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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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Russian embargo sinks fruit prices, but supermarkets take the profits

The Russian embargo on local fruit and veg has caused a massive surplus to enter the Spanish market, forcing prices down, but prices in the supermarkets aren’t shifting. Meaning the supermarkets are coining it in whilst the farmers are going to wall, according to farmers union COAG. They have released some prices to show the difference, from last week: It’s the shops what profit! A kilo of potatoes was being sold at source at an[...]

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Almirante Juan de Borbon with USS George W Bush

Major NATO op off Almería next month

Get ready to see some spectacular warships sailing around the Albaran sea, as NATO comes to town next month in operation Noble Mariner 2014. A dozen NATO countries are sending warships, marines and troops for the largest NATO sea drill of the year. It takes place off Cádiz and Almería. As host country, the operation is under control of Spanish frigate Almirante Juan de Borbón. The operation is training for the NATO rapid response force,[...]

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Flash flood sensors to be installed across Levante

12 flash flood sensors – advanced automated met metering stations – will be installed in flash flood prone rivers across the Levante and the North of the province to give advance warning of events like the Vera Playa flood. The system is being installed and maintained by the Confederación Hidrográfica del Segura (CHS), the government agency in charge of water supplies for the rio Segura water area (Murcia). We don’t actually fall under their remit,[...]

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Malaspina navy mapping ship

Spanish Navy mapping Almerias’ seabed ahead of maneouvers in Vera

The entire Hydrographic  Flotilla of the Spanish Navy (3 ships and an escort) are off the coasts of Almería updating their charts of the seabed. They’ll be there for up to a month. There are also a number of smaller launches mapping inlets and river mouths. The Malaspina (pictured above) is mapping depths between Almeria and Murcia. The Antares is mapping the seabed between Almería and Motril. And the Tofiño is mapping the Alboran sea between[...]

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Mojacar lift “a scam, a waste of money, a white elephant”

Well, duh. Anyway, the PSOE in Mojacar have filed an official complaint about Mojácar’s new lift, which doesn’t actually work. It keeps breaking down, it’s capacity had to be reduced from 13 occupants to 9, and a young chap in a hat has been employed to prevent any more than 9 people getting on at a time. I’ve been on it a couple of times, it’s quite exciting. The risk of being locked in there[...]

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Andalucian tax minister stole 33 million via false training contracts he authorised

Ángel Ojeda, who used to be Minister for taxation in the Junta de Andalucia, has been charged with defrauding some €33.309.789,16 (don’t forget the 16 cents!) by approving grants to his own companies for training and employment purposes. He never, it seems, trained or employed anyone. The grants were issued between August 2009 and December 2013, and the scam was uncovered by Judge Alaya’s investigation. It’s sordid reading, find the whole story here.

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Spain drops abortion reform law

The controversial abortion law that would have sent Spain back to the days of Franco has been dropped. PM Rajoy’s office has admitted that due to lack of internal consensus it’s unlikely to be passed in this legislature and can be considered shelved. It’s a humiliating blow to the extreme conservative wing of the PP, under Justice Minister Alberto Gallardon (he used to be Mayor of Madrid), but Spain has united in defence of women’s[...]

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Gravedigger in trouble after selfie with corpse

A gravedigger in Guardamar del Segura (Murcia) has been suspended after he took a selfie with a mummified corpse and put it on Facebook. Clemente was opening a family tomb when he discovered that a 23 year corpse in the pantheon had mummified, instead of, ahem, decomposing. That’s the trouble with this above ground internment in a desert area… Anyway, Clement, along with a unidentified man, pulled the mummy out, propped him up and took[...]

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Anger over rubbish English on Almeria city signs

There’s been some outrage about the new city tourism information signs installed across Almería, which use a rather substandard quality of English. Some signs have pretty basic spelling mistakes – “Chatedral” will eventually take you to the Cathedral. moorish fortress is another unpopular one. The authorities also haven’t bothered to be consistent in naming landmarks and historic buildings, meaning anybody trying to find a place from a guidebook would be hopelessly lost. For example, the[...]

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280 kilo pumpkin in Tijola!!!

Stuff the corruption, this is the sort thing we need more of : a chap called Antonio Navarro has grown a 280 kilo pumpkin in Tíjola. It’s on display (until it goes off) in Restaurante El Paso in Tíjola if you want to go and see it. The owner of El Paso, Antonio Encinas, says that it came from a seed from a pumpkin that weighed 90 kilos, grown last year. The two Antonios are[...]

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Shoe Box full of Money

Senior Junta politician cracks under police pressure and admits 270 million euro theft

The sheer amount of money stolen by the Andalucian politicians over the last decade is immense. So far, we’re talking billions of euros, mainly of EU cash. Nobody seems to care very much, but it is a fairly enormous scandal. Basically, for every euro the EU sent Andalucia over the last 20 years or so, the politicians seem to have happily, and with no real comeback, pocketed whatever percentage they wanted to. Anyway, Carlos Cañavate,[...]

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AVE back on – Pulpí to Cuevas line to be contracted out in October!

The government announced this morning in the Senate that an 86 million euro tender to build a further 12,2 km stretch of AVE high speed railway between Pulpí and Cuevas del Almanzora will be issued in October. It’s pure propaganda ahead of next years elections, but welcome none the less, I suppose. The Almeria – Murcia line is divided up into many different section. The Cabrera tunnel section is finished, as is the Sorbas –[...]

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45 air staff court martialled for pretending to move home

A fun little court martial is underway of 45 members of the Air Ministry. The naughty little airmen had been filing fake expenses for pretending to move home, and pocketing the cash. They got up to 4,000€ a piece. Lieutenant David Hernández Calet was the ringleader, and used his position in the admin staff to sign off on the fake expenses, in exchange for a 25% cut. An Air Commander, 20 Capitans, 18 Lieutenants and[...]

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CASI cooperative finds President has been dipping into the till

CASI, the massive farmers cooperative, has announced legal actions against their (now ex-) president José María Andújar after they discovered he’d been dipping into the till. The scandal started earlier this year when a number of cooperative members voiced suspicion about the multi million accounts of the cooperative. He retaliated by launching disciplinary measures against any member who dared voice complaint. There are also complaints about his “criminal mishandling” of fruit and veg that goes[...]

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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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