Do they have nothing better to do in Frankfurt? Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Everyone around here is up in arms about a recent article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. A reporter with much too much time on his hands has written about Sotogrande and its residents. It’s titled ‘An Oasis in Andalusia’ and he begins with:
“Ganz Spanien ist ein Land der Arbeitslosen. Ganz Spanien? Nein. Ein von unbeugsamen Millionären bevölkertes Dorf in Andalusien trotzt der Krise. Und golft einfach weiter. Von Hendrik Ankenbrand Auf dem Weg ins spanische Sotogrande teilt die Autovia 7 die reisende Menschheit in Arm und Reich. Seats, Opel und Motorroller tuckern auf der kostenlosen, aber nicht mehr ganz taufrischen Autobahnvariante bei Tempo 70 über die Dörfer der andalusischen Costa del Sol. Range Rover und Porsche hingegen schnurren ab Málaga mit Höchstgeschwindigkeit über …”
Silly, to say the least. Inequality exists all over Europe. Germany is no exception. All major cities have their peripheries. You leave Paris and suddenly you go from Haussmanian buildings to entering a landscape that would be at home in a Charles Bronson movie. The same is true in London, Madrid and even Berlin. It’s the same all around the world. Favelas in Rio are directly behind luxury apartment blocks. Manhattan and its outskirts have people from all walks of life. Singling out Sotogrande is rather disingenuous and irresponsible. It also fails to address the history of this region of Spain, neglected and relegated to poverty by General Franco for decades. Andalusians were communists and left-wingers, that was something that didn’t please the regime. Were it not for Prince von Hohenlohe in Marbella and Mr. McMicking here in Sotogrande (and all the people who followed their lead), the region would never have been developed to the degree it has developed, becoming a major tourist centre in Spain that attracts millions of visitors every year and has become a premier retirement destination for people from all over Europe. All of the Spanish owned businesses in the area exist to provide services for these (now large) communities. The jobs in the hotels, clubs, polo-fields, restaurants, golf courses et al all depend on these communities. To flippantly make fun of it doesn’t do justice to the progress that has been made since the 50′s and 60′s.