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NEW EASTERN FRONT AS OLIVE PRESS FINALLY REACHES MOJACAR, VERA & TURRE The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucía

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olive press BACK FROM THE DEAD!

FREE STUMPED: Katie Price

Marbs: Not posh enough for her... but fine for TOWIE Sam Find out why on Page 5

SIZZLING: Sam Faiers

We’ve lost millions, claim investors EXCLUSIVE by James Bryce

AN Estepona-based financial services company has been accused of ‘ripping off’ expats to the tune of millions. Dozens insist they have been mis-sold by Offshore Investment Brokers (OIB), which is neither registered with Spanish regulator the CNMV, nor the UK’s FSA. Turn to Page 7

Vol. 6 Issue 130

THE mysterious case of a house sold six months after its owner’s death is at the centre of a dispute between the past and present owners of a care home. The claims come as a heated row between the owner and former owner of Villa Jacaranda, in Alhaurin, could see its residents forced to

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Dispute over claims that a former care home owner ‘sold a dead resident’s Blackpool homes’ months after his death

find a new home. The feud between previous owner Georgie Shap-

iro, 55, and current owner Iain Sands, 53, is now set to reach court.

March 08 - 21, 2012

EXCLUSIVE by Wendy Williams

Among numerous claims by both parties is that former owner Shapiro concealed the death in 2009 of home resident Ronald Bosson in order to sell two of his prop-

‘Worst day of my life...’ Mercadona pet food death victims tell their sad stories to the Olive Press

“IT was one of the worst days of my life,” insists British expat Dee Murray recalling the heartbreaking moment she had to put down her beloved pet Aly. The 10-year-old German Shepherd needed a lethal injection after suffering serious kidney failure linked to Mercadona dog food. One of thousands of victims of the supermarket petfood scandal, broken by the Olive Press 10 days ago, the dog, which she had raised since she was a five-week-old puppy, had been left in a crippling state due to an excess of vitamin D in the own-brand pet food Compy.

VICTIMS: Carol Cook with sick dogs Tosh and Lobi

Turn to Page 4

CLAIMS: Shapiro (left) at Jacaranda Christmas party

erties six months later. Despite Shapiro insisting this is not the case, the Olive Press has seen emails purporting to be from Bosson sent using Villa Jacaranda’s email three months after his death. Former care home manager Paul Price – who worked for Shapiro – confirmed that he and her were the only staff with access to the home’s email account. The Olive Press has also seen missives from Shapiro’s own email to both an estate agent and the buyer of the two properties in Blackpool, in Lancashire, encouraging the sale to go ahead with no mention of Bosson’s death.

Dementia

Meanwhile, bank statements show that the money from a third, earlier house sale, entered Bosson’s account just days before it was withdrawn and deposited in Shapiro’s personal account. Price confirmed that Bosson suffered from dementia and would have been unable to compose the emails written in his name, even when alive. Turn to Page 5

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NEWS

the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

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The Olive Press - Number One for crime and investigations

EXCLUSIVE by James Bryce NEARLY 850 registered sex offenders are on the run from police in the UK, raising fears that some may have fled to Spain. Almost 700 of them have been missing for more than a year, with the number of offenders who have vanished more than doubling in just two years. The figures have been released after a freedom of information request was put in by campaigners in the UK. Currently the 37,000 people on the UK sex offenders register do not have to notify police if going on holiday for less than three days. Spain has traditionally been seen as a safe haven for criminals looking to go undetected, particularly as the country has no sex offenders register. Under Spanish law, offenders only receive an initial visit from police at their home and are not monitored or watched until they are suspected of a crime. This has prompted fears that many British sex offenders simply disappear into the anonymity of large expat communities. “They change their name and settle in a busy area

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STILL AT LARGE: Fatah Benlaredj, Peter Wheatherley and Anthony John Keith around fellow tourists and expats and can live there undetected,” said a spokesman for the Independent Association of the Guardia Civil. As Spain-based private detective Roy Whitehouse added: “Spain is traditionally a hideout for UK criminals as it is fairly easy to

blend in.” He added that they usually changed their appearance and used new names via fake passports. The former Scotland Yard detective added: “It is vital to keep a close eye on anyone acting suspiciously with children, and immediately report any suspicious behaviour.” Christine Beddoe, of child protection charity Ecpat UK, told the Olive Press in 2010: “We’ve got to stop these people from abusing children abroad.

Powers

“The police have the powers to stop them travelling. They must use them.” The Olive Press has worked hard to identify wanted sex offenders over the last few years. We have made a number of appeals, but anyone suspicious should visit www. crimestoppers.co.uk or contact newsdesk@theolive press.es if you suspect anyone living near you.

Find the fugitive A WANTED fugitive is believed to have fled to Spain. Michael Cameron, 26, has been on the run for three years after being convicted of property and drugs crimes. Cameron, from Hertfordshire, is believed to be living in Almeria or the Costa Blanca. He was also charged with perverting the course of justice and possessing Class C drugs with intent to DRUGS: Cameron supply. Sergeant Jamie Moggridge from the Tactical team at Hertfordshire Police said: “We believe that Michael may be living under a different name in Spain and I would urge any British expats living in A SPANISH court has ordered the extradition of an asSpain who may know sociate of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on him or recognise him money laundering and corruption charges. Hussein Salem had 33 million euros in accounts frozen to get in touch.” by investigators, while police seized homes worth 10 million euros including seven in Marbella. Anyone with informaSalem - who holds both Spanish and Egyptian passports tion should contact - was arrested in Madrid last June and had his bail set Hertfordshire police on at 27 million euros. 01707 354000 or news He allegedly sent money illegally from Egypt to Spain desk@theolivepress.es through several firms.

Mubarak associate faces extradition as seven homes are seized

Got a story?

Contact our team of fully-qualified journalists, Eloise, Jon, Wendy or James on

951166060 or email newsdesk@theolivepress.es


NEWS

www.theolivepress.es By Wendy Williams

3

HMS Victory facing its Trafalgar

IT famously fought off both the Spanish and French Armadas off the Cadiz coastline during the Battle of Trafalgar. But despite being where the naval hero Lord Nelson bravely lost his life, Britain’s most famous ship the HMS Victory could be turned into a party boat. In something of an ignominous fall, the 247-year-old icon could be used to hold parties after the Ministry of Defence admitted it could no longer afford its upkeep. The historic vessel – currently a museum in Portsmouth – is being donated to the National Museum of the Royal Navy, which admits it might have to hire it out to parties or private functions. “This is unacceptable,” said a Royal Navy source. “This historic ship should be kept by the Navy and honoured for what it did to this country. “If Lord Nelson knew what his prized ship was being turned into, he would turn in his grave.” HMS Victory was a regular visitor to Gibraltar and in 1805 had the sad task of bringing Nelson’s body back to England after he was fatally wounded on its decks off the coast of Vejer at Cape Trafalgar. His body was kept in a cask of rum or brandy for the voyage home, with sailors said to have drunk from it to instill bravery and leading to the phrase ‘Tapping the Admiral’. The 104-gun warship was retired in 1812. Former First Sea Lord, Lord West, insisted the change was justified. He said: “It is inevitable she will be used for corporate events - but if we have to go down this route to prevent her turning into a wreck, so be it.”

Ship where Nelson died off the Cadiz coast could end up becoming a party boat

EXPENSIVE: HMS Victory costa too much to maintain, while (left) the Cape of Trafalgar

Reina in racism row LIVERPOOL and Spain goalkeeper Pepe Reina (left) is in hot water after starring in an advert branded as racist. In the commercial for Spanish insurance company Groupama, Reina is seen joining a black jungle tribe. The shot-stopper, whose name means ‘Queen’ in

VELVET RETURN STAR of The Velvet Underground John Cale is set to begin a six-date tour of Spain. The 70-year-old Welshman will perform his first concert in Barcelona on March 20, before taking in Bilbao, Aviles, La Coruna, Madrid, and finally playing at Malaga’s Auditorio de la Diputacion on March 27. Cale, whose last visit to Spain was in 2007, will be promoting his new album which is to be released in May – but doesn’t yet have a title.

the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

Emergency op for Boland RADIO DJ Maurice Boland has thanked his fans for support after he was rushed to hospital for emergency treatment. The DJ, who launched his own station iTalk last year, suffered an infection in the lower colon, but is now back home and on the road to recovery. “It was great to get such an extraordinary amount of messages of support,” he told the Olive Press. “It got me thinking about how many expats are in hospital without anyone to visit them. “I’ve set myself a mission to get volunteers to visit sick expats in hospital.”

‘The Pirate’ returns HE is either very brave or very stupid. Just five months after being horrifically gored in the ring and losing his left eye, Spanish matador Juan Jose Padilla has come back fighting. Dubbed ‘The Pirate’ – a reference to his eye-patch – Padilla made a remarkable return to the ring this weekend for Olivenza’s annual festival. The 38-year-old, who said he was returning ‘to win, to triumph and to be a better man,’ was greeted with loud cheers and enthusiastic handclapping from the crowd of 5,400 people.

Despite his impaired vision, meaning he cannot see the bull when it brushes past him on his left side, he succeeded in killing two bulls and was awarded an ear for each. Padilla was then carried out on the shoulders of his fellow bullfighters, a very different scene from last October when he ran from the ring with his face gushing blood shouting ‘I can’t see.’ “It is like a dream come true, after some very hard months,” Padilla said. “I’m fully aware that nobody thought I would be back.”

Spanish, is introduced to a spear-wielding tribal chief who declares: “Me King, you Queen.” Reina responds by raising his eyebrows and saying sarcastically: “I feel safe.” The advert is one of a series of ads which show the goalkeeper in ‘comically’ unsafe situations, and grateful for his insurance.

Shocked

Simon Woolley, director of British pressure group Operation Black Vote, said: “I’m shocked. How would the Spanish feel if the English stereotyped Spanish people as backward, stupid and animalistic homosexuals? “Does he think his black team-mates will laugh at his joke?”

Soler for song contest A CROONER from Sevilla has been chosen to represent Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest. Pastora Soler will sing classic love ballad Quedate Conmigo (Stay With Me) at the contest, held on May 26 in Azerbaijan.

Happy Birthday for drama fans THE Costa del Sol’s International Theatre Studio (ITS) is to treat San Pedro audiences to two one-act plays. Happy Birthday Me and Getting Along are to be performed by the amateur dramatics group at the Atalaya Park Hotel, in Estepona, from March 23 to 25. The first play, by Simon Williams – best known for his role as James in the UK series Upstairs Downstairs – will also be performed at Inces Hall in Gibraltar on March 16 as part of the Gibraltar Drama Festival.


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the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

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NEWS

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Justice please From Page 1

“I am so angry that Mercadona ended her life and that I put her through all that pain by feeding it to her,” continues Murray, who lives in Murcia. Shockingly, Murray is one

Pet owners now take class action against Mercadona

of thousands of pet owners across Spain who have seen their dogs become sick after eating the pet food which was contaminated due to ‘human error.’ Now a group of owners are joining together to take legal action against Mercadona and the manufacturer. “My fear is that although they may reimburse individuals for their vets bills - what about any ongoing costs? “Some animals may now have to be on special food for the rest of their life,” claims bar owner John Beachcomber, in Mojacar, who launched a

TRAGIC: Duna (above) and Aly (top left) both had to be put down

Facebook page to warn owners of the scandal. It came after his friend’s beloved Labrador-cross Goldie had to be put on a drip five hours a day. “And what about those people who have lost their beloved pets - surely some compensation is due?” he added. It has been a harrowing fortnight since the Olive Press brought the issue to the country’s attention via its website a week ago last Friday. We revealed the supermarket’s Compy wet dog food SUFFERING: Rick (above) died while Goldie was linked with kidney fail(left with owner Pete) is ure in dogs, an allegation that was confirmed in the on a drip following days. The food has since been removed from the shelves in 190 stores in Albacete, Alicante, Murcia and Almeria and Mercadona has now agreed to pay vets bills in several cases. A spokesman from the manufacturer Tunaliment was also forced to make a public apology.

Questions

But questions have been raised as to why it took so long for the problem to come to light. It is also apparent that the problem was not just confined to a small corner of Andalucia, Murcia and Alicante as claimed by the manufacturer. The Olive Press has spoken to nearly a dozen victims from around the Costa del Sol and even in Madrid. “I find it unbelievable that pet food can go to the mass market and cause this degree of problem - surely they test it on a regular basis?” questioned Carol Cook, on the Costa Calida, who is waiting for the results of a blood test to know if her Jack Russell Tosh will have any long term effects. Meanwhile the apologies come too late for those who have already lost their pets. “I am devastated that I killed my dog because of feeding him this food,” said Nicola Lambert who had to put down her puppy Rick. Meanwhile Adolfo Munoz, in Madrid, whose dogl Duna had to be put down added: “It’s all too late for my dog.”


NEWS

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the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

Marbs is below me, Marbella Special claims ...but on cards for TOWIE Jordan protege THE winner of a UK modelling contest hosted by Katie Price has shunned a trip to Marbella because she thinks it is ‘below’ her. Amy Willerton, 19, who won model Jordan’s Signed By Katie Price show competition in January, turned down the break in an exclusive ‘five-star villa’ in the resort. Now it looks like her promising

FALL OUT: Jordan and Amy From Page 1

He questions how an apparent power of attorney was obtained by Shapiro in the first place and insists that the victim’s previous solicitor in the UK got wind that something was amiss and tried to block the earlier sale. Despite her strong denials, Price is convinced that Shapiro intentionally concealed Bosson’s death from the buyer and agent, and that the money from the homes should not have entered Shapiro’s account. Buyer Mike Bond, from Blackpool, expressed surprise and insisted he had ‘no idea’ the seller had died before the purchase went through.

modelling career is coming to a shuddering halt, after she refused to sign a deal due to ‘broken promises’. In particular, Willerton claimed that she was never actually offered the luxury holiday – a claim that has been hotly disputed by Jordan’s management company BlackSheep.

HEAVEN help us all. The Only Way is Essex star Sam Faiers has let slip that another trip to the Costa del Sol is on the cards. “They’re doing four series this year, and there might be a Marbella special,” she said. “We all want to get out to Spain!” Meanwhile the blonde, who split up with boyfriend TJ last month, is calling on producers to draft in more sexy men for the upcoming series. “I would like a builder or someone like that – really hands-on and a bit grubby,” said the 21-year-old. There shouldn’t be any shortage of them in Marbella.

Resident sold home months after death The care home’s current owner Sands has now reported the incident to police in Lancashire. Detective Constable Tony McClements from the Serious & Organised Crime Unit in Preston confirmed the complaints had been filed but that it had been referred to the Spanish authorities. “I cannot really comment more and am unable to pre-empt what the Spanish will do,” he said. While Shapiro refused to answer a series of written questions sent to her, former British consul Bruce McIntyre, who is a patron of Shap-

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iro’s charity Age Care, was quick to Sands is now waiting for a court date to pour cold water on the accusations. sue Shapiro. He insists she illegally sold “I doubt very much that it is true,” him the care home without a licence last he said. “Accusations like these March which led him to stop paying his can be made for various reasons rent. “My solicitor said it was only a quesand personal grudges. “Sometimes she did intervene be- tion of time before we would have to tween families but it was always in close Jacaranda and sue for our money back,” he said. the best interests of the patients.” When the Olive Press finally spoke But Shapiro, who still owns the actual to Shapiro, she said: “It is all a building, has since been successful in getting an eviction order. Sands has complete fabrication. “Sands and his drinking buddy been given until the end of March 24 to vacate the property. Paul just conjured up this story. “I will have to come back myself to EVICTED: Iain and wife Martine Sands look after the residents.”

Luxury

“Amy could have taken the luxury holiday,” Price said in a statement. “During the time she wanted to go away we made a five-star villa in Marbella available to her. We are sorry Amy seems to think this is below her.”


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the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

OPINION OPINION

The grass is greener AS the economic crisis continues to bite, towns are being forced to come up with increasingly novel means of dealing with the situation. Last month it was a village reintroducing the peseta, this month it’s a town growing marijuana for a cannabis association. But while the latter may be a controversial measure to some, the fact that it could lead to the creation of 40 jobs and help pay off the town’s debt in two years means the town hall would have been foolish to reject the idea. As long as these schemes stay within the realms of the law and offer tangible benefits to the local population, officials should be encouraged to seek out similar initiatives. Either way, the fact that the number of Spaniards out of work has surpassed the five million mark suggests growing marijuana won’t be the last credit-crunch solution to create headlines.

Cat burglars need bagging THE suggestion that an animal charity has been effectively kidnapping pets as part of a money-making scheme is absolutely outrageous. One of the reasons behind having your pet microchipped is to prevent it getting lost and confused with a stray... and so that an animal charity can identify it and return it as soon as possible if found. It is not so they can take the pet for weeks and then hold the owners to ransom. The animal charity should be apologising to the owners for putting them through the stress of having lost their pets, not charging them for picking them up with no good reason.

Life is Tweet! As happy as a bird in Springtime, the Olive Press’s website keeps going up and up. As well as Alexa.com ranking our website at just 110,000 in the world – up 30,000 places in just four months – we have seen our Twitter followers go over a thousand for the first time.Every day we now have a mammoth 1,034 followers our Twitter page, @olivepress. Add to that the fact we now have 327 ‘likes’ on our Facebook page – that’s almost four times as many as we had in October, and we’re pretty chuffed. OK, we’ll admit we’re singing our praises.

theEE

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 - 146,000 copies distributed monthly (90,000 digitally) with an estimated readership, including the website, of more than 400,000 people a month. Design and page layout: Luke Stewart Media S.L - CIF: Jackie McAngus B91664029 jackie@theolivepress.es Urb Cayetano Arroyo, Buzon Admin/advertising sales: 13, Arriate 29350 Malaga Pauline Olivera Printed by Corporación de admin@theolivepress.es Medios de Andalucía S.A. Editor: Jon Clarke jon@theolivepress.es News Editor: Wendy Williams 689646049 wendy@theolivepress.es Reporters: James Bryce james@theolivepress.es and Eloise Horsfield eloise@theolivepress.es Distribution: 951 166 060

SALES TEAM: West Costa del Sol Jane Jewson 673958858 Axarquia Charlie Bamber 661452180 Cadiz Elizabeth Gould 620 532 672 Ronda/San Pedro/Marbella Jon Clarke 691 831 399

FEATURE

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YOU WOULDN’T SELL IT TO YOUR MOTHER!

“M

ANY people don’t come forward out of embarrassment,” muses John Parsons, the joint founder of the Costa del Sol Action Group. “We deal with hundreds of people who have been defrauded but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Everyone I speak to knows someone who is a victim.” We are discussing the problem of unregulated independent financial advisors (IFAs) and how they prey on unsuspecting expats living in Spain. There are sadly far too many of them and Parsons knows from bitter experience what it feels like to be conned by a rogue advisor, having been mis-sold a financial investment product over a decade ago. His response was to set up the Estepona-based action group along with fellow victim David Klein in a bid to prevent other expats suffering the same fate. “I sat here one afternoon and said this is so dreadfully wrong and decided I had to act,” he explains to the Olive Press. The group offers advice to those who have lost money after being sold investment products, which were totally inappropriate to their needs. As the name suggests, IFAs are professionals who offer independent financial advice to their clients and recommend suitable financial products from the whole market. In the UK, IFAs are regulated by the Financial Services Au-

As the EU investigates ways of helping expat victims report unregistered financial advisors, James Bryce swims with the financial sharks to look at the problem of rogue IFAs operating in Spain.

thority (FSA) and must meet strict qualification and competence requirements. An IFA in the UK can apply for a ‘passport’ from the FSA, allowing them to offer certain

services in any country within the EU. In addition to this companies are able to register with two Spanish bodies, the DGS or the RDGS, over here.

However, rogue IFAs often snare their victims by claiming to be regulated when in fact they are not, or by selling products which are not included in the terms of their passport. This means that expats have no way of making a complaint or claiming compensation if something goes wrong, with many only realising when it is already too late. But while the rules surrounding regulation can be confusing, the human cost of unregulated IFAs is far more clear. “The human toll is dreadful,” insists Marbella-based financial investigator Gwilym RhysJones. “You hear of people having heart attacks and suffering from stress as a result of the anxiety caused by losing so much money. “It has always been easy pickings down here because there are so many retired people with time on their hands and money in the bank.” Parsons agrees: “Most of these IFAs only see the commission they are going to earn and don’t give any thought to the human cost of their advice. They are only interested in the money. “Often we have written to the financial advisors and said ‘would you sell the same products to your own mother’?” Regardless of what the answer is, it seems the IFAs will soon have to think twice before attempting to fleece expats out of their hard-earned cash. The EU is now investigating ways of helping victims of unregulated advisors and is considering setting up an ombudsman, as reported in the Olive Press last month. It comes after Parsons sent a dossier of information to Brussels highlighting the current problem, on behalf of the Costa del Sol Action Group’s 1,000-plus members. “It has to be looked into and there has to be regulation whereby the man on the street doesn’t have to flounder around to see what he can do,” demands Parsons. “As far as the Spanish regulators are concerned, I would say ‘disinterested’ is the most appropriate way of describing them. “We have tried many, many, many times to advise them of rogue IFAs who are operating in Spain but they never respond. “I think they presume that be-


www.theolivepress.es cause it is British mis-selling to fellow Britons it is not their problem, but of course it is.” Rhys-Jones is equalling scathing of the Spanish authorities. “The regulator in Spain is useless, a totally toothless tiger,” he exclaims. “They do nothing, they just don’t bother and haven’t done so for 20 years.” But he is also sceptical of the EU’s motivation to step into the breach. “I don’t think an ombudsman will make much difference. Although I don’t expect the EU to make any real effort to set one up,” he adds. As for advice as to how best to avoid the hazards of dealing with unregulated financial advisors, there is plenty of it. “Deal only with advisory firms that are licensed and quote full regulatory information in all marketing material,” advises Michael Lodhi, from the European Federation of Financial Advisers and Financial Intermediaries (FECIF). “It is my understanding that it is a legal requirement for all marketing material to carry full regulatory information, licence numbers and professional insurance policy numbers,” he advises. Paul Stanfield, Chief Executive of the Federation of European Independent Financial Advisors (FEIFA), insists that one should always check the advisor’s regulated status. “The first approach should be to ask them to provide information on their regulatory status and to then check this

FEATURE

with the regulator in the UK or get them checked out by Spain,” he says. someone else. “This information should in- “Any amount of time spent clude the type of licensing researching your options held and the relevance of this and making sure the person to the clients’ circumstanc- you’re dealing with is regulates,” he adds. ed is time well Parsons spent.” agrees it is despite Parsons is keen But crucial to the odd bad make sure apple in the to stress the the adviser basket, Paris regulated majority of IFAs sons is keen and also sugstress that comply with the to gests seekthe majority of ing a second IFAs operating law opinion and in Spain are fully to avoid compliant with rushing into the law. a decision. “The situation is not as bad “Don’t just take the advice as a decade ago,” he insists. of one financial adviser,” he “When we set up the group cautions. in 2001 I would estimate the “If you are not sure about the majority of IFAs were unregufigures being banded around, lated but I think the majority

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‘I saw Maddie Alhaur in in’

Police expat’sprobed she wa claims s seen in Merca with a dona ‘gypsy ’

EU an ‘alarm is to inves ing num tigate shoddy is to ber’ of consider nancial and unregulat an southernadvisors work ed fi- pat ombudsman setting up ing in to victims over The Euro Spain. reclaim help ex- stron 1,000 victim ‘rogue’ EXCLUS pean Com s, sent IVE It comefinancial firmsagainst tion g dossier mission by Jam s after of infor a perie . to Brus es Bry sure grou a nce. masels. The Costa ce p, that local pres“This A BRIT represents del Sol Group unto problem per centISH expat is against demanded Action in ld stress andis causing the expa the ‘cowb action missing sure’ she ‘100 sors who, triate heartache and oy’ Madelein saw Cann lost their it claim advi- contiit cannot community e be allow s, have in the in a supermarMcnue,” clien million Guadalhor The Euro explained ed to ket euros. ts over 120 ley. “It is good Klein ce Valpean is to Commiss . Yvonne thing has news as ion woul study how inves is adam Tunnicliffe, this bunc to be done some- offici d be able tors 63, girl she ant the youn founder h of rogues,” about so-ca al comp to make an laint David Klein group ing Britosaw is the miss g lled Olive Pres against dent Fina IFA, or Inde told the her with n after seein “The curres. ncial Advi penscribed a man she g nt Span sors. latory ish ing like to police as deequatesystem is total reguCompla look‘a gyps ly inadand ineff The gran y’. continued At prese int ective,” has lived dmother, nt, there he fectiv “Dealing . in Spain who e is no efwith years, made ties is make means for victim for a cons the authorithe sight six while shop ping-pong s to tant game prod a complaint ing ping at cadona “Anyone . of with uct providers against a unre who el Gran store in AlhaMerand be can come The grou gistered IFAs work de in 2009 urin to Spain a finan p . they could also willin cial . slam fish befor have beenadvisor, dia togness of the med the local sellin Certai accept e they for all adverts mecame hereg unregulat n She anyo has ne know added. in a bid ed financial from forward, only now come s,” he tising to maxi firms This situa after about revenue. mise adve readi coming tion could In parti rtoddler claims that ng Commissto an end, soon be a comp cular it after the ment snatchedmight have the was to ion confirmed ment any Offshore ioned by a been gang, begin ‘a InvestINSIDE investigat gypsy it which Brokers in while preli in Portu Estep THE on holid mina OVAL it claim ion of lem.’ gal in 2007 OFF ay the probry lated or regis s is ‘not ona, “My whol Picardo ICE: reguIt has - It insis tered’. e body . editor when with mationasked for more shook Jon Clar able ted the comp looked I saw her, ke has calleand the actio infor- susp to trade ‘colle any was ecting dy (Gerjust like her she n group write to d on all victim clients cting undadsoon told the ry)” Tunnicliff who are liament the European s to ey’. It relieved of their Olive Pres e “I’m certa gave two outlining Parmonin it was s. case studi their exeleine, Mades say I’m I wouldn’t Turn to even 99 per Page 2 cent sure,

Kings and Li of Leon, ba verpoo bi l FC es EXCLUS IVE

The Oli Press ve out whfinds makes at Gibral new leatar’s Fabian der Picard o tick See our 28 page Gibr suppleme altar starting nt page 15 on

:

Turn to

FLASHBACK: Our front page last issue on the EU clampdown are legitimate these days. “There are some very good financial advisers out here in Spain, the key is finding the good ones.”

CHECKLIST TO INVEST Many Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) are regulated by the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) are allowed to operate in Spain under the terms of a ‘passport’ scheme. There are two types of passport available, depending on the type of service being offered: 1. The Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD) - regulated by the DGS. As the name suggests, this covers insurance-based products including; life insurance investments, insurance policies and pensions and annuities. 2. The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) - regulated by the CNMV. This covers stock market-based products including; shares, corporate bonds and collective investments. It is important to note that some fully-regulated IFAs have been accused of selling products which are not covered under the terms of their passport. In order to be covered should things go wrong, it is crucial to check not only that the IFA is fully regulated, but also that the products they are offering are covered under the terms of the relevant passport.

the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

‘Financial swindlers’

7

From Page 1

According to the Costa del Sol Action Group – which has used OIB as an example while it campaigns for tighter regulation in Spain – it has received numerous complaints over the last decade. One victim, Paul O’Connell, fears he may now lose his home after being advised to take out a 260,000 euro 10-year loan secured against the value of his property. The 55-year-old, from Mijas, is currently facing a 50 per cent shortfall after being persuaded to put his money into an investment fund. “I’ve been told that it will improve over the next few years but as it stands I could lose my flat,” he told the Olive Press. The Estepona-based outfit, headed by ‘financial advisor’ David Driver, is now facing mounting pressure after the EU promised to investigate IFAs based in Spain. “OIB is typical of what goes on down here,” said David Klein, co-founder of the Costa del Sol Action Group. “They act as introducers but in reality they are engaging in high-pressure selling of financial products and are benefitting from hidden commissions,” he added. Another victim, Christen Holboll, has now written to Driver to express his anger at being ‘ripped off’ after approaching him for advice on reducing inheritance tax on his 1.2 million euro home. In the letter seen by the Olive Press, Hoboll states: “David you are not a financial advisor, you are a financial swindler.” Ironically, Driver once backed tighter regulation of IFAs in Spain. Speaking in 2003, he said: “I welcome the ability to be regulated…I think that Europe-wide regulation needs to be in place as there is no appropriate authority to clamp down on mis-selling in Spain.” The Olive Press was this week unable to get hold of him for comment.

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the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

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NEWS

News IN BRIEF Royal escape A JUDGE has ruled that princess Infanta Cristina will not be charged despite having a 50 per cent share in the company at the centre of the corruption allegations that have embroiled her husband.

Worst in history Malaga has seen ‘its worst February in history’ with a record 207,355 people officially unemployed in the province.

Big spender Disgraced former Ronda mayor Antonio Marin Lara has come under fire for leaving town hall debts of 77,000 euros for hotel bills, wine and parties.

www.theolivepress.es

Plane madness Locals believe Ryanair pulled out of Almeria after failing to get subsidies, as it did in Granada RYANAIR has scrapped a plan to introduce flights between Almeria and Liverpool, after the tourist board backed out of supporting the route. Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara has expressed his criticism of the move, saying it could result in ‘the loss of ten thousand British tourists, and nine million euros to the local economy’. He accused the Almeria Tourist Board of putting its largest source of revenue – tourism – at risk.

General strike ‘will not work’ WELL over half of the population believe that a general strike called for March 29 will only make the economic situation worse. Some 67 per cent believe the strike, backed by unions, will not achieve anything. Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy denounced plans for the strike, called over labour reform, as ‘unfair’ and insisted it ‘will help no one’.

Local restaurant owner John Beachcomber, however, believes Ryanair is trying to force Almeria into paying expensive subsidies to the airline – by threatening to instead run services to the soon-to-open Corvera airport in Murcia, 180km away. “I bet this is the usual bully boy tactics from Ryanair,” said the Englishman, who runs a restaurant in Mojacar. “They are just asking for subsidies – they did it in Granada too. They’re saying, ‘if you don’t do as we say, we’ll be going to Corvera instead.’” In May 2010 Ryanair cancelled 28 weekly flights to Granada after the city hall stopped paying special subsidies to the budget carrier. “And the worst thing is, they’ve forgotten to tell all the customers who have already booked flights,” added Beachcomber. “You can’t trust Ryanair.”


www.theolivepress.es

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NEWS

Motor Insurance

the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

‘I’m just a penniless plumber from Essex’ EXCLUSIVE by James Bryce HE was thought to be a key member of a 90 million-euro cocaine empire. Dubbed one of Britain’s ‘Most Wanted’, he was sought by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) for his involvement in a plot to smuggle 299kg of the white powder into the UK. But, as it turns out, Jamie Dempsey, 33, was simply taking a holiday on the Costa del Sol when police swooped last year getting completely the wrong man.

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Most Wanted man gets off huge cocaine haul after insisting he was merely on holiday in Marbella Following a two-year investigation he has now walked free from court, after a judge cleared him of conspiracy to supply cocaine. “I’m just relieved the nightmare is over,” Dempsey said outside Leicester Crown Court. “I couldn’t be further from being a criminal - I’m just a penniless plumber from Essex. “I was in Marbella at my

parent’s house when I was arrested - the police simply got the wrong man.” Dempsey had been arrested as he relaxed at his parents’ villa in the hills near Benahavis in May. He had earlier appeared on a Most Wanted list of crooks hiding on the Costa del Sol and even featured in an episode of BBC’s Crimewatch.

Malaya fugitive living in Argentina

Last year three people arrested in the same police operation were jailed for a total of 55 years. Taxi driver John Esqulant and Colombian Fernando Hurtado were each jailed for 23 years at the same court after being convicted of conspiracy to supply cocaine. Part-time model and promising footballer Frank Stedman was handed a nineyear sentence after admitting the same offence.

A FUGITIVE sought for years in the ongoing Malaya corruption trial could be hiding in Argentina. Ex-councillor Carlos Fernandez has been hunted since fleeing Marbella at the start of the case six years ago. However in a shock declaration former mayoress Marisol Yague insists she knows the whereabouts of Fernandez and how he has been living. She insisted a friend had met him at Buenos Aires airport in 2006, and that police knew all about it.

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the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

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NEWS

Malaga cleans up its act MALAGA town hall is to lead a 2.5 billion euro European initiative to improve air quality in cities. The city’s Breathing Oxygen programme aims to reduce the health risks associated with high carbon dioxide emission levels. The euro plan consists of maximising carbon dioxide absorption by green spaces, by making them bigger and introducing a wider range of flowers. It is hoped this will slow the ‘urban heat island’ effect, when city air is warmer than that of surrounding areas. The project, mostly funded by the EU, will be carried out in two phases from 2013 to 2014.

www.theolivepress.es

Dirty man of Europe Spain fails three out of four criteria tests coming bottom for euro-wide pollution By Eloise Horsfield

IT might be a leader in wind and solar energy, but Spain is Europe’s biggest polluter, ac-

Fuel tax freedom

cording to a new report. In an EU Environment Agency study Spain failed three out of four criteria tests for pollution. It is the only country in Europe to fail in a trio of sections. The only area where it did not fail was in sulphur dioxide levels. Most damningly, the country was found to be emitting 53,000 tonnes more nitrogen oxide than is permitted, and 15,400 more tons of ammonia.

Contamination

FILLING UP: Spain fourth lowest tax in EU IT may not feel like it when you reach for the pump. But Spanish drivers are benefitting from one of the lowest fuel tax burdens in Europe, according to official figures. The percentage of the price taken in tax is only 48 per cent for unleaded and 41 per cent for diesel. This is a sharp contrast to the UK where drivers endure the highest rates in Europe, handing over 60 per cent (unleaded) and 58 per cent (diesel) in levies. Overall, Spain has the fourth lowest fuel tax in Europe with unleaded currently costing 113.1 pence per litre for unleaded (132.9p UK) and 112.6 pence per litre for diesel (141.3p UK). Only Luxembourg and Cyprus took less tax for both types of fuel, with Bulgaria also lower for unleaded and Lithuania taking a lower cut for diesel.

Barcelona and Madrid were found to be the two EU cities with the greatest atmospheric contamination, which is largely down to traffic density. Indeed traffic levels are the cause of most of the contamination says the EU – an issue Spain has never addressed seriously. Pollution is thought to currently cause over 3,500 deaths per year in Barcelona alone. It is the first time Brussels has compared EU countries against each other.

Electric barrier for catfish

spread, damaging bioEXPERTS are planning By Eloise Horsfield diversity of the river to install an electric and its tributaries. barrier at Iznajar lake Another concern is to prevent an invasion that the presence of of catfish from entering the catfish in the resthe Guadalquivir river ervoir will diminish system. water quality. It comes after the OlAs well as attacking ive Press reported that fauna and often dea 50cm specimen was vouring anything befished out of the lake in December, spelling grave danger low it in the food chain, catfish – which can grow up to two metres for Andalucia’s fragile ecosystem. An emergency working group has long – also feed on birds and small come up with the solution to stop the mammals. ‘irreparable damage’ catfish could “The main thing is to stop it going beyond the Iznajar reservoir,” said an cause to the local ecology. The fear is that the species will Environment Ministry spokesman.


www.theolivepress.es

NEWS

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Doñana fraud enquiry launched AN investigation has been launched into what could be one of the biggest scientific frauds Spain has ever seen. The National Research Council (CSIC) is investigating a Donana National Park scientist for altering – and even inventing - data in his studies. Thousands of reports relating to avian viruses have been called into question after vet Jesus Angel Lemus, 38, was reported to the authorities in December. The allegations, made by his bosses at the Biological Station at Donana, bring into question ‘the quality and accuracy of testing entrusted

Vet could have ‘made up’ scientific data for years By Wendy Williams to Lemus’. Much of it has already been published in several scientific journals. The issue came to light when Lemus alleged that more than half of the parrots living in Barcelona could have psittacosis, a disease that is transmissible to man. It threatened to cause a major public health threat to the city. But when his colleagues

carried out similar research to confirm this, they found a ‘lack of consistency’ between his findings and theirs. However Lemus, who previously worked in the National Museum of Natural Sciences and has been widely published around the world, defends his studies. The scientist, whose work is currently funded by the Junta, insisted: “They have told me they don’t believe the results. “But it is merely an issue of confidence.”

the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

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the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

News IN BRIEF Behind bars A CARTAMA man has been jailed for six months for failing to comply with a court order to knock down his illegal home and pay a fine.

Still searching The case of Yeremi Vargas, the seven year old boy who went missing from outside his house in Gran Canaria five years ago, has been reopened with new information about a car seen on the day of his disappearance.

Popular Torre Over a quarter of all the tourists on the Costa del Sol stay in Torremolinos with 4.2 million overnight stays in its hotels in 2011 according to the National Statistics Institute.

NEWS

www.theolivepress.es

RESCUE EFFORT FOR HORSES EXCLUSIVE by Wendy Williams

A DESPERATE rescue effort has been launched to save 50 starving horses on a farm on the outskirts of Ronda. Environment group Ecolo-

Pressure group and expats draw attention to 50 animals ‘starving on farm’

gists in Action was forced to step in and denounce the owner Juan Alba, after he left the animals without

‘Dog squad’ takes on disobedient owners A 20-STRONG ‘dog squad’ is taking on disobedient dog owners in Marbella. The pet owners are being targeted in a crack down on those breaking strict bylaws with 440 summonses being issued in just 30 days. The most common offence involved dogs not being kept on leads, while others included owners not clearing up after their animal and dogs not being muzzled. Fines ranged from 75 to 3,000 euros depending on the offence. The most serious breach of the law involved 24 summonses for owning potentially dangerous breeds that weren’t registered or did not have the necessary paperwork.

food for weeks. “The situation is already getting better,” insisted a spokesman for the group. “The horses have more food and we are paying close attention to the situation. “Their recovery is not going to be automatic and it won’t happen overnight, but with time they will be ok.”

Horrified

However an expat, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Olive Press he was horrified that the horses had been allowed to fall into this state. “I saw a herd of at least 50 horses wandering around in the most desolate conditions,” he said. “At the same time I noticed the owners have found the money to build a second floor to their private house. “I hate to see so much money spent on private follies when there is a herd of animals held captive like this.” When the Olive Press contacted Alba, a cafe owner in Ronda, he confirmed the horses were his but refused to comment further.

Webcam wonderwomen catch a thief USING the wonders of modern technology, a pair of female expats have caught their stealing flatmate red-handed with a webcam. The two Russian women, who live in Malaga, had been sharing the flat with the man since December when they noticed some of their belongings were going missing. They hatched a plan to catch the thief using a spy programme designed for parents to watch young children when they are in a different room. The camera, which is only activated when there is a movement in front of the screen, caught the man in the act and shows him rummaging through a backpack. They handed the video over to police, who have now arrested the man on suspicion of theft.

STARVING: A hungry horse before rescue

Benefit cheat doctor escapes prison

A DOCTOR who fraudulently claimed 120,000 euros in benefits while owning a holiday home in Spain has been handed a 12-month suspended sentence. Dr Barbara Longley, 60, received housing and council tax benefits despite owning a three-bedroom property in Alicante. Hove court heard how she also received income support while continuing to draw an NHS pension, which she failed to declare.


www.theolivepress.es

NEWS

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Benalmadena beach police stop swimming before 11AM ENJOYING the beach in Benalmadena is about to become more complicated, as anti-social behaviour measures are introduced – which include banning swimming before 11am. Under new bylaws approved by the town hall and to be formally introduced later this month, beachgoers will not be allowed to place their towels and parasols between certain area’s of sun loungers and the shore. On this same stretch of sand, sun lounger touts will no longer be able to peddle their wares. The ‘no swimming before 11am’ rule has been brought in to enable the beach to be cleaned. Councillor Inmaculada Vasco says the new measures are aimed at making the beach ‘a place for the whole family’.

BATHERS: Check your watches!

Lookalike thief steals from top musician The London Philharmonic violinist was performing when a intruder entered his safe

ROBBED: Joshua Bell

Third of Andalucia live in poverty A THIRD of Andalucians are living below the poverty line, according to a new survey. The Caritas study deemed poverty in Spain to be ‘wider, more intense and more chronic than ever before’. The report insisted that the salary difference between rich and poor was ‘threatening to polarise society’. Those most affected are young couples and families. Poverty in Andalucia is estimated at between 30 and 35 per cent, with a national average rate of almost 22 per cent.

IT sounds like something out of a James Bond movie. In an unlikely heist, top US violinist Joshua Bell has had his 29,000-euro Breguet watch swiped from his Spanish hotel room – by ‘a lookalike’ who even ‘took a shower’ as part of the theft. A man posing as Bell managed to convince hotel staff in Zaragoza to hand over the key to the musician’s room. Once inside, the audacious thief even rang reception for help in getting open ‘his’ safe, opening the door to security wrapped in a towel as if he had just got out of the shower.

Pinched

“I was amazed at how easy it was for this to occur,” said the violinist, whose laptop and cash were also pinched. Thankfully Bell’s three million-euro 1713 Stradivarius violin was safe – he was using it to perform Brahms’ violin concerto at the time, as part of his tour as a soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

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the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

AXARQUIA NEWS

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www.theolivepress.es

Catnappers! EXCLUSIVE by Eloise Horsfield AN animal shelter has been accused of picking up pets from outside their homes and then demanding money for their safe return. Two expat cat owners in the same urbanisation in Torrox are furious after they were forced to pay 200 euros to Don Animal to get their pets back. Pat Allcock was ordered to shell out 250 euros after her cat Bubbles was taken from near her home in Torrox Park. After a long search she discovered that her cat had been taken by Don Animal, a company employed by the town hall to pick up abandoned or stray animals. “I have no idea why they took her,” said Pat, 66, whose pet is chipped and entirely legal. “I just noticed one day she wasn’t there,” said the Londoner, whose husband Roger was in hospital in Malaga at the time with a burst colon. After a month of worry she eventually got a call from the centre miles away in Rincon de la Victoria telling her to come and pick her up. “We were overjoyed obviously but could not believe it when they tried to charge us 250 euros for food and keep,” continued Pat. “She was actually a bag of bones and was really traumatised. I don’t think she’d have lived another week. “She’d been kept in a pound with two other wild cats that were eating her food.” Eventually, after a long argument, the company agreed to let Pat have Bubbles back for just 100 euros. “It’s taken six weeks to get her back to a normal state,” she added. Incredibly, it has emerged that another resident of Torrox Park has also fallen victim to the cat clampers.

Ransom

60-year-old Susan Baldwin was also forced to pay 100 euros after her cat Cheryl was taken. “It was like being held to ransom,” said Susan. “They should never have taken Cheryl and should have had a chip reader in their van. “It is blackmail, basically. “We have complained to the town hall but I don’t think we’ll get any money back,” she added. When the Olive Press demanded an explanation from Don Animal, a spokesman said: “Andalucian law states no animal can be loose on the public highway without its owner and without being on a lead.

Pet owners demand action after animal shelter picks up their cats from outside their homes then charges them for safe return

“Having a microchip is a legal obligation – it doesn’t mean animals are allowed to run free in the street.

“It’s a bit like towing away a badly-parked car,” they reasoned. They added that they were simply following or-

BEST FRIEND: Susan with Cheryl and (right) Bubbles

ders in picking up the cats. Have you been a victim? Contact eloise@theolivepress.es


www.theolivepress.es

Just 20 minutes to save ourselves A FISHING boat sank within 20 minutes off the coast of Torrox – but thankfully all seven crew members escaped unhurt. The boat, from Caleta de Velez, was four kilometres from the shore, in water 70 metres deep and with a flooded engine – meaning the only option was to get out, and fast. “The motor failed and we soon realised it’d be impossible to bail out all the water,” said skipper Jose Martin, 51, whose boat was worth 360,000 euros.

Sinking

“It was certainly a bit of a panic, but we knew the main thing was to stay calm,” he added. Another fishing boat was able to rescue two crew members from the sinking vessel, while the five others managed to get into a dinghy.

AXARQUIA NEWS

the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

Homecoming for Ayala

Health centre edges nearer

Happy return to Nerja for Norwich defender

PREMIER League side Norwich City are taking a break from their hectic schedule at a training camp in Nerja. Paul Lambert’s squad are being put through their paces at the town’s stadium ahead of this weekend’s clash with Wigan Athletic. The trip is something of a homecoming for SevillaSEVILLA-BORN: Ayala born defender Daniel Ayala,

Death from diving

A HOLIDAYMAKER has died after jumping into the sea from rocks between Nerja’s Carabeo and Calahonda beaches. The 37-year-old victim broke his neck after jumping into a metre of water from a height of five metres. The group of four friends, from Portugal, had entered an area that was closed to the public due to safety reasons.

who joined the Canaries in a 100,000 euro deal from Liverpool last summer. The club - whose majority shareholder is Delia Smith are staying at the Nerja Club Hotel, which boasts its own spa and an outdoor pool. “Nerja’s sporting facilities are excellent and they have adapted them to our needs,” said a Norwich City spokesman. “The welcome we have received has been fantastic, we’ve really been made to feel at home,” he added. Local sports minister Jose Alberto Tome said: “It is very possible that Norwich will spend their pre-season here and we are looking at bringing other Premier League teams over here in the future.”

NERJA’S new health centre is a step closer to being built. After eight years of planning delays, the Junta has approved a plan to reclassify the land it is to be built on. The area on the Chillar River’s east bank was previously set aside for educational purposes.

Cash back for insurance

IT’S a great offer – top expat insurer Liberty is giving cash back on new home and car insurance policies until the end of April. As well as offering improved cover – including a 65 per cent no-claims bonus for motorists – the company will put 60 euros into the accounts of customers taking out new full car insurance, and 20 euros to those buying a fresh house insurance policy.

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News IN BRIEF Jobless boost THE Junta is providing 275,000 euros in grants to fund two schemes for the unemployed in Velez Malaga.

Keep quiet A nightclub in Torre del Mar has been ordered to stop playing music after over 30 complaints were made from local residents in one weekend.

Protected Torrox Town Hall has begun a year-long scheme to help protect its marine ecosystems, in collaboration with Malaga Aquarium and the Environment Ministry.

In Memory A chapel built in 1497 in Velez Malaga is being restored in memory of a stable hand who saved King Ferdinand of Aragon’s life.


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the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

NEWS EXTRA

www.theolivepress.es


www.theolivepress.es

GIBRALTAR NEWS

Our cave credentials

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Massive cig seizure TWO men have been arrested after their car was found to be carrying a stash of 10,000 cigarettes. The pair - a 30-year-old Chilean and a Spaniard, 20 - were stopped by customs officials in a car park near Devil’s Tower Road. Both men were released on bail, while the car and cigarettes were seized.

Hungry for Hungarian? GIBRALTAR’S heritage minister Steven Linares has visited Gorham’s Cave as part of proposals to give the site World Heritage Status. Here, he is accompanied at the entrance by staff from the Gibraltar Museum, who are due to lead a new archaelogical dig this summer.

GIBRALTAR Wine Club is to host its first tasting of 2012 with a special Hungarian themed event. The evening - at Brunos on March 21 - will include a buffet dinner of authentic Hungarian food and wine, with vegetarian options available. For more information visit www.gibraltar wineclub.com.

Motor guru vanishes Businessman sought after leaving a string of debts including a bill for charity event Soapbox Derby

CHARITY money raised in a ‘Help for Heroes’ appeal is among thousands of pounds that may have gone missing after a Gibraltar businessman vanished. Richard Brooks is understood to owe around 1,000 pounds in unpaid bills for the Soapbox Derby event he helped to organise in Gibraltar last October. The Yorkshireman’s current whereabouts are unknown, while a list of disgruntled former clients and business partners claiming to be owed money continues to grow. “I am aware that there are still some unpaid bills which I understand Richard Brooks has failed to honour,” Soapbox organiser Laura Green told the Olive Press. “I am at the bottom of a long list and he owes me about a thousand pounds. “I don’t know where the money went but I have received calls from a lot of people wanting to know where he is,” she added. Brooks arrived in Gibraltar in 2010 setting up a car

EXCLUSIVE by James Bryce company Motortrader.gi, promising to be a huge success. Among those claiming to be out of pocket include his former business partner at Motortrader, Derek Dalmedo. The pair set up the website in October 2010, but the site was subsequently shut down after relations soured between the pair. “He owes me 4,000 to 5,000 pounds,” DC Motors boss Dalmedo told the Olive Press. “There were thousands of arguments between us and luckily I smelt a rat and left. “He got me into debt and left my wife and I with serious emotional stress. He is a disgrace.” A number of other companies are said to be out of pocket, including an accountancy firm and two local media companies. The boss of one said: “We are owed over 2,000 pounds. He is a bit shady.” His former partner Dalm-

SOUGHT: Brooks edo added: “He has left a string of debts here and we understand owes well over 20,000 pounds. Everyone is looking for him.”

Accountant

When the Olive Press which itself is among those owed money by Brooks tried to contact him both in Spain and back in the UK, he failed to respond. Said to be the son of a Yorkshire accountant, he moved to Spain with his fiance Laura four years ago basing himself in Sotogrande. His last UK address was given as being in Darlington. Please contact james@ theolivepress.es if you have any more information on Brooks

the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

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GIB NEWS

www.theolivepress.es

‘OUR SHOCK LA LINEA’S mayoress has described the Rock as an important ‘shock absorber’ for the huge economic crisis her town is currently under. Gemma Araujo stressed how keen she was to have good relations with Gibraltar, despite negative declarations elsewhere in

Spain. Her comments came as she held her first official meeting with new chief minister Fabian Picardo, who also held out an olive branch to his counterpart. Stressing the need to be ‘good neighbours’ the agenda included looking at ways in

We’ll pitch in until we get paid

UP to a dozen demonstrators have spent a month sleeping outside La Linea town hall in demands over pay. The group, who have been sleeping in

By James Bryce PRIME Minister David Cameron has left Spain in no doubt as to Britain’s position on the issue of Gibraltar’s sovereignty. It comes after Cameron met Spain leader Mariano Rajoy to discuss a range of issues including the Eurozone crisis and labour reforms. But while the pair were at pains to stress their ‘excellent relations’, Cameron raised tensions by reaffirming his position on Gibraltar. “On the issue of Gibraltar, we do have different positions,” Cameron admitted. “There’s no change in the Government’s position. It is for the people of Gibraltar to determine their future and we wouldn’t engage in any discussion about Gibraltar that the Gibraltarians did not want us to engage in. That is important to understand. “But I don’t believe that should get in the way of a strong bilateral relationship between Britain and Spain,” he added. Gibraltar’s government welcomed Cameron’s stance on an issue which has featured prominently on the Spanish agenda in recent months. Chief Minister Fabian Picar-

tents, see their numbers swelling to 50 during the day. The protest set up after 840 workers remained unpaid for eight months.

Is the Tripartite dead? War of words with Spain heats up as Cameron insists that Gibraltar must decide its own future do said: “David Cameron gets it, knows what the issues are and he does Gibraltar proud.” Despite the stance, Spain’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Manuel GarciaMargallo has called for the sovereignty issue to be discussed by the UN General Assembly. He wrote a strongly worded letter to foreign secretary William Hague the day after the meeting insisting that the former Tripartite Forum should go back to 1984 discussions when Gibraltar did not have the right to a veto. He wants the UK and Spain to make the key decisions with both the Campo de Gi-

braltar area and Gibraltar itself having some say. A ‘Two flags, four voices’ discussion, as he put it.


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GIB NEWS

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ABSORBER’

La Linea mayoress praises Gibraltar as she and new leader Picardo start to build bridges locally

Picardo sympathised with the recent loss of jobs for workers from La Linea, but blamed this on the old government, insisting it was also affecting Gibraltarians. He also insisted that any Spanish workers registered on the CAMPING OUT: Rock would be able Unpaid workers to use its famous free (left) have set up transport. tent city The leaders also discussed pollution on Western Beach, which has been a key issue leading to regular closure of the beach to the public due to sewage leaks from La Linea. “It has been a great pleasure to welcome Araujo and her team to talk about all the things that concern real people and where we may be able to make a difference,” Picardo said. Araujo said that the shared history between Gibraltar and La Linea made it normal for both sides to “I am owed 15,000 euros but thankfully my parents are have the same mutual helping me out,” UGT spokesperson Pili Delgado told the Olinterest in solving ive Press. “Other workers have families, children and mortproblems that affect gages to think about, and some have had their electricity and them. water cut off because they can’t pay their bills.” “These are important She continued: “The town hall has now said they’ll pay us issues for good neightwo months’ wages, but it isn’t enough and we plan to stay.” bourly relations which is our aim,” she said. which cross-border relations could be boosted through joint cultural, educational and sporting initiatives.

FORMER TEACHER ADMITS SEX CHARGES A FORMER teacher has pleaded guilty to eight counts of sexual abuse. Graham Hawkins admitted to the indecent assault charges, which relate to the abuse of a girl who was under 16 at the time of the offences, between 1983 and 1984. Hawkins, who now lives in Der-

byshire, was appearing before Bristol Crown Court and will be sentenced next month. The 57-year-old worked as a teacher in Gibraltar for decades before moving back to the UK, although it is unclear at which school he was employed.

Hedging their bets GIBRALTAR is to amend its financial legislation in a bid to attract up to a fifth more hedge funds to the Rock. The proposal will allow funds to be domiciled without the administrator having to be based there, according to finance minister Gilbert Licudi. Previous rules dictated that administrators had to be based on the Rock, which had acted as an obstacle to attracting large funds. “There is potential for expansion - providing we get it right,” said Licudi.

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GIBRALTAR NEWS

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PULL THE OTHER ONE

HAPPY EVENT: There was plenty of banter when Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo turned up to cut the ribbon at the opening of Savills’ new office in Irish Town. Director Sammy Armstrong had Picardo in stitches with her upbeat speech, which drew parallels between his arrival as leader and the launch of the world’s fourth biggest estate agent on the Rock.

Spanish demands for Gib treasure trove A small chunk of the 375-million-euro Odyssey haul has somehow got left on the Rock - and Spain wants it back SPAIN is demanding the return of treasure currently being stored in Gibraltar, belonging to the controversial Odyssey haul. The 59 coins and artifacts were part of a huge haul recovered from a sunken Spanish galleon before being illegally shipped abroad. The haul, estimated to be worth as much as 375 mil-

By James Bryce lion euros, was flown from Gibraltar to the US in 2007 before being returned to Spain last week following a five-year legal battle. The 594,000 coins were recovered from the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, by US salvage company Odys-

Russians on the rock

A CHARITY event is being held on the Rock in celebration of International Women’s Day. The event - organised by Rock Russians, a group representing the Russian community in Gibraltar - will be held at Ipanema restaurant on Friday. The evening will include a raffle and is being held in aid of Breast Cancer Support Gibraltar. For tickets call Zestrill on +350 216 52474 or Ipanema on 216 4888.

sey Marine Exploration. It was sunk in the Straits by a British warship in 1804. The Spanish government opposed the firm’s claim to the treasure and eventually won its battle after a court supported its claim to ownership of the Mercedes.

Secret

The Peruvian government also made a late claim to the trove after claiming that the coins had originated in Peru. The treasure is now being stored at a secret location, with the culture ministry stating it will go on display at Spanish museums as part of the country’s national heritage. It is not known how the small amount of treasure ended up being left in Gibraltar.


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LETTERS

the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

POTTED POINTERS ANDALUCIA RESERVOIR LEVELS This week: 75.85 per cent full - Same week last year: 83.08 per cent - Same week in 2002: 56.25 per cent AIRPORTS Gibraltar 00350 22073026 Granada-Jaen 958245200 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 1.3266 American Dollars 0.8364 British Pounds 1.3159 Canadian Dollars 7.4338 Danish Kroner 10.287 H Kong Dollars 7.4879 Norwegian Kroner 1.6605 Singapore Dollars

A smoking carrot for Gib Dear Olive Press

THANK you for your pullout on Gibraltar (issue 129) which must have involved a lot of hard work and ‘foot slogging’ to avoid the gridlocked traffic at peak hours and horrendous queues at La Verja (the Spanish name for the gate in the fence which separates Spain from The Rock). But there are other negative aspects which you do not mention, one of which is that smokers can still enjoy their fags in pubs and restaurants on the Rock, while in neighbouring La Linea the most stringent rules in Europe are being obeyed. I wonder, from a purely academic point of view, how the previous Gibraltar regime interpreted the EU rulings on smoking in public places. I recall reading last year that the previous regime, had it stayed in power, was prepared to ‘dangle the carrot’ of a 10 per cent reduction in rates to those bars and restaurants which acquiesced!

There is one spacious restaurant of a large supermarket where non-smokers sit cheek-by-jowl with the rest. I suggest that this supermarket’s 10 per cent reduction would represent a fairly large carrot! Per R Dewar, Sabinillas

War on smokers

Your front page headline in issue 128 ‘Stub it out’ raised my hopes that the press was at last going to become actively involved in fighting the smokers who selfishly light up in public places. I write this as for the last 74 years I have had to endure foul second hand smoke in the presence of those who have not at any stage in their lives had the strength of character to avoid doing what is so obviously a bad habit. A couple of Sundays ago, my wife and I sat down in a local Chinese restaurant to

enjoy a meal in the outside area as we love the fresh air. There were no other people when we sat down but a middle-aged British couple soon came and sat at the next table and immediately lit up. I asked politely for them to stop smoking but was met with the ‘advice’ that we should sit inside if we wished to enjoy a smokefree meal. I then advised them that the smoking laws had been strengthened greatly since January 1 and that smoking is banned in any part of a restaurant/bar. But I was told they knew the laws as they owned a bar themselves. I spoke to the Chinese restaurant owners later, and they appeared ignorant of the ‘new’ laws. I have since visited the Policia Local and been told that if it occurs again to phone 092 and they would send a police vehicle to ‘explain the laws’. As the new re-issued law includes fines of up to 100 euros per smoker, plus thousands for the restaurants, I do not wish to upset people who are so weak of character they cannot stop killing themselves for an hour, but I have a few years left that my wife and I wish to enjoy when we eat out. So I hereby declare war on the inconsiderate law breakers who insist on spoiling non-smokers’ meals. Brian Deller, Manilva

A sad day for Spain

OF E EE RG FR A CH

I think it was a very sad day for Spain when Judge Garzon was found guilty, and it strengthens my view that General Franco is alive and well and still living in Madrid. Is it not strange that one of the first things this government has done (before even agreeing on a 2012 budget!) is to get rid of Garzon? The disgraceful state of the Spanish courts, which makes it impossible for an ordinary person to seek justice if he has the misfortune to need it, plays directly into the hands of those rich landowning family groups that still manage to direct the country along a path which they choose.

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Just the secret I’ve been searching for I AM planning a trip with my wife to Andalucia in mid May and I stumbled across your Dining Secrets of Andalucia website. Thank you for putting together precisely what I was in search of - a site that not only recommends good restaurants due to the food quality but backs them up with its own visits. I like the fact that it’s a first person account from a reputable source. I have been corresponding with some folks who seem to know their stuff on the Chowhound message boards and your site is a great and credible complement to the research for my journey. How current are most of the listings on your site? I am using some of your suggestions to route out some eating locations, but I want to make sure they are relevant to my trip. I will be staying in Casares and Sevilla, with a stop on the way at Casa Bigote for the langostinos de Sanlucar. Have you been there? Mark Girsh, USA ED: Thanks for your comments Mark. The listings were all hand picked by us over the last couple of years and are being revisited at least once a year with only those still with good reputations deserving their place. In Sevilla why not try Abantal, a Michelin star joint we tried this week (see In Boca p 47) which we’ll load up soon. The food there is fabulous! Also check out our food pages this issue with our top six Spring breaks on page 45.

Judge Garzon saw where the evil lay, and was beginning to chip away at it. He became an embarrassment to the establishment, and had to be snuffed out. Had he been successful, he would have inspired others to follow the same route, but I can imagine that now no other judge, no matter how disgusted he is with what goes on here, will dare show his head above the parapet! I feel that these stories that are appearing in the press that Garzon felt he was above the law, overfull of his own importance, etc., are just propaganda generated by the establishment, and should not be taken seriously. I must admit that I was a bit disappointed to read a couple of references to his possible corruption in your pages! I realise that you have a very difficult path to tread, as the authorities would have no compunction in closing you down if they thought you were criticising them too heavily. I hope that will never happen, and that you will con-

tinue to supply us expats with interesting and informative articles. Richard Sanderson, Marbella

Keep Right Dear British people in Andalucia, you’re very nice, but some of you seem to forget that in this country the traffic rule is: keep right. Driving a car in Spain you immediately adapt to it. But when you’re on foot some of you seem to forget. Probably you are not even aware of doing this because the locals who pass are too nice to point it out. I’m sure we all enjoy our wonderful stay here embracing the generous hospitality of the Spanish people. Let’s not mess with it. In Spain and other European countries you can walk on the left side only outside a village or city when a footpath is lacking, for safety reasons. Thank you for understanding why this had to be said. Jannie van Buuren, Ojen

Letters should be posted to Urb. Cayetano Arroyo, Buzon 13, Arriate 29350, Malaga or emailed to letters@theolivepress.es. The writer’s name and address should be provided. Published opinions are not necessarily those of the Editor.

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treme

Our new Junior section for kids living on the southern extreme of Europe

CASTLE BUILDERS

HAVING spent a morning exploring Malaga’s historic Alcazaba fort, the Year 7 students at Swans school were set an original task: to design a castle of their own. After a week of hard work, the group of budding architects designed a fabulous collection of castles from the medieval ‘Motte and Bailey’ style to more modern fantasy types.

AN expat teenager has become the first English lad to make the Spanish National Taekwondo Team. Black belt Spanish champion Kieran Taylor, 17, is now setting his sights on the European and world championships later this year. “He is a genuine expat success story,” said his dad Richard.

Lingo king WHO said the British were rubbish at languages? Student Alex Rawlings (above), 20, can speak a total of 11 and is still learning more. The Oxford grad showed he had fluency, or near fluency, in the languages to win the Harper Collins nationwide search for the most multilingual student in Britain. Of the 50 entrants, half spoke four languages or more and were tested by native-speaking judges. For the record Rawlings speaks French, Spanish, German, Italian, Greek, Catalan, Dutch, Hebrew, Afrikaans, Russian (and English). Rawlings, who is studying Russian and German, grew up in London, with a Greek mother, who also spoke to him in French. Actor Stephen Fry was so impressed he expressed his awe via Twitter. You can see Rawlings’ showing his skills at http://www.bbc.co.uk/ news/uk-17107435.

Get off my desk Pupils left in tears as bailiffs walk off with classroom furniture during lessons

Students take to the streets as education cuts begin to bite

SCHOOL children were left in tears after bailiffs barged into their school and took the desks from underneath their noses. The shocking scene took place

in a private school in the Chamartin neighbourhood of Madrid after a court embargoed the school’s property. It came after the state took

ANGER: Protestors vent their anger

ANGER at further cuts by the Rajoy government has drawn hundreds of thousands of teachers and students onto the streets around Spain. Children of all ages joined their families and teachers in dozens of cities, some holding up placards, saying: ‘They are selling our schools’. They are furious about decreases in teachers’ salaries, the loss of teach-

ing hours and cuts to university and special needs spending. Protesters ignored Prime Minister Rajoy, who had pleaded to citizens to be supportive of urgent government cuts, which he argues are necessary to meet Brussels targets. These protests are the second round of demonstrations that he has faced since being sworn in just two months ago. Protestors are upset with the Government’s current ausA SCHOOL minibus has been involved in a head on colliterity package sion with a car driven by a primary school teacher injuring and proposed 16 people. labour reThere were 13 children, many of whom were British, on forms. Trade board the bus when the crash happened in Cantoria, in unions led Almeria. thousands of The injuries were not life threatening, although there were striking worka number of broken bones. ers on Febru-

Teacher crashes into school minibus

ary 19 against new labour laws. There is rising anger that after two years of austerity measures, sacrifices made have only resulted in a 0.8 per cent decrease in spending.

Essential

Furthermore, they argue that cuts are being made to ‘essential services of the welfare state’, which fall under the remit of the autonomous communities and are not central government. The impact on education has been particularly significant, with up to three billion euros of cuts, a quarter of them in Catalonia alone. Rajoy needs to further reduce the overall budget by 29 billion euros in order to meet targets set by Brussels and has called on the autonomous communities to persevere with the cuts.

the decision to act after the school Santa Illa was left unable to pay a huge 992,000 euro social security debt. Teachers and students watched in shock as chairs, whiteboards and even bookshelves were loaded into a truck by the bailiffs, who were guarded by police officers. “They started removing the furniture with the children still present,” said Juan Manuel Munoz, the father of a five-year-old student at the bilingual school, which has 160 pupils aged between three and 17. “Some of the teachers were having panic attacks while a number of the kids were crying.” Meanwhile another parent, who described the incident as ‘outrageous,’ said some of the smaller children didn’t know what was going on. “Some parents have had to lie, saying how good it was that they were changing the furniture,” he explained. A spokesperson for the Department of Social Security said the school had received ‘plenty of prior warning’. He added that it had been a last resort after the school had ‘ignored requests to provide a list of school property to serve as a guarantee of payment.’ However Esperanza Aguirre, the PP president for Madrid, has since described the scenes as ‘lamentable’ and called for an investigation into who exactly ordered the embargo. She ordered that the furniture was returned and the children have now been allowed to return to classes, although the school’s longterm future remains uncertain.


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GETTING INTO THE ANDALUZ SPIRIT!

Last call to win flights

WRITE TO FLY: Competition

FANCY taking your mum on a shopping trip to London or your dad to watch his favourite football team? Well now is your chance to win two return flights to the UK with Monarch. All you need to do is send us an article on

ANYTHING as long as there is a connection to Andalucia. Whether it is a certain aspect of living here, things you love or hate, things you miss from other countries; school life, embarassing moments; sports or activities, we want to hear from you. The deadline is March 15 and entrants will be judged in two groups: 10 and under (300 If you would like to words max) and enter this month’s 11-16 year olds competition, take the (500 words squiggle in the box max). to the right, turn it The runner up in any direction you will win book tolike and, using your kens worth 100 imagination, make a euros. drawing from it. Send your enEntrants must be 12 tries to newsyears or under to apply. desk@theoliveThe best drawing will press.es be printed in next Entries must month’s paper and the arrive by March winner will receive a 15 to qualify. token for art supplies Thanks to all worth 10 euros. those who have already sent in articles. Entries should be scanned and emailed to GOOD LUCK, newsdesk@theolivepress.es or sent to normal postal EVERYONE! address

CALLING ALL ARTISTS!

KIDS from all around the region got into the spirit of Andalucia Day. Pupils at St. Anthony’s College in Mijas wore typical Spanish dress and appropriately kicked off the day with a typical Spanish breakfast of bread and olive oil as well as enjoying some Sevillanas dancing. Meanwhile Year 9 Food Technology students at Laude International College celebrated by making a paella.

WE are proud to announce the winner of last month’s squiggle competition. A happy snail by eight-year-old Charlie from Arriate.

A special mention should also go to BIG KID Diana Davey from Tolox for proving she’s still a child at heart.

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the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

What a novel idea!

R

EADING a book is a great way to relax. It can also help us to understand those around us, and help us stop feeling like we are alone with our problems. e the Olive Press has put together our Books for kids who are trying to fit in: r its expats in their adopted country, families with modern ways, or just beodd one out, all of you will enjoy reading tories that remind us we’re not the only

Suitcase Kid cqueline Wilson

Like so many of Jacqueline’s books, the topics are quite hard, emotional themes – taking head on the real life stresses that some kids have to face. “When my parents split up they didn’t know what to do with me,” says Andy, a girl caught between the two new families of her divorced parents. One ith her mother, step-father and older lings. One week with her dad and stepleeping on the sofa after the birth of ins. All her things are kept in her suithis is gripping reading for any child living ake of shared custody.

lda oald Dahl

A classic, about Matilda, who is the super-bright daughter of horrible parents. She helps free her schoolmates and her lovely teacher Miss Honey from the tyranny of Miss Trunchbull, the headmistress. Getting through school is easier when there’s a glimmer of hope: if Matilda can the world given her lousy circumstanccan you.

s month’s recipe:

d: en to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. butter, sugars, egg yolks and vanilla unmy, then mix in the flour in two batches. the orange zest. Roll the dough into 22 walnut-size balls and sit on baking

r 15 mins until golden, then leave to

hile, mix the icing sugar with enough juice to make a thick, runny icing. Dip scuit half into the icing, then straight sprinkles. Dry on a wire rack.

If you want to head to the cinema this weekend, but your Spanish is not up to scratch, check out the VO/VOSE films (Original Version) available in your area

By Wendy Andersen

Do you feel like you don’t fit in? Here’s a collection of our favourite books to help outsiders understand themselves There’s a Boy In the Girl’s Bathroom by Louis Sachar

Bradley Chalkers is a true outcast – he’s a bully, a pathological liar, he spits, he hurts people. And yet you will fall in love with him. As you realise that Bradley is as much a victim as a bully, you begin to understand the complexity of his situation. The story documents the gentle relationship between Bradley and the school counsellor, Carla. You are completely on Bradley’s side and feel every up and down of his journey.

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Noughts and Crosses is a powerful look at racism in a parallel world where young Callum is about to become the first white pupil at an elite all-black school. Things only get worse as his friendship with a black girl, Sephy, deepens. Injustice, discrimination, violence… For anyone who feels like they’re not fitting in to their new school, this is the book for you.

ainbow cookies

ents oftened butter - 50g golden caster sugar ng sugar - 2 egg yolks anilla extract - 300g plain flour d juice 1 orange - 140g icing sugar, prinkles, to decorate

Fancy a movie this weekend?

Inkheart trilogy a trio of fantasy novels written by Cornelia Funke

The books chronicle the adventures of teenager Meggie Folchart whose life changes dramatically when she realizes that she and her father, a bookbinder named Mo, have the unusual ability to bring characters from books into the real world when reading aloud. It’s a great concept - with twists and turns between characters entering the real world, and vice versa, and amusing to see famous characters from literature popping up.

Geronimo Stilton a book series published by Edizioni Piemme

Geronimo Stilton is a fun and colourful book, perfect for five to 11-year-olds. Geronimo is the editor of the Rodent’s Gazette, the Daily Newspaper in New Mouse City. It’s not about fitting in, but has the added benefit that most kids here in Spain are currently addicted to these books, so you can swap with others in your class - English and Spanish.

Billionaire Boy by David Walliams

Joe Spud is very rich, but given that the family money comes from his dad’s invention: ‘Freshbum’, a loo roll that is wet on one side and dry on the other, he tries to keep it a secret and just fit in. His parents have already bought him everything (the hamster cage in his bedroom is lined with 50 pound notes rather than newspaper!). He has everything apart from the thing he actually wants: friends. He changes to a new school, with a secret identity, to try and get some genuine friends. The humour is bang up to date. Hilarious and very, very British. Have you read any of the books above? What did you think of them? What would be on your top ten list and why? Have you read a book that helped you through something difficult? We’d love to hear from you. The best letters will be printed in upcoming issues of OPX! Please send to newsdesk@theolivepress.es

Hugo – the invention of Hugo Cinesur, Miramar Fuengirola, 16:30 (weekdays) 12:10 16:30 (weekends) War Horse Cinesur, Miramar Fuengirola, 16:15 (weekdays) 12:00 16:15 (weekends) Plaza Mayor, Malaga 3D 15:00 (weekends) My weekend with Marilyn Cinesur, Miramar Fuengirola, 16:15 18:15 20:15 (weekdays) 12:20 16:15 18:15 20:15 (weekends) Red Lights (12+) Plaza Mayor (Malaga) 12:00 15:30 16:00 20:30 23:00 (weekends) Star Wars – The Phantom Menace Plaza Mayor, (Malaga) 3d 12:35 (weekends) The Artist Plaza Mayor, (Malaga) 12:35 16:40 18:45 20:50 01:00 (weekends) Rincon de la Victoria, Malaga 16:00 18:05 20:20 22:30 00:30 Gibraltar: King Bastion, Leisure Ctr. Cinema The Muppets - 15:30 (weekends) Jack and Jill - 18:30 (everyday) Journey 2 - 16:00 (weekends) The Descendants (15) - 18:00 (everyday) Chronicle (12A) - 20:30 (everyday) The Vow (12A) - 21:00 (everyday) Q: What do you call a three legged donkey? A: A wonky! Q: What do you call a three legged, one eyed donkey? A: A winky wonky Asked what he wanted for Christmas, a boy shouted: “a PSP!” The dad said: “Hey, don’t shout. Santa’s not deaf.” The kid answered: “I know, but Grandma is!”

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la cultura

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March 08, 2012

By Eloise Horsfield

SPAIN’S biggest art gallery, the Prado, could be coming to Malaga. The Madrid museum houses one of the world’s finest collections of 12th to 19th century European art with large numbers of works by Velazquez, Goya, Rubens, Titian and Bosch. And if Andalucia PP boss and Junta president candidate Javier Arenas gets his way, Malaga’s Aduana Palace will be turned into a second seat of the national museum – allowing the southern Spanish city to share some of the glory. The proposals were presented to central government in Estepona by Arenas, who came away feeling ‘very optimistic’ about culture minister Ignacio Wert’s reaction to the plan. “He listened with interest to the initiative and thinks it’s a good idea,” said Councillor Elias Bendodo. But not everyone is happy. Aduana Palace already houses Malaga Museum, which is currently undergoing a 23.6 million euro refurbishment and is already set to welcome 115 works from the Prado when it reopens in 2013. And Andalucia culture minister, Paulino Plata, says the PP’s new

the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

Malaga Prado Spain’s biggest art gallery could be opening a new wing on the Costa del Sol

“Perhaps they are suggesting building an entirely new museum with the works that were intended for Malaga Museum,” he said, adding that the proposals needed ‘to be looked into further’. Other criticisms have been voiced from the Velazquez for Sevilla Association who say the NEW HOME?: Malaga’s Aduana Palace proposals are ‘illthought-out’ and plan is unclear and throws a span‘frivolous’, and that other musener in the works for Malaga Muums in Andalucia have been waitseum, adding that it is bound to ing years for a Prado. delay the reopening. The PP delegation, however, are

keen to push forward with their plan, saying a Prado would reinforce Malaga – which already attracts visitors worldwide with the prestigious Thyssen and Picasso galleries – as an international cultural tourism destination. They underlined the importance of using the Prado brand in Malaga, and pointed out that other international museums, such as the Guggenheim and Louvre, had been able to increase their collections and status by branching out geographically.

Elections

They did, however, clarify that for the moment it is only a proposal. “We’ll have to wait until after the regional elections,” said Bendodo – referring to the election on March 25. The PP is, at least, likely to win. The final decision will lie with the Prado’s Royal Board of Trustees, chaired by King Juan Carlos himself.

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what’s on

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a Cala February 03 to March 19. Centro Cultural la Cala de Mijas. A trio of expats have united to present a new exhibition of ‘the world seen through their eyes’. Inspirations in Spring Time combines the talents of Elaine Carlton from England, and Margit Björklund and Niki Marko both from Sweden.

B

enaojan, until 30 April. Hotel Molino del Santo, Benaojan. Seven different local artists from the Artist Andalucia group have come together to produce a display of nearly a hundred different paintings and drawings based on the theme of Andalucia. Free entry. Open all day and every day. Call 952 16 71 51 for information.


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The International Theatre Studio

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Presents

Happy Birthday Me by Simon Williams

Getting Along

by Charles Mander at the Atalaya Park Hotel between San Pedro & Benavista on the 23rd, 24th & 25th March at 8.00 pm Tickets €12 from Bookworld Guadalmina, Glitterati Diana Centro, Costa Cards Benavista, Longmans Bookshop Estepona and The English Bookshop Sabinillas

Phone reservations on 952 92 81 96

The art of war IT is Picasso’s most famous work. And every day some 11,000 people visit the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid to catch a glimpse of the Spanish Civil War masterpiece Guernica. But it wasn’t always so revered. In fact, the last time it visited Britain in 1938 Guernica was handed over to a group of young artists and political activists who nailed it to the wall of a disused car showroom in Manchester. Now, art lovers in London are being treated to a number of Pablo Picasso’s 67 preparatory sketches that led to his tour de force and reveal the story behind the painting. “We’ve looked at two as-

Picasso’s Spanish Civil War masterpiece Guernica once hung in a car showroom in Manchester pects of the Guernica story,” says curator Helen Little. “First, the political situation in Britain at the time; the immense support for Spain which explains why the painting became a very special symbol for the peace movement. “And, second, how the work affected those British artists who saw it at the time.” Guernica itself will not be exhibited as it is now deemed so precious it no longer leaves its home in Madrid. But 75 years ago, in a scheme devised by Picasso’s

Spanish Holocaust A NEW book charting the atrocities of the Franco era has been published. The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain examines what is arguably the darkest period in Spain’s history. Besides events on the battlefield, author Paul Preston also discusses the tens of thousands of Spaniards officially executed between 1936 and 1945. Around 200,000 innocent men, women and children were killed by Franco and his supporters, who set out to eliminate ‘those who do not think as we do’.

friend the British Surrealist Roland Penrose, the masterpiece was shipped over as part of a campaign to raise funds for the rebels fighting Franco’s troops. Picasso had created the work while living in Paris after he saw photographs of the devastation left when the German bombs dropped on the Basque city of Guernica in April 1937. He set about painting ‘a symbolic representation of the horror as seen in my own mind.’ By late June, when Penrose arrived in Paris, Picasso was just adding the finishing touches.

Extraordinary Together they hatched a plan to bring the huge canvas on a tour of the UK – taking in Oxford, Manchester and Leeds - to spread its anti-war message. “It’s quite extraordinary to think that this is one of the most celebrated artworks of the 20th century and it was simply, in this rather hamfisted fashion, unrolled and put up like a big poster,” added Little. Hopefully this time round more care will be taken with his sketches. ‘Picasso and Modern British Art’ is at Tate Britain until July 15


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the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

T has been heralded as the starting point for democracy in Spain. And it was signed right here in Andalucia, exactly 200 years ago this month. The Spanish Constitution was set up in Cadiz in 1812 and appropriately the city is celebrating its key anniversary this month. More commonly known as La Pepa, it was signed on March 19, or Saint Jose’s Day, which gave it the name, as Pepe is a common nickname for Jose (and la constitution is feminine). It has also gone down as one of the most liberal constitutions of its time. It was the first and most extensive of Spain’s constitutions (between 1812 and 1978 Spain actually had eight different constitutions) and established the principles of universal suffrage, national sovereignty and freedom of the press. “It was legendary even though it was only in effect for a few years,” says Emilio La Parra, professor of contemporary history at Alicante University. “It set two precedents that formed the basis of the liberal political system: national sovereignty and the division of powers.

Viva la Pepa!

The constitution was produced by the Cadiz Cortes against the backdrop of the Peninsular War when Spain was resisting the siege of Napoleon’s French troops. While Spain was in the grip of the French colonial power, a provisional government was set up in the south to act in the absence of the legitimate king, Fernando VII.

It’s exactly 200 years since the Spanish Constitution was born in Cadiz. Wendy Williams looks at its significance today

The Constitution was produced against the backdrop of the Peninsular war GROUNDBREAKING: A monument marking the Constitution and (inset) the original document “It cannot be said that it was the beginning of democracy because it did

not recognise everybody’s political rights: particularly women’s, nor indigenous

peoples or slaves; but it is one of our most important legal texts of reference.”

But those who gathered in Cadiz were more freethinking than the collective Spanish elite, and their document was far more liberal than the one which might have been produced had it not been for the war. In particular, it was the first constitution in Europe to

deal with national sovereignty – recognising sovereignty as coming from the people and not from the king. It also reduced the power of the crown, the Catholic Church and nobility. And it served as a model for many other European constitutions in the years that followed. Moreover, unlike the French Constitution, which only applied to all French-speaking citizens of France, the Spanish Constitution had a more universal character. Some 70 of the more than 300 lawmakers present to sign the constitution travelled from the Americas to take part. And the constitution helped drive the independence movements in a number of countries in the Americas. It is in recognition of this that Cadiz has been designated as the 2012 Capital of Ibero-American Culture. “Cadiz became a political school that influenced the Americas and Europe,” explains Cadiz University professor Alberto Ramos. “It became a role model of a country fighting for independence against an invading army yet still capable of conducting a political revo-

MY FLAMENCO

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KNEW I’d need a costume, so I bought a flamboyant pink flamenco dress at Manilva’s flea market. With colleagues James dressed as a pirate – complete with black ‘guyliner’ – and Wendy donning the attire of a London guard, the three of us headed to Cadiz’s famous carnival as excited as children on Christmas morning. But as we rolled into town, however, I began to wonder whether my new attire was entirely appropriate. Everyone else was in wacky fancy dress – and the zanier and more colourful, the better. There were fluorescent wigs, men in make-up, theatrical masks, every cartoon character imaginable, and – my personal favourite – a particularly well thought-out mushroom. Then there were the not-so politically correct get-ups such as ‘Moors’ and ‘blackedup’ Africans – making me wonder whether a Hitler outfit I’d been shocked to see on sale had actually ended up getting an airing. My outfit insecurities were confirmed when, as I strolled along the seafront, an old lady yelled out: “This isn’t the feria, this is carnival!!”

Eloise Horsfield has a blast at Cadiz Carnival, despite a mix up over attire It dawned on me I’d got my Spanish festivals slightly muddled – flamenco dresses are usually donned by ladies during ferias, not carnivals! Thankfully most took it well, with many shouting ‘Olé!’ and inviting me to dance. For hours we absorbed the buzz, necking Cruzcampos and dancing in front of Cadiz’s majestic cathedral. And although it all became a bit of a blur, I do recall a group of male Snow Whites showing off their lack of underpants and Wendy being chatted up by a mop. The most spectacular outfits of all, however, were worn by the choirs whose tuneful harmonies gave us a much-needed perk on Sunday afternoon. The coros are large groups of musicians who travel through the streets on floats, singing funny, satirical songs related to current affairs or politics. Along with the 12-piece chirigota choirs, the best coros compete in a televised contest at Cadiz’s main theatre – while others participate in fringe competitions in the street throughout the nine days. With the music and colour of the carnival, I’ll be putting Cadiz 2013 straight into my diary – and I’ve already decided I’ll be going as a Smurfette.


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lution. “Attaining happiness was one of the utopian goals of the Enlightenment,” he added. However it was short-lived. Napoleon’s defeat and the restoration of Fernando VII to the throne put an end to the Constitution. Fernando refused to recognise the document, and issued a decree in 1814 dissolving the Cortes and abolishing all legislation passed in his absence. An absolutist monarchy returned to Spain. But this was not the end of La Pepa. Indeed over the following years ‘Viva la Pepa’ became a cry for the return to a liberal regime. And just six years later, in 1820, a military uprising led to the constitution being proclaimed for a second time in a three-year period. The King then revoked it again after French troops invaded in 1823 to restore Fernando to absolute power. Incredibly though, La Pepa was able to make a third comeback in 1836, when it was restored by the Queen Maria Cristina de Borbon, following her husband’s death in 1833. It was eventually succeeded by a new constitution in 1837, the second in Spain’s history, but it has not been forgotten. Now as it celebrates its bicentenary, Cadiz has launched a rich calendar of cultural, social and political events honouring the spirit of La Pepa. On January 6, Cadiz staged a special drawing of the National Lottery known as El Niño, marking the first time in its history it was held outside Madrid. This was fitting as the lottery was itself created 200 years ago by the Cortes of Cadiz

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TALENT: Karime Amaya

Flamenco fun

RECOGNITION: Cadiz is the 2012 Capital of Ibero-American Culture to boost revenues for the Treasury. On March 19, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia are due to arrive in Cadiz to celebrate the anniversary. Two new infrastructure works are also set to get underway as a result of the commemoration: the second access bridge to Cadiz, and the arrival of the AVE high-speed train. So while carnival may be over and the costumes are hung up for another year, Cadiz still has plenty of reasons to celebrate.

FAUX PAS FIESTA: Revellers enjoy Carnival against a backdrop of Cadiz Cathedral, while the Olive Press team (Eloise in flamenco garb) get in the spirit (opposite)

A nine-day party! Spain hosts Europe’s biggest carnival events, with Cadiz the biggest of all. While the roots of this tradition are disputed, many trace them back to Pagan festivals held by the Romans to celebrate the end of winter. Later incorporated into the Catholic calendar to enable folk to let their hair down in the run-up to Lent, which began on February 29, carnival was banned under Franco and only restored after his death in 1975. Cadiz has the oldest carnival, involving nine days of official non-stop partying.

JEREZ is alive with the sound of clapping, castanets and stomping. Which can only mean one thing; the annual Flamenco Festival is underway. It is one of the most important flamenco festivals in Andalucia with a rich programme boasting internationally renowned stars. In its 16-year history the festival has become famous for unveiling colourful new shows. There is also a programme of courses and workshops being held for anyone who feels inspired to join in. The festival runs from February 24 to March 10.

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ARBELLA without La Concha would be like Cape Town without Table

Mountain. Wherever you are in the town you catch sight of its seductively symmetrical form, rising volcano-like above the coast. Its appearance constantly changing as the sun slips round the horizon. And from the top? Well, the views are mesmerising: east and west along the coast, south to Morocco and all the way to the Sierra Nevada on a clear day. This classic route up the mountain numbers among Andalucia’s most special walking adventures. You approach the peak from its northern side, setting out from Refugio de Juanar (it’s a wonderful place to overnight). From here the walk leads you past a hidden, flatbottomed valley before you climb steeply up through pine forest towards the Cruz de Juanar. After crossing a first col you follow a ridge for most of the way to La Concha: on this section you’ll occasionally feel safer using your hands as well as your feet. That said, so long as you have a reasonable head for heights you shouldn’t find the walk intimidating: a friend regularly takes her teenage kids up and down this route and even sleeps out on the summit. One of Andalucia’s most stunning adventures, an ascent of La Concha is one of the harder trails in my book though well within the capabilities of anyone in good health who walks on a regular basis.

Getting to the beginning of the walk

From the A7 motorway exit for Marbella/Ojen on the A355. Continue on towards Ojen via two roundabouts. Passing by two turnings off right towards the village, cut left from the A355 at a sign Refugio de Juanar along the

Up Marbella’s magic mountain

MA5300 which you follow all the way to the Refugio.

The Walk

The walk begins at the entrance of the car park of El Refugio de Juanar. From here descend 100m to a junction then turn right at the sign that says ‘Mirador’. Looping up through the pines you reach a parking area then pass a green metal gate. Passing by a sign pointing left towards Ojen, continue along the track following a sign GR243.1 Istan. Head on along the eastern edge of a flat- bottomed val-

BASE CAMP: Wonderful Refugio de Juanar

Continuing our serialisation of new book Coastal Walks of Andalucia, Guy Hunter Watts takes you on an exciting trip up La Concha, the Costa del Sol’s most emblematic peak Ascent of La Concha from the Refugio de Juanar THE NITTY-GRITTY Distance: 12.5 kms (up & down) Time required: 5 hrs Rating: Medium/Difficult Total height gain: 600m Map(s): IGN 1:50000 Marbella 1065 (15-45) Water: No springs so take plenty ley where an abandoned olive grove is bordered to both sides by a thick stand of pines. After passing a ruined stone hut you reach a sign that says PR-A 168 La Concha pointing right off the track. (20 mins) Here, cut right away from the track towards the green mesh fence of Cortijo de Juanar then angle hard right down through an olive grove for 100m to a four-way junction. Cutting left into a stand of pines you come to a threeway junction. Here angle left following another sign

that says PR-A 168 La Concha. The pines thin out as the path becomes sandier and climbs more steeply: you’ll soon see a fence running to your left. To your left the Cruz de Juanar is visible as you climb on up the left side of the valley. Reaching the top of the ridge, head straight on for a few metres then angle right and continue along the ridge, now heading almost due west between low-growing ilex oaks. Big views now open out to the south and to the Mediterranean.

Having run just left of the ridge the path cuts up right to its highest point and passes a large cairn (1 hr 10 mins) before descending for a short distance, now just north of the ridge. Cairns mark the way as well as P.R. waymarking. Angling slightly left, the path passes beneath a steep cliff face, El Salto del Lobo, where there are steep drops to the right: care should be taken on this section. Zigzagging steeply up left (a hands-on approach at this point will be useful) it then drops steeply back down to a more level path which runs on towards La Concha. Climbing back to the top of the ridge the sea and Marbella again come into view as the path angles right, adopting a southwesterly course. Cairns and P.R. waymarking still mark your path as you head on just south of the ridge before angling back up to the top of the ridge as you head on round the

Coastal Walks in Andalucía (ISBN 9-788489-954939) by Guy Hunter-Watts is published by Santana Books

south side of the Cerro del Lastonar. A massive panorama opens out to the south as you reach a cairn where you’ll see blue and red stripes on a rock. At this point you’re actually a few metres higher than the official summit of La Concha. From here angle down left following cairns and red and blue waymarking, sticking close to the ridgetop. The Istan reservoir comes into view to the west. The path runs a few metres be-


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WOODED WALK: Signs mark the start of the route towards La Concha neath the ridge, on its southern side, before cutting up to a 3 way marker post. (1 hr 45 mins) Here carry straight on following a sign saying La Concha 15 mins along the ridge to a large cairn. Here the path angles right, descends, then picks up the continuation of the ridge before climbing steeply once more (where you may feel safer using your hands from time to time: there are steep drops to your left). Red and blue flashes still mark the way and lead you up to the summit of La Concha (1215m). (1 hr 55 mins) It’s worth continuing on along the ridge for 60m to the southern edge of the Concha, from where the views down to Marbella are even better. A trig point here marks 1203m. After gulping in the amazing panorama, retrace your footsteps back to the Refugio. (3 hrs 45 mins)

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Download legislation becomes law Shoe-

BUDGET: Zombie flick on YouTube

GHOULISH: One of the exhibits

A FASCINATING BODY OF WORK SQUEAMISH readers should look away now, for Marbella is set to house an exhibition featuring over 200 real body parts. The Human Body, on display at the Congress Centre from May 19 to August 12, uses mostly Asian donors whose bodies were never claimed by their relatives. It hopes to show how lifestyle choices such as drinking, smoking and obesity affect the body. Using bodies that have been preserved via a technique called plastination, visitors will also be able to see what caffeine does to the bladder, why we hiccup and sneeze and how tobacco can affect fertility. “It is basically a tour of the body to help people understand how it works,” said the Spanish promoter.

Controversial Sinde-Wert law aims to bring an end to Spain’s huge illegal downloading problem SPAIN’S long-awaited antidownloading legislation has finally come into force, and as may be expected is already causing controversy. Dubbed the Sinde-Wert law - after the two ministers involved in putting it in place – the law was brought in by Royal Decree on March 1. It aims to crackdown on the country’s rampant illegal downloading problem and could see sites trading in pirated material shut down within 10 days of a complaint. But the new culture min-

CREATORS: Jose Ignacio Wert and Angeles Sinde ister Jose Ignacio Wert - whose name is attached to the law - has insisted that while the new regulations are ‘an important ingredient’ they are still not enough to fix the problems affecting the film industry. Meanwhile, the laws apparent ‘ineffectiveness’ has already been put to the test. On the first day it was in place Eme Navarro, a musician and member of the General Society of Authors (SGAE), presented a petition to the Committee against 210 different websites. All included a link to a copyrighted song composed specifically for the purpose. The initiative – promoted

by the protest group Hacktivistas – aims to test the strength of the new law which states the commission will investigate every complaint and can shut down any site that violates copyright.

Debate This latest protest follows years of debate over the implementation of the law which proved so divisive the previous Socialist government decided to pass the problem on to the next government which approved the law within days of taking power.

string zombies make film for 4,500 euros

A GROUP of friends from Sevilla have made a zombie series on practically zero budget. The 70-strong team of hopefuls have invested just 4,500 euros to make the first few episodes of their series now released on the internet. The film Generacion Z was inspired by internet sensation Malviviendo, whose zombie films have been watched by 21 million viewers on YouTube. Using the city’s streets as their set, the team – comprising professional actors, make-up artists and production staff – have so far released two programmes via their website www. seriegz.com. Director Antonio Roda, 33, who put up most of the money, studied film and media at Sevilla University.

Desires of a prince A THOUGHT-PROVOKING contemporary art exhibition inspired by Andalucia’s most famous artist has opened at the Picasso Museum in Malaga. Through paintings, collages and photo-collages, US artist Richard Prince challenges conventional views of desire and aims to alienate spectators, forcing them to revise their perceptions. “I have always drawn with Picasso as my inspiration, ever since I was a child,” said the artist. The 116 works also include graphite drawings and watercolours by Prince, who has previously exhibited at the Guggenheim museum and worked with fashion designer Marc Jacobs.

THOUGHT-PROVOKING: Richard Prince Exhibition


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HIP HORROR Expat launches support group for faulty hip replacement victims after her own ordeal

A BRITISH expat has launched a support group to help victims of faulty hip replacements in Spain. Therapist Carol Duquemin, 59 (above), decided to act after being forced to have her hip replacement removed after just four months.

FAULTY: Johnson & Johnson hip components have been recalled Duquemin - whose ordeal came after the manufacturer recalled the faulty product in 2010 - has teamed up

with free healthcare service Medilink to provide advice and support to expats. “Up to 9,000 people in Spain

Get any changes or new symptoms looked at fast! Raymond Prats from Simplecare offers advice on what to do if you think a Johnson & Johnson prosthesis was used in your surgery? IT has now emerged that healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson continued to market an artificial hip in Europe even after the Food and Drug Administration rejected its sale in the US based on a review of company safety studies. This breaking news comes hot on the heels of the breast implant fiasco and it has left thousands of hip replacement patients wondering if the Johnson & Johnson prosthesis was used in their surgery. An estimated 5,000 lawsuits involving the device are already pending, including some from patients crippled by tiny particles of metallic debris shed by the implants. So what can you do? First, don’t panic. You may not have a metal-on-metal implant. Not all hip implants use this design; some use a combination of metal and plastic, or ceramic components. Moreover even if metal-on-metal was used, those with a metal ball and socket under 36mm diameter do not appear to have problems. However, patients with implants with larger metal balls over 36mm diameter should make sure they have a blood test every year for the life of the implant and not every five years as previously recommended. They should also have an MRI scan if their ion levels are seen to be rising which could indicate a need to replace the joint. Most importantly, if you do have this type of hip replacement and have experienced any new or different symptoms relating to your hip within three months or more of having the surgery, see your surgeon. Symptoms of leaching metals can include pain, swelling, numbness or a change in how easy it is to walk. For more information visit www.simplecarehealthplan.com

could have been affected by the implants,” Duquemin told the Olive Press. “People are still not aware of the problem and the danger it poses to their health. “The law says you have to have it removed in the country where you had the operation but some hospitals here are not giving the help and information that they should and it is a big operation that causes a huge trauma to the body. “I was a guinea pig so I know the pitfalls, now I just want to do something to help others.” It comes after De-Puy, part of the pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, admitted negligence in 2010 and was forced to recall the product. It was found to contain metal-on-metal parts which rubbed together, releasing metal particles of cobalt and chromium into the blood, tissue and bone surrounding the implant. “Anyone who has a hip replacement knows there are risks involved but this went above and beyond,” explained Marbella-based Duquemin.

Serious

“There are serious health implications as it can produce tumours, eyesight and hearing loss, and it can even be as serious as losing your leg.” Yet despite Johnson & Johnson stating it will cover all medical costs, some hospitals are not giving this support to their patients and are making it difficult to get a claim form without signing a disclaimer or are insisting all hospital expenses will not be met. “This is totally unacceptable,” added Duquemin. “All costs are to be paid and people should not be put off from making a compensation claim thinking that it will take years. There is a definite conflict of interest with hospitals that use Johnson & Johnson products protecting the suppliers. But people can come to us and we will guide them down the medical route and also as they go on to make a compensation claim. I know first hand it is a minefield and I don’t want to see other people having to face this very distressing time alone.” Anyone concerned about their hip replacement can contact Carol Duquemin on 952830493 or Medilink on 952933876.

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Knees Must

British pensioner forced to travel to UK for crucial knee surgery after Spanish delay By Eloise Horsfield A BRITISH pensioner is being forced to return to the UK for knee surgery after waiting almost a year in Spain. Ian Dennis, 74, who lives in Casarabonela, has no cartilage between the lower and

upper part of his leg and cannot walk without the aid of crutches. He was told by specialists in April 2011 he needed a double knee replacement, and was assured he would be seen within six months at the Virgen de la Victoria Hospital in Malaga. Nine months later however,

Love hurts… take a paracetamol

FOR any girls who had marriage proposals rejected on this year’s Leap Day, doctors have found an unexpected cure for a broken heart. According to a new study a simple dose of paracetamol could actually help ease the pain. Researchers at the University of California found that emotional pain is processed in the same area of the brain as physical pain. In a three-week trial 62 people were told to take either Tylenol – the American name for paracetamol – or a placebo and then record how they felt. The study found those who took 1,000mg of the painkiller showed a ‘significant reduction in hurt feelings’ compared to those taking the placebo. Participants also took part in a computer game devised to make some of them feel rejected, while they had brain scans. Interestingly the group on painkillers had less pain-related activity in their brains than those on a placebo. Dr Naomi Eisenberger, professor of social psychology, said: “Rejection is such a powerful experience for people. “It follows in a logical way that the physical and social pain systems overlap, but it’s still kind of hard to imagine. We take the drug for physical pain; it’s not supposed to work on social pain.” Dr Eisenberger added however that we should not get into the habit of taking painkillers after a traumatic experience.

STRUGGLING: Ian Dennis in January 2012, Belfastborn Dennis was still waiting – and to his horror was told his op would be delayed by another six to nine months. “It’s so frustrating,” said Dennis, who can only sleep dosed up on painkillers. “After all that time waiting, they said it is going to be at least another six months.” Dennis, who previously worked as a senior supervisor for Swedish ball-bearing manufacturer SKF in Luton, has decided to go to England where the NHS have told him he will be operated on within four months.

Unfair

“Imagine, after all this time, I could have gone back to the UK at the start and had the operation long ago. “It’s so unfair – I pay taxes here as well as in the UK,” explained Dennis, who moved to Spain 10 years ago. “I can’t help thinking I’ve been pushed to the back of the queue because I’m English,” he added. When the Olive Press contacted the Virgen de la Victoria Hospital, a spokesman struggled to locate Dennis’ records despite being provided with his name, NIE number and date of birth. When pushed, the hospital found Dennis’ file and insisted his knee surgery would be scheduled within a month.

Smoking linked to weight gain

THE mystery surrounding why smokers put on weight after quitting the habit may have been solved by Spanish researchers. The discovery of a link between nicotine and the enzyme responsible for controlling appetite and energy consumption could now be used to help combat obesity. Scientists at Santiago de Compostela University found that nicotine suppresses the enzyme, which may explain why 70 per cent of smokers put on weight after quitting. Elsewhere, a study has found that the number of smokers in Spain has increased in the last five years, despite the introduction of tougher anti-smoking laws last year. The number of smokers has risen to 17.6 per cent, a growth of 0.5 per cent compared to 2007, according to the Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery.


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Smile hope for Pablo Pioneering treatment in the UK could help cerebral palsy patient By Eloise Horsfield A SPANISH boy with cerebral palsy may learn to smile for the first time through pioneering treatment in the UK which is unavailable in Spain. Pablo Fernandez Ruiz, 15, from Frigiliana, is unable to move his limbs or sit up without assistance. But his mother, Yolanda Ruiz Gonzalez, is hoping to improve Pablo’s quality of life using Scotson therapy at a clinic in Sussex – which is expected to cost over 10,000 euros over the next three years. Yolanda discovered the technique, which uses breathing and massage to help develop brain function, after her sister saw a TV programme about a fiveyear-old boy in Cadiz, also with cerebral palsy. “It was amazing,” she said, after visiting the boy and his family. “He was very much affected by his condition beforehand but after the treat- OPTIMISTIC: Pablo with mum Yolanda ment he was so much better.” Yolanda knew she had to give Pablo the Yolanda held a raffle and manned a special bar, same opportunity, but sadly did not securing funding for at least a few of the nine have the money to pay for the treatment trips she expects to have to make to the UK. in the UK, so she approached Frigiliana “Words cannot express how touched I am by the support of the people in Frigiliana,” said Town Hall, who helped her fundraise. A staggering 6,000 euros was raised on Yolanda. “People have been stopping me in the San Sebastian Day in January, where street to give me money I know they don’t even have, because they are unemployed. “I am a weaker woman than many people think, and extremely shy – but fighting for my son and seeing all the support from others is giving me strength. “I never expected to see so much love for my son,” she added. Now Kevin Wright from the THE English Breakfast has long been viewed as a town hall’s foreigners’ deguilty pleasure to be avoided by the health conscious. partment will accompany But according to a Spanish study, the traditional frythe pair and act as an inup may not be that bad for you if you use olive oil or terpreter for Yolanda and sunflower oil. Pablo during their trip. Researchers in Madrid looked at the link between “I am honoured to be inheart disease and oils used for frying in the Meditervolved,” said Wright, who ranean using data from almost 41,000 adults aged 29 has been given the week off to 69. by the town hall to help out. The 11-year study showed there was no difference in “I have known Yolanda for a the risk of heart disease for those who used olive oil while, and when I found out or sunflower oil. they were going to the UK to “In a Mediterranean country where olive and sunhelp Pablo I thought, ‘how is flower oils are the most commonly used fats for fryshe going to learn about the ing, and where large amounts of fried foods are contechnique when she doesn’t sumed, no association was observed between fried speak a word of English?’ So food consumption and the risk of coronary heart disI offered to go with her.” ease or death,” the report noted. The team will leave Spain on However, researchers warned that ‘frying with other March 11 for the first weektypes of fat may still be harmful.’ long trip to Sussex.

Fry-up gets image boost

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THE OLIVE PRESS’ MONTHLY GARDENING SECTION

Colourful F history

EW gardens in Spain can claim to have such a colourful history as El Botanico in Sanlucar de Barrameda. After starting life as an acclimatization zone for plants brought back by traders from the Americas, it was completely destroyed in the 1808 uprisings. But after being bought by the heir to the French throne in the mid-nineteenth century, the garden has gone from strength to strength. Married to the sister of Isabel II of Spain, Don Antonio de Orleans would spend his summers at the property, attracted by the incredible sunsets. Today the property is owned by 87-year-old Carla de Orleans, who has taken it upon herself to bring new life to the beautiful garden. “I decided that the garden ought to be Andalucian, full of flowers, colour and greenery; there should be nothing sophisticated about it, it should not require much attention and it should always be lush whenever I come here. So I planted plenty of perennials and lilies, as well as a great deal of bougainvillea, which always flowers so much.” “I want the sun to touch me, to be able to feel it on my skin,” she adds. “Every shady spot has its own smell and feel, and a distinctive texture.” Taken from Hidden Gardens of Spain by Eduardo Mencos published by Frances Lincoln Photos © Eduardo Mencos

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Continuing our series on the herbs of Andalucia, Sue Rodgers offers some tips for a natural detox…

Herbal spring clean T

RADITIONALLY the Spring Equinox (March 21) is the time to give the body an internal spring clean or detox. A variety of herbs has been used over the centuries, in particular dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and burdock (Arctium lappa) – not the fizzy drink popular in the 1950s, which rarely contained any actual plant material – but herbs native to Europe. Dandelion, mentioned in Arabic herbals in the 11th century, not only increases urination but is also an excellent liver and digestive tonic. Burdock has long been regarded as a cleansing remedy that helps rid the body of toxins and is used extensively in Japanese cuisine, where it is known as gobo.

Hurr the a almo

DETOX: Dandelion, burdock and cleavers are good for cleansing the body The most effective way to take these herbs is as tinctures. This involves placing the dried root of burdock and the dried leaves and roots of dandelion (available from health food shops) in a jar and covering with…vodka! (I know this sounds contra-

dictory, but believe me, it works). Seal the jar and place in a dark cupboard for three weeks, shaking the jar regularly. Open the jar and strain the liquid through a muslin cloth into a clean dark glass bottle. The tincture will keep for several months. To feel

HE KNOWS HIS ONIONS! Peter Langdale of Axarquia’s La Palma garden centre embraces the change of season…

The joys of spring

EARLY March and we are seeing the first signs of spring. As we leave winter behind, the garden, vegetable plot and patio all need work. To start with we must begin to feed our plants, giving preference to all our citrus’ (oranges, kumquat, lemons and limes) so that they have sufficient reserves as they begin to flower. Now is also a good time to plant or re-plant any potted plants, keeping a weather eye open for aphids that can attack the new growth. As spring approaches we can pick the last of our winter veggies and look forward to our summer treats: courgettes, pumpkins, cucumbers, aubergines, tomatoes and lettuce etc. At Garden La Palma we always have a good range of module plants ready for immediate planting. Module plants are easier and quicker than sowing seed. So come on....embrace the arrival of spring and get cracking in the garden.

the benefits, take a teaspoon in warm water three times a day for two weeks. Another highly regarded cleansing herb, found alongside many country tracks here in Andalucia, is cleavers (Galium aparine), also known as goosegrass and Sticky Willie due to its propensity to stick to clothes and animal coats. Once used to dye tartans in Scotland in the 17th century and to colour cheeses, notably Cheshire cheese, cleavers continues to be used in herbal medicine today for a variety of skin conditions. Cleavers is a scrambling plant with leaves in a distinctive whorl around a bristly stem and can be foraged from spring to autumn. A tea made with cleavers and nettle leaves makes a good cleansing drink at most times of the year. Always take care when foraging for herbs. Buy a good field guide to ensure correct identification or join a walk with an expert. And remember, NEVER pick herbs in the wild unless you are sure what the plant is!


42 the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012 42

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ELL, chicos – spring has arrived, temperatures are rising, and life is peachy on Planet Mad Dog. Last time I explained how I’d said ‘hasta la vista’ to the coast and relocated to a ‘proper’ Spanish town. Well, the good news is that first impressions were correcto and I’m still happier than Caroline Flack at a sixth-form disco. In fact, I’m grinning so much, the villagers think I’m simple. Everywhere I go, whispers break-out of ‘Senor Loco’ – particularly while I’m standing under sprinklers, photograph-

Life’s a gas

ing road-signs or spurting out ‘Buenos dias’ at 7pm! Not to worry, it’s quite a compliment to be considered ‘crazy’ by people who eat tea at 10pm, bellow at folk sitting inches away, and see black ice on the motorway and think ‘I know, let’s overtake!’ Basically, if you’re nuts here, you’re normal everywhere else. So, where’s all this merriment come from? For a start, I’ve hit a writing purple patch

Thought of the fortnight!

A Spanish primary school near me has started playing John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ - every time there’s a break, bell or play-time. It must be a tad confusing for the Catholic school kids though, when the opening line is: ‘Imagine there’s no heaven.’

– I’m now on course to finish my book by early summertime. I’m also tickled pink with my new ciudad. As well as being vibrant and pleasant, it’s just the right size for a hometown (i.e. big enough for café bars and boutiques, yet small enough to feel warm and safe). And get this: motorists actually stop at zebra-crossings!! Despite having to remove their feet from accelerators for a whole 30 SECONDS!! Yesterday, the traffic was tailed back purely because two women decided to start gassing at the centre of a crossing. They were an unlikely duo – one young and Eva Longoria-like, the other frumpy and more Emlyn Hughes.

Anyway, ‘Eva’ was showing ‘Emlyn’ some of the skimpiest, pink knickers you’ve ever seen (you know, the type Essex girls use to keep their ankles warm). And by ‘showing’ I mean holding the crotch up to the sunlight to demonstrate their transparency. Spying from the sidewalk, I couldn’t help but wonder what these polar opposites could have been talking about. In the end, the best I could muster was: ‘Hey, Emlyina…. Pepe’s eyes will pop out when he sees these bad-boys!’ Which, I’m sure they will – especially when he realises he’s just mistaken them for tooth-floss. Of course, the place isn’t entirely perfect. Like anywhere in Spain, there’s hideous high-

N

OT for the first time I am confused. I have spent many hours listening to and empathising with an assortment of pundits who tell me that we cannot produce enough food to feed a world population that is expanding exponentially. To put it bluntly, at some point in the not too distant future there will be too many of us and not enough grub to go round. While I have been absorbing this message, I have also been receiving signals that certain regions of the world have been experiencing floods, famines and pestilences of Biblical proportions. The death toll has been truly staggering. We are exhorted to donate money and to save these beleaguered peoples. The awful dilemma is that, in so doing, we further exacerbate the problem of escalating popula-

LIFE AND DEATH of feeding ourselves or controlling our numbers, we are, after countless millennia of evolution, still found wanting. Religious tensions abound; internecine squabbles flourish; political differences divide, corruption is rampant. The Age of Aquarius eludes us and, I strongly suspect, it will continue to do so unless and until we collectively accept the fact that we can’t all should quickly be hauled before the beak with have everything that the sentence summarily executed. we think we have a And, for the avoidance of doubt, capital punishGod-given right to ment should be re-imposed. have, regardless of The lily-livered liberals will obviously complain which particular God about such a strict regimen but, frankly, there we happen to follow will be little necessity to don the black cap in (mine is Mammon). court when habitual criminals realise that sociIt is perhaps unfortuety is serious about stamping out their nefarious nate that our world activities. leaders in particular One would only need to hang one or two car and our politicians thieves before the cost of automobile crime bein general will not or came too expensive to contemplate. cannot accept the A couple of muggers condemned to the gibbet realities of existence. would convince even the least socially commitThey all want to be ted members of society that transgression of the seen to provide for rules is not a viable option. the needy while proYes, it is a tough solution but nothing in the way tecting the interests of legislative penalties thus far imposed by any of their electorates, government has made the slightest dent on the at whatever cost. ever-increasing number of criminal offences. Even the best PR Three strikes and you are out sounds good but it support can’t balcould become a reality and not simply a slogan ance this one. expounded by spineless administrations.

tion numbers. On the one hand we have the impending crisis of population explosion; on the other we have annihilation on a massive scale. Could it be that nature is intervening where our own

feeble measures have failed? Is there some indefinable, immeasurable force that is trying to protect and sustain the human race? If there is I cannot, for the life of me, see why it would bother. Confronted with the problem

Hanging’s too good for them

T

HERE is a disturbing tendency emerging in the courts to sentence even recidivist criminals to nothing more than a few hours community service to repay society for the crimes committed. This is little more than a slap on the wrist before the reprobate slopes of to commit more offences of a similar or more serious nature. This liberal approach to criminality is ineffective as it does nothing to divert the hardened criminal to the path of righteousness and public responsibility. Even with an incompetent police force recidivists will occasionally be apprehended and thus present an opportunity for the government to make examples that will play hard on the minds of novice delinquents. Naturally, as regular readers will have come to expect, I have the solution to the problem of entrenched criminality. Where a felon is apprehended, and I am particularly concerned with crimes that adversely affect the community at large – car theft, mugging, graffiti, vandalism, littering, etc – the offender

Disgruntled of Andalucia (formerly of Royal Tunbridge Wells)

the43 olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

43

rises, dog-turdpavements and ugly retail parks littered with Lidl’s and McDonald’s wrappers. There’s also endless graffiti – on fountains, on phalpractically every building, and lus. Half of me even on a giant aviary (mak- was repulsed, and the rest ing me suspect that the par- was thinking what a splendid rots inside are simply spray- abuse-metaphor this would make for Childline. painted pigeons). And it’s not even impressive But, in all seriousness, what graffiti. Just sex squiggles exactly was this ‘artist’ trying to convey and juvenile with this dickswearing. doodle? When A m u s i n g l y, They were an I was a rebelsome bright spark has unlikely duo – one lious teen, I’d write an article d a u b e d ‘Wets-Coast’ Eva Longoria-like, for the college newspaper and on a skatethe other more express myself park wall through words (instead of Emlyn Hughes – not by scrawl‘West-Coast’, ing on toddlers’ the hip-hop sandpits. term used to promote the Californian rap If you ask me, the only ‘art’ these willy-obsessed vanscene). In an increasingly American- dals are truly interested in ised Spain, rap references are copies of Macho-Sex and like these are ten-a-penny. 100% Beef. Forget bullfighting – young To see Spanish youths, with Carlos is more likely to be glorious parks, historic buildinto ‘beats’, ‘bitches’ and ings and safe play-areas – ‘blunts’. However, with mis- not to mention fruit trees on takes like ‘Wets-Coast’ – per- every corner – pointlessly dehaps these kids should forget face things makes me madabout Dr Dre and concentrate der than Gordon Ramsay on on finding a decent professor crystal meth. However, far from putting me of English. Although illegal, graffiti is rife off the area, my graffiti rage in Spain and seems to blight proves that: A) I’ve found every cityscape. I recently somewhere I’m passionate watched a stroppy student about; B) protective over; and arguing on La Sexta that graf- C) willing to call home (or at fiti was ‘art’ and a form of ex- least a home-from-home). So, tune in for the next Mad pression for radical thinkers. Yet, hours later, I saw a little Dog installment, when I’ll girl, dressed in her Sunday probably have become 100 best, crawling across a graf- per cent ‘native’ – like when fiti-ravaged bench. Engrossed Brando went ‘wrong’ in in conversation, her parents Apocalypse Now, or Costner were oblivious to the fact that turned Cherokee in Dances their prized cherub was squat- With Wolves. Until then, adios ting on the inky balls of a 4ft amigos!

OI, JUAN-KER!

HAVE you ever seen two Spaniards rowing? As you would expect, there’s oodles of posturing, erratic hand gestures, and language so blue your Eminem CD will seem like an Enid Blyton audio book. However, one thing I’ve noticed about Spanish ‘cussing’, is that it’s as limited as Welsh surnames (seriously – that first Mr Evans must have bonked everything with a pulse!). Here in Spain, every jibe is either puta madre this or hijo de puta that. Therefore, I decided to research some imaginative insults to give you the edge during a verbal combat. Memorising these will not only stun your opponent, their pride will be so dented they’ll have no option but to move to Galicia and join a wolfpack. Naturally, I’m not advising you use such profanities willy-nilly (i.e. when the Guardia scans your dog’s microchip). Oh no, reserve these special slurs for elite occasions like when that poncy Carlos Puyol tries to get Rooney red-carded during this summer’s Euros. Y una mierda (‘bullsh*t’) Use when: Your estate agent says they’re keeping your deposit due to ‘scratches on the stairs.’ ¿Eso es moreno o es que tienes mierda en los dedos? (‘Is that a suntan, or do you have crap on your fingers’) Use when: Some bronzed bull-botherer takes the mickey out of your milk-bottle legs Hueles como el culo de un mono (‘You smell like a monkey’s arse’) Use when: Harrassed by those otoxed perfume sellers in Mercadona ¿Eres asi de nacimiento? (‘Are you inbred by any chance?’) Use when: Being eyeballed by an abattoir truck driver at a remote Repsol forecourt


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the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012

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EARNING YOUR LUNCH! A

TIMELESS: Strolling into Linares with Maia and Alfie (right)

S we arrived in the tiny village of Linares de la Sierra, the rolling hillsides of cork oaks and scrub gave way to deciduous woodlands, oranges and lemons and a profusion of daffodils and other wild flowers. Birds were singing and the sound of water from fountains and rivers clearly heralded the first sign of spring. A delightful path cutting between the villages of Los Merines and Linares, in the heart of Aracena Natural Park, this was certainly the perfect way to enjoy an early spring break. A walk, easy for all the family, we had set off mid-morning from the charming rural retreat, Buen Vino, where we had based ourselves for our short weekend break. Little more than a threehour round trip, best of all, there was a restaurant at Rainbow’s End, the sort of restaurant that any tourist to Andalucia dreams of. An authentic, honest eaterie, where sourcing of ingredients trumps fancy sauces every day of the week, Arrieros sits in an ancient village house and is extremely hard to find, which makes it more worth the journey.

Jon Clarke builds up an appetite on a spring walk with his family in the Aracena Natural Park and (opposite) picks Andalucia’s Top Five best Spring Dining Secrets

CHARM: Luismi and Adela at Arrieros You enter through a heavy wooden door and are immediately charmed by the heavy beamed, stone wall interior, with its old fireplace, cork stools and simple furniture. Run by Adela and Luismi, this is one of the true dining se-

crets of Andalucia. A place for romance, but equally to experience the best pork you will eat anywhere in the world. It is, after all, just a few miles from Jabugo, the home of jamon Iberico, and so no surprises there is pork in all


www.theolivepress.es its glorious forms; presa, secretos, pluma, even castanetas, or throat glands, which actually tasted great if a little crunchy. An aperitif of pigs liver with foie and onions came out, and soon I was tucking into my starter of wild mushroom soup and delicious jamon, the little I could keep out of the clutches of my three-yearold son. A carpaccio of presa Iberica with foie and a vinegar from nearby Huelva was also terrific. Mains included an amazing pluma Iberica hamburger,

45 the olive press - March 08 - 21, 2012 45 FOOD & DRINK with DINING SECRETS of ANDALUCIA.com

which was tender and served with a slightly spicy tomato marmalade and some sliced and baked potatoes. Now open for eight years it is little surprise that Arrieros has done well, being set in this charming village. One of the few places left in Andalucia to have cobbled streets and almost unspoilt charm, it is no coincidence that a string of movies have been set in Linares over the last few years. Nearby, Alajar and Castano de Robledo are also fabulous small villages to explore. And

AL FRESCO: On Maricastana’s terrace and (right) Alajar

www.diningsecretsofandalucia.com

Five Spring breaks S PRING is in the air and the sun is out – meaning it’s time to get out there and enjoy the weather with a nice walk followed by a bite to eat. Here, The Olive Press’ sister website diningsecretsofandalucia.com has come up with five of the best for a great spring day out.

Molino del Santo, Benaojan As rural idylls go, this takes some beating. The converted mill, now a hotel, is in a delightful location next to a crystal clear mountain stream beside the Grazalema Natural Park. The sound of water is ever present, as are huge banks of geraniums, while weeping willows bow down over shady tables on a long cobbled terrace. Best of all, earn your lunch by taking a walk along the fabulous River Guadiaro, as British Prime Minister David Cameron did, perhaps even taking the train back. Turn to Page 46

Barriada de la Estacion, Benaojan, Malaga 952 167 216

both conveniently also have great restaurants. In Alajar, El Padrino is atmospheric in the extreme and little-changed since the 18th century, with some wonderfully earthy and off-beat dishes, such as stuffed chard stalks, while its big bodega of wines is exciting to visit. In Castano de Robledo, you must look out for Maricastana, where a charming local couple have turned this ancient townhouse into one of the most stylish dining retreats around. It oozes charm, and even sets out a ‘declaration of intentions’ promising to ‘conquer the stomach’, not through overeating, but through opening the senses and taste buds. It didn’t do badly, with an interesting mix of dishes, well sourced and carefully cooked, in particular with a heavy emphasis on vegetables. Sitting outside on a classic Andaluz veranda, the sunshine pouring through and views across pantile roofs to a distant horizon of oak trees, it felt great to be living in Andalucia. And how nice to see spring finally returned.


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The delights of Spring Yerbaguena, Campillos Yerbaguena is run by Javier, a real Anglophile who learnt his trade in Brighton UK. He has now returned to the very home where he grew up, allowing diners to eat in the corner where he used to have his bedroom and providing a real sense of place and belonging. This is a place to hang out and relax, with a glass of sherry and some tapas before sitting down for a full meal. Nearby you must take a visit to the famous castle in Teba or take a stroll around the charming lakes of El Chorro.

Yerbaguena, Carretera de la Estacion s/n, Campillos, Malaga 952 722 320 / 625 209 273

Cerro de Hijar, Paraje Cerro de Hijar, Tolox, Malaga 952 112 111 / 607 205 170

Cerro de Hijar, Tolox It is remarkable how much sophistication can be created from a municipal-built hotel. As are the views, which stretch some 200km all the way to the Sierra Nevada on clear days. Moreover the journey there is very much part of the fun, particularly if you arrive by bike from Ronda or on foot from Yunquera or Alozaina. Sitting at 650 metres on the edge of the Sierra de las Nieves national park, this comfortable hotel is a truly wonderful spring escape. Casa Piolas, Algarinejo Hiding in wonderful hiking terrain in a backwater of Granada province, Algarinejo is one place to track down. And at Casa Piolas, food has never been this much fun. Like a sorcerer, dressed in black, Jose welcomes you with a flaming plate of chorizo and a cheeky smile, setting the tone for one of the most entertaining meals you’ll find this side of the Pyrenees. Lost in the olive belt of inland Andalucia, Casa Piolas is, quite simply, one of Andalucia’s true culinary gems.

La Casa Casa Grande Alpandeire, Grande, Malaga 952 180 400 Alpandeire This small c ave r n o u s restaurant is one of the big surprises hiding in the mountains near Ronda. Run by an enthusiastic Spanish couple who use well-sourced local ingredients, the restaurant sits in the ancient cellar of this once-grand town house. It is well restored, with vaulted ceilings, stone walls and old barro floors. Right from the door are two or three wonderful walks around the nearby Genal Valley. Ask the owners, who also conveniently run a hotel above the restaurant. Casa Piolas, Calle Ramon y Cajal s/n, Algarinejo, Granada 958 312 251

A star

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ELL established, but well out of the way of the normal tourist sites in Sevilla, Abantal is a restaurant you have to make a special trip to find. But the fact that it is Sevilla’s longest-running Michelin-starred restaurant should be enough of an allure to take the 10 minute walk from the old town, for foodies that is. And with Sevilla-trained Julio Fernandez Quintero at the helm – a former winner of the Andalucia Top Chef award - it is a true home grown Andalucian success story. Having learnt his trade at Sevilla’s cookery school he has been chugging away at Abantal for seven years, with a Michelin star arriving for the first time in 2009. It was not immediately much out of the ordinary; the modernist interior, with a slight hint of the 50s, being, if anything, a touch sterile, while its wall-mounted sculptures a bit bizarre to say the least. Like many Michelin-star restaurants, it was also a little cathedral-like in atmosphere, but the staff – in particular the female somelier – warmed up, when they realised our children, three and six, were not going to run a riot. The menu was blissfully simple, with regular seasonal changes, which must be commended and there was a heavy emphasis on fish, which made a change. Described as ‘creative Andalucian cuisine’, we were quickly furnished with a nice plate of aperitifs including a delicious cod roe salad and goats cheese wafers, as well as a beetroot salmorejo with tuna and crusty salt.


DINING SECRETS www.theolivepress.es

ofFOOD ANDALUCIA.com & DRINK

in Sevilla

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What Abantal lacks in atmosphere it makes up in the culinary stakes, discovers Jon Clarke Daddy or chips?: Alfie enjoys the ‘kids special’ made by Quintero (inset)

We went for a la carte, rather than the menu degustacion, which seemed to be what most of our fellow diners were favouring. But with children our time scale was tight. The starters included a splendid ajo blanco almond soup with long elegant Huelva prawns, an original touch and quite delicious. My wife’s giant red prawns with rice and allioli were also a total winner. Foie gras ‘yoghurt’ with peach and red fruit compote sounded fun, but that is one for another day. While we tucked into starters our children were served a terrific piece of cod, with wonderful square cut chips, stacked out in the shape of the game Jenga... My son Alfie loved them. My main course of mero, or grouper, was as good as I could have hoped. In Spain they say mero is

the country’s best fish. A phrase goes that ‘Mero es del mar, que cordero es del sierra.’... Mero is from the sea, what lamb is from the sierra. And this certainly matched up and was terrific served with mashed potatoes. My wife’s pargo, or snapper, was equally good and served in a prawn bisque with Norway lobster. It was rich and succulent. We washed it down with one of my favourite Spanish whites, the godello-grape chestnut Guitian from Valdeorras, in Galicia, at 24 euros a snip. There was a great list of Andalucian reds, but we were driving so that was that. But just before the kids went nuts and the wheels came off I had one of these wonderful, once-in-alifetime desserts that was just about perfect. A banana cake with light lemon sorbet, rich cream, chocolate toffee, pecan nuts and caramel crisp... It looked like a dog’s dinner and should have tasted so... but once mixed up, this was heaven. Abantal certainly deserves its star... and the kids liked it too! The future bodes well.

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the FREE

theBest olive of press - March 08 - 21, 2012 48 The British IDEAS are being sought for a Britishthemed festival to be held at La Trocha shopping centre in Coin later this year.

FINAL WORDS

Garzon goes Baltasar Garzon is to take on a role as a parliamentary advisor in Argentina after being banned from the bench in Spain for 11 years for illegal phonetapping.

Protest

Onwards and upwards in 2012 with 146,000 paperswww.theolivepress.es (90,000 digital) and around 150,000 visits to the website each month… The Olive Press just keeps growing!

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A BUTCHER is threatening to sue cyclist Alberto Contador after the sportsman claimed he was unfairly banned due to high levels of the drug clenbuterol in a steak. It comes after the cyclist was stripped of his 2010 Tour de France victory and banned

March 08 - 21, 2012

Butcher threatens to sue banned cyclist for claiming meat had high levels of doping drug

for two years for doping. Now the Basque butcher Javier Zabaleta insists that his lawyers ‘are examining everything in the case’.

The butcher from Irun claims that he has had a miserable time for a year and a half, particularly when a company of private

Spain is closing its embassy in Damascus in Syria in protest against the ‘brutalities’ carried out by President Assad's government.

detectives from Madrid subjected him to close scrutiny. It comes after the court rejected Contador’s arguments that the drug in his system - a muscle-building supplement which is sometimes used by farmers to fatten their livestock – had come from contaminated meat.

Imported

Barca boycott Barcelona has boycotted a Spanish Football Federation meeting to decide where the Cup final will take place in protest over their treatment by referees this season.

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CONTROVERSIAL: Contador has been banned for two years

He insisted that the meat consumed on the 2010 Tour’s second rest day was from a cow imported from a European country where farmers are known to give clenbuterol to cattle to improve their market value. However Zabaleta has always maintained that the meat he sold to the rider had been bred in the Basque Country.

DON’T lock up your daughters! A BIZARRE case has seen a mother charged for the unlawful imprisonment of her teenage daughter. The 16-year-old girl – who has a ‘complicated’ relationship with her parents – was allegedly locked inside a country home, in Baeza, Jaen, to teach her to behave. The apparent wayward teenager was kept at the house, with her father bringing food twice a week for her to cook. But after managing to escape she denounced her parents to police, describing it as a ‘kidnap’. Her father was arrested, while her mother was asked to make a statement and later charged.

in insisting it is ‘excessive’ to arrest parents for using ‘grounding’ as a punishment. The mother insisted that the case was ‘very delicate’ and the girl needed to be punished for behaving badly. “It is not what it seems, and it appears the law doesn’t allow you to educate your own daughter,” she said.

Dope not dole A SPANISH town has found a novel way to solve the economic crisis. A controversial scheme in the Catalan town of Rasquera will see marijuana grown for a cannabis association. The project, which has been initially approved, will create 40 jobs and allow the town hall to pay off its 1.3 million euro debt in two years, claims mayor Bernat Pellisa. The seven-hectare plantation on council land will be used to grow marijuana for the 5,000 members of the Barcelona Personal Use Cannabis Association (ABCDA). The group will pay the town 650,000 euros a year for the right to grow its annual supply there.

Legal

The deal will turn Rasquera into one of the biggest legal suppliers of cannabis in Europe. “This is a chance to bring in money and create jobs,” said mayor Pellisa. “The produce will only go to members of the association and it won’t all be cannabis, there will be crop rotation with cereal and sugarbeet,” he added. Pellisa said he had sought legal advice that the scheme did not break Spain’s ambiguous cannabis laws.

Investigation

A court in Ubeda has made the girl a temporary ward of court, while a judicial investigation is now underway to establish whether a crime was committed. The case has provoked much debate in Spain, with the ombudsman for Andalucia even stepping No part of this publication may be used or reproduced without the explicit permission of the publisher. While efforts are made to ensure the authenticity of advertisements and articles appearing in The Olive Press, the publisher does not accept any responsibility for claims made, nor do contributors’ opinions necessarily represent his own. Copyright Luke Stewart Media S.L 2012

Olive Press Newspaper - Issue 130  

The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucia