Koen Greven

The tourism sector in Spain fears carnage

Spain’s record tourism streak has come to an abrupt end. 83.5 million tourists will no longer be coming to the southern European country any time soon. In many ways, 2019 will be remembered as ‘the year before the corona crisis.’ When everything was still ‘normal.’ Or...

Bread and games in times of corona

Kiki Bertens has won the prestigious Madrid tennis tournament! Has the coronavirus gotten into this columnist’s head? Didn’t Bertens win last year in La Caja Magica? Or did I miss something? I hear you all thinking that. No, the coronavirus hasn’t got a hold of me yet. Yes,...

To Spain, the corona crisis means ‘war’

Every country is undergoing the corona crisis in its own way. To the Spanish, it’s war. From the beginning of the corona crisis, the Spanish population are addressed almost daily by the Chief of the Defense Staff. From behind a pulpit, this Miguel Ángel Villarroya outlines in grandiose words...

A chronicle of the death that no one saw coming

The vast majority of Spaniards were not really that worried when a German tourist on Gomera in the Canary Islands was diagnosed with the coronavirus on January 31st. Nor when the same disease was diagnosed in a Brit on the island of Majorca on the 9th of February. In fact, at that time many...

Spaniards aren’t laughing any more

After a fortnight of lockdown, the moment has arrived that the coronavirus has complete control over me. Not so much physically – I still feel good. No sore throat, no shortness of breath, no headaches, no snoring. No, COVID-19 has me mentally under its control. The virus is everywhere, even...

Suddenly everyone wants to walk Ricky the dog on Madrid’s streets

Suddenly everyone in the family wants to take Ricky out for a walk. Our 4-year-old dog has no idea what’s happening to him now that he gets to walk the empty streets of Madrid four to five times a day. The Spanish capital is in a total lockdown, just like all other parts of the country....

A Spanish astronaut with a brand new mission

Who better to answer the question of why Spain is lagging so far behind in terms of innovation than the Minister himself? I recently visited Pedro Duque along with a few international colleagues. Former astronaut who now heads the Ministry of Science and Innovation as an independent member of...

All the world loves El Clásico; especially television

A Brazilian and a Dominican ruled in favor of Real Madrid in front of a ( potential) television audience of 600 million viewers across 182 countries. In the stands of Santiago Bernabéu, the professional footballers from the Chinese club Wuhan Zall watched the best watched one-day event in the...

Plant a forest in Spain for free in aid of the climate

A few weeks ago I received a press release from Land Life Company in my mailbox with the following news: ‘In 2020, the Dutch company will go and plant around three million trees and restore an estimated three thousand hectares of wasteland.’ “Might be interesting to do something...

Spanish women quietly innovate beyond the male shadow

Female empowerment is flourishing in Spain. The newspaper El Mundo has been publishing a special issue every year since 2014 with a list of the five hundred most influential Spanish women. It is a kind of vade mecum of powerful women. Of course, there is room for Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano. A woman...

An utterly ugly 0-0 in gorgeous LED lighting

I go to almost every home game of Atlético Madrid together with my daughter. We have two regular places just behind the goal on the northern side. It’s mostly just a case of good-old-fashioned fun in the atmospheric setting of the community club where the grumbling crowd is always wanting a...

Spanish top chefs compete with artificial intelligence

The days when Spain looked at French, Italian or Asian cuisine with envy have long since passed. According to José Carlos Capel, the southern European country definitely ranks among “the five best countries in the world” when it comes to food and drink. Naturally, the culinary...

In Spain, the sun doesn’t rise for nothing

Steven van den Heuvel is starting off 2020 full of energy. This should be the year when the company Vesqa will gain a serious foothold in Spain. What’s more, as a new innovative player, the company is set to break open the entrenched market of the energy companies. It’s not that simple...

Dutch water management in the Spanish veggie garden of Europe

In the countryside of Murcia, Spain, Dutch company Bejo has built two huge basins at the end of a dried up trail of devastating mud flows. Water is collected for use during dry periods on the rare days when the rain cascades down. Special plants and some algae-eating fish keep the water clean in a...

In Spain: A child, a book and a tree

Your life is complete once you have brought a child into the world, written a book and planted a tree. That’s apparently a good Spanish custom. My daughter Laura was born on 4 May 2003. Three years later Een Elftal Bondscoaches was published, followed by Verscheurd Catalonië last summer. And...

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