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Est. 1946 LT D

The Rock’s only free local paper


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

September 12th - September 25th 2018


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

Give it back 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.


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 businesswomContinues on page 5

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

European trips leaving weekly Transport and removal services

UK: +44 772 213 6148 SPAIN: +34 634 682 048 Adept Transport Ltd

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British to the core 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-

ritory. Even British Prime Minister Theresa May chimed in on the celebrations with a video message vowing to continue supporting the Rock post-Brexit. “Today as we mark Gibraltar National Day I can assure you that this will not change as we leave the European Union,” she said in the clip, which was played on a big screen to crowds. “We joined the EU together. We are leaving together and 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

UK’s past, present and future and I’m immensely proud to help you celebrate it today.” The optimism was shared by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, who vowed to turn Brexit ‘into a win’, saying the EU divorce would ‘neither defeat nor define Gibraltar’. He said: “In or out of the European Union, we are a hardworking people of peace, of goodwill, a people who will ensure that our Rock is always first, foremost and for-

ever the homeland of the Gibraltarians. “Our ancestors came from every shore of the Mediterranean and beyond, from Genoa, Malta, India, North Africa, Britain,” he said. “They built their dreams in the face of adversity. We overcame every siege to live the British dream. Leaving the EU is just one more step on our journey.” Some 96% of Gibraltarians voted to remain in the EU.





Going soft SPAIN’S attorney general has called for softer sentences for online hate crimes including racist, homophobic or anti-Semitic messages posted online. Currently judges hand out a minimum of 30 months’ jail time.

Third degree SPAIN’S health minister Carmen Monton has admitted having grades for her master’s degree changed by Madrid’s King Juan Carlos University - the same uni which famously faked Cristina Cifuentes’ degree.

Under fire A SEVILLA man has been fined €115 for ‘wasting firemen’s time’ after he called bomberos to rescue a cat from the engine of a car.

Twisted TWO teenagers have been arrested in Malaga city after being caught putting out a cigarette on a turtle’s head by an off-duty police officer.

A BRITON has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a young man fell to his death from a balcony in Gibraltar. The unnamed 43-year-old, who is a resident of the Rock, was nicked after Aaron Michael Buckley, 25, fell to his death at around 3am on Sun-

British hoodlum killed by police after he pulled a gun on a Costa street By Laurence Dollimore

A BRITISH gangster slayed in a shootout in Estepona has been identified. Sean Hercules - who goes by the name Shacker - from Leeds, was shot dead by police after he pulled out a gun outside his hotel in Cancelada. The 39-year-old crook, who had convictions for drug trafficking and firearms offences, fired at police as they came to arrest him at the Autosole Aparthotel at 5pm on Monday. The father-of-one, who was convicted for nine years but

September 12th - September 25th 2018

Murder on the Rock

day morning. Police are now appealing for witnesses, after Buckley died upon impact after falling ‘from an upper balcony’ at Eurotowers.

“It is now a murder enquiry, and detectives have arrested a 43-year-old British man resident in Gibraltar on suspicion of murder. “No other persons are being


SCENE: Sean (inset) being removed served four for a post office Another two guns were reportrobbery, was shot down on the edly found in his bedroom. pavement with another two Police had spent two hours urguns and four cartridges in his gently searching for the crimipockets. nal, after he was seen fleeing a

Drug drone delivery

DRONES have been making drug deliveries to a Malaga prison. At least that’s what several authorities believe after one of the flying devices was spotted over the Alhaurin de la Torre prison before another sight-

sought in connection with this investigation.” It added: “Our witness appeal continues and police are keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the incident.” Anyone with information should call 0035020072500.

ing in the same area. It came after guards found a package containing 289 grams of hashish, an iPhone with charger and headphones, and a knife in the corner of one of the jail’s patios. The phone was wrapped in

sponge, suggesting it had been dropped drone.

by a

traffic accident armed in Puerto Banus earlier in the day. Eventually he was spotted acting suspiciously and followed back to his hotel by a routine patrol. He was declared dead at the scene and his body was not removed until a judge arrived at 7pm. “Officers came under fire when they went to arrest him and were obliged to use their weapons to repel the attack, resulting in death,” said a spokesman for the Policia Nacional. “Two firearms and four cartridges were found next to the British man,” he added. The incident is currently under investigation. Hercules previously faced a charge of attempted murder in the UK after leaving a man with more than 250 gunshot pellets in his body. He pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life and possessing a prohibited weapon.

EXPOSED: ‘Trafficker’

Death threats for keyboard warrior DRUG kingpins in Andalucia have issued a death threat to an anonymous Instagram user who shared photos of them partying with prostitutes. It comes after the user, @cotilleolalinea, published photos of La Linea cartel bosses partying with hookers in Ibiza. The Instagram poster, who is believed to be acting out of revenge, titled the set of photos: “Many whores, a lot of drugs, viagra and partying.” He also published other photos of the gang members around the Cadiz and Campo de Gibraltar area. Among the dozens of posts, he labelled the wives and girlfriends as ‘clowns’ and described them as ‘ridiculous, horny and spoiled,’ before labelling them ‘the shame of La Linea.’ Now a reward has been issued for his identity, after the bosses’ girlfriends and wives saw the pictures. “They are furious having seen their boyfriends and husbands living it up with escorts, and they’ve found out through social media,” said a source.


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September 12th - September 25th 2018


Bad boy on tour MALUMA has been enjoying the sites of Andalucia in between gigs of his FAME World Tour. The reggaeton superstar from Columbia posted a pic from a restaurant in Sevilla after performing sold out performances in Malaga and the Andalucian capital. It comes after he was forced to deny being a misogynist following several ‘machismo’ lyrics in his new album FAME. “I listen, value, and respect everyone’s points of view,” he said in the interview. “I think it’s very important that other people are going against me so I can keep growing.” Maluma added that he understands older people can’t relate to the lyrics because they don’t experience them. “At clubs, there are always dudes with 10 to 15 women around,” he said.

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.

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.

A thing of beauty 300 not out

Triple threat

It girl

Country life AFTER his very public split from ex-wife Jessica, most people assumed TV presenter Nick Knowles had left Spain in a hurry and gone back to live in England. However the star of BBC’s DIY SOS has quietly moved to the Andalucia countryside, it has emerged. “I am happy in the countryside,” said Knowles, who has switched his Sotogrande mansion for a home more inland. “I’m Keeping my nose out of the papers and trying to just get on with being a good dad,” he told Lorraine Kelly. Knowles had moved to Sotogrande when his former wife Jessica Rose Moor was pregnant with Eddie, but they had quickly split up.

STARS ALIGN: Iglesias, Ronaldo and Nadal

Like many OP readers I believe that one of the best things about living in southern Spain is to experience its natural beauty and discover its most beautiful villages. Great food, a beautiful small hotel and a challenging hike all go hand in hand. The OP has lent a hand in promoting all three. Guy Hunter Watts Author of numerous walking and travel books

“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 Spain. 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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RED, WHITE AND BLUE GIBRALTARIANS know how to throw a party, especially on National Day.

Send your best pictures from the celebrations to newsdesk@

September 12th - September 25th 2018


Lord Coe joins outrage after Gib athlete victimised for waving his flag at race event LEADING Olympian Seb Coe slammed Spain after a Gibraltar athlete was threatened with disqualification after flying his flag at a race on the nearby Costa del Sol. The three-times Olympic gold winner Lord Coe waded into the row after Liam Byrne waved the red and white flag of Gibraltar after running in the 800 metres at the World Masters Athletics (WMA) in Malaga (see right). He tweeted: “The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) supports Gibraltar's right to have its athletes compete under its nation's flag as they are

Flagging up racism a recognised European Federation. “We urge the WMA to stand strong against this political interference.” It came after Spanish authorities told event organisers that Gibraltar athletes were banned from displaying the flag, because Madrid does not recognise the British territory as a separate country. Four of Byrne’s compatriots boycotted the tournament following

the decision. But Byrne insisted he would not be ‘bullied into making decisions

Regular stop A BRITISH holidaymaker has filmed a boatload of migrants landing just metres from her deckchair - for the second time in two days. Bethany Leith, 20, sent the one-minute

SHOOK: Migrants and (inset) Bethany

clip to the Olive Press, after filming ‘around 20 migrants’ jump off the rubber boat as it landed on Aldea Beach, in Manilva. The accounting assistant told the Olive Press: “I was really shocked to be honest. “Particularly as the exact same boat landed the day before!” Leith, who has been on holiday in Manilva, saw the group run up to a waiting car that took half of them away. She added it drove away with as many as ‘could be crammed in’. The holidaymaker, from Stoke-on-Trent, loaded the video onto social media, just a week after footage of another boat washing up on a packed Manilva beach went viral.

September 12th - September 25th 2018

that go against your own principles’. He said before the race: “Rest assured I will let them know which country I represent.” Byrne was allowed to compete in the semi-final after WMA officials debated whether or not to disqualify him. The Spanish Athletics Federation had earlier controversially threatened to shut down the entire event down if athletes from the Rock displayed the Gibraltarian flag. Gibraltar's Minister for Sport, Steven Linares said: ”The decision of the Spanish Government to prevent Gibraltarian athletes from competing in a race in Malaga in our colours is a perverse vestige of a past of which modern Spain cannot be proud. “These are vetoes against our people which hark back to the time of the Spanish dictatorship, and they belong in that time. “We cannot build a strong relationship with our neighbours in this way. We must see nonsense of this sort relegated to history, where it belongs. “Gibraltar sportspeople can rely on the full support of their Government and of their fellow Gibraltarians."

FX scam From front page

an, who previously lived in Portugal for ten years, has made three monthly transactions with Premier FX for 12 years. Despite knowing former director Rexstrew, who also lived in the Algarve, she was given no warning. “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 Action Fraud, an operator explained he knew nothing about it. “I’ve been stuck for two months without that money and have no idea whether I’ll get it back. “It’s not just affecting people buying holiday homes, it is also affecting business owners, who can’t pay staff or clients.” Both 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.


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 the British retiree. 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.”

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FEATURE The Rock’s only investigative

local newspaper

A campaigning, community newspaper, the Gibraltar Olive Press represents the local and expatriate communities working or living on the Rock with 10,000 copies distributed fortnightly.

OPINION Three cheers FROM our very first issue 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 series of explosive front pages that sunk one of Andalucia’s most disgraceful developments, Los Merinos. What about the appeal for blood for 11-year-old expat Serena Chappell, which was so successful, the local blood bank filled up from 15% to 100% in just two weeks. And the probes into drink-spiking in Marbella, the suspect now-defunct Childline, the animal cruelty abusers and the recent expose on the fake TripAdvisor reviews. We also still continue in our efforts to get a fair trial for two Brits who have been mysteriously linked to drug trafficking, despite police having no obvious link or motive. And we continue to try and get justice for victims of conmen, like Nigel Goldman and for those taken for a ride by equity release bandits like the Rothschilds. 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. Keep it coming. Here’s to another 300!

Publisher/ Editor

Jon Clarke SALES Sam Adams (+34) 634 611 836

Newsdesk Tel: (+34) 665 798 618

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 12th - September 25th 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 12th - September 25th 2018


olive press online

Spain and Gibraltar’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:

IMPOSING: Mausoleum is built at a key battle site

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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- EXCLUSIVE: Costa del Sol business selling fake reviews on TripAdvisor (4,345)

Unique visitors: 166,047 Pageviews: 184,928


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


- FOUND: British woman missing on Costa del Sol for almost seven weeks after sleeping rough (20,021)


- BREAKING: Cars abandoned and aircraft scrambled as forest fire erupts on Spain’s Costa del Sol (16,100)


- Over 60 tourists sent to hospital with gastroenteritis after stay at Costa del Sol hotel (15,946)

4 5

- Expats terrified after string of brazen robberies on Spain’s Costa del Sol (14,069)

- Gunshot fired on Costa del Sol sees bullet narrowly miss two policemen’s heads before flying through neighbours living room as they watched TV (11,822)

Useful numbers EMERGENCIES Ambulance/ Fire brigade/ Police 112 Local police 092 Medical 061 Fire 080 Guardia civil 062

Airport Malaga - 952 048 844* *For English press 9 Gibraltar00350 22073026

Granada - Jaen 958 245 200 Jerez - 956 150 000 Sevilla 954 449 000


September 12th - September 25th 2018

what’s on Model behaviour PASARELA Larios Fashion Week 2018 will be in Malaga city centre on September 14 and 15, showcasing a range of designers.

Crushed JEREZ de la Frontera’s annual twoweek long grape harvest festival, including gastronomy, flamenco and sherry offerings, will finish on September 16.

World class CHANQUETE World Music Festival is set to take over Playazo de Nerja Beach from 4pm until 6am, with a string of live performances on September 15.

Marching on LOCALS of Villanueva del Trabuco will be joined by tourists for a carnival parade with costumes, a brass band and prizes at Especial Trabuco festival September 14-16.


Do you have a what’s on?

September 12th - September 25th 2018

Send your information to

Artistic Moorish gems unearthed at Granada’s Alhambra in €3 million restoration project TEN years of restoration at the famous Alhambra Palace has led to an historic discovery. An artistic ‘jewel’ in Granada’s iconic palace has been unearthed following a €3 million conservation project. The frescoes, found in three 15-metre vaults of the Sala de los Reyes (Hall of Kings), are said to be one-of-a-kind worldwide due to the artistic techniques used. Portraying illustrious fig-

What lies beneath

ures from under the Nasrids’ rule - the last Muslim Arab dynasty in Spain - the

works were commissioned by Muhammed V of Granada, using leather, ceramics,


Medieval magic A MEDIEVAL market has hit the streets of Fuengirola this week with dragon hunters and jesters in tow. Sohail Castle has opened its greatly anticipated annual market, with traders donning traditional medieval clothing while entertaining crowds with fire eating performances, magic shows, archery and falconry displays. The five-day event will

glass and plasterwork. Coordinated by the Alhambra Conservation Service and the Andalucian Institute for Historic Heritage, the decade-long restoration project employed a huge team of architects, chemists, art historians, biologists. Since work was last carried out by Rafael Contreras in 1855, the paintings rapidly deteriorated due to water leaks from the roofs which have now been corrected.

Curiously there are no sources from the Nasrid dynasty era which can explain the scenes illustrated in the masterpieces and do not reflect depictions in Islam, making the art truly unique. The side arches depict cavalry, hunting and courtesans, while the central arch shows a meeting of the first ten kings of the Nasrid dynasty - the fall of Moorish rule marking the end of the famous Al-Andalus dynasty.

showcase some 80 stalls offering jewellery, artisan crafts, natural soaps, aromatic herbs and clothes. Visitors will be able to sample traditional gastronomy from the era before taking part in pottery, leather and stonemason workshops, learning methods used by craftsmen in the Middle Ages. The event is free and begins at 7pm every night until Sunday September 16.

Real bandwidth

AN old fairground booth-style cinema has pitched up on the Costa del Sol. Celebrating the work of the father of cinema, the exhibition The Show Begins. George Méliès and The Cinema of 1900, has arrived in Estepona. In conjunction with the 15th edition of Spain’s national Film Festival, the small exhibition promises to transport visitors to the early 19th century. The first of three areas explores the birth of cinematography in old fairgrounds and its political and social impact during the era. While the second showcases the world of French Illusionist Méliès - a visionary producer, set designer, actor, costume designer and script writer who shaped the film industry into what it is now. The third and final area is dedicated to the Parisian’s 1902 Le voyage dans la Luna - his first success and how it was rediscovered in 1926.



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

The illusionist

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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

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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 12th - September 25th 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.






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 obligatory 1,000-plus houses on Unescoprotected land near Ronda. In each issue that has followed, we have fought and campaig ned to make Andalucia a greener , safer and all round better Born out of a desire toplace. vironmental issues into bring enthe 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 fight for justice – as various and 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, as a new party Podemos threaten 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 we are backing any attempt and 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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developers cutting off the ICONIC: First ever issue exposing Tarifa to Athens GR-7 path

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

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


ROM aiding a pensioner And let’s not forget how we to unblock his favourite represented most of you when footpath to warning of we had our only front page in the dangers of global Spanish (see below) - to supwarming, and from investigatport the Remain campaign ing dangerous fraudsters to exin the Brexit referendum two posing cheating on TripAdvisor years ago. in Spain. This is, of course, the job of These are just some of the a good local newspaper. To wide-ranging and varied isrepresent its community and, sues we have tackled, since I above all, its readers, who in launched the Olive Press some our case are mostly expats, be 300 issues ago in 2006. they British, Dutch, Swedish, Campaigns? We have had Russian or Moroccan. We have many, including one to probe stepped in to help them all. bent lawyers, another to expose the dangers of lethal drug Nolotil and another to encourage plastic recycling. Conmen, fraudsters and sex offenders? We have published When I first set up the Olive literally hundreds Press in a bedof exclusive storoom of my HEALY MAC S ries shaming house in Ronda the way they 12 years ago, I cheapen and did it out of des¡Dejad que nos demeanour the peration for a quedemos! country we now genuine newsSPANIARDS call home. paper to support WE M Features, food the huge and NEE D and travel argrowing expat ticles? We have population in Ancovered just dalucia. about every re- ANTHONYS The largest di89€ gion of Spain, aspora in the including its UNIQUE: Spanish front page world and the islands, not to millions of Britmention pieces on neighbourish, Dutch, Scandinavian and ing Morocco and Portugal. Irish expats here were being in-

Urgency Property olive press

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

Now in Andalucía!

Follow us: Holland & Barrett Andalucía


Vol. 10 Issue 244

July 20th - August 2nd 2016

Spain Property


When money talks July 20th - August

Page iii

Page xi

Page xx

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

Spain Property


Voted BEST expat paper in Spain

Don’t get caught out when buying in Spain

GO GIRL: ‘Home-saver’ awarded MBE

Celebrity comings and goings

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Fight to save Mijas’ oldest farmhouse

Bilbao’s most powerful tower

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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

Expats in the Civil War Page 6

24 hours at San Fermin

Pamplona Bull-run madness Page 14

Tuna trawl Search for tuna on the Costa de la Luz Page 52

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

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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que creemos ha sido el resultado de una campaña xenófoba y llena de mentiras llevada a cabo en nuestra país. Nosotros somos los que estamos en la línea de fuego y los que sufriremos las consecuen-

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’

Translated by Mirian Moreno

Avda. Ramon y Cajal 40, Fuengirola, Malaga 29640 (EASY PARKING)

Opinion Page 6


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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Helping our community sulted with nothing more than cheap magazines and papers which (badly) translated local articles. And still do. There were no decent local English journalists investigating and reporting on the issues that mattered to foreigners … and no newspapers giving them a voice. Whether to help local people fight injustice against their town halls, a warning against fraudsters, or a call 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, oldfashioned, grass-roots, gumshoe local campaigning.

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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 Unescoprotected 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 fol-

lowed 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 SUPPORTER: Famous Hispanist Ian Gibson with Jon Clarke

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

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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 investigations 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

**Western Edition**

Once upon a time in Andalucia Election special

page 11

INV live press EST IGA TE o

Andalucía’s Fortnightly News Publication “Spa hotel left me high & dry”. 18 million hotel refuses to pay 5k bill

page 12-15

All types of food and tapas Live Premiership football

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

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

Continued on page 2

Turn to page 2

February 07 - Feb 20,


20, 2013


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

Telephone 627135939

FAVOURITES: Three front pages i’m most proud of 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.

Positive 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.

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Issue 29, March 6th 2008

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.

Selling Euros?

Longest established British bar in Mollina

By James Bryce

page 19-26

Vol. 7 Issue 154

AS A MILLION PEOPLE DEMAND 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.

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September 12th - September 25th 2018


Read all about it BEST

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Mijas Costa 4 See page xx

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

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Vol. 12 Issue 295


‘Ponzi king’

Jump to it


July 4th - July 17th 2018


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.

d 1 23/02/2017 11:31 679702_DFS_SPANISH_BOX_AD_40x40_MIJAS_COSTA.ind

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

THE Olive Press is proud to be the only English paper in Spain which consistently prints GENUINELY exclusive stories. Our team of NCTJ trained journalists work around the clock to expose criminals and crooks while providing heaps of original content. For years we have been the goto for national newspapers in the UK which consistently pick Pension up our stories or commission shocker us to work on their behalf. And this year has proven no exception. From covering the Kinahan murder trial for Ireland’s national network RTE, to frying an egg on a pavement for the London Evening Standard, you won’t find any other Spainbased paper accredited so much back in Blighty. Here we have rounded up our top stories which made the news back home this year.

ACCUSED: Rhys Williams has

vacated villa

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." Iran'. all this with de- dealing with since asked for his “We understand they have now, reinforced “He is accused of snaring various local "They need has the coast and lots of Parsons victim, Adrian Parsons, expats, including wealthy parents Another Birmingham, invested tailed bank statements andwe now €500,000 investment back to care rather rapidly left returned to Wales,” added Parat his children's €10,000-a-year 53, from into the Dubai-based official paperwork, which for his sick father, who has been di- sons. €500,000 think was fake,” he continued. cancer. private school in Marbella. terminal with agnosed three company. seemed "Until last month, they had 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 Cancer going to all the top restaurants in the UK, persuaded them to told the were living in a €10,000 six months he was paid promised 2% agreed per month. promised me I would just like nothing had happened. invest huge sums into a paper re- partner villa in Marbella and suddenly "Williams time he has left a cycling and printing business, as per month head to toe in design- “But then the money get my money back, telling me "At the same 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. to yet has dozen a to Following various denuncias, the up decades, for in Marbella €1.5 million, while in Estepona, is also see any return. other expats have apparently lost Guardia Civil,Williams. "It has destroyed him," his son between €100,000 and €1 mil- investigating to conattempts week. this group numerous the Press After Olive the Collectively told Paul lion each. 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 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 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 double-page spread last weekend before being featured by The Mirror and Metro online.

(Free or paid for)


August 15th - August 28th 2018 Vol. 12 Issue 298


THE EGG TEST 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.”

Seriously ill Briton locked up with terrorists after being fingered for 1.5 TONNES of hashish found at holiday rental home


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 debit fering basic current accounts, out cards and the option to carry international and national transfers 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 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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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 believes he is cudero he after police station. medication, the ceiving the correct administered the correct medicaShe told the Olive Press: “He was at collapsed in shock as his ‘body started tion, but still remains in a critical station shouting ‘please help me, help of to shut down’ on the way to prison.Pun- condition. The nightmare began me, bring me clothes, there’s loads to the He was rushed to ICU at Hospital drugs in the house.’ It was horrible. of ta de Europa where his survival chanc- after police were alerted stash after following a man of Mo“I rushed there with a huge bag ‘touch and go’. as who 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 UK BASED WhatsApp: 602 559 385 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


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Irish murder trial


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.

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.

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.

Dying off



Hot water

Costa del Sol hotel has three months to fight decision before it is demolished



December 6th - December 19th

Narco King snared

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 Poli-

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-

cia Nacional officers testified wearing balaclavas or behind closed doors. Quinn’s lawyer Pedro Apalategui has said he will appeal the


‘He deserves it’

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.

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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.


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.

advice slot on a well He even got himself a financial 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. antiques on eBay from a small Berkshire English law of conning He was quickly found guilty under people and given a suspended prison sentence only due to health reasons. never to promised he “And because 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 victim. one go back to prison,” said “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 “When we met to sign the contracts 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 had been frozen account his us told He then just stopped. 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.” Opinion Page 6

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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. 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.

enough160 738 Contact us now on 637 stars Show your 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 been found that these It began probing the three took place. irregularities star hotel and apartment Meanwhile, were also found in grants and 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 at believe cops to 2008 and plan an apartment block was least €7 million has been stonot permitted and it also len by those at the top. being over

June 20th - July 3rd 2018

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

Turn to page 2

Opinion Page 6

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

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.


September 12th - September 25th 2018

September 12thSeptember 25th 2018

18 eveNiNg staNdard


Voted top expat paper in Spain


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.


EN you book a couple of nights stay at an Airbnb day home, you don’t think twice that the owner d be a drug trafficker. also beyond belief that a drug stash found at property could be pinned on you, when the only ViLniuS, be temporarily is 29C 35Cthat you just happened toLiThuania ing there. doubly outrageous then that this has happened n apparently innocent British man who is now ting for his life in a dangerous Algeciras prison. anwhile, the owner of the property, who has a minal history relating to drugs, is walking free. nb needs to do more stringent background cks on people that offer their home publicly to tect holidaymakers. d, of course, so do the police. s has all the hallmarks of a serious miscarriage ustice. eveNiNg staNdard Friday 3 august 2018

ause for concern

s deeply concerning that the lethal painkiller otil has been handed out so willingly in Gibraltar

years. e drug has been banned in the UK for years and s is also the case on the Rock. e revelations come despite two years of camgning by this paper to bring to light its potentially al side effects for those of British and northern ropean descent. nsidering how many Brits live and work on the who knows how many may have been impacck, ife — for Italy, Croatia without dt Office is advisingeven realising. o keep out of the midgovernment probe uncovers how as being sensiblethe at hope t’s as set to bask in warm ekend, as Ms Mitchell were able to sell an unlicensed pharmacies ese eratures in the capital y, possibly 33, and 30 orthebetter yet, how doctors were able to oduct, 29 on Sunday, with England. it. escribe MaJOrCa


Jon Clarke

WSDESK vived and been ea following the services confirmed 665 798 618 : (+34)


urence Dollimore sa Menendez adley Stokes blo Balbontin

ADMIN Beatriz Sanllehí (+34) 951 273 575

as initially thought

s were incorrect and


OFFICE MANAGER Héctor Santaella (+34) 658 750 424


S Brits are being warned of scorching temperatures 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, drive hour's an Just Dollimore frying 40C 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 temperature Evean42C. byreaches on eggedShe were between 2pm and said: “The only way is lottery vendor and houses 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 open,” said Enrique what about the egg-frying Lopradas, 51, a lottery theory? The anaemicchaser'. vendor and self-confessed looking one I cooked with “shade chaser”. “I drink day, my colleague Laurence on every "I drink seven litres of water seven litres of water every a marble bench in the day, wear long sleeves move and square wouldn’t grace a wear long sleeves and constantly constantly move to the Full English — but it was I also shower three 6pm after all. from swigs he to the shade," he adds as orshade. four times a day and ⬤ Elisa Menendez is a don’t start work until reporter for The Olive Press three or four an ice bottle, "I also shower 6.30pm when it’s fresher.” in Malaga until work start times a day and don't 6.30pm when it's fresher."


Deposito Legal MA: 835-2017


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.



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e — for Italy, Croatia

initially thought ved and been following the

rvices confirmed were incorrect and

"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.

As the sizzling summer reached dizzying heights, we were the first port of call for the London Evening Standard, who wanted an original take on the soaring 40C maDRiD, SPain temperatures in Spain. We headed to Ecija, dubbed the ‘frying pan of Spain’, asLiLLe, 32C fRance it is alleged to be so hot you can fry an egg on the pavement. Although our egg wasn’t quite ready for a full English (it was 6pm after all), we still made it to page three of the UK capital’s favourite paper.

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

Expats gassed

Office is advising keep out of the mids being sensible at s set to bask in warm kend, as Ms Mitchell atures in the capital , possibly 33, and 30 9 on Sunday, with the ngland.





ESIGNER eith Franks

ViLniuS, LiThuania

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

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

Our exclusive N E WS story of how expat couple John and Jacqueline Armitage were gassed and robbed in their sleep is a scary - but unfortunately common tale. But typically, after their car was stolen, used for a string of robberies and torched, the couple cannot claim insurance as the original documents were inside the vehicle. The story was picked up by the Sun and Mail Online last week.

| News

August 15th - August 28th 2018

By Elisa Menendez & Laurence Dollimore

et him out

eveNiNg staNdard

Cracking job Cracking job29C eveNiNg staNdard Friday 3 august 2018


August 29th - September 11th 2018

Catch 22

Expats’ car torched after being gassed in their sleep EXCLUSIVE By Laurence Dollimore

A BRITISH expat couple have been left in insurance limbo after their vehicle was stolen by a gang before being torched. John and Jacqueline Armit- FED UP: John and Jacqueline Armitage age, 72 and 70, had their car stolen from outside their The couple still don’t know if The car was bought in the UK house, after they were gassed the duplicates will be enough but had been transferred to for a payout from the compa- Spanish plates. at night by brazen thieves. But incredibly their Gibraltar- ny Tradewise. Tradewise Gibraltar told the based insurance firm is ‘re- The retired couple, from Olive Press: “It would be inapfusing to pay out’ without the Portsmouth, had been awoken propriate for us to comment original documents, which by Guardia Civil agents bang- on individual cases, however ing on their doors the morning Ley 50/1980, de 8 octubre, were destroyed in the fire. “It’s a complete catch 22,” after their Toyota was found Contrato de Seguro, the law John told the Olive Press. torched. applicable to insurance con“Spanish law says you must It had been involved in various tracts in Spain allows the inkeep all documents in the car, robberies, police told them. surer 40 days from when the now we are having to spend “We had no idea we had been claim is reported in order to hundreds to try and get them robbed,” added John, “I’m complete their internal invesa light sleeper and our dog tigations, at which point they duplicated.” The former Royal Navy em- barks at the slightest noise so must make payment of the ployee is warning expats to police are 100% sure we were minimum amount of compengassed.” keep the documents at home. sation due. “The system is stupid,” he The couple, who moved to “Where Spanish Law has been added, “In our case only the Mollina, near Antequera 11 applied to the contract we will originals are accepted, so if years ago, have had to fork out endeavour to comply with the your car is stolen or destroyed hundreds to travel to Malaga above practice and settle the like ours then you’re screwed.” to duplicate registration and matter accordingly.” the vehicle’s ITV documents.



46C sizzling: journalist Laurence Dollimore frying on a marble bench in Écija

Cooking eggs in the ‘frying pan of Spain’ Elisa Menendez Letter from ...

anDaLucia 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.”

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 Votedfor The EXCLUSIVE: Olive Press Poems from BEST in Malaga Gibraltar soldier expat

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 have the drug regulated last year. We had more than 1,000 expats sign our petition which called on health bosses to look into the drug ANTHONY’S 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. 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-

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Save our home!

Vol. 11 Issue 271

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

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

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

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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


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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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.

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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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September 12th - September 25th 2018


B Going electric How a Costa del Sol e-cigarette shop is taking over Spain


NDALUCIA’S first ever e-cigarette shop is celebrating five years in business and is set to secure its biggest deal yet. iSmokeKing, which already has three shops on the Costa del Sol, will soon be stocking exclusively for El Corte Ingles’ tobacconists across Spain. “It’s a very exciting time for us,” said co-founder Bjorn Jacobsen, “we will be the only e-cigarettes available at the department store’s tobacco shops, which is huge.” Since opening in San Pedro in 2013, iSmokeKing has opened two further locations in Coin and Los Boliches in Fuengirola.


And Bjorn thinks it’s about time people realised the benefits of e-cigarettes. “A recent study found them to be 97% less harmful than regular cigarettes,” he explains, “it’s a great way to help give up smoking and can, in the long run, have a positive impact on the strain smoking-related diseases have on the health service.” iSmokeKing has more than 100 flavours of e-cigarettes and uses a top quality manufacturer in the UK for its liquids. It also sells several types of e-cigarettes and devices, including vapes. Visit for more information or search ISmokeKing on Facebook.

EING a reporter at the Olive Press is an enviable position to be in. Its comprehensive weekend paper design means any trained journalist who joins has a broad scope of content to get their teeth sunk into. They will find themselves conducting their own investigations, covering cultural events, writing travel and news features and much, much more - as well as picking up some design and video editing skills along the way! It’s no surprise then, that those who have left us have gone on to do great things around the globe. Below we have rounded up some of our star former employees who are making big waves in the world of journalism.

Launch Pad

The Olive Press is known for being a launch pad for many talented journalists who have passed through over the years

Anatoly Kurmanaev

Annabel Grossman

Anatoly dropped in to tackle a range of tricky subjects including a walk along the Caminito del Rey. Today he is the Russia correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in Moscow, having spent time in Venezuela and Chile.

Full of ideas, Annabel exposed the likes of fraudster Toni Muldoon and did a range of good celebrity stories. Today she is Commercial Editor for Mail Online in New York.

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.

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


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A fun person to have around and never without an opinion, freelancer Alex has recently had work published in the Sun and Telegraph and regularly works for talkRADIO and the BBC. She is also an expert forensic criminologist and appeared on Channel 5’s When Teens Kill.

Tom Powell

Quick-thinking and with a wicked sense of humour, Tom Powell helped to rid the coast of the likes of fraudster Nigel Goldman and was never short of a great investigation. He moved from the Olive Press to become the deputy night news editor at the London Evening Standard.

Laura Balfour Our first journalist, Laura always fearlessly reported on crime and corruption. It put her in good stead for her current role as a documentary producer on critically-acclaimed films such as Druglords for Netflix, Drugs Inc for National Geographic and for Dispatches on Channel 4, as well as the BBC and ITV.

Iona Napier

A wonderful feature writer and all-round good egg, today Iona is the Producer for ITV News in Washington.

Our courtesy

So much work in it It’s quite a thing publishing a newspaper. You have to fill all of the pages with an attractive mixture of interesting material and good looking adverts, make sure you have covered all the local news and stories that need to be told, keep your layout fresh and your employees bright and focused. The paper, once filled (as the deadline implacably approaches), must be sent to the printer, then picked up and distributed along the coast: quickly and neatly. Meanwhile, there are bills to pay, visits to be made, editing and corrections to be done and monies to be collected. Once the edition is done, it’s time to start again. I did it for years and know how hard Jon and his staff work to bring you the best local English newspaper in Spain. Lenox Napier (editor of The Entertainer 1985 - 1999)

Amie Keeley

Does your insurance company guarantee a courtesy car after a bump? 300 not out

Alex Iszatt

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

Amie tackled just about every subject while working as a reporter for the Olive Press. She was always out and about, which is perhaps why today she is Head of news at Travel Weekly.


902 123 282 * Fu l l y c o m p r e h e n s i v e o f f e r v a l i d f o r n e w c u s t o m e r s o n l y. G u a r a n t e e s u b j e c t t o c o v e r, r e p a i r a t a p p r o v e d g a r a g e , a n d c o u r t e s y v e h i c l e a v a i l a b i l i t y. S u b j e c t t o c o n d i t i o n s . O f f e r e n d s 3 0 / 1 1 / 1 8 .

TheOlivePress-256x170-CAR-4.indd 1

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Inner tourism

THE Junta has allocated €9.5 million to develop tourism in the region’s interior. The funds, available in two tranches of €4.75 million, will provide grants of up to €60,000 to inland municipalities with less than 10,000 residents. The grants aim to increase cultural tourism and reduce the seasonal nature of the sector, said Andalucia’s Minister of Tourism and Sports Francisco Javier Fernandez on 29 August. Grants will be awarded on criteria that include sustainability, equality and job creation potential. The Andalucian interior accounts for some 40% of the region’s tourism revenue, with a third of visitors citing cultural heritage as their reason for travelling.

September 12th - September 25th 2018

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Sea’s the limit Game-changing Seabins are on their way to clean up Gibraltar’s waters

THE Rock is set to install an ingenious new sea cleaning device. The government has sanctioned the installation of Gibraltar’s first Seabin at the Small Boats Marina. Designed to deal with marine litter, the Seabin is a unique floating device that collects rubbish from the water’s surface. Created by two expats,

- who also build boats - are set to have their invention installed in various other sites around the Rock too, it can be revealed. Once connected to a water pump, the Seabin works like a floating vacuum cleaner; sucking in water from the surface and collecting any floating rubbish blown or dropped into the sea. This includes plastic bottles, cans, cigarette ends, surface oil and even microplastics.


COMING SOON: Revolutionary Seabin based in Mallorca, it has one simple premise: if we can have bins on the land,

why not in the seas? Australian surfers Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski

Tourist trouble as numbers drop FEARS are growing for the tourism sector in Spain after the country suffered a dramatic drop in visitors this summer. Almost a million fewer holidaymakers came to Spain than predicted this July, according to the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica (INE). There was a 2.2% decrease in

tourists from January to June and a 3.1% drop in overnight stays. A sharp drop in visitor numbers in the first six months of 2018 has sparked fears of a slowdown, stagnation or decline in tourism for the third quarter of the year, according to a report by national tourism body, Ture-

spana. The organisation predicts a 4.2% decline in the number of British tourists in Spain during this quarter, although they are expected to spend 5.3% more. Some 82 million holidaymakers visited the country in 2017 - 42 million from Britain, France and Germany.

The rubbish gets trapped inside a mesh catch bag while the water is sent out of the other side of the pump, debris-free. For the time being, the Seabin is confined to marinas, yacht clubs and ports where there is calm water. Not only can the Seabin collect up to half a ton of rubbish a year, it forms part of a larger global initiative to tackle the astonishing plastic contamination that now inhabits our oceans. It is estimated that unless we dramatically address our relationship with plastic, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050.



Bombs away SPAIN has announced plans to stop selling bombs to Saudi Arabia. It comes as concerns grow over the use of laser-guided bombs in the conflict in Yemen. The Defence Ministry started the process of cancelling a contract signed between Mariano Rajoy’s former government and the Arab state in 2015. The agreement included the sale of 400 laser-precision bombs. A government spokeswoman confirmed the decision but declined to give any further details It comes after Pedro Sanchez’s new socialist government vowed to review the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia in mid-August. He also confirmed that Spain would pay back the €9.2 million it had already paid for arms materials. It is believed the bombs would have been used in Yemen - at the heart of a war which has killed more than 10,000 people. The defence ministry previously claimed it had never sold the arms with the intention of them being used against a civilian population and will review any possible sales that have not been closed and could be involved in attacks on civilians.



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September 12th - September 25th 2018

September 12th - September 25th 2018

Fair bnb?

Costa ‘fraudster’ forced back to Scotland after lavish mansion is seized A CROOKED expat has had his luxurious mansion seized to pay off part of his almost €134 million record debt. Gregory King - a former lawyer-turned financier dubbed ‘Scotland’s biggest bankrupt’ - has been forced to return to Glasgow after his court-appointed trustee recovered his palatial pad in La Zagaleta - near Marbella. The lavish mansion sold for more than €5 million and the proceeds were used to settle the 49-yearold’s whopping tax bill, leaving around €2.2 million for other creditors.


The house was reportedly owned by a Spanish company along with a Gibraltar parent firm which King owned. Now trustee, Adrian Hyde at insolvency company CVR Global, is seeking to seize another nearby Zagaleta property once used by King’s father, Hugh, which is believed to be worth just as much as the other pad.

British MEP claims Barcelona was wrong to cull 3,000 Airbnb listings

SEIZED: Zagaleta home and Greg King (inset)

Ponzi pad “When we took possession of the house, King appears to have left in a hurry as it was full of paperwork, clothing and other personal effects. It was almost as if they had simply left on holiday but never returned,” said Hyde. It comes after the lawyer made headlines in 2002,

following the murder of King’s business partner, Alex Blue, 41, who was found stabbed and beaten to death on his doorstep. They co-owned the Taxi Centre, a company which sold cars to private hire firms. The case remains unsolved. Three years later King

launched ‘ponzi style scheme’ hedge fund Heather Capital which garnered around €360 million from investors to fund property deals in Scotland. Money was channelled through offshore firms to Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and the Cayman Islands.

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 are just over 17,000 listings in Barcelona – a city in which there are more than 800,000 homes.



Watch out

Personal data laws are about to get a whole lot more complicated, writes Lawbird’s Antonio Flores


ECENT changes to the Spanish Data Protection Act (Ley de Protección de Datos or “LOPD”) and the ancillary Royal Decree that sets out security measures for personal data, implemented pursuant to EU Regulation 2016/679, has added a new level of complexity to an already intricate law. Data protection legislation has been around for many years and its main aim has been to ensure that personal data is processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner. Individuals have under these new laws many rights rights of access to data, to have their data deleted, to be forgotten or the right to withdraw consent - just to name a few. Ask anyone with a company and they will confirm one thing, it is an absolute minefield. As a result, companies offering advisory services


on implementation and supervision of procedures have flourished. But let’s leave the niceties of the law for another article and offer a glimpse of the horrors of being fined under it: •

€4,000 fine imposed on car rental company Europcar for issuing a contract with incorrect client details

€15,000 fine issued to a company for revealing excessive data of employees while negotiating work conditions with unions

€20,000 fine issued to an IT company for sending communications to a mailing list revealing the addresses listed (using cc instead of bcc)

€60,000 imposed on an advertising company for send-

ing commercial offers to customers whose personal details had been received without authorization and consequently, in breach of data protection laws €1,2 million fine given to Facebook for obtaining personal information from their members about creed, gender, ideology as well as browsing data, without clearly informing them of its purpose or use

Larger companies have been getting away with this for years as in practical terms, it does not terribly affect them financially (although reputation may be eroded). It is however the shop owner - and the office above it - that need to spend a good weekend reading about it and seeking professional assistance. Good luck!

Email Antonio at

To advertise: +34 951 273 575

“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.”


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.”

FOOD,DRINK & TRAVEL Taste of home 19


September 12th - September 25th 2018


September 12th September 25th 2018

Expat wins top UK food awards for Andalucian-produced balsamic vinegars A BRITISH expat has scooped up numerous coveted food awards for her Andalucian-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

By Elisa Menendez

the Pedro Ximenez grape and are ‘skilfully produced by masters in their field’ at the historic but modest Bodegas Navarro in Montilla.


Secrets of their wine making expertise have been handed down from generation to generation since 1830. The expat started her Spanish adventure in 2003 when she moved to Casa-

EXPAT FOODIE: Susie Taylor with her vinegar

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 bureauc r a t i c hurdles by enlisting 20,000 local volunteers to prepare and deliver 3.7 million meals.

MIGHTY FINO: Award-winning vinegars

rabonela 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 olive-picking with locals to create the ‘village olive oil’, which would then be pressed at

Olive tree By Deirdre Tynan

LEGEND: Jose Andres

Andrés, 49, organised five kitchens and six food trucks to deliver up to 10,000 meals a day to places 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.

The Olive Press is always a great read, gives another angle on the coast. The bi weekly features covering all the different areas in Andalucia are particularly interesting and informative. And through some tough years on the coast it’s still going strong. Congrats too all at The Olive Press. Ian Radford, Sala Group

300 not out


FARMERS in Andalucia have been asked to document rare and wild varieties of olive trees on their estates so they can be added to a global database. Currently the World Collection of Olive Varieties at the Alameda Del Obispo centre in Cordoba contains information about 900 types of olive tree from 28 countries. However the Ministry of Agriculture thinks that Andalucian trees can expand the database even further with some local varieties being so unique that only they are known only to those who farm them.


The collection, which began in 1970 with backing from the United Nations, investigates the genetic properties of cultivated and wild olive trees. Andalucia is the world’s largest producer of olive oil and is home to more than 200 million olive trees. In 2017, Spain proposed ‘The Olive Grove Landscapes of Andalusia’ be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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’.

Open Tuesday to Sunday. until 22.00 Closed 12.00 until mid February

20 20

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 pintxo-hopping quickly became an obsession. It’s not only food, it’s a way of life packed with tradition, culture, history and the best way to socialise setting you back

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


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 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

September 12th - September 25th 2018

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

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. For those who don’t know the wonders of these mini taste explosions, traditionally they consist of a slice of bread with ingredients piled skyhigh on top, secured with a toothpick. Hence the name pincho

Bar none! SAN FAN: Publisher Jon Clarke and (right) San Sebastian’s pintxos 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. It is something of a religion

300! Wow, bravo, top effort

300 not out


Guy McCrow, Beach House

here and there are clubs that are dedicated entirely to eating, while its chefs, such as Juan Mari Arzak, Pedro Subijana and Eneko Atxa have become household names across Spain. We started out at the historic 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.

(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

trend made its way up to San Sebastian and locals began to create miniature versions. Between the 1940s and1960s, the trend spread to Bilbao, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Pamplona and txikiteo was born - the practice of hopping (tipsy) from bar to bar with a kuadrilla, a close group of friends. To the pintxo virgin, the first


DELICIOUS: Boquerones pintxos and (right) popular San Sebastian eatery 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 of views at night, which during the day stretch for miles across the sea from its clifftop vantage. Perhaps, it was to do with the slightly over-polished service, which was almost too perfect. It’s hard to say, but we left that night wondering what might come to pass the following day. After a good night’s sleep we set off for our pintxo tour, after the most meagre breakfast possible. We zoned in on Calle Fermin

Calbeton in the heart of the old literally dived into anywhere town, where Pedro had given that had space at the bar and looked of interest. us a trio of adTo be fair, literdresses the ally everything night before. was of interest The first, Sport, San Sebastian and in Calles had the most and amazing foie is definitely the Pescaderia 31 de Agosto and crab crepe, while the secfood capital of there were so many places to ond Borda Berri, the world try. had a superb On one bar I pig’s ear. found the bigBut we were gest mushroom soon going native and, like a child in a sweet- I had ever seen, while in anshop, marvelling at the incred- other the colours of the array ible display of delicacies on of pintxos almost blinded me. As a golden rule we tried to offer. Every bar had its own unique ask the owner, or at least a display of goodies and we waiter, what they recommend-


with DINING SECRETS of September 12th - September 25th 2018



September 12th -Molino September 25tha 2018 del Santo, charming

The number of people who’ve eaten at a tiny mountain hotel this season - between the 15th March and the 7th of September that is

watermill hotel and restaurant near Ronda, fights well above its weight.

If you’ve been already, we’d be delighted to welcome you back before we close on the 4th November 2018. We offer special room rates for returning guests and warm welcomes in our restaurant. If you don’t know Molino del Santo, maybe it’s time you discovered us. We think we have a great location, excellent food, comfortable rooms, amazing staff and we’d love to share it all with you. Guests tell us we are a great place to celebrate a special occasion - ask around, someone will know us. Shhh! - if you mention The Olive Press, we’ll give you the same special rates that we offer returning guests. But please keep it a secret. Featured by Michelin, Lonely Planet, BBC, ITV, The Guardian, The Times , The Daily Telegraph, Financial Times amongst many others and voted “Best Countryside Hotel in Spain”.

PERCECTION: Vino and Pintxos in centre of Bilbao

Reservations usually essential. Open every day until the 4th November 2018.

BOOK DIRECT FOR SPECIAL OLIVE PRESS RATES IN OUR ROOMS or call 952 16 71 51 for English speaking staff.


More information of any kind e-mail

time you spot a sea of colourful and mouthwatering bites laid out in neat rows on the

bar waiting for you to swipe, Cafe Iruna, arguably Bilbao’s is a complete sensory over- oldest eatery set up in 1903, load. is worth a visit for the decor You’ll also learn to swap San- as much as the food. gria for the grittier Kalimotxo Don’t miss the mini lamb - red wine and coke - which skewers, which attract daily sounds vile but is a great queues round the corner. pintxo partner on a Saturday For the cheese lovers out night on Calle there, you’ll be Somera, in Bilin dairy heaven bao old town’s Bar GaztanDiners can find at boho gothic degi - Bilbao’s street. everything from only pintxo bar Anyone visiting dedicated soleBilbao can’t traditional dishes ly to the yellow leave without gooey stuff. to molecular a trip to the El Globo, gastronomy iconic Victor tucked behind Montes in the Gran Via, is a old town. Recsure-fire winognised as a pioneer of the ner serving classics such as region’s cuisine, this old-style Txangurro gratinado - crab in black and white themed bar a breaded butter and garlic specialises in classic Basque sauce served in a crab shell. seafood pintxos piled with So yes, credit where it’s due, angulas (eels) or raw salt cod San Sebastian is fabulous, (bacalao), a proud regional but don’t bail on Bilbao. product. Next edition I’ll reveal the The proof is in the pudding as ten best pintxo hotspots famous guests have included and why Bilbao is a mustBono, Prince Albert of Mona- visit for foodies and tourco and Jeremy Irons. ists alike.

ed 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.

We have been working with the Olive Press for the last 7 years and are very pleased with the results. As a company that is based on the Costa de la Luz we felt that advertising with the Olive Press would be a good way of bringing clients over to our coastline from inland and the Costa del Sol in the quieter months of the year. The publicity has worked very well and we have widened our client base and visibility considerably since using the newspaper. James Stuart, The Califa Group, Vejer de la Frontera

300 not out

Many more clients | | 952 16 71 51 ESTACIÓN DE BENAOJÁN, NEAR RONDA, MÁLAGA


Reasons IT’S TIME TO

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With three editions and six websites, The Olive Press is now the unquestionable market leader in Spain for reach, quality and results.


12 years of excellent customer service and a team that listens to its clients Fair payment policy and no pushy hard sales A true family paper with a ban on murky illegal businesses and brothels Incredible distribution to over 2000 locations with less than 0.5% returns Editorial geared to expats and tourists of all nationalities and relevant to them No boring rehashed town hall press releases and hundreds of irrelevant news in briefs Properly researched features and investigations creating positive results Harder working team than any other publication on the coast Fully legal with registered office, deposito legal and contracted staff 10000 visitors a day to our websites while our social media followers are GENUINE and not paid for in China

COLUMNISTS Maghreb Madness in Marbella 22

September 12th - September 25th 2018

Sept 12th - Sept 25th 2018

Bombed cars, inflatable sex toys and high spending - just another summer in Marbella, writes Giles Brown


ongratulations ! You survived another summer season on the coast. While it seemed to be a little less frenzied and frantic than previous summers, there was still plenty of mayhem in Marbella. Much had been made of Mar-

bella mayor Angeles Muñoz’s decision to get tough on topless tourists with a series of measures introduced to combat people wandering around town with their shirts off - both male and female as well as those carrying large blow up dolls, penises and the

knowledge IS POWER Open your eyes to what’s really happening in Mijas, writes Bill Anderson AS a writer, I am happy when someone criticises MIJAS what I write. MATTERS So often, writers are confronted with the opposite By Bill Anderson - a resounding, ear-deafening… nothing. At least when someone criticises what I write I know that someone, at least, has read it. I don’t mind being criticised but I will not argue my case until the end of time. Once I come up against someone who is determined to win, I am happy to let them. At any rate, there has been a discussion about it. So, what has all of this got to do with my monotheme: Mijas? It is very simple really. I write to restore balance in the Mijas universe. You see, when a government is in power, they have access to hundreds of thousands of euros to tell people what they are doing. In the case of the current three parties, they have also employed five journalists on 50K a year to tell the mijeños what a wonderful job they are doing at the paper Mijas Semanal. Am I criticising this? Not really. I would do the same in their position. Maybe not the five journalists though! I think I could put 250K to better use like building stables for the donkeys! There is another little problem. People (okay not everyone) walk around with their eyes closed and providing a dog doesn’t cock its leg on their doorstep, they see nothing. They will complain if they get a short measure of beer, or if their coffee isn’t the right temperature, but not if millions of their money is being wasted by their elected members.


And another one. Mijas is the third largest municipality in Malaga province, both in population and territory with around 148 km2 . Basically, it is enormous. How can someone in Mijas Pueblo possibly know without visiting the problems of the beach in Calahonda? How can someone in Riviera del Sol know whether the streets are clean in Mijas Pueblo? If people only rely on the Mijas Semanal they will see that Mijas is thriving. Unfortunately, it is not and my articles are not just about criticising, they are about painting a picture of the other side. Maldonado’s journalists are hardly likely to write about what is not getting done, whose voices are not being heard, the squandering of taxpayers’ money in privatising services, just because they don’t know how to manage the services. Am I trying to influence people? Of course I am and at no cost to the Mijas taxpayer - via social media. So if I am being criticised, I feel kind of proud. €600,000 a year versus a budget of zero and I am helping to restore the balance. I also hope to assist in opening minds to the possibilities of May 2019, when we the internationals, can make a change in the government of Mijas. So, please don’t wander blindly in your isolated, fluffy, technicolor bubble. Get on the voters’ roll now and let’s make the only sensible decision.

like. Regular readers might remember that I proposed the formation of a specialist, highly trained police squad to combat this problem – the Marbella Oversized Inflatable Sex Toy force – or M.O.I.S.T for short. Alas, M.O.I.S.T never came into being mainly due to a decrease in the number of British tourists ‘of that type’ visiting, perhaps due to the fact that the UK enjoyed a long, hot summer and also the fact that the dreaded The Only Way is Essex TV series decided not to film in ‘Marbs’ this year and so the fans who normally flock to be close to their idols stayed away. That wasn’t to say that Marbella wasn’t eventful, however, as anyone who had the pleasure of driving on the coast in August – and didn’t get stuck in the horrendous traffic caused by Spain’s biggest cycle race, the Vuelta de España, blocking the roads for two days in high season – will testify.


If you were blasted aside by a high-powered supercar sporting German or Dutch plates and seemingly trying to set a new world record for the Marbella-Tangiers run - you were not alone. My inside source tells me that a ‘bespoke’ car rental firm set up this year and specialised in clients from the Maghreb. There was a definite increase in high spending, hard partying Moroccans in town this summer, most of them looking like they were extras in a French Montana video. And as befitting ‘les noveaux kids sur le bloc’, there was even a little ‘petit gangsta’ activity, with burned out luxury cars in Banus and an arson attack on a clandestine brothel. In both cases the perpetrators were gone and presumably back in Morocco before you could say ‘what time is the next fast ferry out of Algeciras, mon brave?’ Ahhh Marbella. Where the faces and races may change, but the conversation and crime doesn’t. I love this town…

PARTY’S OVER: Marbella


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 12th - September 25th 2018

Be our boss 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 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

BIG FAN: Nadal

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-yearold 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 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.”

bank. The latter is no problem for Nadal, who has a net worth of around €140 million.


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

BOSS: Perez

On a brake

SAVAGE: Rider pulls on rival’s brake

23 23

September 12th - September 25th 2018

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."

CHAMP: Mallroy Franklin

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Glamour weddings UK top magazine Tatler has picked two Spanish hotels among the most glamorous places to get married in Europe, including Finca Cortesin in Casares and Cap Rocat in Mallorca.

Sporting first OMAIRA Perdomo has made history after being the first transgender volleyball player to play in Spain’s top league with Club Olympico 7 Palmas.

What on earth A FINCA owner in Malaga’s Periana has uncovered a Bronze Age tomb while clearing land to grow avocados.

September 12th - September 25th 2018

The Rock’s only free and local paper

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

Gibraltar’s oldest woman dies peacefully at her retirement home at 102 THE oldest living Gibraltarian has died at the ripe old age of 102. Bessie Milne, from Hospital Hill, has passed away in Scotland peacefully, her family told the Olive Press. Born Elisabeth Burnard in 1915, Bessie was a keen reader and had a copy of our paper sent to her retirement home, in Forres, each fortnight to keep up with news in her beloved Gib. During an interview to celebrate her 101st birthday, in March 2017, she told us: “I was born 10 years before the Queen. And my sister Hilda was born just before Princess Margaret. “When we were young and walking round Gibraltar, people used to say; ‘Those two girls look like the two princesses’.” During the war, Bessie was

End of an era LEGEND: Bessie Milne with an Olive Press issue

By Yvonne Pardo

evacuated to Morocco, Madeira, then finally Jamaica for four years. Documents from the Gibraltar National Archive show 24-year-old Bessie boarded The Thysville for Jamaica along with her mother, Eliza and 22-year-old sister Hilda, 22, on October 30, 1940. Four years later, Bessie was back in Gibraltar and married her dashing Royal Marine fiancée William, known as Bill, on the Rock. Together they found a room on a cargo ship to London, eventually settling in Bill’s hometown of Forres. “Bessie made quite an impression in Forres,” close relative Colin Mavor told the Gibraltar Olive Press. “Coming from a far away

country with an accent, she to, remark on how fondly was very different and exotic Bessie remembered her time for a small country town in in Gibraltar. the north of Scotland back in “She kept all the photographs the late 1930s!” from her time in Gibraltar”, Yet even after more than 70 one nurse said. years away from h e r “In her final weeks she was beloved Rock, Gimoved to a more braltar was always comfortable her home. Her room and a few of father, a local enus decorated the 101 not gineer, was one of wall around her out the models used bed with some for the statues at of these photos the Gibraltar War which she was abMemorial. solutely delighted Commemorating with”. the fallen during Lorna Creswell, the First World a local councillor War and unveiled in Forres, initially BESSIE: In in 1923, this met Bessie on her physical bond with previous issue 100th birthday as Gibraltar always she was presented made Bessie very proud. with cards and flowers from Nurses at the Cathay Nursing the Queen and town hall. Home, where Bessie and her She decided to interview Beshusband eventually moved sie for a local anthology of life 24

The Rock’s only


local newspaper


Vol. 3 Issue 38 Feb 15th Feb 28th 2017

Royal recognition February 15th - February 28th 2017

A FORMER army head has donated thousands to charity to mark the Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee. Commanding Officer of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, Lt Col (Rtd) Mark Randall distributed £28,000 to four good causes following a gun salute at the Grand Battery in the honour of Her Majesty. Randall raised the money by walking 7,200 miles from Gibraltar to Jerusalem last year while he recovered from a serious back injury.

Fresh frescoes

A COLLECTION of 16th century Franciscan frescoes have been restored at The Convent using funding from the Friends of Gibraltar.



High drama

Centenarian from Gib Bessie Milne claims the Rock’s top tucker has helped her stay alive

THE Gibraltar Drama Festival has received its highest ever number of entries, with 17 plays set to be performed during the festival, from March 20-25.



THE world’s largest yacht by volume has been spotted in the port of Gibraltar. The Dilbar is 156m long with a gross tonnage of 15,917.

HONOUR: Bessie with Royal telegram from the Queen

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A WOMAN thought to be the oldest living Gibraltarian has told the Olive Press her long life is due to the ‘good food’ she ate on the Rock. Bessie Milne, 101, emigrated to Scotland following World War Two after marrying her Royal Marine fiancee, William, on the Rock. Bessie, who received her telegram from the Queen on hitting 100 in October 2015, set sail for London just after World War Two. HUBBY: William Milne Following her wartime evacuation to Jamaica, she settled in October 26, 1915. Scotland. “I was born 10 years before the But 70 years after leaving, Bes- Queen,” she told the Olive Press. sie still keeps up-to-date on “And my sister Hilda was born Gibraltar news through copies just before Princess Margaret. of the Olive Press read by a rela- “When we were young and tive. walking round Gibraltar, peoLife as a child in Gibraltar was ple used to say, ‘Those two girls ‘very good’, says Bessie, who look like the two princesses’. was born Elizabeth Burnard on “Now I have the telegram from

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Talking shop

LAUGHTER and tears were all shared when Gib Talks returned to the Rock. Former Chief Minister Sir Peter Caruana, retired police officer Henry Sacramento and Olympian Georgina Cassar were among the 15 community stars who gave inspiring speeches to hundreds of people at John Mackintosh Hall. Each talking for 15 minutes, they explored subjects as diverse as hijabs and amateur dramatics to the Yanito language. The event was put on by a team headed by teacher Julian Felice, who has already confirmed next year’s event for February 10. “It went very well - we had a great balance of talks, and the speakers were excellent in communicating their ideas and experiences,” he said. “We’ve already booked next year’s event and can’t wait for it to come around again.”

the Queen looking down at me every day.’” Bessie’s English father, Edwin, was an engineer on the Rock before marrying her mother Eliza. During the war, Bessie was evacuated to French Morocco, Madeira, then finally Jamaica for four years. Documents from the Gibraltar National Archive show 24-yearold Bessie boarded The Thysville for Jamaica with her mother and 22-year-old sister Hilda, on October 30, 1940. “The voyage was frightening,” said Bessie. “We didn’t know if we were going to be torpedoed. “One time in Jamaica there was a tornado that came right past our camp.” After returning to the Rock, newlyweds Bessie and William were given a berth on a cargo ship to London. “Two officers gave up their cabin for us,” said Bessie. “When we got to London, I was frozen. I had never seen snow before.” Bessie, who now lives in a care home in Forres, says she has not been back to Gibraltar much, but puts her fine health down to a healthy Gibraltarian diet. “I remember when I came over to the UK I said I wanted olive oil and they eventually gave it to me thinking it was for my ears,” said Bessie. “But we always ate good food in Gibraltar. A lot of olives, we never ate sweets.”

We’ll marvel at that!

SUPERHEROES will descend on Gibraltar for its first ever comic convention. Marvel and Star Wars characters could be among the stars at the three-day International Comic Con, which will begin on May 4, Star Wars Day. Taking place at King’s Bastion Leisure Center, the cinema and Boyds, it is aimed at all those with an interest in comics, science fiction, ‘anime’, ‘steam punk’ and more. Fancy dress contests will be among the draws of the event, which will also include workshops and seminars in subjects such as prop-making and script-writing. Tickets will be available soon from

stories from around the area. “What struck me about Bessie was how sharp her mind was,” Lorna told the Gibraltar Olive Press. “She remembered everything and talked extensively about her youth, especially her time in Gibraltar. “She had an exceptional zest for life and I enjoyed all my visits. “She never once complained about her care and seemed to appreciate everything with grace and elegance.” Bessie lived a remarkably colourful life and was an inspiration to all that knew her. Her charming nature and sense of humour above all, has left a lasting impression. RIP Bessie Milne, October 26, 2015 - August 17, 2018

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Gibraltar Olive Press - Issue 79  

The Rock's original community newspaper

Gibraltar Olive Press - Issue 79  

The Rock's original community newspaper