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the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012 CAMPAIGNING FOR A BETTER, FAIRER ANDALUCIA


The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucía

olive press


How the Spanish sun and a few tots of brandy helped Harry reach a century See full story on page 5

Vol. 6 Issue 149


Don’t let the Don’t thein bankslet cash banks cash in see page 13 seepage page13 11 see

November 29 - December 12, 2012

HELP US REBUILD OUR LIVES New campaign aims to raise awareness of loophole which is stopping fire victims in Mijas from rebuilding their homes

Children as young as six join Fascist rally in Madrid to mark Franco’s death, as independence hopes suffer huge blow in Cataluna Full story on page 7

DISTRAUGHT: Sue Doran and Pat Laing (left) have been practically homeless since the fire EXPAT homeowners who lost everything in devastating fires that ripped through the Costa Del Sol could be forced to wait years to rebuild their lives. Three months on from Malaga’s worst ever fire which damaged hundreds of homes and thousands of acres of land - many victims are still homeless and struggling to get the green light to start building work. Because of a new law, introduced last year to regulate properties which had been built on land not originally designated for construction, homeowners must seek a special building permit from the town hall. In turn, the town council then needs to seek approval from the Junta. Pat Laing, originally from Manchester, whose home in Mijas was damaged in the fire, is helping to launch a campaign to put pressure on the Mijas Town Hall and the government. She said: “At first it was hoped that people could start rebuilding their homes immediately and do the

EXCLUSIVE by Frances Leate legalisation process later, but the Junta has said that despite the tragic circumstances no exceptions will be made. “Now it could take years and many of us are quite simply in limbo, renting apartments or staying with friends.


“It really is a desperate situation. We are not the only ones with irregular homes. There are thousands of homes in Mijas alone that were built without going through an official legal process. “Yet we are being punished the most for it.” She added: “Some people have lost everything in this fire, all their belongings and their homes and now they are facing a battle just to rebuild their lives.” One of the worst affected is Sue Holloway, 59, originally from Staffordshire, who Turn to Page 4



2 the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012

Saved by a hook A BRITISH man who allegedly threw a prostitute from his second floor window in Barcelona has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Incredibly, the 27-year old sex-worker was saved from the 10-metre fall as her clothes snagged onto a metal bar below. Her alleged attacker, who has been named only as Joseph Stephen H, 41, was detained on the balcony of the building as firefighters rescued the dangling woman.

Algerian serial offender booted back to... UK AN Algerian ‘career criminal’ who has been arrested in Spain 92 times has been deported to the UK. Lazhari Zemouche has been sent to the UK after apparently undertaking a ‘marriage of convenience’ to acquire a UK passport. It comes after the 45-yearold ‘career criminal’ apparently married a British woman. Spanish police admit he is now free to roam the streets in Britain unless he becomes a ‘wanted man’. Records show Zemouche has been arrested throughout Spain since 1987 for crimes including theft and robbery. He has served several jail terms.

By Mason Jones ONE of the Costa del Sol’s best known journalists is to appear in court this week charged with a string of sex offences against young boys. Sur in English travel editor Mike Souter will face 18 separate charges at Norwich Magistrates Court this Friday. Souter denies the offences that allegedly took place between 1979 and 1999 when he worked for the BBC in Norwich. The long-time member of the Costa Press Club is accused of 10 indecent assaults on a boy under 16 and six sex offences with a boy under 16. Other charges include two counts of gross indecency with a boy under the age of 14 and further offences relating to six children aged between 11 and 15. He is also accused of an offence against a man and one against a woman. The 59-year-old, who spends half the year in La Cala de Mijas, also has homes in nearby El Faro, and in Loddon in Norfolk.


Peoplesmuggling crackdown UK Border Agency and Guardia Civil arrest 19 as part of operation MARLO A MAJOR investigation to crack down on gangs smuggling into the UK via Spain has resulted in the arrests of 19 people. The UK Border Agency and the Guardia Civil made the

arrests as part of Operation MARLO following raids on addresses in Alicante, Madrid, London and Hull. Those arrested were suspected of assisting Iranian migrants to reach the UK

from mainland Europe. The gang is said to have been contacted by up to 100 potential customers per month and was charging clients up to €18,000 each. Simon Cooper, from the UK Border Agency covering Spain, said: “Spain is becoming a hard place for organised immigration crime to operate and criminals now know that they will be disrupted and brought to justice.”

Mentally ill Briton faces prison A BRITISH holidaymaker ‘with a mental age of seven’ faces nine years in prison for starting a Benidorm hotel fire. Andrew Dmytruk, 51, from Nottingham, was on holiday with his mother when the blaze that left 13 guests in hospital took place. Prosecutors claim Dmytruk, who has been on remand without trial since 2010, set fire to tables and chairs at the Ambassador hotel. Campaign group Fair Trials international says the accused ‘has been heavily dependent

on his 77-year old mother throughout his adult life’. “Owing to complications from meningitis that he suffered as a baby, Andrew has the mental age of a young child.” added a spokesman from the group.

Anyone with information about immigration crime can pass it on via Crimestoppers at http://www. crimestoppers-uk. org/

Costa hack in BBC sex-abuse scandal

TRAVEL EDITOR: Mike Souter (right) with Hollywood star Val Kilmer Souter completely denies the charges. “This is the third time that Norfolk Police have investigated these alleged offences, which I strenuously deny and will vigorously defend,” he said. “I would just ask that nobody jumps to any conclusions

and I look forward to being able to prove my innocence and get on with my life.” Souter worked for BBC Radio Norfolk from when it was launched in 1980, presenting a number of shows before working as a freelance broadcaster.

He also worked as a media consultant to Norwich City Football Club from 1989 to 1998. He later took up travel writing and hosted a mid-day radio show on the now defunct radio station REM FM, under Maurice Boland.


the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012


FRESH-FACED: One Direction

AN expat masseuse has turned down the opportunity to do what teenage girls throughout Britain and America would probably be willing to kill for. For when British-Irish pop sensation One Direction visited the Pangea nightclub in Puerto Banus, Michelle Honeker refused to massage them because they ‘looked too young’. “No way was I going to put my hands on their wee bodies, it would just be weird!” said the 27-year-old Scot, who works as a beautician at the club. “Someone pointed out Zayn Malik and

I was like, ‘What? He looks about 14!’” Despite being offered €100 to rub down the teenage pin-ups – whose ages actually range from 18-20 – Honeker refused to budge. “I don’t know if the boys were upset at the knock-back, but to be honest it doesn’t matter. “Celebrities don’t impress me, they are the same as everyone else. If I don’t want to touch someone then I shouldn’t have to,” she said.

Reluctant superstar SPANISH Bond star Javier Bardem (below) has snubbed a move to America, saying it is ‘unpleasant’ to be a celebrity in the US. The Oscar-winning actor, who starred in Skyfall and No Country for Old Men, said: “I don’t want that kind of stardom where you have the pressure of being a star 24 hours a day. “Being a celebrity in America is unpleasant. It is too high a price to pay

for doing a job. In Europe we have well-known actors, but it’s nothing compared to the American ‘star’ thing, which is absolutely crazy.” Bardem, who is married to Spain’s most famous actress Penelope Cruz, even finds stardom irritating in his native country, adding: “When fame invaded my life in Spain I couldn’t walk around without some guy telling me stupid things. So I try to avoid the celebrity trap. “My job is public. I don’t want to be a superstar.”

BRITISH beauty Kate Moss has embraced the bullfighting tradition for the December issue of Spanish Vogue. The supermodel not only graces the cover, but also poses nude inside with famous matador Jose Mari Manzanares. With only the bullfighter’s red cape to protect her modesty, the catwalk star reclines on a chaise longue with her breasts on display. Moss, 38, also gazes at the camera wearing a black hairnet - a Spanish tradition following a bereavement - for another shot. The pictures were taken by famous photographer Mario Testino, who has done shoots with everyone from Princess Diana to Lady Gaga.

Moss gets the horn The famous fashionista goes Spanish for latest racy shoot

Mango goes Aussie WHILE Kate Moss lounges under a bullfighter’s gaze, an Australian brunette has been busy taking over her role as the face of Spanish clothes giant Mango. Miranda Kerr, 29, who previously modelled for Victoria’s Secret will front the store’s campaign throughout Spain and across the world. Kerr, who is married to actor Orlando Bloom, has been snapped in teaser shots for the 2013 Spring/Summer collection. Meanwhile Kylie Minogue’s boyfriend Andres Velencoso has been announced as the new face of Mango’s men’s range, replacing FC Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique.



the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012



HORROR BLAZE: August fire and (inset) Sue and Andrew Barrie From Page 1

built her Mijas home with partner, Andrew Barrie, 12 years ago. She said: “At first we were staying at a friend’s house from where we can see our burnt out house from his terrace. It was very upsetting. “Now we are renting an apartment in Mijas but don’t feel at all settled.” In particular, she feels very

Campaign for fire victims hard done by with the new ruling. She said: “We built our home from a farm building and when the new law was introduced we paid €1,000 to get things legalised, but

All we saved was our passports Sue Doran, 51, from Torquay, built her dream home with builder husband, Pete, 55, nine years ago but was forced to watch in horror as the threebedroom property was destroyed in the blaze. Escaping with just their passports, they are currently renting an apartment and despite applying for permission to rebuild their homes three months ago they still have not got authorisation. She said: “We have heard of situations where families have started building work and the police have turned up and stopped everything. “The land has been cordoned off and that was that so we can’t risk starting anything without permission.” “I understand how things work within government and in a way I know there is very little we can actually do to get things moving faster but we just want our homes back.”

in the end nothing got done. “We just hope more people that have been affected will come forward and help us to do something about it. “There is strength in numbers and we have to keep fighting our cause.” A spokesman from the Mijas foreigners’ department said it had drafted a motion to the Junta asking it to grant permission. “We are really desperate to see this resolved as quickly as possible but it is the Junta that has to catalogue the disaster, give the go-ahead for compensation and grant the permit. “As a town council also severely affected by the fires, our hands are tied and we don’t know how long the process will take.” Anyone affected can join the Facebook group, Victimas del Inciendo

An estimated 50,000 houses are outside the regulation process in Malaga province and 300,000 in Andalucia.

Boland under fire over charity award CRITICS have slammed a decision to give a Red Cross award to DJ Maurice Boland following his Fire Aid concert. The controversial boss of iTalk FM organised the event, which raised €18,000 for the charity, to help victims of the recent Malaga fires. But victims of the blaze claim they were ‘duped’ into believing they would receive help which has never arrsince the concert. “I feel those who bought tickets have been duped into believing that we would be helped but we haven’t been,” said Sue Doran, who lost her Atalaya home in the blaze. “The whole situation has left a sour taste in the mouth.” Doran’s neighbour Susan Holloway, who

also lost her home in the same area, added: “We feel that when we were at our lowest ebb, we were given false hope, deceived and abandoned.” Other critics were angry that the radio station was slow to put up a Red Cross report on where the money was going to go. There is no suggestion that Boland (pictured at the bash) benefitted financially in any way from the concert and he denies any wrongdoing. “We changed all publicity for the concert to make it clear that all money raised would be going into the areas affected by the fires rather than directly to the victims,” he said.




GUTTED: Teresa faces eviction from Lampard (right) with Elen in happier days

By Frances Leate SOCCER star Frank Lampard, has been branded ‘unscrupulous’ and ‘meanspirited´ after booting out his children’s 100-yearold grandmother from her Spanish home. Centenarian, Teresa Canete, has been given until November 30 to leave her €358,000 Barcelona house, which is owned by the Chelsea midfielder. Lampard is insisting his former mother-in-laws va-


the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012

It’s all down to the sunshine and local brandy, as expat reaches 100 and receives his telegram from the Queen A BRITISH expat has put his centurylong life down to the Spanish sunshine and a few tots of brandy per day. Harry Allen, who reached 100 this week, was delighted to receive a card from Buckingham Palace wishing him a happy birthday. “He was absolutely thrilled to bits,” said son-in-law Rodney Harnett who looks after Harry with his wife Gloria, Harry’s daughter, at their home in Riviera del Sol, Mijas. Harry was born on November 18, 1912 and was one of seven brothers born in St Austell, in Cornwall. “He is marvellous. He does the crossword every day and is a keen follower of football,” said Rodney, pictured with Harry and Gloria. “He enjoys his Spanish brandy and


EXCLUSIVE by Eloise Horsfield drinks a few tots a day, and has benefitted from the lovely weather here. “He is well known in the locality and much loved.”


Buckingham Palace had managed to get the card to Harry’s Spanish address by contacting his daughter-in-law in the UK, and the card arrived promptly two days before the big day. “They’re very efficient,” said Rodney. Statistics show that only 0.7% of those born in 1912 will live to 100, compared to 30% of those born this year.

OVERJOYED: Harry at 100


cates the property, which he bought for her during his stormy relationship with Spanish lingerie model, Elen Rivas. Rivas - the mother of his two children - claims the eviction may kill her elderly mum, who suffers from a string of health complaints, including a heart condition. She said: “I find it degrading and consider Frank to be act-


Chelsea star evicts 100-year- old mother-in-law from her Spanish home ing totally unscrupulously.” It has been rumoured that Lampard - who is engaged to British TV presenter Christine Bleakley - has found a buyer for the home and is keen to sell. The Spanish mum of two has

claimed any money earned from the sale, would be ‘small change’ for her millionaire ex. Lampard, who owns a string of properties totalling €28m, offered the property to Miss Rivas for a discount price, but

she declined. A spokesman for the star said: “Frank offered the flat to Elen at a price below market value and also offered to stand as her guarantor if she needed a mortgage.” They added: “Frank and Elen have been apart for over four years now. It is time Elen took responsibility for her own family.”


the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012


We wanna be like you-oo-oo! THEY say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and so here at the Olive Press we would like to thank the EuroWeeklyNews (EWN) for the compliment. For over the last fortnight, at least ten news stories – almost identical to ours – have appeared on the EWN’s website within 36 hours of us posting them on ours. In fact, we are being followed so closely, the EWN are often even choosing the same photos to illustrate the pieces – and sometimes even making the same mistakes as us! Of course, as many of you will know, news cannot be copyrighted and once a piece of news is ‘out there’, anyone is free to publish it…or at least, a version of it. Actual wording, on the other hand, is protected by copyright – which is why we were surprised to see several pieces appearing on the EWN’s site with almost exactly the same wording as ours. On November 15, for example, we wrote and published the article ‘Hundreds collect free food in Sabinillas’ after one of our sales team went past the hand-outs on her way to the office and took a photo. Lo and behold, on November 16, a story entitled ‘Free food parcels handed out in Sabinillas’ appeared on the EWN website. So similar in fact was it, that the last par read exactly the same as ours and included our DELIBERATE typo in the last paragraph. ‘There are currently more than 1.7 million families in Spain without not one member working, according to figures from the National Statistic Institute,’ both articles read. It wouldn’t be so bad, except that the Olive Press pays its fullyqualified and trained journalists to find original and interesting content. At the Olive Press we go out of our way to find original stories and avoid using regurgitated ones that have appeared in our two main rivals, Sur in English and EWN. This because we pride ourselves on providing you with fresh, original content that you will enjoy, and benefit from reading. We would sincerely like to thank the EWN for reinforcing the message that the Olive Press is the ‘best newspaper in Southern Spain’.... not our words, but those of the UK’s Rough Guide group. For all the best stories first-hand, see


The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucía

olive press


Tel: 951166060 (admin) or 952895230 (editorial) 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 News editor: James Bryce Reporters: Eloise Horsfield Mason Jones

Distribution: 951 166 060 Design and page layout: Jackie McAngus Admin/advertising sales: Pauline Olivera SALES TEAM: West Costa del Sol Jane Jewson 673 958 858 Axarquia Charlie Bamber 661 452 180 Cadiz Elizabeth Gould 620 532 672 Ronda/San Pedro/Marbella Jon Clarke 691 831 399


NLESS you have been living on Planet Fluffy for the past seven years, or are a newly arrived Russian Trillionaire, you might have noticed that we are in the middle of something of an economic crisis at the moment. Not just a tighten-our-beltsa-little-type crisis, but a fullblown ‘Sweet Jesus and all the little angels! If I have to tighten this any further my Calvins will ride up and I’ll be doing a passable impersonation of Jimmy Sommerville’ style of recession! Those with long memories may remember the financial crisis of 1991, or even 1973 (although as Spain was under the thumb of a Fascist Dictatorship at the time any criticism of Franco’s financial policy was likely to bring a knock on the door in the middle of the night). With the light at the end of the tunnel now clearly an oncoming express train, how are we on the Costa del Sol to make the best of the worst of times? How are we going to cut back and make some savings? Let’s face a couple of basic facts first. In Marbella, where I live, cash is king. You can pretend that it’s a historic ‘city of tourism’, or that there is a burgeoning cultural scene, but at the end of the day if you want to be popular in this town, just rock up with a huge pile of cash, wave it around and see how many new friends you soon have. And you’re also likely to find yourself with a sultry new eastern European girlfriend as well. This brings us to my next, admittedly bitter and twisted, point about the recession. If you are one of those deeply spiritual individuals that posts life-affirming stuff on Facebook – you know the sort of thing ‘What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger’ (although stroke victims may beg to differ), along with a photo of a dramatic landscape, you will also know the old adage: ‘If you love someone set them free. If they don’t come back then they were never yours’. With the recession hitting hard it may be a time to re-

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The recession session

In a humerous look at the current crisis, no one can accuse Giles Brown of living on Planet Fluffy with his practical tongue-in-cheek ways to save money evaluate your relaclamber out of. tionships with the “If you love someone, cancel their Then there is the blinged-out Bimbo from Belarus with Gold Card and delete their dealer’s problem of visibility. Marbella Town the following, equally Hall, for example, number from their mobile. life-affirming slogan, has been unable especially valid for If they don’t come back to pay the electric Marbella: ‘If you love bill, which means someone cancel their they were never yours…” that, without ‘cats Gold Card and delete eyes’ on the road their dealer’s number or street lighting, from their mobile. If they don’t come back then from-the-ground, racing-spec you’ll need a rack of lights dream machine is about as in on your roof to avoid the potthey were never yours’… So now that you’ve got rid of demand as a surprise bungee holes at night. the high-spending girlfriend, cord tied to Felix Baumgart- And the third and final reason you might take a look at the ner. Once again there are sev- that you might need a basic motor. And with due defer- eral reasons for this. Firstly 4x4 with a rack of lights on ence to the supercar deal- the roads along the Costa del the roof and plenty of ground erships up and down the Sol have some of the biggest clearance is the general Golden Mile, once you get off potholes in Spain, some of standard of driving here. The the main drag, you are likely them requiring climbing gear heady combination of lost to find that your two-inches- and a team of sherpas to tourists in rent-a-cars, drunk golfers in buggies, Moroccan vans thundering towards Algeciras, their drivers not having slept for 36 hours, and the dreaded yellow Seat Leon drivers – all badly drawn tattoos and darkened windows - means that you are facing plenty of dents and depreciation. So downsize to a 4x4 but DON’T buy a Range Rover Sport with darkened windows to potter around Nueva Andalucía, as you will get pulled over every time you go out by the local cops. The recession doesn’t have to put a dampener on your social life, however. Just repeat the mantra ‘Staying in is the new going out’. If you want to recreate the fun of going out and hitting the clubs in Banus, merely tune into a dance channel and jump around your living room in the dark. You can replicate the thrill

HERBS: Marbella’s exotic variety, while (top) a glass of ‘vino collapso’

of buying a dodgy gram by placing crushed up slimming tables in wraps around the house. Let’s face it, that’s probably what you were buying in the first place. If you want to simulate the busy opening of a new restaurant, merely invite your neighbours round and then all squeeze into the pool pump room while holding a plastic glass of ‘vino collapso’ and a greasy bit of jamon. And finally you should consider alternative ways of raising cash. Half of Marbella seems to be baking cakes at the moment, while growing your own fruit and veg is also an excellent way for saving cash. And if you dabble in the more exotic variety of herbs you might even make a couple of bucks. But the most important relationship during this time of crisis is with your bank so that it will support you through the peaks and troughs of the current financial crisis. And if your current bank doesn’t support you, change bank or, in true ‘Marbs’ style...rob it!


the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012

The great Spanish divide Spanish government the only real winner in Catalan elections while Fascism rears its ugly head in Madrid THE deep divide between Madrid and Barcelona remains as strong as ever following a significant weekend for Spain’s future. While Catalan voters took to the polls to show their support for secession, Fascists marked the 37th anniversary of Franco’s death with Nazi salutes at rallies in Madrid. During Franco’s dictatorship, even showing support for Catalan nationalism, such as speaking the language, was made illegal. In Cataluna, separatists won the regional elections this weekend, but no party earned the overall majority needed to push for a referendum on independence. Collectively, four different separatist parties have earned a majority in the Catalan parliament, but ideological differences make an alliance highly unlikely. The ruling CiU party, headed by Catalan President Artur Mas, held on to power despite suffering big loses due to unpopular austerity measures. Mas’s party lost 12 seats, dropping from 62 to 50, while rival party Catalan Republican Left (ERC) became Cataluna’s second party after enjoying big gains. “They agree on the issue of the right to decide the future of the Catalan people, but on economic issues

they have opposite positions,” said Carlos Berrera, a communications professor at the University of Navarra. The result means the only real winner is the Spanish government, which is strongly against the idea of holding an independence referendum. “It is a good result for Cataluna, Spain and Europe,” said Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo.



the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012


More jobless

SPAIN’S unemployment rate, currently around 25%, is likely to hit 26.9% next year according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Surgery death The family of a Marbella man who died after gastric band surgery has called for the police to investigate the private hospital.

Pay wall

The Daily Telegraph has launched a metered pay wall for web readers outside the UK, who now have to pay £1.99 per month to view anything over 20 articles.

Fly ban

A 62-year-old British grandmother has been banned from flying with easyJet after a flight attendant claimed she ‘assaulted’ her while boarding a flight in Murcia.


Ronda may have to return €14 million to developers over controversial Los Merinos scheme

Judge nails golf project IT has been described as another nail in the coffin for one of Andalucia’s most controversial developments. And in the words of Ronda’s own mayor Mari Paz Fernandez, it could also be ‘the ruin’ of her town. But the days are certainly numbered for the illegal Los Merinos macro-project that would have seen nearly 800 houses, three luxury hotels and a double golf course scheme built inside a UNESCO-protected zone near the town. It comes after Andalucia’s TSJA High Court ruled that the passing of the development was illegal and cancelled its licence. In the landmark ruling, the judge said the project had failed to get permission for

water and could harm the supply to nearby towns, including Arriate and Cuevas del Becerro. The licence was originally granted by Ronda Town Hall in February 2006, despite the Andalucian water board refusing to allow developers to use local acquifers.

By James Bryce Now the town hall may be forced to return a total of €14.2 million that the developers, Catalan firm Copisa, has so far paid in license fees. Meanwhile, a gagging order has been lifted on 1,075

DEAD: Hundreds of oak trees were killed to make space for the development files used as evidence in a Malaga University’s crimicorruption case against for- nology department folmer Ronda mayor Antonio lowed the money trail that Marin Lara. began way back in 1995 A number relate to the Los when plans for the developMerinos development. ment were first published. Lara, who is still awaiting It described the situation as trial, is said to have taken a classic case of developers backhanders and destroyed and politicians working in a number of documents re- collusion. lating to the case.

Six years under the microscope The Olive Press has reported on the development since our first issue in 2006, pointing out its illegality. As well as highlighting the corruption, we investigated how developers had illegally transplanted hundreds of ancient oak trees and installed infrastructure in an area of protected virgin woodland. Our famous photo of the dead oak trees (above) was used on posters and T-shirts.

We joined both Greenpeace and Ecologistas en Accion to campaign against the development and saw our stories followed up both in the UK press and in Spain. The project’s developers were accused of using Mafia-style tactics to harass opponents of the scheme by launching costly legal proceedings against many, including a group of expats.

Illegal Juan Terroba, spokesman for Ecologistas en Accion told the Olive Press: “It confirms what we have been saying all along, that developments like Los Merinos were illegal. “We have been fighting for years and no one was listening and now finally we are seeing justice. It is better late than never.”

the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012



the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012



Fish hook nearly killed my JJ EXCLUSIVE by Eloise Horsfield

Pet owner outraged after her dog swallows fishing tackle near beach

A WOMAN whose dog nearly died after swallowing a fish hook is demanding a comprehensive beach clean-up programme. Miranda Leslau, 42, was forced to pay €950 for an endoscopy after six-year-old JJ ingested the hook while walking near Cabopino beach. The expat, from Mijas, wants to warn other dog owners after her vet said the accident is becoming increasingly common. “At first I saw him running up and down and thought he had a jellyfish in his mouth,” said Leslau, originally from London, who

Swans success SWANS school in Marbella has been recognised as one of the best on the Costa del Sol. The international school has been given an award by the Puerto Banus Business Association. A spokesman from the association said: “It is vitally important that international schools continue to provide well educated, bi-lingual young professionals for the area, especially in the current economic climate.”

TRAUMA: JJ and owner Miranda owns a PR company. “Then I saw the fish wire in his mouth, which had been cast aside by one of the many fishermen who do the same thing up and down the coast. “He had gone for it because there was still a prawn attached to it.” Leslau rushed JJ, a rescued Labradorspaniel mix, to Urvet’s emergency vet surgery in Fuengirola where she was told the hook had entered his stomach. “I was told if I had waited any longer the hook would have burst his gut and killed him,” she added. She continued: “The Spanish need to create dog-friendly beaches, or the least they could do is clean them up.” A spokesman for Urvet told the Olive Press it was ‘very common’ for dogs to swallow fish hooks. “We had had the same thing happen just days before JJ and sometimes we have two like this in one day,” said vet Antonio Gruszczynski.

Giant pandas came from Spain... So that’s why they’re so laid back AN incredible discovery suggests that China’s giant pandas may have first heralded from Spain. Scientists have made the claim after two panda fossils dating back 11.6 million years were discovered in the

north-east of Spain. The remains that include two sets of jaws and several teeth, are thought to be the oldest of the species on record. Juan Abella, head of the study by the National Mu-

seum of Natural Sciences, said: “The new genus is believed to be the first in the giant panda’s lineage.” The new discovery has been named a Kretzoiarctos, in honour of Miklos Kretzoi, who found them.

the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012



the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012

Not exactly snapping up a bargain A CAMERA that snapped Picasso has sold for €1.7 million. The most expensive camera in the world belonged to influential photojournalist, David Douglas Duncan. The 96-year-old was a close friend of the Spanish artist and published hundreds of exclusive photos of him. The Leica M3D (below), which attracted an opening bid of €150,000, was manufactured in 1955 and sold to a private buyer in Vienna. The camera is one of only four ever made.


the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012


Chef regains Michelin star for his Malaga restaurant

Jose gets star back

A MALAGA chef has rejoined Spain’s culinary elite after regaining the prestigious Michelin star he lost a few years ago. Jose Carlos Garcia, who has established a new base in the city’s port, regains the honour having previously earned the accolade for his Cafe de Paris restaurant, in 2002. The 38-year-old, who trained under renowned chefs Joan Roca and Martin Berasategui, is one of 17 new SOME of Spain’s most sought-after wines are to be recipients auctioned as part of Bonhams annual Christmas sale. of a MiThe valuable vintages, from various years between chelin star 1925 and 1982, will go under the hammer in London around on December 6. Spain. Included in the sale are wines from the bodegas Almost all Marques de Riscal, Vina Tondonia and Vega Sicilia, of the new with a case of Castillo Ygay Reserva Especial from starred 1925 expected to sell for around €4,000. restauRichard Harvey, international director of Bonhams rants are wine department said: “It is always a pleasure to offer in the such an exciting and varied selection of fine wines.” north of

Vintage vino goes under hammer

By James Bryce the country, while Spain has managed to acquire two new three-star restaurants. Bringing the top accolade to seven around the country, Quique Dacosta in Alicante and Azurmendi in Vizcaya have joined the likes of Akelare and Arzak in San Sebastian.


Meanwhile, Barcelona-based restaurants Enoteca and Moments were added to the list of restaurants with two Michelin stars, bringing the total to 19 across Spain and Portugal. “The Iberian peninsula continues to distinguish itself by the quality and diversity of its culinary offering,” explained a spokesman for Michelin. “Moreover, in Spain, some young chefs continue to surprise with the quality of their creative cuisine.” See Restaurant Road feature on page 43

Singing for her supper FLAMENCO star Estrella Morente is the face behind a campaign which hopes to collect 150 tons of food in Malaga alone this weekend. The singer will be joining thousands of volunteers coordinating food donations for the needy. Morente will personally attend the collections in El Corte Ingles and Coviran stores in Granada, her home town, to show her support for the campaign. “For me it is a dream to be part of something as important as helping others,” she said. “We are living through humbling times, where people need to stick together, because unity is strength.” The Malaga and Granada handouts are part of the Gran Recogida, a nationwide campaign to collect food on Friday (November 30) and Saturday (December 1).


the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012



First festive dump arrives IT is sometimes said that if you want to stop fearing someone then imagine them on the toilet. Traditional Christmas decorations in Cataluna go one step further and use tiny figurines to depict the rich and famous going about their, ahem, business. The crude Christmas caganers even feature in nativities alongside more typical festive figures like Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus. The tradition, which dates back hundreds of years, is stronger than ever and this year the ‘must-have’ figure is Barcelona player, Tito Vilanova. Other people to undergo the toilet treatment include singer Shakira, tennis player Rafael CRUDE: Footballer Gerard Pique Nadal and even The Queen. with Shakira

Tenants from hell

Expat warns landlords to be wary of a British couple who left her €10,000 out of pocket AN expat has called in police after a British couple left her home ‘unlettable and unsellable’. Jean Leftwick, 68, claims her former tenants from Oxford trashed her home and even broke in to steal items after being evicted. The grandmother, from Essex, claims the couple - an English man and his girlfriend of Indian descent – failed to pay rent and damaged the home in Alhaurin de la Torre. “They also broke doors, tried to rig up the electric-

EXCLUSIVE by Mason Jones ity meter and refused to clean the property,” she explained. In total, she believes she is €10,000 out of pocket, including the added loss of an irrigation pump, a €900 legal bill and some wiring from the jacuzzi. “They also left an enormous amount of rubbish,” added Leftwick, who cannot name the couple for legal reasons.

A right rocking good cause VETERAN rocker Mel Williams and family have raised €1300 for the Alora day centre for mentally and physically challenged people. It came thanks to a popular rock concert held in the town, attended by the mayor and other local dignitories. Mel took centre stage to treat the audience to two hours of nonstop versions of classic hits from the 50’s and 60’s, including a lively medley of Bill Haley hits. Mel, a performer since the 1950s, has taken his music all over the

By Robin Savory world for six decades, sharing the bill with many internationally famous artists. He and his wife Sally have lived in Andalucia since the 1970s. Anyone else wishing to make a late donation for the centre can do this at Unicaja Bank in Alora.

HAPPY TO GET RID: Leftwick “I just want to warn people to be on the look-out for this couple who are really bad news,” she said, adding that the man ran a computer recycling business. “I would also stress that estate agencies need to get references from other landlords before holding their hands out for commission.” The couple, in their 20s, had moved into her property in March on the premise that they would eventually buy the property. By April however, the couple had already damaged the house so significantly that Leftwick tried to evict them. But because she did not issue an official eviction notice early enough, the couple were only kicked out of the property last week. “They refused to ever clean the house and had two huge dogs that would put people off if we had someone viewing the property to buy it. “Now our house is unlettable and unsellable,” she added. Guardia Civil are now investigating claims that the tenants also broke into the property after being evicted, stealing gas canisters and a satellite dish.

the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012



the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012

Green news IN BRIEF

Car hire tax

A NEW green tax based on vehicle emissions has been introduced to the car hire industry in Mallorca.

Tide turn

The Guadiana river in Las Tablas de Daimiel national park, in Castilla-La Mancha, is finally flowing for the first time in 25 years after heavy rainfall.

In the red

Spain’s government has announced a string of new measures designed to control the number of endangered redfin tuna caught by fishermen.

Mayors and Greenpeace unite to fight drilling By Frances Leate A GROUP of mayors have joined forces with environmentalists in a bid to halt plans to prospect for gas off the Costa del Sol. The PSOE mayors have joined Greenpeace to publicise the risks of allowing oil giant Repsol to drill some nine kilometres offshore from Mijas in February.




Tackling emissions compliance THE Spanish government has given the green light to 26 international projects aimed at helping the country comply with the Kyoto protocol. It is predicted the schemes will allow Spain to reduce its CO2 emissions by 3.8 million tons each year. Among the initiatives being funded are wind farms in developing countries including India, Mexico and Tunisia.


They fear a major environmental disaster similar to that of the Prestige oil tanker spill in 2002. The town leaders fear the exploration could have a detrimental effect on the tourism industry, the main source of employment in recession-struck Andalucia. While the government is allowing exploration to begin, in an apparent contradiction, industry minister Jose Manuel Soria last week stated he will not allow exploitation of the gas, even if the tests prove positive.

Programme launched to catch ‘smelly and aggressive’ mammals after unwanted pets are released into the wild A RACCOON-CATCHING programme has been launched in Donana National Park after escaped pets threatened

to wreak havoc on its ecosystem. Brought into Spain from north America as pets, raccoons are notorious for

Cruel ‘finning’ over

escaping and are even sometimes released by owners who decide they have had enough of them. “When raccoons reach adulthood at the age of one, they become aggressive and start to smell bad,” explained Madrid biologist Jose Garcia. Raccoons, who have no natural predators in Spain, reproduce quickly – with just two females and one male thought to be the origin of a 400-strong population in Madrid.


BARBARIC: Cutting off fins THE EU has finally put a proper end to slicing off sharks’ fins and discarding their bodies live – despite opposition from Spain. While the practice was banned in 2003, many fishermen were legally allowed to continue doing it by applying for ‘special fishing permits’. MEPs have now voted overwhelmingly 566-7 in favour of closing the loophole, much to the relief of animal rights’ campaigners. Until now Spain has been one of Europe’s biggest exporters of shark fins, with most going to Hong Kong and China to make gourmet soup.

At Donana, not only could their presence be damaging to bird and amphibian populations – they can also carry parasites and infectious diseases such as rabies. While previous evidence has only shown single sightings in Donana, Andalucia’s most important protected space, photos obtained recently of entire raccoon colonies rang alarm bells within the Junta. A pilot project to trap the raccoons humanely has now been carried out in Donana, with 11 individuals caught within a month.

Spain has used emissions-trading projects to reduce CO2 emissions by 299 million tons since committing to the Kyoto protocol – a UN-backed international agreement aimed at combating climate change – in 1997. The country has been under pressure to reduce emissions since the government announced in February Spain would need to buy at least €355 million of credits to comply. Last month, an EU report said Spain faced a ‘considerable challenge’ to meet its obligations. Spain has spent more than €750 million over the past five years on emission permits and offsets in an effort to meet its target.

Sand garden sadness

DUNE gardens that have been part of Andalucia’s heritage since the 16th century will disappear completely within two years if more is not done to preserve them, an academic has warned. The navazos in Sanlucar, in Cadiz, are coastal allotments where crops are grown in the sand. Back in 1888, they covered 1,000 hectares and provided food for 3,000 families. But agro-ecologist Ruben Sanchez has warned that urban sprawl and lack of protection will soon mean they are lost forever – as well as lack of interest from the relevant authorities. “By the time they realise the navazos are part of our unique cultural heritage, it might well be too late,” said Sanchez, who has spent the last 15 years studying them.

the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012




18 the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012

Axq IN BRIEF New store TWENTY jobs have been created by the new Mercadona store in Algarrobo, which has brought the total in the Axarquia to ten and the total in Malaga to 87.

Transparency Town hall workers’ salaries in Frigiliana are to be published on the official website, in response to attempts by the socialist opposition leader to ‘discredit’ the administration.

PASSIONATE WOMEN AN art exhibition celebrating the female spirit is to take place on the Costa Tropical. Mujeres Encendidas (Passionate Women) will feature paintings by Annabel Keatley and sculpture by Emma Plumkett, both British, as well as oil paintings by Irish artist Lesley O’Brien. Salobrena library, December 3-8, 2012

Christmas lighting in Velez to be toned down, while Malaga’s budget dubbed a ‘barbarity’ VELEZ Malaga is slashing its Christmas lighting budget to save much-needed cash this winter. The Christmas lights in Velez Malaga and Torre del Mar will only be switched on for three hours a day between December 5 and January 5 with the exception of Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and January 5 when they will remain on until the early hours.

Lighting overhaul The town hall has also vowed to save €74,000 per year by not lighting up the

Tops on in Velez! SUN worshippers who take off their tops in Velez Malaga could soon be slapped with a €100 fine or face community service. Town hall bosses have approved draft legislation that will make it an offence to be seen without a t-shirt or blouse. While it will still be authorised to go shirtless on the beach and the seafront promenade, anywhere else in the town it will be banned. The town hall hopes to impose a series of new laws in an attempt to stop ‘uncivil’ behaviour in the holiday hotspot.

town’s main monuments and green areas overnight during the rest of the year. At the Maria Zambrano park, lights will be turned off at 11pm instead of 1am and further checks will be brought in to ensure town hall buildings and schools are not wasting electricity with Christmas lights. Meanwhile PSOE have slammed Malaga’s PPrun City Hall for spending €534,000 on Christmas lights each year, compared to €50,000 and €70,000 spent by Zaragoza and Valencia respectively. The socialists also argued that the shops benefitting from the lights should bear some of the costs.


Sally Harrison takes a look at what is on offer in Torre del Mar


HISTORY: Machinery from Torre’s sugar cane past

ORRE del Mar, very much part of the Axarquia’s sun and avocado route, has an interesting industrial history thanks to the sugar cane. The Muslims introduced sugar cane to the area back in the 10th century, building the first factory on the site of an old mill. The factory (Ingenio Azucarero) is still standing today and can be seen in the middle of the town. There are a few sugar cane fields leading down from the coast road to the sea shore, although most of today’s

farmers find mangoes and avocadoes are much more economically friendly. One of the few remaining Osborne Bulls looms over the town from above the naturist beach at Almayate, where the river divides the two towns and spews water onto the beach after heavy rainfall. If you love peace and quiet, the two days of the year to avoid visiting this bustling town are its main festivals. On July 15, the eve of the feast of the Virgin del Carmen is when everyone camps out on the beaches, lighting bonfires and jumping over them three times to cleanse and purify their souls before dipping into the sea at midnight. This is said to bring good luck for the coming year and wash away any lurking evil spirits. On July 26 the feast day of the town’s patron saints, Santiago and Santa Ana, takes place. Interestingly, Torre del Mar dates back to the Carthaginians, Phoenician, and Roman times and was used as a main port in the 10th century. In the 15th century there was a castle that defended attacks from pirates and foreigners. It takes its name, ‘Tower of the Sea’, from the many watchtowers that stood guard all along its coastline during Roman and Moorish times.


Modern art BUDDING digital artists will get the chance to win some great prizes at this year’s Newton Creative Awards. The annual event brings together artists, film-makers and musicians who use computers as their main tool, with three age categories for each media form.

Vouchers and cash prizes will be given to the techsavvy artists, along with a 27-inch iMac (above) for the overall winner. Held at the Newton Store in Irish Town, Mayor Tony Lima will present prizes to the winners of each age group. The award ceremony kicks off with music entries at 6pm on November 29. Go to votemusic12 to vote for your favourite piece



MAKING GREEN PLANS GIBRALTAR is one of 21 European locations taking part in an innovative climate change project. The scheme, funded by the EU, aims to provide development and building assistance in an attempt to find solutions to global warming. A training programme is to be organised by DG Clima Action, and a conference will be held in 2013 to give each city the opportunity to present their progress. Other destinations taking part include Dublin, Barcelona, Rotterdam and Birmingham.

the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012

FIERCE: Barbary macaque attacked grandmother on Main St

A GRANDMOTHER has been attacked by a Barbary macaque while walking down Main Street. Rose Vinales was with her one-year-old grandson when she saw a group of the wild primates near John Mackintosh Hall. “I always thought as long as you left them alone and didn’t provoke them, they wouldn’t do anything to you,” said Vinales. But she was wrong. Soon one of the apes had climbed onto the grandmother’s back, sinking its teeth into her arm before running away. “There were many people around, but nobody did anything” said Vinales. “I mean, it’s Main Street,” she added. “What if it had attacked my grandson?

Sex offender clamp down

A register is to be introduced as part of a raft of laws to bring Gibraltar’s crime-fighters up to speed A RADICAL change in Gibraltar’s criminal legislation has come into place which will modernise laws and tackle anti-social behaviour. The new legislation, which will give more power to the Royal Gibraltar Police and other law enforcement agencies, is said to be bringing in ‘the most important reforms in the area of criminal law for decades’. The Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act 2011 allows officers to search a person or vehicle before making an arrest, as well as imposing obligations on the police for the way official records and interview tapes are kept. A second reform, the Crimes Act 2011, moder-

nises the Rock’s criminal laws by introducing AntiSocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) and Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (CRASBOs). The Act will also create a sex offenders’ register and give greater sentencing power to the Magistrates Court.


In addition, it covers crimes relating to illegal drugs and offensive weapons, restricting the sale of knives only to people over 18. “The two acts bring about a major change in the criminal justice legislation. “New procedures and rights for suspects are introduced

as well as new criminal offences. “The acts strengthen the ability of our law enforcement agencies to combat crime,” said Justice Minister Gilbert Licudi.

Government stops monkeying around

THE government has announced a campaign to improve the habitat of Gibraltar’s famous apes. The Upper Rock Management Team intend to open up dense scrub land, allowing the Barbary macaques to naturally forage rather than scavenge in more built-up areas. The Department of the Environment will also work with school children to raise awareness of how not to interact with the creatures. The scheme hopes to provide tourists and residents with a better understanding of monkeys, while improving their habitat. Environment Minister Dr John Cortes, who has written books about Barbary macaques, said of the campaign: “This government is applying real science to planning a strategy to better manage our monkeys. “It will take time for them to ‘unlearn’ the behaviour that years of mismanagement has taught them. “They have lost their fear of humans and regard them as a source of rich food, like chocolates and biscuits. “It won’t be easy, but if the whole community joins in and supports the campaign, we can succeed.” The government is also looking to relocate up to 120 monkeys to north Africa.


the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012


BBC stars have been in Gibraltar to film episodes of police drama New Tricks. Actors Dennis Waterman, Alun Armstrong and Denis Lawson were shooting on Main Street - one of several locations being used - as residents and tourists looked on. The cast and crew are also expected to film scenes at the marina, at the top of the Rock and at the new airport. New Tricks, which received 8.3 million viewers in its last series, has also recruited another big name to its roster in the form of Nicholas Lyndhurst. The Only Fools And Horses star has joined the team of eccentric ex-cops for series 10. Although Lyndhurst has not yet arrived, it is thought he may make an appearance on the Rock later this week.

UEFA has decided Gibraltar cannot be drawn in the same group as Spain for the Rock’s first official international matches.

Lunch break

Good sports

Gibraltar and La Linea are developing a scheme to encourage cross-border sporting events under the name ‘sport without frontiers’

Smoked out

The government is clamping down on the overselling of tobacco, marking the areas of Laguna and Glacis as ‘special zones’ under the Tobacco Act.


Kept apart

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has hosted business dinners in Casablanca and Marrakesh to attract potential Moroccan investors.


ROCK STARS: Nicholas Lyndhurst (far left) and fellow cast members are filming in Gib

EU attempts to calm border row

THE European Commission (EC) has offered to act as a mediator in the row over delays at the border between Gibraltar and Spain. Officials in Brussels have been forced to step in after expressing ‘concern’ over

Officials express concern over ‘clear inconvenience’ caused by delays

the delays and acknowledging the ‘clear inconvenience’ they are causing. It comes after Gibraltar’s

Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia presented a dossier of information proving the delays were

caused by Spanish customs officials. The evidence included statistical data showing

Enemy at the gates

average queuing times and maximum queuing times over the last year, as well as photographs and maps of the area. “The Government is ready to produce further evidence by placing the queue online on a dedicated website,” said Garcia. “This will happen shortly, and the website address will be publicised as soon as it is ready to go live.


A SECURITY guard at an exclusive urbanisation has been arrested in connection with the theft of €1,500 of jewellery. Police detained the suspect after it was discovered the alarm system at the Sotogrande property had been switched off at the time of the burglary, without the owners’ knowledge. It emerged the alarm codes were held in a safe in the gatehouse, while the guard was found to be friends with a worker in a La Linea gold shop which bought the jewellery.

“The Commission has recognised the reality that a problem exists at an EU border. “This affects the right of EU nationals to freedom of movement.” However, according to Europa Press, a Commission source claimed the EC had no proof that the Spanish government is being excessive in the application of its customs controls.

the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012


The ‘I know I should eat more of this stuff’ range. £1

Ends Sunday 2nd December



Minimum 5 pack

£1 each

Ends Sunday 2nd December


£1 500g

£1 1.5kg


3 pack

Ends Sunday 2nd December

Ends Sunday 2nd December


You’ll find your Morrisons at: Westside Road, Europort, Gibraltar or visit





Our café is now smoke-free Available in most stores. Subject to availability. While stocks last. *One free kids meal with any hot adult meal from 4pm Monday-Friday. See Tea Time menu in store for details. Child must be under 16 years of age and present at the time of purchase. Further terms & conditions apply. Braeburn Apples 20p each • Courgettes 33.4p each • Plum Punnet £2/kg • Carrots & Brown Onions 66.7p/kg.

w/c 26/11/12


the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012

POTTED POINTERS ANDALUCIA RESERVOIR LEVELS This week: 67.26% full Same week last year: 76.45% Same week in 2002: 49.04% 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 1.2966 American Dollars 0.8097 British Pounds 1.2889 Canadian Dollars 7.4576 Danish Kroner 10.049 H Kong Dollars 7.3377 Norwegian Kroner 1.5851 Singapore Dollars


Air con deception Dear Olive Press

I AM currently sitting in the airport lounge reading your e-paper via the app. It is very hot, the receptionist at the desk is sweating and so are we! We are frequent travellers so know this is NOT usually the case!It is to do with cost reductions, plain and simple, and for the airport to claim nothing has changed to the AC is rubbish. That little knob has been turned 4 digits to the right! Have to go to our gate now so hopefully we will cool off there? Steve Kingswell, Duquesa Further to your article about Malaga airport switching off the air conditioning (‘Hot topic’, issue 148), my

Just enjoy

Another letter this week comparing and complaining about prices in Spain (‘Simple economics, issue 148). What price can anyone place on the climate, culture, the people, the new places, new language and new life? It is best not to compare, just to enjoy. Keep up the good work, Olive Press! Douglas MacDonald, Nerja

wife and I flew with Ryanair on Saturday 6 October to Prestwick. We were kept waiting at the gate for 10 minutes with no cooling, and then stood in the tunnel at the aircraft door for 15 minutes waiting for the air crew to turn up, and no air con switched on. That day was very warm. It was too much of a coincidence for two areas to be broken. Stuart Robertson, via email I agree entirely with your article with regards to no air conditioning at Malaga airport (‘Hot topic’, issue 148). I flew out of there to Ireland Thursday November 15 2012. I am a frequent visitor to the Costa del Sol and I have never been more

Paper search

Is there anywhere near Granada we can get your paper? We have lots of retired people here and they love to sit together over a coffee and discuss your articles. TotalCare Recruitment, via Facebook ED: Hi there. You can

uncomfortable. I was sweating profusely and really thought I would faint. Keep investigating this. It is dreadful for older people. Trish McCarthy, via email Regarding your article ‘Hot topic’ (issue 148), I flew from Malaga to Birmingham on Friday October 26 and can confirm that the airport was so hot it was almost unbearable. When asked to put my sweater into my handbag I told the checkin person that I would have been wearing it if the airport hadn’t been so hot. I know I wasn’t the only passenger to complain. Liz Marsh, via email

find all our distribution points here http:// distribution-2/ including all those in and around Granada. We hope you manage to find some copies!

Cry for help

the essential ingredient, sadly to no avail. I am disappointed that a recipe was published when it seems an ingredient is not easily available in the area or, alternatively, advice as to where it can be obtained. What was the point of including it in your paper if readers cannot use it?

I am seeking some help. I have recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and would like to meet other people with like problems in the Fuengirola area. But I cannot find a contact number or society similar to the UK support groups. If one exists, would they please contact me on 952 468 579. I do not wish for my name to be published.

Tricia Ferrier, Alhaurin de la Torre

Anon, Fuengirola


Pumpkin palaver

I recently picked up a copy of the Olive Press while on holiday in Estepona. I was really impressed; it is really good for a free newspaper and I couldn’t put it down!

A few issues ago you included a recipe for pumpkin pie (‘The perfect pumpkin pie’, issue 146). I really wanted to make this desert, having sampled pumpkin pie some years ago and been advised by the American lady who made it that canned pumpkin was the best for this dish. I and several friends searched high and low for

ED: Our most heartfelt apologies, Tricia. The pumpkin article was written by an American intern who was not aware you could not buy tinned pumpkin in Spain. If any readers know anywhere you can get them, please let us know.

Ben Warlow, Bristol UK

Car hire blues Having read your article about the Record Go car hire tactics (‘Hidden horrors’, issue 148), I thought you may be interested in my experience.


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

When I booked Record Go’s website said the car hire would cost £42 (€52) and the insurance £20.93 (€26.04), making a total of £62.93 (€78.04). The website led me to believe this would be the total charge, except for petrol. However, on arrival at the Record Go desk, we were confronted with the clerk demanding a further €46.13 to cover extra insurance. Despite my protests, I was pressured to pay the extra amount with the threat of no car keys otherwise. I was then told the policy was a ‘full to empty’ and charged another €67.52. This is overpriced – it would probably take me seven days of driving to use it all up. Our car was an old Fiat Panda with no hub caps and bumps and scrapes all around the body work. In addition, the inside edges of the two front tyres are completely bald. During a trip to Torremolinos we encountered torrential rain but the windscreen wipers did not work properly. The blades did not clear the screen and when put on full the left blade went off the side of the car and caught with the frame on its way back. In the UK this car would not have passed its MOT. I have taken lots of photos and videos to use in evidence should I need to take this further, through my solicitors in England. Robert Catlow, West Sussex, UK, via email

Moran shame Regarding your article about Margaret Moran facing false expense claims charges (Payback, issue 148), what a horrible woman! She should be utterly ashamed. Good on the Olive Press for bringing her behaviour to public attention.

What a funnel business Many thanks to Olive Press reader Don Ablett for sending these pictures of funnel clouds, taken from the top of Sevilla’s Metropol Parasol. “The funnel cloud dissipated before reaching the ground, it was very disconcerting to watch it grow,” he said.

Anna, via website

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23 the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012 23

July 26, 2012

GRAVE SOLUTION Action group to restore British cemetery in memory of campaigning foreigner EXPATS have launched a campaign to restore a British cemetery in Spain to its former glory. The burial ground, in Valencia, was established over 150 years ago as a final resting place for non-Catholic foreigners, including traders and sailors. But the site (pictured right), which is owned by the British Embassy, is in need of restoration after suffering from theft and vandalism in recent years. Now the International Women’s Club of Valencia (IWC) has decided to act after British expat Bonnie Hinzpeter, who came up with the idea, died earlier this year. The work will involve gardening, cleaning graves and plans to restore the chapel to allow services to be

held there. “Bonnie was a lovely person, who was very popular and very involved in community conservation work,” said IWC member Diana CliftonSewell. “Regrettably, she died of cancer before she could work on the cemetery, so we decided doing it ourselves would be a fitting memorial.” The British Embassy confirmed it has so far approved repairs to the cemetery’s fence and gate, while a Garden of Remembrance is also being considered. British expat Trevor Nicholas, who tends the cemetery as a volunteer, added: “I hope the project raises people’s awareness of it as an historic site.”

Flying Tagines and Magic Lobsters Spain’s new Muslims A FORMER New York Times correspondent has penned a new book tracing the history of Spain’s ‘new Muslims’. Al-Andalus Rediscovered discusses the integration of Muslim boatpeople, students, women and clerics, and how they fare in a largely Roman Catholic region. “Spain and Portugal have such long and conflicted history with the Islamic world,” said author Marvine Howe. “I focus primarily on the new Muslims, including the economic migrants who come via pateras from North Africa, the 2004 Madrid terrorist attacks and the impact of the economic crisis on integration efforts,” she added.

A LEADING hotelier has written a book based on his experiences setting up a boutique hotel in Morocco. Flying Tagines and Magic Lobsters by Tarifa’s Hurricane Hotel boss James Whaley is a comedy based on a fictional hotel in Essaouira. Part-based on his own experiences setting up a hotel in the town two decades ago, the book promises plenty of ‘sex, magic and poison’. Writer Whaley - who was heavily involved in a string of key British films including Sebastiane and Jubilee – has now sold Villa Maroc. He had been pursuaded to buy the hotel – which was then a brothel – after a family member recommended it as an investment. Whaley later set up the Hurricane Hotel in Tarifa, which quickly became popular with the windsurfing community and is now a key local institution. He owns various other hotels on the Costa de la Luz, and is often credited as being one of the key figures in turning the largely undeveloped Cadiz coastline into one of Spain’s most fashionable. The book is available for tablet formats and on Amazon.

SCENIC ESSAOUIRA: But book also promises ‘sex, magic and... poison’

Graveyard glory THE English Cemetery in Malaga has finally been awarded cultural heritage status. The burial ground, built by Britons in 1831, was the first resting place in Spain for Protestants and counts author Gerald Brenan and freedom fighter Robert Boyd among its residents.


In 2006 a foundation was created to fight for the site to be maintained, and be officially recognised. After 16 months of paperwork, the Junta’s culture bosses have finally agreed for the monument to join the Alcazaba and the old market building on the list of Malaga’s cultural heritage sites.


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24 the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012

A century of dissent

It is exactly 100 years since an anarchist shot dead Spain’ prime minister... and, as Eloise Horsfield discovers, while the anarchist movement once counted over two million members in Spain it is still very much alive today


N a busy Sevilla street, just yards from the impressive Metropol Parasol (the world’s biggest wooden structure) is a large office sign in striking red and black colours. Hard to miss as you stroll down Calle Imagen, this is the headquarters of the CNT in Andalucia, the still-surviving anarchist trade union. While largely unknown by the majority of expats and tourists who visit Spain every year, it is perhaps somewhat amazing that this radical body still exists at all. But incredibly the union has now been a key force in Spanish cultural and political history for a century. And this month – exactly 100 years ago – the prime minister of Spain was shot dead in Madrid by, no less, an anarchist. In one of the country’s most shocking incidents, premier Jose Canalejas stopped to look in a book shop window on the morning of November 12, 1912, when a man approached him, took out a Browning pistol and shot him at point-blank range. Canalejas’ killer was Manuel Cardinas, a staunch anarchist, who turned the gun on himself when he realised he could not escape. He was avenging the death by firing squad of Catalan anarchist Francisco Ferrer, who, colleagues believed, was found guilty on concocted charges. At the time, anarchism as a political force was relatively new to Spain. And while remembered largely for such violent incidents, in reality the vast majority of its members were peaceful. Introduced into the country by Italian Giuseppe Fanelli in Barcelona 50 years earlier in 1868, the movement spread due to the harsh economic conditions experienced by Spanish peasants, who made up 70% of the population. The lack of industrial development in Spain meant 52% of the workforce was employed in agriculture. Division of land was the worst in Europe, with 67% of land owned by just 2% of all landowners. Since anarchism believes in the abolition of all government and in the cooperative organisation of society, it was an attractive alternative to land workers – particularly in Andalucia – whose incomes were so low, they often starved between harvests.

MURDER: Prime Minister Jose Ca in the street (left) by anarchist M November 12, 1912

Anarchists believe in anti-capitalism, and argue that the majority too have the right to share power and therefore need to organise themselves to run society. Spanish anarchists hated the powerful and wealthy institutions of Spain – the Catholic church which owned much of

the nation’s wealth, and whose priests lived in luxury, and the army, with its close links to the landowners. In 1911, the CNT (Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo) was formed to represent the views of the growing political force, which took hold in particular in areas of Andalucia, such as Cadiz and in Cataluna. Until this point the only nationwide trade union had been the UGT, set up by the socialist party in 1888, and anarchistic thinking had been confined to individuals and small groups. This was all to change after the First World War, in which Spain’s neutral stance meant money came rolling in from foreign markets. Sadly, this did not improve conditions for Spain’s peasant masses, since it was the wealthy landowners who benefitted. It caused more unrest and a further swelling of the anarchist ranks, with the CNT union counting an incredible 750,000 members by 1919, compared to the 208,000 in the UGT. It was this year that the so-called ‘La Canadiense’ general strike was called in Barcelona by the union. Triggered by the sacking of eight workers of a Canadian-financed electrics plant, it started with 140 strikers from

the facto with the luna’s te being for Although the strike the end e talks with As a res proved s eight-hou it is now successf tory.

L re the


When th finally bo reason to believing prove an introduce But the which wa not mana to more r Press rep

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OUTSPOKEN: CNT-AIT demonstrators during Spain’s general strike on November 14 (‘Today like yesterday we’re still in the streets’ reads the banner) and campaign posters, old (far left) and new (below right)

people in rural Spain were living on little more than roots and boiled greens. It led to more unrest and more outbreaks of violence between workers, the police and army. Few places typify the unrest more than that of Casas Viejas in inland rural Cadiz, then, and still, one of Spain’s poorest regions. Now better known as Benalup (a new name given it in an attempt to escape its violent past) it was here that the local CNT branch led a uprising in January 1933, which they believed was part of a nationwide call for revolution. The local militants took the town easily, taking control of the town hall and locking the mayor and local priest in the church, while they waited for orders, which were due to analejas (below) was shot dead come from Barcelona. Tragically though, they had jumped Manuel Cardinas (above) on the gun. A provisional call for a national uprising by the CNT in Barcelona was called off ory’s workforce, and ended at the last minute... but the message CNT mobilising 80% of Catadid not spread as far as this sleepy extile industry, with most firms backwater of Cadiz. rced to close. While the uprising in Casas Viejas h the government reacted to had initially been peaceful, the muches, arresting some 3,000, in feared Guardia Civil was sent from employers agreed to enter into nearby Vejer to put it down. h the CNT. They did this swiftly and violently, killsult, worker’s rights were iming over 20 local peasants in the prosignificantly. For example, an cess, including women and children ur-day law was introduced and and many who had not even taken part regarded as one of the most ‘to teach the rest a lesson’. ful working class actions in hisIt was a big blow for the CNT and caused much outrage around the country. There were other similar incidents in the following years and it was perhaps La Canadiense is little surprise that by the start of the Civil War in 1936 the CNT counted two egarded as one of million members. e most successful Indeed, it is said that this huge mass of people was the reason that Franco working class was not able to seize the country in his actions in history coup immediately. “There is absolutely no doubt that the initial response to Franco’s coup he Spanish Constitution was was determined by the fact that the orn in 1931, there was good CNT and its anarchist ideas held sway o be optimistic, with workers among large sections of the working g living standards would imclass,” explains Irish anarchist Eddie nd land reform would finally be Conlon. ed. “There was no waiting around for govInstitute of Agrarian Reform, ernment ministers to act, the workers as set up to do just that, did took control.” age this and so conditions led Anarchism continued to grow in part revolt. thanks to Mujeres Libres (Free Womports at the time showed many


trades unions, the UGT and the en), the anarchist women’s organisaCCOO workers’ union, CNT memtion. It counted 30,000 members durbers too were out in their droves ing the war, with its female members and later labelled the strike ‘a opening centres for unmarried mothsuccess’. ers and prostitutes. Today, rather than agrarian reAs the war rolled on, the peasants form, the anarchists are fighting succeeded in taking over councils of against Rajoy’s workers, with anarchists cuts to the pubeventually making up the lic sector and majority of the anti-FasTheir work still has labour reforms cist forces in revolution– which essenary committees throughan influence in tially make it out the nation. In 1936 four CNT mem- giving the millions of easier to fire workers. bers actually entered the national government ‘voiceless’ citizens a The CNT and the CGT are in Madrid, showing that platform now small anti-Fascism could finally unions who get an official voice, if it do not have wanted it. an influence at an indusBut, in the end, the working classes trial level, but their work is did not take complete control of the still doubtless having an country – even though the CNT was in influence in giving the mila prime position to do so. lions of ‘voiceless’ citizens The reasons for this are a highly dea platform and fighting for bated topic. causes such as the environment Some claim they were afraid of taking and equal opportunities. the reins, and that a movement formed Anarchist ideas are still extremely popby illiterate peasants was not capable ular in some parts of Spain, particuof ruling the country. larly in Barcelona, where groups often Others – including those within the gather to squat buildings. movement – say the anarchists simply These squats, which are always at risk reached their limitations. of being closed down by the authori“We did not have a concrete proties, frequently double as social cengramme,” admitted a member of anartres where events and workshops are chist group Friends of Durruti later. “We held to share ideas. Some even offer had no idea where we were going. free internet. “We had lyricism aplenty but when all Female anarchists have also been is said and done we did not know what a campaigning to do with our masses of workers or force over the last how to give effect to the popular effufew decades. sion.” At Eskalera Karakola, a feminist Alive today squat in the LaThat said, the anarchist ideal and its vapies area of basic concepts are still alive today havMadrid which ing kept going throughout Franco’s rebegan operating gime, as of course did the UGT. in 1996, women In 1979 the CNT split into two factions organise activi– the CNT/AIT and the CGT (Confederaties to fight raccion General del Trabajo), which was ism and domestic later to became the third largest union violence, helping in Spain. in particular feAside from the obvious attraction to its male immigrants cause by students – its striking red and to Spain. black flags stand out a mile – it still has Perhaps it is much to say on modern Spanish socismaller-scale misety. sions, like this, At every demonstration, members of that best suit the the CNT and FAI anarchist unions are anarchism movepresent, with a huge banner (pictured ment...helping above) leading one section of the genpeople overcome eral strike in Madrid earlier this month. difficulty at a local Although organised by Spain’s biggest level and listening

to individuals’ tales in order to get things done. It certainly seems that this sort of direct action is extremely relevant in Spain’s current climate, where half of all young people are unemployed, and up to 500 people are being evicted every day because they cannot pay their mortgages. Let’s just hope it’s the positive not the negative aspects of anarchism that manage to dictate.

la cultura

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the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012

After Federico Garcia Lorca’s first book reaches nearly €10,000 at auction in London, the Olive Press and Books4Spain asked Ian Gibson to review the rare book soon to be reprinted

The €10,000 poetry book A

rare and valuable first edition of Federico Lorca’s debut Impresiones y Paisajes fetched an incredible €9,380 at Bonhams auctioneers in London this month. The success of the book, written during a journey through Castile, Leon and Galicia in 1916 and 1917 - and financed by his father - allowed Lorca to become a

RECORD: Lorca’s Impresiones y Paisajes sold for €9,380 at auction

full-time writer. But Lorca did not like it and, as reported in the Olive Press, unhappy with slow sales he destroyed as many copies as he could find. Here, Irish Hispanist Ian Gibson reviews the book, Sketches of Spain, an English translation of this groundbreaking work to be released by leading book website Books4Spain next month.

Sketches of Spain by Federico Garcia Lorca (Translated from Spanish by Peter Bush with illustrations by Julian Bell) Review by Ian Gibson I confess to having a soft spot for Lorca’s first book, Impresiones y Paisajes (1918), published, thanks to the vision and generosity of his father, when he was just 20. When I began my research on the poet, in

to come on its heels. The reader will notice at once to what extent Lorca’s musical vocation and training shape the imagery of the book (a few too many chromatic ‘modulations’, for SOFT SPOT: Gibson rates Lorca debut example). Also his eye for the small, claims of the flesh (Lorca telling detail, whether of a would have agreed with Vollandscape or a monument, taire: Chassez le naturel, ça and his deep empathy with revient au galop!). a suffering humanity em- Perhaps the most memobodied above all in the clois- rable instance in this tered monks of Castile, de- connection is the scene luded, in his view of things, that takes place in the into believing that by shut- organ-loft at Silos when ting themselves up in a con- the poet-musician dares to vent they can necessarily challenge the monastery’s escape from the imperious sole recourse to Gregorian chant and embarks on the allegretto of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony...with an unforeseen and touching outcome. The book is enhanced by and promise not to shoot our customers!” inJulian Bell’s delightful drawsists Rod Younger. ings of some of the corners He continues: “To understand why anarchism highlighted by the youthful took such a strong hold on Spain you need to author. delve deep into the social, political and ecoPublishers, translator and nomic history of this very complex country.” artist have done a great serHe recommends starting by looking at the vice to Lorca-lovers. blog ( and the ¡Enhorabuena! articles including Underlying causes of the Spanish Civil War, and Why is Spain politically Sketches of Spain is £7.99 and economically bankrupt? (€9.90) on Books4Spain Two books specifically on anarchy in Spain (free shipping to the UK) include Anarchism and the Spanish Civil War, by Julian Casanova; and Story of the Iron Col© This review was underumn, Militant Anarchism in the Spanish Civil taken exclusively for BooksWar by Abel Paz. 4Spain by Ian Gibson and In fact, Books4Spain has thousands of books may not be reproduced, in and eBooks in a number of categories ranging whole or in part, without from literature to travel and from learning Spanthe permission of Booksish to food and drink and from crime to fiction. 4Spain.

1965, the complete text of Granada). the book was not included in To render into readable the expensive, single-volume English Lorca’s early prose, edition of his Obras comple- deeply in debt to the vocabutas (Editorial Aguilar), the lary and tics of modernismo, only one permitted by the is a daunting task, and it Franco regime. seems to me that Peter Thanks to the kindness Bush has risen splendidly to of the French Hispanist the almost impossible chalClaude Couffon, however, a lenge. photocopy of the incredibly The result is that Lorca’s rare edition Anglo-Saxon, was soon in non-Spanishmy hands. reading adYou note his eye for It proved mirers now what I had the small, telling have the opalready susportunity to pected: that detail and the deep a c c o m p a n y the reason the adolesempathy with a for the uncent poet and d e c l a r e d suffering humanity p l a y w r i g h t , mutilation of poised to take the original the world by was that the young Lorca’s storm, on his trip through violent hostility towards the Old Spain with a group of Catholic Church must not fellow university students, be generally known (any and to savour a text (with more than the true circum- some Andalucian brushstances of his assassina- strokes for good measure) tion in 1936 at the hands that heralds in many ways of fascists in his native the more mature work soon



PAIN’S number one website for books on Spanish history and other Iberian themes is Books4Spain. The site is invaluable for discovering in greater detail books covering important aspects of Spanish culture and history. There is a big section on Spanish literature and much focusing on the works of one of the country’s finest writers Federico Garcia Lorca. Another theme is the Spanish Civil War, which essentially saw the end of the anarchist movement in Spain. This movement was stronger in Spain than probably any other country from the mid1800s to 1939. It is interesting to note that Spanish Prime Minister Jose Canalejas was assassinated by an anarchist on 12 November 1912 while in a bookshop (see feature on page?. “We at Books4Spain are not anarchists (yet!)

la cultura


ES, it is that time of year again. Christmas is coming, and the magic elves are working hard to create all manner of Christmas fairs in Andalucia. Below is a selection of the best fairs over the next fortnight, where you can pick up those essential gifts and decorations and of course enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie while you’re at it!

The Olive Press gets the latest on Christmas fairs in and around the Costa del Sol - and a Santa’s grotto!

Xmas on the Costa

Al Lago Christmas Market (Zahara de la Sierra)

December 15, 11am-4pm. Seasonal goodies, street foods, mulled wine, mince pies. Leathers, raw chocolate, crepes, turron, proper Christmas cakes, organic vegetables. Call 956 123 032

Gaucin Christmas Fair (El Convento)

27olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012 the

December 1 and 2, 10am-5pm. Gifts, cards, wines, vintage wear, jewellery, clothes and furniture, books. Tarot reader, human juke box by Marcus Myers and others, lunches and bar.

Christmas Fair (Hacienda Almoguera, Los Barrios, Cadiz)

December 8-9, 11am-9pm. Live flamenco, ponies, nativity scene, bouncy castle. Collection of dried food (cans, oils, coffee, sugar etc) and old clothing for Bay of Gibraltar food bank. €2 per vehicle. Call 677 591 312

The Brasserie/Kiddi Bank Christmas Fayre, (The Brasserie restaurant, Casares)

December 8, 12.30pm-8.30pm. 30 festive stalls, cakes, bakes and crafts. Fun for all the family. Call 607 474 988

Aloha College Christmas Bazaar (Nueva Andalucia)

December 1, 11am-4pm. Festive gifts and decorations, cakes and international dishes, bouncy castle and Santa’s grotto. Call 952 814 133

Malaga Traditional Christmas Fayre (St George’s Church, in the grounds of the English Cemetery)

December 2, 12.30pm. Mince pies, homemade jams and preserves, books, vintage fashion and much more. Raffle for a Christmas hamper.

AND... Santa’s Grotto (King’s Bastion Leisure Centre, Gibraltar)

December 12-22, Wednesdays to Fridays from 4pm-6pm, Saturdays from 10.30am-12.30pm. £5, includes gift and digital photo. Call +350 200 44 777



the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012

The Spanish government has announced that it is to impose a new rate of IVA/Vat on Funerals which will take the average cost of a funeral in Spain from €4000 up to €4840

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Top Dollar


Spanish banking regulator introduces new measures to protect investors

INVESTMENT PROTECTION EXPATS could benefit from new measures being introduced by Spain’s financial regulator (CNMV) to limit the sale of certain investment products. The move is aimed at offering greater protection to small investors who get into financial difficulty after being badly advised about the suitability of certain products. Under the new rules, finan-

cial advisors will be obliged to provide a ‘clear description’, signed and in writing, of how each client can meet their objectives and what investments are most appropriate. When products are sold, customers will be provided with a signed document evaluating the investment – and in the absence of sufficient information this should be laid out clearly.

Private cars dropped THE number of official cars used by the Spanish government is to be reduced by almost two thirds in order to save cash. It is hoped €10.5 million a year will be slashed by cutting the fleet of vehicles from 307 to 103 over the course of the next year. With the changes, director generals will no longer have private cars and will instead have to share from a car pool, while departmental staff will share vehicles with their bosses.

What’s more, the CNMV proposes a register of customers and unsuitable products ‘to prevent products being offered that have previously been evaluated with negative results’. The news will be welcomed by the many expat investors who claim to have lost thousands after receiving dodgy advice from unregulated advisors. In June, a dozen expats joined forces to take legal action after they claimed they were mis-sold by David Driver, boss of Offshore Investment Brokers (OIB). Mijas-based investor Paul O’Connell, 55, was advised by Driver to take out a €260,000 10-year loan secured against the value of his property – but the investment failed to deliver the returns he had promised. Driver has since fled to the UK.

Top Dollar


Earnings in Andalucia hit rock-bottom, with workers in Jaen on the lowest salaries of all

Worker woe WORKERS in Andalucia are among the most poorly paid in Spain, according to official statistics.

Four of the five Spanish provinces with the lowest average salary can be found in the region, while

Port up, sherry down

IT is bad news for the sherry business as sales of rival tipple port take over for the first time in the UK. The change is down to the fact younger audiences are being more and more attracted by port, with sherry still very much associated with the elderly. Research by analysts Nielsen show more than a fifth of port is drunk by 24-44 year olds and under a third is drunk by the over 65s. Meanwhile half of sherry sales are made to the over 65s. In the last 15 years sales of port have mushroomed by 50% to €93 million annually – while sherry sales have fallen over a quarter and are now worth €110 million. If the current trend continues, port sales will surpass those of sherry by 2020.

Malaga also appears near the bottom. Statistics released by Spain’s tax office showed Jaen at the bottom, with average salaries at €13,040, compared to a national average of €19,102.


Huelva (€13,132) and Almeria (€14,033) also appeared in the bottom three, while Cordoba (€14,253) was 44th in the survey of 48 provinces. It also emerged that around 40% of Malaga’s 225,000 workers were found to be earning below the minimum wage of €641.40 a month. This figure is even higher in other provinces. None of Andalucia’s eight provinces appeared in the top ten of the list, which was topped by Madrid, Barcelona and Ceuta.

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the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012


Europe in Recession – it is not only the Greeks that are revolting, writes Keith Spitalnick


HE recent sets of economic data have been diabolical for Europe as a whole. Recovery is a well worn word, but unlikely to be seen for some time yet, as GDP and industrial production are expected to contract further this quarter. Quantitative Easing (QE) seems to be having little effect and the Bank of England has decided not to increase its use for the time being. Interest rates are at all time lows, but the availability of credit is starving most companies of a lifeline, as the criteria to get additional liquidity fail all but the highest quality corporate names. So corporations cannot invest, restricting employment opportunities, consumers cannot buy, reducing economic activity and we continue down the helter-skelter at

an increasing pace waiting to hit the coconut crash mat at the bottom. On the currency front, the US Dollar remains king despite worries over the US fiscal cliff. Investors have been selling euros, GBP and Yen for the greenback and investing the proceeds in US Bond Markets (steering clear of equity markets for the economic reasons above) driving US interest rates almost quarter of 1% lower since Obama retained his seat in the Oval Office. The US Dollar could continue to strengthen, perhaps testing 1.5600 in GBP/USD and 1.2250 in EUR/USD. The Yen, for a long time a home to risk averse currency flows, has begun to lose favour with investors and a break of 81 could lead to a quick move to 90+ in the coming months.

Declare it! OVERSEAS assets worth over €50,000 must be declared by all residents in Spain by March 2013, a new decree has stated. Funds in overseas bank accounts, stock and bond market portfolios and insurance policies will need to be declared to the tax authorities (Hacienda) by the end of the first quarter. What’s more, anyone declaring overseas assets will need to be able to prove they were acquired with declared

Hacienda closes in on tax evaders, requiring all residents to declare offshore assets over €50,000 by end of March money and that all taxes were paid on the capital before it left Spain. This will affect thousands of expats who have residency in Spain and who are in possession of assets in the UK. Richard Alexander from LJ Financial Planning said:

A right royal mess

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

“This is part of legislation aimed at rounding everybody up so that all residents are aware of their obligation to declare any income-yielding assets. “They are throwing out a net in order to gather information about investments overseas to ensure everything is being declared. “Lots of people are currently sitting under the radar, and this is all part of the increased vigilance of the tax authorities, and the information sharing which will allow them to look at every angle where there might be tax to collect.” The Spanish government is now in the process of creating the forms taxpayers will use to submit their declarations, with non-submission punishable by law.

Budget blues ACCUSED: Diego Torres (left) and Inaki Urdangarin arrive at court PROSECUTORS in the corruption case involving the king’s son-in-law have asked for his bail to be set at €8 million. Inaki Urdangarin, who is married to King Juan Carlos’ second daughter Princess Cristina, and his former business partner Diego Torres, are accused of fraudulently claiming public money through a non-profit foundation. The allegations relate to €5 million which was allegedly claimed between 2004 and 2006 before being siphoned through a number of their companies. If the judge grants the request, Urdangarin could face having his properties embargoed, although he would not go to prison.

SPAIN is facing EU subsidy cuts of €20 billion, meaning that for the first time it will become a net contributor – one which pays more in than it gets out. The reduction, scheduled for the period 2014 to 2020, will reduce Spain’s GDP by 2%, further damaging the country’s already fragile economy. The cuts will affect agricultural subsidies by 17% and ‘cohesion funds’, payments made to help balance disparities between regions, by 30%.

Top Dollar

33olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012 the

Road to Riches, by Richard Alexander


UCH has been written about tax avoidance and tax evasion, with the former being accepted as tax planning and the latter being deemed illegal, but the boundaries between the two are becoming ever more blurred as tax authorities around the globe go in search of unpaid tax to collect. In the last edition of the Olive Press, the front-page article highlighted the 4,000 or so names that have allegedly been provided by a whistleblower at HSBC to HMRC in relation to Jersey account holders. HMRC must have thought Christmas had come early and as I understand it, bosses are busily comparing data from the list with what individuals have already declared, enabling them to pick up discrepancies and more to the point, non disclosure. This is not the first time of course that such information has been ‘leaked’ with

Minimising tax the legitimate way! an ex HSBC employee selling similar data about Swiss bank accounts to the authorities in 2008. We have seen the establishment of the Lichtenstein Disclosure Facility enabling UK taxpayers with a Lichtenstein account to be able to settle tax irregularities favorably which in itself is expecting to result in something like £3 billion being recovered by 2016. With numbers this large, is it any wonder that tax authorities are sharing information and doing all they can to identify undisclosed interest that has been earned on offshore accounts. But the most incredulous question is why oh why do so many people hold so much money on deposit anyway; regardless of whether it is offshore or not, it could do so

very much better! Putting it simply, if you were given the choice of either paying between 20% and 50% tax on the interest you earn on your capital, whether you spend it or not, or alternatively, paying no tax; I suspect you would not take too long to come up with the right answer. While I accept that everyone should retain some access to cash on deposit, it makes absolutely no sense at all to hold vast sums in this way and even less sense to try to hide it from the taxman when there are tried and tested alternatives available which do not push the boundaries and have been in existence for over 30 years. They are internationally recognized by most tax authorities as legitimate investment

structures, with relevant gains being declared at the appropriate time but enabling tax to be deferred until final encashment. This is neither tax avoidance or tax evasion but sensible tax planning. And if you are thinking these solutions are only for the mega rich or those prepared to take high risks then think again – the entry levels for this type of investment can be as low as €25,000 with a wide choice of investment strategies. Structured in the right way, you can choose what tax you pay and when you pay it; oh and by the way, you can sleep at night too without the worry that your name might turn up on a whistleblowers list!

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



the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012


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Spain’s lawmakers gone crazy

Antonio Flores from Lawbird, reflects on Spain’s new eviction law and a plan to give residency to anyone buying a property over €160,000


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T has been a rather hectic week trying to catch up with new legislation Spain has recently introduced. In particular the ‘measure of all measures’ that might help the country take off again is permanent residency in exchange for buying a property over €160,000. Prior to this very brave proposal, last week the Spanish government acted swiftly to provide some protection to the ever-increasing numbers of bank mortgage-loan borrowers facing eviction. This followed the commotion caused by a spate of suicides, by bringing in emergency measures to protect the most financially vulnerable. All of it at a time when the government had just passed new regulations to speed up the eviction of defaulting tenants. Judges’ associations, among other interest groups, have been quick to criticise the new measure by stating it does not reform the law, but only brings temporary protection and does not protect

everyone. Protection is also limited to two years, during which time penalty interest rates will keep running (up to 30% with some loans). Bizarrely, a family with three children will be given protec- the terms of the proposal, it tion – but not one with two is not difficult to forecast a – and finally, a single mother very significant boost to the with a sole child will still get economy by this unprecekicked out. dented ‘automatic’ residency The second legislative nov- programme. elty that has been tagged as Cynics already say a majority absurd is to the implementa- of investors will be looking tion of a court fee system that into buying an EUresidency will make it very expensive to card rather than property. sue in A minorSpain – ity even especialsee a govly if you It is not difficult to forecast ernmenthave to led cona very significant boost appeal! spiracy to Thirdly to the economy by this sell the comes country unprecedented ‘automatic’ the exto foreign cellent money. residency programme n e w s Whichthat the ever the governopinion, ment is to give residency so far this year 400,000 forstatus to non-EU investors eigners have left Spain due buying property worth over to the lack of opportunities – €160,000. so a few thousand new invesPending the publication of tors is no bad thing.

Ask Ant

Q. I am an Iranian citizen and wish to invest in Spain, can I? A. You certainly can. International sanctions only apply to a number of individuals from your country, listed on the EU Council Regulation 267/2012. This means that you can buy property, set up companies and open bank accounts. And in respect to banks, if you have been rejected on grounds different from those that are applicable to any citizen of any country, i.e. just because of your nationality, you should report it to the Bank of Spain as this is discriminatory, and therefore illegal.

Q. I have an 11-month contract expiring next June, and the landlord wants me to pay summer rates or leave the apartment. Is this legal?

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A. It is not legal for a landlord to operate in this manner. Currently, you have the right to extend your rental agreement to five years, during which you are protected from any attempt to evict you.

the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012


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the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012

Eviction lifeline New emergency measures have been taken to ease repossession issue FAMILIES who are evicted from mortgaged properties will be provided with low-rent council housing, the government has announced. Under a raft of new measures to help people who lose their homes, economy Minister Luis de Guindos confirmed repossessed properties owned by the banks will be used to help those left homeless. As reported in the Olive Press last issue, the Cabinet was forced to act after two suicides, both directly related to evictions, led to widespread protests. Other measures introduced include a two-year ban on the eviction of vulnerable people, halting a trend which has seen 400,000 homes repos-

By James Bryce sessed since 2008. Families with monthly income below €1,600, those with a child under three years old and people with disabilities will all benefit from the measure. Families with three children will also automatically benefit, leading some critics to question why those with two should not as well. Jobless people who are not eligible to claim employment benefits and domestic violence victims will also benefit. The opposition PSOE party had wanted the ban to be applied to all families regardless of their circumstances, but this was rejected by the

Back to the noughties

PROPERTY in Spain costs roughly the same as it did in 2002, according to figures from the Department of Housing. The average value of property has dropped by 9.5% since 2011. Coastal areas have been hit

hardest by the decrease in a decade that saw a rise of 37% at its peak. The price slump, a result of the current economic crisis, has however opened the market to many people who could not previously afford to buy property in Spain.

Top of the props SPAIN continues to be among the most popular destinations in the world for foreign property buyers. The HiFX Property Hotspots survey found 19% of potential buyers are keen to snap up a Spanish home, compared with 16% when the same survey was conducted in March. However, experienced buyers were more cautious, with only 9% stating they would consider investing in Spain. The USA came third in the poll, ahead of Italy, Cyprus, Portugal and Switzerland. “Spain is still popular with Britons who are hoping to take advantage of lower property prices,” said HiFX director Mark Bodega. “In years gone by bargain-hunters would focus inland, particularly looking for rundown properties that needed some work.” He added: “As inland prices have fallen for the most part this is still true. “However, prices have fallen on the coast dramatically as well giving bargain-hunters plenty of choice.”


49.99 euros

SPAIN is to offer residency permits to foreign nationals if they buy houses over €160,000. The initiative will be put in place in an attempt to shift some of the country’s 700,000 unsold homes. Trade minister Jaime Garcia-Legaz said the plan, if ap-

proved, would be aimed at the Russian and Chinese markets. The proposed threshold is much lower than that of similar schemes in Ireland and Portugal, which offer residency to foreign owners of properties over €400,000 and €500,000 respectively.

the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012



the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012


In his last ever column for the Olive Press (sob, sob), Craig Scott describes how his time with us has helped him on his way to pastures new. Well, kind of...


F I was an EU powerhouse, I’d seriously consider having all teenagers rounded up and shipped off to angst-ridden oil rigs somewhere in the North Sea. Then I’d release them back into society at 19, saving bus travellers, off-licence owners and phone-bill payers a whole heap of misery. Sure, the lefty do-gooder types would no doubt dub me draconian, but I’ll tell you something – cyber-bullying and ‘happy slapping’ would be eradicated overnight. Plus, forget your anti-ageing creams and Regaine hair gels – expelling teens would immediately take 10 years off schoolteachers worldwide. Still, until such a law is passed, I guess we’ll just have to put up with the illmannered idle-lescents. This week, I had a run in with a highly-strung 17-year-old,

How dream jobs deteriorate who felt a bit miffed over his Corr used to say, ‘concussion report. Sensing he was get- builds character’. ting nowhere, he decided to Talking of concussion, I nearly boot a backpack and rip a passed out this week – when mouse cable out of its USB an interview for a ‘dream job’ port (LA riots it was not!). deteriorated into chaos. The next morning I went to his The position was spun to tutor: “I want sound like a an apology,” senior, onceI said. “That in-a-lifetime wasn’t on.” opportunity at I was so excited, “It’s just his a ‘21st cenage,” came tury school’. I began pricing up his tutor’s deBy this, I fence. “Hor- NASA baseball caps i m a g i n e d mones, and all a Kubrickon eBay that.” esque buildHormones? ing with zero BLOODY HORgravity classMONES? Do rooms and you know where my ‘hor- Android teaching assistants. mones’ used to get me? I was so excited, I began pricA well-directed board rubber ing up NASA baseball caps on – that’s where. eBay. Every time I felt ‘hormonal’, On the day, I rushed straight I’d receive a chalky clunk, home from work, logged into which soon took the wind out Skype – and waited for that of my stroppy sails. Like Mrs weird ringing chime – y’know,

like a Sony Walkman drowning. Unfortunately, because of an error with my dongle, we were forced to conduct the interview via phone instead. Despite a shaky start, the interview went well and I felt I gave some riproaring answers. For example, when asked how I’d perform a lesson on Shakespeare’s The Tempest – I explained how I’d turn my classroom into the scene of a stormy shipwreck – and grab half-arsed learners by their short and curlies (although as they’re Spanish kids, and hairier than Barry Gibb in a tank full of guinea pigs, it would probably be ‘long and

curlies’.) Anyway, after wittering on for half an hour about ‘longterm ambitions’, ‘putting my stamp on things’ and other inane cliches, I was hit with a curve ball. “Whenever I employ new staff,” she said, “I like to know a bit about their interests, to find out what kind of person they are.” “OK…” I replied, tentatively. “When you said you wrote for

the Olive Press, I decided to research a few of your articles.” “Hmmmmm...” I replied, even more tentatively. “I have to say Mr Scott, I don’t know quite what to make of them.” Twelve months of risque articles whizzed through my mind. What exactly had offended her? My streaking on Mallorcan nudist beaches? Or candlelit suppers with New York hookers, perhaps? It was even worse. For five cringe-worthy minutes, I listened – head in hands – while she recited an entire column on Jimmy Savile sex-slides and masturbating monks. She finished by saying: “We’ll let you know on Monday.” Needless to say, I won’t be placing any more bids on that NASA baseball cap…

C E ................ .................











Tyre worry SPANISH motoring club RACE has warned of the dangers of using part-worn tyres to save money. Over 90,000 cars are circulating with damaged tyres and five times more used tyres are now sold on the internet than four years ago, according to the club. “Tyres can have internal structural damage that is not detected with the naked eye which can cause them to burst during transit,” read a report, which said 236 accidents were caused by faulty tyres in 2011.

n Buen


37olive press - November 47 the 29 - December 12, 2012

CAR SALES BOOST SPAIN’S motoring industry is set for an adrenalin boost after plans were unveiled to increase annual car production to three million. The initiative will create 73,000 jobs, increase Spain’s overall exports by 4% and raise GDP by 1%, according to the association of Spanish car producers, Anfac. Around 2.5 million cars are to be exported, while 500,000 will be sold within Spain. It will also lower the average age of cars in Spain from 10 years to eight. Spain’s car production in 2011 was 1.8 million.

Hispanic Herbie VOLKSWAGEN’S iconic Beetle is set to get a Spanish facelift. The manufacturer of the distinctive German car, made famous by the 1968 film Herbie the Love Bug, is to unveil a special edition available only in Spain. The Escarabago 53, complete with number, white paint job and red and blue go-fast stripes, will set you back €22,090.



38 the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012



Jimenez makes new record of oldest ever European Tour title holder

Oldest swinger in town SPANISH veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez has become the oldest winner in the history of the European Tour. Jimenez took the UBS Hong Kong Open just short of his 49th birthday, with a onestroke victory over Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed. “I saw Andersson had a 14-under-par and I knew I just had to concentrate, keep my pace, keep my rhythm and keep hitting the ball the way I was hitting it,” said Jimenez. The Spaniard takes the title

of oldest winner from Irishman Des Smyth, who won the 2011 Madeira Islands Open aged 48 and 34 days. “It’s an honour to make a record and I hope it isn’t the last one,” he added. The former Ryder Cup player’s 12th tour title since turning 40 came without a single bogey in the last 54 holes. Playing consistently throughout the tournament, Jimenez hit 65, 67, 68 and 65 on the par-70 course at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Sheung Shui.



A BRITISH golf coach is offering Olive Press readers the chance to win a lesson worth over €100. Experienced golfer Glenn Billington, 53, owns academies not only in Spain, but throughout the UK and in Switzerland. Billington has also recently opened schools is Gran Canaria and has been working with golfers in Sri Lanka. “The last few months for me have been so hectic, on top of my normal coaching I have decided it is time to take the GB Putting Academy worldwide,” said the travelling tutor. To win the free lesson, which can be claimed between now and March 2013 at his Murcia or Costa del Sol based academies, just answer the question below: Who was captain of Europe’s 2012 Ryder Cup team? a) Colin Montgomerie b) Jose Maria Olazabal c) Nick Faldo Email your answers to before Sunday 9 December.

In the swing of it


39 29 - December Sponsored by the olive press - November 12, 2012



TWO FOR TEE Palmer Williams academy is looking for aspirational young golfers to train up now the rains have stopped

Want to join the elite? S O the rain finally stopped and we got out and about for a bit of teaching and practice. We are currently in the process of recruiting a small number of junior golfers who have aspirations of one day becoming professionals. The Palmer Williams Junior Elite Academy is a

one-of-a-kind support system designed to give junior golfers all necessary skills and knowledge to become great golfers. We also coach junior golfers of all ages and abilities with the aim of developing their golf so they eventually have the opportunity to join The Elite Academy. Here is a top tip for all you golfers out there:

Stop trying to slow down! We constantly hear golfers being given the advice to slow down, which, quite frankly, is incorrect. Slowing down causes a lack of speed, lack of rotation and poor leverage. Try this instead. Swing the club as fast as you physically can while staying as in balance and as relaxed as possible.

Arqueros designed by Seve Ballesteros HOLES OF DEATH Los 7th hole, 304 meters

We have both played thousands of holes around the world, both professionally and for fun and – without a doubt – the 7th at Los Arqueros is probably the narrowest. To add to the fun, it has out of bounds all the way up the left and a lateral water hazard all the way down the right. The key to the par 4 hole is finding the fairway. Don’t just reach for your driver. Select the club where you hit between 180 - 190 meters from the tee. You have more chance of hittingthe ball straight with a more lofted club. Once you have found the fairway you should be left with a shot from about 110 meters to the green. Try to favour the left side of the green as there is slightly more room here and a slope that can knock the ball right and back on to the green. Once you have found the green in two shots it’s fairly straight forward from there. The green is small and flat and a two putt par should be a formality.

British golfer secures victory in Spain on only her second outing as a professional

Early success A BRITISH golfer has won her first professional title in Spain. In only her second game as pro, Holly Clyburn, 21, from Cleethorpes, beat Spaniard Carmen Alonso at the Banesto Tour tournament in Valencia.

“When I got to the 18th, a Spanish guy who was running the tournament drove down in his buggy and told us that Carmen had made birdie and was now leading the tournament,” said Clyburn. “He obviously wanted her to win, so that made me even more determined to make the birdie I needed to force a play-off. “Despite the pressure, I kept calm, did what I needed to do, and made that putt.” “It’s just hit me really, to get a professional title so soon is fabulous,” said the young star.


YOUNG SUCCESS: Pro golfer Holly Clyburn

Clyburn will travel to Morocco next month for the 2013 Ladies European Tour (LET) tournament qualifying round. And the win in Valencia has given the golfer confidence for her trip to Marrakech adding: “I know I just need to do what I’ve done in Spain. “It will be a long two weeks there, so it’s nice to be able to go in feeling confident in my game and in myself.”

C lassifieds

24 40 the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012 40

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41 FOOD & DRINK the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012 41 with DINING SECRETS of

Keeping it sweet


WEET potatoes have been the focus of a new campaign to celebrate the birth of this root vegetable in

Spain. A two-day event hosted by Velez Malaga Town Hall’s culture department has celebrated the history, dietary benefits and culinary versatility of this starchier alternative to the traditional spud. Sweet potatoes were first brought into Spain by Christopher Colum-

bus from the island of Haiti, when he returned from his first voyage in 1493. While originally cultivated in Sevilla, the climate there was found to be not quite right and production was soon transferred to the Axarquia. If you are not familiar with this delicious root vegetable, high in vitamins B6, C, D and also minerals iron and magnesium, try this easy recipe to get you started. You will be pleasantly surprised!

Easy sweet potato fries

You need: 3 large sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1-2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp salt, 1-2 tbsp spices of your choice (smoked paprika, Chinese five-spice, garam masala, fajita seasoning etc) Method 1 Preheat oven to 450F (220C) 2 Peel the sweet potatoes and cut off the ends. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and then, if they are very long, in half crosswise. Cut each piece into wedges 3 Put the sweet potatoes into a large bowl and add the oil. Mix well to combine. Sprinkle with salt, sugar and spices of your choice. Use your hands to mix

FOOD HANDOUTS Hundreds benefit as food staples are given out

THERE were calm scenes as hundreds of people gathered to collect free food parcels in a giveaway organised by in Sabinillas Town Hall (left). The food, donated by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund, was handed out each morning over five days at a warehouse behind Lidl supermarket. Local residents were grateful for the chance to pick up

It just mushroomed! IMAGINE the frying pan you would need to cook this in. The incredible 5.2 kg mushroom was found by a waiter Antonio Toribio in the Serrania de Ronda. After displaying the fungus outside his restaurant for a whole day so passers-by could marvel at it, Toribio fried it up with oil and garlic and enjoyed it with his colleagues. “We fed eight people with it,” he said.

By Eloise Horsfield

milk, fruit juice, rice, lentils, biscuits, fruit and beans. “There was a big crowd, and lots of traffic,” said Olive Press sales rep Jane Jewson, who was heading to work in Casares. “People had brought big recycling bags and empty shopping trolleys and were getting ready to fill them.


“It was a happy atmosphere with nobody crowding or pushing, and people were being respectful and patient. “It was quite heartwarming really. I said to one lady, ‘You look so happy!’ and she said ‘I am, I am really happy’.” The food will come as welcome relief for local residents who are finding it hard to make ends meet. There are currently more than 1.7 million families in Spain with not one member working. See ‘Singing for her supper’ on page 13

Olive oil checks SPAIN’S olive oil sector is to face random checks as part of efforts to maintain quality levels. The inspections, which will affect mills, bottling companies, refineries and distribution centres, are aimed at improving product traceability. The clampdown is part of an effort to protect Spain’s reputation as a world leader in olive oil production. The country is the world’s biggest exporter of olive oil, responsible for Craig’s 51% of global exports. got Officials have been forced to step after a Spanish consumman-flu. er group found nearly one in three of the samples it tested had been mislabelled.

well, so all pieces are coated with oil and spices 4 Spread the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a baking sheet; the oil they are coated with should keep them from sticking to the pan 5 Bake for a total of 25 to 30 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn over all of the sweet potato pieces. Return to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until they are well browned. Let cool for five minutes before serving Yield: Serves 4-6 as a side dish Tip: Try to cut them evenly so they all cook at about the same rate


the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012

43 FOOD & DRINK the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012 43 with DINING SECRETS of

Restaurant Road

In a quiet, unshowy sort of way, one road inland from the Costa del Sol T was once a brassic backwater where the local form of transport now boasts the was by donkey and the main reafinest collection son to come was to collect wood and esparto grass, used to weave basof country kets and even shoes. Today, the road from the coast to Casarestaurants in is a true foodies’ paradise, a road Malaga province, res full of veritable dining secrets, where those-in-the-know come for a cheeky as Olive Press lunch or a gourmet weekend as often editor Jon Clarke as they can. (below, at Finca ‘Anyone in the know Cortesin) explains


now talks about the Casares road as being the place to come and eat’

Take it from me. Having lived in Ronda (another dining hotspot) for seven years I recently relocated here with my family, in part thanks to its incredible places to eat. As editor of the website Dining Secrets of Andalucia ( I have often taken forays up this charming road into the beautiful Sierra de Bermeja. Snuffling out its chestnuts and marvelling at its picture postcard scenery, the site now has five places warranting their inclusion on the website... and, quite frankly, there should be more.

MAGICAL MESA: A mountain view at Venta Victoria and (right) Noriko at Arroyo Hondo “Anyone in the know now talks about the Casares road as being the place to come and eat,” explains Michael Forge, an English expat, who opened his restaurant The Forge with his wife Athene two decades ago. An atmospheric place that typifies the local dining experience, he adds: “It sort of happened out of the blue and in summer you often need to book a week in advance if you want a table.” Fellow chef at Arroyo Honda Chris-

tian Robson-Burrell believes that it is the healthy mix of styles and ‘bags of ideas’ that has helped to turn the road into a true ‘ruta gastronomica’. “There are none of the usual boring ventas and each place has its own USP with everything from modern Spanish to traditional mother’s cooking and the Asian influence,” he estimates. “And above all, we all work hard.” Local estate agent Oscar Ernstsen agrees.

“The healthy amount of competition only helps to improve things. And a good shopping street only attracts more and more people. “In fact when Venta Garcia reopened a few years ago after a huge refit we thought, poor guy, he can never succeed with so many good restaurants around him... but the truth is he, like all the others, stays busy.” The Dutch fatherof-two adds: “Quite frankly, we don’t need to go to Marbella as we are spoilt for choice here. It is a real luxury for those who live here.” In clearly a case of the more the merrier, the road now also counts the two fabulous restaurants El Jardin and Schilo at arguably the Costa del Sol’s most exclusive hotel Finca Cortesin. This amazing place to stay, built with impeccable taste and design in mind, has held the Volvo World Match Play tournament and recent guests include Peter Andre and Guns ‘N Roses stars Axl Rose and Slash. See over for full tour

44 44

the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012


When you finally arrive in Casares itself, there are a few spots worth a mention. These include Mi Cortijo with its amazing views of the white town and a coquettish French host Elizabeth, who knows how to knock up a decent lunch, as well as Casa Curro, an authentic family-run restaurant where everything is made from scratch and there are plenty of vegetables.


eblo ares Pu



La Ruta



6 5


Things really started to get exciting when clever Christian and his Japanese wife Noriko opened Arroyo Honda a decade ago. A true Dining Secret, Christian and his sous chef David Jones honed their skills in London and the Far East. “We bounce ideas off each other and spur each other on,” explains Christian, who changes his menu weekly and uses mostly seasonal produce. With an emphasis on quality dishes, with a twist, the menu might include such delights as braised oxtail with Parmesan gnocci with white truffle oil and king prawn tempura with a Wakame salad and Ponzu dressing. There is even a brandade of cod Scotch egg, with chorizo and roast pepper sauce and a braised feather blade of beef with truffle peas. They also try and have plenty of game through the winter, including dishes like loin of venison wellington with jamon serrano and mushroom duxelle.


T h e grandfather of the modern restaurant scene in Casares is The Forge. Opened two decades ago by Michael and Athene Forge, this 200-year-old farmhouse is elegant in the extreme and has a fabulous menu to match. Thanks to the couple’s love of jazz and theatre, it is little surprise to discover numerous stars have dined here over the years including Cecil Parkinson, Terry Lawless and Kenny Ball. Sit on the charming terrace or the candle-lit dining room and opt for exciting starters such as Devils on Horseback (melt-in-your-mouth chicken livers wrapped in bacon) or spicy minced lamb ‘empanadas’. Mains include Cape Malay chicken curry and roast rack of lamb and a superb pudding is chestnut cheesecake.

4 3 2



Open since 1942, charming Venta Victoria is now in the third generation of the same Saborido Cozar family. Once a stopping off place for ‘arrieros’ who used to transport goods, primarily wood and esparto grass, by donkey, it is now one of the most authentic places to eat in Andalucia. Beautifully decorated inside it has a fabulous dining terrace, sheltered from the sun and wind and with excellent views towards the coast and mountains. Different to its rivals, this is a true family affair with half a dozen brothers and sisters running the show. It is open for breakfast and serves up a great range of dishes. Expect to eat the most hearty of meals, both well sourced and extremely tasty and home cooked, including pate and amazing lamb chops. There is always plenty of celebrated Andaluz fare such as bull’s cheeks and stew. Chicken in cognac with bacon and goat stew come highly recommended.



Moving up the road inland your first port of call will be the fabulously fun and family-orientated restaurant The Brasserie. Set just off the road, the terracotta-red restaurant is a true community centre, great for kids, and warm and popular with locals. Owned by friendly Dutch woman Anita, who is truly the life and soul of the place, it feels elegant once inside. Different to its rivals it opens early and takes last orders around 8.30pm, leaving guests to come and go at any time of the day. It serves a straightforward menu, which is usually a soup and a main course, like beef stew or fish and the prices are extremely good value, as are the wines.




Gastronomica 8.


Hidden high in the hills with amazing views of both mountains and nature, Celima restaurant is a charming spot for lunch. Part of Hotel Hermitage, the restaurant is half way along a nice marked trail into the mountains and counts a light, airy dining room and good attention to detail.




Previously a spit and sawdust ‘truck stop’, it is little short of amazing the magic Juan Jesus has weaved on this strategic spot. A kind of Ibizencan redoubt, where chic urban lines meet stunning country views, what really pleases is the quality of the food. Broadly ‘modern Spanish’ the menu is large and enticing and, while, a bit less adventurous than some of his rivals, it has an emphasis on quality ingredients and good, solid cooking. There is an excellent value menu del dia, but the a la carte menu has some chestnuts like leg of goat with prune and raison sauce, a beef wellington and an amazing sea bass. Practically full at weekends, the place – that has been in Jesus’ family for three generations - is also frequently rammed at lunch and you have to be patient if you want a table. But hey, sit outside with a glass of Manzanilla and wait your turn, for you certainly will not be disappointed.

1 Bahia de Casares



For those looking for a real treat one of the true high-end, glamour spots of the Costa del Sol - then you need to take a turn off the main road through the big white gates of Finca Cortesin. For inside this stunning five-star hotel, certainly the most sumptuous of the region, you will find two excellent restaurants right up there with the best. Under the overall charge of German Lutz Bosing (above), both are elegance in the extreme. El Jardin has a distinct Portuguese feel with a fantastic terrace for lunch and warm summer evenings. Its menu is a tour of simplicity with some magical touches and a fabulous wine list to match, including gems such as Chateau Y’quem at €300 a pop and the slightly more affordable Moray St Denis 2005 at €96. Schilo is more Asian-influenced and designed to feel like a night at the theatre with all the chefs taking centre stage in a production at one end. Neither disappoint.


Our tour begins at the very bottom of the MA-546, beside the little-known Playa de Sal beach, with its ancient watchtower and stunning vistas. Here, you will find the fabulous chiringuito La Sal, which has been established for over 20 years and stays open far longer than many of its rivals (March to November). Book a table and sunbed next door and spend a day luxuriating and lunching.

the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012



the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012



And it is not just dining...From elegant Finca Cortesin to the stunning countryside retreat of Hotel Hermitage, Casares is also a great place to hole up for the weekend


OU arrive in a atmospheric courtyard, your car quickly taken away by a valet, and you are ushered into a privileged world of antiques, hidden corners and, above all, style. This is Finca Cortesin (below), one of the most charming hotels on the Costa del Sol and a place where celebrities and sportsmen come to hole up. Probably Andalucia’s most exclusive place to stay these days, rates start at €450 for a double, but it is easy to see why; the grounds are impeccable and the well appointed, sumptuous rooms are all beautifully decorated and the height of comfort. This is a real pleasure palace and stories abound of diners paying nearly €15,000 for a meal, including pink Champagne and other famous French first growths. But it is possible to simply enjoy the vibe, taking a couple of cocktails in the bar and maybe a snack on the light bites menu. Here, you will be served arguably Andalucia’s best gin and tonic, fastidiously crafted by

Getting high white-suited mixologist Alberto, a Gibraltarian who trained in London. There are no less than a dozen different G&Ts on the wine list and expect to get a lecture from Alberto on how vital it is to ‘break the botanicals’ when making a good mixer. For those on a budget, head higher up into the Sierra Crestallina until you see the sign for Hotel Hermitage (above). Take a right and you still have a few kilometres drive up a wonderful country lane through a mix of cork, pine and oak forests. Arriving at this new hotel really is a joy and, set in a nature reserve, the location could not be more privileged. “We get wild boars literally sniffing around the pool throughout the summer,” explains the receptionist. Walk straight from the door, or simply relax in the gardens by the pool, from where there are amazing views to Gibraltar and Africa in the distance.

the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012



Marbella Open


the FREE

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

the olive press - November 29 - December 12, 2012

MARBELLA’s first ATP tennis open tournament, held at the Puente Romano Hotel, was won by Albert Montanes.

Plane pain

olive press

Telephone: 951 16 60 60

November 29

December 12, 2012

Lawrence of Arabia star returns to Almeria next month as film festival celebrates the movie’s 50th anniversary

Whisky a go go

A Swiss woman has been taken to hospital in Madrid after being stung by a scorpion on an Iberia flight.

Tree effort

Mijas Town Hall has begun its annual reforestation campaign to replace trees in the areas worst affected by wild fires.

Casa care

Part of the Casa del Rey Moro in Ronda has been closed to the public after bad weather caused its facade to collapse.

A PILOT has come up with a novel way to de-ice his aircraft’s wings – using six bottles of whisky. When informed there was no de-icing equipment available for his flight from Alicante to Norway, the quick-thinking captain used stock from the on-board shop, pouring three bottles over each wing. “We were informed that all the whisky aboard had been consumed and that if anyone wanted a drink on the trip, they’d have to have gin,” said passenger Linda Apeland.

SHERIF ALI RETURNS EGYPT’s most famous export will be in Almeria next month to pick up a lifetime achievement award. Omar Sharif will personally collect the accolade as Almeria Film Festival celebrates the 50th anniversary

of perhaps his most famous flick of all, Lawrence of Arabia. The 80-year-old star, who played Sherif Ali in the 1962 epic by David Lean, will appear at the Maestro Padilla auditorium in Almeria city


AN expat tae kwon do star has kicked his way to victory at the Andalucian Cup. Kieran Taylor, 18, has won gold at the tournament in Algeciras in his first competition as an adult. Taylor, who lives in Arroyo de la Miel and was the first English lad to make the Spanish national team, injured his foot in training – but still managed to secure first place in both the technical stances and combat rounds. The young sportsman is currently looking for potential sponsors as he moves forward with his career.

on December 4. Almeria’s culture boss Maria Vazquez said festival organisers wanted to honour the Oscar-winning film because it was largely filmed in the province. Along with a film screening, there will be shooting locations tours, guest speakers and an exhibition displaying some of the props. Sharif is also expected to unveil a statue of his Lawrence of Arabia co-star Peter O’Toole during his visit. The festival runs from December 4-8 and boasts a programme of internationally produced short films.

Sell your property THIS WEEK with an online ad reaching thousands for just


www AllAbout Andalucia Propertycom (brought to you by the OlivePress)


BRITISH business magnate Sir Alan Sugar has been spotted on the Costa del Sol. The 65-year-old Londoner, who owns property in Marbella, was seen having a coffee with some friends at La Sala restaurant in Puerto Banus yesterday. Sugar, who has been buying the Byblos Hotel in Mijas, now has an estimated fortune of €950m and was ranked 89th in the Sunday Times Rich List 2011. In 2007, he sold his remaining interest in the consumer electronics company Amstrad, his largest and best known business venture.

Calender girls

A GROUP of Spanish mums have stripped off for a racy calendar to raise €43,000 for a much-needed school bus. The women, from Valencia, have been left to walk their children six kilometres over unpaved roads each morning since school transport services were cut. The mums can be seen posing for the saucy snaps inside bus shelters and along the school route. “Next year we’ll see whether the husbands have to get naked,” said one of the mums, Yolanda Peiro. No part of this publication may be used or reproduced without the explicit permission of the publisher. While efforts are made to ensure the authenticity of advertisements and articles appearing in The Olive Press, the publisher does not accept any responsibility for claims made, nor do contributors’ opinions necessarily represent his own. Copyright Luke Stewart Media S.L 2012

Olive Press Newspaper - Issue 149  
Olive Press Newspaper - Issue 149  

The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucia