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.
In this country of 8,112 town halls, of 17 autonomous regions (plus Ceuta and Melilla), there are never enough politicians, wasting time, effort and above all, money. There is talk of ending the autonomies and saving enormous amounts of money, but this will never happen (the system was originally created mainly to keep the Catalonians and the Basques happy, what you gonna do?). As for town halls - there shouldn't be more than a thousand across Spain, as recommends Alberto Rivera from Ciudadanos. Meanwhile, Almería's 102 municipalities has just grown by one more as Berja apparently leaves Balanegra this month.
A recent article from an eccentric ecologist about us inmigrantes climáticos has raised a few hackles. A lawyer for the AUAN says that he is sure that the writer Rafael Yus Ramos has opinions that don't represent the bulk of the Ecologistas en Acción (I think it does). The article also comes under heavy criticism in El Indálico here. The unrepentant Yus Ramos, sticking to the same topic, has another article which deals with the political aspirations of the local Northern Europeans, or '...los delincuentes británicos...' as he calls us, called 'The British Gray Power and the Reversal of Andalucian Socialism' here.
Pressure on the Government to cease any demolition of homes owned by those who bought in 'good faith', without previous and full compensation, comes from the PSOE, inspired by meetings with the AUAN and the SOHA (two active groups in supporting those unfortunates who own 'illegal-homes') and with further support from other groups besides. Mojácar's Ciudadanos Europeos party joined the call for a change in the law, with a registered letter to the Senate sent on Friday.
Later: Jessica Simpson's Mojacar Positiva Se Mueve has sent a similar letter to the Senate.
Saturday, 28th February, is the Día de Andalucía. This is a festival celebrated by all eight of the Andalucian provinces. Well, at least by seven of them. In Mojácar we shall see nothing of this, but in Almería, citizens are reminded tomorrow in demonstrations and indignant articles that this province voted against going in with Seville in 1978, but was unceremoniously squeezed in anyway. The perceived result of Andalucía - an always socialist region with Almería equally always 'PP' - is that only a penny in a hundred makes its way as far from Seville to refresh this province. Either... Almería stands alone as a one-province autonomy... or it joins Murcia (another one-province autonomy)... or Andalucía itself splits into Andalucía Oriental and Andalucía Occidental (Granada as the capital). Well, or things continue as they are Duhhh. The Almería flag, you might see it fleetingly, is a white flag with a red, vertical cross. Just like the English one as it happens.
The Councillor for Foreign Residents (Utopia Edition)
Tuesday 24 February 2015 - 01:33:36
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...
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!