AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT …
The Courier – new free newspaper for the Costa Blanca South and Costa Cálida
by Dave Bull
You may have this newspaper in your hands only a short while before it finds itself underneath the budgie…but before that happens allow me to welcome you to The Courier…and our promise to be different in the way we report, present publish and, in how we look after our advertisers.
We don’t sell insurance, telephone lines, mobiles, internet or houses. We do news. Pure and simple. Whether it comes from abroad or locally, we’ll be bringing you the top stories in our own unique way and, we’ll endeavour to put a smile on your face while we do it. That’s not to say we’ll exclude bad news, far from it – all news will be included in The Courier, so long as it’s interesting! Having said all that, we will try and look at the positive side of things rather than being a doom and gloom ‘paper (you know who they are…). And there is tons of good news to report about on life in Spain for those who live in, holiday on or just read about the Costa Blanca on the web.
For example in this ‘crisis’ did you know that exports of goods and services from Spain increased from 9.4% to 10.5% in the fourth quarter of 2010, while imports also increased although to a lesser measure, going from 5 to 5.3%, according to data published today by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) – son that’s good news for jobs and the economy and another green shoot is the announcement last week that the number of companies created in Spain increased by 2.2 per cent in 2010, after three consecutive years of decline – that’s almost 80,000 companies started in one year, more than went bust last year.
Spain’s economy has been handed a boost after US casino operator Las Vegas Sands revealed plans to build a €15bn Iberian gambling hub that could create as many as 180,000 jobs. The Nevada-based casino operator said it was in talks with local authorities in Madrid and Barcelona about building a Vegas-style strip that could cost €10bn to €15bn but generate billions in revenue and indirectly more jobs too.
Spain’s government approved tough new rules last week that’ll make sure that they can’t misbehave again and that will begin to bring confidence back into the finance world – in other words they’ll start lending us money again.
And even British Premier, David Cameron, has embraced the ideal of worker co-operatives after witnessing the remarkable Mondragon Corporacion in northern Spain which with its global operations is already thriving in the world market. The Basque group is probably best known for products such as Orbea bikes that won gold at the Beijing Olympics and it is the world’s biggest co-op with 85,000 worker-owners. Not bad eh? Although I gather they don’t sell cheese or tights in the same store like the UK one…
Another local boost is the creation of the ‘Zenia Boulevard’ which already has units filled with marques such as, Alcampo, Decathlon and also Leroy Merlin will be gracing its floors. Currently being built just off the AP7 motorway access at La Zenia, the complex will look similar to the Habaneras Centre in Torrevieja and will have 80,000 square metres of retail floor space as part of the 150 retail units that will be available at this impressive complex.
Add to all that financial stuff the fact that, according to a survey by HSBC bank, us expats are happier, healthier and feel safer than folks back home and the small matter of the sun coming out virtually every day. Then in Spanish sport, Barcelona has been named as the best team of the first decade of the 21st century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics while the Spanish national team seem to be on another planet at the moment. They have the best tennis player in the world too, and he’s good looking, and they are basketball world champs too!
The Ciudad de la Luz film studios in Alicante is now becoming THE place in Europe to come and film with Naomi Watts, David Beckham and Jack Nicholson recently visiting and in the Pyrenees two brand new types of flowers have been discovered. You see it’s all coming up roses in Spain…ok, it’s still tough here but let’s look out of the hole the world is in, not into it! I mean I haven’t mentioned the fact that the King got an A+ on his medical have I? Come to think of it I haven’t even talked about the coffee either…ah, now, don’t get me started on that one…