Thursday, 22 March 2018

The End of the Affair

The Diario de Almería has printed an article saying that the new phase of the grotesque Mojácar sea-wall (the 'paseo maritimo' with its pavement, its bicycle path, its gardens and wall) has now got the approval of the authorities. The paseo maritimo will therefore be extended from its current terminus at the Red Cross along the sea as far as the Maui beach-bar.
Since the road is narrow near the Maui, an area where the Patio, Aku Aku, El Cid and a couple of others are located, the new six-metre wide construction, elevated for protection from the Sea-Gods, will needfully go through the area currently occupied by the chiringuitos, leaving them with half or less of their current space.
They will not survive.
The cost of this abomination is three million euros. The town hall claims it doesn't have enough in its budget to finish the new ayuntamiento under the mirador in the village (the real reason being, of course, the so-far unnoticed and highly intrusive head to the lift shaft), but it can merrily shell out for the sea-wall which is proposed not for residents, but for the tourists. The mayoress says "it is well proven, a sea-wall is a necessity for any coastal tourist municipality. Due to the experience gathered from our already built stretches, it establishes adequate accessibility to the sea shore, providing the beaches with showers, drainage, sanitation, public lighting, street furniture, gardening and playground services. In short, it creates an essential framework for tourism".
The Maui and all have very little sand as it is. Now they will not even be able to see the sand with the sea-wall interrupting the view. where will the beach beds go (don't the tourists use beach beds?).
While Costacabana, the resort outside Almería which has no beach-bars (nothing is perfect) has recently built eight piers to attract both sand, bathers and fishermen, in Mojácar we don't want these things for some reason.
And all this for a cycle path which no one uses.
And what of the next stage (it will take the terrace of the Trufi, according to the owners)? Will it perforate the Pirata, the Cava and the Dolce Vita? Should they be demolished? What
do the tourists want?
The point of removing as many foreign-owned or foreign-run businesses is obvious. 
Work for the paseo maritimo is to begin this year, says the newspaper.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Spaniards Abroad

While nobody has any idea about how many European foreigners live in Spain (the number is based exclusively on the town hall registries known as el padrón), the number of Spaniards living abroad is also something of a guess. But here, there's no such thing as guesswork. Thus, there are apparently 2,482,808 Spaniards resident outside Spain (according to the bean-counters over at the INE), 3.2% up from a year ago (numbers for January 1st). One has to ask – how much does the Spanish National Statistics Institute cost the tax-payer? Anyhow, quibbles aside, El Huff Post has the information here.  The reality is that a number of these ‘Spaniards’ are in reality children or even grandchildren of Spanish settlers abroad – and many of these have never set foot in Spain in their life.  

20 Minutos, on the same subject (and clearly not admirers of the INE), says there are one million more españoles living outside Spain than there were before the ‘crisis’ began. 

The number of Spaniards currently living in the UK ‘has grown despite Brexit fears’ by (we are told) 10.5%  (the INE again) over the past year to stand today at anywhere between 75,500 and double this figure says El Ibérico here – or to some 200,000 if you prefer El País here).
A popular weekly TV program on Spaniards who live in out-of-the-way places is called Españoles en el Mundo. You can find it here.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Spain's Likely Next President

Perhaps it is time to know a little more about Ciudadanos (their webpage here) and their leader (and probably Spain’s next president) 38-year-old Albert Rivera (Wiki). As we have seen with the recent Women’s Strike, Albert is a fast learner. His party had said just before the event that they would not support the protest as ‘it was anti-Capitalist’. Only a few days later, Ciudadanos billed itself as ‘delighted to lead the feminist debate’.
Like many modern Spanish politicians, Rivera speaks reasonable English (video here). In the video, shot during a meeting by the European liberals ALDE (Ciudadanos is a member), Rivera comes across as pro-European and he is supported by Emmanuel Macron. A recent piece from Spiegel reports that Macron ‘...has begun putting together a network of pro-European powers. En Marche!, for example, has established contact with Ciudadanos, the liberal party in Spain that is currently leading in the polls. And party leader Albert Rivera looks a lot like a Macron clone: a young and handsome economic liberal...’.
Albert Rivera is certainly (and demonstrably) a unionist in Spanish terms, despite being born and raised in Barcelona. Indeed, his anti-Independence stand is bringing him popularity across Spain (in Catalonia, the largest party in the recent regional elections is Ciudadanos). As to Ciudadanos being a liberal democrat party, it is generally seen as behaving rather more like a conservative one (Politico: ‘All-out war on the Spanish right’ here).
Whatever is happening, it’s working, with Ciudadanos now heading in the polls (the party leads with 28.3% with the PP lagging at 21.9% according to La Vanguardia here).
Alfonso Guerra, an old-guard PSOE leader, says in an interview here that ‘Ciudadanos, the party that acted with total coherence in Catalonia, is going to find itself rewarded across the whole of Spain."
Presidents of various Ibex 35 companies have quietly been meeting with Rivera according to El Confidencial here.
As Mariano Rajoy begins to unwind (a gloomy Conservative article here), the chances are that Spain’s next president will be Albert Rivera.