Olive Press Newspaper - Issue 145

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The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucía

olive press


Bailout boost Relief as ‘stress tests’ reveal only half its banks need a bailout

SPAIN has finally had a bit of good news. Despite tens of thousands protesting over austerity cuts around the country and Cataluna pushing for independence, Spain’s banks at least look stronger than initially thought. It has emerged that only seven of the country’s 14 biggest banks have failed the so-called ‘stress tests’ designed to assess the assistance they need. The other half, including Banco Santander, La Caixa and Unicaja, have clean bills of health.

Vol. 6 Issue 145


Turn to Page 6

seepage page13 15 see

October 04 - 17, 2012


TRAGIC: Expat Diana Dudas died in the floods

By Dana Ferguson


It means the shortfall of ‘just’ €59.3 billion is well under the initial €100 billion figure first set aside by Brussels for a bank bailout. The main culprits are Banco Popular, which has a shortfall of €2.5 billion and Bankia which needs a total of €24.7 billion. Catalan bank Catalunya Caixa also failed its test and will need a capital injection of €10.8 billion. It comes as the region made a further bid for in-

Don’t let the Don’t thein bankslet cash banks cash in www.hifx.co.uk www.hifx.co.uk see page 13

Death toll of weekend floods likely to reach 13 with millions of damage caused around region

NEARLY a dozen people died over the weekend in the worst floods to sweep Andalucia in decades. A British expat was among those killed, as flash floods registering up to 245 litres per metre square wreaked havoc around the region. Diana Dudas, 52, was found in a lagoon near her home in Vera, in Almeria. She had been swept away as flood waters rose up by two to three metres near her house on Friday morning. It is believed she had died as she made her way to work at a hairdressing salon in nearby Vera town. Her car had been swept into her front garden and her house badly damaged. Close friend and neighbour Genny Sutcliffe, 56, described Dudas – who had a Spanish husband, Full story on Pages 4-5


the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012




The Olive Press - Number One for crime Expats slam owner of van hire company after being forced to pay €1,500 on repairs on a vehicle described as a ‘death trap’

‘Lucky to be alive’ AN expat couple are to sue the owner of a van hire company after a vehicle they used was described as a ‘death trap’ by mechanics. David Steel, 60, slammed the owner of the company, who also runs a controversial pet transport company, exposed in the Olive Press in August. He and his wife Ann, 58, had rented the van from One Way Van Hire, based in Torre del Mar, to move their belongings from Scotland to Spain. But the pair, who live in Pu-

EXCLUSIVE by James Bryce

ente don Manuel, in the Axarquia, were forced to stop in Portsmouth for emergency repairs after the brakes failed. “The mechanics said they didn’t know how we’d got that far alive,” revealed the retired prison service worker. “They described the van as a death trap and refused to release the vehicle until all the repairs had been done. It was a nightmare, we could have been killed.”

OWNER: Griffiths The van needed new brake disks, two new tyres and an ABS cylinder, despite company boss Jeremy Griffiths claiming an MOT had been carried out in June. “I told Griffiths I wanted a full refund but he told me that he doesn’t rent out vans for nothing,” added Steel, from Edinburgh. “He told us it was one of the best vans he had, but if that is the case then God help anyone who has to drive the bad ones.”



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Vol. 6 Issue 142 EXC by We LUSIVE ndy Wil liams



Don’t let banks cas the h in www.h ifx.co.uk

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EXCLUS IVE by Mas on Jon es

LUCKY ESCAPE: David and Ann and our front page story on Pet Taxi

A litany of complaints Turn to

Page 4

SINCE the Olive Press exposed the wrongdoings of boss Jeremy Griffiths in August, we have had over a dozen similar complaints about his companies One Way Van Hire and Pet Taxi. These include Brian Lenihan, who claims Pet Taxi lost his cat near Valencia after hiring the firm to transport his pet back to the UK. ‘He never accepts responsibility for his actions and I never got my cat back,” he told the Olive Press. Rita Karkaletsou also condemned Griffiths for his ‘excuses and abuse on the phone’ . “He is a horrible person and I am shocked he is still doing this for a living.” Even his former employee Stephanie Bond, who left the company in January, condemned the ‘unprofessional’ way the operation was run and claimed he still owed her €1,000. “The animals are transported in appalling conditions and there are many incidents which Jeremy has had to cover up,” Bond claimed. “So many people have been hurt by his disregard for other people, their pets and their belongings and unfortunately I experienced this first hand.”

“It is not just animals whose lives he is putting at risk,” Steel added of Griffiths, who also runs disgraced courier firm Pet Taxi. Steel has now reported Griffiths to the DVLA and trading standards. Griffiths claims however, all his vehicles are fully licenced and that he is registered with Defra. He also says Steel wore out the brakes by overloading the van. This is disputed by the manager of the garage in Portsmouth which carried out the repairs. He also confirmed that the damage was caused by poor maintenance. Steel’s situation is just one of a string of complaints against Griffiths companies (see panel left). Another van hire customer Francisco Fernandez, denounced Griffiths after experiencing ‘abysmal service’. “The van I got was in a disgraceful condition,” he said. “I had no insurance papers and the spare tyre had a three inch gash in the side. “The front passenger door and side door were both padlocked, making it impossible to use them in an emergency, it was extremely dangerous.”


Your phone really is your friend TALKING over problems on the phone is just as good as doing it in the flesh. In good news for expats whose best friends often live overseas - researchers have discovered that issues can be dealt with just as well on the blower. The team at Cambridge University analysed 5,500 people who had undertaken therapy for depression on the NHS, with approximately half doing it on the phone and half in the flesh. While both methods were equally successful, phonebased therapy ended up being considerably cheaper. Professor Peter Jones, who led the study, said access to over the phone therapy can really help individuals feeling depressed. He added that, at a time when everyone is trying to budget, this sort of therapy is also a cost effective service.

Movies come to Marbs

A STRING of Spanish celebs will be attending the Marbella International Film Festival set to kick off this week. Now in its seventh year, the festival runs until October 7 and plays host to five days of glitzy parties, gala dinners and award ceremonies. Over 100 films, shorts and documentaries submitted from independent cinematographers will be shown during the festival, held at the Andalucia Plaza Hotel in Puerto Banus.


the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012

BSc in the Kama Sutra


Course on the world’s oldest profession receives 95 applicants for its €100 course

By Gemma Wilson A SPANISH firm offering courses in prostitution... with a guaranteed job after graduation has won the right to stay open. The course - which teaches students the history of prostitution, how to use erotic toys and the most popular positions in the Kama Sutra – will not be shut down. It comes after the school won a legal battle against the Valencia government to remain open. The authorities had alleged that the school promoted

Tulisa goes brown for the Balearics THE X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos has gone from bleached-blonde back to her brunette roots for a trip to Ibiza. Just a few months after she opted for a peroxide blonde, the Live It Up star has proven that blondes do not have more fun – deciding to ditch her blonde locks in favour of a more classy brunette shade. The star, who is currently in Ibiza, joked with fans on Twitter who believed she’d jetted straight over from her judges’ houses duties in St Lucia. She tweeted: ‘LOL at the people that seem to think I’ve travelled from St.Lucia to Ibiza. It’s not live till next week guys! LOL.’

prostitution. However a judge ruled that the firm did not promote the trade and the course was not aimed at minors. The company has already had 95 applications for the €100 course with ages ranging from 19 to 45 this year. The week-long course runs for two hours a day and teaches students both practical and theoretical skills. The firm claims the course will benefit Spain’s multi-billion euro industry by making the trade safer as well as earning students ‘a lot of money’. Its boss Brandon, who has run the course for eight years, said: “Prostitution is a career that many people live off from day to day, whether they are single or have a partner.”

Penelope pitstop PENELOPE Cruz has wowed onlookers in a red floor-length gown at the 60th San Sebastian Film Festival. The outfit was one of three that the Spaniard flaunted at the star-studded event, as she later appeared in skinny jeans and a black floral cardigan, followed by a tight-fitting black and pink dress. Other guests at the festival included Ewan McGregor, Dustin Hoffman and Men in Black star Tommy Lee Jones. The 66-year-old Jones was in San Sebastian to pick up a Lifetime Achievement Award.

El Clegg’s secret weapon at show BRITISH Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg faced more questions about his Spanish wife Miriam than his policies during the recent Lib Dem conference. It was the couple’s 12th wedding anniversary but it was business as usual for Clegg rather than a romantic getaway. Sky News host Eamonn Holmes made a remark about Miriam’s beauty, putting Nick in an awkward situation. “Congratulations on your long lasting marriage. May I just say you have a very attractive wife,” Holmes said. A rather uncomfortable looking Clegg replied: “I think she will be very flattered by that. I think so.”


the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012




Cars were swept From Page 1

Javier - as a ‘lovely, warm and caring person’. “She was absolutely lovely, very warm, very caring and with a great sense of humour,” said Sutcliffe. “We are absolutely devastated.” Three other victims died in the Almeria area, including a Spanish couple and a man who died despite being evacuated in a helicopter. Some 245 litres per metre square hit the city and region over 12 hours, shutting down highways, hospitals and displacing over 300 people.


In Malaga province, the flooding killed a 80-year-old man near Archidona and a woman, 85, near Alora. Both their cars were swept away by rising floodwaters. In Villanueva del Rosario, near Antequera, flood waters rose to an incredible four metres above their normal level. Mayor Jose Antonio Gonzalez said: “There are houses that you can’t even see. The town is a swamp.” Junta boss Jose Antonio Grinan visited affected regions over the weekend and said recovery efforts were progressing in the wake of the disaster. In other parts of the country a Spaniard and a German woman have been reported missing and a 38-year-old

man remains in intensive care in a hospital in Valencia. According to reports he was thrown into the air by a tornado. In Murcia, five died, while the main A-7 motorway was shut when a viaduct collapsed between Lorca and Puerto Lumbreras. The dead include a man and a woman who were trapped in their cars, while a nine-year-old girl was discovered beside a busy road alongside her grandfather. Meanwhile many crops have been destroyed and thousands of animals have drowned in the floods, principally pigs and some horses. The heavy rain started on Thursday morning throughout Spain and follows months of drought and soaring summer temperatures, which triggered numerous wildfires. Spain’s president Mariano Rajoy announced the government is to ask the European Union for aid to help affected zones.



away by the rain

the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012


News IN BRIEF Tourism up CORDOBA received more foreign visitors than Spaniards this August, with 41,150 from abroad and 29,722 from Spain.

‘App’ abuse A 28-year-old man in Sevilla is accused of sexually harassing a 12-year-old girl using the mobile phone application What’sApp.

Dead weight The Guardia Civil is investigating a decomposing body found in Lake Vinuela. The victim had his hands tied together and a rucksack full of stones was tied on his back.

No way DEVASTATION: A girl is saved (left), while vehicles were swept into the stream in Villanueva del Rosario and (top right) a man observes a dead horse in Alora and (bottom right) onlookers peer over a pile of cars trapped in a stream in Villanueva del Rosario

Gaucin’s education authority has agreed to change a school bus pick-up time from 6am to 7.15am after pupils refused to go to school.


the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012

OPINION Natural disaster WE might be blessed with some of the best weather in the world – but the recent floods have certainly knocked us for six. For a dozen people to die in the space of a day is, quite simply, shocking; particularly coming so soon after the Malaga fires which damaged 224 homes just a month ago. It is terrifying to think that cars were swept away and cattle were killed with nobody given enough time to get out and find safety. Our hearts go out to all those killed, in particular the 52-yearold British expat Diana Duda who was found in a lagoon near her home in Vera. As with the fires, the floods have been devastating. But if the response from the army of expat volunteers to the fires is anything to go by, the region’s recovery from the floods is in good hands.

A tight spot AS Spain continues to grapple with its current economic situation - reaching out to the EU for urgent help - it is utterly perplexing why so many authorities would even consider paying their civil servants for tights, ear plugs or teeth whitening. The fact that Spain apparently has many more civil servants than Germany is bad enough. Now, after fires and floods have caused millions of euros of damage wouldn’t money spent on such daft measures, be better spent elsewhere? Of course workers should have access to healthcare and support, but right now civil servants should be happy just to have a job.

Playing the game With our story on the prostitution school allowed to continue to teach students the art of sex, it begs the question, should such schools be allowed to exist? Prostitution is claimed to be the oldest profession in the world and despite it being illegal in some countries, although not in Spain, it is common in most. No matter what laws are put in place there will always be prostitutes. Unfortunately, many of Spain’s prostitutes are poor immigrant women, many of whom face daily threats to their safety. Perhaps if more schools like this existed it would provide a safer environment for these women to learn about their trade and the industry’s laws. A school such as this might also provide a place for women to meet up giving them a space to turn to if help is needed. Education is a powerful tool and if learning about the industry is the first step to becoming liberated from it, perhaps prostitution school is not as ridiculous as it sounds.


The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucía

olive press


Telephone: 951 166 060 or 952 895 230 A campaigning, community newspaper, the Olive Press represents the huge expatriate community in southern Spain - 186,000 copies distributed monthly (120,000 digitally) with an estimated readership, including the website, of more than 500,000 people a month. Luke Stewart Media S.L - CIF: B91664029 Urb Cayetano Arroyo, Buzon 13, Arriate 29350 Malaga Printed by Corporación de Medios de Andalucía S.A. Editor: Jon Clarke jon@theolivepress.es News editor: James Bryce james@theolivepress.es Reporters: Eloise Horsfield eloise@theolivepress.es Mason Jones mason@theolivepress.es Distribution: 951 166 060

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N first glance it might look like the UK expenses scandal that engulfed the Houses of Parliament with absurd and often fictiticious claims for rising damp, repairing chandeliers and even cleaning out the moat. But this time, it is entirely legit. For despite the austerity crisis, Spanish civil servants (or ‘funcionarios’, as they are known locally) have been enjoying generous payments for items such as earplugs, acupuncture, tights and even dance classes... and unbelievably, simply for going to work each day. In a range of bizarre and disgraceful claims, others have been getting salary ‘supplements’ for teeth whitening, speech therapy, riding a motorbike… and the list goes on. While admittedly, the ‘tights allowance’ at Malaga Town Hall is not going to break any budgets at €23.59 per employee per year (just females, we presume), the fact it exists highlights how ludicrous some of the claimable items are. More importantly, it also begs the question: How many other personal items are being paid for out of the public purse? Well at Malaga for example functionarios are able to claim back 50% against earplugs for swimming, all based on the fear that employees might use ear infections as an excuse not to come into work. And then comes the, so called, ‘attendance bonus’. Incredibly, over 500 public bodies in Spain offer this curious supplementary payment, administered in different ways depending on the town hall or government department. But whatever way it is spun, this ‘productivity reward’ is basically a bonus for turning up to the office. And sometimes it is sheer lunacy, for example in the pretty tourist town of Aranjuez, near Madrid, where town hall employees receive an extra €150 a month for just turning up. Meanwhile, employees at Fuenlabrada Hospital are given a healthy €1,177 at the end of the year for just bowling in. Another generous bonus is the ‘screen bonus’, offered by 50 town halls throughout the country to compensate employees for sitting at a PC ‘for the entire day’. At Villa de Epila, near Zaragoza, the payment is a generous €60 per month. This as Spain announces more and more cuts, and a quarter of Spain’s workable population – some five million people - have no job to go to each morning. Pamplona Town Hall is perhaps one of the most generous administrations in


As Jerez Town Hall addresses €1,000m of debt by scrapping staff bonuses, Eloise Horsfield considers some of the crazy payments still being offered to thousands of civil servants across Spain


Spain when it comes to supplementary payments. Its 1,400 workers can each claim up to €3,000 to pay for their glasses, contact lenses and orthodontics, including €162 for each tooth whitened and €192 for each new tooth veneer. As Pamplona Town Hall human resources manager Julio Sucunza explains, many of these extra payments started being given around 2004 during the building boom. “The economy was strong and the bonuses were a way of compensating people for continuing to work in the public sector,” he explains. “In these times though such bonuses are obviously superfluous,” he agrees. Sucunza feels so strongly against the payments, he began campaigning nine years ago for them to be scrapped. “Negotiations with the trade unions have been very hard,” he says. “They

keep asking us for more and more, and don’t seem to realise that we can’t allow paying out these amounts just so they can get their teeth fixed.” Others have defended the payments. These include the trade union CSIF that represents the civil servants in Malaga, which insists the €1,224 paid out for productivity and attendance is deserved. And, as president Javier Perez insists: “So is the €590 available for orthodontics.” He admitted, however, that payments for luxuries such as the coil – a method of birth control – and earplugs were ‘absurd’. Another trade union in Navarra goes further in defending the payments, arguing that they are well-deserved and should not be removed. “We are given these grants as special supplements for doing our jobs,” claims Isabel Artieda, who has headed demonstrations in Pamplona against scrapping its generous town hall bonuses system. “They are not JEREZ town hall has scrapped €15 million worth of wasteful spendbonus payments to civil servants in an attempt to tacking. We civil serle debts of €1,000m. vants deserve Workers who previously received a reimbursement of them all, and 40% for teeth fillings, contact lenses and hearing aids more.” will now receive nothing. But the belt A €1,200 bonus awarded to those who have served 25 tightens around years has also been stopped, and newlyweds can no Spain and the longer expect to be given the sum of €160 towards the five million unhoneymoon. employed get On average, employees who earn over €30,000 per increasingly agiyear in Jerez will see their salaries reduced by 10%. tated during this The step is seen as urgent, for a town hall, which this ‘hot autumn’, year did not have enough cash to pay its workers their it is unlikely normal salaries for four months. many people will agree.

Civil servants lose teeth-whitening bonus

Got a news story?

Economy woe From Page 1

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

952 895 230 or 951166060 or email newsdesk@theolivepress.es

dependence on an apparently strong economy compared with the rest of Spain. Catalans are convinced they are unfairly supporting the rest of the country, and their campaign is gathering momentum. If president Artur Mas wins a second term on November 25 he has vowed to stage a referendum, despite this being illegal under the Spanish constitution. “It is time to take the risk. The moment has come for Cataluna to exercise its right to self-determination,” said Mas. Anti-austerity protests were staged last week by tens of thousands of angry Spaniards, in Madrid on Tuesday and spreading to Barcelona, Zaragoza and even Portugal by Saturday. The demonstrators were outraged by tax cuts, unemployment and the €20 billion of further cuts announced in last Thursday’s budget.



Be a civil servant, and get reimbursed for… Using earplugs Malaga Town Hall will reimburse 50% on swimming earplugs to ward off absenteeism from ear infections Wearing cook’s shoes Almeria Town Hall pays all kitchen staff to have special heel-lifting footwear if they want it Looking at a screen Villa de Epila Town Hall pays out €60 extra a year for all employees who have to endure the inconvenience of sitting in front of a PC for the whole day Having a sandwich Burgos bus drivers are given a daily supplement of €4 if they fancy a spot of lunch during their fivehour shift Going to work Aranjuez Town Hall pays €150 a month to all employees managing to attend work, while Icod de los Vinos pays €142 a month and Cadiz €1,248 a year Being a coeliac Malaga Town Hall compensates workers by €208 a year if they are unable to eat gluten Wearing tights Malaga pays €23.59 a year to help keep its workers’ legs warm Using the coil Malaga Town Hall pays out €30 per year for women who wish to have this optional method of contraception fitted Going to an evening class Alcala de Henares pays out €90 per year to help its employees enjoy music, theatre or dance lessons Getting fake teeth Orellana la Vieja gives €200 extra to workers a year to pay for dentures, while Huelva town planning department reimburses root canal treatment and orthodontics at 100%


the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012



the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012




A new search for the Civil War grave of Spain’s bestloved poet Garcia Lorca has been stopped A GRANADA court has denied a request to excavate a site in nearby Alfacar that is believed to be the final resting place of the poet Federico Garcia Lorca. The exact location of the poet in an unmarked grave has been the subject of controversy ever Lorca was executed during the first months of the Spanish Civil War. But local historian Miguel Caballero, author of The Last 13 Hours of Garcia Lorca, insists he has found the spot. He claims the unmarked grave, in the Penon Colorado area, was pinpointed by various oral testimonies, many gathered by Granada journalist Eduardo Molina Fajardo. Caballero went to Alfacar

No dig for Lorca! By Dana Ferguson

Town Hall in January to request the excavation. The site is close to the GR-

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VICTIMS of illegal homes in the Axarquia have begged the Junta to be more lenient with them. Members of Save Our Homes Axarquia (SOHA), which represents 400 homeowners, have met with Junta planning boss Gloria Vega to ask for their properties to be fully legalised. They argue their houses were built with the permission from their town halls and it was not their fault the licences were in breach of planning regulations.

3101 road and is known to have been used during the Civil War as a training ground for the Fascist troops, who are known to have executed Lorca.


The Granada judge however insists the crime is past its statute of limitations and the constitution now places a ban on such legal proceedings. Celebrated Irish writer Ian Gibson insists the government should allow the remains to be excavated because Lorca is a symbol of those executed under Franco.

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the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012



the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012




Baby’s grave to be dug up A BABY’S grave will be dug up next week in the latest in Spain’s stolen baby scandal. The child was born at the Virgen de Rocio hospital in Sevilla in 1974, but its mother was later told her baby had died. But due to certain ‘contradictions’, she has always been suspicious her child had survived and last April decided to report the baby missing. She later won the right for her child’s grave to be ex-

Investigation launched after family express doubts over death of baby born in 1974

humed and the case is now one of 100 or so currently being investigated in Sevilla. “The aim is to clear up the doubt in the family’s mind that their baby survived and its burial was staged,” said a source. Meanwhile a mother and daughter who were reunited after 31 years are planning

to file a denuncia against a Madrid hospital. Elvira, now 50, fell pregnant in 1981 while working as an unmarried servant. After giving birth at Santa Cristina hospital she was kept sedated for several days and was later told her baby had died. But 31 years later, her un-

known daughter Maria presented a voluntary jurisdiction order to a court, allowing her to look into her own origins. Maria tracked down her mother in Ourense, Galicia, and after meeting in May last year, the pair are now preparing to take legal action. “I’ve lost the best years of my daughter’s life, which cannot be bought back with money or prison sentences,” said Elvira.

the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012


Mosquitoes bring new health fears HEALTH officials have drawn up guidelines to improve surveillance of mosquitoes as Europe faces its biggest threat in over 50 years from the biting insects. The measures have been put in place to monitor how they are spreading across the continent and the threats they pose, with dengue fever among the biggest concerns, according to experts. The insects, including the Asian tiger mosquito, can carry up to 22 different viruses and have prompted the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to act for the first time since the threat of malaria in the mid-20th century. Spain is not immune from the spread of tiger mosquitoes, which can be found in increasing numbers along the east coast and Mallorca.


the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012



Muldoon: Guilty


Costa timeshare crook facing jail after admitting two counts of fraud

COSTA timeshare king Toni Muldoon has pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud at a British court. The 66-year-old conman now faces a prison sentence after admitting his part in the €7.4 million internet escort and ‘debt elimination’

EXCLUSIVE by Eloise Horsfield

Towering scam, alleged to have snared problem 14,000 victims. The notorious character, as cranes who enjoyed a lavish lifestart to I am no money decay

launderer: Pantoja

By James Bryce AN expat has warned of the potentially deadly legacy left by Spain’s property boom after a crane collapsed yards from a popular golf course. The structure came crashing down close to the fairway at Alcaidesa golf links, near Sotogrande, after years of neglect left it dangerously unstable. Now a member of Alcaidesa, who asked not to be named, has claimed there are dozens of similarly dilapidated cranes in built-up areas along the Costa del Sol. The Gibraltar-based engineer insisted many are in real danger of falling due to a lack of maintenance. “There hasn’t been any maintenance on many of them for 10 years and all the support cables are starting to rust,” the 58-year-old from Duquesa told the Olive Press. “Because they are so close to the sea, the salt in the air is eroding the cranes much quicker than would be the case with structures further inland. “These cranes can weigh up to 15 tonnes and are several storeys high, so they would do a huge amount of damage if they collapsed.” He added: “It is becoming a big safety hazard and is an accident waiting to happen.”

Marbs walkway PEDESTRIANS could soon be enjoying a stroll along a new 600m-wide traffic-free zone proposed by Marbella Town Hall. The large area, planned for Avenida Ricardo Soriano, will cover 20,000 square metres and cost around €50,000. Bosses hope the scheme will address traffic flow problems and bring tourists to the area.

SPANISH singer Isabel Pantoja has appeared in court facing three-and-ahalf-years behind bars on corruption and money-laundering charges. Sevillan-born Pantoja, 56, is facing a fine of €3.8m euros for laundering money that was allegedly stolen by her ex-boyfriend, former mayor Julian Munoz from Marbella Town Hall. While she denies it, the prosecution sustains that Pantajo knew about the origin of the funds they laundered. Her lawyer, Jose Angel Ga-

lan, argued she has been unjustly accused and the case ‘has violated her fundamental rights’. Munoz meanwhile is facing seven years in prison.

style in Spain with at least two yachts and several luxury cars, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to defraud at Ipswich Town Court. No pleas were entered on the charges of money laundering, which Muldoon also faced. He will now be remanded in custody and sentenced at a later date.


Muldoon was extradited to the UK in June after being arrested at Miramar Hotel in Fuengirola under a European Arrest Warrant. It following a long investigation started by Suffolk trading standards. A neighbour said after the arrest: “We hadn’t seen Tony Baloney for a while and wondered where he had gone. “We have had to put up with years of late night parties, screening porn films and wife-swapping events so this is excellent news.”


www.theolivepress.es THE net is tightening on two infamous property developers. Both Jesus Gotardo, of Palmera Properties, and Enrique Faura, of Mirador, are finally facing prison over claims they defrauded hundreds of property buyers, many of them expats, around Andalucia. Mirador boss Enrique Faura this week denied in court in Malaga court that he had deliberately kept €400,000 in deposits for 12 homes that had not been built in Velez Malaga. A number of British nationals have been caught up in the scandal in which the Mirador group is accused of keeping an average of €34,000 per buyer for the

Developers face prison

the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012


British couple living in garage to sue judges

Palmera Properties and Mirador bosses on trial By Gemma Wilson homes in the Mirador de la Forteleza development. Faura and his brother Leopoldo are facing seven and

eight years in prison for failing to offer the buyers guarantees, nor even acquire planning permission. The money was used to pay fines for the company,

Seal makes a splash in Malaga A HOODED seal more accustomed to the snow and ice of the Arctic has made an unexpected appearance on the Costa del Sol. The pup - thought to be between two and four months old - was spotted in the Guadalmedina river in Malaga after being swept off course by a strong current. The species is an extremely rare visitor to the Mediterranean, and is usually only found in the North Atlantic. The Centre for the Recuperation of Endangered Marine Species (CREMA) attempted to rescue the animal on Tuesday, without success, amid fears that the youngster is dangerously underweight at 20 kilos. RARE: The underweight pup

which is registered in Panama. Furthermore, they did not pay the 12 owners back when the land was sold in 2008. The brothers are also to be tried over developments in Fuente de Piedra, Benalmadena and Villanueva del Rosario, most of which were marketed through slick Fuengirola-based company Palmera Properties.


The Olive Press reported on the case as far back as 2008 and has spoken to numerous victims. The Faura brothers insisted they had paid back 70 different owners and that they had been caught out by Velez Malaga Town Hall that took a long time to give planning permission. The case continues.

BATTLE: Len and Helen Prior A BRITISH couple who had their home in Almeria bulldozed despite having the correct planning permission are to sue the Spanish judiciary. Len and Helen Prior – who have been forced to live in their garage for five years - are awaiting a court date after filing a case in Madrid in a final bid for compensation. The couple, both 68, had their licence revoked by the Junta in 2008 despite having obtained the correct paperwork from Vera Town Hall. They were the first Britons to be punished over ‘planning irregularities’. But despite Spain’s Constitutional Court ruling the demolition took place illegally, the Priors are still fighting a near five-year legal battle. “It’s our last hope but we’ve been warned it would be a ground breaking case,” Helen said. “I do wonder how many years I have left to live and it’s so upsetting to think that they will probably be spent fighting on. But we won’t give up. We can’t.”


the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012




Flying hiFX PARTYGOERS raised a toast to the opening of international money exchange specialist HiFX’s brand new Andalucia HQ. The company has recently reopened on the coast. Around 300 people attended the launch at Centro Plaza in Nueva Andalucia and were served food and drinks by capable host David (pictured here) from next door restaurant Yanks.

Robin return

Elizabeth Gould takes a trip back to the UK for a typical Autumn break in Robin Hood territory deep in Sherwood Forest


E arrived at Sherwood Forest on a glorious warm afternoon. It was something of a pleasant surprise after what many of our friends called the wettest summer on record. And there are few places nicer to visit than the heart of Robin Hood territory in Autumn. We were staying in one of the luxury wood cabins of the Forest Holidays Park , nestled in 3000 hectares of Forestry Commission land, hidden

among pine and birch trees. We had a Silver Birch cabin which was stunning and had a natural and contemporary

feel with solid wood furniture and under floor heating. Best of all, it was environmentallyfriendly being built from FEC sustainable timber. It provided the perfect living space with huge windows with wonderful views of the forest. There was an in-house entertainment system featuring a wide range of films. On our terrace we had a hot tub. At night sitting with a glass of champagne looking at the stars through the trees was a magical experience. It was great to be in such a tranquil environment surrounded by nature. We went for wonderful walks and saw many different species of butterflies. We also hired bikes for the day and explored some of the bike trails around the forest. There are even archery lessons available for those who wish to become a modern day Robin Hood. There are also various rangerled activities available and we opted for the night vision experience. Equipped with night vision equipment we watched fallow deer and searched for bats and owls. Thestaff at reception also run the lovely cafe and a grocery store stocking locally sourced products. This was a truly memorable break being located in the heart of nature with so many wonderful walks and things to do. Forest Holidays have cabins in seven locations in the UK. The prices for a luxury cabin for a three night weekend break are from 300 euros. There is a 15% discount on half term breaks in October. For details call 08451308223 or visit www.forestholidays.co.uk


the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012



the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012



Gib IN BRIEF Teacher trust

GIBRALTAR teachers’ union GGCA has called for the introduction of fingerprint recognition technology to prevent abuse of a flexible working hours scheme.

Celebrity seal

Crowds have gathered near Coaling Island to catch a glimpse of ‘Coaly’, a monk seal which has spent the last couple of days around the Rock.

Border snatch

A 38-year-old man has been arrested in La Linea accused of snatching €40 through the window of a British registered car queuing to enter Gibraltar.

Account probe

Details of Gibraltar bank accounts have been handed to a Spanish judge investigating an alleged corruption scandal involving members of Spain’s PP party.


Rock stands firm against Rajoy

Spanish PM uses UN General Assembly to call for reopening of bilateral talks over Gibraltar THE UK has dismissed calls by Spain’s prime minister to restart talks over Gibraltar’s sovereignty. Mariano Rajoy, speaking at the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York,

Online Rock row A ROW has broken out over paid promotions of the Rock after a board member of a firm linked to Wikipedia was hired to promote Gibraltar on the site. Concerns were raised after the territory featured a staggering 17 times during August on the free online encyclopedia’s ‘Did you know…’ section - with only the Olympics featuring more often. It has now been revealed that Roger Bamkin, a board member with Wikimedia UK – which is closely linked to Wikipedia – signed a contract with the Gibraltar government to publicise the Rock on the website. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has stepped in to the row by stating that ‘of course’ he is ‘extremely unhappy’ about the ‘disgusting’ situation.

urged Britain to restart talks under the bilateral Brussels process, which excludes the Gibraltar government. But the UK responded to the request by insisting that trilateral talks remained the only ‘credible and constructive’ option, despite Spain withdrawing from the process last year.

BID: Mariano Rajoy “The UK restates its longstanding commitment to the people of Gibraltar that it will never enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their wishes,” read a statement. “The UK continues to enjoy strong relations with Spain and will continue to work constructively on all Gibraltar-related issues.” The Gibraltar government responded by insisting that the Rock was ‘entirely united’ against bilateral talks between the UK and Spain. “Talks under the Brussels process are unacceptable to the government and to the people of Gibraltar,” said a spokesman. “Moreover, successive UK governments have repeatedly made clear to Spain that they will not ‘engage in any discussion about Gibraltar that the Gibraltarians didn’t want us to engage in’.”


the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012

Make room in the freezer





£2.29 360g All varieties £1.65 480g

£1.99 300g All varieties

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£1.65 375g All varieties

£2.19 4 pack

You’ll find your Morrisons at: Westside Road, Europort, Gibraltar or visit www.morrisons.co.uk Subject to availability. While promotional stocks last. Sharwood’s Chicken Korma with Rice £2.67/kg • Birds Eye Garden Peas £2.09/kg • Birds Eye Rice Fusions Basmati Rice £2.78/kg • Birds Eye Chicken Burgers £5/kg • McCain British Wedges £1.67/kg • Aunt Bessies Jam Roly Poly 33.4p/100g.

w/c 01/10/12


the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012




Urban boost STREET art will soon adorn the streets of Rincon de la Victoria through a town hall initiative to improve urban spaces. Recuper-Arte, a threeyear project, will comission established artists to decorate rundown areas or those already ‘tagged’ by amateurs. “We want to give value to modern, urban art and improve the look of the town, as has already been done with great success in other towns in Spain,” said mayor Francisco Salado.


BREAKFAST BATTLE MARIN: ‘Over spent’ on too many breakfasts

A FORMER deputy mayor has been accused of squandering €600,000 by the current regime. According to Velez Malaga mayor, Francisco Delgado Bonilla, former deputy Salvador Marin spent the money – allocated to support businesses in the area – on breakfasts out, advertising and concerts. Bonilla accused the Izquierda Unida politician, who was deputy during the coalition period between



the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012

ITH its very own architectural wonder – a circular cemetery – a 16th century Mudejarstyle church and colossal 90,000 litre water tank, Sayalonga has plenty to keep any visitor interested. The town has stayed pretty much as it was during Arab rule. One of the most important Arabic poets, Mohamed Al-Hasmi, was born at the nearby Arab settlement Batahiz, the ruins of which can still be seen beside the water tank. Another place of interest is the Ermita of San Cayetano which houses a 17th century statue of the saint. But Sayalonga’s real claim to fame is its aforementioned circular cemetery, which attracts over 3,000 visitors per year. At the tourist office, ask for the key to

Sally Harrison explores the pretty Arabic village

ARAB ROOTS: Sayalonga: the information centre where you can discover the history and origins of this curious construction. A good place to photograph it is from the mirador, on the road leading down the

hill at the beginning of the village. Another claim to fame in Sayalonga is the street of La Alcuza, near Plaza de la Constitution – the narrowest in the Axarquia at only 55cm wide at its narrowest point! Before you leave, visit the Fountain of Cid which provided the main supply of water to the Arabs. It was named after a Castilian nobleman who conquered and governed the city of Valencia – but not before having drunk the water in Sayalonga. On October 7 the Patron Saint of Sayalonga, La Senora del Rosario, is given thanks for the year’s harvest. www.axarquiaproperties.com

Former mayor accused of spending €600,000 on breakfasts, advertising and concerts 1997 and 2011, of ‘double standards’ and of ‘making a number of unauthorised transactions’ and ‘spending money which belonged to all Velez residents’. “This situation was corrected with the arrival of the PP government, which has not

allocated a single euro from the town hall coffers to such expenses,” he added. Marin has recently accused the PP-run town hall of ‘unfulfilled promises’ to the electorate, and staged a 24hour sit-in last week to draw attention to his cause.


the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012


N incredible 60% of Olive Press readers are confident speaking Spanish, while a third of them claim to be fluent. They are also a well-travelled bunch – going abroad at least twice a year – and like to eat out, on average two times a week. These are just some of the interesting findings that came out of our in-depth readers’ survey undertaken during the summer. Out of a study of over 600 readers the vast majority of them (70%) were able to pick up the paper ‘easily’ or ‘fairly easily’, whether on the Costa del Sol or inland. Some 55% of them were women and the majority read the paper for up to an hour, with 17% spending over an hour.

the olive press READERS SURVEY

Survey: Olive Press readers claim to be linguists … and like to live the good life, eating out regularly and travelling abroad at least twice a year!

What a clever bunch

70% of Olive Press readers were able to pick up the paper ‘easily’ or ‘fairlyeasily’ The most popular sections were the news, culture and food and drink sections, with the travel and features sections following closely behind. While British, American and Irish readers comprise about 65% of our audience, non-British readers came from Scandinavia, Germany and Holland. Around 15% are Spanish, while the website regularly gets visitors from China, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Some 69% of our readers visit the website from time to time while 47% download the paper online. Some 7% came in via our phone ‘app’. Readers are generally pleased with the ‘informative’ and ‘diversified’ style of the paper, while they described the website as ‘easy to navigate’. Readers also offered some constructive criticisms and sugges-


tions. Many said they would like to see a crossword in the paper while others would enjoy reading a fashion or book section. Some 142 people said they also read Sur in English, while 131 said they also read the Euro Weekly News. Thanks for all your replies, we will certainly try and adapt the paper as best as possible over the next few months.

Most Olive Press readers spend up to an hour or more reading the paper while a majority list their Spanish level as ‘4’ or ‘5’, meaning expert. They find it easy to pick up a copy and 69% use the website. They are clearly news-hounds liking to keep abreast of local events, but they also take a keen interest in culture and travel and have a passion for food




UN help for Spanish hotels Online resource will allow hoteliers to calculate energy efficiency

SPANISH hoteliers can now assess their environmental impact using an online tool developed by the United Nations (UN). The Hotel Energy Solutions E-toolkit, launched by the UN’s World Tour-

ism Organisation (UNWTO), will allow businesses offering accommodation to calculate the costs and requirements of becoming more energy-efficient. Tourism accounts for around 5% of global CO2

Parasol palaver AN environmental group is urging the Junta to rethink a decision to allow sun loungers and parasols to be used on a protected beach. Axarquia pressure group GENA-Ecologistas en Accion filed the complaint after businesses were granted licences to rent out the gear on El Canuelo beach in Nerja, part of the Cerro Gordo nature reserve.


It claims allowing the sun lounger company to operate on the beach infringes the conservation of natural spaces. In his report, GENA president Rafael Yus claimed Nerja Town Hall has been putting ‘constant pressure’ on the Junta to authorise tourist activity in the area.

emissions, with hotels and other types of accommodation producing 2% of that total. “Thousands of hoteliers have already accessed the English version of this free tool, saving money and mitigating their environmental impact,” said UNWTO secretarygeneral Taleb Rifai. “With its launch in Spain, thousands more now have the same opportunity and responsibility to bring down their carbon emissions.”

Credentials Owners will produce a report based on their hotel’s current energy efficiency and then be given suggestions on the most financially viable ways of increasing their green credentials. The technology, whose launch in Spain is designed to coincide with World Tourism Day, is already available in other countries including France and Germany.

THE SKIES TURN BLACK OVER 500 black storks have flown over the StraitS of Gibraltar in just 24 hours – almost a quarter of the migratory population. Sightings were reported from Algarrobo to Algeciras and in Tarifa, with the skies darkening as the storks flew over in between. The Black Stork Ornithological Association said this sort of migratory behavior is unusual, but was likely determined by optimal weather conditions. The association is conducting a census of black storks and fishing eagles as part of a six-week international project that will end ON October 15.

Green news IN BRIEF Strategic gainw Green cars Luis Planas has highlighted the green economy – comprised of water management, waste treatment, renewable energy and ecotourism – as a ‘strategic sector’ in securing Andalucia’s growth.

Electric bikes, gaspropelled cars and batteryoperated engines are just some of the products being given a chance to shine at the Alternative Vehicle and Fuel Show in Valladolid this week.

Eco-friendly goods .

A new green market has been launched at Las Lagunas, Mijas, from 10am on the last Friday of every month.

the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012



the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012

POTTED POINTERS ANDALUCIA RESERVOIR LEVELS This week: 54% full - Same week last year: 76.88% Same week in 2002: 48.23% 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 1.2917 American Dollars 0.7997 British Pounds 1.2682 Canadian Dollars 7.4553 Danish Kroner 10.016 H Kong Dollars 7.3859 Norwegian Kroner 1.5866 Singapore Dollars

Dear Olive Press, AFTER the recent increase in VAT (IVA) from 18% to 21% (and other rates), your readers might want to check out any bills they have received for ongoing services. Our recent monthly bill from Vodafone, for example, covering the period August 15 to September 14, coolly charged IVA at 21% for the whole of this period. Of course, it should have split the IVA addition into two: one up to September 1 at 18%, and the other from September 1 at the new 21%. A good ruse to collect an extra 3% from punters, no doubt, but we wonder whether this 3% will be passed on to the Spanish Exchequer, or simply pocketed. We’ll be keeping an eye on other utility bills, too. Chris Gregory, Sayalonga

Pleasant surprise We read a lot about bad service, but yesterday I received top notch service. My husband had topped up our phones at a machine, but unfortunately he had put my number in incor-



Unwelcome addition rectly. I telephoned Pagomatics and the lady at the other end asked for the details and said she would look into it. 15 minutes later I looked at my balance and the problem had been sorted. What a good service. Sue Wallis, Benalmadena Costa

Healthcare gripe I broke two ribs and was charged €144 at Costa del Sol Hospital for two X-rays. I am 59 so I fall outside any free healthcare provision. What galls me is that even though all my working life I paid UK national insurance, when I moved to Spain I was told I was no longer covered for UK healthcare. I was told to make my own arrangements for cover

here. Yet anyone who has not paid a penny in their lives to the UK health service can waltz right in to the UK and obtain free cover. When a foreigner is treated under the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) system a bill is sent to that country’s healthcare body for reimbursement, so why am I denied cover? To rub salt into the wound, I was also informed if I returned to the UK I would have to wait six months before being covered on the NHS. Meanwhile many British in Spain have an EHIC card because they have an address in the UK and have not informed the Department of Work and Pensions they have moved abroad. It seems that those who are totally dishonest get on in life, and those of us who play by the rules are just exploited. Ron Bennett, Manilva

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8 I read with concern about NEWS Police probe the person scammed out of ‘emerge ncy ca sh send ing’ co a large sum of money by n an email originating from Frauds Madrid (‘Scammed’, Issue into se ters trick in ‘urg nding €1,5 pensioner 00 to ent ne a friend ed’ 144). I also received such an email supposedly from a friend who had been ERE sc mugged in Madrid and andal hits €1 7 millio n could not pay her hotel bills. Needless to say I did not send any money and contacted my friend in the UK advising her of the scam.






EXCL USIVE by We ndy Wi lliams A BR has bee ITISH pen €1,500 n scammed sioner as her by someone out of posing Police friend. by som ter Maare investigat “I didn’teone in Nigeria receivedrgaret Magnuing af- I got even thin . s, 71, an email k about and edly froman email lost it, It the money say turn David Cra her neisuppos- sen everything ing he had was t the mo and I ft claimin ghbour sters ed out that thegone.” been mu just ney Ma fraudCraft’s had gone needed gged in Ma g he had Mij gnus, who ,” explained through entire drid and has as for loo his hot money to hel “It was 17 years. lived in no- king for victcontact boo el bill. p pay Not wan ims. Luc k one else anothe only when I ting His rece r down, to let a email email sent money. kily ived hadn’t friend say pro late sent the Magnus pro and coureceived the ing he orig r confirm vider Yahoo mo mp ed ney tly tha ld I sen Union mo d some ney “Bu inated in Nig the email in Fue via Western t I sussed to discove t som eria. ngirola more “I it out stra eon , money . ight awa e pick her em r a week late only em y re-read ail had ail r that there is up in Ma ed the been hac the son sou and rea more tha drid so ked “I nd like Davlised it didn’t ,” continu n one id. checke ed Magnu perd my ban s. k accoun Investi t gating OVER “Plus the Jun€17 millio moneywhoever claime n ta wa had d the in s So far paid or doc the sono receiv 196 individ called ERout fraudu means umentation,passport len ed E ual We sca tly un s have stern Uni which 2010, ndal. lawful by gave it of the with 45 mo subsidies been found checkin to them on just PS re bet to wit g.” – includ have ween hout The evi OE party Police 200 and 45 dence, wh – still undering nine me 1 and the casare now investi Merce volumes, ich spreads investiga mbers tical onee, as well as gating is still des Ala tio a month an idenbeing over 20,00 n. “They ya. ear 0 analys computtold me not to lier. ed by pages er in cas use my Judge thing hap e the sam pens wit count, e h careful,”so I am beinmy acg very she add ed.

Brian Betts, via email

Praise all round Thanks so much for your fantastic dining website Dining Secrets of Andalucia. Because of it I have taken to having lunch at El Limonero in Orgiva. The menu changes daily

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.


and there is never a hint of repetition. The desserts are to die for and the spinach soup with cream and toasted pine nuts would not be out of place in a oneMichelin-starred restaurant. I urge your readers to give it a try sometime because excellence at this level deserves recognition and to succeed. I really enjoy the Olive Press and look forward to it coming out. I most enjoy the layout; it is very easy to read. Philip Davies, Orgiva



ll about



Ass good as it gets

Don’t be a donkey: the many charms of Mijas make it the perfect weekend escape, discovers Mason Jones

the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012



S I pass an old man proudly re-painting his house in the midday sun, the same immaculate white as every other home in his street, I soon realise why the town remains so popular. Despite tourism turning Mijas into a bustling, internationally-known resort, it has somehow - unlike many of its nearby rivals - managed to conserve its Andalucian village charm. This is the real treasure of Mijas; the tranquility of village life, coupled with the pleasures of a busy coastal life just down the road. “Most of all, I think it is the beautiful architecture that brings people to Mijas Pueblo,” explains Malaga-born local Rocio Munoz, sitting watching the world go by in its charming Plaza de la Constitucion. “It is also full of life with plenty going on, thanks to the town hall, which organises lots of events.” But this however, was not what first attracted Rocio to the classic white town, which clings to a hillside between Malaga city and Marbella overlooking the celebrated Costa del Sol. What she always wanted to see were the donkeys. “When I was a child in Malaga I used to hear about the famous donkey rides in the village,” she recalls. “All the kids heard about this magical place and wanted to come because of it. When I fiTurn to Page 24


Mijas special WHITE-WASHED: A typical cobbled street

So much more From Page 23

nally made it I knew I wanted to live here and that is what happened.” From the main square I headed off for a stroll in the nearby countryside passing hundreds of small white houses that cling to the hillside as I wandered deeper into the foothills of the Sierra de Mijas mountains. You are soon in stunning countryside – on well marked footpaths - and it is easy to forget that you are only a 10-minute drive to the Costa del Sol and 20 minutes to Malaga airport. Despite the recent fire – the biggest the Costa del Sol has ever seen – the area around Mijas village is totally unscathed. Current mayor Angel Nozal is undertaking a major overhaul of the walking and hiking routes around Mijas next year. He told the Olive Press: “It is one of the things we really want to promote for the town. “It brings the right sort of tourism and we certainly have just the right conditions to offer the perfect outdoor style holiday here.” He is in charge of Malaga province’s third biggest municipality and Mijas is anything but just the hillside town. Head down the hill and you will soon enter ‘Mijas Costa’, one of the most popular and profitable destinations on the Costa del Sol. Las Lagunas (which sits next to Fuengirola), La Cala de Mijas, Riviera del Sol, Miraflores and Calahonda make up Mi-

RELIC: The Virgin de la Pena

jas Costa, a ribbon of seaside of Mulberries) due to the mulvillages and developments berry trees growing around which all offer sandy beaches the village. and a great range of restau- The tourism boom of the rants and places to stay. 1970 and 1980’s changed It is here that numerous ce- La Cala from a small, whitelebrities have come to buy washed fishing village of to a homes and popular resort stay over the town, which last few detoday counts Torre de cades, with over 20,000 Chris Tarrant Calahonda was residents. and Ryan It has an exGiggs frequent once used to warn cellent local visitors, while and is nearby towns of school Victoria Beckwell sited for ham spent enemy boats the nearby her childhood towns of Fuensummer holigirola, Benaldays in Riviera. madena and The prettiest of the resorts is, Marbella just a short bus ride without a doubt, La Cala de away. Mijas, which was once known Its 12th century Torre de as La Cala del Moral (the Bay Calahonda is one of four towers that line the Mijas coastline once used to warn nearby towns of enemy boats approaching. The watchtower is now used as a museum with an exhibition devoted to the traditional fishing customs of Mijas Costa. From here there are over 12 kilometres of golden beaches running in each direction, some of the best include Riviera , La Luna and Butibamba Beach, which hosts various musical events throughout the summer. Mijas is, of course, also renowned as a golfers paradise, boasting some of the best courses in Spain. La Cala Golf and Mijas Golf are just two of the courses in THE municipality of Mijas is the third biggest in Malaga the area that attract amateur province and counts around 80,000 residents. and professional golfers from Every year the town holds a large festival, The Mijas Fesacross Europe. tival Internacional de Los Pueblos, which celebrates the Meanwhile Mijas Costa Himulticulturalism of the area. Over 20 countries across podromo has become very five continents are represented in a weekend showcase popular with visitors and resiof music, dance, food and drink. dents who enjoy a night at the British and Spanish tourists account for over 60% of tourraces. ism in Mijas, while French, Dutch, German and Italians Many horse owners come have also remained constant visitors. from other countries to take advantage of the good cli-

An international town


Mijas special

than a white town mate and year-round racing season. As well as horse racing, the complex also houses an athletics course, fully equipped gym and a swimming pool. But it is up in ‘Mijas Pueblo’ that you will find what is known as the ‘real Spain’. The pueblo feels like a giant balcony overlooking the Mediterranean and the other areas in the municipality. It is a great place to while away an evening, particularly in Plaza de la Paz (The Peace Square), watching village life go by. While tapas bars serve local specialties to hungry mouths, the busy little shops offer leather-work and postcards from their open doors. There is even a fabulous chocolate factory the Mayan Monkey Mijas, where kids can learn to make chocolate. Elderly locals stand or sit in

small gangs appearing, to be honest, bemused at how popular their little village has become. Looking down to the coast again from the edge of the village, it seems to have the world at its feet. It was certainly how the tens of thousands of Britons and other expats felt when they came to settle here over the last few decades. The town is one of Spain’s most popular for foreign residents and Mijas seems to have all its qualities on display. As mayor Angel Nozal insists: “There are few better places to live in Spain and the mix of nationalities is incredible. It is a true melting pot and luckily most people seem to get on well. “Obviously the most important thing is to come up and see for yourselves.”

BREATHTAKING: A view of Mijas Pueblo and (right) a typical cafe display with classic straw donkey

Donkeys, flamenco and bulls By Gemma Wilson


NE of the best ways to enjoy Mijas’s charms is via a free walking tour. These tours take place every Saturday from September to May and showcase some of the beautiful rural areas that can be found around Mijas. The tours, organised by the Mijas Foreigners Department, one of the oldest in Andalucia, are designed for the whole family and the rural guides speak English. For an interesting way to see the pueblo meanwhile and conserve your legs, why not take a donkey taxi? Parked outside the tourist office, visitors have the option of riding the donkey themselves or taking the donkeycart taxi. This is a great way to see some of the historical sights of the village as well as stopping off at the many shops throughout Mijas housing locally made jewellery, pottery and paintings by local artists. Why not head for a free flamenco show, which takes place in the Plaza Virgen de la Pena on Wednesdays at noon. The flamenco show is performed by the dance company ‘Artes Cordobes’ and is a great opportunity to witness the traditional Spanish dance. Another great attraction is the bullring.

OLE: A view of the bullring and free flamenco on offer Opened in 1900 it’s still in use today hosting both bullfights and horse displays but also serving as a museum. Matador costumes are housed in glass displays with plaques lining the entrance to the ring displaying the details of the different fights that have taken place. For a perfect way to end the day head to the Municipal Auditorium where plays, concerts and films are regularly hosted. With most of the events targeted toward the local audience it’s a great way to immerse yourself in local culture and language. For more information contact the Mijas tourism office on 952 58 90 34


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Mijas special

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Hurrah for the Hipodromo I

Going to the races is a great day (or night) out

T is, without a doubt, at its best on a warm summer evening, when it sometimes feels like the whole coast is up at the Mijas racecourse. The only horseracing track on the Costa del Sol, the Hipodromo is the perfect place for a hot date or an evening out with the family. A buzzing night out, entrance is just €5 (free for kids) and there is plenty of entertainment for the family apart from the horses, including flamenco shows after each race. The season spans from February

until April, on Sundays with races starting at midday, then starts again in July at 9.30pm on Saturday or Friday nights. But the racetrack is not the only feature of this complex. The wonderful spot also boasts a riding school, sports centre and football school. There is a hotel alongside the track and a special ‘dog hotel’ where owners can leave their pets. For more information about the racecourse visit www.hipodromocostadelsol.es

FAST-TRACK: Racehorses make their way around the bend at the Hipodromo


You can’t beat living by the water

the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012


Mijas special


Real bargains Property is still in high demand in Mijas Costa, discovers Dana Ferguson

LA CALA FANS: Michael and Maureen Carr and John Lauth and Ian Taylor


VEN on an overcast day, tourists can still be found lying on the beach in La Cala, hoping the sun will make an appearance. Michael and Maureen Carr, of Yorkshire, are regular visitors to the area, the tranquility of the place being the main draw. “We come here because it is completely different from the place up there,” says Michael pointing to Marbella... “and the place down there,” pointing to Fuengirola. “Everyone says Spain is full of Brits, but here it’s not like that at all,” adds his wife. “Here it is very Spanish.” John Lauth, a salesman at kitchen shop Cocinas Plus, who has lived in the area for nearly 20 years, enjoys the more intimate appeal of La Cala. “If you go to Marbella or especially to Fuengirola you’ve got 200 hotels on the beach front and millions of tourists running around. “You don’t have that here. There’s one

hotel, it’s very residential and very quiet,” he says. His boss Ian Taylor, who owns the successful shop, moved to the town 11 years ago to escape from the UK’s politics and, of course, the cold weather. He hasn’t looked back, particularly as his business has thrived (recently seeing a new branch open in Marbella). “It’s very cosmopolitan here, there’s everything you want; good restaurants, good beaches, it’s all here,” he explains. It is certainly a very family friendly destination, estimates Jon Sanderson and Nicola Williams, who now bring their young daughter with them on their regular visits. From the Wirral, the pair have an apartment in La Cala where they come each month to rest and relax. “This is like a second home for us,” says Sanderson. “It’s a nice quiet place, with some friendly people. You can’t beat that.”


ESPITE a recession that has affected property sales throughout the country, holiday homes in Mijas are still in high demand. Andrew Dodd, a sales manager at Homefinders, in La Cala de Mijas, estimates that sales in Mijas have seen a reasonable amount of growth in 2012. “Mijas Costa and in particular the areas close to La Cala are bucking the trend when it comes to property sales,” he says.

Most of the buyers of holiday homes that are propping up the market are Scandinavian and British customers. “I can’t get enough properties to sell around or close to La Cala,” he continues. “And ones with a sunny aspect, sea view and a decent price get snapped up very quickly. “Now is definitely the time to be looking for a bargain and we are ready to help,” he said. David Parker meanwhile, partner at MPA

LUXURY: Holiday homes have hit record low prices in Mijas

Mijas special



still to be had SOUGHT-AFTER: Mijas’ sea views, the history and charm of La Cala (below) and decent prices are making it a hit

Homes just up the coast in Calypso, has also noted the increase in sales, in particular to Scandinavian clients. This, he says, has been helped by a dramatic lowering of prices in the area. “For some homes by up to 50% and prices are still falling,” he adds. While Spanish clients are dwindling, the growth in the holiday home market has stayed strong. “There are some good deals out there and everybody’s looking for a bargain,” he continues. Finally, if you are looking for a good reputable rentals agent, Sol Finders in Calahonda will take some beating. For more information contact www.mpahomes.com, www. homefindersnetwork.com and www.solfinders.com

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Mijas special


A half century of changes


ALF a century ago La Cala used to comprise little more than half a dozen houses, a tower and some boats. Then came about the tourism boom of the 1970’s and things began to change a little. As Alberto Ramon, 70, recalls: “Until then

there were no hotels and most people were incredibly poor and lived off the sea. “Many of us worked in the fields above the main road, which were mostly given over to fig trees and vines. “We used to dry the figs and grapes to make raisins and take them by donkey to Malaga.”

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Lookout for Costa del So


the ol

Mijas has been described as being like a balcony - or lookout - for the Costa del Sol. And the white town, or Pueblo, certainly offers the most spectacular views both towards the coast (above) and inland to the Sierra de Mijas mountains (left). The heart of the town is certainly a colourful place and a great day out for the family, with plenty of items to buy and even donkeys to ride... or best of all become a local and simply spend the rest of your days watching the world go by (right).

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Mijas special

The village


ITH a mug of piping hot tea in one hand and the leftovers of a steak and kidney pie on the table, Stan Boardman was in a terrific mood. Now spending most of the year in Spain, it is no coincidence that the Liverpool comedian has chosen La Cala de Mijas to live. “It’s one of the few places left on the coast that still has a local village feel,” he tells me. “There is still a very Spanish feel and people are friendly.” Taking breakfast at Sully’s café in the heart of the village – a fridge-sized packet of Lambert & Butler cigarettes at his side – he was more than happy to shoot the breeze about his favourite Spanish resort. Cafe owner John Sullivan had soon joined the conversation, as we discussed the Golden days of La Cala when the faces included Chris Tarrant, Rick Parfitt and Gerry Marsden, as well as celebrated gangsters ‘Mad’ Frankie Fraser, Kray minder George Dixon and, of course, Ronnie Knight, who got married at nearby El Oceano hotel. It was certainly a heady mix and, as Boardman, who has a house in the village, quips: “I was at Banditos in Marbella with Mad Frankie and Freddie once... We had a great dinner of broken leg of lamb, bruised spare ribs and black-eyed peas.” Celebrities and gangsters aside, there is no doubt La Cala truly comes alive in summer, the beach and its neighbouring restaurants buzzing for most of the day. Still remaining defiantly low rise, its back streets and two storey terraced houses

Jon Clarke takes a poke around La Cala, one of the Costa del Sol’s last remaining villages

CHEERS: Stan Boardman raises a mug of tea to the village of Mijas have maintained a distinct Spanish feel. It is also testament to La Cala’s popularity that the vast majority of these homes have been in the same Spanish hands for decades. “Apart from one street we call Coronation Street which was built 20 years ago, and is full of English -

most of the old part is Spanish,” explains Antonia Martinez, who was brought up in the town and owns fashion shop Coco. “Unlike many other towns along the coast, most homes here have stayed in the family and pass from generation to generation. There is no way my family would sell to the English or Germans. That is why it keeps its ambience.” But despite still keeping some of its original village atmosphere how things have changed. Aside from the so-called Valley of Golf north of the busy A-7, the village now has two supermarkets, a car park – rarely less than 99 per cent full HISTORY: An old boat marks the entrance of the village - and a string of bars, including


Mijas special

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that kept its charms Biddy Mulligans and Smugglers. Indeed, it is only four decades ago that La Cala was little more than half a dozen cottages and a handful of fishing boats. Have a look at the photos on page 31... they clearly show how sleepy the village was. Indeed, apart from the famous old watchtower, there was very little else. Sand lapped at the foot of the ancient tower, which was part of a chain of lookouts along the coast to warn of impending pirate attacks, while on the other side open fields stretched up to the single track N-340 (now the A7), a thoroughfare that has existed since Roman times. From here up to Mijas village there was nothing but rolling mountains and open fields given over to agriculture. “It was incredibly sleepy here when I arrived from Ronda in 1970,” said Alberto Ramon, 67, who owns the Smugglers bar, a typical pub near the beachfront. “I came here looking for work, but there wasn’t much about. There were no hotels and most people were incredibly poor and lived off the sea. “Many of us worked in the fields above the main road, which were mostly given over to fig trees and vines. “We used to dry the figs and grapes to make shared farming equipment with other famiraisins and take them by donkey to Mala- lies in the area. “It was beautiful back then.The land was so ga.” Almost all transport those days was by don- unspoilt and the fields were full of life. We key, recalls Pepe Martin, 54, who has lived had an incredible time growing up here. “If you had a little bit of land you could live in La Cala all of his life. “I was actually born in Malaga and my moth- very well, but if you lived in the town of er got there just in time with an hour don- Fuengirola with no land say, you would be key ride to Fuengirola, where she took the pretty poor,” he explains. It was in the 1960s with the advent of train,” he explains. mass tourism that things finally started to A gardener at Las Buganvillas change, albeit at a very slow urbanisation, he explains how pace for La Cala, which was back in the late 1950s most of the land in the area was split Best of all there largely untouched by the first wave of tourism that between two big families, the are not loads of initially revolutionised the first a German family called coastline towns of TorremoBerne and the other a wealthy football shirts linos and later Fuengirola Malaga family called Cotrina, with Rooney on and Marbella. who between them owned While no hotels opened in most of the land up to Fuengithe back the area until the 1970s, rola and inland towards Mijas the first English started buyvillage. ing property in the 1950s, “They had most of the land carved up between them and employed according to Anette Skou, head of the foreigners many local labourers.” His family had a little bit of land of its own, department at Mijas Town Hall. One of the trailblazers was a retired army where they grew vines to produce raisins. “My grandfather used to own a lot of vines, officer Major Wilfred Blake, who bought a but they all died when the phylloxera virus large plot of land on the Mijas road. hit. But we grew other things as well and He became a travel writer, wrote a number of books and even made a short 9mm film, which has recently been rediscovered. Donated to the foreigners department, the film, produced between 1955 and 1960, clearly shows the incredible changes that have happened over the last five decades. “It is a wonderful trip down PASEO: Quiet streets are a common sight, while (top) the memory lane,

old watchtower by La Cala beach

seeing everyone travelling by donkey and transporting fish up and down the coast,” explains Anette, who set up the department – the first in Spain – in 1985. It was around this time that tourism really started to hit La Cala, but fortunately due to a combination of luck and good town planning the village was never built up in the same way as, say, nearby Fuengirola. “It has managed to maintain the ambience of a small village by not allowing lots of hotels to be built along the beach,” explains Anette. “In fact it is one of the only

HOME: Alison and Peter Barber nearly virgin beaches left on the coast.” For the sake of the once sleepy village, which still has some of its old vestiges, let’s hope it stays that way. One English couple who have recently settled in the area sum it up well. Alison and Peter Barber, a web designer from Southend, have long had a home in the area, but finally made the plunge last year. “The facts are that La Cala is still pretty smart compared to a lot of other towns” said Peter. “It has changed a lot over recent years, but you can still walk around it easily and you don’t feel intimidated. “But best of all there are not loads of football shirts with Rooney on the back.”


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Pressure mounts for Sierra de Mijas Nature Park

PRESSURE is mounting to turn the Sierra de Mijas into a Parque Natural. In a bid to protect the area against further construction – and more damage from fires – various groups, including the town hall as well as the IU party and Ecologistas en Accion have been requesting it for years. The mountains - part of the Cordillera Betica range, that spread along the coast from Malaga to Fuengirola and inland to Coin and Alhaurin - are home to numerous animals, such as the genet, deer and wild boar. The hills that go up to 1,150m in height are also home to Imperial eagles and Eagle Owls. The Olive Press has reported on a number occasions about the elusive wild cat – dubbed the La Cala cougar – that has been spotted in the hills. But as the coastal towns are expanding inland there is an ever growing need to protect the sierra. In Alhaurin, in particular, there has been constant pressure to build in the foothills, in particular around Barranca Blanco, between Mijas and Coin, where the recent forest fire first got out of control. Under plans the city of Malaga’s development plan (PGOU) would be changed to safeguard at least the Churriana part of the hills.

Mijas special


Up up and away Head off on one of the many hiking trails around Mijas village


HERE are a string of great hiking trails that set off right from the village. The self-guided trail network – which is graded by levels of difficulty - offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the natural environment of the area through a series of marked routes that cross the southern slopes of the Sierra de Mijas. Most start from the Mirador de Mijas Pueblo and throughout the walk panels provide information on different aspects of nature and local culture. The best time of the year for walking is from

mid-September through to mid-June, and January, in particular, is fantastic when walkers are treated to usually clear blue skies and the slopes’ almond trees in blossom. For flower lovers, Spring is a great time to go as the mountains are in full bloom with wild poppies, lavender and other flower species. A popular hike is to the top of the so-called ‘masts mountain’, easily seen from Mijas with the antenna towers marking the peak. Once at the top walkers are rewarded with

BREATHTAKING: The panoramic view from the top is worth the hike spectacular 360 degree views, which stretch for miles inland and across the sea to Morocco. It’s advised that walkers wear proper footwear and carry sufficient water with them at all times.


the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012




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Mijas special the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012


Swingers heaven

OR years keen putters have flocked across the continent to feel the benefits of the warm climate and the spectacular ocean views of Mijas. It is said you are never more than a few minutes away from a game of golf in Mijas, with an incredible 9 courses Mijas is one of Spain’s true homes of golf, in the municipality, one of them the largest in Spain. writes Mason Jones The first course to arrive was Mijas Golf Internacional that first laid turf back in 1976 opening two 18hole courses, Los Olivos and Los Lagos. They were both designed by renowned architect, Robert Trent Jones Senior, and remain two of the most commercially successful courses on the ‘Costa del Golf’. Los Olivos provides a striking contrast to its big brother Los Lagos, much smaller in size with narrow fairways lined with olive trees rather than great open spaces and water hazards. To the west lies Spain’s true golfing giant, La FORE: There are nine courses to get a few strokes in in Mijas Cala Golf Club, or ‘golf valley’ as some people three championship 18-hole courses, but If that isn’t enough golf for you, you might call the area. a six hole practice course, the world class also try visiting Miraflores Golf, La Siesta The largest in the coun- David Leadbetter Academy and a 107-room Golf, La Noria Golf Resort and the Santana try, it boasts not only hotel and spa. Golf & Country Club.

Bunker down

By far the best place to stay if you are coming to Mijas to play golf is the splendid Hotel Tamisa Golf, a charming small hotel located right next to Mijas golf. Dubbed the ‘Jewel of Mijas’ this friendly place, run by amicable Scotsman John Peach, even brings out its own golf magazine once a month. The rooms are comfortable, there is free wifi and you are just a stone’s throw from the attractions of Fuengirola.



Mijas special

the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012


Fortress Security is a company with 25 years of experience in providing security solutions f clients’ properties and their possessions.

The charm of Mijas not lost on business W

HEN Sarah Hawes was looking to find the perfect location for the Spanish HQ of diet company Cambridge 800

Mijas ticked all the boxes. “I’ve been through many parts of Spain and this area takes some beating,” explains the 54-year-old from Surrey.

“I felt that Mijas could benefit from corporate business and I’ve never once regretted the decision to come here” adds Hawes, who relocated to Mijas with her hus-

HAPPY: Sarah Hawes (left) and UK owner are overjoyed at the success of Cambridge 800 in

band Mike earlier this year. “Mijas has great sports facilities, the climate is stunning and there is a fabulous mix of city and countryside within a short distance. “There’s times in the office when we look into the sky and we see the eagles above us”. She is also quick to praise the Mijas Foreigners Office and town hall, which helped her to set up the company in the town. “They are really good at helping foreigners integrate and if you have any enquires they are just superb.” A huge golf fan, who is passionate about the Spanish lifestyle, she continues: “I’ve been in love with Spain ever since my parents started coming here” she said. Since launching in Spain earlier this year the Cambridge 800 company has grown at a breakneck pace and now counts consultants throughout the region and country, including Barcelona and Valencia.

From simple but effective rejas, manufactured in our facility, to high tech automated gate entry & CCTV systems, our unrivalled knowledge wi help you decide on the best way to protect you and your family.

Our innovative & creative approach means that there are solutions found for every eventuality and our team of craftsmen & technicians will ensure that making you safe is simple & effective.

Feathering their beds in Mijas IT is one of Europe’s most successful linen companies and is almost always full of customers. Yorkshire Linen Company, which now counts 40 branches around the continent, has been going strong in Mijas for four years. Run by the capable pairing of Julie Law and Stephanie Smith the popular shop, is constantly taking on new lines and expanding. “We decided to take it on four years ago to try and make a success of it and luckily we’ve managed to do that,” explains Julie. “It really helps that we’re part of such a well-established chain as that is what allows us to offer such good value,” she adds. The next exciting move is the launch of a new website over the next few weeks. The company will now be able to deliver beds and all types of linen anywhere in Andalucia within 48 hours. For more information call 952 197 577

For more info see www. cambridge800.com or email info@cambridge800. es

Fortress Security protecting Mijas Please call 953 931 128 or visit our showroom in Calahonda to arrange a free security survey of your property.

WELL STOCKED: Fortress HQ has many samples on show WHEN it comes to security, property owners in Mijas have put their trust in Fortress Security for over 25 years. From simple, but effective window grills to high tech automated gate entry and CCTV systems, the company’s knowhow helps property owners decide on the best way to protect themselves. The company can custom fit safety

solutions and supply and fit manual and electric blinds, scissor gates, aluminium windows and doors, as well as glass curtains. Comprehensive repair and service facilities are also available. Call 952 931 128 or visit www. fortresssecurityspain.com

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Mijas maps



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the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012

July 26, 2012

Expat in court for removing a pro-Franco memorial from his back garden

GRUESOME: New novel:

Basque thriller

A GRUESOME murder inBilbao is the starting point for a brand new ‘whodunit’ penned by a British author. The Blood Puzzle was created through Tom Paver’s observations of a working port in Barcelona during the 1980s.


“Security was very lax in those days and you could just wander up and watch the dockers at close quarter,” said Paver, 44, who lives in Liverpool. “I always knew the detail I observed would come in handy at some point.” The murder mystery, the third in a series of six, is now available on Amazon.com.

Fascist order A SCOTTISH expat has become embroiled in a legal battle after removing a Franco-era plaque from his garden with a hammer. Clifford Torrents, 59, removed the 1950s plate from his house after a ‘verbal agreement’ with a town hall councillor. The sign, previously displayed near a fountain in Torrents’ garden near Lugo, in Galicia, reads: ‘Inaugurated on 24.05.1953 with Francisco Franco reigning and D. Jose Maria Lopez as mayor’.


Torrents, whose father was a Republican soldier, said he would not have bought his house in 2009 if he had noticed the plaque. But when current mayor Jose Manuel Brana found out Torrents had removed it, he filed a denuncia against him. “I had told him we were looking into the matter,” he said. “It was not for this Englishman to remove it without permission,” wrongly labelling him as

Benicassim blues FANS of one of Spain’s biggest music festivals could be facing disappointment as its promoters face up to financial difficulties. UK company Music Festivals, which has run Benicassim Festival in Valencia since it started in 1995, suffered enormous losses this year, partly due to competition from music events related to the Olympics. The company’s UK festival, Hop Farm, also struggled because of bad weather. Music Festivals has now suspended share trading after their value plummeted from 53 cents last June to just over one cent.

MEMORY: The plaque was installed for the opening of a fountain by the former dictator English. Torrents however insisted most locals wanted the

plaque removed, and that the mayor was already aware of this. He said he approached a town councillor, who had agreed for him to remove it given that the town hall did not have the money to do the job themselves. “We shook hands and drank a toast to it,” he insisted. “In my country, that is the same as confirming a contract.” Now the mayor is demanding the plaque be reinstated through the courts. “It is ridiculous,” said Clifford. “I wasn’t expecting the mayor to thank me for removing the plaque, but I wasn’t expecting this either,” he added.



la cultura

48 04 - 17, 2012 the olive press 48 what’s on- October


stacion Jimera de Libar, October 13. 22:00 - 22:00. Allioli Oktober BierFest. Live music and World beers. Info: 671 501 054 www.oktobierfest. com



onda, October 06 - 30. Exhibition of new works by David Seaton at the Convento de Santa Domingo


iogordo, until October 27, Museum Etnographico. Axarquia Art Group’s sixth exhibition. An opportunity to view an eclectic mix of original artwork created by artists based in the Axarquia


ijas, October 6. Tamisa Golf Hotel. Boogie Nights Quiz and Disco. 70s music and trivia quiz. Call Martyn on 667 759 355 before 5pm on October 5

Censored versions of Ian Fleming novels produced during chaste Franco era are still being reproduced today


E is one of Britain’s most famous exports, known for drinking Martinis, seducing women and displaying a risque sense of humour. But for Spanish fans of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, the secret agent is a far more conservative character than originally portrayed. The books, the first of which was published 50 years ago, were heavily censored during the Franco era along with a host of other English-language tomes including J. M.

Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice. Words with sexual connotations such as ‘virgin’ and ‘breast’ were edited out of the 007 novels. In the case of Dr No – Fleming’s first Bond offering in 1960 – the last two pages were cut altogether after being deemed to be too ‘pornographic’. According to one Spanish academic, who recently discovered the censored versions are still being reproduced today, many Spaniards remain blissfully unaware of Bond’s

Too Racy? Censored passages THUNDERBALL (1974) “She kept her arms round his neck while he undid the single button of the brassiere and then the tapes of the taught slip. He stepped out of his bathing trunks and kicked them away.” “He bent down and hooked his fingers in the neckline of her shirt and the join of the brassiere. Very slowly, but with great force, he tore downwards, the whole length of her. Then he threw aside the torn halves of material and exposed the whole gleaming length of her body.”

true reputation. Dr Jordi Cornella-Detrell, lecturer in Hispanic Studies at Bangor University, made the findings while conducting a more general study into censorship during the time of Franco. He describes the news as ‘disconcerting and difficult to explain’. “During Franco’s regime, foreign ideas were perceived as a potential threat to the moral and social fabric of the country,” he says. “The regime promoted the very Catholic nature of Spain and censored literature that was at odds with this or with its political stance.

Many Spaniards remain blissfully unaware of Bond’s true reputation “Ian Fleming’s novels were fairly sexually explicit and salacious for that era and attempts to publish the novels were met with fierce opposition by the Spanish censors.” CornellaDetrell claims the ‘pact of forgetting’, a deliberate effort to forget Spain’s controversial past, has prevented readers and the publishing industry from developing an effective strategy to deal with the problem. “I want to see this issue raised and discussed more widely in Spain so that readers can have access to re-translated or restored books.”

DR NO (1960) “She undid her blouse and threw it on the floor. Then her skirt. She undid his shirt and slowly, carefully took it off.” “The girl let go his hand and climbed into the sleeping-bag. She looked up at him. She said, practically, ‘It’s a double one. It cost a lot of money. Take those off and come in. You owe me slave-time.” OTHER ENGLISHLANGUAGE CLASSICS TO FALL FOUL OF THE SPANISH CENSORS: John Dos Passos - Parallel 42 Muriel Spark The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Ira Levin - Rosemary’s Baby Carson McCuller - The Member of the Wedding J.M Cain - The Postman Always Rings Twice

La corrida, c’est legal BULLFIGHTING is set to continue in France – despite a high-profile celebrity campaign against it. The Paris Constitutional Council ruled the Spanish bloodsport will continue to be legal because of a ‘long tradition’ which ‘cannot be ignored’. 50s pin-up Bridgitte Bardot (left) was just one of the celebrity campaigners who joined animal rights groups in launching a legal challenge in court. They argued that France’s animal protection laws should apply equally across the country – and include bullfighting – but their case was rejected by the Council.

la cultura



COSTA radio station Bay FM is getting a fresh lick of paint and a brand new transmission zone. Previously transmitting to the Campo de Gibraltar and San Roque, the station, now to be based between San Pedro and Estepona, will serve listeners on the western Costa del Sol. Owner Mike Martin told the Olive Press: “The re-launch will bring a different type of radio station to the area between San Pedro and Sabanillas/Duquesa. “It will be a local station for English-speaking residents, with local news and comment.” The new station should be going live in mid-October – frequency to be confirmed – with Campo de Gibraltar fans still able to tune in on 92FM.

Spanish fresco ‘artist’ demands compensation Gimenez wants a slice of the pie after her handy work raked in the cash AN 80-year-old Spaniard who botched a restoration of a 19th century painting is demanding a cut after the church where it is displayed earned thousands of euros in entry fees. Cecilia Gimenez became a laughing stock after tackling the Ecce Homo fresco with a

paintbrush in Borja, Zaragoza, with ‘catastrophic’ results. Now Gimenez is consulting lawyers following a swathe of visitors to the Santi Spiritus church. Over one fortnight in September more than 20,000 people visited the painting, which has become a worldwide sensation. Each person is paying €4 to get in and over €2,000 was brought in in entry fees in just a few days. “She wants to ensure this situation conforms to the law,” said her lawyer, Enrique Trebolle. He added that if a payout were awarded, Gimenez would use the money to help sufferers of muscular atrophy – a condition which affects her son. BID: Cecilia Gimenez wants her share

Oil painting from Malaga A SPANISH-AMERICAN artist has released a glossy new book presenting his paintings. Oil paintings – Thymes from Spain is the latest venture by Malaga-based painter Manuel Sanchez. Available in both Spanish and English, the collection is inspired by bullfighting, flamenco and other Spanish-related themes. Available on www.blurb.com

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the olive olive press press -- August October23 04 - 17, 2012 05, 2012 the - September

ALAMEDA Mobile Home Park • Posada Tempranillo • Petrol Station • Casa Benito ALCALA Conexions • Hotel Torrepalma • Library • Tourist Office • Optico Real • Hotel Zacatin • Estate Agent Andaluz • BP ALGATOCIN BP Service Station ALHAURIN el Grande Alhaurin Golf • La Boma Rest. • 1st and 2nd Tabacconist • Annas Butchers • Christinas Paper Shop • Arte Hair • Martins Paper Shop • British Supermarket • Posh Pets • Cudeca • ALHAURIN de la Torre BP • Las Brisas Restaurante • Montemar Restaurante • Lauro Golf ALMUNECAR Spar Supermercado • Tourist Office • El Faro Bar • Olivares Shop • Danny s Bar ALORA Harveys • Tropicana • Repsol Petrol Cudeca • Zalea Bar ALOZAINA Petrol Station ANTAS Frandi • The Full Swing • El Poligono • Costa Cars ANTEQUERA Lidl • La Veronica • Antequera Golf • Tourist Office • Hotel Plaza San Sebastian • BP • Hotel Las Villas de Antikaria ARCHIDONA Cepsa Garage • 3R Café /Bar • Mercadona Garage • Sunset Estates ARDALES Paco’s Bar ARRIATE Petrol Station ATAJATE Andalazar BEDAR Town Hall • Empalme • Cajamar Olive BENADALID Los Labros BENAHAVIS Canela Cafe /Bar • Amanhavis BENALAURIA La Molienda BENALMADENA COSTA Super Save • Hapenny Bridge Pub • Kiosko Puerto (Marina) • Tourist Office • Paloma Library • Irish Time Bar • Xanit Hospital • UK Foods BENAMARGOSA La Vaqueria BENAOJAN Meroil • Papeleria Ruiz • Hotel Molino del Santo• Cuatro Paradas BENAVISTA Bowls Club • Card Shop • Ibex Insurance • Grumbles • English Butcher • Costa Less Supermarket • Plaza Hotel • Dog House • Brubecks • El Paraiso Golf •Petrol Station • Kids Kingdom • Agro Jardin • Calpe School • Pegotty’s Fish & Chips • Experience Group BENAMACARRA Hotel Cortijo Bravo BUBION Supermercado Coviran CABOPINO Pina Pinaka • Cabo Pizza • Sportsmans Bar • Cabopino Camping • Garage • Shebeens Pub • Paper ShopSupermarket • Plaza Bar • Alberts Restaurant CABRA Tourist Office CADIAR Pagamenos CALAHONDA Age Care • Party Party • The Pit Shop • Sol Finders • GT Mc Kenna Butchers • Internet Café • Mercadona • Spikes Hairdressers • RBL • Club Naranja • Plaza next to Paper Shop CALYPSO MPA Estates (Bryce) • Inspirations Haidressers CAMPILLOS Kiosk • BP Petrol Station CAPILEIRE Supermercado Coviran • Bar CARTAMA ESTACION Aguamania • Topres CASABERMEJA Petrol Station CASARES Arroyo Honda • Venta Victoria • Venta Garcia • Villas and Fincas • La Tienda •Mi Cortijo • Muebles Gavira CHICLANA LHD • Monopoly • Oasis Bar • Tourist Office • Posthouse COIN Tourist Office • Cudeca • Guerreros • Insurance Office • Bohem Rest. • Internacional • La Trocha • Chain • Leslies • BP • Buyrite • Robertos COLMENAR CO2 • Bar Campesino COMPETA Todo Papel • Pavo Real and Restaurant • Sugar and spice • Alicats CORTES Camping el Salitre • El Gecko • Mary Becker • La Fuente CORTIJO CABRERA Restaurant


Covering the costas and inland to eight provinces And here’s how our rivals fare:

CORDOBA Bodegas Campos • Hotel Casas de la Juderia • La Fragua CUEVAS DEL BECERRO Petrol Station DIANA Royal Nordic Club • Man Friday Supermarket • Super Market • Aud Dublin • Big BlueBox DUQUESA PORT Paparazzi Neswagents • Supermarket • Las Gallerias • English Butcher • Duquesa Golf Club • Marlows Restaurant • Souvenir Shop • Gaston Golf • Manilva Properties • Monte Duquesa Sq • La Bella Vista Camping • Clubhouse Bar • Duquesa Estates • Castillo Foreign Resident Centre • Macues Restaurant • Penguin Bar El CHORRO Olive Branch BB • El Kiosko • Hotel Posada el Conde • Rest. Boca Bella EL FARO El Faro Supermarket • Carlton Bar EL ROSARIO Bar • Bar • Town Hall ELVIRIA Martys Hairdressers • Bio Nature Shop • Town Hall • EIC School •Beach House Restaurant •Aventura Amazonia •El Lago Restaurant ESTEPA BP Garage ESTEPONA Hospiten • Best Coches • Arte Escuela Ecuestre Restaurant • Pointer Vets • Eden Bar • Laguna Village Entrance • Terra Sana Digi Print • Optica Machin • Carrefour • Longmans Bookshop • Fergussons Bar • Cudeca Bar • Dune Bar • Furniture World • Padel and Sports • Techo Aluminio • Lidls • Amapola • Tourist Centre • Estepona Golf • International Club of Estepona • Costa Nature • Albayat Resort • Muebles Gavira ESTEPONA MARINA Sailors Cafe • Business Centre EportBic Universal Estate Agents • The Irish Fiddler Marlow Chip Chop FRIGILIANA Hotel Almazara FUENGIROLA Iceland • Camping Fuengirola • Scotties Butchers • Salon Varieties • BP •

Specsavers • Cudeca • Dunnes Stores • Yorkshire Linen • Speedy s Garage • RMDC Glass • Euro Market • St. Anthony s College • Tamisa Golf Hotel FUENTE DE PIEDRA Bar Rebujito • Corner Bar • Diane’s • Donkey Sanctuary GARRUCHA Clinica Veterinaria GAUCIN Repsol Petrol Station • Hotel Caballo Andaluz • Pura Vida Health Shop • Benassim Deli • Fructosa • El Convento • Casa Antonia • La Fuente • El Puente GIBRALTAR Bray Properties • Café Fresco • Kristina Szekely • Laziz Rest. • Ipanema Rest. • O’Reileys • Ocean Village Express • Ibex Insurance • Morrisons • Savills • Rock Hotel • Elliot Hotel • Sacarellos • Icc Shoping Centre • Chamber of Commerce • Cafe Solo • Copywrite • Café Rojo • Colourworks • MH Bland • Sovereign • Rolex • Caleta Hotel • Ibex Insurance GRANADA Airport • Hotel Macia Plaza • La Romanilla • Hotel Fontecruz Granada • Metro Bookshop • Hannigans 1 • Hannigans 2 • Tourist Office • El Catrachod • Jardines de Zoraya • La Alacena de Andalucia • Hotel Palacio de Santa GUADALMINA Tricky Rickys • Bookworld GUARO Petrol Station IZNAJAR BP • The Yoga School • Sueños • Los Cuatro Vientos Bar JEREZ Los Jandalos • Tourist Office JIMENA DE LA FRONTERA Cepsa• Papeleria Los Garabatos • Bar Cuenca • La Tasca • Hostal Anon • Bar Oba • Estate Agents • Casa Henrietta JIMERA DE LIBAR ESTACION Bar Allioli LA CALA DE MIJAS Corner Café • Lions Charity Shop • Pensioners Bar • Internet Café • Papeleria Quetzal • Captains Bar • Zurich Office • BP Garage

LA CALETA Papeleria las Colonias LA HERRADURA The Hideaway Bar • Libreria Coral • La Tartana Hotel LA VINUELA Hotel Vinuela LANJARON Ambienza • Cafe Bar Health • Tourist Information • Los Llanos LAS BUGANVILLAS Victor’s • Cactus LECRIN VALLEY E.S Leman Gasolina LOJA Cafe Continental • Repsol garage LOS GALLARDOS Unicaja • Subministros Ridao • Gas station • Camping los Gallardos LOS ROMANES Camping Bar LUCENA Carrefour Pet Shop • Hotel Bronces • B.P near the fire stn. MALAGA CITY British Consulate• Dunkin Coffee (Corte Ingles)• Hotel Tribuna • Pizzeria el Laboratorio • Restaurante Vino Mio • Terra Sana & Gorki restaurants (El Muelle Uno Shopping Centre) • Calle Brusseles • Celtic Irish Bar • Café con Libro • Picasso • Robert Boyd • Hotel Don Curro • Hotel Molino Larios • Tourist Office • Hotel Vinci •Posada del Patio MALAGA AIRPORT Helle Hollis • Car Parking Malaga • Easy Park • Aena Information Desk • Monarch MANILVA Kwasi Cafe • Curtain & Bedding • English bookshop.Manilva Solicitors • Dr Santos Centro de Balud • Fathom’s Bar • Natura Garden Centre • Vets • Eden Gift Shop • Visage Hair Salon • Coast to Coast Properties. MARBELLA Cayetano/Euromarket Supermarket • La Cuisine • Casa del Te • Hotel Fuerte • Hotel Morada la Hermosa • Town House Hotel• Villa Marbella Hotel • Swans International School • Vergola • Puente Romano Hotel• Polo House • Absolute Café • Deli next Door

• Casa Mono • Casanis• Lawbird MIJAS PUEBLO Tourist Office • Town Hall • BP Garage MIJAS ROAD World of Furniture • Centro Idea Danish Centre MOJACAR Gas station • Masko • Habana Koi • Marina de la Torre Club • Costa Coches • Kasbah Romantic • Sal’s Diego Ortega • Pippas • La Collera Paco • El Olivo • Comptoir de la Crepe • Jolly Lemon • Total entertainment • Tomas • Mojacar Estates • Beachcomber • H Puntazo • Trufibar • Clinica Dental (Parque comercial) • Kimrick • Parador MOJACAR PUEBLO Centro de Arte Municipal • Thao • English Library • Bar Pavana MOLLINA Bar Margarita • And Estates • Brit Shop • Lazy Days Mobile Home Park •Saydo park MONDA Paper Shop • Petrol St. MONTEFRIO Alan Russell MONTE HALCONES One stop café (Ronda road) • Irish café MONTEJAQUE Hotel Montejaque • Las Casitas MOTRIL Aki • Café AL Campo • Tourist Office Los Moriscos Golf • Bar/ Rest Moriscos • Ideal Papeleria • Gran Elba Hotel NERJA Hotel Carabeo • English Book Shop • Supermercado Iranzo • Dancers Bar • Smiths Bookshop • Tourist Office • John the Barber • H2O Bar • Keyhomes Estates Agents • Team Estate Agents Mojito Bar NUEVA ANDALUCIA Aloha News • Garden Bar • Yanks • Wilsons • Alberts • La Sala • Mad Hatters • Terra Sana • N10 Hotel • RWK furniture OLVERA Petrol Station • Dynos • Olvera Properties • Via Verde • Rest. El Puerto ORGIVA Indoor Market • Camac • Internet Café • Alpujarra Supermercado • Baraka


PAMPANEIRA Hotel • Gasolinera PERIANA Cantueso PITRES Camping • Bar • Bar PIZARRA Kiwi • Aliprox PRIEGO DE CORDOBA Tourist office • Kiosko maribel Cepsa garage x2 PUENTE DON MANUEL Petrol Station • Moreno’s • Petts Dentist • English Shop • Arkwrights • Bar Atilla PUERTO BANUS VIPS • Gift Shop (Port) • Moneycorp • Mumtaz • Jacks • Bookworld • Iceland • Cravings • Kristina Zekely • La Sala • Starz Cafe PUERTO REY (VERA) Club Deportivo • La Esquina RINCON DE LA VICTORIA Tourist Office • Hotel Rincon Sol Anoreta Golf RIO FRIO Hotel Almazara RIOGORDO Coviran RIVIERA DEL SOL Miraflores Bowls Club • La Terraza Supermarket • La Terraza Paper Shop RONDA Molino del Puente • BP • Almocabar • Bar San Francisco • Tourist Office • Siete de Copas • Atrium • Chocolate • Casa Ortega • Osaka • TragaTapas • Hotel Maestranza • Hotel Colon Hotel Polo • Hotel Don Miguel • Locutorio • Serrania Services • Libreria Dumas • Huskies RUTE Estanco SABINILLAS English Bookshop • Eden • Hairdresser • Coast to Coast • Bar • Lidls SALINAS Casa Monolo • Meson Estacion SALOBRENA Hotel Salobrena • Correos • Tourist Office • Café Goya • 1616 Books • Abyla Papeleria • Restaurante Flores • Café Emilio SAN PEDRO Cayetano/Euromarket Supermarket • Tourist Office • Passion Café • TRE Radio Station • Staysure • Book Shop by N10 SAN ROQUE San Roque Golf Suites Reception area and golf clubhouse • Okay cafe • Supermarket SIERRA DE YEGUAS Kiosko SOTOGRANDE GUADIARO Newsagent • Corner Café • Lemon Tree Café • Estate Agent • English Butcher Shop • Sotofiesta • Terra Sana Business Centre NH Hotel • Abbeygate Insurance • Mara Rest. • Anglo Wines • Lidls • Videola • Irish Pub • Hairy Lemon •La Terrace •Cafe Ke TARIFA Tourist Office • lidl • cafe central • hurricane hotel •hotels in centre TEBA Meson de Diego TOLOX Cross Road Bar TORRE DEL MAR Papeleria el Faro • English Bookshop Pasatiempo • Expatriate Help Centre • Lukuma • Baviera Golf • Las Yucas • Cudeca TORREMOLINOS Tourist Offices x 3 • Cudeca Town Centre Baileys Pub • BP Garage (Towards Benalmadena) •others TORROX Russels English Shop • Sol y Sombra • Light of India • El Pino English Shop • Tourist Office TRIANA Bar Triana TURRE Fundraiser • Chili • Zambra • Super Turre • Casa Diego • Total entertainment • Tio Tomas UBEDA Golden Poppy English Center UGIJAR Juan’s Bar and Bookshop VEJER Bookend, Hotel Califa, Tourist Office, Castilleria VELEZ MALAGA Garden Centre La Palma • Eroski Centre • Bar Jamaica • Dunnes VERA Iceland (Suzzanne) • Galasa • Terraza Carmona VILLANUEVA DE ALGAIDAS La Bodeguita VILLANUEVA DE ROSARIO Bar • Bar • Town hall VILLANUEVA DE TAPIA La Paloma Rest. VILLANUEVA DE TRABUCO Ronnies • La Plaza • La Rubia • El Rincon de Teresa • Trabuco Books YUNQUERA Petrol St. ZAHARA DE LA SIERRA Al Lago


Top Dollar


For this month’s article Keith focuses on a topic that a lot of his clients have been asking about - quantitative easing and the effect it has on currency values

It’s not easy


HE recent history of quantitative easing comes from the aftermath of the credit crunch. Central banks around the world lowered their interest rates to historic lows to try and stimulate consumer spending and growth. They reached a point where interest rates couldn’t go any lower and they needed to find a new impetus. Quantitative easing involves printing more money in order to purchase government bonds and other assets. The idea is to add this new money into the financial system through commercial banks and other financial institutions to encourage lending and reduce the cost of borrowing. When these central banks buy up these bonds, it naturally reduces the supply, which helps to increase demand for new bonds and therefore reduce borrowing costs for business and individuals. In the long term, once the economy has recovered, the central bank will aim to sell

back the bonds they have purchased to the market. So what effect does it have on a currency’s value? The easiest way to answer this question is to understand simple supply and demand theory. As the supply of any type of goods, service or commodity goes up, the value or price will go down. This is true with currency. If you print more money, the supply increases and each pound/euro/dollar etc. becomes less valuable. Here in the eurozone, the European Central Bank (ECB) has pledged to buy unlimited amounts of bonds in their version of QE, which they have named ‘Outright Monetary Transactions’. The aim is to bring down borrowing costs for struggling eurozone countries, with ECB president Mario Draghi making it clear there will be strict conditions applied to any countries taking up this programme.

Keith is head of European Sales at HiFX. To contact HiFX and find out how the team can help you with your international transactions, visit the office in Centro Plaza, call 951 203 986 or email olivepress@hifx.co.uk.

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Marbella feels the pinch Town to miss out on state funding as Spain tightens its belt MARBELLA will not receive state funding next year for the first time in its history,

claim officials. The town hall will miss out on financial assistance due

Drivers’ fatal error THREE out of four road accidents resulting in injury or death are caused by driver error, according

Two’s company THEY are both well-established financial specialists in their own right. Now independent financial advisory firm Totus and tax specialist Hopkins Consulting have combined forces to provide a one-stop service to their clients in Spain and Gibraltar.

to a study. Figures from the survey, carried out by insurance firm Linea Directa, found that 73% of accidents are caused by drivers making a bad decision, compared to 27% in which they acted correctly. It also revealed the most common errors are due to drivers being distracted, joining roads incorrectly, turning badly, illegally overtaking and not maintaining a safe distance between the vehicle in front.

to the unprecedented austerity measures imposed by central government, claims Jose Bernal, spokesman for the Andalucia’s PSOE party. He added that Malaga province will have its funding drastically reduced by 25%, with its annual budget being cut from €375 million to €289 million in 2013. It follows the announcement of Spain’s latest budget, aimed at saving billions of euros in an effort to stave off the need for a bailout. The opposition Socialist Party slammed the measures, saying they showed the government had ‘not learned from the mistakes’ of introducing cuts to a struggling economy.

Top Dollar



the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012


T was extremely surprising when a case against an expat by a Swiss bank over an allegation of serious fraud was finally brought to trial. The case, involving a Swedish woman, stretches as far back as 1993 and is exactly the sort of example that gives the Spanish judicial system a bad reputation. In reality though, overall case lengths in Spain do not differ too much to those of the United Kingdom.

The perception that potential claimants have is that ‘it will take years’ Unfortunately, the perception that potential claimants have is that ‘it will take years’, something which often deters people from taking legitimate legal action. According to a report drawn up by the Spanish judiciary for 2011, civil cases took an average of 7.7 months to be

Notes on the spanish judiciary Despite a bad reputation, Spanish cases do not tend to differ much from those in the UK ruled on, and an additional 4.9 months on appeal cases, whereas criminal matters needed 9.3 months. In the case of more serious crimes involving a trial, an additional 12 months was the norm. In procedures for divorce by mutual consent, three months is acceptable and where you are suing a government office (administrative cases) you can expect

to reach a ruling within 15 months. Throughout Spain last year just over nine million court cases were filed, with Andalucia having the highest number, processing 230 court cases per 1,000 inhabitants in 2010. The report also highlights the sum of compensation awarded due to defective or dysfunctional dispensation

of justice (€5 million), the number of complaints filed in connection to this (16,650) and the lowering number of defendants (8%) that settled under the small claims proceedings. Finally, a note on the Spanish prison population: out of the 75,000 inmates, less than 10% are female and 35% of the total are foreigners.

Ask Ant

Q. What are the new laws relating to rentals? A. There have been many proposed modifications introduced but in sum, the new draft relates mostly to amendments to existing rules that hinder rental business growth. For example, contracts will now have a maximum mandatory extension of three years, as opposed to five. Eviction will be granted within 10 days from a claim being lodged if payment is not made, while tenants will be able to terminate the contract with a month’s notice. Landlords will be able to request termination of the contract if they need the property for their own use and property buyers will have the right to remove existing tenants if the contract is not registered with the Land Registry. The draft has been criticised for being too owner-friendly but then again, this was the whole purpose of the proposal. Q. Can I have a dog in my community of owners? A. This is a controversial matter and still today, some courts of first instance deem that a prohibition within the statutes can be upheld as being a valid agreement. Generally though, superior case law and even EU laws state that it is against constitutional rights to ban dogs altogether, and therefore courts will ultimately award the owner the right to have one. Noisy, dirty or dangerous animals can however be banned.

Road to Riches, by Richard Alexander Richard Alexander looks at the wisdom of relying on your business to provide you with a nest egg

My business is my pension!


F you are one of those people who have managed to sell your business to enable it to provide you with a pension in retirement, then well done you. But not everyone fares so well, and with many businesses ‘going south’ due to the current economic climate, it can be a worrying time. If you did see the sale of your business through to a happy conclusion however, what, I wonder, were the main factors that helped you to succeed? For some I guess that luck would have played a big part and for others it would have been down to their business acumen and knowing when the time was right to ‘cash the chips in’. It could simply have been a chance encounter or being in the right place at the right time. Of course, looking back it is all very easy to see what worked and what didn’t, as you now have the benefit of hindsight. But the difference between success and failure in business can be a very fine line indeed. The same is true when it comes to managing your nest egg. What has already happened is easy to

judge but what is going to happen next is the tricky question. Reverting to your business days, your own expertise would have played a major part in creating the value, but I am sure you also relied on professional input in areas that were not your specialty. The same is probably true today when considering your investments and perhaps your more traditional pension funds. Are you for example simply relying on luck and when do you know the time is right to cash some things in? So many people take a back seat role when it comes to looking after their finances in retirement – don’t be one of them. Things change, markets move, good ideas yesterday may not be so good today and your needs will undoubtedly change as well. I know that planning finances can be pretty boring stuff, so why not make it a bit more interesting by combining it with a visit to the Homes, Gardens and Outdoor Living Show in Estepona on November 9/10. You will find us on Stand 6 and you might just pick up a few good ideas for your home while we have a look at your finances.

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

Top Property



OM: Dear Chris, I have recently seen properties on the market in Marbella which agents claim were previously on at €3m, and are now reduced to less than €1m. This doesn’t give confidence to perspective buyers in terms of what is a good offer. Chris: Dear Som, we have been in the property market here for more than 40 years and I have never seen a property reduced by so much money. I have seen the odd one where the owner was asking a ridiculous price in 2007, and getting no views, now down by half or a little more; but reducing it by two thirds with room to negotiate? We don’t have any and we haven’t seen any. Furthermore, if you really did see this sort of claim you should look carefully at the agent who might be making it. And also, it makes no difference at all what the previous asking price was. What counts is the current asking price compared with similar properties recently sold. Som: Yes Chris that is indeed the best thing a buyer can do... but trust me, owners don’t like it. It took a lot of effort to find out the sale price of a similar property that I was recently interested in but when I made an offer based on my findings the owners flatly rejected it, adding: “We won’t sell below this price”. What planet are the sellers living on? Chris: Well, actually what they are doing is sending a clear message to you that Marbella is a quality market. And we are finding that when a property is sold in a certain urbanisation at an amazingly good price (for the buyer), it is often not replaced by a similarly low-priced property. In broad terms, this means: 1. There is not a big supply of quality properties in quality areas. 2. There is a large demand for quality properties in quality areas. You must remember

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Buyers flock to Spain Britons are increasingly indulging in ‘schadenfreude shopping’ to snap up bargain second homes

STUNNING: This Sierra Blanca villa, on for €3,975m via Panorama, sits in an unbeatable location

Marbella’s staying strong In a fascinating property debate Marbella’s most respected estate agent Christopher Clover of Panorama Properties, takes on a sceptic who believes the resort’s property sector is doomed to slump like Greece. Here is an extract of the full debate that Marbella is a ‘multisource market’, with local, regional, national and especially international buyers. Marbella is in a totally different bracket to the 900,000 or so new, unsold apartments spread out across Spain, with an average price of €100,000, and exclusively for a local market. 3. There is a difference between sellers of the more expensive properties in the more consolidated residential areas, compared with

sellers in non-consolidated is happening to Spain, albeit areas. Those who bought a year or so later. in great areas, paid more Chris: Sorry Som but you and many of them are still should not be comparing well-off, with no real finan- Marbella to Greece, but with cial need to sell. Sellers high quality, wealthy residenin the lower price ranges tial areas of other parts of are more desperate and a the world! Properties in first buyer will class, confind the solidated resibest deals dential areas in the low- I believe the market that are very er priced we l l - b o u g h t under €500,000 propertoday, will, in ties. Inwill still my opinion, deed, I and in light of go down further believe history, certhe marin the next year tainly appreciket under ate in time. As €500,000 you yourself will still noted, there go down further in the is a strong resistance to dropnext year, as you have sug- ping prices to distress levels gested, with the exception in these residential areas and of those properties in the there are very solid reasons very best residential areas, for this, simply those of supbut there is strong activity ply and demand. in this price range anyway, as sales prices often al- But you are ignoring perhaps ready anticipate a further the most important factor involved in purchasing properdiscount. ties in Marbella today: that of Som: I think anyone who the investment in one’s lifebelieves Marbella real es- style, and that of the family, in tate will increase in value is an area which enjoys a way of grossly mistaken. There is an life unique in Europe. There is excellent report published by a pent-up demand for people the Greek central bank on who have been waiting for Spanish real estate insisting prices to drop for the last four there is no chance of prices or five years, and prices are going up. Actually I would today at an incredible level of recommend looking at Greek around 12 years ago, except property prices, how they Continues overleaf have evolved in the last four to five years. The same thing

BRITONS are taking increasing advantage of a strong pound and rock-bottom property prices to buy second homes in Spain. The trend for so-called ‘schadenfreude shopping’, where buyers cash in on other’s misfortune, is being fuelled by property discounts of up to 70%. The pound is now 25% more valuable against the euro than three years ago, when exchange rates were almost on parity. This, added to the fact there are around a million unsold homes in Spain to ensure supply far outweighs demand, make it an ideal time to buy in Spain. “Spain is the main bargain area in Europe, the Costa del Sol in particular,” said Charles Weston Baker, head of Savills International. “Greece and Italy offer some good opportunities, but not nearly as many properties are available because resorts were not as overbuilt so extensively. “Spain has seen dramatic price falls, not least because banks need to shift distressed stock. “Consequently, they are offering high loan-to-value mortgages on properties that are discounted by some 70% compared to their 2008 peak.” He added: “This represents a great opportunity for buyers, who can borrow up to 90% of the purchase price and achieve very substantial returns.”

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the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012

Continued from Page 53

for the more expensive properties. The buyers who have waited for years to buy have watched time go by. They are watching their children grow up, and the opportunity to enjoy the special lifestyle that Marbella offers is quickly dissipating, and people do not get younger with the passing of years. Those buying today feel that the timing is right, that they have waited long enough, and want the very best deal they can achieve, but are less concerned if they pay 5% more or less. These buyers just want to get on with their lives and enjoy the fruits of their hardearned cash.

Properties in first class, residential areas will always appreciate in time Quite simply, the interest we have had for properties priced €500,000 and above has surged this year, despite the crisis. And where no more than 40 properties over €3m were sold between mid-2010 and mid-2011, there have been at least 80 properties in this price range sold so far this year alone!

COLONIAL STYLE: This Nueva Andalucia villa has a ‘park-like’ garden and weighs in at €1,25m Som, I believe that you could probably find what you might be looking for up towards Alicante or Valencia. There are very few bank repossessed properties in Marbella, except at the bottom of the market,

in less desirable residential areas. And no resale property (which comprises 97% of the market here) offers 100% financing, unless it is with the cheapest bank-repossessed sector.

The market must be allowed to speak for itself, and you have to be a keen observer. People analyse their risks in different manners. If it is a pure investment only that you are looking for, without personal use, for rental return and with good financing also (provided you can prove your ability to finance it without rental income, which is the only type of loan being given) you would be better off looking at property in big cities. I have studied this market for my entire life. It is true, what you say, that the mentality of sellers is often in denial of real sales value. It is a well-

known fact that sellers in Marbella are often unrealistic and overprice their properties. But we have seen asking prices drop year after year until: bingo! the asking price starts generating viewings of the property since it has become perceived by the market as ‘worthwhile seeing’. And if t h e s e viewings become m o r e frequent they create a market where owners will eventually receive offers that they can freely take, negotiate or wait for a better one. More and more sellers are becoming aware that their properties are not really

worth what they thought they were, and, consequently, doing what is necessary to adjust their prices to encourage viewings. But I’ll make this clear: no seller achieves a sale today unless he is open to negotiate. We are receiving perhaps 10 to 15 price reductions from sellers every single week. Asking prices have become much more realistic. Sellers are not so much in denial as in the past, and those still in denial will come around in time if they want to sell. There are certainly plenty of ‘deals’ out there and the only problem is that there are scores of people, including many local residents looking for them. So what is it about Marbella that keeps demand high while the rest of Spain suffers? It is the quality of the environment, the excellent facilities and of course the 12 month season that Marbella and only Marbella affords. Thankfully there is a very active market in Marbella today, quite unlike the period between 2008 and 2010. Yes, negotiation is more difficult than before. But fortunately this is one of my agency’s strengths. It is the aggressive seller who is winning and achieving his objectives mostly with the help of a good agency. But aggressive does not mean accepting an offer of half of what may be an already severely reduced asking price!

The full debate is available at http://www.panorama. es/blog/1122-insightsmarbella-real-estate-market-august-2012.html


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Pets &Vets

Sponsored by www.theolivepress.es

the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012

Cuddle day!

Take the opportunity to really spoil your pet this week DON’T forget to celebrate International Animal Day this week on October 4. Here are a few ideas to give your pet an extra special day. • Pamper your dog with a bath or a grooming or even a spa bath, buy a new toy or bone, get his nails trimmed or best of all, let him sleep on your bed • Give your cat an extra cuddle, a sponge bath or some nice treats or a new toy, then stay at home and watch a movie together! • Clean the rabbit/guinea

• • •

pig/hamster cage, etc, then give your pet a bath and buy him a fruit stick, or best an even bigger cage Spend more time than you usually can with your horse or donkey and give them an extra apple or carrot Clean your bird’s cage and get a new interesting toy or treat Clean your fish tank, add a new plant or change the colour of the gravel Give your tortoise a longer bath, oil its shield, find that specific weed he likes and feed him some peas Finally, how about doing something for all those animals who haven’t got a loving owner?

Oh and by the way, you will get a 10% discount at the Pointer Clinic for all of Thursday.


Fighting the fat cats By Trudi Atkinson

PODGY cats may be cuddly, but being overweight can be a real health risk, so it is important not to allow our feline friends to pile on the pounds. Make sure you measure out your cat’s daily food allowance. It is very easy to just tip more food into your cat’s dish whenever it is empty and not know how much you are actually giving him. You can still include treats as part of their diet, but perhaps break the treats into smaller pieces. Your cat will still enjoy them just as much. Think about where you feed your cat. Cats naturally eat little and often, so a bowlful of dried food should last hours. Finally, if your cats feel in competition for food they may eat the whole lot at once and then soon be hungry again. Therefore it can be better for your pets to be fed away from each other. And remember, cats may also feel that their food might be ‘stolen’ if they are fed near windows (through which other cats can be spotted) or cat flaps or doorways (through which other cats may suddenly appear).

Help for Huey, Duey and Luey THESE three playful fellows are in desperate need of a loving home. The 12-week-old brothers Huey, Duey and Luey have had a hard start in life and were found starving on an urbanisation in Duquesa. Now the president of the urbanisation has ordered a cull if they cannot find a home. “They are going to be rounded up and killed if nothing is done,” says expat resident Laura Inglis. “I would love to adopt them myself but I already have six of my own and I have no space.” The trio are litter trained and affectionate, she adds. “They have so much love to give and just want someone to love them back.” Contact Laura Inglis on 695 503 781 or laurai.2008@hotmail.co.uk

Landing on their feet By David ‘the Dogman’

SO can cats really always land on their feet? Well, it is true they do have a ‘righting reflex’ that operates when they fall. First, the brain commands the head and neck muscles to put the head ‘square’ with the ground. Then the rest of the body aligns itself with the head and, hey presto, the cat ends up in a perfect position for a soft landing. One might assume that the greater the height of the fall, the worse the injuries. This is, however, only true up to a level of seven storeys; after that the fracture rate actually decreases. This is because after dropping for a distance of five storeys, the cat reaches maximum speed, the so-called terminal velocity of a falling body. At this point, the speed is constant and thus the inner ear is no longer aware and stimulated by acceleration. So the cat relaxes and spreads its legs out just as a freefall parachutist does when he is stabilising his descent. On landing, relaxed bodies are much less likely to fracture, which is also true of infants, and adults who are drunk.

Who’s the real boss? By Celia Haddon

VERY few people realise their cat is training them. Yet if you dutifully buy the kind of cat food your cat prefers, probably the more expensive kind, it has trained you do this. When you think of it, this is pretty amazing as the cat cannot accompany you to the supermarket to choose which food to buy.

So it has to train you at a distance from the point of purchase, which means training you at home. Most cats do this by rewarding you if you get the right food. They will purr loudly and eat with evident enjoyment. And, because you love your cat, this makes you feel good too. If you don’t buy the right food, they show their displeasure by perhaps approaching the food, taking a nibble, and then looking up at you as if to say: “How could you?” Then they stalk off. They also sometimes eat a bit and then start clawing around the bowl. It looks to us as if they are burying the food, just as they bury the solids in their litter tray. They are probably instinctively hiding their food, just as leopards hide half eaten carcases, so that they can eat them later. But the message we receive is: “This is ****. And it works. We buy the more expensive food.

C E ..................... ...................... n Buen




the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012


Can’t blame him for trying

AN illegal immigrant has been arrested after trying to enter Spain disguised as a car seat. The 20-year-old man, from Guinea, was hidden inside the frame of a Renault 7’s passenger seat with another man sitting on top of him.


The audacious act, described by police as ‘unique and innovative’, was discovered at the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla. The man has now been expelled from Melilla, while two Moroccan men accused of helping him, aged 21 and 23, will appear before court accused of people smuggling.

Holiday hire hell

Car hire company accused of ambushing customers with hidden costs

HOLIDAYMAKERS claim they are being held to ransom by a car hire firm forcing them to pay hidden fees. Goldcar, based at major Spanish airports including Malaga, is accused of refus-

ing to hand over the keys for online bookings until a mandatory €100 insurance payment is made, claims a report in the Daily Mail. Online customers are offered a pay-on-pick-up deal

Seat belt campaign to keep kids safe PARENTS on the school run are being urged to ensure their children wear seat belts as part of a new road safety campaign. The initiative - launched by the DGT traffic authority - is being carried out following the return to school of eight million pupils. Half of children under 12 who died in road accidents in July and August were not wearing seat belts, compared to a quarter of adult fatalities, according to official DGT figures. A DGT spokesman added that passengers are five times more likely to die in a road accident if they are not wearing a seat belt.

where the car is hired for a set price including VAT, unlimited mileage, collision damage, waiver insurance without excess, passenger insurance and theft cover. While this sounds comprehensive, customers claim they are being stung by the €100 fee on top of the price they signed up for when they go to pick up their car. Those who refuse to pay it are having up to €1,200 frozen on their credit card to cover possible damage, despite many of them having additional insurance policies to cover such incidents. A Goldcar spokesman said: “Goldcar takes these claims very seriously and we are continuously looking for ways to improve the information provided to the customer.”



58 the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012 58

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In the swing of it





Champagne flows as European team stage incredible fightback to retain the Ryder Cup

Miracle in Medinah

Gibraltar Golf comes to Sotogrande PUTTERS on the Costa del Sol enjoyed the fourth annual Morrison’s Charity Golf Day at La Canada Golf Club in Sotogrande. The event, sponsored by Jon Morgan-Kent from Techtrolec, raised €15,000 for Save the Children, with the money used to set up a United Nations programme in Gibraltar.


VICTORY: European golfers celebrate with Champagne THE European team are celebrating their Ryder Cup victory this week after staging one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history. The team, captained by Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal, defeated the United States by 14.5 - 13.5 points on the final day at Medinah County Club, Chicago after a 10 - 4 deficit was overturned. One American journalist was left with egg on his face after writing off the European challenge by declaring the contest ‘over’ after just two days. The Europeans’ final day didn’t get off to the best of starts when world number one Rory McIlroy got his start time wrong and nearly

missed the teeing off. Olazabal’s team quickly evened out their overnight deficit though, winning their first singles games to draw level, before securing a further two points from Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia to win the competition outright and retain the prestigious trophy. The late Seve Ballesteros would have loved the scene as captain Jose Maria Olazabal and his team celebrated on the 18th green to chants of ‘Ole! Ole! Ole!’ Ozlazabal’s close friend and ‘Spanish Armada’ partner was never far from the Europeans’ minds throughout the contest. Fellow Spaniard, Sergio Garcia, who claimed the

crucial win over Jim Furyk said: “I have no doubt in my mind that he (Seve) was with me today all day, because there’s no chance I would have won my match if he wasn’t there.” Englishman Ian Poulter lived up to his word when he announced on the eve of the final day that: “It’s going to be bloody hard tomorrow, but we’ve got to take it to them.” Poulter proved to be Europe’s star at Medinah and although he has never won a major, his Ryder Cup record now reads an impressive ‘won 12, lost three’.


“You know what, these might be my majors,” Poulter said. “If they are, that’s fine. If this is it, I’m a happy man. I’ve got more pride and passion to give in the Ryder Cup than I feel to win a major. I want to win one, don’t get me wrong, I’d like to win them all. I’ve been close and who knows, this might be the little changing factor to get me over that line, but if I don’t win another tournament, today will go down as the highlight of my golfing career.” “Poulter was awesome,” said McIlroy. “When he gets that look in his eye he can do anything.” Prime Minister David Cameron was quick to jump on the bandwagon, releasing a statement saying: “This remarkable comeback is yet another 2012 sporting success for us all to celebrate.”

Families And Schools Together (F.A.S.T) aims to ‘provide ideal learning opportunities for the family as a whole and to ensure their children get the best possible start in life’. The competition also gave away a new Mercedes A Class car, kindly provided by Gedime Motors Gibraltar.

the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012



the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012


Weather I wobblers T

HEY tell us Spain has no seasons, and that Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without festive snow, and chestnuts roasting on the fire! Obviously, those twerps have never experienced an Andalucian thunderstorm. Seasons??? We have seasons all right. Where else in Europe could it be 36C one day and flash-flooding the next? We’ve literally gone from raging forest fires to torrents of wild waters – all in the space FINES: Recent blaze on Costa del Sol of 48 hours. Strangely, these torrential showers coincid‘glory-holes’ and ‘dark rooms’. Wow, whated with my first attempts at yoga. I genuinely ever happened to cottaging and handjobs in hope the two weren’t interlinked. saunas? These days, the LBGT ‘experience’ Knowing my luck, my wonky backbend was has clearly moved on – and now involves probably mistaken for some kind of tribal mythical trips to kinky ‘Narnias’ (albeit rain dance. Narnias where The Lion, the Witch and the Anyway, true to form, after enjoying the Wardrobe have been replaced by The Bear, longest heat wave in living memory, the the Bitch and the Ball-grope.) heavens duly opened the minAnyway, after a fortnight of ute my sun-starved friends drunken debauchery, my touched down on Spanish soil. amigos have just returned to My pals were Yep, to their dismay the CosBlighty. Don’t get me wrong tas were cold, and their Pri– it’s been brilliant hosting stunned to see mark pumps and straw hats these 24-hour party people, dressed-to-the- but juggling pub crawls and suddenly seemed as pointless as speed limits on Spanish school-teaching has teeth locals and full-time motorways. aged me 10 years. Still, at least the bars were Land Cruisers Naturally, this lack of sleep buzzing! has led to more faux pas in The problem for Brits is that the classroom. The other day, we’ve heard so many degradI told Year 9 that I’d been ing jokes about Spanish waiters and cripup half the night thinking about them and pling eurozones that it’s become a self-fuldownloading videos from the internet. Of filling prophecy. course, these videos were educational – For instance, my pals were stunned to see documentaries about anti-capitalism – and dressed-to-the-teeth locals, swarming resthe ‘thinking’ revolved around Belen’s distaurants, and luxurious land-cruisers paradappointing B- in the latest mock exam. ing down smooth, well-lit highways. But, like everything else these days, an in“How do they afford it, nobody’s got any nocent remark was met with suspicion and I cash here?” Says who? The News at Ten, was made to feel like Jeremy Forrest at a St hellbent on pacifying British taxpayers – by Trinians slumber party. Until the next time, exaggerating Portuguese poverty and sugadios amigos! gesting that ‘starving’ Spaniards have resorted to cannibalism? Anyway, we don’t need wads in our wallets. The rich rub shoulders with the poor here, and you can still pick up 12 bottles of Amstel, a decent bottle of Rose, and 20 Marlboro Lights all for under a tenner. The same purchases in Britain would require taking out a small bank loan. Seriously, the way my Brit pals raced around Carrefour’s booze aisles, you’d swear they were contestants on Supermarket Sweep! To one of my pal’s delights, even the gay scene is booming. Just check out the listings in those free, English language directories. I’m no Friend of Dorothy and couldn’t tell a Lipstick Lesbian from a Paddy’s Day leprechaun. In fact, you could say my ‘gaydar’ is about as active as Lardy…..oops, I meant Lady GaGa’s thyroid gland. Did you see the latest pictures in the Daily Mail? Holy smokes!!! Poker face? More like porker face! Anyway, under one gay club listing came the promise of ‘bears’, ‘labyrinths’, ‘slings’, BIG EFFORT: Locals begin clear-up

Follow me on Twitter @Mad_Dog_Column

READ that the Pope would like us all to speak Latin and that the Vatican is funding an academy to promote that objective. The president of the Pontifical Council for Culture was quoted as saying that the ‘aim will be to promote the use and knowledge of the Latin language in both ecclesiastical and civil contexts …’. It is easy to understand why His Holiness might want his ecclesiastical constituents to speak his preferred tongue – it’s like calling the bingo numbers in Latin so that Protestants can’t win.

There is little incentive to take this backward step unless you’re a classics scholar But when it comes to the civil context, the fact is that Latin was long ago superseded by dialects that, more and more, developed in the technical world. Times have moved on since Cicero and enough Latin words have already percolated into other languages so there is little incentive to take this backward step unless one is actually a classics scholar. This entire scheme strikes me as yet one more example of the Pope attempting to impose Catholic Church ideals on the world at large. We already have the bogus Vatican State interfering in UN issues by opposing the use of contraception in the battles against AIDS and over-population. Maybe the Pope feels that


Sub specie bonum

DIVIDING OPINION: Pope Benedict XVI if he can talk to us in his favoured language it will be easier to explain why his

church continues to protect paedophile priests. But, then again, maybe not.

Too much education


ACK in 2000 Tony Blair established a new type of school and they were called Academies. Funded by central government and not beholden to the whims or caprice of local authorities these were the educational establishments of the future, well at least of tomorrow. These new academies were required to meet and teach the national curriculum but His Blairship also decreed that they should be the way forward in educating the masses who would otherwise end up forming an orderly line in the dole queue. Commercial entities were encouraged to invest in these new faculties. In some respects Blair’s aspirations were noble. However, little more than a decade later and typical of the socialist agenda, it appears that many of those who were hired, at considerable expense, to preach the new educational gospel stood on feet of clay. Had there been but one negative example even this might have passed unnoticed but damaging allegations of leadership failures in educational academies are becoming legion. The most recent transgression by an academy head teacher alleges financial mismanagement on a grand scale.

This, to provide a small element of perspective, relates to a head teacher who was made CBE for services to education and who is, or was, earning in excess of €120,000 per annum. [For non-Latin speakers, per annum means every year.] Unfortunately, there is now a substantial raft of cases where superheads have been accused of nepotism, misuse of credit cards, fraud, manipulation of bonus payments, abuse of position and other financial irregularities. One can only hope that, with such accomplished miscreants heading up major educational offices, the scholars will graduate with qualifications and experience fit for modern commerce. They should be educationally equipped to defraud many of the worlds’ major financial organisations and established economic systems. It is all very well squandering half a million here or there in what is nothing more than a plumped up technical college, but one could really make a mark by embezzling £50 billion from a major bank or the European Union. The academies are providing the role models so why should we expect their graduates to do otherwise?

Disgruntled of Andalucia (formerly of Royal Tunbridge Wells)


A taste of Spain FOODIES looking to get a taste of the best Spanish dishes can indulge in a dedicated week-long food festival in London. The showcase of Spanish cuisine, featuring London’s top Balearic restaurants, aims to raise awareness of Spanish produce, particularly in the Mallorca region.


Products on offer at the markets include small family estate wines, artisan olive oil, preserves, specialist seasonings and almond based cupboard ingredients. October 22 - 28, Maltby Street Food Market, visit www.catalancooking.co.uk for details.

61 FOOD & DRINK the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012 61 with DINING SECRETS of ANDALUCIA.com

Not so ‘awful’ EXCLUSIVE by Gemma Wilson A SCATHING review of a Marbella restaurant has been removed by TripAdvisor, over claims that it was posted by a rival. The posting, labelled ‘Awful!!!!’, has been deleted from a stream of mostly good reviews of Nueva Andalucia restaurant La Fishita (pictured right). In the rare move from Tripadvisor - which has come under a lot of criticism in Andalucia since the Olive Press ran an in-depth study last month – the post was deemed as ‘violating’ its policy. Restaurateur Tony Lee was pleased with the result hav-

Restaurateur gets bitter review – apparently written by a rival removed from Tripadvisor

ing made an angry appeal to the company last month. He insisted the review was out of context and could

Winemaker gets the sinking feeling! A TRAILBLAZING wine maker is undertaking a crackpot plan to mature his wine underwater. Ronda vineyard owner Federico Schatz has placed a series of cases of his awardwinning wine under the sea, near Marbella, to see how it evolves. The German winemaker, who first plant-

ed his vineyard in 1982, was inspired by wines discovered on shipwrecks from the Roman era that were still drinkable. The wines have been placed in a cage and submerged at a depth of 20 metres. He wants to discover if there is any difference in taste between wine matured on land or under water.

only have been written by a rival with good knowledge of the restaurant. “Alarm bells rang as it was obvious the review was written in a way that suggested inside knowledge of running restaurants,” explained the Londoner. “People have disappointing experiences for a number of reasons,” he explained. “But when a first time customer is critical of every single aspect of running a restaurant it is very suspicious.”

NEW ‘BEST BEFORE’ EXPIRY dates on food could be extended to avoid cashstrapped families throwing it away too early. Nine million tonnes of food is thrown away in Spain each year – 42% of it by households – despite 300,000 families living with hungry children. Spanish Agriculture Minister Miguel Arias Canete said packaging and expiry dates will be reviewed in order to address the ‘social and economic’ impact of throwing away food. Last year European member states were urged to prepare a plan of action to reduce wastage in an attempt to half it by 2025.


the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012


FOOD & DRINK www.theolivepress.es with DINING SECRETS of ANDALUCIA.com

Wild mushroom season begins


HILE autumn in Spain brings cooler temperatures it also brings with it the wild mushroom picking season. get to learn about the countryside as Popular with both locals and tourists, well, a great opportunity for both mushmushroom picking is a favourite pasroom and nature lovers. time all over Spain with about 2,000 difWith the recent rain the temperature is ferent species to be found. now perfect for wild mushrooms to grow Edible funghi can be found on restauand flourish. rant menus, in bars and cooking in “You need to have rain and then sun homes, the natural delicacy a gift for after because it’s the the palate. humidity that is ideal for With an abundance of the mushrooms to grow,” enthusiasts, mushroom Rain followed David said. hunting tours are a populocals forage for the lar way for mushroom lovby sun creates Many mushrooms selling them ers to hunt and gather the an optimal to local restaurants. prized possession. had a man from EsDavid Nuyen, co-owner of environment for “We tepona who spent some Hotel Bandolero in Ronda, offers his guests the mushroom growth time here last year and sold us the mushrooms chance to forage in the he found which we includwoods with a local guide ed on our menu, incorpofrom nearby Juzcar. rating them into dishes,” said David. “The tour usually goes for about an hour Depending on the type of mushroom, but if the group wants to go for longer popular ways to serve these delicacies than it can go longer,” David said. range from lightly sauteing them with “The last group we had were a group of garlic and parsley, cooking them in people from Gibraltar that were up for soups and eating them raw, thinly sliced the weekend,” he said, adding that you

Gemma Wilson discovers Spain’s rich variety of mushrooms and how to make the most of them

and served sprinkled over a risotto. Wild mushroom lovers need to be aware though that some varieties can be high-

FOOD & DRINK www.theolivepress.es



Wild mushroom risotto Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil 1 medium onion, finely chopped 150g/5½oz wild mushrooms, roughly chopped – Boletus, niscalos and amanita caesarea (commonly referred to as ‘la yema’) are some local wild mushroom varieties that could be used. 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 glass white wine (about 125ml/4fl oz) 200g/7oz risotto rice per person 1 litre/1¾ pints vegetable stock knob of butter 50g/2oz grated parmesan, plus extra shavings to serve

Preparation method

Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan and saute the onion and mushrooms until golden. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the white wine and rice and stir well. Add the stock, ladle by ladle, waiting for each addition to be absorbed by the rice before adding any more. Stir constantly.

ly dangerous if indigested, making it vital that you only eat mushrooms declared as edible by an expert. One dangerous species is the false moral or brain mushroom, whose name comes from its striking resemblance to a brain. It is highly toxic and can be dead-

As the rice cooks the risotto will start to thicken. After about 20-30 minutes the rice should no longer be crunchy and the risotto will be creamy. Continue adding more stock in this way until you are happy with the consistency (you may not need all the stock). Add the butter and parmesan and serve in bowls with extra shavings of parmesan.

ly if eaten raw although many Spaniards will still eat it cooked. It is recommended that you should always take a wild mushroom species book out hunting with you so you can identify what mushrooms you find and it’s best to wear gloves, placing the picked mushrooms in a basket.

Some pharmacists will also identify your finds but taking an expert out with you when you hunt is a good idea for amateurs. With the season underway and the palates of enthusiasts watering, now is the best time to go out and gather these delicious delicacies.

What your egg says about you YOUR sex drive, personality type and job can all be deciphered from the way you eat your eggs. Using a process known as data mining, researchers determined that a poached egg eater is likely to be female, have two children and a happy and outgoing personality. She also enjoys listening to upbeat music. Scrambled egg enthusiasts and guarded but more likely to hold senior level jobs as well as owning their own home, while omelette lovers are likely to have a tidy home and a self-disciplined attitude.

Boiled egg lovers meanwhile have a tendency to be careless, disorganised and impulsive, while fried egg eaters are typically younger and male with a high sex drive. They are generally in the skilled working class, discovered the researchers working for the British Egg Industry Council.

the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012



the FREE

the olive press - October 04 - 17, 2012

Onwards and upwards in 2012 with 186,000 papers www.theolivepress.es (120,000 digital) and around 150,000 visits to the website each month… The Olive Press just keeps growing!

olive press

Telephone: 951 16 60 60

October 04 - 27, 2012

We did it for Seve!

New planes


Chest not


Tolox mayor Juan Vera has been sentenced to a year in prison and an eight-year ban from office for issuing a licence for 17 twostorey homes on nonurbanisable land.

Jerez on

ECSTATIC Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal dedicated his team’s incredible Ryder Cup victory to his late friend Seve Ballesteros, before describing the week as ‘the best of my life’. His team, who won 14.5 points to 13.5 in a nail-biting finale, wore a silhouette of Ballesteros on their kit in memory of the Ryder Cup legend who died last year. “It’s the first time Seve’s not been here with us at the Ryder Cup,” said the emotional Spaniard. “I do have wonderful memories from my matches with him, he was a very special man and he’s very close to my heart. “I think the guys won it for him as much as for me.” See golf on page 59 for full report.

A NEW Granada airline, Hispania Airways, will soon link the city with Madrid, Barcelona, London, Paris and Rome.

Around 1,500 families are likely to be affected by a 70% drop in the Genal Valley’s chestnut harvest this year.


Water torture Spain’s synchronised swimmers slam coach for labelling them ‘fatties’ and mistreating them for years

ABUSE: Spanish swimmers in action

HOOKING A BIG CHEQUE FISHING fans have a great opportunity to claim €15,500 in prize money at an international competition on the Costa del Sol. Anglers from around the world will descend on Marbella for the 5th Fishing World Cup,

to be held on October 26. “It is a good opportunity to exchange fishing cultures, methods and skills, and build friendships and international connections in sport fishing,” organiser Miguel Angel Lopez told the Olive Press.

The Rock joins UEFA

GIBRALTAR Football Association (GFA) has been granted provisional membership of European football’s governing body, UEFA. The Spanish foreign affairs minister meanwhile has said Spain will do everything it can to stop Gibraltar becoming a full UEFA member in May 2013. GFA was admitted to UEFA provisionally in 2006 but denied full access the following year.


The opening ceremony will be held at Palacio de Congresos de Marbella at 6.30pm on October 26. To register for the competition or for more information call 639 517 527.

The reluctant Spanish lama

OLYMPIC synchronised swimmers were labelled ‘fatties’ by their trainer and told to swallow sick, according to a damning letter signed by 15 athletes. The document, presented to the Spanish Swimming Federation, claims coach Anna Tarres is a bully who subjected her charges – often teenage girls – to horrendous verbal abuse. Tarres, who led the team since 1997 and helped Spain earn four medals in the Olympics and 25 in the European championships, is alleged to have told a bulimic team member to ‘go and see a psychologist’. She also accused a 14-yearold of ‘f**king anything that moves’. “Today we have decided to unite to tell our story to bring to light all the things that until now have re-

By Eloise Horsfield mained hidden behind the medals,” said a spokesman for the group. According to Paola Tirados, 32, as she collected her medal on the podium at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Tarres told her: “You don’t deserve this. You’ve done nothing to earn it.” Another team member, Ana Violan said that on one occasion she asked Tarres if she could leave the water to vomit after five hours in the pool, and was told: “No, swallow it. You still have an hour and a half left.” Tarres meanwhile denies the allegations. “I never mistreated my girls,” she insisted, although admitted her training style had ‘an energy and impetus that is perhaps above the average’.

RACE: Jerez GP SPAIN will again host four rounds of the Moto GP next year despite the deepening economic crisis. The sport’s governing body, the International Motorcycling Federation, announced today it will host races on the Jerez de la Frontera, Motorland Aragon, Barcelona and Valencia circuits. The Department of Tourism and Commerce and Dorna Sports, the Spanish company which hold the commercial rights to MotoGP, have reached an agreement that guarantees a race will take place in 2013 at the Jerez circuit. The news comes after several major sporting events have been cancelled as part of central government cuts this year. The Andalucia Masters, the Madrid Open, the Castellon Masters and the Iberdrola Open were all dropped for financial reasons. Last year the MotoGP in Jerez generated €43.5 million, with over 184,160 people attending the three-day event.


AS a two year old, Granada born Osel Hita Torres was identified as a reincarnated Tibetan Buddhist lama. Torres, now 27, grew up away from his family in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Southern India. Torres visited his mother in Ibiza at 18 years old, and decided to stay on the beach rather than return to a life of responsibility in India. Other monks believed Torres to be the reincarnated Lama Thubten Yeshe because they noticed a ‘self-containment’ as a child that reminded them of Yeshe. Now living in Ibiza, Torres does not regret his decision but said he still feels the presence of the reincarnated Yeshe in his life, though he is not sure it comes from within him. 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