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olive press


The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucía

Vol. 7 Issue 176

December 11 - December 23 2013

Christmas hope for Doñana

European Union to investigate gas plans for National Park See page 11

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Gov to make 20% from El Gordo winnings for the first time

PARADISE: The Donana World Heritage Site is under threat from two oil companies set to start drilling

Mystery Blaze

Rock’s new hero EXCLUSIVE

James Cracknell tells Olive Press how he vows to save the Rock OLYMPIC gold medal winner James Cracknell has vowed to become a new hero for the Rock. Rower Cracknell - who is standing as a candidate for the MEP elections in May 2014 - told the Olive Press he would ‘fight the corner’ of Gibraltarians in their current dispute with Spain. He insisted he would campaign on their behalf in Brussels, and would ‘not take no’ for an answer. Cracknell - who was burgled last week while receiving treatment for a brain condition in a London hospital - added he was buoyed by Gibraltar’s sense of community and passion for politics. ‘A shocking impact’ on page 9

DESTROYED : Big Blue Box

Police probe fire that gutted well known expat emporium - for the second time in 20 years EXCLUSIVE By Giles Brown

See page 6

UK TV Solutions Installations Troubleshooting •

663 303 932 / 675 033 474 Fully accreditted BSKYB technician based in Las Alpujarras Find us on

A MYSTERY fire has gutted two floors of a well-known furniture business in Estepona. Police are now probing the reasons behind the blaze

at Big Blue Box, which destroyed hundreds of thousands of euros of furniture, most belonging to private individuals. The fire broke out in the early hours of Friday morning at the Atena Commercial Centre, completely destroying the showroom, as exclusive Olive Press photos show. As firefighters struggled to control the massive blaze, the area was cordoned off as

smoke blew across the nearby main road. Nobody was injured in the blaze, but it comes after a series of woes for shop owners Bennie and Debbie Glynn. In recent months the company had been the subject of complaints by some customers who were unhappy with the service they had received, with several contacting the Olive Press. A friend of the couple con-

firmed they had recently received threats from the owner of a valuable table and chairs, ‘worth tens of thousands, but sold for just 600 euros’.

“I think the threats scared them a little,” he said. According to sources, the couple had also recently reTurn to page 2


the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013

Blaze Probe From page 1

received a huge electricity bill, believed to be around €15,000 euros, while they denied they had been cut off. On top of this, in July a group of Spaniards picketed the store, claiming that the couple’s daughter owed them €3000 and had destroyed the apartment that she had been renting from them. Last night, the Glynns insisted the rumours about their business and the fire were ‘tittle tattle at a delicate time’. Mr Glynn added: “Loads of people on the coast don’t like us because we are a successful business.


“They are just jealous and spreading rumours. It is a horrible time.” Big Blue Box specialised in selling second hand furniture for private individuals, who left their items in the showroom. In a bizarre twist the Olive Press has discovered that the building was the scene of a fatal fire in 1998. In the tragic blaze, the owner and a member of staff were killed when the furniture store El Mogollin burnt to the ground.


Costa del Moll

Gangster’s girlfriend who sent money to on-the-run criminal walks free THE GIRLFRIEND of one of Britain’s most wanted criminals walked free from a British court - even though she was found guilty of sending him money while on the run. Gemma Harvieu, a Selfridges

beautician, aided and abetted UK’s Most Wanted criminal Andrew Moran (above), while he lived in southern Spain. Harvieu wired money from Western Union outlets to various places in Spain where

armed robber Andrew Moran collected it using an assortment of false identities. The gangster’s moll also regularly flew out to see Moran in his Alicante villa where he had been hiding since he

CLEAVER HORROR: The young waiter from Coin met a terrible death at the hands of schizophrenic flatmate.

Locked up for life! A PARANOID schizophrenic has been detained in a mental health clinic for life after beheading his Spanish flatmate in London. Karl Addo, 30, beheaded and then disemboweled Sergio Retamar Marquez, 23, from Coin, in July last year after being told to leave their Bournemouth flat. Although Addo was sentenced to a minimum

six-and-a-half years, Mr Justice Burnett also imposed an indefinite restriction under the Mental Health Act, which means Addo may never be released. He came to believe that Marquez was planning to torture and kill him, finally murdering the waiter when his landlord instigated eviction proceedings.

dramatically vaulted the dock and escaped from Burnley Crown Court in 2009. He also managed to avoid capture by Spanish police when he rammed through a road block in his 4x4. Moran was finally arrested as he sunbathed by his pool with Harvieu in May this year. Police also found guns and drugs in the villa. Harvieu was found guilty of assisting an offender and money laundering and was given a suspended sentence. She was also ordered to do 300 hours unpaid work.

CRIME WAVES: But gangster’s moll Harvieu was given a suspended sentence

Expat arrested after new child abuse claims

A STRING of new accusations have emerged against an Estepona ex-pat after his arrest on child sex abuse charges last month. Police arrested Donald Cassidy, 78, after receiving new allegations – which he denies - from two expat families in Estepona, but were forced to send him home due to his failing health. One mother contacted police after Cassidy befriended her two daughters, then aged nine and 14. She accuses him of abusing her daughters in 2008 after taking them out for dinner. The mother says she did not come forward at the time because she thought no one would believe her.


Worst year for culture

the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013


Rocky Horror El Gordo show

Filmmaker Almodovar insists the government is ‘deaf and insensitive’ to the arts SPAIN’S leading filmmaker has accused the government of destroying its culture. Pedro Almodovar attacked PP leader Rajoy as he ac-

cepted an honorary prize at the European Film Awards in Berlin. The 64-year-old filmmaker (right) described the govern-

ment as ‘deaf and insensitive’ to the country’s problems and railed against its ‘awful cultural policy’. Spanish state funding to the

Telefonica goes to the pictures

TELEFONICA has invested in Tadeo Jones 2, the sequel to one of Europe’s most successful animation films this decade. The move makes it one of the biggest film production companies in Spain. Telefonica Studios, a branch of the telecoms company Telefonica, is required by law to invest in or buy local movies in both Spain and Argentina each year. It has recently made commitments to a range of new Argentine productions, via the country’s broadcast network Telefe.

CRITICS have questioned why Spain’s king was apparently not able to travel

to the funeral of Nelson Mandela this week. His son Felipe took his

TWEET TWERP MORGAN Freeman’s portrayal of Nelson Mandela may be Oscar-worthy - at least if the reaction of Levante’s goalkeeper is anything to go by. Keeper Javi Martinez caused a stir on Twitter after seemingly confusing actor Morgan Freeman – star of The Shawshank Redemption – with former South Africa President Nelson Mandela, the man jailed for 27 years for his part in the struggle against Apartheid. Martinez tweeted, “Very sorry to hear of the death of Nelson Mandela, one of the greatest actors that Hollywood has ever known.” He later claimed his account had been hacked although Freeman portrays Mandela in the film Invictus.

arts, including film, has been drastically reduced in recent years. It has also crippled cinema audiences by insisting theatres charge IVA at 21% on all tickets. Almodovar called 2013 ‘the worst year’ for his industry. Furthering his scathing broadside at the ruling PP’s austerity measures, the Volver director saluted ‘the resistance of the citizens who are victims of this government’. Presented at Berlin’s Festspiele arts centre, the 26th European Film Awards were broadcast live in 15 countries and were also streamed online.

King misses Mandela funeral

place alongside Prime Minister Rajoy, as they flew out together to Johan-

nesburg. Mandela was a guest at Felipe’s wedding to Leticia in 2004. The king was apparently unable to fly due to a recent operation, although some wondered if it was due to his recent disastrous trip to Africa, when he was photographed posing with the body of MISTAKEN IDENTITY: Levante a dead elephant goalkeeper thought actor Morgan he had shot. Freeman, not Mandela had died

A HORROR spoof of the El Gordo lottery television advert has gone viral. The scary version has attracted almost 1.7 million views on YouTube in just a few days. In the popular video a soppy Christmas scene has been transformed into a horror show, with scared children recoiling in fear at the sound of the Spanish crooners who star in the ad. The official advert, which has become a laughing stock for being too kitsch, has been seen just 270,000 times. It stars Spanish singers Montserrat Caballé, Raphael, Marta Sánchez, Niña Pastori and David Bustamante. See ‘Fat Chance’ on Page 6

Secret song

RUMOURS are rife Shakira and Rihanna are to release a Christmas duet. The Spain-based beauty, who is married to Barcelona player Gerard Pique, is believed to be in LA filming a video with Rihanna, after the new mum’s

body double let the arrangements slip on Twitter. In a tweet that was subsequently removed, Alexita Ortiz wrote: “Working on set with Shakira as her stand in for the new music video featuring Rihanna.”

Chico’s Hard Rock gig FORMER Gypsy King Chico Castillo will launch his Greatest Hits album at the Hard Rock Café in Puerto Banus on December 13. The singer and guitarist - whose last album Batucada sold over a million copies - will also play a live set at the event. Since leaving the Gypsy Kings Chico has been involved in a variety of projects, most notably his Gypsy Fusion show, as well as performing on the Buddha Bar albums.

HITS GREAT: Chico to launch album in Puerto Banus



the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013


Royal crisis A JUDGE will rule within weeks whether to summon Spanish King Juan Carlos’s daughter as a fraud suspect, fuelling a grave crisis for Spain’s royals.

Canine coffers MARBELLA’S first ever charity dog walk raised a total €3,446 for Triple A, a shelter with 600 animals, including dogs, horses and ducks.

Extradition fear A SPANISH court has seized the passports of two former policemen wanted by Argentina for torture during the Franco regime. The pair face extradition under human rights laws.

Important cut DRONES should be used instead of razor wire on the Melilla border, according to the Socialist boss Soraya Rodriguez.

On track AN electric train running between the Albaicin, the city and the Alhambra has come into operation in Grananda. It is hoped more people will visit the city centre as a result.

BACK ON TRACK Plea to get high-speed test track re-licenced after German giant stresses interest

The PSOE Socialist Party wants central government to re-tender the controversial testing ring for high-speed trains in Antequera. It comes after German multinational Siemens confirmed its interest in investing in the unpopular project, which would see trains reaching speeds of up to 520km/h. The socialist party boss says the move would create much-needed jobs and turn the province into a ‘leader of rail technology’.

By Giles Brown A previous tender crashed into the buffers after the test track failed to attract a single bid. But PSOE boss Miguel Angel Heredia now claims the tender was ‘botched’ and that unfair terms posed a ‘great economic risk’ for potential bidders. He has now asked that the obstacles be removed. Heredia demanded that central government negotiate a moratorium

Ray of Light

THE mayor of a town hall fighting to prevent an ‘elite macroproject’ from ruining the Alcornocales natural park has received a glimmer of hope. Castellar de la Frontera leader Juan Casanova remains positive about the future of the La Almoraima estate after a constructive meeting with a government minister. Casanova - whose town has been fighting the planned sale of the 16,000 hectare estate to develop a golf and polo scheme - met with Miguel Arias Canete, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment in Madrid.

with the European Union, so that the 250 million euros that the European Regional Development Fund had earmarked for the project are not lost. He also criticised the lack of political will of the PP and said that the lack of funds in the State Budget for the project underlined this. However, local residents have voiced their opposition, claiming that the ring will have a huge environmental impact on the area.


AIMA LA ALMOR the ress

olive p

Although the government confirmed that it still intended to go ahead with the sale, the minister confirmed that a private investor could well establish a long term sustainable project. “This is a ray of light,” Casanova told the Olive Press. The issue, reported in our last issue, has generated a huge outcry among politicians, environmentalists and locals. Well known expat writers Chris Stewart, Guy Hunter-Watts and Geoff Garvey condemned the sale.

“They are selling off the silver one more time to balance the books,” said Stewart, author of Driving Over Lemons. The Olive Press meanwhile has joined the campaign to save the estate and urges its readers to join the thousands of opponents who have already signed petitions condemning the sale. More demonstrations are planned for the New Year. Visit to sign the petition.

SPEED MACHINES: At Siemens’ German test track They insist there will be incalculable damage to villages including Fuente de Piedra,

Mollina, Alameda and Humilladero, as well as the traditional farming area of La Vega.

More corrupt than ever!

SPAIN has slipped six places in the global corruption rankings. Only Syria lost more points in the latest perception survey, which is carried out annually by Transparency International. Corruption in Spain has been highlighted this year followwing a string of scandals, including the ERE case in Sevilla. It also saw the country’s former treasurer tell a judge he had channelled cash donations from construction firms into PP politicians’ pockets. He was found to have almost €50 million in a Swiss bank account. The king’s son-in-law was also charged this year with embezzling millions in public funds. Denmark and New Zealand topped the list of 177 countries, while the UK moved up three places from 17 to 14. Somalia, North Korean and Afghanistan remained tied in last place. The survey, which was first conducted in 1995, draws on a variety of sources, including World Bank and World Economic Forum assessments, the African Development Bank’s governance ratings, and Transparency International’s own Bribe Payers Survey.


the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013



the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013

OPINION Leave it alone!

FOR a country with Spain’s economic woes, the idea that there is a rich seam of ‘black gold’ lurking below an undeveloped area is understandably attractive. Extracting and transporting oil from Donana National Park could provide an impetus to the country’s still struggling economy, boosting GDP and creating much needed jobs. But destroying the ecosystem of a UNESCO world heritage site in the pursuit of oil would be a quick fix at best. Described as the ‘greatest environmental sanctuary in Europe’ in a petition to the EU to save it, the area is home to many species of endangered birds, as well as the world’s most endangered big cat, the Lynx. The park should be defended because of its environmental importance and boosted more as a venue for ecotourism. As should be the case in the nearby Alcornocales park. From Australia to South America, countries around the world are increasingly taking advantage of their natural spaces through green tourism. No matter how much oil there is underneath the park, it will eventually run out. These natural resources – if treated with respect – could provide an income for Spain for generations to come. It would be a source of shame for the Spanish if it took EU politicians to show them that.

Scrooges, but clever IT is as much a part of Christmas in Spain as those inedible turrones. And, as anyone who has lived here for a while will know, the el Gordo (‘fat one’) lottery draw brings Spain to a standstill. It is, after all, the world’s single biggest lottery prize. But while no one can argue against the joy that it brings to the (very) lucky few who win and the money raised for good causes, this year the joy won’t be as riotous as previously. For the first time ever the government will be taxing the winners a whopping 20% on any winnings over 2,500 euros. This is in addition to the huge amount of cash they already rake in from it in the first place. So Rajoy and the rest of the government have really got into the Christmas spirit – by playing Scrooge… but the Olive Press wholeheartedly supports the move. What’s, after all, a few million less to a 10 million winner?

Into cyberspace The Olive Press website has gone from strength to strength over the past year, establishing itself as a forum for debate as well as offering all the latest local and national news. That one story alone has attracted over 600 comments (Are you ready for the ‘Big TV Switch Off’ in Spain? Feburary 2013) is testament to just how well-loved the site has become. It is great to see so many people - locals, former residents, and those further afield – visiting the site and getting involved. Your comments make us laugh, make us think, and occasionally raise our hackles, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. With around 3000 unique visitors a day there is certainly plenty of reasons to join in. If you’ve not logged on yet, what are you waiting for? Come and get stuck in at

Got a news story?

Contact our team of journalists in our Costa del Sol office on 951127006 or 691831399 or email



A fat chance! It’s an essential part of the Spanish festive calendar and ensures that a lucky few will have a very Merry Christmas and an extremely Happy New Year. Giles Brown picks out some facts and figures about the ‘Fat One’ What is it?

El Gordo de La Primitiva is one of Spain’s most popular lottery games, best known for its impressive jackpots and the reintegro prize option which increases secondary prizes and is essential to winning the El Gordo jackpot. The draw takes place on December 22 each year at the Teatro Real in Madrid, when Spain comes to a standstill as the numbers are read (or rather, sung) out.

When did this all start?

The Spanish love of lotteries goes back to 1763 when the country’s first royal lottery was initiated by King Charles III. The country’s national lottery debuted in 1812, and El Gordo de La Primitiva joined the official Spanish lottery organisation (Loterías y Apuestas del Estado) almost 200 years later when the weekly lottery was added in 1993. Since then, the game colloquially known as El Gordo has hit record individual prizes including €33,024,545 (2011) , €27,152,932 (2008), and €26,214,521 (2007)

It’s been going for a while then? Just a bit. The Spanish Christ-

GOLD RUSH: The balls are released (left) while the children sing out the numbers

mas lottery is the second longest continuously running lottery in the world. This includes the years during the Spanish Civil War when the lottery draw was held in Valencia after the Republicans were forced to relocate their capital from Madrid. After the overthrow of the Republican government the lottery continued uninterrupted under the Franco regime up to the present day.

How does the draw take place?

Two spherical vessels are used. The big one contains 100,000 small wooden balls, each with a unique 5-digit number on it, from 00000 to 99999. The small vessel contains 1,807 small wooden balls, each one with a prize in Euros on it: * 1 ball for the first prize, called el Gordo. * 1 ball for the second prize. * 1 ball for the third prize. * 2 balls for the fourth prizes. * 8 balls for the fifth prizes. *1794 balls for the small prizes, called la Pedrea, literally ‘the pebble-avalanche’ or ‘stoning’. As the draw goes on, a single ball is extracted from each of the revolving spheres at the same time. One child sings the winning number, the other child sings the corresponding prize. This is repeated until all the prize-balls are connected to a number. Due to the sheer number of prizes, this proce-

dure takes several hours. The children work in about eight to nine shifts, equal to the number of frames of numbers to be drawn.

What’s with the singing children?

Pupils of the San Ildefonso school (formerly reserved for orphans of public servants) draw the numbers and corresponding prizes, singing the results aloud. Until 1984 only boys from San Ildefonso participated in the drawing; that year Monica Rodriguez became the first girl to sing the results. It is a custom that the winners donate some of the money to the San Ildefonso school. Spanish TV and radio stations broadcast the entire draw, which takes place on the same date each year.

How much is up for grabs this year?

This year there will be overall winnings of € 2.24 billion in total including the main El Gordo prize. Little wonder, then, that up to 75% of the Spanish population plays it.

What’s my chance of winning?

The prize structure makes it easier to win some money compared to other lotteries, and it is commonly said that the prizes of the Christmas Lottery are well distributed all around Spain. Chances

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A campaigning, community newspaper, the Olive Press represents the huge expatriate community in southern Spain - 200,000 copies distributed monthly (130,000 digitally) with an estimated readership, including the website, of more than 500,000 people a month. Luke Stewart Media S.L - CIF: B91664029 Urb Casares del Sol, bloque 21, portal 70, bajo b, Casares 29690, Malaga Printed by Corporación de Medios de Andalucía S.A. Editor: Jon Clarke Reporters: Newsdesk Liam Kirkaldy Claire Wilson

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of winning a prize in the El Gordo lottery are 1 in100,000, which works out at 0.001%, while chances of winning the top prize of Euromillions are 1 in 116,531,800 or 0.0000000086%.

There must have been some memorable winners...

Absolutely. In 2011 two housewives’ associations in Granen, with 2,000 inhabitants, and its neighbouring village of Sodeto in the northern region of Aragon split a record €4 million among a series of tickets. The associations sold shares in the tickets, which are split in a series of 10, to family members, neighbours and friends for €5 each. Each tenth of a ticket was worth €400,000 euros. Not a bad return for a fiver!

Are the winnings tax free?

They used to be. In an austerity measure last year the government ruled that winners will have to pay 20% tax on any winnings over €2,500. That is in addition to the fact that it already keeps 30% of the money spent on El Gordo. The €1bn it receives accounts for 0.1% of GDP, equivalent to almost 1% of this year’s budget deficit target.

The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucía




Who was El Calvo?

WINNING BIG: Lotto winners celebrate after last year’s draw

El Calvo was the bald British actor Clive Arrindell, who featured in the Gordo Christmas adverts from 1998 until 2005. There was a general outcry when his mysterious character was dropped. This year’s advert, features Spanish singing stars Montserrat Caballé, Raphael, Marta Sánchez, Niña Pastori y David Bustamante. Clive has revived El Calvo for Accion Contra el Hambre’s Christmas campaign.


the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013





the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013


Music Matters JASON Sutherland with Greet the Weather, Jack Scott for I fell in love today and Keiron Bueno, Sami Goulamhoussein, Jade Victory, and Ethan Cruz for Our Video Game World were all winners of the recent NCA-2013 for Music.

Ape Invasion BUILDERS suspected of feeding the apes from scaffolding are to blame for the increased number of Barbary macaques to Mount Alvernia.

Cigs Up THE duty on a packet of cigarettes has increased by 10p. Police and Customs have also been given greater powers to deal with cigarette smugglers.

Sol Snub FORMER government minister, Chamber of Commerce president and Israeli ambassador Solomon Seruya has turned down an honour from the pro-cooperation cultural group Mar del Sur because of the ongoing difficulties with Spain.

Loud and Proud in London! GIBRALTAR has drawn attention to its border misery with Spain during a noisy, but peaceful, demonstration outside the Spanish Embassy in London. Organised by the Defenders of Gibraltar and Gibraltarians Worldwide, the group was joined by the Earl of Dartmouth in handing the letter and dossier of evidence to the embassy in Kensington. The group, that waived both the Union Jack and


Border Watch

OYAL Gibraltar Police had to send an extra 10 officers to police the border on Monday night when tensions mounted again. It came after Spanish police again started the slow inspection of cars and pedestrians leaving the enclave during a bank holiday. The long delays of up to four hours led to protests from the mostly Spanish visitors, who

Gibraltar flags, gathered outside Gibraltar House in the Strand, before heading to the embassy. Organiser Anne-Marie Struggles said: “Thank you, those who came and those who could not but who supported us in not giving up and gave us strength to continue!” The groups are now planning future demonstrations in 2014, including one outside the European Parliament in Brussels.

Taking a closer look at what’s happening on the frontier.

banged on the fence and hurled abuse at the border guards. It is the fourth time it has happened in two weeks and was again happening as we went to press, last night. One Spanish resident of La Linea Sandra Andrades, posted a video of angry crowds at the border. “Tensions are running too it normal to keep people waiting for four hours? Suffering the cold? And for chil-

dren to suffer this? The Spanish government has no shame, no morality. They say they are doing their job and others support these queues but every day brings me more disgust,” she wrote on her facebook page. A Gib police spokesman said: “One day people will become so angry they will stampede the border. So far we have managed to avoid that.”


‘A shocking impact’

the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013

Olympic hero tells Olive Press he will fight to help the Gibraltar economy from Spanish border chaos if he becomes an MEP THE economic impact of the Gibraltar dispute is ‘far more shocking’ than the border crossing issues, insists MEP candidate James Cracknell. The political hopeful - who won Olympic gold for Great Britain - said he was astounded by the effect the dispute has had on local businesses and has vowed to fight their corner should he be elected to represent the Rock in the European parliament next May. He told the Olive Press: “I have spoken to taxi drivers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs and they have all been hit by falling business since the fracas began in the summer. “One shop owner told me his footfall had dropped 25% over the past four months. That is shocking, it’s simply not sustainable.” The rowing medallist, 41, was on a three-day tour of the territory, which is part of the South West constituency he is standing to represent as a Conservative MEP. “I wanted to come over and meet the people of Gibraltar

EXCLUSIVE By Claire Wilson so I can look them in the eye and tell them I understand their concerns, and I know what is happening on the ground here. “I honestly expected the furore to centre on the border queues, and while this is of course a huge source of discontent there’s so much more to it than that.” Speaking over coffee at the Rock Hotel, he said Gib was an easy target, and that to an extent it was ‘obvious’ Spain was creating the trouble to detract from its own political problems.

Overblown But he also warned that while the British government should take action, it shouldn’t make moves just for the sake of it. “There needs to be talks at the right level. While it’s important not to be seen to be taken advantage of, it’s equally important not to take childish, or overblown

VOW: First Minister Fabian Picardo with gold medallist Cracknell who was impressed by Gib’s ‘enthusiastic’ people

action. I know UK politicians are very sympathetic to the plight of the Gibraltarians.” He also suggested the Spanish government needs to be aware of how damaging its actions are for its own people. “Gibraltar breathes life into the surrounding Spanish towns, and provides employment for more than 8000 Spaniards. “To subject them to two or three hour commutes each and every day is appalling. Without Gibraltar places like La Linea simply couldn’t survive.” Cracknell, who is making the move into politics so he can fight for the causes about which he is passionate, said he was further

ON the Rock

The Olive Press guide to What’s On in Gibraltar over the next two weeks

December 11 – 20

December 12

Exhibition on Conceptual work looking at Gibraltar by Jennifer Watson John Mackintosh Hall, 10am -10pm For further info contact Jennifer Mutton on 20062722

Carols By Candlelight Concert by The Gibraltar National Choir Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, 8pm For further information please contact mobile 54831000 com

December 11 – 20

December 12 -15

John Culatto – Painting and Sculpture Exhibition John Mackintosh Hall, 10am-10pm For further info contact John Culatto on 20077927

Masters of Illusion 2013 – Magic and Illusion Show Ince’s Hall Theatre, 7pm For further information please contact

December 11

galvanized by the people of Gibraltar. “They are so enthusiastic, and politically-minded. I’ve not had a conversation yet which hasn’t quickly turned to politics. And it’s not just a result of the current tension. Election turnout here far outstrips that of any other UK constituency. Gibraltarians really are an inspiration.”


December 18

Tiny Tots Christmas Show, “Tiny Tots Travel the World” John Mackintosh Hall Theatre, 6pm For further information contact Tel: 20045895

GBC Open Day John Mackintosh Square, 9am -6pm For further info contact James Neish on 20079760

December 11

December 18

Art Lecture – Charles Rennie Mackintosh O’Callaghan Eliott Hotel, 7.30pm For Further information contact Claus Olesen on 20002024

GBC Open Day John Mackintosh Hall Theatre, 9pm For further info contact Paula Latin on 20079760


the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013 10


Spa boost for angels THERAPISTS came together to raise €450 for Angeles de la Noche in Malaga through a second spa session at Paco’s Bar, Puente don Manuel. The money raised through treatments including acupuncture, reflexology, laser liposuction and massage, will go towards the charity’s kitchen building project, for which they need to raise €300,000. Additional donations of €112 will be used towards Christmas food parcels.

TREKKING: John Keo leads walker and (inset) pack mules follow on behind.

Step back in time Walkers to follow historic trek of muleteers TRECKERS have the opportunity to step back in time, and all in wonderful Andalucian surrrounds. At the end of the month people joining an organised trek will find themselves following the routes of the old Muleteers, Los Areoles, as they criss-crossed the mountains buying and selling goods and produce from villages including El Acebuchal, which is known as the

‘hidden village.’ Being organised by John Keo Walking Tours on December 30, walkers joining the trek will find themselves well off the beaten track, enjoying stunning vistas and rural countryside while heading along routes where mule trains traded decades ago. The Ruta de la Ventas or Route of the Inns will take walkers - accompanied by John’s own pack-mule - along dirt roads and forrest tracks from El Acebuchal to Venta Tio Pepe past the Puerto de Blanquillo all the way to Venta Panaderos at the foot of Cerro Del Moro, or Lucero as it is known. In total the trek will take NATIONAL Police in Velez-Malaga have three hours, including a stop arrested three men suspected of a largefor a picnic lunch. scale advocado theft. The men, aged 21 -24, were arrested at a finca in the Rivera area after 400 kilos of avocados were taken from a nearby farm and the get-away vehicle was discovered. Police believe most of the fruit was sold from the boot of the car in an Algarroba market. MORE than 300 people protested in Almunecar in support of local farmers affected by a hailstorm in August. Organised by the Farmers’ Association Aprodate, proTORROX Town Hall has approved a change to its general plan testers led by the Mayor which will allow a hotel to be built in an underdeveloped resiTrinidad Herrera and Aprodential area towards the Manzano Torrox lighthouse. date President Juan CamaMayor Francisco Munoz (PSOE), explained the area had cho included local political enough residential land to meet future needs of the town, but group representatives plus hoped reclassification would attract investment from the hotel traders and farmers. industry. Camacho told the protesters “The town hall has a duty to intervene to stimulate the econothe Junta de Andalucia has my and boost job creation , especially in difficult times like the still failed to offer any aid to present.” Almunecar farmers whose He added reclassifying the land would be a source of direct crops were ruined while El and indirect employment and, along with the marina and golf Ejido in Almeria had been course developments, could bring year-round tourism to the pledged €3 million. town.

Fruity thieves

Hail hell

Hopes for hotel


Prehistoric touch NERJA Museum hosted an exhibition of prehistoric objects made from clay, ahead of a conference of prehistoric art experts in the town.

Sport subsidies VELEZ Malaga Town Hall has allocated €15,300 in 2014 subsidies for sports clubs, associations and individual athletes.

Oil’s well TORROX town hall has reached a partnership agreement with a newly formed company Davisol for the home collection of used cooking oils.


Driller killers

the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013


Brussels steps in to investigate as gas firms prepare to invade Spain’s biggest wildlife sanctuary Donana National Park

THE battle is on to save one of the most precious wildlife sanctuaries in Europe. The European Parliament has now stepped in to investigate plans to extract oil at the Unesco protected Donana National Park.

The Petitions Committee will rule on whether Repsol and Gas Natural Fenosa are violating environmental legislation, following a challenge from the IU against the Spanish Government’s decision to grant permission to drill and

Red, white and new

transport oil. MEPs will consider two complaints against the companies which have been given permission to extract gas from within the reserve. This is despite conservationists saying it could mark the death knell for its most endangered species the lynx, with only 300 left in the world. The Spanish Imperial Eagle is also under threat. The protected park - rich in wetlands, marshes and sand dunes - has a biodiversity that is unique in Europe and is home to thousands of European and African migratory

birds. Pedro Jiménez (IU) - who brought the case - described Huelva as, ‘the biggest environmental sanctuary of Europe’ and requested that the project be considered ‘clearly unsustainable’. But the energy giants insist that they are operating within EU environmental regulations. The decision to grant permission to drill in the park was met with widespread opposition from environmental organizations, with Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Ecologists in Action,

AT RISK: Lynx are just one of the threatened species Birdlife and WWF launching a joint campaign earlier this year. The groups, in a joint petition, said that drilling risked contaminating water supplies and damaging biodiversity.

“We consider the decision unacceptable with the conservation of Doñana and would add that it also risks the international credibility of the central and regional governments.”

Operation eagle eyes

MUM NOSE BEST: New-born Red with his proud mother

A RARE white rhino has been born in a Spanish nature park. Called Red, the baby was the first new arrival to the Cabarceno Wildlife Park since 1997. It is notoriously difficult to get rhinos to breed in captivity, and Red is eight-year-old mother Zola’s first baby. Photographer Marina Cano was the first to picture the calf. She said: “It was really touching watching him, he was so playful – strong, but at the same time he looked so vulnerable. “Photographers usually say they capture images, but for me the opposite is true, animals have captured me.”

A CAMPAIGN to stop bird poisoning has been launched in Spain - where more than 6500 have been killed in only 10 years. Now the beady eyes of almost 20 regions will be on our feathered friends with prevention, deterrence and surveillance the order of the day. Bird lovers will also swap information on possible suspects to try to bring more criminals to court to pay for their sickening slayings. BirdLife in Spain has developed the draft action plan and protocol to end poison-baiting after it was revealed

more than 6500 birds have been killed in this way. Despite being prohibited by both national and regional law, poison-baiting is regularly used due to a lack of surveillance and investigation. It is considered a massive and non-selective method for killing predators and one of the biggest threats to birdlife and biodiversity in Spain. The plan’s objectives are to extend and improve available information, to work towards the prevention, deterrence and surveillance of the illegal use of poisoned bait, to boost prosecution efficiency and

UNDER THREAT: poisoners watch out to control the sale of toxic substances likely to be used for the preparing of poisoned bait. All 17 autonomous regions have committed to develop and/or review their action plans.



the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013

POTTED POINTERS ANDALUCIA RESERVOIR LEVELS This week: 76.57% full Same week last year: 69.96% Same week in 2003: 52.35% 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 1.37 American Dollars 0.83 British Pounds 1.46 Canadian Dollars 7.45 Danish Kroner 10.64 H Kong Dollars 8.42 Norwegian Kroner 1.71 Singapore Dollars

Down to earth airport scams Dear OP, Each time I have collected friends from Malaga airport I have been accosted by a man pushing a luggage trolley asking for €3 to phone London, claiming he has missed his flight. In addition last week, I was stopped by someone else, this time asking for €15 for a taxi and claiming his car has been towed. He said he would post the money back if I gave my name and address. Both men hang about near the car park ticket machines. I just want to warn readers not to fall for these scams.

Just beware

Mix-up over vultures I have just read your article about the increase of the black vultures (Issue 175) which is great news. However it appears to be accompanied by a photo of two American black vultures, which is a totally different species not related to the

Eurasian black vulture which the story covered. Lou Richie, Cordoba Ed: Especially for you, Lou, a picture of the Eurasian black vulture, with an American vulture (inset) to compare.


John Welgrove, Benalmadena

Telly alert A2B electrical services (TV trouble, OP 175) also ripped us off for more than €500. They also have no qualifications as electricians, for the invoices they use saying they are members of electrical bodies and federations are fake as I checked them out. Do not use any electrician unless they provide an official ID, genuine documents they are qualified and have a permanent phone number, not just a mobile. Also check out their address exists too as these guys used

one in Benelmadena which was fake. Beware of them especially as they have no idea what they are doing with the electrics, so it could cost a life not just some money! Frank Small, Benalmadena

It’s a joke! The bureacratic systems in Spain never fail to amaze me. Having recently taken my car to be tested at the Malaga ITV station I was encouraged to see upon arrival that the offices are now more computerised, with vehicle registra-

CROSSMOT 21 Across 7 Tos (6) * 8 Notices (6) * 9 Almost (4) * 10 Agricultural (8) * 11 Fértil (7) * 13 Vacío (5) * 15 Artículos (5) * 16 Legend (7) * 18 Poisonous (8) * 19 Termina (4) * 21 Trace (6) * 22 Scarce (6). Down 1 Soup (4) * 2 Cracking (13) * 3 Por Lo General (7) * 4 Hada  (5) * 5 Circunferencia (13) * 6 Contaminado (8) * 12 Deliver (8) * 14 Fears (7) * 17 Poles  (5) * 20 Polvo (4).

tions flashed up on screens in the office to indicate which counter owners need to hand over relevant papers and to pay. But though the new system is clearly better than the old one, surely the powersthat-be realise that a crowd of more than 60 motorists (personally counted), all crammed into the office waiting for their numbers to appear, is not a good system. Ten people waiting perhaps.... maybe even 20....but 60! What a joke. J Drake, Torremolinos

Ray of hope After reading the article Demolition fear for 140 more homes about the home destruction in Almeria (Issue 175) I want to tell readers about something they might have been unaware of. If the money they borrowed was obtained as equity release from a previous home through a UK broker and lender after October 2004 they could be entitled to compensation from funds set up in the UK to compensate such. It is called the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and a recent test case provides the case law which if put correctly will almost certainly win if not all then a big chunk of the loss. Peter O´Donnell, Via Web

Bad bunch It’s hardly surprising that Spanish police break the law at will (Gibraltar border bag backlash, OP 175) as police forces in semi-dictatorships know they can do what they want. I think there are many parallels between 2013 Spain and mid-80s Britain, one of them being an out-of-control police force, above the law, corrupt, and acting in a dictatorial, military style. There are many other similarities. However, most Spanish people I speak to think the same as us, except understandably on the Gibraltar issue. Mike Battle, Via Web

Bully boys The Spanish government´s aggressive and disrespectful attitude towards. Gibraltar is unwarranted, unproductive and unjustifiable. The continued incursions into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters are nothing more than an abuse of power by politicians. Put simply, it is bullying! It is now time the UK dealt with this in an effective manner, instead of repeatedly letting the Spanish government get away with it! By continuing to ignore it, the UK is making a huge mistake, the repercussions of which Gibraltar may have to put up with for many years to come. Francis Buttigieg, La Linea

Taking mick!

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

Thanks for the new Border Watch column (Issue 175). We need all the help we can get, as the UK Government doesn’t seem to be that bothered, despite all the questions and comments in Parliament. The Royal Navy and our own police authorities seem to be allowed only to give warnings to Spanish incursions, which are consistently ignored, the last one for 22 hours. If that’s not taking the mick I don’t know what is! Christine Boulaiche, Gibraltar

We have recently had a bad experience with travel insurance. Unfortunately my flight from New York to Toronto was cancelled prior to check-in, and we were told to return the following morning. We were offered standby seats on the next flight, and had to pay an additional $50 (Euro 36) for baggage. I was told by our insurance company to keep all receipts and baggage tags. On my return to Spain I completed the necessary forms. However my claim was rejected as they said the flight was not cancelled, but delayed less than 12 hours. I would advise your readers to obtain a full definition of delay and cancellation and make sure you obtain a full schedule of the insurance which I was not afforded. Alan Oddie, Mijas

Car trouble I identify absolutely with your article ‘where’s my motor gone?’ (Issue 175). I too experienced the same treatment from the same man. Any prospective customer might check the website manic money. R. O’Gorman, Costa del Sol

Dirty power! Spain is a very loose union of 17 autonomous regions, each with its own government and civil Spaniards have accepted bribery within their bureaucracies for centuries. It is a solid aspect of life here. With regard to the article Expats whose homes may be demolished are victims of corruption (Daily Mail article published on OP Online, November 28) I feel when most young people want to be funcionarios and there are more vacancies for them than in any other occupation - then it is apparent Spain cannot recover. The sad part is that disunity is fostered by all funcionarios in order to protect their duplicitous incomes. This evil process is keeping employment in the legal profession at a high level and driving the courts to fail in their duties of care. The real problem is that there is no over-sight of what the autonomous regions do and the wholesale cancellation of licences to build property in Andalucia is probably the biggest and least talked about aspect of the problem. Too much power resides in too many dirty hands. Arthur Webster, Via Web

la cultura

the olive press - December 11 - December 23 201313 13

Seventh heaven

Christmas appeal for charity that saves Mexican kids from streets

Roaring success JAEN archeologists have discovered the remains of a 1.2 metre Roman lion statue, considered the best preserved find in the entire Iberian peninsula. Dated between one and two BC, the lion is thought to be one of a pair, which would have flanked the entry into the old fortified city. The discovery was made during excavations, being carried out in the north wall of the Ibero-Roman site of Cástulo, in Linares. Archeologist Vicente Barba said that lions were common statues in Roman cities ‘because they symbolize strength’ and that although there are numerous other similar statues in Cordoba, Sevilla and Malaga, none are so well preserved.

A FILM, telling the extraordinary story of an Australian couple who adopted SEVEN Mexican youngsters before starting their own children’s refuge has hit Spain, via the UK. Alan and Pamela Skuse left their home in Australia to volunteer at an orphanage in Tapachula, Mexico for a year. But when the organisation closed down after six months, the remaining seven children faced life on the streets.

Dubbed film

So the caring couple made the life-changing decision to look after ALL of them - full time. The film, Somewhere near Tapachula, tells the story of the charity – called Mision Mexico - and how the refuge has grown to become a home for more than 40 children. And now, thanks to the charity’s Spanish volunteers, the film will be dubbed into Spanish to be used as part of a recruitment drive to raise awareness across Spain. The charity’s UK-based director Deborah Grossman

what’s on P

uerto Banus, December 12. La

Sala. Charity golf morning in aid of Caritas. From 10pm. Christmas lunch served from 3pm. €99 per person.


arbella, December 13. International

Design School. Winter 2013 Graduation Party and Exposition. Champagne reception followed by fashion show. From 8pm.


arbella, December 20. Manolo Santana

HOME SWEET HOME: The refuge needs money and volunteers to keep children safe said: “The kids are very used to hearing and speaking in English as they have Aussie parents, but it would be wonderful to have more Spanish speaking volunteers. “Some of our kids, particularly the newer ones, aren’t fluent in English yet so Spanish speaking volunteers really help to break down communication barriers.” For more information on the charity or on Somewhere near Tapachula see

Racquets Club. Frank Camelot Dinner Show. Dinner and a performance by local vocalist. From 8:30pm.

Going potty for art M

arbella. Open now until January 15. Red

MORE than 1000 people visited the newly-opened Mijas Contemporary Art Centre in its first weekend. Its inaugural exhibition, Picasso, friends and contemporaries, includes a total of 86 works of art and pieces of pottery provided by the Medina Foundation Remedios. As well as work by Picasso, it also includes pieces by Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, George Braque, and Japanese artist Tsauguharu Foujita. The museum is open from 10am until 6pm every day. Entry is €3.

Penguin Art Gallery, El Corte Ingles Marbella, Live your Dream exhibition – Around 30 works of art from new and established artists. Free.


ierra Nevada Mountains, January 8 - 24. Permaculture design course - course teaching farming and sustainability skills.


the olive press - December 11 - December 23 201314

la cultura

ATTRACTION: The hostal owners hope Christopher Thomas’ art will set them apart TO some it is urban vandalism. But one San Pedro hostal has decided to welcome graffiti on its walls, inviting some of the UK’s best known artists to come and decorate its rooms. Hostal Plaza will even hold an open day on December 11 between 5-8pm, so that members of the public can come and see the finished work. Manager Richard Wynn said, “We wanted to set ourselves apart from the local competition so we offered artists the opportunity to come and do large murals in exchange for free food and accommodation.

Art attack

“First we had an illustrator from England called Ken Iizuka. Since then we’ve had Carlo Amen, a French artist, who painted our roof terrace and Joy Gilleard, who designed a large mural for us. “After that I started to contact artists from around Europe through Facebook and had a great response.” For more information see - IN ACTION: Joy Gilleard

Priest faces fraud and sex charges

Police arrest 70-yearold from controversial Ecce Homo church A PRIEST at the controversial Sanctuary of Mercy church has been charged with fraud and alleged sexual assault. Florencio Garces, 70, is one of six men to have been arrested by the Civil Guard as part of a fraud investigation. He has been charged with embezzlement of €210,000, money laundering and a string of sexual offences. The church hit the headlines following a botched renovation of a painting of Jesus Christ, named Ecce Homo, carried out by local artist Cecilia Gimenez. The 80-year-old earned herself the title of the worst restorer in history and a bold, if brutal, restorer of other people’s work. The picture became a laughing stock and

INTERNET HIT: The Ecce Homo fresco has boosted church coffers Tourists have continued to flock to the church, boosting the church’s coffers by around €50,000. A lawyer for the priest said the charges were unrelated to the Ecce Homo incident.

a well-established internet meme. The church - in Borja, Zaragoza - has since cashed in on the painting’s new popularity and has started charging visitors – it raised €2,000 in the first week.

Folking great festival! MUSIC fans on the Costa del Sol will have the opportunity to enjoy the first ever English folk music festival in March. Costa del Folk will feature some of the biggest names on the British folk scene, including the iconic Fairport Convention. The festival will be compered by Mike Harding, one of the best known folk music promoters, having hosted the BBC Folk programme for almost 20 years. “A Folk Festival without rain is just too good to be true!” he said. “I am delighted to be involved.” The five day festival will be held at the Hotel Alay in Benalmadena from March 14 – 19. It will include more than 20 of the top names in British folk music including Show of Hands, The Demon Barbers and Steamchicken.

the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013


Seasonal S pecials 16

the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013

Guide to all that is best for Xmas, New Year and Three Kings

PRIZE QUIZ Answer these three questions and you could win a prize in a special draw: A. What can you get for € 7.99? B. Who serves 12 different wines by the glass? C. What is served to finish off the € 25 per head New Year meal?

Opened just 500 metres from Garry Waite’s successful restaurant Nueva Campana, this modern eaterie is open from 12 to 12 seven days a week serving cocktails and 12 different wines by the glass.

The menu combines classic tapas with a twist and some amazingly creative plates that taste fabulous and look...well...FUNKY! And the prices, funky silly!’ NUEVA ANDALUCIA Tapas - Wines Cocktails 952 811 590

Child-friendly sprouts A NEW child-friendly Brussels sprout has been developed by Waitrose, the UK supermarket. The sweeter variety will be made available in stores for a two-week trial, following a year of perfecting it by developers. It will be one of 15 varieties of sprout on sale in the supermarket chain during the final run-up to Christmas. Amy Lance, a fresh food technologist at Waitrose, said: “Sprouts typically have a really bitter flavour, and these ones have less of that. A recent poll revealed less than a third of the sprouts bought in the run-up to Christmas are eaten.

Send your answers by e-mail to: or by post to Urb Casares del Sol, Bloque 21, Portal 70, Bajo B, Casares 29690, Malaga by December 25th, 2013.

NUEVA ANDALUCIA -T: 952 814 041

Nueva Campana is one of Marbella’s top references for quality food. We are fully booked for Christmas Day, but have some spaces are left for New Year’s Eve. And don’t forget the ‘Hair of the Dog Day’ on January 1st 2014.

Festive sounds Sotogrande International School pupils will go on a three-day tour to raise money for the Philippines crisis appeal. The school choir will head to Los Barrios on December 11, performing at Toys R Us, Leroy Merlin and Carrefour between 4pm and 9pm. They will be hitting the airwaves on December 12, performing on both Global Radio and Talk Radio Europe, before visiting Marbella to perform at La Cañada shopping centre (7:30 – 9:30pm). The tour will end on Friday December 13 with a special concert at Sotogrande Church. All monies raised raised will be donated to the school’s Kindred Project which is helping those in need after Typhoon Haiyan.

Enjoy delicious clotted cream teas, homemade cakes, Ploughman’s lunches, sandwiches, hot soups and jacket potatoes all in a lovely English style tearoom in La Vega Garden Centre, Camino de Coin. T: 656 454 753

Jingle bells rock!

Facebook users have been busy voting for their least favourite Christmas ditties, with the following making the Top 10 most disliked: Grandma got run over by a reindeer – Elmo and Patsy Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms Jingle Bells – Frank Sinatra Feliz Navidad – Jose Feliciano Little Drummer Boy - Harry Simeone Chorale Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee Twelve Days of Christmas - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters Winter Wonderland – Dean Martin The Christmas Shoes - New Song



the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013 17 17

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Vol. 7 Issue 176

December 11 - December 23 2013

Every time the TV flickers during Downton Abbey or Coronation Street thousands of expats are convinced they are about to lose their main source of cheap entertainment. Here is why you need to get yourselves ready for the Big Switch Off this Christmas…


HOUSANDS of expats around southern Spain are looking forward to the festive edition of Downton Abbey, not to mention special episodes of Strictly Come Dancing and The Great British Bake Off. But this year many of them will be looking at their screens with trepidation and hoping that every time there is a flicker or a blip that it is not the dreaded ‘Big Switch Off’ finally happening. It would, of course, be extremely cruel at the best time of year for TV viewing. But, as many of you will now already know, free UK television in southern Spain is about to be snuffed out for good. This is all due to the launch of a new satellite to replace an old one, which has until now been beaming almost all the UK channels to Spanish television screens, via the Freesat service. The new ‘big bird’ Astra 2E - which was finally launched last month, some four months after initially planned – has been sent up to replace the rapidly-declining in quality older 2D satellite. The problem comes because part of the new satellite’s remit is to ensure that the BBC provides a better quality service to the more remote regions of the UK, such as the Scottish islands. The BBC actually confirmed its plans as long ago as last year and it has admitted that with

WIPE OUT: Rocket has launched and Astra 2E is now in orbit threatening our existing TV signal

Gone in a flash UNDER THREAT: Christmas TV treats including Doctor Who and (below) Strictly Come Dancing

the new, more focused beam, service to other extremities of Europe is likely to suffer. For those who still think it is a scare story, the satellite has now been launched and, as we saw with Channel Five when it disappeared from Spanish screens having switched to a new satellite service last De-

Tests have been taken and when it moves viewers will have a week or two before losing TV cember, the BBC means business. As it stands, the new satellite 2E is sitting pretty at 43.5 degrees some 22,000 miles up and simply waiting to move from its current position over Somalia to somewhere over

the Democratic Republic of the Congo at 28.2 degrees in order to service western Europe. Tests have been undertaken and the minute it starts to motor to the east, viewers will have ‘a week or two’ before their TV signal is likely to be lost. The configuration of a communications satellite is no hit and miss affair and we are talking about hundreds of millions of euros being invested into this satellite launch. Capacity on the satellite is pre-sold and these days the demand for capacity is far outstripping supply. On the satellite that went up on September 30, apart from the BBC, there are a large number of services from German broadband providers to Swiss television companies. When the BBC announced that its broadcasts were to be

Turn to page 18

the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013



ll about


Don’t lose it From page 17

moved to a UK-focussed spot beam to meet the requirements of its license-paying public, the decision was made after designs had been reviewed and agreements signed. However, while the BBC has made a public announcement, none of the other free-to-air UK broadcasters have said anything. This might be, some pundits believe, because they could be planning to increase their in-

We simply don’t know if ITV and co are going to be joining the BBC on the new platform come streams by simply using the existing Sky platform. “We simply don’t know yet if ITV and co are going to be linked to the new UK spot beam,” says Mike Crompton of Mediastreamz. Alternatively, the channel could

DOWN AND OUT: Downton Abbey Christmas special (above) and (below) Bake Off could be off the agenda stay on the existing ‘western beam’ which would come off the new 2E satellite and would continue to provide free ITV, etc, to homes around Spain, as before. However, there is a third op-

tion, which involves linking up with the powerful Sky platform. “They haven’t said anything but I believe the big commercial organizations are not going to turn down the opportunity to increase their revenue streams and are more likely to use Sky’s platform, where they would earn some money,” adds Crompton. This platform is, of course, already in place and has already been sold to thousands of consumers around Spain. The company has a High Definition (HD) paywall called Sky Enter tainment Extra Plus. Recently Channel 5 HD was moved behind the pay-wall, so providing that you subscribe to the basic Sky service you3 NEWS can have HD packKeeping Barwillfor age which bring it Spanish you the ITV, ChanBarca nel 4 and Channel 5 HE saga began exactly a year ago when Channel Five sudbroadcasts in HD. denly disappeared from our TV screens in southern Spain. Another extremely It was actually the Olive Press A smacker from Shayk popular option is to which first revealed that other chanseek UK television nels could follow suit in an exclusive via the internet, a story on December 12 last year. service called IPTV. Under the headline ‘No More CSI in Spain’ A number of respect(see right), our page 3 story explained LEGACY ed Making and reputable how Channel Five had disappeared in a news TO BE No more CSI! PROUD OF companies are propuff, after moving its service onto the Spain loses Channel Five with BBC viding such a service newer 2F satellite, a UK spot beam. and ITV likely to follow next year from TV-One to Mapit We warned how the other main chanand from the Sky nels would be moving next and predictDoctor to Direct Teleed it would be by the summer. com.Many of these As we now know this did not happen, providers, as well as largely due to the crash of a Russian as Smart Sat-TV, are rocket in July, which was due to take also offering a serup the new satellite, but when the satvice of beaming the ellite finally launched last month, we same channels into knew it was finally game on. your homes via a satThe countdown has begun. ellite service.

How soap opera unraveled T

the olive press - December 13- 26, 2012

PENELOPE Cruz has been announced as the new face of luxury fashion brand Loewe. And it seems the Oscar-winning actress did not take much convincing to front the Madrid-based company either. “They approached me and I said yes very quickly because it’s a Spanish brand, and everyone involved is from Spain.


“Although the designer is British, all the work is done in Spain,” she said. “It’s such an old company. I have grown up looking at their wonderful things,” added the 38-year-old. Loewe’s creative director Stuart Vevers said the actress has a ‘strong, sensual beauty’ that has served as an ‘inspiration’. Cruz is reported to have been keen to work for a Spanish brand again ever since fronting Mango’s campaign in 2009.

ISRAELI supermodel Bar Refaeli has waxed lyrical about her favourite Spanish city; Barcelona. Speaking in the latest issue of Glamour the 27-year-old blonde said: “I love it because it reminds me a lot of my home. In Tel Aviv they also have the sea, marvellous people and delightful street life, resFASHION magazine Vogue has taurants and held a star-studded party in Madrid night life. for the launch of its December 2012 “Also, there is issue. a little more arOn the guest list were Real Madrid tistic trend, you striker Cristiano Ronaldo – who, go out and you dressed in jeans and trainers, avoidfind statues, ing the red carpet – and his Russian gardens and supermodel girlfriend Irina Shayk. museums, marSpanish guests included photogvellous!” rapher Mario Testino (right, with The model and Shayk), who was guest editor of the occasional acnew issue. tress was reThe 58-year-old, known for his cently voted work with Madonna, Princess Dinumber one in ana and most recently Kate Moss, looked more than comMaxim magafortable as he posed with a string of famous fashionistas. zine’s Hot 100 list.

SPANISH director Pedro Almodovar (below) will be honoured with a retrospective of his work in London this week. The evening will feature the Oscar-winning filmmaker in conversation with several high-profile figures, including French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, British

HE has reported on everything from the London bombings to the Asian tsunami – but this week Sky News presenter Jeremy Thompson has been taking a well-earned break on the Costa del Sol. The news anchor, 54, who was named Presenter of the Year by the Royal Television Society in 2006, was spotted enjoying a beer at El Rincon de la Sala in San Pedro with some friends on Monday.

Picture credit: El Rincón de La Sala

18 18

SPOTTED: Jeremy Thompson (second left), spotted in El Rincón de La Sala

EXCLUSIVE by James Bryce

IT’S an important part of the daily routine for many expats in Spain. But catching up on your favourite British TV programmes could soon be much harder after a change in satellite settings deleted Channel Five overnight. BBC One, BBC Two, ITV and Channel Four are also expected to follow suit next year, which would leave many unable to watch popular shows including EastEnders and X Factor. The move has been met with dismay by expats in Andalucia, who were given no warning of the impending switch over. “I have been inundated with calls from people wanting to know what’s happening and what the timescales are, but the honest

answer is that nobody knows for sure,” said Mark Wood, boss of Costa del Sol-based satellite company The Sky Doctor. “There have been a lot of rumours about all the other channels being switched off on December 16 but it could be anytime between now and next August. “I am 99.9% sure they will disappear eventually but all is not lost, all Sky channels are unaffected and Channel Five HD is still available.” Mike Crompton, from Casares-based company Media Streamz is convinced that it will lead to a rapid growth in internet TV next year. “I think we will lose all good UK channels by next summer and the only way you will get them is via internet streaming,” he said.

director Stephen Fears and playwright Peter Morgan. Soundtrack composer Alberto Iglesias will also be discussing the director’s work during the event, to be held at London’s Curzon Soho Cinema on December 13, along with Almodovar’s brother and producer Agustin. Almodovar, 63, who first gained critical acclaim with his 1988 film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, is widely regarded as a pioneer of Spain’s cultural change following the death of Franco.

the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013


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the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013



ll about


Surviving the Big Switch Off


HE good news is that our viewing of the popular free-to-air British TV channels is unlikely to be affected this side of Christmas. The new satellite Astra 2E is still at its test position at 43.5deg east and as the journey to its final broadcast position at 28.2deg east will take approximately two weeks it is doubtful any changes will take place until the new year. The bad news is that changes will definitely be taking place and the UK PSB (public service broadcast) channels will leave their present satellite Astra 1N in favour of the UK

An update by Michael Coard of SmartSat-TV spot beam on Astra 2E, which cannot be received in Southern Spain by conventional satellite equipment. In recent months you will have seen a variety of solutions being offered to continue viewing your favorite channels. IPTV, VPNs, peer to peer, slingboxes, etc but all of these solutions are reliant on a good stable internet connection especially at peak times. Viewing your television channels via an internet dependent method may be a low cost alternative, but will it be reliable, especially

An alternative viewing service from MAPIT


OBODY knows exactly when or how the UK channels’ are going to be redistributed. We are told sometime around Christmas major changes will be occurring and services may be lost. Notwithstanding all that, isn’t it good to know that whether they go or not there is now an excellent TV viewing alternative? MAPIT offers Live TV through your internet straight to your television. No satellite, no UK address needed, very easy to install, very transportable…you can take your entertainment with you wherever you go in the world! Indeed, wherever there is an internet connection. All the channels you could want for English speakers, as well as Scandinavian, German and Russians, as well as multiple Arabic channels. MAPIT can also organise a bespoke package for individual businesses or private entertainment for private customers. ‘We promise you will never be left out in the cold’ It can also provide different news and views for companies, or just languages, or a master package containing everything, record facility, all at a negotiated monthly subscription with the added benefit of no play, no pay contracts. Also coming soon… a minimum download requirement for this service of 1 Mgb. Mapit Entertainment Communications Club - ‘MECC’ is a members dub. It has its own servers throughout Europe and it directly controls its own bandwidth, so it can promise you will never be left out in the cold for your home entertainment needs. Visit, or call 900800237

during peak viewing hours? Many internet service providers throttle and shape traffic at busy times! Our advice is if offered an internet-based viewing solution ask for a written money back guarantee for at least seven days to allow you to test the product to your satisfaction. A reputable dealer will have no problem providing this. SmartSat Tv has a solution that is not internet based which allows you to view your favorite channels the way you are used to, i.e. a satellite receiver connected to your television and a small satellite dish pointing at one of our transmission sites. As well as viewing all the popular BBC, ITV and Channel 4 channels we have broadcast rights for subscription channels such as Disney, Nickleodeon, TNT, Sportmania and many more. Additional receivers can be used independently in bedrooms, kitchens etc with no limit on number of viewing points. The SmartSat-Tv solution is not the cheapest option due to the huge capital investment in broadcast equipment and licensed relay sites, however we believe a non-internet based solution will be the most reliable way to receive quality, uninterupted viewing. We are not alone in this belief. Over 40 local professional satellite TV provider businesses have signed exclusive agreements with SmartSat-Tv to supply and install their system. In the case of communities and urbanisations one small satellite dish can be deployed and existing community cabling can be utilised to allow individual independent viewing in one or more rooms. See SmartSat-Tv advertisement or visit

the olive press - December 11 - December 23 201321 21



the olive press - December 11 - December 23 201322

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So IPTV it is then? There is actually another excellent alternative, writes the Sky Doctor, now in business for 14 years


o much has been said about the imminent doom and destruction of our favorite TV channels. And yes, the Astra 2E satellite which is currently sitting pretty at 43.5 degrees, is ready to be moved to the 28.2 position at any time. My own personal belief is that it won’t happen until the early part of next year (probably mid January). There seems to be a hold up in moving Astra 2E, which could be down to the fact that another satellite (Astra 1 H) is moving position and when that has finished they will concentrate their efforts on Astra 2 E. As this is written, and if history is anything to go by, it will take 10 to 14 days for Astra 2E to move to it’s finishing position at 28.2 degrees. So the good news is you should have your Freesat channels for Christmas via a satellite dish! But what is your best option once the move has taken place? Well you will certainly have seen many adverts offering the best thing since sliced bread, typically from companies that have got on the bandwagon, companies that have only been here five minutes, and lots of companies that you have never even heard of! Check the usual credentials, back up service, guarantees, etc before you make a decision on what is best for you. Remember too, if you buy cheap, you’ll buy twice as we have already seen with certain telephone

companies offering IPTV systems which are of very poor quality. So what is The Sky Doctor’s concentrating on? For people with inadequate internet we have the ONLY unlimited internet WIFI product on the coast called ‘MIFI’. This little WIFI router has a download speed of up to 20 MB and upload of 3MB. It will operate up to five devices, and will run your IPTV system as well.

Unlimited data

The key thing here is unlike other MIFI services, this is completely unlimited data, no cap, no limits, no problems! Our four IPTV systems have so much to offer and as we have checked every single product on the market, we can confidently say: ‘You don’t have to!’ We have 100 channels on our top package with all the movies, sports, documentaries, lifestyle, culture and obviously all of your BBCs and ITVs and 5s. Also there are 200 films (all the latest releases) on the movie club option and in HD quality! Catch up TV on all the major channels and movie channels to boot. Also watch a completely different programme in another room on a different device! This is also a pay-as-you-go system, so if you are not here for three, four or five months of the year, pay nothing at all for those months... As always it is best to call us for a complete consultation.

EXPERT: Sky Doctor Mark We always take an individual view of your circumstance, your channel choice, your budget, before directing you to the best products that suit your needs. We have always believed that you, the customer comes first and strive to deliver complete satisfaction. This is why we have been installing systems and are in our 14th year under the same trading name, ‘The Sky Doctor’. Trust in us as tens of thousands already have.

The ultimate UKTV solution for Residential Communities

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With the ZMS (Zapelin Media Server) it is not only not necessary to have a Community Satellite Dish, but it is no longer necessary to pay for individual Internet Connections and you do not need to own a Set Top Box at home. Just one ADSL for the whole community is enough.

The revolutionary technology inside the ZMS is capable of transforming UKTV (or other) channels from IPTV origin into the DVB-T format so that the channels can simply be “injected” into the existing coaxial network of the Residential Complex. Once the ZMS is installed and running, it is only necessary for the residents to simply “retune” their TV sets to Þnd the additional channels that have been added to their TDT (Terrestrial Television) frequency. Although the ZMS can easily be upscaled, the amount of channels that can be injected is directly proportional to the amount of effective ADSL Bandwidth available. The more the better. The ZMS can inject up to 10 channels by default but expansion modules can be added.

The ZMS is a plug & play “appliance” that will be installed by an authorised technician. The community will simply have to provide a dedicated ADSL connection for the ZMS so that it can be placed at the “Headends” of the Coaxial Distribution grid. The community can decide which channels are to be injected. The price of the ZMS starts at 5985€ and includes installation. The monthly Licence & Maintenance fee is 685€/month.

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the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013




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Mike Crompton of Mediastreamz on whether Spain’s internet infrastructure will be able to handle the increase in demand with the Big Switch Off



the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013

HAVE been asked many times whether or not I think that the existing systems will cope with a 100,000 or so UK expatriates all hitting the web from about 7pm to watch UK television. That figure isn’t that many in the great scheme of things where you have a population of over 40 million, but streaming TV over the internet is also not the same as reading an article, sending emails or looking at web pages. In my view, 100,000 expatriates settling down to watch three or four hours of high definition IPTV television in southern Spain WILL have an impact, but it will be localised. Some homes use ADSL, some use Iberbanda, and others use a WiFi connection. I suspect that this scenario is common throughout southern Spain and so far it has served every-



TV HABITS: Viewers are increasingly starting to watch TV via the internet... but can your service provider deliver the

Global experiment! one reasonably well. Further, some areas only have a few British users, while in other urbanisations they are the majority. For example Malaga city has excellent telecommunications infrastructure and the local population there is mainly Spanish or at least Spanish language based, I don’t expect anyone who requires UK IPTV living there to notice any difference. One thing is for sure, expats will need to have an internet

connection. So demand for call and a bit of web browsing internet provision is likely to will change to a demand for rise in certain areas but not a constant data stream of up others. to 2Mb for several hours at a The amount of time. data that will I suspect that Subscribers should be demanded if you live in by each UK be realistic in their an area which expatriate in- expectations and has a large UK ternet account try to understand expatriate comholder is likely munity and their area to change drawhere there matically as are few choices account holdavailable to you ers whose previous demand in terms of internet provision was for only the odd Skype (only one or two suppliers),

there may well have a problem receiving an uninterrupted IPTV stream. This view has nothing to do with any specific provider, rather it is to do with the data capacity of a specific area whether this is based on a wireless or a wired service. In the end I think that potential service subscribers should be realistic in their expectations and try to understand the area they live in. If most houses in your area are empty for a lot of the time,

things may be fine for 80% of the year but there may be a degradation for a couple of months in the summer when the tourists descend. Others may have great quality during the day but which tails off during the evening as demand for bandwidth increases. Be flexible, be understanding and above all find out about the area you live in. This is new territory for all of us and in some respects we may be leading the world, for what other region has 800,000 people (figure from The Guardian Nov. 2012) all switching from a traditional broadcast television service to an IPTV based service at the same time? It is an exciting month ahead.

Top Dollar


Creditworthy SPAIN’S credit rating has been boosted from negative to stable by global ratings agency Standard & Poor’s.

Share slump THE IBEX share index hit a low following poor PMI data for November. Manufacturing fell for the first time since July.

Fueling growth ROYAL VOPAC is to triple the size of its fuel terminal in Algeciras Bay. It will add 881,000 cubic meters and 36 new tanks to its capacity.

In the money SENIOR retail bankers in Spain were the highest-earning in Europe in 2012, making an average €2.2 million. They out-earned investment bankers who took home around €1.7 million.

the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013 25 25 The Olive Press fortnightly business section taking a look at the Spanish economy and offering tips on how to save AND make money

Fat cat fury

Top 100 Spanish bankers are the highest paid in Europe, despite the continuing crisis THE deepest recession in Spanish history has not harmed the highest-earning Spanish bankers. An incredible 100 bankers made over €1 million in pay and bonuses last year in Spain, despite the ongoing financial crisis. And while this number is a little lower than the numbers in Italy, France and Germany, the 100 top financiers earned an average of almost €2.1 million each. This compared to €1.93 mil-

By Claire Wilson lion in the UK, €1.5 million in France and €1.4 million in Germany. The UK’s banking sector saw a total of 2,714 bankers reach the magic figure of a million last year, by far the largest number in Europe. In Italy, 109 bankers took home over a million, while in France and Germany 177 and 212 bankers respectively

Jingle tills, jingle tills . . . SPANISH retailers are taking on 5% more staff this Christmas than last year. Most contracts will be offered to people under 30, and some 6,000 jobs will be created by service providers related to ANGED, an association of which includes El Corte Ingles. In more good news, public sector workers will also get their customary double-wage payment at Christmas - which the government withdrew in 2012 as part of austerity measures - a sign the economy is looking a little stronger. Ikea meanwhile revealed its Spanish server crashed as 20,000 people applied for 400 jobs in its new Valencia store. “The traffic we saw in the first two days was four times greater than any other job application process previously opened in Spain,” said spokesman Rodrigo Sanchez. Spain’s retail sales dropped in October, but by just 0.5% the smallest contraction since June 2010, suggesting some confidence may be returning. Spain’s Christmas shopping period lasts until presents are traditionally given at the end of the holidays on the Epiphany, January 6.

earned that figure. Despite pay being considerably lower than previous years, the data has sparked outrage from unions who complain earnings are spiraling out of control. Dominic Hook, of UK’s Unite union, said the size of bonuses were ‘often not justified’. “Gordon Gekko is alive and well - yet many families will have to make the heart-rending decision to ‘heat or eat’ over the festive season.” He added: “The number of food banks stand at record numbers.” But this could be the last year of big money payouts. The EU brokered a deal in February to outlaw bonuses that are more than double their existing salaries. This will come into effect next year, the purpose being to both prevent excessive payouts and cut irresponsible risk-taking. The UK banking sector is set to be worst hit worst by the legislation, as its workers receive bonuses of up to four times their salary, compared to just two times more in Germany. Santander Bank, Spain’s leading lender, paid out the fourth largest figure for bonuses in the world, last year. The majority were in the UK.


the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013


Top Dollar

Road to Riches, by Richard Alexander

The Xchange factor Specialist companies can give you a better deal


FEW years ago I opened a current account with Nationwide in the UK after a suggestion from my wife. She had discovered that on our trips overseas, not only was she getting a better rate of exchange on her Nationwide account than I was getting with Lloyds, but she was not being charged a fee for every transaction either. Without me realising it, things have changed more recently and the charges with them were now just as bad as other banks. The trouble is, I had slipped into that comfort zone of doing things in a certain way without checking that they still made sense. And so I got to thinking, I really should take a close look at the whole situation and identify a better way. I have often advised people who are moving large sums in one go to consult a specialist Foreign Exchange (FX) company , but I tend to move

smaller amounts on a regular basis to my Spanish account. As you are no doubt aware, there are many FX companies who advertise for business, so I decided to visit one in London recently to get to understand exactly how they work and what the options are that they can offer. I have to say, it was quite illuminating. The exchange I was interested in was Sterling to Euros and the first thing I discovered is that during any day, the rate of exchange can vary by up to 1 – 1.5% which in itself is a huge amount and clearly timing and judgement are key issues that can affect results. I then got to understand the job that the actual dealers are doing for their clients and how important it is for them to have direct access to the dealing floor. Depending on the amount they are trading, they might take a margin of between 0.5 – 1% on the interbank rate and with the particular firm I was with, they then

have a £10 fee to transfer the money into my account. This was on November 28 and I thought I would test them with £2,000 to transfer to my account in Spain and lo and behold, they secured a rate of 1.2014 Euros. By way of comparison, I had a look at what the major banks were offering and the big four high street banks in the UK were offering to buy Euros at an exchange rate of 1.1476 and to sell them at 1.3115. That was a whopping 4.5% charge the banks would have made on my little transaction. To me the message is clear, whatever level of funds you are moving, the specialist FX company can give you a much better deal but a word of caution; do be sure who you are using. The company I used (and will be using from hereon in) are a Financial Conduct Authority regulated firm in London with all the proper safeguards in place.

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


Línea Directa reports on driving in winter


ínea Directa is one of the key players in the fight to reduce the number of accidents on our roads. For almost 20 years, it has promoted research into accident rates in order to encourage safe driving habits. Due to the risks involved with driving in winter months, it now offers advice on how to act in adverse weather conditions.

With respect to the car 1. Check your car, especially the mechanical components. Pay attention to brakes, lights, windscreen wipers and break fluid, antifreeze and oil levels. 2. Don’t forget to check the condition of your tyres including the spare wheel, checking pressure, tread and the grooves of each tyre, which must have a minimum depth of 1.6mm. 3. Always take a reflective jacket, two warning triangles and a torch with you. Also ensure that your mobile is charged in case you need to use it in an emergency.

With respect to driving

1. If you often drive in snow, consider buying winter tyres. In any case, avoid any sudden movements and, as a general rule, do not overtake. Take special care with snow which has turned into ice and always drive at low speeds. 2. If it is foggy or raining, adapt your speed and distance from the vehicle ahead to the weather conditions.Do not brake suddenly to avoid skidding. 3. Aim the vehicle’s heating system at the windows to prevent them from fogging up as a result of humidity. 4. When overtaking, reaching crossroads, leaving tunnels and in open spaces, be careful with any sudden gusts of wind, which might lead to a loss of steering and the vehicle overturning.

Call now for more information on 902 123 104

Top Dollar

the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013 2727




hat did you do about the asset trust, or have set up an offshore company declaration requirement earlier in the hope of avoiding paying tax you this year? Did you ignore it are now facing the reality of having to or believe that in some way it disclose those assets and settle any past didn’t affect you? Unfortunately the reality tax liability and pay taxes due moving is that if you have undisclosed assets forward. outside of Spain, even if these are within a You might think that your existing trust or an offshore company advisers will sort this out for then moving forward you will you but let me ask you the need to declare them and question? Who advised you What advice are be prepared to suffer tax to take this action in the first your existing penalties if you haven’t been place and invest within an advisers giving disclosing income or gains offshore trust? What advice you now? you have been receiving. are your existing advisers All across Europe and giving you now? Are they beyond tax authorities now saying you should close are closing in on expatriates holding the trust or are they keeping quiet? We investments in another jurisdiction or have been telling clients for some time within an offshore company or trust and now that it would only be a matter of time who are not declaring income and gains. before loopholes were closed and that a Whether, for example, you have money change in the EU Savings Directive would invested in Jersey, assets within a Maltese give authorities the power to look through

companies and trusts. fiscal resident and rightly think that this Perhaps you think that all this will blow new law does not apply to you. How long over and so you can just bury your head in do you think you will be able to get away the sand? Well think again because this is with this? Have you not heard that the the new reality and the penalties for non Spanish authorities are getting their act -reporting or mis-reporting are severe. together and checking electricity and Maybe you consider it to be too much phone records to establish patterns of hassle to do anything but residency? Wouldn’t it make why take so much risk sense to avert any future when there are completely Do you really think risk by recognizing that you that anyone will legitimate tax efficient cannot spend more than 183 care if expatriates days here without declaring solutions for expatriates are targeted for resident in Spain. Why residency? Do you really unpaid taxes? pay unnecessary tax on think that anyone will care if savings and investments expatriates are targeted for when if structured properly unpaid taxes? they can be held in a way that minimises Why not let us help you straighten your tax liability moving forward. Why out your financial affairs and make didn’t your existing advisers tell you that? sure that you do not suffer financial Finally you may think that you can escape loss? Tel: 956 796 911 or email the net by not being Spanish tax resident. You live year round in Spain but are not YOU NEED TO TALK TO US URGENTLY!


the olive press - December 11 - December 23 201328

Top Dollar

Everything must go!

FOR SALE: EROSKI is selling up


Poligono San Pedro de Alcántara Calle Budapest 16 29670 San Pedro de Alcántara Marbella • Málaga T: +34 620 630 376 in

EROSKI is looking to sell its stores in southern Spain in a bid to reduce its debt. The supermarket intends to retain its Basque Country base, as well as its Catalonia stores, and is currently in talk with creditors. It currently owes €2.4 million to 15 financial institutions as part of a syndicated loan and has a total debt of €3 million which it is looking to reduce by half.


Mon - Fri: 10.00 - 16.00 Saturday: 10.00 - 14.00


The company has already been in contact Mon with potential buyers, although it is believed the prices they are willing to pay fall short of the desired rates. Eroski ran into difficulties following its purchase of Caprabo, another supermarket chain, in 2007 in the middle of the property bubble.



A real fee for all!

Pros and cons of no-win no-fee deals with Spanish Lawyers, writes Antonio Flores of Lawbird


O win, no fee deals for lawyers have only been legal in Spain since 2008, when the The Court for Fair Competition established that any rule preventing a client and a lawyer from agreeing a fee between themselves was detrimental to competition. The ruling was the result of a case brought by lawyer Jose Luis Mazon, who considered the ban on so-called contingency fees to be against free competition. He filed a complaint against the Law Society saying that

a ban was breaking competition laws. The court ruled in Mazon’s favour and fined the Law Society €180,000 for effectively blocking the free workings of the market. The Society was ordered to amend its code of ethics to allow lawyers and their clients to come to mutually agreeable fee arrangements. There are of course arguments both for and against these so-called no win, no fee agreements. Those who oppose them believe they hin-


Pay as you come and go MASMOVIL has launched a new pay as you go tariff for those who flit back and forth to and from Spain. The package offers 10GB of data and the bundle is active for 30 days from activation - and are renewable, as and when the data allowance is exceeded. The number can even be put on hold for up to nine months. Masmovil said: “The products are tailor made, designed to be simple and flexible, bearing in mind your wallet as well as your consumption,” explains a spokesperson.

der justice and enable lawyers to cherry pick only the strongest claims, those most likely to succeed. They argue they also create a conflict of interest, as it means the lawyer has a financial interest in the outcome. Supporters insist that the set up allows people without much money to have a case tried, which they otherwise would not be able to afford. No win no fee arrangements also motivate the lawyer to work diligently on the client’s case; working for a fixed fee means the outcome has little financial baring on the lawyer. A final argument is the number of speculative, frivolous or unmeritorious cases that may be reduced. Arguments for and against are equally strong, but in today’s socio-economic world, it would seem daft to uphold restraints to private agreements between clients and their lawyers, in the context of free competition.

Market mumbles

Recovery continues UK

Last Week

both manufacturing and services coming in at 51.6 and 51.2 respectively The ECB left rates on hold at 0.25% as expected and Draghi in the press conference said that Europe may experience a prolonged period of low inflation and he downgraded the inflation forecast for 2014 to 1.1% from 1.3%, while upgrading the growth forecast to 1.1% from 1%

Last week in the UK the PMI surveys continued to report a broad-based recovery which bodes well for Q4 GDP Meanwhile manufacturing rose to a three-year high of 58.4, the construction sector notched 62.6, its highest reading since 2007, and the service sector marginally disappointed expectations, but still came in at a respectable This Week Monday 7am. German trade balance. reading of 60.0 Oct previous €18.8bn Monday 9.30am. Sentix Investor confiThis Week Tuesday 12.01am. RICS Housing Price dence. Nov previous 9.3 Wednesday 7am. German HICP. Nov Balance. Nov previous +57 Tuesday 9.30am. Trade Balance. Oct previous 1.2% y/y Thursday 9am. ECB Monthly Report previous -£9.81bn Tuesday 9.30am. Industrial Production. Thursday 10am. Industrial Production. Oct previous 1.1% y/y Oct previous 2.2% y/y Tuesday 9.30am. Manufacturing ProUS duction. Oct previous 0.8% y/y


18 months helped by strong business investment The non-farm employment report impressed with 203,000 jobs created in November and the unemployment rate dropped to a 5-year low at 7%

This Week

Tuesday 7pm. Monthly Budget Statement. Oct previous -$91bn Thursday 1.30pm. Retail Sales. Nov previous 0.4% m/m Friday 1.30pm. Producer Price Index. Nov previous 0.3% y/y

Last Week

In the US the manufacturing sector came in above expectations with a readLast week in Europe the PMI surveys ing of 57.3 and Q3 GDP notched an impointed to a more fragile recovery with pressive 3.6%, the highest reading in DRAGHI: Low inflation to continue

Last Week

To contact HiFX and find out how the team can help you with your international transactions, call in at Centro Plaza, call 951 203 986 or email

U J Mary, Mary ...

p the

Healthy hobby GARDENING can improve health in old age and reduce the risk of chronic illness. Scientists from the University of London found those who do moderate physical activity at least once a week, such as gardening, washing the car, walking or dancing, were two and half times more likely to age healthily. This figure went up to three and half times for those doing moderate activity, including jogging, aerobics and hill walking. The study was conducted by Dr Mark Harper, who studied 3,454 men and women over eight years and compared information about their health and how often they exer-

the olive press - December 11 - December 23 201329 29

ardin path

quite contrary Electronic gadget will see how a garden grows GARDENERS fearing the approach of winter could have a new weapon in their fight against the coming chill.

And the neighbours will be green with envy if they spot a special gardening assistant in your backyard. The gardener’s pal is an electronic device called Bitponics, which uses sensors placed in a garden to monitor water pH levels, wacised. ter and air temperature as well as light and Dr Hamer - whose study humidity levels. is published in the British So unlike Mary, quite contrary, gardeners Journal of Sports Medicine can create an electronic blueprint for how - said ‘It’s never too late they want their garden to grow. to start being active and The sensors then feed information back to a certainly that is one of the central hub, which controls factors such as main messages from this lighting and water levels. study. One of the company’s founders, Amit Ku“Anything is better than mar, said: “A lot of people like plants and nothing and there are wish they could grow them. But not a lot of clear benefits from expeople know about it. We want you to grow ercising even just once a PETAL POWER: The Bitponics system no matter what your skill-set is. grows the garden for you. week.” “It can be pretty hard to know what you should be doing. There is a lot of knowledge out there, but it’s not structured. We are trying to create and share data that is really easy and applicable.” The company appealed for NCE again the Christmas cheer is house. However, the sudden appearance of cold start-up finance through upon us. It hardly seems a year has I am pleased to say that this November has nights has certainly slowed growth and begone by since we were trying to rescue been one of the driest on record and all our gun to harden things up. kickstarter, an online our poinsettias from a flooded green- crops are thriving. means of crowd-sourcing Although the weather is now a lot colder, it is still a great time to funding.

HE KNOWS HIS ONIONS! by Peter Langdale


Festive fingers

be sowing and planting all manner of salads and veggies without the problems of caterpillars and aphids. No doubt some of you will have had great difficulty this autumn keeping these pests at bay. Join the club. As commercial growers we have had a torrid time keeping our crops saleable as most of our supermarket customers have zero tolerance on pest and disease contamination.

First sign

A pest that does begin to rear its ugly head at this time of year is the pine tree processionary caterpillar. The first sign of these is usually the appearance of the nest from which the caterpillars emerge,usually at night. For those of you with experience of these evil little buggers you will know how dangerous, especially for pets, they can be. I have several pines on my property and control the caterpillar with the application of Bacillus thuringiensis at 12 day intervals. For those of you with only a few pines I suggest the chemical injection system as seen in Garden La Palma. This is the same system as applicable to the control of the “picudo roja” in palm trees. Anyone requiring help or advice, let me know. I have just finished looking around our garden centre and I am pleased to see that we are still offering a great choice of plants to help you maintain a splash of colour. The old favourites such as pansies give a great mix and help set off the most basic of bedding. Lastly, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Shappy Christmas!

FESTIVE BLOOM: The popular Christmas plant

By Ecke that’s clever

A NEW breed of poinsettia which is easier to grow has been developed. Ecke Europe’s latest offering doesn’t require any manual work in the growth phase, just watering and shade. The firm is one of the world´s leading breeders of the popular Christmas plant and has a test nursery in Spain , which it uses to test new varieties under very different conditions of climate and light. The company releases between five and 10 new varieties every year, which are differentiated from the existing types by either their colour or the way they are grown.


the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013


Top Salud

A Spanish health authority is cutting costs by consultations via Xbox

IT services giant Accenture has been working with health authorities to reduce the costs associated with caring for people with chronic illnesses through technology created for Microsoft’s Xbox games console. The Teki telehealth system enables consultations to be carried out with the patient at their own home via the Xbox. It also enables medical staff to remotely monitor the patient’s health, give dietary advice, and prescribe medicine. Patients with chronic diseases, which include arthritis, asthma and diabetes, account for 80% of patient interac-

NICE TO SEE YOU: Consultations via Xbox

Consultants are boxing clever

tions and 77% of the region’s total healthcare budget. Since its implementation, the health authority has reported fewer hospital visits for patients suffering from these conditions,

and a reduction in expensive, unplanned hospital stays. 40% of patients said they were very satisfied with the new system, compared to just 5% that were not.

Don’t drink the water!

High risk to health warning after danger zones revealed in urbanisations not on national grid MORE than 1000 people have been drinking water, which experts say is a high risk to their health. Inspectors have discovered four danger zones in Mijas urbanisations where drinkers are vulnerable to pollution. A health inspection showed that the four areas were not connected to the national grid and were immediately declared a high risk. The four urbanisations affected are Haza Algarrobo, Sierrezuela, Malagueno, and Finca la Morena, which have combined populations of more than a 1000 people. The inspection found that Urbanisation Sierrezuela’s water supply is not connected to the sewage system and that there is no record of

the state removing wastewater, leaving the internal water supply open to pollution. The Sanitary District of the Costa del Sol report says it, ‘cannot guarantee that the water supplied to Sierrezuela is safe for consumption and may present a serious health risk.’ The supply to Haza Algarrobo urbanisation – which also supplies a restaurant - comes from a private well, without authorisation from the Andalusian Water Agency. It does not have a reliable system that ‘ensures that the water is maintained and disinfected in the distribution point.’ Meanwhile, inspectors found Malagueno’s supply located underneath a car park, with ‘no certificate of cleanliness.’

Exercise New strengthen for old alert

TOO much exercise can damage teen health, say experts. A study found that over exercising is just as bad for teenagers as too little, with a guideline for teens of 14 hours a week. Regular exercise is known to have a positive impact on mental and physical well being, reducing stress and anxiety and boosting self esteem and brain power. But experts say any more than 17.5 hours a week has a detrimental effect. The study, carried out by Swiss scientists, involved more than 1200 teens over one year.

Stigma for families

RELATIVES of patients with mental health conditions feel greater stigma than those with general medical conditions. Spanish researchers found relatives of those with drug and alcohol dependency or a mental illness felt embarrassed to admit someone in their family was afflicted.

STRENGTH training can help slow dementia in older folk, says a study. An exercise programme focused on building muscle strength helped improve the attention spans and memories in a group of tests subjects. These areas are both highly sensitive to the effects of aging and neurodegeneration. The six-month study - conducted by the University of British Colombia Canada - looked at a group of 86 older women with probable, mild cognitive impairment. They underwent resistance and aerobic training twice a week, followed by a series of cognitive tests.

OP Columnists

Christmas fun - yule be lucky S

O where will you be unwrapping your socks and chocs this Yuletide? Will yours be a ‘Feliz Navidad’ or do you still think the Brussel sprouts are greener on the other side of Europe? If you’re giving the joys of Squeezyjet a swerve this year, be aware that lively Spanish resorts turn into spooky ghost towns on Christmas Eve, the one fiesta the Spanish stay in for. December 25 is another non-event because, in traditional mañana fashion, they

prefer to honour the Three Kings on January 6 who arrived two weeks late for the birth of Jesus. Nor does turkey usually make an appearance on the festive Spanish table (and if you’ve ever tried fitting one into a Spanish oven, you’ll know why). But you’ll find plenty of local fare to get your teeth into – literally so, if it’s turrón, a chewy almond confection that performs extractions more efficiently than any dentist. During my first Christmas here, I couldn’t fathom why people

got so excited about the Town Hall Balloon. Only one? A bit stingy, I thought. Until someone took me to see a belén and the céntimo dropped. These nativity scenes are fantastically intricate creations with real running water and electric sheep! You’ll quickly add new words and phrases to your Spanish vocabulary – like ¡Cállate! when the local kids regale you with villancicos (out-oftune folk carols) accompanied by zambombas (anis bottles scraped with sticks to produce

the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013 31 31 Belinda Beckett, aka Mistress of Sizzle, reflects on the joys of Christmas in Spain.

ME HOW?: Belinda’s pets reluctantly get into the party spirit an excruciating grating sound). The Catalans have added their own seasonal spin with

How to miss all the ho, ho, hoing IF the thought of all this Christmas cheer is already getting too much for you, then here are a few failsafe tips to avoid all the ho, ho, hoing. Start early by volunteering to come into work on the big day. Then make it clear to everyone you know that they will not be receiving a gift this year. Or a card. And certainly not one of those bloody Jib Jab emails which feature you as a dancing elf. Stock up on non-festive fare salads and soft drinks and don’t bother with the decorations.

Hurt feelings

Trouble is, there is bound to be at least one elderly relative who fails to understand the beauty - or indeed the point - of your scheme, leading to hurt feelings and unwanted knitwear. Luckily, living up on the lake, miles from the nearest neighbour, it’s pretty easy to treat the Christmas period the same as any other week. The flora and fauna don’t go in for Christmas celebrations as far as I can make out. Though there was a robin on the front terrace last week. Wisely he caught sight of the three cats and decided to hop it.

Feeling festive I

Fairy lights shine, plenty of wine, but absolutely no pine!

T’S the time of year with goodwill to all men and the scramble to get the Christmas decorations up. You have probably done the same as me, spending the first weekend of December untangling the fairy lights from the spare room cupboard - then spent hours trying to work out exactly which bulb is broken.

Eyes right - get ready for a fight!

ON the subject of Christmas decorations, I’ve noticed that it’s now all the rage to adorn the outside of houses as well. The more devout tend to go for banners with an image of the Baby Jesus with his right leg seeming involved in passing an invisible football. The less devout favour Santa or the Three Kings on ladders and ropes delivering presents. Maybe it’s just me (and it normally is) but rather than looking festive, these figures make most towns and villages look

I tend to go for a more minimal less-is-more approach when deciding what to do in the way of decorations. But one thing that really gives me the needle is … the Christmas Tree. The festive pine is no favourite of mine and is banned from our house. Not that I have any objection to them, but I have cats, two of whom view a Christmas Tree very differently to humans. To you it’s a Christmas Tree and to me it’s a Christmas Tree, but to the cats it’s a five-foot assault course bedecked with shiny things just begging to be climbed. I’ll never forget my first and last Christmas Tree when I woke with a start on Christmas Eve thinking that Santa had overshot his landing, such was the crash I heard. However, on checking the living room, I found the tree on its side and a frantic feline tangled up the tinsel beneath it and hissing furiously! like training camps for over- So this year my decorations weight and particularly inept will go as far as a Poinsettia... SAS recruits!

a Yule log known as Caga Tió. you for money in every shop That’s Sh*t Log in English (or, doorway. The weather’s better for more delicate sensibilities, too and, though it may not be Poop Log), perhaps due to a bikini weather, it can be fun visual similarity but let’s not go to wear one when Skyping the there. (It certainly put me off folks back home, just to watch buying another Bûche de Noël.) them turn Brussel sprout green Throughout Dewith envy… cember, CataBut a word of lan children It can be fun to wear a advice. If it relook after this ally is swimsuit s h * t - s h a p e d bikini when Skyping weather and folks back home, log which has you’re planning a face and and watch them turn a Dickensianwears a silly Brussels sprout green style Christmas hat. They keep al fresco, don’t! it warm under Because a blanket and · Wrestling with feed it fruit and nuts so that, a bird the size of a small albaon Christmas Eve, it will ‘poop’ tross on a wonky patio table is presents when sung to and no picnic. given a good thrashing with a · Where do your guests tuck stick. Yes, it’s the one time of their festive napkins? (Gravy in year when children are actively the belly button is not an appeencouraged - by their parents - tising sight). to beat up their toys and use the · After all your hard work, there ‘Sh*t’ word. They’re a weird lot, will always be someone who the Catalans …but then, a lot of comes out with the crass rethem come from Barcelona… mark: “You know, it doesn’t On the plus side, unlike Britain, feel Christmassy with all this you won’t find a Santa mugging sunshine.”

OP Columnists

32 32 the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013


S Christmas approaches we begin to make long lists of gifts for friends and family. We especially think of the children in our lives and want to make them smile on Christmas morning. But we also know that all around the world there is terrific want and suffering. People don’t have decent places to live, enough to eat, clean water to drink or the right of attending school. There are thousands of global organisations working to diminish human suffering. Why not use the holidays as a time to educate your family about some of the ways they can make a positive difference in another person’s life? Why not choose to give to an organisation that helps those in need? The following are organisations that aren’t as well known as some of the larger ones, but are highly reputable. All gifts are tax deductible. You already know about the Red Cross, World Vision and many other fine organisations. Here are five smaller organisations totally dedicated to working toward a better world. Most have websites on which you can give your gifts directly. Take the opportunity to give the gift of hope this Christmas.

Hope is the most precious gift of all · She is Safe is an organisation dedicated to restoring the lives of girls and women who have been exploited and abused. Based in the U.S., this organisation helps thousands of girls all around the world in high-risk locations. They place rescued girls in safe houses, where they are free to study and dream of a future. They are taken out of slavery and sex trafficking, and saved from childhood marriages. They are treated for illnesses such as HIV/Aids and other diseases. · Forward Edge International is a relief organisation sending teams to disaster sites. They work to clean and rebuild homes, churches and schools all over the world. In areas deeply affected by poverty and illness, Forward Edge also has established long-term projects to house children safely. They provide meals, clothing, medical care and safe water to children and pay their school fees while taking care of them. They have homes for children in Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua and on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. · Shared Hope International

HAPPY FAMILIES: But there are many who will suffer this Christmas

Granny Quote

1) I remember when my granddad was shopping in a toy store at Christmas and he said, “That’s a terrific train set. I’ll buy it.” The shop assistant said: “Great, I’m sure your son will love it.” Granddad said: “Maybe you’re right. I’ll take two.” 2) Grandfather to three-year old: “No a reindeer is not a horse with TV antenna.” 3) Every year, Christmas becomes less a birthday and more a Clearance Sale. 4) Christmas is in my heart twelve months a year and thanks to credit cards, it’s on my Visa Card Statement twelve months a year also. works to eradicate sex trafficking and to restore its victims to a new life. The organisation got its beginning when founder Linda Smith toured the brothels of Mumbai, India in 1998. She immediately began to provide housing in safe homes where a new life could begin for these girls caught in the web of sexual slavery. The organisation now works worldwide to educate, lobby for appropriate laws, and provide safe housing and education for young girls. Shared Hope works in the U.S., Fiji Islands, Nepal, India and Jamaica. · The Girl Baby Home of Chennai, India is simply a young couple living in Chennai, India. They are addressing the issue of female infanticide by rescuing baby girls one by one. This little home has taken in 14 baby girls and is raising them is a unique website and resource for grandparents and senior citizens worldwide created by Granny Juliet Hambro and provides useful information on a number of topics

in safety and love. In India and elsewhere girl babies are seen as bad luck and as a financial drain on the family, thus many are killed at birth. The Girl Baby Home seeks to educate Hindu families on the value of human life and to help find safe housing for unwanted baby girls. · Oceans of Grace in Hubli, Karnataka, India trains women to begin small businesses to feed and educate their children. Classes in sewing, candle-making, detergent making and other small business concepts are taught in povertystricken villages. In addition Oceans of Grace makes small loans available to women with a business plan. Women who can generate modest income can give their children a good education and feed them nutritious meals. Donations to Oceans of Grace can be made at The holidays are a joyous family time. Giving to those less fortunate in our big world is a good way of sharing the joy by lessening the suffering one small gift at a time.

The Olive Press’



Star quality A SPANISH university has scooped an Erasmus award for the quality of its teaching. Universitat Politecnica in Valencia was one of three higher education institutions to be recognised in the European Erasmus Awards. It was praised for its commitment to maintaining a high standard of teaching staff and for the diversity of its exchange programmes. JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Finland, got the gold award while, Technological Educational Institute of Crete came second.

monthly youth and education section the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013 33 33 38 57


One degree under! I

Ex-Harrow head attacks higher education for all and tells students to get a job TOO many pupils go to university, according to the former head of Harrow. Barnaby Lenon said that more students should be encouraged to get a job and that ‘the idea of excellence for all is nonsense’. Lenon, now head of the Inde-

Spanish... with cats

A FELINE-THEMED Spanish language learning app has been launched. CatAcademy aims to teach users a new language through a series of mobile games and cat-related images. Cats are scientifically proven to be among the most effective internet ‘memes’ - ideas - so can be used to help people memorise information when it is associated with them. Ed Cooke, co-founder of the app developer Memrise, said: ‘Humour is one of mankind’s most fundamental characteristics, but until now there has never been an education tool that makes people laugh. ‘With CatAcademy, we took the techniques we used to teach a million people more than a hundred million words on Memrise, and combined that with the cutest and silliest content we could devise.’

pendent Schools Council, also questioned the value of many university degrees including communications and marketing, claiming that university education should be a ‘privilege not a right.’ Speaking at an Oxford Union debate, he said “200,000 students getting degrees in business would be better off getting a job in business.” But Universities minister David Willetts claimed Lenon wanted a taxpayer-funded education system to provide education for a minority. However, Willetts’ comments were cut short, as protesters unfurled a banner demonstrating against the decision to raise tuition fees to £9,000. Conservative MP Stephen Dorrell criticised the idea that everyone has a right to higher education. He said human rights “are not a good basis for policy-making”.

An end of year report by BSM head Sian Kirkham T’S been such a hectic month at the British School of Marbella with everyone buzzing around with more events, trips and guest speakers than ever. For starters, at the beginning of November I jetted off to the farflung corners of the earth, well Malaysia to be precise, for the annual British Schools Foundation Conference at the British School of Kuala Lumpur. Why I hear you ask? Well pupils and teachers from our sister schools across the world were in town to create an international ensemble of choir singers - one of such magnitude, prominence and greatness, that even the mighty Simon Cowell would have given us the thumbs up. Of course, I didn’t arrive solo. In tow was my trusty companion and Year Five student Lana, as well as our marvellous music teacher Miss Graham, a.k.a the voice of Peppa Pig’s mum on the Scottish version of the cartoon! It goes without saying that our international ambassador Lana and baton-wielding conductor Miss Graham did us proud with their perfect performances.

WINNING SMILES: The team beat arch rivals Swans 20-7.

Busy bees . . . and V for victory!

Meanwhile, back at the British School of Marbella headquarters, it was a case of events galore, meaning the coffee pot was working overtime and the biscuit supply was running dangerously low. First up we had Diwali celebrations, while a few days later Matthew Jones, the Standard Bearer for the Royal British Legion’s Marbella Branch, popped into school to wave his flag around and talk to students about what the organisation gets up to. However, no sooner had we had time to re-stock the snack supplies than a hundred parents descended through the school gates for our termly Open Day. There was plenty of intrigued eyebrow raising and nods of approval as lucky parents observed literacy lessons around the school. Later they headed downstairs where there were some positive murmur-

ings and more raised eyebrows at the delicious nibbles and tasty beverages on offer. But I saved the best news for last… as I’m pleased to announce that the BSM Football Team secured an epic, and I don’t use that word lightly, EPIC victory in their first official match last month. By this, I mean a 20-7 victory over our arch rivals Swans International School. Cheered on by an ecstatic, and at times tearful, Mr Prescott, proud parents and of course their cool as a cucumber headmistress, I think there could be a few future Gareth Bales in our talented team. That’s it for now, so prepare yourselves for my Christmasthemed ramblings in my next column about what we have lined up this month!

C lassifieds

24 34 34 the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013

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the olive press - December 11 - December 23 201336


You Scrooges! Most workers must pay for Christmas parties

SEVEN out of ten Spaniards will have to pay for their own Christmas parties this year. More businesses are becoming scrooge-like in ongoing attempts to cut down on expenses in the face of recession. Around 70% of workers will be expected to pay for their own work dinner, typically spending between €25-30 each, according to a report by restaurant booking site eltenedor. Although 80% of those questioned say they intend to go out for some sort of Christmas dinner, only 24% say they will have a meal with colleagues. While the total number of work meals has declined 4% since last year, 54% of Spanish people will pay for a festive meal out with friends. And planning has started earlier this year with almost 70%

FRUIT and vegetable sales are boosted 5% when displayed in decorative cardboard boxes rather than plastic crates, according to tests carried out at supermarkets in Barcelona and Madrid.

A SPANISH cyclist has been fined €135 for ´reckless riding´ after he was caught eating a criossant en route to work.

Food aid COST-CUTTING: Bosses are shifting the bill to staff of respondents saying they will make a reservation more than two weeks in advance. The greatest drop is expected in Barcelona, ​​where 25% of busi-

nesses will hold Christmas dinners, compared to 40% last year. Celebrations in Madrid and Barcelona account for 20% of all parties.

MANY Spaniards are facing a reindeer-free Christmas. Finland’s producers have blocked an order for 100,000 reindeer by Lidl for supermarketsin Spain, Germany, and France amid concerns they cannot meet demand. Reindeer meat is in such shor t supply Finland has had to impor t 10,000 carcasses from Russia.

MAS SPECIAL: Reindeer meat is increasingly popular

Cheers to new brews A SPANISH brewer has launched two new lagers. The latest additions to the PLB range are Estrella Galicia (4.7% proof), and also another which is alcohol free. The northern Spanish brews are targeted at young professionals, and the alcohol free one is being sponsored by MogoGP team Honda, with music gigs in London and social media activity on Facebook.

MERCADONA has launched a limited edition Andalucian olive oil. It plans to produce 400,000 bottles, 50,000 more than the last run of limited edition oil which it sold in 2011. The oil was produced using 2.5 million olives from Andalucia harvested in October and November to make three ‘young, fresh and balanced’ varieties of olive oil; the arbequina, manzanilla and hojiblanca.. This year to date Mercadona has sold more than 90,000 tonnes of its own-brand olive oil produced by 130 cooperatives across Andalucia, Madrid and Extremadura.

Plastic not fantastic

Fine croissant

Lucky escape for Rudolph

Flavour of Andalucia


Very popular

A Christmas staple in Scandinavia, in recent years reindeer has become increasingly popular in the UK and Spain. Clare Norman, PR manager at Lidl, said: “Demand from customers has been huge. Our diced Siberian reindeer sold out within a week during a trial run in 2010.”

More than 450 tonnes of food has been collected from 270 supermarkets across Andalucia to help 55,000 people struggling to feed themselves.

Halal you doing NEW regulations are being developed to help regulate the growing halal market in Spain. The Cordoba-based Halal Institute is working with the Spanish Standardisation Authority on the matter.

Hard to swallow THE Netherlands re-exports Spanish watermelons at almost double their buying price, importing at €0.41/kg, and selling them on for €0.71/kg.

Tomato third SPAIN has retained its position as the world’s third leading tomato exporter. The Netherlands has taken over the top spot from Mexico this year, exporting €1.3bn worth in the past 12 months.

the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013



the olive press - December 11 - December 23 201338


Cold wipeout ICE storms and floods have wrecked crops in Almeria. Bad weather has destroyed the land and greenhouses of about 500 grower families most of whom only own a few hectares of land. For many, the loss of the greenhouses wipes out their only source of income. They have been trying to save what they can of their crops, selling at high prices high due to strong demand. The greenhouse season has just started with growers planting their crops in July and August. About 300 hectares of greenhouses have been badly IN RUINS: Storms damaged.

have hit crops

Nut cracker sweet! SNACKING SHELL SHOCK: Nuts on nuts this could prevent heart Christmas attacks could help prevent heart disease. Nut eaters have a 20% lower fatality rate than those who don’t eat nuts, according fewer people died from canto research by Harvard cer. Medical School. Nut eaters also stayed slimThe study revealed fatal- mer over the course of their ity from heart disease lives. dropped 29%, while 11 %

BIT SPECIAL: Aldi’s luxury mince pies

The pies the limit ALDI has swept the board in a Christmas taste test in the UK. Its Stilton beat that of Harrods and stole Waitrose’s crown in the mince pie department. Aldi’s Specially Selected luxury mince pies were the cheapest of the 12 tested and beat the likes of Selfridges and Fortnum and Mason, who were placed last with their £12.95 Traditional mince pies. Lidl’s Snowy Lodge Luxury mince pies and Marks and Spencer’s Handcrafted Ultimate All Butter mince pies took joint second place. Aldi’s Connoisseur Christmas Pudding also topped the list in the pudding cat-

egory, beating celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal´s Hidden Chocolate offering, Harrods and Fortnum and Mason. Elsewhere, judges scored two English sparkling wines more highly than Moet & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot Champagnes. Marks and Spencer’s English Sparkling Vintage 2009 scored 79%, marginally higher than the 77% awarded to the French offerings. Marks and Spencer fared the best in the Good Housekeeping blind taste test, taking eight top five spots across 12 categories.



39the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013 39

Boxes of kindness ALMERIA is selling vegetables to raise funds for the Philippines. Local growers and trading companies have donated enough vegetables to fill 1000 boxes, which are available for purchase at the port priced €2. The joint campaign was launched by the Spanish Red Cross and COAG Almeria. The president of the Red Cross said: “Even though times are hard for everyone, we must not forget about the catastrophes such as the one in the Philippines, where millions of people need help urgently. “

Weight loss diets increase 57% over five years in Spain LOW CARB diets have made a comeback in Spain. The country accounted for the second-largest number of new product launches over the past five years, according to data provider Mintel. Sales of low carb foods have soared 95% across Europe since 2008, while those of high protein products has gone up 57% since 2008. Meanwhile, new high protein product launches have tripled over the past five years, the number of new products brought to market this year was 260% higher than in 2008. Laura Jones, food science analyst, Mintel. Said: “As

LET’S GROW: Hoping to increase funds for the Philippines

Low carbs riding high

LEAN CUISINE: Low carb diets are all the rage well as communicating the low-carb content of the products, the presence or

absence of other nutrients is also highlighted, with high-protein claims positioning products as more than just low-carb alternatives,”.

High protein

The first big low carb diet was the Atkins diet, which was followed by celebrities the world over. Since then, other similar diets have come in and out of fashion, including the Dukan diet, famously used by Jennifer Anniston. All have a focus on eliminating starchy carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta and instead opting for high protein products like meat. One of the most popular lowcarb diets at the moment is the Paleo diet, also known as the caveman diet. Followers eat only natural, unprocessed food, just like our ancestors would have eaten.

China in their hands SPANISH kiwi growers are the latest to eye the lucrative Chinese market. So encouraged are they by the opportunities in Asia, Galician firm Kiwi Atlantichas opened a trade office in Shanghai, China. The move follows encouragement from the local government´s president, Alberto Nunez Feijoo. Nunez Feijoo said: “Three billion people live in Asia, which is a market where great consumers are to be found. It is certainly a market we need to reach.” He also said kiwi growers are set to benefit from strong demand at home. “At the moment Spain is not able to produce as much as it consumes, so we have a great opportunity ahead.”

EYE OF THE CHINA: That’s the hopes of Spanish kiwi growers

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CAREER OPS: The police have tried to get in early with advice

Off air

Shot stopper to crime stopper

CANAL nine in Valencia has been shut down by police after going bankrupt. The TV station stopped broadcasting on Monday following a decree by the regional government.

Now up for the ton!


On your bike THE 2014 Andalucia Bike Race will run from Jaen to Cordoba, via Andujar. The 400km ride will take place between February 23 and 28.

Oil slick REPSOL plans to begin looking for oil off the coast of the Canary Islands in 2014. It expects it could find the largest deposit in Spain.

Unfair competition A BRAZILIAN competition ruling has concluded Telefonica should withdraw interest from the country’s mobile operator TIM, or seek a new partner for its rival Vivo.

A CASARES granny ripped up the highway to celebrate her 90th birthday. Sarah Sutton’s dream birthday was to ride on the back of a classic Moto Guzzi on her big day and her wish was granted. After enjoying a 50km round trip, her daughter Louise said: “For her 100th we’ll organise a side car. Unless she’s riding her own bike by then. “Who knows with Sarah, anything is possible!”

BEER BOFFINS Spanish scientists work out the exact equation for the nuclearbomb like ‘beer bottle foam-over’ IT is that annoying moment when one of your mates comes up behind you and taps his beer bottle on top of yours. Losing half your drink as it sprays out onto your lap and onto the floor, you have been caught out by what is known as ‘beer bottle foam-over’. Now, an inquisitive team of Spanish boffins has uncovered the exact science behind the reaction, which they compared in part to a nuclear reaction. When the fizz kids could not work it out in the pub, Dr

Javier Rodriguez Rodruigez and his Carlos III University chums from Madrid returned to the lab to get to the bottom of it. His finding concluded the impact of bashing one beer bottle down over another sends compression waves through the glass. He said this then returns as an expansion wave through the beer, big bubbles collapse into smaller ones, increasing the collective surface area. As a result the CO2 leaves the beer even faster, and the

IF Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas was considering possible careers for his forthcoming child, then the Spanish Police Department may have given him some ideas. Casillas – whose partner Sara Carbonero is eight months pregnant - was presented with a babysized police uniform during an anti-bullying campaign in Madrid. Casillas said:“I have family in the police and if I had not been a footballer, who knows, maybe I would have chosen this profession. My height would have helped!”

FIZZ KIDS: Spaniards solve froth mystery. quicker the bubbles rise the more the reaction accelerates. Dr Rodriguez said: “This is very much a chain reaction, like in nuclear reactors. It

self-accelerates and there is an explosion.” He added the study may also help understand CO2 sequestration in rocks.

KEY CHOICE: Ronaldo picked the most expensive car

Ronaldo’s rich pickings HE is the fastest winger in the world and one of Spain’s top scorers. So it seems appropriate that Cristiano Ronaldo should get first dibs when it comes to choosing the best free car. And so it came to pass, when Audi gave him its most expensive car, the RS6 Avant, which start at €107,000 each. He was pictured getting into the 552 horse-

power car, at an official handover. The rest of the Real Madrid team had to make do with a choice of SUV Q7 sport crossovers, with Gareth Bale opting for the Q7 3.0 TDI. The German car maker has had a relationship with the club for 10 years and as is tradition, the team gets its pick of loan cars for the season - complete with favourable purchase options at the end of the year.

Sevilla supremo’s seven years in slammer SEVILLA FC boss Jose Maria del Nido has been jailed for seven years for his role in the embezzlement of public funds in Marbella. Del Nido was originally sentenced to seven-and-a-half years after an initial trial in 2011, but after an appeal the case went to the Supreme Court, which handed down the slightly reduced prison term. Del Nido, who was a lawyer in Marbella between 1999 and 2003, was among several people found guilty in the Minutas case for their involvement in a corruption ring that diverted public funds from Marbella town hall. He has since resigned. “I apologise to Sevilla,” he wrote on the team’s website. “Today I leave with regret, with a deep sadness and with humility.”

la cultura

the olive press - December 11 - December 23 2013

Seventh heaven

Christmas appeal for charity that saves Mexican kids from streets

Roaring success JAEN archeologists have discovered the remains of a 1.2 metre Roman lion statue, considered the best preserved find in the entire Iberian peninsula. Dated between one and two BC, the lion is thought to be one of a pair, which would have flanked the entry into the old fortified city. The discovery was made during excavations, being carried out in the north wall of the Ibero-Roman site of Cástulo, in Linares. Archeologist Vicente Barba said that lions were common statues in Roman cities ‘because they symbolize strength’ and that although there are numerous other similar statues in Cordoba, Sevilla and Malaga, none are so well preserved.

A FILM, telling the extraordinary story of an Australian couple who adopted SEVEN Mexican youngsters before starting their own children’s refuge has hit Spain, via the UK. Alan and Pamela Skuse left their home in Australia to volunteer at an orphanage in Tapachula, Mexico for a year. But when the organisation closed down after six months, the remaining seven children faced life on the streets.

Dubbed film

So the caring couple made the life-changing decision to look after ALL of them - full time. The film, Somewhere near Tapachula, tells the story of the charity – called Mision Mexico - and how the refuge has grown to become a home for more than 40 children. And now, thanks to the charity’s Spanish volunteers, the film will be dubbed into Spanish to be used as part of a recruitment drive to raise awareness across Spain. The charity’s UK-based director Deborah Grossman


what’s on P

uerto Banus, December 12. La

Sala. Charity golf morning in aid of Caritas. From 10pm. Christmas lunch served from 3pm. €99 per person.


arbella, December 13. International

Design School. Winter 2013 Graduation Party and Exposition. Champagne reception followed by fashion show. From 8pm.


arbella, December 20. Manolo Santana

HOME SWEET HOME: The refuge needs money and volunteers to keep children safe said: “The kids are very used to hearing and speaking in English as they have Aussie parents, but it would be wonderful to have more Spanish speaking volunteers. “Some of our kids, particularly the newer ones, aren’t fluent in English yet so Spanish speaking volunteers really help to break down communication barriers.” For more information on the charity or on Somewhere near Tapachula see

Racquets Club. Frank Camelot Dinner Show. Dinner and a performance by local vocalist. From 8:30pm.

Going potty for art M

arbella. Open now until January 15. Red

MORE than 1000 people visited the newly-opened Mijas Contemporary Art Centre in its first weekend. Its inaugural exhibition, Picasso, friends and contemporaries, includes a total of 86 works of art and pieces of pottery provided by the Medina Foundation Remedios. As well as work by Picasso, it also includes pieces by Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, George Braque, and Japanese artist Tsauguharu Foujita. The museum is open from 10am until 6pm every day. Entry is €3.

Penguin Art Gallery, El Corte Ingles Marbella, Live your Dream exhibition – Around 30 works of art from new and established artists. Free.


ierra Nevada Mountains, January 8 - 24. Permaculture design course - course teaching farming and sustainability skills.

Issue 176  

The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucia

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