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12 November, 2008

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SIGN OF THE TIMES

10 November, 2008

When Andalucia’s regional television channel, Canal Sur, recently advertised 112 jobs in different departments, it received an astonishing 18,700 replies. A third of the openings are for receptionist-telephonists, gofers and administrative clerks while another third are distributed among production, the newsroom and scriptwriters. The rest are for technicians, cameramen, and maintenance people. Job interviews began last week at the Congress Centre in Seville.


MUÑOZ DROPS JUICY TV DEAL

10 November, 2008

Former Marbella Mayor JuliAn Muñoz, who was recently granted an open prison regime after being found guilty of real estate irregularities, thought he was onto a good thing when he did a deal to sell his story to the Tele5 TV channel for €350,000. Presenter Ana Rosa Quintana even came down from Madrid last week to record the exclusive in Marbella only to have it cancelled at the last minute after the judge hearing the cases against Munoz instructed the prosecutor to look into the matter for tax purposes.


NADAL TO PLAY IN MALAGA

3 November, 2008

Malaga City Hall has confirmed that Rafa Nadal will compete in the Malaga Masters International Tennis Championship, after weeks of talks with the tennis ace’s representatives. The event will take place in the Martin Carpena sports hall the first weekend in December. And will be televised on Andalucia’s La 2 TV channel in Spain. However, Nadal’s recent injury may upset the plan but just in case – start getting out those autograph books.


QUEENS 70TH BIRTHDAY BOOK CAUSES UPROAR

3 November, 2008

The Queen’s 70th birthday last Sunday was marred by controversy because of a book published last week to mark the event. The national press began to publish excerpts from La Reina Muy de Cerca (The Queen very close up) by writer Pilar Urbano last Friday and her comments on gay marriage caused a furore in the gay community. Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero made a point of stressing the Queen’s “impeccable services to Spain” at a press conference in the capital of El Salvador where he, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, were attending the 18th Ibero-American Summit. Meanwhile the Royal Household issued a statement saying that “alleged affirmations” by the Queen, as recorded in the book by Sra Urbano, were “inexact”. The statement said the comments were made in private and did not exactly correspond with the Queen’s opinions. The statement continued: “The words (in the book) do not reflect the deep attitude of respect which Her Majesty the Queen has for all people, and her closeness to those who suffer, are persecuted or discriminated against.” Despite the statement, Pilar Urbano is standing by her book. She told reporters: “What the Queen said is what my book says.” She added that the interview process was “perfectly documented” and that revision of the test copies allowed the Queen and the La Zarzuela palace verify and give the green light to her declarations. According to El Pais newspaper, the book was given the go-ahead by the Queen’s secretarial staff, implying that she may not have read the book herself. Queen Sofia has lived in Spain for the past 46 years and has never committed any indiscretion in public. In a biography published in 1993, King Juan Carlos said his wife was his most trusted adviser throughout the years that they lived in the shadow of Francisco Franco and during the often tricky Transition period. Queen Sofia’s brother Constantine was the last King of Greece and she herself spent most of her childhood in Egypt and South Africa during her family’s exile from Greece during World War Two.


WOODY ALLEN PLAGIARISED NOVEL

3 November, 2008

Barcelona writer and photographer, Alexis de Villar, has claimed that the latest Woody Allen film, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” plagiarised his novel, “Goodbye Barcelona” which was published in 1987. The writer, who made the claim on the Que Alucine! Website, added that Allan has obviously made some changes to “avoid my complaints”. The novel was one of the finalists in the Premio Planeta competition in 1987. De Villar said he will lodge his complaint “as a matter of simple dignity” and that the courts will decide shortly.


BRITON DENIES BEING MAYOR

3 November, 2008

Mark Lewis, the Briton named in media reports as the “accidental mayor” of San Fulgencio on the Costa Blanca, has denied taking up the position. Mr Lewis was said to have taken over the reins in San Fulgencio after the mayor, the deputy and four councillors were arrested over alleged corruption. The 58-year-old was elected to the council last year after campaigning on an anti-corruption ticket, but he was never invited to become mayor. Mr Lewis confirmed that the current mayor, Trinidad Martinez, was among those arrested earlier this week on corruption allegations. However, he said that Sra Martinez had since been released and continued to perform her duties as mayor, while a police investigation was ongoing. The scandal erupted last week when several media outlets broadcast a video of deputy mayor Manuel Barrera Garcia allegedly accepting a €5,000 bribe from property developers. He was allegedly caught on camera saying: “It is better in large denomination bills. They occupy less space.” Sr Barrera Garcia was arrested on October 20th and released on bail. He has denied any wrongdoing and said it was a politically motivated set-up. Mr Lewis, who moved to Spain some 25 years ago, was elected to the council last year with the independent AIM party. He was appointed Councillor for Animals – a position in which he was responsible for organising searches for lost pets. Media outlets reported that he had become mayor as a temporary measure while the corruption inquiry ran its course. San Fulgencio is 25 miles from Alicante in the south-east of the country, and has a population of 11,000, the vast majority of whom are British.