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A letter to the Telegraph: Spotless Malaga

June 25, 2012 – 1:06 pm

Impressively well-kept: Calle Larios, Malaga's main shopping street.

Earlier this month, I saw a letter to The Daily Telegraph, the UK’s favourite Tory broadsheet rag, reprinted in my favourite news magazine The Week in their “Pick of the week’s correspondence”. Since it was in praise of Malaga, one of Andalucia’s most important cities, I thought it would be highly appropriate to quote in this blog.

The writer, from Cheltenham, heartland of solid English values, says this:

“I have just spent three days in Malaga. The marble pavements sparkled and teams of smartly dressed workers cleaned and polished the town. The flower beds around the trees in the squares were lovingly tended and the rows of beautiful shops were packed with expensive goods, with apparently no shortage of customers. Cafes and restaurants, full of local people, were open until the early hours of the morning.”

Disgusted from Cheltenham then goes on to compare his home town unfavourably with the Spanish city, citing dirty streets, cracked pavements sprouting with weeds, no cleaners, overflowing bins, boarded-up shops, cheap boutiques and run-down bars.

His closing comment is a corker:

“If austerity measures need to be taken across Europe, it seems that the Spanish people will have to see a significant reduction in their standard of living just to get down to British level. I dread to think what further cuts will do to ours.”

While it seems to me that he is more concerned with the superficial appearance of such a beautiful, historic Cotswold town than the state of its libraries, education or health facilities, his point is an interesting one.

How does your Ayuntamiento take care of your town? Are the streets clean, the pavements in good condition? Are the bars busy, and the shops doing good business? What do you think of the living standards here in Spain, compared to those back in the UK?

  1. 2 Responses to “A letter to the Telegraph: Spotless Malaga”

  2. Thanks for sharing this Fiona. The pedestrianisation of Calle Larios and beyond is certainly a big improvement from the point of view of a tourist. The marble pavement is an extra touch that would be dangerously slippy with all the rain in Cheltneham. I imagine the marble has also contributed to the current city debt problem.

    By Bert Selby on Jul 14, 2012

  3. I think the same is true in Seville of pedestrianising the city centre – more streets are going that way here too – definitely an improvement for all. The shopkeepers complain about less trade, but I’m sure it all evens out in the end, with more people being able to stroll and browse – which is, after all, a Spanish way of life!!

    By fiona on Jul 16, 2012

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