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Vol. 8 Issue 186 www.theolivepress.es

April 30 - May 14 2014

EXPOSED: COSTA CONMAN FOUND PEDDLING COINS FROM ENGLISH VILLAGE

Clifford guilty A PAIR of young girls paedophile PR guru Max Clifford sexually assaulted on the Costa del Sol have led to his conviction. Clifford - a long-time visitor to the coast and involved in charities and local events - has been found guilty of eight counts of sexual assault, mostly on minors. At least two were groomed on the coast, after being lured in with promises of stardom. He is pictured here with his showbiz chum Kenny Lynch at a bash in Marbella.

See full story on page 2

The man from Del Monte By Tom Powell and Jamie Micklethwaite

COSTA del Sol fraudster Nigel Goldman is hiding out in a classic English country cottage under the false name ‘Howard del Monte’. Goldman - aka ‘Del Monte’ has also returned to the business of buying and selling coins, stamps and antiques, it can be revealed. Renting on a six month lease in the charming Berkshire village of Kintbury, he and

EXCLUSIVE: The Olive Press can reveal that convicted fraudster Nigel Goldman is back in business using the false name ‘Howard Del Monte’ his partner Suzanne Couling are peddling their wares via a joint Ebay account called ‘Bensons Emporium’. Village post office staff told the Olive Press that he regularly collects parcels addressed to ‘Del Monte’, and also ‘sends many packages’.

It’s MORE fun in the sun Cartel behind Putin’s mystery costa home EXCLUSIVE

The Olive Press can reveal that the Russian President may have bought a multimillion euro Marbella mansion with a group of six businessmen.

See full story on page 3

BRITS are still happier in Spain, despite reports suggesting 90,000 have abandoned the expat dream. An exclusive Olive Press survey found that more than three quarters of our readers are happier since making the move. For the full story, see No end to Spanish dream on page 4.

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Goldman fled Spain last year amid accusations of fraud, leaving behind dozens of victims owed a total of €15 million. While he refused to answer questions, he seems happy living with Couling, her two daughters and two cats in the modest three-bedroom property. While the pair are Kintbury’s hottest topic of conversation, they are rarely seen and ‘keep themselves to themselves’. Couling’s family live nearby in Hungerford. In fact, the secretive man from Del Monte is seemingly only ever seen leaving the house to go to the post office. When the Olive Press confronted him in his countryside retreat, Goldman refused to come to the door, instead briefly poking his head out of his bedroom window.

HIDEOUT: Goldman’s UK bolthole and (top) with Suzanne “I have nothing to say to you, but I look forward to meeting you again,” he called down.

Parking ticket His hair was disheveled, but he did not have the moustache some have claimed he is now sporting as part of his disguise. The previous morning, Couling was seen leaving the house at 9am to load up their silver Vauxhall Zafira with boxes and head off, possibly to a car boot sale. One neighbour explained that the day they moved into the house, a traffic warden arrived and issued the couple

with a parking ticket. “I don’t understand why he hasn’t been arrested, if a traffic warden can find him then surely the police can,” said the neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous. “Everyone in the village knows he’s Goldman, whatever name he goes under.” Goldman, who deleted his Facebook account recently, is currently being investigated for failing to return millions of euros to investors in his financial companies. Various victims told the Olive Press that they are practically destitute after losing their life savings to his schemes, that Continues on Page 4


the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014

CRIME NEWS

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BBC presenter ‘left for dead’ in holiday attack A BBC presenter was left in a ‘comalike state’ after being drugged and battered by a robbery gang in Puerto Banus. Alan Tait, who co-hosts the Golf Show on Radio Scotland, has warned others about the harrowing ten hour ordeal he suffered in the popular resort. The 45-year-old claims his drink was spiked just hours after landing in Spain for a three-day golfing holiday with friends. Local police informed him that he was probably the victim of ketamine, commonly used as a horse tranquilliser. He is awaiting test results. Alan woke up in an empty street covered

in cuts and bruises, without a shirt and with his trousers torn, having been left for dead. “My mates told me that I was there at 10:30pm and gone the next minute,” he said. “They assumed I’d gone to the toilet or to another bar but wondered why I hadn’t told them.

Drugged

“My last memory is talking to these guys then nothing until waking up in the street at 8:30am. “I have had a flashback of someone punching the back of my head.” He had his phone and €500 in cash tak-

No way to spin this one Two Costa del Sol victims formed cornerstone of conviction of paedophile PR svengali Max Clifford

BEATEN: Tait

en, as well as the watch given to him by his parents on his 40th birthday. It comes after a spate of similar incidents, the Olive Press has heard about in the port. A female PR executive from London told the paper this week that she had been given a date rape drug ‘Rohypnol’ last summer while out in the port. She woke to find her phone, passport and wallet stolen. Ironically she had been researching for a TV programme on the town, which has now been shelved.

CREEP: Clifford in the garden of his Marbella home

Exclusive By Tom Powell A PAIR of Costa del Sol victims of convicted paedophile Max Clifford formed the ‘cornerstone’ of the case against him, it has emerged. A letter from a woman, who had been molested by Clifford at the age of 15 in Spain, became a key part of his conviction this week. The celebrity PR guru had used his various luxury homes here to groom at least two of the eight victims he was found guilty of molesting. In both cases, Clifford, who is now awaiting sentence, promised the impressionable youngsters he would make them stars. Having seduced the first victim on the coast in the 1970s, he then impressed her by taking her for drives in his yellow Jaguar. In the moving 900-word letter, the woman, now 51, wrote that Clifford made her life a ‘living hell’, leading her to contemplate suicide. “I had no one to turn to. You were very clever. A+

in grooming children. How proud you must be,” she wrote in the note that he kept in his bedside table at his home in Surrey. Clifford, 34 at the time, groomed her over a period of months after befriending her parents while they were on holiday in Torremolinos, in 1977. Clifford, who now owns a luxury four-bed apartment in Las Almandas, told the then 15-year-old girl to expose her naked body to him in his Bond Street office. He later called her over the phone, using the fake name ‘Terry Miller’, to say she must talk dirty to Clifford if she wanted to star in Hollywood films. The 71-year-old later molested another girl on the Costa del Sol, a friend of his daughter Louise, in the jacuzzi of his then stylish four-

A LOAD OF POLLOCKS AN international fake art dealer was arrested in the middle of an Easter procession. Businessman Jose Carlos Bergantinos Diaz was arrested in Sevilla on Good Friday while staying at a luxury hotel. The Spaniard, who was being sought in the US in connection with millions of dollars of fake art deals, was busted at a luxury hotel. He and partner Glafira Rosales are accused of peddling phoney works by artists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Koonig for 15 years. They allegedly claimed the works were just previously undiscovered. Rosales was arrested in New York last August and charged with selling 63 counterfeit artworks to two galleries in Manhattan, New York, for €21.7 million. Somehow Diaz was able to flee the US and moved back to his native Spain. He will appear before a judge this week who will likely rule in favour of an extradition to the US.

bed apartment in Cabopino, Calahonda. The woman, now 43, told Southwark Crown Court how Clifford invited her to join him and Louise in the jacuzzi before forcing her to touch him under the water, after playing his ‘tickling game’. The schoolgirl had befriended Clifford’s daughter at the communal swimming pool while on holiday with her parents in 1983. Clifford, a long time regular visitor to the coast, did a large amount of PR work in the Marbella area, including Club la Costa and Polo House restaurant for James Hewett.

Stardom

He also offered his services to Marbella Town Hall, however it was decided the €10,000 a month he demanded was too high. The ‘Max Clifford Celebrity Golf Challenge and Butterfly Ball’ has long been a key event in the Marbella social calendar. It was hosted annually by Clifford at the La Cala Golf Resort, in Mijas, in aid of the Rhys Daniels Trust, of which Clifford is a patron. Each of the seven victims had a similar tale to tell about how Clifford lured them in with promises of stardom, although none of them knew each other. A further six gave evidence. Clifford is the first person to be convicted under Operation Yewtree, which was set up after the Jimmy Savile scandal. He was arrested in December 2012 as part of the inquiry and charged last April. He is due to be sentenced this Friday. Did you meet Max Clifford? Contact us at newsdesk@theolivepress.es or 951 127 006

Photo by Kevin Horn

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NEWS

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Sod Ukraine comrades, I’m off to Marbski! Mystery cartel, including Putin, said to be behind purchase of one of the Costa del Sol’s most expensive palatial homes EXCLUSIVE By Tom Powell RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin’s alleged Costa del Sol mansion may have been bought with a group of five wealthy businessmen, it can be revealed. According to Olive Press sources, the Russian leader may have joined forces with a mixed group of Indian, Russian and Arab investors in the €19 million palace project in Benahavis. The incredible 10 bedroom home, which is now nearly 90% complete, was bought via a shell company. The Russian leader is said to have visited the coast over Easter to inspect the project, in the upmarket development of La Zagaleta, despite the growing tensions on Russia’s border with Ukraine. Local estate agent Scott Marshall told the Olive Press, “I was told via agent Savills, in London, that it was bought by six wealthy men, one of those being Putin.”

the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014

32,935 Olive Press views in a day ACTION MAN: Putin ‘came to visit’ €19 million project at Easter the house being bought by Putin in Spain’s most expensive development. Front page pictures showed aerial shots of the house being built in what was once arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi’s private hunting estate. La Zagaleta is a haven for wealthy businessmen and celebrities. Owners in the exclusive enclave have included Rod Stewart and the mayor of Moscow, while Hollywood star Hugh Grant rented there two years ago. Mark Thatcher is also said to be renting in the enclave.

Helipad PALACE: Plot and (right) artist’s impression of finished home The agent, who has worked in the small town, near Marbella, for over a decade, added: “But it is always going to be very difficult to prove as it was bought through a company. “The Spanish builder told me it was being built by an Indian millionaire, who could be one of the six and maybe the builder doesn’t even know himself.” He continued: “Either way, it’s the biggest project we have ever seen. They have even bought extra plots and built a guest house.

“The builders have been working around the clock to get it finished.” Pictures on Google Earth show the property from last year taking up the entire top of a hill. In satellite images, there are no less than 13 cars and two trucks parked at the project. More speculation emerged in the Spanish press last week about

The Olive Press first broke the story 18 months ago when in October 2012, we reported that ‘a wealthy Russian politician’ – thought to be Putin - had secured the purchase of the palace project in the heart of Zagaleta estate. Sitting on an 18,000m² plot, the project boasts its own spa and gym, a cinema, piano bar, heli-pad and two swimming pools. The epitome of extravagance, it has spectacular views towards Gibraltar, North Africa and inland to the Serrania de Ronda. The president of the Andalucian Federation, Ricardo Arranz, said: “There is no confirmation, it is a rumour that has been going for some time but we have no proof.”

JLS: Johnny’s Lucky Shot

YOU can have all the expensive gear in the world but sometimes it’s a simple snap on your mobile phone that makes the front pages. That was what Marbellabased celebrity photographer Johnny Gates discovered when he was following boy band JLS around Puerto Banus for band member, JB’s stag-do at the weekend. Working on assignment for the British papers he had already taken several shots of the group arriving at their hotel in Marbella, as well as at a Banus restaurant and the nightclub Aqwa Mist. “I was just leaving and had packed all my kit away, when I looked through the restaurant windows and saw all the boys having a toast for JB.” Johnny told the Olive Press “So I whipped out my mobile and got the shot on that!” Typically, it was this shot that

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A RECORD 32, 935 page views were recorded on the Olive Press website as an explosion and fire blacked out Gibraltar. The headline news on Sunday, April 20, again highlighted that an increasing number of people use the website (www.theolivepress.es) to stay abreast with the latest and breaking news. So far this month an average of almost 5,000 visitors have daily signed on to the site, viewing a total of 480,000 pages. TOP 5 MOST-READ STORIES ONLINE 1. Gibraltar power plant explosion and fire 2. Expats in Spain lose all BBC, ITV programmes 3. Brit businessman shot dead on Costa 4. Prince puts world’s most beautiful house up for sale 5. British pensioners desperate to return to UK A breakdown of site visitors reveals that 37.2% were from the UK, and 27.6% from Spain. Some 9.7% came from the US, 3.7% from Gibraltar amd 2.3% from Ireland. In addition the Olive Press has 5,458 Facebook followers and 3,072 followers on Twitter. Make sure you make Spain’s Number 1 newspaper website in English a DAILY habit by checking out the following links:

www.theolivepress.es Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OlivePressNewspaper Twitter: https://twitter.com/ olivepress Google + : https://plus. google.com/+TheolivepressEs

Diana dazzles in Banus

was used by several national UK papers, including the Daily Mail as well as his website Marbellaplus.com “You can never guess where and how you are going to get your best shots… but who cares, they all work in the end,” said Gates, who has been based in Marbella for two decades.

SNAPPER: Johnny Gates (right) his iPhone pic (above) and shot of JLS’ Aaron (left)

ENGLISH pop star Diana Vickers has been soaking up the sun and partying into the early hours on a recent break with girl friends in Marbella. The former X-factor contestant took to Twitter to express her excitement for her Spanish holiday, writing,‘I’m going to Spain today, yeah baby!’ The 22-year-old even treated her 357,000 followers to a picture of her sun-tanned legs while relaxing on the beach. Diana and her friends then headed to La Sala restaurant in Puerto Banus for dinner, followed by drinks and dancing.

night down the road at Aqwa Mist nightclub. “Having so much fun, @aqwamist thanks for looking after me!” tweeted Diana, who found fame through her young romance with fellow X-factor contestant Eoghan Quigg in 2008.


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NEWS

the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014

News IN BRIEF

A fine thing A GOOD samaritan was fined twice by police in Valencia after he parked to help an injured motorcyclist. He was given the first fine for bad parking, while he waited for the ambulance to arrive. The second was for littering after he tore up the first.

Denture crisis A MOTORCYCLIST brought traffic to a standstill on one of Madrid’s busiest streets after he pulled over to look for his false teeth.

Female felons SPAIN has the highest number of female prison inmates in the EU, after numbers rose by ten times in 30 years. Drugs are the number one cause for imprisonment.

RIP Rory

A WELL-known Costa expat has dropped dead from a heart attack at just 57. Rory Carey, owner of Rory’s Irish Pub in Benavista, died just hours after the Olive Press went to print with an Estepona supplement in which he played a part. With the tagline ‘In Heaven there is no beer, that’s why we drink it here’, Rory’s advert is a fitting epitaph for one of the coast’s most popular bar owners.

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STOP THE SHOW!

A DANCING bear has been spotted at a ‘medieval’ market in Murcia. David Meanwell, from Bear Conservation UK, revealed that the bear was seen performing at the Los Alcazares fair. Expat Victoria Cook told the Olive Press: “It was being walked, nobody said anything but I thought it should be reported,” she said. “We don’t want Spain going further backwards regarding animal welfare.” She took a photo and appealed to Face-

book for more information. This appears to be the first case of a performing bear since the Olive Press reported on two incidences in 2007. A dancing European Brown Bear was spotted touring with a medieval market near Sevilla while three Siberian Bears were found to be performing at a Granada circus, provoking heated debate on the topic. If you have any information please contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es

Cash injection for border security

CRUEL: Dancing bear

No end to Spanish dream Despite reports that we’re all leaving in our droves, nearly 80% of Olive Press readers insist they are as happy or happier in Spain

less than a quarter of the hundreds who responded said our readers insist they are as they were ‘less happy’ here. happy or happier since mov- In total, 64% of readers said they were ‘happier in Spain’ ing here. In an exclusive online poll, and 13% are ‘just as happy as before’. This stands in contrast to the doomreBRITISH expats who moved to the padron. Indeed, it is estimated mongering Spain for a happier life are appar- that between a quarter and a third ports in the UK press that expats ently returning in their droves, of expats are not registered at all. with nearly 90,000 abandoning Research has also revealed that are unhappy and their new life last year according to those who choose to move to sunnier returning in their national statistics. climes end up less happy than those droves. The number of Brits registered who stay in Britain. The Leicester It came after with town halls dropped a steep University study of 300 expats in 90,000 Britons apparently 23% in 2013, plummeting from Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus had 385,179 on Jan 1 to 297,229 at the found that they had a happiness deregistered from end of December. rating of 7.3/10, compared with an the town hall regHowever, the legitimacy of these average of 7.5 for those surveyed in ister to return to town hall figures has been ques- their home countries. This was put UK shores over tioned by many, as a vast number down to missing their friends and the last two years. Other recent surof expats never bother to sign on to families, plus economic downturn. veys also back up

OLIVE Press readers are an unreservedly happy bunch. Despite reports in the UK that thousands of British expats are abandoning Spain in their droves, some 76% of

By Tom Powell

‘90,000 Brits abandon Spanish dream’

the theory that the sun has anything but set on the Spanish dream for Brits moving here. March figures show that 607,940 people from EU countries are registered with the Spanish Social Security system.

Increase

This figures represents an increase of around 6,000 people (or 1%), which is the largest increase since June 2012. Andalucia is the third highest region for foreigners registered with Social Security, at 208,381. Brits also remain the biggest foreign buyers of property in Spain too, accounting for 15% of the home purchases here.

SPAIN’S border with Morocco will get a €2.1 million security boost, the government announced this week. Nets will be installed at the borders with the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla to make the fences harder to climb. It is estimated that more than 40,000 migrants are waiting to cross from Morocco into the enclaves. Some 4,235 entered the two territories illegally last year, a 48.5% rise on 2012. See A migrant’s journey on page 6

Goldman located From front page

that included bogus investments in Morocco. The conman, known for his newspaper columns and radio shows, sucked 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 million euro home, in Marbella, with Couling last October. He has since visited Morocco and Portugal, but has chosen to lay his hat down in Kintbury, a far cry from the Costa del Sol high-life he clearly loved.


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OPINION Never look back EXPAT-bashing has long been a favourite topic of the UK press. It’s right up there with bad weather and the NHS. But while there are those who came to Spain unprepared for the cultural and social change, miss their friends and fail to settle, most make the move and never look back. These people are probably too busy reveling in all that Spain has to offer – sun, sea, scenery, delicious food and culture to name a few - to notice the doom-mongering reports on expats’ alleged unhappiness. The Leicester University survey – claiming Brits are less happy after leaving - was based on 300 expats in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus. That’s a good idea, ask expats who have lost everything in the Greek economic crash if they were happier in the UK and then reveal that - shock horror - they were. In contrast our survey of nearly 200 people online showed that almost 80% were happy here. Our readers have got the right idea, embrace Spain and become a part of it… who cares what they’re grumbling about back in Britain!

Plug the sex offender loophole THE news that predatory paedophile Robert Bill has finally been caught and put away for 20 years comes as a huge relief to the coast. The fact that it is in a Moroccan prison gives us - and his victims even greater pleasure. But it is incredible that such a dangerous man was able to exploit a loophole in the sex offenders register and move to Spain in the first place. How is it that this man, well known as a predator of children and already having served time for attempted abduction, could start a new life here without any sort of surveillance? This is a loophole that clearly needs to be filled, and quickly, before more vulnerable children are put at risk.

The Olive Press leads... In 2012 we ran a story on President Putin buying a house in Marbella...

...Others follow Then later the Daily Mail runs the same story with almost the very same wording

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

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- Hotel Embrujo, Arriate - Jaipur Purple, Estepona - Reservatauro, Ronda - As seen on TV.com - Webuycarsinspain.es 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

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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 jon@theolivepress.es Reporters: Newsdesk Newsdesk@theolivepress.es Giles Brown Giles@theolivepress.es Tom Powell

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FEATURE

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A migrant’s tale War and poverty drive people from Africa towards the freedom of European soil. Imogen Calderwood went to Ceuta and Morocco to see the reality

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HE ragged Moroccan town of Binionis lies in the shadows of ‘Jebel Musa’ mountain, known as the ‘Dead Woman’, just a stone’s throw from the Spanish enclave of Ceuta and the freedom of Europe. From here in the small, ramshackle settlement, nestled safely in the curves of the Dead Woman’s waistline, I can track the migrants’ hazardous journey in one sweeping view, from mountain peak down to the border and the rocky shores below. Camps are scattered around the mountain’s slopes, built by migrants fleeing their home countries, all of whom are willing to risk death to get onto Eu- CLIMBING TO FREEDOM: Hundreds of migrants rush the border and (top) milling on beach February, trying to swim from drid to get permission, shielding based at the centre) and good ropean soil. medical care. Naser Kayas is a 26-year-old Mo- Morocco to Ceuta at the El themselves with bureaucracy. However after trying to call a However, the guard soon roccan who has lived in the shad- Tarajal beach. In what sparked a huge politi- number of times and speaking clammed up when I asked ows of Jebel Musa his whole life. He tells me that just a month cal scandal, survivors blamed to unhelpful press officers I re- about how much it all cost ago the slopes where we stand the deaths on the border alised I needed to simply go and and who was paying for it. Ultimately, of course, the Spanish were buzzing with the daily guards, who allegedly fired rub- try on the ground. trials of life on a mountain – ber bullets and tear gas into So last week I took a boat over taxpayers. hoarding firewood, scavenging the sea to deter the swimmers. to Ceuta from Algeciras to see I was soon asked to leave, but the situation for myself. not before I could get a glimpse food – but after a large-scale An investigation is on-going. attempt on the border the Just days later, driven by the After climbing the steep hill to of dormitory-style rooms, which makeshift tents lie dormant, news that Spanish police had the CETI in the burning African reveal that every available space been banned from using rub- heat, I told the waiting security is taken up with people and beds. waiting for a fresh intake. The previous inhabitants have ber bullets and rumours that guards that I had an appoint- The residents spill out into the convanished. The lucky ones into the border fences would soon ment to visit and permission crete corridors outside the rooms just to get some space to breathe. Ceuta, the others - the vast ma- be reinforced, another 700 from Madrid. jority - have retreated further sub-Saharans attempted the Surprisingly they let me in and Nabil Saidi, a 62-year-old artsent me to the main office, ist from Algeria is typical of the into the Moroccan Rif moun- crossing on land. This cycle of attempted mass where I was met by a friendly centre’s residents. tains to try again another day. Nobody knows exactly where invasions in both enclaves con- guard who gave me an unex- Leaving his wife and five sons pected and unprecedented in his home country, Nabil they have gone, or when they tinues to this day. will come back. Like a great Security around the border is overview into the government- has been at the CETI for three u n d e r s t a n d - run centre. months now and has no idea deal of the miably tight. And The people who have come how much longer he will stay grants’ plight, Making it across just to take an to Spain seeking freedom are behind the high metal fences. the facts are u n p e r m i t t e d trapped here - alarmingly - for Standing in the courtyard, he shrouded in the border into photo I had to as long as two years. keeps touching his head, saymystery. Ceuta is not climb a steep They are waiting for the arrival ing that even now he can’t get It is this lack hill to a point of papers confirming their asy- used to having short hair. of official stathe end of the looking down on lum that will finally give them He tells me it used to be long tistics - and journey the high metal access to mainland Spain. . past his shoulders - but he had research - that fences, to avoid I am told there are cur- to shave it off to look more like makes this isthe three police rently 560 people living in the stranger’s photo in the fake sue of such cars waiting below. the cramped centre - which passport that got him across importance. in the border into What is certain though, is that But making it across the border opened Ceuta, for which this scene is being repeated and into the Spanish enclave is not March 2000, He is a member and was only he had to pay across the mountains that the end of the migrant’s journey. of the native more than €500. frame the twin Spanish en- Once in Ceuta, assuming they ever meant Nabil fled to claves of Ceuta and Melilla, make it across the barbed wire to house 512 Berber culture Spain after sufwhere a ‘human avalanche’ of of the viciously guarded border, - although it and faces torture fering constant an estimated 40,000 African there is no option but to hand feels like a lot themselves over to the police. more. persecution at migrants waits. at home guard the hands of the In the past few months alone European law prevents asylum- The police in Algeria, thousands of migrants from seekers being expelled from c o n f i r m e d across Africa have bottlenecked Spain before they have been that this number can often rise, where artists and intellectuals at the enclaves, as the only two officially documented, so the mi- as by law they have to accom- represent a free-thinking that grants are taken to the so-called modate all those that arrive. isn’t welcome. land borders with Europe. But as a peninsula, Ceuta’s ex- Centre for the Temporary Stay of “Sometimes we just have to He is also a Berber - a member pansive shoreline offers anoth- Immigrants (CETI), in an indus- jam in extra beds. It’s needs of the native culture brutally suppressed when the Arabic er, more viable, way in. Many of trial area of the unusual enclave. must,” he said. the migrants who make it into Intent on finding out what hap- I was able to get him to confirm influence took over Algeria. pens when the immigrants fi- that it can take up to two years Now Nabil grins toothlessly as Ceuta swim, or come by boat. But this route is fraught with nally make it across the border, to process the migrants’ ap- he proudly shows me his noI spent weeks approaching of- plications and that during this madic art gallery, photos stored danger. In the dead of night, strong cur- ficials at the centre via emails time they sit in stultifying bore- on his phone until he can find dom, unable to work or study. somewhere more permanent. rents and a viciously rocky coast- and phone calls. line have claimed hundreds First they insisted it was impos- But he explained that they got The videos and photos bring (even possibly thousands) of sible to visit and pointed me three meals a day, blankets home the reality that this man towards the Ministry of Employ- and a bed, and have access to left a life and family to come here. lives in the last 20 years. At least 14 people drowned in ment and Social Security in Ma- legal aid (there are two lawyers He disappears back into the


FEATURE

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the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014

MIGRATION BY NUMBERS *Up to 20,000 people have died trying to get into Europe in the past 20 years *1,300 people tried to cross the border of Melilla in March *1,200 people tried to rush the Ceuta border on March 4 *14 people drowned trying to swim into Ceuta on February 6 *CETI centres have space for 512 in Ceuta and 480 in Melilla *4,235 migrants entered the two territories last year - a rise of 48.5% on 2012

ARTIST: Nabil Saidi and (right) his CETI home dark recesses of his room and brings back a postcard of his hotel, the family-run business that he had to abandon. To break up the suffocating boredom he goes to the beach to collect small stones, which he grinds up to make different coloured sand to use in his art. When his friend, Fouzi Kennouche, a 25-year-old who arrived from Algeria six months ago, calls him the ‘Algerian Picasso’ a flash of pride gives me another glimpse of his pink gums. Fouzi is shy telling me about his life before coming here, but says that he is desperate to get to Germany and find a job, so he can send money home to support his elderly parents. Although he and Nabil only speak French, a 26-year-old Syrian economics student – who insists I call him ‘Mohammad Ali’ – makes an eager translator.

Desperate to finish his studies hind dormitory doors and kicking in Spain, Mohammad under- stones aimlessly around the yard. stands the need to have their Ceuta residents are also quick stories told. He reads whatever to demand that the Spanish newspapers he can get a hold government takes greater reof, and knows that their need sponsibility for the droves of is going unnoticed by the rest people arriving in its enclaves. of Europe. They certainly “Help us,” he seem to have says, very mata point. Ceuta “Please help... ter of fact. is literally bepeople need to “People need ing used as to know that know that we are a dumping we are here. ground for trapped here” We’re trapped migrants, aphere waiting for parently not papers that, as wanted in the far as we know, rest of Europe. could never arrive. We are told When his papers arrive and he we might have to wait for up to is allowed to leave the CETI, two years. That is just not fair.” Nabil tells me he hopes to live But it’s not just men suffering in in Spain permanently, where the cramped, difficult conditions. he wouldn’t be beaten in the Women and families live here street just for being an artist. too. I was shocked to see chil- “I love this country,” he says dren peering out at me from be- warmly. “I love its people and

its culture. I want to see Barcelona before I die.” Recent weeks have witnessed a surge of attempted crossings making it harder and harder for Brussels and the rest of the EU to continue ignoring the Mediterranean countries’ plight. But political discussions of the migrants’ troubles are gathering pace. Just two weeks ago Foreign Affairs ministers from the seven Mediterranean countries met in Alicante to discuss the ‘burning issue’ of immigration. Spain, Greece, France, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta are bearing the brunt of the massive influx of African migrants and are, understandably, demanding more financial help from the rest of the EU. They insist that this mass influx of immigrants is not just Spain’s problem, but Europe’s. They are most certainly right.

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the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014

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UK police are investigating the disappearance of a British tourist, who has vanished having taken out four large cash withdrawals over four days in Andalucia. Derbyshire police have called in Interpol, and contacted the Olive Press, to help with the search of Andrew Cunningham. It comes after his parents alerted them that he had made four large cash withdrawals at cashpoints in Chiclana de la Frontera on April 7, 8, 9 and 10 – totaling €2,050. His family have asked Olive Press readers to help locate him after trying to contact him by phone, text and email

Appeal for British tourist who disappeared after making four large cash withdrawals without success. The British consulate in Malaga has confirmed that Andrew is not in any of the region’s hospitals or jails. Andrew, who had allegedly spent time in the well known alternative hang out of Canos de Meca, near Vejer, is travel-

Schumacher sued over traffic accident despite coma FORMULA 1 legend Michael Schumacher is being sued for injuring a motorcyclist near Sevilla weeks before a skiing accident left him in a coma. Schumacher, who has been in a medically induced coma since suffering the life-threatening head injuries is accused of not giving way at a roundabout in Bormujos last November. The Spanish man that he knocked off his bike is now claiming compensation for his broken wrist as well as damage to his watch, clothes and motorbike. The complaint names Schumacher, along with the company that hired him the rented Audi A4 he was driving and its insurers. A trial will only take place if the insurance company contest the claim, but seven-time Formula 1 world champion Schumacher would not be required to attend.

MISSING: Cunningham ling in his motorhome (number plate D406 URP). He had based himself in Roche, south of Chiclana. “Andy is a very laid back guy, and tends to eke out what money he has to prolong the time he can spend in Andalucia. So no night clubs and jet set lifestyle,” said his father Richard.

Contact

“We must assume that his cards, mobile phone and laptop have been taken” His family last had contact with Andrew on April 4 by text message, when he did not mention any need for large cash withdrawals. But on April 15 they discovered the four withdrawals by checking the online account which he shares with his mother. Derbyshire police are checking CCTV footage to see who made the withdrawals, and have also asked Interpol to operate the number plate recognition system for his motorhome. Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


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the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014

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AXARQUIA NEWS

the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014

Meeting the artists

News IN BRIEF

Sculpture site AXARQUIA-based British sculptor Robert Harding will be exhibiting his latest works at the Roman Finca del Secretario archaeological site in Fuengirola in May. Harding’s pieces utilise a combination of materials including granite, wood and steel.

Burglars busted TWO Romanians have been arrested in Nerja on suspicion of being involved in an organised robbery gang operating in the town. The criminals targeted the houses of people known to them, and in one robbery stole €10,000 of goods and seriously damaged the property.

Fruity feria SAYALONGA will celebrate the 30th edition of its ‘Day of the Nispero’ on May 4. Over 8,000 people are expected to attend the festivities.

www.theolivepress.es THE art scene in the Axarquia goes from strength to strength. The latest exhibition by the Axarquia Art group of painters and sculptors will take place at the Casa del Cultura in Frigiliana. Members of the public are invited to see the works and meet the artists from 4-8pm on Saturday May 3.

CAGED AT LAST ‘High risk’ paedophile who attempted to snatch a girl, 12, in Velez Malaga two months after moving to Spain is convicted in Morocco of same crimes A BRITISH paedophile sought over the attempted abduction of a 12-year-old girl in Velez-Malaga has been caged for 20 years in Morocco. Robert Edward Bill, 59, has been found guilty of kidnap, attempted kidnap and attempted rape of three children by a court in the Moroccan city of Tetouan. The Welshman, who moved to the Axarquia in August 2012, fled after being sought over an attempt to bundle the young girl into his car in Velez-Malaga. He had been renting a country cottage and working for estate agent El Pino properties in Torrox when police came looking for him. The father-of-one - a Jehovah’s Witness - had left the UK to come to Spain having spent two years in prison for similar crimes. These included attempted abduction, the indecent assault on an eight-year-old girl and the possession of hundreds of pornographic images of children . He was able to move despite being dubbed a ‘high risk’ individual and was

By Imogen Calderwood meant to be reporting weekly to the police in Malaga city about his movements. Police in the UK said they were powerless to stop him moving, despite a Judge describing him as a ‘having a perverted fascination for young children’. The attempted abduction in Velez Malaga came just weeks after arriving in Spain in November 2012. Police failed to locate him in Spain, largely because he had moved to a campsite in the stunning mountain village of Chefchaouen, in the Rif mountains of Morocco.

Dangerous

But the former teacher and playground designer was finally arrested in June 2013 while trying to force two six-yearold girls into his car in broad daylight in Tetouan. He had earlier tried to kidnap a six-year-old in the small mountain town, where he lived. Bill’s son Stephen, 28, from Preston, told

PLUGGED IN: Almunecar

What’s app in Almunecar ALMUNECAR Town Hall has announced that visitors will be able to access

DIFFERENT: Freshmix

Fruity Flavours AN enterprising company from Velez Malaga has launched a new range of fruit drinks. Avomix launched three drinks at a recent food fair in Barcelona. The drinks, which include chirimoya (or custard apples) as well as a mango drink and an avocado milkshake. Previously known for producing guacamole, this is Avomix’s first foray into the drinks market. The drinks, which are marketed under the brand name Freshmix, contain no additives or preservatives.

the internet with free wifi. The scheme, which is due to begin at the start of summer , will be available in the most popular tourist areas. The town hall believes that being able to download emails and surfing the internet would make the town even more attractive to visitors.

CAUGHT: Robert Bill gets 20 years the Olive Press: “I think it is ridiculous that European law allows him the right to build a new life in Spain, around people who know nothing about him or his past. “My father is a dangerous man and in north Wales everyone knows about his convictions. “But over in Spain expats had no idea. It just shouldn’t have happened.” Moroccan organisation Don’t touch my child claims that 26,000 children suffer some kind of sexual violence every year in the country. Alarmingly the number is said to be increasing.


GREEN NEWS

www.theolivepress.es

the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014

Fire danger rises By Giles Brown SEVERAL provinces of Andalucia are bracing themselves for a risky summer for fires. The region is facing its second driest summer since records began in 1942. Despite the recent rains, Aemet, the Spanish Meteorological Agency, said that the rainfall was not enough to top up the region’s reservoirs, with water levels a third lower than this time last year.

Fears of a long hot summer increase, as it emerges that rainfall is seriously down and the countryside is ‘very dry’

The Junta has now issued a warning to the public to ‘be extra vigilant’ particularly in connection to bonfires and barbecues. Residents of inland areas have voiced their concerns that the lack

Hotel fightback

THE Junta is fighting back in the case of the ‘illegal’ Algarrobico hotel. In what is being described as a huge ‘judicial tangle’, the Andalucian authorities have now made the land on which the 411-room hotel stands public. It means the Junta now owns the land in the Cabo de Gata natural park, in Almeria, and can theoretically decide to knock it down, as it insists it plans to do. Almeria environment chief Jose Manuel Ortiz Bono claimed the Junta now needs to formalise the deeds of sale, records of occupation and all other paperwork as a matter of urgency. In an emergency session in Sevilla, Environment Minister Maria Jesus Serrano added that the move was positive and urged for the tangle of confusing rulings be resolved quickly. “The Algarrobico Hotel is an example of what should never have been allowed on the coast,” she said. “The Cabo de Gata should be known for its environmental features and not for its urban planning issues.” The move comes after the TSJA appeal court

RISK: Lack of rain has increased fire chance

of rainfall may spark summer fires, similar to the one that devastated the countryside between Mijas, Coin and Marbella in

CONTROVERSIAL: El Algarrobico Hotel

ruled in March that the hotel had been built legally in the protected nature park. The bizarre ruling caused much outrage, particularly after the same court had previously ruled it illegal and after much expectation that it was going to rule that it should be demolished. Six local environmental groups sent a public letter to the governments of Spain and Andalucia last night insisting that the four judges of the TSJA appeal court acted ‘illegally’. They have asked for the four to be struck off. The TSJA’s ruling will now be considered by the Supreme Court in Madrid.

2012. It led to the evacuation of the village of Ojen. The Junta’s environmental ministry has also highlighted the problem and is stepping up its resources, including firefighting planes and helicopters. The planes have already been in action in April, A SPANISH island has become the with two major first land mass in the world to be fires breaking fully energy self-sufficient – using out in Lucainena combined water and wind power. and Carboneras The smallest and least known of the Canary Islands, El Hierro has in Almeria.

Energy isle

put itself on the map. A wind farm will open at the end of June, near the capital of Valverde, with an output of 11.5 megawatts – more than enough to supply the island’s 10,000 residents. Off the Atlantic coast of Africa, El Hierro is ideally placed to harvest strong winds. When there is no wind, reservoir water will be channeled through turbines to generate sufficient electricity. El Hierro is inspiring leaders of other islands to follow their lead, including Aruba, Hawaii and Samso in Denmark.Oki in Japan, and Indonesia.

Winds

The Junta said that the combination of strong winds up to 70km/h and the dry countryside had been significant factors in the spread of the fires. The driest summer season on record was in 1994.

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RARE: Odontites Foliosus

Flower find

AN ENDANGERED plant species has been discovered thriving in two new areas of La Brena y Marismas Natural Park in Barbate, on the Costa de la Luz. With elegant pink and white flowers, Odontites Foliosus is normally found in clearings in pine and oak woods, or in the undergrowth.

Vulnerable

This hemiparasitic plant is classified as vulnerable in the Junta’s catalogue of endangered species. But now, an environmental group has discovered the largest patch of the plant so far, with more than 2,000 growing across a 20 hectare zone. These two new areas bring the total up to seven in Cadiz province, although four – located near Cadiz city have only a few plants.


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the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014

12 News IN BRIEF

Rock chef GIBRALTAR’S best chefs are battling it out in the second series of Rock Chef. The GBC series sees 10 contestants are all hoping they will be named the enclave’s top chef.

Morocco link Gibraltar finally has an air link to Morocco after 20 years. Promoters Your Flight launched its regular service to Marrakech with an inaugural flight that carried VIPs including the Chief Minister. The service will operate every Sunday and on alternate Thursdays.

Victoria upgrade PLANNING officials have discussed a £1 million project to upgrade the Victoria Stadium and bring it in line with several requirements needed for UEFA category three status. The public stadium is used by over 30 sports in Gibraltar.

International Tapas and Bistro style menu

GIBRALTAR NEWS

www.theolivepress.es

Runway brings fashion to the Rock INTERNATIONAL fashion will come to Gibraltar with Runway, a one day fashion festival with a difference. Now in its third year, the event has the aim of bringing new, innovative designers to the Rock. This year leading designer Hasan Hejazi from London, will be showcasing his latest designs. Hejazi has dressed DARING: Cliff rescue

some of the world’s most beautiful women including Kylie Minogue, Jessie J, Cheryl Cole and Abi Clancy The event, which this year takes place on May 3, will feature Miss Gibraltar 2013,Maroua Kharbouch, as MC. There will also be live DJs, a food court, live bands and exKYLIE: Stylish hibitions and stalls.

Rock Rescue! GIBRALTAR firemen have been involved in a daring clifftop rescue, when two young people became trapped on cliff-face on the Upper Rock.

UP TO THE JOCKEY THE world’s top darts players will once again be fighting it out for the Gibraltar Darts Trophy 2014. Players such as Phil ‘The

Power’ Taylor, Michael Van Gerwen, Adrian Lewis and many more including Gibraltar’s own Dylan Duo and Dyson Parody will be competing for the top prize of £20,000. The competition, which takes place from June 2729 at the Tercentenary Hall, will have five sessions with the grand final THE POWER: Aiming for 180 in Gib on Sunday.

After an emergency call from a member of the public, the brigade sent out a rescue team to the rock face near O’Hara’s Battery where the youths were stranded on separate rock ledges. They faced sheer 100m drops. The rescue team immediately rigged up their rope rescue equipment and two firefighters abseiled down the cliff face as the light began to fade to rescue the youths.

Pilot project

NEW solar thermal technologies have been installed at the Tercentenary Hall as part of a pilot project. This trial forms part of the government’s commitment to produce at least 15% of Gibraltar’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.

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www.theolivepress.es

GIBRALTAR NEWS

Tensions escalate over new incident between Spanish and Gibraltar police

A TUG of war between the Spanish and Gibraltar police over a smuggler’s boat has led to a further escalation in the tensions. The incident happened on Thursday after a Guardia Civil vessel entered Gibraltar waters to intercept a pleasure cruiser that was loaded up with 300 packs of contraband cigarettes. A Gibraltar patrol boat intervened to try to prevent the operation in British waters,

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TUG OF WAR

nied by the Gibraltar government. A second Spanish ship was finally able to allegedly ramming the smugglers’ vessel take control of the smugglers’ boat and tow it into the Spanish port, where the with the Guardia officers aboard. It then attempted to tow the vessel back smugglers were arrested. to Gibraltar, at which point there was a A spokesman for the Guardia Civil Union tense face-off between police officers said a formal complaint would be filed. “We consider this to be a clear criminal from both sides. It led to claims in the Spanish press that act against us during the exercise of our a Guardia Civil officer was knocked to the duties,” he said. deck injuring himself, claims that are de- “Something much more serious could have happened, and that is why we demand that the government take action to stop the escalating harassment by the Gibraltar police against us.” RIGHT wing newspaper El Mundo organisation, the Gibraltar MessenThe UK warned that Spanhas been left with egg on its face after ger turns out to be a rambling blog ish actions in British waters it reported on a shadowy Gibraltarthat claims, among other things, that around the Rock risked seriian ‘guerrilla group’ threatening to the British Royal Family are Nazis and ous injury or even death. wage war against Spain. called for a volunteer Gibraltarian Tensions have been further The paper ran the story that the radiSpecial Boat Service to be set up. increased with claims that cal group ‘Gibraltar Messengers’ It also urged that the people of both Gibraltar has once again had issued a series of threats to sink Gibraltar and La Linea should ‘unite brought more rocks in to bolSpanish boats in Gibraltarian wathe whole campo with their Gibraltarster its defences. ters. ian cousins, with everyone at peace, The Spanish media claimed a It claimed the group was distributfree and prosperous under the rule boat from Morocco brought ing leaflets in both Gibraltar and La of Christ, your shared rightful King, in more big rocks and sand Linea, inciting civil disobedience. rather than the evil Elizabeth and for the Sandy Bar area on the However the shadowy paramilitary Juan Carlos’. Eastern face of the Rock.

By Giles Brown

TELL THEM TO BLOG OFF!

the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014

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Home is where your tongue is www.theolivepress.es

the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014

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.”

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: www.intensivespanishinspain.com OR call 913-913-400. If you are interested in being a volunteer to help teach conversational English with Pueblo Inglés, please contact: volunteers@diverbo.com


la cultura

the olive press - April 30 - May 14 201415 15

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April 30 -May 14 2014

what’s on

The feria season kicks off with two big events

Sevilla’s spring break... JUST two weeks after Sevilla’s sombre Semana Santa processions, millions of people in the Andalucian capital are gearing up for the biggest feria in Spain. The Sevilla spring feria takes place from May 5 to 10, in a huge area in Los Remedios to the south-west of the city. In complete contrast to Semana Santa, this is a week of eating, drinking and dancing throughout the night and into the next day. Women wear extravagant flamenco dresses, while the men come clad in

the traditional traje corto – a short, fitted suit and wide hat. There are gigantic tents, daily bullfights and hundreds of rich Sevillanos parading around o n horseback or in carriages.

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uengirola. May 6 and

13, 10am-2pm, Lux Mundi Ecumenical Centre. Bag a bargain at this special boutique grand sale. With clothes, shoes, linen, handbags, curtains, cushions, toys, and lots more. Three items for just €1. For more information, call 952 474 840, or email luxmundif@gmail.com

EXTRAVAGANT: Spring Feria in Sevilla

...or chill out in Cordoba

BLOOMING: Patio gardening at its best

THE best-kept patios in Spain are opening to the public in May, to show off how they earned their UNESCO status. Cordoba’s annual Patio Festival – run since 1921 - has proved so popular in recent years that the town hall has had to begin issuing tickets to limit numbers. Patio owners embark in a heated competition to find the most beautiful gardens in two categories, traditional and

modern. Tourists can lose themselves in the tiny backstreets of the old town, and chat to the creators of the spectacular hidden gardens. The patios are characteristic of Cordoba’s architecture, as the houses grow up around and branch off the central space. Running between May 5 and 18, competing patios are open mornings from 11am-2pm, and from 6-10pm Sunday to Thurs-

Better without ETA Unlikely Basque rom-com which could not have been made during the troubles - breaks box office record in Spain By Tom Powell A ROM-COM set in the Basque region has become Spain’s biggest ever homegrown box office hit. Eight Basque surnames (Ocho apellidos vascos) tackles the politically sensitive issue of identity in the Basque region in a comic way. It tells the story of an Andalucian protagonist who pretends to be Basque solely to woo a Basque woman. The film, released on March 14, has broken the Spanishmade film record for cinema ticket sales with 6.6 million so far.

This record was previously held by The Others, starring Nicole Kidman and released in 2001. Its box office takings, € 38.8 million, are also the fourth biggest in Spain ever, after Avatar, The Impossible and Titanic, according to Universal Pictures Spain. Director Emilio Martinez Lazaro was quoted as saying that if ETA – the armed separatist movement which promised an end to decades of violence in 2011 – were still active, the film could not have been made.

M

arbella. Every Saturday night and every Sunday afternoon, at Yamas Greek restaurant. Sit back and enjoy live music every weekend at the coast’s brand new Greek fusion restaurant. A mix of jazz, blues and soul singers and duos, and live instrumentalists including saxophone, Greek bouzouki, banjo and guitar players. For more information, call 952 903 827.

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orremolinos. May 3 and

HIDDEN: Private view

day, and 6pm-12am Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit patios.cordoba.es

4, Palacio de Congresos. Collectors and antiquarians will be fascinated by the Torremolinos Convention Centre’s historical recreation show. Vintage cars and military vehicles will be on display, along with records, coins, artworks, toys, models and a lot more. The fair also includes an auction. For more information, call 952 379 203.


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April 30 -May 14 2014

Art meets politics in a ground-breaking exhibition to pay town hall’s debt

Picasso: Fighting fines

PICASSO’S art is being used in an unusual new exhibition aimed at helping to pay off a town halls debts. Two paintings by the Malaga artist form part of the exhibition in Torremolinos,

nicknamed ‘Art - Fighting the fines’. Organised by the local branch of the PA (Partida Andalucista) at its own HQ, 10% of the proceeds from any sales are to be used to pay off the town’s debts, which

Arty Party GAUCIN is getting creative to celebrate the 10th anniversary of ‘Art Gaucin’, an annual festival of local artists. Sculptors, painters and photographers – to name a few – will open their studios, houses and gardens to the public for two weekends in May and June. The festival celebrates the many different techniques used by local artists, and offers a chance to find out about their work. The open studio weekends are May 23-25, and May 30-June 1, 11am-7pm. Visit www. artgaucin.com for more information.

are around €60 million. As well as Picasso’s two works, there are works from a number of other artists including Axel Caniggia and Miguel Ortiz Berrocal. The PA is also trying to promote as much local talent as possible via its website www.muchoarte.com. According to the party, these fines are ‘creating an atmosphere of tension that is damaging the good character of the town’. Rafael Solis, the party’s candidate for mayor of Torremolinos next year, said: “Tourists love Torremolinos and its climate, its services and its cultural richness, but also our tolerant and fun-loving character. “There is a lot of untapped artistic talent in our town, and we hope to take advantage of that.” The exhibition can be found at 14, Avenida Palma de Mallorca, between 10am and 2pm. Visit www.muchoarte.es for more information.

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LETTERS

the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014

POTTED POINTERS ANDALUCIA RESERVOIR LEVELS This week: 88.25% full Same week last year: 93.76% Same week in 2003: 65.38% 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 1.52 Canadian Dollars 7.46 Danish Kroner 10.71 H Kong Dollars 8.27 Norwegian Kroner 1.73 Singapore Dollars

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Not end of love affair

A desert is many things, but beautiful it isn’t. So why the surprise… Jon Webb, Online

Dear OP, THE end of the line (Issue 185) - on the demise of the Junta´s high-speed rail plans between Sevilla and Malaga - does not indicate the end of Spain’s ‘love affair’ with the AVE. The long distance AVE trains have all been pretty successful, only the Andalucian network plans were not sensible. RENFE and ADIF were, I think, not keen on them. The distances between the various provincial capitals are not enough, making very high speeds unnecessary. What was, and still is, needed is a better network of traditional RENFE Spanish gauge services, running at reasonable speeds and frequencies. The Malaga to Sevilla route requires better alignments, straightening, and doubling of much of the existing single track. The existing Diesel class 598s trains are splendid, but more are needed, but expensive electrification is not as yet. Surely some use can be made of the many kilometres of new track, infrastructure and bridges planned for the AVE link, rather than the money being entirely wasted, with Malaga-Sevilla in about 90 minutes possible.

ED: Should have gone to Specsavers Jon!

Old habits SPECTACULAR: Millions attend Easter parades in Sevilla

Cashing in on changing times SPAIN is clearly less bound by religion than a few years ago, for when I arrived eight years ago all businesses shut up shop on Good Friday. But this Easter, the local Lidl and Super Sol supermarkets were open, though Mercadona closed from lunchtime Maundy Thursday until Saturday. I sincerely hope that Spain does not lose its cultural strengths built around religion and family in the same way that the UK has in recent decades; yes there is a need to move with the times, but not Similarly, frequent trains between Malaga and Granada are long overdue ! Peter J Owen, Fuengirola

Take care MY point in the story (Betrayed by insurance company as wife lay dying, Issue 185) was to stress the need for people to be careful when taking out medical insurance and ensure they know just what they are covered for. For example, my wife was covered for dental, despite the fact she had full dental implants and was also covered for obstetrics (in her 50s), but apparently not covered for pain relief due to cancer. Human decency says that you help someone in pain, but not apparently when there are shareholders involved. I am not a doctor, I am a radiographer with 20 years post graduate experience and one of the first things learned in my day was that doctors were beyond questioning. I know now that I should have been more forceful and that is something I will have to live with for the rest of my days. I also want to say I was very happy with the coverage of my story. Iain Renfrew, Jaen

Great guy WHEN I read that ex Spectrum, REM and TRE radio presenter Roy Silverthorne had died (OP online) I immediately went for a pint in the same North London pub where Roy looked me up more than three years ago, when he came back to Blighty. He was a lovely guy, a fantastic colleague and had that ‘armchair’ broadcasting style that many envy, and was hugely popular with the listeners. I remember when TRE´s

to the degree that such basics are then tossed away for ever. With the local Easter parades I continue to admire the way that they can ooze religion and ceremony, while at the same time bystanders holding a beer can be seen taking in all the atmosphere, though not behaving like the near alcoholic yobs who so often mar public gatherings in Britain.

Maurice Boland decided to tell Roy how he could improve his show, his eyes glazed when the lecture was over and we both retired for drinks as I had endured the very same lecture earlier. At that time we had both been broadcasting for over 20 years and Roy remarked: “Hey, what do we know Mitch. I suggest we follow instructions until we start the show and then play it by ear!” Keep smiling old mate. My thoughts are with you and your family. Barry Mitchell, London

Hidden cost YOUR article Top tips on buying in Spain, part 2 (Issue 184) failed to mention a significant hidden cost factor for buyers of a resale property. Municipalities do not base transfer tax on the purchase price, but on a ‘valuation’ based on the catastral value multiplied by a coefficient which varies for each municipality. This does not reflect the current depressed market values, and results in a higher figure than the pur-

Ian Relf, Mijas Costa chase price. In turn this gives the buyer an unpleasant shock when a demand for several thousand is received. If I sold my apartment the buyer would pay ITP on the purchase price, but later would also receive a demand for an additional €8,000 approximately. Peter Hopkinson www.theolivepress.es Ed: Adam Neale, Property Insider for the OP agrees, but did not mention it in the Issue 184 Top tips article as the topic was covered in an earlier article ‘A compliment you may not wish to receive.’

No surprise I HAVE to disagree with the outrage over the El Algorrobico hotel for several reasons (Disgrace, Issue 184). Firstly, the building looks quite nice. Secondly, it was a corrupt scam from the start, and no-one will ever be held accountable. And finally, that beach and area is a boring lot of nothing, it’s certainly not beautiful.

THE apparent ease with which the authorities continue to get away with such blatant disregard for their fellow countrymen and expats (Investigation launched into Spain’s biggest fraud case, OP online) is I feel to do with fear . Franco may be dead and buried, but the atrocities committed by his regime are still very much alive in the Spanish psyche. The nation was until relatively recently ruled by a dictator, many of whose ideologies and organisations remain in place today. It’s not simply a case of being poor or uneducated, unfortunately the masses still think and act like people who are ‘institutionalised’, unable to voice their own opinions for fear of reprisal. The last two generations know all too well how it was to live under Franco’s regime. Old habits die hard. Mark Jones, www.theolivepress.es

Car costs I BORROWED a car belonging to a non-resident to collect him when he came on holiday. I am now in the process of preparing to legalise the vehicle and have agreed to purchase the car. However, under EU ruling it should be possible to get ITV on its English plates. While I would happily pay the tax, unfortunately I have to struggle to pay £200 for the over-priced change of plates as we are not all comfortably-off pensioners. By over-charging I understand Spain can easily pay the fine it might have to pay the EU for not conforming to rules. While the UK does everything the EU tells it, Spain does exactly what it wants. J. Hayden, Malaga

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

CROSSMOT 31 Across

7 Localizar (6) * 8 Cheer (6) * 9 Pony (4) * 10 Essential (8) * 11 Chorros (7) * 13 Sonrisa (5) * 15 Rod (5) * 16 Liberación (7) * 18 Quacking (8) * 19 Orejas (4) * 21 Hojas��(6) * 22 Escaped (6).

Down

1 Pit (4) * 2 Acquainted (13) * 3 Rechaza (7) * 4 Atrevido (5) * 5 Circunferencia (13) * 6 Classrooms (3, 5) * 12 Peleas (8) * 14 Dedicado (7) * 17 Primero (5) * 20 Maduro (4). L = 199


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Issue 186

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stepona

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April 30 - May 14 2014

Tranquilo

Estepona is by far the most chilled-out resort on the Costa del Sol, writes Tom Powell

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STEPONA is rarely considered a place for a package holiday. It is just far enough away from Malaga airport to be classed a ‘long way’, and with Marbella closer, why would anyone bother going that extra distance? But therein lies this special town’s appeal and the reason it is loved equally by locals, expats and tourists in-the-know: It hasn’t let its strong Andalucian flavour

be diluted by high-rise hotels and characterless concrete development. But it has still allowed diversity to flourish, with a range of bars, cafes and restaurants from different cultures thriving in the melting pot of a port and its beautiful historical centre. Behind the long, soft, sandy beaches is an old town rich with history and littered with monuments from its Phoenician

and Roman days, when it was known as ‘Estebunna’. Plaza Ortiz perfectly connects the main commercial street Calle Real with the beach. It also boasts one of Estepona’s most popular bars and a regular pitstop with the younger generation in the shape of Tolone. The bar’s owner, American expat Kristi Continues on Page 20


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stepona

BUZZING: The port

From page 19

De Groot, explained that the town’s social scene is growing exponentially. “All of the businesses in this area work together and help each other out, we sell food from all our neighbours,” explains De Groot, a biologist, who has lived all around the world. “It creates a real community.” She has lived in the town for a decade, having started in the bar as a waitress before buying it nine years ago. “Estepona is a wonderful place once you get to know it,” she continues. “You can live a very tranquil and safe life here, while feeling like you’re part of a fun and evolving community.” And she’s not wrong when she says ‘tranquil’, as 90% of the

Chilled out ... but still knows how to fiesta time when I ask my flatmates how they are I’m met with the same reply: “tranquilo.” This chilled out town still knows how to fiesta though,

with regular events throughout Isidro, the town’s patron the spring/summer season. saint) and an even bigger one There is a big dog show, a tat- in July, lasting a week and too festival, a ruta de tapas coaxing the whole town out and, in April, the annual to drink, socialise and party jamon cutting championship. in the sun. A surprisingly intense spec- The May festival which kicks tacle, I watched as eight ham off on May 15 normally lasts cutters lined up, facing eight for four days and includes a hams and eight livestock festisets of knives, val, a bullfight It’s easy to get but there could and various lost but it’s no be only one events and winner…they problem as each concerts. carved to the The highlight road leads to death. however, is the The same local townsnew plaza weekend lafolk who wear beled ‘Vives traditional Sus Calles’ also saw a great costumes and serve up food outdoor concert which drew and drinks from their houses thousands of people, along in the centre. The favourite with events and exhibitions dish, Sopa de Campera, is a throughout the daytime. mix of vegetables and bread. But Estepona’s main ferias Make sure to try it with sanHISTORIC: The church of Nuestra Senora de los Remedios and (right) part of the old castle wall are in May (to celebrate San gria, of course. It is easy to get lost when attempting to navigate through the centre, but that is not a problem as each new road leads to a different plaza bursting with flowers, orange trees and quaint benches where locals sip coffee. The old town centre has gone through a major rejuvenation over the last year, in particular with the pedestrianisation of all its central streets. As well as repaving them, the town hall have put in thousands of new plant pots in each of the old streets, with colours chosen by the locals. Look out for Plaza de Manilva where you will find gems such as Longmans bookshop, run by two expat sisters. Sadly though it is soon to close - after 34 long years - to become an arts and crafts centre, as the • Underwritten at Lloyd’s of London Longman sisters finally retire. Calle Real and the connecting • Be covered in the event of fire, theft or flood streets are home to most of • Optional accidental damage cover for contents Estepona’s shops, including many clothes shops, leather • All risk cover for specified items boutiques and quirky bakeries. Although be warned, • Optional cover for valuables outside the home shopkeepers still cling defi• Pay in three instalments antly to their traditional 2pm (even 1.30pm) siesta unlike Call into one of our local offices or call us on: most of the rest of the coast. Since Easter arrived and the Estepona Sotogrande sun has begun to shine a little brighter, outdoor seating has 952 887 125 956 695 750 spread through the streets estepona@ibexinsure.com sotogrande@ibexinsure.com and plazas like wildfire. C.C. Benavista, Local 3 Local 1A Sotomarket Plaza de las Flores was a quiCtra. de Cádiz Km167 Sotogrande, San Roque et place earlier in the year but 29688 Estepona 11310 Cádiz if you go there at the weekend now you will find the ornate Fuengirola Gibraltar square filled with tables and 952 581 561 200 44628 chairs. It’s the place to go for fuengirola@ibexinsure.com gibraltar@ibexinsure.com ice cream and churros, but Edif. Vega, Local 6 68 Irish Town also houses a number of good Avda. Jesús Santos Rein 15 Gibraltar bars delivering cana beers to 29640 Fuengirola tables by the tray-full. Interestingly, this plaza was originally the town’s bull ring. Ibex Insurance Services Ltd 2014. Ibex Insurance Services Ltd, 68 Irish Town, Gibraltar. Registered no. 77247. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Commission FSC 006 43B Walking along Estepona’s spaMotor Home Marine Travel Medical Holiday Apartment Business Pet Community cious, palm tree studded prome-

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The town in bloom

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T has taken nearly 12 months to complete, but Estepona’s old town streets are now completely awash with colourful flower pots and hanging baskets. Comprising literally thousands of geraniums the town hall has installed the pots from Calle Real to Plaza de las Flores and every little nook and cranny in between. But if you look closely, each street has its own colour pattern - be it mauve, pink or purple - chosen by

nade leads into the town’s port, buzzing with life and popular with holiday-makers. The Louie Louie bar has become famous around Andalucia for its regular concerts, featuring bands from around the world, while Reinaldo’s at the port entrance is always alive and kicking. Restaurants to suit all tastes can be found, with a strong theme of fresh seafood, understandably. Although Estepona no longer relies on fishing as its main source of income like it did

INTENSE: Jamon cutting

fifty years ago, dozens of fishing boats can still be seen exiting and entering the port. “The port at five in the morning is the best place to be in Estepona, when the fishermen come in laden with huge fish it is so exciting and noisy, you can even pick up the fish they drop,” said Carola Dalmau, an English teacher who moved to Estepona from Madrid as a child. Fisherman and wholesalers gather round as the catch is iced, auctioned and then transported throughout the region. Evidence of this can be smelt throughout the day though, with a strong fishy whiff permeating the port’s working end. Estepona is built on an intriguing history; it was destroyed by the conquering Christians in the 15th century and rebuilt by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand almost a century later. In 1729 Philip V granted the town a charter for 600 families to reside there and the town has continued its growth to

the residents. Moreover, many residents in the beautiful whitewashed houses have an image in plaques in the pavement or outside their house, again chosen by them. Some also have old quotations on the walls. The town hall paid for and installed these flower pots around Estepona last summer, and they continue to blossom and entice many tourists away from the beach and into the real heart of the town.

INVITING: The Mediterranean on a summer day

this day with around 60,000 awash with history. people now living there offi- Another of the town’s most cially, although that number popular attractions is the old triples in the summer. Franciscan monastery which And the melting pot of cul- is now the Church of our Lady tures which of Redemption. forms the Built in the town is still 18th century, Many tourists very much church are drawn by its the evident tois formed by day. From the expansive beach three vaulted scattering of naves and a and quality golf watchtowers tower which warding off provides specthe Moorish tacular views invaders to the Arab-built of the whole town. clock tower and the 16th cen- Many tourists though are untury castle ruins, the place is derstandably drawn to Este-

pona by its expansive beach, dotted with chiringuitos specialising in sardines on the spit. To the west is the wonderful El Cristo Beach, an increasingly popular cove which also runs events during the summer and has even hosted the odd wedding. The area also boasts a string of high quality golf courses such as El Paraiso, Atalaya and Estepona Golf. Some of the coast’s oldest courses, the former two in particular are extremely flat, built well before land became a premium on the coast. Behind the town stands the mighty Sierra de Bermeja, so called because of its slightly red colour. “This is the tranquil heart of Estepona,” explains lifelong resident Antonio Lopez, 36. “From here you can see the beautiful town, the sea, Gibraltar and the Moroccan mountains.”

CHARMING: Estepona’s historic centre It is an amazing place for a stroll, a serious hike or even a couple of days camping. Most importantly it counts on the famous Pinsapo pines, the world’s third oldest trees, which are amazing to see. Some as old as 10,000 years old, they are beautiful in the extreme. The perfect foil to the pretty streets of the town centre.


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E Accidental expat revels in real gem

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the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014

ll about

HE first time I heard about Estepona was exactly a week and a half before I boarded a flight to move here and begin my expat life, albeit at a slightly younger age than most of the other Brits who up sticks in search of their Spanish dream. To say I didn’t know what to expect is a bit of an understatement and it took me a few months to eventually realise I lived in the best town on the Costa del Sol. As it was too cold to swim in the sea when I arrived, I channelled my energy into evening runs along the promenade - which were such a delight for someone accustomed to wasting two hours each day on the London underground. I often stopped at the edge of town to skim rocks out towards the Mediterranean and look fixedly at the candy pink sun rays splashing over Gibraltar, as if I was turning over the world in my mind. What I was actually thinking was how great I must look, a lone wolf from a far-away land, John Smith on the look-out for Pocahontas. I spent much of my first week exploring this beautiful town, discovering new plazas daily and always marvelling at the incredible volume of flowers colouring the streets.

Hysteria

But my first Friday night in Estepona had been the light at the end of the tunnel from the start, billed by my flatmates as the night to surpass all nights, the hour to surpass all hours. It was ‘happy hour’. At the port. To Esteponians it really does seem to be the big one, my flatmate knew half

stepona

Beaches, tapas and happy hours, Tom Powell champions swapping a two hour commute on the London underground for an expat life in the most authentic of Costa towns

was assured it was unusually quiet because it was winter and the end of the month. We drank bottles of beer. “Why do the English drink pints?” questioned my flatmate and carer for the night. “It is not fresh when you get near the end, we drink bottles and just get more of them.” Later, my decision to try a different beer from the one I first chose was met with confusion, fear and borderline mass hysteria. “We drink the same beer all night, it is not good to change.” As one bar’s happy hour ended we ventured deeper into the port to another hour of pure, unadulterated happiness, knocking back bottles of lager and putting the world to rights in an over-confident form of Spanglish. I used group chats as a chance to perfect my best ‘I understand the Spanish words you are saying’ face and carry on sipping my beer in silence. When the watch read one minute past happy hour, we decided to fill up on classic night-out fare, the Andalucian OUT ON THE TOWN: Tom and his many Spanish novias equivalent of chips and garlic mayo. So of the people down at the port and if he The first bar – Reinaldo’s - had drink- refuelled with calzone, chips, allioli and didn’t know them he went about chang- ers spilling out into the port entrance more beer, we headed back to the port ing that. and packed like sardines inside, but I for more hours of happiness.

LOST: In the old town streets

Needless to say, that wasn’t the last time I tasted the delights of Estepona port’s Friday night happy hours. But it was when I was driving home one night, the first time ever in a foreign country, that I finally felt like I actually live here, as opposed to awkwardly clinging to the edge like the filmy skin on over-microwaved hot chocolate. With the long, straight, car-free road laid out before me and the moonlit Mediterranean hokey-cokey’ing on my right, Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn struck up on the radio. No matter which road I’m driving or which body of water I have for company, when Natalie’s all out of faith, I am in heaven. So to the tune of one of the alltime classics, I made my way back to my Spanish home, to eat Spanish food and chat to Spanish flatmates about Spanish things. My first authentic tapas experience came when I thirdwheeled down to Tapa Cero on Calle Real with my flatmate that – who by this point I can probably begin calling friend - and his ‘senorita’. We went to watch the Malaga v Sevilla game, the Andalucian derby, the Spurs-Arsenal clash of the Costa del Football world.

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Frenetic

Beer was priced steeply at €1.50 with just one free bowl of tapas thrown in with each drink. I first opted for a generous portion of octopus, then a sort-of something-else type thing, unpronounceable, odd-looking, but delicious. It quickly became apparent we were there for the tapas and not the football, and I equally quickly regretted having sandwiches earlier in the evening. Chicken and sweet onion rolls and a Russian salad later we called it a night, leaving before the game’s frenetic finish and missing Malaga’s unbelievable 3-2 win. Three months later and Tapa Cero has become my local, the sea has become my swimming pool rather than just something to be looked at and my command of the Spanish language is still staggering forward, like climbing a mountain but the summit is still far above the clouds. I still enter Estepona’s cobbled old town streets with a resigned acceptance that I will get lost, but with a certain smugness in the knowledge that I accidentally ended up in the Costa del Sol’s last remaining gem.


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Biggest tackle in the world!

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GIANT metal jellyfish and a fisherman (and his tackle and catch) that stretches across six buildings are all part of a pioneering art scheme launched in 2012. The series of 17 murals (so far) are said to be some of the largest in Spain and are designed to revitalize ‘forgotten’ neighbourhoods. Mayor Jose Maria Garcia Urbano, the driving force behind the scheme, says the idea is to ‘introduce art into the daily lives of Estepona’s residents’. The first of the giant murals was inaugurated in September 2012 by the artist Anna Cecilia. The most recent, called ‘Azul y Plata’ – blue and silver – adds a new community twist to the project, as it was created by prisoners from Alhaurin de la Torre jail. The sculptural piece, of three fish and a jellyfish, cost more than €10,000 to create, and is made of 400 kilos of galvanized metal.

Hotrods’ new home Enjoy a throwback in time by taking a ride to Coast Classics, writes Imogen Calderwood

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LVIS, perhaps predictably, blares out the doors of the newly revamped fifties-style home for one of the coast’s best classic car emporiums. After all, German expat Andreas Ullstein wants to make his cars at Coast Classics feel at home. After a complete redesign, he has installed a classic fifties diner - complete with jukebox, American flags and vintage road signs. Vast desert scenes are daubed across the walls and floor – perfect backdrops for the Chevys and Cadillacs that pack the warehouse. Andreas has lived in Estepona for 20 years, after moving out

CLASSIC: Andreas and some of his classic cars here from Munich, and says there is no better place for a restorer of classic cars. “Between Malaga and Sotogrande alone, I would estimate there are 2,500 classic cars,” says Andreas, who has been surrounded by classic cars s i n c e childhood. He is also an avid collector. “It’s always very special to restore a classic car; it takes a lot of time and d e v o -

ALL-AMERICAN: Andreas’ heart is in USA

tion,” he adds. He first launched the business two years ago when he couldn’t find somewhere on the coast to get his own car restored. He is now well-known throughout Europe’s classic car market and his team regularly restore cars from Sweden, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as catering for clients all along the coast. The company rents out cars from their impressive portfolio, for weddings, films and TV adverts. Visit www.coast-classics.com or contact Andreas on 619 270 000


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Longmans: The last chapter A FTER 34 wonderful years, the story of probably the coast’s longest running English bookshop is drawing to a close. Sadly sisters Sonia and Hermione have completed the last chapter and are closing their shop Longmans.

POP CULTURE fashion-followEtheSTEPONA’s ers came out to play for first catwalk show hosted by businessman Daniel Pop. Half Hungarian, half Romanian Pop, 37, now owns two new bars in the town, Karma and Vintage, and is determined to change the face of Estepona’s centre. Pop music blared as the models showed off this season’s finest fashion from 10 local shops, in Daniel’s boost for the town’s businesses. “I’m doing it for Estepona,” said Pop, who moved to Estepona from London a year ago. Pop - who previously lived in Barcelona and speaks an incredible six languages - will be running two more Sunday fashion shows, on May 4 and 11, at 8pm on the Calle Real.

The British expats arrived on the Costa del Sol back in the 1950s, well before it became a tourism hotspot. “It’s fair to say things were just a little bit different in Estepona then,” recalls Sonia (above). “When we used to get a taxi from Torremolinos, where we lived, to Gibraltar, I remember my mum giving us hankies with cologne as we passed Estepona to mask the smell of the glue made from fish oil.”

Donkey

The pair started life in the town working for Spanish newspaper Sol de Espana, producing an English page. But their time in Estepona didn’t get off to the smoothest of starts, as Hermione’s donkey was ‘towed away’ by the local police for eating flowers in the main square. “It was taken to the slaughterhouse and my sister had to literally beg the fat local policeman to give her a lift there to rescue it just in time!” They are now retiring, to the sadness of many Estepona residents - locals and expats alike - who adore their bookshop in Plaza de Manilva. This is the start of a new chapter for the shop, however, as an arts and crafts centre will be opening up where Longmans now stands.


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Pottery School

WHITE-WASHED: The area surrounding the beautiful centre was once grazing ground for cattle, while (below) Calle Caridad is actually much the same

Classes daily Monday to Friday at our studio near San Pedro. Fun, friendly atmosphere. Beginners welcome! Find us on facebook to see examples of some of our students’ current work www.facebook.com/TotemCeramics

Memory Lane

Estepona has seen a lot change, but when you look closely much is still the same

Tel: 952 887 364

Email: suzanne@totemceramics.com CENTRO COMERCIAL COSTASOL, N340 km 166

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PARADES: The town has always loved its Semana Santa processions

HUB: The port is still a hive for fishermen, but also offers a meltingpot of bars and restaurants these days

Contact us now for a no obligation quote.

T: 952 80 22 21 M: 636 538 877

Monday to Saturday 10.00hrs to 14.30hrs. Calle Nueva 8, Estepona


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Break for Benavista

The eastern end of Estepona has long been one of the most popular places for expats to settle on the Costa del Sol PARADE: Benavista has a great mix of shops

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TRETCHING along the coast eastwards towards San Pedro is one of the most popular places for expatriate British to live on the whole Costa del Sol. But, while it is heavily populated by foreigners, the coastal zone of Benavista is completely different to the sprawling coastline east of Marbella. Far less developed and lower rise, it is also considerably more family orientated and best of all has some great beaches. And then there are the golf courses, which line the nearby hills. “We are so spoilt for choice,” says Hughie Holgate, 63, who runs the Benavista bowls club and next door restaurant Los Arcos. “There are at least half a dozen golf courses within a mile of here and the facilities for families is great. “On top of that you are only a short drive from the hills via the Ubrique or San Pedro roads.” The entrepreneur, a father-of-four, added that the bowls club was a real magnet for the area.

DRAW: From its beaches to restaurants “We have many members, who play in leagues up and down the Costa del Sol,” he explains. “And non members have their own green.”

Curry

Down from here you find a string of urbanisations – Diana Park, Benavista and El Pilar – which are full of local shops and services. They include a range of excellent butchers and cake shops, as well as English supermarkets, curry houses and British

bars. “There is pretty much ever ything you could n e e d around here,” says Pauline Kavenagh, who runs the Grumbles restaurant, which has been open since the late 1980s. And Peter Williams, owner of Golf City, adds: “The area is not too over-populated and there is lots of open space to enjoy.”

Man alive at Man Friday

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T has carved its niche as one of Estepona’s distinctly different eastern districts. But how many people know how Man Friday got its name? The area of shops between Estepona and San Pedro was actually named after a Spaniard Jose Maria, who moved and married a Scottish woman in the 1970s. The all round handyman and engineer returned to the Benamarra area of the coast with his new wife Maria Weldon 30 years ago. “He was a real handyman and we called him Robinson Crusoe, Man Friday and the name just sticked,” explains

Maria. Still running a supermarket (Aliprox), in the area, her son Stefan is also running the popular Amara bar and restaurant. “It’s a great mix of Spanish and English businesses and clients,” he explains. “There has always been a nice atmosphere here and we even have a couple of upmarket French clients.” It is not hard to see why this small parade of shops is a popular stopping off place. Not only can you always park

TEAM: The traders at Man Friday and (left) street market poster for May feria y o u r car, but you have a papers, as well as beach good range of shops and gear and souvenirs. even a hairdresser called Da- Now the area is celebrating vid, a keen Spurs fan. its uniqueness with a speAside from that you have cial street market in aid of Jane’s card shop, which also children on May 10. doubles up as a place to get The event at Benamara your dry cleaning done as Pueblo will feature live well as all your stationary music and a free buffet at needs... and there is even a 3pm. All proceeds go to paper shop selling English charity.


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Bring a bit of bling to your life

SPARKLING: Christel... and her glitzy phone covers

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AVING lived in Spain for over a decade sisters Christel and Nancy decided they wanted to bring a bit of sparkle to their

lives. So in a classic example of a cottage industry they started a business Bling Boutique brightening up smart phones among other items. Charging between €15-45 their phone

Going potty

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ANCY exploring Andalucia’s rich ceramics tradition? Despite a ceramic heritage that stretches back thousands of years, the Costa del Sol has very limited facilities for potters. But expat entrepreneur Suzanne Morritt is changing that with the launch of her new business Totem Ceramics in Estepona. Unable to find a pottery school or studio in the area to develop her interest in ceramics, Suzanne decided to set up her own. “Estepona has such a vibrant and varied arts environment, especially in the visual arts,” she explains. “The giant graffiti art works in the town show a forwardlooking commitment to the

FAMILY FUN: A Totem workshop contemporary as well as the traditional arts.” With a little help from her family, she has launched Totem Ceramics in the Centro Comercial Costasol, between Cancelada and Benavista.

She now holds classes twice daily which cater for everyone, from complete beginner to experienced potter. Contact Totem Ceramics on 952 887 364.

protectors are bright, shiny and original and clients can even design their own. For a bit more, clients can also have Swarovski crystals. “They can tell us what they want in the shop or we can even take all the kit around to people’s houses for parties,” explains Christel, from Belgium, who has lived in Benavista for 11 years. “Teenagers love it.

“Ultimately we wanted to bring a bit of bling into our lives,” continues mum Christel, who is a nail technician by trade. “Now we are getting a lot of Irish and American clients and loads of people ordering on our website.” Visit the shop in Benavista or look at the shop for Bling Boutique at www.marbellashoppingbag.com


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Rocky m w

ASCENT: The peak is nearly as high as Ben Nevis

Walking guru Guy HunterWatts heads out on Estepona’s most exciting hike - the ascent of Pico Reales

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RARE: Pinsapo pine tree and climbers at the top

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HIS easy circuit leads to the highest point of the Sierra Bermeja nature reserve, known as the Pico Reales. Standing just eight kilometres inland from Estepona, this mighty vermilion massif rises to 1,450m - that’s not far off the height of Ben Nevis! From its antennae-topped peak there’s a dizzy, panoramic vista of a huge slice of Andalucia: north to the Sierra de las Nieves, east to the Sierra de Ojen, west to the Alcornocales Natural Park and south to Gibraltar and Africa. And to add to that, the walk goes through the Pinsapar de los Reales, home to one of the few existing stands of the uniquely beautiful pine, Abies Pinsapo Boix. This botanical jewel is only found in less than half a dozen places in the world. Furthermore, there’s a second great viewing point on the walk, the Mirador de Salvador Guerrero, which entails a short diversion but which is well worth the extra effort. And the drive up to the starting point is something of an adventure in its own right. To reach the trail head you’ll need to follow a snaking mountain road inland from the town for about 20 minutes. But that’s all part of the fun.

Getting to the beginning of the walk

From Estepona take the MA8301 towards Jubrique (it begins next to the Mercadona supermarket on the north side of the town) for 15kms to the top of the pass,

Puerto de Peñas Blancas. Here turn left past a sign for Los Reales, pass a green barrier then continue for 2.75kms to a signboard to the right of the road marking the beginning of the Pinsapo walk, Paseo de Los Pinsapos.

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From the signboard Paseo de los Pinsapos head down a narrow, rocky path which drops away from the road into the pinsapo forest. Just 75m after crossing a small concrete bridge you reach a junction. Cut left following the sign Los Realillos/ Los Reales for 2.2km. The path leads past a signboard about pinsapo pines then on past a ceramic sign of a poem by Lorca inspired by trees. The path climbs steeply through dense undergrowth: as you climb higher Mediterranean pines begin to take the place of the pinsapos. Careful! Some five minutes beyond the ceramic sign of Lorca’s poem you reach a junction marked by twin stone mounds. Here cut hard left and con-

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INSPIRATION: The pinsapos inspired a Lorca poem


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eep your eyes peeled for the large number of interesting sculptures around the streets of Estepona. Some are a little raunchy, while others are sculpted by talented Scottish artist Toby Govan. He has ‘lent’ the town five of his works and has lived in the town since he was seven – with his parents both being artists too. The sculptures, weighing up to 2,500 kilos, are made out of stone and white marble from nearby Ojen, and can be found in a number of places.

VIEW FROM THE TOP: A wonderful vista of the coast and inland

Circuit to the Pico Reales and the top of the Sierra Bermeja THE NITTY-GRITTY Distance: 8 km (up and down) Time required: About 2.5 hours (inc. breaks) Rating: Easy/Medium Total height gain: 5,300m Map(s): IGN 1:50000 Jimena de la Frontera 1071 (14-46) & Estepona 1072 (15-46) Water: Tap with unchlorinated water @ 1 hr 15 mins tinue your ascent, zigzagging up through the pines and the reddish rocks. Passing a small breach in the rocks the path runs up to the top of the ridge where views open out to the southwest and the Bay of Algeciras. (30 mins) Here the path bears left towards the transmitter antennae atop the Reales peak, through another swathe of pinsapo pines. Marker posts help guide you up. Passing across another jagged ridge the path bears right and continues to climb. Reaching a flatter area and bearing left it runs on up to the antennae. Here, reaching a white hut, cut right, pass a second hut then follow a narrow path up to the trig point marking the top of Los Reales (1,450m). (50 mins) This is a great spot to take a break and drink in the incredible panorama that lies before you. Leaving the peak retrace your footsteps back towards the first white hut which you passed earlier. Five metres before the hut cut right on a narrow path which drops down to the track leading to the transmitter masts where you’ll see a

signboard for Sendero de los Realillos. Here angle right down a stony track which loops down the eastern flank of Los Reales, shortly passing by another transmitter mast. Looping on down past a group of forestry buildings you reach a junction with another track and a plaque dedicated to Edmond Boissier who first catalogued the unique pinsapo pine. (1 hr 10 mins)

Costa del Sol’s most spectacular viewing points. After visting the mirador trace your steps back to the Boissier plaque then follow the track on for approximately 1.6 kms to return to your point of departure. (1 hr 55 mins)

Here, cutting right for 100m you reach a picnic area, Área Recreativa, where there are picnic tables and, just beneath, the Mirador de la Costa del Sol. There’s a tap with water to the right: a sign warns that it isn’t chlorinated but the taste is all the better for that. Continuing on along the track you reach a turning circle and a sign Mirador de Salvador Guerrero. From here continue along a narrow path to reach one of the

Guy’s book Coastal Walks in Andalucia contains a selection of 50 stunning walks close to southern Spain’s coastline from the Costa de la Luz to the Costa Tropical. The walks vary in length and difficulty. It is available at most bookshops as well as from amazon.co.uk. For details of Guy’s other walking guides check out www.guyhunterwatts.com


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10th March to 19th May 2014 Price - Green Fee

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- Early Bird (before 08:40)

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ISSUE 110 - MARCH / APRIL 2014

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HOLE IN ONE: Estepona Golf’s quality putting surfaces

By Imogen Calderwood

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STEPONA is blessed with two of the genuine grandes dames of the Costa del Sol golf. El Paraiso and Atalaya are two of the oldest golf courses on the coast and were established in the good old days when you could build a course just about anywhere you liked. As a result, their quality is fantastic, built on wonderfully flat land with the mountainous backdrop of the Sierra de las Nieves. It also means you don’t lose so many balls and the courses are easy to walk around. El Paraiso caters for every kind of golfer, boasting seven different types of membership and up to eight competitions a week for varying abilities. It also has an active ladies section, with more than 200 members. Atalaya Golf Club proudly dates back to 1968, when the design of the course was more important

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PALMS: El Paraiso’s tree-lined fairways and (bottom) Atalaya

Estepona is blessed with a string of fabulous golf courses, including two of the classic grande dames of the coast

Far above par

than fitting it between apartment blocks.

Fairways Eucalyptus trees, cacti and palms line the club’s two 18-hole courses Atalaya Old and Atalaya New - whose wide, easy-walking fairways pass fountains and flower beds. As a members’ club that is open to guests, it has a lively community feel and there is always a buzz around

the clubhouse. Although a younger course, dating back to 1989, Estepona Golf is renowned for its superb putting surfaces and stunning sea views. Featuring strong par threes, it provides an excellent round for players of all standards, with an 18-hole Green Fee costing just €39 per person. With the recent launch of its brand new ‘Estepona Card’, players can now get half price Green Fees every

time they play, for just €149 per year. Contact El Paraiso on 952 883 835 or email info@elparaisogolfclub.com For Atalaya call 952 882 812, or email info@atalaya-golf. com For Estepona Golf, call 952 937 605, or email informa-

caption: atalaya


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We are a Property Management, sales and holiday rental company based in Estepona for the last 12 years, maintaining quality properties on behalf of private owners. Whether looking for holiday accommodation or to purchase a second home for investment,we can help make the right choice for an enjoyable stay. For further information here are our contact details:Tel: +34 952 807750 Mob: +34 676 422 700 E-mail: jane@esteponamarinaproperties.com Website: www.esteponamarinaproperties.com

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Estate agent Adam Neale of Terra Meridiana (above) sings the praises of the recently rejuvenated town centre, which has been his home for a decade

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HEN Estepona recently unveiled its new advertising campaign promoting the recent regeneration of the town centre I was disappointed by the design. But the slogan was spot on: ‘Estepona really is better’ (Estepona está mucho mejor). The mayor, Jose María García Urbano, is certainly a man of action. He has pushed through huge infrastructure improvements, from the regeneration and pedestrianisation of much of the old town to even more ambitious projects, like the just-approved ‘Grand Boulevard’ and the new theatre, currently under construction. The changes have visibly made a difference and, more i m p o r t a n t l y, brought tourists (both from Spain and overseas) back to Estepona, breathing new life into what was, for many years, a sunny but economically depressed seaside town. I remember only too well the construction of the public underground car park on the seafront, which dragged on for years, affecting the town’s

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It really IS better image and so many local businesses. Today, with hindsight, it was an important building block for the town’s resurgence. It’s not all roses, of course. There are still plenty of empty commercial premises, but we’re already seeing more than those proverbial green shoots. Like Marbella, Estepona’s recovery is well under way. Let’s hope it brings jobs for the town’s people, too. With one of the biggest and best-preserved historic centres on the coast, a fantastic promenade, and wide, clean beaches, Estepona has always been a great place to live. Having lived in the old town myself for a decade it was great to see the improvements begin a

I’ve noticed how proud the locals have become of their streets

year or so ago. I have also noticed how proud the locals have become of their streets, which now feel like mini communities. The town hall has let the residents of each street decide the colour of the flower pots that now adorn every corner and also paid for a party once the work was finished. Our street opted for traditional terracotta, but some went further… One of the most popular spots for tourists taking photos is just opposite my office, where the pots are a shocking purple! Our decision to set up a business in Estepona was an easy choice, because we really like living here. We never really did business here until, post-improvements, tourists and locals suddenly started to drop in to our office asking about buying homes in the old town. Now, there’s a steady trickle of British, French, German, and

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The heart of Estepona

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TRANSFORMATION: Neale is impressed with the investment in the town centre Scandinavian clients looking to live in the historic centre. Many of our Spanish friends who were born here and now

simply stroll home afterwards. Living in Estepona old town may not be for everyone, of course. But we enjoy local life and the convenience of having everything on your doorstep, including excellent meat from Francisco, our butcher on Agents of Spain (LPA) Calle San Miguel, - an elite group of the and delicious local top independent real produce like nowestate agents. in-season strawWhen the company first launched, berries (try Sonia’s it quickly realised that trying to cover the whole shop on the same area from Malaga to Alcaidesa was impossible, street). and instead focused on the most desirable areas. If you haven’t been “We now just focus on our favourite areas, the ones to Estepona recentthat we think are the best,” explains Adam Neale. ly or have never Finally, the town has a brand new agent recently visited the town, I’d set up in the heart of the town. say come and take Estepona Real Estate offers an incredible range of a look for yourself, properties, from studios and apartments to fincas because Estepona and commercial investment properties. está – de verdad – Its two partners have over 10 years experience on ‘mucho mejor’. the coast and are ‘known’ for the quality of their customer service, and ‘famous’ ability to match a www.terrameridiclient with their dream property. ana.com

live in the suburbs are planning to return, too. Everyone says the same thing: it’s so nice to live in a town where almost

everything you need is within walking distance, your kids can walk to school, and you can enjoy a drink with friends, and

HOT PROPERTY

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STEPONA’S property market is steadily coming back to life, along with the rest of Spain’s... and it’s definitely a buyer’s market right now, insist its agents. The town is home to some of the best real estate companies on the coast, each offering a great portfolio of properties to suit every potential buyer. Established more than 25 years ago, Melrose Properties has built up a huge amount of experience, specialising in short and long-term rentals, as well as sales. The firm, based in Estepona’s port, prides itself on offering straight-forward, clear information and professional advice, whether you are selling, renting or buying your dream home or a holiday property. Estepona Marina Property also offers a similar service from the Estepona marina area. Run by expats Jane and Mike they have a decent range of properties to rent for holidays. Terra Meridiana, which celebrates its 10th birthday this year, is a member of the Leading Property

STATE of the art cardiac arrhythmia unit, which deals with heart irregularities, is to open at Hospiten Estepona in May. World-renowned specialist Dr. Pedro Brugada – the discoverer of a syndrome that now bears his name - is to head up the new department, which will specialise in diagnosing, monitoring and the treatment of patients with heart defects. Cardiac arrhythmia is an irregularity of the heartbeat which can cause stroke or sudden death, and often requires complex treatment. While there is already an excellent cardiology service at Hospiten Estepona, there is no-one in the area who specialises in arrhythmia. “I already treat a lot of people who live in the area between Malaga and Cadiz, but they have to travel to see me,” said Brugada. “That’s how the project was born, I wanted to give people the opportunity to be treated locally. It will make a big difference to their lives.” Born and trained in Barcelona, Brugada is a world-leader in the study of genetic causes of cardiac sudden death. He has been awarded the prestigious Gold Medal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

HEARTFELT:Brugada

Currently chairman of the Cardiovascular division of the University Hospital in Brussels, Brugada will move to Malaga next week to begin work at the unit. Brugada Syndrome - which the doctor discovered with his brother in 1992 - is one of the most common causes of cardiac sudden death, caused by a genetic defect. In Europe, the syndrome affects one in every thousand people. In some countries, however, sudden death is the second most common cause of death in young people after traffic accidents. The unit will be integrated within the current Cardiology Service at Hospiten Estepona, part of the international healthcare network, Hospiten Group. With more than 40 years experience, Hospiten has 16 private medical centres in Spain, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Jamaica, and more than 100 outpatient centres.


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Celebrating 10 years in Estepona

TMRT1154 - Impressive original townhouse in the very centre of Estepona old town, close to the beach, amenities and parking in need of full reform but with huge potential - 337m2 built, 189m2 plot - 205,000 Euros

TMRT1156 - Charming casa mata situated in the heart of the old town with a large patio and light bright rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom - 52m2 built, 22m2 terrace - 130,000 Euros

TMRV1197 - Fantastic opportunity to purchase a small villa with private pool and good sea views. In need of reform but has excellent investment potential being situated in a quiet location not far from the beach and Estepona town 110m2 built, 1205m2 plot - 250,000 Euros

TMRA10102 - Stunning 2 bedroom apartment for sale in the Nordic Royal Club development with excellent sea views - 86m2 built, 18m2 terrace - 185,000 Euros

TMRA1068 - Unique opportunity to purchase a 3 bedroom front line beach apartment in Cabo Bermejo below market value - 161m2 built, 55m2 terrace - Originally listed at 895,000, now 610,000 Euros for a quick sale.

TMRV1188 - Fantastic opportunity to purchase a 4 bedroom villa in excellent condition with very good sea views close to Estepona town - 300m2 built, 850m2 plot - 495,000 Euros

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Tel: +34 951 318480 Mob: +34 678 452109 Fax: +34 952 808791

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Member of Leading Property Agents of Spain (LPA) AEGI (Asociaci贸n Empresarial de Gesti贸n Inmobiliaria) Infocasa and IDD Network Members


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WHERE TO EAT

Estepona has a fabulous range of places to eat from French to Flemish and from Chinese to the achingly hip, writes Dining Secrets of Andalucia editor Jon Clarke

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STEPONA is slowly finding its feet when it comes to good food. Having gone through a major overhaul over the last few years, the town centre is now a great place to tapear and wander around. There are new joints springing up almost monthly and the style of tapas has come on leaps and bounds, not to mention the quality of wines – and the number – that are available by the glass. A couple of must-visit restaurants include Lola’s, a Frenchrun joint right by the beach,

Orient and all

while around the corner you will find the town’s best fish restaurant El Pescador. Lola’s owners, who herald from Paris, have come up with a great range of tapas, including the fantastic spring rolls (nems) and snails. They have even come up with their very own invention, known as ‘rajaos’, which means ‘something broken’ and is effectively a bread roll with a filling. El Pescador is well established right on the beach and famous for its fantastic fresh fish served in a salt crust, or its classic fried fish starters. One of the town’s mosthighly recommended restaurants Sur is definitely the place to eat a steak. GALLIC Run by an Argentinian dynasty, this is a classic FLAIR: David family affair where you will at Lola’s often find father, wife, son

and daughter, not to mention son-in-law, helping out. There is a lively, but not noisy, mix of Spanish, English and Irish and the subtle lighting and warm colours make for an atmospheric meal. In summer you sit in the newly pedestrianised square with its fountains and views across the sea. Juicy empanadas arrive followed by delicious spinach and pine nuts wrapped in filo pastry and a fresh tropical salad next. There is a good mix of lamb tagines and fish dishes, but it being an Argentinian joint you really need to try the steaks, which are fabulous.

Choice

Just across the square is easily one of the best hang outs, or meeting points, in the town. Tolone is now an institution and famous for its breakfasts, fresh juices, cakes and snacks. And it is always busy. Finally if you fancy having a bite while watching the footie, then look out for Fergusson’s pub along the sea front. A friendly place, particularly if you are a Chelsea fan, the food is good value and the beer too. In the port, one of the most popular places to hang out during the day and sample great tapas over a glass of wine is Antonio’s. A real sun trap, it is often full and counts a group of friendly bar staff. Nearby is the Irish Fiddler, opposite the sailing club, which serves up a good range of beers and tapas. Heading out of Estepona towards Marbella you are spoilt for choice for good eateries. All the way along the N340 are a string of good chiringuitos and well known establishments like Tikitano, Rory’s Irish Pub and Cocomo. Some of the best are in Benavista, where you will find Indian restaurant Masala and Bar Los Arcos at the Benavista Bowls Club which is always busy and friendly. Grumbles is one of the best established and popular restaurants here and is now open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch. There is a popular Sunday roast, served every day. One block away is the excellent Neli G’s which serves fantastic, fresh and light meals all day. Run by the talented Neville Gaffney and his wife who used to run a string of top restaurants in Oxfordshire and Derby, this great spot is really filling a gap in the market. A superb place for a sandwich, Continues on Page 37

YUMMY MENU

TOP SEAFOOD: At Pescador and (below) Neli G’s

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Local issue 42:Th

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stepona

ristmas

Local issue 43:The Local Issue 5 11/11/13 12:28 PM Page 9

Local issue 42:The Local Issue 5 9/12/13 11:52 AM Page 51

Cocomo Christmas with Santa Claws...

Red is dead

Now taking boo kings Local issue 39:The Local Issue 5 3/15/13 12:22 PM Page 84

COCOMO

Cocktail Bar & Restaurant Reservations recom mended

685 218 054

Next to the Plaza Hotel

Daring to be different

The €5.00 Lunch

Now taking bookings

COCOMO

Please mention The Local when responding to advertisements

Marketing whizz in the kitchen I COCOMO

Cocktail Bar & Restaurant

685 218 054

Reservations recommended

Next to the Plaza Hotel

Available 12:00 till 3:00 Wednesdays & Fridays from December 4th

Eat me daily.... with coffee or cocktails

Cocktail Bar & Restaurant

Reservations recommended

Page 77

T takes years and countless experience to become a talented chef. To be a marketing whizz, you either have it or you COCOMO don’t. Bar & Restaurant Incredibly, Estepona chef Simon Cocktail Taylor-Lane has both an uncanny ability to both cook up a storm in 685 218 054 the kitchen… and market it to his potential clients. The former Savoy chef, who trained under Marco Pierre White at Criterion in London, is a big fan of design and loves coming up with ideas. For the last four years he has been cooking up ingenious and eye-catching advertisements for his restaurant Cocomo to go in local magazines along the coast. “My wife Sally and I sit there and brainstorm until we come up with something appropriate, then I try and put it onto paper,” he explains. The clever ads include a Christmas ad with a bulldog with reindeer horns, a pile of macaroons and a couple of crumbs sitting on a white background. A current favourite at the door of the restaurant is a quote from Oscar Wilde “Living well is the best revenge” below a wine bottle stain. “They have certainly helped and once we get people into the restaurant we hope to get them hooked,” adds the Yorkshireman, from Huddersfield. His current €5 lunch is helping, alongside his talents picked up in the UK, where he also formerly ran 67 restaurants for the Tiger Tiger group.

685 218 054

Please mention The Local when responding to advertisements Page 51

Next to the Plaza Hotel

Please mention The Local when responding to advertisements Page 9

Reservations recommended

Next to the Crowne Plaza

Please mention The Local when responding to advertisements

COCOMO Cocktail Bar & Restaurant Reservations recommended

685 218 054 TALENTED: Simon Taylor-Lane and (top) some designs

Next to the Plaza Hotel

Estepona’s bohemian heart

Please mention The Local when responding to advertisements Page 47

RESTAURANT AND BAR Frontline Benavista Commercial Centre - Km 167 - A7

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MENU €15.00 Choice of 3 courses Now open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch offering delicious homemade dishes, giving excellent value for money - including our ever popular Sunday roasts, served every day and Sunday’s until 8pm. Reservation recommended.

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From 9:00pm we become the most vibrant entertainment venue on the coast. We give you a state of the art sound and lighting system, supporting the best local and international entertainers available.

SMOOTHIES €5.00 - €7.00

Please see our menu boards for what’s happening next.

Ample Parking

I

T has become one of the most important cultural hives in Estepona. Regularly holding multicultural events, yoga and conversation classes and concerts, Tolone is easily one of the most popular meeting places in the town. Its annual ExplorArte Festival draws people from near and far, with local artists, musicians, performers and other creative-types joining together for colourful creations and good tunes. Located on Plaza Ortiz, it has become famous for its healthy foods and desserts and is a great place to enjoy fresh, colourful smoothies, good tunes and the company of great people. Owners Kirsti de Groot and Mario Borghi pride themselves in having created a great environment for curious tourists and restless night-hawks. Those in need of some Andalucian night vibes will be drawn to the pool table and comfortable sofas in the back room overlooking Calle Real. Tolone’s summer agenda includes stand-up paddle and yoga on the beach, while evening pleasures include concerts and much, much more! For more information call 951 404 721.

T: 636 142 122

Like our facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/GrumblesSpain

Times have changed & so have we! Telephone: 952 88 69 81 or call in & see what’s cooking!

Full breakfast, lunch menus & á la carte evening meals. Tapas available in summer months.

Open 9am - 10.30pm - Closed Thursdays Urbanisation Villacana, Cancelada Playa, Ctra. Cádiz Km 165/166, Estepona 29680.

CHILLED OUT: Tolone’s large interior


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www.theolivepress.es April 30 -May 14 2014 From page 35

soup or special of the day, the kids will be spoilt with nice cakes, puddings and milkshakes. Nearby Rory’s Irish pub, you will of course find a fanastic pint of Guinness, as well as a wonderful Galway Fishmongers stew or Clonakilty Black Pudding, which are highly recommended. Across the road in Benamara you should definitely check out Cocomo (see facing page) where Simon Taylor Lane has been cooking up a storm for four years. A talented Yorkshireman, who trained under Marco Pierre White, he has a very sound reputation and Cocomo is rarely anything but full, particularly in summer, when the next door Plaza hotel is open.

Exotic

The restaurant does an incredible €5 lunch, which is bringing in plenty of punters at night as well. Everything is cooked from fresh and it is well worth hunt-

GREAT STEW: At Rory’s

A truly tasty mix ATTENTION TO DETAIL: At Tanino and (right) Golden Wok

ing down, behind the Robin Hood! Another good place is Bistro Enrique, which has a good mix of Spanish and Meditteranean dishes. For 23 years the boss was in charge of El Paraiso golf and now he has set up his own place, with great views and its own swimming pool. There is a good menu del dia for €15 and children pay just €5. Another fine restaurant in Benamara is Tanino, run by the capable Dutch lady Trudy Chinarro. She and her

husband have two other restaurants in Madrid and the attention to detail is quickly obvious when you see the décor. The food thankfully matches and by cleverly having one chef from Spain and one from Pakistan there is a good mix of exotic flavours. A stand out dish is the prawn tartare in red curry with Sardinian bread. Another place nearby is the Golden Wok, which is becoming increasingly popular and is a fine place for a quiet lunch in its relaxed garden by the pool. You have an open buffet and there is plenty of noodles and other fine Asian food. If you are looking for something more traditional, don’t miss out the popular Amara, in Man Friday, which has been serving the coast for nearly two decades and counts a very loyal regular following.


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Property

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www.theolivepress.es

Still number one Britons still Spain’s biggest foreign buyers with 15% of the foreign property market

The report by Spain’s society of property registrars places the French in second at 10%, then Russians on 9%, followed by Belgians on 7%. Experts put this renewed British interest in Spanish real estate down to a belief that the eurozone crisis is on the mend, and also the view that house prices will not fall any lower. Foreign buyers as a whole are returning to Spain in their droves, with expat purchases in 2013 exceeding €6 billion for the first time since 2004. Online searches for properties in Spain through Knight Frank’s Global Property Search have risen by 29% in the first three months of 2014 compared to 2013. “Foreigners are the only dynamic segment of the market today,” said Mark Stucklin, of Spanish Property Insight. “These are people buying on the coast and in cities like Barcelona.” He also claims big-name investors are entering the property market in Spain, including Goldman Sachs, George FOR SALE: skyscraper Soros and Bill Gates.

BRITONS are still the biggest foreign buyers of property in Spain. The news comes despite reports in the UK suggesting people are less happy after making the move here. Indeed, British buyers account for 15% of all sales to overseas buyers, which is still the highest despite slipping from 34% in 2007.

Sky-high sale

THE tallest residential building in Europe is up for sale. Benidorm’s 200m-tall InTempo tower is close to completion but the project needs an extra cash injection to finish it. Described as a ‘cathedral of the 21st century’, it has cost developer Olga Urbana more than €120 million to build. But, it is still not finished and in order to pay off debts it has gone on the market for €90 million, through Sareb, the state’s bad bank estate agency. Apartments in InTempo, which also boasts a pool and tennis courts, range from €323,000 to €3 million.

What to consider when purchasing a plot: part 2

I

N the last issue, we looked at the things you need to know before buying a plot to build on in Spain. This time, we’ll review the process, and costs, of going from having a piece of land to the plans for your new home. We continued our conversation with local architect and developer, Alejandro Giménez Ferrer, about how to get a building project off the ground, the people involved, and what you should expect to pay them. The first thing needed to comply with Spanish law is a geotechnical report, to determine the correct type of foundations for your build. Specialist geotechnical engineering companies, which must be registered providers, produce this kind of report. This normally takes a week and costs €1,0003,000. Depending on the plot, you may want a topographic report to see how your land lies. Alejandro particularly recommends this for plots on a slope or with difficult terrain. This is done by a topographer, also takes a week, and costs €300-1,000, depending on the plot’s size and characteristics. The next step is to employ an architect (arquitecto) who is responsible for drawing up your plans, subject to all the relevant rules and regulations, and directing the build: “You should always check he or she is a member of the provincial Architects’ Association and is up to date with membership and insurance payments,” explains Alejandro. “Your plans have to be approved by the Association, too.” The architect not only designs the basic plans (proyecto básico) of what goes where in your new

Carolina Vergara M: 670 607 246 T: 952 486 296 F: 952 486 217 E: mijas@palominoproperties.com www.palominoproperties.com

The Property Insider by Adam Neale

home, but also the installation and structural plans (proyecto de ejecución) that detail how it all works. While he or she is ultimately in charge of the design, Alejandro adds, a good architect always conceives a building in line with the client’s ideas: “My goal is to make a made-to-measure suit, just like a tailor would; something that fits perfectly.” You’ll also need a technical architect (aparejador), to manage the build on a day-to-day basis. Your architect will probably have one, or more, they regularly work with, who you may interview for the job, but you’re free to choose your own. Bear in mind, however, both professionals will see a lot of each other, and of you, so try to hire one you and your architect get on with. Architects usually earn 7-10% of the projected build cost for their work, while a technical architect normally costs about 30% of what your architect will charge. Once you have the plans and other documents prepared, you can apply for a building licence (licencia de obra) from your local town hall. You should have a careful look at what’s required in your town but, given the paperwork and hassle involved, you’re probably best advised to let your architect look after this, too. Getting a licence can take one to three months and the process is overseen by the town’s technical staff. They may request changes, which your architect will handle, to ensure your plans comply with the law and planning guidelines but, sooner or later, you should get them approved (informe favorable). Costs vary, depending on the town, but are usually 4-5% of the projected build price, calculated using standard tables. Then, unless you plan on getting your hands really dirty, all you need next is a builder... Terra Meridiana. 77 Calle Caridad, 29680 Estepona. Tel: +34 951 318480. Office Mob: +34 678 452109 Email: info@terrameridiana.com. www.terrameridiana.com

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Top Dollar www.theolivepress.es

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

Malaga’s massive Easter haul

Broadband cost slashed in two

BROADBAND tariffs are to be sliced in two in a bold move by Orange. The network provider is slashing its costs by 45% to €16.95 per month. Consumers hope the move will reignite a price war for fast internet access in Spain as it comes during a turbulent period in the Spanish telecoms industry. Orange, the third largest operator in Spain, is also currently weighing up a bid for Jazztel. After years of falling company revenues and price wars, there has been increased merger activity with Masmovil and Ibercom recently joining forces. Earlier this year Vodafone, Spain’s largest operator in Spain after Telefonica, agreed to buy local cable company Ono, putting pressure on Orange to increase its own market share in Spain.

the olive press - April 30 - May 14 201441 41

EASTER brought more than just Hollywood actor Antonio Banderas to Malaga, with €29 million left in the city after a bumper week of trade. The city made €5 million more than Easter last year according to official council figures.

What a screamer!

Telephone giant Movistar scoops exclusive rights for Euro 2016 and 2018 World Cup football qualifiers By Tom Powell MOVISTAR has scored exclusive rights to screen a host of international football matches next season. The telephone giant has waded in to buy the rights to qualifying matches over the next four years, which it will air on a brand new channel.

Champions League

Restaurants and bars in particular are reporting a 12% increase on takings, while hotels were 98.9% full at the start of the week – a 3.8% increase on 2013. Malaga recorded an estimated 323,000 people in the city, 4.5% more than last year. This is in part due to the arrival of nine cruise ships in the port, bringing with them nearly 20,000 tourists. Mayor Francisco de la Torre has claimed they are already the city’s best economic figures in recent years. He linked the results to the increase in promoting the Semana Santa festival. Even better, a third of respondents expressed their willingness to return in future to Malaga’s GAMES: Movistar to show qualifying matches Easter festiviIt will also include other games offering Formula One fans ties, while an in the Spanish La Liga, the extensive coverage of every overwhelming 94.4% said they Champions League and the Eu- Grand Prix. When it comes to the actual will recomropa League. Movistar TV already boasts competition, Digital channel mend a visit two sport channels, Movis- W9 will have the first choice of to family and friends. tar MotoGP and Movistar F1, matches each day.

The company’s IPTV service provider will be the only one in Spain airing qualifying matches for Euro 2016 in France and the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The new channel, launching this September, will be dedicated solely to international football.

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HE disappearance of flight MH 370 reminds us that life is full of mysteries. And for many, the afterlife is also a great mystery: whether there is another place for us or if it is simply the end. Whatever your views on the subject, one thing is for sure: we are all going to die. Some may fear it, some may look forward to another life, but, either way, we all have to make provisions for the inevitable. There is no mystery with Iberian Funeral Plans SL. We are an upfront, non-complicated and trustworthy company offering an essential service to the English speaking community. Iberian is going from strength to strength by keeping a personal touch and with a strict policy of no hard selling. We understand the delicacy needed when talking about

death and all our representatives will deal with your enquiry with a level of care and understanding.

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For more info on our simple, straightforward, no nonsense and no hidden extras plan, give us a call on 952 490 690, or visit www.iberianfuneralplans.com

BUSINESS IN BRIEF

Go wild THE Selwo Aventura park has seen a boost this year, with 17% more visitors this season than last year. Selwo Marina, in Benalmadena, has had 20% more.

Sound off HOMES near Malaga airport have been soundproofed by Spanish Airports and Air Navigation (Aena). A total of 836 houses have been soundproofed at a cost of more than €14 million.

Azerbaijan boost SPAIN aims to support the development of hotels and the tourism sector in Azerbaijan, according to Spain’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo. The announcement was made as part of the Azerbaijani-Spanish business forum held in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan.


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olive THE OLIVE PRESS ROAD SHOW: MARBELLA MAY 29 press th

SPECIAL EVENT

the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014

e www.theolivepress.es

GET THE INSIDE TRACK Don’t miss this one off opportunity to listen and speak to the specialists on the coast

W

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

Currencies: Mark Rikard

Law: Antonio Flores

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

Insurance: Danni Worth

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

Finance: Richard Alexander

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, financial advisor Richard Alexander, Marbella lawyer Antonio Flores, Danni Worth,

€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 Tax planning: Alex Browne Property: Tbc

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

Investment: Lester Tax planning: Petch Alex Browne

of insurance specialist Op de Beeck and Worth and TBC, a leading estate agent. Other speakers include investment specialist Lester Petch from Tam investments and ex Deloitte tax advisor Alex Browne.

THE VENUE:

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 accounts@theolivepress.es now to avoid disappointment

Contact 951127006 or email accounts@theolivepress.es 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.


Top Dollar

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April 30 -May 14 2014

The Insurance Doctor

T

How healthy is your health insurance?

HE recent world recession has served to highlight that the welfare state in Europe is basically no longer sustainable. Governments around the continent are putting more emphasis on individuals to bear the rising cost of healthcare… and this in turn is leading to an increasing demand for health insurance. Luckily the insurance industry client having to part with any is starting to respond with a money. wider variety of products to Certain treatments and diagnosplug the gaps left by the state. tic procedures may require prior Insurance is fraught with poauthorisation by the insurer so it’s tential problems, pitfalls and best to check with your broker first the dreaded exclusions, at or indeed the helpline provided by the best of times. the insurer. This is particularly true of the The second category is where, health insurance market, in addition to this network of where we have the added specialists, the complication insurer also althat we are Be aware of being lows the client to dealing with tempted away by go to any healththe sensitive cheap alternatives, care specialist area of someas the new insurer not on the apone’s health proved panel. might exclude any and wellbeing. The insurer is Currently future treatment then forwarded health insurthe correspondance proding invoice to reimburse up to ucts in Spain fall into two 90% of it. main categories, and preThis means the client can mium rates tend to be very choose medical professionals competitive, although by the and centres both inside and same token the limits and outside of Spain, but again, it’s sub-limits contained within always best to keep your insurthe policies tend to be lower er informed of any treatment than in the UK. as often it will need to approve The first category is where, certain treatments. for a premium, an insurer For anyone seeking to buy provides an extensive netprivate health insurance, or work of doctors, specialists, indeed for those who already medical centres and hospihave it, but who want to avoid tals throughout Spain. All the any nasty surprises in the event client needs to do on falling ill of a claim, I would highlight the is visit one of these approved following ‘golden rules’. centres with their card and the centre will invoice the 1. Ensure that you disclose any insurer directly without the

Danni Worth explores the pitfalls and gives his ‘golden rules’ for ensuring your medical insurance is in tip top condition above all exclusions. Most insurers in Spain now have policy wordings in different languages. If you are unsure, or the policy does not fully meet your requirements, flag your concerns to your broker and he should be able to recommend alternatives.

5. Ensure that the policy you

2. If you have private health insurance, and have an existing medical condition, be aware of being tempted away by cheaper alternatives, as the new insurer might exclude any future treatment of existing conditions or anything related to them. 3. Make sure you fully understand how your policy functions, and in which circumstances you must seek approval from your insurer before treatment. 4. Make sure that you fully read the policy wording, so you are completely aware of any limits, sub-limits and

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

choose suits your lifestyle, and if you travel extensively and require overseas cover, then make sure that this option is included. Private Health Insurance plays a very important role in modern society, and many people experience first-hand the enormous benefit of having this type of insurance.

However, it is also only fair to say that health insurance is a minefield of options, limits, exclusions etc, and if you are considering it, the best advice is to arrange to meet an independent and regulated broker, who should be able to recommend a suitable policy. R.T.A.:AL-4-04-0017. 2ª cat

pre-existing medical conditions when applying for insurance. If in doubt declare it, and do not give insurers an excuse to contest your claim.

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Now in our 23rd year - here since 1991!

A relaxing community site near Mojácar, Almería, ideal for short or long term living.

olivepress@opdebeeck-worth.com - www.opdebeeck-worth.com

Market mumbles

S

with Mark Rickard

Sterling on the rise again

TERLING strengthened last week after the release of better than expected employment data for February. The pound hit a high of 1.21 against the euro and 1.68 against the dollar, as unemployment fell to 6.9% in the UK - the lowest rate since February 2009. Average earnings are also rising faster than inflation for the first time since 2010, so real wages are now starting to increase, albeit marginally. There is a real spring in the UK economy this year and there can be no clearer signal of growth and increasing levels of activity than companies hiring additional employees. If we continue to see the upward trend and increased consumer confidence then a rate hike by the Bank of England could come later this year. I am sure sterling will keep performing well this year, in particular against the euro, which is currently seeing disinflation - as highlighted by this week’s release of the consumer price index (CPI) for March, which was just 0.5% year-on-year. The European Central Bank (ECB) will have to prevent this trend continuing and one op-

tion, which will weaken the euro, is quantitative easing (QE). Whatever, the bank must act to prevent its worst nightmare of seeing adownwards economic spiral - where prices start falling, people stop spending and the recession returns. Maybe its bosses are confident things are fine and inflation will start to pick back up. Although If I was in ECB president Mario Draghi’s shoes I’m not sure I would want to take that risk!

Contact HiFX to help you with your international transactions, call in at Centro Plaza, call 951 203 986 or email olivepress@hifx.co.uk

Call us on 950528324 or 609506869

www.CampingLosGallardos.com facebook.com/MirafloresCLG


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www.theolivepress.es April 30 -May 14 2014

Road to Riches, by Richard Alexander

UK Budget – Pension Reforms – 3rd & Final Part!

I

HAVE been summarising the key changes announced in the Budget last month which relate to UK originated pension funds and in this article I want to look at another aspect, which will be my last piece on the subject to complete the trilogy! With greater flexibility to gain access to pension fund benefits being announced, there is in fact a potential ‘sting in the tail’ for the Treasury. When people work for the armed services, police, local government, the civil service or various other occupations where government-backed pension benefits are provided, there is no ‘pot of gold’ set aside containing their money. Rather, these pension schemes are unfunded and benefits are paid from the relevant budget during the year when the benefits are due to be paid. Where people have left service early, they have enjoyed a retained pension benefit in the main scheme and up until now, they have been able to apply for a cash equivalent transfer value to be made available to move to another pension scheme. One of the main attractions of statutory pensions is the very basis that they are calculated on and the fact that for the vast

majority of people, it would be lunacy to give up the guarantees that the schemes provide. That was of course until last month when the chancellor made his budget announcements about being able to fully surrender pension funds with effect from April 2015. Despite the fact that the statutory schemes will still represent excellent value to most people, the option to take the full value now might just create a run on people opting to do just that. This is where the problem could arise for the Treasury inasmuch that they would have to make available the transfer value now whereas they were not expecting to

have to start making payments until normal retirement age under the scheme. It is for this reason that in all probability, the option to take a transfer from a statutory scheme may well in fact be removed and in some cases this may already be happening. The question then is how long will it be before other final salary pension providers want to take the same route to avoid a run on their pension funds earlier than had been anticipated. Whilst the new proposals work well for Defined Contribution pensions, which will include most personal pensions, they may well be about to disappear for Final Salary / Defined Benefit (DB) scheme members. A word of caution; if you have retained benefits in a DB pension, you might be tempted to think you should rush a decision now to transfer out while you can and I can imagine there will be a number of unscrupulous advisers who will be advocating exactly that course of action. However, DB schemes have guarantees, some of which could be totally relevant to your circumstances still, which would be lost on transfer and once lost, they cannot be reinstated.

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 Richard@ra-fp.com

AGONY ANT YOUR LEGAL PROBLEMS ADDRESSED

Clause for thought

Antonio Flores on the truth about ‘watertight’ clauses in Spain

O

NE word I am never happy with when it comes to advising clients is ‘watertight’. I often hear the word in front of ‘legal case’, ‘contract’, ‘lease agreement’, etc, etc. I even recently heard of a firm called Watertight Legal. Let’s now focus on how non-watertight certain contracts can be, in particular consumer contracts. Spanish contract law operates the principle of ‘libertad de contratación’. This means that parties to contracts are allowed to agree on the terms of a contract so long as they do not violate public policy, ethics/morals or the consumers’ rights, and they conform to special legislation that may exist pertaining to the activity i.e. banking, insurance etc. Surprisingly, employing the best lawyers to draw up contracts is sometimes a recipe for disaster: banks, insurance companies and other large operators have found out, to their horror, that contracts drawn up by the most expensive law firms are riddled with loop-holes, like a Swiss cheese. The examples below show what can happen with supposedly watertight contracts when challenged in Court:

.

Madrid Court declares at least 45 clauses in banking contracts null and void as they breach consumer protection regulations (September 6 2013).

.

Supreme Court voids eight clauses found

in contracts with insurers Allianz, Caser and Mapfre (July 1 2010).

. .

Madrid Court rules that eight clauses in a contract with Ryanair must be removed because they are unfair, such as charging €40 for a boarding pass (October 23 2013). Costa Cruceros, the cruise liner operator (and owner of the infamous Costa Concora) agreed to remove seven clauses from its contracts. In my experience it is everyday practice - and not some lawyer’s intuition, excessive selfbelief in his abilities or the firm he works for - that will help identify clauses (or even contracts) prone to be successfully challenged. That, and articles 82-90 of the Consumer Protection Act that has blacklisted no less than 30 unfair contract terms.

Email Antonio at aflores@lawbird.es


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Advertorial

“FATCA” ENSURES AUTOMATIC EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION IS THE NEW GLOBAL STANDARD BY JUNE 2014!

T

HE EU plans to have the most Spain, France, Germany and Italy signed robust exchange of information an agreement to pilot an automatic policy in place well ahead of exchange of information system any extension to the EU Savings very similar to the US FATCA regime. Directive but what does this mean in This is a concerted attempt by these reality for investors? member states to eradicate financial In 2005 the Savings Tax Directive secrecy and ensure that information came into force meaning that data passes between tax authorities on a on savings income consistent basis. Anyone would automatically be who thinks that UK HMRC forwarded by the provider do not speak to Hacienda Why take the risk of to the tax authorities in in Spain and of course holding undeclared the individual’s country vice versa should take assets when there of residence. However the a reality check. Twelve are perfectly main thrust of the initiative other member states are satisfactory options was to cover savings ready to sign up to this interest and it is almost agreement apparently. certain that the revised Tax transparency is Directive will cover the glaring omissions now the central theme in Europe from the first directive namely a wide and there is no longer a hiding place range of financial instruments as well as for undisclosed assets be they in an payments through trusts, companies and onshore environment or held offshore foundations. We predict that the new wrapped up in a trust or company directive may be in place by the end of arrangement. this year so there is little time to sort out Often we speak to individuals who your affairs and put them in order. think that holding their money in an Earlier this year the G5 countries of UK, offshore trust or company or lodging

funds outside of the jurisdiction where they live or in faraway places will mean that they are immune from these new initiatives. Unfortunately as we have been at pains to point out this is clearly not the case. The window of opportunity for reorganising your affairs is growing smaller day by day. If you think you will be affected by this new wave of sentiment you need to take

action now rather than leave things until it is too late. The opportunity to rearrange your assets may have already passed but at least whilst it may not be possible to put things right retrospectively at least moving forward your affairs can be straightened out. Indeed the positive news is that for tax residents of many EU countries there are legitimate ways of reducing your tax burden. Why take the risk of holding undeclared assets when there are perfectly satisfactory options that will allow you to sleep peacefully at night knowing that you are tax compliant in your country of residence. If you would like the opportunity to discuss ways of mitigating your tax liability in a legitimate and cost effective way why not make an appointment to speak to one of our local advisers at a tax and wealth clinic being held in your area. Give us a call on Tel: 956796911 or email enquiries@fiduciarywealth.eu YOU NEED TO TALK TO US URGENTLY!

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the olive press - April 30 - May 14

Wisdom teeth

HUMAN teeth are getting smaller as we become smarter, claim Spanish researchers. Throughout the 2.5 million year history of Man, brains have become larger as teeth have decreased in size. The unlikely findings, described as an evolutionary paradox, could be because of a change in diet. Logic would suggest that as brains grow we would need to eat more to sustain a higher metabolism. But the scientists have suggested that eating more nutritious food, such as animal meat, has allowed us to eat less while still getting adequate levels of proteins and fats.

Despite massive budget cuts Spain still has the best healthcare in Europe, claims report

SPAIN’s healthcare system is the best in Europe, claims a new study. And the country is also ranked fifth best in the world, in the study by Bloomberg which measured efficiency, life expectancy and cost. The report comes after a number of

recently slammed its quality following drastic 30% cuts over the last few years. studies showed that Spanish health care Despite this, Spain’s efficiency rating has deteriorated dramatically over re- was 68.3, its life expectancy was 82.3, cent years due to national budget cuts. and the cost of healthcare as a percentBritish medical journal The Lancet age of GDP per capita was 10.4%. This is compared to the UK’s efficiency rating of 55.7, life expectancy of 80.8, and healthcare cost percentage of 9.4%. as the main reasons for the increase. “Holidays in hot climates have become more af- Hong Kong topped the list of fordable and sunbeds are now widely available the ‘most efficient healthcare countries in the world’, folsince the 1970s,” he said. “But we know over-exposure to UV (ultra-violet) lowed by Singapore. rays from the sun or sunbeds is the main cause Japan and Israel also made the top five, while the UK of skin cancer. “This means, in many cases, the disease can be came 14th, and the US ranked prevented, and is why it’s essential to get into 46th. good sun safety habits, whether at home or The results were greatly affected by Bloomberg’s decision to abroad,” he added. The charity’s top tips are to avoid sunburn, to take cost into account. spend time in the shade, to cover up, and to wear This sent countries with good but very expensive healthcare sunscreen of at least factor 15. – like the US - far down the list.

By Imogen Calderwood

Package holidays blamed for skin cancer rise THE Spanish sun is a key factor being blamed for a massive surge in cases of skin cancer among Britons. Package holidays, the majority of which are to Spain, are cited as one of the main reasons behind the dramatic increase in the incidence of malignant melanoma, which has seen a 500% increase in just 40 years. There are now more than 13,000 new cases each year of melanoma - the most dangerous form of skin cancer - compared to 1,800 in 1975, according to new figures released by Cancer Research UK. Nick Ormiston-Smith, head of statistics at Cancer Research UK, has flagged the rise of package holidays to European destinations and sunbeds

More Yoda than Yoga

The Olive Press sent our very own man-abouttown Giles Brown to try out the new Radiant Yoga centre

FLAT OUT: And just half way in

I

N one of his more memorable quotes, Oscar Wilde once wrote that a man should try everything once in life other than incest and folk dancing. So with that in mind I decided to take the plunge and enrolled for my first ever yoga class. There were several reasons for me deciding to do this. One is that I’m on a health and fitness kick at the moment. I’m heading towards my 50s with alarming speed, so I need something to keep me in shape. I saw Sting a couple of years ago in concert and he’s a big yoga fanatic (plus Tantric Sex, but I’ve about as much chance of practicing that at the moment as becoming Pope, trust me). The Police frontman looked incredible at 60 and I reasoned that if it was good enough for the world’s most famous Geordie (Jimmy Nail doesn’t count) it was good enough for me. Also the studios at Radiant Yoga in Nueva Andalucia are run by friends, so if I was going to make a complete arse of myself, then it was best to do it amongst pals. Actually, that has rung true for several other episodes of my life, as my long suffering amigos will testify . I duly rocked up on the opening day of the studio and enrolled myself manfully in the ‘Hot Yoga’ class. This takes place in a specially heated studio and is designed to really detox the body and get the blood flowing. ‘Piece of cake’ I thought to myself as I stripped down to my rugby shorts and training top. ‘I train three times a week, so what could possibly go wrong?’ I also noted that I was the only man in the class, and was surrounded by rather lovely, very fit and slightly boho type women. I subconsciously went into George Clooney Nes-

FAR FROM RADIANT: Our Giles presso mode... As soon as I stepped into the studio, however, I knew that I had made a big, BIG mistake. Instead of a pleasantly warm room, the studio was a sauna. I have a Welsh father and a Scottish mother, which means that my metabolism is 100% Celtic. We’re not used to extreme heat and when we do, we ‘glow’. I was glowing buckets before we even started.

Dripping

Any ‘nudge nudge, wink wink, only guy in a room full of women with their bums in the air’ ideas were soon blown out of the water. Even more so when just after the 10 minute mark of the class I realised that I put my shorts on back to front. Luckily I had a particularly supportive pair of sports Calvins on, but I still spent the rest of the class worrying about the possibility of ‘fallout’. Luckily, my time in the class wasn’t to last that much longer. The instructress Margaret was leading us all through a series of movements, but I was finding it harder to breathe and concentrate, and was now dripping in sweat. I started to get the first warning signs of dizziness, plus the scrambled eggs that I had eaten earlier seemed eager to make a reappearance. It was either walk out, throw up or pass out. Quite possibly a combination of all three. Although if you were lucky enough to catch me in my Press Lunch Freeloader prime about ten years ago that was a pretty frequent event. This time, however, discretion got the better part of valour and I staggered out of the studio into the cool of the male changing room, with the other instructors handing me a much needed glass of water. All agreed that was a complete nutter to try a Hot Yoga class, but thought that I had put in a superb effort. The next day I could really feel that the session had worked my abs, so I plan to work yoga into my fitness programme. And next time I might even put my shorts on the right way round...


The Olive Press’ www.theolivepress.es

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OP

BSM head teacher Sian Kirkham on getting top marks from the infamous National Association of British Schools inspector

monthly youth and education section

47 38 57

treme

An inspector calls

I

T’S an event that sends shivers down the spines of even the most dedicated and diligent school staff – not to mention the head teacher. Last month there was nailbiting, nervous glances galore and more elbow-squeezing than I care to mention. No, it wasn’t the Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid derby, it was in fact an inspection by the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABBS). Armed with clipboards, narrowed-eyes and a superhuman attention to detail, a pair of inspectors were dispatched to BSM headquarters for our second visit since opening in September 2010. Of course there was no need to fret as it turns out they were extremely impressed by what they saw, rating us ‘very good to outstanding’ across all areas of the school. And would you believe both of them added they would hap-

the olive - April 30 - 14 May 14 the olive presspress - April 30 - May 2014

Problem and a half Calls for education reforms as teens can’t problemsolve on MP3 players or even buy train tickets By Imogen Calderwood

pily send their own children to school here? It was at this stage, with things going swimmingly, I thought it prudent not to boast about the recent staff entries to the talent show and hid all photographic evidence of the debacle. As you’re probably well-aware, teaching in an excellent school is not an easy task – first of all staff have to put up with me! But all joking aside, many staff habitually work long evenings and weekends to make BSM the crème de la crème. In other news, something eggciting, of course, happened on the last day of term. Word on the playground for several days had been who was going to saunter off with the

BONNIE BONNETS: Easter fun!

chocolate Easter eggs for the hotly anticipated Easter Bonnet Parade. Dozens of pupils, staff and parents decorated their domes and it goes without saying that there were a number of cracking entries. But already, the Easter holidays seem like a distant memory as plans for the summer term are already underway with a fashion show, a visit from fire-fighters and our first residential trip to Mallorca organised for May.

SPANISH teenagers are unable to cope with everyday problem-solving tasks, according to a damning new report. ‘Old-fashioned’ teaching methods are being blamed for the poor results after 28% of Spanish teenagers failed a simple problem-solving test – compared to an international average of 21%. Spain came 29th out of 44 countries in the world ranking, which was headed by Singapore and South Korea. More than 85,000 teenagers worldwide were presented with a series of interactive problems in the study, published by the OECD. The scenarios included buying the cheapest possible train ticket, working an unfamiliar

MP3 player, and finding the shortest route between two points. The OECD’s education chief, Andreas Schleicher, highlighted the need for schools to not only impart knowledge, but also to teach how to apply that knowledge to real-life scenarios. “The world economy does not focus on what one knows, but on what one can do with what one knows,” he said. More than 2,700 Spanish 15-year-olds took part in the study, carried out in 2012. Children from immigrant families, including expats, in Spanish schools scored ‘significantly’ worse. There was no statistical difference between the genders. The state secretary for eduSPAIN has recorded the highest number of school drop-outs cation, Montserrat Gomenin the European Union for the third year in a row. dio, has called for ‘a radical Nearly a quarter of young Spaniards (23.5%) grow tired of the change in the teaching metheducation system and quit before reaching the compulsory odology’ in schools. age, according to Eurostat. She added that the ‘rigidWhile this is double the EU’s average rate of 11.9%, it is still Spain’s ity’ of the Spanish education best result on record and a huge decrease from 2007’s 31%. system – which is based on The EU is hoping to persuade Spain’s teenagers to stay in school learning by repetition – has though, targeting a 15% drop-out rate by the end of the decade. established ‘an equity which But there is good news too, as Spain has marginally more 30 to 34-year- means that everyone must be olds with a university education than the EU average, at 40.7%. uniformly mediocre’.

School’s out!


48 the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014 48

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The Mistress of Sizzle’s ongoing saga on the trials of being a website mother

Bringing Up Cyberbaby

M

Y cub reporter days gave me a marked distaste for mother and baby contests, where you were expected to goo-goo over gurgling infants that mostly looked like gremlins. (“So how old is little Jenny? Oops, sorry, little Jimmy?”) But I’ll have to swallow my heartless words because my own ‘baby’ recently made a small news item in the local press! Yes, you do hear the sound of one proud mother gushing. It won a Costa Press Club it’s only 18 months old and I’ve only (CPC) Communicator Award last just figured out how to change the month - pretty miraculous since slider.

CYBER PRIZE: Belinda picks up her award from the Costa Press Club bash

Those of you who read my cautionary tale about giving birth to a website will know I don’t mean the kind

of ‘baby’ that wears Pampers. (In fact, now I’ve got a spam filter, who needs them!) But with apologies to traditional mums and dads, looking after belindabeckett.com is as close to parenting as I’m ever likely to come. As my offspring approaches the ‘Terrible Twos’ it’s good to network with other website parents who have done it all before me: setting up an RSS feed, checking for broken links, injecting a daily dose of SEO, registering it with the Google search bots… there are so many worries with a young website that I’m able to share at

All I needed was a pear tree…

I

HAD the luxury of a day off last week and was looking forward to a lazy lie in. The cats had different ideas however, as Genghis came crashing through the cat flap with a live patridge at 6am. So dawn saw me chasing a frantic game bird around the living room while fending off the attentions of two cats, crazed with blood lust.

monthly CPC dinners. Mind you, the Stone Age hack in me still yearns for the ‘hotmetal publishing’ days of slugs and flongs and more stimulating journalistic banter. And I draw the line at discussing anti-spam plug-ins at the dinner table.

Motherhood

I booted the cats out of the house and finally caught said bird, which had flown up to one of the roof beams. It would have been an unlikely way to die had I fallen from the roof beams trying to catch the damn thing.(Ed: A great splash though!) I wrapped the partridge in a towel and, realising that the cats would

get it again if I just released it on the terrace, leapt into the Freelander and drove a mile up the track to release it, still in my pajamas. After cleaning up the feathers and partridge sh*t, I recounted my morning’s adventures to TRE’s Bill Padley. “I bet it’s not the first time you’ve chased a frantic bird around your living room!” he replied.

NOT GAME: Partridge

Triffid trouble WHEN it comes to gardening, I have the opposite of green fingers. A combination of me forgetting to water most things (myself included) as well as the propensity of the cats to attack anything in a pot means that any plant soon withers and dies. Even a heart shaped cactus given to me as a sign of endearment soon gave up the ghost on me. Read into that one what PLANT PERIL: Giles agave you will. So I was somewhat taken aback, therefore to discover that what I took to be humble cactus at the bottom of the garden had sprouted what looked to be a giant asparagus tip overnight. I beat a hasty retreat back to the house and, having checked the botanical section of the library, reassured myself that it wasn’t a triffid.

Tequila

talk radio europe

Tre radio 120x148mm - OLIVE PRESS.indd 1

03/04/14 15:37

A quick appeal to my Facebook friends revealed that it was, in fact, an agave. (Very clever lot, my Facebook friends. When they are not inviting me to play bloody Candy Crush that is). Apparently the agave americana is a cactus that can take upto 30 years to flower. The spike, which is the bit that I mistook for a Triffid stem, can grow up to eight metres tall, flowers and then dies. Even more interestingly a South American friend told me that Mexicans make tequila from it (don’t tempt me) while another commented ‘Dude get the butter out! It’s a giant asparagus stalk!

We can never stay late because we have to get back for the cats. Two of my own, one adopted. For someone who never wanted ‘dependents’ I’m not sure quite how I ended up with a quartet: one with no legs, three with four - in human terms that equals six individuals! Dave’s the father of Blue. He really does think of himself that way, through no fault of his own. Conversation with local vet: “Hola. Soy Daveed Cussen”. “Quien?” “Daveed Cussen, el padre de Blue?” “Aye, por supuesto!”. At least cats don’t need a new fur coat every year. With websites, just when you’ve paid for a redesign or a fancy shmancy Content Management System they’ve outgrown it. I thought you could never feed a website too much fresh content but mine has evolved from a lightweight business card into a bonny bouncing travel site that’s so all over the place – Gibraltar, the Campo de Gibraltar, Cadiz Province, Costa de la Luz – the categories and tags no longer fit. There’s a wise old web-mistress’s tale that says: ‘Followers for vanity. Monetisation for sanity.’ So I’ve taken a part-time job writing sizzling travel guides to help cover the expense of bringing up cyberbaby. (My first one’s free when you sign up!) Of course, my social networking life has gone to pot and now I’m going to need a part-time web nanny too. Motherhood? Why do we bother!


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Now, what’s the tip?

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Hotelier and Hoteli-HER

My Rock of Benaojan

I

T is perhaps hard to believe, but Reme Palacios Sanchez has worked for us all 27 years we have been open. She is the absolute rock of the itchen – the organisational head and – along with head chef Alberto – is in charge of all the ordering, storing and labelling of hundreds of ingredients. I am in awe of Reme. She is the most dependable, reliable, hard-working person I

A

have ever met in my life...and she has NEVER had a day off sick! I have very few photos of her – because she’s always got her head down - cooking, sorting, ordering, phoning, supervising. It’s not often words fail me, but with someone as solid and responsible as Reme all I can say on behalf of all the team, suppliers and guests is THANK YOU. You are truly amazing.

When were you last told that you needed to give yourself a break, relax, slow down, take it easy, rediscover time for people you care about?

M ROCK ON!: Reme

The advantage of maturity ….

S I get to an age when body creaks don’t disappear as quickly as before and, sadly, the capacity to imbibe lots of alcohol, without suffering consequences, decreases rapidly, it is helpful to look back and see what has been learnt over 27 years doing the same job. The big advantage of a well-established place is that we now have a clear vision of who we are appealing to and can target those people when we plan our advertising campaigns.

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“YOU NEED TO SLOW DOWN; TAKE IT EASY…” the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014

I am not a snob and have found the market niches in which we specialise… and it is great when the word spreads. We are very grateful to all those people who recommend their friends to visit us – not only is it the cheapest advertising but also the best targeted. It is a big responsibility telling someone where they might like to spend their leisure time – get it wrong and you can lose friends very quickly. However get it right and you shoot up in the estimation of those around you.

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

Dairy wastage

aybe you should be thinking about taking a break away from routine where you can put yourself and loved ones first. Fortunately there is a place just one hour’s journey from San Pedro, ten minutes from Ronda that allows you to do just that. ❖ Would an old watermill by a rushing mountain stream with 18 comfortable rooms arranged in pretty gardens tick some boxes for you?

The pool and mature gardens at Hotel Molino del Santo

❖ How about if the place offered excellent food and a great selection of local wines? ❖ What about if the surrounding countryside is so attractive that you don’t need a car to enjoy lovely walks from a gentle stroll to an all-day trek – with routes prepared for you from the door? ❖ Would it help if there was a wonderful masseuse available for Thai treatments? ❖ A large heated swimming-pool in the grounds? ❖ Amazingly friendly staff? ❖ Art displays? ❖ A colourful and reliable local train nearby if you want to explore a little or use it to arrive from San Roque.or Málaga? ❖ Spanish staff who all speak some English and have your interests at heart? ❖ Relaxed, informal but efficient and professional? ❖ Incredible Trip Advisor Reviews? ❖ Within range of Ronda if you need some shopping therapy? ❖ Willingness to listen to your requirements and small enough to be able to adapt to you?

❖ Molino del Santo has been pleasing people for 27 years ,,,,, if you’ve been before, why not visit again soon? ❖ If you’ve never been, why wait any longer? ❖ Don’t delay. Molino del Santo – the reason to head for the hills. Call the reception staff now – they all speak English - or send them an e.mail. You will be courteously, promptly and helpfully assisted – guaranteed. Check out the website and see why you need to visit soon… special events, anniversaries, family visits, friends you want to thank for things they’ve done for you, special people who want to thank you... what will persuade you to head for the hills?

CONTACT US SOON TO PLAN YOUR ESCAPE e-mail info@molinodelsanto.com or telephone 952 16 71 51

SIGN UP FOR THE NEWSLETTERS TO RECEIVE SPECIAL DISCOUNTS www. molinodelsanto.com

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Do you remember KONTIKI on the El Chorro lakes? On the shore of green lake Guadalhorce. Good news is open again. You can enjoy beautiful views over a best chicken curry and sip cold Cobra beer. Open from Thursday till Sunday. Directon: From restaurant Kiosko on the El Chorro lakes 2.5 km towards Valle de Abdalajis - Antequera. Tel: 679742761

YOGHURT: Waste SPAIN is cutting down on unnecessary food waste by targeting yoghurt sell-by dates. Pots of yoghurt will no longer need a sell-by date, instead showing a ‘recommended use-by’ date. Ministers hope that by lifting the requirement for yoghurts to be sold within 28 days of their manufacture, the change will reduce unnecessary wastage. The change of rules puts Spain on the same footing as many other countries which have already lifted the 28-day restriction.

EDDIE’S PAWS FOR THOUGHT NUMBER 4 “I hate these ads. I hate that there are lots of people at Molino del Santo and I get neglected. Catch his lordship in a good mood and he’ll bring me to the hotel to meet you. Otherwise it’s me and my toys all alone… whilst you enjoy yourself. Oh yes - here’s the latest: he bought me a cheap red collar and the colour bleeds so it looks as though I’ve cut my own throat... what’s a dog supposed to do?”

Follow Eddie’s regular thoughts on our Facebook page – Hotel Molino del Santo

www.molinodelsanto.com | info@molinodelsanto.com | 952 16 71 51


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the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014

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FOOD & DRINK www.theolivepress.es 1. Noma, Denm with DINING SECRETS of ANDALUCIA.com 2. El Cellar de ark

Whisked off the top

...But Spain still shines at the prestigious annual Restaurant awards ceremony

Mohican

Two Spaniards also walked off with gongs at the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards gala bash in London on Monday night. Azurmendi, near Bilbao, took the Sustainable Restaurant Award, while there was some consola-

Francescana, Italy

4. Eleven Madison Park, USA 5. Dinner by Heston

Blumenthal, UK

6. Mugaritz, Spain 7. D.O.M, Brazil 8. Arzak, Spain 9. Alinea, USA 10. The Ledbury, Engla nd

Best Pastry Chef Jordi Roca

By Giles Brown SPAIN has lost its coveted top spot in the World’s Best Restaurant awards. But although Danish restaurant Noma knocked El Cellar de Can Roca into second place, Spain still has an incredible three restaurants in the Top Ten. Underlining its status as a global gastronomic giant, Spain also has 10 restaurants in the top 100 for the first time ever. Last year it had nine.

Can Roca, Spain

3. Osteria

WINNER: Jordi (left) with his brothers tion for El Cellar de Can Roca, as Jordi Roca picked up the new award for Best Pastry chef. In more good news for Spain, Arzak and Mugaritz, in San Sebastian, stayed in the Top Ten. And an exciting new entry into the Top 100 was Madrid’s Diverxo, whose mohican-wearing

Sustainable Restaurant Award Azurmendi

STUNNING: Azurmendi HOUSED in a stunning glass and wooden structure, Azurmendi looks more like a Bond villain’s hideout than an ecofriendly eatery. Eneko Atxa’s restaurant, which opened in 2005, was constructed using the guiding principles of sustainability. It is not only made from environmentally-friendly materials but makes use of renewable energy, recycles its own waste, harvests rainfall, and heats and cools itself using geothermal energy. The 36-year-old Basque chef is a champion of local suppliers and producers and his team cooperate with a Spanish research centre involved in recovering historical varieties of local vegetables. So far the project has managed to preserve 36 varieties that were set to become extinct.

DESCRIBED by judges as part chef, part architect and part magician, Jordi Roca is the youngest of three brothers that run seminal Catalan restaurant El Celler de Can Roca. Jordi attended culinary school in Girona but was unsure of where he could fit into the established family set-up until he worked in the kitchen’s desserts section under Welsh pastry chef Damian Allsop. Jordi’s creations continue to be cutting edge and innovative and now in his mid30s, Jordi has experimented extensively with perfumes - recreating famous fragrances in edible form. He is also the driving force behind Rocambolesc, an alternative but accessibly priced ice cream and sweet shop that opened in the centre of Girona in 2012.

chef David Munoz is set to open a restaurant in London this summer. He told the Olive Press last year how he had been ‘heavily influenced’ by British cooking and loved visiting Andalucia. The UK coincidentally was one of only two countries (the other

being America) that had two restaurants in the Top 10. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal was highest placed British restaurant on the list in fifth spot. Other awards included a lifetime achievement award for Fergus Henderson of St. John’s in London.


www.theolivepress.es

the olive press - April 30 - May 14 2014

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House rules SPANISH children may soon be required by law to help out with housework. The measure - part of a wider child protection law - says children under 18 should take part in all areas of family life, including household tasks.

FINAL WORDS

Dodgy drivers MORE than two million vehicles on Spanish roads have not passed their ITV (MOT). Most drivers are avoiding the test in case it finds serious and costly problems with their cars.

Golden boy THE Danish expat behind Tikitano restaurant has died aged 66. Vagn Trend Poulsen also developed Cabo Bermejo and Torre Bermeja on Estepona’s so-called ‘new Golden Mile’.

Covering Andalucia in 2014 with over 200,000 papers EE (130,000 digital) and around 300,000 visits to the R F website each month… The Olive Press just keeps growing!

olive press You bunch of racists Telephone: 951127006

TWITTER has exploded with a spontaneous anti-racism campaign, as banana-eating footballer Dani Alves slams ‘backward’ Spain. Now a hero of social media, the Barcelona right-back picked up and ate a banana, thrown by a racist fan during Sunday’s 3-2 win at Villarreal. Alves, who has lived in Spain for more than a decade, has now denounced the country’s ‘racist’ attitude. “They sell their country as being first-world, but in some things they are backward,” he said, insisting the supporter should be publicly shamed. The ‘banana incident’ has sparked outcry among the global sporting community. Growing numbers of celebri-

April 30 - May 14 2014

www.theolivepress.es

Bananas are now the symbol of sport’s outcry against racism

SOLIDARITY: (from left) INCIDENT: Dani Alves Renzi and Prandelli, Neymar and Aguero (top) ties and athletes are tweeting pictures of themselves eating bananas in solidarity. Teammate Neymar started the trend, posting a picture with his son and some bananas. Fellow Brazilians ‘Hulk’ and ‘Fred’

Long live ‘Pinzas’, the lobster pardoned from the pot

Pope meet KING Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia have met Pope Francis for the first time, in the Vatican City.

A MONSTER lobster has been rescued from the pot to become a new exhibit at Benalmadena’s Sea-Life aquarium. Named ‘Pinzas’ (Claws) the lobster weighs five kilos.. or about five times more than one typically sold in a restaurant. He was spotted at a Malaga fish market and bought for €100. He will now join the exhibit’s Japanese spider crab, considered the largest crab species in the world with a leg-span of up to four metres.

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followed suit, as well as Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi joined the spur-of-themoment anti-racism campaign, sharing a banana with Italian coach Cesare Prandelli.

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Red alert ROWDY revelers in Malaga are to be controlled with a brand new ‘traffic light’ system. Flashing signs will show a green light when noise levels are acceptable outside bars in the capital. But they will light up red with the word silencio when things get too loud. Six bars around Malaga have volunteered to have the signs installed for a month-long trial, to make the public aware of how noisy they can be. But the city’s environment councillor, Raul Jimenez, pointed out that no business will be punished if the red light appears, because it would not be covered by local by-laws.

PARTY ON: Ibiza

Party’s over

IBIZA’s party boats are going to get tighter restrictions, after one too many drunken accidents. Passengers under the influence of drink or drugs will not be allowed to board after a number of injuries, damage and vandalism. Noise restrictions will also be enforced on the boats, popular with young holiday-makers, to try to limit the negative impact on locals and other tourists.


Olive Press Newspaper - Issue 186