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Maddie mystery solved

FALSE ALARM: Sisson EXCLUSIVE by Wendy Williams AN Olive Press reader sparked an international manhunt after she claimed she saw missing Madeleine McCann on a campsite with a German family. Karen Sisson, 49, messaged our website insisting she had seen the toddler while on holiday at a Cabopino campsite just days after she disappeared in 2007. She came forward after a recent police investigation in the Axarquia, and claimed the girl looked ‘groggy’ and ‘out of it’.

German

But after the world’s press quickly followed up our exclusive – even naming the suspected ‘German’ tourist – the family were traced to a town in Switzerland. Father-of-three Karsten Mayer confirmed he had Turn to Page 7

Vol. 6 Issue 135

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Expats ordered to court to remove prickly pears from their garden EXCLUSIVE by Wendy Williams A BRITISH couple have been ordered to court for planting prickly pears in their back garden. Pensioners Barry and Valerie Kay are baffled after their neighbour denounced them for planting over 100 of the emblematic cacti, introduced into Europe by Christopher Columbus in 1493. The expats, who live in Periana, were forced to call a translator and later their solicitor, after the neighbour went to the town hall. The first they heard about the problem was when a team of SIX town hall workers suddenly arrived at their home for ‘an inspection’ last month. They have since been issued with a court date and ordered to remove the plants – whose fruits were once used by sailors to ward off scurvy. “It is unbelievably petty and very heavy handed,” Barry Kay, 67, told the Olive Press. “The neighbour doesn’t even live next door, he just comes up now and again. “All he has is a few olive trees on his land, I fail to understand the problem. “And anyway, why didn’t he come and talk to us first?” The pensioners, who moved to Spain from

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ASANDALUCIA” OLIVE PRESS FINALLY OLIVE PRESS VOTEDHAPPY “BESTEASTER OF THE INDEED, BUNCH IN BY NEW REACHES ISSUE OF ALL THE ROUGH GUIDE EIGHT ANDALUCIA PROVINCES WITH 30,000 PAPERS PRINTED

May 17 - 30, 2012

‘Firewall’ fears for Spain

Prickly issue

Cacti facts

Huddersfield six years ago, had initially dug them in to combat erosion and protect the top soil. “They are effectively telling us what plants I can and cannot grow,” said Kay. “They are on my land, there was no dispute about that, but he insists the prickly

pears could spread. It is unbelievable.” The couple have been so concerned about the demands they have now complied with the order and uprooted their pears. “We have done it just to keep him quiet but we have still been called to court. “It is all so incredibly silly.”

•  Prickly pears were brought to Europe from Mexico by Columbus in 1493 •  The cactus is used to help combat soil erosion •  Prickly pears are found along the Med but are generally only eaten in the south •  The fruit is edible, although it has to be peeled carefully to remove the small spines before consumption

ORGANIC FARMING TRIPLES ORGANIC farming has nearly tripled in Malaga in just a decade. In fantastic news for the environment, it is down to an increase in demand and more funding for organic farmers. While in 2001 there were only 12,291 hectares of land without pesticides, today there are over 32,822. The biggest growth has been in organic citrus groves, which have seen 300 hectares planted in the last year. Meanwhile there have been big rises in

Huelva with 200,000 hectares, and in Sevilla with 120,000 hectares. However, as Luis Mendez from Malaga’s Young Farmers’ Association (Asaja) pointed out, you cannot compare Malaga to other provinces because it is much more mountainous. He added though that there was still a ‘false belief’ that organic food is much more expensive. See our 12-page Green Andalucia pullout starting on page 19

FEARS are growing that a €500 billion firewall would not be enough should Spain require a bailout. It comes after Greece’s exit from the eurozone looks imminent, causing panic in the financial markets over the effect it would have on Spain and Italy. The instability saw Spanish borrowing costs soar to the highest level this year (6.2 per cent) amid continued uncertainty over the banking sector.

Struggle

This was heightened after the country was forced to nationalise Bankia - the fourthlargest lender - as it struggled with €32 billion of loans linked to the troubled property market. Luis de Guindos, the Spanish finance minister, insisted the jittery markets were due to political uncertainty in Greece and not because of Spain’s economy. “Spain has taken measures, implemented a very deep banking clean-up, to improve our fiscal Turn to Page 35


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The Olive Press - Number One for crime

A law unto themselves

Beware of bogus legal firm cold calling timeshare victims

EXCLUSIVE by James Bryce

A BRITON is warning expats to be wary of a bogus law firm offering to recover thousands in lost money upon payment of an upfront fee. Reg Pickering, 55, from Cheshire, was cold called by UK Lawyers in Spain after losing €12,500 to a timeshare scam a decade ago.

The Marbella-based firm claimed they could recover the money through the Spanish courts in return for a payment of €1,300, to cover legal costs. The company even went as far as to send documents with a stamp appearing to be from a Malaga courthouse.

Pirates pinched SPAIN is no longer dubbed a ‘piracy pirate’. The US government has removed the country from its piracy blacklist following ‘recent efforts regarding the protection of copyright’. In particular, the US praised Spain’s new Sinde-Wert law which came into force on March 1 and aims to combat piracy of authors’ rights on the internet. Spain’s minister of culture, Jose Ignacio Wert, described the move as ‘very positive’. “It responds to the clear commitment of the government to guarantee the protection of copyright in our country,” he said.

“The original scam was one of those situations where it sounded too good to be true and so it proved,” said the engineer, who was originally a victim of a cashback scheme. “This time I was much more cautious. I urge others to be equally careful,” he added. Cold calling from a lawyer’s office is illegal under Spanish law, while normal procedure in legal cases is for a fee to be taken off the final amount, NOT paid upfront. When the Olive Press attempted to contact UK Lawyers in Spain, the website was no longer available and a mobile phone number was switched off. The company has also been linked to law firms in Malaga and Valencia, which are alleged to have approached clients offering similar services.

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the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012

Missing me? Not with my picture on every billboard

Titanic portions

IT is perhaps the most famous final meal ever enjoyed, bar maybe the Last Supper. Now food lovers are being invited to enjoy what guests on the Titanic would have eaten on their last fateful night. Chateau Mona Lisa, in Puerto Banus, is replicating the exact eight course menu (see below) eaten by the 1st class passengers travelling on the night it sank on April 14, 1912. The meal, prepared by chef Francisco Sepulveda, will be held on May 24 and cost 50€ per person.

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God’s own Banksy By Wendy Williams IT is a far cry from Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel. But a Spanish church has recruited two graffiti artists

sse re Cla remie P u n Me PRIVE yster with O Aperitif me Olga Conso on d Salm Poache eline Sauce s ous ken with M on Lili – Chic t n in ig M h M it e t File amb w L – e s Lyone Sauce le Sauce h App oti wit tte – Duck R arcie Courge rot F ar – C e – ic s R tatoe o P u a e e r Chat Pea Pu Pure – Romaine la a Punch s Vinaigrette gu Aspara oie Gras F colate t – Cho eaches r a T f r Waldo h Vanilla – P wit lly Eclaire hartreuse Je m a in C e r C Ice French

Spain’s very own Michelangelo tarts up Barcelona church - but it’s not graffiti, he claims to spray paint the inside of the sacred building in a bid to boost morale. Rector Ramon Mor drafted in street artist Rudi and

Dancing with dames

NIGHT OUT: Andrew with friend at La Sala

CELEB dance instructor Andrew Stone (left) enjoyed a night out with friends at popular La Sala restaurant in Puerto Banus. The star of Sky’s Pineapple Dance Studio series, who was also in 2012 Celebrity Big Brother, recently ended speculation about his sexuality by insisting he had a girlfriend.

his friend House to paint a mural in the Santa Eulalia church in Barcelona after spotting some of their work online. According to Mor he secured permission from the Archbishop ‘to decorate’ the interior of the 1957 building but with no mention of aerosol cans. But the unorthodox art seems to have scored big with his congregation who are ‘thrilled’ with the results. “The church has always tried to be modern in ways of expressing its Christian message and it cannot stop doing that. “This could attract many young people to us,” he said.

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“Art – whether it’s graffiti, oil paintings or watercolours – when it’s good, brings out the best of humanity.” Meanwhile Alicante artist Rudi, who worked for free, admitted he was ‘perplexed’ about the initial proposal but had ‘no hesitation’ in accepting the job which needed to include pictures of the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, as well as the church’s patron saint Santa Eulalia. However the 38-yearold was keen to insist the 10-day-project didn’t count as ‘graffiti’. “Graffiti is a style. This is a decorative mural done with aerosols, but it is not in the style of graffiti.”

ONE’S a top footballer and the other’s a top model – so they must spend quite a lot of time missing one other. But now Cristiano Ronaldo just has to take a short walk to admire his fiancée’s sexy curves when she’s not in town.

Skater

Russian bombshell Irina Shayk can currently be seen plastered on billboards across Spain, after she signed a contract with Spanish fashion store Blanco. The 26-year-old is shown sporting bikinis, denim shorts and flowery summer dresses as she poses as a surfer and skater chick.

GREEN ANDALUCIA lllllll

Massive Attack on Tricky festival fares ORGANISERS of a music festival in Sevilla have come up with an innovative way to encourage festivalgoers to be sustainable. Punters visiting the Territorios Sevilla festival this weekend can get 30 per cent off train fares to the event. This discount is available from any train station in Andalucia, when booked through the Renfe website and putting in destination ‘Territorios’. The festival will feature a range of top acts including Iggy Pop and his band the Stooges, as well as UK house stalwarts Basement Jaxx and The Orb. Headlining on Friday is Tricky (right) who shot to fame with Massive Attack in the 1990s, before recording his pioneering album Maxinquaye. The Bristol-born rapper/musician will appear alongside collaborator Martina Topley Bird. Tickets are from €25-40. www.territoriossevilla.com.


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“WHAT an amazing adventure,” was how 96-year-old Lily Mullis reacted to the news that she was moving care homes. And how happy it is to see the pensioner finally installed in a leafy new home with seven other residents from the disgraced Jacaranda care home. “We explained that it was closing and there would be a new home and she was completely unfazed,” insisted LAST BIT OF FUN: Happy residents with Lily (in centre in red) carer Danielle Jenkins, 44, who has now set up her own care home to look after her former clients. “In fact she said it was another amazing adventure and a last bit of fun before she went,” she added. It is excellent news to see the majority of elderly residents, who had been caught in the crossfire of a vicious dispute between past and EXCLUSIVE: Wendy Williams meets the pensioners present owners of the Jacaranda care home, in Al- finally settled again after being forced to move from haurin de la Torre, finally controversial Jacaranda care home settled again. After much pleading from their fami- before being evicted and nowhere to go. was officially closed and the 11-bed lies, Jenkins, the former senior super- “But thankfully things fell into place property put up for sale. visor at Jacaranda, is now caring for and we are now over the moon at how The estate agent website insists the all but four of the original residents well everyone has done.” large villa, on sale for €500,000, with help from eight former staff As reported in the Olive Press the ‘would make an excellent family home members. residents – some with Alzheimer’s – or even an old people’s home’. “It was stressful for everyone and there moved out last month after its owner The sale follows a clash between Shawere a lot of tears when we first heard Iain Sands was evicted by former piro and Sands that culminated in that the home was closing,” explained owner Georgie Shapiro. claims that Shapiro had concealed the Jenkins at the home in Benalmadena. Several residents decided to stay on death of a former resident in order to “It was overwhelming and daunting, with Shapiro, but they have also now sell his properties. especially when we only had five days been forced to move after Jacaranda This is strongly denied by Shapiro.

‘An amazing adventure’

ll GREEN ANDALUCIA ll

Soft, and strong, and…very thin too!

A UK supermarket has come up with an ingenious new way to reduce our carbon footprint every time we go to the loo. Sainsbury’s is reducing the size of the tube in the middle of toilet rolls from 5cm to 3.8cm in order to save space. It estimates that, in doing so, it will save 140 tonnes of CO2 per year by saving 500 lorry trips between suppli-

ers and stores. Handily, the move is also bound to save space in the shopping bag – and is guaranteed to fit all holders. “Shoppers will get the same amount of toilet paper but with a smaller tube and less packaging,” said Sainsbury’s spokeswoman Kate Tucker. “It will give an essential household product a lower carbon footprint.”


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NEWS

Mayor arrested as hundreds of properties and bank accounts are frozen over housing irregularities

Fraud probe in Casares

DOZENS of expats could be affected after police swooped on Casares Town Hall to investigate irregularities in a property development. A total of 236 properties, 19 vehicles and 165 bank accounts are being probed after the ex-mayor Juan Sanchez was arrested on fraud charges. The current housing boss and his wife, plus a lawyer and a secretary at the town hall, have so far been arrested in the swoop, which is said to centre on the Majestic housing development. Computers were seized from the town hall, while the former IU mayor is being probed over bribery, corruption, money laundering and town planning crimes. He was yesterday taken to Alhaurin prison, after failing to secure bail of €200,000. Police seized information regarding the ‘Majestic’ project, which first came under scrutiny in 2010.

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News IN BRIEF

Well good A STREET market organised by students at Villar Palasi school in Velez Malaga raised €1,100 for a charity which builds wells in Cameroon.

Park on

SHAME: Sanchez The case dates back to 2004 when the town hall allegedly approved contracts for the development, in connection to the private sale of three fincas without public auction. Casares Town Hall has been temporarily closed to the public with further searches being carried out in Marbella and Estepona. Meanwhile the IU administration in the town admitted it was ‘surprised’ at the action. Sanchez was mayor of the town from 1979 to 2009, with the exception of five years in the 1990s.

A €2.7 million car park with 180 spaces has been approved for Burriana beach in Nerja, with work expected to start later this year.

Twin aim Marbella mayor Angeles Munoz has met with her counterpart in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah with a view to strengthening tourism links.

Court short A plan to reduce the number of courts in Malaga from 11 to six has been criticised by the five towns set to lose out.

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COMMENT

the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012

OPINION OPINION Think green THIS issue the Olive Press is going back to its roots and taking a closer look at the environmental issues affecting Andalucia. There are many reasons to be optimistic and to appreciate the growth in this sector. But we still need to be guarded as a crackpot scheme to search for oil and gas in Jaen and Sevilla clearly demonstrates. While the recession is biting, it is all too easy for town halls to be blinded by dollar signs in allowing such speculation. But surely the chance of short term job prospects would be better served by encouraging local agricultural schemes and supporting green technology. After all, as the Slow Food Movement insists in our food pages, if all local restaurants and hotels pulled together to buy just local produce we could protect our farmers and create jobs. Ultimately, there can be no price put on preserving the world we live in.

Still grounded AND so Gibraltar’s airport tunnel saga rumbles on. It seemed ready for lift-off after building firm OHL was handed a lucrative £34.1 million deal by the previous administration in 2008. But despite a promising start, the project has crashed and burned with news that the company is to sue the government for £20 million over an alleged breach of contract. While the two sides engage in a concerted bout of fingerpointing, the long-suffering Gibraltar public is forced to continue spending its time stuck in long, tedious queues at the border. If those involved concentrated their efforts on getting the scheme completed, the Rock would instantly become a more accessible place to visit and would show the government’s commitment to progress. All anyone wants is for a concerted effort to get the project finished so that Gibraltar can start reaping the economic benefits of first class infrastructure that avoids the sort of log jams that must surely put off potential investors from visiting.

How do they sleep? THE fraudsters who pose as lawyers to recover money lost by timeshare victims should frankly be ashamed of themselves. Like those who prey on children or the elderly, these scumbags are trying to make a fast buck out of other people’s weakness. By pretending to be of the law, innocent consumers will automatically trust them more easily – and the length they will go to ‘prove’ they are real is terrifying. The worst thing of all is that, if duped successfully, their targets will find themselves out of pocket for a second time. It is a wonder these con artists sleep at night.

theEE

The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucía

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Telephone: 951 166 060 or 691 831 399

A campaigning, community newspaper, the Olive Press represents the huge expatriate community in southern Spain - 150,000 copies distributed monthly (90,000 digitally) with an estimated readership, including the website, of more than 450,000 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

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As we approach Missing Children’s Day, Wendy Williams looks at the likelihood that Madeleine McCann could be living in Spain

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Maddie in Spain?

VERY hour – even every minute - children go missing around the world. Due to a lack of coherent data the exact number is unknown but the estimations are extremely disturbing. This year alone eight million children are expected to go missing, and some of these will never be found. With this in mind, May 25 marks International Missing Children’s Day. It shares the date with the day six-year-old Etan Patz went missing in New York in 1979, never to be seen again. The day is intended to encourage everyone to remember the children who are missing and send a message of sup- SPOTTED: Penoncillo beach, where (middle right) Rose port to the parents who have Johnson reckons she saw Maddie. (Bottom) Sisson often campaigned tirelessly dancing with his daughter sible avenues have been exto find answers. One of the most high-profile while the family ate a meal on plored. “They haven’t been, and campaigns is, of course, that the terrace. can’t be until the case is reof Madeleine McCann who opened,” she insisted. vanished from Portugal on There have been Intriguingly, as reported in the May 3, 2007, just days before Olive Press, many of the apher fourth birthday. many reported parent sightings have been away so if the perpetrator had Her departure is very much around Spain, with lots of a car waiting, she could easily back in the news – particularsightings but so people believing she could have been moved to Spain,” ly in Spain – with the fifth anhe has said. far no firm leads easily be living here. niversary having just passed, It would have been easy for a Indeed in August 2009 it heralded with a spate of sightings and a new police probe Since then there have been possible kidnapper to sneak emerged that just 72 hours launched around Nerja. many reported sightings of the toddler across the border after Madeleine disappeared, two British men were ap“It is only since Madeleine Madeleine in both Portugal and disappear into Spain. was taken from us, that Ger- and Spain as well as else- Particularly as Portuguese proached, in Barcelona, by a ry and myself have become where in the world, yet, oddly police failed to inform the bor- ‘Victoria Beckham lookalike’ aware of just how many chil- perhaps, not one has pro- der of a missing toddler for who reportedly asked: “Are 12 hours and, crucially, the you here to deliver my new dren go missing each year,” duced any firm leads. explained her mother Kate Nor, however, have most CCTV on the A22 motorway daughter?” McCann this week. been conclusively eliminated. was not working on the night Two detectives working with the Met Police’s Operation “The scale of the problem is This month marks the fifth in question. huge. In fact, it is terrifying. anniversary since Maddie This suspicion was height- Grange actually flew to Spain “It is the most painful and ag- vanished, and police have ened when a taxi driver came in November 2011, to re-inonising experience you could issued a new photo of what forward a fortnight ago claim- vestigate that incident. ever imagine,” she added. they believe Maddie may look ing he had taken four adults According to reports they with a young girl, looking like have been back on various “My thoughts of the fear, con- like now. fusion and loss of love and It comes a year after the Met- Madeleine, from a pick up in occasions since, always refusing to comment on the security that my precious ropolitan Police – at the bid- the Algarve towards Spain. daughter has had to endure ding of Prime Minister David Antonio Castela, 72, went to case. are unbearable - crippling. Cameron - ordered a com- Portugal’s CID, after three Most recently Portuguese men, a woman and a young police sent a request to their And yet I am not the victim, plete review of the case. Madeleine is. Since then there has been a girl got into his cab on May Spanish counterparts to in“No child should EVER have renewed surge in publicity, as 4 2007 in Monte Gordo and vestigate a sighting in Nerja. driving the group to Vila Real Off the back of this, Olive to experience something so well as in sightings. terrible.” And Kate McCann is, at least, de Santo Antonio, where they Press reader Rose Johnson, 70, came forward to insist The last confirmed sight- upbeat insisting ‘the chances drove away in a blue jeep. ing of Madeleine was in the of finding Madeleine are now Gerry McCann has always she saw the missing girl playmaintained there is a ‘very ing on Penoncillo beach – beearly evening of May 3 by significantly greater’. Miguel Matias, manager of “The term ‘mystery’ (com- real possibility’ his daughter tween Torrox and Nerja – last summer. the beachside Paraiso res- monly used by the media) is is in Spain. taurant, who saw dad Gerry not applicable until all pos- “It’s about 90 minutes drive It came just weeks after

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www.theolivepress.es another Olive Press reader Yvonne Tunnicliffe insisted she was ‘100 per cent sure’ she saw Maddie while out on a shopping trip in Alhaurin two years ago. Since then the Olive Press has also investigated sightings in nearby Sayalonga and Cabopino (see front page). Many people have questioned the value of investigating these sightings but the McCann family continues to ask the public to report anything that could provide a clue. “People have asked (usually in a critical manner) why has Madeleine received such attention when there are thousands of missing children around the world?

COMMENT

“My feeling is that the publicity surrounding Madeleine’s abduction was not inappropriate. Every child in such a situation should receive this same amount of attention, but it shouldn’t be down to the family to instigate it,” said Kate. As we go to print, Portuguese police are still refusing to officially reopen the case, despite British police claiming there are 195 new leads as a result of Operation Grange launched last year. Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood even went on record this month to say he ‘genuinely’ believes she could be alive. He added that the original

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investigation was flawed because police were looking for a dead person and got it into their minds that the parents were to blame. There are still several vocal groups that continue to uphold this theory and there are websites dedicated to bringing the parents ‘to justice.’ But the only thing that is certain is that Maddie is still missing and her parents are continuing the campaign to find her. Just as parents around the world are campaigning to find their missing children. Here the Olive Press looks look at a few of the cases of children who have gone missing from Spain…

Still praying for their return... Amy

Irish teenager Amy Fitzpatrick vanished without trace while walking home on New Year’s Day in 2008. Despite a high profile campaign no trace of the 15-year-old has ever been found. A lot of mystery surrounds the disappearance and, as reported in the Olive Press, police files emerged last year allegedly confirming she was a wild child living a lifestyle spiralling out of control. An Olive Press reader recently dismissed claims that Amy ‘had to forage for food in the bins’ but confirmed that the teen spent four months living with her, ‘on and off’, instead of with her parents. Incredibly, mother Audrey Fitzpatrick has recently claimed that Amy could have been murdered by convicted killer Eric ‘Lucky’ Wilson. Wilson is currently serving 23 years in prison for shooting down Dan Smith outside the Lounge Bar, in Riviera, in June 2010. Audrey made a formal statement to police in Ireland after ‘an underworld source’ approached them alleging Dubliner Wilson had boasted about killing Amy.

Yeremi

Yeremi Vargas was just seven years old when he disappeared from outside his family home on Gran Canaria five years ago. His bespectacled smiling face has since become well known across Spain. But there has been no trace of him. This despite the police insisting at the time that they were confident he could not have left the Canary Islands as all boats were stopped from leaving within hours of his disappearance and those that had already left were searched when they reached their destination. His mother Ithaisa Suarez, who was just 16 when Yeremi was born, maintains her son was kidnapped. “I called him in for lunch and he nodded and said he’d be there in a moment,” she says. “Five minutes - it couldn’t have been more than five minutes, I put my head round the door and he was gone.” There were no witnesses to his disappearance but police reopened the case in March this year, exactly five years after Yeremi vanished, following a new lead involving a white Opel Corsa, seen in the area at the time.

Jose and Ruth

The two siblings Jose and Ruth Breton, two and six, disappeared from a park in Cordoba last October. Their dad Jose Breton has since been arrested over their disappearance and is being held in prison. Meanwhile their mother Ruth Ortiz has publicly declared she believes her ex-husband murdered them. Police have failed to find any trace of them despite several searches of his family home with radar equipment. But the judge in the preliminary hearing has now said a third party could be implicated. Security cameras show Breton arriving at his parents home with another man. And Judge Jose Luis Rodriguez Lianz thinks this other man could have moved the children, and acted ‘through friendship or even for money’.

Maddie confusion cleared up From Page 1

been at the campsite but that the blond girl was definitely his own daughter who was the same age. “She has blonde hair and was about the same age as Maddie at the time,” admitted the 41-year-old, who lives near Bern. “It is really unbelievable that I am some kind of suspect. It is shocking.” But he said he ‘felt for’ Maddie’s parents and admitted: “It is quite possible that my daughter appeared distant. She was tired after a very long road trip.” “We spent 12 days at the camp ground and then journeyed into Portugal. I don’t think

a kidnapper would have done that.” The hunt, which was reported in over 100 papers worldwide, was solved after we handed over the details to police and German media, who were able to trace Mayer. Sisson meanwhile, is relieved that a fiveyear worry is finally over , however she slammed police for not investigating the sighting at the time. “If they had actually done their job this would never have happened,” she told the Olive Press. She had initially reported the sighting to police in three countries and the Madeleine family hotline.

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Perm-anent post Former hairdresser becomes new deputy leader of Andalucia AN orphan, who once worked as a hairdresser, has become Andalucia’s new deputy leader. Self-made man Diego Valderas Sosa - who also previously delivered gas bottles – has been sworn in as the new Junta Vice President from the Communist IU party. No stranger to hard slog, Valderas, from Huelva, later worked his way up from admin assistant to manager at a vineyard. He then became one of the youngest mayors in Andalucia, when – at the age of 26 he took the post in Bollullos Par de Condado. He was born in the town in 1953, before becoming orphaned as a teenager when both parents died on the

GRIN AND BEAR IT: Grinon with Valderas same day. At the age of 16 he moved to Barcelona to land his first job as a cook. Valderas, who says his only objective is to ‘avoid the Right getting in in Andalucia’ later became Speaker of the Junta. He got the current post after PSOE was forced to enter a

coalition with the IU Party in order to stay in power last month. Valderas is a keen cook and walker, and his family runs a catering firm in Bollullos. Surprisingly he does not have a driver’s licence, but does enjoy jogging and walking in the countryside.

STILL Jesus, Mary, Mother of God! WE’RE INDIGNANT IN a major faux pas the Catalan government has used Google to translate its new website from Catalan to English, with comic effect. In particular the search giant got into a little difficulty when it came to the names that led to the current President Artur Mas becoming ‘The President More’ and even ‘More President’. Unbelievably Councillor Josep Maria Pelegri was transformed into ‘Joseph and Mary Pilgrim’. And in the list of ex presidents Josep Tarradellas inexplicably became ‘George Washington’. The website has now been suspended while it is updated.

THOUSANDS of protesters gathered in cities across Spain over the weekend to mark the one year anniversary of 15M. The so-called ‘indignant’ called for 96 hours of continuous protest to culminate at the Puerta del Sol in Madrid on Tuesday where the movement was founded exactly one year ago. In a tug-of-war with police 150 people who had camped out in the Puerta del Sol were moved on in the early hours of Tuesday morning for the third consecutive night. But they soon retook the square. The initial protest against Spain’s economic crisis and the government’s inability to deal with it spawned a global movement that has continued to gain momentum.

Thunderballs

A SPANISH man is recovering in hospital after being struck by lightening in the scrotum. The 53-year-old was treated for burns to the area, as well as his feet, after the bolt travelled down one of his legs while walking on wet grass in Madrid. “All I felt was that I couldn’t move my legs,” said the man.


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NEWS

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Honoured Officer forced into a ‘heathen’s grave’ finally gets fitting €10,000 monument

MEMORY: Colquitt

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A BRITISH soldier who died fighting Napoleon’s troops during the Peninsular War in Spain has been honoured in Andalucia. Grenadier Guards officer, Lieutenant Colonel John Scrope Colquitt, died of fever after leading his troops in the liberation of Cadiz in 1812. Now, 200 years after his death, distant relatives have

gathered in the town of Alcala de Guadaira, near Sevilla, for the inauguration of a €10,000 monument in his memory. Colquitt was laid to rest in the town despite locals refusing to allow his body to be buried in the local cemetery because he was an Anglican ‘heathen’. He was forced to be buried in a different part of town,

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Tightrope walking to Europe TWITCHERS were overjoyed after a rare bird was spotted in Spain for the first time after apparently drifting thousands of kilometres off course. The Bateleur eagle (pictured right) - which is usually found in Sub-Saharan Africa - was identified by bird-watchers on a headland near Algeciras. The species is listed as ‘near-threatened’ by conservation group IUCN, with estimates suggesting there could be as few as 10,000 of the birds left in the wild. The bird is believed to be the first of its species to cross the Sahara Desert. Known as the ‘tightrope walker’ due to its appearance of catching its balance while flying, the Bateleur belongs to the same family as buzzards and kites and is identified by its distinctive red beak and legs.


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at last By James Bryce

which later garnered the name La Cruz de Ingles. The ceremony at the monument in La Cruz de Ingles included the strains of the Last Post, played by a Grenadier Guard. One ancestor Nick Flynn, 47, who lives near Ronda, was overjoyed to be invited to the ceremony. “It was an interesting event to attend because I didn’t know anything about this guy before,” Flynn, a first cousin five times removed, told the Olive Press. “I am not going to pretend I got my hanky out and was overcome with emotion, but it was quite a stirring occasion and there was a certain feeling of pride. “This was an Englishman fighting on the side of Spain against the French. “Honouring him is a fantastic way to promote Anglo-Spanish relations,” he added.

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MASS GRAVE UNEARTHED IT is certainly the darkest day in Teba’s glorious history. On February 23, 1937, 81 men and three women were taken from the town to be shot in groups of 10. Known as the ‘Night of the 80’, little has been done to commemorate the event that took place in the town’s cemetery. But now work has finally got underway to excavate what is believed to be Spain’s second largest civil war mass grave. The unmarked spot – which could contain as many as 125 bodies – is only beaten by the one at Malaga’s San Rafael Cemetery. So far the remains of 35 people have been unearthed at the site with work expected to continue until the end of June. The investigation, coordinated by Juan Fuentes, who is a member of the Historical Memory Association in Antequera, received a government grant following requests from local residents. They want to identify deceased relatives and give them a proper burial. The families will be able to decide where the remains should be buried.

Painting out racism

COUNCILLORS have taken a hands-on approach to fight racist graffiti in Marbella after their requests to the PP for its removal fell on deaf ears. IU representatives Enrique Monterroso and Miguel Diaz used rollers to eradicate neoNazi scrawlings – including the words ‘Adolf Hitler’ – from the Miraflores area. The pair also removed swastikas which had been painted on the outside of a door at Los Olivos school months earlier. “We are outraged that the local government has done nothing to remove it,” said Monterroso.

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NEWS

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www.theolivepress.es

Brit dies in heatwave Two more hospitalised as hot spell wreaks havoc on walking tour llllllll

A BRITISH woman has died while hiking in 40-degree Spanish heat. Wendy Richardson, 78, collapsed following a suspected heart attack during a guided walk which saw six other pensioners suffer

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Look what slid in POSTAL workers in Malaga received a fright when they checked a partly opened packet to discover that it contained a live snake. The albino python, contained in a lunchbox, had been sent via ordinary post. A wet sponge that was there to keep the snake moist had disintegrated the packaging leading to the discovery. Police traced the package to a 28-year-old man who insisted he had bought the snake over the internet from Zaragoza as a present for his girlfriend.

health problems. An air ambulance was sent to the scene in Gran Canaria but paramedics were unable to revive her. Meanwhile two other female walkers were also taken to hospital suffering from severe breathing difficulties. One of them was treated at the scene after having an apparent cardiac arrest. Another four Britons, three men in their sixties and a woman, 61, were treated at the scene for heat-related problems.

Warnings

The Canary Island’s tourist board said the trek should not have been allowed to take place following severe weather warnings for the region. Elsewhere on Gran Canaria, another British pensioner died after falling down a ravine while walking with his wife. Thomas Chaffy Willoughby, 74, was airlifted to a local football field, but efforts to revive him failed.

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NEWS

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AXARQUIA NEWS

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HAPPY FACES: The creative charity wall

Face wall for breast cancer victims A BRITISH man who suffered from breast cancer is painting a mural of local residents in a bid to raise awareness of the disease and raise money for charity. Artist Bob Woodhouse, 62, who was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, is charging people €10 to paint their faces onto the wall of the Lemon Tree restaurant in Riogordo. All the money is going to breast cancer research. “People don’t think men get breast cancer but it is on the increase,” explained Woodhouse who has lived in the Axarquia town for three years. “This mural is an excellent talking point, and there is a sign to make people aware of the reasons behind it and to let them know that yes, men do get breast cancer.” He continued: “The response has been great, I have almost filled the first wall, and we are about to double the mural’s size. “So hopefully we should be able to donate at least €1000.”

GREEN ANDALUCIA

Transmitter headache drags on AN ILLEGAL phone mast in Benajarafe remains standing five months after it was ordered to be removed. Residents claim the Vodafone mast has caused a shocking 50 cases of cancer – many leading to death – since it was built 17 years ago. “We are desperate,” said neighbourhood spokeswoman Antonia Delgado. “We don’t want to continue living in worry knowing that since this mast has been there, 50 cases of cancer have been registered.” The Vodafone mast was constructed with no licence next to the Torre Moya watchtower.

Protests

After numerous protests, in 2009 Velez Town Hall ordered the phone giant to remove its transmitter. Then, after the company lost an appeal, in December it was ordered once again. That month Councillor Concha Labao said: “Work is beginning on removing this mast, which has a great visual impact and is not legal.” Yet it still remains standing. Although its emission levels are lawful, many residents have reported suffering from insomnia and headaches since it was installed.


AXARQUIA NEWS

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Ref hospitalised over red card

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Nerja goalkeeper knocks him unconcious during league game

OUT COLD: Ref Juan Carlos Crespo Sanchez after being attacked by keeper

A NERJA goalkeeper has apologised for putting a referee in hospital for giving him a red card. “What happened shouldn’t have happened,” said Ivan Cabello, who insisted referee Juan Carlos Crespo Sanchez had insulted him. The incident, which occurred during Nerja’s thirddivision home game against Huetor Tajar, has been reported to police and is expected to go to court. With the score at 0-0 19 minutes into the second half, Sanchez told Cabello to hurry up with a goal kick, which riled Cabello – who

It’s cute in Cutar I T is a windy road up through vine covered hills. But your first glimpse of Cutar, a white oasis that sparkles in the sunlight, makes it all worthwhile. As you drive into the village you are first struck with the beautifully restored fountain, the Aina Alcaharia, which used to be an Arab Chapel before being converted to a well and fountain. Interestingly it is the only surviving Arab fountain of its kind in Malaga province. Behind it there are steep steps leading up to the ancient bridge that crosses a little gorge, but be careful if you attempt to climb them as they can be slippery! Cutar is proud of its Moorish roots and each year the village goes back in time to the fifteenth century to celebrate the Monfi Festival where you can experience the smells,

Sally Harrison steps back in time and looks at the Moorish town of Cutar

tastes and music of that era. In the second weekend of October, the narrow streets and main car park are transformed into a traditional souk where you can buy food, drink

and clothes among other items from people dressed in traditional Arab costume. There are also belly dancers, falconry displays and street entertainment, with an Arab tent selling mint tea and culinary delights. And homes are opened up as museums revealing traditional weaving methods, paintings and old photographs of the village from bygone days. The village also has a Moorish arch known as the Algorfa with a house above it. And at the top, on the western side of Cutar sits the 16th century Church of Nuestra Senora de la Encarnacion dominating the village with its beautiful Baroque side chapel. It was originally known as Our Lady of the Angels and was built over an Arab mosque. If you haven’t yet visited Cutar I can highly recommend it as being one of the few virtually untouched, traditional white villages. www.axarquiaproperties.com

turned to confront him. Sanchez then gave Cabello a red card – leading the Nerja player to lose control completely, punching the ref to the ground and knocking him unconscious. “He had his hands round my neck and was trying to strangle me,” said the referee. Cabello then kicked him twice while he was down before eventually being pulled off by his teammates. Sanchez, from Algeciras, tried to get up but quickly collapsed again, lying in a stupor until the ambulance arrived and took him to Nerja health centre. “For several minutes I couldn’t see anything in my left eye,” said Sanchez, who was later transferred to Velez Malaga hospital. But Cabello refused to let on what the ref said, adding: “I’m not going to say what he said to me until court.”

Mast

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GIBRALTAR NEWS

Gib IN BRIEF Teacher jailed

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Nappy negotiations

FORMER Gib teacher Graham Hawkins, 57, has been jailed for 30 months after pleading guilty to eight charges of indecent assault on a child during the 1980s.

Labour gift Former Labour Party deputy leader John Prescott has donated and autographed a barrel for a Rotary club initiative, during a recent visit to Gibraltar.

Cop appeal Police are appealing for witnesses after a woman in her 20s was tied up and gagged during a robbery at a shop in Market Place on Sunday.

Floating fun The Gibraltar Diamond Jubilee Flotilla will take place on June 4 as part of celebrations to mark the Queen’s 60th year on the throne.

HE may be used to sleepless nights fretting about domestic politics and the issues over Spain. But Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has had an altogether more pressing issue to deal with in recent weeks following the birth of his son. The Rock’s leader became a father for the first time on April 15 after wife Justine gave birth to Sebastian Picardo, weighing 8lb 14oz. On juggling paperwork with changing nappies, Picardo told the Olive Press: “My

EXCLUSIVE by James Bryce experience as a daddy has been at once the hardest and the most fun thing I have ever done.” Speaking to the paper in February the Chief Minister, who recently celebrated his 40th birthday, described his impending role as a dad as ‘an exciting time’. Dismissing the idea he had left it late, he added: “My dad had me when he was 55, so in my family we all start late.”

Tunnel firm sues for £20m A CONSTRUCTION company contracted to complete Gibraltar’s airport tunnel project is suing the government for £20 million. OHL was handed the lucrative £34.1 million deal by the previous administration, before the contract was later cancelled. The Spanish-based firm is demanding damages for breach of contract as well as other costs including loss of profits, despite having received £14 million.

Flagrant

The case has now gone before the High Court in the UK, with the government required to file their defence by May 22. The Rock’s administration is being supported in the case by the opposition GSD party, who awarded the original contract in 2008. In a strongly-worded statement, the GSD described the OHL claims as ‘an unmeritorious try-on by a company that had ceased to carry out

the contract and the works and were in flagrant breach of their contract’. The contract awarded to OHL was for the design and construction of a 1.24 km four-lane dual carriageway connecting Devil’s Tower Road with the Spanish border.

The plan also included parallel lanes for pedestrians and cyclists and access to Eastern Beach Road and Catalan Road. Local firm JBS has taken on the contract, with opposition leaders calling for the project to be completed before summer 2013.


GIBRALTAR NEWS

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‘Grow up’ over Eddie visit! By James Bryce

UK hits back after Spain complains about Prince Edward’s Diamond Jubilee visit

UPSET: Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo and (right) Prince Edward ready for the celebrations SPAIN has formally complained to Britain over Prince Edward’s visit to Gibraltar next month. British Ambassador Giles Paxman has been told officials are ‘upset and unhappy’ about the three-day trip from June 11, organised to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The complaint was raised during a scheduled meeting between Paxman and Spain’s Foreign Office. But Andrew Rosindell, chairman of the Overseas

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Territories All-Party Parliamentary Group, defended the visit, despite fresh tension over the issue of sovereignty. “Gibraltar may be close to Spain, but it is not Spanish and its people do not want to be Spanish,” he said. “Members of the Royal Family are perfectly entitled to go to any of Her Majesty’s territories whenever they want. “I thought Spain had grown up.” Spain’s Foreign Office con-

firmed the spat saying that the government had expressed its ‘upset and unhappiness over the visit by the Earl and Countess of Wessex’. Princess Anne was the last member of the British royal family on the Rock when she opened a military clinic in 2009. Queen Sofia of Spain is due to travel to London for an official lunch at Windsor Castle to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years on the throne.

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Fuel safety fears for Gib ENVIRONMENTALISTS are calling for greater cooperation between authorities in Gibraltar and Spain amid safety fears over a new fuel depot in Algeciras. The development - part of an existing terminal operated by storage giant Vopak - is set to come into use early next year, boosting the site’s capacity to four

million tons. The Environmental Safety Group has branded the scheme a ‘significant environmental and safety risk’. It has urged Gibraltar’s government to raise the issue with the EU if Spain fails to provide details from an environmental impact study.

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LETTERS

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POTTED POINTERS ANDALUCIA RESERVOIR LEVELS This week: 73.60 per cent full - Same week last year: 89.64 per cent - Same week in 2002: 62.47 per cent AIRPORTS Gibraltar 00350 22073026 Granada-Jaen 958 245 200 Jerez - 956 150 000 Malaga - 952 048 844* *For English press 9 Sevilla - 954 449 000 EMERGENCIES Police 091 Guardia Civil 062 Medical service 061 Fire 080 EURO EXCHANGE RATES 1 euro is worth 1.2944 American Dollars 0.8032 British Pounds 1.2996 Canadian Dollars 7.4334 Danish Kroner 10.050 H Kong Dollars 7.5814 Norwegian Kroner 1.6194 Singapore Dollars

Most informative

Dear Olive Press, When we were in Spain at Easter we read your informative feature on the Sierra de Aracena. As a result, we booked three nights at the Posada San Marcos in Alajar using the offer of a complimentary dinner for two and bottle of wine in the advertisement. When we arrived at Alajar we found a complete contrast to the coast, rolling hills covered with chestnut and cork trees and a slower pace of life; ‘the real Spain.’ We visited the caves at Aracena which were spectacular. The town of Almonaster was lovely and we walked up to its mesquita for far reaching views and a sight of the adjacent bullring. On the second day we used the walk in your feature, a well directed stroll through varied countryside with the sounds of the river, birdsong and a variety of wildflowers. We are certainly going to buy the book. The Posada San Marcos was so special. Lucy and Angel have created a ‘low impact’ posada with the ambiance of a country house hotel (see p.22 Carbon Neutral kip). We will certainly return and bring friends. This well researched feature certainly made a big difference to our enjoyment of our time in Spain and we look forward to visiting more areas that you feature. Karen and Jon Brown, UK

Good response I just wanted to thank you for the article that you wrote in the Olive

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Press (issue 132) about my horse, charity and life. I have had a lot of response, even from the United States, from people that are interested in writing my story. My main goal is to get the therapy that I am doing known by the medical profession and to make people aware of the work that we do at ANIMO. I will keep you updated on any progress. The Olive Press seems to be very popular here because people comment that it is written by people who live here and like Spain, as opposed to stuff just lifted off the internet. Keep up the good work. Barbara Napier, Almeria

Dangers of drinking I can understand Maximillian Bartie (issue 133) being upset that people are trying to stop him having a drink but so many drinkers abuse

that privilege. In the UK there is, on average, an attack on a stranger every 30 seconds, and like most violence - whether in public or in the family - it is due to alcohol. Then there are the disgusting displays of public drunkenness in town centres and the drunkenness and violence in hospital A&E units. Moreover a third of all road accidents and deaths are due to alcohol. The figure for deaths from alcohol was 8,664 in 2009. Alcoholics have a 97 per cent death rate from alcohol. Alcohol in all its forms is a mind altering addictive drug, so it is dangerous. Michael Hill, Nerja Of course alcohol is a mindaltering drug. How on earth could we put up with the wowsers, who always know better than we moderate drinkers, without it. There is already sufficient legislation on the statute books to control binge

What strange goings on

drinkers, I was asking why the law is not enforced. I feel sorry for the stranger who is attacked every 30 seconds but it wasn’t me that did the attacking. If you had met The Lady Bartie you would realise domestic violence against her is not an option. As for displays of public drunkenness, I see very little of it outside the UK so maybe this is a problem of nationality. Even the Home Office admits that of the 90 per cent of all British adults who drink alcohol, most do so responsibly so why are we all being penalised? Whatever, it doesn’t really matter what I think. Given time, the health fascists will have their way and we’ll all be socially engineered into teetotal model citizens. Cheers, Bartie

Yes for Yorkshire Some weeks ago, I returned to the Yorkshire Linen Warehouse in the hope of exchanging a fitted bed sheet for a different colour. I was a bit dubious as it had been 10 weeks since I bought it. Naturally these purchases were still in their packages, and I also had the receipt. To my surprise the time lapse proved to be no problem, and the sales lady could not have been nicer.

Mysterious ‘UFO’ case over the Costa del Sol will just not go away

Picture perfect? Here are some photos I got of the object in your report (issue 133). They are not bad close ups. Lin Newbon, Estepona

We were also witness to the strange goings on a few weeks ago (issue 133). Awakened by a loud swishing sound we went on the terrace and saw red and green lights darting over the hills and mountains with speed and manoeuvrability unlike anything we had seen before. The lights were visible for best part of an hour. Then last week we saw a bright light to the North East. It appeared to be over the sea and close to Malaga. Through powerful binoculars we saw red and green lights merging into a very bright white light but this time the object completely disappeared. We surely cannot have been the only people to have witnessed this event. Something very odd is going on. Sharon & Gerry Crest, Manilva

Frightening We also woke up at five in the morning on April 7 because of a tremendous noise. It was very frightening and it came out of the sky. It lasted for at least 40 minutes. I went outside to my terrace to have a look and saw some flickering red lights. In my opinion there were at

least two or three fighter jets that flew very low, back and forth, in the direction of the sea. My kids were sitting straight up with fear in their beds. For a moment I thought it had to do with some kind of terrorist threat or something. Nathalie Parody, Benahavis

A bit of calm I know the UFO sighting makes a good news story (issue 133) but can we have some calm? It is well known that for every witness to an occurrence you have a different version of events, many of which are imagined, although in good faith. This is a case in point. Has Lin Campbell never been half wakened by police helicopters? They sound very strange especially when the noise echoes off surrounding buildings or hills. Her not getting out of bed suggests nothing more than that she was not properly awake. A few years ago on UK TV there was a programme about supposed UFO sightings. In one instance a man in a small town

brero which he had decorated with Christmas tree lights. He went to the top of a hill, switched on his lights and stood there for 20 minutes, before switching them off and returning home. The following morning the sheriff told him of the many sightings reported. These were all fanciful, e.g. a huge saucer shaped craft, blazing with light which had hovered for a long while before zooming off at an incredible speed. All the ‘normal’ UFO descriptions were there. None suggested that it looked like an elderly man in a sombrero covered in Christmas tree lights. We all see what we expect to see. Helena McGinty

Still strange It is a fascinating story about the UFO. I myself saw a red/orange round object fly fast, below the clouds over Sotogrande, at 1am Saturday May 5, exactly a week later. There is definitely something strange going on. Juliet Hambro, Sotogrande

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.

in the US decided to don a large som-

Anne Lynch, Calahonda

No guarantee In July 2011, I purchased a power washer from Leroy Merlin. I used the machine no more than a dozen times. This April, I tried to use the washer but to no avail. It just would not start. Having the original box, receipt and three year guarantee, I went back to Leroy’s with the washer, presuming I was in my rights to expect an exchange. According to the supervisor, this was not so. He told me I had only 15 days from the date of purchase to exchange, and this was Spanish law. Nowhere was this printed on the receipt or on the guarantee. So was he right, or not? Tim Hemingway, Malaga

ED: Hi Tim, according to Marbella-based law firm Lawbird the repair or refund claim needs to be directed not to Leroy Merlin but to the manufacturer of the power washer, who has given the three year guarantee.

PLE WR ASE ITE


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reen

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A 12-page Olive Press special supplement

A regal ending for bird of prey A GOLDEN eagle found with 33 gun pellets in its body has finally been released back into the wild (left). The bird, suffering from anaemia, bone injuries and dehydration, was found in Murcia’s Moratalla mountains by hunters. But following two months of care at El Valle vet surgery, it has happily made a full recovery.

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GREEN ANDALUCIA

Five organic years Green Guide 2012 will be out in July

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HE Olive Press Green Guide is about to turn five. The magazine, launched in 2008 to promote and support Andalucia’s vibrant green scene, will be celebrating its fifth edition this July. Bigger and better than previous issues, the groundbreaking guide is once again being produced by the Olive Press team. Looking at a range of pressing environmental issues, it will also offer dozens of pages on interesting innovations and ways to save money. There will be features on recycling, carbon offsetting and the best way to avoid conventional medicine. There will also be advice on where to take a green holiday, eco-ways to unwind, and how to save energy in various easy steps. With over 50 per cent editorial, there will be 22,000 copies distributed throughout the whole of Andalucia. Backed up by its popular website www.greenguidespain.com, Green Guide 2012 is a fantastic way of reaching the constantly growing green-conscious public. Advertisers will benefit from a range of good value spaces, from as little 95 euros. To take up this fabulous opportunity, email jon@ theolivepress.es or call the office on 951 166 060 for more information.

A STICKY END?

Green groups slam ‘dead end’ project to prospect for oil in inland Andalucia

By Wendy Williams

GREEN groups have slammed a ‘dead end’ plan to prospect for oil and gas in rural inland Andalucia. Ecologistas en Accion and WWF are up in arms over the eight million euro scheme that will see Span-

Well blow me

ish company Oil and Gas Capital scour 95,000 hectares in both Jaen and Sevilla provinces. The environmental groups are extremely concerned about the move insisting it is moving a long way from the country’s claimed green goals.

“It is a bad move and will lead to a dead end,” Ecologistas en Accion spokesman Daniel Lopez told the Olive Press. “The era of oil has to disappear sooner rather than later, it would be much better to make the transition to renewable energy.” The WWF has backed the concern insisting any drilling could serious endanger vital water aquifers. It comes despite the company insisting the exploration – backed by the Junta - will be entirely ‘non-intrusive.’ But the search for ‘black gold’ has received glowing support from many town halls who have been drawn in with the promise of a €300 million investment. It could lead to 500 direct and indirect jobs if any trace of oil or gas is found.

AN incredible 60 per cent of Spain’s energy was produced by wind power on one day last month. According to grid operator Red Electrica, a whopping 60.5 per cent of the mainland’s supply was provided early on Monday April 9, albeit at 4am. The previous record was 59.63 per cent of the country’s power, supplied in the early hours of November 6 2011. Wind power has provided 18.6 per cent of electricity needs for the year so far in Spain.

Oil and Gas Capital, based in Barcelona, is already carrying out similar searches in Cantabria, Levante and Murcia.

Maghreb

The company has been given a maximum of six years to carry out the exploration of the subsoil. “This is important project, of great magnitude, that can change the face of Andalucia,” insisted company spokesman Agustin Dominguez. “If we find any gas and oil here, it will make sense not to have to buy from the Maghreb.”


Green Andalucia

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O

NE of my first experiences of hiking in Andalucia was an encounter with a fullsize 600-kilos toro bravo or fighting bull. My partner and I had lost the route and, endeavouring to find it again, we set out across a huge stretch of fenced countryside ignoring – as we climbed over – signs stating: “Danger: Fighting bulls.” I’d seen these signs many times with ne’er a steer in sight, and believed that farmers often put them up to frighten away potential trespassers. We had soon reached the far side of the field and, feeling peckish, sat down beside a shady track with our backs against an accommodating stone. This was as good place as any to eat the picnic we’d brought with us and we were soon tucking into cold tortilla washed down with rustic red wine out of plastic cups. It was then I became aware of a steady ‘clump, clump’ of hooves coming down the track behind us. Gingerly, I slid up the rock and peeked over the top. To my horror, a great black toro bravo with horns the size of elephant tusks was heading towards us. Dropping back behind the rock I held my partner firmly and hissed ‘Freeze!’ If we made a run for it we could both end up badly injured, if not worse, so we stayed rigidly still holding our breath as the ‘clump, clump’ got louder. The beast passed literally within two metres from where we were crouched, trembling with fear. I sneaked another look over the rock to see his enormous black rump with swinging tail moving away. But then he stopped, sniffing the air as his head shifted towards us. He must have caught our

Beware of the bull…

Rough Guide author Geoff Garvey on the dangers of ignoring signs when hiking, and (right) his pick of the Andalucian parks

Picture: By KARL SMALLMAN

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scent on the downwind and we both eyed the branches of a nearby tree preying for a potential avenue of escape. But just as we were about to make a run for it, he turned

away and continued down the track, leaving me feeling more relieved than ever before. We beat a hasty retreat to safety and the event has

now provided my partner with an oft-repeated dinner story about a so-called expert travel writer (that’s me folks!) who nearly got her killed by ignoring bull warnings on

Fuenteheridos A CONSERVATION group has called for the urgent restoration of a second century Roman villa. Once the home of a noble Roman family, it has sadly fallen victim to looting and littering since its discovery in Valle de Abdalajis in 1980. The remains require extensive restoration work but the Junta and central government have so far failed to provide the funds, despite agreeing a deal five years ago. Local culture group Nescania has now called on rail infrastructure firm Adif to foot the €270,000 bill as part of its commitment to the local area. The company has undertaken a series of projects in Abdalajis in recent years as part of an agreement to compensate the community for damage caused by an AVE high-speed train line.

Restoration on track?

fences. If you can keep clear of bulls (and the fence signs often mean what they say!) there’s plenty of fine walking to be had in Andalucia’s magnificent natural parks. First set up in the 1980s by the new Junta regional government, they now number 26. They feature an enormous range of geology, climate and habitat including coastal dunes, beaches and semidesert steppe as well as mountain forests, Mediterranean woodland, salt marshes and marine zones. To explore them properly you’ll need a decent map and possibly a hiking guidebook. By keying ‘trekking guidebook Andalucia’ into the Amazon website’s search tool you’ll discover a decent selection. Here (on facing page) are a few of my own favourite parks to give you the perfect excuse to get out those hiking boots and head for the hills. The seventh edition of the Rough Guide to Andalucia is published this month.

WIN WIN WIN

It is, without a doubt, THE definite guide to Andalucia for travellers. The in-depth Rough Guide to Andalucia has taken years to research by Grazalema-based author Geoff Garvey. Broken down into easyto-use sections it is upto-date and includes plenty of maps and photos. To celebrate the new launch of the seventh edition, the Olive Press has five books to give away. To win a book please answer the following simple questions and send your answers to n e w s d e s k @ t h e o l i ve press.es. 1.  What sign should you always be aware of when walking in the countryside? 2.  How many natural parks are there in Andalucia?


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the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012

My Top Five favourite parks

Fuenteheridos

Rough Guide editor Geoff Garvey picks favourite Andalucian green spaces

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Sierra de Aracena In springtime this is a real Garden of Eden with a profusion of wild flowers including French lavender, peonies and Spanish irises. Charming villages for overnighting include Fuenteheridos and Almonaster and you must not miss the region’s famous jamon de Jabugo.

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Sierra de Cazorla Arguably Andalucia’s most spectacular park, the Sierra de Cazorla is the largest protected area in Spain. Stunning waterfalls cascade from towering rock cliffs that are home to the acrobatic ibex, while the valleys and gorges provide a habitat for unique pre-Ice Age plants, mouflon and otters. An astonishing variety of birdlife includes the recently reintroduced Lammergeir, or bearded vulture.

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Cabo de Gata Due to its coastal location flamingos are a common sight in season and there are

many fine beaches on which to spread your towel after a day’s hiking. The pretty, low-key resort-village of San Jose provides an ideal base.

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Sierra de Grazalema A range of craggy limestone peaks swathed in forests of oak and the rare pinsapo Spanish fir and a wealth of plant species – orchids are a speciality here – make it a surefire winner. The pueblos blancos (white villages), including Zahara, Villaluenga and Benaocaz, make excellent bases for sorties into the park.

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Sierras Subbeticas This rugged, rambling spur of the Cordillera Betica mountain range has jagged, karstic limestone formations are punctuated by gentle wooded valleys. There are golden eagles and peregrine falcons and delightful white villages like Zuheros, Carcabuey and Iznajar. A redundant rail line has now been turned into a stunning 60km path named the Via Verde (Green Route; www.viasverdes.com).

Cabo de Gata Sierra de Cazorla

In final bid to protect rare Spanish white-headed ducks, the UK has confirmed it is to kill off its last few hundred randy ruddy ducks, writes Eloise Horsfield

No ducking the issue! THEY are incredibly randy, come from the UK, and have been wreaking havoc on the Iberian bird population. But now, the days of the Spanish sojourn for horny ruddy ducks are becoming increasingly rare. It comes after the EU ordered the UK a decade ago to spend millions culling its ruddy population, which was threatening the Spanish white-headed duck population. After an urgent directive issued in 1999, €6 million was put aside to eradicate the species. Now, a final €220,000 has been budgeted to finish the job, with all but 200 species left in the wild. The problem came after the species, which was introduced from America in the 1940s, starting breeding like rabbits. With few natural predators, by 1999 around 7000 birds were living wild in the UK. The problem was that from the early 1980s the birds decided they fancied trips

LOVE IN THE AIR: But the future looks bleak for ruddy ducks down to Spain at certain times of year. And the males developed a penchant for the females of another species; the whiteheaded duck – one of Europe’s rarest birds. Already under threat due to a loss of their wetland habitats, the white-headeds have seen their numbers drop to 10 per cent of what they were a century ago. And, because they are so enamoured by ruddy ducks, conservationalists feared that they could be wiped out

entirely. Despite some local protests, the UK Government has finally authorised the hunt of the final estimated 200 individuals. But it is not going to be easy. Because they are secretive and like to hide in dense vegetation with other birds, it takes skilful marksmen to wipe each ruddy out without accidentally hitting other wildlife or people. In fact, that is why it costs a staggering €1,100 per bird!

Nine-inch corkscrew-shaped manhoods IS it any wonder the ruddy duck’s wooing techniques were winning over the Spanish white-headed ducks? Aside from boasting nine-inch corkscrew-shaped manhoods, the male ruddy’s mating ritual sees him raising his tail at right angles, thrashing its blue beak up and down against its puffed-out chest and emitting a low croaking sound. Irresistable!

Zahara de la Sierra

Zuheros

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Green Andalucia the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012

SUNNY DELIGHT

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NSPECTOR Gadget has done it again. Having spent two decades turning his website into one of Europe’s top online shops for green products, he is constantly looking for the latest sustainable technology. Whether this means travelling to China to check out what’s on offer, or attending green fairs in the US, Edwin Spijkers, 40, of Generador Electrico, is always on the go. So it was something of a boost when the flying Dutchman managed to come up with a revolutionary new product all on his own. The exciting new gadget – known as a ‘grid tie invertor’ – makes the conversion of solar energy from panel to appliance considerably cheaper for small domestic installations. Bringing down the price substantially, he has now had his product officially approved in China with its own CE mark. “This is a small compact invertor for 300 to 600 watts and it comes at a very compact price,” explains Spijkers, who lives in Ronda. “Indeed it costs from just €140, when previously you had to pay around €800 and when added to a small PV panel, this will save the average household up to €100 per month in electricity bills.” For more info visit www.generador-electrico. com or call 952874195

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Carbon-neutral kip It almost bankrupted its owners, but Posada de San Marcos is finally starting to pay back, writes Jon Clarke

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T is entirely appropriate that her local Spanish newspaper described her as being a ‘Gerald Brenan of the 21st century’. For just like the groundbreaking British author, Lucy Arkwright has been trailblazing her way into the record books, by setting up one of Andalucia’s first entirely carbon-neutral hotels. Along with husband Angel Millan, she has turned a fantastic Andalucian townhouse into an exciting project for green-minded travellers. After a year of back-breaking work - and the proj-

INNOVATIVE: Lucy and Angel and the Posada

ect going thousands over budget - their hotel Posada San Marcos, in Alajar, is finally on track. “It has certainly cost a fortune, but it is starting to pay back,” explains Bolton-born Arkwright. Carefully renovated using the best quality lambs wool and cork insulation, it also counts underground geothermal heating, one of the first buildings in Andalucia to install it. The ground source energy system has three separate sources of temperature: the four bore holes that take the temperature from the ground, as well as the house and the pool. It means the hotel is kept at a constant 15 to 17 degrees all year round. It is especially effective in summer as the cool temperature from the pool is used to cool the house, while the warmth from the house is sent to help produce hot water for the hotel and to heat up the water in the pool. It is a clever closed system and it is saving them around 75 per cent of their previous electricity bill. The couple also collect rain in the property’s old well and from there it goes to a tank to be re-used for toilet flushing and garden irrigation. On top of this the paint is lead-free, the varnish used on the restored chestnut beams is waterbased, and all lighting is LED. More information can be found at http://www. posadasalajar.com/eng/ environment-area/


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the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012

Save up to 10 per cent off FLOATRON your fuel bill Get clear, healthy pool water and save 80 per cent on your chlorine bill as part of the bargain

Ingenious device optimises your engine’s combustion process, saving you euros

MAKING A SPLASH

CAPTION:

A NIFTY electronic device can save motorists up to 10 per cent on petrol bills. In fantastic news for those feeling the pinch in the recession, the Viabtor slots into your car’s cigarette lighter

WIN A VIABTOR!

By Eloise Horsfield socket and immediately reduces your fuel consumption. As less fuel is used, there is less CO2 emitted, which is great for the environment.

Here’s your chance to save 10 per cent on your fuel bill, absolutely free. The Olive Press is giving away 10 lucky readers a Viabtor, worth 49.90€. Just answer the following two questions correctly using information found on the Green Guide’s website, www.greenguidespain.com 1. Which global leader was interviewed on the back page of last year’s Green Guide print edition? 2. How many sections can be found in our Green Business Directory? Send your answers to newsdesk@theolivepress.es

The device works by stabilising the car’s electrical flow, optimising the engine’s combustion process. Ultimately it means the car needs less fuel to go, saving on average 10 per cent of your fuel bill. While performance depends on the model, the highest saving recorded is a massive 16.44 per cent which was achieved in a Mercedes CLK. Factors such as speed, open windows, air conditioning and weather can also affect the total amount of fuel saved. Visit www.viabtor.com for more information

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T started with a chance encounter on the other side of the world. Now an innovative, environmentally-friendly water purifier is making a splash in Spain thanks to an enterprising father and daughter team. Floatron - a solar-powered ioniser that helps convert pool water into clear, healthy mineral water - costs nothing to power, operate or fit. Typically producing an 80 per cent reduction in chlorine requirement – or a large amount with salt pools - the frisbee-sized device means bleached hair and stinging eyes are a thing of the past. Run by Richard Gibbins and his daughter Emilie from their farm in Overton, Hampshire, the family business holds the exclusive sales rights in the UK and parts of Europe, including Spain. After discovering the Floatron on a trip to New Zealand, Gibbins was so impressed he contacted the US manufacturer and has been selling it since 2001. “Around 90 per cent of our sales are through word of mouth and we sell direct to the client, which provides a more personal service,” Emilie told the Olive Press. “It is the only water purifier on the market that doesn’t require costly, complicated fitting and that works well with a pool cover.” One client Gabriella Chidgey, who has been testing the device in her salt pool in Ronda, said: “It has definitely helped clear up the water and we are certainly using less salt.”

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They say money doesn’t grow on trees – I disagree! Here, the Olive Press talks to Gibraltar’s Forestry Trading boss Chris Bourne about why timber is a stable investment and why it is a great way to do your bit for the planet

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Green Andalucia

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Waddling back to the future At Finca La Donaira a hotel and farming project is combining ancient and modern technology to bring great optimism to Spain’s organic agricultural sector, writes James Bryce

Is my investment at risk from fire?

The trees you invest in are all grown as part of rainforest reforestation projects meaning the risk of your investment being wiped out by fire should not be a concern. To put it in prospective, London’s average annual rainfall is just over 27 inches, compared to an average of over 100 inches per year in the rainforest. With humidity levels continually between 77-88 per cent, the forests are even capable of producing their own rain.

Is it a stable investment in the heart of the recession?

It’s well documented that the Great Depression was a time of massive uncertainty with stocks falling by more than 70 per cent. What is less well known is that at the same time, the price of timber went up by 233 per cent. The theme of timber investment bucking the trend continued throughout the other more recent recessions and continues in the current crisis.

Does the market affect my investment?

With most stock, your money is susceptible to changes in the market. Investments in forestry are different however, as your money remains as secure as the trees it is invested in. Despite the chaos around you, your investment will continue to grow both literally and metaphorically. Regardless of the current global economic situation, as long as the sun continues to shine and the rain continues to fall (two abundant commodities in the rainforest), your money will continue to grow.

How long must I wait to get my return?

One of the main concerns of those who are considering investing in forestry is how long trees take to grow. They are concerned about having to make such a long-term commitment. But this is not the case. At Forestry Trading, most of the projects begin repayments after the first three years with some even beginning repayments after year one and then paying annually thereafter. An example is one of our Biodiesel projects; its longest project runs for only eight years and repayments begin at year one with a total repayment amount of 209 per cent at the end of the term.

IDYLLIC: Pickers and a gaggle of geese make the most of the organic vineyard at La Donaira

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H a B m trol wee And tha At this above s their fru ised wa One of 234-he largely ture’. At the healthy others to be se “It is an rector F “Everyt range o have to “We are altogeth Europe the env


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HERE are not many farmers who actively encourage rabbits. But at Finca La Donaira they love the furry mammals hopping about, primarily using them to coneds. at is not all. stunning estate, sitting at around 700 metres sea level, they refuse to use pesticides, they pick uit according to the moon cycle and use only ionater for irrigation. Spain’s most exciting agricultural projects, the ectare estate, near El Gastor, Cadiz, is based on a concept known as ‘regenerative agricul-

heart of the enterprise is a desire to promote y food and develop a model that aims to inspire to adopt as a means of helping rural economies elf-supporting. n exciting time for us,” explains La Donaira’s diFrancis Corr. thing we produce is ecological and we use a of animals to control things naturally so we don’t o use pesticides. e even planning to replace mechanical systems her, and are set to become the largest farm in e using draught horses to work the land,” adds vironmental engineer.

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Already a vineyard producing its own organic wine, the venture is about to adapt again, when it begins welcoming guests to a rural hotel in the autumn. Incorporating a school for sustainable farming, guests will be transported around the property only by mule and cart. The blueprint for the estate was formed eight years ago, with the farm finally adopting a range of innovative methods 18 months ago under the guidance of world leaders in agriculture. “We are not just an organic producer, we are a regenerative farm that is increasing the fertility of the soil through the processes we use,” explains Corr, who has lived in Spain for seven years. “We use various different approaches incorporating permaculture, holistic management and integrated farming.” The plan includes the introduction of a range of rare breeds such as pajuna cattle, merino sheep and lusitano horses, alongside geese, guinea fowl and turkeys. The farm also produces several varieties of mushroom and will make goats milk and cheese and cows milk available from 2013. “Guests will be able to get involved by going and collecting their own eggs in the morning or picking ingredients for their meals,” continues the father-of-three. “But it is not obligatory and we won’t be putting any pressure on people to take part if they don’t want to. “The experience should be fun and informative, we certainly won’t be forcing any of our ideas on anybody.” Corr hopes the foundation – owned by the former director of international gaming business Bwin, Manfred Bodner - will provide an example of what can be achieved using different approaches. “We are trying to show people that they can make a positive difference without making drastic changes to their lifestyle.” Finca La Donaira is organising a regenerative agriculture conference/workshops on June 22 - 24. (see page 27) . It is also looking for innovative, creative staff, in both hotel and agricultural areas. Contact francis@ladonaira.com for more information.

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Green Andalucia

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the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012

Dates for your diary IT is bound to be interesting for green minded people. Natura Malaga is hosting its fourth sustainable trade fair designed to promote eco-friendly products and raise awareness of how to live a sustinable lifestyle. Among the many businesses taking part will be Andalucia-based company Nanotec Ambiente which is responsible for bringing NanoKleen to Spain (you can find them on Stand D6). NanoKleen is a new range of highly effective, bio-based cleaning solutions created using the latest developments in nanotechnology. The event will take place in the Trade Fair and Congress Cente of Malaga on May 25-27.

On the right track By Eloise Horsfield ELECTRIC car drivers can now fill their ‘tanks’ using kinetic energy collected from train wheels. In the first of its kind in Spain, the Ferrolina device will allow users to stock up

An ingenious new invention is creating electricity from kinetic energy in train wheels on electricity at Malaga’s Maria Zambrano station. Developed by rail infrastructure company ADIF, the method transforms the

Free access for ‘hippy beach’

friction produced when train wheels rub against the tracks in order to break. Currently the system uses the high-speed AVE trains ONCE a famous ‘hippy beach’ which could only be visited by boat or after a two-hour hike, it has become infamous over recent years after a local landowner charged seven euros to get there by track. Now however Cala de San Pedro, in Almeria, is easier to reach than ever, after the local town hall ruled that the road should be free. The landowner will no longer be allowed to charge for the 20-minute drive through stunning Cabo de Gata Natural Park scenery.

between Malaga and Cordoba, but there is scope for other trains to use the same technology. The move comes as the growth in electric cars has shot up over the last year. Car companies confirmed that in April the sale of electric or hybrid cars had gone up by 91 per cent year on year.

Free

Juan Manuel Carrasco, from Sevilla University’s Electronic Technology Department – who helped develop the system – said this was being helped by a bigger range of models. “The cars are now faster, and much more reasonably priced than a few years ago,” he said. “We need to investigate and develop systems to enable people to recharge their vehicles easily.” Electric cars take 20 minutes to charge using the Ferrolina, and two vehicles can be charged simultaneously. It is currently free.


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Green for Go A

MORNING’S cycle along the Via Verde is not only one of Andalucia’s most enjoyable excursions, but – somewhat incredibly – can take in one of the region’s best restaurants. The 38-kilometre hiking and cycling route through soaring mountain scenery between Olvera and Puerto Serrano is one of the true secrets of inland Andalucia. A clever ruse of the Andalucian authorities, it heads along an unused railway track that was never inaugurated after the railroad company went out of business in the 1930s. It offers a relatively flat cycle ride through some of Andalucia’s most primitive, unspoilt countryside. Bring your own bikes or rent them from Andres at Coripe Rural. There are children’s bikes, trailers for babies and even a tandem for rent from Coripe. A serious outfit, the company now has a new business renting bikes out on the beach at El Faro, in Marbella. From Coripe it takes about an hour to get to Olvera, where

Take a trip along Andalucia’s best inland secret the Via Verde, writes Jon Clarke

you can have a morning cof- Even better for a starter though is the carpaccio of fee. Heading off early – no later beef, with the thinnest slices than 11am - is certainly ad- of Manchego cheese, courvisable in the heat and par- gettes and mushrooms on ticularly so you can hot-foot it top. It was a lesson in finesse. back to Coripe, where there is After our starters, we dived an excellent lunch stop at the into a fantastic main course of carillada (bull’s cheek) Estacion de Coripe. By rights it should be a hot in a plum sauce, as well as dog and fried-egg sarnie sort some tremendous skewers of of place, but owner Juan Ra- monkfish and prawns. For those who want to make mon has other ideas. A keen local nature lover, this a weekend of it, you can also softly-spoken chap has a pas- stay at the Estacion. sion for food quite unlikely for Call Estacion de Coripe on such an isolated area. His avocado salad turns up 620 013 708 and hire bikes with some unbelievably fresh with Andres at prawns, cod roe and caviar, www.coriperural.com not to mention its strips of CHARMING: A viaduct near Olvera smoked salmon and a delicious seafood sauce. His fresh tomatoes alinados with shavings of garlic and rosemary compete with the best, while the hot tuna croquettes melt in the mouth.

Cliff-hanger T

HIS figure of eight walk takes you past two of the best stretches of sand on the Costa Tropical, Cantarrijan and the mesmerizingly beautiful beach of El Canuelo. Both beaches restrict vehicle access in summer meaning that even then you can stake a claim on the sand. And the snorkelling and diving are among the best in Andalucia. The walk leads past two 16th century watch towers which once formed part of a line of communications that stretched all the way along Spain’s southern seaboard. And a stunning middle section of the trail takes you along the spine of the Caleta ridge. This is walking at its dramatic best but not for anyone who suffers from vertigo. The path at this stage is less clear but way-marking and cairns make things much easier and the views from the Caleta’s summit are breathtaking. Be prepared for two stretches of road walking and three steep ascents. But don’t let these short sections of tarmac put you off: there’s precious little traffic on the old coastal road and the views are stunning. If you’re walking the route in July or August you could avoid the steep climb back up to the N340 from Cantarrijan beach by hopping into one of the minibuses which run a regular shuttle throughout the day.

Continuing his series of walks for the Olive Press local author Guy Hunter-Watts takes us on a stunning coastal walk close to Almunecar along The Cantarrijan and El Canuelo Trail

Getting to the beginning of the walk From the A7-E15 motorway take the exit for La Herredura/Almunecar. Reaching a roundabout at the bottom of the hill turn right on the N340A towards Maro then turn right again at km 305 for Cerro Gordo. Continue along the old coastal road to a sign Mirador de Cerro Gordo. There’s room to park on the left.

The walk The walk begins next to the Mirador de Cerro Gordo. From here follow a path signposted Sendero past the Mirador restaurant. Reaching a junction stick to the higher path and after 250m you reach the Torre Vigia. After visiting the tower return to the start point of the walk then turn left (20 mins) and follow a tarmac road past

VANTAGE POINT: A spectacular view of the Mediterranean from the hills near Almunecar

Casa Lupo y Lupita to a sign Playa Naturista Cantarrijan. Here cut hard left past a ‘No Entry’ sign. After cutting beneath a dilapidated building the road angles right then passes a barrier and a number of houses before reaching the Cantarrijan beach. (50 mins) Turn right and head along to the far end the beach then cut right at a sign Prohibido Aparcar along a track which passes left of a car park. After 100m, angle left away from the track and continue up a (dry) streambed following G.R. way-marking. Be careful! Following the barranco north for 350m you’ll see two large boulders flanking a path that cuts up to the road. Ignoring this path angle hard left and leave the streambed via a path which loops up then runs towards the sea. At the top of a bluff you reach a junction (*) where a path cuts


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drama up to the right. Take the left option, maintaining your course. Soon a watch tower comes into view: to your right is the towering southern face of Cerro Caleta. Blue dots and G.R. flashes mark your way and lead to a fork. Here cut left for 200m to the Torre de Caleta. (1 hr 30 mins) After visiting the tower retrace your footsteps back to the fork. Turning left after 25m you reach another junction. To shorten the walk, which means not visiting El Canuelo, angle right up a steep path which soon passes left of ruin then climbs directly north past a second ruin before merging with a track that leads you to the access track of El Canuelo beach. Here turn right then pick up these notes at the point where you pass the shrine to San Judas Tadeo (see below). If you wish to visit the beautiful beach of El Canuelo bear left. The path runs close to the edge of a barranco, descends steeply through pines, before cutting right at a small cairn and angling down towards a ruin on a bluff above a tiny cove. The path is less distinct but G.R. way-marking guides you down. 40m before reaching the ruin angle right across the hillside along a narrow path on a northerly course. Cutting through thick vegetation the path drops down to the beach of El Canuelo. (1 hr 50 mins) Head northwest past Chiringuito Las Piedras then cut right beyond a bus stop (they only run in summer) and head on up a track. After climbing steeply the track angles right past two water deposits then bears once more left.

the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012

Coastal walk close to Almunecar along The Cantarrijan and El Canuelo Trail THE NITTY-GRITTY Distance: Time required: Rating: Total height gain: Map(s): Water:

13 kms 5 hours (including breaks) Medium/Difficult 675m IGN 1:50000 Motril 1055 (19-44)  In the bars of the Cantarrijan  and Canuelo beaches

Judas

At the top of the rise, looking right, you’ll see a shrine. Cut right to the shrine dedicated to San Judas Tadeo then angle right and pick up a narrow path which climbs steeply through the scrub. Reaching a carob tree, loop left then right then head on parallel to the Caleta ridge. Following cairns and blue dots you pass a saddle before reaching the highest point on the ridge (239m). (2 hrs 45 mins) Head down on the same course, just left of the ridge (there are steep drops on its sea-facing side) following cairns and blue dots. After cutting through thicker undergrowth you return to the junction at the point marked (*) earlier in these notes. (3 hrs 10 mins) Turn left and retrace the path back down into the streambed. Angling left between two boulders you reach the access track to Cantarrijan. Follow this steep track up to the N340 and a barrier and car park. Turn right then after 200m branch right again at a sign Cerro Gordo. Follow this quiet road back to the start point of the walk. (4 hrs 5 mins) The walk is taken from Guy’s latest hiking guide Coastal Walks in Andalucia which contains a selection of 50 stunning walks close to southern Spain’s Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines.

Coastal Walks in Andalucia (ISBN 9-788489-954939) is available at most bookshops in southern Spain and www.books4spain. com. For details of Guy’s other walking guides visit: www.guy hunterwatts.com.

BEAUTY: El Canuelo beach

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A growing investment

OU may not play the stock market! But what happens there can affect some of the most important things in your life, like your pension, your savings even the amount you pay for your shopping. The worst thing you can do is nothing! Pension funds will tell you to leave your money where it is, of course they will if everybody pulled their money out they would be out of business! Banks will tell you the same and why not while they pay you the minimal per centage return they are playing with your money to get themselves out of the hole that they have put themselves in. IFA’s will tell you this is the best time to buy because the prices are so low, just remember they get paid for every trade you make and there is nothing to say the shares want keep going down or at best take 4 or 5 years to start making money! Think about putting a small amount into a project that has a 100 year track record of making their investors money. Not only does the value go up on average of 7 per cent a year but the amount of product grows every year as well! What is this fantastic product? One of the oldest traded products in the world TIMBER It’s well documented that the Great Depression was a time of massive uncertainty with stocks falling by more than 70 per cent. What is less well known is that at the same time, the price of timber went up by 233 per cent. The theme of timber investment bucking the trend continued throughout the other more recent recessions and con-

ADVERTISING FEATURE

tinues during the 2008 global economic crisis, the stock indices lost by a high percentage of approximately 40 to 50 per cent while the timber index increased by 9.5 percent (Cohn 2011). Timber regularly increases at a higher rate than inflation. In Costa Rica, timber prices were higher than inflation rate by an average of 3.3 per cent between 1910 and 2000 (Costa Rica Invest 2012). This makes timber an excellent way to hedge against inflation.

‘Investments into Forestry are one of the best performing assets in the past few decades performing far better than stocks, real estate and bonds’ (Mortimer 2012) Teak being the most regulated and traded hardwood timber can be compared against any of the main investment vehicles. Forestry investments are classed as an in-

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vestment alternative asset. It has mainly been traded as a long-term investment where highest returns are gained after 10 to 15 years depending on the species of timber, but some can start the repayment cycle as soon as 3 to 4 years. We even have an 8 year project that gives fixed annual returns starting from the 1st year. Compared to other investments, forestry has superior risk-adjusted returns and a low to negative correlation with other assets such as bonds and stocks. In relation to the rate of return, forest has a low volatility due to biological tree growth. Combining forest investment in a portfolio helps reduce the portfolio’s risk level making it an excellent choice in diversifying investments. Investing in forestry has risks, but unlike other assets, it is easy to mitigate risk factors by leaving the trees in the plantations until conditions are more favourable. Timber prices are determined by supply and demand and a change in either can affect the investment returns. However, this can be mitigated by delaying harvesting until prices become favourable although timber prices have only gone to the negative 4 times in the last 100 years! Other risks include insects and fires, but if a proper management company is in place and the plantations are kept free from undergrowth this should mitigate any problems. On top of this, unlike stock and bonds, it can be insured against loss. An investor can buy young trees over 3 to 4 years old therefore due to be ‘thinned’ this would show a payment within the first year or so, or a mature forest for regular short-term income. Timber has an advantage over other investments since timber does not have to be harvested at the end of the prescribed period. If the prices are poor, the timber can be retained in the plantations until the prices are more favourable, and as the tree matures its value and the volume of timber increases. Regardless of the current global economic situation, as long as the sun continues to shine and the rain continues to fall (two abundant commodities in the rainforest), your money will continue to grow.

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May 17, 2012

A head of the game THE Pic a s s o museum in Malaga has unveiled a new work by the city’s best l o v e d son. The Head of Musketeer comes to the Picasso museum on loan from the Museo de Malaga as part of a new collaboration project ‘Guest Museum,’ which sees other museums invited to provide works by Pablo Picasso. The oil painting, completed in 1968 during Picasso’s last period, will be on show until October 19.

Scottish artist appeals for stolen painting to be returned

Have you seen this painting?

A SCOTTISH expat has been left distraught after one of her paintings was stolen from an exhibition. Self-taught artist Juliette Robb, 69, was displaying her work in Los Arcos Restaurant, on the Coin to Cartama road, when the painting vanished. The restaurant owner, Eva Lucena Garcia, insists she had taken the paintings down while she was decorating and it was then the image, which was on sale for €120, was taken. This despite the oil painting being five foot by four foot in size. “I was gobsmacked,” said Robb, who has lived in Coin for eight years and was the first British expat to have an exhibition in the Casa de Cultura in Alhaurin el Grande. “I came to collect my paintings and was told that it had gone. “But it was the biggest canvas I had done so I don’t see how it could have

gone walkies without someone seeing something,” added Robb, who also runs painting classes. “It is quite sickening to realise that

there are those who would steal someone’s livelihood. “This painting was of great importance to me. “Although I don’t subscribe to bullfighting I felt it was a good representation of the Spanish tradition and the might of the beast against man.” Meanwhile Lucena admitted this was not the first time something had been stolen from the bar. “I am really sorry for Juliette but I didn’t see what happened and unfortunately, we are used to things being stolen as it is a busy restaurant with lots of people coming and going.”

SWIPED: Juliette Robb’s oil painting

If you have seen it contact wendy@theolivepress.es

what’s on

A

lhaurin de la Torre, June 03 12:00-17:00, Charity Family Fun Day at Lauro Golf Academy. The day will include a children’s Sports Day plus a whole range of games and activities for the kids topped with live music from Costa Rock and compared by Heart FM. For further information contact Lisa Sadleir on familylifeinspain@ gmail.com or tel: 608 840 692

T

urre, Almeria, June 03. Musical extravaganza at the Hotsal Rural Turre. Local bands and the fabulous Mama Paula’s Band. Entrance 5€. Call Siobhan or Alan for details 697 302 129 or 617 577 615


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the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012

Patrick Curry takes a look at Andalucia’s biggest fair, Sevilla’s Feria de Abril

A

T the south end of Avenida Asuncion in the Los Remedios neighbourhood of Sevilla, a plot of dusty land lies empty. A few pedestrians stroll around aimlessly. A car sounds its horn urging an errant dog to move aside. Yet a fortnight ago this area was a hive of bustling activity. The Feria de Abril was in full swing, a sprawling mass of tents packed to bursting with revellers of all ages enjoying one of the most remarkable festivals in the Andalucian

AN APPETITE FOR FUN

calendar. A fabulous, fun day out, it was over 150 years ago that the fair started at the behest of Queen Isabel II as a fair for trading livestock. The first Feria took place in 1847 on the outskirts of the city and it wasn’t long before an air of festivity took hold of the proceedings.

TUESDAY TREAT A NEW book featuring a ruthless businessman embroiled in Spanish timeshare scams has been published. The Tuesday Empire - a novel of intrigue, murder and suspense - charts the rise of Tony Tuesday, a crook who will stop at nothing in the creation of his villainous empire. The book is the second novel by author Joseph Dickerson, who divides his time between the UK and Spain. “Timeshare and some of its scams are exposed, so I’d better watch my back for a while,” Dickerson jokingly told the Olive Press.

The very next year tents were erected for socialising where the high society of Sevilla could come to see and be seen. Starting out with just a handful of tents or casetas, over the years it grew and grew with this year the number reaching well over 1,000. The vast majority are privately

Best of British EXPATS are being invited to take part in an event showcasing the best of British on the Costa del Sol. British National Day is an opportunity for businesses, charities and those with special interests to promote what they do, at La Trocha Shopping Centre on July 28. The day will feature over 25 stalls with a British theme and various performers offering a range of entertainment. For more information, contact Jo Taylor. Email: chairman@coinrbl.info or tel: 663 157 776.

owned by trade associations, political parties, eminent local families, and business clubs; though a small number of public casetas exist for those unable to secure a much sought-after private invitation. During a day of blazing sunshine, the locals parade about on the streets in their finery; traje de flamenco for the women, suits and ties for the men. In the evenings the place really comes to life, as it fills up with Sevillanos and tourists. Each caseta is equipped with a bar, kitchen, and toilet. Guests are served tapas and drinks from early afternoon until the small hours of the morning. The festivities continue apace through the night with traditional dancing from locals enthralling foreign visitors. As the night draws on, people move from tent to tent and invariably spill out into the streets. The atmosphere is lively and edgy. The local wine, manzanilla (a pale dry sherry), is served either straight, or mixed with a 7-Up and ice

A WHOLE LOT OF COLOUR: The vibrant Feria de Abril to form rebujito. It is served from a jug in small plastic cups. Evidence of its deceptive strength can be seen with sporadic fights breaking out late at night, couples arguing and drunken revellers searching for belongings mislaid or stolen. And then, as the night owls begin to drift home and the sun comes up, out come the street cleaners, ready to

sweep up in preparation for the revelry to begin all over again the next afternoon. Running from midnight on Monday to midnight Sunday, the overwhelming aspect of Feria, quite apart from its extraordinary size, is the sheer appetite of the locals to enjoy the spectacle. For six days a year, Feria descends on the city and the people of Sevilla put on a party quite unlike any other.


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In the second in our series of extracts from Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools, British expat Victoria Twead gets to know her neighbours over a bottle (or three) of homemade wine…

Meet the neighbours C

LEARING the old furniture out of our house was hard work. The sun was hot, the sofa heavy and the street uphill. Sweating and panting, we rested halfway, settling ourselves on the sofa awhile, to regain our breath and admire the view. And that was how we first met Paco and his wife. About our age, short, and dressed in working clothes, Paco rounded the corner and stopped in astonishment. Then his swarthy face split into a huge grin. We jumped up off the sofa and shook hands. “Soy Paco,” he announced, pointing at himself with a horny finger. Then, poking his wife, “Bethina!” In case he thought English people usually relaxed on sofas in the middle of the street, we explained using a mixture of bad Spanish and hand signals. Our Spanish lessons hadn’t prepared us for situations like this but Paco seemed to grasp that we were carrying the sofa out to be dumped. He nodded, but cut us short. “Come with me,” he said, and dismissed the sofa with a wave of his hand. The sofa was abandoned in the middle of the road. Joe was frog-marched back down the street while Bethina and I followed, my arm clamped in a vice-like grip. We were herded into their little house, and what a contrast! Where our house was dusty and damp, their house smelled of herbs and the white walls gleamed. “You will have something to eat and drink, no?” said Paco and pressed us into chairs. “Here, I have something for you to try.” “Thank you…” we said, watching him wrestle with an unlabelled bottle. He puffed and blew until the cork surrendered with a satisfying pop. “Home-made,” he said, smacking his lips. “Taste the Andalucian grapes! Taste the Spanish sun!” “Delicioso,” I said, taking a sip. “This is delicious!” And it was.

“Last year was a very good year. Plenty of rain in spring, then a long hot summer. “In September, I will show you how we make the wine, no? You will come with me to my cortijo; you will see how wine should be made.” “Thank you that will be lovely.” “And now you must try this one, too.” His face turned red from the effort as he uncorked bottle Number Two. “This is from the year before, also a very good year.” We quickly drained our glasses and held them out to be refilled. I couldn’t taste the difference, but it was very nice. “Now you must taste this one! Tell me what you think… ” He battled with a third bottle and finally won. Joe and I obediently drained our second glass and waited. Paco splashed red wine Number Three into our glasses. We tasted it and nodded at Paco. “Delicioso,” I said again. It tasted the same as the other two. “Delicioso?” said Paco, outraged. “Delicioso? This is the wine of my friend, Juan Pedro. It is rubbish wine! See how clear my wine is! Now look at Juan Pedro’s wine! His wine is cloudy, no?” Alarmed, Joe and I stared at the three bottles, comparing them. They all looked identical. “Pah!” His fist slammed down on the table making me jump and the glasses rattle. “That Juan Pedro has no idea! He should take a lesson from me! I try to teach him how to make good wine, but does he listen? No!” “Yes, I can see the difference,” said Joe, betraying me utterly. “Your wine is much clearer, and tastes much better.” Paco beamed again, his outrage forgotten. “Women!” he said, putting his arm round Joe’s shoulders. “What do they know about good wine?” Bethina clattered around her tiny kitchen while the red wine flowed freely. She put plates of smoked ham, tomato, cheese and bread on the plastic tablecloth then joined us to sit at the table.

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Bailout fund too small From Page 1

situation,” he said. “What we need now is the co-operation of the eurozone.” EU finance ministers meanwhile met on Tuesday to discuss the crisis. While they welcomed Spanish efforts to increase market confidence by agreeing to an independent assessment of its banking sector, it urged the government to act quickly. “We call on the Spanish authorities to speed up the external assessment of the banking sector and to take the necessary steps to put in place credible backstop mechanisms,” said Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker. Greek president Karolos Papoulias is making a final attempt to create a coalition government after previous efforts failed, although new elections are widely seen as inevitable.

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Landsbanski victims must repay thousands or face losing homes

EQUITY VICTIMS FACE FINANCIAL RUIN EXCLUSIVE by James Bryce

EXPAT victims of an equity release scheme are ‘facing financial ruin’ after being ordered to repay thousands of euros within 90 days, claims a campaign group. Over 400 pensioners could have their homes repossessed after administrators of Landsbanki Luxembourg, which went bust in 2008, classified them as debtors. The victims were allegedly missold financial products, despite the bank not being licensed in Spain as an investment bank, claim Landsbanki Victims Ac-

Road to Riches, by Richard Alexander

tion Group. Loans worth 25 per cent of the market value of their properties were agreed in return for investing the remaining 75 per cent in an investment portfolio managed by the bank. The loan would then be repaid using the proceeds of the ‘lowrisk’ investments, which promised a minimum nine per cent return per year over a five-year period. However, as it did not perform their investments went down, leading to administrators to now call in the debts. The action group claims they have been told to repay the loan, plus interest, within 90 days or else face losing their properties. “Their only assets are the properties they live in and

An income for life? Some important things to be aware of when considering buying a pension annuity

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the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012

NE of the main reasons for buying a pension annuity at retirement is to secure a guaranteed income which is payable for life. Given the fragile investment environment at present this is an option which more people are turning to, but there are some important things to be aware of! Firstly, if you have a UK pension arrangement, you will be offered a range of options from your pension provider. These will almost always include the ability to exchange your fund for an annuity but here is the first caution; don’t just select an annuity from that provider’s range. My experience shows that in almost every case, better terms are indeed available on the open market. Furthermore, if you have suffered an illness or are not in perfect health, enhanced terms may well be available based on your own personal circumstances. The results of this exercise can be quite staggering, with the actual income available being significantly higher, perhaps even as much as 50 per cent more in some cases. Don’t forget, the main benefit of the annuity is that you have the certainty of a guaranteed income for life so you need to make sure you maximize the return as you only get one shot at doing that! I recently met with a new client who had retired a number of years ago and had indeed chosen to take retirement income by way of annuity purchase. As everything had been in place for a number of years my view was that we simply needed to get clarity of the terms applying to the various annuities that had been pur-

chased. Of the four companies involved, only one of them had it totally right. Of the others the discrepancies ranged from one company thinking they were paying one amount but actually paying something quite different, to another which had simply been under paying by 12.5 per cent which over a number of years had amounted to a significant sum. While they are now paying the arrears with interest and compensation, had this gone undiscovered, this person might never have known that they were being short changed every time a pension payment was made to them. The moral of this story is to take advice from a professional who has the qualifications and experience to deal with UK pensions, who can act on your behalf to identify the best solution for you and then to ensure that you actually get what you have applied for! And in an amendment to last month… Last month, I was looking at investor protection and made reference to the deposit guarantee scheme in Spain being limited to €100,000 shared between joint account holders but in fact, each account holder can have protection up to the full limit as opposed to being restricted. I apologise if this caused any concern. However, I would question whether holding this amount on deposit is the right thing to do at present with such low interest rates, but that is a debate for another day.

Richard Alexander Financial Planning Limited is an appointed representative of L J Financial Planning Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the UK. Contact him at Richard@ra-fp.com

with an average age of 60-plus years it is impossible, except in some exceptional cases, for them to raise the money to cover the amounts demanded,” said a spokesman. However, a source close to the case told the Olive Press that Landsbanki have sent letters to

a number of their clients stating they were prepared to offer a settlement. Earlier this year a Malaga court awarded €25,000 in compensation to British couple Carolyn and Henry Bowen, in a landmark ruling against the bank.

GREEN ANDALUCIA

Skill swap shop

CASH-STRAPPED residents in Orgiva have come up with a lateral approach to the economic crisis. Over 40 locals and expats alike have joined forces to set up a Local Exchange and Trading Scheme (LETS) that lets people swap skills and services rather than paying for them. “It is like a bartering system,” explained London musician Gary Garret, who has lived in the Alpujarra town for 20 years. “LETS doesn’t use money but has a directory that puts people with skills and services in touch with potential clients who then trade using a local currency, the olivo, on their own terms.


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AGONY ANT

YOUR LEGAL PROBLEMS ADDRESSED

Understand the new health rules

Lawyer Antonio Flores looks at the impact of Spain’s decision to no longer bear the brunt of health tourism and what it means for expats AN act was passed last month in a bid to clamp down on ‘medical tourism’ as reported in the Olive Press. This new act reinstates the previous ‘merits’ system used for obtaining residents’ status. It follows a report by the Spanish Auditors Tribunal which argued the ‘Spanish Health System is bearing the cost of health cover of people that already have it in other countries.’ It insisted this drain of resources was ‘seriously compromising the ability to make improvement to the service’ and called for a change in residency rules. But what does this mean for expats? The main points of this new law are as follows: 1.  A person from the EU or the European Economic Area has the right to become resident for more than three months if they are: • Working in Spain, either salaried or selfemployed. • In receipt of enough income for themselves and family to not become a bur-

den on the Spanish welfare system, and have adequate medical insurance. The Act states that when determining this amount the authorities will take into account the situation of the EU or EEA countries (some police stations are already telling pensioners they have to have a certificate from their bank managers stating they have a minimum pension of €423 paid monthly into their accounts). • A student, with enough income and medical insurance. • A family member of someone included in any of the above. • On unemployment benefit and registered as a job-seeker.

2.  A non resident living in Spain legally will still be entitled to free medical assistance if they are: • Working in Spain, either salaried or selfemployed. • Classed as a pensioner. •  On unemployment benefit. •  No longer on unemployment benefit but registered as a job-seeker. Let Antonio answer your queries •  On an EU or EEA State Pension, long term incapacity I have received I wish to sell my benefit or bereavement a letter from a Spanish property benefit, and can prove it Spanish legal firm in- and relocate back to the (using the S-1 form). forming me of a new UK. Do I have to pay Capi3.  In the event that a forlegal requirement by tal Gains Tax on the profit eigner is not included in any which I have to renew my made? of the above categories, they NIE number every three will still be entitled to medimonths. Is this correct? If you are a resident cal assistance if they earn in Spain and plan to below a minimum income, Although this is reinvest the proceeds of the the amount of which will be a true statement sale of your main residence determined by law. officially made by the Na- within two years of being tional Police Office and back in the UK, you will get 4.  Foreigners not registered reflected in the actual NIE a complete capital gains nor authorised to be in Spain number certificates, the exemption (provided you will only be entitled to emertruth is that, in my experi- reinvest the full amount). gency treatment in case of ence, no public or private If you are resident and over accident or disease, and asinstitution has ever re- 65, this requirement is not sistance during pregnancy quested an updated ver- necessary as you will be and when giving birth. Othsion of it. Therefore, if you exempt from capital gains erwise, they will have to pay are specifically requested tax anyway when you sell for it. to provide an updated NIE your main residence. But if number document, please you are a non-resident your 5.  Persons that have been by all means apply for a capital tax liability will be 21 enjoying medical assistance new certificate. However, per cent of the profit made, up to now will still be entiwe do not recommend regardless of any other cirtled until August 31, without that you establish a quar- cumstances. Please note needing to prove they have terly renewal schedule for that non-residents will also entitlement to it. the sake of it, as this is not have three per cent of the It remains to be seen how necessary, and in my opin- purchase price withheld by ‘those who do not qualify for ion, just a way of ‘milking’ the buyer and lodged with free medical assistance), will unsuspecting people fur- the taxman. be dealt with and how big the ther. bill will be!

ASK ANT Q. A.

Q. A.


Top Dollar www.theolivepress.es

Speaking your language

THE manager of Solbank in Marbella is encouraging expats to join the bank which he insists will make their day to day in Spain ‘easier and more enjoyable’. “As a foreigner I know how important it is to be around people who understand your language and your

needs,” insisted Andres Gunson (above). “That is why I am proud to work at Banco Sabadell, a bank that understands the needs of foreign clients.” Designed with expats in mind the group offers a Prestige Care Account that includes a translation service to save ‘time, money and headaches,’ as well as a Regular Transfer Plan to allow for the quick and easy transfer of money from the UK to Spain.

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With a clampdown on health provision for expats, it is time to fill out a tax return, writes Jose Lopez-Avalos of Marbella Solicitors

Time to become a tax resident in Spain DO you live in Spain for more than 183 days a year? If so, you are liable to pay tax on all your global income, according to Spanish law. Many foreigners who live here permanently do not submit annual income tax returns, either out of ignorance or because they are afraid of paying high taxes. But ignorance of the law is NO excuse; a tax return should be submitted annual-

ly, and taxes should be paid where applicable by all tax residents.

Until now, the Inland Revenue has not been on top of foreigners living permanent-

Becoming a tax resident will:

1. Ensure you have the legal right to receive a health card 2. Help you avoid the three per cent withholding tax when selling a property 3. Help you benefit from the inheritance tax advantages and allowances applicable to tax residents in Spain (i.e. no inheritance taxes between spouses on the main home)

lllllllll SPANISH insurance group Liberty Seguros has been awarded the CeroCO2 seal after offsetting 100 per cent of its CO2 emissions for the fifth year running. The environmentally friendly group was presented with the seal by the Ecology and Development Foundation after an internal audit found the insurer had offset 6,224.69

GREEN ANDALUCIA

Green insurance tonnes of greenhouse gases generated in 2010, making its four offices carbon neutral. As part of the offset scheme, Liberty Seguros is also supporting an initiative to prevent deforestation in the Amazon and protect 100,000 hectares of rainforest in Peru.

ly in Spain. But due to the financial crisis things have changed and the Spanish Government intends to tighten things up. Ultimately, the authorities do not want thousands of expats receiving free health care without paying tax. It is soon to become much harder to get a Spanish health card. It will no longer simply be enough to just register with

llllllll “In 2011, natural disasters generated a total loss of €81 billion for the insurance sector, which indicates that caring for the environment is an investment for our business that we cannot ignore,” said Enrique Huerta, CEO of Liberty Seguros Group. “The environment is everyone’s responsibility.”

the local town hall (called empadronamiento) in order to get treatment. So don’t dally, now is the time to become a tax resident and submit an annual return for 2011. This should be done during the months of May and June. Finally pensioners with low monthly pensions will probably not have to pay any income tax as a result of their tax return. However, it is still recommended to submit one (even if the result is zero and no tax has to be paid), to enable them to take advantage of healthcare and other advantages (see box). For further advice and to arrange a no obligation meeting, please contact Denise Molony on 669 428 998, or at mail@ manilvasolicitors.com or Jose M Lopez-Avalos on 952 901 225. www.manilva solicitors.com


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Big spenders Londoners’ retirement ruined after plans for road through his house turn from bad to worse in Spain

FOREIGN spending on Spanish properties is up a staggering 27 per cent. New figures show that foreigners invested €4.7 billion in real estate in Spain last year. This marks the largest expenditure made by this group since 2008. According to the Bank of Spain, foreign investment in Spanish property has not exceeded €4 billion for three years, nor has it experienced such a strong increase since the housing ‘boom.’ It stands in marked contrast to Spanish investment abroad which fell by 23.4 per cent in 2011 making it a staggering 81 per cent lower than the peak levels recorded in 2007.

THE ROAD TO RUIN A BRITISH expat has expressed his despair over plans to build a road through his property. Patrick Williams, 62, bought his ‘dream home’ after retiring to Spain in 2004 on the understanding that the access road

would require a small part of his land. But the former policeman, who lives with his Spanish wife at the property in Chiclana de la Frontera, was later informed that the plans were much larger than first suggested.

“We were told at the time we bought the property that there were plans for a small access road at the side of the house, which would mean us losing two or three metres of land,” Williams told the Olive Press.

Larger

BUILDING SITE: Williams home

“We were comfortable with that because it is quite a large plot. “But it was only much later that we were told the road was likely to be much larger, and that it would take between 16 and 18 metres of our land.” Now instead of enjoying his hard-earned retirement, the Londoner’s life is in a permanent state of limbo over what will happen to his home while plans for the road remain unresolved. “I don’t know what is happening and it’s always in the back of my mind,” he added. “I spoke to someone at the British Embassy recently but they didn’t want to know, they said they can’t get involved with matters relating to internal law. “All we wanted, like 99 per cent of people, was to buy a house, settle down, and get on with our lives. It has caused us seven years of hell.”

Granada’s ‘intrinsic’ value EXPATS looking for that place in the sun are being recommended to try Granada. According to Pathfinder, which assesses the best value real estate for investors, the Andalucia city has an ‘intrinsic value’. “Granada escaped the over-development seen on the costas,” said Ronan McMahon the company’s director. “Development has been tasteful, and there isn’t the major oversupply problem that we see elsewhere.”


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Motor 39 Insurance

the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012

Hidden fuel costs revealed

IN THE WAY: Boar

Boar-ing bother for drivers ACCIDENTS caused by wild boar crossing a busy motorway on the Costa del Sol have led to calls for the population to be controlled. Herds of up to 25 animals have been seen crossing the AP-46 near Casabermeja, with residents fearing it could end in tragedy. A number of the animals which can weigh up to 70 kilos - have been hit by vehicles according to locals, despite the construction of specially designed underpasses to avoid such incidents.

FAMILIES on holiday in Spain are being forced to pay up to three times as much for a hire car, it has been revealed. Rental costs which appear cheap online rise steeply when the vehicle is picked up, as customers must pay an additional fee for a full tank of petrol, according to Which? Travel. The underhand tactic has led to complaints by holidaymakers, who would usually expect a full tank of fuel to be included in the quoted price. Travellers would then be asked to return the car with a full tank of fuel. However, the new policy of charging extra for petrol means customers do not get a refund for any fuel left in the car when it is returned. One researcher in Malaga was told the cheapest car hire cost was €30.25, only to have the price go up to €94.25 when fuel was added

Car rental prices soar as extra petrol fee is charged

Relax, we’ve got you covered... on collection. “Consumers are not being given the full facts about these extra charges,” said Which? Travel spokesman Rochelle Turner.

Fair

Christine Fleischer, marketing manager at Malagabased rental firm Helle Hollis, told the Olive Press: “We clearly inform our clients

that the car will be delivered with a full tank of fuel, which is paid for on arrival. “We also refund any remaining fuel to the nearest quarter of a tank,” she added. “We offer a personalised service, new cars and a fair fuel policy, which we know our clients appreciate and take into account when booking with us.”

• Underwritten at Lloyd’s of London • Tailored to suit your needs and your pocket • Easy payment options • Special rates for the over 40’s

Call into one of our local offices or call us on:

Estepona 952 887 125

estepona@ibexinsure.com

Fuengirola 952 581 561

fuengirola@ibexinsure.com

www.ibexinsure.com Ibex Insurance Services Ltd 2011. Ibex Insurance Services Ltd, 68 Irish Town, Gibraltar. Registered no. 77247. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Commission FSC 006 43B


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amino

Travel chaos for airline customers in Spain BRITISH holidaymakers and expats are set to suffer more flight misery this summer following the closure of Bmibaby. The low-cost airline will end some services next month before folding completely

in September, according to parent company IAG. Flights from Belfast to Malaga, Alicante and Murcia will end on June 11, while all other routes operated by the airline - including Almeria, Gibraltar and Malaga - will

officially end on September 9. The airline’s website states that all passengers affected by the closure will be rebooked onto an alternative service or given a full refund.

llllllll GREEN ANDALUCIA lllllll

Green boost as industry stalls ELECTRIC car sales rose by a staggering 91 per cent in Spain last month, in contrast to an overall industry fall of nearly a quarter. The 136 of the eco-friendly cars to leave the forecourt made little impact on the total of 49,240 cars sold in April though, down 23.2 per cent on the same

Speed demons

WATCH OUT: The speed cam LET this be a warning to all speed demons on the Costa del Sol. A new high-tech speed camera has been installed on the A-7 as you are coming into Marbella. “It is just as you pass Funny Beach (the big Coke Can),” insisted a source. For official information on the location of speed cameras in the area visit: http://www.tinyurl.com/ blzt35v

period last year. Among the hardest hit were hybrid cars, which dropped 33.9 per cent despite the sale of 3,324 models including the Toyota Prius. The total number of cars sold in the first four months of 2012 is 253,359, down 6.9 per cent on last year.

Expat in pole position Essex racing driver looking all set to win top title

A BRITISH expat is aiming for glory in an Andalucian car racing championship after emerging as one of the favourites to take the title. Peter Bowerman, 44, from

Champion idea A STRETCH of road featuring revolutionary safety features for motorcyclists has been launched by 2010 MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, in Ronda. Plastic posts which break on collision and specially-designed safety barriers are among the state-ofthe-art features installed along a 4.8 kilometre stretch of the MA8407. It is hoped the measures which are yet to be adopted anywhere else in the world will help reduce the number of road deaths in the area.

Marbella, is hoping to win the FAA Andalucian Historic GTI & Touring Car Championship, after narrowly missing out in recent years. The sales director - who has also raced karts and bikes in the past - got off to a great start after winning the first race of the season at the Monteblanco circuit near Huelva. Bowerman, originally from Chigwell in Essex, will now compete at circuits in Guadix, Ronda, Almeria and Jerez for the Marbella Players Racing team. “There was lots of great side by side race action and managing to take first place and the winners trophy was a dream start for me,” Bowerman told the Olive Press. “I came third in 2010 and second last year so it’s time for me to win the championship this year.”


by Herbert Raven with 44 points off handicap 15. Michele O’Sullivan triumphed for the ladies with 33 points off handicap 22 with Joy Champion coming home second with 32

prepared the hampers and well done to everybody!

WINNERS CUP he Winner’s Cup was held early November. To qualify, you had to have won either a monthly Stableford, a monthly Medal or an Honours Board event in the last 12 months. With nearly 60 players trying their best, Herbert Raven (our current Vice Captain) came home for the men with 38 points off handicap 15 and Ali Easter for the ladies with 33 points off handicap 12. Well done Herbert and Ali!

T

In the swing of it

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THE OLIVE PRESS’ MONTHLY GOLF SECTION

he Santa Maria Annual Charity Golf Event was held on the 9th December. The day involved an AM AM golf competition played off the white tees (best 2 scores count per hole), closest to the pin prizes, longest drive prizes, lunch, a raffle, a grand auction and a prize giving ceremony. A full field of 21 four-man teams made an early shotgun start before being wined and dined in the main clubhouse. The overall team winners were “The Caddymasters” with a fantastic score of 101 points (David Mosely, Mark Webber, Fernando Ortega and Pepe Gago). In second place were team “Siesta Time” with 86 points (Chris Day, Mike Smith, Tim Swift and Villen Mehilenin). Just beaten into third place were team “Mixed Bag” with 85 points

T

points off handicap 23. Thanks to Glenis Harley who

Sponsored by

(Dave Roberts, Andy Walker, Jason Tucker and Kane Tucker). Nearest the pin prizes were won by Olav Maaland and David Mosely and longest drives were won by Andy Walker and Greg Peel. The sponsors are too many to mention but special thanks goes to the Management of Santa Maria Golf & Country Club who again provided the complete golf course and all the buggies for the event.

A total of €8,740 was raised for The Butterfly Children Charity (DEBRA). Special thanks also goes to the 10 Santa Maria ladies – organised by Pat Smith – who devoted their whole day to making sure the men did as they were told and were in the right place at the right time! Thanks again to ALL our sponsors and we look forward to the 2012 Charity Event already.

the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012

DISCOUNT OUTLETSALE JANUARY NOW ON!

A golfing treat

INCREDIBLE DISCOUNTS ON TOP BRANDS No better time to buy that new outfit or golf bag, set of clubs, shoes,etc.

SPRING 2012

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IT is described as ‘world class golf as its best’ and it is right on your doorstep. The Volvo World Match Play Championship will tee off this week at the Finca Cortesin near Casares. The only match play event to be held in Europe this

Benavista turn off, opposite Crowne Plaza Hotel. Telephone: 952 896 710.

The Volvo World Match Play Championship is www.golfcitysports.com coming to Casares - bringing with it top world players, writes Wendy Williams Pro Shop at Atalaya Golf Club Telephone: 952 887 702.

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season it boasts a 24-man elite field that includes 15 of the world’s top 60 players.

A total of 12 nations will be represented at the 2012 Championship including

STARS: The tournament will see Garcia, Quiros and Cabrera-Bello competing

A SEASONAL DRIVE GOLF developments in Andalucia will need to prove they are able to attract tourists in the low season, under new guidelines issued by the Junta. Schemes including health spas, conference centres and cultural activities are being encouraged in an effort to reduce the seasonality of the tourism industry in southern Spain. The requirements

ISSUE 97 - JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2012

form part of a ‘tourism interest’ category, which must be met along with environmental and sustainable development guidelines. Meanwhile, the Marbella Golf Course Association has signed an agreement to host an annual event aimed at promoting golfing holidays to the 250,000 Russians who visit the area each year.

three Spaniards, Sergio Garcia, Alvaro Quiros and Rafael Cabrera-Bello, who will be fighting to become the first Spanish winner since the Championship moved to Spain in 2009. If they succeed it will also be the first time a Spaniard has won since golf legend Seve Ballesteros triumphed in 1991. “I am so pleased to have finally qualified for this year’s Volvo World Match Play Championship,” said Quiros, a six-time winner on the European Tour. “To play in Spain in front of my home crowds against such an elite field is very exciting and I hope, with their support, I can go a lot further than I did last year. “It is fantastic for Spain to host such a prestigious event and Rafael and I will be doing our best to make the Spanish fans happy,” he added. But the home favourites will face stiff competition from the likes of 2011 Open Champion, Darren Clarke, two-time US Open Champion, Retief Goosen and defending Volvo Champion, Ian Poulter. The tournament will run from the May 17-20.

SPRING 2012

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42 the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012 42

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My name is Kara, I am a Husky X I am about 6 mths old and weigh around 13 kilos. I was found abandoned with my sibling in the campo in a very poor condition, starving, and scared, luckily I was rescued and taken to FAMA, and nursed back to health.

I am a good girl, have a lovely nature, love to play and go for walks. I have no issues with other dogs, and I am very well behaved in public. I would love a home and family of my own, even though I am very well cared for and loved at FAMA. If you would like to meet me in person, and get more information, please contact Pat on Tel. 620 354 885 or visit our website www.f-a-m-a.net. FAMA’s policy is never to put down a healthy dog.

SITUATIONS VACANT EFL TEACHING POSITION IN GRANADA

EFL teacher required to start in September 2012 Details: Contract mid-September to June (paid holidays) - 22 / 23 hours Mainly children and adolescents Requirements: One year’s prior relevant experience - CELTA certificate or equivalent - Working knowledge of Spanish - Native English speaker, EU national If interested, please send your CV with a recent photograph to: eligranada@eli.es

NEW GRADUATE REQUIRED Growing firm seeks newly qualified ambitious graduate as assistant to chief executive. High degree of numeracy and communication skills required. Incumbent will work closely with chief executive thereby gaining modern business experience as a sort of “on-the-job MBA”. Office in Mijas coastal area but work could be partly based from your home. Do not apply unless you are truly fluent in Spanish as well as English. If so, email in both languages to bob@sunov.sg


COLUMNS

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S

IT tight those of you lucky (or unlucky) enough to be flying home this summer. Despite the highwinds that blew that scary Bilbao plane story all over the news, airtravel is still pretty safe. I should know, as a self-confessed ‘aviophobe’, I’ve spent a month of Sundays researching this spinetingling subject. As a result, I’ve become a ‘Rain Man’ on air-disasters – unconsciously blurting out Boeing 747 frailties at airports. Last year was the safest year for air travel since records began. Europe in particular enjoyed an exceptionally safe 2011 – with zero crash deaths (if you discount Russia – but they’re ex-Soviet rust-buckets). The website www.planecrashinfo. com is a must-read for fearful fliers, as it highlights 100 airlines who’ve NEVER suffered a fatal crash (EasyJet and Ryanair are among them!). Obviously, there are no future guarantees, but with odds of one

Watch the skies!

in eight million, you’ve got to fancy your chances. Even if your engine conks out over Cordoba, follow Frankie’s advice and Relax – 50 per cent of planewreck passengers live to tell their tale (and sell it to Take a Break no doubt). Honestly, more Europeans are wiped out annually by donkeys, wayward golf balls and Viagra than planes - making me wonder why no-one in Hollywood is making disaster flicks about ‘Killer Cavas’ and ‘Homicidal Hard-Ons’.

Bizarrely, the deadliest thing in Spanish skies at the moment seems to be plummeting people. Over the past few years, there has been a steep rise in fatal falls from hotel balconies. Just last week, a 23-year-old became the third Brit to fall to her death in Magaluf...in just one month! It’s got so bad that some coastal residents have devised a new slogan: “Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s a pissed student from Pontefract!” Predictably, statistics show that the majority of incidents occur

Wicked Whisper

Which Reality TV actress and WAG, was caught snogging the face off another footballer just days after ditching her Premier League boyfriend? After ‘scoring’ in a Marbella bar, the 25-year-old vixen ensured that her new squeeze wouldn’t have to ‘walk alone,’ by taking him back to her place. Hmmm, expect sparks to fly when ‘the Reds’ next meet ‘The Canaries.’

among young adults. As a result, hotel chiefs in Mallorca and Ibiza are brainstorming ways to discourage this ‘craze’. But realistically, what can they do? Fit higher railings? Install safety netting? Spend a fortune on fancy locks – which automatically kickin at say 8pm? What about making the glass thicker so you can enjoy the sunset in ‘maximum security’ like Hannibal Lecter or a half-ton ape at Barcelona Zoo? Ah, screw it, let’s just go the whole hog and ban songs that could influence these impressionable young minds (eg. Jump in the Pool by Friendly Fires or Jump (For My Love) by The Pointer Sisters). Messrs Barrett and Bovis could even equip all new British homes with their own verandas to nullify their novelty factor.

Beware of geeks wearing quiffs

I

PRIDE myself on the fact that, here at Bartie Hall, we are at the cutting edge of communications technology. At the press of a button, I can tune into the latest Dow Jones, the FTSE, the Bourse, the Nikkei Index and William Hill Online Betting, to name but a few. However, all of this technology has to be maintained and I have learnt that what worked yesterday will

the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012

probably be redundant tomorrow. Such is life. My own expertise can be summed up by the computer acronym WOLF – Write Once, Lose Forever. It is for this reason that, accepting the rather narrow technological boundaries of my own proficiency, I have, for many years, retained the services of a computer consultancy. It would be churlish of me not to

congratulate the many consultants who have visited themselves upon Bartie Hall as they have dragged me from an early Sinclair to my current pre-release version of Windows 9. I am old enough to remember Keith who installed Windows 1.0 back in the 80s; then, in 1990 there was NT and the delightful Derek who configured everything so beautifully; in the late 90s Win-

Drop of the hard stuff

Y

OU will be aware that Newton’s law of universal gravitation states that every point mass in the universe attracts every other point mass with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Or, to put it more succinctly, if you let go of a glass half a metre above a granite tiled floor the glass will shatter into a million pieces (the granite floor will be unaffected). In prosaic terms this is a damn nuisance. I cannot recall exactly how many glasses I have lost in this manner but it would be greatly appreciated if Mr Newton, next time he decides to define an ‘interesting phenomenon’, would concentrate on something that doesn’t cause collateral damage. I blame him and his annoying gravity for unnecessarily inflating the residual cost of drinking Remy Martin. And it doesn’t stop there! Fumble with a collar stud and you will waste the next 20 minutes scrabbling under the chest of drawers in search of the brass rivet, time that could have been spent more profitably. A slice of toast escaping the company of one’s breakfast carajillo will always travel earthwards, usually

butter-side down, and more time is wasted persuading the housemaid to clean up the mess. All in all, I regard gravity as a complete waste of time and energy. I am aware that things would float about without it but judicious applications of Velcro would go a long way to minimising the inconvenience. I am also aware that my grasp of natural science may not be what it should be but at my age I am keen to preserve my collection of Baccarat glass and gravity isn’t helping one bit.

dows 95 launched Bartie Industries onto the Internet with the help of Graham, a technocrat supreme. Every flower in the techno garden was blooming – until Colin arrived. Normally, when I call the consultants, they send me someone who (a) is able to walk without dragging his knuckles on the ground and (b) manages to hold meaningful conversations with other sentient beings. This time they sent me Colin. When he pitched up at my techno hub he gave the impression of someone entering an ancient history museum for the first time. His undeclared scorn for my installation was palpable. Paradoxically, he combed his hair in a style that would have been fashionable in 1973. In no more than nanoseconds Colin declared the entire configuration redundant and started downloading a wagonload of software, ordering additional drivers, servers, processors and other items that defy description. In short order my perfectly harmonious communications centre was reduced to utter chaos. It took something less than three days for me to disengage Colin and to persuade the consultancy to send me someone who, whilst being computer literate, was also of this planet. The moral of the story is clear.

Disgruntled of Andalucia (formerly of Royal Tunbridge Wells)

Personally, I can’t help but link this stupid behaviour to modern Britain’s sanitised culture, where the iPod generation get shielded from the faintest hints of discomfort or criticism. For me, kids should be allowed to topple from trees, get ‘wedgied’ by schoolyard bullies, and receive a b*llocking from a bobby-on-thebeat. After all, I learnt things the hard way – and I’ve never broken my back in a 2ft baby pool. After years of mollycoddling, do we honestly expect our offspring to possess a mature, sensible and independent bone in their bodies? By the time they reach the seedy, neon-lit streets of Magaluf they’re ticking time-bombs. Naturally, loosening the apron strings has its drawbacks. Expect them to come home with bumps, bruised-egos and hideous hangovers. Who knows, in the long-run, these life lessons might just force them to accept their limitations, take responsibility and shed this idiotic air of invincibility.

Thought of the fortnight

“Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon...” Thanks Susan Erz – but I hope that’s not a poetic way of saying that heaven is like Asda and B&Q.

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Fab flying facts Safety: If a passenger boarded a flight at random, once a day, every day, it would statistically be over 21,000 years before he/she would be killed. Science: If black boxes survive air crashes, why not make the whole plane out of the same material? Well, in theory you could – but it wouldn’t help. It would be like placing an egg into a steel container and dropping it 50ft. As the egg is fragile it would still break. Celebrity: Despite topping the charts with I Believe I can Fly, R&B superstar R Kelly suffers from chronic aviophobia. Other plane-hating celebs include: Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Whoopi Goldberg, Anthony Cotton and Dennis Bergkamp (or the ‘Non-Flying Dutchman’ as he’s affectionately known).


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the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012

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FOOD & DRINK with www.theolivepress.es IT is the fastest way to help the local agricultural economy. Backing the Slow Food Movement’s plea for restaurants and hotels to use JUST local produce could protect jobs and hugely boost the region’s producers. The call comes as the global food organisation finally opened a branch along the Costa del Sol... the first in Malaga. Set up by four individuals passionate about food, it also aims to cut down on air miles and promote organic agriculture. Under the heading ‘KM 0’, the Slow Food Movement wants to encourage chefs and restaurateurs to buy locally within 100 kilometres of their town or village if possible. “This could be bread, cheese or vegetable growers,” explained director Evelyne Ramelet. “We just need to help producers right now... life is hard and we need to help them by using their products.” The French journalist, who has written five books on food, started the process of setting up her so-called Slow Food ‘convivium’ last year. “It is the first in Malaga province and will take in Marbella and the whole Costa del Sol,” she added.

DINING SECRETS of ANDALUCIA.com 45

Slow route to growth Launch of new Slow Food group and ‘KM 0’ incentive could be shot in the arm for local producers, writes Jon Clarke

Now linking to two more groups in Granada and Sevilla, it can already count on one big name, chef Diego del Rio, from Michelinstarred restaurant El Lago, in Marbella. The first chef in Malaga to be awarded the ‘KM 0’ title (there are three more in Andalucia: Tribeca, Gaia and Cortijo Vistalegre, all in Sevilla), he has thrown his weight behind the campaign. “Let’s face it you don’t need to look outside Andalucia for produce,” explained the chef, who has worked in Paris and London. “We have fantastic sea food, while the Guadalhorce valley, the Axarquia and Ronda have the most incredible in-

gredients. “In particular we get goat from the Montes de Malaga and bread from the Colmenero cooperative in Alhaurin. “We have the perfect climate to grow food and are always looking for good local producers. “I really hope we can encourage many other restaurants to join and participate.”

McDonalds

The Slow Food Movement originated in Italy in 1986 as an antidote to McDonaldsstyle fast food and now has 100,000 members globally. It came after Italian journalist Carlos Petrini started a wave of protests against the opening of a McDonalds in

INSPIRATION: Malaga’s new Slow Food team Rome. There are now 1300 groups spread across 103 countries. Visit the Olive Press Green Guide at www.greenguide spain.com for more information on organic agriculture and the Slow Food Movement

the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012

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the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012

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FOOD & DRINK

www.theolivepress.es

Kitsch to kitchen confidential By Jon Clarke

FOR decades it was at the mercy of the kitsch imagination of a confused costa Queen. Cluttered and full of nonsensical memorabilia, Alberts was a place to be entertained, but generally best avoided. How things have changed. Following a total makeover, the stalwart restaurant in Cabopino port has entered the light again. Gone are the dark, dingy corners, the garish prints and the stuffy old menu. Today, Alberts is a paragon of good taste - a light, airy place entirely capitalising on its fine location overlooking the yachts at one of the Costa del Sol’s best-kept secrets. But maritime it ain’t. There are no blue and white washes and boating memorabilia. Instead its designers – the team behind Polo House, Jacks and Mumtaz - have gone for a bold run of pretty hydraulic floor tiles and inter-

esting bookbinding wallpaper. There is even a penny farthing bike installed at the back. Food-wise the order of the day is ‘fresh’, thanks in large to the eagle eye of its executive chef Danny, who buys for the Metro Group, having spent 11 years under the tutelage of Marco Pierre White (above) in the UK. Under him is Jason Coupe, from Mansfield, who trained at London’s Michelin-star joint 1 Lombard Street and has the odd trick up his sleeve. The secret ingredients in the foam on top of the fish pie for one. I can also strongly recommend the deep fried goat’s cheese with rocket, pine nuts and red onion marmalade. The steak pie came with fresh new potatoes and plenty of veg – not overcooked – and had a perfectly light puff pastry topping. Nautical, but nice.

Alberts Bar & Grill, Puerto Cabopino Tel: 952 836 886 www.metrogrupo.com


47 & DRINK with DINING SECRETS of ANDALUCIA.com

FOOD www.theolivepress.es

Fancy a ‘Chris Stewart week’? A KEEN advocate of organic agriculture and the outdoor life it should be a fascinating and fun week. Spain’s top expat writer Chris Stewart (right) is hosting seven days of walking, talking, eating and drinking...’and generally hanging out in the best casa rural in Andalucia’. The Driving over Lemons author will be acting as your guide, entertainer and cookery teacher for the week from June 09. “We humorously describe them as ‘Chris Stewart Depreciation Weeks’ and they are normally a great hit,” he told the Olive Press. “It is an amazing week of walking and always a lot of fun.” Punters will be based in the Alpujarran village of Mairena, whose hard-working inhabitants adhere to a simple way of life. “Early summer is a glorious time to visit, the landscape is green, the sound of nightingales accompany your walks and you will

have cooling drinks on the terrace in the warm, late evening sun.” adds organiser David Illsley. He and his p a r t n e r GUIDE: Chris Stewart Emma organise a range of trips/adventures from their base in Granada, including a traverse of the Sierra Nevada with Gavin Bate, and a cookery course with the head chef from London’s Moro restaurant. For more information visit http://www. alpujarra-tours.com/ or call 0034 958 760089

SINGLES OVER SUPPER FOR people looking for love on the Costa del Sol, the Vino Mio restaurant in Malaga has the answer.

The restaurant, situated near the Cervantes Theatre, is launching a singles night every Tuesday.

Between 7.30pm and 10pm single people are invited to come along and enjoy a free tapa with every drink.

the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012

47


the FREE

the olive press - May 17 - 30, 2012 48 Camp rage POLICE are clamping down on illegal campers in Tarifa following a string of complaints from local hoteliers.

FINAL WORDS

Bomb bail Two British men in their 20s have had their passports confiscated while they await a court hearing for a bomb hoax on a flight between Tenerife and Manchester.

Good gold The US Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by a salvage company in the Odyssey treasure case, meaning Spain can keep the gold.

Star wars Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and US President Barack Obama have postponed the signing of an agreement for an anti-missile shield at Rota airbase in Cadiz.

Onwards and upwards in 2012 with 152,000 papers www.theolivepress.es (90,000 digital) and around 150,000 visits to the website Sell your property THIS each month… The Olive Press just keeps growing!

olive press

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Messi race row

May 17 - 30, 2012

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WEEK with an online ad reaching thousands for just

39,99€

www.AllAboutAndalucia Property.com

Blazing row over Formula One fire FORMULA One staff have hit out at the ‘incompetent’ response to a fire at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday. The blaze - which injured 31 people, including one seriously - broke out in the Williams pit garage around 90 minutes after the race in Barcelona. Among those injured was a Force India team member, with boss Bob Fearnley fiercely critical of the response at the circuit. “Incompetent would be a very polite way of saying what these people have done here,” he said. “There’s no training, no procedures. I went down to see how my man was and I had to fight my way in.” Formula One photographer James Moy, who was in the Williams garage moments before the explosion said: “I reckon it probably took circuit staff or firemen at least 12 minutes to get there. “The only people there at that time were mechanics, fighting a fire in shorts and t-shirts.”

RACISM claims against Barcelona ace Lionel Messi have been dismissed as ‘wide of the mark’ by his club. Everton winger Royston Drenthe claimed the Argentinean repeatedly called him a ‘negro’ while playing against him on several occasions. A Barcelona spokesman said: “The player has always shown maximum respect towards rivals, something recognised by his fellow professionals. “We are sure that any accusations to the contrary are well wide of the mark.”

CHAMPIONS BOOST THE Costa del Sol is set for a multi-million euro boost after Malaga FC secured a lucrative Champions League spot for the first time in his-

tory. The arrival of the world’s best players, as well as thousands of supporters from across Europe, will be a much needed pick up for struggling hotels and restaurants, particularly during the quiet winter months.

Businesses to get multi-million euro injection after Malaga FC reach Champions League By James Bryce

“Teams usually bring five or six thousand fans with them, so the knock-on effect

is great for local businesses,” Dave Redshaw, from supporters group The Guiri Army, told the Olive Press. “I think it will be a great boost

Spanish lessons for Prem boss

HIS side’s style of play has drawn flattering comparisons with Spanish giants Barcelona after taking the Premier League by storm this season. Now Swansea City boss Brendan Rodgers is to see Spain’s top stars up close after being invited to join the national team at a training camp in Austria. The 39-year-old, who speaks good Spanish, will spend four days with the World Champions as the team prepare for Euro 2012. “I am going there for a few days and mix with the staff and people there and just exchange ideas,” said Rodgers, who previously worked with Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho during his time at Chelsea.

for the city as a whole, particularly at a difficult time economically for many people.” Malaga booked their spot in Europe’s premier club competition after securing a fourth-place finish in Spain’s La Liga on Sunday, by beating Sporting Gijon.

€100 million

The club’s mega-rich owner Sheikh Abdullah Ben Nasser Al-Thani - a member of the Qatari royal family - has spent around €100 million since buying the club in 2010. Last year he announced he is also to invest €400 million in the redevelopment of La Bajadilla port in Marbella, with plans to include a quay for cruise liners.

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

The Olive Press issue135  

The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucia

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