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olive press The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucía


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Vol. 8 Issue 185

My NOT so Trival investment

IN THE MONEY: Former barman Phil Donneson

EXCLUSIVE: SMUG: Goldman and pal

Say cheated! EXCLUSIVE THEY like the high life and famously spit at their enemies. The same could be said for fraudster Nigel Goldman seen here posing with an alpaca while on the run at a recent country fair in England. Both sporting smug grins, the photo was posted on his girlfriend Suzanne Couling’s Facebook page, despite allegations that Goldman is currently being investigated for defrauding dozens of victims out of an estimated €15 million. The conman, known for his newspaper columns and radio shows in Spain, sucked the luckless punters into an elaborate ponzi scheme, promising them sizeable returns. However the addicted gambler was unable to keep his promises and was forced to flee his luxury home in Marbella with Couling last October. He has since visited Morocco and Portugal, but is currently living with his girlfriend’s family in the UK, it can be revealed. The latest revelation in the Goldman saga comes as his friend Richard Pope was handed a jail sentence for a similar scam. See Fraud Gang gets 50 years on page 2

April 16 - April 30 2014

Olive Press tracks down Nerja’s unknown Trivial Pursuit investor. See page 6

Out of our waters! SPANISH boats have strayed into British waters around Gibraltar more than 600 times since the beginning of 2013. There were 496 unlawful incursions in 2013 and have already been 112 in just the first three months of 2014, according to UK government figures. The worst month overall was August, during which 68 Spanish vessels entered British waters – at a an average of more than two per day. A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “Such incursions are an unacceptable violation


A DOCTOR has slammed his insurance company for refusing to cover his dying wife’s pain relief. Expat Iain Renfrew, 48, who worked as a radiographer for 20 years, has been left ‘almost bankrupt’ by the company Mapfre’s refusal to pay up for his wife, who died of breast cancer last year. Carol Pickard, 54 - who also worked in healthcare for more than two decades as a nurse - died at the Virgen de las Nieves hospital in Granada, on July 12. She had been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer after months of pain and no less than four appointments with doctors and hospitals. But, while this is a shocking

Continues on Page 8

A doctor has been left nearly bankrupt by insurance company after the tragic death of his wife delay in diagnosis, it is the fact that her husband has now been hit with a bill for nearly €10,000 for her hospital stay that has most angered him. “I can’t afford to pay up and I can’t afford to pay my mortgage,” he told the Olive Press this week.


“There’s nothing left for me here. If they want to take my house then feel free,” continued Renfrew, who worked as a medic in Scotland and Ireland, and later for the United Nations’ war crimes tribunal in Bosnia. “The stress that I’ve been put through has taken its toll on my health too. I am not sleeping well and I’m suffering from anxiety,” added the doctor, who moved to Alcala La Real, in Jaen in 2006. The couple’s nightmare experience of Spain’s ‘healthcare lottery’ began last March

when Carol became seriously ill. While Iain was working in Oxford at the time, Carol began to experience severe abdominal pain and found a lump under her arm. When Iain returned to Spain the following week, the couple made their first visit to their local doctor, in their village of Las Pilas de Fuente de Soto. The doctor initially diagnosed her with gastritis, but as Carol’s symptoms worsened the couple made a second visit and were told she was merely suffering from ‘abdominal cramps’. “My wife disagreed with this diagnosis straight away,” said

DEVASTATED: Iain Renfrew and Carol Pickard Iain. “She was a trained nurse Carol had gallstones. and she knew what abdomi- Throughout the couple’s atnal cramps felt like. But there tempts to get a real diagnosis, Mapfre ignored their plight, was nothing we could do.” After another month in ago- telling them they weren’t covny, with her symptoms get- ered by their plan. ting worse by the day, the “They weren’t interested in couple went to the Hospital the slightest,” insisted Iain. de Alta Resolucion, in Alcala Continues on Page 8 la Real where they were told


the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014

CREEPY: The knife and fingers found in park

Insurance fraudster caught redhanded AN expat has been caught chopping his own fingers off in a gruesome accident insurance scam, after they were found in a children’s playground. The entrepreneur, from Pakistan, told hospital staff in Girona that he lost his fingers in a cooking accident, but actually stood to gain more than €122,000 from six health insurance policies. Police were called to a children’s playground a day later, where they found a bloodied knife and chopping board along with two severed fingers. It emerged that he had tried to carry out a similar scam, cheating two insurance companies out of €24,000 for injuries to his other hand a year earlier.

FRAUDSTERS: Pope, Gunter and Odoni conned thousands


Gang - linked to conman Nigel Goldman sentenced for running boiler rooms across Spain

The gang, who sold worthless stock from boiler rooms around Spain, swindled more than €137 million A BOILER room gang has been out of thousands of unsuspecting handed a combined 50 years in victims. prison, for an international fraud Greasy-haired Pope, 56, was a reguthat spanned Spain, Britain and the lar to the Costa del Sol, according to LED AWAY: Lawyer Hartman US. Olive Press sources, and ran a numNorth London fraudster Richard victed in a Florida courtroom along American lawyer Lawrence S. Hart- ber of call centres here. Pope - a close friend of Costa del Sol with British co-conspirators Paul man has also been handed 10 years “He was regularly down here duckin prison. conman Nigel Goldman - was con- Gunter and Simon Odoni. ing and diving trying to keep his head low,” explained a source. Detective Superintendent Bob Wishart, of the City of London Police, described Pope as one of UK’s worst villains. He said: “Pope is on par the University of THE ex-girlfriend of a mil- confessed. with some of the most lionaire expat arrested in She allegedly fled in Bush’s West England, at unpleasant villains out connection with his murder €72,537 Hummer after lay- a Costa Coffee in there.” in Estepona has claimed ing in wait at his luxury villa Bristol. The Hertfordshire boy, Bush owned a she is pregnant with his for two days. a former insurance constring of jewelchild. sultant from St Albans, is lery stores in the But model Mayka KukucoPosing said to have become close UK, but had vastly va, who is thought to have friends with seasoned shot Cancelada-based She drove all the way to more money than fraudster Nigel Goldman gold dealer Andrew Bush - her native Slovakia, after his businesses can and his friends. known as the King of Bling being spotted by his new account for. Goldman fled his million - twice in the head, has not girlfriend Maria Korotaeva He had expeneuro rented mansion in who had been told to wait sive tastes and Marbella last year, leavowned a red conoutside. ing his three cats, having Student Korotaeva, 21, and vertible Ferrari taken an estimated €15 the Bristol gold-dealer were and a grey Lammillion from investors. returning to his rented five- borghini. bedroom villa following a His home near Ferrari Bristol is surholiday. He met Maria, a busi- rounded by a Pope, who was arrested in ness studies student at seven foot wall Barcelona and extradited and fitted with to the US, pleaded guilty to extensive sensors, conspiracy to commit wire cameras and steel and mail fraud. shutters. He was sentenced to four Accused Kukuyears and 9 months in cova, a model, is prison in Georgia, in a realso understood duced sentence for helpto have met Bush ing convict his colleagues, in the UK, while Gunter and Odoni. she was studying “These criminals will all at Bristol LanEXPECTING: The model serve just sentences for guage College. the fraudulent schemes claims she is pregnant She drove 2,000 miles to they devised and live very with Bush’s child her hometown of Nove differently to the opulent Mesto in Slovakia follow- gerie and one appears to be lifestyles they have grown ing the incident, where for the international clothaccustomed to,”said John ing chain H&M. she handed herself into W. Joyce, Special Agent The villa where Bush died police. in Charge with the U.S. Her Facebook profile lists called Mar Antika, is two Secret Service in Tampa, her favourite television minutes from the beach in Florida. a quiet residential street in show as Prison Break. A The scheme, which swinLOVED UP: Bush and string of photos show her Cancelada, between San Pedled thousands of invesposing in swimwear and lin- dro and Estepona. Kukucova in Estepona tors between 2004 and 2008, was finally brought down after a seven year transatlantic investigation involving a host of law enforcement agencies. The City of London police A ONE-eyed boxing coach has admitted he nal lifestyle called the set-up the ‘UK’s met a criminal gang on the run for murder, since he nearly biggest boiler room scam’. but denies he helped them evade justice. lost his life in A private aeroplane, a 55ft Marvin Herbert, 41, a trainer at a gym in 2008 when he yacht, and several expenMarbella, told Manchester Crown Court that was shot five sive luxury cars – includhe met Dale Cregan – killer of two police of- times on the EVIL: Cop killer Cregan ing a Ferrari Daytona ficers – and two accomplices in Kent, in Au- Costa del Sol is also one-eyed Spyder – were among the gust 2012. by a member assets seized during the But he refused to help them out, denying that of a British investigation. he arranged for them to stay in the home of drugs gang. Do you know any of these a man who still owed him a ‘significant debt’ This came after serving a five year jail term men and where they from his own criminal past. in 2003 following 21 convictions for 76 ofworked or socialised. All three men were arrested within a month fences, beginning when he was just 13. Please contact the Olive of the alleged meeting and sentenced for He now cares for his five children as well as Press in strictest confimurder of PCs Fiona Bona, 32, and Nicola organising charity events at the boxing gym, dence at newsdesk@theoHughes, 23, in June last year. with guests including Graeme Souness and or call 951 127 Herbert claims to have renounced his crimi- Frank Warren. 006.

Exclusive By Imogen Calderwood

Pregnant ex-girlfriend slays expat ‘King of Bling’

One-eyed boxing coach denies helping gang

photo courtesy of Facebook



the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014


Banderas’s next starring role

DEVOUT: Banderas in Malaga and ‘penitents’ in his parade

HARD Man actor Tamer Hassan will begin shooting his latest film this summer in Ibiza. The Business and Football Factory actor will star in M.D.M.A, a movie about the Acid House scene on the island in the early 90s “I’m really looking forward to making this movie” Tamer told the Olive Press “It’s got great music, DJs and fashions!” HARD MAN: Tamer

STAR TREK actor Sir Patrick Stewart enjoyed a few days away from the bridge of the Starship Enterprise when he took a short break at Finca Cortesin resort in Casares. Sir Patrick, best known for his role as Jean Luc Picard in the sci-fi series, took a short break with his wife, jazz singer Sunny Ozell. The British star has just been performing Waiting for Godot in New York with X-Men co-star Sir Ian McKellen. Sir Patrick also found time to indulge in his love of fast

LOCAL: with Baroness Thyssen year, is said to have arrived in Spain with wife Melanie Griffiths and his children. Banderas enthused outside the church of San Juan de Malaga that he was happy to return to his place of birth. “The nicest thing about Semana Santa is that it’s still very imperfect, and there are many things to improve.” “It has an enormous future,” he added. The Semana Santa festivities give Banderas a chance to get back in touch with his roots. But he added that when not in Spain he always keeps track of the country’s news. “I’m paying attention to you guys,” he joked at the door of the Sacristy. See our Easter special on page 33

Big Six for ‘Dave’

UK PM keeps his feet on the ground with a sixth Spanish holiday in as many years IT’S fair to say that ‘Dave’ Cameron is keeping his flipflopped-feet firmly on the ground. While other UK prime ministers took luxury holidays in exotic locations, Cameron is a staunch fan of Spain. In his sixth holiday in the country in the last six years, he is enjoying an Easter break in the Canaries with his three children. This year’s break is on the island of Lanzarote, at the resort Playa Blanca where he is staying with his wife Samantha and their three children – Florence, Nancy and Arthur. On the southern tip of the island, the Camerons are enjoying balmy weather,

By Imogen Calderwood predicted to hit 22 degrees on most days. The news of their holiday came shortly after he told BBC Radio Norfolk listeners that he would be having a quiet Easter break, with no mention of the Lanzarote plans.

Getty Images

Acid House the Movie!

HOLLYWOOD superstar Antonio Banderas has returned home to play in a new starring role - the Holy Week celebrations in Malaga. The Benalmadena-born star of The Mask of Zorro and Shrek, came home to take his part in the Semana Santa processions. The 53-year-old took the lead in Sunday’s procession as the ‘administrator’, given the responsibility of leading the Virgin Mary’s throne through the city. On Monday he attended an event to celebrate the festivities with the president of the Junta Susana Diaz. A member of the Virgin of Tears and Favours brotherhood, Banderas returns most years to take part in the processions and services. But to make sure the attention stays on the festivities, he often wears a hood to hide his identity when wandering around the city. The actor, who has made five films in the last


“I am going to be spending a bit of time with my mother-in-law,” he said. “I think I am spending Easter with Samantha’s family.” It has been suggested that the family - known for favouring budget airlines -

SPAIN FAN: with wife Samantha

are staying in an up market hotel in a rural setting, a few miles inland from the coast. It is thought to be the family’s first trip to the Canaries, but they have previously enjoyed sunny getaways on the islands of Ibiza and Mallorca, as well as closer to home in Ronda and Granada. The Olive Press revealed that he had visited Ronda in secret five years ago, staying at upmarket hotel Fuente de la Higuera and taking a series of rural hikes. He returned two BREAK: with wife Sunny and (right) in McLaren years later. Around 1.6 million tourists the private race course Ascari, this beauty. A 2015 650S Spivisit Lanzarote each year, and just outside the mountain town. der. Glorious experience!” it is a particular favourite of Sir Patrick later tweeted: Sir Patrick´s next film XOscar-winning actress Penel‘McLaren were crazy enough Men: Days of Future Past, ope Cruz, and Formula One to let me behind the wheel of will be released in May. driver Jenson Button.

Olive Press writer scoops top award OLIVE Press columnist Belinda Beckett, aka the Mistress of Sizzle, has won a top media award. The journalist, who writes a fortnightly column for the paper, scooped a Costa Press Club Communicator Award for her humorous articles about life in Spain. The annual awards – based on the same principles as the prestigious Pulitzer Prize – recognise journalistic excellence across a range of topics, including the new category of internet media, won by Belinda and her website of the same name.

Stone age

“Coming from the ‘stone age’ of journalism I’m a bit of a technophobe, never imagining I’d become a web mistress!” said Belinda, who once worked at the Express newspaper in the UK. “Unexpectedly, I’m loving the challenge of sharing the sizzle of Spain with my readers.” Commenting on Belinda’s career, CPC President Jesper Pedersen said: “Readers are enriched by your wisdom and ability to put things into a larger context every time they visit your website, filled with interesting articles on events and destinations in Spain.”

TO BOLDLY STAY EXCLUSIVE By Giles Brown cars as he took to the roads in a new McLaren Spyder 650S. The British car manufacturer has chosen Malaga for the launch of its latest model. The star was reportedly seen taking a drive up from Finca Cortesin to Ronda on the famous A-397. The car was also seen arriving at

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OLIVE PRESS – 105mm x 256mm – Colour

17th April



the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014


Fake independence A SPANISH village in the Navarra region has staged a hypothetical referendum on whether the region would join an independent Basque Country. Voters in the town of EtxarriAranatz voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence in the ballot which has no legal standing.

Top travel ANDALUCIA is the proud owner of half of Spain’s top 10 tourist destinations, according to TripAdvisor users. Sevilla is ranked third nationally, while Granada, Malaga, Marbella and Cordoba also featured in the top 10 in the Travellers’ Choice awards.

Lorry crash TWO men have died in a collision involving three lorries at a roundabout in Huelva, with a third seriously injured. The accident, which occurred close to Lucena del Puerto, took emergency services six hours to clear up.

Attack of the clone Financial Conduct Authority puts out warning following Olive Press investigation into fraudster who cloned well known city firm to sell bogus investments


A DUTCH fraudster stole the identity of a leading financial advisor to con tens of thousands of euros out of a British expat. Operating in Malaga, the con-artist assumed the identity of fund manager Harvey Sidhu at BlackRock – a globally recognised firm in London – even including an almost identical email address. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has now put a warning out on the scam following the Olive Press’s intervention. It comes after retired businessman Mervyn Hopkins, who lives with his wife Cathy and children near Valencia, lost ‘tens of thousands of euros’ before realising he was being scammed. He only rumbled the con when he was about to place another €10,000 into the investment fund and noticed that

the account details were slightly different from previous times. Then, after confirming the ruse from the real BlackRock company, he attempted to turn the tables on his scammer, claiming he needed to withdraw money due to illness. However, after weeks of tense negotiation, the pretend BlackRock employee clammed up and inevitably failed to follow through on his promise to return the money. The person behind the fake blackrock-

FORMER Partido Popular (PP) treasurer Luis Barcenas has been punished with 140 days without prison walks for making threats to the Guardia Civil. The former government moneyman allegedly refused to put his handcuffs behind his back when he was led to a court hearing this week, insisting: ‘I am not a criminal’. It comes as it emerged that every regional branch of the PP around Spain had a separate secret cash accounting system, controlled by Barcenas. And Judge Pablo Ruz declared that he and his wife amassed their per-


“The scam is very clever, there was nothing else I could have done to have discovered this was a fraud,” said Mr Hopkins, who lives off a portfolio of assets and the sale of his UK online computer business.

sonal fortune through the secret slush fund he controlled on behalf of the party. Ruz, who has been investigating Barcenas and his secret ledgers detailing the payments, insists he diverted money from PP accounts to his own. Swiss bank accounts holding more than €48.2 million were discovered in his name. Barcenas has been in custody since June 27 for arranging illegal payments to politicians from the slush funds. The funds were made up with donations from corrupt businessmen given in exchange for bumper contracts.

He initially received a call from a ‘Harvey Sidhu’, fund manager at BlackRock, after filling out an online form to find investment suggestions. Both the registration number for Sidhu and the company were legitimate and the company is well-known, so Mr Hopkins proceeded to invest in this ‘brilliant fund’. However, the stocks – in an American technology supermarket – predictably plummeted in January. But this didn’t stop ‘Sidhu’ from persuading him that all was not lost and that he should invest in another UK fund from Blackrock – an actual legitimate fund, which can even be tracked online. Not only was Mr Hopkins in regular contact with ‘Sidhu’, he was receiving a monthly performance evaluation email from the ‘director of operations’ at Blackrock - John Hogg. But after noticing the change in the account address, he couldn’t get through to Harvey so contacted the head office to check with John Hogg. “Hogg told me he would never email clients and that it was done by others. He then went to talk to Harvey who said he didn’t know my name and hadn’t dealt with me.” “We both started to panic.”

BUSTED: Barcenas

For as long as Barcenas managed finances for his party, key ministers, including Prime Minister Rajoy, would receive an envelope each month containing between €5,000 and €10,000 in cash.

Public Pest does ‘triple’ ANDY Warhol once wrote that everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. Deranged protester Carlos Diaz Fernandez, has certainly lived up to that becomeinotorious in this exact way for appearing uninvited on three Spanish TV shows.

THE Junta has said that there is no budget to repair the badly collapsing A337 between Manilva and Gaucin.

TWO stained-glass masterpieces, crafted by one of Spain’s best known architects, Antoni Gaudi, have been discovered. The pieces, both reflecting Gaudi’s very distinctive style, had been hidden in a chapel outside Barcelona for decades. email account has been idenitified as a Dutch expat living in Marbella. He has been implicated in fraud before.

Barcenas begins to crack over new slush fund claims

No road money

Gaudi found

Some like it hot A BRAND new centre is offering not just ‘yoga for kids’ but the first ‘hot yoga’ class in Marbella. The Radiant Yoga Studio, in Marbella, is set to launch with all the latest styles of yoga. To celebrate its launch the centre is holding free classes this Saturday between 10.30am and 6pm. For more information and to book for free classes, visit www. or call 639 845 185.

The 39-year-old stormed the sets of three live television shows at Telecinco, La Sexta and TVE in just one week, claiming that the CIA was running a clandestine assassination campaign to destabilise the Spanish government. It is not the first time that Fernandez has made a nuisance of himself. Six month ago he appeared naked in front of King Juan Carlos at a hospital opening.


He has also made hoax bomb threats at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia, the Grand Mosque of Cordoba and the Alhambra in Granada. He is now facing a six month jail sentence for being a public nuisance.


Together they have traced the IP address on the fake Harvey’s emails to a property just outside Malaga. But after filing the case with the Spanish national police and interpol, he continued to play along with ‘Harvey’ as if nothing were wrong. He then phoned him and explained that he had lost everything and would ‘unfortunately need to withdraw all of his money’. Bizarrely, the imposter continued contact and agreed to this, promising to release the money. However, after several delays he disappeared and has not made contact again. This week BlackRock told the Olive Press: “We are working with the regulator to help assist them eradicate these kinds of scams.” “This is a ‘clone firm’; and fraudsters usually use this tactic when contacting people out of the blue, so you should be especially wary if you have been cold called. “They may use the name of the genuine firm, the ‘firm reference number’ or other details.” The case is currently being investigated by the UK police and the Financial Conduct Authority has published a specific warning regarding the scam.


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the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014




the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014

OPINION The Spanish healthcare lottery FOR a woman to die of cancer while only in her 50s is sad enough. But when that woman was a loving and sympathetic nurse, whose life centered around caring for people, her mistreatment at the hands of the Spanish healthcare system is truly a tragedy. Carol Pickard, and her husband Iain Renfrew – a radiographer for 20 years – have both done so much to help others in their time of need. That Carol’s grieving husband Iain has now been almost bankrupted by his insurance company Mapfre’s refusal to pay up for her final treatment is heartbreaking. Surely she deserved something to alleviate the pain she felt in her final days? Ten years ago, Spain’s healthcare system was said to be one of the best in the world, but constant budget cuts have turned it into a life lottery, making cases like Carol’s sadly far too common.

Not convinced by UKIP Nigel Farage has certainly put UKIP on the political map back in Britain. And now he’s stretching his tentacles overseas to Gibraltar. UKIP believe it’s a match made in heaven… Big Rock, constantly bullied by aggressive neighbour meets underdog political party, skeptical of everything European. They get chatting and it turns out they’re made for each other, at least the polls suggest as much. But the Olive Press would like to remind our readers that we are not entirely convinced the EU-hating UKIP should be taken seriously just yet. If, hypothetically, UKIP were in power, what would become of all the expats living on the coast when they hauled Britain out of the EU?

It’s all over for the AVE Is the Spanish love affair with high speed railway line finally over? The recent announcement by the Junta that it is scrapping the AVE project from Malaga to Sevilla would certainly suggest it. Embarrassingly the Junta now has to return €180 million to the European Union unable to find the €800 million needed to finish the project. The AVE was once the proud symbol of new Spain, but it seems that the days of ‘money no object’ schemes are gone forever. But worst of all, it is the passengers, not to mention, the environment that also suffers.

Olive Press Blacklist THE following companies have been blacklisted from doing business with the Olive Press (Luke Stewart Media SL - CIF B91664029), due to long standing debts: - MWM Investments Ltd - Petersham Coins, Marbella - Investor Spain - Simple Care - Autotunes Manilva


- Hotel Embrujo, Arriate - Jaipur Purple, Estepona - Reservatauro, Ronda - As seen on - The details are being published in support of other companies that may be unaware of the problems that might be faced by providing credit facilities to the businesses and their present individual owners. The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucía

olive press



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A campaigning, community newspaper, the Olive Press represents the huge expatriate community in southern Spain - 200,000 copies distributed monthly (130,000 digitally) with an estimated readership, including the website, of more than 500,000 people a month. Luke Stewart Media S.L - CIF: B91664029 Urb Casares del Sol, bloque 21, portal 70, bajo b, Casares 29690, Malaga Printed by Corporación de Medios de Andalucía S.A. Editor: Jon Clarke Reporters: Newsdesk Giles Brown Tom Powell Imogen Calderwood Distribution/Admin:Sally Anne Doyle 951127006 Accounts: Anna Cockell 951127006 SALES TEAM: Stephen Shutes 655825683 Axarquia Charlie Bamber 661 452 180 Cadiz Elizabeth Gould 683 337 342

EXCLUSIVE: The Olive Press traces the expat barman who was the only person to see any potential in ‘hippy’ board game Trivial Pursuit… and made a decent return for his troubles, writes Tom Powell


ERJA, 1979: Two Canadians in their late 20s order another round of San Miguels in the atmospheric Cave Bar, in El Capistrano village. They wave away the barman’s muttered reminder that they’ve already racked up a hefty bar tab and continue to draft a long, long - indeed very long HIPPY GAME: Phil Donneson is very pleased with his investment in Trivial Pursuits list of quiz questions. As the bar tab continues to grow quicker than the list of six thousand questions they eventually compile, they start asking everyone they meet to invest in their new board game. Who has 1,000 Canadian Dollars (equivalent to 62,000 Pesetas at the time) for a share in two party-loving expat’s trivia game? And to be fair, it’s not hard to see why everyone politely declined. That is, everyone except the man serving the pints, the owner of the Cave Bar, perhaps sensing a chance to see a return on all those San Miguels. “I’ve always been lucky,” reminisces Phil Donneson, 35 years on, about the moment he handed Chris Haney and Scott Abbott his $1,000. Speaking for the first time at his home in Nerja, he tells the Olive Press: “But two years after they left for Canada I thought I’d never see that money again, I’d given up on the whole thing.” which actually did arrive, Trivial the area, the Olive Press heard But now, it seems, the town hall Then one day the phone rings Pursuit has become a global whispers that the barman was is finally taking an interest in in the Cave Bar. It’s Chris phenomenon. still about, but was an extreme- this aspect of the town’s histoHaney. He needs to speak to Fast forward to 2014 ly private man, who had never ry, with the town hall planning a Phil, now. and Haney has sadly talked about his investment. Trivial Pursuit tournament and “If he wants more passed away, while Nobody would even give us his even asking the Olive Press to money, tell him to Abbott lives a name, so it was with some trep- help locate Phil to get involved. “They get lost,” shoutprivate, almost idation that I drove back to the It was certainly going to be a were ed Phil, also a reclusive, life in thriving tourist town last week. case of fun and games trying to Canadian expat, his native CanAnd they are certainly missing locate the pensioner. young guys, who has now ada. a trick. But we had an ace up our big boozers, lived in the AxBut rumour had For while thousands descend sleeve in the shape and form arquia town for having fun” it that the inveson Nerja for its beaches, res- of Linda Maria Zima, a local four decades. tor with the ‘luck’ taurants and extraordinary estate agent, who knows ev“And if he’s got a was still living a caves every year - not to men- eryone in the town having lived cheque for me…” quiet, unassuming tion its connection to the there for 30 years. he laughs, “tell him to life in Nerja, a place 1980s hit show Verano Azul - Zima was able to point me in stick it in the post.” that hides its cultural signifinowhere does it say ‘Nerja: The the direction of the Cave Bar But before he even has a cance with incredible modesty. famous home of board game and its British owner Nigel chance to cash that cheque, During a recent supplement on Trivial Pursuit’. Jones. Expat Jones turned out to be a close family friend of Phil and promised to get in touch on our behalf. A few hours later we were in luck. Phil, now in his late 70s, still lives on the edge of Capistrano in a charming house with a fabulous garden, one of his true passions. Living alone and rarely venturing out, he has never broadcasted his story before and managed to avoid interested TV crews in the game’s early years. Born in South Africa, he retains that typical straighttalking honesty. It emerges he moved to Canada when he was young and gained citizenship there before heading to Nerja and setting up the successful Cave Bar in 1974. And it was not just luck that CHARMING: Phil’s house and garden are his true passions. made him the successful

A not so Trivial Pursuit


Trivial facts

More than 100 million games have been sold 26 countries

the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014



It is in now in at least 20 languages Originally called Six Thousand Questions ‘The biggest phenomenon in game history,’ Time magazine, 1984

businessman he is today. A thoughtful and astute man, he is well travelled and has a Masters degree in languages from the University of Manitoba in Canada. He first came across Haney and Abbott when they walked into his bar in the winter of 1979. Haney, a high-school dropout, had been working as a picture editor in Montreal while his friend Scott was a sportswriter. They came up with the idea for their game while playing Scrabble and decided to quit their jobs in freezing Canada and move to Haney’s parents’ holiday villa in Nerja (bought via a Canadian friend who developed the whole Capistrano area) to concentrate on developing it. With hindsight, this may not have been the most sensible decision in business terms. “They were young guys, big boozers and they were having fun,” remembers Phil. “And they looked like a pair of hippies” It is certainly a well established fact that they had a penchant for San Miguel beer, the Spanish sun and the local girls...and

HIPPIES: Haney and Abbott loved the beer and beaches in Nerja

this inevitably took its toll on down from where Phil used to the speed at which they prolive. duced the game. The village was actually used Still, they were always testin several episodes of Verano ing questions on Phil and the Azul, and the cast were in and other punters in the bar, quizout of the Cave Bar. zing anyone within earshot. In Even Phil describes himself as truth, Phil often complained to a ‘reluctant investor’. Maybe it them that he was too busy to was the Canadian connection, spend his days answering their his penchant for business or questions. the fact they owed him such a They decided they needhefty bar tab, but he was ed 40 people to each the only person who invest $1,000 saw the potential “He (equivalent to in Haney’s ‘con£300 at the fidence’. assured time) and be“He assured gan pitching me he’d make me he’d make to everyone me money,” me money and they could he explains, find in Nerja. adding the he was true to Nigel told me money was that the legacy paid with a his word” lives on in the Canadian bank regret of those cheque. And he who laughed away did. There have althe opportunity to invest ways been whispers in the in the ‘hippies’. pretty streets of El Capistrano Nigel and I took a stroll through as to how much the investors charming El Capistrano village, made and how much those modeled on nearby Frigiliana, who turned them down missed to see the villa where the amout on. bitious pair stayed, four doors All that is known is that the

creators became multi-millionaires. Phil definitively refuses to give a figure, but it is fair to say that it reaches the hundreds of thousands of euros. Either way, it was a bumpy start. The game lost money at first and Phil lost contact with the chirpy Canadians for two years, along with his investment. But unbeknown to those in Nerja who were taunting him for such a ‘foolish investment’, the game suddenly took off in Canada where there were queues outside shops and it was selling by the million. And how did they celebrate creating the ‘biggest phenomenon in game history’? Answer: A massive cruise ship party with all the creators and investors. While Phil attended it was not exactly his ‘idea of fun’. As Trivial Pursuit grew exponentially over the following years, Phil attended several company meetings in Canada. At one in the early 1980s, they raffled off a collection of different Trivial Pursuit prototypes that never made it into produc-

HISTORY: Phil serving in the Cave Bar and (below) the bar today

tion, and Phil won. But that invaluable collection sadly never made it to its rightful home in Nerja. Heathrow airport’s luggage system had other ideas and the games were never seen again. Until he died aged 60 in 2010, Haney would visit a luxury holiday home he brought in Marbella from the proceeds most winters and from time to time paid a visit to his old friend Phil, back where it all started.

They sometimes met at Marbella casino for a flutter and a spot of lunch. Now, 35 years after helping to launch the biggest board game in modern history, this Canadian barman remains as discreet as ever. Asked to sum up the whole story, he puts it simply. “It was a nice surprise, shall we leave it at that. I don’t want to make any publicity from this. I have never wanted any fame,” he adds.

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the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014


Car flea market TORREMOLINOS is launching a secondhand car market allowing people to sell vehicles and secondhand car accessories. The start date has yet to be announced.

Fire break HOMES in Calahonda are to be protected by a kilometre-long fire break, currently being planned by Mijas town hall. Burnt remains of trees from the devastating wildfire in 2012 have been used to create the break.

End of the line By Giles Brown

A DISASTROUS U-turn by the Junta has sounded the death knell for Andalucia’s high speed rail potential. The Partido Popular party has slammed the decision to scrap the rail link between Malaga and Sevilla as ‘ridiculous’. Some €280 million has already been spent on the line, including 77 kilometres of platforms to accommodate the AVE high speed trains. Some €180 million of EU funds already allocated for the project will now have to be returned to Brussels. The Junta will also now have to spentdmillions of public money landscaping a large amount of land that had already been dug up in anticipation of the rail link. At a press conference at Antequera’s San-

Politicians slam a ‘ridiculous’ short-sighted decision to scrap AVE line between Sevilla and Malaga

ta Ana station PP leader of Malaga, Elias Bendodo, described the decision as ‘lacking foresight’.


His colleague Juan Bueno in Sevilla also highlighted what he called the ‘inefficiency and ineptitude’ of the regional government and said that it was more interested in ‘posturing than in the service of its citi-

AVE: Death knell for high speed route zens’. The scrapping of the line comes after the Junta admitted it did not have the money to complete the project. Spiraling costs have meant that the Junta is unable to provide the €800 million needed to complete the line.

Stop the bus station!

Open house dig VISITORS to Cartama can see ruins dating back to the 8th century BC, as part of new open-house days at the town’s archaeological dig. Archaeology students from the local technical college will lead free guided tours in April and May.

less than ten metres from the gates. The parents have now formed a group called ‘No a La Estacion de Autobus Al Lado Del Colegio Teresa De Leon’ and have gathered over 1,300 signatures. They have had support from 22 different groups as well as opposition politiCONCERNED: Parents at school cal parties, neighbourhood associations and even the taxi drivers’ association. Last month over 500 people attended a rally in San From front page lier this month. Pedro’s main square. of British sovereignty.” It is the fourth time Trillo But Marbella Town Hall has The recent incidents saw has been summoned over Gidismissed the protests, inSpanish ambassador, Fed- braltar since December 2011, sisting it is a vital part of the erico Trillo, summoned to the when the current government ROCK: Over 600 incursions new town’s redevelopment. Foreign Office in London ear- took office in Madrid. A GROUP of parents are up in arms over plans to site the new San Pedro de Alcantara bus station directly opposite a primary school. Marbella Town Hall has re-zoned an area opposite the Maria Teresa Leon primary school and intends to build the station

Too many incursions!

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“They weren’t interested in the slightest,” insisted Iain. After many misdiagnoses and more than 12 weeks of agony, Carol was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer at the end of June, after finally being seen by a specialist at the Alcala la Real hospital. Told there was nothing the doctors could do to save her, she was given morphine to aid relief. “Mapfre has refused to pay for any of the treatment, not even the pain relief. “I don’t think that if my wife had received proper treatment and had been diagnosed properly to start with, that it would have changed the eventual outcome,” said Renfrew. “But it would have given her longer and it would have given her a better quality of life in her last days. “Carol’s daughter was actually on her way to the hospital when Carol died. If my wife had lived a little longer, her daughter would have been able to see her one last time.” British medical journal The Lancet has recently slammed a dramatic fall in Spanish healthcare standards following drastic 30% cuts over the past few years. “I don’t have anything against Spain, my wife and I adored living here. But the system has failed us,” continued Iain. “My wife was treated as nothing more than rubbish and for that I can never forgive this country.” Despite numerous emails and calls Mapfre did not comment.

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the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014




the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014

A gay old time


“They don’t have children and grandchildren they can talk about and often they conceal their sexual orientation to avoid rejection,” he said. But he added that the home won’t be exclusively for the LGTB community. “We’re not going to ask you who you sleep with when you apply. Anyone can come, the only thing to bear in mind is that it specialises in elderly LGTBs,” he said. Being gay was considered dangerous in Spain until late 1978, and homosexuals faced prison or internment in ‘re-education’ centres. They also had their movements restricted. The first gay care home in Europe was opened in Sweden in November last year.


The stag and hen capital of Spain

Pictures by Jon Clarke

SPAIN’s first gay and lesbian care home will open in Madrid next year. The home is ‘vital’ because lesbian and gay people ‘don’t exist’ as far as society is concerned at that age, insisted its founder Federico Armenteros. The president of the December 26 group insisted that elderly people aren’t as accepting of gay and lesbian people, and many ‘return to the closet’ in old age as a result. This is especially the case if they are in a home, he added.

KNOWN as the home of the Alhambra Palace, Granada also appears to be forging a new name for itself; the stag and hen capital of southern Spain. On one recent weekend the Olive Press was baffled to cross paths with more than ten different rowdy stag and hen groups. There were men in tutus riding donkeys, wigs galore and even Marie Antoinette could be spotted enjoying herself in the sun.

I just called to say hello ONE caring expat is on a mission to provide safety and comfort for those living alone on the coast, with just one simple phone call. Every morning, Jo Dean will orchestrate calls to expats living alone to check they are well and happy. “Expats living alone really worry about something happening to them, and how long it would be before they could get help,” she said. Jo, from London, has lived in Spain for 14 years, including six

Competition just for 10 year olds

Morning Call provides peace of mind for those living alone on the coast

years working for a funeral director in Benalmadena. During this time she has come into contact with many vulnerable elderly people and also care workers, eventually inspiring her to set up Morning Call.

The Morning Call service is launching on May 1 and costs €200 for the year, including the €50 set-up fee. For more information visit or phone 658 027 426.

PARENTS are being given the chance to make their child’s dreams come true, to celebrate the 10th birthday of the Miramar Shopping Centre in Mijas Costa. Children who share the shopping centre’s 10th birthday – any who were born in 2004 – can enter a competition to have their wishes granted, for a cost of up to €1,200 per child. A ‘dreamers’ committee’ – the panel of judges – will choose three winning children from the Malaga area, taking into account the originality and emotion of the entries. Visit and make your entries until May 4.


the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014

Walk against cancer OVER 700 people took part in the first walk against cancer held in Rincon de la Victoria. Organised by the town hall in association with local gyms and athletics clubs, the walk raised an impressive €4,200 for Cudeca and other charities for women suffering from breast cancer. The route took participants, many wearing pink t-shirts with logos of the event, along the Rincon de la Victoria paseo mari-


timo. Rincon de la Victoria sports councillor, Lydia Montes, said that the event was the result of years of planning. “Next year we hope to exceed the number of participants,” she commented. Natalia Aparicio, of Cudeca, who was at the event, explained that the proceeds of the charity walk will go to continuing the work at Cudeca’s hospice in Benalmadena. THINK PINK: Charity walkers raise thousands for cancer charity

Big boost for small towns The Axarquia will benefit from a €24 million boost from Malaga

this investment - due to start this year - once again highlights the commitment of central government in developing the province, especially focussing on equal opportunities and job creation.

By Giles Brown

MALAGA Province has announced a series of employment-boosting initiatives across the region, paying special attention to smaller municipalities, including several in the Axarquia. President Elias Bendodo revealed the €24 million initiatives, announcing that ‘austerity and cost control measures have paid off, and now we have more re-


BENEFITTING: Torrox will get 300,000 for a variety of schemes

sources to invest’. Since 2011 the provincial authority has invested al-

most €200 million, with €155 million spent on improving facilities and


infrastructure in various municipalities. Bendodo stressed that

FILMING: Channel 4 in Nerja

Nerja’s the place BRITAIN’S Channel 4 will be in Nerja during Easter to film a new series of the

popular TV show A Place in the Sun. The new season is called A Place in the Sun: Home or Away, and aims to find dream homes for Brits wanting to buy property in Spain . As well as househunting, the programme will follow the Brits as they explore Nerja. With the filming taking place during Easter, they will have plenty of opporAXARQUIA Animal Rescue tunity to shoot Charity have big plans to open some of the Setheir first charity shop in Torre mana Santa prodel Mar. But they need help, cessions. and the volunteers are asking This is the second businesses in the area to do- time that A Place nate. In return, the business in the Sun - now gets their advertising on a large in its eighth seaboard in the shop and will be son - has visited listed as a sponsor in the char- Nerja, as Chanity’s brochure. Contact www. nel 4 also filmed for in the town last September. further details.

Can you help?

“I am convinced that this investment will help improve the quality of life for the locals and the competitiveness of the whole province,” he said. The investment will support projects related to water supply and sanitation, collection and treatment of waste, lighting, commerce, parks and gardens, tourism, roads and traffic control.

Tune In ALMUNECAR Tourist Office has launched its own YouTube channel Turismo Almunecar, highlighting the town’s many attractions and places of interest. Visit www. turismoalmunecar

Beach Fit TORROX town hall has applied to the Junta for €1.5 million, to install sports and fitness equipment on the beaches of the municipality.

AVE Ad VELEZ Malaga is running an advertising campaign at the AVE stations in Andalucia to encourage visitors during Easter.

Give Blood THE Spanish Blood Transfusion Centre launched a campaign to encourage people to give blood over Easter week. The mobile units visited several coastal towns, including Nerja and La Cala de Moral.



the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014

Honey bees find it sweeter in Spain

Not giving up!

DEATH rates among bees are far lower in Spain and other Mediterranean countries than in northern Europe, according to the largest ever study of the continent’s bees. The European Commission’s ground-breaking study – called Epilobee - compares the mortality of honey bee colonies over the winter and summer months, across 17 member states. Winter mortality rates across Europe ranged between 3.5% and 33.6%.

By Tom Powell AN overwhelming 80% of Olive Press readers agree that the ugly Algarrobico Hotel should be demolished, after the Supreme Court’s shock ruling that it is in fact legal. Following our front page story last issue, hundreds of you gave your opinions in an online poll. We reported how the TSJA High Court of Andalucia had inexplicably ruled that the hotel in Almeria was legal despite previously ruling that it was illegal.


Greenpeace have now lodged an official appeal with the Supreme Court, arguing that the 20-storey monstrosity violates the State Land Act and contradicts the previous ruling that the hotel is built in the conservation zone the Cabo de Gata Natural Park. More than 20 ecological organisations have united under the banner ‘Desmontando el Algarrobico’ with the aims of increasing public awareness. They are demanding the immediate demolition of the hotel and are planning a series of events to promote the campaign. Many people fear that developers are now planning another seven hotels in the protected area, as well as a 1,500-home urbanization and a golf course.

Only six countries – including Spain (9.5%), Italy (5.3%) and Greece (6.6%) - had a winter mortality rate of less than 10%, named by the Commission as an acceptable threshold for bee death rates. The results showed a far higher death rate in northern European countries, with Belgium the highest at 33.6%, followed by the UK with 29%. Bumblebees and other wild bees were not taken into account by the study, which covered 32,000 colonies across

Deep trouble

Europe. Last year the EU banned four chemicals – called neonicotinoids – which are used in pesticides, due to serious concern about increasing death rates among wild bees, which are vital pollinators. These chemicals are suspected of causing the collapse of bee colonies around Europe, although there is heated scientific debate and many experts insist further studies are needed.

NGOs demand an end to destruction of fragile deep-sea ecosystems by Spanish practice of ‘bottom trawling’ A SERIES of green groups have united to demand that Spain stops the destruction of vulnerable ocean ecosystems by deep-sea fishing. Greenpeace, WWF, The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition and a series of other environmental groups have launched a petition to coincide with current EU negotiations in

By Imogen Calderwood Brussels. Spain is the main fishing nation in the north east Atlantic Ocean, accounting for half of the European catch of deepsea species. It comes as pressure grows on Brussels to reform the current regulations for deep-sea

fishing, which have failed to protect the fragile ecosystems over the last 10 years.


Deep-sea bottom trawling drags fishing gear along the ocean floor, destroying corals and sponges. The environments in which

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle… Recreate? GET those creative juices flowing and transform the contents of your bin for an innovative new art competition in Ronda. Volunteer group Ronda Limpia is calling for entrants to create art out of recycled materials as part of its event ‘El dia Ronda Limpia’. Backed by the town hall, the art will be exhibited at Ronda’s Palacio de Congreso during a new green festival on May 17. Norwegian Karethe Linaae, co-founder of Ronda Limpia, said: “This type of project has never been done before in Ronda, so it’s extremely exciting. “I have always been someone to initiate community projects so it was only natural that I

thought ‘What can I do to help?’ when we moved to Ronda.” Anyone of any age and ability can enter the competition’s three categories: recycled art and sculptures, drawings inspired by a cleaner Ronda, and utility pieces created from recycled materials. All entries must be brought to the Santo Domingo convent from May 5 to 10 with a list of materials used. The winners of each category will receive a ‘diploma’ from the city of Ronda, a Ronda Limpia t-shirt, a bag, and many other gifts. For more information, contact karethe@snobb. net, or if Spanish-speaking, call 952 873 240 (x3).

BYCATCH: 80% of dead fish are thrown back the fishing is carried out – between 200 and 1500m below sea level – are characterised

Forget fracking

FRACKING will not be allowed in Andalucia ‘under any circumstances’, according to the Junta. The Minister for Environment, Maria Jesus Serrano, said that the Junta ‘would not allow the extraction of oil or prospective surveying’ of gas, using fracking. Echoing the feeling of the majority of Andalucian residents, Serrano clarified that fracking is being approached with the utmost caution, to avoid any potential risk to the environment.

by their extreme conditions. Cold temperatures, a lack of nutrients and near total darkness mean the environments are inhabited by unique organisms that grow slowly and produce few offspring, and are therefore extremely vulnerable to human impact. To make matters worse it is claimed that up to 80% of the caught fish - so called ‘bycatch’ - is thrown back into the sea by the fishing fleets. The petition is demanding a ban on bottom trawling nets, the implementation of catch limits, and for deep-sea fishing to be scientifically monitored. ADVERTORIAL

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HE Earth provides a vast renewable energy resource right beneath our feet. Energy from the sun is stored in the earth and is available to heat and cool buildings and heat water, regardless of the time of day, whether there are clouds or not. This is indigenous energy that does not have to be purchased or transported, is environmentally friendly and is constantly available. Roger Bullivant SL is now able to offer this significant opportunity for saving energy costs, fossil fuel dependency and avoid further greenhouse gas emissions by harnessing this solar energy from the shallow earth anywhere, any time.

the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014


Vast renewable energy source beneath our feet

A Geothermal home is a comfortable home Beyond the cost saving and environmental benefit, there are other advantages which make our Geothermal systems ideal for improving the comfort of your home and your pool. By using energy from within the earth, the system is able to ensure consistency. A direct-exchange heat pump exchanges heat through a system of copper loops buried beneath the ground. At a certain depth, the ground maintains a steady temperature, regardless of the time of year. This means that whether it’s a cold winter night or a warm spring day, your Geothermal system can draw and transfer that heat into your home so that it stays at your perfect temperature.

FORWARD THINKING: Kempinski Hotel has utilised Roger Bullivant’s money-saving Geothermal technology. And the apparatus (inset below) is small.

One of the major drawbacks to conventional air conditioning systems is the noise. With a geothermal system you don’t require the same outdoor mechanisms, meaning that you don’t have to deal with the same level of noise. Geothermal solutions operate smoothly and quietly, enabling you to host your outdoor events without being distracted by noise.


Get the exact temperature you desire Geothermal systems provide a superior comfort for your home because they eliminate those inconsistencies that come with hot and cold blasts of air. Zoning means that you can hypertarget your temperature, so that all areas of your home remain at the exact temperature you desire. Furthermore, humidity can be a major threat to your comfort and

Less noise

sometimes all year-round. Fortunately a Geothermal system can dehumidify the air as well, avoiding damp.

A Geothermal pool is a comfortable pool Instead of limiting the usage of your pool to just the warmer months of the year, Roger Bullivant SL can extend the life of your pool for the ENTIRE YEAR with consistent temperatures. The cost of cleaning and maintaining your pool is all year round so why not add benefit by keeping a constant comfortable temperature all year round.

BIG SAVING: Kempinski Hotel’s spa (above and right) has used Geothermal for ten years

Our installations are versatile and mechanically-simple offering reliability, minimal maintenance and easy integration with existing air distribution systems. The small size of the system means that it can be easily located in either the existing boiler room of your home or outside with no need for an air or water loop circulation. And a single six-ton system can pre-heat 4,000 litres per day to 43°C for commercial venues such as hotels and offices. If necessary, the pre-heated water temperature can be boosted to a higher temperature by a standard commercial water heater. The system delivers up to 400% efficiency* which means that you can lower your water heating costs by up to 75%. The more you use its efficiency, the higher the return on your investment. And we estimate that you can generally recover the initial investment in three to four years depending on the system’s configuration. Moreover, you will be able to stabilize your energy budget by reducing exposure to escalating energy prices.

Projects Roger Bullivant, SL installed a cost-effective constant heating system at the Kempinski Hotel’s indoor spa swimming pool in Estepona. The company designed and installed a Geothermal solution which required the installation of four loops to a depth of 30m. Following the initial drilling, a single 14kW heat pump was installed in order to heat the large amount of water utilised by the indoor pool. The system has been successfully heating the spa pool for the last 10 years with only routine maintenance visits required. The hotel has benefitted not just from the return on investment of this installation, but it has also combined this with a very positive reduction of carbon emissions. *For every unit of electricity used to operate the compressor, the system delivers 4 units of heat. For further information contact www.rogerbullivant. eu or contact our Estepona Office on 952 888 689 or 952 883 248. Alternatively speak direct with our Geothermal specialist Gabriel on 618 751 054

the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014



Aswad and Spandau on the Rock

REGGAE giants Aswad are to play a new festival in Gibraltar. The band, whose hits include Don’t Turn Around and Shine, will headline the Love Fest on July 15. They will be joined by X Factor’s Rebecca Ferguson, whose first album went platinum in the UK. Meanwhile, the Gibraltar International Music festival has added some new stars for its festival on September 6. They include Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley and British soul sensation John Newman, who was twice nominated at the Brit Awards this year. The lead singer of Supertramp Roger Hodgson, whose hits include Dreamer, Breakfast in America and The Logical Song, will also be performing.

‘Gibraltar needs UKIP’ EXCLUSIVE: Deputy chairman Neil Hamilton tells Tom Powell about UKIP’s bid for the Rock in the European elections

‘GIBRALTAR needs UKIP’ insisted former Tory MP Neil Hamilton, at a launch of the party’s European elections campaign. The UKIP deputy chairman - who resigned from the Conservative Party in 1994 over the Cash for Questions scandal - argued that Nigel Farage’s party are the ‘only ones who take Gibraltar seriously’. He was on the Rock to back the UKIP’s candidate Gawain Towler, who is standing for South West England and Gibraltar in the European elections on May 22. “Our view is that it will be much easier for us to defend Gibraltar outside the EU, we are free spirits,” said Hamilton, whose sister has a house in Gibraltar and was married there. “We need to be far more demonstrative in our support for Gibraltar’s territorial integrity and the interests of its residents,” added Hamilton, who calls himself the ‘Butlins redcoat to the nation’. “The right not to be hassled as you cross the border, the right not to have incursions into territorial waters.” UKIP gained 1,000 members MORE than 5,000 in 24 hours following the last people have now TV debate in the UK, taksigned the petition to ing their ranks to more than stop Gibraltar’s new 40,000. football stadium be-

Game off?

ing built on Europa Point. They argue that the environmental impact has not been considered and that the whole process has been rushed through on the basis that this is the only viable option for the new stadium. Two of the most influential environmental organisations, the Gibraltar Heritage Trust and the Environmental Safety Group, have opposed it. The Save Europa Point group (SEP) presented their petition to the Development and Planning Commission last week. The commission has already received more than 50 written complaints since plans for the new stadium were revealed in March and exhibited in Casemates square.


The party’s rise in publicity has coincided with the addition of Hamilton, well-known for his past in the Conservative party and the allegations he took bribes to raise questions in Parliament, to its ranks. “I have added to the gaiety of the nation,” claimed Hamilton, whose indomitable wife Christine was sadly not present. “I’m the only active member of UKIP who has been a member of Government.” Candidate Towler added: “Neil has brought a level of experience and professionalism into UKIP.” He emphasised the role of an MEP in Gibraltar is limited and that their main aim is to simply allow the Gibraltarians to be able to govern themselves. Asked about border troubles, Towler explained his belief that the tensions would never relax while Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s PP Government is still in power. “If we were outside the EU we could close our borders to Spain and see how they like that,” joked Hamilton.

HAMILTON: Butlins redcoat to the nation

Photo: Jim Watt



the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014

ON the Rock


Border Questions THREE Spanish MEPs have tabled questions in the European Parliament calling on the European Commission to explain what steps it is taking to tackle persistent delays at the border between Gibraltar and Spain.

Wrong Turn

EQUALITY: Gay Pride marches have spread over the world

The Rock set to celebrate its diversity in a Pride festival this summer By Giles Brown GIBRALTAR is set to hold its first Pride festival this summer. A planning committee is working on fine tuning for the festival, entitled Pride – Recognising Diversity and Equality in July. The festival, which this year has the slogan ‘We Are One!’ will include a parade from the Piazza to Casemates. There will also be a variety of acts and music, educational and photographic events, and exhibitions on the theme of ‘Pride in Diversity & Equality’. Since the first Gay Pride marches were held in New York in 1970, the event has grown to be a worldwide celebration of diversity. Pride is celebrated in most major cities, the best known being San Francisco, Sydney and London. Sao Paulo in Brazil holds the record for the largest march, with 3.2 million people attending the event in 2009.

Gib Pride! The event began after a police raid on gay bar Stonewall in 1969 led to rioting in New York.


It is widely regarded as one of the most important events in the history of the Gay Rights movement. Equality Rights Group Chairman Felix Alvarez said:“We want to celebrate our differences, pride in our disabled people, our young, our diverse cultures, our ethnic groups, our LGBT community, our different faiths, and other sectors who may wish to come forward to celebrate in peace and understanding.”

The Snort that didn’t stand up in court A GIBRALTARIAN woman accused of snorting cocaine off the bonnet of an unmarked

Linda is a winner!

police car, while a drug squad officer was inside the car, has been found not guilty.

A GIBRALTAR nurse has been voted one of the best in the UK. Linda Castro, a dermatology specialist, took second prize in the British Journal of Nursing’s 2014 awards. She received her award PROUD: Linda Castro at a gala night in London. First prize went to Professor Steve Ersser from the University of Hull. She said: “Coming from our little but wonderful Gibraltar, my home, I was privileged to have won second place in the category of Dermatology nurse of the year in the UK”.

It was alleged that the woman had been seen snorting a ‘suspicious substance’ by undercover police officers, who were operating in the area of the Landport ditch car park last June. After allegedly seeing the woman and her friend snorting the drug off the bonnet of his car, the member of the RGP’s Drug Squad alerted other undercover officers in the area, who arrested her. A search of her handbag was said to have resulted in the discovery of a plastic wrapper containing cocaine. The trial opened and closed at Gibraltar’s Supreme Court.

AN unmarked car used by the British military in Gibraltar was driven into Spain due to an ‘administrative error’ the MoD admitted. Under Spanish law, cars bearing military number plates belonging to another country cannot be driven in Spain.

Not Welcome A UK sex offender has been banned from travelling to Gibraltar under a prevention order issued by the Magistrates Court. This is the first time that the court has issued a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO), a new measure introduced when Gibraltar’s criminal legislation was revamped two years ago.


The Olive Press guide to What’s On in Gibraltar over the next two weeks

April 18

Good Friday Procession Casemates Square to the Cathedral of St Mary The Crowned, 6pm Good Friday Procession Our Lady of Sorrows Church Catalan Bay, 8.30pm For more information please contact the Cathedral on tel: 20076688

April 19

A Feast of Spring Flowers Guided Tour Gibraltar Botanic Gardens, 10.30am £5 adults children free of charge For further information contact tel: 20041235

April 19

Wild Plants & Conservation Guided Tour Gibraltar Botanic Gardens, 10.30am Price £5 adults children free of charge For further information contact tel:20041235

April 19

Mediterranean Steps Spring Flowers Gibraltar Ornithological

& Natural History Society monthly outing Jew’s Gate, 9.30 am For further information Tel: 57363000 E-mail:

April 21

21 Gun Salute in honour of HM The Queen’s Birthday Grand Battery, Noon For further information tel 2005501

April 26

Craft & Collectors Fair St Andrew’s Church – Governor’s Parade, 10am2pm Time: 10am to 2pm Entrance Fee £1 For further information contact tel: 54023166 Email: viviend13@hotmail. com

April 26

V Gibraltar International Song Festival featuring Kid Creole and the Coconuts Tercentenary Hall – Victoria Stadium, 9pm Tickets: £10 available from Gibraltar Tourist Board For further information Tel: 20045000

An Evening with The Lola Boys! Friday 23rd May 2014 TICKETS ONLY £46 per person Includes: • Welcome drink and canapé reception • 3 course sit down dinner • 1/2 bottle of wine and water per person • The Lola Boys show

SPECIAL OVERNIGHT STAY PACKAGE - £153pp Includes: • Two nights (Fri & Sat) in a sea view room (based on sharing a twin or double room) • Dinner & show • Breakfast • Full body massage in the Health & Beauty Club (on the Saturday) • Single supplement £70



For table and package reservations contact Marjo T: (+350) 200 76501 E: |



the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014

POTTED POINTERS ANDALUCIA RESERVOIR LEVELS This week: 88.06% full Same week last year: 93.90% Same week in 2003: 65.00% AIRPORTS Gibraltar 00350 22073026 Granada-Jaen 958 245 200 Jerez - 956 150 000 Malaga - 952 048 844* *For English press 9 Sevilla - 954 449 000 EMERGENCIES Police 091 Guardia Civil 062 Medical service 061 Fire 080 EURO EXCHANGE RATES 1 euro is worth 1.38 American Dollars 0.82 British Pounds 1.51 Canadian Dollars 7.46 Danish Kroner 10.72 H Kong Dollars 8.24 Norwegian Kroner 1.73 Singapore Dollars

Age-old British dilemma The ‘We want to go home’ news report (Issue 184) that more than 20,000 British pensioners are desperate to return home from Spain led to a deluge of comments from readers, providing a Letters Special featuring both those for and against

FOR: We want to go home MANY people wanting to leave are victims of the collapsed property market in Spain. Many would be able to leave Spain with the proceeds from the sale of their properties...if they could actually sell them. I feel desperately sorry for anyone in this situation and I am sure there are also younger people who are trapped in Spain with properties they cannot sell, or ones that have been declared ‘illegal’ and who are therefore prevented from selling. Jane Garrett, Alhaurin el Grande MANY expats are returning as they cannot afford to stay in Spain with interest rates so low and a lower value Sterling. Meanwhile in the UK, they can get free housing. Many pensioners have no home in either the UK or Spain and just rent. In addition I also expect the care system for the elderly is better in the UK from a financial point of view. The people I see struggling in Spain are the ones that moved abroad with peanuts in the first place. The ones with good pensions or savings live the dream life and always have the option to return to their UK home if

LIFE in the UK is not the tapestry of rolling green fields full of munching cows; a nation resplendent in the after-glow of ‘land of hope and glory’ these expats must think it is. And pensioners who, for whatever reason, believe a return would be of any benefit are deluding themselves. However, if there are serious endof-life health issues, that is a different matter entirely. and when they want to. I have lived in Spain and I cannot say it is cheap, with electricity more expensive, heating is not cheap, but yes, for those who want to drink loads and smoke a lot then those things definitely cost less. The best idea perhaps for those able is to rent out their UK home, make a profit on it, and then rent one of the many empty – and very cheap places in Spain. Simon Woodford Via OP online

AGAINST: We want to stay THOSE who chose to leave the UK for a better life should consider what is the better option? Pensions and savings are still more

Brian Smith Via OP online

valuable in Spain than the UK, the weather is far superior, the locals are generally more friendly and the lifestyle healthier; why on earth would anyone want to return to a country that is being wrecked by the government? Our public services are being eroded at a rate that far exceeded anyone’s expectations. By the time disaffected expats return there will be nothing left in the UK. Be grateful that you had the chance to make enough money to be able to ‘live the dream’. Your grandchildren have little or no chance of existing in anything other than the minimum wage culture that the government now expects its slaves to endure.

I HAVE visited the UK three times in the last eight years; the first time it was awful and the next two a thousand times worse. Anyone blaming any political party has not woken to the fact that ‘party politics’ is just a diversion for the gullible. I am staying in Spain, where we can buy superb, natural fresh fruit, veg and meat at a low cost. If we choose, we can eat out cheaply and healthily and enjoy the fantastic weather and hospitality. Reports like this provide ‘justification’ to the unambitious, stay at home, lard-arses back in ‘good old Blighty’! My advice, stay there!

Mark, Cornwall

Eric Azulty Via e-mail


New road to woe!

it down or let it go ahead. This case has cost the Spanish Government hundreds of millions in lost revenue. The media is the only thing that is going to hurt them even more.

Dear Olive Press, I LIVE in Malaga just off exit 245 on the A7 where the only entrance has always been an impractical and rather dangerous roundabout. About two years ago the town hall announced plans to spend €425,000 to improve it, but they had forgotten about the car park exit from the 28 apartments where I and neighbours live. They consequently redrew the plans but now the work has been finished they have not bothered with our exit. They clearly misled us all along just to shut us up and now - apparently - a pipe is stopping them from doing it. But with a €425,000 budget, that’s a lame excuse. Instead nof being able to drive 1.5 metres to the road we have to take a 2km detour. Michael Battle, Malaga

House alert EXPATS returning to the UK should realise that if they own or owned a property in Spain which has been demolished or is under threat of demolition, unless they have written proof, UK councils are not obliged to house them, even if homeless. I hope this is useful to someone and prevents any heartache. Having left Spain as my home in La Jara, near

Mark Francis, Sotogrande NO EXIT: Roundabout

Coin, was under threat of demolition, I now live in UK in furnished rental accommodation,and still read the Olive Press online. It is an excellent paper. Teresa Keegan, UK

Hotel horror IT would be nice if they could make a decision and stick to it over the El Algarrobico hotel (Disgrace, Issue 184). Any final decision would be good, it is no good there abandoned so either knock

Good job A BIT of feedback. I have just used your latest issue as a guide to Axarquia and had a great day there topped off with a good lunch at The Garden Restaurant! Keep up the good work. Ian F Via OP online

Letters should be emailed to The writer’s name and address should be provided. Opinions are not necessarily those of the Editor.

CROSSMOT 30 Across

1 Basket (7) * 5 Manzana (5) * 8 Slips (2,7) * 9 Their (3) * 10 Cresta (5) * 12 Extremo (7) * 13 Despair (13) * 15 Tráfico (7) * 17 Hero (5) * 19 Pierna (3) * 20 Really (9) * 22 Tierra (5) * 23 Mayor (7).


1 Sew (5) * 2 Inclinación De Cabeza (3) * 3 Los Sistemas De (7) * 4 Unlike (1, 10, 2) * 5 Aparte (5) * 6 Hind (9) * 7 Oriental (7) * 11 Unload (9) * 13 Detail (7) * 14 Avergonzado (7) * 16 En lo Sucesivo (5) * 18 Cada (5) * 21 Ni (3). L = 198

la cultura

the olive press - April 1617 - April 30 2014

As its Easter no less than NINE pages of cultural tips, ideas and things to do around the region April 16 - April 30 2014

Pablo Picasso goes on tour MALAGA’S Picasso museum has contributed illustrations and a documentary to an international photography exhibition which opened in Mexico last week. The exhibition - entitled Picasso, revealed by David Douglas Duncan - features more than 100 images of the artist, selected from the thousands that Duncan took at Picasso’s home between 1955 and 1961. Since its 2011 debut – at the Museo Picasso Malaga itself – the exhibition has

toured Germany, France and Switzerland. The MPM is currently exhibiting a series of Picasso’s drawings and prints, depicting traditional subjects such as nudes and landscapes in increasingly fragmented compositions. The exhibition also includes screenings of the film Picasso and Braque go to the movies, directed in 2008 by Arne Glimcher, and produced by Martin Scorsese and Robert Greenhut. The exhibition will run until June 15.

To the rescue Stunning mansion is restored

A STRIKING historical mansion - partly styled on the Alhambra Palace - has been given the green light for its final phase of restoration work. The Casa de los Navajas, overlooking Bajondillo beach in Torremolinos, was in ruin before work began in 2011. Now the elegant mansion, built in 1925 in the mudejar style, is nearing completion and stands in stark contrast to the concrete high rises that give Torremolinos a bad reputation. Officials are still undecided on the exact use of the mansion but it will be opened to the public and could be used for wedding ceremonies. The restoration has not been easy though, as extremely rare construction materials had to first be tracked down and then worked into the building’s

STAND-OUT: The picturesque Casa de los Navajas

style. Mayor Pedro Fernandez Montez described the project as ‘very specialised’.

Malaga wakes up! AN American style pop-up event came to Malaga this weekend when Argentinian artist Paula Vincenti held a successful show. Paula, who has previously held exhibitions in Marbella, London and Buenos Aires hosted Wake Up featuring her latest works. Over 100 people attended the opening of the Pop Art style exhibition, held in an old car showroom in Malaga’s historic city centre.

The final phase, budgeted at €415,000, is being funded by the Diputacion de Malaga and will be carried out by maintenance company Samset.


The house was originally built by a sugar cane dealer called Antonio Navajas, who was inspired by the Alhambra Palace in Granada. A decade ago his grandchildren ceded the property to the town hall in exchange for the right to develop two neighbouring plots.

Great Switch on?


To mark the two month anniversary of the Big TV Switch Off, Mike Crompton (left) of Mediastreamz gives an honest appraisal of watching television via an IPTV stream

O here we are, two months since the great TV switch off and how do you feel about it? Angry? Philosophical? Non-plussed? Reactions have varied but mostly the feeling seems to be one of disappointment and bewilderment. Disappointment seems to be mainly directed at the BBC and bewilderment at why many of the new IPTV streams suddenly stop every once in a while, with the main comments being along the lines of ‘that never happened before’. It has led to more angst for good old Auntie Beeb; which hasn’t come out of this very well. Oddly there seems to be little consternation about the loss of the commercial channels. I guess we all loved the BBC and the loss is quite a blow. So why are some IPTV streams buffering or in worst cases just stopping (needing to be restarted)? Cast your mind back a few years to the time that the BBC launched iPlayer. Does anyone remember the cries of anguish from the British Internet Service Providers (ISPs) at the time? With the BBC heavily promoting their

new baby (maybe you remember the continuous stream of BBC iPlayer plugs) so many punters tried to get it. And the problem for the ISP’s was that the demand for this new service far outstripped the UK’s capacity to supply, at least in some areas.


And now it appears that the Spanish telecommunications infrastructure is suffering the same problem, and providers such as FilmOn (who offer a free service) are getting overloaded at peak times... but it will get better. Movistar are working hard to roll out fibre optic cables along the Costa del Sol which will make a huge difference to the bandwidth many people will be able to receive in their homes. The simple message is if you are interested in watching television via your internet connection and you are offered a fibre optic connection, grab it. This fibre optic cable rollout will also reduce bottlenecks at various geographic locations and should benefit most of us


HOT TOPIC: Expat loss of British TV following satellite launch in the long run, even if we don’t have a direct connection. Most positive of all, there has been a big groundswell of information being interchanged on websites such as the Olive Press’s, where people compare products and services. Ultimately most IPTV service providers will agree that you need around a two megabyte internet connection to really get good quality viewing. So my advice... that should be your first concern.

Winner of the dream CONGRATULATIONS to Germaine Bone, the winner of our competition in last issue’s La Cultura. She is now the proud new owner of a copy of expat Craig Brigg’s book Journey to a Dream. If you entered the competition but weren’t lucky this time, the book is also available on Amazon in paperback or as a Kindle e-book.

what’s on M

alaga. May 8, 9pm, at the Echegaray Theatre. With guitars, singing and dancing, Camaleon Tango’s atmospheric offering evokes the 1940s, the golden age of the dance. Tango dresses and suits will light up the night with a sequence of tangos, milongas, waltzes and candombes.


iraflores and Mojacar. April 24,

7.30pm, Camping Los Gallardos. April 25, 7.30pm, The Living Water Church. Ladies’ choir ‘The Rose Singers’ will be treating their audience to an evening of musical entertainment, in aid of the Calvert Trust. Tickets are €5. For more information, contact Sue on 950 617 737.


ijas. Until April 30, 9am to 2pm, Patio de Las Fuentes. An exhibition of local and expat artists, entitled Mas alla del aula, is showing off the creme de la creme of the coast’s artistic circles. It includes works by Mirjana Lucic, Queti Fernandez, Borje Ekstrom and Francois Hettinger. Entrance is free. For more information visit www.

la cultura Cabrera Island…. Idyllic yet Horrific F

18 18

OR centuries islands have played host to some of the world’s most hardened criminals. Alcatraz Island is known as America’s ‘prison of all prisons’. Inescapable, this island fortress received the most incorrigible and dangerous inmates that other U.S. penitentiaries could not handle. Similarly Devil’s Island (in French Guiana), perhaps history’s most notorious penal colony, housed over 80,000 criminals - 50,000 of which died from tropical diseases, over-work and starvation. Off the coast of Marseille in France, lies the island prison of Chateau d’if - the setting for Alexander Dumas’ famous ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’. Even the giant continental island of Australia, traces its founding to that of a prison for exiled criminals. In an all but forgotten historical footnote, Spain too has a contribution to the legacy of island prisons….consider the legacy of Cabrera Island. Cabrera Island is part of a small archipelago located five miles off the coast of Majorca. It is small, measuring only two miles wide and three miles long. It is too dry, too barren and too unforgiving to support human populations and remains uninhabited - just as it has throughout human existence. Because of this, Cabrera’s coastal landscape is considered among the best preserved in the Mediterranean. Similarly, the island’s bird and ma-

R.T.A.:AL-4-04-0017. 2ª cat

the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014

Jack’s Corner

rine ecosystems remain uncommonly unique. In 1991, Spain officially designated the island part of the Cabrera Archipelago Maritime-Terrestrial National Park. Popular with hikers, divers and naturalists, the island is a place of peace and untouched natural surroundings. Yet in a relatively unknown chapter in Spanish history, Cabrera played host to some truly horrific and brutal events. Consider…


In the early 1800s, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte turned his attention from dominance in central Europe to the Iberian Peninsula. Here his troops were severely tested and forced to fight an intense guerilla war. In one particular engagement, The Battle of Bailen - in the province of Jaen - Napoleon’s troops were forced to surrender. Over 7,000 French soldiers were taken prisoner and summarily marched south to ‘prison ships’ anchored in the Cadiz harbor. Spanish authorities debated the prisoners’ fate for months. The captors did not

INESCAPABLE: Alcatraz want to repatriate these prisoners back to France where they might return to the Iberian Peninsula to fight another day. The conditions quickly became deplorable. Local officials, fearing epidemics, riots and the high cost of maintenance, decided to set the prison ships to sail. In April 1809, these prison ships sailed from Cadiz destined for the rocky outcrop island of Cabrera. Like marooned castaways, the French captives were exiled on this island without supervision, without shelter or clothing, little fresh water (Cabrera has only one natural spring) and without sufficient provisions. They were literally dumped on the beach and left to their own devices. Although

IDYLLIC: Cabrera

Islands are microcosmic worlds; surrounded by turquoise seas and tropical sun. Today, Mallorca’s Cabrera Island is exactly that, but in the early 19th century this mystique was lost on those who called it home, writes Jack Gaioni

there is a paucity of official records, there are accounts of disease, exposure, starvation, contagion and malnutrition. There are also accounts of prisoners forming hierarchical social groups which resulted in ‘gang wars’, murders, suicides and anarchy. Some groups monopolized the limited food supplies while other groups enforced draconian discipline. It is important to remember that any talk of fair treatment of prisoners of war (e.g. the 1906 Geneva Convention) was still a century away. It should also be mentioned that there were charitable groups in Barcelona and Majorca that did manage to get minimal provisions to the prisoners but mostly these efforts were too little, too late. Of the 9,000 French prisoners sent to Cabrera, only 3,500 survived. Today Cabrera Archipelago National Park is administered by the munici-

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pality of Palma de Mallorca. Its hiking trails, nature tours and scubadiving evoke images of blue waters, solitude, marvellous sea views and the natural world at its finest. Yet for those who called Cabrera home from 1809-1814, those images were anything but idyllic. Cabrera attracts surprisingly few visitors due to its remoteness and that access is restricted by the National Park. Boats may only dock in the island’s only natural harbour and a licence allows for one day visits only. Excursions to the island are limited. For many though, the remoteness and restrictions are precisely the attraction - the inherent privacy and untouched nature are treasured by the diving and hiking communities. For more information about visiting the island go to

talk radio europe Tre radio 120x148mm - OLIVE PRESS.indd 1

03/04/14 15:37

Pueblo Español, an innovative language immersion program created by the company Diverbo, has been grabbing the attention of people who are genuinely trying to learn the local tongue. We interviewed three former Pueblo Español participants who provide us their insightful impressions of a classic language learning approach...with a twist. How much of a need is there for expats to learn Spanish? Vincent, who lives in an area comprised of 30% British population has witnessed, “For a person of working age it is essential to learn Spanish as without it there are very few opportunities to work in Spain. For retired people I would say knowledge of the language brings many advantages and opportunities to interact with the Spanish people who are very appreciative when one communicates in Spanish.” “You cannot truly feel part of this country or integrate with the people without the language,” as Christopher states. Chrissie adds, “Without a knowledge of the language of the country, one misses out hugely on what’s going on in that country…at every level.”

So, why did you do the Pueblo Español program? In Christopher’s case he says classes are essential at the beginning but only good up to a point. He lived with 2 different families but says, “You are the mercy of a family member to determine if they want to chat with you or if they want you to just watch Spanish TV.” He needed a program that would offer “maximum intensity, in a friendly environment in the shortest time possible with a variety of accents and dialects. Pueblo Español, was the answer to this need. The program gave me the opportunity to meet professional Spaniards from all regions.” Chrissie, who had been learning Spanish for several years, decided she wanted to become more fluent. She says, “I had struggled with comprehending Spanish”, claiming that locals (especially Andalucians) speak fast. She also wanted to better understand the “subjunctive,” or as another participant calls it “subjunctivitis”. Likewise, Vincent felt comfortable with his grammar but was lacking conversation practice. Already familiar with Diverbo’s reverse program, he says “I had attended Pueblo Ingles a few times and I saw for myself the advances made in a short period by the Spanish students. I have found that going to a course for two hours a week or two does not give you the same exposure to the language.”

How does the experience compare to other Spanish learning environments? Taking into consideration the one-on-one communication activities, phone conference calls, presentations, theatre, skits, group activities, Christopher says, “Having a structured yet friendly environment with a group of motivated native speakers makes a huge difference. I will never forget the night I went to sleep in my beautiful hotel accommodations and right before falling asleep having thoughts in Spanish,,, it was exactly what I was wanting to achieve!”

What was your impression of the native Spanish speakers? The volunteers at a Pueblo Español program are always different mix but represent a diverse group as Christopher describes, “The native speakers were professional adults who volunteered and offered so much information, not only about language but culture, customs, history and expressions. Many of them have studied English so they understand the struggles of learning another language.”

Home is where your tongue is the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014


What do you get when you take expats and throw them neck-deep into a group of chat-happy Spaniards? Name: Chrissie Turnbull Lives in: Gaucin, Malaga since 2005 From: London, UK / abroad Occupation: Retired from Advertising Level of Spanish: Advanced Beginner

Vincent, who previously worked for the United Nations on projects in India, East Africa, West Africa, and Jordan says, “I was most impressed with the Spanish speakers. In our group one the English speakers was struggling with Spanish, and as a group they assisted and encourage him in every way, so much so that his Spanish improved dramatically.” Chrissie enjoyed the fact that her Spanish volunteer friends were of different ages, views, and approaches to chatting, saying “I was chatting about all kinds of topics with the volunteers, e.g. current affairs, politics, their own lives, my life, even gossip!”

How would you rate Pueblo Español as being entertaining, educating and culturally interesting? “I would give it a 10” says Christopher, who is known as “Cristobal” by his Spanish friends. He goes on to say, “What makes learning easier for me is when it is relative to an event. The skits, for example at Pueblo Español, I acquired and RETAINED so much from those activities, as well as the One-on-ones and without question, the Presentations made it so much easier to acquire a new level of the language.” Referring to some of her most memorable moments, Chrissie says, “I learned loads, including quite a bit about the lives of the volunteers which was fascinating. I loved our outings and the trip to the bodega where we had the jamon and vino was great. Loved the visit to Ciudad Rodriguez too.”

What does someone need to know before coming to Pueblo Español? Vincent recommends that people “should have at least a basic level of Spanish grammar especially conjugation of verbs, plus knowledge of tenses.” Chrissie is quick to mention, “A person embarking on Pueblo Español need to know about the ‘rule’ of the total immersion…i.e. no speaking their own language to the volunteers or each other in the day, or evening. All the waking hours, we interacted in Spanish. About 16 hours a day!” Christopher warns, “Be prepared that there will be days in the beginning where you feel you are going backwards instead of forwards! This is just your brain getting ready for the switch!”

Name: Christopher Carnrick Lives in: Torrox, Malaga since 2005 From: Seattle Washington, U.S.A. Occupation: Culinary Classes & Cultural Program Level of Spanish: Lower Intermediate

In what areas have you noted an improvement after the program? “I found a great improvement in my listening ability, and speaking Spanish at meetings with Spanish people who spoke no English,” reports Vincent, who manages condominiums in his Spanish town. Chrissie assures the Pueblo Español immersion experience is “head and shoulders above other Spanish learning environments. At the end of the week at PE, I was actually thinking and dreaming in Spanish. Something seems to take place in the brain after a few days of total immersion which ‘turbo charges’ one’s ability to learn and comprehend.” She goes on to say, “I went to Pueblo Español last summer, I found it very difficult to understand the Spanish telenoticias. The presenters spoke so quickly. After PE, I can understand them! I can pick up the phone with much more confidence than before and talk to anyone about more or less anything, but especially things like calling out ‘tenicos’ to service equipment or talking to potential workmen.” “I have to be honest,” says Christopher, “during the week, the volunteers said I improved but I didn’t think so, but I did leave feeling more confident; however, when I returned home the neighbor ladies were squealing in delight at my improvement and fluidity. I would use expressions that I had learned that they would lean back and ROAR with laughter says SI SI SI! We had one neighbor who never was patient with me. She would throw her hands up in the air when I didn’t understand. Today, she is at my house a couple times a week just to chat and we have become friends.”

Name: Vincent McGough Lives in: Pilar de la Horada, Alicante since 2006 From: Liverpool, UK / abroad Occupation: Retired Project Manager/ Director of Engineering Level of Spanish: Intermediate

“I have been able to integrate to a much deeper level since PE. We use only local businesses. We have developed many more business contacts who may have been a little mistrustful before, but after ‘chatting’ and using some of the phrases learned, understanding cultural norms. We have been able to increase our business contacts and improve our bottom line!” He adds, “Personally, opportunities have opened since learning Spanish. Our community is including us more. We have been invited out to the country to help press grapes for wine and lunch with locals. The locals tease with us, joke with us, cry with us and have called us “familia” … THIS is what changed this from being our residence to being our home. The Spanish will say, ‘They don’t care about Spain and they don’t care about us.’ So when you try just a tiny bit the Spaniards, shower you with acceptance, trust and opportunities to experience the things that made us want to move to this wonderful country.” Christopher sums it up well: “A home doesn’t just ‘happen’ you have to MAKE it a home. It takes work and dedication. Part of making this a new home, was to learn their customs and about the local people, and most importantly their language. Even a small attempt at speaking Spanish opens DOORS AND WINDOWS that I never dreamed could be opened!”

How has the Pueblo Español program helped you integrate? Christopher, who depends on his Spanish for his Culinary business, really noticed a difference.

If you would like to learn the Spanish lingo through immersion, Pueblo Español offers programs throughout the year, including spots still open this Autumn! Go to: OR call 913-913-400. If you are interested in being a volunteer to help teach conversational English with Pueblo Inglés, please contact:


The Choir Andaluz the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014


la cultura

Do you like to sing?

Then why not join a new and exciting choir here on the coast? YOUR BOOK


Taster sessions from

19:00 - 21:00

being held soon at:

Coin: 6th May Fuengirola: 7th May Elvira: 8th May

All ages welcome Professional coaching Make new friends Learn how to perform Sing pop and funky songs Info and to register:


ROM the moment you step onto the Toledo train from Madrid, El Greco’s legacy in Castilla La Mancha is clear. The Renaissance artist’s works are splashed across the backs of seats and his name is inscribed on every building passed en route to the historic town. Once in Toledo, around every corner iconic heavy-lidded eyes loom down at you from super-sized El Greco paintings, luring you into one of the many exhibition venues. From convents to restaurants to art galleries (perhaps the last is less surprising) everywhere in this historic town honours the 400-year anniversary of the death of art’s greatest nickname. The Greek – less catchily known as Domenikos Theotokopoulos – retains a powerful influence both in Toledo and the international art world. A man of expensive tastes but limited finances, by the time of his death on April 7 1614 many of El Greco’s works were scattered throughout the city as compensation for

El Gr-echoes in time

On the 400-year anniversary of El Greco’s death, Imogen Calderwood follows the artistic trail of Spain’s most beloved ‘foreigner’ through the backstreets of Toledo unpaid bills. This is how they remain, littered like hidden insights into his life, in Toledo’s many nooks and crannies. Clues as to the resting places of his paintings come in the form of giant pink dots, daubed on the outside of buildings which play host to the works. Each of the many venues in the El Greco trail captures a different side of this multidimensional character: the artist, the man, the out-

sider, the architect and the lighting designer, to name a few. The artist The Museo de Santa Cruz is currently home to the largest exhibition of El Greco’s works ever held – more than a hundred have been gathered from 29 different cities worldwide. The exhibition maps the controversy that followed him throughout his career which, combined with his reputation for arrogance and disproportionate fees, made him an unpopular and heavily criticised artist. But the spectator is drawn to El Greco’s art.

MAIN ATTRACTION: Crowds outside the Museo de Santa Cruz

ICONIC: El Greco’s legacy is visible everywhere you look in Toledo Through intense colours and dramatic chiaroscuro effects, El Greco creates something more beautiful, more stylised and dynamic than reality, in a determined exploitation of artistic licence. The man He comes to life in the CasaMuseo del Greco – an incredible reconstruction of a 14th century house in the town’s old Jewish quarter. Under the false impression he was buying the painter’s actual home, the Marquis de la Vega Inclan snatched up the house in the early 20th century to create a ground-breaking exhibition space. He has restored the house and recreated the atmosphere of the different rooms with spectacular attention to detail, evoking the artist’s private life and personality. As well as offering a glimpse into how El Greco himself would have lived, the museum reveals fascinating detail into the daily running of his workshop. From this workshop, El Greco designed and created sculptures, altarpieces for monasteries and convents, intricate architecture and ingenious


the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014 21 21

Why is El Greco like a snail?


MASTERPIECE: The Burial of the Count of Orgaz lighting designs, with the help of his numerous assistants. The outsider Although by the end of his career El Greco was hailed as a reflector of the true Castilian soul, he was always a foreigner in Toledo. Living in the town for ten years without residency, he is still simply known as

‘The Greek’ – his nickname highlighting his inability to belong. It is this aspect of El Greco that the Sephardic Museum chooses to represent, alongside an immense six metre by three metre work of art entitled ‘Shoah’ by the late German artist Wolf Vostell. The ‘misunderstanding’

HOME: A reconstruction of El Greco’s house

of the work of both artists has inspired the museum to take part in the 400th anniversary events from a different perspective, of notions of ‘them’ and ‘us’ against a background of global multiculturalism and tolerance.

CATHEDRAL: A perfect backdrop for El Greco and a great starting point for a fantastic walk around this historic town

HE answer comes from the great and eccentric artist Salvador Dali himself, in a conversation about his favourite mollusk with the architect Oscar Tusquets. “What distinguishes El Greco, what makes him an immortal artist, is his absolute lack of personality, his ability to adapt to the values of his environment so completely that, at the end, he seems to be more authentic than the natives. “And what is the culinary virtue of the escargot? What has made it one of the main ingredients in so many cuisines and exquisite delicacies? The complete absence of its own flavour. Its capacity to absorb the flavour of the seasonings that accompany it and the ability to be transformed into what the chef desires. “Besides, when I extract the escargots from their shells with my little fork, take a look at how they are lengthened, adopting a similar appearance as the saints do when they levitate in the skies of El Greco…”

Legacy His original painting style, his unique use of colour, and – by the end of his career – his ability to reflect the true Castilian soul sparked El Greco’s success in Toledo. But he was a chameleon. Throughout his training he travelled from Crete to Venice and Rome, always perfecting the fashionable artistic techniques and capturing the spirit of the cities he temporarily called home. In Crete he picked up his conceptual style, learning to create impossible landscapes to represent invisible worlds. From there he moved to Venice, and in just three years mastered the use of oil paints to an astonishing degree. From Titian and Tintoretto – two influential Venetian painters – he learnt to create, mix and blend colours, contrasting and illuminating them to achieve maximum visual impact. In Rome he developed his skill for portraits and religious works. It was through his contact with the Mannerist style – a legacy of Michelangelo – that El Greco’s most renowned characteristic was born, the infamous elongated human form. But despite his talent for absorbing and reflecting the character of his surroundings, it was in Toledo that El Greco chose to make his home, starting a family there and remaining there until he died. He was born a Greek, trained as an Italian, but lived and died a Castilian - the most sincere character from the most traditional part of Spain.

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the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014

April 16 - April 30 2014

Is Granada’s Alhambra Palace a suitable day out for children? Jon Clarke took Maia, 8, and Alfie, 5, to find out how long their attention spans would last

2 5

Alhambra with two kids: is it all one uphill climb

Alfie quickly takes control of the map and works out which way we should be heading... obviously the castle and battlements...And somewhere we can find Lego or Playmobil!

But things start to snag when we meet the queues and tour groups entering the Nazaries Palace... time for a well earned sit down, and a promise of a scary group of lions to come


At least there is somewhere to get a drink



A climb to the top of the tower is not one for the faint hearted and hands must be held at all times... Mummy’s orders. But it’s at least a big highlight for the kids


‘Not another patio Daddy!’ We are starting to lose them as Moorish becomes boorish


And these lions are pretty cool... if a bit smaller than we had hoped


7 T


An early start is advisable to avoid the crowds. But getting a slot to visit the Nazaries Palace at 9.30am meant getting there at 8.30am to pick up the tickets. At least there is a great cafe at the entrance... and best of all, practically nobody about

The views from the top are spectacular, all the way to the snowcapped Sierra Nevada... ‘Why couldn’t we go there instead Daddy?’

The views are getting boring too... as we sail through the most famous palace in Spain at whistlestop speed

oo conclude, the Alhambra is a wonderful place to visit, but the conveyor belt of people - and endless maze of patios - in the Nazaries Palace isn’t fun for children. My advice: Definitely go early, or late (the Alhambra is open till 9pm) in the day, breeze through the palace part and spend longer in the grounds. They are stunning and you may even see a red squirrel (top left). Above all, stay a night in the city and enjoy a walk around the Albaicin quarter.

S emana S anta Special

Celebrating Semana Santa Andalucia’s Easter celebrations are famous for their pageantry, piety and devotion, writes Tom Powell


ASTER in Spain is like nowhere else on the planet. During Holy Week – April 13 to 20 - traffic in Andalucia’s biggest cities will be replaced by processions of vibrant, decorative floats, hooded figures and musicians flanked by jubilant crowds. The big cities of Sevilla, Granada, Cadiz and Malaga attract thousands of people to their cacophony of burning candles, passionate music and statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary held

aloft by hundreds of men. But the religious fervour and celebration can equally be found in the smaller towns and pueblos with their own unique traditions and Passion plays. It is always a fantastic time to be in Spain with plenty going on HARD WORK: Floats can weigh many tonnes and everyone out

in the streets. The processions are a moving spectacle, the smells and music, traditions and colour memorable in the extreme for any tourist. Everyone remembers the pointy hats and music, but there is so much more going on. Here the Olive Press gives a potted guide to Semana Santa … and overleaf a breakdown and diary of what to see and where.

History of Semana Santa

The world-famous displays of pageantry, piety and devotion date back to the 16th century. Church brotherhoods (cofradias) were formed and regulated to ensure they did not deviate from the Catholic doctrine. The processions are intended to bring the quiet traditions of the Catholic church out into the light of day and the view of the masses. Members of cofradias take their roles very seriously, they are highly organised groups with governing bodies and committees. As Holy Week nears, town halls begin to publish details of processions and routes. Continues on Page 24

Pictures by Jon Clarke and Karl Smallman

Nazarenos: Iconic robes

23 30 201423 the olive press - April 16 - April 23

S emana S a

24 24 the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014


From page 23


Every Church brotherhood (cofradia) holds its own procession from its parish church to a set point, such as a cathedral or main square, and back again, each with their unique Virgin Mary and Jesus statues. In Sevilla there are 58 cofradias, many dating back to the 16th century. The members of a parish are intensely serious about their own cofradia.


Dressed in medieval robes and pointed hoods in the colour of their cofradia, the penitents carrying the crosses look rather sinister in pictures. But the Nazarenos, who you can find marching around all Andalucia’s towns, are dressed in this way so they can repent in anonymity and are a wonderful spectacle in person, marching solemnly in the wake of the pasos.


There is no other sight quite like that of the processions as they pass through the pulsating masses. The floats and statues are carried by thousands of people for hours through the streets. As they leave their parish church there is complete silence and respect but on the route they are engulfed with singing, clapping and religious ecstasy. Although each procession is unique, they tend to begin with a large cross (cruz de guia) that is followed by a


Easter in Andalucia group of lantern-bearers. There are usually two central floats – Jesus and the Virgin Mary – followed by the many Nazarenos.

rying the floats as they can weigh up to five tonnes. The most famous carrier is actor Antonio Banderas in Malaga.


La Saeta

These enormous, incredibly heavy floats are carried on the shoulders of members of the cofradia they belong to. Sometimes they are so heavy they need hundreds of people to carry them. It is a special honour to carry the floats and some will even do so barefoot as a sign of extreme penitence. It can be exhausting work car-

A sacred gypsy song, the Saeta is the soundtrack to centuries of tradition. The songs can be traced back to the 16th century and Christians who wanted to publicly display their faith, as well as Franciscans who used them to make sinners feel regret. It is notoriously difficult to sing because of its harmonies and is only heard in Holy Week.



Sevilla is arguably the best place in Spain to witness Holy Week, with thousands descending on the city for an intense week of vibrant processions and religious fervour. Each day between six and nine processions with colourful statues and floats wind their way through Sevilla’s sun-drenched streets and back to their church. The intense affection is tangible when processions pass through their own district. Some of the larger processions take an exhausting 14 hours. The week’s climax comes on Good Friday morning; La Macarena – one of Sevilla’s two favourite virgins – emerges from her Basilica at midnight, Jesus del Gran Poder is in Plaza San Lorenzo at 1:30am and La Esperanza de Triana can be seen in Calle Pureza at 2:15am.

Each procession visits the Plaza del Carmen by the Town Hall and the Cathedral, so anywhere in the centre provides a good vantage point for the spectacular processions. One highlight is sure to be the the ‘Silent Procession’ on the Thursday, when the street lights are all extinguished and there is absolute silence. Another is the ‘gypsy procession’ on the Wednesday where bonfires are lit along the route and regular saetas are sung.



The mass cheering, clapping, singing and musical accompaniments are what make Malaga’s Holy Week celebrations special and different from the silence observed in other cities. The size of its floats – which are specifically known as ‘paean’ - is also remarkable, sometimes over five metres long and weighing more than five tonnes. They can take 260 people to carry. Actor Antonio Banderas is nearly always in Malaga during Semana Santa and often takes part in the procession, but garbed in a hood and cloak to avoid stealing the attention. On Good Friday El Sepulcro is paraded to the tune of Chopin’s funeral march as the religious respect reaches its crescendo. On Friday there are a total of 14 processions leaving at various times from 17:30 onwards, with silence featuring more heavily than the rest of the week.


There are processions throughout Holy Week, culminating in the Easter Sunday processions leaving Iglesia del Carmen at midday. Another highlight is the Santismo Cristo del Amor y Nuestra Senora de la Esperanza procession on Thursday. Each procession departs from its church, passes along Calle Real, through the winding old town streets then back to the town centre on Avenida de San Lorenzo before returning to its church.


The Semana Santa parades in Mijas - at 18:00 on Thursday and Friday - leave the village church and wind round the narrow, cobbled streets, drawing great crowds. The costumes are painstakingly elaborate and decorative, but the mood is still a sombre, thoughtful one. On Easter Sunday mass is celebrated at 11:30 followed by a procession at 12:30. In La Cala de Mijas, there are two processions on Thursday at 18:00 and 23:00 and another two on Friday at 16:30 and 21:00.


On Thursday a procession departs Iglesia del Nazareno at 19:00, returning at 02:00. There are a further three throughout Friday, the last from 21:15 to 01:00. On Easter Sunday mass is celebrated at La Iglesia de la Victoria.


There are four processions on both Thursday and Friday from 20:00 onwards. On Easter Sunday there will be a Resurrection Mass at 11:30 followed by a procession at 12:15.

Alhaurin el Grande

A Maundy Thursday procession departs at 22:00 and the next day sees a Passion play followed by another procession at the same time, while the live staging of Christ’s resurrection is on Saturday.

Cordob Sevilla ing exp ries old which t


Processions commence at midday, 7pm and 8:45pm on Good Friday, making their way through Ronda’s beautiful old town and across the striking gorge, accompanied by music and excited crowds. The Easter Sunday procession begins at 11:00 and ends at 14:00 at the Parroquia del Espiritu Santo.


Only a small town but with a series of processions that punch way beyond its weight, Arriate has had its Semana Santa processions declared a Fiesta of Tourist Interest. In particular for Thursday night when two processions of the Cristianos and Jesuitas go out together and continue well into the early hours of Friday morning.


The Ax portant take p Velez-M Algarrob Nerja. and vil plays’ (E Week. The pas do - sta day - h the mo and in 500 pe villages In Frigi lights a marine the floa process and Frid de Euro

anta Special

the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014 25 25

April 16 - April 30 2014




ba’s Holy Week celebrations are more quiet and collected than Malaga and a, but still attract thousands of visitors for an extraordinary and mesmerisperience in the city’s historic centre. There are 35 cofradias, some centud, including the Esparraguero of the parish of Nuestra Señora de Gracia takes place on Good Friday.

e Axarquia

xarquia’s most imt easter processions place in its capital Malaga as well as bo, Frigiliana and Some of the towns llages hold ‘passion El pasos) during Holy

ssion play in Riogoraged at 16:00 each has become one of ost popular in Spain nvolves more than eople from the local s (see picture, right). iliana’s processions, are turned off and hymns are sung as at passes by. Nerja’s sions on Thursday day leave the Balcon opa at 22:00.

EVIL: Scary ‘From hell’ message on t-shirt

Setenil de las Bodegas

Setenil de las Bodegas near Ronda is one of the most atmospheric places to see Easter parades. In particular on Good Friday when the famous soldiers of the Foreign Legion join the parades along with a donkey, goat, shovels and guns. There is also a silent procession on Thursday at 01:30 in the morning.

San Roque

The first procession on Thursday leaves at 20:30 after mass, followed by two more at 21:00 and 23:00, all returning at 03:00. On Friday mass is held at the St Mary the Crowned parish church at 13:00 followed by the Magna procession of the Holy Burial. The Holy Mass of the Resurrection is celebrated at 23:00 on Saturday.


On Friday a procession leaves from the Iglesia Buen Consejo at 20:00.


Benalmadena Pueblo celebrates Easter with its first procession beginning at 21:00 on Thursday and another at 01:00. There is a procession at 5:30 on Friday morning in Arroyo de la Miel for the hardiest people. Benalmadena’s Easter Sunday procession is in the pueblo at 13:00. A popular Passion play is also being staged on both Thursday and Friday at 11:00.


Processions depart from Plaza Bermudez de la Rubia on Thursday and Friday at 20:00, while mass is celebrated on Easter Sunday at 11:30.


On Thursday there are two processions leaving at 20:30 and both returning at 01:00. The first procession the next day leaves from the Parroquia de Nuestra Senora del Rosario at 11:00, followed by three more throughout the day.


Marbella and San Pedro also come alive with processions throughout Holy Week. In Marbella on Thursday, the Calvario and Cristo del Amor processions light up the streets, but the mesmerising ‘Yacente’ takes place on Friday evening, starting at 8:30pm. Easter Sunday begins with mass at 10:30 followed by a procession at 11:30 from the Capilla Ermita Santo Cristo.

Prisoner ‘from hell’ freed in good-will gesture Inmate freed in traditional Semana Santa pardon pictured wearing an ominous t-shirt By Tom Powell THE Malaga inmate who will be freed from prison this Easter Wednesday in a religious tradition was pictured last week wearing a t-shirt with the words ‘from hell’. Every year a criminal is pardoned during Malaga’s Semana Santa as part of the Nuestro Padre Jesus El Rico procession, but their identity is not revealed. This year the 30-year-old man - whose initials were given as SCS - is being allowed to leave Alhaurin de la Torre prison early and re-start his life. But when the prisoner, who is serving a three-year sentence for GBH, appeared with his face covered to thank the brotherhood, he emerged wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the words ‘from hell’ at least ten times. He claimed his crime was a ‘mistake’ and that the jail sentence would ‘wreck’ his life. He has a wife and a son. Throughout Spain 19 inmates will be pardoned this Easter. It comes from a tradition dating back to 1759 and King Carlos III when the plague hit Malaga and many prisoners died. Some inmates however believed that if they were allowed to carry the image of Christ through the streets they would be saved. When this was denied, many broke out of prison, did it anyway and then returned to their cells. The story goes that the plague subsequently vanished from Malaga and when King Carlos heard, he ordered that every year when the image of Christ passes the prison in the Easter procession an inmate should be freed.


the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014



Grand design HOME IN THE SUN: Work on the development begins this month

CELEBRATED UK real estate developer Taylor Wimpey is launching a brand new £10 million project on the Costa del Sol this month. The La Galera development, in Estepona, will include 36 luxury homes and will be officially launched with an event on April 30. Taylor Wimpey has built more than 2,500 homes in Spain over the last

15 years, including Los Arqueros Golf, in nearby Benahavis. “Estepona is a perfect location for further investment,” said Ignacio Oslé, regional director in Andalucia. “We want to thank Estepona Town Hall for their support in getting planning permission last October.”

Smart home to tackle dementia Network of sensors could keep elderly people in their own homes for longer

By Imogen Calderwood A SPANISH research centre has developed an innovative new ‘smart home’ to detect early signs of dementia. The technology, which consists of a vast network of sensors throughout the house, will dramatically increase the independence of elderly people. Leading research centre Tecnalia, based in the Basque Country, has spent three years developing the sensory technology to allow pensioners to live in their own homes for longer. More than 70% of Spanish pensioners say they would prefer to live in their own homes than in a retirement home, according to research. The system monitors the movements of the inhabitants and alerts a carer or family member if it detects signs of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s. The sensors measure the time the person stands, sits and lies down as well as the use of household appliances, or the

INDEPENDENCE: The chance to live at home use of the television. It can detect if the inhabitant spends a prolonged period of time sitting down, carries out the same household tasks repeatedly, or shows a significant change in sleeping patterns – all of which can signal

the onset of Alzheimer’s. These early symptoms are likely to go unnoticed if the person lives alone, but early detection is vital in giving the patient time to discuss treatment options and plan for the future.

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the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014

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the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014



Andalucia sales lead country

ANDALUCIA saw the highest value of property sales in Spain last year. The region saw a combined total of sales reach €6,972 million in 2013, the highest of any of the country’s regions.

According to official data, it beat Catalunya with €6,765 million and Madrid with €6,530 million, as well as Valencia with €4,986 million. The total value of sales in Spain however, dropped for the third consecutive year to €38,016 million, a fall of 20.4% on the 2012 total of €47,782 million. The private housing market peaked in 2006 with a total of €158,682 million in sales, but has fallen by 76% since then. The Ministry of Development’s findings reveal that 285,136 priHE once famously painted it purple and had his logo affixed to vate housing transacsome walls. tions were carried out Now the Costa del Sol home of singer Prince has gone up for sale in total in 2013, a 12.8% for a cool €5.6 million. decrease on the year beThe 11-bedroom villa, near El Paraiso golf course, in Estepona, was fore. purchased by the singer in the early 90s, on the spur of the moment The regions with the after a concert in Marbella. lowest recorded moveHe bought the home with his Puerto Rican wife Mayte (who he ment were Ceuta and wrote about in his song The Most Beautiful Girl in the World), and Melilla, with €76 milwas spotted a few times in Marbella’s night clubs. lion between them, La But his Costa del Sol dream turned sour when his son with Mayte Rioja with €217 million, died shortly after his birth, and Prince vowed never to set foot in Extremadura with €381 the mansion again. million, and Cantabria

The most beautiful home in the world

The Property Insider by Ad am Neale


What to consider when purchasing a plot: part 1 Having recently looked at buying and selling a property in Spain, here’s the first part of a short guide to buying land to build your own home

LEJANDRO Giménez Ferrer is the principal of Alejandro Giménez Architects; the developer of the San Diego urbanization; and a good friend of Terra Meridiana. We had an chat about what prospective purchasers of plots should look into, and be prepared for, in Spain. “The first thing is find out what kind of plot is being offered,” Alejandro says. Traditionally, land here is classified as urban, You can request this yourself from the town urbanisable, or green belt. The latest Land Act, hall or ask an architect to produce a technipassed in 2007, changed the definitions a lit- cal report, for which they will be legally liable, tle, but, in practice, the only land you can legal- detailing what will be permitted on the plot in ly build on is an urban plot. This means it must line with the general town plan (Plan General have, at least: vehicle access, electricity, water de Ordenación Urbana). and sewage connections, and street lighting. You should also ensure there are no develop“If the basic infrastructure is not in place,” Ale- ment restrictions in either the town plan or the jandro points out, “there could Property Registry (Registro de be problems.” la Propiedad), due to proximNeither green belt (which is ity to the coast, rivers, or highIf you plan on protected for scenic, historic, ways, third-party rights (like building, you don’t scientific or cultural reasons power, water and drainage want your dream or due to environmental risks, connections) and other rights home turning into a public-domain issues, or agof way. Any of these could nightmare ricultural or natural impormean a building licence will tance) nor urbanisable land not be issued and, if work be(which is not protected and gins without one, could result could be transformed into urin it being halted, demolition ban land, if town planning and infrastructure ordered, and fines levied. are developed) can be built upon. Once you’ve confirmed building on the plot The next step is to ask the local town hall for is possible, Alejandro says the basic things a planning certificate (certificación urbanística) to think about are: the direction the house that determines what can be built on the plot. would face (south-facing being the best), This will confirm the type of land and detail any type and topography of the soil (if it’s rocky, requirements, such as: minimum plot size and unstable, or on a slope, construction costs separation boundaries, maximum built area climb), the view, and any existing or potential (expressed as a ratio of plot size and only in- neighbours. cluding square metres above ground), floor After all, if you plan on building a house in area (again, a ratio of plot size), roof height, Spain, you don’t want your dream home turnand any style restrictions. ing into a nightmare in the future... Terra Meridiana. 77 Calle Caridad, 29680 Estepona. Tel: +34 951 318480. Office Mob: +34 678 452109 Email:






the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014




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30 30 the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014

Private Viewing


YEAR spent living on oil rigs off Scotland was enough to convince Scott Marshall that he would never leave the Costa del Sol again. Having grown up in Benahavis, the estate agent from PropertieSpain had moved to Scotland in a bid to find work having undertaken a degree in mechanical engineering. “It was only after spending a year in Aberdeen that I realised what a great quality of life we have here,” he explained. “So I came straight back and started working for a home cinema company, selling entertainment systems all along the coast, before going into real estate.” Now the proud owner of one of the Costa del Sol’s most thriving agencies, Scott’s love for his home town of Benahavis is completely clear. “People always talk about Marbella and Estepona, but I think Benahavis is the real hidden gem of the coast,” he said. “The town hall is the wealthiest per inhabitant in the whole of Spain, which means there are all sorts of subsidies here that just don’t exist anywhere else.” So when the 39-year-old decided to set up a property business in 2009, there was no better place for it to be based. “It was such an easy decision for me to set up here, because I have known all these areas since I was born and it’s where I’ve spent nearly all my life,” said Scott. The son of well-known local sculptor David Marshall, Scott spent nine years April 16 - April 30 2014

The burgher of Benahavis

It was the harsh climes of Scotland that made local entrepreneur Scott Marshall of PropertieSpain realise how great life really is here on the Costa del Sol Nestled in the mountainside only seven kilometres from the coast, Benahavis is home to nine golf courses and so many restaurants that it is often called the ‘dining room of the Costa del Sol’. PropertieSpain takes advantage of the region’s diverse geography to offer a huge variety of properties to their customers, from well-priced or luxury apartments to mountainside villas and mansions, and everything in between. Benahavis’ location has protected it from the notorious overdevelopment managing three real estate business- of much of the Costa del Sol. es in Mijas Costa and Torrox, for a UK- “You’re not in some souvenir town, it still feels like you’re in Spain. It’s based firm. When the company folded in 2009, still very traditional and authentically however, Scott decided that it was Spanish.” In fact, Scott’s father time to go it alone. David was one of the “Everyone thought I very first expats to arwas crazy setting up Benahavis is the rive in the area, after right in the middle moving from Scotland of the financial crisis real hidden gem more than 50 years mess. But in the first ago. year alone I made of the coast “When my father first back everything I had arrived there was alinvested, and since most nothing here. then we’ve more or But it has really flourless doubled our busiished thanks to the work of my father ness year on year. “It’s selling that I really enjoy, and and the old mayor Antonio Mena, who when I was headhunted by a local died a couple of weeks ago. real estate business I jumped at the “Between the two of them, they’ve rechance. Through that opportunity I’ve ally put Benahavis on the map. now been able to set up my own com- “Our office is actually in a development that my father built nearly 24 pany.”

BENAHAVIS: The home of PropertieSpain and (left) Marshall years ago, and people come here just to see the courtyard and the beautiful buildings.” It is because of the work of people like David Marshall that Benahavis is now known for being home to some of the most desirable properties on the coast. And Scott is adamant that it’s a buyer’s market right now. “The property market has really picked up over the last couple of years, and now it’s extremely good. “Most properties have dropped in price by about 40 or 50%, so you can pick up a property now for approximately what it would cost to build. In some cases they’re going for even less.” People are coming to Benahavis to take advantage of that, and Proper-

tieSpain has sold to customers from all over the world, including Finland, Switzerland, Russia, Sweden and even further afield. And with an office in the centre of the town, PropertieSpain is well-placed to offer a range of customer support, including recommendations for builders, architects, lawyers and gardeners. “That we’re a local company really makes a difference – we know everyone here, the sellers, the postman, the local butcher. “We’re well established in the community which gives our customers confidence in us. They know we’re not going to disappear anywhere, and we’ll always be here to call on if they need us.” Visit or call 952 855 489

Top Dollar

the olive press - April 16 - April 30 20143131

CONNECTIONS: Etihad make links with Middle East

The Olive Press fortnightly business section taking a look at the Spanish economy and offering tips on how to save AND make money

Taking off in Spain ETIHAD Airways is to launch direct flights between Madrid and Abu Dhabi this year as it expands its presence in Spain. The airline is teaming up with Air Europa, so passengers flying to Brussels or Amsterdam can now pick up a connecting flight to Madrid, and then to Barcelona and Palma in Mallorca. “The partnership expands our offering to and from Spain and the Balearic Is-

lands,” said James Hogan, president of Etihad Airways. “We are looking forward to bringing greater numbers of business and leisure travellers to Spain as well as improving Spanish links with Abu Dhabi and the Middle East.” The two airlines plan to jointly expand flights to new cities in Spain and South America via Madrid.

Oil war won by the UK By Imogen Calderwood A UK company is taking control of Spain’s biggest olive oil business. Global giant Deoleo has sold 30% to private equity business CVC Capital Partners in a deal estimated to be worth €132 million. The group is now set to launch a takeover bid for the rest of the company

Heated battle for world’s largest olive oil producer is won by British firm - the world’s biggest bottled olive oil firm, based in Madrid. Concluding a months-long bidding war, Deoleo’s majority shareholders a group of four Spanish banks - have agreed to sell the stake.

RETURN: More M&S shops set to open

Back in the game for Marks & Spencer BRITISH retail giant Marks & Spencer is planning a second attempt at setting up shop in Spain, after a humiliating exit in 2001. The department store is returning to mainland Europe, following a successful venture in Paris and is already committed to sites in Amsterdam and Brussels.

A Lidl bit more

LIDL registered a greater growth than Mercadona for the first time ever last financial year, boosted by the sale of fresh produce. The German supermarket chain grew 7.6%, surpassing Spanish stalwarts Mercadona’s 6.7%. The average amount spent by households on groceries for the year was €4,553, up 0.4% on the previous year. Elsewhere, Carrefour grew just 1% while Aldi shrank by 2.9%. More than half of Mercadona’s and Lidl’s sales are for their own brands, at 56.4% and 79.6% respectively. 2014 looks set to be similar for the country’s leading supermarkets, with an overall 0.5% growth predicted.


Now the company has begun searching for new sites in Madrid and Barcelona, confident that this time around it will not amass substantial debts and have to again abandon ship. It is part of a move to open up 250 shops worldwide, selling a combination of its best clothing and food ranges. Last year, the firm’s international arm made profits of £120 million on sales of £1.1 billion. “We are focusing on flagship stores to deliver brand presence and to stand out,” said M&S’s chief executive, Marc Bolland. “We also see great opportunities in fresh food and lingerie and beauty concepts.” M&S opened an online store in Spain in 2012 and currently has a store in Marbella’s flagship shopping centre La Canada. It has another store in Gibraltar.

It comes after Spanish investors, including the state, fell by the wayside. At 38 cents a share, the sale values the company - which is responsible for around 22% of global oil sales - at €438.8 million. At least three foreign investors had submitted bids for the company, including Fondo Strate-

gico Italiano, the Italian state-backed fund. The Italian bid caused uproar among Spanish farmers and government officials, who objected to the idea of their biggest rival in the olive oil sector taking over Spain’s key player.

Stronger ties with UAE DEEPENING ties with the oil-rich United Arab Emirates is a top priority according to Spain’s King Juan Carlos. He began his visit to the Persian Gulf by highlighting the role wealthy Arab states could play in repairing Spain’s economy.

Borrowing falls SPANISH banks’ borrowing from the European Central Bank has fallen for the 19th consecutive month. The banks borrowed €184.9 billion from the ECB in March - down 3% from February - according to the Bank of Spain’s data.

Almerian veg EXTENDA, the Andalucian Agency for Foreign Trade Promotion, has made a call to Almeria’s horticultural firms for their support in a trade mission to the Czech Republic and Hungary. It offers an opportunity for Almeria’s fruit and vegetable business network to increase exports.


Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi accused Spanish authorities of appearing to have an ‘ideological aversion’ to an Italian stake in the company. The company is said to be ‘far more comfortable’ with the British purchase of the company, whose brands include Carbonell, Hojiblanca and Koipe. But not everyone is happy. A cooperative of Spanish farmers, who between them own 10% of the company, said it ‘laments’ the banks’ decision to sell to a foreign company. “There were clear alternatives in the process giving the company a viable future with Spanish ownership,” they said in a statement. Although the Spanish government had said it may buy a share in the firm this week – to keep a degree of


Bankia sale


BANKIA has completed the sale of its 4.94% stake in electric utility company Iberdrola for €1.53 billion. The state-owned bank netted capital gains of €266 million from the transaction. Bankia has made €3.95 billion since it began selling off its corporate shares in 2012.


the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014


Top Dollar


Costa del Sol based LPL Commercial Investigations has an 80% success rate


EBT recovery can seem like an impossible task, particularly when the person who owes you money isn’t a Spanish citizen or isn’t even based in Spain. But Costa del Sol-based international specialists LPL recover debts caused in Spain by non-Spanish residents, tracing and collecting from the debtor in the country of their origin, particularly in the UK and other EU countries. Premier League football clubs and numerous well known international businesses are among the satisfied clients who have enjoyed LPL’s 80% success rate. On a No Recovery – No Fees basis, LPL recover debts worldwide. It has seen success in the United Arab Emirates,

Debt Collectors

Debt Collection Company of the Year Finalists in 2012.


“We often come to Marbella for holidays,” says co-director Stephen Lewis. “Then four years ago we were approached by a community of owners to recover money from bad debtors in the UK. “That’s how we started out in Spain, and now we work for more than 90 communities in the Costa del Sol area,” he adds. the United States and throughout EuFirst, LPL locates the debtor in their rope. home country, so the more information LPL has been in the debt collection provided by the client the more chance marketplace for more than 35 years, there is of recovering the debt. and was voted Credit Today Commercial It then contacts the debtor to discuss possibilities of settling the debt. Co-director Alan Levene insists: “Professional negotiation is the key to success. SPAIN’s economic recovery has ing last year’s fears that Spain may We believe you can’t make stepped up another gear as the be falling into deflation. people pay, but you can make country recorded the fastest annual The record 26.6% unemployment people want to pay. industrial production growth since last year has dropped again for “If a debtor has been located November 2010, exceeding all ex- the sixth consecutive month. The and has not been declared pectations. 0.35% decrease in unemployment bankrupt there is a very high Industrial production expand- for March now puts the numpossibility of recovering the ed 2.8% year-on-year, com- ber of people jobless in Spain at money. Obviously our objecfortably surpassing the 1.7% 4,795,866. tive is full recovery in the forecasted by economy experts Meanwhile, the workforce conquickest time,” he adds. Bloomberg. tinues to increase with another This is also the fourth consecu- 83,984 people added to the social Visit or tive monthly increase in industrial security register, representing a call 625 580 206 or 0044 production, momentarily quash- monthly increase of 0.52%. 2085 514019.

Recovery quickens pace

Market mumbles


with Mark Rickard

The ‘brakes’ are off in Europe!

HE UK delivered its numbers last week, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) adjusting its forecast positively by half a percent, and manufacturing seeing a year on year improvement. Mr Osbourne was definitely smiling! The European Central Bank (ECB) meanwhile was accused of being ‘tight’, which was affecting the slowing inflation rate, although Germany’s import figures saw an increase. Greece came out of a five year hibernation by issuing bonds to clamouring investors they were over subscribed, six fold. This week Mario Draghi and the ECB are due to make decisions on whether they will use a financial tool called ‘ABS’ - NOT Antilock Braking System for you petrol heads - which is a tool to stimulate growth in Europe.

HAPPY: George Osborne

Here is next week’s data:


lWednesday 9.30am Claimant Count

Change Feb previous -34,600

lWednesday 9.30am Unemployment Rate

Feb previous 7.2%

lFriday - Markets closed for Good Friday


Here’s the real definition:

lWednesday 10am Consumer Price Infla-

Asset-Backed Securities (ABS) are financial instruments backed by underlying pools of assets, including residential and commercial mortgage loans, student loans, auto loans and credit card receivables among others. Investors can invest in rated or unrated (equity) tranches of these vehicles and obtain returns depending on the level of risk of the tranche. To me it sounds like punting on a punt. But let’s see if the market bites. The US FOMC were forecasting aggressively last week, predicting early interest rate rises.

lFriday - Markets closed for Good Friday

tion Mar previous 0.5% y/y

US lWednesday 1.30pm Building Permits

Mar previous 1.01m m/m

lWednesday 1.30pm Housing Starts Mar

previous 0.907m m/m

lWednesday 2.15pm Industrial Production

Mar previous 0.6% m/m

lWednesday 7pm Fed’s Beige Book lThursday 3pm Philadelphia Fed Manu-

facturing Survey Mar previous 9

lFriday 3pm Conference Board Leading In-

dicator Mar previous 0.5% m/m

Contact HiFX to help you with your international transactions, call in at Centro Plaza, call 951 203 986 or email

Barclays plots Spain exit BARCLAYS bank is said to be plotting a way out of Spain after years of making huge losses. The British bank recorded a loss of €681 million between 2011 and 2013 and has halved its number of offices and cut staff by a third during that period. Executives in Madrid were issued an ultimatum in 2012 and as the situation has not improved London bosses are now preparing to exit Spain, according to reports in the Spanish national press. Market experts have suggested that Sabadell and Bankinter might be interested in the most profitable part of the business: wealth management. Barclays arrived in Spain exactly 40 years ago and grew to become the country’s fifth largest bank and biggest foreign lender. The Olive Press revealed it was closing dozens of branches around Andalucia last July. We reported how it was closing 35% of its branches with the loss of 1,000 jobs.

Top Dollar

the olive press - April 16 - April 30 201433 33

April 16 - April 30 2014


Spanish Tax Office closes inheritance tax avoidance schemes Spanish Inheritance Tax has been relentlessly exploited for years, until now By Antonio Flores of Lawbird


PANISH inheritance tax (IHT) is once chance to circumvent Spanish IHT (Tax again a matter of controversy. Ac- Binding Consultation 07383-13) pretty cording to El Pais newspaper, the much in the same way, by declaring the folnumber of people who have given up lowing: their inheritance has gone up by 21% since “…In relation to the tax scheme consistlast year. ing in legally transferring a property to And there is only one reason cited for this a UK company, with the sole purpose of increase: the inability of many potential in- avoiding IHT in Spain through relocation heritors to pay a tax bill unless they first of the taxation of the shares of the said inherit and sell the asset in question, gen- company to the UK, there cannot be a erally a property, in a very challenging mar- favourable response by this Tax Departket. ment in relation to the Unfortunately for many, lawfulness of the scheme. Spanish IHT and ways to Only via the appropriate If you use this avoid it has been exploited inspection procedures scheme to mitigate relentlessly by unscrupuwill the Tax Office be able lous operators to sell new to establish whether it IHT you will have schemes promising that this conforms to the law or, as clearly crossed the tax would no longer be a the case may be, infringe line problem. it in which case, the Tax The Spanish Equity ReOffice will be able to regulease comes to mind just larize the anomaly by initinow but also, more recently, the bogus ating the required procedures to combat scheme where one transfers their prop- tax fraud.” erty into a UK limited company so that, These conclusions are hardly consistent with on death, the Spanish property is inher- a public promotion of a service whereby if you ited in the UK - in a roundabout way - place your property in a UK company, IHT can via the inheritance of the shares of the be legally avoided. company. In fact, the official opinion on the matThe Spanish Tax Office closed the Equity Re- ter embeds a message of warning: if you lease tax avoidance scheme last year, when it use this scheme to mitigate IHT, you will was tagged as tax fraud. have clearly crossed the line separating And more recently, it has also dealt with lawful tax avoidance and illegal tax evathe scheme that offers UK companies the sion. Email Antonio at

The Insurance Doctor In a new regular column, Danni Worth of Op de Beeck & Worth will be exploring the many issues surrounding insurance and will be answering your queries


T has been 40 years since my partner Patrick Op de Beeck started providing insurance to the ever growing number of expatriates who were arriving on the Costa del Sol back then. Based in Marbella, he quickly gained a reputation as a person to trust and when I joined him in 2005 – having worked as a Lloyd’s broker in London – I knew we would make a formidable team. Now considered one of the most respected Insurance brokers in Spain, Op de Beeck & Worth has recently invited to join the prestigious ADECOSE Brokers

Avoiding the pitfalls

Association, which despite comprising just 2.5% of the country’s brokers handles over 60% of the business. Our main focus has always been on servicing the requirements of the expatriate community and whilst historically we tended to be more involved with personal business, we are increasingly becoming known for our expertise in the commercial insurance market as well. We have a lot of experience between us and, over the next year, will be sharing our knowledge of the business with Olive Press readers. We hope to make you more aware of some of the pitfalls when buy-

ing insurance in Spain and to give you some useful tips. We will also be answering your questions. In short, we intend to cover the following areas: lThe differences between buying insurance in Spain and the UK lHow to insure a home in Spain lPotential pitfalls and things to be aware of lTypical claims If there are any specific subjects which you would like me to cover, any issues, problems or pitfalls, drop me a line at olivepress@opdebeeck-worth. com. Of course you can also give my team a ring.

Op de Beeck & Worth - Insurance Brokers C. C. Guadalmina IV - Locales 97-98 29670, San Pedro Alcantara (Málaga) Tel +34 952 88 22 73 / Fax +34 952 88 42 26


the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014


Top Dollar April 16 - April 30 2014


The easy route

Alex Browne of Browne Freeman provides help for expats struggling with two different country’s tax systems


OCIAL skills, sparkling wit and a degree in languages aren’t the characteristics you would expect of a personal tax advisor, but Alex Browne is no ordinary financial expert. Managing Director of Browne Freeman, which launched in Andalucia in 2013, Alex relocated to Spain with the sole purpose of helping his clients translate the ins and outs of expatriate tax law. “Helping people is my main reason for coming to Spain,” says Alex, who moved here having worked for eight years at leading global accountancy firm Deloitte in Manchester. “People need good tax advice out here. The tax laws are so complicated and there’s so much scrutiny of personal tax at the moment,” adds the linguist, who studied German and Spanish at Durham University. The firm, based in Mijas Costa, is designed specifically for British expats, offering professional advice on the regularly changing tax laws in both Spain and the UK. As a Brit himself Alex is perfectly placed to understand the needs of his fellow

expats, with a staff made up of British natives who speak Spanish as well as a local Spanish accountant. The driving force behind Browne Freeman is its commitment to excellent customer service, offering a free no-obligation initial consultation to best get to know the needs of the client.


With his esteemed ‘Chartered Tax Advisor’ (CTA) qualification and his time at Deloitte, Alex has worked with a huge variety of clients, from high-net worth individuals and entrepreneurs, to those who can make neither head nor tail of their taxes. “I’ve always found that clients see themselves as dealing with the individual rather than the firm they work for. I really enjoy building up a relationship with my clients over a long period of time,” adds Alex, who spent a year living in Pamplona during his degree. “Once you know someone, you know what they are interested in. You know if they are thinking about buying a house

LINGUIST: Alex Browne

soon, or are starting a family, so you know what they really need from their finances.” Offering a combined UK and Spanish tax service, Browne Freeman provides an easy route for those struggling to navigate the two countries’ separate tax regimes. “When you’re dealing with clients who have a background in the English tax market, it helps to be able to compare the Spanish system with the English. It makes sure that nothing is lost in translation.” For further information, visit www., or call 952 907 731.

Road to Riches, by Richard Alexander

UK Budget – Pension Reforms Part 2!


N the last publication we For some time now, HMRC looked in brief at some of have been fighting ‘Pension the Budget changes and Liberation’ schemes, which how these affect UK pen- target UK pension funds sions; these related to ben- with a view to extracting efits which fall below the trivi- money in a way that HMRC ality limit, now £30,000 (pre- would not like. Strangely, viously £18,000) and how the UK Chancellor has now under Capped Drawdown, effectively announced pension liberathe income tion for all level has efwith effect fectively been The UK Chancellor from April increased by has effectively next year – a 25%. announced pension very big surJust to clarify, liberation for all - a prise indeed! if you have very big surprise! Whilst not a already transpolitically biferred your ased person, UK pension I do think that into QROPS, these new rules apply to you this was a very clever move politically because many too. Historically, pension funds people will welcome the adwould have been exchanged ditional flexibility that the new at retirement for an annuity options will bring. This will be contract, which then provides very popular with many and a guaranteed level of in- just before the May 2015 come for life, based on terms General Election too. It is particularly clever, because agreed at that time. With falling annuity rates people who take advantage over many years now, we of the new rules will in effect have seen the development be volunteering to pay some of options to draw income tax immediately as an acfrom pension funds without ceptable price to pay to get the need to lock in to an an- access to their funds. This means an earlier tax receipt nuity. Further Budget announce- for the Treasury. Oh and by ments have now almost the way, if those funds are sounded the death knell for reinvested, they won’t all be annuities, which is why the in the type of ‘tax free’ envishare value of companies ronment that pension funds specialising in this area fell enjoy and the Treasury win so sharply following the bud- again! If alternatively, they go on a spending spree, this is get announcements. Richard Alexander Financial Planning Limited is an appointed representative of L J Financial Planning Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. Contact him at

good short term too because it pushes more cash through the economy. Cynic? – not me! So what’s new? We already had the ability to cash in a certain amount of pension funds; once a sustainable pension income of £20,000 a year had been established, excess funds could then be withdrawn. Tax would be payable but the net fund was then available for other purposes. The sustainable pension requirement has been reduced to £12,000 with effect from March 27 this year and from April 2015, there will be no requirement at all for any level of sustainable pension.

If you want to take your whole fund, then you can do so. For UK taxpayers, marginal rates of income tax will apply to any funds withdrawn in excess of the 25% tax free amount. For Spanish tax residents – that’s all down to a matter of interpretation and you will need to speak to your tax adviser.

Top Dollar

the olive press - April 16 - April 30 201435 35

April 16 - April 30 2014


Stay tuned in with Flash IPTV


OR uninterrupted BBC and ITV channels, look no further than FLASH IPTV – a communications company with years of experience on the coast. Previously operating as Total Tec computer shop, managers Richard Payne and Sonya Davies have now branched out with FLASH IPTV to offer an unrivalled service for all TV channels. Everyone is welcome to come to the showroom in Benalmadena for a free demonstration and a friendly chat with staff, who will help them choose the right system from as little as €125.

FLASH IPTV offer the chance to try their ‘unrivalled’ TV service before purchasing

Richard has been in the process of developing FLASH IPTV’s box for the past 12 months to eliminate any technical complications before customers get their hands on it. “People need a strong, reputable company with proper service and support that can back them up, which we do,” he said. “Once the box is switched on, a TV guide appears and customers simply select the desired channel. The

guides and channel links are run and kept up-to-date by us, which means maximum support.” One of IPTV’s distinctive qualities is their customer support, both before and after purchasing.


Sonya explained: “With TV channels going off there has been a big panic. We are offering people a customized product that is affordable and as user-friendly as possible. “We’re one of the only local showrooms where customers can come in and try the boxes before they buy. “We know the technical side of USER FRIENDLY: things and we won’t sell something the IPTV box that doesn’t work. And any follow-up needs can be carried out both here on the showroom premises or remotely when necessary.” FLASH IPTV works in conjunction with internet providers to offer full package deals for internet plus IPTV channel services when required. For more informaFLASH IPTV, Calle Monteculo (off tion, visit www.flaAvenida de Tivoli, near the Teleferi-, or call co cable car), Benalmadena. Open 952 576 262 or Monday to Friday 9:30am – 6:30pm, 616 273 979. Saturday 9:30am – 2pm.

Top Dollar

36 the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014 36 April 16 - April 30 2014




HE global crack down on tax implications of this are for you and your offenders continues at pace investments. One of the main themes, with more countries signing which will be further highlighted when up or committing themselves the EU Savings Directive is amended, to the OECD’s mutual convention probably later this year, is that trusts on the exchange of tax information. and offshore companies will fall Singapore is one of the latest countries under any reporting requirements to sign up and work together with so that whether you are an owner or international partners in beneficiary of such an other financial centres arrangement there will be Whether you such as Switzerland, reporting requirements. are an owner or Luxembourg, Hong Kong Of course many people beneficiary there and offshore jurisdictions will set up this type will be reporting like the British Overseas of arrangement for requirements Territories in a concerted inheritance tax mitigation attempt to make tax coor other reasons however operation the standard. if your objective is solely With taxpayers increasingly operating for secrecy then this is not likely worldwide, tax authorities are moving to work moving forward. The British from bi lateral to multilateral cooperation Government has been particularly and from exchange of information on forceful in securing an agreement with request to other forms of cooperation the likes of Cayman Islands and BVI in such as automatic exchange of order that information can be passed information. to HMRC and then subsequently this You may well be wondering what the information will be forwarded to the

Spanish authorities. territories connection). The second Even closer to home jurisdictions such piece of bad news is that Britiain and as the Channel islands and the Isle of Spain, as part of the G5 group, signed Man have agreed to report to the UK a specific agreement to automatically authorities so for example living in Spain exchange information with each other. and holding bank deposits in your own What this means is that it will be nigh on name or in a trust or company will need to impossible to keep secret the existence be disclosed to the tax authorities. of any investment held in either one of For residents of Spain there the crown dependencies or is already a requirement to an offshore territory. The message is report offshore assets but The message is simple. simple. There are many expats have chosen, There are uncomplicated uncomplicated ways at their peril, not to make and inexpensive ways of of arranging your the relevant declaration legitimately arranging your financial affairs probably thinking that financial affairs in a totally the authorities would not transparent way which will discover these or if they did avoid the nasty shock of would not bother to chase an investigation from the the tax payer. Unfortunately there is bad tax inspector either in Spain, in the UK news on both counts, the first round of or worse still in both. If you want to find Modelo 720 was an unmitigated disaster out more why not speak to one of our and so Hacienda has recruited more advisers at a tax and wealth clinic being inspectors and has specifically set out to held in your local area. Call 956796911 target British Expats (probably because or email of the Channel Islands and offshore YOU NEED TO TALK TO US URGENTLY!

ANGRY “FATCA” WILL DISCLOSE YOUR UNDECLARED ASSETS BY JUNE 2014? Can you afford not to go first class? Leading provider of tax led wealth management advice to UK Expatriates. Part of the Fiduciary Group and affiliated to Gibraltar’s oldest legal practice Isolas 1892.

RESERVE YOUR PLACE AT OUR TAX & WEALTH CLINICS Tel: 956 796 911 - or click on the “EVENTS” tab at

21st April

22nd April

23rd April

24th April

25th April






For an appointment in your local area please contact: Gibraltar

Portland House, Glacis Road

00350 200 50982


C.C. Mar y Sol, local 643-644, Sotogrande

0034 956 796 911


Edf. Golden B 1ª planta, Ricardo Soriano 72

0034 663 028 392


5th floor, Plaza de la Solidaridad 12

0034 664 662 817

Frightened the Spanish tax authorities are closing in on undeclared offshore assets? Failed to complete Form 720 and you have a serious problem? Call our hotline to relieve the pain Tel: 674 632 219

Regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission - Licence No. FSC00962b


the the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014



Great opportunity to get wise Don’t miss this unique chance to get better informed locally on six key topics


ith hopefully the worst of the economic woes now behind us, now is the time to be planning

Currencies: Mark Rikard

for a brighter future. For a decisive insight into every aspect of the Costa del Sol business

Law: Antonio Flores

arena, the Olive Press Road Show will bring together for the first time key speakers able to provide inci-

Insurance: Danni Worth

AGENDA: A team of speakers will be giving an overview of the coast and where it stands economically as we enter spring 2014. The group of specialists will be on hand to discuss and answer ques-

tions on a range of topics affecting expats along the coast. They include Mark Rickard, from currency specialist HiFX, respected financial advisor Richard Alexander, key Marbella lawyer Antonio Flores of

Finance: Richard Alexander

€15 a couple, the Olive Press Road Show scheduled at The Beach House at Elviria, Marbella, from 9.30 am - 1pm on May 29th, will also provide the added opportunity of one-to-one sessions with the following industry specialists: Finance: Richard Alexander Investments: Lester Petch Currencies: Mark RickLifestyle: Giles ard Brown Insurance: Danni Worth Legal: Antonio Flores Lifestyle: Giles Brown Property: Tbc

sive easy-to-follow presentations on seven topics. And for just €10 per person, or

Investment: Lester Petch

Lawbird, Danni Worth, of insurance specialist Op de Beeck and Worth and TBC, a leading local estate agent. Other speakers include investment specialist Lester Petch from Tam investments


Property : to be confirmed

The Beach House is one of Marbella’s most emblematic restaurants. Sitting right on the golden sands of Elviria its British owner Guy McCrow has created one of the most popular places to dine on the coast. Nothing short of packed on weekends, in the week his team of talented chefs serve up a fine mix of specialities and the wine list is always excellent. For this unique one off event on May 29, his team will be offering a special three course tasting menu with a glass of wine for under €25 a head including IVA. Guy hopes you can stay to find out why the Beach House is one of the coast’s key restaurants.


BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW: This fantastic event costs JUST €10 per person, or €15 per couple. Including coffee, snacks and refreshments, plus a discounted lunch at the Beach House... call 951 127 006 or email admin@theolivepress. es now to avoid disappointment

Contact 951127006 or email to book your tickets now

These experts, who all regularly write in-depth specialist articles for the Olive Press, will jointly provide discerning audience members with the most comprehensive overview on each key business topic specifically presented with the local business market in mind. Over the last eight years The Olive Press - launched just prior to the worst and longest global recession for decades - has established itself as the most sought-after free English language newspaper in Andalucia.

38 38 the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014

GOLF In the swing of it

Santana turns ten

SANTANA Golf in Mijas is celebrating its ten year anniversary with a variety of events and even a commemorative clothing line. The golf course, located at the foot of the Sierra de Mijas on what was an avocado farm, is popular with businesses and tourists alike. The limited clothing line can be purchased at the club house and special promotions are currently available for customers – including summer memberships. Other anniversary activities will be announced through social media throughout the year.

Patricia ‘Just does it’! MARBELLA based female golf player Patricia Lobato has landed a big money sponsorship with famous brand Nike this year. The company has provided the latest equipment for the 24-year-old rising star. This is also the second year that Patricia will be sponsored by Paul Bramley, who has once again underlined his commitment that she is destined to become the best female player in the world. “After Christmas Paul told me that he thought I had potential and that he had de-

cided to sponsor me this season,” she said.

Dreams “It was the best Christmas present and he is helping me to follow my dreams. My season starts in Sweden in May and without Paul none of this would have been possible.” Paul Bramley also constructed a public sports complex in Nueva Andalucia last year and he recently bought more equipment for children, bringing his total donation to the project to RISING STAR: Patricia Lobato €100,000.

Corruption? join the club

THE Junta has been called in to monitor elections to the Andalucian Royal Golf Federation (RAFG). It comes after the last two elections were annulled following ‘irregularities’ in the voting process. Eight officials from the Junta’s Ministry of Sport have now been sent in to monitor proceedings after accusations of rigged votes and secret payments to officials in charge of postal votes.

Accusations of rigged votes and bribes devastates golf elections in Andalucia By Tom Powell

In particular, the Real Club de Golf Guadalmina, in Marbella - the second oldest and largest golf club in Andalucia - has been embroiled in election problems. Malaga police had to be called to the first election and one volunteer handling voting papers has since been threatened with legal action.

‘Appier times ahead

LIFE has been made a ‘hole lot easier’ for southern Spain’s golf-lovers with the launch of a brand new golf course planning app. With details of every course in Andalucia, Course Planner Spain is an alternative to expensive GPS systems. The app, created by Boom, works free from the constraints of poor internet connection, roaming costs and drained batteries. Users benefit from information on each hole, tee positions, driving distances and a bird’s eye view of the hole - plus all the images are zoomable. “Whenever I played abroad I found the course planners and the roaming costs that go with running a GPS system to be expensive,” explained Kevan Kelsey, who created the Course Planner Spain app. “This is a simple, low cost option.” The app is free but each course costs £1.49 and can be downloaded in a minute. If a course changes in any way then the app is updated for free. It is available now on Apple and Googleplay stores.


In the second election attempt an examination of Federation votes cast by Guadalmina Club members - who are automatically made members of the Federation - revealed more than 60 votes were cast by people who swore they had not voted. Many members of Guadalmina have now petitioned what they consider the ‘improperly elected’ President and Board. They have demanded an Extraordinary General Meeting so the issues can be discussed in public. The Federation has 45,000 members, each of whom pays a €74 membership fee.

C E ................ ................ ................. ................. Road deaths 51

n Buen


the olive press - April 16 - April 30 201439 35 39


Long time no SUV

The worst weekend for traffic accidents this year leaves 20 people dead

A LUXURY SUV has been recovered in the port of Motril after being stolen from its owner in Italy back in 2009. The Guardia Civil has arrested its driver, a Moroccan man, for handling a stolen vehicle and forged documentation. The BMW X6 was stopped as part of the routine inspection of vehicles entering Motril off the ferry from the Spanish enclave of Melilla. Agents became suspicious of the driver’s documentation and discovered the car was that which had been stolen four years ago.

FATAL car accidents have claimed the lives of 20 people in the worst weekend for traffic accidents this weekend’s 15 fatal accidents, two sources from the Department of year. were motorcyclists and three Traffic. Of the people who died in last were cyclists, according to official As well as the fatalities, eight people suffered serious injuries in accidents which included cars going off CAR sales in Britain have the road, collisions, reached their highest level for a THE time Spain’s motorand three incidents decade thanks to a surge in de- ists waste waiting in trafof pedestrians bemand for fuel-efficient vehicles, fic has fallen by 63% since ing hit. and Spain is following suit. 2010, during the years of On the mountain This - combined with a renewed economic crisis and mass road from Ronda consumer confidence - has led unemployment. to San Pedro, the to half a million new cars being The lower levels of ecoA-397, a 38-yearregistered in Britain last month. nomic activity have actually old motorcyclist The rise is due to motorists pre- freed up Spanish roads, in JAMS: Less common was killed after fallferring cars that can achieve one of the few positives to hours every year to traffic ing off his bike and more miles to the gallon, as well be found. as an increase in customers leas- Barcelona has seen the jams. While Catalan drivers hitting the roadside barrier. ing vehicles, as opposed to buy- biggest decrease in traffic lose just 15 hours.

On the up! More unemployment, less traffic

ing it outright. Last month was the most successful since March 2004 and registrations are beginning to near pre-recession peaks, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

jams at 76% in four years, according to the study by Catalunya’s Royal Automobile Club. In Spain’s most congested city, Bilbao, drivers are still losing an average of 24

The RACC study also found that Spain has seen the third biggest fall in traffic jams, out of the 13 European countries analysed – beaten only by Portugal and Hungary.


Línea Directa advises you how to act in case of an accident


ÍNEA Directa Insurance advises you of the steps to follow in case of a road accident in Spain. 1. Call the emergency number: 112. They will co-ordinate the procedure and will ask you in detail about the circumstances of the accident. 2. Remain calm at all times. Switch on the emergency lights and if the state of the vehicle permits, remove the vehicle from the road, in order to avoid delays and further accidents, to the extent possible. 3. Signal the accident location. Before stepping out of the car, put on your high-visibility jacket, which is compulsory, and place the emergency triangles correctly. The first must be placed about 50 metres behind the car in the direction of the traffic, and the second

about 100m. 4. If someone is seriously injured, never try to move them, except if in danger of fire or imminent explosion. Cover the injured person, keep them calm and wait for the emergency services to arrive. 5. If the circumstances of the location allow, always fill in the European accident report, which is an essential document for speeding up the procedures and handling between the insurance companies. If you have any doubt about how to do this, don’t hesitate to call your insurance company.


A British tourist who witnessed the aftermath of the accident told the Olive Press: “The whole bus went silent when we passed, everyone could see his arm sticking out from under a white sheet. It really shook me up, these roads can

DEADLY: Road crash

be so dangerous.” There have already been 251 victims of fatal traffic accidents this year. In an attempt to combat the high level of fatalities, the Department of Traffic is launching a special campaign against speeding, and increasing the amount of speed controls on secondary roads.


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OP Columnists the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014

What the Romans did for Spain


HAT did the Romans ever do for Spain? It’s not a question Franco gave much thought

to when he encouraged Cepsa to build an ugly oil refinery on top of one of Spain’s most important Roman archaeological sites:

ROMAN GLORY: How Carteia would have looked before refinery

The Mistress of Sizzle muses on Franco’s contribution to the ruins of Carteia

SOTOGRANDE OF ITS DAY: Artist’s impression of Carteia

Carteia, a surreal juxtaposition of doric columns and petrochemical chimneys. Like Reg the Anarchist, John Cleese’s character in Monty Python’s Life of Brian who didn’t rate the Romans, Franco didn’t care about Carteia, even though it became the first Latin colony outside Italy in 171BC, making it one of the most privileged cities within the Roman Empire. Carteia, overlooking the Bay of Gibraltar/Algeciras (depending on your political viewpoint), was the Sotogrande of its day, with luxury villas, a fish-salting factory and a thermal spa. Think hot and cold plunge pools, a gymnasium, library and toilets where people literally ‘got down to business’ while seated on the pot! It’s an ancient ruin now, of course. But General Franco and the general

public ruined it some more. A lot of what hasn’t been expropriated for mantelpieces and rockeries is buried beneath a landscape of pollution-belching chimneys. Cepsa is righting Franco’s wrongs with a costly radar survey to scope out the remains of the 6,000-seater theatre, and the artefact-nicking has stopped. What’s left to see is still pretty amazing and open to visitors, free of charge.

Forget Bunnies and Hot Cross buns


ASTER is one of the highlights of the year in Spain, and Holy Week in Sevilla is the big one. Although with Antonio Banderas making his annual pilgrimage to take part in the processions, watched on from an upstairs balcony by la Melanie, Malaga comes a close second. Semana Santa is basically a week of elaborate processions of intricate floats. The term ‘floats’ is a little misleading as each weighs a tonne and is carried through the town by about 40 men, the costaleros, who are hidden underneath the thing. It’s not a job for the faint hearted and the costaleros wear headpieces like large inside-out

socks - thickly padded around the head and the neck - white T-shirts and dark cotton trousers, a little like a gang of devout and muscular smurfs.

Happy Clappy Christianity this is not. And then, of course, there are the Virgins. You can’t have a good procession in Andalucia without a Virgin floating by every so often. While the Whipping more cynical amongst you may deEach float depicts a biblical scene, bate the improbability of locating a usually Christ being whipped, with Virgin anywhere near the Costa del the cat-o-nine tails’ beads slapping Sol, in Seville they take them very seagainst each other as they move riously. There are the two heavyweight along. The figures on the floats them- Virgins in Sevilla, the Ali and Frasier of selves are normally rendered in what the float world if you like. The Virgin of an art critic would call Late Catholic Hope of Triana and her great rival the Renaissance Suffering Style. Plenty Virgin of Hope of the Macarena, who, of detail in the crown of thorns, beads because of the rain a few years ago, of blood, open wounds and the ago- where diverted and by chance came nised expression of Christ himself. face to face with each other in an alley for the first time ever. You can only imagine the conversation that they must have had. ‘This town is only big enough for IT was glorious weather last weekend with one Virgin etc.’ the real hint of summer in the air, so I deIt’s a moving expericided to take one of the rowing boats out for ence, with some of a spin. Having lived in Spain on and off for the processions in nearly 30 years, I reasoned that I had built complete silence up immunity to the sun’s rays, so went out while at others peowithout sunscreen. Bad move. With a cool ple cry out ‘guapa! breeze on the lake and rowing strenuously, guapa!’ or sing to I decided to take my t-shirt off. Even worse the Virgin Mary. This move. is not, I repeat NOT It wasn’t until I was in my shower, getting the time to try out ready for my radio show that the first pangs your bar room Spanof sunburn kicked in. This was followed by a ish or an impromptu frantic search at the back of the bathroom version of Una Palocabinet for anything that bore a passing rema Blanca. The losemblance to aftersun. I do have aloe vera covered myself in it. And then my lightweight cals would set upon plants but I don’t think my long suffering collarless shirt - the one that only makes an you, the streets are gardener would be too impressed if I started appearance during sunburn season - made crowded and the poits annual debut. To say that I was more than hacking away at the shrubbery. lice and ambulance Luckily, behind the gunked up bottles of a little relieved that the aircon was working services would never Factor 30 I found a bottle of aftersun, and in the studio was an understatement! make it to you in

Burn baby burn


Although you need a bit of imagination and, on days when the Levante’s blowing, a clothes peg for your nose to block out the stench of sulphurous gases. Carteia became a protected site in 1968 – too late to save the Roman necropolis buried beneath the petro-chemical plant which opened

STATUE: A Roman leader

the year before. But archaeological digs have uncovered the columns of temples, the courtyards of villas, mosaics, rings, pendants, hairpins, combs, ceramic pottery and gold coins. Carteia had its own mint! New treasures are constantly being discovered, especially when it rains, as only 7% of the site has been excavated. The Romans knew exactly what the Carteia could give to them: lControl of the strategic Mediterranean gateway lWood for boat-building and lead, iron and copper for weapons lCereals and fish to feed hungry armies on the march lSilver to embellish Pompey’s banqueting table back home lMurex sea snails which secrete a no-fade purple dye that was all the rage in Rome Over the next 580 years, Carteia grew to 25,000 citizens on the back of booming pottery and tuna fishing industries. The Visigoths came after and built a church on top time. of the gym and the Moors Perhaps the best known image of Sehad greater ambitions on mana Santa, however, are the nazareother cities. No one much nos, people cloaked in the traditional bothered with Carteia costume of repentance - which bears again until WW2 when two more than a passing resemblance bunkers were built there to the KKK. As well as this there are - one of them recently repriests swinging incense everywhere, opened by Cepsa as Anand a band in front of each float that dalucía’s first bunker muplays music. With more than 50 proseum. cessions through Sevilla during Holy Today, you can’t visit the Week, it’s a good idea to grab a guide site without a guide. You (or visit the Olive Press centre spread can’t enter with large bags this issue) to know which procession or rucksacks. You can’t eat is where and when. or drink on site or touch Of course, if the thought of standing anything. And you can’t in a crowd is all too much for you, take photographs for publithen you can also follow the examcation without prior permisple of many in Sevilla and watch the sion. whole thing on television with a bowl It smacks of dictatorof olives and fino to hand. The sacred ship but not, in this case, week over, Sevilla gets back to normal Franco’s. To him, Carteand looks forward to the more proia was just a pile of old fane celebrations of the April Feria… stones.



Spread the good news this Semana Santa - chocolate is good for you! By Imogen Calderwood THERE is good reason to rejoice for chocolate lovers. As Spaniards are sent into a Semana Santa frenzy - and the Easter eggs come out for expats - chocolate’s health benefits have been proved. The first ever study into the effects of chocolate on bacteria in the stomach has revealed that it can lower blood pressure, as well as reduce the long-term risk of strokes. The discovery could have a

the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014


Sweet secret for Easter dramatic impact on the treatment of heart disease and dementia. But anyone wanting to exploit the health benefits of chocolate should stick to bitter dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. In many sweeter milk chocolate products the healthy compounds are either removed, or are present in such

small amounts that the positive effects are outweighed by high fat and sugar content. John Finley, who led the research at Louisiana State University, explained that bacteria in the stomach ‘consumes’ the chocolate, turning it into protective antiinflammatory compounds. These compounds are then

Bursting with zest

EXOTIC, fresh and bursting with Mediterranean flavours, Sotogrande’s zestful new restaurant The Lemon is living up to its name. After springing into life in March, The Lemon has quickly become popular with the locals, with its enticing menu of international tapas and Bistro-style food. The carefully-crafted interior is the perfect retreat for a relaxed breakfast, a long lunch or a romantic candlelit meal. Fresh cakes, pastries, paninis, smoothies and sandwiches are available throughout the day to take home or enjoy on the terrace, overlooking the most tranquil plaza

absorbed by the body, lessening the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue and reducing the risk of a stroke.


FRUITY: The Lemon in Sotogrande

in Sotogrande Port. The Lemon serves food from 9am until midnight, with a large range of homemade dishes and counts on friendly staff and a relaxed welcoming atmosphere. Call 956 790 124, or visit ‘LemonSotogrande’ on Facebook.

While it has long been thought that cocoa has many healthy properties that help to prevent cardiovascular disease, until now it has never been clear how. The discovery could help in designing pills and supplements to stave off heart disease and mental decline. A previous study found that drinking hot chocolate can protect against dementia by boosting blood flow to the brain. After just 30 days of drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day, the elderly participants saw a significant improvement in their scores on a memory test.

International Tapas and Bistro style menu sotogrande

Open: 9.00am to midnight.

Or join us in the bar at The Hairy Lemon Puerto Deportivo 11310 Sotogrande Tel: 956790124


the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014


Low cost beers threat

A GROUP of Malaga’s oldest bars have voiced their concerns about new low cost chains that they fear may drive them out of business. Mercado Provenzal, offering beers at only 40 cents, is the latest franchise to open in Malaga with a bar in the historic centre of the city and another in Benalmadena. The Sevilla-based franchise prides itself on providing the cheapest beer in Spain, as well as sandwiches from

Cheap franchises threaten to put Malaga’s traditional bars out of business… and also encourage drunkenness By Giles Brown

50 cents, a menu del dia at €3.30 and mixed drinks at €3,90.

LOW COST: Mercado Provenzal Other low cost companies who have also set up in Malaga include La Surena with five

Tango Tastes

A TRUE taste of Argentina has come to Puerto Banus with the opening of new Argentinian restaurant El Gaucho de Banus. Tango dancers were on show to usher in a range of typical Argentinian dishes, including empanadas, chuleton, Argentinian strip steak, tenderloin and entrecote. As well as superb food, guests were treated to a tango show at the opening lunch. Unfortunately, mostwere too full to join in!


Celebrate your private parties or business lunches with us in our Mozarabic room, whilst enjoying our breathtaking panoramic view. CLOSED MONDAYS.

La Alcazaba, Plaza de la Constitución, Mijas.

For Information & Reservations: Tel. 952 590 253 - 952 486 397 Email.

restaurants and 100 Montaditos with 13. While all this cheap beer and food might be good news for the budgetconscious consumer, traditional bars are worried that they may be forced out of business as they can’t compete with the franchises.



“They can sacrifice their profit margin because they sell lots, but we can’t afford it,” said Rafael Prado, president of Malaga’s Hospitality Association. He also warned that it could encourage drunkenness in the historic city centre as well as waiters and bartenders having to work for the minimum wage.

www.theolivepress.esFOOD & DRINK



Hotelier and Hoteli-HER

How to get rid... W HY on Earth would anyone ever choose to run a small hotel? Being tied to the business 24/7, dealing with unpleasant guests and suffering drunken late nights. Early years can be tough but once you get established you can start to cherry pick the bits you like. You know; the wine-tastings, the guided walks, the pool-side chats, etc. But some people still catch you out, such as the grandmother who was still regaling me after 20 minutes about her grandchildren recently. I have three strategies for this situation… Firstly carry a piece of typed paper with you at all times. And when necessary, glance at your watch and say: “I must fax this report to the police in the next ten minutes.” The ‘p’ word always works wonders. Alternatively, have a mobile phone in your pocket and pretend that it is vibrating in your

Dealing with tricky guests comes easy after nearly 30 years running his hotel Molino del Santo

pocket. This takes a certain amount of skill not to appear ridiculous but it can be pulled off spectacularly with practice. Then use the sad look accompanied with the life-saving phrase, “You will have to excuse me…..” Also have trained staff. They will learn to spot the glazed look and can be told they must interrupt for your urgent action. I hasten to add most guests we see are delightful, interesting and many have become good friends over the years. The above is only for the exceptions that prove the rule.


the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014


Ingredients: 2 x PEOPLE WITH GOOD APPETITES (OR MORE PEOPLE IF PREFERRED) 1 x TRANSPORT TO SAN ROQUE RAIL STATION 2 x TRAINS – 1 EACH WAY 2 x LEGS PER PERSON TO WALK 300M FROM STATION TO RESTAURANT 1 x RESERVED TABLE ON RIVERSIDE TERRACE (tel 952 16 71 51 ) 1 x CHAIR PER PERSON 1 x MENU PER PERSON 1 x WINE LIST 2 x FRIENDLY STAFF HEAPED TABLESPOON OF GOOD CONVERSATION To Finish: 1 x CREDIT CARD OR CASH (optional but owner has dog – see below) Method: Take the people and put them in a car to San Roque station. Exit 115 from main coast road between San Roque Village and Guadalcorte. Park transport in station car park or nearby streets. At ticket office buy required train tickets “IDA Y VUELTA” (return) for the 1201 departure. Fare is very reasonable 11.50 euros return. Board comfortable modern train - seats will be allocated by coach and seat number. Leave ingredients to rest for 70minutes enjoying stunning views.

...But certainly not this lot

13.11 : Alight from train at BENAOJAN / MONTEJAQUE station. Facing station buildings turn left along the road alongside the railway line for 150m until you see signs for Molino del Santo. Follow the signs. (Lift available by prior arrangement). 13.20 : Take all remaining ingredients and mix well for two and a half hours. Season to taste. Add more liquid if necessary. Finish with Credit card or cash. Add more liquid if 15.50 : return to station. Board train at 16.07. necessa ry 17.20 : Arrive San Roque station and re-unite with transport.

ON the other side of the coin, special people walk through our hotel door every week, often enriching the lives of everyone around them. This year so far includes:

Alternative recipes : * Mix ingredients with local stroll or visit to Pileta Caves or use hotel pool for afternoon by renting room subject to availability. Leave on 1957 train. Delicious. * Mix all above ingredients with bed and breakfast and dinner – maybe a full tasting menú with local wines on each course. Enjoy the full taste. * Omit train journey and travel by roadvia San Pedro and Ronda to Benaoján station.

DIAMOND: The Cottons chose us to celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary – Wow! MONK: Tharpa the Buddhist monk who has been teaching meditation every month at the Molino... he always brings peace and joy with him.

LET’S EAT : Judy Roesset from Texas, USA, on a cookery course and sporting an unforgetable T-shirt.

Thanks to all of you – you bring laughter into our lives

SMILES: Felipe and Sandra, regular characters from Montejaque.


NEXT COOKERY CLASS - 5 GREAT TAPAS 24th April - Limited places ▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼▼


GETAWAY: Eli Brett, who first came as a guest with her parents two decades ago, has just bought a watercolour of Christine Ellingham from off the wall. A fun-loving and sparky girl, Molino helps her relax from the stresses of London life

Hotel - Bar - Restaurante. Bda Estacion s/n, 29370 Benaojan, Malaga. 952 16 71 51 - 952 16 79 27 .

“What is a guest anyway? The master and mistress are always talking about what the guest wants. What about what a dog wants? I don’t care about flowers, service, wine, fresh vegetables, shampoo and conditioners, sheets, towels - you have NO idea how they go on. I’m fed up to my canines. They should be concentrating on sticks and walks. Hopeless. I’m going to howl if this goes on much longer...

Follow Eddie’s regular thoughts on our Facebook page – Hotel Molino del Santo | | 952 16 71 51


the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014



Celebrated Michelin chef to open ‘innovative’ bistro in Calahonda

Complete control MICHELIN-starred cuisine is coming to the unlikely setting of Calahonda next month with the opening of a new bistro. Chris Oakes - once described as the ‘most controlled of the modern chefs’ - is opening a small bistro The Twilight Bar in the El Zoco centre. The West Country chef (pictured right), who

By Giles Brown

previously worked at London’s Claridge’s and had his own Michelin-starred restaurant The Castle in Gloucestershire, opens his new venture next month. A well known chef in British circles, in a 1986 book Great British Chefs, Oakes was

Chefs’ special

SPAIN’s most famous chef was spotted chewing the fat with Andalucia’s leading cook at the launch of a new spa. El Bulli genius Ferran Adria (on left) was pictured chatting to Marbella’s own two Michelin star chef Dani Garcia (right) at the opening of the Heathouse Las Dunas, in Estepona. “An afternoon with Ferran is always rewarding,” Dani told the Olive Press. “We had a good talk and he gave me some motivational tips”. Ferran, who is down for an Easter break from Catalunya, was very impressed by the revamped new kitchen. With a team led by three Michelin star chef Andoni Luis Aduriz from Mugaritz, the restaurant is predicted to do well. Garcia himself has recently taken over at Sea Grill restaurant in Hotel Puente Romano, so it will be interesting to see if El Bulli style dishes begin to feature on the menu. It opens this week.

Freshly Prepared Food with Uninterrupted Views Open: Wednesday til Sunday from 12.00-16.00

952 53 31 85

Calle del Santa Cristo, 29788, Frigiliana, Nerja, Malaga

described as cooking food that was incredibly ‘innovative’. His dishes included duck served with the skin and fat and a dish of red mullet with braised onion and rosti - Oakes’ signature dish. Prior to moving to the Costa del Sol, Oakes enjoyed a spell at the lauded 80-bedroom Stafford Hotel in London. He was also once head chef at Cambridge University’s Trinity College.


His partner in the venture is globetrotting chef Leighton Curtis who has worked as head chef at the Ritz-Carlton in the Cayman Islands, as well as in Australia. Leighton told the Olive Press: “We have been all over the world, cooking in Michelinstarred restaurants and hotels and decided that we wanted to do something on a smaller scale. “We waited until we found this location, which is perfect with just 36 covers. “We’ve brought a few dishes out of America and a few out of France,” he added.

Easter Sunday

Come and celebrate...

the olive press - April 16 - April 30 2014


Sunday April 20th

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Available at La Sala in Puerto Banus from 14.95€* for 1 course or indulge in our tempting 3 course Sunday Set Lunch menu for just 24.95€*. El Rincón de La Sala in San Pedro offers a Sunday Roast Lunch for 13.50€*. Children's portions are also available for only 7.50€*

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Covering Andalucia in 2014 with over 200,000 papers EE (130,000 digital) and around 250,000 visits to the R F website each month… The Olive Press just keeps growing!

olive press

Telephone: 951127006

April 16 - April 30 2014

Neymar scores at last!

(brought to you by the OlivePress)

HE may not be scoring as regularly as his Barcelona manager might like, but millionaire footballer Neymar, 22, has no problems scoring with the opposite sex. The Spanish and Brazilian gossip columns have been full of reports of his new romance with Gabriella Lenzi. The 20-year-old model from Sao Paulo has already caused a sensation on social media posting pictures of herself on Facebook and Instagram. Neymar started dating Gabriella only weeks after splitting up with previous actress girlfriend Bruna Marquezine. In the meantime the Spanish press are eagerly waiting for Gabriella’s first trip to the Nou Camp.


No stress THE Bank of Spain has denied reports that it plans to subject Spanish lenders to stress tests this month, ahead of Europe-wide bank checks. The European Central Bank takes over as the eurozone’s bank supervisor in November and wants to clear any skeletons out the closet before then.

The ‘Jew Killer’ village votes on its future

Clawed back to life Jaguar cub avoids death thanks to a fast thinking vet’s mouth-to-mouth technique By Imogen Calderwood A STILLBORN jaguar cub was saved by the kiss of life from a dedicated Spanish vet. Dr Patricia Garrido gave the cub emergency mouth-tomouth resuscitation after it stopped breathing following a caesarean birth at the El Bosque Veterinary Hospital in Madrid. The rare operation was deemed necessary as the mother, Xena, had previously killed two cubs shortly after giving birth.


It took a team of 12 vets, nurses and assistants to deliver the cub, christened Ali, but the dramatic operation descended into a


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frantic search for a heartbeat. When it was found the cub wasn’t breathing, the team had to perform CPR to kickstart the animal’s heart. They then used a pump to attempt to force air into into its lungs, but neither treatment worked. In desperation, Dr Garrido came to the rescue with the emergency mouth-tomouth. After a tense eight minutes, the team finally felt a tiny

VIOLENT: Town’s name

EASTER MIRACLE: Ali was brought back to life

heartbeat. Antonio Rodriguez, a fellow vet who witnessed the birth, said: “The experience of seeing an animal start living and breathing after our help is really amazing. It is indescribable.”

THE locals in a Spanish village named ‘Jew Killer’ are to vote on a name change. The villagers of Castrillo Matajudios in Castille y Leon will vote this week whether to revert to its original name Castrillo Mota de Judios meaning Castrillo ‘Jews’ Hill’. The town acquired its violent name in 1492 after Jews, along with Muslims, were expelled from Spain. Mayor Lorenzo Rodriguez insists it is very important that people understand the origin of the name before voting on the change. The name ‘Matajudios’ is also a surname in Spain, along with ‘Matamoros’, meaning ‘Muslim killer’.

Out of time

A NEW map of the world reveals how much Spanish time is out of sync with the sun. Created by Google engineer Stefano Maggiola, the map reveals the large parts of the globe whose watches are out of sync with ‘solar time’ - the time according to the sun. The sun rises gradually across the world, due to the earth’s tilt, but this is not taken into account by time zones that cover ‘too large an area’, he insists. So while it may be midday according to watches throughout an entire time zone, the sun will only actually be in the

WORLD MAP: Countries out of sync are in red

middle of the sky - at the midday point - for a small fraction of it. This means that the sun rises and sets here more than an hour later than it does in Naples, despite the

countries being in the same time zone. Mr Maggiola was inspired to create the map during a trip to Spain, after noticing the country’s unusual daylight hours.

Olive Press Newspaper - Issue 185  

The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucia

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