Could Marbellagrad be way out of recession?

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HAD Spain copied its rival Cyprus in cuddling up to Russia we might be talking Marbellagrad.

There is a strong and welcome Russian presence on the Costa del Sol. However, the holiday island has attracted proportionately far more Russian investors.

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Tens of thousands have set up their holiday homes and businesses. The small attractive port of Limassol has been dubbed ‘Limassolgrad’.

It boasts a Russian-language newspaper, two Russian schools and a radio station.

Russians flock to Debenhams.


The famous strip features stores selling fur coats, kefir, a sour yoghurt drink, and Baltika; a favourite beer.

Natalia Kardash, editor of Russian weekly Vestnik Kipra, told Britain’s The Guardian: “Cyprus is very comfortable. Put yourself in the position of a Russian businessman who wants to work here. He brings his family. His wife can go shopping. She doesn’t need to know English. Everyone speaks Russian. There are dozens of Russian hair salons and nail parlours.”

She added: “Cyprus has always lived with foreigners. They don’t treat foreigners here like foreigners. Russians feel very welcome. Even the mayor of Limassol speaks our language. In eastern Europe they don’t like Russians very much – although they do like our money.”


There have been sour grapes with accusations that the Cyprus government and Putin’s Russia are too cosy.

It has been called ‘embarrassing subservience.’

To me it sounds more like real politik diplomacy. The Spanish government’s embarrassing subservience to EU diktat in snubbing Russia, and restricting home purchase to Russians deprives the Costas of investment and jobs.

But, of course it is never the politicians’ salaries and jobs.

A WINNING logo entry for Madrid’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games has everyone scratching their heads.

It has been described as a rainbow-coloured bishop’s mitre.

I can just imagine one such ecclesiastic mincing down the aisle with that on his noble cranium.

Quite clearly the numerals read 20020 but the designer, who won a €6,000 prize, will have none of it.

The best take on it so far is it looks like a box of flip-flops. It is difficult to argue with that.

Perhaps the sun-bleached Costas could adopt it. It gets worse; a Madrid company that makes gay dolls; yes I have heard it all now, accuses the designer of plagiarism. They claim their design has been copied. As if that isn’t enough the black ‘flip-flop’ to symbolise Africa has been replaced by the colour purple.

Might I suggest four linked rings with the name Madrid underneath them?

My bill will be a cut price €5,000. To think I left England because the lunatics were running the asylum.

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