Dear Sir,

I am writing in response to the article printed on Saturday September 26th by Anna Nicholas entitled “British Adult Abuse”.
Although I fully appreciate the article is one of opinion, as I read I couldn't believe how uninformed this opinion is.
Peadophilia is an increasing problem. With even the smallest amount of research you would know that approximately 21% of all children have experienced some form of sexual abuse during their lifetime. This abuse often goes unreported because the offenders are in fact, in most cases, family members and family friends. So whilst teaching our children about the “bad” people out there, it is vitally important to teach them that this includes “friends” and family. I agree with the point that these predators are not ready to abuse them at the first opportunity, this is because in fact these predators “groom” their victims and do not start the abuse until they have gained the full trust of the child in their care.

So whilst I believe parents should be realistic, it is in fact Anna who is not in touch with the true facts of what a sex offender is.
This is why there is a need for this law in this country and whilst Anna states “I don't have to do anything because I live in Spain” I bet she has found a new fan base of peadophiles who agree and is precisely the reason why they travel. (Gary Glitter being a prime example). Which only leads you to conclude that the chances of your child being exposed are even greater in countries that have not yet adopted this law.

My advice to any parent out there who is thinking of employing a child minder, is to ask for a criminal record check, and should that person show even the slightest bit of offence at being asked you should trust your instincts and steer well clear.

Belinda Dunne
Santa Ponsa
Dear Sir,

I READ with interest your report about the Spanish government planning to raise the VAT rate next year...this is absolute madness.
I know, as the report said, that the increase will not come into force until next year but still it is just stupid. Probably next summer Spain will be starting to pull out of recession; rather than helping the green shoots of recovery the Spanish government introduces tax increases. This in affect could mean that any signs of economic revival will be cut-down.

The one good thing that the British government did was to reduce the VAT rate in an effort to revive consumer demand. This was vaguely successful but it was a step in the right direction. The Spanish economy has severe problems; tourist and the real estate market have been badly hit and I suspect that it will take the economy years to recover. A bad move Mr. Zapatero.

Ian Franklin