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BREAKING NEWS: Osborne and Havers in hooker scandal. See page 3 Earpiece Don’t let the Don’t let thein banks cash new size banks cash in 39mm xsee 50mm page 13 see page 13

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The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucía

Vol. 7 Issue 174

the Olive Press INVESTIGATES

Long-term British visitor accused of ‘a menu’ of motoring crimes, none of them true

Super Stupa! There’s more to Benalmadena than Buddhists and beaches, as our pullout special report reveals!

A BRITISH motorist has criticised the Guardia Civil after being detained for hours over an escalating set of trumpedup charges. Jonathan Adshead, 45, is furious after being accused of a litany of crimes including knocking over a cyclist and talking on the phone, but only finally being fined for failing to indicate correctly, an offence he strongly denies. The motor dealer, a regular visitor to Spain, is now planning to sue the force after he was told to pay the €100 fine or spend ‘at least a night’ in the cells. He and his wife Carmel from Lancashire have just ended a rental contract in Mijas and have decided to move back to the UK permanently because of the incident. It comes after they insist they were ‘very aggressively’ treated by the police over a three hour period on October 19. “We now see the whole thing as absolute corruption – we were gobsmacked,” he added.

November 13 - November 27 2013

Pick your penalty! EXCLUSIVE By Liam Kirkaldy The couple – who have been visiting Spain for decades - were driving out of Mijas pueblo when a Guardia Civil police car pulled them over. They were initially told that they had failed to indicate at a roundabout, but when they denied the charge, things turned nasty. The officer became furious, ignoring their attempts to cooperate and insisted that teh came to the station for more questioning. “When I came over with my phone, so he could speak to the insurance company, he knocked it out of my hand,” explained Adshead. “I couldn’t believe it.” They spent the next three hours at the station being questioned by four different officers, who continually invented new charges. Describing it as a ‘fishing exercise’ he said: “They assumed a couple of Brits, leaving a

small village at lunch time would have been drinking - I think they thought it was a sure bet – but when the breathalyser showed all zeros they just about blew the roof off the place.” It was at that point they alleged that he had hit a cyclist, threatened to compound his car and arrest him for the night. When he was accused of talking on his mobile while driving he showed them his call history, which proved that he had not been on it since the morning. “They kept coming up with new charges. The police said, ‘pay up, or it’s really not go-

Pooches take on the palm weevil A Boxer and a Belgian Shepard are the latest weapons in the fight against the dreaded Red Palm Weevil See page 15

See page 21

CROOKED Twice struck off dentist barred a third time in UK... but still practicing in Spain See page 5

CORRUPT Union boss with a spare €200,000 (and 12 homes) gets bail in ERE scandal

GOBSMACKED: Jonathan and Carmel ing to be a good weekend for you. “They might as well have put a menu in front of us and said, ‘choose what you want to pay for’.” Eventually they managed to get a Spanish friend to speak to the police, who advised them to pay up, or face something worse. They were told they had to pay a €200 fine for not indicating, which would be reduced to €100 if they paid it on the spot. Olive Press legal expert AnTurn to page 2

See page 4

CRUSHED Woman killed by a rubbish crusher while searching in town’s dump See page 10


the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013 2


A BUM NOTE! Expat entertainer banged up and ordered not to leave country after knocking on wrong door

A WELL known entertainer on the coast faces an uncertain Christmas due to a misunderstanding with two plain clothes Spanish police. Father-of-three Jason Coleman, 44, was pinned to the ground and handcuffed after he ran from what he thought was an attempted mugging.


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


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

EXCLUSIVE By Giles Brown It happened when he accidentally knocked on the door of an apartment under surveillance by police in Benalmadena. The Mancunian, who has lived on the coast for a decade, had actually meant to

FAMILY MAN: Jason with daughter Sienna

knock on his friend´s door, who lived one floor above. “It all started when I went to see a friend in the Ibis apartments in Benalmadena” explained the singer, who lives nearby. “I didn’t know the block very well and got off on the wrong floor. As I was knocking on what I thought was his front door, a man and a

Guilty for killing boy A SAN Pedro man has been found guilty of murdering a 15-year old, who had entered his finca to pick marijuana leaves. The man, 60, shot the lad in the head when he broke into his farm. Lawyers acting for the prosecution said Mon -

the boy’s injuries – to the head and neck – demonstrated that his action was deliberate. They have petitioned for a sentence of 15 years, along with a payment of €100,000 in compensation to the victim’s family.

Crime fighting agency focuses on Spain BRITAIN’S new crime fighting agency has vowed to track down more British criminals living on the run in Spain. The National Crime Agency (NCA), which launched last month with 4,000 specialist crime fighters, has insisted that one of its key aims is to track down on hundreds of criminals suspected of living in Spain. It will build on relations with a range of agencies including the Spanish National Police, the Guardia Civil and Spanish Customs to tackle a range of offences including economic crime, immigration crime, and e-crime, which fell outside of the jurisdiction of its predecessor SOCA.

Crime doesn’t pee! MIJAS police inadvertently caught a criminal, wanted for assault, after arresting him for urinating in the street. The Colombian man, 24, was arrested for urinating in Avenida de Mijas, before later being found to be wanted by a Malaga court for assault. Arresting officers only discovered his true identity after checking the fugitive’s ID while charging him, along with a friend, for the public order infraction.

NCA: Crimefighters It will continue to work closely with Spanish partners under Operation Captura, which has seen 53 of the UK’s most wanted criminals arrested, and will remain a threat to British fugitives residing in Spain. David Armond, Director of Border Policing Command for the NCA, said, “Tackling serious and organised crime goes way beyond the shores of the United Kingdom. “Some of the biggest threats to the national security of countries around the globe come from individuals and crime groups who globally cost us billions of pounds every year and ruin lives and communities. “These people must be stopped, and the NCA will lead the UK’s law enforcement role at an international level.”

woman came up behind me. “They shouted ‘police’ and flipped their badges at me really quickly. They were not in uniform and I didn’t get a chance to see them.” explains Jason, who had unwittingly knocked on the door of a Moroccan drug dealer under surveillance. Assuming he was about to be mugged he broke free and ran to the lobby where he thought he was safe. But the policemen chased him and he was bundled to the ground and put under arrest. He was taken to Torremolinos Police Station where he was kept in a cell for 24 hours and not allowed to make a phone call to let his wife know what had happened. “It caused my family huge stress because I didn’t come home that night. My wife was very worried and put a post out on Facebook, asking if anyone had seen me.” He was eventually released and charged with resisting arrest and told he cannot leave the country. “I have no idea what is going on and have not been told if I am going to court or not and when. “Clearly a planned trip back to the UK to see my family is in the balance. I’m not in a position to hire a solicitor, so it really is causing me and my family a lot of stress.” He continues: “I’m an honest guy. I’ve worked hard and done everything correctly here. I’m a family man and my three kids were really upset when I didn’t come home that night. The whole thing is totally ridiculous. I am desparate for some help and advice.”

Fine Fix From page 1

Antonio Flores, of Lawbird, said the police would never have let Adshead off with a fine if he had in fact hit a cyclist. He said, “If he had hit a cyclist he would have surely been arrested. The fine indicates just that, a failure to indicate correctly when turning. Nothing surprises me.” Unsurprisingly the incident has left a bad taste in the mouth of the motor dealer. “I’ve come to Spain since I was twelve years old and we have been coming every five or six weeks,” he said. “This has really put us off the place.”


Comfortably Mum

HOME JAMES: Hewitt in Devon

HE was once one of the leading luminaries on the Costa del Sol. But now former cavalry officer James Hewitt, 55, has moved back to Devon to live with his mum. The ex manager of upmarket Polo House in Marbella has taken the decision to return to the UK, following the closure of the eaterie. The ex lover of Diana, Princess of Wales, he is reportedly now living with his mother Shirley in a two bedroom flat in a former country house, near Exeter. Despite being dubbed a ‘love rat’ at home by the UK press, he has chosen to recuperate there, after his health suffered in Spain. “I think the stress was getting to him down here with the restaurant struggling,” said a source. “He had not been well and needed to rest. “Once the owners of the restaurant the decided to close and reopen as an upmarket Indian restaurant Chowka, he knew it was time to go.

the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013


EXCLUSIVE: Call Girl sensation on TRE as she names alleged former clients in sex and drugs ring

Hooker: Osborne and Havers were clients of mine! CLAIMS: Osborne (with Rowe) and (far left) today has faced allegations in the past. Actor Havers (below left) is also named

Sexist Duke

IÑAKI Urdangarin has brought further embarrassment to the royal family after a series of emails in which he made crude and sexist jokes were leaked. The disgraced son-in-law of King Juan Carlos was reported to have sent an email which included a pun about Prince Felipe and Letizia’s bedroom activities, and screenshots of prominent female newsreaders at the time, including Letizia, entitled ‘orgasms’. In another email he told friends he had taken a job with a Spanish NGO to work with refugees in the Middle East, attaching a photograph of the group he had allegedly been assigned to work with – six topless girls with rifles. The emails were taken from the prince’s computer, which has been seized as part of an investigation into allegations he embezzled public funds.

THE British chancellor has been accused of taking cocaine and partying with prostitutes in a sensational Spanish radio interview. George Osborne was described as being ‘arrogant’ as he took cocaine and went to parties with prostitutes. “George took cocaine on several occasions and went to parties where the girls were

Baby Names Ricky’s a Blues dreamer RICKY Martin has penned his first children’s book, basing the lead character on a younger version of himself. Santiago the Dreamer in the Land Among the Stars is about a young performer who learns to overcome rejection and follow his dreams. The heart-throb, 41, said his father told him at age 12 that if he were to achieve his goals he must listen to his heart. The book has been published in both English and Martin’s native Spanish.

IT’S not turning out to be the best of years for Spain’s World Cup winning captain Iker Castillas. The Real Madrid goalkeeper has been dropped from the first team and is likely to move to another club in the new year. Even the fact that his gorgeous journalist girlfriend Sara Carbonero is expecting their first child any day now has its down side. At a fashion show in Madrid, Sara was asked what name she was thinking of calling the baby. “I don’t want the baby to be called Iker!” she trilled.

provided,” former call girl Natalie Rowe told DJ Kenny Jones, on his late night show on Talk Radio Europe. She added that the politician had even come to blows over her at one stage, rolling around on the floor with her former partner William Sinclair. “They were high and drunk,” she told the station, based in

Doctor of Sanz

SPANISH pop sensation Alejandro Sanz has been awarded an honorary doctorate at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Sanz, from Algeciras, accepted the accolade in front of a crowd of 1,200 at the US institution, and gave a speech thanking his father who bought him his first guitar. Dressed in a traditional cap and gown, the singer told the Berklee students to never give up on their art. “There will always be a chord beyond your tiredness and frustration.” he said.

San Pedro. “George took cocaine on several occasions and went to parties where the girls were provided.” In the explosive interview to promote her autobiography Chief Whip – Memoirs of a Dominatrix, she revealed how she charged up to 100,000 euros for one night. She also frequently supplied Oxford University drinking club The Bullingdon Club – to which PM David Cameron was a member - with a steady supply of girls. In further revelations she revealed that other clients of hers included actor Nigel Havers, best known for his roles in The Chancer and the late Simon Cadell from Hi Dee Hi. Although her publishers were forced to hide the real names in the book, Natalie was able to name them on the show as it is based out of the UK. Natalie was memorably photographed with Osborne in a picture that was later published by a tabloid with the headline ‘Top Tory, coke and the hooker’. “George is lying if and when he denies this,” Natalie said. “Let him sue me.”


the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013


Persimmon passion FOOD From Spain has launched a new campaign to promote the Spanish persimmon in UK schools. Children are being invited to design a new outfit for mascot Pedro Persimmon.

Choking statistics A 15% reduction in tobacco consumption could reduce the number of cases of childhood asthma in Spain, a group of researchers has calculated.

Ferry nice

‘ERE ‘lynchpin’ given bail FREE: Juan Lanzas

A UNION boss accused of spearheading Europe’s biggest ever public money scandal has managed to stump up €200,000 in bail money. Juan Lanzas, described as being the nexus (or link between the various groups involved) in the so-called ERE benefits scam, lodged the money with a Sevilla court. The boss of the UGT (former communist) union was pictured smirking as he left pris-

Union chief finds 200,000 euros in cash to pay his way out of prison

on having allegedly had his ‘family’ stump up the money. But, in reality, he is not short of money, with investigators believing that he pocketed

€13m in commissions in his role in the scandal that saw €200m defrauded from public money meant to stimulate the economy and pay off redundancies. Judge Alaya, who has been investigating the case for two years also believes that he bought12 properties with the money. Under Operation Heracles he has been charged with five counts of embezzling public funds, breach of trust, forg-

ery, conspiracy and bribery. His release leaves just two of the 133 people charged in the investigation in prison. The case involves alleged fraud committed in a fund set up with public money to help struggling companies lay off workers. The ‘reptile’ fund as it is known, saw the former Employment Minister of the Junta allegedly set up two

Bah humbug as Christmas spending slashed

A NEW ferry service between Poole and Santander has been launched. The twice a week service begins following the withdrawal of a previous freight-only route between the two destinations

Ibiza heist

TWO Ibiza police officers have been arrested on suspicion of stealing nearly €1 million from the offices of a company owned by former foreign affairs minister Abel Matutes.



THE International Club of Estepona (ICE) has celebrated its 25th birthday in style. More than 100 members joined the celebrations in Estepona.

THE average Spaniard is expected to spend €300 less this year on Christmas than in 2008. Spending is forecast to fall another 11.5% this year to just €500 as the recession continues to affect families around the country. Spending has fallen almost every year since 2008, with leisure pursuits taking the biggest hit, according to data from the Federation of Independent Users and Consumers (FUCI). Spending on weekend breaks and hotel stays has fallen 71% in the past five years, while outlay on toys and gifts has been cut 34%. Lottery ticket sales are projected to be especially weak this year, at 21% lower than in 2012.

dummy companies and then spend the money with his chauffeur on prostitutes and drugs. Former Public Works Minister Magdalena Alvarez has been charged in the case, while two former Andalucia leaders Jose Antonio Grinan and Manuel Chaves have also now been named as suspects in the investigation.

Domestic violence rife

SLASHED : Xmas gifts

AROUND 700 women have been killed in domestic violence cases in Spain over the past 10 years, according to a report. A million children have been affected over the same time period, and this year alone 46 have been murdered, the national domestic violence centre said. The centre, set up in 2004 in a bid to combat the problem, said over 600,000 women a year are facing domestic violence, but less than a quarter make an official complaint.



Moby duck! YOU will definitely be able to have a whale of a time in the Sierra Nevada this year. The team at Cetursa, that runs the ski station, is installing a huge whale to ski through. The new family-friendly ski area – which has a marine theme – will give young explorers the chance to go to the bottom of the sea, while on top of a mountain. Announced by the Minister of Sports Luciano Alonso, during the presentation ceremony in Granada, Pista del Mar will have more space for beginners and new lifts installed. The design is part of a long term plan to encourage more families to take up snow sports, with children under five currently getting free entry to the slopes.

Hell’s teeth Alhaurin-based dentist Raj Rao accused of posing ‘a risk to the public’ by watchdog as he is turned down to work in the UK again after being struck off twice EXCLUSIVE By Liam Kirkaldy A CROOKED dentist, whose botched jobs caused patients long-term damage, is still working in Spain... despite being turned down to work in Britain on THREE separate occasions. Rajkumar Rao unsuccessfully sued the Olive Press for libel after we revealed that he had been TWICE struck off in the UK and – but for an administrative error – should not be practising in Spain. And now he has beaten his own record, after the UK’s General Dental Council rejected Rao’s third attempt to be restored to the UK register. In a damning dossier of reasons, The Professional Conduct Committee accused him of having attempted to mislead them. The respected body insisted that because of his numerous clinical failings, as well as inaccuracies in the evidence provided, Rao cannot be allowed to practice in Britain again. Opposing counsel accused him of posing ‘a risk to the public’, while the Committee expressed concern that he believed he had never acted illegally. This was despite having treated patients while being banned, giving unnecessary treatment to children and 22 crowns to a pensioner, who

He left my face permanently numb EXPAT patient David Buchanan, 51, claims Rao left one side of his face paralysed after an injection went wrong. “It has been left permanently numb. When my children go to kiss me goodnight on that cheek, I still can’t feel it.” “Rao told me I had an abscess in a tooth and I needed it removed immediately,” he explained. “But he didn’t use any anaesthetic as he said it was dead and would not hurt. “The next thing I knew I was suffering the worst

RISK: Rao and (below) his villa in Alhaurin

only needed seven. The report also said: “You told the Committee that you saw no need to inform the Spanish Dental Authority of your erasures in the UK. “There was no evidence that you had taken appropriate steps to satisfy yourself that these erasures would not affect your licence to practise in Spain. “The Committee cannot be satisfied that you really appreciate the seriousness of this issue for a registered professional.” Rao also faced criticism for giving children inappropriate treatment, solely because it would mean a bigger profit, and for refusing to refer a patient for a second opinion until he was paid. Despite the litany of abuses Rao, who featured in an ITV documentary Dentists from Hell, still practices from his huge multi-million euro home, near Alhaurin. Going under the name the Alhaurin Dental Centre, he advertises heavily in local magazines, promising ‘world class dental care’. Dr Alex McCubbin, from the British Dental Centre in Marbella, said he was ‘not surprised’ that Rao had been able to continue working in Spain. “Regulation is so much tighter in the UK than in Spain, the difpain of my life and was ference is unbelievable. covered in blood and “If you look at the UK, there can gore. be about 20 dentists struck off a That’s when he hastily month, though sometimes just injected the anaesthetic short-term, for more training. which somehow pierced And there’s no communication my eye socket, paralysing between the Spanish and British half of my face.” authorities.” Buchanan – who was un- Rao declined to comment on able to work for seven the rejection of his application. months – could not close His wife told the Olive Press: the eye for months and “Thanks for the call. We will not has lost his sense of taste. be commenting.”

the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013



the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013

OPINION Own goal

WITH Spain still reeling from a currency crisis, record unemployment and the biggest political scandal in decades, there is certainly a lot for those in power to be getting on with. With this backdrop, the treatment of Jonathan Adshead and his wife becomes even more baffling. In what must have been a terrifying experience, the British couple were held in a police station for three hours by the Spanish police, over a series of trumped-up motoring charges. Jonathan Adshead was first accused of failing to indicate correctly, then of speaking on his phone, then of being drunk, before finally being told he had hit a cyclist. He was then set free after paying a €100 ‘fine’. The Spanish economy is in dire need of economic stimulus and it would be foolish for any European state to turn down the revenue generated by tourism. But instead of embracing the advantages - economic and cultural – brought by tourism, such stories send the message that foreigners are no longer welcome in Andalucia. It is sad that Mr and Mrs Adshead do not plan to return to Spain, and as such sentiments appears to be spreading among other expats and tourists, it will be Spain that loses out.

Hitting back at domestic abuse The latest stats on domestic violence are a disgrace, and the Spanish authorities should hang their heads in shame. How can a society which is built on the importance of family let down such a huge proportion of its population; those whose lives are filled with the terrifying and omnipresent threat of violence in their own homes at the hands of those that supposedly love them? It’s so easy to forget about the women, the children, and the handful of men that are affected. They have no voice, they have no self-worth. Domestic violence is an awkward topic to discuss, and unlike a juicy murder it is not salacious. Everyone knows it happens, but, it is so easy to sweep it under the carpet, and to turn a blind eye. Victims need somewhere to escape to, they need someone they can turn to, and they deserve our compassion. It takes so much courage to step out of an abusive relationshìp, seek help and start over. A life free of fear is a human right, not a luxury, and it is about time the authorities made a concerted effort to make it possible for all of its citizens.

Welcome to the club, comrade FOR a man whose job is supposedly to represent the rights of the working class, it is a total outrage. Juan Lanzas, a boss of the UGT communist trade union, is said to have taken €13million in commissions in his role in ensuring the ERE benefits scandal went ahead smoothly. Described as a ‘nexus’ or lynchpin in the case that has rocked Spain, he has just been able to post bail to the tune of €200,000 in cash. The former union boss is also reported to own 12 properties. Not bad for a man of the people.

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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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The Invisible Empire FEATURE

A year on from Operation Emperor and the arrests of several high profile Oriental businessmen, the Chinese community is coming under scrutiny from the Spanish authorities

SPOILS: Millions seized in cash during Madrid raids


OZENS of cases along with hundreds of interviews with police officers, tax inspectors, customs officers and civil servants all point to the existence of an ever-growing multi-billion-euro Chinese economy in Spain that is invisible and built on crime and exploitation. “Most Chinese people living in Spain like to project a positive image of the community, but I would like to talk frankly,” says a leading figure in the Chinese business community who is prepared to talk about the situation - albeit under condition of anonymity. “It is almost impossible for the Chinese to make money in Europe if they pay taxes: their businesses are not that profitable. In the wholesale business, everybody does the same, because there is so much competition. In the restaurant business, if they used legal workers, it would be impossible to survive. “It is impossible to put a stop to this, because the Chinese exploit the weaknesses of the system. And people always want to make more money. If

they don’t catch you, you can make a lot of money,” he laughs. Every investigation into suspected illegal activities by Chinese businesses in Spain has uncovered the same practices: the importing of huge amounts of Chinese-produced goods on which little tax or duty is paid. Some members of the Chinese business community in Spain are also involved in contraband tobacco and fake designer goods and medicines. The exploitation of Chinese migrants without papers is also widespread. And finally, the Chinese also create complex networks to get their money out of Spain tax free, which is then invested in the Chinese property market. This is organised crime, but not in the sense of the Mafia or the dreaded Triads. The people involved range from self-made businessmen and women to low-profile criminals able to take advantage of the many loopholes in the European legal system.

HEAD MAN: Gao Ping An example of the latter might be Gao Ping, the alleged head of an organization that laundered an estimated 1.2 billion euros over a four-year period who was arrested as part of the Spanish police’s Operation Emperor last year. These are not people involved in crime per se, but who are prepared to go to extreme lengths to make their licit activities as profitable as possible. At a warehouse at Valencia’s

container terminal, the country’s largest, it is easy to see why so many imports from China escape the attention of the authorities. A group of officials is inspecting one such container which has been issued with a red ring on the recommendation of Rita, the Tax Office’s supercomputer, which has detected inconsistencies in the owner’s tax declaration. Unofficial sources say that less than 10% of the contain-


7 olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013 the

UNEASY PARTNERS: At the opening of Plaza ers entering and leaving the economy of hundreds of milport of Valencia are physically lions of euros each year. checked. Police say that the same story The risk analysis carried is being repeated in the town out by Rita is a vital tool in of Elche, in Alicante, which controlling goods entering has a long tradition of shoeSpain because the enormous making. amount of trade makes it im- In 2004, several Chinese possible to check containers businesses in the city were without bringing the port to damaged in protests against a standstill. In other words, what local producers say is ideal conditions for crime. unfair competition based on The usual trick is to falsify the non-payment of import duamount, the value, and the ties, use of cheap labour, tax nature of the goods inside a evasion, and other practices. container so as to save on im- “We are in exactly the same port duties and sales tax. situation as a decade ago,” The same goes for the weight, says Luis Ángel Mateo, the the origin of the content and city’s employment councilor, the identity of the importer, complaining about the auwhich is normally hidden by thorities’ failure to tackle the creation of front compa- what he says are systematic nies, all of which means that abuses by Chinese businessthe container es. gets the green These run ring, and soon from non-payThe Chinese leaves the port. ment of SoThe bigger the cleverly exploit the cial Security amount being weakness of the contributions defrauded, the to keeping Spanish system the vast mamore competitive the goods jority of their and the greater activities off the profit margin. the books to avoid tax, as well The scale of the fraud is stag- as health and safety infracgering: “Everybody is doing it tions, or simply opening their in the textile and shoe sec- shops outside legal trading tors, because if they didn’t, hours. they wouldn’t be able to sell Elche’s Chinese community their goods at the price their plays an important role in competitors do, and they the commercial life of the would be out of the market,” city, running around 150 of say police sources. the companies operating out The Spanish police say that of its main industrial estate, in last year’s Operation Em- and has since expanded its peror, a series of companies operations to the nearby run by Gao Ping from an in- town of Crevillent. dustrial estate in the north Operation Heijin, carried of the capital was found to out by the police in the area be importing around 1,500 earlier this year, exposed containers of goods a year. widespread tax and customs Between 10 - 20 % of the real duty evasion, with one shoe value of the contents was importer, Ou Lin Li, shown to declared, and the rest gen- have declared just a fifth of erated earnings in the black its activities to the authori-

INFLUENCE: Ping with King and Foreign Minster Margallo ties, avoiding the payment of an estimated 103 million euros between 2009 and 2011. The negative publicity generated by the police operation has prompted complaints by some within the Chinese community in Elche, who say they are being scapegoated. “The Spaniards are unemployed, and have no money. They blame us for everything. But they are wrong, we work 13 or 14 hours a day,” says an employee of one of the companies investigated by the police in the city.


Where does the money generated by this hidden economy go? Part of it is smuggled out of the country by Chinese returning home to visit, or, as in Italy, it is sent to China disguised as remittances. But part of the money remains in Spain, where it is often used to open small shops, which are then rented at high rates of interest to other Chinese. The police say this explains the rapid spread of Chinese

Eastern promise

A PROGRAMME of free Mandarin classes part-funded by the Junta has seen enrolments double since its launch two years ago. There are now 1,200 students taking the courses, which are being run in conjunction with the Chinese state. A spokesperson for the local education ministry said: “China is expected to be the leading world power in a few decades, and this is driving a boom in the number of people studying its language and culture.” Andalucia is not the only region focusing on the far-eastern language, with regional governments across the country expanding their Chinese courses in

their subsidised language centres. Language schools in Madrid have increased the number of courses on offer, thanks to a recent surge in demand. The classes are even being offered to toddlers following the widespread launch of after-hours Mandarin lessons in nursery schools. The education ministry estimates that around 30,000 people in Spain are now learning Mandarin as a foreign language.

shops in countries such as Spain, France and Italy in recent years. The availability of large sums of cash also accounts for the growth of industrial estates in the outskirts of Madrid and other cities. Nobody is questioning the Chinese’ willingness to work long hours, and it would be wrong to assume that all Chinese businesses in Spain are based on tax evasion and exploitation. That said, those who have witnessed the growth of Chinese-run businesses in Spain say that back in the boom years of the 1990s, the Chinese who set up in Fuenlabrada, in the south of Madrid, for example, did so using large amounts of cash to buy large warehouses, sometimes for as much as five million euros. Fuenlabrada’s Plaza Oriente was meant to be the capital’s Chinatown, a symbol of the economic presence of the Chinese in the capital. But so far there have been no takers for most of the premises inside the Fénix building, a huge steel and glass structure that was to house shops, nightclubs, sports facilities, bars and restaurants — only one supermarket has opened there. For the moment, it seems that the Chinese empire is remaining invisible, hoping to ride out the crisis. This article previously appeared in El Pais. It’s writers H. Araújo and J. P. Cardenal are the authors of La silenciosa conquista China (The silent Chinese conquest) and have just pubished El imperio invisible (The invisible empire)



the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013



LEAVE OUR HOMES ALONE! Hundreds of protesters take to the streets to oppose new demolitions in Almeria

A GROUP of expats have taken to the streets over a new spate of demolitions in the Almeria area. The group that numbered over 400 took to the streets of Cantoria demanding an end to the ‘summary’ demolitions. It comes after two Britons had their homes knocked down in the town last month, with two more imminently facing the chop. The homes had been signed off by the local town hall illegally and had been bought in good faith. The group were joined by various Spanish politicians

uncaring community?” Gerardo Vazquez, a lawyer for the homeowner’s pressure group AUAN, outlined the outrage of demolitions without compensation for those who had acted in good faith and whose human rights were being violated. He added that this problem affects not just the British, but thousands of Spaniards who find themselves in the same position and face the same unease. The owners of a three-bedroom villa, John and Jan Brooks, 73 and 70, saw their home bulldozed, as reported in the Olive Press last month. The couple had spent €200,000 on the house. “Our intention was to spend a couple of months there and a couple of months here,” said Mr Brooks, speaking from his Somerset home. “It was part of our retirement plan. “There are no words in the dictionary to adequately describe our anger at the greedy, selfish, corrupt creatures who have caused this situation,” said Mr Brooks. Now two of their neighbours have also been given just 30 days notice to remove their PROTEST: Crowd listen to speakers in Cantoria possessions from their homes before the bulldozers move in. Around 13,000 homes in the wider Almanzora Valley face the threat of demolition, after being built on flood plains and natural parks. AUAN is calling for greater political co-operation to ´regularise´ the homes. An all-party meeting to discuss the issue, planned for this week was cancelled however, following the withdrowal of the regional THREATENED: Homes under threat and (inset) the Brooks PSOE party. lost their 200,000 home

What a jammy idea

THREE entrepreneurs have launched Spain’s first mango jam onto the market – using the slogan ‘mmm’. The jam, called Mermelada Mango Malaga – or ‘mmm’ – was launched at The Taste of Malaga event in the region’s capital. Made from locally sourced fruit – grown in the Axarquia and along Granada’s Costa Tropical – the jam will be made up of 75% mangos, along with sugar and lemon juice. The trio, from Velez Malaga, launched the product by ordering 20,000 jars of jam, to be produced from 10,000 kilos of fruit. The Taste of Malaga festival was launched last year to promote the best food and drinks from the south.

including local mayor from Alcontar as they gathered outside the Palacio de Almanzora with banners reading ‘Yes to Solutions, No to Demolitions’. Helen Prior, one of the area’s first victims of demolition, spoke to the gathered crowd about the loss of her €690,000 home in 2008. She said: “My husband and I had worked and saved for 45 years to build that house, and we have not received any compensation. “What good did it do, besides showing Andalucia to be a poor and


the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013



the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013


Wine decline EUROPE´S wine production has fallen 25% in the past 10 years. There are fears this, along with increased global consumption, could lead to a shortage in the near future.

Firestarter A RYANAIR flight has been forced to make an emergency landing in Sevilla following a fire in the cockpit. The airline said a faulty air conditioning system was the cause.

Good service THE deadlock over the Malaga Metro has finally ended with the agreement the Metro will run overground beween the city centre and the Civil hospital.

Domestic death A MALAGA man jumped to his death after stabbing his wife in what is believed to be a domestic violence case. This is the fourth such killing in the province since the start of the year. See Opinion on page 6

EYE ON THE CRISIS So are we really coming out of recession? The Olive Press keeps an eye on the real situation out on the streets...


A SPANISH woman has been crushed by a rubbish compressor while rooting around a dump for scrap metal. The unemployed woman, 55, was killed while she searched a municipal landfill in Jaen, with her two sons. After witnessing their mother’s death the two sons then assaulted the driver of the vehicle, leaving him badly beaten, before police intervened. The driver was transferred to

Woman killed by rubbish crusher

Jaen’s Hospital Neurotraumalogico’s ICU, where he was kept under police protection. While access to landfills is forbidden in Spain, the economic crisis has driven increasing numbers of local people to attempt to enter

sites in order to search for valuable materials. Workers have reportedly been unhappy about the security of the dump for some time. Ambulances were called to the scene but the woman is thought to have been killed instantly.

Benefits cheats brought to justice A PAIR of benefit cheats who lived the high life in Spain have been ordered to pay back the £16,000 they fraudulently claimed. Retired Michael and Sylvia Plumridge from Wokingham, Berkshire, lived in a

luxury apartment in Torrevieja, near Alicante until they returned to the UK in 2010. Upon their return, they claimed a range of UK benefits and even had a council house. However they failed to tell

Budget royals THE Spanish Royal family costs just 17 cents a year per person. That is the claim of the PP party as it defends its decision to provide €7.7m to the royal family as part of the country’s 2014 budget, down 1.8% from 2013. PP figures showed that the British Monarchy had a budget of €46.6 million, while that figure was €12 million in both Denmark and Sweden and more than €8 million in Luxembourg.

the taxman about their Spanish property, nor a private NHS pension. The married couple, in their 60s, were sentenced to 240 hours community service each, and ordered to pay back the benefit they had received fraudulently, and an additional £1,235 to cover the cost of the investigation. Julie Holland of Wokingham Borough Council, who helped bring the fraudsters to justice, said: “With such a high demand for social housing and with taxpayers’ money being so tight, it is vitally important that we make sure that council houses and public money only go to those who really need it.”

DEADLY: Landfill site

Illness goes viral

More flights to Malaga BRITISH Airways and Jet2 have announced new routes between the UK and the Costa del Sol from March. BA will reintroduce its popular flight between Malaga and Heathrow after a two year gap. Jet2 said it would be boosting links between the north of England and Malaga in time for the summer season. The news follows predictions by British tour operators that southern Spain would attract 10% more British tourists in 2014 than it did this year.

A SPANISH woman has become the first citizen to contract a new respiratory virus. She became ill during a trip to Saudi Arabia last month, and was thought to have contracted pneumonia. However, after having been admitted to a hospital on her return in Madrid she was diagnosed with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which is related to the SARS virus. Around 50 people have died from MERS since its outbreak in Saudi Arabia last year. Medics say the woman is recovering, and her case poses no public health threat.

the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013



the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013 12

Border Watch


Truly epic!

The Olive Press brings you the latest developments from the Frontier

Picardo visits Regiment CHIEF Minister Fabian Picardo has visited the Royal Gibraltar Regiment troops on exercise near Marrakech. The tour included a visit to the regiment’s camp and the firing of the British Army’s new sniper rifle.


HE ‘will they, won’t they?’ sense of unease continues at the border. The Spanish authorities continue to give no indication of when they will start their checks. After a few days without a hitch, November 5 saw huge queues to get out of Gibraltar in the evening. Even people on foot were searched, resulting in a queue of an hour to leave for pedestrians. The same thing predictably happened on November 11, Rememberance Day, with huge queues for cars, bikes and pedestrians. The following day there was a huge traffic queue that started at midday, with cars and bikes having to wait over three hours to leave. The border queues have begun to feature in several travel blogs on the Internet. American bloggers Mary and Matt Stephenson were visiting Gibraltar with their toddler daughter earlier in the month and after a day exploring the Rock, they


Guernsey and Gib were looking forward to going back to their hotel in Spain. “When we’d had enough, we headed back for the border, expecting to walk across to our car,” wrote Mary. “But there were throngs of people waiting to get out. Throngs! It was epic!” They posted the photograph (above), captioning that it was a fifth of the length of the queue wait-

Tourism plans THE Rock’s tourist minister has held a series of high level meetings with tourist chiefs in the UK. Neil Costa had a series of 15 back to back meet-

ing to cross. With the run up to Christmas now well and truly underway, the unpredictable nature of the Spanish authorities’ checks at the border can do nothing but harm to the Gibraltarian economy. If you have any Borderwatch stories email ings with leading executives during his time at the important World Travel Market event. One of the largest international gatherings of the travel and tourism industry, the event was a good way for the enclave to further promote its tourism draw which grows each year.

GUERNSEY has signed a tax agreement with Gibraltar and agreed to work more closely together.

Rock Ride A team of cyclists are set to ride the 1500 miles from Gibraltar to Buckinghamshire. Rock Ride 2 will raise money for a variety of charities and set off on June 1.

Barbary Bangs! THE Department of the Environment is continuing with its strategy to remove the Barbary Macaques frequenting urban ‘hot spots’, through the use of noise makers.


the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013

Bite back! Chief Minister sues Spanish association over claims he was a little prince backing drug smuggling and money laundering

THE chief minister is fighting back over claims that his government protected drug smugglers and money launderers. Lawyers acting for Fabian Picardo have launched a legal battle against right wing Spanish association Manos Limpias over statements made earlier this summer. On its website the group claimed that Picardo was ‘protecting money laundering, smuggling and drug trafficking’. It continued: “We are not accusing him of being behind the crimes but of protecting

By Giles Brown and tolerating them, of not stopping them.” Picardo’s lawyers claim the website defamed and damaged his reputation, causing him “considerable hurt, distress and embarrassment.” Manos Limpias failed to respond to a request for an apology, a retraction and an offer of damages in summer with Miguel Bernard, secretary general of Manos Limpias, commenting: “We are not going to let ourselves be blackmailed.” He added: “Who does this in-

dividual think he is? He is on another planet, we are not his slaves. Who is he to order us to withdraw our accusations? He thinks he is a prince on his little bit of land.” A claim form and detailed particulars of the case have now been filed in the Supreme Court in Gibraltar by Mr Picardo’s lawyers, Hassans. The documentation includes certified Spanish translations of all the documents, which will be served on the defendants in Madrid. Mr Picardo’s lawyers want the court to issue a restraining order preventing further

Jamie Lee in Japan! MISS Gibraltar’s First Princess, Jamie lee Randall, will be participating at Miss International 2013 in Okinawa, Japan next month. Jamie Lee organised her own sponsorship to take part in the pageant, securing the

backing of the Sorek Group. The 21-year-old was runner up to winner Maroua Kharbouch, who went on to finish in the top six in Miss World and was voted People’s Champion.

Gib clears tax probe

Final touches for floating hotel THE world’s first five-star floating yacht hotel, Sunborn Gibraltar, is undergoing final preparations ahead of moving to her permanent home in Ocean Village next month. A massive €150 million refit will leave the ship with 189 guest rooms, and facilities including a casino, spa and fitness centre, restaurants and even a ballroom. Conferences will be catered for in a flexible meeting space for up to 540 delegates. Brian Stevendale, chief executive, said: “She has had her final exterior coat of paint, the teak decks and stainless steel railings are being brought up to showroom condition and the interior is looking terrific.” The floating hotel is due to welcome its first guests in January 2014.

THE European Commission (EC) insists there are no ‘wellfounded’ claims against Gibraltar on the issues of tax and money-laundering matters. Commissioner Michel Barnier made the comments in response to written questions from Gibraltar MEP Graham Watson. He pointed out that Gibraltar’s legislation in the relevant areas is up to date. The EC verdict is a blow to Spain, which made accusations that Gibraltar is a tax haven and a center for money-laundering.

publication of the claims, as well as damages for libel. The row started after Manos Limpias alleged Gibraltar was in breach of EU environmental law when it began construction of an artificial reef this summer. Manos Limpias achieved some notoriety in the international press after filing a lawsuit against the controversial investigating judge Baltasar Garzon. The group was outraged that the left wing judge was attempting to get a new law that investigated the extremes of the far right during the Spanish Civil War. Ironically Garzon and Picardo have become friends over recent months and Garzon is also now advising him on how to deal with the Spanish government and other threats.


ON the Rock

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

November 13

Jazz and Brazilian Music Concert Featuring violinist Julie Kurtzman and colleagues from New York City The Convent, 8pm For further info contact 20072134 or email

November 13 - 16

Blood Brothers A Musical by Willy Russell organised by Rock Theatre and Santos Productions Ince’s Hall Theatre, 8pm Tickets £12 For further info

November 19

Antonia Guera – Soto Mayor Photographic Exhibition Momentos históricos de la provincial de Cádiz John Mackintosh Hall, 10am – 10pm For further info contact Mar del Sur on +34 657 487 480

November 20

Choreography Competition organised by Danza Academy. John Mackintosh Hall Theatre, 7.30pm Tickets £8 on sale at Danza Studio For further info contact 54027111 or 54003973

November 20

The Wild Beasts of 1905’ – Fauve and French Expressionist Painting Art Lecture by Frank Woodgate Organised by the Gibraltar Decorative and Fine Arts Society O’Callaghan Eliott Hotel, 7.30pm For further info contact Claus Olesen on 20002024

November 21

The History of Gibraltar in Five Parts: Part 5 – History of an Identity Museum Lecture by Dennis Beiso John Mackintosh Hall Theatre, 8pm. Entrance Free



the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013

Christmas spirit at the Palacete!


Plant Progress NERJA Town Hall is expected to finally award the contract for construction of the new sewage plant later this month.


HE beautiful Palacete de Cazulas, near Otivar, is getting into the festive spirit by holding its second Christmas market. The market, which raises funds for cancer charity AECC, is a fun event with lots of ideas for Christmas gifts. Held in the old olive mill’s grounds, the Christmas market will have a plant stall, donated by local gardeners and more donations are welcome.

Green Nerja Nearly 100 people took part in an environmental awareness workshop in Nerja organised by the Bioparc Foundation.

Debt Down Almunecar Town Hall has announced on that it has reduced its municipal debt by €3 million to €39.2m.

Slippery Slope ONE home has been demolished, five have demolition orders in place and 12 more have been evacuated at the Carmenes del Mar urbanisation on Cerro Gordo near La Herradura due to subsidence. Local residents claim the development was built on protected land.

Plain sailing!

The market will also be selling home made cakes, as well as tapas-style plates and BBQ hot dogs for lunch. For the thirsty there will be mulled wine or beer, as well as the Palacete’s home made liqueur. The Christmas market takes place on December 7 - 8 from 11am to 4 pm. Entry is a donation of €1 for the charity, with children free. Tables are still available for stallholders. For more information contact

Walk This Way! Exciting new trail heads through Axarquia as far as Ronda

MOTRIL port has seen a growth of 26% in passenger use in just one year. Nearly 300,000 people used the port during the first nine months of the year, representing an increase of over a quarter for the same period last year . There was also a rise in the number of cargo vehicles this year, from 65,712 in 2012 to 71,315, an increase of 8.53% The shipping company Armas runs a daily service to Melilla, as well as services on alternate days days to Al Hoceima and Nador. The latter began in January 2013.

RAMBLERS and cyclists in the Axarquia have a new route to explore, which will take them from Nerja to the historic town of Ronda. The 420 km path is part of a 650 km circular cycling and walking route that was announced earlier this year by the Diputacion de Malaga. The northern section from Nerja to Ronda is made up of 19 stretches that total

By Giles Brown 358 km and, where possible ,make use of existing tracks and trails. It heads north towards Frigiliana and the Sierras de Tejeda y Almijara natural park, before crossing through south of Torcal and then the Guadalhorce Valley and into Sierra de las

Nieves. It later heads back via Malaga and Rincon de la Victoria along the coast. The €1.1million scheme was mainly financed with EU funding, which included the installation of 13,000 signs and 1,300 trail markers. It is estimated that the project will create around 6,500 indirect jobs by boosting accommodation, dining and active tourism sectors.

Expat couple in drug bust

A BRITISH couple have been arrested for drug trafficking in Frigiliana. National Police raided the couple’s house on the outskirts of the town, after a tip off about their activities. Inside police found 152 marijuana plants on a camouflaged terrace, as well as 775 grams of amphetamines in a plastic bag in the fridge. They also impounded a four wheel drive vehicle as well as a personal computer and mobile phone. After the raid it was discovered that the man had a European detention order against him for drug trafficking. The 34-year-old was part of an important criminal gang in Gloucestershire and had been detained with conspiracy to produce a class B drug, the illegal possession of firearms and the illegal extraction of electricity. Given a conditional release, he fled to Spain, with his wife also wanted in the UK for the same offences. The couple have been remanded in custody.


15 the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013 15

Palm tree killer has a new foe in the shape and form of a well-trained dog

Evil Weevil meets virus THE Red Palm Weevil, the beetle which has been obliterating palm trees for the last decade, may finally have met its match. The insect that has killed off an estimated 20,000 palms around Andalucia has got an unlikely foe – a dog named Virus. Malaga City Council have sought the help of the one-year old Belgian Shepherd because of his powerful sense of smell. Trained by a company in Murcia, Virus is to be used to check the city’s 2,360 palm trees for the beetle. He will be joined by another dog Boa, a boxer. The dogs are being trained in Murcia for two months. Since being first detected in Almuñécar, over a decade ago, the weevil has wrought devastation in palm plantations across Europe. But research from the University of Cordoba indicates that the weevil, if discovered early enough, can be treated by injecting pesticides into the stricken tree. THE National Trust has issued a call for children to go out and ‘go wild’, as part of a campaign to put them back in touch with nature. The organization has got the backing of film-maker David Bond, who said he was inspired to lend his help after struggling to get his own

By Liam Kirkaldy

The treatment though is expensive and needs to be applied every six to eight weeks. For more long-term cases, where the weevil has gained a foothold, the University is experimenting with a fungus

Go out and go wild! children away from the television. Bond created a short film for the campaign – called Project Wild Thing - aimed at getting kids

PEST: The weevil, and the dogs below which is toxic to the beetle, though at present the treatment may be too expensive for widespread use.

motivated to play outdoors. A spokesperson for the National Trust said: “Children are spending on average fourand-a-half hours a day on the internet or watching TV. “Letting them go out to play is one of the best things that parents can do for their children’s health.”

Feathered migrants flood in

THE south of Spain is seeing a flood of immigrants coming in from northern Europe... that is of the feathered kind. Helen Wallbank, secretary of The Andalucian Bird Society, expects a flock of newly arriving winter birds over the coming weeks, and has warned bird-lovers to keep their eyes peeled. One bird to look out for is the Black Redstart. The male is charcoal grey with a black face and a striking russet tale and white flashes on the wings. The female is a uniform grey-brown, but still has the telltale russet tail. Chiffchaffs - rather smaller than Sparrows - have neat, pointy beaks and pale olivebrown bodies, with a stripe of creamy yellow above the eye. The wings show a few dark brown and green streaks. Another seasonal arrival the Siskin, which has glorious yellow and black plumage. The male has a distinct black cap. Siskins breed in northern European pine forests, moving about gardens and golf courses, while restlessly picking at seeds. Please see for more information and activities.

Alhambra activists may undertake more protests GREENPEACE is refusing to divulge plans for more protests in Andalucia. It comes after the green group projected the message ‘Free the Arctic 30’ on the side of the Alhambra, Spain´s most visited tourist attraction in Granada.

The protest was over 30 activists, held by Russia after attempting to board the Gazprom-owned Prirazlomnaya oil platform.



the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013

POTTED POINTERS ANDALUCIA RESERVOIR LEVELS This week: 77.49% full Same week last year: 59.74% Same week in 2003: 49.47% 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 1.33 American Dollars 0.83 British Pounds 1.40 Canadian Dollars 7.45 Danish Kroner 10.38 H Kong Dollars 8.23 Norwegian Kroner 1.67 Singapore Dollars

When ‘gasmen’ come calling Dear OP, THE story about the bogus gas men raised my hackles (OP 173). Repsol et al don’t randomly send inspectors round. These guys are all con men. If they do worm their way into your house, call the local police, more as witnesses than law-enforcement, or a friend who’s younger, bigger and got more attitude than you! You can’t touch or manhandle them - that would give them cause for complaint. But verbal violence is good, close enough to the face without standing on their toes... Bob Flockhart, Estepona

Dodgy advice? Has anyone else noticed the number of below-par British bars that have loads of recommendations? The people posting the reviews have nearly always only written one or two previous reviews too! Suddenly a café bar in Fuengirola, for example, is dubbed the best place on Earth to eat. I have worked in the industry all my life, and take great joy ripping apart the menus I see when walking around! Roger Hand, Fuengirola

Beggars belief I have travelled to Spain a lot over the past decade, and lived in Valencia for about eight years. During my most recent visit, however, I was really shocked at the number of beggars around...but even more so at the number I suspected to be scam artists. It was my first visit to Estepona and while I really loved the town, there were a couple of people, purporting to be homeless and without money, that I bumped into every day. I understand the economic situation is dire here, but something really needs to be done about the number of people seemingly cashing in on this for their own gain.

Save a real asset

Amanda Roberts, UK

Stunning: La Almoralina IT doesn’t matter which party is in power, the tune is the same – play up to the rich. La Almoraima is, less than 12km square, and just not big enough for this huge project (Plands for Safari Spain, OP 173). I can see it spreading outwards into the whole of the Alcornocales Natural Park, the public losing their rights in favour of a private playground.

Wrong gong The decent people who have presented Boland with this “gong” probably have no idea of the low regard this man is held in by many ex pats. Absolutely nothing would have kept Boland from turning up to receive any form of recognition that he constantly craves. Quit while you are well behind, Boland. The coast has found you out and no longer wants you and your ghastly ego. Barry Mitchell, Costa del Sol

Pointless endevour Could somebody please enlighten me. After all the accusations, intrusions, smear campaigns, rhetoric and border queues what has Spain achieved from this Gibraltar row? Apart from the suffering of thousands of ordinary folk, frontier workers and tourists alike- absolutely nothing! Has it made any advances regarding its claim? Not at all! A complete waste of time and resources by a country that cannot afford waste of any kind. Fifi, Via internet

Gib solution? A definitive solution to Gibraltar would be for the UK to give Gibraltar a seat in the House of Commons, in the same way as Spain allows representatives of Ceuta and Melilla in their parliament, and the French allow representatives in their parliament from their “departments” overseas. That way, Gibraltar would become an official part of the UK. At the moment, I believe the MP for South Cornwall is Letters should be emailed to letters@ The writer’s name and address should be provided. Published opinions are not necessarily those of the Editor.

No joke

These national parks need to be declared a national asset, owned by the people and not up for grabs by any Tom, Dick or Harry. €250 million is peanuts for thousands of billionaires around the world, why not sell off Spain itself?

Gibraltar’s “representative” in the Commons, I assume because it is the nearest part of Britain! G Spears, La Linea

Pet warning This is a warning for any readers planning to use Pet Taxi to transport their pets. I hired them to bring my dogs to Manchester from Malaga, but following issues with Defra, Pet Taxi took the decision to leave one of the dogs behind in Calais. I made arrangements to pick up the dog myself from Calais, with both Pet Taxi and the kennel, but when I called the kennel the next day, I was then told Pet Taxi had taken the dog. When I called them to find out what had happened, they said my dog was on her way back to Spain, claiming there were no written instructions from my side. I am in the process of taking them to the Spanish courts, and I still don´t know where my dog is. Gerardo Ruiz, Manchester ED: The Olive Press has reported on numerous issues about Pet Taxi, and its boss Jeremy and

Tony Randall, Sevilla staff. It seems problems are still rife. Be warned. Again.

Consul commentary I enjoyed reading the interview with the new consul but there seemed to be some surprisingly inaccurate commentary from her. She said her family had chosen to relocate to Andalucia because it had ´so much to offer. But this is debatable. It doesn’t offer good employment prospects, and it’s certainly not a good place to start a business. I’m not sure what an expat family would gain by moving to Andalucia unless they both already had very good jobs with long-term prospects and/or a lot of savings to tide them over. Relocating here without a job does not allow you to do anything, unless you are a retiree. Relocation to Andalucia, for most working expatriates with a family, is a life of scraping by or having to work three jobs just to live, and of course totally impossible to do legally because the selfemployment system here is just so ridiculously designed. Something to think about. Fred Thacker, Via internet

It always creeps me out when I read about the domestic violence problem in Spain (OP online, November 6). Evidently it isn’t a new phenomena, it’s been going on for centuries, there are jokes and even songs written about it. Dare I say that it’s become something of a dark tradition? It isn’t going away simply because it’s been a part of Spanish society for so long. You combine that with the open and rampant prostitution in Spain, and it really casts a horrid light on their society. Barnaby Kojak, Spain

Hot air I’ve read the detailed reviews of the Capa civil war story and cannot believe the comments about its “authenticity”. It’s far more then a “lucky photo” and after all these years of debate, I don’t think anyone believes it did truly “capture the moment”. So, hot air. A nice photo anyway! J. Molitor, Spain

Granada gran The story about the lady who ended up in Grenada instead of Granada was really heartwarming. Ryanair et al can learn a thing or two from British Airways! I hope Lamenda Kingdon enjoyed the trip...and has a great time in New Zealand! Stuart Crawford, Granada

CROSSMOT 19 Across 1 Suspiro (4) * 3 Battles (8) * 9 Finished (7) * 10 Among (5) * 11 Represented (12) * 14 Veterinario (3) * 16 Prisma (5) * 17 Sun (3) * 18 Teenagers (12) * 21 Bride (5) * 22 Halt (7) * 23 Transferencia (8) * 24 Desgaste (4). Down 1 Dares (2, 6) * 2 Comprender (5) * 4 Year (3) * 5 Settlement (12) * 6 Beats (7) * 7 Parecer (4) * 8 Orugas (12) * 12 Salidas (5) * 13 Illustrate (8) * 15 Still (7) * 19 Dye (5) * 20 Nudo (4) * 22 Debido (3)

la cultura

‘Real vision’ in Hell A FILM made by an Andalucian cinema society has been described as having a ´spiritual and poetic message´ by a top US film mogul. Ghost creator Bruce Joel Rubin, who also made Jacob´s Ladder and the Time Travellers Wife, said he had been ´very touched´ by Hell Chess. He added that the film, shot between Gibraltar and Cos-

the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013

Golden return

17 17

RETURN: Actors visit the old Eldorado set in Coin

BBC comes under more pressure to bring Eldorado back with new push HELL YES: Film success

ta del Sol, had ‘vision and a gift’. “All is exceedingly difficult to do,” he said.

A PAIR of actors have made a poignant return to the set of the BBCs most famous flop. The duo - who starred in Eldorado, a soap opera based on the life of expats in Spain - have lent support to an online peti-

tion to bring the show back. The pair, Franco Rey and Polly Perkins teamed up with producer Andrew Mark Sewell for the visit to the now empty set in the hills above Coin.

A new book will tell the story of legendary war photographer Robert Capa’s love affair with fellow photographer Gerda Taro. The book, by Susana Fortes, comes after new evidence emerged in the Olive Press that Capa’s famed Fallen Soldier photo was in fact genuine, and not staged as his critics have claimed. The book – Waiting for Robert Capa - will cover how Capa – whose real name was Andre Friedman – met and fell in love with a German woman named Gerta Pohorhylle, who released her work under the assumed name Gerda Taro. Both Capa and Taro were Jewish exiles with Communist sympathies and the book will explore their personal and professional relationship as they travelled through Spain, covering ICONIC: Capa made his name capturing the Civil War. the Civil War.

Love in Focus

Sewell was behind the revival of another cult television classic, Blake’s 7. Perkins, who has just appeared in Eastenders as Dot Cotton´s sister Rose, said: ““People are still talking about Eldorado even after all these years. The tourists loved it, they felt connected with us and used to visit our locations.” The early days of Eldorado, however, were notorious for behind-the-scenes problems. It was beset with problems of wobbly sets and even more wobbly acting: Rey was actually an optician from Golders Green and later worked as an investigator for disgraced newspaper News of the World. The problems would eventually lead to co-creator, producer Julia Smith – who had also co-created Eastenders -

having a nervous breakdown. Despite everything viewing figures began to improve, but in 1993 new BBC1 Controller Alan Yentob sensationally axed the programme, even though it was attracting over nine million viewers. Over 20 years later, an internet campaign to revive the soap has gathered thousands of signatures, and Yentob has remarked “The campaign is more famous than the show itself!” As Perkins, who played Trish Valentine added: “A return would be great and it could be more sophisticated, less gloomy than most British soaps, aspirational and certainly more glamourous. “It could offer a good contrast between the ordinary folk who live on the urbanisations and the glamourous folk in their Marbella palaces.”


the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013


Catching the eye


N exhibition of work by a Mijasbased photographer opens in the town’s museum later this week. Norwegian Nina Reistad, who has been working as a studio photographer for more than 30 years, is exhibiting her latest work which saw her step outside of the commercial sphere and get back to nature. Animals take the starring roles in most of the pictures, but the local scenery also provided inspiration. The launch party for Whatever catches my eye starts on November 15 at Casa Museo de Mijas, and the exhibition will run until December 9.

la cultura

1919 the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013

Battle for Montevivo Expat novelist pens green novel based on the work of Spanish Attenborough Felix Rodriguez de la Fuente WRITER and illustrator Seamus Shortt has penned an environmental story in Spain in which the protagonists are all animals. While the story Montevivo is fiction, the book has an underlying message about the importance of conservation. It was written as a tribute to Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente, a Spanish naturalist and broadcaster. Shortt told the Olive Press: “The story centres on two main characters who live in the mountains of Spain – a large loveable bear, Bruno, and the narrator, whose identity will be revealed only as the tale unfolds “Many other animal characters invite us into their wonderland to enjoy their extraordinary escapades.”


enalmadena Costa, November 19. Innova

Park Building – Costa del Sol Photographic Society meeting, Theme is Still Life, and both new and regular members are welcome. From 11am.

The action begins on the peak of a remote mountain called Montevivo, where the ´rhythm of life beats in harmony with nature´. Events build up to the annual harvest festival with feasting, dancing, music and romance. “There follows a vile criminal act perpetrated by strangers, and our heroes embark on a dramatic pursuit of the culprits that takes them beyond their known world.” Shortt also illustrated the novel, and included a 15-line environmental manifesto within its covers. The book will be available at bookshops around the region, including Longmans in Estepona, and the English Bookshop in Manilva.

Read to combat stress

A LOCAL businessman has written a book about stress relief for those in demanding jobs. Wanna kick stress and be happy, written by John Gardener, contains a series of exercises and techniques to help the reader counter the effect of work pressures and life troubles. Gardener, based in Almeria, penned the book

after spending years as a business adviser to struggling companies in London. He said: “The one thing that kept cropping up in ailing companies were staff complaints of feeling stressed. I, therefore, specialised in stress elimination among workforces to improve performance. It was a very successful strategy.”

what’s on


alaga, Plaza de la Merced – Free walking

tours of the city take place every Saturday. From 11am.


onstantina, Sevilla – November 19 – 22.

Mycology Days. Guided tours of El Robledo Botanical Garden, where visitors can collect, discuss and cook mushrooms.


studio 61, Marbella

Winter blues

THE blues are coming to Sevilla, with the announcement that Raimundo Amador will host a series of blues music nights at Sala

– Painting course with weekly classes lead by Caroline Hulse. More details available on 672 296 074.

Custom. The cycle will kick off on November 24 with performances from Dean Shot and Blueshunters, along with Amador and guests. For tickets see www., www.,


ines Gran Marbella, November 14. Puerto

Banus and Cinesa Cinema, La Cañada – Aida live from the Opera House, Paris. From 7.30pm.


eatro Cervantes, Malaga – One World

Symphonic Orchestra, Queen Symphonic Rapsody. From 7pm- Tickets €16 - €48


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It’s not all about lying on the beach

Liam Kirkaldy scales the heights to find the real Benalmadena, which is full of many layers and some genuine surprises

SIGHTS: Colomares Castle, and (left), the Pueblo


T is not every day you meet a man who owns his own castle – yet Carlos Martin, owner of Castillo de Colomares, is just one of the many surprises awaiting visitors to Benalmadena. The castle, sitting on the side of a windy road on the way up to Benalmadena Pueblo from the coast, came as something of a shock. Built in 1994 by Martin’s dad - a gynecologist named Dr Esteban Martin Martin - it was constructed using four different architectural styles and is meant as a slightly bizarre tribute to Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America. This quirky stop off aside, continuing the walk uphill into Benalmadena’s old town - or Pueblo - gave me my first glimpse of the Costa del Sol town’s chaotic beauty. Built on the side of a steep hill, and at points actually on cliffs, Benalmadena’s pueblo cascades down from the jutting Sierra de Mijas towards the sea. The traditional Andaluz-style whitewashed buildings which compose the pueblo are dazzling – literally so when they meet the November sun – and it is easy to spend a morning getting lost in the intersecting courtyards and alleyways. Its cobbled streets and plazas seem to jostle for space, while competing to outdo each other in terms of grandeur and charm. It is a surprisingly historic place (and well looked after to boot) and apart from the sudden appearance of a scooter or motorcycle, the pueblo doesn’t look like it has changed in hundreds of years. Though it was occupied by multiple civilizations, including the Phoenicians, Byzantines and Romans, Benalmadena’s development was kick-started by the arrival of the Moors from North Africa, leading to the architecture that is seen today. Turn to page 22


the olive press - November 13 - November 27 201322

VISTA: Down below towards the sea from the pueblo church

Where history From Page 21

FOCUS: A fountain in the Pueblo

At points the place can seem more like a botanic garden than a real town, with the floral decorations outnumbering the people. Flower baskets line the route up the Calle Real to its spectacularly located church of Santa Domingo de Guzman. Constructed in 1621, the church is thought to have been built on top of the foundations of an old Moorish temple, and originally would have formed the centre of Benalmadena. The quaint old building – complete with play park for those less interested in architectural history - occupies a spot overlooking the modern

part of town and the marina be- revealing a more typically yond. In-keeping with the way modern textbook definition the town adapts to the scenery, of the Costa del Sol. there is even a lift travelling In short, it is down below in straight up a cliff face, to trans- Arroyo de la Miel and Beport visitors who cannot face nalmadena Costa that you the climb. will find all the In many respects usual holiday At times the Benalmadena is a trappings and case study in the place can seem fleshpots one story of the Costa would expect more like a Del Sol. Like much from a Spanof Andalucia, the botanic garden ish resort. place was origi- that a real town But that said, nally shaped by once you its Moorish rulers, start sniffing but has massively grown into a around there is a lot more modern – and some might say to be found, in particular in – sprawling town. the quality of its local enLooking down over the new tertainment and for a famtown below – visible from the ily you are really spoilt for viewing point at the church - choice. the Moorish architecture and “Obviously there is the old-style Spanish streets fade marina, which was a huge as the town moves downwards, change, and we built the

Join the club


pened in 1976 and having hosted the Spanish Open in 1979, Torrequebrada Golf Club is billed as one of the best golf courses in Europe. It is certainly a wonderful place to escape a true green lung of the Costa del Sol - and golfers can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding scenery while testing themselves against the 18 holes. Designed by Jose Gancedo - and using the same grass of Sotogrande’s famous course - it is spread across various valleys, gentle slopes and around woods and lakes. One

hole even goes right down to beach. Due to its position on the edge of the coast, players are likely to experience some wind - providing an extra element to the course’s already challenging lay-out. Another option is the Benalmadena Golf Club, part of the Baboo Bar and Restarant, which along with nine holes also offers golf lessons for all abilities, pitch and putt, and regularly holds competitions. The adjacent restaurant serves stylish food at reasonable prices. You might also consider Bil Bil golf.



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AKEN aback by the existence of the very eccentric 20-year-old Castillo de Colomares I sought an explanation from a Spanish couple from Alicante, who were in Benalmadena for a holiday. When I admitted that I had only learned of the castle’s somewhat limited history that day, a sly grin spread across the face of the husband, who began to laugh openly, shaking his head at my ignorance. That is, until his wife interjected, “don’t listen to him,” she said, “he only found out yesterday.”

At this point I began to fear that my trip, to what I had originally believed to be a Moorish castle, was quickly turning into a marital counseling session. I decided to approach a member of staff, Carlos, who introduced himself as the castle’s owner. He explained that his father, Dr Martin, had lived in the US for many years and had developed a passion for the country’s history and culture. Upon coming back to Spain for his retirement, he had set about building a tribute to Columbus, the man who had discovered the

land he had so much affection for. As such, the castillo is more monument than castle, with the design deliberately spanning four different architectural styles to tell the story of the New World’s discovery. The work – carried out by Dr Martin himself with the help of two local bricklayers – was started in 1987 and took seven years to complete. It is well worth a visit, if only to see what a castle would look like if it was built to represent four different historical eras at once.

unravels itself slowly golf courses and the cable car to the top,” explains Rosa Gonzales, Benalmadena‘s President of Business Associations. The manager of local estate agent Alros Investments has

watched as the town’s infrastructure has been transformed over the last three decades. And, according to her, it hasn´t just been classic bucket and spade tourism that has helped to boost the

town’s economy. “There has also been a huge growth in the number of language schools, with the Town Hall giving out a lot more licenses.” Language skills are essential to Benalmadena’s growth, with money from foreign tourists and investors thought to account f o r over 5 0 % of the local economy. But according to Rosa, the market is changing quickly, “These days it is not all about the English, although they still make up nearly 40% of the market. Nowadays we have Scandinavians coming to Benalmadena, mainly because of the new Danish MAKE A WISH: Going clock-wise around the Stupa can bring you good luck hospital, as

well as investors from China and the USA, who are looking for places to settle.” Although prices are stable in the Pueblo, the coast has been hit badly by the recession, with property value falling by up to 60%. With the economic slump still ongoing, new developments like the marina and golf courses have become more and more important in generating much needed revenue. As Rosa puts it, “It’s not all about lying around on the beach!” As well as hosting luxury yachts (naturally), the marina – which, with 1,000 moorings, the largest in Andalucia – is also the base for leisure and wildlife activities, with dolphin and diving trips available from the port and at the nearby S u n s e t Beach resort hotel. The marina hosts concerts and food tasting events and its bars and restaurants are lit up at night, reflecting off the water to stunning effect. So despite the attraction of the Pueblo, Benalmadena is certainly not a town just living in the past.

FAUX GOTHIC: The Colomares castillo is actually 20 years old

And further more the Castillo is not the only surprise in Benalmadena. Perched on the edge of a cliff and looking down on the coast, you will find the biggest Buddhist Stupa in Europe. A must see, particularly at sunset, when the fading light plays brilliantly off its golden top, it is a great place to make a wish (making sure you walk around it the right way) according to one of its guardians, a Czech who exuded inner peace. Its positioning is no coincidence. The story goes that a Buddhist teacher visited from his Spanish headquarters in nearby Velez-Malaga, and bumped into the then -mayor of Benalmadena, Enrique Bolin, while having lunch in the port. The two fell into conversation and the mayor suggested that the town build a temple. The teacher was keen on the idea, so long as the positioning was right. In the end he in-

WATERWORLD: Village fountain and (left) church mural sisted he would do it, as long as ‘all the people could see it in Fuengirola’, explained the guardian.In the end they built the biggest Stupa in Europe – and apparently on a clear day it is visible from Africa. Visitors are encouraged to walk around the structure clockwise and make a wish, which Buddhists believe could be granted. The interior contains a space for meditation, as well as prayer objects and a sign offering a ‘Teaching of the Week’. During my visit, the sign warned: “Stay away from things that are none of your business, and don’t make them your business.” Perhaps good advice, but probably not applicable to this trip – visiting Benalmadena should be everyone’s business.


24 the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013 24

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A journey to the top of the world I

T is a journey that will never be forgotten...and on a clear day you can see Africa from the top of the Teleferico in Benalmadena. The 800 metre ride from Arroyo de la Miel lasts 15 minutes, taking visitors up to the top of Mount Calamorro in the Sierra de Mijas – the highest part of Benalmadena - to a spot offering spectacular views of the town, the coast and beyond. Opened in 2000, the Teleferico has become one of


DYNAMIC new fitness centre is proving that fitness can be fun. Set up by David Smithson and Angel Lesta Candal – a former European bodybuilding champion - Positive Fitness Benalmadena has quickly become one of the

the main attractions in the town. There are three kilometres of well signposted hiking trails, leaving from the top, which arrive at various viewpoints over the landscape below. It is also possible to spot hawks, eagles and vultures from the peak. The cable car runs from 11am to 5pm throughout November and December, though it is closed in high winds. It is open for longer in the spring and summer.


most popular gyms in town. “We offer a service so that we can look after everyone, so that everyone gets individual treatment,” explains fitness trainer David, a for-

mer carpenter. The centre currently has free weights and weight machine rooms, as well as a boxing studio, that offers boxing, kick boxing and

Muay Thai classes. There are also Zumba classes – including Zumba for seniors and there are plans to install

Two centuries of care

a spinning studio as well. “We only opened in May, so we are a little bit of a work in progress.” says David, who has lived in Spain for four years. “We have great plans for the studio, and are currently on the lookout for

investment. “What is really encouraging has been the great reaction from people in Benalmadena.” Open every day, including Sundays and Fiestas. Memberships start at €25 per month.

Undertaker Francisco Camero serves the entire Costa del Sol with care and dignity


ETWEEN them they have well over 100 years of undertaking experience. But the five brothers and sisters of Benalmadena´s Camero family are also the fourth generation of undertakers working for a firm that was set up in the 1800s. Based out of an office in Benalmadena pueblo, they have dealt with a good many dead bodies over the decades, many of them British. “My first job 39 years ago was dealing with two dead Britons,” explains Paco Camero. “I was just 15 and we found one of them at the

bottom of a swimming pool and one of them lying next to it. “They had both died of alcohol poisoning. One we buried here, the other we sent back to the UK.” He and his brother Salvador now run the operation that has four other offices in Fuengirolas, Mijas, Torremolinos and Malaga. It also has a crematorium, chapel and cemetary in Benalmadena. “But we have agents and people working for us all the way from Nerja to Sotogrande so we can cover the whole Costa del Sol,” explains Salvador. Since the 1970’s the com-

pany has been dealing with many foreign residents and Camero´s reputation has gone beyond the borders of Spain to the many international funeral arrangements in each and every continent. The company offers funeral plans and the well known ‘dignity charter’ promise. Special arrangements can be included should you return to live in England. “We can offer peace of mind and all funds are secure and

BROTHERLY LOVE: Salvador and Paco Camero at Pueblo HQ at a fixed price,” adds Salvador. Francisco Camero SL is a member of the Málaga Funeral Directors Association For more information call Francisco Camero on 902 200 625 or email at

TEAMWORK: Angel and David outside Positive Fitness



From fish and chips to physics


USINESSMAN and teacher Keith Ellis (left) and his wife Belinda decided to move over to Spain to open a British fish and chip restaurant in the

1980’s. Their summers consisted of running their business in Spain and in the winter Keith taught in schools in York. After a decade of travelling back and forth, Keith decided to teach in international schools here on the coast and from there founded the Benalmådena International College in 1997. The success of the school has grown over the years and is now well established here on the Costa del Sol. With over 30 qualified English teachers, the school has an excellent reputation with students from 3 to 18 years of age, giving them the chance to apply to the top universities around the world. In the new year, a sports centre and swimming pool will be constructed. The college is also setting up a language school to teach adults and children English, Spanish, French, German, Russian and Chinese. Finally, the college would like to mention to all its ex-students that Shandy, the school dog for 14 years, has just passed away. Visit

the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013



the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013


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Not just the biggest hotel on the Costa del Sol, Sunset Beach Club has something for everyone, writes Jon Clarke


OST hotels would be struggling to hold a dozen weddings in a year. At Sunset Beach Club in Benalmadena they just had TWO DOZEN in September alone. “We get over 80 a year and at €3,500 an event we think that is terrific value,” explains manager Mark Wardell. It doesn´t seem much. But, of course, by the time you have factored in the guests rooms, their meals and mini-bar tabs (the majority are Irish, after all), it becomes a profitable business for the hotel. Indeed, it is one of the few establishments to have grown over the last five years, much of this thanks to an ambitious €22m upgrade of its facilities since 2002. An incredibly organised and well-run ship the hotel, said to be the biggest on the Costa del Sol, consistently delivers to holidaymakers from all around the world. And it definitely does not scrimp and save on food or entertainment. Having spent three days at the hotel last week, I was surprised at the quality of the restaurant, where breakfasts were lavish and a dinner of prawns pil pil

Benalmadena A true happy event


FUN: Loads for the kids to do at Sunset Beach

and a rack of lamb was cooked to a tee. Locals rave about the live concerts – some of the best on the coast - which are free to expats, as well as the beach restaurant and fantastic pool and playground area for kids. But there is so much more, when you factor in the supermarket, a hairdresser, shops and full concierge service, not to mention numerous trips, events and classes. To use the words of one of the Olive Press sales team, based in the Axarquia: “This is one of the best places to take the kids for a weekend as you will literally not get bothered at all. There is so much for them to do.” I was particularly impressed

with the excellent Boyd’s Gym, owned by a local brother and sister team, which has been running for two decades and counts on its own indoor pool and hundreds of local members, the majority expats.

Where to stay and eat

A little touch of genius!


ITTLE by Little the village of Benalmadena is becoming something of a Mecca for food tourists. Up in the charming village you will now find a number of excellent places to eat, including a German-run steak house and two English-owned eateries. From my point of view the most exciting is the opening of a chic new joint Sollo, which at first glance looks like it might be someone’s home. Well it is now home to the culinary genius Diego Gallegos (pictured right), who I previously knew from a little-known, but hugely rated restaurant Casa Piolas, in Algarinejo, Granada. A well travelled chap, just 29, he trained in two of the best restaurants in the world in

south America, before landing in Granada, where he is also now the resident chef and public face of Riofrio caviar, an organic product raved about by chefs including Gordon Ramsey. This is one of the real draws of his restaurant with a number of the dishes in the fantastic menu degustation featuring caviar, one of the very best products of Andalucia. His new adventure is an ambitious undertaking with his girlfriend Suzanna, who is also just 29. With a bit of help from their parents (renovating and painting) they have got this place finally open and with its simple decor, amazing paintings by local artist Paco Sanguino and cool jazz, it is a real





top tip for lovers of fine food. For just 49 euros including iva you can have 12 courses including caviar, or without the caviar just 35 euros. Looking for somewhere good to stay in the old town to flop after a meal then Hotel Pueblo is an excellent choice. Just two months old this lovely spot just beside the town hall has recently been completely renovated by a talented German, Jan. Most of the charming rooms look across a sleepy square and they are well appointed with a bottle of water and wine for new guests. Of course if you are looking for something down on the beach, then you must try the Sunset Beach Club (see adjacent article).

By Jon Clarke

Visit and

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There was even a Padi dive school by the pool, where both myself and the kids (that´s my next trip) can learn how to dive in a great value day´s beginners course, which ends up looking at fish and octopus swimming around the nearby rocky headland. Yes, there is a lot going on at Sunset Beach hotel and the statistics speak for themselves. The 554 rooms (mostly one bedroom apartments) at the height of the season hold 1,900 happy souls. They are looked after by a team of up to 69 cleaners, who process a staggering 450.000 kilos of laundry every year! The Food and Beverage team meanwhile counts 71 staff who work tirelessly in the various outlets from a la carte dining, poolside snacks, lobby/cocktail bar, beach bar, beach club, show rooms and banqueting. Then there are 14 ‘animation’ girls and guys whose sole purpose is to make young and old guests alike have a fun-packed visit. “My ideal guest never leaves the premises and is never in need of anything,” explains Dubliner Wardell. “Security and safety would always be our number one priority but on a day to day basis from the moment the cleaning team moves in at 5am to the last bar closing at 4 am our real job is to make people happy.” He continues “Over the past five years while the world around us struggled to cope with all the stresses and pains of recession we have played a very small part in bringing some happiness to many thousands of people from all parts of the globe…as a result we have enjoyed five of the best years in the hotels existence and now look forward to even better times as the coast moves towards more “good times”.

A Benalmadena Fanfare of fun

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With butterfly and crocodile parks, a sealife centre, a theme park and the more conventional Parque de Paloma, Benalmadena boasts a huge range of outdoor attractions


ASED inside a huge hothouse, Benalmadena’s Butterfly Park – the biggest in Europe – offers visitors the chance to see an incredible 1,500 exotic butterflies from all around the world in what it describes as, “a tropical paradise of waterfalls and flowers”.

With a group of chameleons and iguanas to boot, it is an educational experience and visitors of any age can learn how butterflies are born and how they reproduce. It is open every day from 10am until 7:30pm. If butterflies seem a bit tame, then the nearby Crocodile Park may be a better option. With over 200 crocodiles,

including the largest in Europe – Big Daddy who weighs a terrifying 600 kg – the park provides the chance to get up close and even hold one of the world’s most fascinating creatures. There is a crocodile nursery – probably not as cute as it sounds – as well as a ‘Masai village’, and African fortress. Tours operate all year

FEAST: Butterfly lunch, a hatchery (right) and iguana (top)


COLD house? Cold showers? Cold swimming pool? Well help is at hand from Airflow. The fully registered company will give you an estimate for repairing your existing system or a competitive fixed quotation for a new one.

EYE OPENER: You could be excused for thinking you had arrived in a scene from Out of Africa but this is actually one of the town’s famous roundabouts

Go with the flow Established in 2000, Airflow specializes in air conditioning and heating, solar panels and tanks for gallons of lovely hot water and pool heating

systems. Call the people who will take the time to understand your needs. Call the professionals on 952443222


round at 11:30am, 1:30, 3:30 and 5pm. Another option is Selwo Marina, which is home to dolphins, sea lions, penguins, turtles, piranhas and tortoises as well as reptiles, parrots and tarantulas. Visitors can swim with a sea lion, make friends with dolphins, explore a forest of Squirrel Monkeys, or if that sounds like too much - just sit back and watch a display of exotic birds from around the world. There are also a few different cafes and restaurants within the park. With opening hours limited in the winter months, it is advisable to check the Selwo website for up to date information. Thrill seekers will want to make their way to the Disneyland of the Costa del

Sol, Tivoli World which has 40 rides for various ages, including a roller coaster, a 60-metre sudden drop, a giant ferris wheel, go-karting, a ‘passage of terror’ and pony rides. Sadly it is closed from November to February. Opening hours are available on the Tivoli website. The Parque de La Paloma – a normal park - covers 200,000 square metres and - back with the animal theme - is home to ostriches, turtles, peacocks and goats, as well as a cactus garden. It has cafes, bars, and a playpark within its grounds, as well as a huge artificial lake complete with water fountain, providing plenty of options to cater for any interest.

More in the marina

ENALMADENA Marina may be known as a base for some of the most luxurious vessels in the Mediterranean, but there are plenty of reasons to visit even for those who do not own a luxury yacht (yet). Opened in 1979, the Marina – officially called the Puerto Deportivo de Benalmadena - has space for over 1,000 boats, making it the biggest in Andalucia. But it is also a social hub where people

can go to eat, drink, dance and see live music, while at night the area becomes transformed by a breathtaking display of lights. Fishing trips leave from the Marina during the day, as well as boats for dolphin and wildlife spotting. There are regular food fairs, and the harbour has recently played host to events ranging from fashion shows to a meet-up for Ferrari enthusiasts.

Top Dollar

JOBLESS: Queues at an unemployment office

Jobs at a premium THE number of jobless rose once again in October, following a brief respite thanks to seasonal contracts in the tourism sector, the latest figures show. A total 4,81 million are now out of work, an increase of 87,028 on the previous month according to the Labour Ministry. Unemployment had dropped from 26,3% to 25,98% over the summer months. The annual figures offer slightly more reason for

cheer, showing a decline of 0,46%, or a 37,340 reduction in the number of jobless Spaniards.Primark meanwhile received more than 21,000 applications for the 125 jobs it advertised for its new Costa del Sol store. The low cost retailer has just opened in the Miramar Centre, Fuengirola, it’s second store in the region. The volume of applications is a reflection of the continuing high level of unemployment in the country.

Desperate times SWATHES of Spanish mothers are heading to Switzerland to work in the sex industry as they struggle to feed their families at home. The number of Spanish prostitutes working in the country has increased more than four fold since 2010. A further 200 are suspected to be working illegally. Over 4000 prostitutes are now working in the city, up from 800 in 2004. The competition has pushed prices down from around €80 for a 15 minute encounter to around €16.

41 29 the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013 29 The Olive Press fortnightly business section taking a look at the Spanish economy and offering tips on how to save AND make money

SANDRA Ortega Mera has become Spain’s richest woman after inheriting her mother’s stake in the world’s largest clothing retailer Inditex. She received around 90% of Rosalia Mera’s fortune, and has a net worth of $7.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.


Her riches have also made her the 182nd richest person in the world, and the youngest female European billionaire on Bloomberg’s

High St happy! ranking. Inditex, whose brands include Zara, Pull & Bear and Bershka, operates more than 6,000 stores worldwide.

The group has increased its net income by at least 10% per annum in each of the past three years. It was set up by Mera and

her then-husband, Amancio Ortega in 1963. The first Zara store opened 12 years later.

Ford driving into a recovery FORD has created more than 1,400 jobs at a Spanish production plant after completing a €1.5 billion expansion. The US group has installed an additonal two assembly lines, a large paint shop, and 262 industrial robots at its flagship factory just outside Valencia. The decision to boost production in Spain was revealed in June 2011, at a time when the country was on the brink of a double-dip recession. At the time the manufacturer struck a deal with unions that would see it use flexible working practices; staff are sent home when there is little to do, but are required to work longer when assembly lines are busy. In the two years since, other makers

including Renault, General Motors and Volkswagen have also upgraded their plants in Spain, and transferred production from countries such as Belgium and Korea. The news provides further evidence the car industry could be one of the solutions to the country´s economic recovery. An additional 2,400 new motor workers have already been hired this year to date. Anfac, the Spanish car lobby, said the industry could invest up to €5 billion to expand Spanish car production capabilities, while production is set to rise by 10% this year. Such a rise would make Spain the secondlargest car manufacturer in Europe behind Germany.

TOP: Sandra Ortega. ABOVE: A ZARA boutique


the olive press - November 13 - November 27 201330

Top Dollar


Energy slump ENERGY company Repsol reported a 48% drop in net profits in the third quarter of the year as a result of production interuptions in Libya. The group made €356 million over the period, down from €679 million the same time last year.

Saucy Spain Spain’s Ebro Foods is to buy the fresh pasta and sauce business Olivieri Foods from Canada Bread Co for $115.51 million.

Creditworthy Credit agency Fitch’s raings has upgraded Spain´s credit rating from a negative to a BBB after the goverment reduced its deficit by 2.5%.

In the can Spanish food can maker Mivisa Envases is to be bought by food packaging company Crown Holdings for €1.2 billion. The acquiring firm wants to expand its offerings in the Spanish agricultural industry.

Market mumbles

Market surprises UK

Last Week

Last week in the UK we saw further good news on the economic data front: According to the PMI, the all-important service sector, which accounts for 75% of the economy, scaled heights not seen since 1997 with a reading of 62.5 and pointed to a Q4 GDP reading of over 1%, the highest among the G8 countries The construction sector also rose to a six-year high while the Halifax unveiled year-on-year house price growth of 6.9% in October.

This Week

Wednesday 9.30am Claimant count previous -41k Wednesday 9.30am Unemployment rate previous 7.7% Wednesday 10.30am BoE quarterly inflation report Thursday 9.30am Retail sales previous 0.5% m/m  


And then the ECB gave the big surprise of the week by cutting interest rates by 25bps to 0.25% and cited the diminishing inflationary pressures while growth risks remain to the downside.

This Week

Wednesday 10am Industrial production previous 1% m/m Thursday 10am Q3 GDP estimate previous 0.3% Wednesday 10am Retail sales previous 0.7% m/m Friday 10am CPI final previous 0.7% y/y


Last Week

In the US Q3 GDP was revised higher to 2.8% from 2.5% helped by a build-up in inventory Despite a Government shutdown, the US economy still managed to create 204k jobs in October, increasing expectations that the FOMC will taper their quantitative easing programme as early as December.

This Week

Last Week

Last week in Europe the EU Commission said inflation will remain well below target over the next two years and downgraded their growth forecasts for 2014 from 1.2% to 1.1%. France’s credit rating was also downgraded by the S+P from AA+ to AA

Thursday1.30pm Trade Balance previous -$39bn Friday 1.30pm NY empire state manufacturing index previous 1.52 Friday 1.30pm Industrial production previous 0.6% m/m.


Current rate

Last change

Last change

Next meeting






US (Fed)

0 – 0.25%









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

Top Dollar

Better for business

ADMINISTRATIVE reforms are helping to make Spain more businessfriendly, according to a re-

port. The time needed to start a new business has been reduced from 28 to 23 days,

Iberia flies out of crisis IBERIA AIRLINES is expected to return to profit next year, 12 months ahead of an earlier forecast. Willie Walsh, chief executive of the carrier´s parent company IAG, said the airline is on target to operate at a profit in 2014 after reporting its first reduction in losses for three years in the second quarter of the year. The news follows a €700 million restructure, which saw it shed 1,700 jobs at its Madrid base. The Spanish airline became unprofitable in all

markets, including longhaul, following its merger with British Airways in 2011. It also endured stiff competition from low cost rivals and high speed trains in the domestic market, as well as the repercussions of the country´s most severe recession in history. Walsh said: “Iberia was in a significant crisis but is well on the path to recovery. Iberia will be profitable next year, like British Airways already is. “It is still loss making at the moment, but we will bring it back to profitability next year.”

while the requirement to obtain an opening licence before starting a business has been eliminated. Recent moves to adopt new legislation to improve business regulations have also worked in the country´s favour, according to the World Bank. “Spain has been an active reformer promoting 14 major framework changes since 2005” the report said. “This year, Spain has made life easier for small and medium businesses, while the pending reforms will continue facilitating the creation of new businesses and reducing the tax burden for entrepreneurs.” Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business, while Hong Kong, China, and the UK are also in the top 10. Spain has been consistently outside the top 100 due to red tape. The last time the poll was taken it came at 142nd just ahead of Gaza and behind Zambia, South Sudan and Uzbekistan.


Does any of this sound familiar? 1)YOU were promised access to your UK pension either before age 55 or told you could receive more than 25% as a lump sum? 2)You were advised to invest your pension funds outside of mainstream funds and now find your assets have been frozen, suspended or possibly even worse. 3)You were advised to transfer your company pension to a QROPS without being made aware of the risks. 4)You were recommended to set up an expensive offshore trust or company to avoid having to make a declaration to the Spanish authorities on Modelo 720. 5)You were told your investments would be reviewed on a regular basis and yet your investments remain in the same funds and your adviser hasn’t bothered to contact you. 6)No written confirmation of entry fee or commissions has ever been provided despite this being a EU (MIFID) requirement. 7)You have been dealing with advisers who don’t have the necessary permissions to provide you with investment advice or have little or no industry experience. 8)You have discovered that your advisers were somehow connected to a network arrangement and it is difficult to establish who they are owned or regulated by. 9)You are not sure if your adviser carries professional indemnity insurance in case anything goes wrong. 10)You simply cannot locate your adviser, he no longer seems to be trading or has closed up shop and moved on.

meeting prospective clients at our tax and wealth clinics and you only have to look at expatriate message boards and forums to find a host of other similar issues where expats have fallen foul of bad investment or retirement planning advice. While we are happy to help repair the damage as best we can sometimes this goes way beyond simply financial loss and can have an effect on relationships and even health. Our message is very simple there is a different way and not all advisory firms are the same. If you want to avoid pain then you need to choose your financial adviser with care. If you want to work with a long established firm that is born out of Gibraltar’s oldest legal practice, that is customer focussed and in it for the long term, that will confirm costs and charges and provide a written suitability report when making any product recommendation then you need to consider Fiduciary Wealth. What you will get in return is a qualified personal adviser who will manage your account backed up by a team of specialists at our Gibraltar head office. Your adviser will be rewarded for maintaining a long term relationship with you and where and when appropriate will be recommending tried and tested products and investments from reputable investment houses.

To get on with your life and leave your financial affairs to the experts then call us now on +34 956796911 or email enquiries@ These are just some of the scenarios we to arrange an appointcome across on a regular basis when we are ment with your local adviser.


the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013

Telefonica hangs up on Czech Rep TELEFONICA has agreed to sell its Czech business interests in a deal worth almost €2,5 billion. It is the latest in a raft of recently-completed deals aimed at reducing the telecoms company´s debt pile. Telefonica, which is Spain´s largest telecoms provider, is also looking to focus on other markets, including Brazil and Italy. It is particularly keen to bid on TIM Brasil, a subsidiary of Italian telecoms company Telecom Italia Media. The Czech business, which contributed around 3% of the company´s total revenue is to be sold to investment group PPF, owned by the Czech Republic´s richest man Petr Kellner.


32 32 the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013

Top Dollar

Road to Riches, by Richard Alexander

Richard Alexander explains different pension options to watch out for


1%? That’s Not Much!

ou may have seen their retirement, but there in the news re- are worries the administracently that the tion charges on the poliUK authorities cies will impact on returns. are concerned about the In 2001 the Labour govcharges being levied by ernment introduced stakepension companies that holder pensions with are dealing with the roll- an initial annual charge out of auto enrolment. capped at a reasonable Auto enrolment is the 1%. The pension industry compulsory at the time pension fundwas coning initiative It was recognised cerned it which is being that it would be a could not i m p l e m e n t e d case of survival of survive on in the UK; most the fittest in the such low employees and charges, their employ- pension industry which led ers will be comto further pelled to make consolidapension contributions tion among providers. unless they individually It was recognised that it decide to opt out. would be a case of surThe purpose is to encour- vival of the fittest in the age people to save for pension industry and that

volume business would be required to enable the companies to remain profitable. As the 1% annual charge is levied on the value of the pension fund rather than the contributions being paid, the charges become greater over time. For example, if you start saving £1,000 a year in a pension fund, the charge will be £10 in the first year; that does not seem too bad as an investor. Most of a pension provider’s costs apply at the outset, and they will make a loss initially. But roll the clock forwards a few years and that £1,000 a year, with some investment growth over a 30-year period, could create a pension fund worth

£ 8 3 , 76 6 . This assumes a 6% annual growth rate, and 1% of that amounts to £837.66 – not such a small sum! the cost of administration If that 1% had not been separately from the incharged each year, vestment the investment i t s e l f would have grown On the other hand, but who in this example to of course, without wants to around £114,183; the savings you get an that is a difference invoice of £30,417 over would be £83,766 from the worse off the period. This is pension the concern that is provider being raised now every time about pension fund charg- you make a contribution? es.You could say that this On the other hand, of is a strong case for paying course, without the savings

you would be £83,766 worse off because you would have spent your £1,000 a year on other things, and in all probability would have nothing to show for it! Plus the £30,000 you saved only cost you £24,000 anyway because of the tax relief you received along the way – always assuming that tax relief applies throughout at the current rate of course.

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

the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013 3333

Top Dollar advertorial

Couldn’t be bothered about Modelo 720 and now in panic mode after hearing about FATCA?


fter all the hype, all the articles in Spain, targeting specific nationalities inthe press, all the warnings about cluding British to ensure that in 2014 its heavy fines and the potential loss Modelo 720 campaign will have more sucof all your investments you decid- cess. ed not to declare your overseas assets Other action has been taken by Spain to on Modelo 720 which should have been ensure that it will have more success in completed by the end of April tracking overseas assets 2013. held by its residents. Not The only good news is that only has it signed an agreeOther action has been you are not alone, according ment with the US under taken to ensure that it to GESTHA, an 8,000-strong will have more success in the FATCA (Foreign Account collective of specialists tracking overseas assets Tax Compliance Act) requirwithin the Spanish tax office, ing financial institutions held by its residents only 4.9% of those officially to automatically exchange classed as tax residents in information, it is also takSpain with offshore assets ing the lead in agreeing an worth over €50,000 bothered to report. information sharing scheme with the UK, However on the basis that those 4.9% German French and Italian governments. declared assets in excess of €87 billion If you couple this with the fact that the it would be very naive to believe that the UK treasury has recently made an arworst is over or that this requirement will rangement with Crown Dependencies to simply melt into the background. share information as well as several offIndeed we have been advised that the shore jurisdictions such as the Cayman Spanish government will now focus its Islands and BVI there is little chance of resources on foreign residents living in holding any assets either in an individual

name, Company or Trust without the UK or Spanish authorities knowing about it. Of course other suggestions have been put forward as a way to avoid Modelo 720 such as give up Spanish residency and live under the radar but do you not think that when there is so much at stake the authorities would not check this out. We have also heard of individuals being advised to describe their assets differently to their true description so a UK offshore investment bond suddenly becomes a life assurance policy or being a beneficiary to a discretionary trust is ignored because there is also a potential beneficiary living outside of Spain. All these “solutions” at best have a short shelf life and at worst could land you in a big heap of trouble. Isn’t it about time you woke up and smelt the coffee? The world has very quickly moved into a new age of transparency where disclosure is the norm and the only sensible approach is to work with an adviser to mitigate your tax liabilities and make sure you hold invest-

ments and pensions in the most suitable structure for your particular circumstances. The pain of not doing this will be there for all to see. Modelo 720 will be more rigorous moving forward and the authorities will catch up with those who fail to report. To find out the best way of mitigating your tax liabilities ring Tel: 956796911 or email YOU NEED TO TALK TO UwS URGENTLY!


the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013


Top Dollar advertorial

The Spanish Property Inheritance Tax Time Bomb


any property owners in Spain are sitting on a ticking inheritance tax (IHT/ ISD) time bomb, unaware that when they purchase their ´dream´ property they are creating a potential financial burden for their beneficiaries. The surviving partner, or beneficiaries, may have a tax bill which exceeds the value of the entire Spanish asset being inherited, plus the cost of obtaining probate in more than one country. ‘Tax treaties’ are often quoted as a method of eradicating IHT, there are treaties that exist between Spain and the UK which reduce the risk of double taxation but these are only effective if the taxes are similar in nature. The fundamental difference between IHT in Spain and the UK is that in Spain the beneficiary David Rogers Tel. 0034 622 345 558

pays the tax, and will receive the tax demand and in the UK it is the estate which receives the tax meaning no treaty on inheritance tax. Owners are frequently advised to re-finance the property as IHT is not charged if there is an outstanding mortgage or loan, but this can leave beneficiaries with a huge debt they cannot pay off and many lenders will only finance the ownership if suitable life insurance is taken out. A life insurance policy covering the mortgage will mean the property is fully owned by the beneficiaries and inheritance tax is applied to the total value. Owning a property with your children is risky and problematic, as their share of the property may be jeopardised through financial or marital issues, and if they

pre-decease the parents then taxes are payable. Our solution to the IHT/ISD problem in Spain is for the owner/s to invest the property into a UK private limited company which they would own as shareholder/s, remaining in complete control of their asset. (There is no 7-10% property transfer tax payable on this transaction) A UK company should not be confused with an offshore company which is obliged to pay an annual tax of 3%. A further advantage of the UK company structure is the ability to offset certain expenses such as mortgage interest etc. The corporate structure is a simple solution, costing less than most probate and legal fees, and saves the additional reporting and taxation burdens for the beneficiaries. Mark Bailey Tel. 0077 02 192 797

If you would be interested in receiving your free Spanish inheritance tax illustration, and the opportunity to discuss how this method of ownership could benefit your personal circumstances please visit or scan the QR code below. Alternatively contact one of our advisers on +44 (0)1260 299700 (UK) or 0034 965 830 991 (Spain).

Top Dollar


51the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013 35



Left pocket pays right pocket


ROVIDING tax advice has become a Antonio Flores on the risky business, after the latest spate of incidents relating to tax advisors who ‘fine line’ that has seen have crossed the fine line between tax a number of lawyers avoidance and tax evasion. Last week, the Audiencia Nacional stated and advisors recently that Garrigues, the number one firm in Spain arrested over tax by turnover, has helped a number of CAM bank former directors cheat the Spanish Hacienda. The statement could be deemed as being appear to have been generated from a well bold but then again, how else can you define known Marbella hotel). the advice given to bent bank directors who According to the prosecutor, the accused law were arrested for setting up offshore compafirm also advised clients to register cash connies in the Dutch Antilles to channel loans tributions for the purpose of buying real esgranted to themselves that were later syphtate as ‘corporate loans’. oned off to these tax havens? This illegally deducted fictitious interest from Last month the Audiencia Nacional also profits, to the tune of €2.2 million, in a notstated that Demetrio Carceller, a prominent so sophisticated tax scheme known as ‘left businessman, had hidden the pocket pays right pocket!’ full extent of his income and So to recap, the three lessons wealth ‘since at least 1990’ No lawyer or tax advisor, that we can learn from the through a complex scheme, no matter how reputable, teachings above are: with companies in the Antilles, • Offshore companies are should suggest or Panama and Madeira, while recommend you even get 99% of the times used to cheat claiming to be resident in Porsomeone: a tax office, a crediclose to that line tugal and Britain. tor, an ex-spouse or partner or In reality it appears he lived in a victim of a swindle. 1% of the a Madrid penthouse, ‘avoiding time it is used to conceal the socialising in the capital as much as posidentity of the true owner, as happens with sible’. Moroccans who are, in principle (except for The State Prosecutor also accused his son the King of course), prohibited from having and his lawyer of devising a tax defrauding property abroad scheme, which included a commercial centre • The dividing line between tax avoidin Arizona. Both now face 14 years imprisonance and tax evasion is so difficult to pin ment. down that you have to steer well away from In Malaga, eight businessmen and their lawthe line yers have been accused of setting up a ‘com• No lawyer or tax advisor, no matter plex’ maze of companies based in the Dutch how reputable or famous, should suggest or Antilles (again!). recommend you even get close to that line The scheme was allegedly set up to conceal the true owners of the Spain-based assets Contact Antonio at and the origin of profits received (profits that


U J Christmas takes

36 36 the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013

p the

ardin path

root in Estepona

EDIBLE GARDEN: Designed by Beatrice S de Perlac

Good enough to eat THE region’s first ‘edible garden’ has opened in the grounds of the Buchiger Clinic. Landscape gardener Beatrice S de Perlac constructed a new building, Villa Maria, and filled it with fruit trees and plants which are known for their healing properties. The gardener said the plants chosen for the garden feel comfortable in

HALLOWEEN may only just have passed, but for one Estepona ecological association - which offers living Christmas trees for rent – work is just starting to hot up. Rather than selling trees which have been chopped down, and must be disposed of at the end of the season, the pro-environmental group rents out

marked for families, who can get the same Christmas tree every year. Though the scheme is largely driven with conservation in mind, with prices ranging between €15-30, renting a tree over Christmas is also cheaper than buying one. The Spanish fir – considered the national tree of Andalucia – is under

ECO-FRIENDLY: The Spanish fir is under threat.

threat from fire, urban encroachment and erosion. A living tree also brings the advantage of not shedding pines, and can also help teach young people about the environment.

HE KNOWS HIS ONIONS! by Peter Langdale

this weather, and require little maintainance. The garden includes orange, mango, fig, banana and almond trees, while srawberry, basil, sugar cane and lychees are also planted in the soil. Beatrice said: “People are becoming more aware of the planet and nature, and the importance it plays in our lives, not only for its beautiful landscapes but also for our health.”

Oranges and lemons ANDALUCIA’S citrus production is expected to be up 21% on last year following a fine autumn. The region’s yield, which accounts for around a third of the nation’s total harvest, has an estimated value of €225 million. Around 75% of the region’s citrus harvest is oranges, and Andalucia’s growers estimate they will produce around 105,000 tonnes of the fruit this year.

Christmas trees, which can be cared for and then replanted. The organisation, Naturbellsa, which is based in Extramadura but has a branch in Estepona, is currently preparing its trees for the Christmas market. The group currently has around 100 Spanish fir trees in Estepona, some of which are already ear-

Peter Langdale wants your view

Organic waste? A

T Garden La Palma we are seeing ever-increasing sales of salad and vegetable plants so people can grow their own veggies. This got me thinking as to the reasons behind this and what we could do, as a business, to help. I decided there were three main reasons to grow your own:(a) economic crisis (b) therapy, relax, hobby (c) to be organic In reality I believe most people would consider that a,b,and c all go together along with the satisfaction and achievement of producing your own food. At this point I would like to have some feedback from readers listing in order of importance their desire to grow their own. For those readers indicating the importance of organically grown I hope they would explain why they felt they needed to grow or buy organic produce. My reason for asking is that in a future article I would like to dispel and clarify some of the myths, truths and untruths attached to organic produce. As an adjunct to this, I must state that none of our commercial crops of parsley, coriander and leeks are produced organically. The main reasons for this being economics, and being unable to meet the targets of quality and consistency demanded by our UK customers. So until next month, bye,bye and please let me have some or

Top Salud


the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013

37 37

E-cigs are ‘no safer than the real thing’

Spanish nurses a real UK tonic SPAIN will be one of the most heavily targeted countries in an NHS nurse recruitment drive over the next 12 months. More than a quarter of UK NHS trusts said they would be looking to plug staffing shortages via overseas labour markets in the next year, according to the industry magazine, Nursing Times. In the past year, 40 trusts have recruited from outside of the UK, and of the

1,360 foreign nurses they employed, 472 were from Spain. Other popular countries targeted by medical recruiters are Portugal, Ireland and the Philippines. The shortage of British NHS nurses is being blamed on competition from private and community providers, the large number of nurses approaching retirement and a lack of training places.

Pomie power! POMEGRANATES could help reverse some of the damage done by junk food, according to a group of Spanish researchers. The Catalan Institute for Cardiovascular Sciences found a supplement made from the fruit helped keep blood vessels and their linings healthy. The researchers tested the supplement on pigs, which have similar cardiovascular systems to humans, after first feeding them fatty food. It revealed the supplement, which contains 200mg of polyphenols called punicalagins, cancelled out many of the effects of the feed, including the hardening of the arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Head researcher Dr Lina Badimon said: “Enriching a diet with pomegrante polyphenols can help in preventing and retarding endothelial dysfunctions, which are among the first signs of atherosclerosis and strokes.”

SPANISH medics are warning electronic cigarettes could be just as dangerous as the real thing, despite being marketed as a healthier alternative. Spain´s Association of Pneumology and Thoraicic Surgery tested the effects of ecigarettes on the lung function in non-smokers, healthy smokers, and those with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The medics found the vapour in the devices caused lungs to

Running to the beat

LISTENING to your favourite music while working out can add an extra 19 minutes to the average session, a study has found. A typical gym or jogging session to music will last 58 minutes compared to 39 minutes when it’s done in silence, according to sportswear firm Sweatband. In total, 60% of the 1,600 adults surveyed said they listened to music while working out, with 35% saying it distracted from the pain and intensity. Just over a quarter, 27%, said music helped them increase the number of exercise repetitions they did, while another 22% said they could lift heavier weights with music in the background. Dance music was the favourite genre to work out to, followed by rock, hip hop, pop, and drum ‘n’ bass.

Long live the Spanish SPANISH women have the seventh highest life expectancy in the world, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The latest report reveals the average Spanish female lives for 85.1 years, around six years more than their male counterparts, who can expect to live around 79.2 years. When combined and averaged out, the figures put the country 11th in the global life expectancy ranking, just behind Australia. Monaco tops the list, with the average citizen reaching their 89th birthday. Life expectancy is lowest in Chad, at just 49 years.

react in exactly the same way as with regular cigarettes. Dr Segismundo Solano, leader of the research, concluded the e-cigarette immediately increased the airway resistance and decreased their power to draw air through, and this effect was greater in the group of non-smokers and healthy smokers. E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular in Spain, but their sale remains unregulated.

Top Salud

38 51 13 - November 27 2013 30 the olive press - November

OP Columnists


here he stood on top of the Rock, Bradshaw’s Guide in hand: Michael Portillo, resplendent in one of his signature ice cream coloured jackets, talking to camera for his new series of Great Continental Railway Journeys. With Spain spread out like a map below him, Portillo traced the route of Mr Henderson’s Railway from Algeciras to Ronda with his finger, telling 2.4 million viewers, “Early 20th century travellers would then have taken a saloon steamer across here to Gibraltar.” Cue interview with a direct descendant of Captain Louis Lombard, the unsung Gibraltarian merchant ship owner who masterminded that vital sea

Belinda Beckett, aka Mistress the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013 39 39 of Sizzle, reviews the TV programme we’ve all been talking about

Michael Portillo misses the boat link, without which Mr Henderson might never have built the rail road. It was a connection the Spanish didn’t want that’s super-topical today, given the current border debacle… Did you miss that bit? So did I. What a shame not one of BBC2’s researchers looked up the good Captain’s g r e a t nephew, former Gibraltar mayor Tony Lombard, who lives a cable car’s ride from where Mr Portillo was standing.

The railway may be named after its wealthy British financier, Sir Alexander Henderson, but it was Captain Lombard who brought the plan to fruition and persuaded Henderson to invest in it. Portillo missed the boat on that one. “I could have told Mr. Portillo a story or two, and s h o w n him a rare 1909 timetable of the railway, printed while it was still privately owned,” said Tony Lombard, when I asked him how he felt

about his great uncle’s story being shunted into the sidings yet again. “Sadly, the programme represented a missed opportunity by a team of professionals who should have known better, and that is a view shared by others.” As Portillo began his journey in Madrid there was a lot of ground to cover and much of it probably ended up on the cutting room floor. But he might have mentioned that Mr Henderson’s great grandson, Lord Faringdon of Oxfordshire, flew to Spain this year with three generations of his family to ride the train for the first time. You can read the stories Portillo missed on my website. On the plus side, the aerial pho-

LEFT OUT: Tony Lombard tography was amazing (that surreal view of Cordoba cathedral wedged into the Great Mosque like a cuckoo in the nest). Portillo was also memorable for his: Sartorial elegance The dap-


’M currently on something of a house/pet sitting spree. Friends have been jetting off around the world and being the animal friendly soul that I am, and reativey house trained, I am often asked to look after Tiddles, Rover or Nemo. I draw the line at Shetland ponies, though. I was once mauled by one when I was about seven and had my Starsky and Hutch Tshirt ripped from me. That kind of experience scars a man – At one point last week I worked out that I was looking after one dog and five cats in four different locations. Just call me Dolittle. As several frustraited editors have been known to...

Flight of Fancy Last weekend marked Rememberance Sunday and it is always an occassion that makes me stop for a moment and think of those who gave their lives for our freedom and continue to do so. While in the UK it seems to be a hit and miss affair, I remember being in a small town in Belgium on one Rememberance Sunday when the entire place fell silent at the eleventh hour. It was about this time of year that I got my strangest ever request. As a journal-

ist, public relations fixer and sometime-event organiser, I get asked lots of things. But never as challenging as the hotel owner who wanted me to organise a fly past by a Spitfire to mark the event. I had to (tactfully) point out that a) There were no Spitfires located in Spain b) Civil aviation rules would probably forbid a low level pass by a fighter aircraft and c) The Spanish wouldn’t get it. They’d already had their war by 1939...

And finally I trust you all enjoyed your Halloween celebrations. I decided not to partake in the annual fright-fest this year. After all, I have to deal with blood suckers, ghouls, freaks, the criminaly insane and the undead on a daily basis. I live in Marbella...

per train-buff dazzled with his rainbow wardrobe of jackets and shirts in shades that should never be seen together on a grown man: sky blue with baby pink, powder blue with lilac, lime green with cyclamen… Classic remarks “So some poor politician has to make the decision,” commented the former politician on the government study into the closure of the Algeciras-to-Ronda line, and others, in Spain. Did the Beeb’s Politically Correct department not tell him that, in the current climate, ‘poor’ is not the best adjective to use in connection with a Spanish politician? Sense of priorities At the historic Reina Cristina Hotel in Algeciras, we saw Portillo signing in - but none of the rather more famous signatures (Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the King and Queen of Spain) displayed on brass plaques beside the reception desk. Animal magnetism Britain’s former defence secretary ‘danced flamenco’ with an Andalucian thoroughbred for nearly five minutes of the programme. Oh well - he’s not the first ex-government minister, and he won’t be the last, to make a horse’s derriere of himself in public!


the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013



OP Columnists

Christmas in Paris with the grandchildren I

F YOU are fortunate enough to spend the Christmas holidays in beautiful Paris with your children and/or grandchildren, here are some very special places to enjoy. Window Displays The Paris Christmas window displays will be visible in Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, Bon Marche and Rive Gauche department stores to name a few. Christmas Market This year the Parisian Christmas Market will be held on the Champs Elysee, in La Defense, Trocadero, Saint-Sulpice and Saint-Germain des Pres among other venues. Enjoy holiday food, beautiful lights, and buy holiday gifts at stalls along the way. Horse Exhibition From November 30 to December 8 you can attend the Horse Exhibition at Paris Nord Villepinte, and watch the Arabian Horse Championships, Just 32 km from Paris you’ll find Disneyland. Built driving presentations and jumping competitions. in 1988 the Disneyland traditions are alive and well here. Package deals for the theme park are Africolor Music Fest This concert series began in 1989. It features available at, www.travelchoice. over 25 concerts from November 16 to De- com or cember 8 and offer music as a means to social Parks There are many beautiful change. Venues all over the parks in Paris, but for children city and in some Parisian Granny Quote you can’t beat the Cite des Scisuburbs. Artists are both lo- Anyone remember the good ences which is over 35 acres, cal and international. old days before Facebook, complete with playground Ice Skating Who would pass up the Instagram and Twitter? When equipment for children aged 3-11. On the same grounds chance to ice skate on the you had to take a photo of first floor of the Eiffel Tower your dinner, then get the film you’ll find a high-tech museum and The Geode which is a building? A perfect Christ- developed, the go around to large globe housing an IMAX mas adventure. all your friends’ houses to 3D theatre. Circuses Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione, show them the picture of your Chocolate Fair From November 30 to Dewhich first opened in 1852, dinner? No? Me neither. cember 3 is the Chocolate is famous for its acrobats, trapezists and its tigers and horses. Owned and Fair held in the Porte de Versaille Expo Center. operated by the same family for seven decades, Demonstrations on chocolate making, cultural displays, and the parade of chocolate dresses this circus has a proud tradition. Cirque Pinder: This circus runs from November highlight this event. Magic 8 toJanuary 8. Theatre Equestre Zingaro: This equestrian circus The Musee de la Magie offers magic tricks, colis operated in a large wooden barn. Guests are lections of antique magic items, magic shows for part of the performance the moment they enter the children, interactive games and more. 11 Rue Saint-Paul. the doors. Zoos Disneyland Paris The Parc Zoologique de Paris is open Monday Saturday from 9 am– 6 pm. Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes is open every Granny Quote day from 9 am– 5 pm. The Institut Oceanographique is famous for its Seven Rules of Life displays of tropical fish and other sea life. 1) Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present Granny Fact 2) What others think of you is none of your business Falls are the leading cause of death and 3) Time heals almost everything serious injuries among people age 65 4)Don’t compare your life to that of and older. Two factors contribute to others, and don’t judge them. You these falls: have no idea what their journey is all Personal factors, which include muscle about weakness, balance problems, limited 5) Stop thinking so much, it’s alright vision and certain medications not to know the answers, they will Environmental factors, which include come to you when you least expect it home hazards such as loose rugs, poor 6)No one is in charge of your happilighting (especially on stairs), and a ness, except you lack of stair railings or grab bars in the 7) Smile, you don’t own all the probathroom. blems in the world

Granny Fact Mexico City, Mexico In the past 100 years, Mexico City has sunk more than 30 feet. The Aztecs built the city on a series of aquatic platforms, but when the Spanish conquered it, they drained the lake, causing it to sink. As the city’s population ballooned, and the demand for water increased in the 20th century, the government began pumping much of the city’s supply out of the underground aquifer that once fed the lake, causing the city to sink further. No practical plan has been made for the future to provide the 22 million inhabitants of Mexico City with the water they need without destroying the city. is a unique website and resource for grandparents and senior citizens worldwide created by Granny Juliet and provides useful information on a number of topics The Olive Press’



monthly youth and education sectionthe olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013 38 41 41 57

To play or not to play? ASKING a child to learn a sport at a young age could alienate him or her from physical activity for life, according to Baronness Sue Campbell. The chair of UK Sport suggested that expecting a threeyear-old to play a sport was comparable to asking them to read Shakespeare. Rather than encouraging chil-

dren to learn a specific sport, she said, it is better to introduce them to basic movement skills. She said: “There has always been a belief that you need to grab them young in order to get them into your sport. I am not a proponent of that at all.” “Sometimes if we specialise too early, we actually build our children to become very bored and almost stale with

treme O

AWARD: Tomas Palacios, centre right, receives award from Jaen University.

Estepona exam cheat

Jaen Uni honours local scientist

POLICE have arrested a university student who allegedly stole the online identity of a classmate to cheat in an exam. The Malaga University student, 26, is thought to have taken five different exams – which were internet-based - under a false identity. Police were called in after the former roommate of the accused complained of being unable to access his internet portal. Investigators then traced the suspected student to her former home in Estepona, where she is thought to have accessed the site fraudulently. The University has pledged to tighten security around access to its web portals. The student has been detained on charges relating to identity theft.

THE University of Jaen has paid homage to the first Spaniard to become a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Jaen native Tomas Palacios, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, was honoured at a university ceremony for his work with Graphene – a two-dimensional material which is only one atom thick, but ten times stronger than steel.

A fang-tastic month at BSM

BSM head Sian Kirkham reports on ghostly goings on...

CTOBER has been an action-packed month of events, trips and performances. At the beginning of the month, you would have been forgiven for thinking you were walking around the rooms of the Tate Gallery when the school corridors were transformed for our annual art exhibition evening. The event started with musical performances across the school including whole school songs, piano, and guitar solos as well as the first whole class guitar performance from our year four and five students. Parents and visitors were then invited to view the beautiful paintings created by our very own budding impressionistic artists. It really was a super event that saw us raise over €1,000 for this year’s chosen charity, Bankasol Food Bank. Many of the classes have been taking their learning outside of school this month and I was lucky enough to join year one on their trip to the Picasso Museum. After learning all about Picasso and studying his paintings during their Art lessons the children loved seeing his work first hand. Following the trip they then created some excellent self-portraits with me that Picasso himself would have been proud to put his name to. The highlight of the month though had to be UN Day. The parents did an excellent job this year planning some great activities for the children ensuring that they learnt some interesting facts

about the countries they visited while having a fantastic time. Everyone looked amazing in their costumes and the UN Day feast, as always, was superb! The month ended on a scary note with Halloween celebrations. The costumes this year were spook-tacular; there were some real ghastly creatures lurking around the corridors and classrooms as the children participated in a range of fang-tastic activities with their class and key stage before going down for the infamous Spooky Disco. Key stage two started the celebrations with a Thriller dance before the children tried to out scare each other with their Halloween songs. During the disco prizes were won for the best dancers before enjoying the Halloween Feast which tasted boo-tiful.

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the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013 44


Jelly healthy With jellyfish once again threatening our costas this year, Claire Wilson tries making jellyfish burgers


S jellyfish continue to multiply and fill up the Med due to overfishing, the Olive Press discovered that a strange demographic quirk could be on hand to help. It came as we discovered that the Chinese (whose numbers continue to swell here. See the Invisible Empire article on page 6) actually eat jellyfish in a number of dishes. So I was sent to try and work out a way to actually cook them. Lucky me. Jellyfish burgers with sweet chilli sauce were the elected recipe, they seemed harmless enough. I set off on a tour of all the local supermarkets around Estepona in search of the wobbly delight that could well inch itself into the mainstream thanks to the world’s continued overfishing. No joy. Hoping I might now be let off the hook, I arrived back at the office empty handed. Alas I wasn’t allowed to wriggle off that easily and my colleague Giles (see sidebar) offered to go to a Chinese supermarket in San Pedro where he successfully procured the main ingredient (see box). So I began cooking with gusto with rather strange results. The jellyfish itself was a see-through brown colour. My test subjects – two local expats, a Dutch and Hungarian - recoiled in horror as they watched me cut it into thin taglietelle-style strips. Not even my cat, who is usually so keen to get involved in food preparation, looked interested.

from this

jellyfish burgers Ingredients: 125g jellyfish ready-to-eat 500g potatoes 75g butter Salt & Pepper 3tsp toasted sesame oil 3tbsp fresh spring onions, finely sliced 1 tsp fresh ginger 2 Large handfuls fresh coriander leaves and stalks, finely chopped 2 tsp sweet chilli dipping sauce Vegetable oil for frying To serve: Sweet chili dipping sauce

Method: Squeeze as much water as possible out of the jellyfish, then pat dry with cloths or kitchen roll to remove more water. Chop thinly into shreds about 2cm long. Place on a cloth to continue drying (you really need to get as much moisture as possible out of them).

Make your mashed potato: Peel the potatoes, then chop them into walnut-sized chunks. Place them in a pan of hot water, bring to the boil and continue boiling for 12-15 minutes until tender Drain, then mash thoroughly Add the butter, salt and pepper and stir through. In a bowl, mix the toasted sesame oil, spring onions, ginger, chopped coriander and sweet chili dipping sauce together and stir well. Put the mash into one large mixing bowl and add HALF of the toasted sesame oil/herb mixture, and mix together. In a second bowl, add the chopped jellyfish and the remaining toasted sesame oil/herb mixture, and mix together.

To make your burgers: First take a handful of herby potato mixture and make a very flat disk the size of your palm. Lay it on a chopping board. Take a slightly smaller handful of the jellyfish mixture and place it on the potato so that it doesn’t reach the edges. Take another handful of potato and place it on the top. Mould the mixture around so that the jellyfish is cased in potato. Heat a non-stick frying pan until medium-hot, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and fry the burgers one at a time for only 2 mins on each side. You just need to brown the outsides (remember that the jellyfish and potato are all cooked and ready to eat.) Serve with jellyfish salad and sweet chili dipping sauce.

to this

The Verdict Judgement was clouded by the ‘ick’ factor; the image of the raw jellyfish was very much burned into everyone’s minds as we tucked into the final product. To be fair, they tasted nice enough, the jellyfish doesn’t have an overpowering flavour, it’s almost seaweed-like, and they were not as slimy as expected either. Dutch waitress, based in Estepona, Rosi de Woolfe, 22, said: “I thought they would be chewy but they were softer than I thought. They tasted ok, but I didn’t like the thought of eating jellyfish! I would probably try it again though, and eat it in different dishes. It’s no different to eating any other fish or animal really, is it? I don’t think I will be cooking it myself anytime soon, though!” Hungarian waitress, Diana Kovacs, 29, also from Estepona, said: “I can’t believe I ate jellyfish! It looked so horrible before it was cooked, like slime, but it was nice when it had been cooked. I think I will have it again, maybe if I go to a Chinese restaurant!”

I refused to throw a wobbler


Giles Brown goes on a special mission to find edible jellyfish

’VE done some strange stuff in my time and, having been involved in the Marbella nightlife scene for almost 30 years, I’ve also seen some strange, ahem, ‘transactions’ taking place. None of these experiences, however, compared to buying jellyfish. Let’s face it, jellyfish isn’t exactly going to be stocked by your local supermarket, next to the prawns. But after a couple of tries I managed to track down an Asian corner shop in the back streets of San Pedro Alcantara. Stocked full of what seemed to be 1001 varities of soy sauce, I couldn’t see anything that looked like jellyfish, so I

asked the Chinese shop assistant behind the counter if he had any medusa, the Spanish word for jellyfish. He looked at me blankly for a second and then his face lit up, beckoning me into a large walk in fridge at the back of the shop that I hadn’t noticed before. There were all sorts of weird and wonderful items that I really didn’t want to examine too closely – memories of Indiana Jones and the monkey brains came to mind – but the he was pulling out a black bin from a low shelf. “Medusa” he grinned. It looked disgusting and as my colleague Claire found out, it isn’t likely to become a top seller any time soon.

Concern for dentists: Spaniards are not big chocolate buyers THERE are fewer chocoholics in Spain than in any other European country, according to a survey. Just 20% of Spanish people buy chocolate on im-

FOOD & DRINK the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013 45 45 with DINING SECRETS of

No sweet teeth

pulse, compared to 54% of Brits, and 48% of Germans, a Mintel study has found. An even smaller 16% of Spaniards stock up when it

is on offer, which is half of those in France. Spanish people do succumb to the allure of chocolate when they need to satisfy a sweet craving, howev-

Getting the cream SPAIN’S top pastry chef is revealing some of his creative secrets in a new online ice cream- making course. Girona-based Jordi Roca – one of the famous El Celler de Can Roca brothers - has developed the videos to teach participants the technique behind the distinctive ice creams. Roca serves his unique flavoured ice creams and toppings at the Rocoambolesc Gelateria, which he runs with his two older brothers. They include baked apple pie ice cream and Roca cola sorbet. The restaurant was crowned number one in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in London earlier this year.

ICE COOL: Jordi with his creations

er, with 60% stating they would buy chocolate in this instance, compared to just 36% of French consumers. Germans were found to have the sweetest teeth in

Europe, and the country accounts for a quarter of the €23 billion chocolate market.


the olive press - November 13 - November 27 201346


Police arrest 24 people linked to raids on farms in the Serrania de Ronda

Chestnut crackdown

POLICE have stepped up efforts to tackle chestnut thieves operating around the Serrania de Ronda. As part of a crack-down on escalating levels of chestnut theft, police claim to have thwarted six gangs in the process of stealing the crop.

By Liam Kirkaldy

In total, 24 arrests were made across the four villages of Igualeja, Cartajima, Parauta and Farajan. Chestnut rustling is an increasingly serious business,

Olive oil award


with the chestnut harvest representing the main source of income for many local farmers. Ronda’s chestnuts are considered some of the best in the country. This season is expected to be one of the best harvests

WINNERS: Castillo de Canena

A JAEN-based oil producer has been crowned ‘best national food company’ at the recent Spanish Food Awards in Madrid. Castillo de Canena, which exports olive oils to over 40 countries, was praised for its export strategy and high quality products. Company export director, Rosa Vano, said: “This award is an acknowledgement of the daily efforts we make to consolidate our position on the international market and of our contribution to enhancing the image of Spanish high quality extra virgin olive oil abroad.” THE olive-picking season is expected to be a marked improvement on last year. According to farmers association Asaja the oil will be in a bigger supply and of better quality than last year´s poor harvest. Andalucia produces 20% of the world’s olive oil and it is a key part of the local economy. The sector represents

Chestnut Pick


in recent years, with the Genal Valley alone producing around 4million kilograms at around €2 per kilo. “There have been surprisingly few worms this year,” said one farmer. “The quality is excellent thanks to the weather.” Some 80% of the chestnuts from the Malaga area are exported, the majority (65%) to Italy. The move comes following the decision to tighten security on mango farms in the Axarquia, which have also seen widespread theft. Two men were last month arrested for stealing over 300 kilograms of mangos – with a market value of over €500 – from a farm in Velez-Malaga. Farmers are being encouraged to report any suspicious activity to police. Chestnuts are of great importance to Andalucian culture, with many towns and villages holding ‘chestnut festivals’ throughout November.

I’ll drink to that

Liquid gold… this year at least!

32% of the region´s agricultural employment with 91,000 jobs. Although olives are grown across Spain – which with 2.4 million hectares of groves produces more olive oil than any other country in the world –Andalucia is

famed for its quality. A staple of the Spanish diet, olive oil has also been shown to lower cholesterol and strengthen bones and hair. Picking season runs between November and February.

AN expat-run micro-brewery that has taken Andalucia by storm is turning its eye on America. The Kettal beer factory, based in Los Barrios, has just signed a three year deal with a beer company in Pennsylvania. The first shipment of bottled beer has just been sent to the Nevulis Beverages company in a 20 food. The brewery, owned by Brits Mercedes Scanlon and Tim Revill, produces six different beers. Said Scanlon: “This is an exciting development and a potentially huge market.”

Consula re-opens ANDALUCIA’S top cookery school La Consula has reopened just weeks after students had to resort to studying in the college’s car park. The school, which was originally a villa owned by wealthy Americans and welcomed celebrities including Hemingway, had been unable to pay its suppliers. The college has worked out a new deal with the suppliers, however, and the students have been able to return to their classrooms and kitchens for the first time this term. Other catering colleges including La Fonda in Benalmadena and CIO Mijas have also had financial difficulties, with the latter yet to open for the new school year.



47the olive press - November 13 - November 27 2013


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Healthy regulation


A RANGE of peripheral healthcare professionals will now be subject to regulation following the passing of a new law. Physiotherapists and chiropodists will now be included in the regulatory framework.

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November 27, 2013

Don’t kick my children!

They now have the same haircut and sports car… so is Bale wearing Ronaldo’s new brand of underwear? THEY already share the same employer, the same neighbourhood and drive the same sports car – so now the question is do Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo share the

A total 15% of Spanish households are bothered by noise, according to a survey. The number of corurt cases has also increased over the past year.

Spend a penny

MOST new dads parade photos of their babies on mobile phones. Spanish footballer Santi Cazorla has taken the tradition one step further – by having his shin-pads modified to show off pictures of his two children. The ex-Malaga midfielder, now at Arsenal, announced his new shin pads on Twitter, saying, “Look what arrived! My new toy!” Is he sure he won’t mind opponents kicking his kids?

By Liam Kirkaldy same taste in pants. With Real Madrid ace Ronaldo recently appearing in his own brand of underwear on a 30-foot high poster in Madrid, fans will be waiting in anticipation to see if Bale follows suit. Since the Welsh star joined the club this summer for a world record fee of €100 million he has fielded numerous questions over his similarities with Ronaldo. The issue only heightened when pictures emerged of the two getting the same haircut from the same barber. The hairdresser, Jose Siero,

COPYCAT: Bale has modelled his game, and now his look, on Ronaldo, who launched his own underwear range (left) 50, visits them at their luxury Madrid homes to give them a trim. Even if the cut cost €100, as he earns around €350,000 a week, he will have plenty of spare cash to buy a pair of Ronaldo’s recently launched CR7 pants.

It’s a Bug’s Life VW fans made the most of the weather when a cavalcade of Golfs, Beetles and Karmanns took a ride to La Herradura. Under the head-

Cave rocking

SPANISH cavemen enjoyed music and art, according to new research. Prehistoric paintings were found in ‘living’ parts of caves alongside a number of lithopone’s or musical rocks. The research team, from Huddersfield University, said the findings made it clear both sound and image were significant rituals inside caves. Dr Rupert Till, head of the research, said: “It is clear that

November 13

Ronaldo’s pants Bale in comparison

Noisy Spain

A MADRID station has become the first in the country to have its toilets privatised. The facilities at Atocha Station are now the responsibility of a Dutch company called 2theloo which will charge 60 cents a visit.

Covering Andalucia in 2013 with over 200,000 papers (130,000 digital) and around 220,000 visits to the website each month… The Olive Press just keeps growing!

ing ‘Run to The Sun’ their owners took the opportunity of visiting Malaga’s enormous Motor Museum en route.

What might be on a caveman’s iPod today: Nick Cave Queens of the Stone Age Jurassic Five T-Rex Rolling Stones

prehistory is not deaf, silent or mute. “In the dark, flickering light of a prehistoric cave, sound may have been particularly dramatic or important.”

ROCKERS: Cave and T-Rex

Football game slammed by activists

Real popular REAL MADRID is the most popular football club in Spain according to a recent survey. The club was found to have the most followers, with 23.8% of those questioned. Barcelona was the second most popular, with 18.2%, followed by Atletico Madrid with 3.7%.

THE Spanish FA has been condemned by activists after accepting an invitation from a regime accused of torturing opponents. The national team are due to play Equatorial Guinea in a friendly on November 16 staying in a five-star luxury resort during their trip. The country is led by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Africa’s longest serving leader, who came to power following a coup in 1979. Critics accuse his regime of arbitrary arrest and torture of political opponents, as well as plundering the country’s oil wealth.

The Olive Press newspaper issue 174  

The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucia

The Olive Press newspaper issue 174  

The original and only English-language investigative newspaper in Andalucia