THE ongoing battle between British expatriates, Len and Helen Prior and the Junta de Andalucia, made headlines again this week, for all the wrong reasons.
Newly launched, free newspaper, RTN, featured a story on its front page today (Friday May 13) in three editions covering Costa Blanca and Almeria where it clearly stated that a demonstration had taken place outside Vera town hall on Thursday April 19 although it was later amended to May 12 which is also incorrect!
The story was a complete fabrication, as the peaceful protest, organised by the home-owners’ association, AUAN, is in fact scheduled to take place next Thursday (May 19).
Accompanying the story were photographs from the AUAN website taken during a previous protest some time ago.
EWN has always supported the Priors, whose home was demolished without compensation in 2008 after being declared illegal, and would like to reiterate that the protest will be held at 12 noon, Thursday May 19.
AUAN president Maura Hillen told EWN: “This is planned as a peaceful protest to support the Priors and we are expecting a number of sister organisations including SOHA (Save Our Homes in Axarquia) to attend. We are not looking to apportion blame but to allow the Priors to be compensated for loss which will allow everyone to move on.”
She went on: “The protest will take place on May 19 and it did not happen yesterday as erroneously reported in RTN. It is important that people are not discouraged from attending next week because they think that the protest has been and gone.”
EWN spoke to Helen Prior who had not initially seen the story, she said she was “disgusted” and described the number of occasions where she had heard false accounts of their case.
She added that she hoped people would realise the story was untrue and come along and support the peaceful protest next week.
The Prior’s case is close to the hearts of local residents who have followed the couple’s plight over the past eight years and many took to social media to express their outrage at the false story.
Even respected local journalist and blogger David Jackson made comment on this terrible faux pas and his blog can be read at www.davidjackson.info under the title ‘Why send a journalist when you can make it up’
This is only the second edition of the RTN Almeria paper and the second where seriously unprofessional articles have been written. Perhaps for some, it is all very well bending the truth to suit a story but in their first edition they pretended that they were the only newspaper to be published in Almeria when there are plenty, all of which have longevity and truth behind them.
They then stated erroneously that they were the media partner of the British Consulate which is not the case and now they have run a piece that is not only incorrect but is a blatant lie as their reporter could not have attended a demonstration that didn’t happen or quote people who weren’t there.
If this is the standard of RTN whose principal boasted on Facebook the day before this disaster that he was enjoying Gin and Juice in Banus then everything they say must be questioned.
Real Estate agents around the area must be fuming as well considering the amount of trouble that they have gone to in order to try to calm potential nervous home buyers about the area and now this sort of mistake occurs. How can you believe that the market is recovered when you can’t even believe what appears in print?
The important thing is that the Priors should not suffer any more and the fact that they have gone through hell, living in terrible conditions and suffering major set-backs means that they deserve support not derision. They are a perfect example of British perseverance and they are an example to be admired by home owners across Spain.
EWN reporters will be attending next week’s protest and the true account will feature in our online edition following the event.
PLEASE MARK MAY 19 IN YOUR DIARY AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT IF YOU CAN AS WILL WE