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 email@example.com. I don't always answer or open attachments. *Rate The Entertainer Online at Typically SpanishRate Us
Hacienda today released some information about the World Asset Declaration. According to the only report I could find - Over 131,000 Spaniards admitted that they held property, accounts and investments abroad worth 87,700 million euros. As to whether many (or most) of those 'Spaniards' were in fact 'residentes extranjeros', we shall have to wait and see...
There's a story in today's Voz de Almería (and written up in the latest Business over Tapas) about the new formalities for renting an apartment out on short lets. These include having a professional cleaning company, being registered at the town hall, having a 'complaints book' and reporting your tenants' details to the police. No mention that I can see of having a misspelled 'This establishement has a complaits book at the customers convenience if he does so request it' sign on the wall, but better be safe and hang one up. This is all, by the way, at the insistence of the hoteliers, who, unlike you, have friends in high places.
The DGT, the traffic people, are working towards the ideal of half of all cars on the road to be under seven years old by 2016. There are two ways of doing this - one by buying new cars, the other, by removing old cars from the street. Either way, there'll be a lot of us taking the bus in the years ahead. Currently, the speed radars are informing those vehicle-owners whose ITV is out of date (there are 33,985 of them in Almería) who happen to pass by one of their controls. The DGT say that half of the almost 500,000 vehicles in the province are currently over nine years old. This is in part because it's a frigging nuisance putting them in baja. I have an old motorbike somewhere that I have to pay 6 euros a year in circulation tax. Neither the bike nor its papers exist. I am hardly going to spend the entire day in Tráfico in Almería trying to put the wretched thing in alta to then solemnly put it in baja... It would cost about teen years worth of taxes...
On July 13th, Gibraltar will have been in British hands for 300 years, thanks to the Treaty of Utrecht (it was actually 'taken' in 1704). I am sent a message from the 'Gibraltar - Español' brigade about a demonstration in front of 'the gates' on that day. I'm also told: 'More than 300 years ago Gibraltarian and Spanish citizens were invaded by troops supporting Archduke Charles in the war of succession. After capitulating and the promise that we would continue to be Spanish, we saw the greatest theft of history with the hoisting of the English flag at the hands of Rooke. Thus began our exodus, our diaspora and our humiliation as Spaniards. We demand as the only legitimate citizens of the town of Gibraltar, its decolonization and restitution as a courageous and proud city to the Kingdom of Spain'.
Another Magnificent Promotion (Man the Cash Registers, People, They're Coming!)
Sunday 19 May 2013 - 08:55:57
My, those people at the tourist department in the Diputación de Almería are busy. Yesterday, they were in London at the famous Potters Fields Park giving a presentation about Almería to a group of Spaniards who had been contacted on 'the social networks', as La Voz de Almería enthuses today. What a clever idea! Promoting Almería to Spaniards, tourists and expats alike, who are in London within striking distance of the famous Potters Fields Park. They gave out flyers, tee shirts, and the Spanish comedian Pepe Céspedes told a few racy jokes. I really can't improve on this news... Promoting Almería to Spaniards is silly enough, but in London? In Potters Fields Park (a place where, historically, they buried the unknown or unclaimed dead)?
The Government of the Principality of Asturias, as the central-north autonomy styles itself, has decided to drop 'Christmas' and 'Easter' school holidays, in favour of 'December Holidays' and 'Second Trimester Holidays'. It'll come as no surprise to find the region is run by the smellysocks. Imagine where we'd be if they were running the whole country with Rubalcaba as presidnit! At the same time, the National Government is moving religion firmly back into the syllabus, with the Education Minister José Ignacio Wert arguing that a dose of religion is good for the soul. Bit like Latin in my day. Wert has also ordered that schooling in Spanish should be made available for students who wish it in Catalonia. Most if not all children in the north-west of Spain are crippled for a brighter future by being obliged to take all schooling in 'català' (Also known as 'mallorquí' etc).
In a rare and exciting turnaround for Spanish justice, a bankster was sent down today for fraud. Miguel Blesa, who had been the director of Caja Madrid from 1996 to 2009, was locked up today due, in part, to him granting unsecured loans of 26 million euros to the failed Grupo Marsans travel company. He is also under investigation for the acquisition of the City National Bank of Florida by Caja Madrid in 2008, which may have cost as much as 500 million euros in losses to the Caja. Caja Madrid joined Bancaja and five other failed banks in 2012 as Bankia, which was awarded 23 billion euros of public funds to keep it going. Mind, another bankster, released from his obligations at the Banco de Santander recently, was given an 88 million euros handshake to go quietly...
Later: But wait, by Friday, Blesa was back out of jail having posted a bail of 2.5 million euros. The first senior banker to be imprisoned in Spain in twenty years, out after one night.
A fellow with an Indian accent just rang the house. Said our computer was infected and sending him messages and that he could fix it, just to check out, to go to a certain site. I said I didn't have a computer and he hung up. He's been ringing around locally in the area as another 'victim' tells me. A scam of course. But - easy enough for some person to get hoodwinked. What a world we live in!
The Spanish tourist authority is always harping on about the number of tourists who visit Spain and the amount of money they spend here. For example, a staggering 56.7 million tourists are said to have visited Spain spending an equally huge 52,795.7 million euros - almost 53 billion euros in 2011. No wonder the state spends a heavy budget on promotion. However, a study from the Instituto de Estudios Turísticos (IET) notes that around 46% of all the tourist money spent, stays in the country of origin. The taxes, the flight, the profits all stay at home; the hotel in Spain is paid little and late. The tourists as often as not, stay in the grounds of the hotel where, like the old Odeon cinemas, they make their money from the ice creams. So when the average daily spend of a tourist is figured at 101.9 euros, 47.1€ remained in their country of origin and 54.8€ ended up in Spain. Again, those foreigners who buy a house here, a car, furniture and so on, who are here all year long as 'Residential Tourists' (that's what they call us), who create local jobs and improve their surrounds; such people spend all their budgeted money in Spain bringing in equal amounts through their bank each and every month. Another reason to promote Spain as a residential destination, like southern Florida (but without the demolitions). Spain spends nothing on attracting this type of investor, who comes in search of a peaceful retirement. The problem is that he won't spend any time in the hotels, and thus is of no use to the hoteliers and tourist authorities, whose 'expertise' is employed in anything to do with the subject.
The AVE high-speed train that will whoosh through our quiet corner of Almería, stopping now and again at the Vera station to allow an elderly lady in black with her chicken to get off, has been put on the back-burner or worse, as the European Commission has decided that the Almeria-Murcia link is expensive and without much point. At least until 2020, Brussels says it won't put in any cash, and that Spain will have to go it alone on that stretch of line, which it is unlikely to do. The so-called European Corridor will connect Algeciras, via Granada, to Murcia and Cartagena. The port of Almería also loses out in favour of both Algeciras and Cartagena. David Jackson has more. So the money spent on the bit that goes through Turre and Alfaix, tunnels and straights, all pretty much wasted.