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.

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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 lenoxnapier@gmail.com. I don't always answer or open attachments.

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Business over Tapas - A Weekly News-letter now on Facebook
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Two-week Mojácar Weather Forecast
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The Entertainer: 29 years old (April 4th 2014) This site since September 2002.

Most of the following is true
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The Councillor for Foreign Residents (Utopia Edition)
Tuesday 24 February 2015 - 08:43:09
The Town Hall of Fuengirola, like many other Costa towns where there are a large number of foreigners, has a 'Foreigners Department'. Rather obviously a good idea I think? In fact, they have a Councillor for Foreign Residents - no, not a tourist councillor, but the full Concejalía de Extranjeros Residentes, and being a modern town, the post if filled by a bilingual foreign resident. Ahhh. It's as if... they cared down there on the Costa del Sol (or in the Costa Blanca) where foreigners who bring wealth to their community are appreciated.
In Mojácar, you can always trail up to the ayuntamiento (parking down at the bottom) and ask for their one translator...

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Macenas Golf to be Auctioned
Thursday 19 February 2015 - 23:17:18
Macenas was a big, high-profile project, the opposite of the construction of those small brief summer apartments so favoured by the local mafia. It was a golf course, a 'proper' hotel from a recognised line, and beautiful homes and apartments with lovely views of the old stone keep, watching for pirates on the sea-shore. But the timing was bad. The wealthy Russians never came. The hotel is just a hulk of unfinished concrete, barely worth inspiring the ire of the ecologists, and the beautifully-layed golf course is unwatered. Dry. Dead. Indebted for better than two and a half million euros. Now the Campo de golf Playa Macenas Beach & Golf Resort has been embargoed and is going up for auction on March 19th. More information at Ideal here.

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Business over Tapas 100
Thursday 19 February 2015 - 18:12:09
I mailed out Business over Tapas nº 100 today. The BoT is a weekly newsletter about Spain aimed at property owners. The news items come from Spanish newspapers, blogs, news-sites, property information portals, associations, tax experts, Government and alternative sites and anything else that comes my way and is useful.
You can write and ask me for a free copy of this edition.
It also has a Facebook page and a website.

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Long Division
Thursday 12 February 2015 - 15:52:58
Let's just pretend that there is a great opportunity to make some money in local politics: thus it's worth while ensuring that you get into power. The deals that cross your desk over the life of your government, the 'inducements', the 'privileged information' and the 'quid pro quos'. I'm just pretending, mind. Perhaps politics is more about bringing a firm vision of the future of one's community into a delightful reality. So nice.
At present, if the town of Mojácar were divided into English speakers and Spanish speakers, the two main organs representing the former group, Spectrum and the Euro Weekly News (Almería Edition), could be said to be apologists for the Town Hall and the Lady Mayor (as Jessica Simpson calls her). Spectrum has the Mayoress on air each week, while refusing any other politician any air-time, and the Weenie prints a couple of 'Town Hall repairing the roads' stories in every issue (plus it failed to mention the same Jessica Simpson in their half page story on the MAC event earlier this month, organised by Jessica). Is this simply the political preference of the media concerned, or perhaps a commercial bias subsidised by the deep pockets of the local tax-payers? After all, nothing in life is entirely 'free'.
The Town Hall is certainly jealous of its privileges, and a piece appeared on the Spectrum Fb page recently, answering in English something I had written a few days previously in Spanish. I have not been allowed the right of reply on the radio station. The Costa Almería News has printed a balanced story today on the subject (a link to it doesn't work) and El Indalico's editor Ángel Medina is preparing his answer for later today.
Eventually I think, we should hope for an integrated town, a multi-ethnic town hall and, of course, a proper and impartial municipal radio.

Later: A friend from the Town Hall says that a couple of facturas paid recently include two to Spectrum 968€ (2/12/15) and 544€ (12/12/14) plus another to the EWN: 1500€ (15/1/15).

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Business over Tapas
Wednesday 11 February 2015 - 07:23:49
Business over Tapas is a weekly news-bulletin about Spain aimed at foreign property-owners, available by subscription. The name comes from the Spanish habit of meeting in an office but finishing the business over a beer downstairs. Business over Tapas deals with property news, tourism, travel, finance, politics, corruption and other interests. There's no fluff or drivel in the non-commercial Business over Tapas.
This year could be Spain's most difficult yet, are you going to miss the signs?
Write for a free copy now.

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Local Politics: The Empire Fights Back
Tuesday 10 February 2015 - 11:39:55
Local politics in Mojácar is warming up, fast. My own article in Spanish at El Indalico, suggesting that the Town Hall should be more concerned about losing almost 20% of its entire population in one year than about trying to repeat their endless visit to FITUR to cram even more tourists into Mojácar during the summer months, met with a long 'press release' from the Town Hall (Partido Popular) in English and reproduced on the Spectrum facebook page (there are no local Spanish media which will accept Mojácar Town Hall material).
There will be four or perhaps five groups asking for your vote this May 24th (if you are on the padrón and had asked for the right to vote, that is). The Partido Popular - very good at keeping the town clean, painted and repaired, but acts, I think, more like a guild than a town hall, representing only one part of the town; Unión Mojaquera, the other main local party (Diego García from the Gas Station); the PSOE (see Manolo's video here); the MPSM, Jessica Simpson's group, now working as a coalition with some other groups and associations (including part of the Izquierda Unida) as Ganemos Mojácar (video here); and finally, Angel Medina's Ciudadanos Europeos.
Talking of the Union Mojaquera, an interview in Actualidad Almanzora appeared this week which was interesting. Diego and his Nº 2 Gabriel Flores answered some questions of (partisan) interest. They showed that the tourist budget for Mojácar is 55,000€ a year, less than the wage for the Mayoress. The entire annual budget for Mojácar on the other hand is 10,200,000 euros, which works out at a little under 30,000€ a day!

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Forum, Fora
Monday 09 February 2015 - 16:45:15
I have never been sure whether the plural of 'forum' is 'forums' or 'fora' (in Estuary English I mean, I know perfectly well that it's the second in both Latin and old-fashioned English). Ir's probably a moot point at this stage - who the hell reads forums these days anyway?
Anyhow, to solve this semantic problem, I'm taking down the Forums links on this site.
Well, I think 'Forum-people' tend to use odd invented names and are often keen to 'troll'. With the arrival of Facebook, and a better sense of who one's fellow-posters are, it seems that the forums have fallen into disuse. Good riddance, hey?
All right, I admit I got pushed off Brit-Expats because I had a link too many. Anyway, each to his own.
OK, I left a couple...

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This Won't Hurt a Bit
Saturday 07 February 2015 - 09:54:05
Last year, ninety Almerian nurses left Spain for jobs in other parts of Europe, mainly the UK. A small piece of news, but symptomatic (as we diagnosticians like to say) of a larger illness. Spanish medical instruction is well viewed by British hospitals, says La Voz de Almería with approval.

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The Apparent and Abrupt Depopulation of the Foreigners (Empty Streets Version)
Wednesday 04 February 2015 - 12:21:55
The descent of the numbers of Europeans on the town hall padrón (adjusted every five years by Government decree) means that some towns, such as Mojácar, have suddenly lost up to 20% of their entire population (see below). While this may not be so bad on one hand (in an election year), it does open up some questions about the strength of the residential market in Spain. An interesting article in the Diario Sur (here in pdf) is called 'The Fall in the Number of Registered Names on the Padrón Sets off Alarms in Town Halls on the Costa del Sol'. Mijas, good example, has lost 8,079 inhabitants (apparently) in just one year. Marbella is down 3,338 persons. You see, a fall in inhabitants means a fall in Government funding and a drop in licences for nurses, police and other essential services. Mijas, again, stands to lose 1.4 million euros in subsidies. Indeed, three Málaga towns will lose two councillors each with the adjustments. Fully eighty eight pueblos across Málaga may lose government income warns the article. An editorial follows on the pdf version called 'Has Spain stopped being a good destination to retire to?'. So, perhaps its time to create a budget to attract home-buyers rather than five-day tourists, or even a department... or perhaps a Ministry...!

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Aim For the Stars (While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by Night...)
Monday 02 February 2015 - 22:21:48
Well, there might not be too many jobs about, but the Junta is not taking this lying down, no siree bob. There is a shortage of highly skilled people in Andalucía, because the ones that are from here have had to leave to find work in other parts of Spain, or more likely Europe. But Andalucía doesn't need architects and judges and doctors and lawyers (alright, granted, we have more than enough lawyers); what it needs is, ahh, shepherds. The Boys from Seville have come up with a splendid new course, to be offered in Vélez Rubio, and sponsored by the Junta for a grand total of 100,000€ for eighteen would-be sheep-shaggers. The course is 540 hours of theory and practice, and works out, if all goes well, at a public investment of 5,500 odd each and every one. Baaaaaah!

Later: Well, I have to admit - I've been up most of the night thinking about this. Does this mean the end of a dutiful son following in the footsteps of his father? From now on, will every shepherd need papers and to be a graduate of shepherd-school? Is this the end of the rural swain of legend, his dog Blackie, his honest 'arrrhhh' at the site of a man wearing a tie, and his home-whittled Pipes of Pan (or faithful imitation thereof)?

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