TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT SPAIN
By Jeanette Erath
I read a few UK newspapers online because I like to keep up to date with what is going on not only in Britain but also in the world.
Although I speak and understand Spanish, I still prefer to read my news in English and like to keep informed about current issues. A few weeks ago I read about the In Tempo tower block in Benidorm which is under construction.. The article was very derogatory about Spain and factually inaccurate about the tower itself. It said that the design did not include lifts and how, basically, the Spanish are incompetent and don´t have much of a clue about anything! It was an incredibly anti-Spanish article, but as a regular reader of the paper, I have got used to their anti-Spain stance which might expose a touch of jealousy from its illiterate journalists perhaps! But whatever the reason, this article was factually inaccurate. There are lifts in the blueprint that are to be erected on the outside of the building, Via the Expats page on Facebook that I wrote about a few weeks ago, I saw a link to a Spanish site that says that are going to be three lifts for each tower and four lifts to the penthouse apartments. The reporter even went in one of the lifts, describing it as almost being like in an aeroplane during take-off! At the end of the Spanish article, there’s a reference about the lifts and it appears this journalist had heard reports about them being forgotten and so she even included photos of the lift shafts. What makes this even more incredible to me is that this report was dated April 30th 2013. Therefore it appears the UK report was not only inaccurate but lazy. However it only took one man, a member of the Expats in Spain page, to right the wrong of the UK newspaper as he wrote to it pointing out their mistake and asking for them to state the correct position. This gentleman received a retraction, however this stopped short of an apology as they blamed Spain’s El Pais newspaper from 18 months before!
Firstly this is entirely unacceptable since how can an 18 month old article be lifted and called news, and how can a British newspaper reporter scribble such a biased and unchecked report? The story was removed from their site but how many had already read and believed it? And how many other papers have reported the same lies? There was also a link on Facebook to an American site which is reporting the same untruths, which was online on August 9th! There have been a few comments about how silly not to have lifts and only a few stating there are some! I have added my comments about not believing everything you read!
It seems to me such a shame that certain newspapers seem to want to rubbish Spain and its people. I love this country as regular readers are aware and for a UK newspaper to print what are basically lies, although they call them mistakes, is unforgivable. There are still people who read these stories and will believe everything in them. It was only through the Expats in Spain forum that I found out the truth and was asked by its founder, Mike, to tell this story. One more way to be kept informed. It also goes to show that even if you are reading The Courier from the UK it can help and advise you.
I always tell people I am a writer, which is different to a reporter. I tell my stories, which can be personal or general but there are times when I try and give information, and I would never use a source that was more than a few days old to give this information. I have no need to make things up or lie in an article. I am proud to write for The Courier, as I have seen criticism of other free papers here on the Costa Blanca, whilst I have yet to find anything bad said about this paper and I believe this is due to the integrity of the writers and journalists. We know there is no need to lie. However, much we love Spain or the UK (or dislike them!) the truth is what people deserve to hear and read and this paper I know will continue to promote honesty over bias and myths. Sometimes people agree with us, sometimes they don´t, but that´s freedom of speech and something we all have, and I believe always related to a personal article rather than a news story.
So it´s thanks once again to Expats in Spain on Facebook, which now has over 3,000 members for bringing the truth out and I advise you to join and tell your friends and family in the UK to get on board. With the mounting troubles over Gibraltar, I would much rather get my facts from a source that has people living right there and next to it, rather than some reporter who doesn´t like Spain and is trying to push the UK agenda. As it is, I believe Gibraltar should stay British and I believe Rajoy is pushing this topic to hide his inadequacies as a Prime Minister, but that´s just my opinion! On a final note, I am yet to see an apology from the UK newspaper about their poor article over the In Tempo block of flats in Benidorm, but then, luckily, I´m not holding my breath.