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 *Weeniewatch® – Removed by court order (31 July 2010) *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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I don't always answer or open attachments.
People sometimes tell me I should write a novel based on the high-jinks of life around here - but I'm far to lazy to face such an undertaking. A writer called Matthew Pritchard has though, and it's extremely good. The book is a murderous thriller set in and around Mojácar: a serial killer facing off against a local journalist. The plot begins with a body found in a cavity between the walls of a British-owned house being demolished by the Junta de Andalucía and takes it from there. My copy of Scarecrow came from the AUAN and I'll present it to the Mojácar British Library tomorrow. Amazon Spain sells the book, postage free, at 10.64€.
The Town Hall of Mojácar had another pleno on Tuesday, this time to rubber-stamp a new tax-office for Mojácar, to take over the offices of the tourist department. You will be able to pay your IBI, IAE and taxes in general, says the Mayoress enthusiastically, even if you come from other towns. All helps our shops and bars (assuming you can find a place to park). But where will the tourist office go? Apparently, in the street of the 1000 tee shirt shoppes (multicentro). Other points: the Calle Muralla Roque - the silly track that runs around under La Muralla and will serve, in theory, as a second exit for the new municipal elevator, to be spruced up... and the Calle Murcia to be renamed as part of the Avenida de la Luz.
In Spain, we like our fiestas. This Friday is Constitution Day and on Sunday is the Día de la Inmaculada, with an extra day off on Monday in Andalucía, Aragón, Asturias, Castilla y León, Extremadura, Murcia, La Rioja and Ceuta. A four-day weekend. For industry, this can mean two days lost, depending on the region, but for the tourist resorts, it means a well-needed boost. For our friends the traffic police, there will be five million cars on the roads to wave past with a cheery smile. Check to see when your local supermarket and bank is open.
It's no secret that the number of postal votes in Mojácar in the last elections (votes easily manipulated for the old, old reason) were around 18% of the entire vote and it's also generally accepted that many people of an East European inclination, featured - if perhaps briefly - on the local padrón shortly before the local elections, indeed many of them sharing the same address. This is just the cut and thrust of local politics, run and organised by people who might, in some cases, be charitably described as fascists. The PSOE-Almería certainly thinks so and has just announced a group to assess fraudulent votes in local elections. Well done them. But, will they also monitor their own party? One might remember the post-mistress of Mojácar who was accused of fiddling the votes for her husband many years ago... and her victorious socialist husband. Perhaps we should recall the many accusations suffered by the last PSOE mayor of Carboneras who also had misunderstandings with his postal deliveries. The lawyer Antonio Ruano has spoken of 'his implacable fight against corruption' in local politics and the provincial leader of the PSOE, José Luis Sánchez Teruel, says '...there is a general feeling, which is concentrated mostly in small municipalities, that a sudden group of persons who do not reside on a regular basis are registered as resident by their town halls just when elections are approaching, resulting in an electoral fraud. To avoid this, we will be strong and will use all available administrative and legal mechanisms'. Unless, of course, it's the PSOE doing it.
Spanish women are up in arms... well, some of them. The best-selling book at the moment is a 'be obedient to your husband' treatise by the Italian Costanza Miriano and published in translation by the Church in Granada. In Spanish it's called 'Cásate y sé sumisa' - which would translate as 'Get married and be submissive.' The best-selling book has quickly sold out in many bookshops and has also attracted a lot of opprobrium, particularly from politicians, including the leadership of the Izquierda Unida who wants in banned. The PP Minister for Health, fingering her rosary, also wants it 'removed from the shelves' as it may 'promote male violence against women'. Not, apparently, as long as they don't burn the stew (Joke. Bad taste. Whoops, did it again). Well, it's old fashioned Catholicism. What ya gonna do? From El Huff Post.
Mojácar used to rely on residential tourism. One of our strongest mayors the PSOE leader Bartolome Flores once said 'tourism? our main industry here is construction!' - by which he meant that the town lived from selling homes to the foreigners, as it did in those days, and not from tripper hotel tourism. But times have changed. The PSOE over in Seville seems violently against residential tourism, with ever more hysterical threats to knock down foreign-owned homes across the province. The weak national leader of the group is also remembered for taking away our residence cards in exchange for passports and silly A4 papers from the National Police registry of Community Citizens... to be carried at all times. Rubalcaba, come to think of it, also stopped us from voting in 1995 in local elections (going against Felipe Gonzalez). Now, we talk of 'tourism as our only local industry' even though most of our hotels are shut and, evidently, the all-inclusive tourism organised for the plebs doesn't do any good to this area whatsoever. Next year, they'll find somewhere prepared to be even cheaper, and go there instead. All this, as a preamble to our local PSOE councillor Manuel Zamora, who has the good idea to try and stimulate our poor town, by offering a small drop in the rates to those enterprises who stay open all year long, rather than abandoning Mojácar outside of the 'tourist season'. A good idea which was not supported by the governing party in our ayuntamiento in the latest plenary meeting last week. Mojácar, with 8173 inhabitants, has 5026 foreigners: 61% British (there would be more if the Town Hall encouraged everyone to register on the padrón). Most of the population here is retired and, outside of the summer season, there's not much to do. We should do all we can to encourage our businesses to remain open throughout the year.
We were in the Ag/Fish office in Huercal Overa, transferring ownership of a horse. This, like anything involving paperwork here, takes hours. But it was pleasant enough, going through piles of documents, copying down things, ringing up people, consulting the computer, asking Marta in the room next door, checking on Google Earth (!) and generally justifying the wage of one of Andalucía's intrepid band of funcionarios, whose vital job is to interrupt any and all activities here. I'm not complaining of course (see last item). Rejoicing, really. Anyhow, it turned out that the horse was short of a paper (hence the 'don't ever buy or even take a gift horse here, unless all the papers are in order' from the paper-pusher). Made me think though, every animal across the autonomy with its 'chip', all in the computers, in the libro de explotaciones, on Google Earth, their transport papers, passport, photos and descriptions, ... and the same Junta de Andalucía never noticed 300,000 illegal homes being built (until the last cheque had been cleared). Not very likely, I reckon.
Protecting the State (from the Righteous Indignation of its Subjects)
Saturday 30 November 2013 - 05:53:47
The new law of Citizens Security, the usual don't blink at a policeman stuff found in collapsing right wing societies, with fines up to 30,000 euros and rules against disrespecting the Flag, State or Symbols, whether nationally, regionally or locally, has a few sillier bits tacked on the end, according to El Huff Post. These small-beer (up to 1000 euro fines) infractions include, pitching a tent in the street, playing football in the street, pointing a laser light at a policeman, to lose your ID three times in five years, and to join in a botellón (turns out, Rosmari was anticipating the Minister of the Interior on this one).
The Mojácar Town Hall is not known for embracing the foreigners with any sign of affection, regardless of the fact that we are now a majority in the town (5026 foreigners out of 8173 inhabitants)... and that all the money that circulates in Mojácar came originally, in one way or another, from elsewhere. The power in Mojácar remains resolutely in mojaquero hands. For better or worse. So, a campaign to honour a foreigner in the awards of the Golden Indalos, two are given at the Madrid FITUR travel fair by our tourist department (held in late January), was always going to prove interesting. Robert Jones (Bob) has been living in Mojácar for about 40 years, ran La Escalera in the village and is now enjoying his retirement, taking photos of views which often appear on the Spanish TV news weather forecast. A Facebook page with over 800 supporters has proposed Bob for the prize of one of the 2014 Indalos de Oro... and the Town Hall has apparently acquiesced. Enhorabuena Bob!
Another Nine British Homes under Threat of Demolition
Monday 25 November 2013 - 06:07:16
'The Superior Court of Justice of Andalucía (TSJA) has upheld an appeal by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport of the Junta de Andalucía and nullified the building licences granted by Zurgena Town Council (prov. of Almería) to Welcome Spanish Homes SL, for the construction of 9 houses in Llanos del Peral, Zurgena, currently owned and occupied by British ex-pats. The judgement (dated May 2013) states that there is no leave for ordinary appeal. The next legal step is usually the execution of the judgement which involves demolition proceedings'. Statement issued by the AUAN on November 25th. Wretched country.
Later: The AUAN sent out a second note: 'A series of judgements have been delivered over this year by the Superior Court of Justice of Andalucía (TSJA), which have upheld or declared the annulment of a series of building permits given to promoters which could represent more than 140 houses in a single town of the Valley of Almanzora (Zurgena). It would be no surprise to find that some if not all of these houses, have been acquired by European citizens. Such annulments ordinarily carry the risk of demolition on execution of the sentence but it appears that none of the affected homeowners took part in the proceedings. The key question is will they receive compensation or will they become the new Mr and Mrs Prior? Attached* are the pertinent sentences taken from the legal portal Aranzadi – they may have inaccuracies and should be checked with the Town Hall and the Junta. For its part AUAN is analysing the content to see if their members are affected. Wouldn’t it be nice if the State (the Junta and the central Government) would take the bull by the horns once and for all and put an end to this mess, which is causing such grave emotional and economic damage to so many. And again we call for urgent and necessary changes in the law.
*I'll send the links to anyone who asks... or check with AUAN - email@example.com or Maura Hillen Ph 661329919