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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Nothing Happening Here. Move On Everybody
Saturday 31 January 2015 - 01:21:13
Mojacar Population, according to the INE (from information supplied by the Town Hall padrón).
2012: 8,173 inhabitants
2013: 8,360 inhabitants
2014: 6,838 inhabitants
Goodness gracious, we seem to have lost 1500 inhabitants in an election year, that's just under 20% of our entire population!

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About Local Politics - and Why We Should Participate
Wednesday 28 January 2015 - 21:50:11
I went along to a small meeting of Ganemos - Mojácar's new political group - yesterday. In reality, it is a coalition of various parties and groups from Mojácar, all apparently prepared to leave aside ideology for a strictly municipalist politic: fix the roads, paint the walls and trim the trees. Clearly, there is much more than this, with plans to involve the foreigners living in Mojácar more and a strict no-corruption meme which sounds like it could come from Podemos. Jessica Simpson is the leader and, while still in her thirties, is experienced in local politics with four years service as a councillor in the Town Hall as chief of Mojácar Positiva Se Mueve. Jessica is British but has lived in Mojácar for 27 years. She has a Spanish husband and two children going through the local school system.

Jessica has worked together with the organisers of MACS (Mojácar Area Cancer Support) to present 'The Big MAC' charity event this Sunday 1st February at the Puerto Marina Hotel (just past the Hotel Indalo) from 12.00 noon.
'A huge charity event for MACS, a fun Day of Entertainment for all the Family! More than 16 Local artists will provide a Variety of Fantastic Music to Dance, sing along & Rock to. An eight-hour party starting at 12 noon, with a variety of food & drink, a huge Tombola & craft stalls selling hand made goods. There will also be a monitored Children's play area with fun and games.
ALL proceeds from the food, drink, tombola and entrance fee (adults 5€, children free), will be donated to MACS
'.

Perhaps you will see her there.

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The Election Year: First Up - Andalucía on March 22nd.
Sunday 25 January 2015 - 19:30:10
Following on from the last post below, the President of Andalucía, Susana Díaz, has called for snap elections in the region for March 22nd. This after the ruling PSOE fell out with its junior coalition partner the IU and, no doubt, before the new rival Podemos can extend its grip on the region.
We now have various elections this year, including the municipal elections on 24th May. EU citizens and certain others, resident in Spain, may vote (although Mojácar seems to be a bit unclear).
Other elections:
Autonomous Elections – 24th May (Except Andalucía, Catalonia, Galicia and Euzkadi).
Catalonian Elections – 27th September.
Finally, National Elections – Between 20th November and 20th December (probably).

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Unemployment and Susana Díaz
Friday 23 January 2015 - 01:02:32
'unemployment' is a sticky subject in Spain, and there are two completely different agencies, with two utterly different conclusions (provided by teams of diligent public bean-counters) who supply the information. Furthermore, while the number of unemployed has come down, so, apparently, has the number of hours worked, thanks to part-employment and other clever tactics from the 'patronal'. So, yesterday's EPA (La Encuesta de Población Activa) figures show that Andalucía has an unemployment rate, as of Dec 31 2014, of 34.2%. Nationally, it's at a still scandalous 23.7%.
Almería itself enjoys a level of unemployment of 35.7%! It was 36.2% at the end of 2013. Cádiz is still ahead in the Regional Stakes at a heady 42.3%! Málaga is the best Andalucian province at just 30.9%. Madre mía.
So, Andalucía, with lots of people with lots of spare time, perhaps. In reality, many have left, with South Americans going home, Spaniards searching for work in Northern Europe and Britons being - for whichever reason - carved off the padrón.
The President of Andalucía is Susana Díaz, a pleasant looking blond and career-politician from (inevitably) Seville. She was granted the job by her predecessor Juan Antonio Griñán without the formality of an election, but is nevertheless very popular with PSOE supporters and is tipped as the future leader of the Party as the current leader (and Mojácar home-owner) Pedro Sánchez falters in party support. Susana, now three months pregnant, is planning - apparently - on calling a snap election in Andalucía, possibly as early as March, to keep the PSOE-hold on the Region against the future threat of the newcomer party Podemos. The PSOE partner in the Junta de Andalucía is the IU, and relations are beginning to sour.
So, the issues in our region: unemployment, a collapsing government, a pregnancy and the threat of Podemos. Plus, perhaps, the worry: Will Susana (she'll no doubt win these elections) then remove herself to Madrid to lead the PSOE nationwide...? and, then again, we wonder: who will she then appoint for the leadership of Andalucía?



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Gerrymandering in Mojácar
Thursday 22 January 2015 - 01:27:02
An interesting, if somewhat tardy proclamation from the Mayoress of Mojácar appears in this week's Weenie on Page Seven: 'All non-Spanish nationals registered in this municipality are required to confirm their residence to remain enrolled on the Municipal Register'. The Notice continues with a review of the laws regarding foreign devils and then returns with this: 'These confirmations of continued residence are very important to all non-Spanish citizens of Mojácar, since if it is not done, the Mojácar Town Hall has the duty to remove them from the Municipal Padrón'.
No mention of the parallel removal of your name from the voting register and, if you return to the fold, then - will your voting rights be immediately re-instated, or will you have to wait six months (as the law requires)?
The municipal elections in Spain will be held in five months time, on May 24th. How many of us will, ahh, not be voting?

Later: Emilio is the contact in the Town Hall for registering. He says that there will be an opportunity to check if you can vote as the electoral lists are posted in the Town Hall a month before elections.

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The AUAN Goes Political to Solve the Problems of 'Illegal Homes'
Monday 19 January 2015 - 13:06:02
There are not so many foreign politicians in our Town Halls that a new one doesn't raise an eyebrow - especially when it is the President of the AUAN, the association that fights to protect foreign-owned homes from summary demolition by the Junta de Andalucía. The news today is that Maura Hillen is to stand as an Independent 'Number Two' on the PSOE list of Mayor Rogelio Mena in Albox, a town with severe 'illegal homes' issues. These homes, as Mena will tell you, were given the green light by the previous town hall, run by the PP.
Maura, who says that the AUAN remains as an association 'above politics', has joined the proposed PSOE list for Albox (local elections are on May 24th) since, in her opinion, the PSOE has made much more effort to resolve these problems than other groups.
She may be right on this, as things in Spain always need political muscle to move forward.

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New Traffic Signs in the Almerian Levante
Thursday 15 January 2015 - 11:06:17
There are a lot of new triangular traffic signs around in our area, apparently warning of deer crossing the road. They must have been put up at the insistence of the ecologists. But wait, there aren't any deer around this area, and if there were, the ecologists would be screeching about 'invasive species'. Perhaps they aren't for the deer, since we don't have any – or then again, perhaps we have! Has the Tourist Department brought them in to improve our rather uninhabited hills and plains, make them a bit more interesting for tourists? They are very barren after all, with just a few weeds and scorpions at the moment. Some photo opportunity could bring fresh visitors to the area and we could add stewed venison to our ajo colorao. But what about... maybe the Junta de Andalucía raised the signs, to justify not allowing the British to build their houses in the province (bringing in foreign exchange and creating jobs). After all, it's an important nature reserve, like the Kruger National Park. But you know, perhaps these traffic signs are a useful service to drivers, and they are not the silhouette of deer on the signs, but simply rather badly-drawn tourists. That might make sense. No, that can't be the answer, not now, when there aren't any tourists around either. So, back to where we started: if they were placed, at tax-payers expense, by the ecologists, maybe they should be culled (the deer, I mean, not the ecologists. Heh. Oh, wait a moment...).
I was told that the signs about the deer, which are everywhere, aren't for the deer, since there aren't any, but for the wild boar.
And, Best Beloved, they are much harder to draw.

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The Spirit of the Blitz. Seven Years in a Garage
Friday 09 January 2015 - 03:52:39
Helen and Len Prior lost their home in Vera to politics seven years ago today. The PSOE Junta de Andalucía demolished their house (apparently to spite the Partido Andalucista-run town hall) on January 9th 2008 and have always refused any guilt or obligation over the infamous act. The foreign media still talk about this although the Spanish media never do. In consequence, Almería has lost billions of euros and many jobs (the unemployment in the Almanzora Valley, the spiritual home of 'illegal houses', is said to be at 70%. The province as a whole is at 36%).
Like something from the Spirit of the London Blitz, the Priors have lived ever since in their garage, which escaped demolition.
For seven long years.

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News for Foreign Home-owners in Spain
Wednesday 07 January 2015 - 10:26:40
'While the majority of the traditional media complain about the cost for their transition over to digital, some editors have already realized that there are tools whose efficiency is demonstrated within the reach of everyone. The news-letter arriving as an email to subscribers gets good traffic and, above all, creates a community of loyal readers. The editor of the news-letter chooses the news which will interest his readers, thus saving them valuable time'. Found at Media-Tics.
Business over Tapas - the weekly news-letter for foreign home-owners in Spain.

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Almería: Low Wages, High Taxes
Saturday 03 January 2015 - 05:30:27
According to La Voz de Almería and quoting numbers from Kelisto, the province of Almería gets about the worst wages (those with a job, of course), the highest unemployment and the highest municipal taxes in Spain. The average wage of those who work here is 21,290€ per annum (compare Madrid at 25,720€) making the province 49th in the statistics. Unemployment here is 'over thirty per cent', says La Voz primly (actually, it's at 37.5% as of September 2014) and the IBI for Almería City is the 4th highest in Spain. Mojácar's rate, by the way, makes it in the top one percent. The province also enjoys a place in the Top Ten for petrol prices...
At least, the sunshine is free (it is, right?).

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