16 Apr, 2009 @ 14:27
2 mins read

Demolished homeowners can rebuild their lives

demolition almeria

Priors told their Spanish home was ‘illegally’ knocked down

EXCLUSIVE By Jon Clarke and Matthew Pritchard in Almeria

AN order to demolish the home of an English couple in Spain last year has been overruled as illegal.

The decision by the Andalucian authorities to pull down Len and Helen Priors dream home near Vera was overruled by the Spanish High Court.

The Court ruled that the couple were denied the fundamental rights to defend their case and that the demolition was “a grave injustice”.

The ruling overturns the decision of Almeria’s Court Number 2, on July 6, 2006, which quickly led to the couple’s home Tranquilidad being demolished.

They have since been living in a garage next to the property, and are demanding damages of 600,000 euros from the town hall.

Priors' home demolished in Almeria, Spain

The court did not rule whether or not the licence for their three-bedroom home was illegally given or not. Merely whether the stages of demolition had been undertaken correctly.

“The fact that they were not involved in the legal process damaged their judicial rights,” said the judge at the High Court.

The couple described the move as “very encouraging”.

Len Prior said: “We are very pleased. I really feel this is a step forward and it shows we haven’t been forgotten.”

The Priors’ had bought the land in 2002 and – having secured all the necessary permits and permissions via the town hall – built their house in 2003.

All went well until May 2006 when they received notification from the regional government that the permissions had actually been awarded illegally and their 600,000-euro house could be demolished.

They immediately turned to local solicitor, Victor Muñoz and he engaged a litigation specialist in Madrid to fight the case. As far as the Priors were aware, the case was currently proceeding through the courts.

But on December 16, 2007, they received another letter from the Junta de Andalucía informing them that the case had been heard; and demolition would take place on January 9.

No further appeals would be admitted.

At no point had the Priors, or their lawyers, been informed of the final hearing that decided the fate of their home.

The bulldozers duly arrived and the house was pulled down, making international news and sending yet more shockwaves around a region teetering on the edge of financial freefall.

The Priors are now meeting with lawyers on Friday, April 17 to discuss the implications of the sentence.

They have asked for 535,000 euros in damages to the property and 80,000 euros for the stress it has caused them.

A demonstration earlier this year by hundreds of expatriates in Almeria demanded that the Spanish legal system dealt fairly with cases such as the Priors.

Illegal home protest in Almeria

Mr Prior said he thought the demonstration march organised in January to mark the first anniversary of his home’s demolition had had a major impact.

“The Junta official we met with to discuss our case told us three times we shouldn’t organise any more marches which shows he was worried by it.”

Last month an EU report by Danish Green Party MEP slammed the practices of Spanish authorities over human rights and the environment.

The report was passed in the European Commission by a vast majority of MEPs and Spain is now expecting a huge fine.


  1. These Spanish imbeciles are yet again shown to be totally wrong. They have tarnished their country forever as a bunch of ill-educated, corrupt and illegal bunch of incompetants.

    What you got to say about this, Pedro? Pedro!??? Where are you….

  2. It proves that the house was knocked down on a savage whim (actually, for political reasons as the Vera town hall is in the hands of a smaller party). Pathetic. As for the Priors – does anyone think that they will be out of their garage and back into a home in the foreseeable future? Shame on the delegado provincial Luís Caparros!
    With ‘6,000 illegal houses’ in Almería (according to the provincial representative of the Junta de Andalucía), what chance is there of Northern Europeans coming to this province to retire, bringing monthly transfers of much-needed cash and generating lots of jobs?
    Almería, only a few years ago a ‘tiger economy’ in Spain, now has the highest percentage un-employment of any of the 50 provinces. Well Done, the Junta de Andalucía!

  3. I’m really surprised at how quickly this is going through the courts. I hope the politicians take a bit of notice, but I won’t be holding my breath. I sincerely hope the Priors eventually get paid compensation in full.

  4. No one who lives in Spain will be surprised at any of this not so merry-go-round will they.

    If and when they are compensated and that’s a big if (sadly for them)I suggest that they forget entirely about another home in Spain and take a trip to France.

    Having just returned to make a final decision on where to live, we go back in a month to make the first intelligent step – renting, enabling us to take our time and aquire the most important thing of all – local knowledge.

    I can state categorically that; property is half the price and 10 times the quality of anything in Spain.

    That the French have real tradesmen not vaqueros.

    That there are many different types of insulation material available (Spanish comment – what’s insulation).

    Top quality timber – soft and hardwoods.

    That there are meaningful building regs, that apply to everyone, French or foreign.

    That the mayors are not corrupt and are entirely approachable and helpful, especially if you want to live in there communes, not just holiday there

    And the most important thing of all – the French love their country and it shows. Litter – what litter. The lovely small towns and villages, showing individual tastes but a wonderful overall look in each region.

    I now just feel angry at myself for coming to Spain at all.

    Oh yes I forgot the food, quality and imagination – I get so angry when the Spanish use the word gastronomy – they hav’nt got a clue and they never will have.

    So many told me I must be glad to get back to Spanish food – my answers are unsuitable to put here.

    If you can sell your badly built home – visit France and buy there, safe in the knowledge that the transaction will be 100% legal.

  5. Stuart is quite correct; if you are considering Spain, please choose next door in FRANCE instead! France is a properly run country and does not have the inherant corruption of Spain. Here villages are cared for and there is *real* civic pride. Spain is a mess of litter, debris, half built houses – a complete mess in other words. Customer service abysmal, useless basic services and a country that implements EU laws last (and breaks them consistently).

    Moving to Spain was a real mistake – be following you soon Stuart! Considering Spain? – learn from people who’ve lived in this crazy place and go North a bit. Then you will at least know that the house you are purchasing is legal and that your lawyer is not shafting you. Spain has had it!

  6. Stuart and Fred – I agree 100% with everything you’ve said…..if only I could sell my property and up sticks to France.

    We were so desperate to get out of the UK that we panicked and purchased in haste. A huge mistake and one that we’ve lived to regret.

    One of the reasons we came to Spain was the supposedly better weather compared to France – what a joke, it’s either unbearably hot through July/August or usually cold with biting winds for about 7 months a year. On reflection I can now cope with copious rain if I have a decent properly built house….not easy to come by in Spain.

  7. Ah France! While people in the UK are up in arms about the unemployment rate reaching 7% for the first time since 1993, the unemployment rate in France has not been below 8% in the last 20 years and has spent the majority of that time above 10%. Furthermore youth unemployment (i.e. under 25s) hasn’t fallen below 20% since at least 1995 whereas the same statistic for the same period in the UK has never been above 15%.

    The result: a virtual permanent underclass in that country and social problems in the inner cities that would make those of London, Birmingham and Manchester seem like child’s play. The creation of the very problems that social democracy was supposed to solve. That’s the price you pay for a well run country and one of the best railway systems in the world.

    As for corruption? Well I can’t profess to have too much knowledge about French politics and civic administration in the small towns and villages. But let us remind ourselves what we’re dealing with here by examining the records of the two most recent former incumbents of the French presidency.

    Firstly M. Chirac almost redefined the word corruption. So much so that the popular campaign banner during the second-round run-off between himself and M. Le Pen in the 2002 presidential election read: “Vote for the crook, not for the fascist”. A great statement of positive political sentiment, would you agree? His dealings as mayor of Paris prior to becoming president included using hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for vacations for himself and his family, and for receiving millions of dollars in kickbacks from public housing and school construction contracts; the money being channelled into dubious political parties like “Chirac’s Rally for the Republic”. He avoided prosecution on these matters through presidential immunity, which the nation meekly accepted even though the constitution states that such immunity only pertains to alleged offences committed during the presidential term.

    And as for his predecessor, M. Mitterrand, well he took cronyism and nepotism to a level virtually unknown in the developed world and, in the process, almost reduced the democratic political process in France to a sideshow. For example his son did quite nicely thank you very much on a $500m arms deal to Angola. His son was also the head of a governmental organisation that provided huge financial and, especially, military support to the Hutu regime of Rwanda in the early 1990’s. President Mitterrand’s reaction to the ensuing mass murder in 1994 was “in such countries, genocide is not important”.

    And of course France is that country that is so welcoming to foreigners that, of course, you never hear of British expats in that country returning back to Blighty because they aren’t made to feel welcome in the communities they chose to live in. This is the country so welcoming to different cultures that, as a nation, it conspired to hand second place in the first round of 2002 presidential election to Jean-Marie Le Pen of the National Front with only 3% less of the popular vote than M. Chirac and thus making him one of the most successful openly racist politicians in the history of democracy.

    Fred, I wish you luck in your new life in France. I end by saying two things. Firstly the grass always appears greener on the other side. Secondly, and more importantly, what all us expats have to come to terms with is that Home will always be Home and that, culturally, you can never escape from your past, no matter how hard you try.

  8. Koba, first of all, I’m not yet in France – but that thanks for the good future wishes, should I ever get there.

    People have to understand that World financial systems are controlled by just a few powerful men (and NOT Mr Obama et al). It the controllers of the money supply who control our world. They control Presidents, and are immune from law. People, myself included, are ignorant and do not understand that entire wars and disasters have been orchestrated purely for financial manipulation and gain – the truth is very frightening indeed and very hard to contemplate. Indeed, why would people even want to research these facts when they can watch gameshows and be fed drivel about celebs in Puerto Anus?…

    People are just to busy and stressed in their lives, mainly due to the financial system, ironically, to research and get to the real truths of how our financial systems were created and how they are now executed. We are all in the system; we live and accept it because, er, there is no alternative. Man made the system and the system is just exhibiting Mankind’s main behavioural traits e.g. greed, power etc.

    Back to thread, and Koba is correct that corruption is not magically absent from France. However, and it’s a big however, the French system does at least have some basic, fundamental things properly in place, such as a proper land registry and real civic pride, beautiful small village architecture (not endless prefabs), and a better planning and legal system, oh and better gastronomy. All of our lives are made just a little bit better if some of these basic things are in place.

    Spain does not have these basic things in place; its foundations are weak and it is literally falling to bits. Koba we’re not trying to escape from our past; that’s impossible; people in Spain just want basic things to work properly, even the Spanish! Why do you think the Spanish are slow and generally very patient people? It is because they have been beaten to death with the stick of an incompetant infrastructure (and goverment) for decades and they just have no choice, no hope.

    Anyway, Spain will reap what it has sowed and it hasn’t got much reaping to do in the forseeable future it seems.

  9. Koba,
    I see your at it again with your well articulated bullshit but that’s all it is, oh and BTW I have never supported the SNP. They represent the landed (parasitic) class, whose ancestors cut down the Caledonian forest and drove their clansmen of the land – the Highland Clearances, you would have exhibited some intelligence had you asked first before vorating so much verbal doo-doo over the SNP.

    Back to topic. The corruption that Koba (or Pompous Prat) talks about is confined to the deep south and the big cities. Corruption – Koba/PP talk to us about BAE and the Al-Yamani Saudi Arabian arms deal and those nasty public school turds in the totally corrupt Ministry of Defence.

    Unemployment, yes but what PP does’nt talk about, once again because it does’nt suit his argument is the total difference in the behaviour of France’s young people – do you find them pissed out of their minds every weekend no of course not because the French take parenting very, very seriously. I never feel that I must be on my guard when I visit Toulouse or any major town in France.

    Fred is of course right in many respects but nearly all the worst of mankind’s actions have been perpetrated by – the white man, not by mankind in general. In 1200 BC (that’s if you believe in sky fairies) in northern India a young prince set up the first wild life sanctuary – any biped found to have entered was killed immediately.

    Death camps – well the first was probably set up at the end of the Pelopenesian war, in Sicily. A war that was the deathknell of Athens as a real power. It would be true to say that the whole of what was to be called Central and South America was indeed one vast unimaginable death camp under Pizarro and Cortez and conservatively they exterminated over 45 million human beings in a little more than 10 years – all blessed by the Pope – well he wanted his share of the silver and gold loot, did’nt he.

    Then we have the brutal murder of over 10 million native peoples in North America by Canadians and Americans. So, in reality Hitler and Stalin, both white Ayrans as were Pizarro (Goth) and Cortez (Visigoth) come way down the field for mass murder. Let’s not forget the wholesale murder of the ‘People of the Two Brothers’/ Australia or the Maoris / New Zealand – why did’nt they teach us that at school in the UK?

    Fred, we Europeans need to take a good hard long look at ourselves, until we do, nothing real will change in Europe as a whole. Neither an individual or a people can move forward until they have dealt with their past.

    If you really want to get into a rage, good for clearing the arteries I’m told, just take a look at the books on buying a house in Spain. I happened to come across one such piece of – I’m at a loss as to how to describe it, whilst reading the Guardian.

    No mention of the layers of professional corruption, indeed it talked about the ‘very good craftsmen to be found in most resort areas’ – how well built the houses were, what a good investment Spanish property is – I could go on and on.

    Try looking at the Mail/Express/Times/Telegraph. Read their blogs, especially anything to do with Spanish property, then try and tell the truth – YOUR POST WILL NOT APPEAR, IT WILL BE CENSORED OUT OF EXISTANCE.

    One French agent immobilier was genned up on the real situation in Spain but in general French people knew nothing.

    Fred/Sarah I really feel for Brits like you, indeed for all those who have been well and truly shafted by the charade that passes for a house buying system here in Spain.

    Sarah is right about the rain in France but you know we loved all the different greens and we both look forward to autumn in France. Sarah, I live behind the Sierra Nevadas and I really rock on the very cold but bone dry weather of winter here, I have to say that it is without doubt the healthiest winter climate in the whole of western Europe.

    Had the Spanish half a brain, there is a wonderful winter business catering for north Europeans/Scandinavians with breathing problems. Could part of the reason you don’t like winter be the total lack of insulation in old or worse modern building here in Spain?

    Should either of you get to France remember this – old French property is either too small or too large. It is significantly cheaper to build from new and get exactly what you want rather than be stuck with all kinds of planning restictions – I’m not knocking the regs just pointing them out.

    Many French have new homes with small windows, this is’nt nec. here’s my free golden tip – have large windows built which mean in winter you get free solar energy – at night you close your insulated shutters, which are far cheaper than ineffective heavy curtains. In summer you fix up via simple posts with cross bars your easily obtainable window blind material to keep out the sun. Of course this is even more effective for Spain. If anyone wants an in depth description email me.

  10. Not wishing to get into a personal argument with other correspondants I would just refer them to the film. The part of the Prior’s house that was not demolished is that which WILL be legalisable when the case is settled. The fact that the central courts feel that the Junta were wrong in returning things to their original condition is very nice but wrong in law. Technically the courts can order that a building in dispute be demolished immediately, RETURNING THINGS TO THEIR ORIGINAL STATE, and then they can decide weather it is legal or not. The Priors were unlucky that they were the start of the get tough policy. Even if they are proved right they may still not be entitled to any damages.

  11. Back on Planet Earth (or Northern Europe if you want to be more precise) we do not generally go around demolishing “illegal” houses on a whim, especially when people are at home living in the property, and then find out a few months later that the demolition was itself illegal. Can’t these fools make their minds up?

    Pedro, when are you just going to admit that Spain has a useless, mostly illegal, corrupt and ineficcient planning system? The EU investigated and found it to be corrupt and inefficient, so why are you having such a hard time admitting it? Avoiding answering that simple question shows you to be in denial.

  12. Dear Fred, thank you for your response. By the way, I was being genuine. I do wish you all the best when you get to France. I guessed already that you have enough savvy to realize that living in France is not going to be a bed of roses all the time, but I believe the point to be worth mentioning within the context of this thread.

    One of my best friends has lived in France for the last eleven years or so. He has spent time in Paris, Grenoble, Brittany and latterly in Bordeaux. He lives with his French girlfriend. He set up a reasonably successful business and is in the process of setting up another. He now speaks French better than he speaks English. All his friends are French. He’s about as integrated into French society as any expat could be. Yet he still provides me with a long list of all the things that infuriate him about France and the French people. I’ve no doubt that the French have as long a list, and no doubt probably much longer, of the things that infuriate them about the British.

    By the way, I am assuming Fred that you are from the UK. Please correct me if I’m wrong in this assumption. Anyway, the point I was making about escaping from one’s past is as follows. We were born and brought up in the UK and, probably, spent a good deal of our adult lives living in the UK. In that time we have become accustomed to things being a certain way. And it annoys or exasperates us, or possibly just amuses us when things aren’t the way we expect them to be. And these sensibilities are now deeply engrained in our conscious and we’ll never be able to escape from them. So that feeling of “why does it have to be that way” is always going to be there, whether we live in France, Spain, or wherever.

    I am sorry that things have not gone as you would have hoped in Spain. While your contributions to this web site, of course, validate those negative experiences, I would hope you agree with me that they also don’t invalidate the positive experiences that other people have had living in Spain.

    And Mr Crawford, thank you for your comments also. Firstly, I’m going to ignore the personal insults. And before you mention it I will admit myself the use of personal insults directed at you in our previous discussion on another thread; something that I regret. I am going to continue to contribute to this thread without resorting to the use of personal insults. You, of course, may continue in whatever manner you wish.

    Anyway, if you read my comments in the other thread that you refer to, you will note that at no point do I claim that you do support the SNP. I mention the SNP as, right now, they represent the most realistic conduit by which Scotland may get its independence.

    Next, in my previous contribution to this thread I don’t claim that there isn’t corruption in the UK. Of course there is. But we are discussing France here in the context of Fred’s impending move to that country. And I note that you are planning to move there as well. So I say two things. Firstly, with corruption on such a scale at the national level in French politics (where, one must presume, there is a higher level of public scrutiny) what is corruption going to be like at the local level? I do sincerely hope I am wrong. Secondly, can we all agree that political corruption is not a problem confined to Spain?

    I wholeheartedly agree with your comments about the inherited guilt of us Europeans for past crimes. I propose Oliver Cromwell and Napoleon as pertinent additions to the list of despots. Also I assume that we get taught in the UK the history that is closest to home in the same way that the school children of Argentina or Brazil get taught the history that is relevant to them. Quite simply there isn’t enough time in the school calendar to consider all the bestialities perpetrated by the human race on itself.

  13. We are drifting off on a tangent here. As I said before, no country is unaffected by corruption. Man is corrupt, period.

    The crux of my point is that Spain has not got the basics right. If you can’t work out your electric bill from one month to the next properly (the madness of Endesa and the recent government intervention), if you can’t get your telephone connected (just look at the mess Telefonica is), if you can’t work out if your house is legal, if you can’t get decent customer service, if you can’t see any evidence of civil pride (Spain is just a mess of litter, unfinished houses/debris etc) then living in Spain becomes very tiresome. One dreams of lovely little spotless and loved French villages…. :)

    I won’t talk about France until I have spent some time there, but I don’t believe it could be as incompetant as Spain. Spain’s stupidity in dealing with everyday basic things just defies belief. In Spain you just pray that things don’t go wrong day-to-day… if your boiler breaks down or your phone bill is not paid, expect MAJOR problems.

    I would be happy just to live in a village that didn’t have dustbins of little blowing about and neighbours who didn’t throw their beer bottles on the floor. Spain is uncouth, lazy, and deserves to fail.

  14. Stuart, thanks for your helpful comments.

    You’re absolutely correct – rain, strong winds and cold temperatures would not worry me one bit….if the Spanish could actually build a decent house. Insulation seems to be a dirty word in this country, and what’s with the quality of their windows?

    The latest modern properties are no better – sub standard build, which I guess is no surprise given that developers know the struggle they’ll have to actually sell them, now that the corruption and frequent illogical law changes have frigtened off buyers with half a brain.

    Will take on board your comments re: France.

    Thanks again

  15. I would also comment on the Spanish mentality……they don’t see further than the nose on their face. No forward planning (“well it hardly ever rains in Andalucia so why build roads with proper drainage and properties that actually keep out the elements)

    Why is Telefonica cr*p and why is there no competition from other providers? Likewise Endesa etc.

    Why no sewage system for all but the most rural of properties?

    Why are roads in such a terrible state, unless the local mayor lives nearby and has to use it

    Why does it take months to get a stamp on a document? The ayuntamientos are full of gandules who have got jobs for life, that’s why.

    Why are their shops truly dire, unless you are in a city?

    I can only speak from personal experience with my dealings with the Spanish – they’re not too bright, lazy and refuse to accept that the Crisis is affecting them – no reductions in supermarkets or anywhere else.

    They have used the excuse of Franco for far too long and in reality lack the self discipline to make something of a country that should (with it’s natural resources, climate and geography) be one of the most advanced countries in the world.

  16. Same as above really, I’m sorry to say. We lived in Spain for 6 years and were lucky to sell up and move out. Whilst it was a life-enriching experience overall, we should have gone to France in the first place. All the French ask really is that you at least try and speak their language. After all, we expect everyone in the British Isles to speak English, don’t we.

    Anyone considering moving out to Spain should really think extremely carefully before moving there.

  17. I agree with all the bad points re Spain. I have had properties there for over ten years. Lived there for a while as well. Nice climate but the corruption is deep rooted in the Town Halls / politicians. Spanish treat the Mayors like Gods as they know of their power. The Mayors think they are Gods as well. Yes, their is corruption everywhere, but Spain is on a higher level than most. Maybe it is not much better than Iraq with corruption. Of course it is more brutal in Iraq, but the culture must be about the same.

    For me, working in the UK, too young to retire, I will keep going to the sun for my holidays and if I have enough money many years down the road, I may still spend a few months there a year and when the cold winters of spain come along I will go to South America for a few months a year.

    I listen to people including relatives who try and tell me that in Southern Spain the temparature never goes below 16 centigrade day or nght!!! I am sure they think they live in central America all year round. Minus temparatures and even snow on the beach are possible. I know, I have seen it. minus 10 or 12 inland in Southeast Spain. Freezing this easter, my Wife will not take the kids there until end of May onwards, waste of holiday time and it is warmer in out house in the UK, come to think of it it is warmer outside as well on many occassion at Easter.

    I would not advise anyome to buy a property in Spain at the moment. You just do not know what is legal and what isn’t, why would anyone in their right mind gamble £100k plus. The solicitors tell you more lies than a double galazing sales person. At least your windows turn up in the UK.

    Builders, I have a great one in Spain (family of builders), better than any builder I have had in the UK. Fantastic, really. Built my pool many years ago, refurbished my property, does a little more than I ask, does it better than I asked. Lives outside a tiny village, only has a mobile and is booked up all the time buiding houses from scratch to refurbs. In the summer the vegetables that you can gow in Spain are fantastic.. Spain has a lot going for it but really, the corruption is going to cause them a lot of pain. Unemployment in Spain will be at 19% next year and they must be really stupid not to recognise they causing themselves a lot of damage.

    Why do they not realise this? They probably do but do not care.

  18. Spain’s army of unemployed swelled to a record 4m in the first quarter of this year as hundreds of thousands of workers in services and construction fell victim to economic recession and the collapse of the country’s housing market.

    Jobless numbers jumped by more than 800,000 in the quarter to reach 4.01m or 17.4 per cent of the workforce, double the European Union average, according to the National Statistics Institute. Spaniards have been losing jobs at the rate of almost 9,000 a day since January.

    Reap what you sow

  19. Koba,
    nice to see that at last you admit there is corruption in all countries.

    Re. Scotland – all political parties are full of egotistical maniacs who use ordinary people for there own ends and they are always full of servile camp followers. Maybe, just maybe there was once a reason for their existence but no more. The whole system of Law has only one purpose to keep the elites in power and the ordinary people cowed and frightened – hence Fred´s comments but Fred the stress is only the consequence of the ´little man and woman´being afraid to actually do something about the status quo.

    Police forces were only set up to control the common folk – they have no other purpose. In the UK it is impossible for anyone who professes a left of centre opinion to get into the police, whose higher echelons are a heaving mass of extreme right wing and masonic garbage.


    Reap What You Sow – your comments about the family of builders and their work – I´m sorry but unless you have experience in construction you would not know good from bad construction – your home may have looked nice but that´s all. It would not have to meet modern building control standards as in northern Europe or Scandinavia.

    That´s how a lot of Brits get suckered – they buy the packaging not the product.

    I have to ask all the Brits – did any of you bother to check out building standards, first in the UK and then in Spain -there is a terrible weakness with a lot of Brits to make assumptions – how many were guilty of that?

    Did none of you walk round Spanish construction sites and 1st look at the materials being used; 2nd not notice the appalling ´thiness´of party walls (indeed all walls; 3rd did you not walk onto a site and see how they bury hot and cold water pipework straight into concrete

    Sarah I´m typing this comment from an Internet cafe, why, yes you´ve guessed it – I´ve been cut off by Telefonica for 4 days. There will be no compensation of course.

    Koba makes comments about his friend who lives in France – quite obviously he has a very rigid mentality and would be unhappy anywhere. I have lived and worked in 4 different countries. I have worked with people from all over the world and from very different cultures, the only problems I have had were personality ones and those very few and far between.

    Sarah you made many comments that were spot on but I cannot agree about Spanish resources. By cutting down the huge forests they once had, there is wide spread erosion that cannot now be remedied. The water problems can only get worse. What are they going to replace the construction industry with? Industrially they are extremely inefficient and the factories closed will never be re-opened.

    Couple the over 4 million unemployed with the 2 million jobsworths and it is a recipe for disaster.

    I really think that those Brits who bought property years ago kept quiet instead of doing the decent thing and alerting their countrymen – that is what happened in Germany and Holland – that´s why so few of these people have fallen into the trap.

    Will any of you be able to sell your homes -it´s going to be damned hard.

    I may well visit Morrocco next Autumn, having many Morroccan friends I know where to look and where not to. Now this is the real problem for those wanting to sell up in Spain -the competition from Morrocco.

    I was amazed at how good the Olive Press is -I am sick and tired of political rags, the only paper I read from choice is the FT. I would urge everyone who wants hard cold facts, loads of research papers on virtually every country in the world and an excellant weekend section to think about paying for the electronic version.

    The Olive Press is a real newspaper, as I am moving to France I do wish they would think about setting up a French version. Some of the English language French mags are obsessed with the ínvestment angle´and nothing else.

    People on the mainland buy a home – as a home and not as an investment. That is the trouble with the UK/Ireland and Spanish housing situations. I really hope all those who bought to profit from peoples´needs of a home lose the lot. I love in investing in various forms of market vehicles but never have I seen residential property as one such.

    Lets face it – southern Europe is corrupt to it´s very core, I think it´s about time that we threw them all out of the ECC and demanded all the subsidies back, with compound interest added on. Militarily it would be suicide to take on northern European armies but if southern Europe did this it would be a great opportunity to come in and sort things out.

    When the desertification of southern Europe gathers pace – where do you think they will all want to come and it is going to happen – vamos a ver.

  20. I fogot to ask in my last post – did anyone else see the programme on Cuatro/ Sunday night about how the ordinary Spanish people are being shafted as badly or worse than the ex-pats.

    Some had paid big deposits for houses that were never built and my comments about Spanish construction were on open display in all parts of Spain.

    Ironically we had visited Brico depot in Granada (great value BTW)and were making our way back into the centre on foot and I pointed out to Angela a classic packaging presentation – nice facade, shame about what lays behind it. This apartment block had a huge banner draped along the top floor.

    Well this very block featured prominently in the programme. 2 years old and the place is literally falling to pieces.

    This news should´nt make anyone feel better because it shows that decent people are being shafted and not on any basis of nationality.

  21. It doesn’t make me feel happy to know that the Spanish are also being shafted by their own government, but I do question if they are being treated quite as badly as non-Spanish.

    After all, several of the Priors neighbours are apparently in the same legal position as they were re: the land that their properties are built on……yet their houses are still standing.

    It’s across the board…..friends of ours have just been fined for not having a dog licence (despite the dog being microchipped, vaccinated etc.) Their neighbours have dogs which spend the entire day tied up to a post – no shelter food or water. These animals are not ‘chipped or vaccinated and yet the policeman was not interested in this fact. Why? Because most Brits will pay a fine rather than lose a beloved animal, most Spanish will not.

  22. I feel very sad as a Spaniard about all the comments in this thread. I am particularly dissapointed in Sarah and her insults to a whole country and people. I have lived in the UK for many years and would never have dreamt of not learning the language nor mildly commenting on any negative things the British people and their country may have.

    I have lived in the UK, been ripped off for many years (where does the macro council and national tax fees go?) but have kept away from the local Spanish community and tried to learn as much as possible about how to go about doing things depending always on myself and not on third parties to lead me by the hand because I’m too lazy or arrogant to mix with the locals.

    My country is not perfect, that we all know. I am sure that many people who live in secluded ghettoes in out of the way rural places give themselves the chance to face their fears and find out what other parts of the country look like and how people live maybe then you will form another opinion. Give yourself a chance to find out, go to big cities mix with Spanish people… learn the language and of course don’t depend on some of us nice Spanish imbeciles (thank you Fred) just because some of us speak English.

    Having lived in England and living now in Spanish North Africa (Melilla) I had a real good belly laugh about Stewart Crawford’s comments about Morocco and how easily people are lead.

    Some of you are bitter people, I am sorry about that, really sorry. I would have loved some of the good and fair minded British people that I love so much to show a little more respect and of course to have arrived in this country with a different attitude, finding out things for themselves in the common language to us all. I am not generalising. Do you have a right to complain, OF COURSE, but please don’t hurt us with adjectives such a Spanish imbeciles that are not very bright…

    But perhaps you are better off in France or in the superior Northern Europe (you consider yourselves European?) so we Spanish Imbeciles can carry on with our lives in the parts of our country that are not ghettoes (these places exist, you know). I know, not all British people insult or are offensive to foreigners (sounds such a dirty word in English doesn’t it). Thank God we have a free press that actually report things like this even if it’s offensive (the insults not the content). More that you can say of other countries of more “superior” beings.

    I nevertheless have a heartfelf wish that all your proiblems are resolved quickly and your escape from the morons is smooth.



  23. Very good post Jorge. It’s sad that some people become personal, and even racist. That’s unfortunate, especially when corruption and the “system” are at fault. I agree with you completely that assimilation is a very good thing and should be encouraged.

    On the other hand, you might understand how some people could become just a little pissed off and bitter when they have just lost their home and life savings, arbitrarily, due to the corrupt system and despite their best efforts to do everything properly and legally. That kind of “rip off” is in a slightly different league to the high council taxes and NI in the UK.

  24. Jorge, you say you wouldn’t dream of commenting on the negative aspects of life in the UK…..then go on to do just that in your next paragraph!

    I don’t have a problem with that, you are (like all of us)entitled to your opinion, which is based on your experience of your time in the UK….incidentally if you did own a property when you lived in the UK, I hope you didn’t have as much trouble selling it as we Brits are now having in Spain! I don’t expect so – one thing Britain is slightly better than Spain at is that justice seems to prevail more often and FASTER than in Spain. The UK also doesn’t have the truly dire repution for property scams and dishonest lawyers that Spain has, which has scared many buyers off of buying in this country.

    I do, however, take issue with your assumption that all of us moaning Brits living in Spain have made no effort to integrate into Spanish life….many of us speak Spanish very well (I’d never say I was fluent, although I would have been if I’d learnt Spanish as a child) Let’s face it, Spain doesn’t make much effort to help non-Spanish speakers, so we have to learn the lingo, unless we’re wealthy enough to use an interpreter all the time. In the UK, if you don’t speak English, we have all manner of helplines/interpreters to help….all paid for by British taxpayers of course.

    I have travelled around Spain, the cities are more “civilised”, although the lamentable attitude to animals seems widespread – although of course there are exceptions.

    I could give you examples of my experiences in Spain and with the Spanish, but it would sound like a racist rant I’m afraid, even though it is true!

    I would add one more thing…..Spain is a much larger country than the UK and far less crowded (40 million compared to 60 million people in the UK) one of the attractions for many Brits in moving to Spain in the first place.

    Can you imagine the chaos if Spain had to cope with more people? The power cuts, the litter, the state of the roads etc….are bad enough now!

    No fear of that though – people are steering clear of Spain and that doesn’t look like changing for a long time.

  25. I meant to add, this is not a competition as to which country is better or worse (God knows, we all moved out of the UK for one reason or another)

    Spain has a lot of things going for it – it’s just that many of us have tried to do things legally (apply for licences for houses, dogs etc.) and watched as our Spanish neighbours don’t bother and get away with it. As a result, we are sick and tired of being singled out and paying through the nose.(I’ve been told by several Spanish friends that the Brits are seen as cash cows and are mocked for being too polite)

    However, this site is about Spain and all things Spanish, so I suggest comparisons between countries are rather irrelevant.

  26. Jorge,
    Sarah has raised many valid points.

    I have yet to meet a Spaniard that has bothered to learn to speak reasonable English or Gaelic or Britanic, if based in Scotland or Wales. You maybe different but having encountered many Spanish who have spent more than half their lives in the UK and speak gibberish English, I suggest you are being hypocritical.

    You complain about council taxes but they are´nt syphoned off for the benefit of the local mayor or spent only on his friends and family – that is the case all over Spain.

    You say “your country is´nt perfect” -would´nt it be nice if you had the guts to openly state and complain about the wholesale corruption in your country – would´nt it be nice if you admitted that so many Spanish are primitive in their treatment of animals and total disregard for the land.

    When a people completely ignore the wanton waste of water for golf courses (a golf course uses enough water for 10,000 people)and know full well that very soon it will all be gone – that is really stupid. In Murcia they are now pumping water from 250 metres, when 5 years ago it was 50 metres and this in land that is semi desert.

    Within maybe 10 years, many Spanish will have to move somewhere for the simple lack of water but I assure you it will not be to northern Europe. You have to accept the fact that where ever the Spanish have gone – you have only ever destroyed and never created.

    Your record in Central and South America is the worst in human history. Just a few months ago your government demanded a share of the silver recovered from the Atlantic by American treasure seekers – this silver you stole from Peru and beat and flogged to death many, many hundreds of thousands of the native population to produce it -if that silver should have gone anywhere, it should have gone back to those people, should´nt it?

    Every trace of the totally superior civilizations of the Inca and Aztec people you jealousy destroyed – all their works of art melted down into ingots -the mass slaughter of the elderly who could not be worked to death in the silver and gold mines – Jorge this is never mentioned in Spainsh schools – why not – denial syndrome.

    You demand the handback of Gibralter but stubbornly cling to Ceulta and Mellila – do you not see your Spanish hypocracy?

    You don´t comment on the difference in construction techniques – all housing in Spain is rubbish built -why don´t you start a campaign to raise this issue in Spain.

    Denial syndrome is the norm in Spain. No Spanish person has ever has been sold an illegal property in the UK have they?

    If you Spanish want to be considered ´modern Europeans´you had better start behaving like those in the north – you need to understand that ´we do not need you – you need us.

    Right now massive solar heated glasshouses are producing the first salad crops in northern Kent – soon we will not need to import from Spain, nor will the Germans/Danes etc.

    Take note that the factories closing down now will never be re-opened – you are innefficient, have far too many fiestas -what the hell are you going to do?

    The hand outs from rich northern Europe end next year and about time – what the hell are you going to do?

    Here in Guadix,a massive hand out was given from Brussels, ostensibly to protect the town from flash floods – complete bullshit. The last inundation was 27 years ago – this protection wall was built at the behest of the big builders, so they can begin building MORE crap apartment blocks on agricultural land that I was told categorically that I would never be given permission to build on -the next year a relative of the local PSOE mayor built a big house – don´t go into denial syndrome Jorge come back with a rational comment about what you are going to do personally to change things here in Spain – that is if you are not a part of the enchufargo´ system´.

    I like Sarah have bothered to learn Spanish but Jorge I know many Spanish that worked in Germany/Netherlands/UK/ Australia and as young people – and just how good is their German/Dutch/Aussie English – well that´s easy – sod all.

    I am sick and tired of Spanish people of all ages telling me how good Spanish cooking is, the best in the world – when they have never left Spain – now that is pretty stupid is´nt it.

    The old recipes from the times of the Arab and Jewish Semites are excellant but you never see them in restaurants and that applies across the whole of Spain – does´nt it?

    Why do you Spanish refer to yourselves as Latins – apart from a very small percentage that resulted from Roman rapists you are – Goths/Visigoths/Vandals/Swabians/Celts/Euskadi/Arabs and Jews – Jewish blood alone is 17% of the total population, Araab Semite genes are probably ITRO 30%.

    When I went to work abroad many years ago, I found it gave me a chance to see my country in focus for the first time -I suggest you find the courage to do the same and come back to Spain to put your house in order.

    You talk about ghettos Jorge – who authorized them and who built them – you Spanish and for whose financial benefit.

    Just take a trip to France and see just how different that country is and how the people treat their countryside compared to Spain – If the French look down on Spain and the Spanish way, you will, if you open your eyes see why they have this attitude.

    Envy and corruption are the norm in Spain, as Sarah said – the Brits are seen as an éasy touch´- now what does that say about the Spanish. I have encountered this attitude myself but I quickly disabuse the creeps who try that on me – I tell them what will happen to them and their families if they ever cross my path again – they never make the mistake of confusing English with Celtic ever again.

    You Spanish have an awful lot of issues to deal with before you can possibly be considered a modern country -un fortunately as a people you are very cowardly – the old Fascist and Africanista families still run Spain for their own benefit – is´nt it time you found the courage to get rid of them – you will never be able to change anything until you do but then again you may come from a Fascist family?

    Personally I think that all foreigners should leave Spain, after they have been re-imbursed in full and with compound % – that all Spanish fishing boats should be blown out of the water – they have stripped the Channel and much of the north Atlantic of all fish – if you like pig meat so much – eat more.

    I was much more circumspect than many and don´t have a crap property to sell, so can move whenever I like, which will be soon.

    Jorge, you Spanish are a people who are mentally very weak and completely cowardly being unable/unwilling to look at yourselves – it is you Spanish who are destroying your country not foreigners.

    You laughed about my comments re. Morroccans – in 1888, most of Spanish built Granada fell down with the earthquake and 900 people died – the Alhambra did´nt. You Spanish cut down all your forests, go take a look at the Alpujarras and the massive erosion and this is replicated across the whole of Spain.

    All the huge problems you Spanish have are of your own making – the problem is mentally you are still in the time of the mass murderers Pizarro and Cortez – time to find the courage to change – remember when all the water is gone – there will be no room for you in northern Europe – you have and are wilfully destroying your country, pretty soon you will have nowhere to go but your Catholic hell.

  27. My God Stuart, you are a tormented man aren’t you…

    I must admit though, it’s the most comprehensive treat of hate and racism I have read in long time… All coming out now, innit? Am I getting the real colours out of some people from an innocent and even apologetic original post? It that is so, let the fun continue and I hope that you and some of you other posters can improve on it because… I must admit, although uncomfortable at the beginning, I am beginning to enjoy this thread and to see how some people (surprisingly) are unable to control their emotions nor maintain their dignity. Not very British, eh… Cool = Suave / Uncool = Sweaty keyboards, uggg. (I can somehow imagine it…)

    As a personal note: I suggest you seek some medical help (back home of course cos we are all morons down here) to releive you of your disabling condition.

    Come on Stuart, let me have another one, but this time make it even more vile… please.

    Have I discovered my journalistic promise?

    Regards, Jorge.

  28. Sorry, I didn’t read this paper throughout. It’s all about demolished houses not about insulting the Spanish.

    You know, first impressions and all that.

    I will get out of your way and not write here anymore. Apologies if I offended and good luck.


  29. Jorge is right… the racist overtones in these comment streams are not acceptable in a modern, free-thinking newspaper group… furthermore I am sure the comments are alien to most olive press readers and I am sure the staff themselves…
    can nothing be done to edit these racist diatribes that are often written in these comment pages?

  30. yes Geoff/Jorge/Justin,

    A number of these comments are completely over the top. While many readers make valid points they often take things too far and are using these comment streams to make totally unacceptable and practially racist attacks on the Spanish, not to mention ridiculous diatribes at each other, which are long and boring.
    However angry and disolussioned some of you may be with the Spanish system, there is no excuse to make personal and quite frankly racist attacks on the Spanish.

    They give our paper a bad name and if they carry on the Olive Press is going to have to consider editing or – worse – take the simpler step of cutting all options to leave comments.

    jon clarke

  31. Thank you. I am not asking people not to comment on the situation, you have every right to do so. In fact, as a Spaniard who wants his country releived from incompetence in certain fields, you should carry on doing it with more energy, naming and shaming where necessary. I for one will support you.

    There is no need, however, for personal, sometimes racist and every time hate-filled attacks on countries or individuals.

    That I think was the spirit of my original post and the illogical subsequent overreaction.

    In any case, I consider the British very highly, have done so and will always do so. This is perhaps why I have found some of the accusations in this thread to have come across so shockingly. I know full well it does not represent the totallity of a Country and will put it down at sheer fustration on the part of the people in question that doesn’t in any way reflect their rightful character.


  32. Jon, I think it would be a great shame to axe the comments. The debate your stories generate is one of the best parts of this website, and I think this adds to the OP.

    Perhaps you could consider adding a “report abuse” button for each comment, and if people start complaining about a particular comment it can be looked at and removed or edited if necessary?

    You might also consider a statement at the top of every commments section along the lines of the one below:

    “Comments do not reflect Olive Press’ opinions. They are simply the personal view of individual users who are not associated to Olive Press in any way. We wish to keep this as open and unregulated as possible. However, rude or foul language, discriminative comments (based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or the sort) or any other offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Please help keep this section clean and report any inadequate comments to the editor. Thank you.

  33. My comments were not intended as racist, merely my honest impressions of the people and the country. I have several good Spanish friends, none of them native Andalucians……they say the same as I, so are they racist too?

    I trust that freedom of speech allows me to say that I believe things will only get worse in Spain (particularly the south) unless the government takes a long hard look at things and instigates change QUICKLY.

    With EU funding drying up, it will be interesting to see what happens.

    Meanwhile, if anyone wants to buy my house, let me know.

    Thought not.

  34. Sarah, that is the funniest comment I’ve read in a while. It is the classic justification of those with racist/superiority issues, along the lines of: “some of my best friends are Jewish, I’ve got nothing against them. I just wish they’d get out of banking and finance and let the blue eyed Aryans get on with it …”

    This is a classic case of ‘the mote in your eye’, and throwing stones and all that. Anybody familiar with the Great British local council/housing authorities? The bumbling, inept, illiterate and chaotic ‘system’ is a serious threat to your health once you get caught up in it. Ignorance of the problems ‘at home’ faced by millions of UK residents means events such as this, in a foreign country, get blown up and become a stereotype of Spanish behaviour.

    I don’t know what possesses the British who venture to buy properties in France/Italy or Spain, expecting to find a smooth running efficiency which exists only in the dreams of Swiss bureaucrats- no matter which way you spell it- and in a foreign language, to boot.

    By the way john clark editor, why have you dropped all norms of good journalism/style/English and dropped case in your name and title? And what pray is ‘disolussioned’ ….? Not to mention the lacking apostrophe in the line in the article above: “Len and Helen Priors dream ” … that should read “Len and Helen Priors’ …” Just because the Grauniad used to get away with it doesn’t mean you can. I know, I know, quick reply, comment section, no time and all that … still it reflects very poorly on the overall standard.

  35. To clarify, when I said the “Spanish are imbeciles” I was mainly referring, of course, to the politicians and mayors and such like. Jorge, you are most certainly not a moron :)

    The Spanish people are no doubt treated equally as badly as expats, as I have said, and are just as fed up with their elected peers as the expats are.

    However, I will stand by my statements about the Spanish people being a bit lacking in the grey matter department when it comes to litter, taking backhanders, being slow, giving terrible customer service, building golf courses on the Ronda plain, ordering silly illegal home demolitions etc, because this is a matter of fact and not even Jorge would not deny this, would you Jorge?

    Jon – as for facist comments can you be specific please – where are they? What can be said and what cannot? Can I call the French imbeciles? Is that facist?

    Stuart does go on a bit, but he does have an impressive grasp of history. Of course, every country writes and teaches its own version of history.

    Jorge needs to come back regarding some of Stuarts points though because there are many valid points there and Jorge might just want to wiggle away without answering any of them, like Pedro frequently does…

    p.s. my keyboard is immaculate.

  36. Hi Fred, Since you have addressed me in your post I have to reply.

    For the third time now. You are all entitled to your opinion, please brief them out as you see fit. Insults or personal attacks are not allowed.

    If there is any part of the above sentence that you do not understand please come back to me and I will try and explain it in more basic English.


  37. Emma

    Your opening comments miss the point, as you seem to have ignored the fact that my Spanish friends feel the same way as I/me……whichever option doesn’t offend your grammatical sensibilities – although it is never wise to criticise grammar and punctuation unless yours is 100% perfect.

    As for comparing systems in the UK to Spain….as I said in an earlier post, it doesn’t really get us anywhere. This site is about all things Spanish….but as a matter of interest, do you really think this systems are better in Spain?

  38. Come on Jorge, these are some valid points made by Stuart, for example:

    >You demand the handback of Gibralter but stubbornly cling
    >to Ceulta and Mellila.

    Jorge? Es verdad, Si? Comments please? What is your opionion on that?

    >You don´t comment on the difference in construction >techniques – all housing in Spain is rubbish built -why >don´t you start a campaign to raise this issue in Spain.

    Good point Jorge – modern Spanish housing construction is pretty awful is it not? Do you agree it is better than construction in Northern Europe?

    >Denial syndrome is the norm in Spain. No Spanish person
    >has ever has been sold an illegal property in the UK have >they?

    Another good point Jorge, can you tell us about all the cases of illegal builds in the UK, France, Germany etc? Why don’t they happen in those countries. Can you tell us why that is do you think?

    So, I’ve come back to you and now I would be grateful for your response on those three specific points, which are very simple straightforward issues. No wriggling out!

  39. Oh no…

    Wadda ya want from me, buddy?

    Look, I think all Spaniards are thick morons. Happy?

    Now, go and play with Pedro for a bit and leave me alone, will ya?

  40. I think Spain is a great place to live. However, since it is a foreign country (for us Brits), then it is bound to be an adventure. Of course, if it wasn’t, then it wouldn’t be worth moving here to live.
    For the Priors, things turned out badly. I doubt they will recover. For many thousands of others, Spain has been a blessing.
    One thing is sure – if I ever had to leave here (mad president throws us all out or whatever…), I wouldn’t go back to England.

  41. Jorge, you’d do us all a favour if you would actually give us your take on the points that Stuart and Fred have raised.

    You said in an earlier post that you wouldn’t be posting on here anymore, so perhaps that would be best for you – unless you’re willing to take part in an actual discussion.

    This childish banter doesn’t help in the slightest.

  42. Sarah, I ignored the fact that your Spanish friends (notably not Andalusians) agree with you, since; a) I simply have to take your word for it, and b) justifying one’s personal prejudices is the easiest thing in the world.

    Where did I say the Spanish system is better? I was pointing out that the English ‘system’ is just as riddled with problems. My post was trying to draw attention to the fact that every country has its quirks and foibles, which the English habitually compare to some standard of excellence which exists in their minds only. There is no one system better than another since each conforms to the culture, and customs, expectations and norms of the society from which it springs.

    This particular case is quite rightly being used to highlight many of the problems involved in buying property or land in a foreign country. The system here is fraught with corruption, time wasting paper work, a chaotic legal system and favouritism. Just like many other places. As others point out here, the Spanish are as exasperated as the English, and frustrated by things like this, but taking it as proof positive of some preconceived prejudice is merely self-congratulatory. There are hundreds of Spaniards caught in similar situations and worse, having lost money on building projects which have simply gone up in smoke, for example, and taking the Priors as an example of Spain’s attitude to the British, is rather narrow minded.

  43. Jorge – it is a real pity you have no opinions on those points raised. Your response is really dissapointing, and so from that I take it you actually agree with Stuart! I think your response was worded in this way because you know you had lost the argument on those points.

    I already clarified to you regarding my earlier points and yet you carry on using that to justify your arguments, indeed your reply is, ironically, moronic in itself. You and Pedro have learnt a lot from each other it seems. Perhaps you are Pedro?

  44. Fred, lost what? the argument… So what.

    Let’s leave it there. I must admit that I am too thick to comments on Gibraltar, Ceuta, Melilla, Pizarro, Hernán Cortés, crappy Spanish food, burning in Catholic hells and assorted insults of a generic nature.

    I am, as you say, too moronic to reach that level of intellect and too busy to waste my limited intelligence on anything that is not making a living begging in the streets.

    The more you address me the more I have to reply. I am such an old fashioned type of guy.


  45. Ok, at least you concede that you lost the argument, that’s a start, thanks (got there in the end).

    I already said that you were not a moron – I clarified that that issue and you ignored it and even re-used it twice again to escape answering any questions. I didn’t mention “Catholic Hells” – I am an agnostic thank goodness – or the food (I like Spanish food, but it is not as creative as French food, that is universally known and not just my opinion).

    I don’t need to address you any more because you already agree with those points raised by Stuart earlier. Why didn’t you just say that in the beginning Jorge? Would have saved all your cringing replies :)

  46. Jorge,
    you have been most devious hav´nt you but don´t you see that some of us at least can see through your very shallow cover.

    Info – Jorge did´nt learn his English working in the UK -it´s far too good for a working class lad. The teaching of English in Spanish schools is abysmal. Jorge comes from an old Africanista family and learned his English at private school.

    My factual account of the Spanish in South America is just that -factual. Most Spanish children believe that Franco was defending Spain and that the republic was illegal – my opinion – no, that was part of a big article in a leading Spanish newspaper.

    The Spanish can never be wrong – that was told me by a long time (30 years) resident here – hence Jorge blaming foreigners for the destruction of his country. Remember the nasty little fat archbishop of Granada telling us all how terrible Islam had been for Spain – when we all know that it was the Christians who ruined Spain. He also threw out 2 Singalese nuns why, because they had black skin – not my opinion but in print in the Ideal newspaper

    I have said before that it is mainly the Brits who get caught in the corruption trap well I was in my local bar two days ago and was asked by Jose if I would help with interpreting with another foreigner, he happened to be Dutch.

    I like to be able to try and keep up my languages. We had a very pleasant conversation and I learned that he was staying with good aquaintances of mine Rafael and Eva who run only the 3rd alt. energy hotel in Europe (the others are in Austria and Switzerland)- the Patio de Lugros.The owners are Rafael who sounds more German than Spanish because he has spent so long in that country and Eva his German wife who is an economist. Both of them despair of Spain and for very logical reasons, many of which I have posted here – I suppose Jorge would call him a self loathing Spaniard but it is only open minded Spanish people like him who can turn this country around.

    I told this Dutchman about the online Olive Press and how there was a hot hot thread on how foreigners were having their homes demolished simply because of the all embracing system of Spanish corruption. I said that I had never heard of any Dutch people getting caught up in all this. His reply was that many, many years ago big articles appeared in the Dutch press warning them about the whole situation – the lawyers/estate agents/the mayors – the whole thing, the Dutch listened.

    The question has to be asked why has this never happened in the UK.

    I also note that not one Brit came back to admit that they should have looked at the whole question of construction in this country, you do not need to be a professional builder to see how bad it is, so in that sense you all kippered yourselves.

    If as a people you do not look after your country then you are stupid, that is not racist that is a self evident fact.

    Yesterday was extremely pleasant for me, visiting Granada to pick up a beautifully repaired little George 1st table, the work of a good friend of mine Enrique(if anyone needs the tel. no of this excellant antique restorer email me). I went there with two local friends, one of whom has fought an 8 year battle to get back his large cave house, illegally squatted by a bunch of Germans. He has recently found out that HIS lawyer has been taking kickbacks from the Germans – hence no action on his behalf.

    All these people are Andalucians and I explained in detail my posts on this thread – they have asked me to say on their behalf that they agree with all I have said. Indeed some years ago now when I mentioned Isabella and Ferdinand – their Catholic majesties one of them went into a huge rant and his words were far more inflammatory than mine.

    Perhaps some of those who have criticised me are Catholics – well thats what the Catholic church/Roman mafia have always been like – or was the order from Rome to exterminate the Cathars a fairy story(amongst many others).

    The stone cold fact is that southern Europe is totally corrupt, the question is what will northern Europe and Scandinavia do about it because no change will come from the south -they simply cannot/will not change.

    Did everyone enjoy this atypical Spring, I hope you did because the percentages are that it will be the last – desertification is growing, this is only the beginning.

  47. I learnt my English whilst working for “La Anguila Alegre SL” trying to nick the recipe for jellied eels over in Mile End.

    No seriously, one year two months with a Spanish Company in London and the rest in state school in Spain.


  48. Stuart,

    Can you do me and the readers a favour please?

    Can you look at all my above posts and state right here where (post number, paragraph, etc) I said that foreigners were ruining my country.

    Here is a list of all my posts for your ease of reference:


    2nd: 12:59 pm
    4th: 5:52 pm
    4th: 6:07 pm
    5th: 9:28 am
    6th: 9:54 am
    7th: 9:57 am

    I would really appreciate your reply.



  49. I suppose one has to realise Jorge that most people who feel the need to make a comment on forums are ones with a grievance. I’m sure there are many more foreigners in Spain who are perfectly happy but don’t feel the need to comment on it. That said there is some justification with a high level of corruption in Spain, but it is not insignificant that this country has only been a recent democracy for 33yrs with the previous forty yrs under a very nasty facist regime. 33 yrs is not long to change ways and mentalities that have been so embedded and divided for so long. Is it not the case that many Brits leave the UK because of over regulation which is crippling and draconian.
    The Socialist party are trying with a raft of new laws this past few years but as I’m sure we all know they largely seem to be ignored, presumably because there is no co operation, or will, and it would seem there is a lack of policing, certainly where I live in Andalucia where there are three policemen covering a huge, allbeit rural area.
    So you Brits, lets be a little bit more lenient and respectful and understanding in our comments.
    Spain has had an awful turbulent and damaging history and I happen to think most are pretty all right despite it. I live in Spain and love it’s people. Mike

  50. Stuart,

    You talk out of your rear end.

    Yes, my brother is a qualified English builder with 30 years experience and he has said the work is good. I t looks good and is good, that is why my builde ris still booked up even now. Swimming pool built years ago, still no problem…

    Don’t jump to conclusions you know nothing about. We are not all negative like you, where everything is bad along with all people.

    And I am normally dubious about most things. Get real and get a life.

  51. What a shame, this thread has merely degenerated to personal insults and “he said she said” tit for tat stuff.

    On reading this entire thread, I would have to agree with the view that Spain has more problems than the UK, expecially concerning justice/laws/construction standards etc.

    Other countries in Northern Europe do indeed have problems -however I just do not believe it is anywhere near the same scale as Spain.

    Jorge (who apparently is spanish) it would be informative if you could answer questions raised in posts – just be the bigger man and don’t be drawn into childish argument

  52. Hi Scot, thank you for your thoughts and views.

    Below you will find a cut and pasted copy an e-mail I sent the editor of this publication, Mr Jon Clarke.

    In it I offered my modest views an how about going and least trying to do something about any irregularities. I hope you will find it of interest.

    Here goes…


    Thanks Jon,

    Likewise, I’m sorry if I’ve come across the way I’m not. We all make
    mistakes. You are clearly a good organisation and definatively good guys.

    I think like you, it’s always the small minority that spoil the whole thing
    for everybody. Anyhow, the bottom line remains and yes, I am shamed on the
    attitude of some of my compatriots in their greed. Of course, they are the
    ones that in practice are ruining the country and should be named and
    shamed. If they are politicians they should be reported to the opposition
    party, lawyers to the Colegio de Abogados and so forth. It may be slow but
    at least we are barking up the right tree.

    Another good thing would be to get in touch with the mainframe Spanish
    media. As you know they are firmly divided in two groups, and so are the
    judiciary for that matter and the same applies. If say, somebody from the PP
    is stuffing his/her pockets and you have reasonable evidence then they
    should be reported to the Cadena Ser, El País or others likeminded and vice
    versa. Oh they are dying to get their hands on stuff like this. Anything
    that the media can get a political angle on will be aired with more vileness
    that any of the comments we have seen here so far

    We are an envious nation, people will be made to fall if they get rich and
    others don’t for the simple reason that these others want to be in their
    place. It is the only way that politicians can be disgraced in this country.
    They can have all the extramarital affairs they wish, dress up as Dolly
    Parton in parties or ruin the economy, they will be safe. This is why the
    PSOE are safe in government in Andalusia and have been since day one, they
    are destroying the land we all know but have been lucky enough not to have
    been cought in any corruption scandal of magnitude, like their national
    counterparts were in 1996 (Roldán, Mariano Rubio, Filesa, etc).

    I will continue using the Olive Press, I have no doubt whatsoever.




    As you can see, as a Spaniard I am critical of some of our elected peers, as it should be. I was very much looking forward to reading an objective post such as yours, that although critical, you have expressed you views as it is your right to do so. Thank goodness. In fact, I will be pleased to answer or give advice on all matters Spanish/Moroccan (my two countries) by PM (don’t worry I will not charge…). That is if there is way to do this in this site. I will not comment anymore here and that is for real this time.

    To the rest, farewell.


  53. Reap what you sow,
    so your brother is a builder of 30 years -so you are telling me that the blocks and clay bricks used in Spain are in anyway the equal of what is available in northern Europe, or the double glazing or the doors or the safety regs. Do you not see how every week and sometimes daily people are dying in Spain from carbon monoxide poisoning. That for years the Spanish authorities denied any liability in the deaths of tourists because of the atrocious installation and total lack of maintenance. What is the U factor of your house – U factor is all about insulation, thermal and acoustic, every house being built in the UK has to acheive a certain level before it can be built.

    What about the 18 young Spanish who died this way in a casa Rural in Murcia – and no one is paying the price for their death. Racist comments no – it would be nice to know how many claims about racism come from Catholics who can´t take the truth about their belief system.

    As for the work still looking good so it should but again have you not seen on Spanish news the apartment blocks falling down in Catalunya/Asturias etc – after just 20 years. Get a life you say – I have one but see my comment below.

    You know I have a feeling that a lot of comments on this thread are really about those, angry that it may make the sale of their houses harder if those looking to buy get put off by eyeballing this forum. Sarah and Fred are not among those.

    Then there are those who have been lucky or more careful in choosing locations or property for them it´s obviously a case of I´m allright Jack – it´s one of the reasons we were glad to leave the UK.

    Jorge you must be a freak to have learned to write English so well – The Opening School is/was a chain of English language centres that went bust a few years ago – an opening school – that is really bad english is´nt it has anyone bothered to tell them to change it?

    When we moved Guadix we opened an acount with the BBVA it had a junior manager who had spent 6 months at the BBVA branch in central London – he did´nt have more than 10 words in English. If every Spaniard living in the UK was given an aptitude test in English – how do you think they would fare. Many Brits who come to live in Spain are not young and the older you get the harder it is – virtuallyall the Spanish who come to work in the UK are young.

    Denial syndrome is a clear manifestation of weakness. One poster said that Spain has only been free of Fascism for 33 years – The Spanish have had 5 centuries in Central and South America – you want to come back on that one.

    If the Spanish had gone to India or south west Asia would we still be able to marvel at the Taj Mahal, the fabulous palaces of Rajistan or the temples of southern India or in Thailand/Cambodia or Vietnam – to say that the Spanish have destroyed wilfully and deliberately everywhere they have conquered is not racist but factual – this is their history. When Evo Morales said that “in the time of my grandparents, any indigenous person who tried to learn to read and write had their eyes gouged out and their hands cut off” – who did this – the descendants of the Spanish conquistadores.

    So according to some on this thread that is a racist comment – no a factual one. Are these comments from the chattering classes -you betcha.

  54. Sarah,
    we have an abondoned dog, an ugly little sod when he was found – 3 months old and abandoned on the Autovia sliproad, normal practice, that´s why we see so many killed around the motorway -he now is a very handsome fella and lots of Spanish have asked to buy him from us.

    Tellingly and shockingly we have been asked if he is coming with us to France and this from people we would never have dreamed to ask this question – of course he is!Did they think we would abandon him!

    A dog licence – this has to be something local or just a way of ripping you off, why do I say this, easy to tell. We have an immediate neighbour on our floor – Paco/Policia Local and on the floor above, Alejandro/Guardia Civil – neither have ever said that we need a dog licence, nor has the vet. Yes the Fox is micro-chipped and has all his jabs except flue ones – they can kill, so he does´nt have these.

    BTW, here in Guadix we have an excellant pet and feed shop run by a lovely man called Angel and he is with dogs, just had him clipped out with no anaesthetic or teeth guard and for E25 including bath afterwards and this with a dog that needs two men to hold him when we visit the vet- I´d rec. him to anyone.

    I read something today that absolutely stunned me and I immediately knew this meant even bigger problems for decent people like Fred and Sarah who did´nt buy a house as an investment but as a home.

    Buy today´s Ideal newspaper and read the full page spread on the ´castigation of Spanish architects´. this paper really lays into them about how the Schools of Architects should have acted to stop the overbuilding and how even when the economy recovers (really!) the construction industry can never go back to employing anything like the numbers previously.

    Especially read the small bracketed box in the middle of the page – there must be a new code; the same as the rest of Europe (we can rightly assume they mean northern Europe); better/safer construction techniques (because they are aware that earthquakes will leave maybe millions killed in the event of a big one), better building materials and better concrete.

    Why was´nt this urged and indeed demanded by the then Spanish government when the boom in construction began about 17 years ago?

    So here´s the thing – when this becomes general knowledge it will make it almost impossible to sell existing property, since anyone with at least half a brain will wait until they can purchase a decent and safe home.

    Sarah and Fred, if you can afford to take a real drop in price and sell do so. I realise this places you in a real moral dilemma situation – do you tell potential purchasers about all this or keep quiet – I would´nt like to be in your situation.

    The only other alternative is renting it out and use the rental income to fund a life in France. Don´t use local agents, either Brit or Spanish – I heard years ago how they were ripping off their clients by only declaring half the lets. It might be worth finding out how many others might think about renting out their properties and create your own website and share the costs – remember to be effective it must be professional and idiot proof.

    So there it is, change is coming, of course you can bet your life that the big construction companies will fight tooth and nail not to adopt real standards – think of all the lawsuits they will face when the ordinary Spanish find they have been ripped off.

    For all those Spanish who went abroad to work and walked around with their heads stuck firmly up their backsides I have no sympathy. Why, when they came back to Spain from Germany/Switzerland/Denmark/Norway/Britain did´nt they demand the same standard of materials and construction!

  55. Thanks Scot. It’s interesting reading all these posts as it gives you an idea about what’s going on. It’ll be a while yet before I can move out so hopefully some of this will be sorted out by then.

  56. Stuart

    I must admit to losing the plot when informed about this new “licence fee” – as far as I am concerned I’ve done my bit by providing strays with a home – they are vaccinated, ‘chipped and well cared for (I’m waiting for pet passports to be finalised so that I can get them out of Spain when the time comes)
    The dog licence appears to be just that, another cash cow…..according to the town hall it’s been law for years, but has never been enforced – however with all these Brits here now, it appears to be a good time to do just that, as most of them will pay rather than lose their dog. This is in the north of Almería, and apparently is going to be made official soon across the province. We’ll see.

    I wouldn’t mind as much if the dogs in my village were half as well cared for as ours, not to mention being vaccinated and chipped – strangely the police are not interested in this, even though they’ve visited us and other Brits in the village in order to check our dogs’ papers.

    We had an earthquake a few months back, and were near the epicentre of it. It was only 2.8 on the scale, but felt quite strong enough thank you! I used to live in Los Angeles and was used to minor tremors on a daily basis and also experienced a couple of strong quakes…..due to the superior construction, it was not an issue.

    However here in Spain, my house has been badly damaged as a result of this minor quake, and a portion of it needs to be rebuilt – luckily my insurance will cover it but the company has told me that future claims may not be honoured as they will be excluding landslip/subsidence/heave as a result of earthquakes, due to the huge number of claims they’ve had.

    A friend of mine’s house is to be demolished, due to subsidence problems, again as a result of earthquakes in the region. His insurance company are quibbling over the settlement amount as they say the house is not worth as much as when he and his wife purchased it 6 years back.

    I no longer have a moral dilemma as far as selling my house on…..if people don’t do their research in this day and age then that’s not my problem I’m afraid, and as you said, people with half a brain are going to want properly built homes, no matter how much character an old finca/cortijo has.

    However, I don’t see how we will manage to either rent or sell within the next few years, as Spain’s reputation is now so bad. We have the funds to buy in France, but worry about leaving the property in Spain unoccupied – break ins are obviously a worry, but there’s been a few cases around here where squatters have broken into homes and occupied them, and it’s really hard to get them out.

    I would consider allowing a family to live there and just pay utility bills etc., but as we live in the campo, it’s not a desirable location for people that are working in town.

    There’s also the issue of rental agreements….either the rental company ceases trading or the agreements don’t seem to be legally binding – the laws in Spain are apparently more sympathetic to renters than the property owners, so you may have a hard time removing someone from your property even if the rental period is expired.

  57. Sarah,

    You fell into the same trap as we did with abaondoned dogs.
    I have a criminal record simply because of the corrupt legal system (that seems a misnoma to me).

    We have a neighbour who is a pastor and he allowed us to use an abandoned cave house/corral in the Tierras Malas on the road to Benelua. It is a dog´s heaven visited by no one except Pepe and his sheep. In any part of northern Europe it would be heaving with people from the cities at the weekend but the Spanish do not like the land, none more so than the young, so we had it all to ourselves.

    All was well for 14 months until two work crews suddenly arrived – one worked for RENFE – they were a strange bunch and I got a gut feeling that they were ´wrong uns´.

    At this point I have to bring up the word COMMUNICATION yes it does exist in the Spanish language but it´s something the Spanish are unaware of.

    Because there are so many abandoned dogs of every type and size, mongrel and thoroughbred it never occurred to me that dog theft was rampant but it did´nt surprise me that the Guardia could´nt give a damn.

    Our 3 abandoned dogs were stolen and it did´nt take much to work out who the theives were – the Guardia did´nt give a damn. Knowing what kind od life they would have and certain that the beagle cross – Will was too recognizable i was certain that he would have been killed and only the other two sold on. Ossian was a Goribito – a hunting dog. If he was found to be too nervous of gunfire he would be shot or abandoned.

    I had a confrontation with two of the RENFE work crew, one of whom could not have been involved but the other was definately one of the theives.

    I was threatened by this other one who was a body builder with an industrial rake – very big and with 4 x arrow pointed tines. He was a few bricks short of a wall but had enough sense to back off when I was´nt frightened by the rake – I had with me a Swedish skinning knife and piece of olive wood to cut into a walking stick.

    I went to the Guardia (who thought it all a big joke) but persevered. One of the Guardia gave the nod to this RENFE crew to come in and make a denuncia against me.

    It went to Court and when the female judge had heard all the evidence – she spent two minutes laying into the two Spanish. My Court appointed interpreter said that she heard one of the accused saying ´he would lose his job´and I asked her -whathappens next, her reply was, that they would be sentenced later.

    3 months later I get a letter asking me to go to the Court – I am then handed a letter telling me that Iam the guilty party – The knife I had with a 4 inch blade had transformed into a ´machete´ – the piece of olive wood had become a ´spear´and the industrial rake weilded by one of the Spanish guys had ´disappeared´ – this is a realtime example of ´Spanish justice´ – you could´nt make it up.

    I was advised by Spanish friends to let it drop as at least one of those Spanish would be attackers ´knew someone, or paid someone who was ´enchufargo´to ´speak(bung) to the female Judge. I believe this same Judge acted illegally to help her boyfriend, got a smack on the wrist and surprise, surprise is still a Judge.

    Sarah – do not think of using an existing letting agency – you must do it yourself.

    I´m writing this after returning from France.

    It looks like we have cracked it, though there was soem stress and a couple of ´domestics´along the way.

    We are both agreed 100% on where we want to live in France, without pressure from either of us – it is within a 10 K square area. There is an RN within a few K/there is an SNCF line also/ major shopping area within 25K (Lidls and a Geant Casino). The local maries/alcaldes all want to encourage new people into the area.

    There are serious building regs that can´t be broken or ignored for a ´bung´- great I´m not a vaquero.

    And to cap it all it looks like we only have to provide satisfactory finacial refs (no problem) to rent a marvellous apartment, that turns out to be the only one in this old house that has only one negative – it is right near the RN but as double glazing in France is just that REAL, noise is no problem and it comes with a massive garage and storage place and a 250 sq.m garden, that will give him freedom and a ´potage´for me.

    It is right on the edge of where we want to live permenantly -I may even be able to buy a big enough piece of land to build more homes as well. The local marie is very interested in my alt. energy design and would just love it to win a national competition – no one has asked for a bung/back hander.

    All the rooms are big with beautiful views at the back and all for €400 a month. There is a boulangeris just across the road and the owner Phillipe speakes excellant English and Spanish. Worse for my waistline the Hotel where we stayed has a first class restaurant run by the hotel owner where a menu de le jour is €12 has 5 plates, wine and coffee – working men here are eating Cordon Blue standard food – these daily menus blow the Spanish equivalent out of the water.

    I would advise anyone thinking of living in another country to ALWAYS RENT FIRST. I know this is difficult in Spain and that´s why I wanted to build a small alt. energy home for foreigners to rent say for a month at a time. the build would have been totally different to anything available in Spain and would have been an excellant way to promote my designs – it was´nt meant to be – esta la vida.

    Some tips on France – only idiots buy land or houses at the bottom of valleys – why do you think the French want to sell in these situations -because it makes for unhealthy living conditions.

    It is always more expensive and time consuming to renovate rather than new build. Existing French properties are for most foreigners either too small or too big. Older properties especially those built by the French peasants have small windows – planning regs will not allow you to change the sizes.

    Be aware that the whole of SW France is known as the mosquito belt. We visited a lovely small town, 6 K from Figeac/the Lot – absolutely beautiful walks all along and around the Diege river – we got eaten alive by mosquitoes. So no sitting out in the warm months.

    South of France – too expensive, lots of theiving and the same mentality to noise as across the border.

    Do I need to say it – don´t trust agent immobillieres – there is no substitute for ´local knowledge´and the French are only too happy to tell you the bad as well as the good points in their locality – in France communication is something they the French are very good at.

    We are so thankful for the genuine help offered by hotel owners/farmers and ordinary people in general.

    Be aware that san meubles means just that – the kitchen of the house we will (fingers xed)rent has just a kitchen sink, which is fine for us.

    Anything to do with kitchens costs an arm and a leg – buy in Spain, more to the point take advantage of Plan Renove and get a 20% discount.

    Item a gas (Butane) 5 burner hotplate and oven, we are going to buy here for €256 – a smaller version in France would cost €440. Same goes for frost free freezers (buy German).

    I think we will make the move for free on the money we save on buying items here. I will not use a professional movers but hire a lorry and driver and labour at both ends.

    Back to the Priors and to others in the same boat – you will acheive nothing by campaigning in the streets of Spain – you will have to organize yourselves and go to Brussels and Strasbourg – you need to get coverage in the international press. You need to hound the MEPs ( a useless bunch of parasites) If you don´t nothing will be acheived.

    Near the beginning of this thread, there were a couple who poo-pooed my comments about corrupt politicians – I said they either fed from or had done so from the same trough – well it´s all coming out into the open. Of course nothing much will happen because the Brits like the Spanish are too passive or just plain frightened of assuming any kind of personal responsibility.

    BTW there have been lots of comments in the financial press about the ´near banckruptcy´of certain ´southern European countries´. It´s all very well for the German State to say it is happy to sub southern Europe but for sure ordinary Germans/Dutch and Scandinavians are´nt and sooner or later these governments are going to have to listen to their citizens.

  58. Dear Mr Crawford, on 8 May, you said:

    “If the Spanish had gone to India or south west Asia would we still be able to marvel at the Taj Mahal, the fabulous palaces of Rajistan or the temples of southern India…”

    Now please, please tell me that, by saying that, you are not making some favourable comparison between the British Empire and its Spanish equivalent. Please tell me that, because the British chose not to include destruction of the architectural heritage of the Indian sub-continent in its policy of subjugation of the indigenous people, the protagonists of the British Empire were somehow morally superior to the Spanish conquistadores.

    And please tell me that we are not going to cast so harsh a light on the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany just because it took the decision not to raze Paris to the ground in 1944.

    And please tell me that, because of the fabulous and progressive institutions that Napoleon set up in France, we somehow conveniently forget that the wars of aggression that he instigated over a 17 year period left as much as 6 million people dead in Europe. That example is interesting because in France the great man is, even to this day, considered a national hero.

    And please tell me that, in reverence to the benevolent model of democratic socialism we find in Sweden, we brush under the carpet the fact that, between 1934 and as recently as 1976, the country had an open policy of forced sterilisation of people considered as socially unfit; those targeted being people considered as mentally ill, of mixed race, gypsies, or for having physical defects.

    Now I don’t suggest for a minute that you are an apologist for any of the above. But you choose to use facts from the history of the Spanish people in the arguments you propagate against Spain. Please consider this before criticising me for doing the same with northern European countries. And please also first review your comments on this thread if you are going to criticise me for making comparisons between different countries and cultures. I also choose to make such comparisons to support the argument that I will now go on to discuss below; this being addressed primarily to Sarah.

    Dear Sarah, on 2 May you mentioned that comparisons between countries are irrelevant. But you miss the crucial theme of this thread (which I admit is now somewhat removed from the theme of the original Olive Press article). It is the very fact that the comparison is being made between Spanish life and life elsewhere (particularly life in northern Europe) that is important. I go on to explain why.

    Please consider the following quotes that I’ve managed to extract from the ongoing discussion:

    Fred on 16 April: “These Spanish imbeciles are yet again shown to be totally wrong. They have tarnished their country forever as a bunch of ill-educated, corrupt and illegal bunch of incompetents.”

    Fred on 18 April: “France is a properly run country and does not have the inherent corruption of Spain”

    Yourself on 22 April: “I would also comment on the Spanish mentality……they don’t see further than the nose on their face.”

    Stuart Crawford on 27 April: “Militarily it would be suicide to take on northern European armies but if southern Europe did this it would be a great opportunity to come in and sort things out.”

    Yourself on 2 May: “Can you imagine the chaos if Spain had to cope with more people? The power cuts, the litter, the state of the roads etc….are bad enough now!”

    Stuart Crawford on 4 May: “If you Spanish want to be considered ´modern Europeans´you had better start behaving like those in the north – you need to understand that ´we do not need you – you need us.”

    Stuart Crawford on 4 May: “Just take a trip to France and see just how different that country is and how the people treat their countryside compared to Spain – If the French look down on Spain and the Spanish way, you will, if you open your eyes see why they have this attitude.”

    Stuart Crawford on 4 May: “You Spanish have an awful lot of issues to deal with before you can possibly be considered a modern country -un fortunately as a people you are very cowardly”

    Stuart Crawford on 4 May: “remember when all the water is gone – there will be no room for you in northern Europe – you have and are wilfully destroying your country, pretty soon you will have nowhere to go but your Catholic hell.”

    Stuart Crawford on 7 May: “The stone cold fact is that southern Europe is totally corrupt, the question is what will northern Europe and Scandinavia do about it because no change will come from the south -they simply cannot/will not change.”

    Scot on 8 May: “Other countries in Northern Europe do indeed have problems -however I just do not believe it is anywhere near the same scale as Spain.”

    Considering the underlying sentiment of the above comments, would I be wrong to suggest that some contributors to this thread consider that life in northern Europe is somehow superior to that in Spain? And if I am wrong, then could you please tell me what sentiment is being expressed by the above comments?

    Let’s summarise the main gripes against Spain and the Spanish that have been expressed in this thread: a corrupt legal system; corrupt politicians (certainly local anyway); dodgy building practices; poor attitude to litter and the landscape in general; poor treatment of, at least domestic, animals. There’s probably more in there, but those are the one’s that I have picked out.

    Now I don’t claim to be well travelled. However I have visited and spent time in a few places around the world. I have friends who have lived in and visited other places. I have read about yet more countries of the world. Given the above, and a little of bit of research, I reckon that I could take the above list of gripes and make a claim that they apply to large areas of the world today. That would include the rest of southern Europe (as already intimated by Mr Crawford), many countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean, large tracts of Africa, big areas of the Indian sub-continent and some countries in South-east Asia.

    So now we are in the realms of suggesting that life in northern Europe is superior to that of many parts of the rest of the world. We’re now in danger of resurrecting the very rationale that was used to create, expand and perpetuate the British Empire. The empire of liberty that would impose British values on its subjects because British values were inherently better and, you know, Britain was only trying to do what was best for the indigenous people.

    Now am I suggesting that the British Empire is about to make a comeback any time soon? Of course not. That would be ludicrous. But consider the following. In the very recent past a certain George W Bush and his neo-conservative allies drew the conclusion that American values of liberty and democracy were somehow inherently superior to those of other parts of the world, particularly the Middle East. They then drew the further conclusion that those countries would benefit from such values being encouraged, if not imposed, upon them. They then established a foreign and military policy accordingly. And look at the mess we’re in now as a result.

    We all need to be very careful about what we think and, especially, about what we say.

  59. You do waffle, Koba…


    “Fred on 16 April: “These Spanish imbeciles are yet again shown to be totally wrong. They have tarnished their country forever as a bunch of ill-educated, corrupt and illegal bunch of incompetents.””

    I stand by that. Even the Spanish Court said the demolition was illegal. Anyone who demolishes a house and the rules it illegal is an imbecile in my book. I am of course referring to the Spanish planning, local authorities and legal system as a whole, which are laregely incompetant and corrupt and never investigate themselves.

    “Fred on 18 April: “France is a properly run country and does not have the inherent corruption of Spain””

    Absolutely. In Spain, as I said before, one almost expects to be conned/mininformed/lied to about property/legal issues – this is a thread about PROPERTY and LEGAL issues, remember. All countries have corruption, but in Spain the corruption in the planning system is endemic – in France, if you purchase a house the land registry will be correct; the legal advice will be correct and noone will expect a backhander to get the job done. That was my point Koba.

    The Middle East is such a lovely place…. Should I remind you about the teenage girl who was stoned to death recently for an unplanned pregnancy (she was in fact raped) or when a young boy has his hands chopped off for stealing a loaf of bread). These countries need to show some humanity to their own people before lecturing others. It may be “their way” of doing things, but I doubt anyone here would endorse it.

    Most countries have despicable track records in the treatment of people; let us stick to the thread about Spain and the mad planning situation eh?

  60. Dear Fred. I never said the Middle East was a wonderful place. Do I therefore agree that military intervention should be used to sort out their social issues? A preposterous suggestion? Well, I quote again the following comment made on this very thread:

    “Militarily it would be suicide to take on northern European armies but if southern Europe did this it would be a great opportunity to come in and sort things out.”

    Fred, I accept that you are attempting to stick to the original topic of the article. And I admire you for it. However I’m afraid to say that the discussion on the thread has gone beyond that. Please read the following comments and tell me what they have to do with planning laws in Spain:

    “If you Spanish want to be considered ´modern Europeans´you had better start behaving like those in the north – you need to understand that ´we do not need you – you need us.”

    “You Spanish have an awful lot of issues to deal with before you can possibly be considered a modern country -un fortunately as a people you are very cowardly”

    “the problem is mentally you are still in the time of the mass murderers Pizarro and Cortez”

    You can criticise me for not sticking to the original theme. You have the right to do that. But you cannot say that I am not allowed to pass comment on such statements as above. Once they are out there in the public domain, they are there to be challenged whether or not they are anything to do with the original topic.

  61. I didn’t say you were the only person who was waffling, Koba. It is a waste of time going over historical issues, important as they are, since no country is blameless and history just repeats itself forever anyway.

    As for the “we do not need you – you need us” there is a ring of truth in that statement, mainly in the latter part, because unless the expats start buying houses here again, Spain will never properly recover. Indeed having talked to a few Spanish friends over the weekend they said they did not expect Spain to ever recover, purely because of the lack of expat buyers and their spending power. Spain relied on expats for decades and took their money for decades, and and now their abscence is one of the main reasons that Spain is hurting so much.

  62. Koba

    I did indeed make comparisons between Spain and other countries….. after saying some derogatory things about my personal experience of Spain and it’s people, other contributors immediately came back with examples of life in the UK and other countries, which of course I responded to.

    I guess I would echo Scot’s feelings, problems exist in every country – I live in Spain and see the scale of ineptitude, indifference and corruption (can’t wait to see what happens if the lid is ever lifted on the perks and allowances of the ayuntamientos/Junta and the Spanish government) I truly believe it is the most hypocrital country in the EU.

    I cannot wait to get out of here!

    Stuart – is there a way of giving you my email address privately? – I would like to stay in contact as your advice on France is very useful – if we do manage to sell, I will be first in line to rent one of your properties (which will definitely be built by the time I sell!)

  63. Hi Sarah,
    it´s a shame this forum doe´nt have a PM section/private mail. This works very well on audio forums.

    Is it possible for those that live within a reasonable(Spanish) distance of each other to hold a get-together. I live in Guadix which is a peach to get to from either Almeria or Granada – anyone up for this.

    Here´s one of my email adresses Sarah – [email protected]. BTW I will be building and selling houses in France, rather than renting.

    Chris – you want us to shut up – with telling the truth – I´ll bet their are so many who would have loved to have had access to the info available on this forum – dreams are what you need to discard, grasp the truth and act from there – the way you are thinking will end in tears.

    I love Granada it´s one of very few cities I have time for but be aware that it has terrible pollution problems, without this, Albacin would be a wondeful place to live and don´t forget it´s water problems, which will only get worse.

    Kobe – would´nt it be nice if you replied to my comments about your friend living in France – you never do – a typical politco´s response. I remember watching Question Time once and it had a Danish politician on the show – you should have seen the disgust on the UK politicos faces because the man answered all questions immediately with a positive or a negative.

    You have of course totally ignored my comments that ALL European countries and peoples need to take an honest look at where they have come from – why do you do that – it is´nt very sensible is it. Now do tell me what you personally think about your friend´s attitude to living in France.

    There are many things I like about the ordinary working people here in Spain. The eye contact, actually pressing flesh, being able to have an argument without it turning physically violent – it´s the professional class that is the cancer in Spain and yes in the UK too. there is an obvious answer to the mutual problems but it means getting your hands dirty – 95% of people run away from that outcome which is why this parasitic class keeps grinning and will continue to do so.

    We are already lining up Spanish friends to come and visit us – I look forward to cooking French style – if I am lucky I may get to work in Laurent´s kitchen (the hotel) when he is really busy – I can´t wait.

  64. Cheers Stuart. Reading these posts has certainly been an eye-opener! It’ll be a while before I can even think about living in Spain but thanks for all your advice.

  65. Dear Mr Crawford. I am aware of your previous comments about the conspicuous history of ALL European people. Therefore, given that you have that opinion, I assume that you will be happy for me to add some historical context when you, or anybody else for that matter, decides to draw generalisations about the character of a particular nation of people based on its past crimes.

    I also clocked your comments in regards to my friend living in France. I decided not to respond to those because, unlike things that I mention about history or current affairs that you can of course corroborate, anything I say in response to your comments about my friend has to be taken at face value. I quite simply thought you wouldn’t believe what I said. Perhaps I have done you an injustice there. If so, I apologise.

    Anyway, there are many things that my friend can be accused of, but having a rigid mentality is definitely not one of them. And I don’t believe that I said he was unhappy living in France. If that came across in the words I used it was not my intention. He is very much settled in France and is almost certainly going to be staying there for the duration. But that doesn’t stop him being frustrated at certain aspects of life in France and the way things work in France. And much of this frustration derives from him being accustomed to things working as they do in the United Kingdom. That was the point I was trying to make.

    I’ll give you an example Mr Crawford, which perhaps might conjure up a sense of exasperation similar to what you feel with certain aspects of life in Spain. My friend runs a company in France and therefore is in the business of employing people. You will probably already know that French employment law is extremely complex and is very focused in its protection of the rights of employees. Fair enough. Anyway, my friend ended up employing someone who turned out to be not competent at the job he was being asked to do. Furthermore this person had lied about his previous work experience, almost certainly in order to get the job in the first place. Now you might consider that my friend deserved what was coming to him for not having done his due diligence on this person’s background. But the deception was extremely elaborate and involved his friends acting as bogus referees, etc, etc.

    Of course, once it was clear that this person couldn’t do his job and had fabricated his CV, my friend wanted to sack this person. But could he do it? No he couldn’t. French employment law required him to go through the due process of an employment tribunal, whose proceedings to set up and execute took well over a year. And during that time my friend was obliged to continue paying this person’s salary despite the fact that he never turned up or did a single ounce of work for the company. This tribunal was drawn out in spite of the fact it was already proved that the person had effectively committed fraud in lying about his previous work experience.

    You might be able to imagine how frustrated my friend became at the whole affair. Does that mean that employment laws are better elsewhere, for example in Britain? Well the Frenchman who comes to Britain and works, for example, in a factory in Birmingham as agency staff and realises he can be jettisoned with one day’s notice and has none of the statutory employee benefits that he entitled to in France might not think so.

    As to your Danish politician on Question Time, I don’t know anything about Danish politics, or how their politicians behave in public. I merely ask you the following question. Do you think that politician would have behaved the same way if he was on a political show on DANISH television under the watchful gaze of his OWN electorate?

    It seems to me politicians have behaved the same way, for example not giving a straight answer to a straight question, since pretty much politics was invented. It’s just the way politics works. It’s the same the world over and I very much doubt that Denmark is any different. That said, the system seems to work in that representative democracy, for those countries lucky enough to have benefited from it for a while, has on the whole delivered growing prosperity and greater personal freedoms and civil liberties; infinitely more so than any other political system yet tried.

    While we’re on the subject of politics, here’s what I think is the problem with Spain. It’s essentially an argument against devolution. Local politics in Spain is essentially an amateur business. It has to be that way. When you have elected officials down to individual villages, it can’t be any other way. So, for example in the village I live in, the mayor is a full-time car mechanic. Now this may come across as elitist and I make no apologies for it, but what experience and qualifications does this person have in civic administration?

    So, for example, the mayor of my village gave planning permission for a development of apartments in the village that has since run out of money and has resulted in a half-finished edifice that will no doubt remain in that state for several years to come. If the mayor had even the slightest amount of business acumen, he would have realised that the business plan for the development was doomed from the start, and hence he should never have given it the go-ahead. I’m not going to get into the business of unsubstantiated speculation as to whether the mayor’s consent to the development was motivated by a back-hander.

    Now contrast this with the UK. Despite the recent trend in devolution, local politics in the UK is still organised in fairly large entities; for example a county, or a large city/urban conurbation. Therefore the business of civic administration requires and attracts capable people to it. Thus, while it is true that most local councillors have other jobs to do, local politics in Britain is essentially a professional business, not an amateur one. Elected local politicians in Britain are, on the whole, people who have the experience and qualifications necessary to manage a large and complex organisation such as a local council.

    The other thing is that the civil service in Spain is burdened with a skull-crushing bureaucracy that mirrors the complexity and rigidity of the country’s system of civic law. The British civil service doesn’t suffer in the same way. This isn’t just a problem in Spain. It’s the same all over continental Europe. As I think I mentioned in another thread, you have the Romans and, latterly, Napoleon to thank for that.

    Finally, whatever you might think about British politics at the moment, at least the politicians are accountable to the electorate, thanks to a free and robust media (both newspapers and TV). It seems to me the same level of public scrutiny doesn’t exist in Spain or, indeed, France (not judging by what M. Chirac and M. Mitterand managed to get away with).

    So, in my opinion, and not wishing to get into an argument about how it got to where it is today, it’s the political system that lets down Spain. It’s not, as I think you seem to suggest Mr Crawford, because of some deep-set character flaws in the whole nation.

    So why don’t they do away with the system? Well it’s not that easy is it? Once a political system is in place you can just get rid of it. There’s too much inertia and vested interests associated with it. For example, how do you go about winding up the Scottish Parliament if, in the future somebody decided it wasn’t actually doing Scotland any good? Once it’s created, it’s very difficult to un-create or fundamentally reform.

  66. Hmm Koba, lots of flaws therein… all your friend needed to do was take on the person in question for a TRIAL PERIOD to see if they could do the job, then it would become
    apparant that they could not, and then they would not have got the all important employment CONTRACT. Easy really, so why did your friend not do that?!

    As for your mayor being a car mechanic, it says it all really. No wonder Spain is in a state.

  67. Dear Fred. I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that in France. You’re assuming that employment law in France works the same way as it does in Britain. It doesn’t. Once you are a permanent employee, that’s it. You have a contract from the very first day.

    That’s why the process of employing somebody in France is very long and drawn out. Because employers have to be absolutely sure of who they are taking on.

    A daft situation you might be thinking Fred. Well that’s what happens when you live and work in a foreign country. Things that seem blindingly crazy to you just happen to be the way things are. It’ll be the same anywhere you go. I’m sure there are a million things about how Britain works that the French would think are illogical.

    Now I accept that you could accuse my friend of being a bit naiive in being taking in by this person in the first place. I accept that, although as I say the deception was elaborate. But the main point for me is that, even though it was very quickly established that the person had blatantly lied about his background, the French authorities insisited in going through the due process of the employment tribunal in its entirity. And, like Spain, the French civil service is blighted with inneficiences; it also being interlinked closely with the complexities and rigidity of the country’s system of civil law. Thus a process that in Britain that would probably have been done and dusted in a few days took over a year to come to a conclusion.

    Further to that, I gather that at the end of all of this, the person in question was then entitled to unemployment benefit under the French social security system. The rate was set at 75% of his previous salary. It was payable over a fairly long period of time, possibly as much as a year although I am not exactly sure how long. During that period, like other unemployment benefit claimants in France, he didn’t have to sign on or proove to the authorities that he was actively looking for work. He apparently quite happily took the money and spent the time playing golf. Another crazy situation? Well, that’s just the way they do things in France.

    As to the mayor in my village, I may have done him an injustice. He’s not just merely a car mechanic in that he does own his own car repair business. But I think you still get the jist of what I am trying to say about local politics in Spain.

  68. Dear Fred, further to my previous reply to you this morning. In order to avoid being on the receiving end of another accusation from Mr Crawford of being selective in my arguments, I will point out that French politicians have recently made some progress in attempting to sort out France’s rigid employment laws. They have introduced the more flexible contrat nouvelle embauche (CNE) that makes it easier for employers to dismiss employees in the first two years of employment:


    This type of contract is applicable to employees of any age but only to companies with no more than 20 employees. It was not available in statute at the time of my friend’s situation and, in any case now, is no longer applicable since his company is larger than 20 employees.

    The following (part of a series of five web pages) gives a a nice summary of the situation my friend found himself in:


    The summary being that the burden of proof for dismissal usually lies with the employer, even if the plaintiff is in fact the employee, and that such action is subject to a lengthy tribunal process whose costs are borne by the employer alone.

    The following 7 pages is also gives a summary of the employment law situation in France:


    Although it is possible to employ someone on a short-term contract, such a course of action attracts very stringent conditions. For example you can’t simply turn a position from a short-term contract (CDD) into an open-term contract (CDI) simply for the convenicence of the employer.

    As I say, the common themes of rigidity, complexity and inflexibility all come back to the Romans first and then Napoleon and his Code. The concept of codifying the law is one that most of continental Europe is blighted with. It contrasts with the much more flexible approach of letting case precedence determine the law, as in England and United States (amongst other places). It’s why companies, no matter where they are in the world, want to enter into contracts under the auspices of English or US law. Of course with employment law, you don’t have a choice in the matter.

    Anyway, blah, blah, blah.

  69. Kobe,
    your arrogance is par for the course but still nauseating – your mayor did´nt go to university so he´s a stupid prole who should know his place.

    In the UK we have all these desk jockeys in control of the town halls with all their useless diplomas who pay themselves wacking salaries and expense perks. Who hide these obscene pay packages from the people who actually pay them. Who are terrified to take on the corrupt scum in London who order them to build more homes and destroy more of rural Britain and these homes are for? the chattering classes from London who price out all the locals. Indeed there are many Brits living in France not from choice but because they cannot compete with the Londoners back home.

    Would´nt it be good if these spineless grossly overpaid and pensioned scum copied the Dutch and blocked the sale of any property for those who want (but don´t need) a second home. It has been illegal from way before WW11 to have the use of a second home anywhere in the Netherlands. You can own as many properties as you like but only live in one.

    As to employment issues in the UK being done and dusted in a few days is of course a blatant lie but lying comes very easily to the political class.

    How long does it take to get rid of a corrupt policeman – maybe two or three years and they get paid in full even when it is obvious that that are totally corrupt. Better still it took 3 years to find the murderers of the Brazilian boy not guilty of anything and the arrogance of the piece of scum called a judge. He is one of that select bunch of Monday Club members who don´t have their pensions capped like everyone else.

    What happened to those company directors who knowingly added diseased sheep brains into food for herbivores and caused a terrible death from BSE for so many and will continue to do so into the forseeable future – why nothing.

    You of course talk about yourself when you use the word ´selectively´. We all know ehere you are coming from and who and what you represent. When I was younger I took a great pleasure in demolishing those from the chattering classes but it is so easy that it became boring.

    As to France – well go and see how much less stress the ordinary French person has to put up with. As long as the elite in the UK can put plenty of slops in the trough there will be no problem but the day they can´t will be the beginning of the end for them, which of course they know only too well.

    In France, on the brightest day, the French elite know there is always the shadow of Madame Guillotine and they know that the French people will not hesitate to dust her down and use her to solve their problem once again. Indeed talking to a young Frenchman on my last visit he grinned and said we can do better than our ancestors – we have designed an automatic one that can decapitate thousands per day.

    The professional class has become too greedy – there will be a price to pay. Reading the FT a couple of weeks ago was in interesting chart showing the difference in pay between CEOs and line workers in the USA from 1965 until last year. In 65 the differential was 25-1, now it is 375-1, that is disgusting and is replicated in Europe.

    Not a word from Kobe about the corrupt vermin in Westminster because that´s his own class and it does´nt suit his argument – boring and stupid.

    Kobe, it is obvious that you want to have a US style society where all upward mobility has been impossible for maybe 30 years or more. Where people can be treated as disposable garbage by the bosses and where you better have millions of $ of health insurance or – don´t get sick.

    We live in Europe and yes the UK and most of those that come from there are of Celtic or Germanic blood – we are Europeans – if you can´t handle that if you want to live in a country where only money counts and democracy is a very sick joke. If you want to live amongst weirdos who call themselves Christians but would´nt know it even if Josiah came back from the dead and hit them in the face. where every nutter has access to guns, where your children maybe shot dead in school etc. etc – the answer is very simple – go straight away and buy yourself a one way ticket to the USA -AND DON´T COME BACK.

    Where would you rather get taken ill, the UK or France. On a Saturday night, where would you prefer to take an evening stroll in a small town in France or Spain or amongst the drunken violent English youth in any small town in England. I don´t need to go on do I. Indeed Kobe since everything is so much better in the UK – what the hell are you doing in any part of mainland Europe at all.

  70. Lol Koba you are like a human google, but I don’t need to read reams of links to know how to hire an employee. You just DO WHAT I SAID originally i.e. if this person wants a job so badly, you have a little agreement: 1) trial period, to see how we get along, no paperwork, etc; 2) end of trial period – job or no job. If person disagrees with step 1 – just find someone else. Simple.

    Really Koba – you don’t have to much intelligence to work that out. Really. I didn’t read the rest as I fell asleep ;)

  71. Dear Fred, I’m beginning to wonder whether I’m wasting my time here, but will nonetheless persevere.

    So now you are advocating that my friend should have disregarded French law to employ this person for a period of time out of contract. And it doesn’t just stop with breaking employment legislation. I’m assuming you’re not suggesting that this person work during this trial period for free? He’s going to want to get paid. But how does the employer pay him? Since the person isn’t officially employed, it can’t be booked in the company’s accounts as a salary. It will have to be hidden as something else. Also, since the person isn’t officially employed, he won’t have paid income tax on this salary.

    So what started off as a breach of employment law has now expanded to include accounting fraud on the part of the employer and personal taxation fraud on the part of the employee.

    And while employee and employer are complicit in this deception, the employer now runs the risk of the following. He lets the employee go after the trial period because, for example, the person wasn’t any good. The person, being a bit miffed at this, goes to the authorities to complain that the employer was in breach of legislation by not giving him a contract. Given the underlying sentiment in French employment law about protecting the rights of the employee, who do you think the authorities are going to be more interested in talking to: the employee who agreed to work out of contract or the employer who employed the person out of contract? Who do you think they are going to hammer Fred? Tell me.

    I’m surprised Fred that you would suggest breaking the law to circumvent illogical, or over-rigid, legislation. Given all your experiences in Spain in equivalent situations, it surprises me that you, of all people, would advocate this.

    Now, Mr Crawford. I see that you have gone back to making wild, and unsubstantiated, assumptions about my personal background and my beliefs.

    Again, all of the following has to be taken at face value. It doesn’t bother me whether you choose to believe it or not Mr Crawford. My father was a tailor by trade. An industrial tailor, rather than a fashion one. He made suits for workers whose job required them to wear a uniform; this included the fire brigade, ambulance drivers and the police. My mother’s upbringing could hardly be described as privileged. From the age of four, she and her two siblings of the time were taken away from the mother and grew up in a children’s home. My mother went on to become a social worker. She worked with families with severe problems, particularly chronic drug abuse, in the council estates of South Carntyne and Easterhouse in Glasgow; both of which you may of heard of Mr Crawford.

    Both my mother and father worked hard and saved money such that, by the time I came along, my upbringing could be described as nothing other than middle class.

    Yes, I went to university. I worked hard at school to make sure I got the grades to get into higher education. I did this because I wanted to better myself and have the ability to earn more money. I make no apologies for having that ambition. Furthermore, although I have no children at the moment. if/when I do start a family then I say the following. Now that I have earned a reasonable amount of money, I have no qualms about spending it on my children to give them the best possible start in life. My wife and I won’t be sending them to private schools. This not because I’m ideologically opposed to private education per se. But I believe private schools to be quite closeted institutions that don’t prepare children for the rough and tumble of life outside. However, assuming they want to, I will be more than happy to spend the money to send my children to have the best higher education that they are capable of achieving.

    I’m not ashamed of possessing the sentiment of wanting to provide for my family as best I can. I don’t apologise for it to you or any other would-be social reformer.

    You attack the professional class in your last contribution to this thread, and in previous contributions. Please enlighten us as to who you include in this class. I’m sure the readers will be interested in knowing. Does it include doctors who cure people when they are ill? Does it include architects who design buildings for people to live and work in? Does include engineers who build things for society? Who does it include?

    And you also mention the chattering classes. I have to admit I hadn’t heard of this term before you mentioned it. I’m curious to know Mr Crawford, what type of person would you consider as being in the chattering classes?

    I don’t claim the UK to be perfect Mr Crawford. And I don’t claim it to be fundamentally a better place than, say, France or Spain. You won’t find that assertion anywhere in my contributions. For example, in a previous message, I highlighted that the flip-side of the UK’s flexible employment regulations is lots of workers (particularly agency workers) with very little job security and few statutory benefits.

    I do quite happily make the claim that the British legal system and the influence that it has on the civic administration of the country and commerce is, in many ways, better than that of France, Spain or most of the rest of continental Europe. But do I say that, therefore, the UK is a better place to live? No, I never said that. I don’t make absolute claims for example, as Fred has done, that France is a properly run country. Each country is different. They all have their good points and their bad points and I don’t claim one to be fundamentally better than the other. They are just different.

    You, and others, have the right to continue to describe all that is bad about Spain and draw unfavourable comparisons with other countries, particularly those of Northern Europe. I, and others should they choose to, have the right to put some context to that.

    As for the mayor of the village I live in, I don’t look down upon him as you seem to suggest. I don’t know him personally. But I’m sure he’s a decent man who is only trying to do what is best for his village. And I never claimed that he needed to go to university to gain the skills and experience needed in civic administration. Read my post again. I only claim that to run a large local council with a multi-million pound annual budget and thousands of workers providing all manner of vital services to the public requires and attracts people who have the skill set to pull off that kind of job. In my opinion to try and devolve those responsibilities (with the skills required and the level of public scrutiny that tries to ensure things are done efficiently and legally) down to the level of literally thousands of individual villages doesn’t work and is part of the problem in Spain. But I don’t claim the problem to be something fundamental in the character of the Spanish.

    Is there corruption in the British local politics? Of course there is. But I thought we had already previously agreed Mr Crawford that there is corruption everywhere.

    Mr Crawford, it’s clear that you and I are never going to agree politically. For every good example I put forward to support my political beliefs, you will be able to put forward a bad one. And the contrary will be true of your political beliefs. That being said, I finish with the following example as an attempt to summarise my political convictions. Again it’s about my good friend in France.

    When he had the idea for his business, he needed money to get it started. So he approached an entrepreneur; a wealthy French businessman with money to spare. My friend put forward a business plan to this businessman. The businessman saw the potential and decided to invest money that allowed my friend to get the business up and running. Firstly, the businessman has done well out of the arrangement. The business has been successful and, due to his equity stake in the company, the businessman has shared in the profits of it. My friend has made money as well. And, in spite of his unfortunate experience previously described, he has employed many people and paid them well. His company was set up in Brittany in north-west France; both geographically and economically on the periphery of France. Many of my friend’s employees have come into the area as a result of their employment with the company because he required specific skills that weren’t available at the time in the local workforce.

    These people now live in the area. They spend their disposable income in shops, bars and restaurants in the town. The company exports its products and services abroad, thus brining foreign currency income into France.

    All of this has happened because a wealthy businessman had money available was willing to part with some of it to get things going. My conclusion? Wealth generates more wealth. It’s the fundamental tenet of capitalism and I firmly believe it to be true.

    I don’t claim capitalism to be perfect and, as I say, I have no doubt Mr Crawford can give me countless negative examples of capitalism at work. But, as a means of running a society or country, I see no reason for it to be ideologically dismissed out of hand.

  72. Keep going Koba and you’ll have written an entire book. You need to precis your posts more :)

    >So now you are advocating that my friend should have >disregarded French law to employ this person for a period
    >of time out of contract.

    No law or contract is being entered into (repeat) and any trial period (a month, say) is just a “see how we get on and how you can/would do the job.”

    This is the way savvy people behave, Koba.

    >He’s going to want to get paid.

    Oh yes, but he or she will have to forgo payment for a month to make sure that they can actually do the job, and since the person wants the job very badly and knows they’ll be in full time employment with a spiffy French contract in just a few weeks of his trial period, I would wager the person would jump at the opportunity. I would, if I was in this predicament!

    >I’m assuming you’re not suggesting that this person
    >work during this trial period for free?

    I sure am. In a recession, jobs are scarce. If the offer of a full time salaried position was available and the employer wanted to ensure the employee was suitable (because hiring the wrong person would be unwise given strict labour laws, as your friend knows oh so well) then the parties do a “gentlemans agreement”. Perhaps even a peppcorn wage could be offered, but a non legally binding agreement nonetheless, and both parties would have no comeback if one decided to end the agreement. If the potential employee didn’t like the arragement, then let them go away; I am sure someone else would take the offer if the end-result was worthwhile and given the present economic climate where unemployment in the eurozone is getting higher each month… if your friend had done this he would have saved a lot of hassle.

    And before you say it can’t be done, don’t, because I have already done it numerous times myself in the past. Often, a project would require some initial effort to see if it could be tackled by the employee, and if the employer liked the approach being suggested, or liked the person themselves (this is 90% of the task incidentally) – a trial in other words, and many other people may also be in the running. Sometimes an NDA would also be signed, but there would be no employment contract and no wage (NDAs can be written for any scenario, not employment related even.)

    Is there anything else you need explaining?

    P.S. Your point about private schools is valid. I know a teacher who works at perhaps the most high profile international school in Marbella and she told me just this week, over a meal, that it is a waste of time (and money!) sending children to these schools; they learn less language skills and integrate less, and are not as confident. This from a teacher of 25 years in the sector… parents beware.

  73. I would say the UK is far better than Spain. Lived in Spain done that and now back in UK for many years where Corruption is minimal in comparison to Spain, Iraq, Iran etc.

    Spain is good for a sunny holiday and growing a few tomatoes and smoking yourself to death, drinking copious amounts of alcohol and stabbing each other in the back.

    If you are bored your are probably reading this too often, back to making some money for me.

  74. Now that Stuart Crawford is off to France, can we hope that he’ll never write in the OP forum again? What a relief that would be. Keep it coming Koba. You’re obviously bright, well-informed and, more importantly, open-minded, unlike most of the bitter and twisted people who clutter up this forum with their prejudices.
    As for Chris, I’m sorry you have been put off coming to live in Spain by the torrent of vitriol about the country and its people. Yes, there are problems, but there are anywhere, and as far as I’m concerned, Andalucia is the most “ideal” place to live of all the countries and regions I’ve experienced in nearly 60 years of life on this planet.
    I shall be staying and, understanding the Spanish mentality and the corruption, I’ll make sure I get “enchufado” (check your spelling, folks – always a mistake to try and show off how much Spanish you know, when you don’t actually know much!)
    Enjoy France, those of you who think the grass is greener there. I hope you enjoy the non-existent social life, the lack of activity after 7.00 pm and the snootiness of some French (not all, some of my best friends are French!)

  75. Dear Fred, this is beginning to feel like a tennis or a boxing match. Anyway seconds out, round 5 (or something like that anyway).

    So you said in your last contribution, “No law or contract is being entered into”.

    Let me correct you. There is a law. And that law is being broken. The fact that there is no contract means the law is being broken. I reiterate, what you say assumes that you can employ “at will” in France. You can’t. Not in France you can’t. So the course of action that you describe, which is probably allowable in the UK and, I think, in Spain is illegal in France.

    You also said, “Perhaps even a peppcorn wage could be offered, but a non legally binding agreement nonetheless, and both parties would have no comeback if one decided to end the agreement.”

    That wouldn’t be a non-legally binding agreement. It would, under French law, be a NOT-legal agreement.

    You also said, “If the potential employee didn’t like the arrangement, then let them go away”.

    Let me add to that by saying (again) that the potential employee could quite happily go to the authorities and point out to them that the employer in question was attempting to employ the person without the correct contractual arrangements in place. The authorities could then take action against the employer for breach of employment legislation and that such action might result in at least a punitive fine, if not further impeachment that might impact the employer’s ability to continue as an employer.

    As I say, under the more flexible regime of contract and employment law in the UK, you probably could take the course of action you describe and remain on the right side of the legislation. In France you wouldn’t be. It requires a paradigm shift in thinking I realise, but that’s the difference.

    I’ve got a better idea Fred. Instead of having to break the law, wouldn’t it be better if the politicians in France replaced the current legislation with something that gave employers some degree of flexibility (the lack of which is generally agreed in France to be a major barrier to reducing unemployment in that country, especially amongst young people) while still providing employees with some fundamental rights and maintaining safeguards against exploitation by unscrupulous employers. Something like what exists in the UK, perhaps?

    And before someone fires a missile at me, that last statement does not imply that I consider the UK to be fundamentally a better place than France.

  76. Koba, you lost this match ages ago, but you are a bad sportsman who won’t admit defeat. There is no contract, no law is broken, it is a gentlemans agreement. The authorities are not involved, and could not be involved. It is one persons word against the other, but mututally beneficial to both. Give up arguing, you’ll live longer lol :)

  77. Oh, dear, Fred, you are so full of s**t. You know nowt, and now that you’ve revealed yourself to be a ypoung whippersnapper, it’s hardly surprising you spout such nonsense. It makes me think the Swedes got it right, with their policy of sterylising retards. Heaven forbid you should have any offspring with similar outrageous views to those that you propogate. Please go to France – I’m sure you and Stuart would be very happy together(or are you the same person, I wonder???)
    Editor – I think it’s time to start censoring this thread, before it gets out of hand…

  78. Oh dear Fred, I thought that this would be an easy concept to grasp.

    At least, for the sake of the readers of this thread, our contributions are getting smaller.

    I’ll try once again to explain as simply as I can. The fact that the employer and employee have got into a gentleman’s agreement for the employee to do some work for the employer along the basis of “we’ll see how things go for the first couple of weeks or so” is in itself illegal.

    You are breaking the law by the very fact that there is NO contract.

  79. Pablo, there’s no fool like an old fool lol.

    I may be a young whippersnapper, but I am a young whippersnapper with a degree and two higher degrees, and I possess a greater intellect than you, luckily. I have no outrageous views, indeed you need to review my posts to see they are actually all very balanced. I will await you to point out all of my outrageous views Pablo, but of course you cannot do that so you ask for censorship instead lol.

    As for your comments about retards and sterlisitaion, well at least we know what makes you tick Pablo.

    Koba you must be related to Pablo given the inability to grasp simple concepts. You will just have to battle on in life adhering to every law and bylaw from minute to minute, whilst savvy people progress past these miniscule issues that so confuse both of you. I do love our little conservations.

  80. Dear Fred, I hardly think that the one issue that is said to be the cause of habitually high unepmployment in France, particularly amongst young people, could be described as a miniscule issue.

    Fred, I made as simple as I could for you. I explained in as straightforwardly as possible and yet you still weren’t able to understand the concept. Amazing really.

    Of course there is the merest whiff that you did actually understand but just kept arguing for argument’s sake. There is always that possibility.

  81. The miniscule issue I was referring to was the gentlemans agreement, not the unemployment problems. You certainly explained a lot Koba, but none of it made any sense because you fell over at the first hurdle and did not grasp the concept. You keep putting the law in the way, when the law does need (or want) to be involved.

    And, if anyones arguing, it’s you – look at the length of your rants. Deals are done between people outside of any legal jurisdiction every day of the week; people break laws every day of the week – grasp the concept Koba, think outside of the box. Do you think the law wants to know about a simple mutual agreement between two people?

    Lol, Koba would wait 12 months to get planning permission to paint his house the same colour! I wouldn’t – my case in point.

    Anyway, you carry on your way, and clued-up people will continue on their particular way. Is that ok with you?

  82. Dear Fred, you haven’t read what I said carefully enough. I didn’t say that the unemployment problems were a miniscule issue. I said that the unemployment problems were CAUSED by what you categorised as a minuscule issue.

    You said: “And, if anyone’s arguing, it’s you…”. True genius Fred; this coming from the person who started arguing the point in the first place. It was I that first brought up the example of my friend’s recruitment issues, not the one who started arguing it.

    You also said: “…to get planning permission to paint his house…”. Oh dear, you’ve made a logical leap that wasn’t there to make. Not the first time I’ve noticed this in your contributions. Absolutely superb.

    I must admit Fred that I have failed. Your ignorance on this particular matter and your insistence on continuing to argue from that position of ignorance have proved too big a barrier for me to overcome.

    Keep up the good work Fred.

  83. Koba, keep posting; you can then further expose what a ignoramus you are to the rest of the forum. Let the young, savvy people work things out… but do come back if you need more advice. Anyone who would argue this issue, which is so obviously correct and practiced world-over (especially here in Spain) can only be a fool. Is it perhaps that you are embarassed by being outwitted by a ‘youngster’ Koba?

  84. Lol, that’s hilarious Fred, given your inability to grasp something explained in such simple terms and continuing to argue on a subject you don’t actually know anything about.

    Hey and I note you make comment on our comparative ages when you don’t actually know how old I am. Genius.

    As I said, keep it up Fred. It’s providing great entertainment value.

  85. The fact that you didn’t make an age comparison confirms that you are an old fool. And an old fool who just can’t stand losing an argument and who cannot grasp simple concepts that I have already used personally, and which people all over the world use everyday – except some people of limited intellect, i.e. you. Your inability to close a thread shows that you are a sore loser.

  86. Brilliant, you don’t actually know how old I am. Arguing from a position of strength again. That’s superb Fred. And I would suggest that you don’t have the ability to close the thread. Adios.

  87. You can be a sore loser at any age Koba.

    The very existence of the term “genteleman’s agreement” cements my argument and puts the last nail in the coffin your silly and embarasssing level of knowledge of real-world life.

    From Wikipiedia: “A gentlemen’s agreement is an informal agreement between two or more parties. It may be written, oral, or simply understood as part of an unspoken agreement by convention or through mutually beneficial etiquette. The essence of a gentlemen’s agreement is that it relies upon the honor of the parties for its fulfillment, rather than being in any way enforceable. It is, therefore, distinct from a legal agreement or contract, which can be enforced if necessary. The phrase’s first recorded use was in 1888…”

    Look Koba, 1888 – the year where you are permenantly stuck in lol.

  88. You can quote Wikipedia as much as you like Fred. Still doesn’t get over the fact that you didn’t grasp the point that the issue is not that a gentlemen’s agreement is not legally enforcable. It is the lack of anything but a gentlemen’s agreement that puts the employer in trouble. Hence the practice of a “gentlemen’s agreement” in regard to employment doesn’t happen – or at least very rare. As I said before, the same is not true in the UK and in Spain.

    You see, unlike you, I had already researched into this subject before I even mentioned it for the first time on this thread. A few years ago in fact. Hence I was able to argue from a position of strength. Unlike you. If I don’t have the background knowledge on a particular subject, I don’t get into arguments about it. Simple really. For example, I’m not going to get into arguments about planning legislation in France, since I don’t know a lot about it. Whereas you seem to have done your research in that area.

    Keep up the personal insults Fred. They are most amusing.

  89. A position of strength? I laugh in the face of your superior Scottish intellect Koba. Btw, your earlier posts on other equally boring threads that you contributed to gave away your age. Another point you have to concede I’m afraid.

    Anyway, the facts are that gentlemen’s agreements happen in employment all of the time – it is just not widely talked about. Because something is not talked about doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist… they do exist, indeed I have been party to them myself. The country is irrelevant – France, UK, Spain – they happen everywhere and are not dependent or controlled in any way by the country of origin. The law is not involved, and could not be involved and it is one person’s word against the other. Facts, Koba. Simple really, and I didn’t need to do any “research”.

  90. I Understand that you Brits are mad and I would be just as mad at the united states if I invested with Madov. The food is something you don’t understand yet, it’s clearly not good,the food your eating is comercial. Your eating food made with olive oil, it’s not good for your heart. Your guarenteed in france to get a heart attack with butter. Good old transfats, yet in small portions french live normal lives, where spanish can eat like basques and be ok. Just like the stockmarket, you should have known what you where getting yourselves in. Spain didn’t know how to value you, believing their sun is good enough. Spanish people hate themselves, from one region to the next, why wouldn’t they hate you too. Do the Irish, english and scottish like each other. Do you like your pakistani friends? I learn alot from all your comments, they suck at construction, expensive and poor. They tried to do the capitalism and should be proud to be first at bumping up the prices of the homes. But just as americans or brits are now paying the horrible price.

    Spain is not a perfect country, because it has so many nationalities and many they are gypsies. Socialism is great for the poor bad for the rich. France might be ok for now, the prices will probably take you elsewhere. You have allways hated the french and they hate everyone too, just like the spanish. We europeans love to hate. Spanish people should love english people, if not for them, we would be slaves still to the catholic church. No one liberated us more than the english and the french and we return our favor by hating them. We owe our freedom to them & south america to those freemason spanish who liberated them. Along with the freemason english who helped liberate the american freemasons. Spain needs to be liberated again, with the economy the way it is, they can sell the belertic and canary islands, they never really liked them, along with the south of spain. Maybe England would like to buy it.

  91. I’m a Canadian who has lived and worked in the UK for 17 years, and is married to a man who has retired and lives part of the time in Spain in a Spanish resort. I am often in Spain but haven’t moved there yet because of the healthcare issue if you are not retired. But I know a lot about Spain (our mayor was nearly jailed!) and speak a fair amount of the language.

    Now I don’t like bilious argument, but can I just offer a perspective from another part of the globe? When in Britain I love rural footpaths, the dizzying cultural riches of London, street markets, ruined abbeys, the voluntary organisation sector where I do my bit, and so on.

    I do not like the often intense xenophobia and racism, including the recent election of the BNP – it astonished me that even in the boom times, so many were convinced that desperate refugees were REALLY the root of all evil. I also find wall-to-wall CCTV cameras, the looming ID card threat and the ceaseless British cringe to the United States are offensive. And I don’t like instant coffee packets in British five-star hotels!

    There is good and bad in all countries, and neither Canada, Britain, Spain nor France has any monopoly on anything. Wherever we live in the world, we will confront traditions and mindsets that are bewildering or offensive. The phrase “take a chill pill” is a good one.

    My husband finds his part of Spain fine, but because he is often there on his own, I think he can’t integrate too well because in that part of the country it is still all about families. He is fluent in Spanish, by the way. As an aside, how difficult is it to really socialise with Spaniards? Any suggestions?

  92. Fred, Ceuta and Melilla have been part of Spain since Roman times. Gibraltar was ceeded to the English (not the british) under a treaty which does not include the land where the airport is, nor any territorial waters. The fact that people born in Gibraltar don’t have the right of abode on mainland UK (look at your passport) makes their claimed britishness a bit odd. You also seem to have forgotten tha fact that Mary Tudor gave Philip II the Isle of White as a wedding present. As a result people from the Isle of White used to have right of abode in Spain. Still I don’t suppose any one cares any more

  93. Pedro,

    I’m sorry, but you just spouted a load of Spanish government propaganda, and even if it is off-topic, I’m going to respond.

    Ceuta and Melilla might have been governed via Hispania, but that does not give the modern Kingdom of Spain any more rights over them than it does over Morocco or any other parts of the former Roman province of Mauretania Tingitana.

    The facts are: Melilla became part of Castille in 1497. Ceuta did not formally become part of Spain until 1668 when the Portuguese ceded it.

    Actually, Gibraltar was not ceded to the English. It was ceded to the King of England, whose successor is very much alive and well.

    As for territorial waters the Treaty of Utrecht is silent, i.e. it did not grant territorial waters but NOR did it DENY them. Anyway, Gibraltar has rights to territorial waters under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which Spain signed and ratified. Talk about a slightly schizophrenic position on Spain’s part.

    You might be right about the airport land, but then you might also be wrong. It’s very debatable, but a theoretical debate. That area might well have been granted by the ToU depending on where the “fortifications” which belonged to Gibraltar were situated. Continuous possession and it formerly being netural ground are also very strong cases in the UK’s favour.

    Gibraltarian born people, as EU citizens, do have a right of abode in the UK (ask a Gibraltarian friend to show YOU their passport). What is so odd about having a British passport and not having a right of abode in the UK? There is more than one form of British nationality. I bet you would not question the Britishness of people born in Jeresey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, yet they don’t have an automatic right of abode in the UK.

    I’ll take your word about the IoW, although it would be interesting to see where you get that from…

  94. Justin If your spanish is up to it try reading the three LIBROS ROJOS published by the Spanish Government in 1967-68-69. (The spanish equivalent of a British White Paper) It contains the documents presented to the United Nations on the matter. They are still available in central libraries in Spain and probably in Gibraltar library as well.
    As to the Isle of White, It is in the settlement of marriage between Philip II and Mary Tudor, in the public record office in London, sorry but I don’t have the log number.
    As to Fred, Don’t you have anything better to do than make sarcastic remarks?

  95. Thanks for the suggestion Pedro. I’m familiar with the Red Books, written mostly by Fernando Castiella, Franco’s foreign minister. They are also available at all Spanish embassies.

    Sadly the Red Books are full of self-serving Francoist propaganda, including, amongst other nonsense, the “Gibraltar has no territorial waters” myth you quoted above.

    Let’s wait and see what happens with the current ECJ case: I’ve got my money on Gibraltar’s territorial waters being recognised by the EU. Spain will really have nowhere to go then…

  96. Pedro, where are all the stories of UK sheds being turned into houses. You have not supplied a single instance. Why do you keep posting silly statements that you cannot substantiate. Just admit when you are wrong; it gets embarassing otherwise.

    Justin’s right, Gibralter’s waters will almost certainly be recognised by the EU. Good decision :)

  97. re the assertion that the eu will recognise gibraltars’ territorial water rights, i wouldn’t hold my breath. since when has the eu ever found in britains’ favour?
    some silly middle-of-the-road solution will be agreed which will offend the 98% of gibraltarians who voted to stay british,and infuriate the whole of the spainsh mainland. having served in the royal navy and been stationed at gib, i found the locals to be absurdly proudly british,and afraid of spain. they live near the mainland and can see what corruption, a para-military police force, and lack of basic human rights have done for spain.
    can’t really say i blame them. i have lived in spain for over eight years now,am trying to sell up and move to ireland,and really can’t wait to do so. ole.

  98. So Spain will be expected to pay a huge fine… please explain to me who is the numbscull in the EU who takes these idiotic decisions! Spain will pay no fine, the people of the country will pay the fine… where is the justice in that? Why can the EU not put together some form of system that fines politicians and the people who run local authorities where these corrupt people are… the reason, because they are all on the make and this is the way they make us think they are doing their jobs… welcome to the European cesspit.

  99. Having been offline for the ultimate 3 months of our time in Spain – thanks Telefonica and until a few days ago here in France, I found the time to come back to this thread today and boy it makes interesting reading – a lot of it quite hilarious.

    Fred – I have to say that re. employment law in France, Koba is correct.However did this friend of his actually follow up and check the details on the CV. Better still did he look this creep in the eyes and ask him if the CV contained the truth – it takes a really clever and skilled lier to keep his/her eyes from hiding the truth.

    Justin R – you’ve actually exposed very well what I have said about the Spanish in general. They have a huge problem with accepting their past and who they really are. Pedro is trying to convince himself that he is at least in part a Latin. The absurdity of the expression – Latin America is just that.

    The only people from South America who can call themselves Latin Americans are – the Italian immigrants into Argentina. They and they alone are truly Latins.

    I repeat again to the Spanish who have contributed to this thread you are Goths/Visigoths/Vandals/Swabians/Morenos/Occitans/Euskadi/Arab and Jewish Semites. At least 17% are Jewish and about 30% Arabs much more so in Andalucia – if you cannot accept this fact you are in denial and Jorge (is he still around) it is you lot who need treatment but hell if it makes you Spanish feel better, the ‘English’ can’t accept they are Germanic peoples either.

    Pablo – so, Andalucia is the best place in the world, reminds me of the Spanish idiots that have never left Spain telling me that Spanish food is the best in the world.

    Most of your water is contaminated by poison and pesticides. By your Spanish actions over the centuries most of Andalucia is now turning into desert and still you idiots are building golf courses. Malaga/Granada and Seville – all the construction carried out is unplanned, unco-ordinated and just plain ugly. Instead of building on the soiless hillsides created by YOUR deforestation, you idiots build on what little fertile soil you have. Can you Spanish really not see how totally ugly all your cities now are – they simply are the ugliest in all Europe.You cram your crap built blocks of flats so close together when you have one of the largest countries in Europe

    You say that France is more expensive than Spain complete and utter bullshit. Have you ever lived in France and if so when, because I’m living there right now. Spanish property is twice the price of far, far better built French homes. People are’nt crammed together like rats. There is no illegaly built propereties and there are no back handers involved.

    The price of food is the same as behind the Sierras where I used to live, which means it’s probably 30% cheaper than on the Andalucian coastline which YOU spanish have destroyed forever. I have said it before and I’d say right in your face if you were in front of me – you are so weak that you can’t stop speaking Spanish with a lisp as if Phillip 11 was still alive – hey wake up the creep has been dead for 5 centuries.

    Koba – where to begin – you are a mouth merchant and mind game player – remember mind games are for those who can’t face reality. We don’t know what you do for a living, nor how old you are. You give the impression you come from Scotland but are you Scots – we don’t know. Your mother was/ is a social worker – I have no time for these parasites, they acheive nothing and stand aside whilst children are tortured to death. They feed on junkies just like lawyer scum – no junkies – no lucrative employment. The last thing these parasites want is an end to junkies because the gravy train is over.

    Drug abusers don’t need help, they are beyond help and a total waste of hard working tax payers money. Don’t know what I’m talking about yes I do. I grew up in the 60’s I saw the whole thing unwind. I was working in the Netherlands when the Grey Wolves (Turkish mafia) stopped importing hash there and switched over to smack. When the work ran out in 1980 all the junkies went home with their addictions and it has spread like an evil cancer since then – the only good junkie is a dead junkie.

    You castigate the Swedes for what they did. Do you think it’s right that no hopers like the Matthews woman should keep on breeding just to get more money to spend on drugs. Who was it Koba that designed the souless sink estates that had no facilities. Who was it that used the police to smash the coal miners and destroy their way of life – that’s right the ugly sub human Thatcher and her corrupt cronies. Contrast that with the Germans who used to subsidise their coal production to the tune of 500% because unlike you stupid Tories they could see that that way more Deutch marks stayed in Germany – it’s called sensible economics. And when they wound the German coal mining industry down they spent serious money retraining their miners. Do the old German mining towns have serious social and family problems no of course they don’t because they did’nt trash the dignity of the German miners. Who got better value for tax payments the Germans or the UK well we all know the answer to that don’t we. Who wasted the North sea oil money keeping people on the dole – do you think the Germans would have been that stupid no of course not.

    So France should have the same employment laws as the UK which only favour the employer. like I said before – you want the American system get your arse on over there and don’t come back but one thing don’t get sick unless you have millions of $ to sheild you.

    You have have tried to tar me with a political brush when I have repeatedly expressed my contempt for ALL politics. You have not commented on the deaths of well over 45 million indigenous peoples of Central and South America – not a single word of regret – you just dismissed them and then went on to lie about deaths that could be atributed to Hitler and Stalin – 60 million is in fact pure bullshit is’nt it.

    20 million Soviets died defeating the Austrian and German sub humans.Hitler and Stalin did’nt murder anyone did they – it was all done by the ‘little people’ who got away scot free thanks to the Americans and British. Only the Soviets killed substantial numbers of the real killers these ‘little people’. The Nazis murdered around 6 million Jews/half a million Gypsies and approx. 200,000 Germans/Austrians. Maybe another 2-3 million civilians died as well on the mainland. Even accounting for the nasty little South Ossetian’s pograms they did’nt come to more than 15 million – now that’s a far cry from 60 million is’nt, so why did you lie?

    You hold up UK law as something wondeful when in fact its controlled by nasty sexually deviant white male (there are a few token Jews/Moslems etc to make it look a little better) public school boys, most of whom belong to the ultra right wing Monday club, I should also add that includes nearly all the chief constables as well. You dare’nt comment on the ultra right wing police forces nor the fact that no uniformed thug has ever been tried for blatant murder ever when they have committed so many. A justice (laugh everyone) system that makes it impossible for any working class person to action anything in the civil courts. Remember Maxwell’s son who claimed legal aid when he lived in a house valued at 6 million pounds and that was how many years ago. Look at the ostentacious no expense spared Courts that have only one purpose to frighten the proles into submission.

    Britain never has been a real democracy, there never has been fair and impartial courts and now the police are virtually out of control.

    This thread was about ordinary decent UK people who have been screwed by a degenerate and totally corrupt system here in Spain and what has any government and don’t start playing the prat and blaming the neo-cons/Labour party all this has been going on since before the sub humanThatcher came to power.

    So how are the Priors ever going to get justice. Nobody respects the weak – you can waste money on vermin called lawyers and get nowhere except poorer. I think you already know that the swilling beasts in Whitehall will never help at all. Consider this do you think that any house owned by say the Russian or Italian mafia would ever get knocked down, then you need to ask why not and there you have the beginning of an answer.

    I also have a few greivances from my days in Spain which I’m not prepared to state here but there is saying in Gaelic which roughly translates – never forget a friend, never forgive an enemy – I don’t.When Spain goes tits up ——-

  100. God…you awful lot deserve a desert island all to yourselves.
    Bitter, twisted,moronic…
    Why should Spain, France or any country on earth put up with you self-righteous moralising pillocks?

  101. I too am disgusted by the patronising,hypocritical,ignorant, cuasi colonialist attitudes displayed in some of the comments above.They remind me that there’s a nasty xenophobic streak lurking just below the surface in some brits,even some that live here.This type,which could even be the majority,are deluded enough to consider themselves inherently superior to “johnny foreigner”and have no intention of integrating,in fact they often live(or drink themselves to death) in urbanizaciones resembling nothing so much as english ghettos.They have no interest in or understanding of the local culture and language,(which they often despise)In fact,they wish everything was more like england(weather and cheap booze excepted).Then you hear these same people ranting about how immigrants to the uk should be made to learn english,dress”normally”,mix in more,etc,or fxxx off home if they dont like it,all said without the slightest hint of irony.Only a country as tolerant as Spain would put up with these self-righteous whinging payasos.

  102. I too am disgusted by the demolition,but also by the patronising,hypocritical,ignorant, thuggish attitudes displayed in some of the comments above.They remind me that there’s a nasty xenophobic streak lurking just below the surface in some brits,even some that live here.This type,which could even be the majority,are deluded enough to consider themselves inherently superior to “johnny foreigner”and have no intention of integrating,in fact many live(or drink themselves to death) in urbanizaciones resembling nothing so much as english ghettos.They have no interest in or understanding of the local culture and language,(which they look down on)In fact,they wish everything was more like england(weather and cheap booze excepted).Then they come on here and attack anyone who talks sense.Only a country as tolerant as Spain would put up with these self-righteous whinging payasos.Jorge,muy bien dicho todo ,haces bien en no hacerles caso a semejante ganado.Que disfruten de su pizza and chips con cerveza caliente,que ellos se lo merecen,jejeje saludos,Tobias.

  103. Hey people, Happy April Fool’s Day!!!

    A man walked into a lawyer’s office and inquired about the lawyer’s rates.
    “$50.00 for three questions,” replied the lawyer.
    “Isn’t that awfully steep?” asked the man.
    “Yes,” the lawyer replied, “and what was your third question?”

    Happy April Fool’s Day!

  104. If this attitudes continue.There is going to be an anti british sentiment by many spanish ( if it is not happening already) with the drung fols that come over to spain and comments like those coming from Stuart and company. LISTEN don´t like spain or the spanish well go back where you come from. And stop insulting the spanish. Hurry up and buy that house in France where the french just love the Brits!!

  105. Aussie, you sound like a “drung fol”. If the house you lived in and paid taxes on for a decade was being demolished you’d be the first to complain, oh yes.

    The Spanish are equally affected of course, it’s not just expats. There always was an anti-British sentiment – the same is true of any immigrants in any country. The UK has a big influx of Spanish workers this year and the UK government are moaning about that now. The one BIG difference is that in the UK you won’t be able to purchase an illegal house in the first place! Get real.

  106. oopps Meant to have written. ” drunk fools”.

    Fred, of course I would be upset if my house was to be demolished and especially after I had done everything correctly..permits etc…. and yes the uk has an excellent track of law basically in everything ( you would not be tricked in the uk when buying a house).
    What I do not like is the way this arguement is getting out of hand critising spaniards and the spanish way.Critize the corrupt politians and the law BUT NOT THE SPANIARDS in general.In reference to spanish workers in the uk it would be useless complaining about any group of workers coming legally from the EU.

  107. Aussie, I already said “I was mainly referring, of course, to the politicians and mayors and such like.” Are you really an Aussie? You must love Brits then lol.

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