By Wendy Williams

EXPAT businessmen in Calahonda are furious after a ‘clandestine’ operation saw their signs removed in the middle of the night.

The group were left bemused after police removed signs from six foreign-owned businesses, while leaving Spanish signs untouched.

Barboru owner Brian McDonald, 45, is now demanding an explanation and calling for the signs to be returned.

“They are worth 450 euros each,” said the Dubliner, who has lived in Spain for seven years.

He insists none of the businesses have been approached about getting licences, despite having recent inspections.

The move follows a spate of similar moves across Mijas, with the authorities insisting that they do not meet with local rules.

“The signs were removed as they did not have licences,” said a local police spokesman.

Many expats believe the move is simply another way to make money from them.

“I find it hard to believe that the Spanish all have licenses,” added McDonald.


  1. Conform to the rules. You live in a foreign country and you must accept that you should abide by the rules in place. It’s no good saying they, the other bar owners, probably don’t when you, by your own admission, definitely don’t! When you have made sure you do have all your licenses then you will have ammunition for a discrimination case. Until then make sure you dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s. And register to vote.

  2. @M in Spain. That’s easy, all you do is go to your local town hall with your lawyer (or use a gestoria) and ask “¿Cuánto cuesta una licencia para mi bar?” and just to be certain you could put it in writing and send the letter registered post.

    When you are in the UK and you want to get a publican’s license, driving license, tv license, fishing license, planning permission or any other license/paperwork in the UK you don’t expect the relevant authority to happen to ask you if you have it, you sort it out for yourself, don’t you? Ignorance is no excuse in the UK, why do people think it is here?

    Don’t let a few racist Spaniards use you as an example of a stereotype.

  3. They don’t need foreign businesses here that don’t pay tax and with no license the liability insurance wouldn’t be valid either. They don’t need to pay any attention to people who don’t vote, expats are by definition temporary so if the ayuntamiento are dealing with people who don’t vote and avoid tax at every opportunity and may be gone tomorrow how do you imagine they will treat expats?

  4. @Ben
    Yes there are a large number of Expats who don’t pay taxes etc but there are also those wh do. The Spanish seem to take not paying taxes as normal and they cheat / abuse the system ten times worse than any foreigner. I know this as I work within the Spanish community and for example working cash in hand while claiming your unemployment is considered a right not something that is wrong. How many landlords business and living spaces declare their tax and how many cash business’ declare their earnings, when was the last time a plumber or electrician gave you an IVA ticket. I speak of the south where I live and don’t know what happens up north but here when people talk about the crisis it is a lot self inflicted as this part the Spain is just one big black economy where one thinks that’s a problem. if you get caught here breaking the Law the locals will say you have been unlucky which about sums it up

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