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AN expat business owner is demanding action after neighbours put up ‘illegal’ bollards blocking his shop. Martin White, 54, claims his business Hot Spring Mallorca has been forced to cease trade for almost three weeks, after the series of 15-inch posts were installed. As well as blocking delivery trucks, it is putting off clients, he insists. “I’m suffering a loss of €1,000 a day. Delivery vans can’t get through to drop off stock,” White, from Hull, told the Olive Press. He has now called in police and Alcudia town hall, via a lawyer, to demand answers. The problem began when White, who is co-owner of the business with David Camping, 56, arrived to find the series of bollards blocking his shop on August 27. After contracting a legal firm he was told by both police and town hall that the posts were ‘illegal’. The businessman is now set to take the community of neighbours to court for discrimination and loss of business for €30,000 in compensation. The posts have also been installed in front of the Muslimowned supermarket next to him, although ‘mysteriously’, not the garage the other side. “It’s totally illegal,” he said. “You can’t just put them on one side without the other.” To make matters worse, three days after the bollards went in, one of the neighbours threw a bucket of water over him from above. He has also denounced the incident to the police. “I’ve had the shop for five years and I’ve never had a problem. “The administrator of the building told us this was a personal vendetta from residents,” he added.




BAFFLED: By bollards


(Free or paid for)

Vol. 2 Issue 37 September 13th - September 26th 2018

Digging Franco

What’s up at the Valley of the Fallen? Page 6

Expats demand the return of millions after FX company collapses amid fraud probe EXCLUSIVE By Elisa Menendez

EXPATS in Mallorca may have lost millions over the suspicious collapse of a foreign exchange firm being probed over ‘criminal activity’. Dozens of victims have lost up to €400,000 each in life savings after Premier FX Limited was forced into administration by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It comes after the firm - which operated from Palma, Portugal and London - suddenly stopped trading on July 27, following the death of director, Peter Rexstrew. Since then hundreds of clients, many of them expats, have been left completely in the dark and unable to access their funds.


Victims have now formed an action group with nearly 200 members - many of them in the Balearics - demanding immediate answers. One British expat, based in Palma, told the Olive Press she has no idea what has happened to the €30,000 she was holding with Premier FX. “I had used them for many years and there were never any problems,” explained the 69-year-old, who asked to remain anonymous. “I had transferred the money and was waiting for the ex15:36 change rate to improve.

Weaving magic

How a Spanish weed boosted UK literacy Page 12

The Olive Press celebrates its 300th issue on the mainland... find out why we are Spain’s best English newspaper in our supplement inside

Pintxo Passion

Is Bilbao tastier than San Sebastian? Page 20

Give it back “The next thing I knew, the money was gone. I feel sick about it,” added the pensioner. “I just don’t understand why no other media organisations on the island are tackling this.” In particular, she wants to know of the whereabouts of Nick Jones, the island’s former director, who has not been seen for over a month. She is angry that he had sent out an assurance email of the company’s financial stability on June 20, just days after the death of Rexstrew. However, the Olive Press understands that Jones, who worked out of an office on Palma’s prestigious Calle La Rambla, has also lost ‘a substantial

MISSING: Nick Jones

amount of money’ from the collapse, according to a close friend. The Portals-based expat pal, who has also lost money, insisted Jones had been advised to ‘go into hiding’ after he was ‘lambasted’. “I know him closely and he said all employees were in total shock with the news. “He is not in hiding he has been advised to keep a low profile while the investigation is ongoing. And while a director, in reality, he had no access to the main accounts.” She added: “All this is very distressing for him and his family. He has been completely lambasted. I understand people are angry but there have been some really nasty comments. “It is quite clear that Peter’s children were taking over the business, not Nick.” Another victim told the Olive Press she has lost a staggering €400,000 due to the collapse. The UK-based businesswoman, who lived for decades in Portugal, has made three monthly transactions with Premier FX for 12 years. Despite being a friend of former

boss Rexstrew, who also lived in the Algarve, she was given no warning of the collapse. “I simply found out when I tried to make a transaction but no one would answer the phone. I then emailed and I received this automatic reply saying they had ceased trading and there’d be no further transactions. “I immediately smelt a rat,” she added. When she called the UK’s Action Fraud, an operator explained he knew nothing about it. “I’ve been stuck for two months without that money which I need for my business. “It’s not just affecting people buying holiday homes, it is also affecting business owners, who can’t pay staff or clients.” Most victims had been promised by Premier FX that their money was being held in ‘segregated, personal accounts’ with Barclays, but administrators now think this was not the case. It is also believed that many clients were still permitted to

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make financial transfers via Barclays even after the company had ceased trading. The FCA has since discovered that the company, set up in 2006, was operating without full authorisation. It was forced into administration after being unable to pay debts and was ‘cash flow insolvent’ following Rexstrew’s sudden death, leaving his two children as joint directors. Victims have so far received very little information from the company’s appointed administrators and Barclays and fear they will never get their money back.


“It’s a real mindfield and like banging your head against a brick wall,” added another British retiree, who has lost money. Premier FX and Barclays failed to comment in time for press. An FCA spokesperson told the Olive Press: “We are very concerned that there was criminal activity taking place at Premier FX in relation to missing funds. “We are investigating the business and will take action against any individuals we find to have broken the law in order to return money to customers of the firm.” Opinion Page 6

4 4

Earthquake Page 18

Hot Hot water SEEwater MORE IN

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SOME 14 fire bosses have been arrested for allegedly THE RESTAURANT embezzling €7 bosses millionhave in SOME 14 fire public arrested funds. been for allegedly SECTION INSIDE The Policia Nacional found embezzling €7 million in that funds. the Consortium of public Bomberos tookfound out The Policia Cadiz Nacional mass early insurthat the retirement Consortium of ance policies. Bomberos Cadiz took out But their employees mass when early retirement insur-




Heart-attack A BRITISH tourist, aged 69, has died on the strip in Magaluf over the weekend. The man was out drinking with three friends when a suspected heartattack took the man’s life while at a local bar at around 1am.

Triple trousers A BODY has been found in the bay of Puerto Pollensa by local surfers, believed to be an immigrant who died months ago. Although the man was in a deep state on decomposition, the multiple layers of trousers lead investigators to suspect he was a fleeing immigrant.

Arms auction THE Guardia Civil has organised an arms auction, taking silent bids for the nearly 2,000 guns on offer. The lot consists of shotguns, handguns, rifles, revolvers and pistols among other and available for licensed users.

A DOPEY tourist and a drink driver caused two separate traffic accidents in the same blackspot in the space of an hour. The first happened when an Australian tourist had a head-on collision

September 13th - September 26th 2018

Very black spot with a taxi in Palma after going the wrong way down the Via Cintura at 6am, near the Genoa tunnel. All seven passengers of both cars had to be rushed to

hospital, while the Australian driver remains in serious condition. The second took place just 30 minutes later when - as the road was being cleared

- a drunk driver hit another car, causing a seven-car collision. Eight more people were injured causing a large traffic jam as both scenes were cleared and the injured were taken to hospital.

Palma burns

Operation launched to track down arsonists who have lit over 75 bin fires this year POLICE are urgently seeking arsonists, who have caused over €200,000 worth of damage from bin fires in Palma this year. The firebugs have lit a shocking 75 fires, more than double last year’s amount. A total of 200 rubbish bins

By Gillian Keller

have been destroyed, each costing around €700. An additional €60,000 of damage was caused to parked cars that were burnt from the spreading flames.

Meanwhile in the Spring, 100 people had to be evacuated from apartment blocks from one such fire. Four people were taken to hospital during the incident, which could have led to attempted murder. National Police have now launched a fresh inquiry and set up a specialist unit in an attempt to track down the firebugs. The difficulty comes from the vast area the arsonists cover,

Not Cuba libre A CUBAN has been extradited back to Spain to face trial over the death of a Guardia Civil officer in a car crash in 2009. The 50-year-old man, who had been living in Florida, is to face trial in Mallorca next month. He is accused of manslaughter after killing the police officer while driving over the speed limit in Sa Pobla. At the time he had been living in Alcudia,

but he fled to Miami soon after the accident. An international search warrant eventually led Interpol agents to his address in Miami, where he spent seven months in jail before being transferred to Madrid this month. The prosecution is asking for two and a half years in jail and a driving ban of under four years for his part in the officers death. The family of the victim wish to see the Cuban man in prison for 20 years.

from Bonanova to Arenal. The only neighbourhood so far untouched is the historic city centre, where there are no bins to burn. All but one of the fires have burned so hot they destroyed any evidence or clue to how the fire was started. The one fire that was caught in time showed the fire was started with BBQ coals, leaving the arsonist time to leave the scene before the flames took hold. Police have asked for help from residents to be aware and take note of suspicious activity around bins.

VICTIM: Robert Watson

Brit brawl FOUR British men have been arrested for stabbing a Scotsman, 31, at a hotel in Magaluf. A fight between seven British tourists, from Gloucester, and two Scottish brothers left Robert Watson needing emergency surgery at Son Espases hospital. His brother also needed urgent treatment to six deep cuts in his chest and back. The brothers were fighting with the British lads at the Eden Roc Hotel until they were able to barricade themselves in their room to escape the onslaught. Andrew Fríes, 29, who is accused of attempted murder had been celebrating his birthday on the island. Three of his friends, Anthony Muggleton, Robert Stanford and Kieran Boughton, all age 26, are accused of assault.

The stench of crime

THREE men have been arrested after neighbours in Palma tipped off police about a massive consignment of pungent marijuana in their van. When police arrived the three men initially denied the van belonged to them, but after a quick search police found the keys on them.

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September 13th - September 26th 2018


On my backside! SITTING on a horseback for much of the movie made The Man Who Killed Don Quixote one of Jonathan Pryce’s favourite films to work for. The star of the Terry Gilliam movie described making it last year as ‘one of the best times’ he has ever had in his long career. “There were no rules; I could behave however I wanted. I was mostly on horseback, which is is great,” said the 71-year-old. “I was more comfortable on a horse than standing. When you get to my age, it’s better to be sitting down a lot!”. The controversial film eventually made it out after three attempts and 20 years in the making. It premiered in Cannes this year, but has yet to come near to grossing what it cost to make, having received chequered reviews.

Gemma and Arg GEMMA Collins has brought on-off-boyfriend James Argent to Palma for a romantic holiday. The Celebrity Masterchef star, who has been dating reality star James 'Arg' Argent for seven years, described her Mallorcan holiday as 'the best time'. “There have been lots of wonderful memories and magic,” she said. Arg most recently made headlines for passing his driving theory test in the UK after 11 attempts in 13 years thanks to E4's All Star Driving School. The pair met, while starring in The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE).

SMILES: Arg and Gemma

Triple threat

THEY are three of Spain’s most famous stars. Now Rafa Nadal, Enrique Iglesias and Cristiano Ronaldo are opening a Spanish restaurant in London. The Spanish-Portuguese trio said they chose the UK capital for their cult Ibiza-style restaurant Zela because it has ‘the hottest culinary scene in the world’. The celeb team will open

Zela’s first restaurant outside the White Isle in the ME London Hotel in Aldwych in two weeks — with all three of them making plans to attend the opening. The all-day restaurant, which will serve a fusion of Japanese and Mediterranean food, is owned by MABEL Hospitality, led by Spanish entrepreneurs Manuel Campos Guallar and Abel Matutes.

It girl Spanish Down syndrome girl makes history at New York Fashion Week MODEL: Avila and (below) in New York By Laurence Dollimore

A SPANISH Down syndrome model has made history by catwalking during New York Fashion week. Marian Avila, 21, rocked a red dress, and two others, for Atlanta designer Talisha White, supported by her parents and siblings who were watching from the audience.

An amazing job 300 not out

STARS ALIGN: Iglesias, Ronaldo and Nadal

Congratulations on reaching the 300th issue of The Olive Press. You’ve done an amazing job over the years - keeping us well informed; encouraging us to get to know and enjoy the many delights of southern Spain; advising us on how to integrate and observe the laws and customs of our adopted homeland. We appreciate your ongoing support for our work, and very much look forward to the next 300 issues! Charmaine Arbouin Consul & Regional Operations Manager

“I felt really happy and I really loved the runway,” explained Avila, from Alicante. “I wanted to show the world that there are no barriers.” The designer - whose outfits focused on ‘prom, pageant and special occasions’ - found Avila on Facebook and wanted to help her make her dreams come true. “She’s been a busy supermodel, meeting with all types of people,” White said of the attention A v i l a has rec e i v e d worldwide. “I’m very glad for her. She’s been meeting with Vogue

(magazine) and with Harper’s Bazaar. “She’s been meeting in different showrooms, different modeling agencies.” White added: “I wanted to show not just one type of girl is beautiful. I like to showcase all types of girls, from pageant girls to models in wheelchairs, models with Down syndrome, models who are four feet and told they can never be a model. They are my ‘it’ girl.” Avila revealed t h a t s h e ‘practices modelling everyday’ and that she also wants to be an actress.

Very arresting! SPAIN’S hottest cop has - once again - sent social media into meltdown after posting a nude picture while taking a shower. Jorge Perez Diez, who first stole hearts when a Guardia Civil snap of him went viral in May (see left), posted the raunchy snap on Instagram. It has so far been liked over 20,000 times. “It’s impossible to sleep after seeing this,” wrote one user. “Thank you for this image,” wrote another, “long live the Guardia Civil!”

Katie coke shame FORMER glamour model Katie Price has shared a video of herself slumping to the floor after rapping the words ‘I love coke’ during a wild party in Mallorca. In the shocking footage she makes a cringe-worthy attempt at a rap, trilling: “I love the coke, you know, it gets me in the air.”


The controversial mother-of-five was also pictured partying with two random German men she met at a bar in Mallorca. They said that after downing shots and champagne, they went back to their apartment to ‘have a shower, OUT OF IT: Katie get cosy and do drugs’. The Loose Women star, who is fighting bankruptcy, revealed in July that she had counselling after she once snorted coke as she struggled with the collapse of her five-year marriage to love cheat Kieran Hayler.



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Protests and lawsuits launched to fight back against Palma’s sewage disgrace By Gillian Keller

GREEN groups have launched an urgent campaign to sort out Palma’s growing sewage problem. Activists are set to demonstrate and have issued a lawsuit demanding that the authorities explain exactly why a red flag is flying over its beaches. It comes after 13 beaches in Palma were forced to issue 22 red flag closures since August, the Olive Press can reveal. Alarmingly, Can Pere Antoni and Ciutat Jardí – Palma’s most popular beaches – have been closed 38 times since May this year, 19 times since the beginning of August.


Meanwhile, Palma's beaches have suffered nearly 350 sewage waste overflows in the last eight years. “Every time it rains, the city’s water and waste system overflows into the sea because the 40-year-old treatment plant in Coll d'en Rabassa cannot take the extra water,” local

Sort out this mess activist Aina Pastor Barcelo, 32, told the Olive Press. She and a friend have now filed a lawsuit against the Balearic government, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Environment, Palma town hall and Emaya, the regional water board. The lawsuit insists that the authorities are not following EU law and posting the reason why a beach is flying a red flag. “The flag is just a stick with a red flag stuck in the sand – sometimes hardly visible to people on the beaches,” said Barceló. “It does not say why you shouldn’t swim, most people assume it’s due to strong waves or jellyfish and risk it. “However, if you know it’s from a sewage spill you would definitely stay out of the water.” Her group’s lawsuit is being backed by the local PP party. "It is not a debate that we have had more sewage discharges than ever and more beaches closed than ever before," said spokeswoman

Margalida Prohens. “This government does not know how to manage or invest in its services.” This week, the Palma authorities defended themselves and pointed out the issue should have been addressed 15 years ago, and now the problem is ‘so big it is hard to know where to begin’. According to Emaya sewage spills will continue until a storm tank is built at the 40-year-old treatment plant. He added that there were

no ‘quick fixes or patches’ to temporary stop the spills. A large protest is planned for 5pm on September 21 in Ciutat Jardí, with citizens and local associations leading the fight for accountability. Aina Pastor is confident of success. “Normally with low season coming people stop using beaches and the authorities do nothing... But this year we have elections coming up. “It’s a powerful tool and I hope they finally take note. “If the local government can't figure it out, then Spain or the EU needs to get involved and sort it out,” she added.

The Coll d’en Rabassa plant collects and treats water from the city 4 and many neighbouring towns including Bunyola, eolivep Marratxi and Esporles, while Playa de Palma's water and waste is treated by the small plant in Sant Jordi.

Brace for Brexit

SPANISH mayors and local experts are fearing a British exodus in the case of a no-deal Brexit. It comes as the October deadline for an agreement edges closer while London and Brussels continue to be bogged down in stagnant negotiations. While EU negotiator Michel Barnier insists an agreement can still be made ‘within six to eight weeks’, expats continue to be nervous. “Nobody knows for sure what is going to happen,” said the mayor of Alcaucin, near Malaga, Mario Blanke. “The uncertainty is total and it is obvious that many residents would be forced to return to the UK.” Blanke, whose town has the highest concentration of registered Brits in Malaga province, added that the guarantee of basic needs like health and pensions could be snatched away overnight. It comes after the UK government warned that Brits abroad may lose access to British bank accounts for their pensions or be fined when transferring funds. An agreement that sees Brits currently covered by a health agreement between the NHS and the EU, could come to an end. Immigration lawyer Ricardo Bocanegra added


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that a no-deal scenario would be a ‘drastic change’ for British expats. The Marbella lawyer said they would be treated ‘like any other resident from a third-world country,’ he said. “That means your passport is stamped at the airport and you are allowed to stay 90 days per visit, otherwise you are in the country illegally.”


It means the hundreds of thousands, who are not officially residents in Spain will have to become residents quickly. For residents with property, the only way to enjoy their homes is, inevitably, by applying for a resident permit, in the ‘same way a Russian or Senegalese citizen has to do’. “We are talking about a process that requires a lot of bureaucracy,” added Decembe Bocanegra. have r 6th -“You Decembe r 19th 2017 to prove ownership of a house, show a criminal record certificate and have private insurance.” HeDecembe added r that after be6th - Decembe r 19th 2017 coming residents, they From Page 1 He even got himself afor financial advice slot on would also be liable tax known radio station, through which he snared unsu on their pensions. ing victims.




A HOTEL is to be knocked down for not having enough class! Benalmadena’s Hotel Vista de Rey must be demolished within three months, a court has ruled, A HOTEL sisSuperior to be knocked Andalucia’ Court down for not having of Justice ruled that enough the hoclass! tel falls short of its four-star Benalmadena’s than permitted. requiremen t. Hotel Vista de Rey must be demolished Although the town hall and within threeismonths, a court developer maintain this exA HOTEL to begknocked Probin has ruled, cess was later corrected, the down for not having enough It began Andalucia’ probing s Superior the three Court judge ruled that the rectificaclass! star of Justice hotelruled and that apartment theVista tion would have taken place hoBenalmade na’s Hotel block tel in falls 2011 short after of it was its four-star deafter the granting of the lide Rey must be demolished than permitted. nounced requiremen over planning t.months, cence, so does not count. within three a rules Although the town which and set aside the plotcourt for a The building has 61hall aparthas ruled, developer this four starProbin exhotel only.g Court ments andmaintain 46 parking Andalucia’ spacs Superior cess was later corrected, According the to the that PGOU town es. of ruled hoIt Justice began probing thethethree judgeoriginal ruled that the rectificaplan an apartment block was The building tel was shortand of itsapartment four-star starfalls hotel tion would have taken not place permitted it also than granted permitted. planning permisrequiremen t. and block in 2011 it wasover deafter by thethen granting breached theand lirulesafter by being Although sion themayor town of hall Enrique nounced over planning rules cence, so does not count. 700 square meters bigger DOOMED: Costa hotel developer Bolin in 2001. maintain this exwhich set aside theg Probin plot for a The building has 61 apartcess was later corrected, the four star hotel only.the three mentsruled and 46 It began spacprobing judge thatparking the rectificaAccording the PGOU town es. would have taken star hoteltoand apartment tion place plan an apartment block was The original building block in 2011 after it was deafter the granting of thewas linot permitted and it rules also grantedso does planning nounced permisover planning cence, not count. breached over sion building by then mayor which Enrique set rules aside by thebeing plot for a The has 61 apartDOOMED 700 POLICE square : officers Costa meters have hotel bigger formed Bolin a human in 2001. wall deter drug smugglers four star hotel only. using mentsfrom the beach and 46 parking spacalong a beach in La Linea to ensure that the as a drop off zone. According to the PGOU town es. constructio n of a beach wall went ahead. A combined police plan presence an apartment of Guardia block Civil, was The original building was The wall, between the church of Nuestra local and national officersplanning not permitted were present and it as permisSenora del Carmen andalso the perimeter wall fears grew that granted drugbysmugglers breached would rules try by being over sion then mayor Enrique of the fishing port La Atunara, hopes to andhotel disrupt the work. DOOMED 700 square metersofbigger : Costa Bolin in 2001.



By Laurence Dollimore

‘He deserves i Not en ough ‘He deserves i Not ‘He deserves it N ot st ar en s ou gh BETTER IDEAS FOR en ou gh star sINVESTORS EXPATRIATE stars

Hot Costa del Sol water fight decision Since being built in the 1970s Hot Costa before the del it isSol populat ion has more 4 than doubled in the area. eolivep hotel has demo lished three water months to DID fightYOU decisi on ? Hot Costa del KNOW Sol before it isthree hotel has water demolished month s to

The plant treats between 60,000 hotel and has75,000 threecubic metres of4water daily, but without a flow eolivep month s meter to the exact capacity is unknow n. SOME 14 fire bosses have been arrested for allegedly embezzling €7 million in public funds. The Policia Nacional found that the Consortium of Bomberos Cadiz took out mass SOMEearly 14 retirement fire bosses insurhave ance been policies. arrested for allegedly But embezzling when their €7 million employees in retired public funds. early, chiefs siphoned off Thethe Policia moneyNacional from thefound payouts. that the Consortium of SOME 14 fire Authorities Bomberos alsobosses Cadiz found took have disout been arrested crepancies mass early in for retirement the allegedly consorinsurembezzling €7 million in tium’s ance policies. training courses. public funds. Large But when sums their were employees paid to a The Policia Nacional found company retired early, to provide chiefs siphoned training that of courses, off thethe but Consortium money nofrom evidence the payhas Bomberos Cadiz took out been outs. found that these courses mass early took Authorities place. retirement also foundinsurdisance policies. Meanwhile crepancies , in irregularitie the consor-s But their employees were tium’swhen also training found in grants courses. and retired early, chiefs siphoned subsidies, Large sums which were cops paid believe to a off the money from paywere company usedtotoprovide pay forthe private training outs. trips. courses, but no evidence has Authorities alsothese disThe been irregularitie found that s found date courses back crepancies thebelieve consorto took 2008 place. andincops at tium’s training courses. least Meanwhile €7 million , has irregularitie been sto-s Large sums paid to a len were byalso those found atwere the in grants top. and company to provide subsidies, which copstraining believe courses, buttono evidence has were used pay for private been trips.found that these courses took The place. irregularities date back Meanwhile , cops irregularitie to 2008 and believe ats were alsogrowers FRUIT found has iningrants and the Axarleast €7 million been stosubsidies, quia which are facing a 60% reduclen by those at thecops top.believe were used tion in to use water pay from for private the La trips. Vinuela reservoir with no soThe irregularitie lution in sight. s date back to 2008 The and has Junta copsdecided believe at to least limit €7 its million use as the hasreservoir been sto-is len by those already FRUIT at thein at growers 22.7% top. capacity the Axarand could quia are drop facing evena lower 60% reducif the dry tion weather in waterkeeps use from up. the La Vinuela reservoir with no solution in sight. The Junta has decided to FRUIT the Axarlimit its growers use as theinreservoir is quia areatfacing 60% reducalready 22.7%a capacity and tion watereven use lower from the La couldindrop if the Vinuela reservoir dry weather keepswith up. no solution in sight. The Junta has decided to limit its use as the reservoir is already at 22.7% capacity and could drop even lower if the dry weather keeps up.

September 13th - September 26th 2018

fight decision before it is demolished

However, a comprehensive Olive Press investigati Decembe 6th - December 19th 2017 posed hisrscams

that involved stamps, coins and go We also revealed how he and his close pal Barry N From Page 1 wined and dined up to a dozen criminals, anonym through He eventhe gotfood himself column. a financial advice slot on He known eventually radio station, fled the through country which following he snaredour unsu e but ing victims. we soon tracked him down to the UK, where h changed However,his name by deed a comprehen sivepoll Olive and was investigatio Press selling coin antiques posed hison eBaythat scams from a small stamps, involved Berkshire coins cottage. From and1 go Page He We was alsoquickly revealed found howguilty he and under his close English pallaw Barry of co N He even got himself advice slot people wined on a and and given dined a suspended up toaa financial dozen prison criminals, anonym known station, which he snared unsu sentence throughradio only the duecolumn. food to through health reasons. ing victims. “And He eventually because he fledpromised the country to never following our ex However, comprehen sive Olive investigatio go butback we soon toahis online him tracked cons,” down oneto ofPress the UK, the where h posed his scams that stamps, coins British changed andcoin go victim his explained. name byinvolved deed poll and was selling We also revealed hownot he and his close pal But Barry N antiques this is apparently on eBay from a small the case Berkshire with cottage. wined and dined up to a dozen criminals, two anonym He was victims quickly claiming found guilty he is still under using English law of co through the given food column. eBay peopletoand sell ‘dodgy’ coins and stamps a suspended prison He eventually fled country following from sentence our ex his only unpaid due flat to the in Brighton, health reasons. usbut webecause soon tracked him down tonever the UK, where h ing “And the names ‘gqtrading’ he promised andto ‘gqtradchanged hishis name by cons,” deed poll was selling coin ing2’. go back to online oneand of the antiques on eBay from small Berkshire “We British arevictim pretty sure explained. heahas broken his cottage. He quickly found guilty under English law of con bail Butwas conditions this is apparently and will not have the to case finally with people and given asaid suspended go twoback victims to prison,” claiming heone is victim. stillprison using sentence only due man to coins health reasons. “The eBay nerve to sell of‘dodgy’ this is unbelievab and stamps le.” “And because heflat promised to never His fromlandlord his unpaid last night in insisted Brighton, heusshould have k go back to his online cons,” one of the something ing the names was‘gqtrading’ up from theand start. ‘gqtradBritish “When ing2’. victim we metexplained. to sign the contracts I thought he was But this is apparently not the case with slippery, “We are pretty I went sure to pay hefor mybroken has coffee his only for the bari two victims claiming hehave ispaying still using tell bailme conditions he had left andwithout will to finally his bill.” eBay to to sell ‘dodgy’ coins and stamps He go back continued: prison,” “He said paid for one the victim. first couple of month from his stopped. unpaid inis Brighton, usthen “The just nerve of this flat He told man us his account unbelievab le.” had been fr ing ‘gqtrading’ and ‘gqtraddue His the to landlord anames money last laundering night insisted investigatio he should n, which haveiskn p ing2’. ably something true. “He wasthen up from told us the to stop start. contacting him an “We are pretty sure hethe has broken his cused “When uswe ofmet harrassmen to sign t. contracts I thought he was bail conditions and will to finally “Now slippery, he Iiswent claiming to pay he ismy forhave seriously coffee ill and only for can’t the baris wo go to had prison,” said onepaying victim.his bill.” make tellback mepayments. he left without “The nerve of this man unbelievab le.” of month “We’ll He continued: see him in court.” “He paidisfor the first couple His last night insisted he should thenlandlord have just stopped. He told us his account had beenkn fr something was up from the start. due to a money laundering investigatio n, whichPage Opinion is p “When we“He metthen to sign the I thought him ably true. he was told uscontracts to stop contacting an slippery, I went to pay for cused us of harrassmen t. my coffee only for the baris tell mehe heishad left without hisillbill.” “Now claiming he is paying seriously and can’t wo He continued: “He paid for the first couple of month make payments. then He told us his account had been fr “We’lljust seestopped. him in court.” due to a money laundering investigation, which is p ably true. “He then told us to stop contacting him and Opinion Page cused us of harrassment. “Now he is claiming he is seriously ill and can’t wor make payments. “We’ll see him in court.”



POLICE officers have formed a human wall along a beach in La Linea to ensure that the construction of a beach wall went ahead. The wall, between the church of Nuestra Senora del Carmen and the perimeter wall of the fishing port of La Atunara, hopes to POLICE officers have formed a human wall along a beach in La Linea to ensure that the construction of a beach wall went ahead. The wall, between the church of Nuestra Senora del Carmen and the perimeter wall of the fishing port of La Atunara, hopes to

deter drug smugglers from using the beach • FEE-BASED, NON-CONTRACTUAL INVESTING as a drop off zone.


A combined police presence of Guardia Civil, local and national officers were present as fears grew that drug smugglers would try and disrupt the work. deter drug smugglers from using the beach as a drop off zone. A combined police presence of Guardia Civil, local and national officers were present as fears grew that drug smugglers would try and disrupt the work.



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EXCLUSIVE By Gillian Keller

EXPATS have joined locals to demand a new rubbish scheme is binned. They are furious that mounds of rubbish have built up around busy neighbourhoods in Inca, since the project was launched. It comes after 200 council bins were controversially taken away last month, leaving many locals puzzled about where to leave their refuse. Under a new town hall edict they were supposed to leave their rubbish between 9pm and 11pm to be taken away at night. Outside of these times they were meant to visit a specific ‘green point’ in the town’s industrial estate. Except they forgot to inform



September 13th - September 26th 2018

Load of rubbish

FAILURE: New rubbish bin scheme

everyone and the plan didn’t work with piles of rubbish has built up in the two trial districts of Cristo Rei and Raiguer, the Olive Press has found. Neighbours and tourists unaware of the new rules have been leaving rubbish in ‘numerous places’, or by already overflowing bins, with many not bagged up properly.

The Olive Press is the most informative, interesting and intelligently written expat newspaper (with a sense of humour) to date on the island - keeping me informed of a wide array of interesting local, national and international news. Keep up the good work Olive Press! Amanda Butler MJC Associates, Palma

300 not out

Refuse collection scheme comes under attack after mounds of basura pile up in the streets

September 12th - September 25th 2018

“The problem is that no-one has been informed of the change,” Inca resident Chris Hicks, 38, told the Olive Press. “It is a problem because people are just dumping rubbish in the few remaining bins which are overfilled and starting to smell badly,” added Hicks. “It is a total lack of organisation.” He added that piles of recycling and building debris had been sitting around in various places for weeks. This week the council insisted it was ploughing on with the scheme. In a statement from the town council, the city boasted that on the first day the bins were removed over 1,500 kilos of rubbish was collected from

the streets. The Olive Press has contacted the Inca town hall and are waiting a response.

You naughty bag! A bag of rubbish has been slapped with a warning notice in Inca. The bag was apparently left in the street ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’. Instead of taking the bag away, council works put a sticker on it, informing the 'owners' of the correct way to dispose of it.

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TheOlivePress-256x170-CAR-4.indd 1

2/8/18 17:01


FEATURE 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 Cough it up! THE lack of answers over the millions lost in the Premier FX collapse is as puzzling as it is frustrating. Dozens of expats around Spain - many in Mallorca - are demanding answers as to how huge sums of money could have disappeared overnight - and rightly so! The whole affair stinks and now the dust is settling, the Olive Press vows to keep you abreast of any changes. Let’s hope the truth rings out as soon as possible and that at least some of the monies are recovered.

Three cheers FROM our very first issue 12 years ago on the mainland we have been dedicated to protecting, educating and entertaining the expat community with genuinely original content. Very different from our rivals we set out to report, rather than regurgitate. Across a massive 300 issues we have presented the very best of Spain in terms of nature, travel and food… and launched numerous campaigns and probes along the way. But it’s our exclusive front page investigations that stick in the memory. Take Matthew Sammon, a British paedophile wanted by Crimestoppers two years ago. After running an appeal to find him, we got a tip from an eagle-eyed reader, who revealed his whereabouts in Fuengirola. After calling in police we watched as Sammon became the fastest ever arrest in Crimestoppers’ Most Wanted history. Then there was the recent Nolotil appeal that may finally change law and save lives, as well as the appeal for blood for 11-year-old Mallorca expat Serena Chappell, which was so successful, the Palma blood bank filled up from 15% to 100% in just two weeks. Add to that probes into drink-spiking in Marbella, our recent expose into fake TripAdvisor reviews and - this issue in Mallorca - the Premier FX scandal. It’s what good local papers do and we will never cease our plight to expose injustice and help our local expat community. It’s in our DNA. The reason we can do this is down to you, our readers and our clients, so we want to say a huge thank you for all your tips and support over the past 12 years in Spain… and TWO years in Mallorca. Keep it coming. Here’s to another 300!

In a special Olive Press report, Madrid journalist Heather Galloway travels to Franco’s monumental Valley of the Fallen and asks eminent Hispanists Ian Gibson and Sir Paul Preston whether the dictator’s impending exhumation will lay Spain’s demons to rest


QUEUE of traffic a kilometre long snakes up to the gates of the Valley of the Fallen. As we inch forward, frying in the August heat, a large tattooed man draped in the Spanish flag steps out of the car in front and urinates on the road in direct view of my 18-year-old daughter. Despite living in the shadow of Europe’s only remaining monument to a fascist leader – General Francisco Franco - I had not visited this striking but sinister place since 1993 when I was given short shrift for asking awkward questions. I expected the reception to be different 25 years on and you could call it that. The Valle de los Caidos, 50km from Madrid, is Franco’s OTT tribute to ‘the heroes and martyrs of the Crusade’ – a monolithic monument to those who ‘fell for God and for Spain in the Holy War against infidels, Masons, Marxists, homosexuals and feminists’. With its 152-metre granite cross looming over the Sierra de Guadarrama like a fascist spook, the massive basilica and vaulted crypt bored 260 metres into the hillside by the sweat and blood of 22,000 political prisoners has always attracted ultra-right pilgrims as well as curious tourists. But today every pew in the cavernous black marble-floored church is packed more tightly than a box of communion wafers. Spaniards of all ages are wedged in among the cast-iron candlesticks, crosses, torches and semi-fascist statues, including a wicked, sword-wielding angel. Ostensibly they are here for the traditional 11am Sunday Mass, led by Benedictine monks who have been entrusted with the basilica since 1958. But there’s no doubt that most who have flocked to the beautiful Cuelgamuros Valley on this glorious summer morning are here to defend El Caudillo’s right to remain in his state-funded mausoleum. The service over, the congregation hastens to take selfies beside the dictator’s tomb. If all goes to government decree, it will soon be an insignificant slab of black marble, ditto the adjacent tomb of Falangist party founder Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera. But Carlos Rubio, an engineer who has driven 150 km from Valladolid, is angry. “It’s the des-

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September 13th - September 26th 2018

FASCIST: Soon to be exhumed

Digging Franco

ecration of a tomb”, he tells me. out precedent in the civilized world’. “It is an attack on our liberty and we are But it is not just Franco’s relatives and suphere today to defend it,” he continues, as his porters who wonder at the exhumation, 43 17-year-old son nods in agreement. years after the dictator’s demise. “Politically, it is an intolerable intervention Hispanist Sir Paul Preston, author of one of from the state into the private sphere. It is the most widely-read Franco biographies, tells well known that socialism deprives citizens of the Olive Press: “For people on the left, it is liberty, just look at the USSR perceived as scandalous that and Venezuela. What we have there should be a monument in Spain is increasingly akin to the dictator. Imagine if there But you have to to those examples and this is was one to Hitler in Germany. just another step in that direcThe big question is why now? face up to the tion.” “It’s a lot to do with the fact bullies when Spain is a country still divided that the PSOE government has between those nostalgic for very little power. Given that you have the the Franco days and those it has been losing support in who abhorred El Generalirecent years, this is a gesture opportunity simo. Not long after he died that might go some way to in 1975, an American actress helping rebuild Socialist supfrom Little House on the Praiport.” rie famously danced on his tomb. Fellow Hispanist Ian Gibson, author of bestBut for those who might like to follow suit, the selling biographies on the poet Lorca and the window of opportunity is closing fast. The de- artist Salvador Dalí, believes the issue should cree, set to be rubber stamped by Congress, have been resolved back in the 1980s after gives Franco’s family only a brief period to an attempted coup and the drawing up of the claim his body and find an alternative resting Spanish Constitution. But the consensus was place. that the only way forward was to ignore the The Martínez-Bordiú Franco clan are contest- past. ing it as ‘an act of retrospective revenge with“After Tejero [Lieutenant Colonel Antonio


September 13th - September 26th 2018


olive press online Mallorca’s best English daily news website

A RECORD summer! It’s official...the Olive Press online is by far the most read and sought-after news website in Spain. Hammering our rivals by many thousands of hits on each story, most of this is due to our fresh, exclusive and incisive reporting. In case you needed a reminder you can join the other 10,000 visitors a day at

TOP READS DATES: August 28 - September 11


The top five most read stories on in the past two weeks are: Each print issue of the


IMPOSING: Mausoleum is built at a key battle site

Olivemissing Press can read in - FOUND: British woman onbe Costa its weeks entiretyafter on sleeping del Sol for almost seven rough (20,021)

2 Tejero who led the failed coup] the PSOE, with its astronomical majority, could have at least initiated the process but it didn’t,” says the Irishman. “They were in power for fourteen years. I think it was cowardly. They deny it, saying it wasn’t possible; that it was dangerous (with the Army). But you have to face up to the bullies when you have the opportunity and they didn’t.” But Boni Sánchez of the Historical Memory Association contests: “It is happening now because we never broke with Francoism in Spain. “The transition and democracy were built on a foundation of silence and a pact of forgetting. We’ve arrived at this point because previous governments, both from the Popular Party and the Socialists, were committed to forgetting and silence, mainly because many politicians had their roots in Francoism.” Every year on November 20 until it was banned in 2007, the ultra-right from Spain and beyond would congregate on the basilica’s theatrical grand esplanade to mark Franco’s death with stiff-armed fascist salutes and a hearty rendition of the Falangist anthem Cara al Sol. Since the exhumation was placed firmly on Pedro Sánchez’s agenda in July, the numbers visiting his shrine have rocketed by 50%. But according to 92-year-old historian Nicolás Sánchez-Albornoz, removing Franco will change nothing. One of the 22,000 prisoners forcibly put to work on the project among the pine forests of Cuelgamuros in 1948 until his lucky escape four months later, he says: “It will remain symbolic of the regime. I refuse to call it the Valley of the Fallen. It is not a monument to the ‘fallen’ but a monument to Franco’s victory in the war.” Nevertheless, he believes: “The sooner it is gone, the better. The Francoists have hung on to the site for too long. Despite their professed allegiance to democracy, they have never condemned the dictatorship. There is no coherence in that.” Franco chose the site for his mausoleum with care. It is below one of the Civil War’s first battle fields at Guadarrama Pass in a natural amphitheatre where it would be silhouetted against an infinite number of sunsets. More significantly, it was close to the monastery built by Philip II in San Lorenzo del Escorial, 12 km away. Franco wanted nothing more than to be associated with the Catholic Kings and the glorious imperialism of the past. A year after his National army defeated the Republicans, the dictator led a cavalcade of official vehicles to Cuelgamuros to watch the first blast of dynamite marking his so-called ‘national act of atonement’. But such was the monument’s monolithic scale, the one-year project ran to 18 years and

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1 SHRINE: Fascists make Nazi salutes on Franco’s birthday Franco’s so-called ‘national act of atonement’ the victims of the Civil War and the dictatorship became a source of continuing division and re- are recognised and treated with dignity’. sentment within Spain. Some, like 21-year-old Victor Sánchez who was “We are talking about thousands of Repub- among Sunday’s congregation, believe Franco licans who lie in a mass grave,” insists Boni should be left to rest in peace; that wounds Sanchez. “We’re talking about thousands of will be reopened. Ian Gibson disagrees. “The Spaniards who worked like slaves to build this wounds were never healed. The Spanish navast monument to the dictator. We’re also talk- tion has got to face up to the horror of the Franing about the role the Spanish Catholic Church co genocide and exhume all its dead.” played in the dictatorship, along with the army. For Ghosts of Spain author Giles Tremlett, That angers Francoists but it’s the truth. the biggest question is what happens next. “I “And, finally, what about the untold numbers would really like to see the whole thing conwho subsequently died of silicosis, the miner’s verted into a proper museum that explains the disease, from breathing in the Civil War and what happened granite dust without protecafterwards so people can untion.” derstand it and come to their I would like to A national holiday was declared own well-informed concluto mark the monument’s 1959 sions,” he tells the Olive Press. see the whole inauguration, held on the 20th Gibson, however, believes the anniversary of the Civil War’s site to be “so horrible and thing turned end, and buses were laid on and evil that that, into a Civil Wat forbidding to ferry workers from the capitoo, would not be a solution. tal for the ceremony. Franco, Maybe it could be cordoned museum wearing full military regalia, off, blown up or simply left to and his wife Carmen decked cave in.” out in mantilla and high comb, And what of Franco’s remains, walked the length of the basilica to take their should the family lose its legal battle to keep seats on two thrones, watched by the entire them within the basilica? Would a fresh burial cabinet and officials from across the country. site simply become an alternative place of pilFranco was all but King of Spain and the Valley grimage? of the Fallen was his castle. Such was his ob- “My solution would be for him to be buried at session, it was referred to as his ‘other woman’. sea,” offers Paul Preston. “He always wanted With the recent decree, Pedro Sanchéz aims to to join the navy. When he became dictator, he transform the site ‘so it ceases to be a place dressed as an admiral at every possible opof Francoist and national-Catholic memory.’ As portunity. I doubt if it would happen but, if it he put it in Parliament, it will become ‘a space were suggested, I think that the family would where the culture of reconciliation and collec- be hard put to object.” tive democratic memory can flourish, where

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September 12th - September 25th 2018

Palma teen adds colour to Holocaust photos in response to sick deniers of genocide



A MALLORCA teenager is painstakingly turning to colour a collection of haunting Holocaust pictures. Joel Bellviure, aged just 17, took on the project in a bid to raise awareness about the dangers of ‘evil’ and to battle the Holocaust denial movement. “A colourised Holocaust picture can raise awareness that, although being 70 years old, shows that the essence of evil will never evolve,” explained the lad from Palma. In the images, starving concentration camp inmates can be seen in appalling detail with their bones clearly visible, wearing rags.

WEED: The esparto plant grows in the hills around Andalucia

Weeding bet


Others show piles of discarded wedding rings from those killed in the Nazi genocide, which is estimated to have seen around six million Jews murdered. Artist Bellviure added that he wanted Holocaust deniers to ‘see more closely the barbarism they defend’. He said: “The lack of a true comprehensive history and the search for answers to a catastrophe that killed more than ten million innocent people has left room for denial.

September 13th - September 26th 2018

How an Andalucian weed (not that kind) promoted literacy in Victorian Britain, writes Jack Gaioni

HAUNTING: Two prisoners in a concentration camp “They refer to themselves as ‘revisionists’, although they violate any historical method and their only objective is ha-

tred. “Perhaps these images make them see more closely the barbarism they defend.” In one of the moving snaps, American Senator Alben W Barkley examines prisoners in Buchenwald graduates from some of the the most prestigious modern mu- c o n c e n t r a t i o n camp as he investisic academies. The charity evening concert gates the atrocities. will be the band's first time in Others show Jews as Mallorca, with proceeds going they are executed by to Humanity Care Founda- German army motion, The Balearic Association bile death squads, for Parents of Children with the Einsatzgruppen, Cancer, and the Palma Lions while starving children beg for food Club 'food for all' project. Tickets are on sale now, from and alms in a Warsaw ghetto. €8.

Hitting the BIG time! THE Big Band of the German Armed Forces is set to light up Port Adriano on September 28. One of the most entertaining and unusual orchestras began in 1971, the group performs everything from swing music to rock and pop, all in the style of a 'big band' performance. All musicians are handpicked among first-class soloists and

THE English ceased to conduct. Indeed! be one of the most ag- However, there was so much gressive, brutal, rowdy, more to the era. The Indusoutspoken, riotous cru- trial Revolution was at its el and bloodthirsty nations apex and saw many British in the world te c hno lo g i c al and became innovations. It one of the most was England’s inhibited, poImperial Cenlite, orderly, tury where ‘the tender-minded, sun never set prudish and on the British hypocritical.” Empire’. It was So said Britalso the Age of ish historian Literacy. Harold Perkin Both the desire in reference to PRINTERS: Used and the abilEngland’s Victo- mostly esparto ity to read and rian Age. More write soared exthan anything else, Perkin ponentially as literacy for all saw the era (1837-1901) as became paramount in pubone of sexual restraint, rigid lic consciousness. This was morality and a strict code of the time of Dickens, Tenni-

son, the Bronte Sisters and Thomas Hardy, when penny novels and serialised fiction were immensely popular. Newspapers were coming of age. Advertising for the masses was in its infancy. Libraries were being established along with competing publishing houses. And the Foster’s Education Act (1870), a milestone in educational development, set the framework for public schooling for all children aged five to 12. But it was the discovery of an inconspicuous Andalucian roadside weed that changed the way Victorian Britain learned.


September 13th - September 26th 2018


September 12th - September 25th 2018

ARTISAN: Weavers can create many styles EVOCATIVE: Uses today include the classic blinds so typical of inland Andalucia

ween the lines If there was one common denominator in Britain’s rise in literacy, it was the need for paper - but papermaking in 19th-century England was far from cutting edge. It was primarily made from old cloth rags combined with wood pulp but supplies were limited and the manufacturing process crude, labour intensive, expensive and dirty. Experiments in using other materials - everything from sawdust and bamboo to hay and cabbage stalks - had produced lessthan-perfect results, until manufacturers discovered esparto. This unassuming grass indigenous to north Africa and southern Spain - commonly used today in everything from shopping baskets to espadrilles - was found to be the perfect base for paper. Its fibres and cellulose properties produced a very durable, soft, clean paper which held ink well and could be produced at a fraction of the cost. In 1839 the first patent to manufacture paper from esparto was registered in England. Paper prices dropped by as much as 75% as public demand for print soared. Enterprising British entrepreneurs began to lease large Spanish estate farms in Murcia, Almeria and Granada to cultivate esparto. One man in particular, a Scotsman named William McMurray, monopolised Spanish exports to the British market. His company, Esparto Fibre Compania, cultivated, harvested, dried and bundled the raw material on leased ‘espartero estates’. It was then transported using British-built and controlled railways (e.g. The Great Southern Spain Railway), to the coastal ports of Aguilas in Murcia and Cartagena,

loaded onto company-owned steamboats and shipped to Great Britain. The quantities of exported esparto to Britain were so vast that the loading docks required special canals to handle the increased barge traffic. One canal at the mouth of the Wandle River and the Thames even became known as McMurray Canal. At its height, the corridor between Granada, northern Almeria and coastal Murcia exported 31,000 tonnes yearly, making esparto Spain’s leading export second only to iron-ore. World War I was the death-knell for the industry as shipping was disrupted and new papermaking technologies became more profitable. But for almost 100 years the symbiotic relationship between Andalucia’s esparto and Great Britain’s thirst for paper was a net positive for both countries. Spain had a valuable cash crop and Victorian England’s demand for paper - the medium that made mass literacy possible - was met. It’s probably a misnomer to dismiss esparto as simply a ‘weed’. Granted, it’s considered a nuisance, especially among olive growers; but it has been a part of Andalucian material culture for millennia. Archeological discoveries have uncovered esparto baskets and mats as far back as the Neolithic Age roughly 7,000 years ago. The Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Moors used it in ropes, shoes, harnesses, blankets and more. Today, although it has given way to new technologies, esparto is making a bit of a commercial comeback. It is still used to

produce a higher-quality premium paper for books, diplomas and important documents. In the home fashion world, Amazon features chic esparto designer rugs and wall hangings. And chemists have recently discovered that the lining of the esparto plant, much like flax oil, has a beneficial antioxidant quality.

DESIGNS: Include cactus and belt

Esparto’s fortunes have varied over time but for Victorian Britain this humble grass played no small part in transferring knowledge to the vast majority of literate Britons. American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: ‘What is a weed? It is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.’

Rags and discarded cloth were in such acute demand during Victorian Era that there were actually ‘rag wars’. England the early prohibited 4be taken out rags to the country and rag smuggling became a lucrative enterprise among black marketeers


December 6th - December 19th 2017

Recent archaeological discoveries at Las Cuevas de los Murcie lagos in Cordoba and Abunol, in Granada, confirm that esparto 4 has been a part of Andalucian material culture. Many of the artifac long on display at The National Archaeological Museum in Madrid ts are


December 6th - December 19th 2017

Not ‘He deserves it’ Not enough ‘He deserves it’ Not

Costa del Sol Hot hotel has three water months to Costa del Sol fight decision Hot 4 hotel has three before it is water months to demolished fight decision Costa del Sol Hot DID YOU KNOW? beforehas it is hotel three water demolished months to

Thanks to esparto importhave s, rag and wood pulp newsprint that cost SOME 14 fire bosses the equiva lent of 0.28 cents a pound in 1846 London, plunged to 0.02 been arrested for allegedly cents by 1897 €7 million in embezzling public funds. The Policia Nacional found that the Consortium of SOME 14 fire bosses have Bomberos Cadiz out been arrested for took allegedly mass early retirement insurembezzling €7 million in ance policies. public funds. But Policia when their employees The Nacional found retiredthe early,Consortium chiefs siphoned that of

A HOTEL is to be knocked down for not having enough class! Benalmadena’s Hotel Vista

‘He deserves it’ From Page 1


He even got himself a financial advice slot on a w known radio station, through which snared unsuspe December 6th - December 19thhe2017 ing victims. However, a comprehensive Olive Press investigation From Page 1 posed his scams that involved stamps, coins and gold. We even also revealed how ahefinancial and his close palslot Barry He got himself advice on Nath a w wined and up through to a dozen criminals, anonymous known radiodined station, which he snared unsuspe through the food column. ing victims. He eventually fled the country following our expoe However, a comprehensive Olive Press investigation From 1 gold. but wehis soon tracked him down to the UK,Page where he h posed scams that involved stamps, coins and



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25th 2018 Vol. 13 Issue 300 September 12th - September

EXCLUSIVE By Elisa Menendez

years and there were never any problems,” explained the 69-year-old, who asked to remain anonymous. “I had transferred the money and was waiting for the exchange rate to improve. “The next thing I knew, the money was gone. I feel sick

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Tourists plan legal action after losing arm and leg in hellish speedboat accident By Gillian Keller

TWO young tourists are planning to sue after losing an arm and a leg in a horrific speedboat accident. The German holidaymakers were testing an underwater scooter off Es Trenc beach when the speeding vessel drove right through them and left them for dead. “Suddenly a boat appeared and was going very, very fast and hit us,” said victim Max, 20. “None of the crew of that boat helped us. “I had to swim 15 meters to our boat after losing my arm, I was so afraid of bleeding out”. The boat’s propeller had sliced his arm off just above

HORRIFIC: Guardia Civil diver finds tourist’s arm on seabed

the elbow. His friend Tobias, 26, was left floating in the water after having his leg shredded to pieces. A member of the boys’ boat helped drag them aboard before speeding to the beach where they were met by medics, some 45 minutes after the hit-and-run.

Tobias’s leg had to be amputated due to the severity of the injuries and remains in intensive care with a critical prognosis, while Max is believed to be in a stable condition. Doctors had been hopeful after Guardia Civil divers found Max’s limb among sea plants close to the shore

e Lions Threpub Best English Pub in Palma Great food Live Music Every Night from 12am

received this automatic reply saying they had ceased trad- EXPAT: Andrew Jones ing and there’d be no further transactions. “I immediately smelt a rat,” she added. When she called Action Fraud, EXCLUSIVE an operator explained he knew nothing about it. A GAY couple have denounced “I’ve been stuck for two months a Guardia Civil officer after he without that money and have allegedly assaulted them. no idea whether I’ll get it back. Expats Andrew Jones, 36, from about it,” added the pensioner, “It’s not just affecting people London, and Mario Dieni, 39, buying holiday homes, it is also from Argentina, claim they based in Palma. Another entrepreneur told the affecting business owners, who were ‘pushed and grabbed’ for Olive Press she is missing a can’t pay staff or clients.” reason. no Both victims had been prom- The couple have called in the staggering €400,000. business- ised by Premier FX that their British embassy and filed an UK-based The woman, who previously lived money was being held in ‘seg- official denuncia over the inin Portugal for ten years, has regated, personal accounts’ cident, which took place near made three monthly transac- with Barclays, but administra- Torrox, at the weekend. tions with Premier FX for 12 tors now think this was not the Jones, who has bipolar discase. years. order, told the Olive Press he Despite knowing former direc- The FCA has since discovered was ‘really shaken up’ by the tor Rexstrew, who also lived in that the company, set up in alleged assault, which came afthe Algarve, she was given no 2006, was operating without ter they were routinely stopped full authorisation. warning. at 1am. “I tried to make a transaction It was forced into administrabut no one would answer the Continues on page 8 Aggressive phone. I then emailed and I “He was immediately aggressive. We are gay and he saw us together, perhaps it is discrimination. I don’t know,” he said. The British expat, who works MINIMARKET in marketing, had been drivFreshly Baked Deli Products ing home having picked up his Tel: 602 514 384 partner from work at a hotel in WhatsApp: 602 559 385 Nerja. Opp St Anthony’s College “He went absolutely berserk, La Cala Hills pushing me so hard that the Closed Mondays officer behind had to catch me,” added Jones. “He then grabbed Mario and tossed him CASHBACK ON to one side.” YOUR HOUSE Eventually the officer was moved away by colleagues, who then gave the couple his badge number, so they could file a complaint. A Guardia Civil spokesperson confirmed PAYBACK WHEN the incident was ‘being invesYOU SELL tigated’.

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Vol. 3 Issue 79 September 12th - September 25th 2018

September 12th - September 25th 2018

Readers react to news that Costa del Sol businesses are buying fake reviews to boost their businesses on sites like TripAdvisor


The Olive Press celebrates its 300th issue, find out why we are Spain’s best English newspaper in our special supplement, SEE INSIDE

EXCLUSIVE By Elisa Menendez

EXPATS may have lost millions over the suspicious collapse of a foreign exchange firm being probed over ‘criminal activity’. Dozens of victims have lost up to €400,000 each after Premier FX Limited was forced into administration by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It comes after the firm - which operated from Mallorca, Portugal and London - suddenly stopped trading on July 27, following the death of director Peter Rexstrew. Since then, hundreds of clients, many of them expats, have been left completely in the dark and unable to access their funds.


Teresa May joins the National Day celebrations promising to stand shoulder to shoulder over Brexit By Laurence Dollimore

‘GIBRALTAR is British’ was the overriding message at this week’s National Day celebrations as hundreds took to the streets to wave banners and flags in possibly its biggest

Continues on page 5


show of patriotism ever. The party couldn’t help but take a political tone as Brexit looms and some Spanish politicians continue to lay claim over the British overseas ter-

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ritory. UK’s past, present and future Even British Prime Minister and I’m immensely proud to ever the homeland of the Gibraltarians. Theresa May chimed in on the help you celebrate it today.” celebrations with a video mes- The optimism was shared by “Our ancestors came from sage vowing to continue sup- Chief Minister Fabian Picar- every shore of the Mediterranean and beyond, from porting the Rock post-Brexit. do, who vowed to turn Brexit “Today as we mark Gibraltar ‘into a win’, saying the EU Genoa, Malta, India, North National Day I can assure you divorce would ‘neither defeat Africa, Britain,” he said. “They built their dreams that this will not change as we nor define Gibraltar’. leave the European Union,” He said: “In or out of the Eu- in the face of adversity. We she said in the clip, which ropean Union, we are a hard- overcame every siege to live was played on a big screen to working people of peace, of the British dream. Leaving the EU is just one more step crowds. goodwill, a people who will “We joined the EU together. ensure that our Rock is al- on our journey.” We are leaving together and ways first, foremost and for- Some 96% of Gibraltarians voted to remain in the EU. as we step forward into the latest chapter of our shared history we will once again do so together. “The Government of Gibraltar is fully involved in the Brexit negotiations and nothing will ever weaken our commitment to the people who call the Rock their home, as long as the people of Gibraltar want to remain British. “British is what the people of Gibraltar will remain and there should be no doubt whatsoever about our commitment to the double lock, a commitment as solid as the Rock of Ages itself. “Gibraltar is a vital part of the SHOWING SUPPORT: UK PM Teresa May

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Welcome to St. Andrew’s Carrer de Mestral, 4 Puerto Pollença

I OFTEN swim outside the buoys. But it’s no good expecting crafts to see you. You need to be aware, especially if you’re under the water, as they have no hope of seeing you. Like so many things, you have to do everything reasonable to keep yourself safe.

WELL if that’s the case I hope the UK is ready for the millions of British passport holders returning, needing houses, health care and handouts! (UK expats in Spain could face losing access to pensions and fined for using credit cards in event of no-deal Brexit, issue 299).



Elizabeth Hurley sets up shop on Mallorca, see page 3



Jayne Allen, Spain

Graham Chaney, Mallorca

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Dear Olive Press, I JUST wanted to say well done for exposing TripAdvisor for the s**t and manipulation that that website is. As you so accurately reported, it is no reflection on what is good in the restaurant industry, here in Andalucia. This summer I had 58 positive 5* or 4* reviews for Corredera 55 restaurant, near Cadiz, and you'd think we would rise a place or two in the ratings, right?..... No, we actually dropped several instead. No logic or understanding in that at all. Ellie Cormie, Owner, Corredera 55, Vejer de la Frontera Has anything piqued your interest in this week’s Olive Press? Have your say on the matter by emailing letters@ or alternatively message us on Facebook at or Twitter @olivepress

differently, according to a leaked government report. The deal will be offered to all 3.8 million EU citizens residing in Britain who will still be able to use the benefits system and access the NHS. It comes after fears grew over

potential labour shortages in certain sectors once Britain is no longer in the EU. British expats in Europe were warned of losing access to their pensions and hit with taxes when using credit cards if no deal is agreed.

“She was a great person always with a smile on her face and had a very big heart,” one wrote. Another said: “I’m totally shocked by the news. “Adrienn was a wonderful and caring lady, my condolences to her “She will be sadly missed and family. the Cyber Cafe won't be the same.” Initial reports in Spanish press that the incident was a hit-and-run appear to have been unfounded. According to friends of Adrienn, the driver who hit her stayed with police and paramedics arrived her until and was ‘visibly shaken’.

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Hugh Savill, director of regulation at the Association of British Insurers, said leaving the EU without a deal would cause ‘major inconvenience’ to millions of pensioners, travellers and drivers. He added: “We urge the Government to agree a deal as a matter of urgency.” Savill revealed that insurers have been making ‘contingency plans’ for months but the issues are too deep-rooted for them to fix alone.


Our link to the Ivy League

All about the Princeton and OP partnership

An ox-tale What have Hitler, Gandhi and Ferdinand the bull got in common?

Page 12

BUSINESSES in Andalucia are paying to post dozens of FAKE five-star reviews on TripAdvisor in a bid to increase their rankings. An Olive Press investigation has unearthed companies offering packages of 50 glowing EXCLUSIVE reviews for just €400. By Laurence Dollimore Restaurants, hotels and gaand Elisa Menendez rages have utilised the services of Malaga-based company GCI Global, which promises ‘genu- (in the list) but look at it now,” ine reviews’ that will be ‘tailored GCI boss Ben Fisher boasted to to your business’. the Olive Press. We can reveal that one of its “It doesn’t matter if (the reviewclients, a Malaga restaurateur, ers) eat there or not, although if managed to get to number one you want to pay a bit more we in his town on TripAdvisor af- can actually send someone,” ter ‘purchasing’ dozens of ‘ex- added Fisher, who lives in Alcellent’ reviews over just two haurin de la Torre. months. “In fact if you pay we can send In total, 99% of the comments four people to share one pizza. for his restaurant - which we Then we spread the reviews out are not naming for legal rea- over a few days. “I have dozens sons - are ‘excellent’ 5/5 with of clients.” only one ‘very good’. The Olive Press probe was “The restaurant was over 100 launched after we were ap-

launches probe, as Olive Press exposes a Costa del Sol business ‘selling’ fake customer reviews on to the global giant’s website

Please forgive us!

In an open letter to Spain, the Olive Press apologises for our unruly tourists


proached by an angry reader, who had been targeted by an unsolicited email from GCI last month. The advert read: “We offer tailor made professional review packages giving your business a boost and the edge over your competitors.”


Posing as potential clients with a holiday rental business in Marbella, our reporters were told by Fisher that the reviews would be ‘from real people’. “The reviews are from real people on the Costa del Sol, it’s not a bunch of fake accounts putting reviews on,” said Fisher, from Hull. “A potential customer doesn’t know if they are real or fake. It

is not illegal. You can’t get prosecuted... it’s just cheating.” Describing himself as a ‘web marketing specialist’, he explained how if our reporters bought 50 reviews, our new business would receive two five-star reviews per day from his network of users consisting of ‘friends and family friends’. He offered to do 20 reviews for €150 or the 50 reviews for €400 - with payments made by cash or PayPal. So confident was he that it would boost our business ranking he offered a 100% satisfaction or a ‘money-back guarantee’. “You’re paying for direct marketing - the higher you go on TripAdvisor the more you pop up as recommended and the more business you get,” he insisted. Sadly, the process is

not new. TripAdvisor has been caught out before, including a famous stunt pulled off by VICE website in which an undercover reporter set up a fake restaurant, The Shed at Dulwich, and made it the number one restaurant in London. Just this week a simple Google search unearthed a US-based company, Reviews that Stick, offering packages on the global supersite from $69 per month. “We can provide TripAdvisor reviews that would help your hotel or restaurant to improve its reputation and increase its number of customers,” it offered. Local hoteliers and restaurateurs were quick to support out investigation. “I’m sure it is very common with restaurants here,” said Mark Wardell, manager of the Sunset Beach Club hotel, in Benalmadena. “TripAdvisor is particularly very open to manipulation and fake reviews. “You often see these small places pop up with phenomenal reviews that quickly sink without trace,” he added. Restaurateur Robert Grimmond, of well-established El Jardin restaurant in Frigiliana, added he had been aware of this practice for years. “It’s disappointing that businesses on the coast are still buying reviews in this way,” he added.

Good luck TM

*Offer ends 30/11/18 . Not valid for renew als. Subject

FRONTWPAGE EXPOSE: On TripAvisor last issue Dear Spain, WE ARE SORRY.

E ask that you judge us Brits not by the sinverguenzas who choose to poo over your balconies or perform oral services for a free cocktail, but by the majority of respectful expats who are privileged to call your beautiful country home. Seriously though, how did we get here? Brits used to be famed for their polite manners and punctuality. Now we are better known for our excessive drinking and outrageous party antics compounded by the senseless alcohol-fuelled sport of ‘balconing’. Some 46 patients were treated for injuries after falling or deliberately jumping from balconies between 2010 and 2015 - and 60% were Brits. The last two years have seen this number grow, with almost 10 Brits dying this year alone (CHECK). And that’s only one example from a whole catalogue of outrageous behaviour that has seen holiday high jinks sink to a shocking new low. Just this week we were sent a video from Benidorm which showed a British reveller putting his penis in the mouth of a passed-out compatriot.

And who can forget the brazen British girl who performed oral sex on 24 men for a free drink in 2016, or the man who fell from a balcony in Mallorca last month while trying to defecate over the edge. Closer to home, beach club brawls and stabbings at Costa del Sol haunts dominated the headlines last summer. Two rival gangs’ fight spilled onto the streets of Puerto Banus and ended with one member trying to run over his rivals. Is it any wonder that some of Spain’s biggest resorts are starting to resist tourists? ‘Tourists go home’ and ‘Tourist, you are the terrorist,’ are just some of the messages that have been graffitied across tourism hotspots in the past few years. Just because resorts make a killing from visiting Brits every year, it doesn’t mean they have to put up with such antics. We hope you will bear this in mind the next time you roll your eyes in disgust at yet another story about a British reveller behaving badly, and accept our apology on behalf of the whole damned lot.

See page 2

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“If you really want to know if a restaurant is good or not, ask someone you trust or go yourself!” Last night TripAdvisor thanked the Olive Press and confirmed it was ‘investigating the case’. “We strongly oppose any attempt to manipulate a business’ ranking,” said a spokeswoman, adding that its investigations team was ‘proactive and effective’ at catching anyone who attempts to market paid review services. “We take serious steps to penalize any properties caught using their services,” she added. After revealing ourselves as journalists, Fisher told the Olive Press: “People pay for direct traffic, people purchase the reviews, then a team of four will go into the premises, share food and leave a review on their experience… it’s a service that is genuine and helps everybody… the reason my clients pay is to cover the cost of the food purchased by each customer!”

FINALLY this practice is being exposed. Perhaps 617 333 777 even more unfairly, there are companies that also offer the reverse... false negative reviews for a company’s competitors. Hot for Spanish residents


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Opinion Page 6


SO if you have to pay either 902 way 123 28 (Ryanair is changing its cabin bag policy AGAIN, issue 299). It’s cheaper for everyone to pay the €6 and keep the bag with them.... So most of the plane would be priority boarding... So what is the point? If all passengers are priority, that is not priority. I always keep my bag with me. I pay €6 because I never take a suitcase. I can see this causing NEWS an increase of carry on 10kilo Costa del Sol hotel has three cases and creating delays again. ‘He deserves it’ months to fight decision We’ll see. before it is 1



SOME 14 fire bosses have been arrested for allegedly embezzling €7 million in public funds. The Policia Nacional found that the Consortium of Bomberos Cadiz took out mass early retirement insurance policies.

But when their employees retired early, chiefs siphoned off the money from the payouts. Authorities also found discrepancies in the consortium’s training courses. Large sums were paid to a company to provide training courses, but no evidence has been found that these courses took place. Meanwhile, irregularities were also found in grants and subsidies, which cops believe were used to pay for private trips. The irregularities date back to 2008 and cops believe at least €7 million has been stolen by those at the top.

SADLY it’s true and can ruin a business as easily as it can promote one. People should have to prove that they have visited. Also not be able to hide behind a pseudonym. Pipe ban

FRUIT growers in the Axarquia are facing a 60% reduction in water use from the La Vinuela reservoir with no solution in sight. The Junta has decided to limit its use as the reservoir is already at 22.7% capacity and could drop even lower if the dry weather keeps up.

Linda Townsend, Frigiliana

More regulation IF TripAdvisor provided review codes distributed by the business owners that would solve the problem. If policed properly, the website could be invaluable, and important for business. I’ve had loads of business from TA. The problem is not with them it’s some of the scam artists and badly run businesses using it. Steve Law, Malaga

December 6th - December 19th 2017

Not enough starsZara Maria, Spain From Page 1


A HOTEL is to be knocked down for not having enough class! Benalmadena’s Hotel Vista de Rey must be demolished within three months, a court has ruled, Andalucia’s Superior Court of Justice ruled that the hotel falls short of its four-star requirement.


It began probing the three star hotel and apartment block in 2011 after it was denounced over planning rules which set aside the plot for a four star hotel only. According to the PGOU town plan an apartment block was not permitted and it also breached rules by being over 700 square meters bigger

Inspiration DOOMED: Costa hotel

THIS is such a beautiful book and great piece! (The beef about Ferdinand, issue 299). I wish there were more Ferdinands than humans in this world! A range A range Kerstin Inga, Andalucia of Waitrose of Waitrose wines wines

POLICE officers have formed a human wall along a beach in La Linea to ensure that the construction of a beach wall went ahead. The wall, between the church of Nuestra Senora del Carmen and the perimeter wall of the fishing port of La Atunara, hopes to

12 12

deter drug smugglers from using the beach as a drop off zone. A combined police presence of Guardia Civil, local and national officers were present as fears grew that drug smugglers would try and disrupt the work.


T first blush, The Story of Ferdinand comes across as an innocent and heartwarming tale. After all, it is a children’s book, as well as a 1938 Walt Disney film. Yet Ferdinand’s legacy has taken on an unexpected life of its own, with many layers. The pacifist bull who prefers flowers to fighting has been caught in the crossfire of political ideologies, drawing world leaders, behavioural psychologists and top professional

August 29th - September 11th

sports stars into the argument. Seldom has any book, much less onea written for youngsters, become sounding board for so many. Written in 1936 by American author Munro Leaf, it quickly became a bestseller, with many reviewers proclaiming it ‘the greatest juvenile classic since Winnie the Pooh. The tale has been translated into 60 languages and has been in continuous publication for over 80 years. The plot is set in Spain with many illustrations depicting Ronda, rural Andalucia and Madrid. Ferdinand, unlike most bulls, is a passive and peaceful creature with no interest in bullfighting. He prefers to smell the abundant flowers, his true passion. One day, men come to his pasture to choose a fierce bull to fight in Madrid. Ferdinand, as usual, is in the meadow indulging his floral fetish when he is stung by a bee. The pain sends him wild, snorting, charging and causing mayhem. Mistaking him for an aggressive bull, the men rename him ‘Ferdinand the Fierce’ and take him away to the capital to fight. In the ring, Ferdinand is distracted by the many flowers worn by the female spectators and refuses to fight. After his adventure, he returns home to his favourite cork tree to continue smelling the flowers. The fictional tale ends there but the story opened up a

NO BULLY: Pacifist bull Ferdinand was taken from his homeland in a field near Ronda (right and below) on the long journey to fight in Spain’s most famous bullring Las Ventas in Madrid



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ganda’ and ordered all copies to be whole new chapter of controver- burned. sies. Because of the sensitive time After the war, attitudes changed. it was written - three months be- In Germany 30,000 copies were fore the start of the Spanish Civil distributed to the country’s youth War - hyper-political ideologies on in an international mission to proboth sides interpreted its mean- mote peace, while anti-Franco a ing through very different lenses. ideologues saw Ferdinand as Pro-Franco factions perceived it to positive metaphorical alternative subpromoting tract be a political to the ‘toughest, meanest bull’ versive pacifist propaganda and (i.e. Franco). Other leftists saw Franco banned it, calling it a dan- Ferdinand’s behaviour as an effecgerous message that encouraged tive sit-down strike disloyalty to cherished Spanish against capitalist traditions. It remained on the exploitation. saga blacklist in Spain until after The end Franco’s death in 1975. didn’t In Germany, Franco’s ally there. FerdiAdolf Hitler was equally innand’s meshas flamed by the book’s ‘desage generate democratic propa-

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Opinion Page 6


Loved by Ghandi, banned by Franco and Hitler... how a loveable Spanish toro in a children’s book raised hackles all over the world, writes Jack Gaioni

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I’ve done hundreds of reviews on TripAdvisor in the past, always using my own name and giving as honest an account of my visit/stay as I could. Like any medium it can be manipulated if you want and unfortunately the changes to the system in recent years has resulted in a watered down version wide open to abuse.

than permitted. Although the town hall and developer maintain this excess was later corrected, the judge ruled that the rectification would have taken place after the granting of the licence, so does not count. The building has 61 apartments and 46 parking spaces. The original building was granted planning permission by then mayor Enrique Bolin in 2001.


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He even got himself a financial advice slot on a well known radio station, through which he snared unsuspecting victims. However, a comprehensive Olive Press investigation exposed his scams that involved stamps, coins and gold. We also revealed how he and his close pal Barry Nathan wined and dined up to a dozen criminals, anonymously, through the food column. He eventually fled the country following our expose, but we soon tracked him down to the UK, where he had changed his name by deed poll and was selling coins and antiques on eBay from a small Berkshire cottage. He was quickly found guilty under English law of conning people and given a suspended prison sentence only due to health reasons. “And because he promised to never go back to his online cons,” one of the British victim explained. But this is apparently not the case with two victims claiming he is still using eBay to sell ‘dodgy’ coins and stamps from his unpaid flat in Brighton, using the names ‘gqtrading’ and ‘gqtrading2’. “We are pretty sure he has broken his bail conditions and will have to finally go back to prison,” said one victim. “The nerve of this man is unbelievable.” His landlord last night insisted he should have known something was up from the start. “When we met to sign the contracts I thought he was a bit slippery, I went to pay for my coffee only for the barista to tell me he had left without paying his bill.” He continued: “He paid for the first couple of months but then just stopped. He told us his account had been frozen due to a money laundering investigation, which is probably true. “He then told us to stop contacting him and accused us of harrassment. “Now he is claiming he is seriously ill and can’t work to make payments. “We’ll see him in court.”


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Annuities, deposit services, lending and insurance are just some of the financial actions where expats could face difficulties if the EU does not take action. UK citizens in the European Economic Area will not be able to access these products without intervention from Brussels before the Brexit deadline. It comes after the UK government released its no-deal preparation plans last week, in a bid to offer guidance in the event of a so-called ‘hard Brexit’.

‘You can’t get prosecuted… it’s just cheating’

We are next door to Burger King!


August 29th - Septe

Taking the high ground

Vol. 12 Issue 299 August 29th - September 11th 2018

No more hiding

of the


Mum mowed down

expat paper in Spain FREE


THIS is the Gibraltar-based mother who was killed after being mowed down on the street at the weekend. Adrienn Baltes, 43, was walking from work in La Linea when a car home hit her as she crossed the road. The Hungarian mother-of-one lived on the Rock for at least 20, who has said to have been killed instantly.years, is According to investigators, the artist - whose brother runs populartattoo lour Gib Ink - died on Calle Principeparde Asturias at around 1am on Sunday morning. It happened when a silver Volkswagen Golf ploughed into her as she crossed at a red light. Tributes have been pouring in for pat who had been working that the exevening at a cafe in Gibraltar.


Hard to stop SURE, this is common practice and I doubt that TripAdvisor will really be able to prevent fake reviews. Being one of the top reviewers on Amazon in Germany, nearly every day I get requests from Chinese companies offering money by PayPal if I write a 5-star review for their product. For a while I used to forward those requests to Amazon headquarters. Amazon always said they would care about my complaint but were not able to inform me about their actions for data security reasons. After a while I could see that nothing had happened as I got the same requests again and again from the same Chinese companies. Therefore I stopped to inform Amazon about new fake review requests.

SPANISH migrants living in the UK will be given the right to remain in the country even if there is a no-deal Brexit, it has been revealed. The UK government is set to take the ‘moral high ground’ even if the EU and Spain act


Page 6


Give it back

The group have now formed an action group with nearly 200 members demanding immediate answers. One British expat, based in Mallorca, told the Olive Press she has no idea what has happened to the €30,000 she was holding with Premier FX. “I had used them for many years and there were never any problems,” explained the 69-year-old, who asked to remain anonymous. “I had transferred the money and was waiting for the exchange rate to improve. “The next thing I knew, the money was gone. I feel sick about it,” added the pensioner, based in Palma. Another entrepreneur told the Olive Press she is missing a staggering €400,000. The UK-based businesswom-


Brace yourselves

FLASHBACK: Mallorca issue 34

Wolfgang, Malaga m LT D

of Es Trenc beach the next day, that it could be reattached to his body. But surgeons have now ruled out the option as it was left submerged overnight. The lads had just finished their exams in Germany and were enjoying Untitled-1.pdf their first trip to the island.

Stay safe

Trip-ping out


have been left completely in the dark and unable to access their funds. The group have now formed an action group with nearly 200 members demanding immediate answers. One British expat, based in Mallorca, told the Olive Press she has no idea what has happened to the €30,000 she was holding with Premier FX. “I had used them for many

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saint celebrating their patron Llucmajor has been this year’s celebrations of for 300 years, making a party not to miss, with 12. Festes de Santa Candida running until August events and activities by Mallorca’s own MatraEvents include a concerts August 4, parades with ria del Mar Bonet on 9 and 11, and the big event ditional giants on theon August 12. and Cavallets dance Salvador with art exhibitions, Arta celebrates Sant parties everyday until Auconcerts, parades and 70s gust 7. hosts a ‘flower power’ On August 5 the town throwing a hotly anticipatparty, with with live DJs On the final night, August fit for ed party the night after. the town with a party 7, live music will fill fireworks display at all, ending with a spectacular midnight.

Musical notes




first two weeks of AuCala d’Or spends the Festes Sant Maria del gust celebrating the full of events for the Mar with a program events, fairs and whole family. Sporting and parades fill the artmarkets, art exhibitions and pay homage to art streets with colour with a number of ist Joan Riera Ferrari, installations.

concerts is back with evening Sa Pobla's Jazz Festival Es Cavallets on August 22. after dark and the Sala for musicians, workshops and There are also seminars most art exhibitions. Music Festival continues The Deia International will be Thursdays until September. from the US and Taiwan On August 2 Wei Yi Yangon the piano. performing Schumann will play Bach on the cello on Asier Polo from Bilbao estate August 16. the stunning Son Marroig All concerts are at continues overlooking the Mediterranean. the Chopin festival monastery, Every Sunday in August concerts at the local in Valldemossa with architecture to Claustre de la Cartoixa. elegant views and Andratx uses their outdoor concerts throughout the host unforgettable month of August.


September 13th - September 26th 2018

Our Princeton interns travel to the Aracena, the birthplace of Jamon


Cala d’Or

Port of Valldemossa

the Port From August 4-19 over of Valldemossa hosts for a week of celebrations the Festes de sa Marina. popular Events include a beach sardine grill on theopen-air on August 14, an 16 showcinema on August coning Cars 3 and fishing 18 with a tests on August to each box of worms given festival participant. The where ends with a feast as the diners dress up folMoors and Christians, party in lowed by music and the square.


We map Spain’s love - and hate for its most controversial sport

15th- 2018 - August1st August 14th 2018 August 2nd August

Party Guide


its patron saint with from The town of Selva honours for Festes Sant Llorenc a week of festivities main square hosts an conAugust 5 - 11. The town’s every day, including evening event almostand plenty of dancing. On certs, art exhibitions a tapas tour around town, August 9 there will be participating bar and reswith live music at every

PERHAPS this is partly due to the way that some Spanish authorities seem to be going out of their way to make it almost impossible for owners to provide shortterm lets (Fears for tourism sector as Spain receives almost a million less holidaymakers than predicted, online). To bring in more tourists, perhaps their approach ought to be more along the lines of.... ‘you own a property in Spain? So what can we do to help you rent it out?’


EXPATS may have lost millions over the suspicious collapse of a foreign exchange firm being probed over ‘criminal activity’. Dozens of victims have lost up to €400,000 each after Premier FX Limited was forced into administration by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It comes after the firm - which operated from Mallorca, Portugal and London - suddenly stopped trading on July 27, following the death of director Peter Rexstrew. Since then, hundreds of clients, many of them expats,

for lively beach UMMER is prime time BBQs and all parties, mouth watering the stars. night dancing under towns across MalAnd even the small celebrate the seahow to lorca certainly know fesson in style. rounded up our top The Olive Press has you entertained through tival picks to keep August.


THEY say good things come in threes, or in this case 300! In our fitting 300th issue we are packed with exclusives and original content - more than ANY other English paper in Spain. Aside from the news and our ongoing TripAdvisor probe, we have food features on the culinary delights of the Basque region, as well as a missive on how an Andalucian weed helped boost the UK’s literacy rates in Victorian times. Plus our in-depth dispatch from the Valley of the Fallen, where Franco is soon to be exhumed, with exclusive commentary from three of Spain’s leading Hispanists, Paul Preston, Ian Gibson and Giles Tremlett. And in a special supplement to mark our 300th issue, we tell the story of how the Olive Press came to be and where many of our former reporters currently work, with some in Russia and America. Yes, there is a lot inside. So sit back, grab a coffee or reach for your glass of wine and relax with your favourite fortnightly newspaper. We’re here for at least another 300. Hope you’ll still be too.




Can Picafort

Spain Issue 300


10 10

be Small towns seem toMallorca having all the fun in this August, writes Gillian keller

of Can Picafort celebrates The little beach towntwo weeks mid August with the Virgin Mary for craft fair. Also popular a market and artisan ducky race, while the among locals is a rubber correfoc (fire run) party ends with a spectacular tearing through the with demons and fireworks town.

Check out our issues online at



Have you got a comment on any of our stories? Do you have an important issue to raise or just something funny to tell us? Please email

24/11/2017 11:18


E’VE done it! Thank you to all of our loyal readers and advertisers for helping us to get to 300 issues. We have come a long way from our first issue


ll about our

in 2006 (below left), where we started how we meant to go on - exposing a massive developer cutting off a nationwide footpath in order to concrete over protected land in Andalucia.



September 13th - September 26th 2018

We have brought you hundreds of exposes and shone a light on dozens of criminals and crooks looking to take advantage of expats and locals - as well as bringing you more original con140828_olive_press.pdf







September 12thSeptember 25th 2018




August 7 - August 20 2014

tent than any other English-language paper in Spain, and all for free! We hope to continue being the best English newspaper in Spain, see how inside.



11 11



WIN WIN WIN -books, cookbooks and

weekends away... all in our 200th issue! The original and only English-languag e investigative newspaper in Andaluc ía

olive press


Vol. 8 Issue 200 www.theo

Get out of my house!

November 13- November 26



IGHT years and 200 ago the very first Oliveissues Press hit the streets. That issue exposed travesty of greedy developersthe cutting off footpaths as they began carving a golf course and the obligato 1,000-plus houses on Unesco- ry protected land near Ronda. In each issue that has followed, we have fought and campaig to make Andalucia a greener ned , safer and all round better Born out of a desire toplace. bring environmental issues into the public eye, the Olive Press has evolved into Spain’s number-one Englishlanguage newspaper. It is the only one prepare vestigate scams, expose d to inevil and fight for justice – as various legal threats have shown.

Landlord holds protest against tenant who hasn’t paid for years EXCLUSIVE By Rob Horgan AN expat landlord has held an unprecedented one-man protest against a tenant who hasn’t paid rent for two years. David Lomas (left), 66, took to the streets over €10,000 in unpaid rent at the home in Campilllos. Followed by his four children - aged between six and 12 - Lomas marched from the three-bedroom property to the town hall to ‘demand justice’. Lomas, from Middlesbrough,


Continues on Page 2

Corruption crackdown MASSIVE anti-corruption raids have swept Andalucia, the Canary Islands and Extremadura, resulting in at least 30 arrests. A number of politicians and other town hall staff were among those arrested. The arrests came on the orders of Judge Mercedes Alaya, who has been investigating the ERE scandal at the

FLASHBACK: Our first issue in November

Continues on Page 4


Those who think they trample over the elderly, the can honest and the vulnerable - expat wise - will continue to or otherfind themselves exposed by the Olive Press. Corruption cases, includin g Los Merinos and the ERE , are finally out in the open scandal as the voice of dissent grows louder. Next year is set to be monumental in Spain’s politica l history, a new party Podemos threaten as s to blow apart the corrupt two-party state. We have been shining a light on the corruption and injustice s here for nearly a decade and we are backing any attempt new life into Spanish to breathe clean up the country. politics and Here’s to the next 200 a better, cleaner, fairerissues, and Spain!

Let HiFX help you reach your destination.

Page 18

Discover how the Olive Press came to the rescue of the decaying home of celebrated British Hispanist Gerald Brenan.

Page 20 Expat writer Chris Stewart extols the virtues of the Alpujarras in his latest book. Read all about it in our exclusive serialisation and even win a copy of your own!

Page 51

Cellar de Can Roca may have just been crowned the world’s best restaurant. But how did it stand up to the Olive Press taste test?

Page 52 Win a weekend away in beautiful surroundings and a copy of the hottest new Spanish cookbook, exclusively serialised from this issue.

Princess charged with fraud

PRINCESS Cristina, 49, has been and could now face an unprecedentecharged with tax fraud d court trial. The charges against the sister of King Felipe VI come as part of an investigation into her husband Inaki, 46, who allegedly embezzled millions of euros in public funds.


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MILESTONE: Our 100th issue, fittingly packed with genuine exclusives

STILL GOT IT: Our 200th issue in 201

4 featured a diet of stories


A ll about our

Helping our community Urgency

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British buyers are down but the coast will bounce back, insist leading property experts in second Olive Press Property Observatory - Inside Property magazine, from Page 17

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Spain Property


When money talks July 20th - August

Page iii

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2nd 2016

Issue 9

From €29m to €2,900, we found a Spanish property to suit every budget

Brexit Bounce


An Olive Press of seven expertspanel While Brits make up a has gathered to discuss the large amount of the marimpact of Brexit ket, others Spanish propertyon the dinavians like the Scanmar- als like and new arrivket. the Polish While, they are filling in market hasconfirm the the drop the gap left by in British sales. suffered But from initial the actions, theyknee-jerk re- seen as lull is widely temporary, with remain optimistic, expecting the think market to bounce the once the tank insisting back stabilises,exchange rate once the dust things will rethe political settles on turn to normal. in the uK and landscape Read the europe. full tory, Part II fromObservapage 14 OPTIMISTIC: Panel

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THIS stunning property has come near Marbella onto the market for a staggering €29 million... Given, it is out of 99.9% of our readers we thought we’d have a hunt around budgets, mething cheaper, for soin €290,000, €29,000 the price ranges of €2.9m, and even €2,900. It’s actually a pleasant surprise for under €3,000 what these days, includingyou can get plot below...just this lovely don’t expect a prime Costa del Sol location. Turn to Page 32 to find out more

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Caught live

Pixies, The Prodigy and Seal


Pages 3 and 16

80 years on

If you can’t read this and you still want to stay in Spain it’s time you got some Spanish lessons... But, for now, as we’re so nice, see Page 7 for a translation

The Olive Press pide a los españoles, en nombre de los británicos, que apoyen la petición para poder permanecer en España

cias más de cerca. Queremos que los españoles entiendan esta grave situación que nos deja en el limbo y que podría impedir que siguiéramos viviendo aquí como llevamos haciéndolo durante años. Esta no es una petición insólita: el Reino Unido permite la posibilidad de obtener la doble nacionalidad tras cinco años de residencia. Curiosamente el Ministro Margallo conoce bien esta posibilidad ya que su hijo, que reside actualmente en el Reino Unido, la ha solicitado recientemente. Así que desde aquí os pedimos, esperamos e incluso suplicamos que os unáis a nosotros en esta causa. Algunos alcaldes y dignatarios ya se han unido a nuestra petición. Pero también necesitamos la ayuda de todos vosotros. Curiosamente los expatriados británicos lanzan este llamamiento exactamente 80 años después del comienzo de la guerra civil española en la que miles de jóvenes voluntarios británicos perdieron la vida. ¿Por qué? Porque creían en España. Y nosotros también. Estamos convencidos de que nuestra aportación a la estructura de vuestro país es muy importante. Queremos quedarnos aquí. No queremos volver. Para firmar la petición visitar y busca ‘Doble nacionalidad para británicos con mas de diez años de residencia en España’

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Translated by Mirian Moreno

Expats in the Civil War Page 6

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Pamplona Bull-run madness Page 14

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ÁS de 15.000 personas han firmado ya una petición que concedería a los expatriados británicos el derecho a la doble nacionalidad en España. Necesitamos vuestro apoyo para garantizar que se nos permita seguir trabajando y viviendo en vuestro país. Hemos elegido vivir aquí y hacer de España nuestro hogar. Muchos de nosotros tenemos negocios, hemos formado una familia aquí. Algunos tenemos parejas de nacionalidad española y, aunque quizá no a la perfección, hablamos vuestro struido enlaces muy fuertes con idioma. España, a través de escritores Creemos que contribuimos como Paul Preston, Gerald Breen gran parte al desarrollo nan y Laurie Lee. de la economía local, es- Y por encima de todo, nos senpecialmente en la costa. timos europeos y estamos comHistóricamente hemos con- pletamente opuestos al Brexit, Est 1984

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AN arrest warrant has been issued for notorious Costa del Sol conman Nigel Goldman. Goldman, 58, who changed his name to Howard del Monte, was summoned to Fuengirola court in January over the defrauding of four expats to the tune of €750,000. However, he failed to show and a judge has now ordered police to bring him in.


He was found guilty of fraud in the UK last year for the THIRD time and must wear a tag during his 12-month suspended sentence. Lawyer Antonio Flores, who is representing the victims, said he could face up to a decade in prison, if found guilty. “It has taken us two years to get to this stage and it is still just the beginning,” he added. Dozens of expat victims claim to have lost as much as €3 million to Goldman through a series of ponzitype schemes. He was first exposed through a series of Olive Press investigations.

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Our courtesy Does your insurance company guarantee a courtesy car after a bump? IF your vehicle is involved in an accident and has to go in for repairs, the last thing you need to worry about is organising alternative transport while your car is off the road. Fully comprehensive car insurance with Línea Directa guarantees a free courtesy car after an accident, for an unlimited period of time, until your car is back on the road. To qualify, policyholders need to take out additional Replacement Car Cover and ensure that the vehicle is repaired in one of their approved national network of authorised repairers.


This includes free pick-up and drop-off of the vehicle and they guarantee original manufacturer replacement parts. With a fleet of nearly 1,000 Audi A1 courtesy cars, Línea Directa is already helping to keep its customers on the move. Following a claim, here is what one customer has said about this new and enhanced service: “I am very impressed with Linea Directa in this instance. “They have since updated their courtesy car, I noticed. The car that was allocated to me in this instance is an Audi A1, with Línea Directa livery displayed on the doors. “The car, I think, had done only 350 kms, so was brand new! “Thank you and the company for your help and understanding in this matter.” If you would like to contact Linea Directa please call 902 123 282 or visit

Keep the good work coming

Many congratulations on reaching number 300. A magnificent achievement and I hope that the good work will continue for a long time to come. Ian Gibson World renowned Spanish historian

to arms against barbaric projects ruining the region’s last green spaces, there was nothing. I wanted to change that… and offer some proper community service in the form of good, old-fashioned, grass-roots, gumshoe local campaigning.

Hot potato After more than a decade working in national newspapers in England, travelling the world reporting on injustices, scandals and corruption, I couldn’t believe what I found on my very own doorstep in the mid 2000s. Andalucia was being run by the local mafia and corruption was rife, with money having bought practically every authority and town hall. When I started to investigate the shocking web of illegality surrounding the enormous Los Merinos golf development near Ronda, I had no idea what I was letting myself in for. The double golf course, 1000 home, three-hotel project would have seen a Unesco-protected hillside turned into a version of Brookside. More crucially, I discovered, it was being protected from high up in the Junta. Perhaps even by its then leader Manuel Chavez. Along with green groups and university professors we followed the money and licences trail, and reported how the developers cut down hundreds of ancient oak trees despite not having permission. First the status quo tried to discredit the paper and told us to shut up. Then, we were threatened with legal action and I became shunned by various members of Ronda ‘society’, people my wife and I had initially called friends. But, as any good journalist knows, you are not in this job to make friends… and you can’t make a good omelette without first breaking eggs, as a famous Fleet Street adage goes. So we did the opposite. We didn’t shut up and our stories began to appear not just in the UK national newspapers, but then in the Spanish nationals. Our small environmental story had

suddenly become a national hot potato. And we even won a campaigning award from green group Ecologistas en Accion. While often feeling like a lone voice in the wilderness back then, as we reported on scandal after scandal, how things changed as we entered the recession. Finally the country got wise to the sheer audacity of its politicians and the billions that had been stolen and syphoned away by their friends. The media changed its tack and started to probe corruption, while new political parties, such as Podemos and Ciudadanos, emerged to take on the big two. The tide has finally turned and today our reports on political scandals and the environment go alongside a huge melting pot of other subjects, popular with our readers. Today, the Olive Press goes from strength to strength with impressive growth figures both in print and online.



the olive press Andalucía’s Fortnightly News Publication HOW TO DEAL WITH A MID LIFE CRISIS


Living Consciously

page 14

**Western Edition**

La Cala Cougar moves inland

page 3

Issue 20, October 19th 2007


page 16

We send our hot new columnist to interview designer Sophie Cranston

CHRIS STEWART WRITES FOR THE OLIVE PRESS His take on the Brits jailed for “saving the environment”

page 22


page 24

INV live press EST IGA TE o


A fairway to treat nature?

AN ecological nightmare, hundreds of ancient oaks apparently stand dead. Pulled up for a huge golf macroproject, they line up in eerie rows like war graves in the Somme. Many centuries old, they have been sacrificed for Europe’s insatiable desire for golf and holiday homes. Part of the unrelenting costafication of Andalucia, they sound the death knell for nature conservation in southern Spain.

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“This is a cynical and botched attempt to create ambience around the golf course and create space,” said tree surgeon Kit Hogg. “I am sure very few of these protected trees will survive. It is disgusting.” Despite ongoing efforts to stop the work, EU investiga-

tions and – crucially – no guarantee of water, work at Los Merinos, near Ronda continues unchecked. This is the true price of golf. Exclusive story page 4

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We have three issues in Andalucia, Mallorca and Gibraltar and plan to open more soon. As well as printing around 100,000 papers a month, we are getting around 10,000 unique visitors to our sites every day. Our profit and turnover has grown for the last three years. All of this, of course, would not have been possible without you, the readers, our excellent writers and journalists and, in particular, our growing number of quality local clients. Thanks for your support. It means the world to us. We couldn’t have done it without you. As one, Ian Radford, the owner of the La Sala Group in Marbella, wrote this week: “The years between 2007 and 2015 have been anything but the easiest, so it makes your growth even more impressive.” All in all, we look forward to growing in strength and popularity over the next 300 issues, with all of you alongside us. And that, after all, is the point. We are the only true voice of this community.

Karen O’Neill Crime writer

Tel: 952 934 963


I’ve recently been writing about political corruption in Spain in my new novel, ‘One Drop’, which is set in Mallorca. I turn to the Olive Press time and time again for leads and background. It’s amazing how their journalists just aren’t afraid to tell the truth. I love their sheer nerve!

SUPPORTER: Famous Hispanist Ian Gibson with Jon Clarke


the olive press Andalucía’s Fortnightly News Publication

“Spa hotel left me high & dry”. 18 million hotel refuses to pay 5k bill

**Western Edition**

Once upon a time in Andalucia Election special

page 11

Issue 29, March 6th 2008

la cultura Yep, the klan is back...

page 12-15

page 19-26

Bin the bags

THEY are given out in their billions, used for a few minutes and clog up the back of everyone’s kitchen drawers. That is until they get thrown out to block up a landfill site. But that is only a fraction of the problem. While plastic bags take an incredible 1000 years to degrade, it is when they enter the nature cycle that they are devastating. Look at these photos. The whale dying on the seashore in Marbella (below), the gannet strangled by a plastic bag, or the giant sea turtle (overleaf). Over 100,000 large sea mammals and an estimated ONE MILLION sea birds die every year due to this plastic poison. These animals are dying because they mistake the translucent bags for jellyfish or squid, a key element of their diets. It is a horrific death. The plastic either blocks their digestive tracts, of if they consume enough bags, their stomachs simply become full, and they stop eating and starve. The Olive Press has decided enough is enough. Following the launch of a series of similar campaigns around the globe, we are vowing to help bring this mindless slaughter to a halt by encouraging the banning of plastic bags in Spain.

The Olive Press launches campaign to consign plastic bags to the dustbin

Picture by Tony Coils


ROM aiding a pensioner to This is, of course, the job of a good unblock his favourite footpath local newspaper. To represent its to warning of the dangers of community and, above all, its readglobal warming, and from in- ers, who in our case are mostly exvestigating dangerous fraudsters to pats, be they British, Dutch, Swedexposing cheating on TripAdvisor in ish, Russian or Moroccan. We have Spain. stepped in to help them all. These are just some of the wideranging and varied issues we have tackled, since I launched the Olive Press some 300 issues ago in 2006. Campaigns? We have had many, in- When I first set up the Olive Press in cluding one to probe bent lawyers, a bedroom of my house in Ronda 12 another to expose the dangers of years ago, I did it out of desperation lethal drug Nolotil and another to for a genuine newspaper to support the huge and growing expat populaencourage plastic recycling. Conmen, fraudsters and sex offend- tion in Andalucia. ers? We have published literally The largest diaspora in the world and the millions of hundreds of exclusive British, Dutch, Scanstories shaming the HEALY MAC S dinavian and Irish exway they cheapen and pats here were being demeanour the country insulted with nothwe now call home. ¡Dejad que nos ing more than cheap Features, food and quedemos! magazines and papers travel articles? We have SPANIARDS WE which (badly) translatcovered just about evM ed local articles. And ery region of Spain, inNEE D still do. cluding its islands, not There were no decent to mention pieces on local English journalneighbouring Morocco ANTHONYS ists investigating and and Portugal. 89€ reporting on the isAnd let’s not forget how we represented UNIQUE: Spanish front page sues that mattered to foreigners … and most of you when we had our only front page in Spanish no newspapers giving them a voice. (see below) - to support the Remain Whether to help local people fight campaign in the Brexit referendum injustice against their town halls, a warning against fraudsters, or a call two years ago.

300 not out

Publisher Jon Clarke on the massive range of stories the Olive Press has tackled as it grew from a tiny office in Ronda to covering the length and breadth of Spain

Follow us: Holland & Barrett Andalucía

September 13th - September 26th 2018


300 not out



Continued on page 2

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FAVOURITES: Three front pages i’m most proud of WHICH BUSINESS GREW BY 50% LAST YEAR? YES,



olive press - February 07- February

The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucía

olive press


Vol. 7 Issue 154

AS A MILLION PEOPLE DEMAND By James Bryce SPANISH Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is battling to save his political career after facing increasing pressure to resign over the PP corruption scandal. Nearly a million people have signed an online petition calling for him to step down, amid widespread protests. Opinion polls show that 77% believe he is now no longer fit to lead the country, while 54% believe there should be a general election. Opposition leader Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba has called for his head, demanding that Rajoy be grilled in Congress about the allegations. The prime minister stands accused of accepting illegal cash payments made to topranking party officials over a 12-year period.

Slush fund

Rajoy however fiercely denies the claims, describing them as ‘totally false’ and has said he will publish his tax returns online. Among the other politicians accused of taking ‘bungs’ are current General Secretary Maria Delores Cospedal, Senate President Pio Garcia Escudero and even former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar. The money was allegedly taken from a €22 million slush fund hidden in a Swiss bank account controlled by former party treasurer Luis Barcenas. Barcenas kept secret ledgers of money received between Turn to page 2

February 07 - Feb 20,


20, 2013


Don’t let the Don’t thein bankslet cash banks cash in .uk see page seepage see page13 4

Who will cut out the cancer destroying Spain? BUNGS SCANDAL...

POINTING THE FINGER: But Rajoy and many of his cabinet are said to have received black money from a Swiss bank account

While millions sit on the breadline with the highest unemployment in history, and expats come into the firing line with new laws and taxes, the PM allegedly took 30,000-a-year from an 22m slush fund... Enough is enough! offshore

September 13th - September 26th 2018





A ll about our

September 13th - September 26th 2018


Read all about it BEST

4 See page xx

expat paper in Spain

Why the Costa de la Luz is the perfect summer escape, see special supplement inside

(Free or paid for)

Vol. 12 Issue 295


‘Ponzi king’

Jump to it


Mijas Costa

July 4th - July 17th 2018

PONZI KING 1 23/02/2017 11:31 0x40_MIJAS_COSTA.indd


claim €6 million Police probe launched after expats scheme scammed in dodgy investment

ACCUSED: Rhys Williams has

vacated villa

News editor Laurence Dollimore worked on the story of alleged investment fraudster Rhys Williams for almost a year. A group of expats claimed to have lost more than €6 million in phony investments after Williams promised them 2% monthly returns - but the money never came. Williams has since disappeared, most likely back to Wales, but the investigation continues. The story was followed up by the Daily Mail last week.

ACCUSED: Rhys Williams has

declared bankrupt and having his stopped coming in,” he said. “I’m care home company investigated er clothes and Rolexes. sure this was some sort of Ponzi "They live the high life out here scheme. Clearly they ran out of in- for fraud. A GROUP of British expats have EXCLUSIVE Despite this, he has been able to with all the apparent credentials to vestors.” called in police after losing more inprove they are successful and mak- For two years, Williams kept help set up several companies, than €6 million to an alleged Costa rency companies. be cluding Impact General Trading, ing money." del Sol fraudster. him in with trips to Not initially convinced, Parsons promising the money would in Panama. company in Dubai, and others The unsuspecting Brits invested up "They hooked for the tennis, Sweden victims, Wilhe was returned, claiming his to €1.64 million each into the al- Wimbledon meals out, which was flew out to Dubai where facilities Impact General Trading, based in According to the have recentfamily shown around various leged ponzi scheme operating out and to fancy embargoed and liams and his nothing compared to what they got that apparently backed up the Dubai, had been ly vacated their exclusive rented of Marbella, Dubai and India. had accounts frozen after 'illegally villa in Marbella. explained son Paul. claims. Welsh expat Rhys Williams, 36, off him," to be stopped." now, dealing with Iran'. “He reinforced all this with de- Parsons has since asked for his “We understand they have and is accused of snaring various local "They need the coast lots of victim, Adrian Parsons, expats, including wealthy parents Another Birmingham, invested tailed bank statements andwe now €500,000 investment back to care rather rapidly left from which 53, €10,000-a-year returned to Wales,” added Parpaperwork, diofficial at his children's for his sick father, who has been €500,000 into the Dubai-based think was fake,” he continued. sons. private school in Marbella. company. seemed agnosed with terminal cancer. "Until last month, they had three The victims insist the business- recyclingvery convincing," Parsons Initially, the investment the first kids at private school, were still man, who was declared bankrupt "He was Olive Press, "He and his to be genuine and for back the restaurants top to the Cancer told going to all the six months he was paid in the UK, persuaded them were living in a €10,000 promised 2% agreed per month. had happened. invest huge sums into a paper re- partner "Williams promised me I would just like nothing villa in Marbella and he has left a cycling and printing business, as per month head to toe in design- “But then the money suddenly get my money back, telling me "At the same time behind him well as trading platforms in Dubai, were dressed how his mother had also had can- trail of destruction in tatters." 'guaranteeing them a 2% monthly cer and that he wouldn't let us and many livesthe UK's Serious This week, return'. down," added Parsons. confirmed to the OlOne British pensioner, Brian LiBut the money never materi- Fraud Office it is looking into the ive Press that vesey, 84, invested €1.64 million in alised. could not comment late 2014. Another alleged victim, Michael Williams, but The former soldier, who has lived McVicar, claims to have lost any further. denuncias, the in Marbella for decades, has yet to €1.5 million, while up to a dozen Following various also is Estepona, in lost Civil, Guardia see any return. other expats have apparently Williams. "It has destroyed him," his son between €100,000 and €1 mil- investigating attempts to conPaul told the Olive Press this week. lion each. Collectively the group After numerous by phone, he finally "He had a stroke earlier this year claim they are owed €6.28 mil- tact Williams replied by email to insist his infrom the stress of it, we are barely lion. keeping our heads above water The Olive Press has discovered nocence. utterly deny any alpaying off debts." that Williams left Llys Meddyg "I totally and wrote, but did not Livesey, who once ran a successLlangristiolus, in North Wales legations,” he questions. ful UK construction company, was almost a decade ago after being reply to any further introduced to Williams by a direcRhys had Rolex and fancy cars tor at one of Gibraltar's cryptocur- LIFE OF LUXURY:

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THE Olive Press is proud to be the only English paper in Spain which consistently prints GENUINELY exclusive stories. Our team of NCTJ trainedPension shocker journalists work around the clock to expose criminals and crooks while providing heaps of original content. For years we have been the go-to for national newspapers in the UK which consistently pick up our stories or commission us to work on their behalf. And this year has proven no exception. From covering the Kinahan s| murder trial for Ireland’s national03.08.18 network RTE, to frying side today an egg on a pavement for in Focus the London Evening StanES Magazine OPINION is back it’s britney, b*tch dard, won’t find any er MP on Corbyn, she’s back: theyou superbrand A nd his new tV show talks falling in love, modern paper us • Pages 22 & 23 other motherhood andSpain-based reinvention LeiRia, accredited so much back in PoRTugaL 36C Blighty. LonDon Here we have rounded 33Cup our top stories which made the news back home this l year. bohemia

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It comes after the Rabobank in London warned that a no-deal Brexit could end in euro-sterling parity, while last week saw the pound plummet to an eight-month low. British expat Karen Watling, from as Sheffield, claims she has lost much as a third of her monthly budget. us “Over two years this has causedthe problems financially,” she told Olive Press. “Prices and commodities have also risen so it has been like a double hit.” The exchange rate was an average an 1.24 in 2014 before climbing to average 1.38 in 2015. However the year of the referendum saw the average fall to 1.22 before falling again to 1.14 in 2017. This year so far has been lower at 1.13 and it currently stands at 1.12. a Brexpats in Spain has called forofgovernment-run internet bank fering basic current accounts, debit out cards and the option to carry transfers national and international online. The group even suggests ordering in RBS - the only bank in the UK which the government has a stake Turn to page 8

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.

WHEN you book a couple of nights stay at an Airbnb holiday home, you don’t think twice that the owner could be a drug trafficker. It is also beyond belief that a drug stash found at the property could be pinned on you, when the only be temporarily is LiThuania 29C 35Cthat you just happened toViLniuS, staying there. It is doubly outrageous then that this has happened to an apparently innocent British man who is now fighting for his life in a dangerous Algeciras prison. Meanwhile, the owner of the property, who has a criminal history relating to drugs, is walking free. Airbnb needs to do more stringent background checks on people that offer their home publicly to protect holidaymakers. And, of course, so do the police. This has all the hallmarks of a serious miscarriage of justice.

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AS LONDONERS basked in 33C sunshine today, much of Europe was on a heatwave red alert with experts saying record temperatures could pose a danger to health. Health warnings have been issued across Spain and Portugal as forecasters said the highest temperature ever recorded in Europe — 48C in in Athens in 1977 — could be beaten today or tomorrow. Authorities in Extremadura in southwestern Spain issued urgent advice to local residents. They included staying indoors during the day, not drinking alcohol and not leaving children and elderly people in parked cars. Meteorologist Becky Mitchell today told the Standard: “It looks like it will peak in Spain and Portugal on Saturday when it will be in the mid to high forties.

There could potentially be recordbreaking heat. Spain’s own record is 47.3C and Portugal’s is 47.4C. It is exceptionally hot.” Spain’s heatwave claimed its first victim yesterday when a 48-year-old road worker died in hospital after collapsing in 44C heat while working on a motorway in Murcia . As tourists were being warned to take care in the sun, Spanish weather agency Aemet issued an “extreme risk” warning for both Badajoz and Caceres in the Extremadura region. High-risk alerts remain in place for the majority of southern Spain until at least Sunday. The Portuguese met office has issued temperature warnings as 47C is forecast for the southeast of the country. Meteoalarm, Europe’s weather warning group, has issued multiple “extreme” heat warnings — which

Cause for concern

IT is deeply concerning that the lethal painkiller Nolotil has been handed out so willingly in Gibraltar for years. The drug has been banned in the UK for years and this is also the case on the Rock. The revelations come despite two years of campaigning by this paper to bring to light its potentially fatal side effects for those of British and northern European descent. Considering how many Brits live and work on the who knows how many may have been impacRock, means a risk to life — for Italy, Croatia and Switzerland. without ted Here, the Met Office is advisingeven realising. holidaymakers to keep out of the midgovernment probe uncovers how day sun asLet’s well as being sensiblethe at hope home. London was set to bask in warm sunshine this weekend, as Ms Mitchell were able to sell an unlicensed these pharmacies predicted temperatures in the capital could hit 32 today, possibly 33, and 30 orthebetter yet, how doctors were able to on Saturdayproduct, and 29 on Sunday, with high 20s across England. prescribe it.

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TOURISTS on a busy Majorcan beach fled the sea in panic after a 10-foot shark appeared in the water. Police closed the sandy Cala Domingos beach in Calas de Majorca, on the east coast, yesterday afternoon. Bathers, including groups of children in pedalos, watched as the shark swam a few feet away. It is thought to have been a tintorera or blue shark. People filmed the fish, above right, moving through the water, as it came in closer and forced tourists out of the sea. Police later recovered it from the water and dragged it along the sand,

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SOME 14 fire bosses have been arrested for allegedly embezzling €7 million in public funds. The Policia Nacional found that the Consortium of A HOTEL is to be knocked Bomberos Cadiz took out down for not having enough mass early retirement insurclass! ance policies. Benalmadena’s Hotel Vista But when their employees de Rey must be demolished retired early, chiefs siphoned within three months, a court off the money from the payhas ruled, outs. Andalucia’s Superior Court Authorities also found discrepancies in the consorof Justice ruled that the hotium’s training courses. tel falls short of its four-star Large sums were paid to a requirement. company to provide training courses, but no evidence has Probing courses these been found that It began probing the three took place. irregularities star hotel and apartment Meanwhile, and grants in found also were block in 2011 after it was desubsidies, which cops believe nounced over planning rules were used to pay for private which set aside the plot for a trips. four star hotel only. The irregularities date back According to the PGOU town to 2008 and cops believe at plan an apartment block was least €7 million has been stoand it also permitted not len by those at the top. being over

Cracking job 35C FEATURE

August 15th - August 28th 2018

PaRiS, fRance

With temperatures hotting up to 46C the Olive Press made an egg-cellent trip to the ‘frying pan of Spain’

S Brits are being warned of scorching tempera-

tures this month in holiday destinations around Spain, thank your lucky stars you're not in Écija, or the ‘frying  pan of Spain’. | News Nestled in the heart AndAluciA of Andalucia, rumour has it this little, historic town received its name because it gets so hot you can fry an sizzling: egg on the pavement. journalist Laurence maDRiD, Just an hour's Dollimore frying 40Cdrive SPain on a marble from Sevilla, Écija is bench in Écija famously dubbed by Cooking eggs in the LiLLe, the hotSpaniards as 32C fRance ‘frying pan of Spain’ test part of the counBut another resident, Elisa try – where forecastMaria Cepas, 50, has Menendez different advice for locals ers in the summer struggling in the heat. “It’s Letter from ... a mistake to drink litres predict and litres of water. That frequently anDaLucia makes you vomit. You need a sugary drink,” said temperatures of 48C. BRITISH holidaymakers the nursing home carer. being warned of Friend Paqui Vidal, 50, But how do the locals scorching temperatures explains how her on the Costa del Sol will colleague — an olive cope? thank their lucky stars picker — is forced to leave they are not in Écija — work sick on the first day "Nobody leaves their dubbed the “frying pan of every olive season. of Spain”. “It can be dangerous for between houses A two-hour drive from olive pickers, many go the tourist beaches, the home throwing up with 2pm and 6pm. It's town is known as being severe sun stroke,” added the hottest in the country, Paqui, an administrator at a ghost town, you where you can cook an an agricultural company. egg on the pavement. Meanwhile, across the won't even find a cafe The temperature was main square, 27-year-old today forecast to reach Ana Somoza Torres, mops open," said Enrique 46C, only a shade below her brow while setting up HIGH: FRYING Europe’s record high. tables outside a bar as the Lopradas, 51, a street We “Nobody leaves their Evean42C. on byreaches eggedtemperature were houses between 2pm and She said: “The only way is lottery vendor and 6pm. It’s a ghost town, you air conditioning and more commission Standard won’t even find a café air conditioning.” And self-confessed 'shade ning what about the egg-frying open,” said Enrique theory? The anaemicLopradas, 51, a lottery chaser'. looking one I cooked with vendor and self-confessed my colleague Laurence on “shade chaser”. “I drink day, every "I drink seven litres of water a marble bench in the seven litres of water every square wouldn’t grace a day, wear long sleeves move and wear long sleeves and constantly Full English — but it was constantly move to the 6pm after all. I also shower three from swigs he to the shade," he adds as orshade. ⬤ Elisa Menendez is a four times a day and reporter for The Olive Press don’t start work until three or four an ice bottle, "I also shower in Malaga 6.30pm when it’s fresher.” times a day and don't start work until 6.30pm when it's fresher."



months to fight decision before it is demolished

Pipe ban


s it’

Cracking job 29C From Page 1

than permitted. Although the town hall and developer maintain this excess was later corrected, the judge ruled that the rectification would have taken place after the granting of the licence, so does not count. The building has 61 apartments and 46 parking spaces. The original building was granted planning permission by then mayor Enrique Bolin in 2001.

He he snared unsuspectknown radio station, through which ing victims. Press investigation exHowever, a comprehensive Olive coins and gold. posed his scams that involved stamps, close pal Barry Nathan We also revealed how he and his anonymously, wined and dined up to a dozen criminals, through the food column. following our expose, He eventually fled the country the UK, where he had but we soon tracked him down to was selling coins and changed his name by deed poll and cottage. Berkshire small a antiques on eBay from English law of conning He was quickly found guilty under people and given a suspended prison reasons. health to due only sentence never “And because he promised to of the go back to his online cons,” one British victim explained. with But this is apparently not the caseusing two victims claiming he is still eBay to sell ‘dodgy’ coins and stamps usfrom his unpaid flat in Brighton, ing the names ‘gqtrading’ and ‘gqtrading2’. his “We are pretty sure he has broken bail conditions and will have to finally go back to prison,” said one victim. “The nerve of this man is unbelievable.” he should have known His landlord last night insisted something was up from the start. I thought he was a bit contracts the sign to met we “When only for the barista to slippery, I went to pay for my coffee his bill.” tell me he had left without paying couple of months but He continued: “He paid for the first account had been frozen then just stopped. He told us his which is probdue to a money laundering investigation, contacting him and acably true. “He then told us to stop cused us of harrassment. ill and can’t work to “Now he is claiming he is seriously make payments. “We’ll see him in court.”

| News

ViLniuS, LiThuania

DOOMED: Costa hotel

wall POLICE officers have formed a human that the along a beach in La Linea to ensure ahead. construction of a beach wall wentof Nuestra The wall, between the church wall Senora del Carmen and the perimeter hopes to of the fishing port of La Atunara,

the beach deter drug smugglers from using as a drop off zone. Civil, A combined police presence of Guardia present as local and national officers were would try fears grew that drug smugglers and disrupt the work.


Available exclusively at Eroski

Elisa Menendez Letter from ...

But another resident, Maria Cepas, 50, has different advice for locals struggling in the heat. “It’s a mistake to drink litres and litres of water. That makes you vomit. You need a sugary drink,” said the nursing home carer. Friend Paqui Vidal, 50, explains how her colleague — an olive picker — is forced to leave work sick on the first day of every olive season. “It can be dangerous for olive pickers, many go home throwing up with severe sun stroke,” added Paqui, an administrator at an agricultural company. Meanwhile, across the main square, 27-year-old Ana Somoza Torres, mops her brow while setting up tables outside a bar as the temperature reaches 42C. She said: “The only way is air conditioning and more air conditioning.” And what about the egg-frying theory? The anaemiclooking one I cooked with my colleague Laurence on a marble bench in the square wouldn’t grace a Full English — but it was 6pm after all. ⬤ Elisa Menendez is a reporter for The Olive Press in Malaga

The launching pad BAR WORKER: Ana Somoza Torres


BRITISH holidaymakers being warned of scorching temperatures on the Costa del Sol will thank their lucky stars they are not in Écija — dubbed the “frying pan of Spain”. A two-hour drive from the tourist beaches, the town is known as being the hottest in the country, where you can cook an egg on the pavement. The temperature was today forecast to reach 46C, only a shade below Europe’s record high. “Nobody leaves their houses between 2pm and 6pm. It’s a ghost town, you won’t even find a café open,” said Enrique Lopradas, 51, a lottery vendor and self-confessed “shade chaser”. “I drink seven litres of water every day, wear long sleeves and constantly move to the shade. I also shower three or four times a day and don’t start work until 6.30pm when it’s fresher.”



LOCALS: Lottery vendor Enrique and (above) Maria and Paqui

300 not out

o he pages w h an a ac ve m x u e o n e es ng ma e E NG a epo e a he O ve P ess They w find hemse ves conduc ng s no su p se hen ha hose who a and good ook ng adve s s an env ab e pos on o be n he own nves ga ons cove ng cu have e us have gone on o do g ea make su e you have cove ed s comp ehens ve weekend pa u a even s w ng ave and news ea h ngs a ound he g obe r 16 Puzzles & Stars 38-39 ner 18-19 Business 43-46 a he oca48-56 news and s o es 36-37 pe des gn means any a ned u es and much much mo e as we as Be ow we have ounded up some o ou Sport ha need o be o d keep you ou na s who o ns has a b oad scope p ck ng up some des gn and v deo ed s a o me emp oyees who a e mak ng n’s weather ayou esh and you emp o o con en o ge he ee h sunk n o ng sk s a ong he way b g waves n he wo d o ou na sm yees b gh and ocused The pape once fi ed as he dead ne mp acab y app oaches mus be sen o he p n e heRe’S hen p cked up and d sJaWS! busHarK ed FOrCEs BEaCHgOErs tO FLEE sEa iN MaJOrCa Ou fi s ou na s Lau a a ways ea ess y Anatoly dropped in to tackle a a ong he coas qu ck y and epo ed on c me and co up on pu he range of tricky subjects includnea y Meanwh e he e a e n good s ead o he cu en o e as a docu ing a walk along the Caminito ur free app for phone and tablet b s o pay v s s o be made r Standard wherever you are men a y p oduce on c ca y acc a med del Rey. Today he is the Rused ng and co ec ons o be fi ms such as D ug o ds o Ne fl x D ugs nc sia correspondent for the Wall done and mon es o be co ec o Na ona Geog aph c and o D spa ches Street Journal in Moscow, having ed Once he ed on s done on Channe 4 as we as he BBC and TV spent time in Venezuela and Chile. s me o s a aga n d d o yea s and know how ha d Jon and h s s a wo k o b ng you he bes oca Eng sh Quick-thinking and with a wicked sense newspape n Spa n Full of ideas, Annabel exposed of humour, Tom Powell helped to rid the likes of fraudster Toni Multhe coast of the likes of fraudster Nigel Lenox Nap e ed o o The doon and did a range of good Goldman and was never short o a g ea En e a ne 1985 1999 o celebrity stories. Today she is nves ga on He moved om he O ve ma y he Eu o Week y news Commercial Editor for Mail OnP ess o become he depu y n gh news line in New York. ed o a he London Even ng S anda d

e for your device and search for g standard’. Available for: iPhone, iPad, lackBerry and WindowsMobile

We take seriously our responsibility to maintain high editorial standards. sure, errors can occasionally occur. If you spot a mistake or wish to complain about ial please use the complaints form at, or write to: ening Standard, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5EE

Sophia Sleigh

AS LONDONERS basked in 33C sunshine today, much of Europe was on a heatwave red alert with experts saying record temperatures could pose a danger to health. Health warnings have been issued across Spain and Portugal as forecasters said the highest temperature ever recorded in Europe — 48C in in Athens in 1977 — could be beaten today or tomorrow. Authorities in Extremadura in southwestern Spain issued urgent advice to local residents. They included staying indoors during the day, not drinking alcohol and not leaving children and elderly people in parked cars. Meteorologist Becky Mitchell today told the Standard: “It looks like it will peak in Spain and Portugal on Saturday when it will be in the mid to high forties.


There could potentially be recordbreaking heat. Spain’s own record is 47.3C and Portugal’s is 47.4C. It is exceptionally hot.” Spain’s heatwave claimed its first victim yesterday when a 48-year-old road worker died in hospital after collapsing in 44C heat while working on a motorway in Murcia . As tourists were being warned to take care in the sun, Spanish weather agency Aemet issued an “extreme risk” warning for both Badajoz and Caceres in the Extremadura region. High-risk alerts remain in place for the majority of southern Spain until at least Sunday. The Portuguese met office has issued temperature warnings as 47C is forecast for the southeast of the country. Meteoalarm, Europe’s weather warning group, has issued multiple “extreme” heat warnings — which

means a risk to life — for Italy, Croatia and Switzerland. Here, the Met Office is advising holidaymakers to keep out of the midday sun as well as being sensible at home. London was set to bask in warm sunshine this weekend, as Ms Mitchell predicted temperatures in the capital could hit 32 today, possibly 33, and 30 on Saturday and 29 on Sunday, with the high 20s across England.

Laura Balfour

Anatoly Kurmanaev

TOURISTS on a busy Majorcan beach fled the sea in panic after a 10-foot shark appeared in the water. Police closed the sandy Cala Domingos beach in Calas de Majorca, on the east coast, yesterday afternoon. Bathers, including groups of children in pedalos, watched as the shark swam a few feet away. It is thought to have been a tintorera or blue shark. People filmed the fish, above right, moving through the water, as it came in closer and forced tourists out of the sea. Police later recovered it from the water and dragged it along the sand,

pictured left. It was initially thought the shark had survived and been returned to the sea following the drama. But emergency services confirmed that these reports were incorrect and it had died.

Annabel Grossman

Imogen Calderwood

‘Immi’ as everyone knew her was one of our longest-serving and most popular journalists. She was extremely hard-working and ambitious and left the paper to work at Mail Online, before becoming the UK Editor at Global Citizen online, a movement hoping to end extreme poverty.

By Elisa Menendez from Malaga court

A SPANISH jury has found Dubliner James Quinn guilty for being the getaway driver in the murder of Gary Hutch on the Costa del Sol. After a four-day trial, the nine-strong jury ruled that the 35-year-old was guilty of being involved in the ‘planned’ shooting of 34-year-old Hutch and of possession of illegal weapons. State prosecutor, Jose Barba, had wanted to hand Quinn a life sentence but jurors stated it had not been proven he acted on behalf of a criminal organisation, in particular the Irish Kinahan clan.


Quinn could face a total of 28 years in prison – 25 for murder and three for possession of illegal weapons. The high-security trial saw six Guardia Civil officers waiting outside the courtroom for ‘the defendant’s safety’, while Policia Nacional officers testified wearing balaclavas or behind closed doors. Quinn’s lawyer Pedro Apalategui has said he will appeal the

IN THE DOCK: James Quinn at Malaga court (Photo by


verdict. “We completely disagree with the verdict,” he said. Dubliner Hutch, nephew of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, was shot 15 times with two closerange shots to the head on September 24 2015, after an attacker chased him twice round the pool area at the Angel de Miraflores estate in Mijas, where the victim lived. The prosecution shocked the court at the end of the fourth day of evidence, offering the jury an alternative indictment -

that Quinn could be the getaway driver instead of the gunman in a bid to increase chances of prosecution. Although the jury ruled the gunman’s identity was not proven as his face was covered in CCTV footage, they could place Quinn in the BMW X-3 getaway car due to a baseball cap found with his DNA on it, after the car was torched following the attack. They stated that Quinn, after waiting for Hutch with the unidentified gunman for over two hours before the ‘surprise at-


tack’, stayed inside the vehicle on the look-out and ensured a subsequent getaway. The jury, of five women and four men, found Quinn guilty of possession of illegal weapons after a Glock semi-automatic pistol with his DNA on it was found in a box on a bedside table in the apartment where he lived in Benahavis. Handcuffed and guarded by five officers, Quinn shook hands with his lawyer after the verdict before being taken to Alhaurin de la Torre prison.

Our bilingual reporter Elisa Menendez was just metres away from suspected hitman James Quinn as she reported live from the murder trial in Malaga. We reported exclusively over five days for RTE TV and Radio, Ireland’s biggest news broadcaster, on how Quinn was accused of carrying out a hit on behalf of the Kinahan cartel. He got life.

Cooking eggs in the ‘frying pan of Spain’

24/11/2017 11:18

"I would much rather be in this heat than be cold." So there you have it, become a hermit, cover every part of your body and drink at least a gallon of water/Lucozade and you should just about survive a heatwave on holiday. And as for the frying pan egg cooking theory? Let's just say it won't be making its way onto a plate of Full English any time soon. Although, a semi-cooked, anaemic-looking egg isn't bad for a first attempt. It was 6pm after all.

Narco King snared

sizzling: journalist Laurence Dollimore frying on a marble bench in Écija

24/11/2017 11:18

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Hear us roar ANTI-tourism protesters have chained themselves to Gaudi's iconic dragon in Barcelona while calling for a ban on new hotels to deter holidaymakers.

June 20th - July 3rd 2018



brow while setting up tables outside of a bar. "The only way is air conditioning and more air conditioning. "We're in Andalucia – obviously we have siestas every day for at least two hours. You just can't leave the house until late." Although the young waitress acknowledges this can be annoying, she points out that this is the only way of life the locals know.

Award Winner LA Cala Resort picked up Best Luxury Mountain Hotel at the Spain Luxury Hotel Awards 2018. Held at the Westin Palace de Madrid, the panel of judges praised the hotel’s excellence in client service, design, management and environmental awareness.


Irishman ‘was getaway driver’ in assassination of alleged drug kingpin on Costa del Sol

Opinion Page 6

Available exclusively at Eroski


But Maria Cepas, 50, claims Enrique is making a rookie error. "It's a mistake to drink litres and litres of water, that makes you vomit. You need a sugary drink too," said the nursing home carer, "we have to send out warnings to elderly people to keep drinking things like Aquarius in this heat." Friend, Paqui Vidal, 50, explains how her colleague – an olive picker – is forced to leave work sick on the first day of every olive season. "It can be dangerous for olive pickers, many go home throwing up with severe sun stroke," added Paqui, an administrator at an agricultural company. Meanwhile, across the main square, 27-year-old Ana Somoza Torres, mops her

December 6th - December 19th

eveNiNg staNdard Friday 3 august slot on a well2018 even got himself a financial advice

As the sizzling summer reached dizzying heights, we were the first port of call for the London EveSMUGGLERS’ WALL ning Standard, who wanted an original take on the soaring temperatures in Spain. maDRiD, We headed to Ecija, dubbed the ‘frying pan 40C of SPain Spain’, as Aitrange is alleged A range to be so hot you can fry an e Waitros of e Waitros egg on theofpavement. wines LiLLe, wines Although our egg wasn’t quite ready for a full32C EngfRance lish (it was 6pm after all), we still made it to page three of the UK capital’s favourite paper.

breached rules by 700 square meters bigger

FRUIT growers in the Axarquia are facing a 60% reduction in water use from the La Vinuela reservoir with no solution in sight. The Junta has decided to limit its use as the reservoir is already at 22.7% capacity and could drop even lower if the dry weather keeps up.


‘He deserve Not enough stars NEWS IN BRIEF

Dying off

Turn to page 2

Opinion Page 6


Local Hero MARBELLA-born poker player Omar de Pino beat 1050 other players to win the main event at the Pokerstars Festival at Casino Marbella. The 25-year-old pocketed €179,000 as well as a place at a tournament in the Bahamas next year.

SPAIN’S population registered a net loss of 31,245 people in 2017 as the number of births dropped 4.5% while the number of deaths rose 3.2%. It’s the first net loss since 1941.

issues alertThe s over Olive Press is known for being a launch pad for many talented s qu e a h ng pub sh ng a dang h newspape You have o fi er a to healt journalists who have passed through over the years Named the best English language publication in Andalucia by the Rough Guides group.



Hot Friday 3 august 2018 eveNiNg staNd hotel ardhas three

So much Hot in London, workbut inEuro it pe

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By Elisa Menendez & Laurence Dollimore

Get him out

EXCLUSIVE By Elisa Menendez

on June 27. Colleagues and friends told the Olive Press that Mansfield-Hewitt, who has a PhD and no criminal record, is an ‘innocent man’ and has been wrongfully imprisoned. They added that the Chichester-raised engineer is currently in a critical condition and is being held in the medical wing at Botafuegos prison in Algeciras - a dangerous jail, which notoriously terhouses a number of Basque ETA Mansfield-Hewitt rorists. Notorious prison while (right) The Brit, a consultant at electrical com- CAGED: and (above right) ETA terrorist pany Genco Holdings Ltd in Gibraltar, “The doctor said he hadn’t been who regularly travels to the Rock, suf- daily for his illness.” given his medication and his liver fers from severe liver disease Ascites After spending two days in a cell, he CAPTION: 15%. His at San was functioning at just and walks with a cane. she appeared in front of a judge His PA, Pilar June Ford, 54, said call Roque court before being sent to Bota- heartbeat was almost non-existent and he was delirious.” was ‘horrified’ when she received a fuegos prison. Castro Esfrom her boss screaming at La Linea Ford is concerned he has not been re- His lawyer Jose Maria now being after he cudero believes he is police station. the ceiving the correct medication, started administered the correct medicaShe told the Olive Press: “He was at collapsed in shock as his ‘body tion, but still remains in a critical station shouting ‘please help me, help prison. to way the on down’ of to shut condition. The nightmare began me, bring me clothes, there’s loads to the He was rushed to ICU at Hospital Pundrugs in the house.’ It was horrible. of ta de Europa where his survival chanc- after police were alerted of Mostash after following a man who “I rushed there with a huge bag ‘touch and go’. as described were es nationality, take to roccan medication, which he needs pulled up outside the property and attempted to get into the garage. Police found 48 packets of hashish weighing around 33 kilos each, or MINIMARKET almost 1.5 tonnes. Freshly Baked Deli Products If found guilty he could Tel: 602 514 384 be sentenced to up to BASED UK 385 559 WhatsApp: 602 six years in a Spanish Opp St Anthony’s College prison. La Cala Hills According to his lawClosed Mondays yer he is ‘fighting every day to free Robert’ and get him bail, meaning for Spanish he would likely have to CASHBACK ON residents report to police once a YOUR HOUSE month while he awaits

apartment he was only renting for two days. But he has now been imprisoned for months and is in a serious condition as he suffers from a liver disease. The Sunday People printed the story over a huge doublepage spread last weekend before being featured by The Mirror and Metro online.


Find out more at: tel: 951 279 117

Voted top expat paper in Spain


A BRITISH businessman - who attended Eton with David Cameron and Boris Johnson - is seriously ill in an Andalucian prison having been accused of drug smuggling. MansfieldAnthony Robert Hewitt, 51, was arrested after police swooped on his rental home during a short business trip to Gibraltar two months ago. The consultant engineer, who insists he is innocent, has yet to be charged over the 1.5 tonnes of hashish police found in the garage of the villa he rented through Airbnb. He insists he has absolutely ‘no connection’ to the drugs that were being stored at the rental in Campamento, in San Roque. The owner of the villa, the Olive Press understands, was charged for importing cocaine into Gibraltar last year. In the case, that has strange parallels to the plight of Scottish student Robbie McMiller, MansfieldHewitt was woken up and ‘dragged out of bed practically naked at gunpoint’ by police officers at 8.30pm

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The story of Robert Mansfield-Hewitt is a terrifying tale of how easily Brits - or anyone - can be thrown behind bars without any charges in Spain. The businessman was imprisoned in Botafuegos prison in Algeciras, after police found 1.5 tonnes of hashish hidden in the garage of the

Everyone has heard of the claims that it is hot enough in Andalucia to cook an egg on the pavement... we visited Ecija, the ‘Frying pan of Spain’, to test out the theory, CRACKING JOB PAGE 6

EXCLUSIVE By Luke Madeira

BRITISH pensioners in Spain claim to have lost more than a fifth of their spending power over the last two years as a direct result of Brexit. Richard Hill, vice president of Brexpats in Spain, claims plummeting in exchange rates, taxes and a rise the cost of living have caused significant income losses. It comes as the pound sunk to a new low of just 1.10 to the euro last week, as worries of a hard Brexit magnified. The pensioner, who claims he’s the around 22% ‘worse off’ since will referendum, believes expats struggle regardless of whatever deal is reached ahead of Britain’s exit from the EU. The pensioner added: “The significant problem at this stage with Brexit is the fluctuating exchange rate. “Obviously fluctuations are normal, however the steady downward trend is seriously affecting people.”


300 not out

Wondering where many of the top UK stories on Spain come from? You read it here first, thanks to our team of journalists

Joe Duggan

He joined us after retraining as a journalist in his late 30s and went on to undertake and write some of our most memorable history features and did a great job helping us launch in Mallorca two years ago. Today he is a reporter at Ferrari news agency, in London and joins the Express next month

Tom Powell


Iona Napier A wonde u ea u e w e and a ound good egg oday ona s he P oduce o TV News n Wash ng on

Nolotil The Sunday Times and the Sun have thanked us for our work on the ongoing Nolotil story. Both papers used our case studies which we collected following a campaign we launched to loomS have the drug regulated last year. We had more ANTHONY’S than 1,000 expats sign our petition which called on health bosses to look into the drug which attacks the white blood cells of people from northern Europe, mainly British and Irish. Several cases, which came to light from the petition, have been used by medical campaigner Cristina Garcia del Campo, who managed to persuade health bosses to look into the drug. A final decision is expected this year. Voted

EXCLUSIVE: Poems from Gibraltar soldier locked up in Andalucia prison for murder


expat paper in Spain

Mijas Costa See page xx 4


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Vol. 12 Issue 289 April 11th - April 24th 2018

NoloTil VicTory

679702_DFS_SPANISH_BOX_AD_40x40_MIJAS_COSTA.indd 23/02/2017 11:31 1


olive Press medical campaign finally draws blood with Nolotil regulation close


EXclUSiVE By Elisa menendez

AN Olive Press health campaign has led to ‘the biggest’ drug probes in Spanish history. Our investigation into the mysterious deaths of expats from the painkiller Nolotil last year, is finally being acted on. In a landmark breakthrough, a national probe is expected to lead to new regulation of the drug, which is banned in the UK and most of Europe. “It has been a long time in coming and by raising so much awareness, I am sure lives have already been saved,” medical and legal translator Cristina Garcia del Campo told the Olive Press. The medical professional found our 1000-strong petition online and took it forward after one of her patients died from the drug. “Spain wants to help,

TRAGIC: Graeme Ward with wife Mary (left) and Billy Smyth, who both died from Nolotil

that’s for sure. I have had support from every healthcare professional I have spoken to. “If I hadn’t come across your article I wouldn’t have realised what was happening to the English community,” she added. We launched our ‘Kill the Drug’ campaign against the painkiller last August, after learning that dozens of British and Irish expats had died after their immune systems were allegedly destroyed by the commonly prescribed drug. A trio of families told us how their relatives had died unnecessarily in excruciating pain. Yet, authorities refused to take our claims seriously, despite the evidence being backed up by local doctors. Fortunately, Ali-

cante-based Garcia del Campo spotted our campaign, while working with an Irish expat who suddenly became critically ill with sepsis and necrotizing fasciitis after taking the drug. He died later in November. Voted BEST

See page 18 xx

EXCluSiVE By laurence dollimore

A BRITISH expat couple are fighting to save their Malaga home from demolition over a technicality. Gill and Bob Ward, both 74, have been locked in a battle with their town hall, which claims their house in Almayate is illegal. Just yesterday the retired couple from Cornwall were given



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Vol. 11 Issue 271

Continues on Page 8

August 2nd - August 15th 2017

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THE Olive Press is giving away three pairs of tickets for two of the best concerts on the Costa del Sol this summer... And all you have to do is answer two simple questions! Michael Bolton takes to the stage for an emotive end of season night at Marbella’s Puente Romano on August 10, while Estepona is set for its biggest rock concert in years with mammoth

Doctors and dentists join Olive Press appeal for ban on dangerous painkiller Nolotil EXCluSiVE By laurence dollimore

one month to knock down their only property (pictured above). In a court order seen by the Olive Press, the Wards are warned they will be held criminally responsible if they refuse. “I don’t know what to do anymore, I’m at the end of my tether” Gill told the Olive Press, “I’m totally exhausted from the whole ordeal.” The retired pair, who have now spent thousands of euros on legal costs, bought the old farmhouse ‘in ruins’ in 2004, and were given permission from Velez-Malaga town hall to rebuild it. But when the original wall collapsed of its own accord during construction, the Wards’ architect told them it would be fine and that he would let the town hall know. Unfortunately for

tribute bands Think Floyd, Deeper Purple and Whole Lotta Led rocking out the greatest hits of Pink Floyd, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin at the Plaza del Toros on August 26. For a chance to win a pair of tickets to see Bolton, just answer the question; what year was Michael Bolton born in? For the Pink Purple Zep Fest in Estepona, just tell us; Where was Jimmy Page born? Email answers to the

WIN WIN WIN: Bolton and Pink Purple Zep Fest tickets

Kill ThE drug

THE Olive Press is calling on Spain to ban a lethal painkiller that is killing countless of unsuspecting expats. British dentists and doctors are supporting the ban after Briton Graham Ward, 75, complained to the Olive Press of how he was prescribed the deadly Nolotil drug by a dentist last week. It’s the very same drug that was blamed for killing his wife in 2006. The Marbella-based expat was furious when he was told to take the painkiller by his Spanish dentist, after suffering from a difficult abscess. His wife Mary, 59, had died after being prescribed the same drug following a double vasectomy at Costa del Sol Hospital. “Within 24 hours she was in intensive care, her white blood cell count plummeted to zero within days,” explains Graham, a former computer HAPPIER TIMES: Graham with wife, and Billy Smyth technician, from London. She never regained conscious- again. Metamizole, Nolotil is banned ness and was on a life support “He said she would be alive if in the US, the UK, Ireland and machine for FOUR months, she hadn’t taken it, but I have most of Europe, but it is prebefore spending three years heard from dozens of Brits scribed widely in Spain. fighting the impact of the and Irish who have been given Irishman William ‘Billy’ drug, which led to organ fail- it,” added Graeme. Smyth was given a five-day It is the third victim of the course of the drug in Februure. “The chief surgeon at the hos- drug the Olive Press has re- ary. pital promised me he would ported on in under a year. But when the 66-year-old renever prescribe that drug Sometimes known also as turned to a different Spanish

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need for more research

Dr Nina King, of Oasis Dental Care in Marbella, fully supports the campaign, telling the Olive Press the drug is not something she prescribes. “It’s not a drug I use, I stick to safe and standard medication,” she said, “And after seeing what damage it can do, it’s a drug I won’t be using in the future.” Marbella-based private doctor Dra. Victoria María Chacón Almeda also agrees the drug is dangerous. “I don’t prescribe the drug,” she told the Olive Press, “I have lots of British patients and I am aware of what it is capable of doing. “There needs to be a lot more research on its impact.”

doctor to get a renewal in April, tests showed the drug had caused a toxic poisoning in his bone marrow and his white blood cell was dangerously low. Billy, a keen sportsman, developed sepsis and necrotising fasciitis as a result and required ‘radical surgery’ to remove the affected tissue in an attempt to save his life.

The dad-of-two later died from septic shock – believed to be linked to taking the Nolotil. Another British expat Hugh Wilcox was prescribed the same medication for mild shoulder pain on the Costa del Sol. He developed severe head Continues on Page 2

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Nolotil, or Metamizol, is still one of the most popular painkillers in Spain, yet the most feared side effect is agranulocytosis, a severe and rapid drop in white blood cells, which leaves patients unable to fight infections. Garcia del Campo noticed that a large number of other English

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and Irish patients had been suffering with sepsis at hospitals along the Costa Blanca. “I thought, this can’t be normal,” explained the translator, from Madrid. And after looking at patients’ notes, she found that each had one thing in common - they were all taking Nolotil. Although manufacturers list side effects such as agranulocytosis, necrotizing fasciitis and sepsis, they are considered ‘very rare’ affecting one in every 10,000. The figures did not seem to add up to Garcia del Campo so she set about doing her own research. However, no information existed in Spanish media. The only articles she could find on the drug and its lethal side effects was in the Olive Press. “I was in disbelief,” continued the Javea-based translator, who lived in the UK for 18 years. “I thought this was surely wellknown and someone was doing something about it. Except it wasn’t. “I felt I had to inform Spain Continues on Page 2


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POLICE have captured the notorious ‘Narco King’ of southern Spain. Antonio Tejon Carrasco was snared in a raid involving 100 police officers in La Linea. It comes after the leader of the Castanas gang, said to be Spain’s biggest drug trafficker, had escaped capture various times this year, on one occasion over the roof of his home. But he was caught after he returned home to see the mother of his two children, Patricia Parody Cano, where he was greeted by police. The youngest Tejon brother has appeared before a judge and remanded in custody. He had become public enemy number one after returning home from Morocco to live in Spain two years ago. Since his return he managed to group together six gangs and form a successful international smuggling operation, which has played a huge part in the rising ‘narco crisis’ in Cadiz. Last summer alone his gang allegedly imported around 3,000 kilos of hashish, earning the brothers around €30 million. According to police, they are to blame for a sharp rise in violence and brazen aggression against law enforcers.


Most spaniards spend more than a third of earnings on rent

MOST people in Spain spend more than a third of their earnings on rent, it has emerged. The average family renting a home lose 37% of their salaries, according to a report by the European Commission and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development). Renting costs have increased in almost every community over the last year, making residents’ salaries stretch even less further.

September 13th - September 26th 2018

September 12th - September 25th 2018


Up up and Palma breaks away price record

Worst hit

Business Insider compared the average price per square metre in each region and matched it with the average salary to determine the proportion spent on rental costs. Those living in Madrid, Catalunya and the Balearics are the worst hit, with residents losing 45.79%, 47.93% and 44.83% of their salaries respectively. They are followed by the Canary Islands, Cantabria, the Basque Country and Andalucia, where the percentage is still above 30%. Extremadura is the com-

15 15

RISING: Percentage of rent per community (Business Insider)

munity where the least is spent on rent (22.8%). It comes as town halls across the country are beginning to resist holiday rental sites like Airbnb,

which they blame for increasing average rental costs while pushing out the locals. Valencia and Madrid introduced news restrictions

this year while Mallorca has introduced new licensing laws for those who rent out their homes. The average salary in Spain is €23,156 per year.

THE price of homes in Mallorca is 8% above the same time last year. Sales have now increased in the Balearics for 18 consecutive quarters – rising 31% since 2014. The average salary meanwhile has only risen by 2.1% in the same period. The vast difference has become a major reason why working residents are having trouble finding affordable housing. The Balearics has the third most growth in housing in Spain, only outdone by Madrid and Catalonia who have had a growth in prices of 40% and 33%. The director of studies of, Ferran Font, has said that they forecast a continued upward trend in the coming quarters. The Balearics is also the region where it takes the longest to buy a house – nearly 16 years on a full time salary.

PALMA is home to the most expensive property on the market in Spain. The seven-bedroom Villa Solitaire in Son Vida is for sale via John Taylor for €65 million. Designed by Italian Matteo Thun the 2,300 square metre villa has stunning views of the Bay of Palma, a rooftop terrace with open-air cinema, a gym, botanical garden and a six-car garage. The property is almost double the second most expensive property in Mallorca, the Bonaire mansion, in Alcudia, listed for €35 million.



Ref. 7516 · Constructed area 120 m2 · 3 bedrooms · 3 bathrooms · Air conditioning · Built in wardrobes · City Views · Fireplace · Fully reformed Furniture · Garage / Parking · High quality · Port views · Prime location · Sea view · Swimming pool · Underfloor Heating · Price: 1.850.000 €

Isaac Peral, 38 · 07157 Puerto de Andratx (+34) 971 238 526 ·


September 13th - September 26th 2018

Ref: 11925


Bathrooms: 2

Build: 148m2


Modern Townhouse on the Golf Course Camp de Mar Modern Townhouse in the golf course of Camp de Mar. This spectacular townhouse located in a quiet area with beautiful golf views with a floor area of 175m2 and a living area of 148m2 divided into three bedrooms, two bathrooms en suite, a WC, a large living room, a storage room, laundry, air conditioning in all rooms and under floor heating in each bedroom and bathroom, a covered terrace of 20 m2, where you can enjoy a perfect breakfast with the magnificent views and the sun. There is also a 108 m2 garden where you can sunbathe and relax. The complex has four swimming pools and a BBQ area. The property is in a very good condition and very well maintained.

Ref: 11937

Bedrooms: 2

Bathrooms: 2

Build: 160m2


Mediterranean Style Ground Floor Apartment in Nova Santa Ponsa Beautiful ground floor apartment of mediterranean style in Nova Santa Ponsa. This charming ground floor apartment of Mediterranean style has a living space of 160sqm and it consists of two spacious and bright double bedrooms with big built-in wardrobes, two bathrooms, one of them en suite, a fully furnished and equipped kitchen, a spacious living/ dining room with an access to a big terrace and to a beautiful, private garden. This apartment has been recently totally renovated. It is located in a very quiet residential area that offers big gardens with beautiful pool and barbecue. This residential zone is situated very close to the famous Puerto Adriano and to the golf course of the area. It is perfect holiday apartment!

W W W. S G I - M A L L O R C A . C O M 26th 2018 Y O U R PA R T N E R S I N M A K I N G Y O U R D R E A M S CSeptember O M E 13th T R- September UE A PA R T M E N T S


Ref: 11929






Bedrooms: 3


Yo u r s H e r m a n n K ö p p l e r


Bathrooms: 2

Build: 90m2


Beautiful Fully Renovated Apartment in Santa Ponsa Beautiful fully renovated apartment in Santa Ponsa. This apartment offers 90m2 distributed in three bedrooms, the master bedroom with an en suite bathroom, another bathroom with a bath and whirlpool, a spacious and bright living room with a large modern kitchen integrated with island. This beautiful apartment is located in the center of Santa Ponsa, just a few meters from all necessary services. Very close to several golf courses, beaches in the area and several marinas. Only 20 minutes drive from the city center of Palma.

Ref: 11936

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 3

Build: 371m2


Beautiful House in a Rustic Style in the Town of Calvià Beautiful house in a rustic style in the town of Calvià. This beautiful house has been built on a plot of 781m2, the house has four bedrooms and three bathrooms distributed in two heights. Fully fitted and equipped kitchen, very spacious and bright living-dining room plus another lovely winter living room both with access to several terraces in the upper part of the house. The house has a guest apartment with kitchen, bedroom and bathroom, with separate entrance to the house. Outside the house we find a nice pool with several areas of solarium and relax, cellar and large storage rooms. This house is located in a very quiet street of the beautiful village of Calvià, with wonderful views over the mountains and with all the necessary services just a few minutes from the property. A visit is recommended !!!

P U I G D E S C A S T E L L E T. 1 - 2 , B L . 3 , 0 7 1 8 0 S A N TA P O N S A , M A L L O R C A (+34) 971 695 912 • INFO@SGI-MALLORCA.COM

Keys Isl nd Earthquake 18

to the

By Amanda Butler

The Premier FX drama has shaken the Mallorca community, writes Amanda Butler IT’S mid-September already – goodness summer passed in a whirl! Our final guests of the season left yesterday, so it’s time to pick ourselves up and commence with a much needed full detox program! Not only was there a flurry of guests, but we’ve also had to cope with a rather large ‘earthquake’ going off within the community in the form of Premier FX, the well-known currency exchange company operating on the Island, being put into liquidation. Following the death in July of sole-owner and Director Peter Rextrew during a heart operation in Portugal, an initial audit discovered certain ’anomalies’ in the trading accounts, with all clients notified on Friday July 28 that trading was being frozen by the relevant authorities until further notice. Rather ironically, I’d just emailed them to transfer all the remaining funds to my account just the day before. Fortunately, we only had a small amount remaining in our account, unlike others within our close circle with con-

siderably more at stake. It’s a shock to say the least. It’s a company I had recommended to numerous clients, very successfully saving them money on exchange rate fluctuations through property transactions over several years. Peter was a well-liked and a regular

visitor (from the Algarve where they also had offices) to the Wednesday evening Car Club gathering at The Boat House in Palma, as well as the MD Nick Jones who had become a good friend to all who attended regularly. We have since heard that Nick was merely MD in title and not an official Director, which has

been confirmed by the official notifications from the auditors and was not involved with the actual currency trading aspect, for which only Peter Rextrew was solely responsible. As the limited official information streams through, we are all holding our breath in the hope that it can be resolved, although the full story is likely to take much investigation and a great deal of time. I feel very sorry for those that worked with the firm here in Palma – with great empathy for those in the middle of property transactions where deposits have been paid with balances outstanding. It’s a difficult situation for all concerned. In the meantime the property market continues to rise, and thankfully I am being blessed with being asked to work as an exclusive buyer’s agent with some interesting clients requiring complete discretion, looking for some super exciting properties– so I’m afraid I’m not able to divulge the nature of my current missions ........

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



September 13th - September 26th 2018

September 12th - September 25th 2018

Fair bnb? British MEP claims Barcelona was wrong to cull 3,000 Airbnb listings MORE than 3,000 ‘illegal’ tourist rental flats have been removed by Airbnb in Barcelona this summer. Authorities ordered the cull following new regulations which limited the city to 9,600 tourist rental licences. In total 3,281 adverts for holiday lets were removed from the popular holiday site, after

an intervention by city council leader Ada Colau. But British MEP Daniel Dalton has criticised the move, saying the sharing economy does not raise rents or squeeze out young locals. Speaking to the Guardian, the Conservative politician said: “The open-source Inside Airbnb website shows there

Uncompetitive! SHIPPING costs are making the cost of living ‘unacceptably high’ in Mallorca. Transportation costs are up to four times higher to bring goods to the island than on the mainland it has emerged. According to the University of the Balearic Islands, the cost is due to higher fuel prices, as well as the lack of competitive ferry prices. “There are only two cargo shipping companies, Mediterranean and Balearic Islands, so it is very difficult to reduce prices,” Ezequiel Horrach, the president of the Balearic Business Association explained. “It addition fuel is 20% more expensive here than on the mainland.” A total of 400,000 vans entered and exited the Port of Palma last year carrying 7.5 million tons of goods. The university report has now been presented to the government with suggestions and solutions, including adding a third shipping company to offset the duopoly. It also recommend more government subsidies and the creation of a new body to specifically deal with goods.

Real bandwidth


According to Dalton, cheap borrowing, foreign investment, changing demographics and housing shortages can also impact upon prices. He added: “Cracking down on platforms such as Airbnb may seem like the right thing to do. “But the only ones celebrating will be the giants of the hotel industry, which is keen to shut out the competition.”



Expat cognitive therapists Martin & Marion Shirran’s highly-esteemed work has been featured in Vogue, Marie Claire, The Times, Telegraph and The Daily Mail

are just over 17,000 listings in Barcelona – a city in which there are more than 800,000 homes. “Second, data from the same website shows that 60% of those listings are posted by people renting out their spare rooms. “They are tenants or homeowners who want to earn a bit of extra cash, not moneygrabbing landlords looking to get rich quick.”

Our amazing successes

Costa del Sol-based cognitive therapists star on UK television special

olly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have talked with Martin and Marion Shirran about their Gastric Mind Band® permanent weight loss treatment on the This Morning TV Show. The Costa del Sol is acknowledged around the world for a number of reasons, but for a few in the know, including a growing number of celebrities, it remains the Go-To destination for those wishing to achieve Permanent Weight Loss. The incredible story around the Gastric Mind Band® treatment goes back to 2012 when it was developed at a small clinic in Fuengirola, by Martin and Marion Shirran. Shortly afterwards Claudia Connell (left) of the Daily Mail, travelled to Spain to meet the developers and experience the treatment for herself. Two weeks later she wrote a two-page feature in the Daily Mail newspaper dePRIME TIME: Marion and Martin with Phillip Schofield and tailing her treatment that literally got the whole Holly Willoughby on This Morning world talking. Martin and Marion were then flown to New York to be featured in a Good Morning ment is evidence based. There’s no smoke and mirrors, no diet America TV special regarding their approach; resulting in them plan, and no exercise regimes to follow. establishing a number of licensed clinics around the world. “Helping people to successfully, and permanently lose weight is Following the TV appearances they signed a multi-title publisha complex task, requiring a careful fusion of empirically proven ing contract with leading Mind Body publishers interventions. The treatment incorporates CogniHay House in New York, and were then invited to tive Behaviour Therapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programshare details of their work at two leading EuroHelping people ming and the clinic’s own registered, TactileCBT pean psychology conferences at universities in with Mindfulness Techniques, each underlose weight is along Portugal and Poland. pinned as and when required by Hypnotherapy. They were recently invited to appear on the This a complex task The treatment has been further enhanced followMorning show to talk about the treatment and its ing the new and exciting research in the field of development, you can see the full interview on requiring various Neuroplasticity. the clinics web site – Various past clients have been interviewed in the techniques The revolutionary treatment which can be commedia and on TV worldwide. One Sara Price, lost pleted over either three or four days delivers what half her body weight following her treatment, Kais surely Utopia for dieters... Permanent Weight tie Drew, went on to lose over 100 pounds. Kaye Loss using a range of proven psychological interventions. Today Lindley, a past client was interviewed by Lorraine Kelly on GMTV the Gastric Mind Band® is regarded by many as the gold stanBreakfast show after losing 105 pounds and reversing her diadard in permanent non-surgical weight loss treatments. betes. The unique approach has been refined during a decade of research and extensive client trials. Every element of the treatRead their stories at


Sara Price lost half her body weight, thanks to Gastric Mind Band


Drew lost 100 pounds

Gastric Mind Band Therapy Elite Clinic, Fuengirola +34 951 311 591 • •


September 13th - September 26th 2018

Expat wins top UK food awards for Spanishproduced balsamic vinegars By Elisa Menendez

Pulling their pints! MALLORCA’S biggest beer festival has been forced to move venues. Oktoberfest will now take place at Palma's Pueblo Español, organisers have confirmed. It comes after Megapark, owned by the controversial Cursach Group, had to drastically decrease the capacity limit for the venue. Organisers Trui have decided to host their massive beer, pretzel and bratwurst festival in Pueblo Espanol from September 28 to October 15. They will hold another Oktoberfest in Santa Ponsa. At both there will be Paulaner on tap, crispy Bavarian pork and other traditional foods with live music and football.

A BRITISH expat has scooped up numerous coveted food awards for her Spanish-inspired products. Creator of Fino Olive Oil, Susie Taylor, has won two prizes at this year’s UK Great Taste Awards - one of the world’s largest and most trusted of its kind for her dark and white balsamic vinegars. The foodie entrepreneur from Oxford uses produce from the heart of Cordoba to create her gold star award-winning balsamics. Both the white and dark vinegars are made from the Pedro Ximenez grape and are ‘skilfully produced by masters in their field’ at the historic but modest Bodegas Navarro in Montilla.


EVENT: In Esportes

What’s on for foodies!


PALMA'S favourite Mexican restaurant El Chapulin is hosting a Mexican Independence Day party on September 16. The party begins at 7pm, with a special tasting menu accompanied by Mexican beers and tequilas followed by a Mariachi band.


EXPAT FOODIE: Susie Taylor with her vinegar

Spanish adventure in 2003 when she moved to Casarabonela in Malaga for a new life soaking up the culture with her partner and three children. After mastering the language, Taylor bought 30 acres of land boasting a large cow barn and olive trees before securing planning permission to transform it into their dream home. And that’s where her love of olives was born.

Taylor started olivepicking with locals to create the ‘village olive oil’, which would then be pressed at the ‘cooperativa del pueblo’ before being drizzled across villagers’ dinner plates. In 2016 the expat sold the house to move back to Oxfordhsire but has been able to keep strong ties with Casarabonela, selling olive oil produced in the village where she had ‘such happy times’.

ha Cha Cha

treet food

PORT Adriano has announced their next Street Food Festival to take place on October 12. The twelfth edition of the popular food truck event includes live music and entertainment to accompany the variety of street cuisine offered.


treet food II

PAGUERA is hosting their second annual Street Food Festival from September 20 through 23. The food fest promises delights for all types, including vegetarian, pastry lovers and healthy options, along with traditional and creative staples like burgers and tacos.

Hero chef SPANISH chef Jose Andres has written a novel detailing how he provided millions of meals to Puerto Ricans following the devastating hurricanes last year. The book recounts how Andrés’s organisation, World Central Kitchen, overcame bureaucratic hurdles by enlisting 20,000 local volunteers to prepare and deliver 3.7 million meals. Andrés, 49, organised five kitchens and six food trucks to deliver up to 10,000 meals a day to places

The Olive Press is both informative and entertaining. It provides readers with a great overview of what’s happening in Mallorca; the news, the facts and the fun! We enjoy working with the Olive Press very much. Alex Schmitz Only Mallorca

300 not out

THE town of Esporles is getting ready to celebrate the island’s sweetest annual event, La Fira Dolca – a fair of sweets, desserts and pastries. Thousands flock every year on Sunday October 7 to taste treats from the best bakers from across over the island. The fair also boasts a crafts market, and entertainment and activities for the whole family.

September 12th September 25th 2018

Secrets of their wine making expertise have been handed down from generation to generation since 1830. The expat started her

RELOCATING: From Megapark to Palma

Sweet treats

Taste of home

19 19

LEGEND: Jose Andres most in need. In one photo, he was seen cooking alongside local volunteers late into the night. We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time, is released this month and will be available on Amazon.

Grape expectations MALLORCA'S wineries have produced 20% more grapes than last year thanks to ideal weather conditions. A total of 20% of the islands bodegas are now owned by foreigners with the main market outside of the Balearics in Germany and Switzerland.

Carrer de Sant Magí, 84, 07013 Palma, Illes Balears tel: 625 36 02 91

Carrer de Cotoner, 44, 07013 Palma, Illes Balears tel: 696 52 67 58

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September 13th - September 26th 2018

September 12th - September 25th 2018

After Lonely Planet crowned ‘pintxo hopping’ in San Sebastian’s old town the ‘world’s best foodie experience’, Elisa Menendez insists that Bilbao’s culinary offering is just as good


HE world’s best culinary experience has officially been awarded to heading out for tapas, or pintxos, an old Spanish tradition. Well, Basque that is. Choosing from 500 global food experiences, Lonely Planet’s panel awarded the coveted top spot of the ‘Ultimate Eatlist’ to pintxo hopping in San Sebastian’s old town. And it’s not difficult to see why. San Sebastian is truly unforgettable when it comes to eating out, but I’m Team Bilbao after moving to the rival Basque city at the tender age of 21, where pintxohopping quickly became an obsession. It’s not only food, it’s a way of life packed with tradition, culture, history and

Dining Secrets of Andalucia editor Jon Clarke on the delights of San Sebastian barhopping


300 not out

HE idea was as intriguing as it was exciting: To compare one of San Sebastian’s famous three Michelin-starred restaurants with its world-famous tapas district. A dedicated gourmet, I had long wanted to experience the delights of what, Lonely Planet has now described as its ‘number one foodie experience’ in the world. That is the experience of barhopping for pintxos - as tapas are called up there - is a right of passage for any serious food writer. Yet I had only fleetingly visited the town in my early 20s... and again hungover after a stag weekend two decades ago, coincidentally spending an evening bar-hopping with TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson, a fellow journalist by trade, so food was always going to come a distinct second. So this trip needed a bit of

Ref: 11925

Pintxo passion UNI DAYS: Elisa in Bilbao and (inset) her favourite pintxos while (right) a huge array of goodies

the best way to socialise setting you back just €3 for a bite and a glass of vino alongside. I’ll never forget being in awe of the futuristic Guggenheim museum’s reflection in the river contrasted with the charm of the old architecture as we drove

over the mountains into the city centre. And most importantly, trying my first pintxo - the classic ‘taco de bonito’ - a wedge of cooked tuna with diced onion and pepper, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I was hooked.

Bar none! SAN FAN: Publisher Jon Clarke and (right) San Sebastian’s pintxos

planning and the perfect place to stay, with Hotel Villa Soro, a charming villa near the centre ticking all the boxes. From here, we were just a short walk to the main tapas area of the Basque seaside resort

of 185,000 people, the area known as ‘Casco Viejo’. It is perhaps no surprise that the city’s tapas - or pintxos, as they are known locally - are so incredibly good. The resort counts on the most Michelinstarred restaurants per capita in Europe — 16 stars in about a 15-mile radius. The Olive Press is a great paper with a loIt is something of a religion vely team, who are always very professional, here and there are clubs that are dedicated entirely to eatfriendly and excellent at keeping in touch. We ing, while its chefs, such as are thrilled to have a Juan Mari Arzak, Pedro SubiY O U R PA R T N E R S I N M A K I N G Y O U R D R E A M S C O M E T R U E working relationship jana and Eneko Atxa have become household names across with them. Spain. Larissa Minkova We started out at the historic SGIRef:Mallorca 698,000€ 11929 258,000€ Bedrooms:3 Bathrooms: 2 Build: 148m2 Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2 Build: 90m2 A PA R T M E N T S








Yo u r s H e r m a n n K ö p p l e r


Modern Townhouse on the Golf Course Camp de Mar

Beautiful Fully Renovated Apartment in Santa Ponsa

Modern Townhouse in the golf course of Camp de Mar. This spectacular townhouse located in a quiet area with beautiful golf views with a floor area of 175m2 and a living area of 148m2 divided into three bedrooms, two bathrooms en suite, a WC, a large living room, a storage room, laundry, air conditioning in all rooms and under floor heating in each bedroom and bathroom, a covered terrace of 20 m2, where you can enjoy a perfect breakfast with

Beautiful fully renovated apartment in Santa Ponsa. This apartment offers 90m2 distributed in three bedrooms, the master bedroom with an en suite bathroom, another bathroom with a bath and whirlpool, a spacious and bright living room with a large modern kitchen integrated with island. This beautiful apartment is located in the center of Santa Ponsa, just a few meters from all necessary services. Very close to several golf courses, beaches in the area and

For those who don’t know the wonders of these mini taste explosions, traditionally they consist of a slice of bread with ingredients piled sky-high on top, secured with a toothpick. Hence the name pincho (pintxo in Euskera, Basque) meaning ‘to spike’.

As culinary trends changed, the pintxo evolved and now hungry diners can find everything from traditional dishes to molecular gastronomy renditions and everything in between. It’s thought the origin of the pintxo started in the 1930s, when the Andalucian tapas


DELICIOUS: Boquerones pintxos and (right) popular San Sebastian eatery

joint of Akelarre on Friday night, where one of the godfathers of Basque cuisine Pedro Subijana has held down three Michelin stars since 2006. After 20 minutes chatting with the seasoned legend - in which he generously gave us his top ten favourite pintxos (and where to find them) for the next day - he led us through one of the most memorable degustation menus I have ever tried. The 10-course masterclass, washed down with some fine Rioja, was fresh, original and exciting… yet, somehow it lacked something. Perhaps, it was the rather

sterile dining room and lack the most meagre breakfast of views at night, which during possible. We zoned in on the day stretch Calle Fermin for miles across Calbeton in the the sea from heart of the old its clifftop vanSan Sebastian town, where Petage. Perhaps, it was to do is definitely the dro had given us a trio of adwith the slightly food capital of dresses the over-polished night before. service, which the world The first, Sport, was almost too had the most perfect. amazing foie It’s hard to say, and crab crepe, but we left that night wondering what might come to pass the while the second Borda Berri, had a superb pig’s ear. following day. After a good night’s sleep we But we were soon going native set off for our pintxo tour, after and, like a child in a sweetshop,


September 12th - September 25th 2018

September 13th - September 26th 2018


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marvelling at the incredible display of delicacies on offer. Every bar had its own unique display of goodies and we literally dived into anywhere that had space at the bar and looked of interest. To be fair, literally everything was of interest and in Calles Pescaderia and 31 de Agosto there were so many places to try. On one bar I found the biggest mushroom I had ever seen, while in another the colours of the array of pintxos almost blinded me. As a golden rule we tried to ask the owner, or at least a waiter, what they recommended we

try. And I can honestly say, I have NEVER eaten so well. It was so good in fact, we scrapped plans that night to go to the theatre and tried another 10 or so places. All in all, there are around 40 or 50 superb places to eat pintxos in the old town, while another area nearby around Plaza Txofre had another dozen or so. To sum up, San Sebastian is definitively the world’s food capital. Forget Paris, forget London, forget New York: The Basque Capital of Cooking has the most exciting and varied culinary offering imaginable.

the the

1940s trend

spread to Bilbao, Vitoria- as famous guests have inGasteiz and Pamplona and cluded Bono, Prince Albert txikiteo was born - the prac- of Monaco and Jeremy tice of hopping (tipsy) from Irons. bar to bar with a kuadrilla, Cafe Iruna, arguably Bila close group of friends. bao’s oldest eatery set up To the pintxo virgin, the first in 1903, is worth a visit for time you spot a sea of co- the decor as much as the lourful and mouthwatering food. bites laid out in neat rows Don’t miss the mini lamb on the bar waiting for you skewers, which attract daily to swipe, is a complete sen- queues round the corner. sory overload. For the cheese lovers out You’ll also learn to swap there, you’ll be in dairy Sangria for heaven at the grittier Bar GaztandKalimotxo Diners can find egi - Bilbao’s red wine and pintxo everything from only coke - which bar dedicated sounds vile traditional dishes solely to the but is a great yellow gooey to molecular pintxo partner stuff. on a Saturday El Globo, gastronomy night on Calle tucked behind Somera, in BilGran Via, is a bao old town’s sure-fire winboho gothic street. ner serving classics such Anyone visiting Bilbao can’t as Txangurro gratinado leave without a trip to the crab in a breaded butter iconic Victor Montes in the and garlic sauce served in old town. Recognised as a a crab shell. So yes, credit pioneer of the region’s cui- where it’s due, San Sebassine, this old-style black tian is fabulous, but don’t and white themed bar spe- bail on Bilbao. cialises in classic Basque seafood pintxos piled with Next edition I’ll reveal angulas (eels) or raw salt the ten best pintxo cod (bacalao), a proud re- hotspots and why Bilbao gional product. is a must-visit for foodThe proof is in the pudding ies and tourists alike.

Well done on your 300th issue on the mainland. The Olive Press is much more than just a paper. The many well-informed and cutting edge features reflect our ideology as a contemporary space for fashion and decor. Marissa Mosaic Store, Palma

300 not out

trend made its way up to San Sebastian and locals began to create miniature

Professional Company

Personal Service



September 13th - September 26th 2018

Sept 12th - Sept 25th 2018

My mystery diner who went bump in the night seems to have gotten the message, for now, writes Lesley Keith


F you read my last column, which I’m sure you probably didn’t, you’ll remember that I’d been having visits from an unknown and unwelcome entity. Random half eaten crisp-breads and little dark deposits were found around the kitchen each morning, strange rustling noises in the night and a rather horrible smell. I do believe in ghosts and have had first hand experience of them but not ones that leave droppings and food. In my heart I knew it had to be a rat, or worse, several rats. As the days passed I found myself shaking the door handles before entering a room and actually staying out if my partner wasn’t there rather than actually having to face it or dare I say it, them. Something had to be done and soon. These things escalate very quickly. A pregnant female rat can become 2000 rats in a year. I was obsessed, as my friend Sarah (who you may know from English Radio Pollensa) pointed out after I had talked about this and only this incessantly for seven hours solid. As the song says - When there’s something strange in the neighbourhood, who you gonna call? Well in my case, my partner. Ultimatum time, sort it or I move out. Just a moment’s indecision flickered in his eyes as that possibil-

Tailing off

dent crawling towards me and begging for mercy finally dying in agony at my feet. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw what turned out to be a shoelace showing from under the bed. Then on the way to the loo in the night my foot hit a stuffed fabric door-stop on the floor causing complete and utter screaming ab-dabs. Of course at just the wrong time I remembered that story that the great David Attenborough told about a rat coming up through his legs when sitting on the toilet, now it seemed all too possible…. I know, I’m so pathetMYSTERY: Intruder ate food ic, but what can I do? ity and all it offered flashed before As the days have gone by the drophim, and then it was all systems pings have reduced, the poison has go. Poison was bought and strategi- been left untouched, no noises can be heard and certaincally placed, normally ly no food deposits to inaccessible areas be seen. I am quietly checked and cleaned, I nearly had a optimistic that the offurniture pulled out fending rodent has and scrutinised, my heart attack seen the error of his kitchen completely when I saw a ways, felt unapprecisterilised and yes an packed his bags empty packet of the shoelace under ated, and moved on. There offending crispbreads have been no dropwas discovered right the bed pings at all for two at the back at the top whole days now and I of a high shelf where I felt confident enough couldn’t see or reach. The following few days were the this morning not to have to clean the worst. I had visions of a half dead ro- kitchen from top to bottom, merely

wiping the hob over, just in case. I still have dark thoughts of opening a cupboard and finding the offender lying stiff with legs akimbo amongst the cereal packets, its open eyes staring deep into my guilty and timid soul, but hopefully time will cure that too. So there we are, my partner did indeed sort the problem quickly and without one word of complaint, which proves that when the chips

Mallorca diaries

By Lesley Keith

are down it doesn’t matter that he doesn’t have the best looks or special talents, loads of money or flash cars and boats, …er, I forget where was I going with this? Oh yes, the point is he knew I was scared and dealt with it quickly and without fuss and that means one hell of a lot to me, he may even get breakfast in bed one day soon...I just need to ensure that the coast is completely clear first.

ON HIS WAY: Suspected rat

THE paper not to miss on Mallorca island THE Olive Press is now distributing all over the island in an incredible 500-plus locations. Found at golf courses, tourist offices, museums and petrol stations, it has become the most sought-after English newspaper in MalAlaro Alcanada Alcanada Alcudia ALGAIDA Andratx Andratx BENDINAT BENDINAT BENDINAT Binissalem Cala Estancia Cala D’or Cala D’or

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If you have a sports story, or call 0034 951 273 575

LEADER: Enrique

Back in action SPAIN are said to be ‘back on form’ after their affirming 2-1 win over England at Wembley last weekend. The country’s top sports daily Marca declared ‘this is the new Spain’ following Luis Enrique’s away victory. Spain had slipped to ninth place in the FIFA rankings after their World Cup defeat to Russia - three below England - but there was no doubting their dominance against the Lions in London.


Saul Niguez, who cancelled out Marcus Rashford's opener, was the stand-out performer while Rodrigo Moreno's winner brought a rush of Spanish optimism for the future under their new coach. "Luis Enrique has started big, with a victory at Wembley," wrote Madrid daily, Diario AS. "A triumph that opens the Nations League and closes the nightmare of the World Cup."

September 13th - September 26th 2018

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September 12th - September 25th 2018

Rafael Nadal would be ‘great choice’ for Real Madrid presidency, claims current chief REAL Madrid football club want tennis icon Rafael Nadal to be their president. The world No 1, from Mallorca, is a huge fan of Los Blancos and has previously talked about his desire to take one of the top jobs in the world of football. The 32-year-old has been an honorary member of the team since March 2011. Current president Florentino Perez, 71, went so far as to describe the Spanish global superstar as ‘one of the best Real Madrid ambassadors in the world’. According to Tennis World USA, Perez is now backing the idea of Nadal becoming the club president. He said: "Nadal would be a great election for Real Madrid

BOSS: Perez

BIG FAN: Nadal

Be our boss

presidency." To become president, the candidate must have been a member of the club for 20 years. They also need to have a personal guarantee of more than €75 million from a Spanish bank. The latter is no problem for Nadal, who has a net worth of around €140 million.

His position was reconfirmed in June last year when no other rival candidates presented bids to replace him.

Canoe champ

GREAT Britain's Mallory Franklin warmed up for the Canoe Slalom World Championships with two medals at the final World Cup event of the season. The 24-year-old took silver in Sunday's C1 event in La Seu d'Urgell, Catalunya, to finish second in the overall season standings. On Saturday, she won bronze in the

On a brake


However due to the former requirement, the 11-time French Open champ will not be eligible for the role until 2031, when he will be 45 and long retired from the game. He was forced to withdraw from last week’s US Open semi-final against eventual runner-up Juan Martin del Potro, citing his knees. Perez will remain president of Real Madrid until at least 2021.

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women's K1 and finished with six medals for the 2018 World Cup season. Franklin will head to Rio de Janeiro for the World Championships, which start on September 25. "I feel really good on the water, extremely powerful," she said. "I am really looking forward to getting out to Rio.”

SAVAGE: Rider pulls on rival’s brake

A MOTO2 rider will miss out on two races in Spain after trying to pull the brake of his rival during the San Marino motorcycle Grand Prix at Misano. Romano Fenati has banned from the next two races in Aragon and Thailand for having ‘deliberately attempted to cause danger to another rider’ when he reached for Italian rival Stefano Manzi’s brake lever and pulled it. Manzi lost his balance before regaining control. "Riders must ride in a responsible manner," the event’s stewards said, "which does not cause danger to other competitors or participants, either on the track or in the pit lane."

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Mobile mayhem A CELL phone’s battery has exploded in an apartment near Palma’s Son Oliva. Firefighters have had trouble extinguishing the heavy flames that destroyed the bedroom, but eventually cleared the building for residents to return.

Free Parking PARLIAMENT has been debating the possibility to make parking free in public hospitals. After two years of talks of free parking at Son Espases and Can Misses, the government will vote shortly to bring the rule in for next January.

expat paper in Spain


Oh, Jesus!

Vol. 2 Issue 37 September 13th - September 26th 2018

Hangry grandmother goes mad after restaurant refuses to serve her at 2am EXCLUSIVE By Laurence Dollimore

SPITTING fury, this is the moment a ‘hangry’ grandmother was kicked out of a kebab shop after she pulled a knife on restaurant staff who told her it was closed. The unnamed attacker wouldn’t take no for an answer when she requested the fast-food favourite at 1:50am. The women ‘turned aggressive’ after the owner of Didar Doner Kebab in Malaga, told the woman they had stopped serving. “She started going crazy and telling us we could make her a kebab from what was left over,” a waiter told the Olive Press, asking to remain anonymous. When they refused, the woman,

Kebab fury SNAPPED: Kebab lover believed to be Moroccan, ran into the kitchen and grabbed a knife and scissors before physically threatening the owner.

“She just lost it, she said she was going to cut off the owner and his wife’s fingers,” the employee added. While local police were quickly on the scene, it didn’t stop the owner having to wrestle her to the ground until she dropped the weapons. The attacker even allegedly grabbed the owner’s wife’s neck but let her go once hearing the cops had been called. In footage seen exclusively by the Olive Press, the suspect can be seen screaming in an employee’s face before shoving her and walking off. She was arrested nearby before being handed over to Guardia Civil.

Lucky stripe A BABY zebra has been saved from drowning after falling into a river just after being born. La Nina, as she was called by staff at Bioparc in Valencia, became fully submerged as she stumbled into the water. Staff jumped to the rescue and managed to pull the foal out before it drowned as her panicked mother looked on.

CUTE: Zebra La Nina

A LOCAL resident has destroyed a set of 15th century religious sculptures after giving the Virgin Mary eyeliner and a bright pink headscarf. The parishioner also went to town on Jesus’s wooden statue giving him a bright green robe and St Peter a deep red ensemble. The botched restoration attempt happened in a chapel in El Ranadoiro in Asturias.


Maria Luisa Menendez, one of 28 residents, was given permission to do the paint job by the local priest. “The figures really needed to be painted,” she explained. “And I painted them as I could, with the colours that looked good to me.” Asturias officials described it as a ‘vengeance rather than a restoration’.


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12 September

Mallorca Olive Press - Issue 37  

The island's original community newspaper

Mallorca Olive Press - Issue 37  

The island's original community newspaper