FROM its very first issue in 2006 the Olive Press was campaigning for its community.
Whether fighting for the environment or digging into crooks, we have grabbed some big scalps.
Starting from our first issue we highlighted the ridiculous plans to build 2000 houses and two hotels on UNESCO-protected land near Ronda, as well as exposed the madness of building a 350-room monstrosity on a virgin beach in Almeria’s Cabo de Gata.
Both schemes – Los Merinos, in Ronda and the Algarrobico hotel, in Almeria – went into reverse after our stories made the UK AND Spanish national newspapers and green groups including Greenpeace and Ecologistas en Accion joined our protests.
And then there were the crooks, like Crimestoppers’ Most Wanted Daniel Johnston, a bank robber, and Matthew Sammon, a dangerous paedophile, who we single-handedly tracked down to a village near Sevilla and a car park in Fuengirola.
And fraudsters like David ‘the dogman’ Klein, pet transport maverick Jeremy Griffiths, and Nigel Goldman, a degenerate gold-dealing dirt-bag, who had a high profile restaurant column in a local newspaper, which he used to cover his tracks.
Timeshare crook Toni Muldoon certainly deserves a mention for conning thousands of people and eventually went to prison for setting up fake escort websites.
Meanwhile, our crime reporting on missing teen Amy Fitzpatrick ‘blew open the case’, to use the words of her grandmother, while our continuing investigation into missing Maddie McCann has yielded exclusive after exclusive, with its frequent links to Spain.
When it came to corruption we were the first English newspaper to write about the ERE scandal at the Junta de Andalucia that cost an estimated billion euros to the taxpayers, while we also tackled town hall theft on a local scale on dozens of occasions.
Animal cruelty has been a continual bugbear and we have exposed so many evil abusers, as well as the scoundrels who allowed hunters to kill innocent circus lions and tigers at a finca in Extremadura.
On a more positive front, it was great to interview everyone from Princess Diana’s ex-lover James Hewett to cooking legends Ferran Adria and Gordon Ramsey.
And it was nice to chat to Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera, as well as the only newspaper to pose a couple of questions to Michelle Obama on her visit to Marbella a few years ago.
Indeed, the positives far outweigh the negatives and we would prefer to be judged over 50 rather than 15 years.
As far as we are concerned we have only just begun.
- “I’m proud of the varied mix – and campaigning DNA – of the Olive Press”
- 15 years of the Olive Press: A message from our editor-in-chief
- How Spain has changed in 15 years