE: For Atzaro

Rank risers

TWO Balearic hotels have made it into the top 10 places to stay in 2018. Compiled by the Guardian, the report selects the 20 best hotels and hostels in Europe in 2018. Coming in at third place is Agroturismo Atzaro, in Ibiza, a four-star hotel that opened January 2018. “There’s a gorgeous pool, courtyard restaurant, outdoor spa and yoga pavilion, and a beach club in Cala Nova,” says the report with rooms costing €154 a night. While in fifth place is Icon Roseto, Palma de Mallorca, ‘with a rooftop pool and a few minutes’ walk from La Seu, it’s an ideal base for exploring Mallorca’s capital’.


puerto de andratx

February 15th - February 28th 2018

santa ponsa



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Keys Isl nd to the

By Amanda Butler

A need for more debate

Amanda Butler defends and explains her opinion on the controversial new planning laws set to be introduced on to the island


ast week’s front page article by Laurence Dollimore and Gillian Keller quoted that  ‘Mallorca would be shooting themselves in the foot’ if it passed new controversial holiday rental laws. Numerous agents, along with myself, were quoted - mine in answer to a question posed specifically about green zones and rentals, saying ‘of course protected areas need restrictions but the island relies mostly on tourism, so limiting their accommodation options in hotspots like Calvia or Palma is going to be like shooting themselves in the foot.’ This created quite a reaction amongst readers, with some rather angry online comments from one agent on the Island in particular. I would like to reply in my defence. Firstly I would like to say to the agent concerned - whose name I won’t mention out of courtesy - that of course she has made some strong and important points against the value of short term holiday rentals, with owners in some areas being driven to distraction by loud and noisy short term guests.  If she had read some of my articles last year, she will have noted that I do agree on much of what she says. Had I been able to have my full say, I would have liked to add that I believe that in everything there

February 15th - February 28th 2018 February 15th - February 28th 2018


How are Raheem Sterlin and the Obamas relate g to property in Spain thisd week? Find out in our Mallorca Property Magaz ine SEE PAGE 9

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MALLORCA would be ‘shooting itself in the foot’ if it passed new controversi holiday rental laws, claim al loIt comes after some 60% of

16/06/2017 cal agents. 15:36









Find out more on page XX 15

EXCLUSIVE By Laurence Dollimore and Gillian Keller

holiday rental property ers said they would sell ownup if the new plan, which includes introducing a 60 day per letting limit, becomes year The drastic proposallaw. Mallorca Council has from divided the island into seven sections and each has different depending on several rules criteria and how ‘saturated’ they are. ‘Saturated’ referes to the percentage of its properties which are holiday rentals. “Of course protected green areas need restrictions ,” Amanda Butler of MJC erties told the Olive Prop“but the island relies Press, mostly on tourism and every year the government celebrates how many more visitors are coming here, so limiting

Mallorca estate agents proposed controversia blast l holiday rental restrictions

their accommodation options in hotspots like or Palma is going to Calvia be like shooting itself in the foot.” Alex Schmitz, from Mallorca, which has Only on the island for 20 been blasted the proposal years, as ‘discriminatory’. “If you own a property you should be able to rent you wish,” he told theit how Olive Press, “It’s discriminat to home owners who ory have properties in areas deemed ‘saturated’. “The government is pressured by the hotel being industry.” Under the proposal, areas could see strictpopular limita-



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tions on holiday rentals and Palma, which is not included in the plan, is set to create its own rules. Meanwhile, inland towns will be made more available to tourist rentals in the that it will boost visitor hope numbers. Areas in the Tramuntan a mountain range, where environmental, historic cultural protection are and priority, will have the a top tightest restrictions. Nils Farah, from Homes, said the planFarah disadvantage those who will houses in saturated own and those who want areas to rent out their second homes, but

added that there are positives. “People with apartments find it easier to rent them will out as they will have the tunity to apply for a opporwhich is actually alicence, good thing,” he said. Minister of land and structures, Mercedes infrado, said the ‘the zoningGarria fair distribution of seeks cation rental business.’the vaShe added that the aim preserve the right to is ‘to decent housing for access cans and residents’. Mallor“Mallorca is a limited area with a fragile environmen she said, “a balance has t,” sought to prevent the been human footprint from deterioratin g our environment”. Town halls have unitl of February to try and the end amend the plan.

long as they pay their taxes – It is currently illegal in Mallorca to holiday let an apartment. Is that fair, and does it make us competitive? I think not. To then add to this the idea of designated ‘zoning’, where one neighbour is permitted to rent while one street away another isn’t... does that make sense? There are of course many situations which make the idea of holiday rentals deeply unattractive to neighbouring full-time residents, but if owners had to pass certain standards and regulations, whilst also being obliged to be more responsible in ensuring their guests has to be a balance, but to designate some treat the property as if it were theirs,  would areas permissible - and others not - is rather that not make more sense and be more fair discriminatory. with fewer problems? The fine detail needs As an example, where an owner has a sec- to be in some way enforceable. If the governond home and personal reasons cause them ment legalised apartment holiday rentals, not to come to the island for a longer period regulating them and taxing the income, it may of time - perhaps for ill health or family issues even have the opposite effect and reduce the resulting in not being able to number of illegal rentals, makuse the property or when they ing both neighbours and the are perhaps not financially government much happier secure enough to be able to There should be a overall.  Equally, perhaps remaintain a residence without government think strictions on the number of renting it – is it right not to perproperties an individual or mit them to rent a property tank to look again company is permitted to purin order to cover the costs of chase without providing eviat the current maintaining it rather than bedence of how they are to use it, ing forced to sell it, worse legislation may ensure that properties are still, being threatened with remore affordable for the locals.  possession?  In my mind, this In my mind, there should be a goes against certain freedoms government think-tank to look - and who is in position to distinguish between again at the current legislation, giving more one owner and another?  From another per- freedom to owners in one respect but tightenspective, as an island with a huge and strong ing up standards and legislation in another tourist industry, we compete with other holi- – which hopefully would offer a much more day destinations around the world where 99% acceptable solution for all. of all short term holiday rentals are legal as

Contact Amanda J Butler to buy or sell your home: Tel: +34690075169, Your professional one stop property shop around the Island!


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olivepressnews +TheolivepressEs

World players

ZARA and six other Spanish brands are among the world top 500, according to Brand Finance rankings. The clothes store, along with Santander, BBVA, Movistar, Repsol, and Iberdrola have retained their place in the Download our app now andworld’s 500 most valuable


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February 15th - February 28th 2018

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RYANAIR has promised number of selfcustomers who find a lower airfare elsewhere that it employed do will refund the difference. Customers will receive the not make the difference plus €5 debited minimum wage into their My Ryanair acThe Olive counts if a cheaper fare is Press NEARLY one million self-emfound. ployed workers in Spain do foralso news The budgetTOP airline an-in Spain! not earn the minimum wage. nounced it will eliminate The shocking statistic was the use of plastics in its quoted by Lorenzo Amor, operations and launch a President of the National Carbon Footprint Compen- Federation of Autonomous sation Programme for cus- Workers’ Associations (ATA), while talking about the new tomers. Another key part of the autonomo law that came into firm’s five-year ‘Always Im- force on January 1, relaxing proving’ plan is to maintain tax rules for self-employed a flight punctuality rate of workers. According to ATA statistics, 90%. of the 3.2 million peoKenny Jacobs, Chief Mar- 25% ple who declare themselves keting Officer of Ryanair self-employed have an insaid: “We are delighted to come that does not reach the unveil our plan for the pro- minimum base of €920 per gramme in 2018, which in- month. cludes environmental, ser- There are 500,000 self-emvice and digital initiatives.” ployed who do not even reach

brands. Zara reigned supreme in 82 position with a value of $17.5 billion and Santander was close behind in 92 with a value of $16.2 billion. BBVA ($11.6 billion) rises to 131, Movistar ($11.4 billion) to 132 and Repsol ($4 billion)

dropped to 443 as did Iberdrola ($3.9 billion) to 468. While department store El Corte Ingles entered the list for the first time at 434 with a value of $4.1 billion. Commerce giant Amazon was the most valuable company in the world at $150 billion.

Wage warrior CONCERNED: Amor

€707 a month. Proposals are being drawn up to lessen the impact of a minimum base contribution from 26.75% to 18.75% for those in this bottom bracket. Something Amor says will be ‘a relief to many self-employed people’. “Under current forecasts there will be 65,000 more freelancers and the creation of another 70,000 salaried

jobs,” said Amor. “That is, we expect the selfemployed to generate a total of 135,000 net jobs this year.” Interestingly, ATA figures also show that the number of self-employed workers is equal to that in 2007 but working in different sectors than before. For example in 2007 there were 35,000 freelance journalists, now there are 55,000.

Wages up SALARIES in the Balearics have gone up by 4% in January, more than anywhere else in Spain. It comes after 22 local companies entered wage negotiations, at the end of last year, resulting in over 137,000 employees around the Balearics getting a raise.

Booming bnbs HOME rentals in the Balearics have soared by an incredible third in just one year. In 2017, some 2.5 million tourists stayed in a rented home rather than a hotel, a 26% rise on the previous year. The sector made up over 10% of total tourist accommodation throughout the islands.


MORTGAGE THINK TANK by mortgage broker Tancrede de Pola

Why you need someone in your corner when buying Spanish property


Lessons to be learned

HERE has been good news for expats and locals battling mortgage floor clause claims this year. The government has announced it will speed up the trial porcess by opening more courts and increasing the amount of judges working on the cases by 50, lightening and streamlining the workload. But given that last year alone there were 165,000 suits filed and only 3% dealt with, buyers who got stung are still likely to be waiting a long time before they get any money back. Some 2.5 million Spanish mortgages contained a hidden clause which unexpectedly capped minimum repayments above the interest rate advertised. It’s a lesson for anyone thinking about investing into Spanish property to make sure they have every corner covered, meaning a mortgage broker is a necessity. It’s easy to get lost in the excitement of buying abroad, but you will need someone in your corner who can sniff out any hidden fees or compulsory add-ons tucked away in the small print and to ensure you get the best possible mortgage rate to suit your needs. You need someone with experience of weeding out ‘trap-related products’, which often get hidden in the small print. These additional products get attached to your mortgage and usually include insurance policies. It is important to know exactly what is at-

tached to your mortgage. What may seem like a great rate can be soured by expensive – and sometimes unnecessary – insurance packages. Using a broker will save both time and money as they will be looking out for these hidden add-ons and will always look for ways to lessen their impact. The Finance Bureau has its own insurance arm and can therefore guarantee you the best deal not only on mortgage rates but also on insurance policies; be it home, life, health or building cover. And while the vast majority of banks specify the fees and commissions they charge, not all of these costs are always declared. Many financial institutions refrain from publishing less known fees such as early redemption charges. These are, however, regulated by law, and may not exceed 0.50% for the first five years and 0.25% from the sixth. It is advisable to ask the bank to specify all commissions and how many there are before signing the contract. This will spare you unwanted surprises down the road. But the best way to ensure a good mortgage that does not hide anything in the fine print is to solicit the help of a mortgage broker. When it comes to picking a mortgage, you may only get one shot as it is virtually impossible to reverse a decision that goes against you.

To contact Tancrede for all your mortgaging needs call: 666 709 743 or for insurance queries call: 951 203 540 Email: The Finance Bureau Centro Commercial Guadalmina, 2nOffice No. 7 Guadalmina, 29670

18 18


February 15th - February 28th 2018 February 15th - February 28th 2018

holiday Price wars IBIZA and the Costa del Sol may have finally met their match. New research claims it is up to 59% cheaper for British families to have a holiday in Orlando, Abu Dhabi or Dubai than Spain early this summer. According to TravelSupermarket, a holiday to Menorca during May half-term week is 144% more expensive than Abu Dhabi, 89% more than Dubai and 53% pricier than Florida. Even equivalent 3* seven-day holidays in the same week to the Costa del Sol are as much as 64% more expensive than a trip to the UAE (from Birmingham) and 11% pricier than a trip to Florida (from

Manchester). Oman is also offering better prices from the south east than many of the western Med destinations, with seven-night packages available from around £412 each to Muscat, with flights from Heathrow and 3* accommodation included. Emma Coulthurst, travel expert for TravelSupermarket, says higher holiday prices to Spain and lower demand for the US plus a weakened dollar are creating a perfect price scenario for British families. “Many Spanish hoteliers have been putting up their prices following a bumper year in 2016,” she said.

How to drive safely in winter


riving in winter can be harrowing, especially where blizzard and icy conditions crop up. If you decide to drive, there are some recommendations to take into account:

1.Check the weather before you go Warm up the car before you drive it. If the forecast looks unpredictable, wait out the storm if possible. If you must travel, make sure you share your travel plans and route with someone. If you become stranded in an unfamiliar area, do not leave your car. Place reflective triangles in front and behind the car and make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow, mud or any other object.

2.Prepare Your Car for Winter It's important to have a mechanic check the condition of the following vehicle systems before heading out on the road: ignition, brakes, wiring, hoses and fan belts, spark plugs, air, fuel and emissions filters, distributor, battery, tyre wear and air pressure and check the antifreeze level.

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Sometimes water or ice on the road can surprise drivers, even with little to no precipitation. So, if you don’t want to be surprised, here are some tips: •Never mix radial tyres with other types of tyres •If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather •Do not use cruise control in wintery conditions •Accelerate and decelerate slowly •Increase your distance to the car ahead •If possible, don't stop when going uphill •Keep your gas tank at least half-full

4.Don't Leave Home Without These

In an emergency situation, there are a few things that you should have with you at all times, such as a properly inflated spare tyre, wheel wrench and tripod jack, shovel, jump leads, tyre chains, tool kit, flashlight and extra batteries, reflective triangles, first aid kit, ice scraper, nonperishable high-energy foods, blankets and gloves. Also do not forget to have your Roadside Assistance number at hand. Liberty Seguros Roadside Assistance is at your disposal 24/7 through a Free Phone Number, 900101369, where you will be assisted by an English speaking operator.

To find out more or to receive a no obligation quote, visit or to find out the location of your nearest broker, simply call 91 342 25 49. 08/02/2018 15:14

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Food, drink & travel


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September 27th - October 10th 2017

September 14 - September 27 0th 2017

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February 15th - February 28th 2018

Groundbreaking Farm restaurant freshBE ‘APPY!opens in Spain

Favourite export

THE ministry of environment and agriculture has delivered disabled staff fresh, seasonal, local vegetables to President Armengol THE first haute cuisine resand other government mem- taurant in the world to embers to promote their new ploy an all-disabled team ouror app now and campaign, VendaDownload Directa, has opened in Spain. direct selling. begin enjoying the best Spanish Universo Santi in Jerez, The campaign aims to offer news on the go. consumers the advantages of Andalucia, sits on farmland farm to table food without the owned by the founder of hassle, cost and time it takes the Gonzalez Byass sherry to go through large super- dynasty, has been launched by the Accessible Universe markets. Environmental minister Vi- Foundation. cens Vidal has expressed the Named after chef Santi Sanbenefits of supporting the tamaria, the first Catalan farmers closest to our doorto be awarded three MiThe Olivechef Press step, both for the consumer chelin stars, the restaurant and the farms. has built on his gastronomic

THE BBC has revealed its most popular shows in foreign countries. In Spain, it isn’t Blue Planet or the Great British Bake Off that tops the list but Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes. It turns out the Spaniards love his takes on their traditional food and look to him for inspiration on their cooking. The series, the most watched BBC show in Spain, saw the British restaurateur tour the Mediterranean, sampling and cooking local specialities. His Spanish dishes included salt cod fritters inspired by his trip to Barcelona’s La Boqueria market, and Mallorcanstyle chicken with sobrasada sausage. His recipes appear to meet with Spaniards’ approval – which cannot be said for Jamie Oliver, who caused outrage in 2016 when he shared a recipe for paella that combined chicken thighs and chorizo.


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EXPIRED food has been seized off the shelves of supermarkets across Mallorca. The Guardia Civil inspected goods in shops in Calvia, Palma and Llucmajor, confiscating 635 expired items. Some of the items failed to comply with regulations on labels and information- the most common expired item was baby formula milk.

technique of minimal manipulation of local produce to highlight the flavours in season. Trainee chef Alejandro Luque, 21, from Malaga, who has Down’s Syndrome, told the Olive Press: “I have learnt independence from being here. I have learnt how to buy things from the shops, cook, iron and clean.” The kitchen equipment was transferred piece by piece from Santamaria’s Barcelona restaurant, taking a total of 14 trips and covering a distance of 14,000km.

More than able CUT ABOVE: A Down Syndrome chef proves anyone can work in a kitchen

EXCLUSIVE By Aleesha Hansel

Gloria Bazan, 27, who is a social worker at the restaurant and has cerebral palsy said: “Working for a disabled person is very important, as it allows us to be and feel like a complete person.” “It is important to normalise disabilities as we are people

the same as others in society.” Although still in its infancy the project aims to provide a platform for staff training, to then allow workers to be placed in roles throughout the service industry, ensuring lifelong employment and

FAVE: Rick Stein

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Food, drink & travel February 15th - February 28th 2018

Wine swap F

RANCE has long been associated with wine, but Spain and even the UK are catching up, with both now enjoying growing shares of the international market.

While the French are world-famous for their Vin, there are just as good and cheaper - Spanish alernatives, writes Aleesha Hansel

With French wines usually ending up in the higher price range, below are some Spanish varities that can match some of France’s most popular exports.

Chateauneuf du Pape

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Literally translates to ‘The Pope’s new castle’ and while evidence of viniculture in the Rhone has been found to date back to 600BC, the collapse of the Roman Empire nearly spelt the end of interest in wines from the region. Fortunes changed during the 14th Century, however, thanks to the Avignon Papacy in which seven successive popes resided in Avignon from 1309 to 1376, following a conflict between the papacy and the French crown. At the time wine growing in the region was less than illustrious with vines tended by local Bishops, but the second resident pope - John XXII, who also constructed the castle, did much to improve viticultural practices leading the wines to gain the name ‘Vin du Pape’. By the early 20th century Chateauneuf had gained such popularity that it was plagued by wine fraud. To counteract this, rules of production were drawn up and in 1923 the world’s first Appellation Controlee was born. One of the regulations for Chateauneuf production i s the permitted use of 18 grape varieties, the most dominant of which is Gr-

enache - or Garnacha in spanish. Any decent quality Garnacha in Spain, will display the typical raspberry, strawberry and sweet spice notes associated with the grape, but for something a bit more special try Priorat. A small rugged mountainous region south of Barcelona, unsuitable for anything other that grapes and olives. It produces powerful reds usually made from a blend of Garnacha and Carinena (Carignan). Expect red and black plum, black cherry, cassis and spice aromas with a minerality on the taste, claimed to come from the llicorella slate soils. It’s a soft wine with moderate acidity, high tannins and high alcohol.

February 15th - February 28th 2018 February 15th - February 28th 2018


Burgundy Burgundy sits in east central France and is home to some of the most expensive wines in the world. A case of 1978 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti sold for $476,000 at an auction in 2013, just a tad more than the annual €686 spent on alcohol consumption per person in Spain. But while not every bottle of red Burgundy will mean you’ll have to remortgage, entry level is still relatively hefty coming in at around €1015. Made from a very tricky to grow grape called Pinot Noir, that is sensitive to its environment, it is loved for it’s crunchy tannins, pale colour, red fruit aromas and earthiness, which become more ‘barnyard’ and savory with time. Mencia grapes, found in the northwest of Spain, also produce wines jam packed with raspberry and dark fruit aromas. Though it is on the palate where it really earns its title as a pinot alternative. While not as complex, it offers a similarly earthy and peppery taste with a solid backbone of tannins and fresh acidity. A food friendly wine that works perfectly with salty tapas plates involving fried fish, olives and cured ham. Look for Bierzo, Ribera Sacra, Valdeorras and Monterrei on the label which state the region of production, and usually contain a majority of Mencia.

Sancerre An iconic name in wine, produced in the Central Val de Loire and made with the Sauvignon Blanc grape. The village takes ‘being French’ very seriously and was at the centre of the royalist rebellion to restore the French monarchy, as well as being a regional command centre for the resistance during the Second World War. Besides from being a pocket of political upheaval, it is perhaps just as famous for its terroir - the soil and environment that influences the grape. In this case it is chalk and flint soils that are said to give the wine minerality and ‘purity’. Sauvignon Blanc, which has been made world famous by the Marlborough region in New Zealand, is known for its high acidity and bold aromas such as gooseberry, lime and passion fruit. Step in Albarino, a citrus flavoured tipple think lemon, lime, grapefruit, equally acidic and a subtly salty drop to drink. While salt may be a strange description and one that could make you think twice, it acts as a flavour enhancer, much in the same way as salted caramel. There is a little saying in wine world that ‘what grows together, goes together’ and so it’s no surprise that this wine from Galicia matches perfectly with seafood. The region of Rias Baixas, with its granite soil, tops the polls for best standard quality and should be drunk within two years of vintage to retain its freshness.

VINEYARDS: Scene from Burgundy and (below) line up from Bierzo

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February 15th - February 28th 2018


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Mallorca diaries

By Lesley Keith

It’s snow joke

Lesley Keith was not prepared for the cold front gripping the island

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OVE to Mallorca they said. Fun in steaming out of the ground and roars loudly the warm sunshine they said. Oh down a torrent with amazing force. really? Well, nobody mentioned I’d never seen it before and it really is an February did they? It’s hardly impressive sight. Not many people can say stopped raining, and I’m not talking gentle they’ve stood between an orange tree in full UK style rain, oh no this is full blown M&S fruit and a blossoming almond tree watchrain (Mallorca and Spain). ing a steaming forest with water rushing My school geography teacher taught us that through it with a snow capped backdrop. the Mediterranean climate was ‘warm wet Whilst on the subject of almond blossom winters with westerly winds’, well I’ve said my big brother has been over to stay for a it before and I’ll say it again, we’ve certainly short visit. This is a pretty amazing thing as got the wet but where’s the warm? I can see he’s never travelled alone before, and has snow on the hills and there’s a bitterly cold only actually flown once over 20 years ago. wind sending cold sleet into your face plus He’d certainly never been to Mallorca so I it’s so damp that washing never seems to felt honoured that he’d come over to see dry. me. The torrential rain started as his plane Oh happy days. Throw in the fact that our landed so we were limited in what we could power keeps going off and life can be pretty do. miserable. He’s always loved trains so we had a day I really hate it when this happens, our heat- out on the little antique Palma to Soller one. ing is electric so we are cold as well as dark. What a stroke of luck, it goes through fields Being a tad older than I once and fields of almond trees was I also can’t seem to grasp and at this time of year they the fact that the light switchare all in full blossom so we es don’t work and that no, Not many can say were treated to an absolutely the radio isn’t an alternative they’ve stood by glorious display. The sight of option to TV as that’s electric the town of Soller is normally a full fruit orange impressive anyway but when too. If this wasn’t enough my parttree watching a the surrounding mountains ner has been struck down are covered in snow it is truly steaming forest a magnificent sight. with a severe dose of man flu. I have been instructed When the weather is bad like through sneezes, coughs and this I wonder where all the worse to put emergency services on speed animals go, in particular I know there’s a dial and 24 hour stand by. huge number of cats living wild but I don’t He sits stoically on the sofa surrounded by see them when there’s rain. In the North heaps of crispy sheets of used kitchen roll the moggies are quite lucky as they have a as I’m told mere tissues are unable to cope charity called Cat Protection Pollensa lookwith the continual outpouring of ‘substanc- ing out for them. They organise food and es’. I think I could cope with this if it wasn’t medical treatment for the many colonies, for the agonised moaning and groaning that they also arrange neutering etc to prevent accompanies every sneeze or cough, and I the problem increasing. notice his hand is riveted to the TV remote I must say that most domestic cats around so that if he doses off I can’t change the here seem to be incredibly fat so I’m more channel. than sure they’re getting in on the act too, On the other hand one thing that is definite- no self-respecting feline is going to turn ly a plus point when the weather has been down the offer of a free meal because so wet is the phenomena that is Ses Fonts they’d already eaten at home are they. Ufanes, just outside Camponet in the North. I need to go now, I’m being told that you Usually it’s just a lovely peaceful and rocky need to ‘Starve a fever, feed a cold’ I think hillside with shady trees and a gentle walk that means that not only my nursing skills of about two kilometres. After a half decent but also my culinary ones are needed. Oh rainfall however the water literally gushes, dear, he really must be sick!

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Sports & yachting

February 15th - February 28th 2018

February 15th - February 28th 2018


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Walking this way FOOTIE fans need to keep their eyes peeled for five-times Champions League winners Liverpool who are jetting into Malaga for some winter sun. Reds’ players, including Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, will spend four days in Marbella following their last-16 clash against Porto this week. England star Jordan Henderson and record new signing Virgil van Dijk will also be in tow. Manager Jurgen Klopp hopes that the warm weather will boost his players fortunes for the remainder of the season. It is rumoured Klopp could lead several training sessions at Marbella Football Centre while the players are expected to unwind at restaurants in-

IRELAND’S womens hockey team staged a thrilling comeback to beat Spain 3-2 in Benalmadna. The win is the conclusion of Download our ourapp appnow nowand and a four-game seriesDownload in which Download ourgoing app now and Spain was set to begin win beginenjoying enjoyingthethebest bestSpanish Spanish best Spanish into the final begin gameenjoying with athe 2-0 news news on on the the go. go. lead. But Ireland’s news on theskipper go. Katie Mullan levelled the contest and Irish keeper Grace O’Flanagan made sure no Spanish shots went through. Next on Ireland’s agenda is a two-game series in Scotland in March as preparations continue for the World Cup The Olive Olive Press Press in July. TheThe Olive Press

Uneasy return

cluding La Sala. Liverpool currently lie third in a competitive Premier League season, one of their best positions for years. It comes despite selling their Brazilian midfielder Coutinho to Barcelona for €118 million. Marbella has long been a footballer’s favourite and the Liverpool players must be hoping they don’t bump into former teammate Raheem Sterling. The Manchester City winger recently bought a luxurious property by the beach between Puerto Banus and San Pedro de Alcantara for a cool €5 million.

Red devil

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WINNERS: Portugal’s Futsal

Red scare PORTUGAL beat Spain 3-2 in the UEFA Futsal EURO final in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Portuguese sensation Ricardinho became the all-time tournament leading goal scorer with 22 goals and also picked up Player of the Tournament. Seven-time winners Spain were unable to hold on to a 1-0 lead as the Portuguese team claimed their first ever title win after being denied it in 2010. “I value the Spanish league, it is the best in the world. I do not owe football a thing, I owe everything to futsal. Portugal deserves this respect,” said Ricardinho. “It's a hard day for everyone, someone was not going to win and was going to be very sad but I’m glad we won and I am very happy.”

BRITISH cyclist and Tour de France champ Chris Froome is set to race in Spain, despite a UCI investigation. The 32-year-old is confirmed in the line-up for the Ruta del Sol, starting February 14 with the following legs from Mijas to Granada, Otura to La Guarda de Jaén (Alto de Allanadas), Mancha Real to Herrera, Sevilla to Alcalá de los Gazules, and Barbate to Barbate. The five-day race comes after Froome returned an ‘adverse’ test during his Vuelta a Espana win and is currently under investigation for the use of his asthma medication, Salbutamol. Speaking about his season debut at the Ruta del Sol he said: “It’s been good to be out on my bike and

Froome returns to the spotlight amid doping scandal claims

to get the miles under my belt.” In September 2017, it emerged that Froome had double the allowed limit of the drug and cycling’s governing body - the UCI opened a case to find out if he was cheating. He denies any wrongdoing and said: “I’m confident that we will be able to get to the bottom of what has happened and I’m working hard with the team to do that. “Obviously I understand that this situation has created a lot of uncertainty. I completely get why there has been so much interest and speculation.” Team Sky cycling coach, Dave Brailsford added:

Meteoric rise SPAIN’S Jon Rahm has hit a career-high of world number two. It comes after the 23-year-old secured his second PGA Tour Title at the CareerBuilder Challenge in California late January. The Basque Country native who turned professional less than two years ago, leapfrogged three-times major winner Jordan Spieth in the rankings but remains behind Dustin Johnson, who has a substantial lead (1.34) as world number one. Fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia, reigning Masters champion, also rose a spot to ninth above Swede Henrik Stenson after swinging to victory in Singapore.

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Hole in one MURCIA’S La Manga Club has retained its position as Spain’s number one golf resort. According to Top 100 Golf Courses 2018 rankings, all three 18-hole courses feature inside the top 40. Pinching gold was Real La Manga Club West Course, which rated 18th on the list while its South Course - five-time host of the Spanish Open - bagged silver, coming in 24th - and the West Course took bronze with 34th.

“We all recognise that these are difficult circumstances but it’s important

for all sides that this process is conducted fairly before a final conclusion is reached.” If he fails to explain the result he could face being stripped of his Vuelta title.

MANCHESTER United striker Alexis Sanchez has been found guilty of tax fraud while playing for Barcelona but won’t have to go to prison. His 16-month suspended sentence means he has to pay the Spanish taxman over a €1 million in back taxes and a fine and if he does not commit a similar offence within two years the 29-year-old won’t see behind bars. The Chilean is the latest in a long line of football stars to be pursued by the Spanish tax authorities following in the footsteps of Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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BRITISH band, Primal Scream have been confirmed to play the Mallorca Live Festival.

AN incest map has revealed where in Europe you can still legally have sex with your siblings. Shockingly, it is still legal in Spain and France, while in the Republic of Ireland it is legal only between same-sex relatives. In the UK, incest is against the law under terms of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

No take off THE Senate has rejected a proposal to increase the flight discount for residents of the Balearics, the Canaries and Ceuta and Melilla to 75%.

Coats on FEBRUARY has been twice as wet as usual in Mallorca according to the Balearic Met Office.

On set PALMA was used as a filming location 217 times last year, with 19 being feature films.

Hard cheese

Top gear A DRIVER has tested positive for ‘every possible kind of drug’ after being pulled over by police. The reckless 42-year-old had cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, methamphetamines and THC from cannabis in his system. The Galician was stopped due to his ‘suspicious’ driving during a crackdown on illegal street racing. “These are all the drugs that our machines are equipped to pick up,” said a police spokesman.

A PAIR of Spanish cops have been sentenced to two years behind bars after accepting cheese and wine as bribes. The Guardia Civil officers accepted countless bribes in return for turning a blind eye to traffic offences, including letting a man off for not wearing a seatbelt by accepting two bottles of wine and some mature cheese. The pair are now also facing a €4,300 fine. The crooked duo also had an arrangement with haulage firms,

Cops get prison for taking bribes including wine and cheese

where they would stop lorry drivers and hit them with fake sanctions before forcing their company bosses to pay €200 per month to avoid official punishment. They also tipped off drivers of when and where there would be police patrols in a Whatsapp group. Five businessmen have also been charged for accepting bribes.

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A 24-YEAR-OLD man has been fined for photoshopping his face onto a statue of Christ. Daniel Serrano put his face - complete with a ring through the septum - onto that of Christ and posted it on his Instagram site. The Hermandad de La Amargura de Jaén filed a criminal complaint after he refused to remove it. A court in Jaen found Serrano guilty of an ‘offence against religious sentiment’ and ordered him to pay a fine of €480.

Baby on board A PILOT was forced to make a double quick landing after one of his passengers went into labour. The quick-thinking Iberian pilot was able to radio ahead and ensure he got a priority landing slot at Palma airport so the mother-to-be could be quickly rushed to hospital. The young mother was rushed off to Son Llátzer hospital, where she gave birth within a couple of hours.

Island highlights ANCIENT Balearic residents dyed their hair, it has been discovered. Archaeologists have discovered perfectly-cut dyed red locks, as part of their research into ancient funeral rituals in Menorca. The scientists from Granada University found over 100 examples dating back over over 3,000 years in a cave on the island. The cave was used for many generations as a burial site, but has not been visited since the Bronze Age, preserving its history.

Mallorca Olive Press - Issue 22  

The island's original community newspaper

Mallorca Olive Press - Issue 22  

The island's original community newspaper