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Issue 304

November 7th - November 20th 2018

17

errania de Ronda

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November 7th - November 20th 2018

Picture perfect Andalucia’s city in the mountains is a hot ticket for world leaders and their wives despite Hemingway’s lukewarm words, writes Elisa Menendez

NICE promenades, good wine, excellent food and nothing to do…’ Thus Ernest Hemingway wrote off the town where he spent numerous holidays drinking the local wine and carousing at corridas, no doubt disappointing many of Ronda’s proud residents with his puzzlingly lacklustre review. Most of today’s travellers - including Britain’s last two prime ministers and an American First Lady - would certainly disagree with him. Ronda has been crowned Andalucia’s third most-visited town and it’s not hard to see why. The so-called ‘City of Dreams’ is a true wanderlust gem and somewhat of a celebrity hang-out. This year alone, Theresa May, Anne Hathaway, Ricky Gervais, Jodie Whittaker, Gordon Ramsay, Kristin Scott Thomas and Spain’s ex-premier Mariano Rajoy have all allegedly visited the stunning mountain town... so say locals in the know.

Obama

Picture by Jon Clarke

Stars from Anne Hathaway to Jodie Whittaker keep visiting Ronda, find out why in our travel supplement inside

Vol. 13

Michelle Obama also made headlines when she visited in 2010, touring the old town and discovering the Moorish dynasty with her daughter Sasha. Celebrity chef Jean Christophe Novelli went house hunting in the town after falling in love with it in 2009. With its spectacular high sierra setting, leafy parks, cobbled lanes and atmospheric ventas it’s no wonder Ronda has stolen the hearts of so many travellers. Over the centuries a slew of writers have waxed lyrical about its timeless character, stunning views and charming locals. The German poet Rilke baptised it the ‘City of Dreams’, Orson Welles took a shine to its bullfighting scene and

GRAND TOUR-ISTS: Painters tackle the gorge, while (inset) recent visitors Anne Hathaway, Gordon Ramsey, Jodie Whittaker and Ricky Gervais

Continues on Page 18

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They looked the other way THE leaders of Andalucia helped to cover up a system of corruption for at least a decade. A total of 21 senior Junta politicians, including two former leaders, established a hidden system of illegal grants and payments that could add up to over one billion euros. The claims come in the state prosecutors summing up of the system of corruption at the heart of the so-called ERE scandal trial that has rocked Spain. In a damning conclusión to the allegations levelled at the leaders, including ex-presidents Manuel Chaves and José Antonio Grinan, the anti-corruption prosecutor described a decadelong 'opaque system' of bent transactions to friends and family. "They took the conscious decision to look away, to not see more," read a statement at the Sevilla Provincial Court. It added that for 'ten years an opaque system of grants was created' that served the Junta and not the local population. In total, hundreds of millions of euros from Madrid and Brussels were syphoned into a socalled 'reptile fund' which was used to bribe and reward local leaders, businessmen and locals in return for votes and support for the PSOE.

Check out two delicious pork recipes in our serialisation of famed British food writer Fiona Dunlop’s latest cooking book SEE INSIDE

The Rock’s only free local paper

‘You’re killing us!’

Andalucia Junta slammed for failing to tackle pollution after Cadiz revealed to have worst air in Spain and highest cancer rates in Spain

TOXIC: Oil refinery plumes black smoke into the Campo de Gibraltar

E N V I R ON M E N T A L groups are taking legal action against the Andalucia

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Junta for ‘failing to tackle toxic air’ in the Campo de Gibraltar.

Ecologistas en Accion has filed a complaint with the Health Ministry, claiming nothing has been done to protect citizens from a rise in air pollutants caused by the expansion of ‘toxic’ industries in the Bay of Algeciras, which sits just a few kilometres from Gibraltar. According to the green group, more than 10,000 tonnes of dangerous pollutants were released into the atmosphere last year. This includes potentially lethal cancer-causing chemical benzene, as well as other fine particles. The writ comes as Cadiz province was officially declared to have the worst air quality in Spain last week. And alarmingly, La Linea, which borders Gibraltar, ranks as the 30th most polluted place in the world in terms of air quality. The shocking stats were

revealed in a damning World Health Organisation report which lists the world’s ‘most contaminated’ towns and cities. Adding salt to the wound, Cadiz also came bottom in the list of Spain’s ‘most sustainable cities’, produced by the Observatory of Sustainability (OMS). Green group Ecologistas en Accion insists the Junta is failing to fulfill its duty to ‘adopt whatever measures are necessary to achieve a high level of protection for people and the environment'.

Failing

It adds that the Sevillabased body is failing to ‘adopt plans to improve air quality and adopt control and inspection measures.’ “It needs to develop a quality control system that ensures consistent

and transparent measurements or estimates of pollutants by law,” said a spokesman. The group says oil refineries and other industries are posing a real threat to public health. A recent study by the Carlos III Health Institute, funded by the Ministry of Health, revealed Cadiz, Sevilla and Huelva to have the highest number of cancer deaths in Spain. San Roque, meanwhile, has one of the highest percentages of lung and bladder cancers in the country, directly linked to air pollution and in particular benzene. The surrounding towns, including the likes of Puerto Real and San Fernando, also have far higher cancer rates than the national average. Opinion page 6

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CRIME

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NEWS IN BRIEF

Dirty dribblers TWO have been arrested in Marbella for robbing a tourist using the ‘Ronaldinho’ method, where the victim was distracted with a football dribble before stealing a phone and other valuables.

Mystery bones

Total banker!

Man who ‘bought Brexit’ denies Russian link to his funding of the Brexit campaign

HUMAN remains have been found in Ronda, with one confirmed as a suicide victim, while a genetic analysis will be carried out on the second to see if it is a young man missing since 2011.

ARRON Banks has denied using Russian money to donate millions to the Leave campaign in the run up to the Brexit referendum. It comes after the businessman, who has a large insurance firm in Gibraltar, was sent to face a criminal investigation for potentially breaking electoral law. The UK Electoral Commission has asked the National Crime Agency to investigate whether

United front

Pet owners beware!

SPAIN and Russia have agreed to establish a joint cybersecurity group to stop misinformation spreading, as it is thought Russian ‘fake news’ campaign has fuelled tensions in Catalunya.

November 7th - November 20th 2018

SICK: Skewered ham

Banks’ Rock Holdings Limited, registered on the Isle of Man, was the illegal source of up to £8 million given to the Leave. EU campaign. Banks denied using Rock Holdings, saying: “The money came from Rock Services, which was a UK limited company, it was generated out of insurance business written in the UK.” He added that the cash for the donations came from ‘UK-gen-

TWISTED animal killers have been placing screws and needles in food and leaving them dotted around parks for pets to eat. The alarm was sounded by locals in Manilva who shared several pictures of pieces of jamon skewered by screws. “Be careful if you go for a walk with your dog in the park next to Colegio Maicandil,” read the warning, “People have warned us of the existence of pieces of meat with screws in them.”

erated cash from my group of companies.’ “There was no Russian money and no interference of any type. I want to be absolutely clear about that,” he added. According to British electoral law, donors to EU referendum campaigns had to be individuals or companies registered in the UK or Gibraltar. But according to the Electoral Commission, Banks and his associates, including pal Nigel Farage, may have ‘knowingly concealed’ the cash. It said there are reasonable grounds to suspect the true source of the money was the Isle of Man-registered business, which would count as an illegal overseas donation to a British political campaign. It concluded that ‘various criminal offences’ may have been committed. Rock Holdings is shrouded in secrecy with publicly available documents showing nothing about its dealings, other than

Double attack

UNDER PROBE: Banks that it was founded in 2005. The company itself is actually owned by a nominee shareholder, Fidecs Nominees, which is based in Gibraltar, which allows the company to mask its true owners. According to the documents, the Gibraltar company provides PRI, based in the British Virgin Islands, with company directors.

Disgraceful

TWO men have appeared in Gibraltar Magistrates Court for sexually attacking women in public spaces on the Rock. Michael James Owen, a British national residing in Gibraltar, appeared in court after he exposed his genitals in front of a woman with two children in the Europa Point area last week. The 32-year-old, of Atlantic Suites, pleaded guilty for unlawful sexual conduct and will face sentencing on November 20. Meanwhile, in a separate case Spanish national, Christian Mohammed Caravaca pleaded not guilty to the charge of sexually assaulting a woman while in a lift in Glacis Estate last week. The 19-year-old, who lives at the estate, did plead guilty to a separate charge of possession of 0.6 grams of cannabis resin. He has been remanded in custody until his next court appearance.

Unbelievably, the ‘man who bought Brexit’ told Andrew Marr that he would vote Remain if given another chance. He said: “The corruption I have seen in British politics, the sewer that exists and the disgraceful behaviour of the government over what they are doing with Brexit, and how they are selling out, means that if I had my time again I think we would have been better to probably remain and not unleash these demons.” The NCA investigation continues.

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NEWS

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November 7th - November 20th 2018

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Boots are made for talking QUEEN Letizia showed that boots are made for talking, not just walking, as she stole the show in a pair of black leather thigh-highs at a high-level pollution meeting in Geneva. The mother-of-two donned the sultry Adolfo Dominguez boots to attend the first World Health Organization (WHO) Conference on Air Pollution and Health, in Switzerland, where she met with the group’s Director General. Spain’s monarch was in attendance at the conference, which the WHO said would feature a 'Call for Urgent Action' to end the seven million annual deaths linked to air pollution by 2030.

Royal first SPAIN’S next heir to the throne Princess Leonor has delivered her first royal speech at just 13 years old. Daughter of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, the tiny princess gave her first public address last week, marking not only her birthday but also the 40th anniversary of the Spanish constitution. She paid homage by reading the first 169 articles of the country’s Magna Carta, signed by Spanish Parliament in 1978.

Smiling

Dressed in a blue collared dress and black patent Mary Jane shoes, the blonde teen read confidently and clearly while smiling at the audience, as mother Letizia and 11-year-old sister Princess Sofia applauded from the front row. It was a memorable day for King Felipe, who stood proudly next to his daughter, as he too gave his first public speech aged 13. Princess Leonor has been declared next in line for the Spanish throne and her first public address is a major step preparing her for the role.

Nice try, Joaquin NO FOOL: James McAvoy

By Elisa Menendez

BRITISH Hollywood star James McAvoy has warned holidaymakers after nearly falling for an €11,000 hotel scam in Spain. The Glaswegian X-Men actor was almost duped out of a whopping £10,000 when booking a family holiday at The Ritz Carlton Abama Hotel in Tenerife. In a video shared on social media app, Instagram, the 39-year-old warns off tourists from making the same mistake.

Actor James McAvoy warns off tourists on social media after nearly being duped in a Spanish hotel scam “Just avoided being scammed through a cyber scheme. They are The Ritz Abama Tenerife. Don’t use them, they nearly took 10 grand off me which is a tonne of money,” McAvoy says in the video. The Atonement actor jokes that the website was so convincing it looked even better than the real Ritz Carlton’s site, as he scrolls through a luxury ‘5-star’ hotel webpage with a

Dadn’t do it

PLAYER: Julio Iglesias

JULIO Iglesias has refused to take a DNA test that would prove he is the father of his ‘illegitimate’ son Javier Sanchez-Santos. The Latin legend has faced a paternity suit from Sanchez since 1992, when the 41-year-old love child first identified Iglesias, 75, as his father. After a Valencia court deemed a 99.99% DNA match between the men inadmissible, due to Iglesias’ DNA being obtained illegally, the Spanish crooner was then given 10 days to complete a genetic test. After the singer’s refusal Sanchez’s lawyer Fernando Osuna said he will ‘ask for the children and brothers’ of Iglesias to provide DNA, which may confirm the serial womaniser as the biological father. Were Sanchez identified as the singer’s son, he could get access to Iglesias’ €850 million fortune, and would join the musician’s eight other confirmed children.

 

 



  

blue serene cloud background. He goes on to explain how he had exchanged a number of emails with a man named ‘Joaquin’ who asked the star for the payment via bank transfer. “I just thought the deal seemed too good to be true,” he added, “I doubled checked it through a travel agent and it was a tenth of the price it should be. “Stay away. If you’ve been scammed by them, hit me up.” The father-of-one has captioned the post with comical hashtags, ‘Anne Robinson we need you’ and ‘Watchdog BBC material’. He has since alerted the real Ritz Carlton to the scam. McAvoy first rose to fame with his supporting role of faun Mr Tumnus in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, followed by an award-winning role in The Last King of Scotland. The actor’s latest movie, Glass - the sequel to the harrowing Split - is set to be released January 18, starring Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson and Sarah Paulson.

Woah, Lipa!

WOMEN have stolen the show at this year’s MTV EMA awards held in Spain. Bilbao was taken over by music’s biggest stars for the 25th ceremony on Sunday. Londoner Dua Lipa took home Best Pop act and donned a short floral dress which showed off her legs. Janet Jackson, Camila Cabello and female rappers Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, took home the other biggest accolades at the hotly-anticipated event, held at the Bilbao Exhibition Centre. But it was Janet Jackson who had people talking, not only for her jaw-dropping performance and winning the Global Icon Award, but for her empowering speech honouring the ‘Me Too’ movement.


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NEWS

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Must do better

Fireball!

THIS is the moment a comet fragment turned into a fireball over Andalucia at the weekend. A piece of the Encke comet entered Earth’s atmosphere at more than 100,000km/hr. According to the Astrohita Foundation, the fireball was visible from 400km away and was detected by observatories in Granada and Sevilla. The fragment extinguished around 63 kilometers above the municipality of Pueblo Blanco in Almeria.

November 7th - November 20th 2018

Disability charity slams lack of accessible taxis on the Rock following Gibraltar Olive Press story LIT UP: Comet fragment Astrohita said ‘the luminosity was so unusually high that nighttime in the southeast of Spain turned into day for an instant.’

A GIBRALTAR disability charity has demanded answers after a 93-year-old disabled woman was ‘left freezing in the rain’ by a leading taxi firm. It comes after the Gibral-

The more you take out, the higher your refund.

By Charlie Smith

tar Olive Press revealed the shocking treatment of elderly wheelchair user Mariola Summerfield last issue, who

was left ‘screaming in agony’ for two hours when a Gibraltar Taxi Association driver ‘refused to pick her up.’ The taxi company promptly suspended two drivers, leading the Gibraltar Disability

LOCAL: Mariola Society to call for more disabled services on the Rock. “The Society would like to take this opportunity to express disappointment that there are only two adapted taxis in Gibraltar and these are only designed to take manual wheelchairs,” the statement read. “Unfortunately there is only one wheelchair space on each of our local buses so it is therefore important that the lack of wheelchair friendly taxis be addressed.” Mariola Summerfield MBE, who has no legs and needs to take tranquilizers, claimed she was left freezing in her wheelchair by a driver who refused three times to pick up her up. Mariola, who was awarded the MBE by Queen Elizabeth II, shivered under a blanket in the street, having just celebrated a birthday lunch for her grandson in the De Juan fish restaurant. “It was horrible to see her like that,” Mariola’s granddaughter Gail, 45, told the Gibraltar Olive Press, after the ‘rude’ driver refused to give her disabled grandmother a lift. The Gibraltar Taxi Association who describe their drivers as ‘extremely professional and courteous in their approach’ - has since apologised to Mariola and her family but were not available to speak to the Gibraltar Olive Press.

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7 November

THE UK government is drafting in British expats as recruitment numbers reach an all time low. The Ministry of Defence has announced that foreign nationals will now be allowed to join the British army, even if they have never lived in the country. Previously, prospective soldiers from the Commonwealth had to have lived in Britain for five years.

Changes

Visit your agent, call 91 342 25 49 or go to www.libertyexpatriates.es

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Your country needs you!

Under the policy, recruits will be considered for all forces including the Royal Navy and the RAF, with applications opening in early 2019. It is hoped the changes will lead to an extra 1,350 people joining every year. The UK armed forces are short of 8,200 soldiers, sailors and air personnel, a report found earlier this year, the worse shortage since 2010. If you have become a fully fledged citizen in Spain, however, you won’t be accepted.


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NEWS

November 7th - November 20th 2018

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FEATURE

www.gibraltarolivepress.com 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.

Absolutely criminal OIL refineries and other industries are now literally getting away with murder. The World Health Organisation (WHO) report, which places La Linea alongside other pollution hotspots like Delhi will make very scary reading for residents of the area. The WHO ranks La Linea’s air quality as the 30th most polluted in the world and residents are now at risk of cancer. With facts like these, what is happening on Gibraltar’s border WEBSITE is absolutely criminal and someone needs to be held to Each print issue of the account. can it beisread in In a developed societyOlive like Press Spain’s fundamentally wrong its that townsonlike Puerentirety to Real and San Fernando have cancer www.theolivepress.es rates far higher than the national average And our site is updated in Spain. with the latest news, All too frequently, we daily do not hold big busimaking one ofhealth Spain’s ness to account - even when itpublic is placed in jeopardy -most but visited things news need to websites. change. With elections looming, La Linea will go October 2015 to the polls with the pollution issue hot in their minds. Page views:xxxxxxxxx Andalucia leader Susana Diaz and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will need to Visitors: xxxxxxxx demonstrate their Socialist principles and show that criminality can not be excused Most read this on business grounds. fortnight on

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November 7th - November 20th 2018

Not cool! Not everyone in Madrid’s Lavapies appreciated the neighbourhood being labelled the ‘coolest in the world’, discovers Heather Galloway

T

HE urban bible Time Out may have felt it was doing the Madrid barrio of Lavapiés a favour last month when naming it the coolest hood in the world, but for the majority of its longterm residents, it was anything but. “What’s happening is not at all cool,” says a member of cultural centre, Tabacalera’s Promoción del Arte team who prefers to remain anonymous. “These kinds of labels do a lot of harm. Flagging it up as trendy means that rents go up and there’s an increased police presence as well as an increase in racism because social classes become polarized. It has pretty negative repercussions.” Another from a recycling art collective at Tabacalera’s social space next door went further. “This is exactly the kind of thing that is ruining the barrio. I don’t even know who voted. I mean, who said that? It just depersonalizes the barrio. It’s capitalism run riot.” Since it first came into being in the 15th century, Lavapiés has been considered by those on the ‘right’ side of the city as a seedy, no-go area, with its steeply inclined streets, poverty and distinction as home to the city’s densest immigrant population – once from elsewhere in Spain and more recently from Senegal to Shanghai and everywhere in between. In 2004, it made headlines as the center of operations for the 11/M bombers who met in La Alhambra restaurant and used phones to trigger the multiple explosions from Jamal Zougam’s phone shop on Calle Tribulete. It was, then, touted as a hotbed of Islamic terrorism, an image that has been conveniently relegated to history. Curiously, there was a Muslim community here in medieval times. Situated just outside the city walls, it was a refuge for Jewish and Muslim converts and it is thought the area was called Lavapies – wash feet – on account of the cleansing rituals in the local fountain of people coming in and out of the neighborhood. By the 18th century, Lavapies had become strongly working class with the Tabacalera cigarette factory providing around 6,000 women and 300 men with jobs while the corralas peculiar to the area provided much of the accommodation. Gradually, families migrating to the city from other parts of Spain laid the foundations for the multi-cultural buzz associated with the area. At the same time Lavapies became synonymous with the term castizo, used to describe the essence of hailing from Madrid. But neither of these attributes were considered at the time to be particularly desirable. According to Arturo Barea,the author of The Forging of A Rebel trilogy, who lived with his mother, a laundress, in the hood between 1905 and 1914, “At that time, Lavapiés was the frontier of Madrid. It was where the city and the world ended (…). People had christened the limits of the barrio, The Americas and The New World. It was, without doubt, another world. Civilization and the city reached as far as that. And that was where they both ended.” Barea talks of open sewers, smoke belching from factories and blackened putrid streets and the smell of mule dung rising from the central patios of the corralas, all of which earned it the moniker, Barrio de los Injurias, meaning the Neighborhood of Insults. Recently, however, its castizo and ethnic credentials have elevated it to an altogether

Left and above...Night time in Lavapiés at the corner of Calle Argumosa and Doctor Fourquet different realm. When Time Out not only con- ment of old residential buildings – subsidies firmed that it was shedding it down-at-heel that according to Manolo were exploited by image but declared it the champion of cool, investors. Prices doubled and doubled again, its residents, 56% of whom voted for Podem- and having recovered from the downturn os-citizen platform Ahora Madrid, were in- during the economic crisis, they have now censed afresh. caught up with the Palacio area and MalaIt’s not hard to understand their stance. Being saña. According to idealista, Lavapiés now elevated to the world’s coolest area according has the fifth most expensive rents in the cento Time Out’s criteria of ‘affordability’, ‘cool ter, trumping areas such as Chamberi and new venues opening’ and a multi-cultural Moncloa. So will its new status as the very buzz – ‘This is where people from near and essence of urban cool accelerate its rise? far live side by side, cooking up a bustling cul- According to Manolo, one way this could be tural life’ – inevitably kills the goose that lays averted is reintroducing five-year term rent the golden egg. Tourists flood in along with the contracts – one of the proposals in the 2019 well-heeled and the immigrant, artistic and budget signed this month by Pablo Iglesias and activist communities responsible for the la- incumbent Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. bel find themselves squeezed out. Those who What comes to mind as I stroll up and down originally lent it an air of street streets where the mother of credibility and authenticity are Barea, once carried laundry forced south to barrios such as from the other side of the diCarabanchel and Puente de vide to the River Manzanares, If this goes on Vallecas. According to Manolo is the old adage about the Osuna from the Neighbours’ sow’s ear and the silk purse. we will be the Association La Corrala LatinaHowever much real estate Rastro-Lavapiés who has lived victim of our own investment companies such in the barrio for 50 years, “I as EnfoKamight want to turn success like the label and I don’t like Lavapiés into the next Notting it. On the one hand, it makes Hill, there is some way to go me proud because for so long before they meet their goal. nobody wanted to come here. Despite the presence of the It was considered dangerous and there were Centro Dramático Nacional, the University no young people. It was thanks to the immi- Library in the ruins of the Iglesia de las Esgrant population that there was any life at all. cuelas and hip watering holes such as SaOn the other hand, I don’t like it, because it laEquis mentioned in the Time Out report or brings more tourists and turns it into a theme La Playa de Lavapiés and La Libre on Calle park. I once knew 90% of my neighbours, now Argumosa,this is still a corner of Madrid I barely know 10%. If this goes on we will be where drunks feel at home and dog ownthe victim of our own success.” ers turn a blind eye when their pets do their Echoing Manolo’s words is HAPS, a mem- business on the pavement. It is also an area ber of Fisidici cooperative, which has a sign where migrants sleep ten to a room in shifts outside its bicycle repair shop that says ‘La- and activism and Podemos thrive. And while vapiés no se vende’. Commenting on the tourists might gravitate to Airbnbs here, the groups of perplexed tourists on guided walk- city’s mayor Manuela Carmena hopes to abouts through the area, HAPS says, “We’re curb this particular trend with El Plan Espeturning into a zoo! A recreational barrio, not cial de Usos del Hospedaje that is set to wipe somewhere that people work and live. The out around 95% of this kind of tourist accomsolution has to be both political and local. modation in the city center. Those of us who live here have to put up a She does, however, have something of a fight.” battle on her hands. According to Housy, an Since 2010, the immigrant population has agency which manages Airbnbs, more flats dropped from 33 % to 22.6%. The exodus than ever are being refurbished in the area was kicked started by the urban plan of for tourist lets with little sign of a slowdown 1997 that subsidized an enforced refurbish- in response to the measure. It seems sad but almost inevitable that neighborhoods like Lavapiés, so long considered beyond the pale, are now subjected to a different kind of ‘Injuria’ – or insult. Raw and colourful, the barrio is cool precisely because the communities here don’t care about being ‘cool’ in the Time Out sense of the word. Ironically, as prices go up, these communities will leave and take their ‘coolness’ with them. Consequently, Lavapies will be reduced to just another overpriced shell and those seeking to capitalize on the elusive cool factor will be chasing the very Tourists get a tour of the barrio– advertised people they priced out of their homes south of the river. on Trip Advisor for €43


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CAMPAIGNERS remain sceptical over new plans to improve the lives of Mijas’ famous donkeys. It comes after the town issued proposals to bring in weight limits for riders, while ensuring the donkeys are free of injury and are wearing proper saddles. Under the plan stables must also be up to humane standards and donkeys must not be overworked.the "We have to move with the times," said mayor Juan Carlos Maldonado. "We are going to improve the quality of life of the donkeys which, in turn, contributes to the local economy"

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HE Costa del Sol demand in Spanish and Barcelona are driving up Data from Spain’s property. Instituto Nacional ca shows de Estadistithe Instituto Nacional grew 6.8% in the that, on an annualised basis, house de Estadistica (INE). second quarter of prices Analysts suggest price tags rising 5.7% 2018 with new-build is being driven by a good portion of the recovery in housing However some areas (see report page IV). foreigners buying Sol and in cities like are clearly picking homes on the Costa slack than others, del with Catalunya rising up more of the It comes And despite Brexit, Barcelona. by just 0.7%. as the country is 3.7% while Galicia buyers are British, the largest number of foreign continuing growth after being The data is the latest homefollowed by the French, among the worst impressive economic gians, Italians confirmation of Germans, Beldemand for Spanish hit countries by the and a trend of strong 2008 crisis. property. The outlook for Swedes. In 2017, the total Spain’s housing market remains upbeat, 14.6% to 464,423 number of home sales in Spain increased with house sales expected to units from the previous rise by year, according to to reach about 550,000 transactions between 10% and 15% TINSA, the country’s this year, according official valuation and to surveying body.

Spanish property is a hot commodity and that’s not changing anytime soon

STRANDED Highest rainfall figures in history leave hundreds homeless, one dead and streets destroyed

Spain and Gibraltar’s best English daily news website

The mayor added: "The donkey taxi is one of our major tourist attractions and we have to combine with the welfare of our animals.” this However, campaigners warn that the laws, pulled together with local associations, could be simply ‘empty promises’, particularly with elections coming up next year. Campaigner Mike Frizell, from Mijas Pueblo Animal Cruelty, warned that such new laws were meant to be introduced several times in the past years. “We have seen the lies from the mayor over and over again,” Frizell told the Olive Press.

TRAPPED: A car driver desperately tries to escape the deluge that swept dozens of cars out to sea and left hundreds homeless

BURIED d boy and British Ten dead including a nine-year-ol for a century couple in worst flooding in Mallorca

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T least ten people have died in the worst flooding Mallorca has BASED century. seen in aUK A British couple, a Dutchman and a nine-year-old boy are confirmed as being among the dead, while another lad, 5, is also feared to have died. a The island has been fordeclared Spanish disaster zone by Prime Miniswhile three ter Pedro Sanchez,residents days of mourning have been

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HUNDREDS were rescued, while a fireman died, after Malaga was battered by the biggest ‘weather bomb’ in Spain’s history.

Dozens of towns were left after hunwater fell in just 12 hours over Saturday night and Sunday. In Alpandeire, near Ronda, a national record was broken 2/8/18 17:01 after the village saw 399.4 li-

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tres per metre square of rainfall in just 12 hours. Estepona and the towns near Antequera were particularly hard hit, while the A-92 motorway was shut and a fireman was swept to his death in Campillos. The damage is still being assessed - expected to run into the tens of millions - with insurance companies’ phones ringing off the hook. As well as substantial damage to roads and buildings, a wall of the historic Arabic baths in Ronda collapsed. At least 400 vehicles were also destroyed.

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Hot water

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

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HE Spanish weather term ‘Gota Fria’ *Offer ends 30/11/18. Not valid for renewals. Subject to conditions. will have been etched in the memories of many an expat following the devastating floods in Andalucia, Mallorca and Valencia last month. But the ‘cold drop’, as its known in English, is all too familiar for seasoned locals. Valencia, for example, suffered severe flooding in 1957, 81 citizens lost their lives, and after extensive works the Rio Turia was diverted around the city. The river was not to blame for overflowing its banks, it had taken its natural course for millions of years but along came humans who decided to inhabit a location more suitable for a sea port. In the 20th century other ample warnings about potential urban flooding were ignored, particularly in the likes of Campillos in inland Malaga. In last month’s torrent, a relatively new housing urbanization was flooded there, as was the town centre. The urbanization is located on a known flood plain drained by a small ditch with a slight gradient for four kilometres - just one example of house and commercial construction choosing the wrong place. ‘It’s global warming that caused the Gota Fria’ has been heard too often the past week. Perhaps, but there is no scientific evidence about the certainty of that link even if there is much evidence elsewhere on the planet. There are research papers published indicating that the Mediterranean sea has been changing in temperature at various depths and salinity over decades, and the commonly-shared hypothesis is that the western region of the sea and the local land masses of Spain and north Africa might experience higher annual mean temperatures, and in the autumn suffer more frequent and intense storms. But with rising temperatures, it’s likely that both seasons will experience more extreme outcomes. Cursory study of meteorological and hydrological research in Andalucia suggests October is the most likely month for the retained warm moist air above the western Mediterranean to suddenly meet the cold air masses descending from the north - producing the Gota Fria. The greatest tragedy of the recent cold drop in Andalucia was the death of Campillos fireman Jose Gil returning home in a fire truck which was hit by a flash flood. Better drainage south of the town could not have spared his life but from now onwards many local mayors will be expecting Madrid to back up verbally-expressed condolences with financed improvements in drainage, sewage disposal and road maintenance. The central government has had intentions to upgrade the railway between Bobadilla and Algeciras since 2008. Promises, promises, and the huge collapse of the track over an arroyo west of Bobadilla (see picture) serves testimony to the fragility of a railway constructed in the 19th century and little improved in sections until recently. Luckily no passenger or freight train was passing when the embankment was washed away, a tragedy that would have become SEE MORE IN THE RESTAURANT SECTION INSIDE

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NEARLY two dozen pink rubbish bins have been scattered around Palma to raise awareness for breast cancer. For every kilo of glass collected from the 20 pink glass recycling bins, Ecovidrio will donate €1 to breast cancer research through the Sandra Ibarra foundation. Ecovidrio is the nonprofit company responsible for recycling Spain's glass waste. Palma joins cities, including Barcelona and Sevilla, which are raising awareness and funds with over 250 pink bins nationwide.

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THE leader of the opposition will not be investigated over allegations his master’s degree was falsely obtained. The Supreme Court will not probe PP boss Pablo Casado (below) after he admitted that Madrid’s Rey Juan Carlos university waived 18 out of 22 of his regional law assignments. While he admitted it was ‘favourable treatment,’ he insisted it did not to amount criminal activity. The court agreed. The PP party has now, for PSOE called in turn, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to resign over claims his doctoral thesis was part written by someone else. Two ministers, Cristina Cifuentes and Health Minister Carmen Montón, have already resigned over degree scandals this year.

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Costa del Sol hotel has three months to fight decision before it is demolished A HOTEL is to be knocked down for not having enough class!

But when their employees Benalmadena’s Hotel Vista retired early, chiefs siphoned de Rey must be demolished off the money from the paywithin three months, a court outs. has ruled, Authorities also found disAndalucia’s Superior Court crepancies in the consortium’s training courses. of Justice ruled that the hoLarge sums were paid to a tel falls short of its four-star company to provide training requirement. courses, but no evidence has been found that these courses Probing took place. It began probing the three Meanwhile, irregularities were also found in grants and star hotel and apartment subsidies, which cops believe block in 2011 after it was dewere used to pay for private nounced over planning rules trips. which set aside the plot for a The irregularities date back four star hotel only. to 2008 and cops believe at According to the PGOU town least €7 million has been stoplan an apartment block was len by those at the top. not permitted and it also

2/8/18 17:01

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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December 6th - December 19th

‘He deserves it’ Not enough stars 2017

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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 rectifica-

DOOMED: Costa hotel

tion 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.

SMUGGLERS’ WALL

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

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

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

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Opinion Page 6

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Drop of common sense

- Tornado smashes Menorca leaving 38,000 residents without power while two people missing in northern Spain (13,132)

3

LINE OF NO RETURN: Flooding set to happen more wines often

ARTWORK SETUP TO 25% OF ACTUAL ARTWORK SIZE.SETUP TO 25% OF ACTUAL SIZE.

- REVEALED: How 13 mafias from Brits to Russians are ruling Spain’s Costa del Sol (15,682)

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24/11/2017 11:18

24/11/2017 11:18

Heavy rainfall is not a recent phenomenon, but the sea warming and building in the wrong places is adding to the recent flooding problems, writes Harry Ward

front-page news across Europe. It was a flooding. freak torrent of water understandably not Although financial budgets are limited, as foreseen in magnitude, and ADIF does its always, that’s little excuse in a region so best to maintain Spanish high-speed and heavily dependent on farming, tourism and conventional routes with technical know-how property ownership of those who pay council better than most equivalent rail network au- tax and spend money locally. thorities in the world, but government fund- In some defence of the authorities, they ing for ADIF seems peculiarly limited in some cannot be expected to shelter totally those regions. who built or purchased properties on natural It is possible to be cynical when viewing tele- flood plains and in steep narrow valleys, and vision programmes such as A Place in the they should not construct drainage chanSun and hearing prospective searchers of nels, which release upland waters and cause property on the costas and inland express increased flooding at lower levels. ‘Wow!’ at the sight of the sea or a mountain The Madrid government cannot anticipate landscape when they stand further large infrastructure on a sunlit terrace and a funding from the European swimming pool close. Property buyers Commission. Without future Those involved, buyers and UK contributions to the Comare advised to presenters, are not expectmission budget something ed to research rainfall data, inspect the local will have to give and there will the size of catchment areas, be reduced giving to Spain the volume of water run-off terrain for signs and other member states. descending to natural floodPriorities concerning autonoplains and through gorges of soil saturation mous region funding will conand valleys but perhaps centrate minds wonderfully in now some effort should be Madrid. made. In the Ronda region, with a local Potential property buyers are advised to rainfall catchment area of over 280 square inspect the local terrain and vegetation for kilometres and a single river outlet pass- signs of more than brief soil saturation. Veging through villages such as Benaojan and etation debris in rivers indicates previous Cortes de la Frontera, the probability of rapidly flowing water, and stones in clumps high water levels occurring repeatedly is near streams where they are not placed by not rocket science. As a rough estimate the usual forces of nature. some 630 million cubic metres of water It’s pretty simple to Google the recent local passed down that valley in 24 hours during weather patterns recorded by the excellent the recent floods. Spanish government and university research The human insistence that ‘something must institutes. be done’ is not only expressed in present We have been heavily showered upon and desperation but also with memories of past warned.

- Man slaughtered while he sipped beer and ate sushi on Spain’s Costa del Sol was Dutch narco and expert bombmaker (12,682)

- Teen who threw himself from Marbella El Corte Ingles had announced suicide pact plans on social media (7,734)

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- WATCH: First snow of the year in Spain’s Malaga as temperature drop continues (7,013)

Unique visitors: 259,914 Page views: 374,334

MILLION MONTH BONANZA

The Olive Press received close to one MILLION hits in October, making it one of our best months in the history of the paper. More than 600,000 people came online to read the latest and breaking news from Andalucia and Spain, bringing more than 865,000 hits. It is a sign of the times as our website continues to grow and leave our competitors in the dust. See the month’s biggest stories below...

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- Two BOMBS explode in Marbella and Benahavis as drug mafia wars reach new heights (27,803)

2

- RED ALERT: Highest warning issued for Spain’s Costa del Sol while third death announced in Mallorca (25,174)

3

- IN VIDEOS: British expats and tourists describe ‘terrifying’ floods on Spain’s Costa del Sol as areas continue to be battered by deluge (19,321)

4 5

- Spanish doctors eliminate HIV from patients in stem cell transplant trial (17,432) - REVEALED: How 13 mafias from Brits to Russians are ruling Spain’s Costa del Sol (15,254)

Unique visitors: 611,378 Page views: 868,288


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November 7th - November 20th 2018

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emembrance Day Ceremony British War Memorial, November 11 The Governor will lead a memorial service with a two minute silence ended by a saluting gun and the last post. Wreaths will be laid and medals and decorations are encouraged to be worn. Starts at 11.30am.

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ibunco International Literary FestivalVarious venues, November 15-18

The event, in its sixth year, will feature speeches from novelists, historians and biographers from the UK at the Garrison Library, The Convent, King’s Chapel, Mackintosh Hall, Kings Bastion and the Sunborn.

November 7th - November 20th 2018

Painting the tomb red AN artist has defaced General Franco’s grave with a dove in blood red paint at the Valley of the Fallen near Madrid. A video of the protest shows the artist Enrique Terneiro daubing the grave of Spain’s former dictator in red paint. The Guardia Civil arrested the Galician artist and are investigating him for criminal damage. As the 49-year-old artist from Coruña was being dragged away by security he was heard shouting ‘For the reconciliation of all the Spaniards!’

Terneiro’s act was filmed by fellow activist Pedro Armestre, who claimed the paint was supposed to represent a ‘dove of peace’ on the grave of Francisco Franco. Armestre said: “I do not intend to harm the family or their followers, what I want is a space of freedom.” The protest was sparked by growing tension surrounding the planned exhumation of the remains of General Franco from the Valley of the Fallen by Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist (PSOE) government.

DEFACED: Tomb of Franco in Madrid

Humble pie Spain is the most humble country in Europe with just one in five Spaniards regarding their culture as better than others

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raft and Collectors Fair St Andrew’s Church, November 10 ANTIQUES, modern gifts, jewellery, books and more will be sold with all proceeds going to the Church Restoration Fund. £1 entrance.

TRIPLE TALENT: Dali, Picasso and Cervantes

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DESPITE Picasso, Dali and Cervantes all hailing from Spain, locals don’t think their culture is superior to others, a new poll has found. In fact Spaniards have the lowest ‘cultural arrogance’ rate in Europe, with only one in five regarding their traditions and artistic exports as superior to others. Carried out by the Pew Research Centre between 2015 and 2017, the study found just 20% of Spaniards supported the statement: “Our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior to others.” With restaurants annually featuring in the world’s best restaurants list, the works of Picasso hanging in prestigious museums worldwide and deeprooted arts such as flamenco offering a colourful culture, many non-Spaniards may be left scratching their heads at the results. In fact, travellers, critics

and expats alike consider it to have one of the most rich cultures in the world. While the poll of some 56,000 people in 34 European countries saw Spain come out as the most humble country in Europe, Greece came out as the least with a whopping 89% of respondents supporting the statement. Unsurprisingly for Brexiteers, 46% of UK respondents had higher ‘patriotic chauvinism’, while neighbouring Portugal’s rate was 47%. Spain was also found to be one of the most tolerant countries towards Muslims - perhaps due to the country’s Moorish roots - with three quarters of Spaniards willing to accept them into the family. The country also has one of the most positive stances on gay marriage in the continent, with 77% of Spaniards saying they favour or strongly favour it. The country was the fourth in the world to legalise same-sex marriage in 2005.

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MAP: Of cultural ‘arrogance’

Playing for change A COSTA del Sol town has turned into the Playmobil toy capital of Spain. Troops of miniature historic toy figures have invaded Antequera and will be here to stay until January 6, as part of a Christmas campaign taking over the town. The large-scale models promise to transport visitors back in time with a series of exhibitions celebrating the town’s history. There will be 10 different miniature areas to visit, with three large exhibitions displayed in churches as part of Playmobil contest, Ciudad de Antequera. Unique dolls have been created depicting important Malaga characters such as freed slave Acilia Plecusa from the Roman era, writer Cristobalina Fernandez and the hero of the Peninsular War, El Capitan Moreno. All proceeds will go towards local 5,000-strong NGO, Aventura Solidaria, which helps people in need in Antequera. Entry tickets are €4 and can be bought at various points across the town.

Singing high HENRY Purcell was the first British composer to ever write an opera. Dido and Aeneas was his first creation wich would go on to revolutionise the English music scene. Now the opera is set to be brought to life across Andalucia in a series of five performances in November. Musica en las Montanas, organised by accomplished Brit cellist Cat Jary, is an international group of 50 professional and amateur dancers, singers, musicians and actors. The opera, based on Greek mythology, sees the hero Aeneas hot from the Trojan wars, stop off on his way back home and falls in love with Dido, the Queen of Carthage - a story of love and deception. The first performance will take place November 21-22 in Motril, November 23 in Nerja, November 24 in Orgiva, with the final performance in the hilltop village of Canar in the Alpujarras. Visit www.musicaenlasmontanas.net.


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errania de Ronda

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Picture perfect Andalucia’s city in the mountains is a hot ticket for world leaders and their wives despite Hemingway’s lukewarm words, writes Elisa Menendez

NICE promenades, good wine, excellent food and nothing to do…’ Thus Ernest Hemingway wrote off the town where he spent numerous holidays drinking the local wine and carousing at corridas, no doubt disappointing many of Ronda’s proud residents with his puzzlingly lacklustre review. Most of today’s travellers - including Britain’s last two prime ministers and an American First Lady - would certainly disagree with him. Ronda has been crowned Andalucia’s third most-visited town and it’s not hard to see why. The so-called ‘City of Dreams’ is a true wanderlust gem and somewhat of a celebrity hang-out. This year alone, Theresa May, Anne Hathaway, Ricky Gervais, Jodie Whittaker, Gordon Ramsay, Kristin Scott Thomas and Spain’s ex-premier Mariano Rajoy have all allegedly visited the stunning mountain town... so say locals in the know.

Picture by Jon Clarke

Obama

Michelle Obama also made headlines when she visited in 2010, touring the old town and discovering the Moorish dynasty with her daughter Sasha. Celebrity chef Jean Christophe Novelli went house hunting in the town after falling in love with it in 2009. With its spectacular high sierra setting, leafy parks, cobbled lanes and atmospheric ventas it’s no wonder Ronda has stolen the hearts of so many travellers. Over the centuries a slew of writers have waxed lyrical about its timeless character, stunning views and charming locals. The German poet Rilke baptised it the ‘City of Dreams’, Orson Welles took a shine to its bullfighting scene and

GRAND TOUR-ISTS: Painters tackle the gorge, while (inset) recent visitors Anne Hathaway, Gordon Ramsey, Jodie Whittaker and Ricky Gervais

Continues on Page 9

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errania de Ronda

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Hemingway himself capitalised on its culture of bullfighting for two of his own works. Ronda’s legendary torero Pedro Romero who slew more than 5,600 bulls was the muse for his noble matador in The Sun Also Rises; while the fierce rivalry between Luis Miguel Dominguin and Antonio Ordonez, the city’s other most famous bullfighter, is chronicled in The Dangerous Summer. But it seems the good people of Ronda overlooked the Nobel Prize-winning author’s slight on their hood. Instead, they paid homage to him with the Paseo de Ernest Hemingway, a pathway that teeters along the top of Ronda’s crown jewel – El Tajo gorge – which offers up gorge-ous views across the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park. This 120-metre-deep chasm slicing the city in two is bridged by Ronda’s most photographed structure. The magnificent Puente Nuevo is anything but new, having been completed in 1793. As you cross the cloud-touching bridge, it’s like stepping into a medieval fairytale. The backdrop of soaring mountains crowned with traditional Andalucian white villages is equally dramatic. Taller than London’s Centre Point tower, the structure took a staggering 40 years to complete, claiming the lives of some 50 builders who died bridging the gap. They left behind an awe-inspiring fusion of nature and architecture connecting the new town of Mercadillo with the old quarter, La Ciudad.

Picture by Geoff Scott Simpson

City of dreams

Trailblazers Irish novelist and poet James Joyce (1882-1941) “Ronda with the old windows of the houses, the eyes which spy out hidden behind the latticework so that their lover might kiss the iron bars.”

The word on the street from some of Ronda’s famous visitors…

Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) “It is here, in Ronda, in the delicate penumbra of blindness, a concave silence of patios, leisure of the jasmine and the light sound of water, which summoned up memories of deserts.”

A chamber above the bridge’s central arch was used as a prison during the Spanish Civil War. Legend has it that

Syrian prince Abu’l-Fida (1273-1331) American author Orson Welles “Elegant and lofty city in which the (1915-1985) clouds serve as a turban and its towers “A man is not from where he is as a sword belt” born, but where he chooses to die.” German poet Rainer Maria Rilke (18751926) “The spectacle of this city, sitting on the bulk of two rocks rent asunder by a pickaxe and separated by the narrow, deep gorge of the river, corresponds very well to the image of that city revealed in dreams.” REGULAR VISITOR: Orson Welles

Republican and Nationalist prisoners were tortured and thrown from the windows to the deadly rocks below. Later

it housed a bar, today it’s a museum dedicated to the history of the bridge and its skyscraper jail.

For a picture-perfect view of the bridge, hike down to the bottom of El Tajo. You can access the scenic walking routes

NE

Menu W Lau Com nch in Soon g !

Special Midday Menu 15€ inlcluding 1 drink (weekdays) Open for Christmas Day and New Years Eve with special menu and entertainment Available for Events Fridays Live Music Bar Open Weekends till 01:00 tel: 952 89 50 35 info@restaurantesarmiento.com Wednesday-Monday: 13:00 to 16.00 Wednesday-Sunday: 19:00 to 22:30 Crta. de Casares Km 12’5

www.restaurantesarmiento.com authenticity, spontaneity and enjoyment when being around a table


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Picture by Jon Clarke

Get carried away!

CAPTION

BIBLICAL: Shepherd pats his sheepdog under the walls, while (right) Mandragon Palace and Almocobar gate

Picture by Jon Clarke

from either side of the bridge. Take the old town side for a more challenging hike or the new town side for the easier route. Ronda’s bullring, poised between new town and old, also gets huge amounts of attention for being the oldest and most beautiful in Spain. There’s a museum inside and you can take a tour. Despite bullfighting’s alleged waning popularity, this famous arena is mobbed in September for the annual Goyesca bullfights, a homage to Ronda’s two most famous matadors and the Spanish artist Goya. Ronda is a tale of two cities. Its old and new towns each have their own distinctive styles with Roman and Moorish influences. Built in 9 BC, it’s one of Spain’s most historic settlements and was a key military bastion in the Roman Empire. It was completely transformed by the Moors, who were responsible for many

VISTA: Across to the famous bridge

of its tourist-magnets today. The banos Arabes is one, originally built in the 13th century and operated by a water wheel, bringing water up from the River Guadalevin below. A stroll around the immaculate chambers, arches and columns - assuming it is open again following the recent floods - conjures up images of the lavish lifestyle enjoyed by travellers in what was then the Kingdom of Granada. A fantastic reconstruction film brings it all to life. Another Moorish highlight is the Casa del Rey Moro, the palace where Michelle Obama surprised onlookers in 2010 when she descended the 300 perilous steps down to La Mina - the water mine – an experience many tourists choose to pass on. Built in the 18th century during the Moorish occupation, it was on these vertiginous steps that chain gangs of Christian slaves formed a human con-

HE is currently on a world tour, having starred at the London Guitar Festival. So it is no surprise that Paco Seco’s Ronda Guitar House is fast becoming one of the most prestigious cultural venues in Andalucia. He and his team offer an exceptional and emotive concert in a very intimate setting. Recognized by Lonely Planet, Rick Steves and Le Routard, this is one evening’s entertainment not to be missed on a visit to Ronda. Run by his English wife Lucy, the team offer a fabulous cultural journey with local Ronda wines served up alongside some of the best strains of Spanish guitar. The concerts take place at 19:00 each evening, and cost just 15€.

veyor belt to pass up containers of water from the river Guadalevin. The heart of the new town is the bustling main shopping street, Calle Espinel - known as ‘La Bola’ by locals. It’s bursting with handicraft shops, local produce and infinite places to stop off for churros and chocolate or Ronda cheeses and wine. Another way to marybeker@gmail.com tel: (+34) 674 130 449 explore Ronda is via its exquiwww.marybeker.com site wine tours. Since Phoenician and ancient Grecian times, wine has been produced here and probably transported to the great cities of the Roman Empire. www.gaucinhouses.com www.countrypropertiesandalucia.com Take a visit to any of the 20 or www.marybeker.com more bodegas and you’ll be filled in well. If you’re spending more than a couple of days in Ronda, the cave art at the Cueva de la Pileta is another must-see. Nestled in the village of Benaojan some 20 kilometres southwest of the city, the belly of the cave reveals Stone Age paintings of horses, goats and fish Stunning Finca with Vineyard near Ronda, which can be marvelled at by Inland Andalucia – €3.200.000 torchlight with a guide. Ref: MB8279 A trip to Ronda, whether it be A great opportunity to buy a working vineyard in the wine growing area for a day, a near Ronda, inland Andalucia, set in 28 hectares of land, with 800 square week or even a meter house and 200 square meter terrace at the back. month has the uncanny ability The house is all on one level, disposed around a central courtyard and to transport any surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens. The stunning views are to visitor to another time and era. the back of the property and lead down the valley towards the old roman If you’re reading ruins of Acinipo. It is finished to the highest standard and with gorgeous this up there, Mr Hemingway, details, such as the old marble sinks in the bathrooms and old roman we think you gravestones set into the dry stone walls that surround the property. should eat your words.


12 Hostalwww.gibraltarolivepress.com El Anón, a charming oasis in the centre of historic Jimena

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Author and guide Guy Hunter-Watts reflects on 30 years of living and walking in the Ronda mountains

W Come and try our varied ‘small plates’, mojitos and Moroccan tea! Plus a wide range of international dishes served outside on our terraces or in the romantic, firelit dining rooms. Calle Consuelo 34-40, Jimena de la Frontera 956 640 113 reservas@elanon.net www.hostalanon.com

HEN I first came to Andalucía in the ‘80s Alastair Boyd’s travelogues The Road from Ronda and In The Sierrania of the South were essential reading for any expat with a desire to get beneath the skin of life in La Sierra. Like Alastair, who later became a friend, I’d set out in search of my own vision of ShangriLa after deciding to set up a language school in Ronda. I eventually set up home in one of the least known of the pueblos blancos - Montecorto, at the edge of Grazalema Natural Park. At that time there was just one phone in the village, the women still washed in the acequía which runs down through it, and the only wine on sale in shops and bars was vino de Montilla, a type of sherry, dispensed from a five litre flagon. In those days wine bottled with a cork was for the señoritos.

This part of Spain has been on the traveller’s map since the time when it became an offshoot of The Grand Tour. Ronda and

its sierras were a perfect staging post between the Moorish delights of Sevilla and the narcotic charms of Granada. The rugged mountains that surround the town dovetailed perfectly with the Romantic movement’s idyll of beauty: a landscape of plunging gorges and hilltop villages and castles, of Carmen-like andaluzas and one in which even highway brigands - known as bandoleros - were given a heroic role by the likes of Mérimée and David Roberts. Driving the long and winding road to Ronda up from San Pedro, then heading west past towering cliffs through forests of holm and cork oak, it’s easy to see why so many writers and artists have been attracted to the area. And why, more recently, a large expat community should have put down roots. Nearly every small village within 20 kilometres of Ronda has at least a dozen expat families search-

ing out their own vision of The Good Life. Many of my foreign neighbours and friends have integrated into their host communities by setting up businesses which have helped rural tourism to push down deeper roots. It might be by running a bar or hotel, becoming forerunners within our local organic food movement, writing a restaurant guide, setting up a paragliding school or cycling business or by being amongst the pioneers - such as German Federico Schalt - who have helped bring great wines back to our local sierras. All these activities have helped bring prosperity and jobs to an area that was, in large part, a rural backwater just 40 years ago. I had the rare luck, as a writer of hiking guides, that my arrival in Andalucía coincided with the advent of walking-for-pleasure in the mountains. When I first brought hiking groups to Grazalema – the trailhead for several amazing on-foot ad-

Gateway to history It’s been a key Andalucian nerve centre since the time of the Romans and back in the days of Al Andaluz, Ronda was a key stopping off place for travellers. It´s no wonder then that you feel like you have stepped back in time in the cobbled streets of Ronda old town. Around every corner you will find historic palaces and townhouses, each with their very own original entrances. Many hide grand townhouses inside (left), while others lead to emblematic squares.


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Battle stations Picture by Jon Clarke

It’s the moment Napoleon’s unpopular army is finally sent into retreat by a legion of local townsfolk. Pitchforks, muskets and all... And Ronda Romantica, when the whole town dresses up in 19th century garb, in spring is a must-visit event

ventures – there was just one basic fonda in the village and a couple of simple tapas bars. Grazalema since that time has mirrored what’s been happening in many more pueblos blancos: there are now four hotels, several casas rurales, half a dozen new bars and restaurants, waymarked trails and, along with all of this, a new awareness that you don’t need sand and sea to attract foreign visitors to your village. I was able to ride a part of this new wave by running a B&B for walkers that ran almost full for 10 years. When I closed the business down – I wanted more time to write and travel - it felt like killing that goose that laid the golden egg. But the joys of walking our local network of mountain paths would never have been enough to keep me in the Ronda mountains were it not for that other essential life ingredient: good neighbours.

Concerts - Artisan Guitars Music Shop - Classes Guitar Accessories Calle Padre Mariano Soubiron 4 Ronda, Málaga +34 951 916 843

www.rondaguitarhouse.com

Life here would make little sense without experiencing the extraordinary bonhomie and natural gregariousness of our Andalucían hosts. The southern Spanish are team players – think Feria, Semana Santa or any fiesta hosted by a village – and are nearly always delighted to welcome a new member to the club, including a foreign one. Whether it’s reenacting the events of the Guerra de la Independencia, rehearsing satirical songs for Carnival, playing in the village brass band or organising the annual 101km race around Ronda, people are happy to work together in order to

make things happen. And they are easy and generous with their invitations following that old sierra adage ‘donde come uno, comen dos’. At a time in Europe when populist, inward-looking movements are threatening to break up one of the most successful community adventures in modern history, I rejoice in any initiative or process that looks to unite and integrate rather than divide. I feel a sense of privilege to have lived half of my sixty years in this exquisitely beautiful corner of Europe and am happy that, in the 1980s, I took that magic Road to Ronda. Even if I’ll never become an andaluz de pura cepa I’ll remain a happily ensconced European. Guy Hunter-Watts lives in Montecorto, 20km west of Ronda and is the author of Cicerone’s ‘Walking in Andalucía’, ‘Coastal Walks in Andalucía’, ‘The Mountains of Ronda & Grazalema’ and ‘The Andalucían Coast to Coast Walk’. His B&B is now let on a selfcatering basis from April through to October. www. guyhunterwatts.com&www. rondatejar.com


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High table WHERE TO EAT

Traditional dishes of Ronda

Ronda has mountains of top restaurants packed with great ingredients and talented chefs, writes Dining Secrets of Andalucia editor Jon Clarke

FEW places in Andalucia have it all when it comes to food. The Serrania de Ronda is the exception, whether you are after tasty tapas, simple local ingredients or Michelin-starred mastery. There are hundreds of exciting places to choose from, now including the excellent Michelinstarred Bardel, where Benito Gomez goes from strength to strength. Other long-standing winners include historic Pedro Romero, soulful Almocabar, and the rural delights of Molino del Santo and El Muelle, while exciting new arrivals include El Almacen and Sarmiento, in Casares. Up in the heart of Ronda authentic Porton – an institution run by Javier for the last 40 years - has wonderful old photos on the wall and a guaranteed feel good fac-

FRIENDLY: Siempre Igual and (right) Azahar tor. Here, you will find my favourite Ronda tapa, the wonderful quails egg with ham on toast. Just around the corner, the town’s grandest restaurant Pedro Romero sits slap bang opposite the bullring, with wonderful bullfighting photos and posters, as you might expect. Run by brothers Carlos and Tomas, a top sommelier, you should try the fantastic rabo de toro (oxtail) and let him select the wine. A total contrast is El Almacen, run by talented Javier Pimentel, a local Ronda lad, who went around the world and back before opening his restaurant last year. It’s a stylish spot, with a great selection of music, including a huge pile of records... but you are here for the food and Javier doesn’t

disappoint, having trained for a year at San Sebastian’s threeMichelin star cathedral of cuisine Akelarre, before a stint in Ireland and two years in London. For wine lovers check out Entre Vinos, which has over 100 wines from Ronda, and always has a dozen wines available by the glass. There are some excellent tapas and it is a charming place to while away a few hours. Just up the hill a little is Siempre Igual, which is exactly that ‘Always the same’, and a bloody excellent place to enjoy tapas and some excellent wine with friends. Run by a friendly family team, they always have some experimental new dishes, worth a try and you are in a great location, just up from the bullring. Across the bridge in the heart of the old town look out for Meson El Sacristan run HIP: Restaurante Sarmiento in Casares by friendly Antonio.

It has Roman ruins in the basement and easily the best steaks in the town. It also has a fantastic dining terrace where in good weather you can truly watch the world go by in one of Ronda’s loveliest squares. Few places have the splendour of Restaurante Azahar in the historic hotel Reina Victoria. Its dining terrace offers up the best views in Ronda, even Andalucia, across the celebrated Ronda tajo and miles beyond. And luckily the food matches up to it, being both creative and with well sourced ingredients. Inspired by its location, it doffs its hat to local dishes, such as roast suckling pig and kid. But plaudits go to the creative starters, such as secreto iberico carpaccio with foie, redcurrants and parmesan ice cream, as well as the scallops on yolks of pickled asparagus with sea urchin caviar. Yet in Ronda, there is even more with the long time most respected restaurant Almocabar going from strength to strength as Manolo continues to improve his offering and experiment with the best local ingredients, such as mushrooms, foie and asparagus.

Traditional & Mediterranian food We specialise in Andalusian Wines

Tlf: 687 153 867 / 609 925 554 C/ San José n° 2 Esquina Calle Jerez. Ronda ( Málaga)


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RONDA ALL STARS: Javier at El Almacen, Benito at Bandal, Javier at Porton and Tomas and Carlos at Pedro Romero

This place is as authentic as it gets and you always get treated well. Venturing out of Ronda there are so many amazing country escapes for lunch or supper. The two best are easily Molino del Santo, in charming Benaojan, now shut for the winter, as well as El Muelle, in Arriate, which boasts hundreds of regulars who drive all the way from the coast - and even Sevilla - for lunch. It’s no surprise, this old railway

storeroom being atmospheric to the n’th degree and boasting excellent local authentic fare to boot. Run by friendly Dutchman Frank Rottgering, alongside talented local chef Isa, there are plenty of new dishes each month and the menu is full of their colourful creations. The wine list is simple but inspired and the food is always amazing fresh and beautifully served… Even better are the prices.

It’s a midday lunchtime in Ronda and things feel like the 1970s, none more so than at Jamoneria Granadino where owner Juan serves up local farmers and expats huge vats of Montilla sherry

TALENTS: Manolo at Almocabar cooks mushrooms while (right) El Muelle Another amazing new country leasing it out to another local addition is Sarmiento at the family. extreme western end of the Ser- The pair have both worked in rania de Ronda in Casares. many restaurants abroad and This is the creation of three well- more recently landed plum jobs travelled, creative friends, who working at the Hotel Don Pepe in have all lived and worked abroad Marbella and at Sotogrande SA. during the heart of Spain’s worst Their head chef is Victor Carraceever recession. do, who has also worked around Coming back to Casares full circle the world for leading chains, inare Miguel and Juan Sarmiento, cluding Ritz-Carlton and Hilton, whose father set up this very res- and is currently head chef at Martaurant in the classic Andalucian bella’s five-star Don Pepe hotel. town three decades ago, before Their new restaurant is ‘based on the essential pillars of the Andalucian lifestyle: authenticity, spontaneity and the enjoyment of friends and family’. And up at this wonderful space, with the best views in Christendom, it is hard to disagree. It would be unfair not to mention chef Ian Love at La Cascada, at hotel Molino del Puente. He and his wife have been pleasing the punters with their tasty creations for well over a decade now and its amazing riverside terrace cannot be beaten in good weather.

Come and try Ronda’s amazing wines with a tapa tel: 658 58 29 76 Calle Pozo 2, 29400 Ronda ronda360.com/empresas/entrevinos

restaurant | lunch and dinner restaurant | lunch and dinner

www.diningsecretsofandalucia.com

951 48 98 18 hola@tabernaelalmacen.com www.tabernaelalmacen.com Cl Los Remedios, 7. 29400 Ronda, Málaga

WWW.ELMUELLE-ARRIATE.COM WWW.ELMUELLE-ARRIATE.COM ESTACIÓONDE DE ARRIATE ARRIATE ||ARRIATE (MA(MA 7400, KM 4)KM 4) ESTACIÓON ARRIATE 7400, 0034 637784 784 416 416 | 166166 370370 0034 637 | 0034 0034952 952 CLOSEDON ONMONDAYS MONDAYS CLOSED


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WHERE TO STAY

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You’re bound to sleep well in Ronda...

City of dreaming

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HERE is an incredible choice of places to lay down your head in the 'City of Dreams', as Dutch poet Rilke once described Ronda. One of the best is the Reina Victoria (cataloniahotels.com), which was built over 100 years ago by British builders when the train line first arrived here from the coast.

Standing in an enviable spot overlooking the gorge this upmarket hotel is a place to lie back and luxuriate, relax and enjoy the best views in Christendom. Those looking for a more budget offering should try the central Hotel Morales (www.hotelmorales.es), which sits in the heart of the town, perfect for the shops, and the main transport links. However, it is out in the Serrania countryside itself that you will be really spoilt for choice. Check Hotel Arriadh (www.arriadhhotel.com), which counts on some of the best views anywhere in Spain. Often described RURAL DREAM: Breakfast by Alcantarilla’s as ‘zen-like’ the swimming pool

clean lines and maximising of light and views is all thanks to the talents of Dutch couple John and Wilbert. Excellent value, it has an amazingly peaceful garden and a splendid infinity pool. For complete authenticity and to sample a taste of the idyllic mountain life, consider spending a few days at Finca Alcantarilla (www.alcantarilla.co.uk) a wonderful B&B, just ten minutes out of Ronda. Recently described by Bryony Gordon in the Telegraph as one of the ‘most beautiful places’ she has ever stayed, and Sathnam Sanghera in the Times, as the ‘perfect villa holiday’, you will be amazed at the well-appointed grounds and historic features of the home. Another fabulous place to stay at the western end of the Serrania in Jimena is Hostal Anon (www. hostalanon.com).

IDYLLIC: Arriadh and El Anon It’s been a classic stopover for travelers for nearly four decades and the rooms have a Spanish rustic feel, while the outside intertwining terraces have a Moorish décor. Owner Suzanne has lived in Andalucia for over 40 years and the place often comes alive on weekend nights with a very liberal fun feel. Another amazing spot is Hotel Banu Rabbah (www.hbenarraba.com) in Benarraba, one of the most charming, sleepy authentic villages of Andalucia province. In the heart of the stunning Genal Valley, this is an ancient Arabic village, built by the Son of Rabbah, whose family must have been prominent in the village’s early days. A large castle stood in the area and can be found nearby at Monte Poron, where a legend seems to cloud its history. The hotel itself is comfortable and very good value.

On top of the World! Arriadh Hotel is situated in the beautiful ‘Serranía de Ronda’, just a 10 minute drive from Ronda’s city centre. The village Arriate, undiscovered by mass tourism, is within walking distance and offers a wide variety of restaurants and tapas bars. Arriadh Hotel is the perfect ‘home away from home’ to rediscover Ronda and the area. Or just to relax and take in the breath taking views and sunsets from one of the terraces, the garden, the swimming pool or your own balcony. If you want to stay in, don’t worry. Your hosts John and Wilbert always have a variety of tapas available and on request they will prepare a lovely dinner.

Tel.: +34 952 11 43 70

Arriadh Hotel, Los Cañalillos, Ronda, Andalucia.

www.arriadhhotel.com


BUSINESS

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On your hike!

Minimum wage hikes will cost 150,000 jobs, claims bank boss THE governor of the Bank of Spain has blasted government proposals to dramatically increase the minimum wage - saying it will trigger major job losses. Pablo Hernández de Cos claimed the 22% increase in minimum wage put forward by Pedro Sanchez’s minority Socialist (PSOE) government would result in 150,000 less jobs. A total of 0.8% of Spain’s labour force could be at risk of redundancy, warned the governor. He claimed the evidence available shows that mini-

UNDER FIRE: Sanchez

UNHAPPY: Hernández

mum wage increases always have a ‘negative effect’. He said: “The increase in the minimum wage in small amounts has little effect, but we have few experiences of high rises, none of 22%.” When Sanchez unveiled his 2019 budget proposals last month along with Pablo Iglesias, the Podemos leader, who supports his minority administration, the minimum wage increases were the most striking change.

Inequality

Sanchez’s government proposed an increase of €164.1, boosting the Spanish monthly minimum wage from €735.9 to €900. The proposals, which Hernandez de Cos alleges would create ‘job loss and increased inequality’, constitute the highest minimum wage increase since 1977.

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PM doubles down on controversial Saudi warship PEDRO Sanchez has defended a €1.8 billion deal which will see Spain sell five warships built in the Bay of Cadiz to Saudi Arabia. The Prime Minister claimed the controversial deal is in ‘the interests of all Spaniards’, following the outcry over the Saudi role in the brutal Yemen war. He said the sale of five corvette warships, assembled by shipbuilders, Navantia, are crucial for providing 6,000 jobs in the unemployment-stricken Cadiz area. Sanchez said: “We are talking about valid contracts, which comply with the rules

The Cadiz connection in our country, and which do not contradict Resolution 2216 of the UN Security Council.”

He continues to back the agreement despite rising controversy over Saudi involvement in the Yemeni

May seals deal THERESA May has struck a crucial Brexit agreement with Brussels that ensures UK financial services access to European markets. The deal will guarantee the firms market access as long as British financial regulations remain in line with the EU’s arrangements.

This chunk of the negotiations is not set in stone, but the markets reacted strongly at the news with the pound jumping in value by 1.7% over two days. According to The Times the deal was sealed as May encouraged business leaders to lobby MPs to back her Brexit plans. OPTIMISTIC: Theresa May

Civil War, which has seen 50,000 people killed. Saudi Arabia is the fifth largest global recipient of Spanish arms, importing €270 million worth of weaponry prior to the warships deal. Spain’s total global arms exports amount to €4.3 billion and in 2017 they agreed future sales of €21 billion. Sanchez’s controversial comments in parliament came after Madrid went ahead with the sale of 400 guided missiles to Saudi, despite Defense Minister Margarita Robles trying to halt the deal. Following a warning from Riyadh, that Saudi would cancel the €1.8 billion warships deal, Sanchez proceeded with the missiles sale.


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PROPERTY

www.gibraltarolivepress.com

November2018

Spanish sofology

COMFY?: Sofa

Brexit bonus THE Brits and Irish have been the main drive behind a surge in foreign investment in Spanish property. According to the latest report from the Association of Spanish Land Registrars, foreign demand increased by 11% to 17,338 sales in the second quarter of this year compared to last. And despite Brexit, the British were still the biggest group of foreign buyers,

DESIGNER: Hayon

A MADRID designer has made his office furniture debut in Germany. Jaime Hayon has brought his Plenum sofas to Orgatec 2018, Cologne’s biennial workplace furniture fair. Designers were asked to create pieces that represent the design of offices in the future. Hayon’s high-backed one, two and three-seater sofa system is designed to challenge the concept of traditional office furniture and ‘create a feeling of home’.

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making up 15% of the foreign market. It is still almost double the size of the next biggest group - the French. The Brits are also growing faster than the next two biggest markets, with the French demand taking an 8% dip. And it it is the Irish who have returned with a vengeance, with demand from the Emerald Isle booming by 47%.

Cowboy builders Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece the Sagrada Familia never had a building license and faces millions in construction fees ANTONI Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona has been saddled with a €36 million bill after a license to start construction was never obtained. A repayment deal was reached between the city council and the UNESCO World Heritage Site-listed

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church, which will see the holy building fork out €22 million on improvements to Barcelona’s transport network. Church trustees agreed the deal, as they secured the permit to continue work on Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece, due to

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FINALLY: Iconic building to be finished

be finished by 2026, the centenary anniversary of his death. The Catalan artist devoted his life to the church, which is still only 70% complete after construction began 136 years ago. Barcelona’s mayor Ada Colau hailed the 10-year deal, saying ‘The Sagrada Familia is an icon and the most visited monument in our city.’

Improving

She said: “After two years of dialogue we have made an agreement that will guarantee the payment of the licence, secure access to the monument and facilitate local life with improvements to public transport and rede-

velopment of the nearby streets.” As part of the deal, €7 million will be spent improving accessibility on the metro system while €3 million will go on keeping streets clean and safe. The Sagrada Familia Foundation says it is ‘working on building the six central towers’ of the church, which was born to the world in 1882. Despite never being finished, Gaudi’s basilica sees four million visitors through its doors each year and in 2017 was the first tourist attraction to receive over 100,000 reviews on TripAdvisor, where it is also ranked as the world’s most popular tourist destination.

AND HERE IS WHY

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 VINTAGE: Shot of iconic church

Rental remedy AN Andalucia company is helping low income earners rent homes on the cheap in exchange for helping with renovations. Todos Con Casa (Homes for All), hooks up people looking for rental properties in Jerez de la Frontera with owners whose homes are empty and in need of smartening up. The owners rent them out at lower-than-average prices in return for the improvements. Started three years ago, the company has now enjoyed a boost after renovating 12 homes and bringing on board ten companies. Home-improvement giant Leroy Merlín and cement maker Holcim provide some of the materials, while RACC helps with insurance coverage.

Succeed And after receiving a grant this year from Cádiz provincial authorities, the association is now able to reach more people. “Everything is very hard for me, but I want to move forward and I think I am going to succeed,” Merci Rúa told El Pais. The 30-year-old mother is trying to raise two children, one of them disabled, on just €300 a month. Founder of Todos Con Casa Victoria Sanchez said: “In the property market, there are people who don’t even get considered because of their appearance or income. “I decided to do something about that.” Once the work is completed, the tenant is able to remain in the home for €200 per month and sometimes even less. The price drop is made possible because homeowners sign a three-year transfer agreement with Todos con Casa. During this time, the association selects a tenant, acts as an intermediary and ensures that rent is paid to the homeowner.


FOOD,DRINK & TRAVEL www.gibraltarolivepress.com

A COTERIE of Spain’s top chefs have joined a lobby against the use of electric pulse fishing in European waters. The industrial fishing method electrocutes fish on the seabed to make them swim into nets, but environmental campaigners say it causes extensive damage. Chefs Quique Dacosta, Blanca and Samuel Moreno, Veronica Garcia, Luisa Lorenzo, Maria Malvar, Mar Suau, Angel Miguelez, Mario Sandoval, Juan Mari and Elena Arzak and Xavier Rocas have signed a manifesto against the practise. "We refuse to work with seafood products that condemn our future and that of the ocean.”

November 7th - November 20th 2018

Against the current

Spanish chefs unite to end electric pulse fishing which ‘damages ocean’ and ‘breaks backs of fish’

Upping the arti

HAD ENOUGH: Head chefs Dacosta and Arzak

THE small village of Vega Baja in Alicante will be the artichoke capital of the world in 2019. The celebration marks the 10th International Symposium on Artichoke, which will take place in March 12 to 15 next year in the picturesque city of Orihuela. The event, held every three years, is devoted to artichokes and it brings scientists and businesses together.

Influential

The campaign is organised by BLOOM, a French environmental organisation and backed by influential Michelin star winners such as Christopher Coutanceau, and chefs' associations including the Relais & Chateaux network and EuroToques, which has 800 members in Spain and 300 members in France. Proponents of the fishing method say only a weak electric current is used but BLOOM warns: "Electric currents have no mercy on marine life: the whole marine life is electrocuted. Data is lacking with regards to the impacts of electrocution on marine life, especially on electro-sensitive species, like sharks and rays, but also on eggs, plankton and water chemistry. There is one notable study by Dutch group IMARES, which showed that 50% to 70% of large cod caught by pulse trawls had their spine broken after an electric shock." The practice was banned in 1998, but in 2006 an exemption allowed the Netherlands to license 84 boats and the UK to license 12 boats for electric pulse fishing in the North Sea.

Festive lift WINTER is coming on the Costa del Sol, but La Sala Banus will be keeping things toasty with their all-new pop up Ski Lodge. Ready in time for Christmas, Puerto Banus’s famous restaurant will be tempting punters with spiced mulled wine, hot chocolate and a sumptuous spread of festive food. La Sala promises ‘dazzling snow, twinkling lights and plenty of festive cheer, bringing you the ultimate alpine ski experience.’ Christmas parties and sports teams are among those welcomed to La Sala’s version of Sierra Nevada, and the eatery, frequented by the rich and famous, is already taking bookings. It is offering a two-course Christmas Party Menu for just €19.95, which can be upgraded to include a welcome glass of Cava and half bottle of house wine for just €29.95 per person.

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November 7th - November 20th 2018

November 7th - November 20th 2018

tale of two porks In the second part of our serialisation of an exciting new food book, Fiona Dunlop looks at two popular local dishes inspired by two different restaurants

Restaurante El Parque, Cabo de Gata

E

l Parque feels like the last outpost of civilisation in south-east Spain. It sits at the base of a serpentine road up to the Cabo de Gata lighthouse commanding a headland known to Greek and Phoenician sailors thousands of years ago. From here the coast swings north to demarcate Spain’s largest volcanic area, wild, semi-deserted and a protected parque natural. The restaurant itself belongs to Manuel Barbero, 78, who gravitates between Madrid and the fishing-hamlet of La Almadraba de Monteleva, right beside the salt-pans of Las Salinas. Despite this remoteness, it is barely half an hour’s drive from Almería. “Es mi tierra!” (it’s my land!) he exclaims when I ask him how he found the spot back in 1990. In those early days it was a typical chiringuito (beach bar) with walls of cane and a floor of sand. Now upgraded into a large wooden cabin with views of the sierra and the sea, it magnetizes locals who pile in for perfectly cooked, ultra-fresh seafood and succulent arroces. These

TWO recipes from opposite ends of Andalucia and opposite ends of the culinary spectrum show different approaches to pork, the region’s favourite meat. In the days of Al-Andalus, as it was forbidden by both Judaism and Islam, only Christians ate it. With

the Reconquista and expulsion of Jews and Muslims, eating pork became a sign of identity and proof of belief, in some cases to keep the Inquisition at bay. The habit has lasted – and tender Iberian pork is one of Andalucia’s greatest products.

MUST READ: Andaluz – a Food Journey through Southern Spain, now available for pre-order on Amazon

Migas Almerienses / Almerian ‘migas’ or crumbs This is a real muscle-building dish as you need to work energetically to keep the semolina moving while it is cooking. It was originally a poor man’s dish made from stale breadcrumbs or balls of flour and water dough. That survives elsewhere, but the superior semolina migas are a local passionversion round here, often served in Almería’s bars as a small tapa. Serves 4 2 heads of garlic, peeled 2 green peppers, seeded and cut into strips 150ml olive oil salt to taste 150g chorizo for frying, sliced

rice dishes are skilfully prepared by the tireless cook, María Martinez, although the recipes are Manuel’s. Front of house another María keeps this popular institution buzzing all year round. May those Valencian inventors of paella up the coast eat their hearts out!

100g morcilla or blood sausage, sliced 150g bacon, cut into large pieces 500 ml water 500g semolina Salt to taste 100g olives, stoned and split

In a paella pan or a deep frying-pan, heat the olive oil. Fry the garlic split into two until golden, transfer to a plate leaving the oil in the pan. Sauté the strips of pepper in the same pan until lightly browned and tender then remove to the plate. In the same pan fry the blood sausage and chorizo slices for 5 minutes or so, turning them, then the bacon and continue to fry for 5 minutes or so until crispy. Transfer to the plate. Using the same oil add the water, then stir in the semolina with a pinch of salt. Use a metal spatula to turn the semolina as its cooks over a medium heat, pushing, scraping and thickens too much. It is ready when it has turned a golden colour, turning constantly, adding more water if it has a toasty smell, tastes of bread and has become quite elastic. This takes about 30 – 40 minutes. Once done, remove from the heat and share between individual dishes or arrange on one large serving plate, garnishing with all the fried ingredients on top. Serve with a plate of olives on the side.

The perfect Autumn escape. •

Plaza de España, 16. Vejer de la Frontera • Tel. 34 956 447 730 www.califavejer.com


with DINING SECRETS of ANDALUCIA.com

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November 7th - November 20th 2018

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November 7th - November 20th 2018

Arrieros, Sierra de Aracena

C

hef Luismi López and his wife, Adela Ortiz, are seated at their local café carved out of a former bull-ring. Above towers the village church and downhill stretches a web of cobbled streets and whitewashed houses. “Linares only has about 300 inhabitants” Luismi points out, “So our clients come from nearby towns like Aracena and Alájar. They dress up smartly to come for dinner - it’s an occasion.” Arrieros is a rustic-chic restaurant that flows onto a flowery terrace. Outside, neighbours’ chit-chat and church bells vie with a cacophony of hundreds of birds nurtured by the surrounding nature reserve. The verdant woodlands are also famously home to Iberian pigs which end up as superlative solomillo or jamón ibérico so it is no surprise that Luismi loves cooking with pork. “Things have changed in the village since I grew up here” he continues. “As a child we ate lamb, kid goat, brains and liver - now I want to revive goat and offal, it’s something we have lost.” Adela, elegant and energetic, tells

Marinated Iberian pork with raisin Presa Ibérica en escabeche con cuscouscous/ cus de pasas

This is a real muscle-building dish as you need to work energetically to the semolina moving while it is cook keep made from stale breadcrumbs or ing. It was originally a poor man’s dish balls of flour and wate r dough. That version survives elsewhere, but the supe round here, often served in Almería’srior semolina migas are a local passion bars as a small tapa.

Serves 4

sprigs of coriander for garnish 600g pork loin 1 head of garlic, broken into Couscous cloves Extra virgin olive oil 2 carrots, peeled and sliced 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced 1 leek, roughly chopped 1 small onion, finely chopped 90 ml aged sherry vinegar 250g couscous grains 100ml fino or white wine 250ml vegetable stock 3 – 4 cloves 1 red pepper, hulled and fine1 tsp cumin seeds ly chopped 1 tbsp fresh oregano 4 thin asparagus spears, bay leaf woody end broken off then twist of black pepper cut in half extra virgin olive oil 50g seedless raisins salt 1 tsp ground cumin

me how, twenty years ago, they tossed a coin to see who would be chef and who would be front of house. Luismi got the cooking job, leading to two years of catering school and work at a Michelin-star restaurant. That experience shows in his attention to detail and passion for local food. It also means that some people consider Arrieros to be the best restaurant in the province of Huelva.

Bring the pork to room temperature and hour or so before cooking. Heat some olive oil in a frying-pa n over high heat and quickly brown the pork on and set aside. Lower the heat andboth sides. Remove ute on each side. Transfer the porkcook a further minto a plate, leaving the oil in the pan. Toss in the garlic, carrots and leek then add the wine, vinegar and . Sauté until tender spices, season then simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Rem and submerge the pork loin in thisove from the heat escabeche (marinade) for 4 hours. About 20 minutes before serving, In a large saucepan, heat some make the couscous. olive oil over a low

Published by Interlink Books, USA www.interlinkbooks.com Keep up to date with Fiona’s latest work at www.fionadunlop.com, Facebook: fionadunlopfoodandtravel and Instagram: @ffdunlop

heat and sauté the garlic, onion minutes. Add the cumin and aspa and pepper for 5 ragus and continue to cook until the vegetables are tend sins, season with salt, then set asid er. Stir in the raiIn a separate saucepan, heat thee. Once it starts to boil, tip in the cous vegetable stock. from the heat. Allow the grains cous and remove for 3 minutes. Return the pan to to absorb the stock tbsp extra virgin olive oil and fluffa low heat, stir in 1 a fork to separate them. Tip the up the grains with saucepan of vegetables and stir to couscous into the Arrange the couscous on a serving combine. dish, lay the pork loin on top and garnish with a sprig or two of coriander.


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November 7th - November 20th 2018

November 7th - November 20th 2018

Breakfast with Berkoff

I

T was the Marbella International Film Festival last month and the shy, retiring soul that I am, I found myself once again acting as Master of Ceremonies at the Gala Awards Dinner on the final night. The running joke amongst my friends at the moment is that I’m so addicted to the limelight that when I open the fridge door and the light comes on, I do a fiveminute intro… As well as announcing awards at the gala, I also had the opportunity to interview the actor, writer and director, Steven Berkoff. To say that I am a massive Berkoff fan is somewhat of an understatement. As Uncle Monty would say, ‘as a callow youth I too crept the boards’ and during my year in London trying to get into drama school – 12 months that mainly saw me in full ‘Withnail’ mode, shivering in a bedsit on the Fortis

LEGEND: Giles meets Berkoff for brekkie Green Road – I performed a three minute modern audition speech from Berkoff’s play ‘West’. Needless to say, theatre’s loss

was (questionably) journalism’s gain, as after a year’s worth of rejection – including the director at the Drama Studio in Chalk Farm

telling me that I should consider a career in sales – I gave up on being the Burton of my generation, although I occasionally dabbled in amateur dramatics, appearing at the Seven Dials Club in Covent Garden. Later I dabbled in a bit of work as an extra on Eastenders, when they filmed in Marbella, and most bizarrely, appearing as a Genie in a Romanian chocolate bar TV advert where I was sprayed dark brown, wore a pair of oversized Spock ears and had a massive ponytail stapled to my head. Thankfully it isn’t on YouTube… It can always be a little disconcerting to meet your heroes, however. Some, like Rik Mayall, are brilliant, while others like the 80s singer who I was a big fan of, can be a total let down. Even worse, you can end up coming out with the most inane comments such as, ‘I really

Giles Brown meets his theatre hero and comes over all starstruck

like your music’, when meeting gar Allen Poe, to processed food, Jamiroquai’s Jay Kay, or my feto package holidaymakers and male journo friend who went several points in between. He completely to pieces when interposed for a photo with me and viewing Ewan McGregor and was then I dug out my battered copy horrified when she played the of his plays, including my audiinterview back to hear her own tion speech from West. The great school girl giggling. man signed it for me and then So I was more flicked through to than a little aphis one-man play prehensive at Harry’s ChristBerkoff was interviewing mas. Berkoff, who is frank, fascinating “Goodness”, he not known to commented, and had an suffer fools and “How did I refamously dismismember all thoopinion on sed some of his se lines?”. With Hollywood roles a one-man play everything in films such as about the fall of Rambo and BeHarvey Weinsverly Hills Cop, as tein scheduled being the means to raise money for next year, something tells me for his more serious projects. that the brilliant Berkoff - who I need not have worried. Berkoff won Best Actor at the Festival was frank, fascinating and had will be more than able to rememopinions on everything from Edber his lines.

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SPORT

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CUFFED: Subies

FA boss in cuffs after Spain corruption pobe THE vice president of Spain’s football association (RFEF), Andreu Subies, has been arrested as part of Operation Soule, a Spanish corruption probe. Spanish football’s number two joined the governing body in May after Luis Rubiales was appointed president and previously held the post of president of the Catalan Football Federation (FCF). Siphoned A police investigation into corruption in the Spanish game also saw former president Angel Maria Villar resign as he faced allegations, as authorities claim money had been siphoned off from the FCF. The Spanish FA said: “The RFEF expresses the utmost respect for the legal actions, following the events that took place this morning. "We want to highlight the necessary respect for the presumption of innocence."

November 7th - November 20th 2018

November 7th - November 20th 2018

Breaking point Dogged by injuries, Rafael Nadal is forced to hang up his racket for the season just days after losing his world number one title to rival Djokovic NADAL has suffered a double blow after an ankle surgery ended his season just days after he lost his world number one ranking to Novak Djokovic. The Spaniard withdrew from the Paris Masters due to abdominal injuries moments before going on court. On November 5 he announced his early end to the season on social media. The 17-time grand slam-winner said: “I am writing these words to you as the end of the season. “It was a difficult year, very good at the tennis level when I was able to play and at the same time very bad in terms of injuries.” As well as the tennis star’s ongoing right knee injury and his abdominal troubles, Spain’s number one revealed he would also undergo an ankle operation.

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The surgery now means Nadal will miss the ATP Finals in London, which he admitted he ‘really wanted to play’. Nadal’s latest injury woes come after Serbian, Novak Djokovic stole his number one ranking after the Spaniard pulled out of the Paris Masters.

overall, achieving a record of 45-4 and winning his record 13th French Open title.

OUT OF ACTION: Nadal

Par-fect news for Murcia golf resort MURCIA’S La Manga golf club has been named the Best Golf Venue in Europe for the second year in a row. The golf resort in Costa Calida was honoured with the prestigious title at the World Golf Awards which are known as the ‘Oscars of Golf’. The stunning resort boasts three 18-hole courses, sporting facilities and the five-star Hotel Príncipe Felipe.

Knocked

The Serb, who has 14 grand slam titles, was knocked out of the competition by Karen Khachanov 7-5, 6-4, despite claiming Nadal’s top tennis crown. Paul Quétin, fitness trainer for the French Tennis Federation spoke about about Nadal’s injuries and claimed if he played ‘he would have possibly made his injury worse’. Despite Nadal’s news, he can reflect on a fantastic season

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Hocked to pieces SPAIN’S men lost the Four Nations hockey tournament to the Netherlands at the weekend after they thrashed England 3-0 in the semi-finals. The hotly-anticipated final hockey clash in Valencia came after four countries, including Ireland battled it out for the prestigious Four Nations title. England finished last overall, following a 2-2 penalty shoot-out loss to Ireland on Sunday, although Englishmen Luke Taylor, Harry Martin, Zach Wallace and Adam Dixon all got on the scoresheet. Spain can look ahead and England will have to gather themselves for the 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup which begins at the end of November in Bhubaneswar, India.

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Nearly there

FINAL WORDS

ESTEPONA’S new stadium complex is now 60% complete according to the city council, with the access road, car park and supply pipes among the sections completed.

Slow down A ROYAL Decree will reduce the speed limit from 100 km per hour to 90 from the new year, aiming to reduce road accident deaths, as 1,013 people were killed in 2017.

Rest in peace HUNDREDS of El Borge residents have gathered to pay respects to the Malaga town’s socialist mayor Salvador Fernández Marín, who died from asphyxiation on his family farm.

Pigs We got you back on the march

November 7th - November 20th 2018

Vol. 4 Issue 83 www.gibraltarolivepress.com November 7th - November 20th 2018

hot to trot

British expat achieves dream after medalling at gruelling endurance horse race A BRITISH expat has seen her ‘dreams come true’ after placing third in a gruelling long distance horse race in Badajoz. Caroline Grahm, from Lancashire, made the podium at the weekend while representing Andalucia, despite being one of the oldest competitors at 47 years old. Grahm, who has lived in Estepona for 20 years, battled it out against dozens of other experienced riders in the 60km endurance test. The mother-of-four, who

By Charlie Smith

raced with her Anglo-Arab horse, nicknamed Champagne War Horse, only took up endurance racing four years ago after being introduced by a friend. "I have ridden since I was four years old but had never heard of endurance racing, it wasn't big in Lancashire," Caroline told the Olive Press. "It's a sport that's predominantly for younger people and not that many women compete. I was doing it for fun but got addicted.” The boss of Ranch Siesta Los Rubios riding stables plans to continue her success in endur-

FARMERS and hunters have called for backup after wild boars decimated mandarin harvests for much of this year. The wild pigs are said to be ‘out of control’ and have ‘destroyed everything in their path’ at several orchards in the Benicassim and Castellon areas. Mandarin grower Vicente Gimeno said: “It’s just getting worse… they have eaten around 4,000 kilos of my mandarins.

Invade

RIDING HIGH: Caroline with Champagne War Horse ance riding, which was first born as a sport in the US in 1955. She added: "The whole event, atmosphere, professionalism, set up, awards and evening were an incredible experience, one I hope to repeat again and win more medals for Andalucia." The six-hour endurance race

requires incredible mental and physical stamina, and Caroline trains in Estepona where she lives. “We have hundreds of kilometres of steep mountain trails on our doorstep in the Sierra Bermeja natural park behind Estepona. It's beautiful, challenging and superb fitness training for us both!”

"They are now starting to invade some of the roads, and the N-340 highway is nearby. “I have filed a complaint with the Benicàssim municipality, but they didn't even listen to me.” Hunters have joined agriculture bosses in requesting to extend the hunting season and to erect new electric fences to keep population numbers at bay.

TM

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 .

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2/8/18 17:01

Gibraltar Olive Press - Issue 83  

The Rock's original community newspaper

Gibraltar Olive Press - Issue 83  

The Rock's original community newspaper