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One of the many squatter villages (chabolas) across El Ejido, Almeria

Junta decides to teach homeless immigrants about “homosexual reality in modern society”

The Junta de Andalucia has provided €68,000 to teach homeless immigrants across Almería about “the reality of homosexuality in modern society”. Emilio de Llera, Andalucian Minister for Justice, said that the programme aimed to “teach the immigrant community about the realities of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual communities”. One assumes that if you’re an illegal immigrant living in a squat behind the El Ejido greenhouses, homophobia isn’t the first of your many concerns, but[...]

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Zaragoza FC admits match fixing

Footballer Gabi Fernández has confessed to police that Zaragoza FC paid Levante FC players over a million euros in 2011 to throw a critical match, thus avoiding relegation. The scandal has shocked Spanish football, as the 2011 Zaragoza – Levante match is well remembered for Gabi’s amazing two goals that saved the day, and turned the fortunes of Zaragoza FC around that year. Gabi also got transferred to Atlético de Madrid on the back of[...]

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Home being demolished in Albanchez

Albox ordered to pay “moral compensation” to illegal home owners

Four British families who saw their dream homes in Albox ruined have been partially compensated today after Penal Court Nº2 of Almería ordered Albox townhall to pay a total of 142.800€ to them. The court said that Albox townhall was the legal co-respondent in the case, along with the builders, as they did nothing to stop the illegal builds, issued local building permits and “granted an air of legality to the scam which otherwise would[...]

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John Lennon in Tabernas relaxing during the shoot

Paul McCartney to play Almería? The Mayor is hoping so!

The Mayor of Almería has admitted his office is working on bringing Paul McCartney to Almería in 2016 to celebrate the 50 years since John Lennon came to film here. “With patience and good planning anything can be achieved” said Mayor Rodrigo during an interview on local radio, confessing that a plan is being drawn up. He refused to say if his office had held any talks with the singer about the possibility. Paul has[...]

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Municipal Dog Pound closed after environmental police damming report

The municipal dog pound of Velez Rubio has been “urgently” closed by the Mayor after a spot inspection by Seprona, the environmental police, found “appalling and inhumane” conditions at the place. Seprona has filed a criminal complaint against the town for the condition of the pound. Dogs were found to be ill treated, starving, dead and rotting animals in pens, some of which were being eaten by other starving dogs, and an abundance of parasitic[...]

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Foetus discovered onboard Almeria – Barcelona bus

A human foetus was discovered yesterday evening onboard the Almería – Barcelona bus. This 15 hour bus trip has dozens of stops along the way, but the foetus wasn’t discovered until the bus went into Almería bus station at the end of the trip for a clean. It was discovered in the onboard toilet. The foetus has been taken to the city morgue for an autopsy to try to discover in how many weeks of[...]

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hospital inmaculada huercal

Huercal Overa hospital sees all its surgeries closed – for good?

It seems that Huercal Overa Hospital is being turned into nothing more than a massive ward, as it hasn’t performed any surgeries for the last three months; and surgeons aren’t expected to return for the rest of this year. The PP have tabled a question in the regional parliament asking if the Andaluz Health Service intends to reopen the surgeries, which have been closed over the summer, in the new year, but no response has[...]

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Queen of spain letizia of asturias

Queen of Spain’s family face debtors prison as they go bankruptcy over a 22,600€ debt

The father, aunt and grandmother of Queen Letizia of Spain are looking at jail time after being accused of hiding assets during a bankruptcy proceeding. Jesús Ortiz Álvarez, Henar Ortiz Álvarez & María del Carmen Álvarez del Valle all owned a cooperative called ‘Henarmonía, S.C.’. This company was driven into bankruptcy in 2009 after one Sandra María, owed 22.600,73€, took legal proceedings to recover her money. Anyway, the three declared bankruptcy to avoid paying the[...]

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Film about local English Professor goes to the Oscars

I’ve written before about Professor Juan Carrión, an English language professor from the 60’s who was not only mad on the Beatles, but developed an innovative way of teaching his students English by using the lyrics from Beatles songs. And when Lennon was in Almería filming, he came down from Cartagena to pester him. Read his story here: Beatlemania in Almeria at the John Lennon forever festival. Anyway, a Spanish film director made a film[...]

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Here’s why Spanish GDP is rising – they’ve included illegal activities!

How to quickly make the national economy appear to be improving ahead of an election? Why, fiddle the figures of course. In this case, Rajoy’s government has decided that to improve the PIB (the gross domestic product, GDP) of Spain, they’re going to included guesstimates of illegal drug sales and prostitution. They’re also going to include spending on R&D, something that normally isn’t included. In all, the illegal activities bit bump up the Spanish PIB[...]

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Con of the week on Amazon

Con of the week on Amazon

Whilst browsing ugly trousers on Amazon BuyVip España, I cam across the above item. The price column says they were 99.95€, reduced to 49.95€. The description on the left has the little disclaimer that the previous sale price was 39,95€, or 10€ less than the current offer price!

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mojacar 1

Mojácar gets a new town plan PGOU

A new town plan for Mojácar has been rushed through the last council meeting, which meant opposition councillors only had a week to study it before having to vote aye or nay. The current townplan dates from 1987 (27 years old!) so a few extra weeks wouldn’t have mattered. You can download the whole plan from here. (In the process, as Manuel Zamora pointed out, they didn’t have time to work out which councillor was[...]

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albox illegal home

98 British owned homes in Albox sent to be demolished by prosecutors

Ignoring all the Junta de Andalucia nonsense about restoring the statue of limitations for illegal builds – the worst possible legal solution there is – the public prosecutor has announced it will file a court case seeking to demolish 98 mainly British owned homes in Albox. The homes form two urbanisations, ‘El Romeral-La Aljambra’, and were built between 2004 and 2006. The brothers who owned the building firm responsible for the constructions -their names are[...]

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Britain To remove winter fuel allowance for expats in Spain

From the Times today: British pensioners living abroad in countries warmer than the UK received more than £16 million in winter fuel payments last year, according to official figures. The payments, of up to £300 a year tax-free, are intended to help the elderly with heating bills. However, more than £8 million was sent to pensioners living in Spain, £5 million to those in France, £1.4 million to those in Cyprus and £579,000 to those[...]

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Gallardon alberto

Vultures circle justice minister after his abortion law fiasco

The leader of the PSOE has joined the general cat calling against justice minister Gallardón and demanded his resignation / firing, saying that Spain has lost confidence in him, and that the minister has lost the support of his colleagues. Alberto Gallardón was hard hit last week when Rajoy decided to shelve his abortion law reform. As the main proponent and backer and writer of the new law, as well as the unofficial leader of[...]

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prince froilan borbon

Prince Froilán set to repeat 2º of ESO for the third time

Despite attending a prestigious Spanish private school, despite being privately tutored six hours a day over the summer at an estimated cost of 1.540€ a month, despite his mother being the only member of the Royal Family with a Profession (she’s a primary school teacher, speciality English language) the 16 year old fourth in line to the Spanish Throne is set to repeat with the other 13 years old in 2º de ESO for the[...]

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Arnold Schwarzenegger cohen the barbarian

Arnold Schwarzenegger comes back to Almería and new Cohen film here

Arnold Schwarzenegger is coming to Almería this 28th of September to accept a honorific prize presented to him by the Almeria film festival, and to unveil a Hollywood-esque star put into the Almería pavement for him. He was last here 33 years ago, when he filmed Cohen the barbarian here. The Hollywood pavement star is being put into the grandiosely named Paseo de las Estrellas de la Ciudad de Almeria. I’d never heard of the[...]

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andalucian parliament

Andalucia tells Israel to get out of Palestine and honour its international commitments

Resolution nº33 of the Andalusian Parliament after the Debate on the State of the Region, published today: The Andalusian Parliament, in coherence with the expressed in the Institutional Declaration 9-14/DI-000007, on the Palestinian People, approved in session of the Permanent Deputation of the Andalusian Parliament on the 23rd of July 2014, with the motive of the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, urge our governing body to urge our Central Government of the[...]

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Airlines win the right to charge for luggage

So, some armchair lawyer in Galicia in 2010 spotted that under Spanish law, it was illegal for airlines to charge for luggage. A ticket of transport was supposed to cover person and reasonable luggage. This didn’t go down well with Vueling, who refused to allow him to check his bag for free. He complained to trading standards in Galicia, and they eventually fined Vueling €3000. Vueling appealed under EU law, and the courts in A[...]

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Junta gives 475.000€ to the needy

The Junta de Andalucia has thrown a few coppers to the poor – 475.000€ is being spent on 1.371 families who have kids they can’t afford to feed. Or, about 346€ each. I hope those kids aren’t fat. Anyway, the money is only going to towns with more than 20.000 residents and is 9% more than last year. Hey, did I tell you that the politicians who are still running Andalucia are so far known[...]

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Cajamar, a flipping useless bank which takes delight in trapping the unwary

Cajamar appears to a have an official policy of putting little traps in the path of the unwary financial traveller. For example, I recently signed a zero commission agreement with them for cheques. Everytime I pay a cheque into the company account, they used to charge €1, but this got rid of it. Fair enough. But, they keep taking the €1 out of the account for each cheque, and returning it a week later or[...]

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061 ebola medic hospital isolation

Torrecardenas Hospital in lockdown against suspected Ebola case

A suspected Ebola case has activated the isolation unit at Torrecardenas Hospital. A 36 year old man returned from his native Guinea with a high fever, and visited his GP in Roquetas del Mar yesterday. The doctor immediately suspected Ebola and activated the emergency protocol. A prepared ambulance then rushed the man to Torrecardenas, the only hospital in the province with an isolation wing. Only trained doctors wearing disposable isolation suits have access to the[...]

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Sailing club open day next weekend in Garrucha

The Santa Irene sailing club is holding an open day in Garrucha next Saturday 27th September. 11am to 3pm. It’s a joint open day & selling off some old tubs, and they hope to attract some new members. Joint English and Spanish, I understand, as they have members from both communities, and hold sailing lessons for amateurs and kids. See more at (The gratuitous picture of a sub emerging amongst a kiddie sailing regetta[...]

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libertad statue in fines

Fines builds worlds’ largest marble statue

Fines, a tiny marble quarrying village up in the mountains, has built the worlds largest marble statue hewed from a single block of marble. The statue, called “Liberty” (Libertad) is dedicated to all female victims of domestic violence and is dedicated to Rosa Galera, a local woman beaten to death by her husband in the village three years ago. The four metre statue has been made by sculptor Roberto Manzano and is being sited at[...]

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Rajoy tells Scotland to feck off

Rajoy said this morning that he, and any future Spanish government, would ensure that Scotland would never enter the EU. He’s got nothing against Scotland per se, I assume, but he’s sending a clear message to Catalan nationalists that they mustn’t, God forbid, actually assume Spain is a democracy or anything similar. “Independence of these small regions” he pontified in Congress, “brings only poverty, and these breakaway regions threaten to torpedo the European project”. He[...]

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Margaret Thatcher gets her own square in Madrid

Spain has always (quite rightly) had an admiration for the Iron Lady, and now she has been honoured with a new square named after her, right in the centre of Madrid. Plaza Margaret Thatcher is just off the Paseo de la Castellana, behind Plaza de Colón, a newly built square on some reclaimed land by the townhall. Ana Botella (Mayor of Madrid) and Esperanza Aguirre (Madrid PP party president, and the closest thing Spain has[...]

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Spanish football clubs owe 564 million euros in unpaid tax

And Hacienda is going after them. La Liga, the organisation that represents football clubs, earlier this week released a statement saying that its members had paid 165 million euros this year towards unpaid back tax, but Hacienda has now released a counter statement saying they’ve only paid 99 million euros so far, and they still owe 564 million. That’s excluding the football clubs in Pais Vasco and Navarro, as those regions control their own tax[...]

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Articles about the area (click archive for more)

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  • Garrucha abandoned warehouse

    The abandoned warehouse outside Garrucha

    We’ve all seen the old abandoned warehouse, stuck in the middle of a flat field outside Garrucha as we enter from the Los Gallardos road. Many of us will have wondered why? wherefore? and how? as we speed past this old, well built yet abandoned and now falling apart sign to a past dream. This… is the dream that was. Many years ago, around the 80’s, two brothers had a dream. A dream of fish.[...]

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    Villaricos - the area as zoned by the Phoenicians

    Phoenician village excavated in Villaricos and now open to the public

    A Phoenician village dating from around 800 BCE has been excavated by archaeologists and is now open to visits from the public in Villaricos. Cuevas townhall and the Junta de Andalucía have been working together to make the area safe for visitors and it was opened this week. [Adsense-C] It’s located by the mouth of the Almanzora river. The area is believed to have been inhabited since the Copper Age, but under the Phoenicians it[...]

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  • 90583_64478_Pegatina-informativa-de-la-nueva-aplicacion_G

    Mojacar launches smartphone app

    Mojacar townhall has launched a virtual tour office for your smartphone. With it, you can gets historical information, tourist guides and snippets of information as you wander about the place. You can also scan the fancy new QR codes that have been put up on signs at interesting points, and that will instruct your phone to download an audioguide to explain what you’re looking at. Get it from Google play, the Apple market or scan[...]

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    The Ermita Virgen de la Cabeza on top of the Cabezo Maria volcano.

    The Cabezo Maria hermitage in Antas

    It’s the famous hermitage you can see on top of the hill outside Antas from miles around. The hill is actually the remains of the central lava column of an ancient volcano. The rest of the volcano has eroded away, leaving only the central lava spike, on top of which a shrine was erected. The lava flow from this hill can actually be traced all the way down to the sea – it can appears[...]

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  • Cunning. Not true, but a cunning ploy

    Why do the Continentals cross their sevens?

    You’ll have noticed that the Spanish cross their 7’s whilst the Anglos don’t. Why is that? I was looking this up. One (Spanish) explanation says it comes down from Biblical times, and the theory is quite cunning: When Moses came down from the mountain with the 10 Commandants, he read them aloud to the assembled masses. One, you shall love God above all. And the masses cheered. Two, you shall not take God’s name in[...]

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    presidents of spain

    Who was Adolfo Suárez?

    Spain is in mourning for Adolfo Suárez, the first democratic President of Spain, who died on Sunday. But, who was he, and why have most people never heard of him? His tale is a interesting and intriguing one – for most Spaniards associate him with the hope that followed the death of the military dictator Franco, when anything seemed possible, and before they became disillusioned with their politicians. Adolfo was, together with King Juan Carlos,[...]

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  • Strong and powerful, as a King should be

    Things we didn’t know: King of Spain is also King of Jerusalem

    A useful bit of trivia for your next pub quiz: King Juan Carlos also happens to be the King of Jerusalem, although I don’t know if anyone has told the Israelis. His Majesty Juan Carlos the First, By the Grace of God, the King of Spain, King of Castile, of León, of Aragon, of the Two Sicilies, of Jerusalem, of Navarre, of Granada, of Seville, of Toledo, of Valencia, of Galicia, of Sardinia, of Córdoba,[...]

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    The abandoned hotel between the AVE and the Rambla in Los Gallardos

    This vast building is just another abandoned relic from Spains past. Another notch on the coffin of its economic dream, another testimony to past folly. I’m told that it was built by a Catalan couple who had inherited the land from ancestors who passed away in Los Gallardos, although nobody seems to know them personally. Possibly he was an architect. Others say he was a builder. What does seem certain is that the promoter of[...]

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  • Desempleados-hacen-cola-a-la-entrada-de-una-oficina-de-empleo-

    Good employment news is just a political smokescreen

    Lies and mirrors is all we are seeing with the “good news” about the unemployment figures in Spain this Christmas. Lets look at the figures: 107.570 people fewer on the SEPE list during December, which means people who are on the dole or whose dole has ended, but are actively inscribed on the government “looking for work list”. But since nobody bothers to register on the SEPE once their dole has ended (you have to[...]

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    Important changes to IVA invoices as from next year – the cash basis IVA scheme

    In September 2013 a new tax law was introduced in Spain which changes the way businesses can claim back IVA (VAT) on invoices issued and pending. The law is known as Ley 14/2013, de 27 de septiembre, de apoyo a los emprendedores y su internacionalización (Law 14/2013 of 27 September, support for entrepreneurs and internationalization), whose importance I believe may be of interest. In short, the new system allows those businesses that have registered under[...]

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  • los gallardos church

    The birth of Los Gallardos – 1924 to 1927

    My latest history pamphlet is out! Just in time for the 90th anniversary of Los Gallardos. In 1924 a small village called Los Gallardos broke away from its mountain neighbour of Bedar and formed an independent new village in Almeria, southern Spain. This is the story of these first steps of an independent and proud village that was only founded 50 years before independence. Here I investigate how independence came about, the key first steps[...]

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    IU-Andalucia wants to expropriate land not used for 2 years and give it to the poor

    The IU, the communist coalition partners of the PSOE in the Andalucian government, have proposed a new law that will allow for the expropriation of any “productive land which has not been used for its assigned social function” during the last two years. Such land, explains the proposed law, would be that should be dedicated to productive uses such as forestry, farm or ranching land. Or, indeed, my back garden. As a cited example by the IU, they[...]

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