Archive for the 'Social Issues' Category

Málaga, a regional powerhouse in the making

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Malaga's technology parkThis article was written for Essential magazine May 2012 edition

We’ve all noticed it, there’s a recession going on. What’s more, it’s been biting hard and has done so for some time now, but quite apart from worries about the national economy there is a local trend that is far more encouraging. In the midst of recession Málaga is transforming itself into a modern city capable of attracting not only tourists and students but also foreign investment and international corporations. Whilst the beautification of the city’s historic centre continues, its pace is increasingly matched by an infrastructural modernisation aimed at turning Málaga into a centre of business and technology.

The first steps towards this goal have already been taken, in the form of the major new public works that began just as the boom ended and either have or are reaching completion now. Thanks to these, Málaga now boasts an impressive new airport terminal with transit capacity to match, a new ring road that alleviates congestion at former choke points near the city’s periphery and allows for easy routes to surrounding cities, and a high-speed rail link to Madrid that culminates in a brand new purpose-built railway station and commercial centre. In addition, work has begun on the initial part of a future metro network. (more…)

Claudio Caniggia coaches Costa del Sol kids

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Claudio Caniggia with kids from the local orphanageArgentinean football great, Claudio Caniggia, has lent more than just his name to an initiative to bring the fun, exercise and discipline of football to a broad cross-section of the Costa del Sol’s youth. His Master Class football clinics, organised together with promotions specialist Rami Morante, are a non-profit initiative aimed at broadening the scope and involving youngsters who may otherwise not be able to attend football coaching schools of this kind.

By offering their services for free and working closely with the Estepona Town Hall, who provide the fine facilities of the Estadio Municipal Francisco Muñoz Pérez, Claudio and his team are able to charge just 20 euros per child, and the result is that his heavily subscribed Master Classes are attended by a delightful mix of children from a wide variety of nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds. In giving of their time and passion so generously, Claudio Caniggia, Rami Morante and the others are spearheading a social collaboration with the broader community that they would like to see evolve into an ongoing project with a more profound impact. (more…)

Boy George

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Giorgio Armani infront of one of his flagship storesEach year, over two million people buy an item of clothing or an accessory in one of the more than 2,000 Armani outlets in countries all over the world, generating revenues in excess of $700 million. This is the profile of a company that has enjoyed continued growth since it was established in 1975 and still shows no signs of slowing down. Loyal to a philosophy of design that has produced his trademark style of simple yet refined elegance, Giorgio Armani has not only weathered the vicissitudes of time, he has thrived on them. The secret of this remarkable success is the clean design that gives his creations a timeless quality, which transcends fashions and fads—the surest mark of a master.

As a young man, Giorgio Armani gave up his medical studies when he realised that he had a greater affinity for design. After several detours, he found his true vocation in the hectic and exciting world of the Milan fashion industry, where his first notable design, now almost 35 years ago, was a button for a jacket by Nino Cerruti, his erstwhile employer. Displaying a unique personal touch at a very early stage in his career, Armani plunged wholeheartedly into the unknown, breaking new ground and shirking no challenge in the process. (more…)

Cerveza sin, por favor – The Future of NABLABs

Monday, March 21st, 2011

No- and low-alcohol beers have been gaining some traction of late in several markets but there’s one country where NABLABs have been embraced by consumers like no other. Michel Cruz reports from Spain on the rise of low alcohol refreshment.

Page 1 NABLABs article in Brewers Guardian magazineIn many ways the Spanish beer market is much like that of the rest of Europe. After years of rapid growth the current economic climate has seen production drop somewhat, with on-trade sales falling and consumer focus turning to economy brands available through off-trade channels. Where the country clearly stands out, though is the fact that Non-Alcoholic Beers and Low-Alcohol Beers (NABLAB) are consumed at around three to four times the average European rate. We wondered why.

Since their mainstream introduction in the 1980s non-alcohol and low-alcohol beers have not exactly taken the industry by storm. Most beer drinkers still prefer the taste of alcohol in their lager and continue to overwhelmingly consume ‘conventional’ beer types in spite of the pressures of anti-drink driving campaigns. Many seem prepared to single out a ‘designated driver’ for abstention rather than opting for the range of alcohol-free products that are available. While the taste of early NABLABs is cited as one of the reasons, others point to the fact that changing longstanding consumer habits in such traditional beer markets as Germany, Belgium and the UK is a hard and lengthy process. (more…)

The Green Fairy flutters its wings again

Friday, February 4th, 2011

A cocktail glass with absintheAbsinthe, the drink forever associated with bohemian Paris and its catalogue of late 19th century artists, poets and dangerous-living bons vivants, is at the heart of a fascinating revival.

It was a time of mystery and experimentation with Paris at its very heart. Sherlock Holmes was pursuing his imaginary nemesis Moriarty through the streets of East London just as Inspector Juve stalked the alleyways near the Place Pigale in search of the equally imagined but nonetheless formidable Fantomas. In nearby streets the poets, artists and would-be revolutionaries of the day met to plot, set the world to rights or simply to get drunk together. (more…)