News, opinion, essays and links for residents and friends of Mojácar, Almería.
This site, started in September 2002, is called The Entertainer Online to continue The Entertainer name, the name of a weekly newspaper started by me in 1985 which ran without interruption throughout southern Spain until 1999 when a three year option to buy was taken by staffers. They never concluded the deal, or paid me, but changed the name when the option expired in April 2002 instead. Que vamos a hacer.
Overview of this site (Sections at bottom of page)
*Rambeau’s Diary – a blog *Freebie-Jeebies® – Some relaxed comment on the poor quality local free-press *Fallout – quotes from other sites *National News Certain pieces that catch my fancy *Local News Certain pieces that catch my fancy *Essays: Various imput *Links about Spain (see top of page) about 200 useful links, including my other blog Spanish Shilling *To e-mail me - write to email@example.com. I don't always answer or open attachments.
Almería has too many homes built. No, not the illegal ones (decided by the politicians in Seville, based on 'expert' information by the ecologists), but rather the 'we won't ever sell these' homes built in the last few years but never marketed properly. If nationally, those dwellings rushed up since 2008 (1,560,000 of them) remain 25% unsold, then in Almería the percentage is at almost forty. Four out of ten unsold. And who holds the keys of these apartments? The banks. Of course, in our carefree province, the only business we know about is 'turismo', not migration (and year-round business).
With all the excitement of the Catalonian problem - whether the two pro-Independence groups, who have a small majority - can get their act together or not; whether Madrid can foil them within the law, or maybe without; whether other bits of Spain will be encouraged to face off the government (oh, right, there isn't one until after the December 20th elections)... all of this comes down to a titanic battle between Madrid (in the blue corner) and Barcelona. So, a football match between Spain's two champion teams earlier today. Barcelona won 4-0 which, as Hoover once said, 'won't play well in Peoria'.
Judge Mercedes Alaya, the stern looking lady who was investigating the massive ERE fraud in Andalucía (before being put aside), has broken her silence on the issue in a speech delivered after winning the ‘Premio Jurista del Año 2015’. She said that she was ‘put under enormous pressure during her investigations’ and that the Junta de Andalucía ‘put all the obstacles they could think of’ against her. She also told listeners at the Complutense University in Madrid that ‘Politics has invaded Justice to ensure that Justice does not meddle in the affairs of Politics’. More at Andalucía Información.
(From today's Business over Tapas): The following is a bit like a culebrón – a soap opera: The Catalonian Parliament in its opening session on Monday voted to follow the path of independence (to be completed within the next eighteen months). The new Government is made up with a hodgepodge of politicians - the conservative Convergencia (Pujol's party) having dropped its long-term partner Unió (which promptly disappeared), as led by Artur Mas joined with its long-time rival, the hard left ERC, to frame a pro-independence group called Junts Pel Sí (Together For Yes), but with another independent, Raül Romeva - from a small group called the ICV - as a straw candidate. They won the recent autonomous election but were a fraction short of a majority. So, enter Stage Left, a lunatic fringe anarchist group called CUP, which is also in favour of Independence, but doesn't want Artur Mas as the next president. (On Tuesday morning, they suggested Raül Romeva). On Monday, the two groups voted to declare Independence or rather, to initiate the route to independence from Spain. Their resolution in English here. Another group in opposition, the Podemos-led Si Que Es Pot (Yes We Can) is in favour of Spain staying whole, but also in the democratic right of the Catalonians to secede. However, the SQEP were instructed to vote 'no' rather than - as at least one of them wanted - to abstain. Result - 72 'yes' and 63 'no'. On Tuesday afternoon, Artur Mas lost the vote for president, needing an absolute majority, but comes a second round on Thursday which will only need a simple majority... Now Madrid is not happy about this and will bring, says Rajoy, 'strong action'. The BBC takes up the story: ‘Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his government would file an appeal with the constitutional court to try to stop the move. He told reporters that, after an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday, he would "sign a recourse [to the Constitutional Court] of unconstitutionality and will ask for... the immediate suspension of this initiative and all its possible effects"...’. Will this go down well in Barcelona? No. On Tuesday, the High Court had asked all the Catalonian-based police to act ‘against any crimes of sedition’. Some of them will not enjoy this instruction from Madrid. On Wednesday evening, the Constitutional Court suspended the Catalonian Parliament’s resolution saying that ‘it breaks up to eight articles in the Constitution’ and at the same time warned 21 senior politicians of possible arrest. The Govern replied that it will continue with its independence plans...
Sometimes, you just have to think outside the box. Take for example, the Picudo Rojo, the nasty palm beetle that has killed many thousands of Spain's beautiful palm trees. There wasn't much of an answer - maybe squirt the hell out of the tree and bury/burn any infected ones. Plant a few more at riotous prices, pocket the commission and hope for the best. Now, biologists have discovered a kind of fungus that kills off the beetles, and the main producer of palmeras, the Alicante town of Elche, says that the fungus is doing an excellent job - killing most of those pesky bugs. Well, whew, ecologists. Now you can spend even more time finding a solution to the ghastly chumbo killing cochineal fly. Maybe find a kind a cochineal spider...
Spain is fast filling its quota of refugees from the civil war in Syria. Well, not so fast. Actually, not fast at all. On Sunday, the first nineteen refugees were cleared for Spain, but seven of them said they'd rather stay in Italy (grazie), so just twelve of them arrived here, duly fêted and kissed by the appropriate politicians. Story here. No word if they are all coming to Mojácar.
Mojácar is organising a four-day series of activities to promote 'equality'. From November 9th to the 12th: all very exciting. But, it's not about equality as we understand it, living in a town with over half of us foreigners (and not one of us, not even those Europeans born here, working in the Town Hall or any other public service). It's not about celebrating our 'foreigners department', or our 'European Day' or even having a street to acknowledge the massive participation of the forasteros in this town... No. There must be some mistake. It's to do with gender issues: self-esteem, jobs and motivational coaching. Not foreign women, but no doubt they'll be made welcome.
Those pictures of bald children with ugly cancerous growths on their bodies. Just type 'Amen'. The old soldier who so bravely fought for your freedom, I bet he won't get a 'like'. The baby covered in mud being carried by a dog - don't be heartless, send God a sign that you care. That cute little doggy with weeping eyes, one 'like' equals a prayer. Maybe Bill Gates will shower him with eye-drops. Don't scroll without sharing. Type 'Amen', Brothers and Sisters, type 'Amen' for Jesus. Ah, the things you see on Facebook. If you check out the original posters' 'Home Page' you will find that something is not right. Now, a useful story in CNN explains. They collect ten thousand 'likes' or 'Amens' and then they wipe out the original photo of the darling child and they sell it to an agency that puts an advert in its place. It's called 'Like Farming'. The cleverest one says: 'press 'like' and 'share' and something will happen in the picture' (It doesn't), but you've shared it: two million... five... more? Sweet, innocent and loving person that you are; once again, you have been 'had'.
The Mojácar promotion has got a new tag (which sounds like it comes from an expensive agency):- 'Mojácar: cerca de tí'. Close to you. This could maybe mean two things, hey? Close to your heart, and close to where you happen to live (as long as it's, you know, Turre). In the old days, part of Mojácar's charm was just how far away it was - in distance and bad communications and, with its fantasy, charm and character, far away in time. Now, it's much easier to get to, with Spain's brilliant network of motorways, the changing but always lively connections by air to Almería, Murcia, Alicante and Málaga, and - one day in the far far future - the cripplingly expensive and inevitably underused AVE high-speed train link from Murcia (and beyond) to Almería, with an occasional halt in La Media Luna, the Vera train station. Mojácar's promotional pictures from our Tourist Department are always the same - empty landscapes of the seaside or cityscapes of the village (there is much more to Mojácar than this). Always empty - as if the pictures look better without people, or because, well, because there just aren't any. Indeed, during the long low-season, tourism is small or non-existent. While it's only tourists and badly out-of-breath cyclists who buy those cheap nick-nacks from our Mojaquero-owned souvenir shops, there has always been a better client than the cash-strapped tripper, and that's the wealthy home-buyer, who will live here all year round and keep the economy going during the leaner months of October through Easter. How much of our annual budget (over ten million euros) do we spend, I wonder, to promote home-buying, investment or newcomers? As for the 'close to you' tag (which, judging by the photos, isn't working), how about the old invitation from Jacinto, the mayor who put Mojácar on the map back in the sixties: 'Mojácar, donde el sol pasa el invierno'. Where the sun spends the winter.
Parliament has been halted until the General Elections of December 20th and the resumption of Parliament on January 13th. Mariano Rajoy from the Partido Popular will face the three other main parties PSOE, Ciudadanos and Podemos (plus a few tiddlers, including IU and some regional parties). Jobs are up, says Rajoy. But not in Andalucía, where six of the eightandaluz provinces have unemployment over 30%. The highest is Cádiz at 37.2%, which is 25 points more unemployment than Spain's lowest, Soria at 12%. Andalucía's hardest working province is Málaga at 29% unemployed (thanks, no doubt, to the tourism). Almería is at 31%. As a ludicrous patch to this situation, the Junta de Andalucía (PSOE) has announced that it is to hire an extra seven thousand one hundred 'funcionarios' (public officials) to help things work themselves out.