Home News Spanish National WEEKLY DIGEST – 24 NOVEMBER 2014


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Bull fight Protest


The Spanish government is set to increase military spending, with nearly 2% added to the 2015 budget, that will see 17 billion euro spent on new equipment. Amongst the items on the MOD´s shopping list are five new F-110 anti-submarine warships designed for high intensity combat missions, up to 400 armoured vehicles, three A330-MRTT tanker aircrafts and four drones, capable of carrying up to 3,000 pounds of armaments and four S-80 submarines.


Bonomi, a subsidiary of the Investindustrial investment group which also has an interest in Aston Martin, Ducati and PortAventura, has acquired an 80% stake in Spanish car hire company Goldcar. The remaining 20% will remain with the original founders. According to a statement, Goldcar is the leading value holiday car rental company in Southern Europe, with 32,000 vehicles and a leading market share in Spain, as well as a significant presence in Italy, Portugal and Malta. Goldcar Spain were fined 15,456,219 euro by the competition commission in 2013 and, despite that, expect sales of 225 million euro this year.


A near naked and bloodied body lay in the street at Plaza de la Virgen Blanca, Vitoria at the weekend, as an animal rights protester wanted to draw attention to the cruelty of bull fighting. Despite the town banning bull fighting, exceptional fiestas still take place, and thus the Animalist group wanted to object to the involvement of bulls in a fiesta to be attended by some 2,000 people.


Repsol has started drilling for oil in waters near to the Canary Islands, just 54 km off the Fuerteventura coastline. Company spokesman Mark Fraga said that preliminary findings indicate that they will find oil at two different depths, the first goal is to drill to 1,900 meters after which they will continue to their ultimate depth of 3,050 meters.


Over 3000 artists from 40 countries have submitted their designs for Benidorm’s new logo. A blog published on the Internet platform Talents United invited entries for the competition the winner of which will receive a prize of 3,000 euros. There will also there will be two second prizes of € 600 each. The contest opened last week and ends on 23 February. Those interested only need to register with Talents United and begin creating.


Over 20 people have been arrested by the Guardia Civil for evading tax on the import of over a billion euros worth of goods into Spain from China. The arrests, mainly of Spanish and Chinese personnel resident in Madrid, were made following an investigation by The Tax Agency (AEAT) and the Anticorruption Prosecutor. One arrest was said to be in Alicante.


Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenés on Monday said the navy acted was in “absolute proportion” order when its boats rammed Greenpeace vessels taking part in a protest against oil prospecting off the coast of the Canaries, resulting in injuries to two demonstrators, one a 23-year-old Italian activist who was thrown into the water and suffered a broken leg.


Podemos manifesto is coming “as soon as possible,” says newly elected leader Pablo Iglesias, who was officially appointed secretary general of Podemos this past weekend. He said that Spain’s newest party is working hard on developing a program to win the 2015 elections as he and his aides are making progress on “a battery of economic measures” to restart the ailing economy and give power back to the people.


Murcia police said that a woman had to flee to a neighbor’s house last week after being attacked in her home by her ex-partner. The assault took place in the hamlet of Murcia El Raal. The man, aged 42 and of Ukrainian nationality was arrested and taken to the Guardia Civil post in Santomera where he was charged with assaulting is former partner with a bag of frozen chicken drumsticks.


The honorary president of the PP in Dolores, Antonio Ruiz, died last week at age 82. He was a councilor until 1999 and candidate for mayor on several occasions. Ruiz began his political career in 1977 under the banner of the UCD.


Former world number one tennis player, Juan Carlos Ferrero, has said that he will be caddying for Sergio Garcia next month when the Spanish golfer sets out in defense of the Thailand Open in Chonburi. In the tournament, which will be held between 11 and 14 December, Garcia will face double Masters champion Bubba Watson, the winner of the US Open, Martin Kaymer, as well as Lee Westwood and South Africa’s Ernie Els.


Former mayor of Orihuela, Mónica Lorente, has announced that she is 4 months pregnant, expecting the birth of a son around April. The father is ex environmental councillor Fernando Modrego, also from the Partido Popular.


Thousands of gallons of water were lost on Sunday in Orihuela caused by a crack in the Tajo-Segura pipeline. The break caused the flooding of surrounding lands and forced the closure of adjacent roads. As technicians worked to repair the problem last Monday the authorities lowered the pressure of the water flow to minimize the water escape.


The Socialist opposition of Callosa de Segura has criticized the cuts in street cleaning that have recently been agreed upon by the City Council in the renegotiation of the contract with la mercantil Sirem. They say that they have led to a "sorry picture" in the town which is dirty, not something that either the residents or the visitors deserve. They have further criticized the mayor, Javier Pérez (PP), for his closure of the eco park which they say should be immediately reopened.


Five years after the Andalusian government unsuccessfully searched for the body of poet and playwright Federico García Lorca in Alfacar, diggers are back in the area. Authorities have sent heavy machinery to begin excavating in the Peñón del Colorado, where researcher Miguel Caballero believes the unmarked grave of one of Spain’s greatest literary figures could be. García Lorca was executed by Nationalist forces at the start of the Spanish Civil War. His body was never found.


Spanish singer Isabel Pantoja has been ordered to report to prison within three days to serve her two-year sentence for money-laundering after Málaga provincial court on Wednesday rejected all appeals and requests to suspend her punishment. However the 58-year-old star, who was involved a massive property kickbacks-and-bribes scheme in the Costa del Sol is free to choose the prison in which she will serve time. Her lawyer, José Ángel Galán, said she would not request a government pardon.


Following 5 million euro of investment, supermarket Mercadona is rolling out 16,000 new payment terminals in its stores, to facilitate “contactless” technology. Through the technology, holders of compatible Visa and Mastercard credit cards will be able to purchase their products “immediately” and without typing your PIN for purchases less than 20 euro. The system is expected to have reached all stores by early December.


According to a report by trade organisation IAB, more people are using Smart TV´s to watch programs via the internet than ever before. The survey reveals that there are currently 4.5 million smart TVs in operation in homes in the country, although half of the owners do say that they don´t connect to the internet on a regular basis.


Following similar motions by Britain and Ireland last month, the Spanish government has approved a symbolic resolution to recognise a Palestinian state, with 319 voting in favour, two opposed and one abstention. Europe is hoping that the resolution will help to push for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Jerusalem has criticised the move, saying, "The Spanish parliament’s declaration only pushes away further the chances of reaching an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians."


Governor of the Bank of Spain, Luis Maria Linde, has said this week that the Spanish Government must increase budget efforts, especially at a regional level, in order to meet its public deficit target. “To meet the deficit target requires an improvement… in income and reduced spending in the last third of the year larger than that seen between January and August”, Linde told the upper house of Parliament.


As Spanish meet exporters are coming to terms with the reduction in supplies to Russia, they are now seeking new global markets, with Greece top of the list. With the Greek economy continuing to grow, Spain sees the country as an ideal replacement after sanctions were imposed against Russia. In 2013, the export meat market was worth in excess of 4 billion euro.


Details came to light this week over an incident involving a Lufthansa Airbus flying from Bilbao to Munich on the 5th November, with 109 people on board, which saw the autopilot put the aircraft into a steep descent of 4,000 feet per minute, after being in the air for just 15 minutes. The flight crew regained control and continued to their destination, where the aircraft landed some 110 minute later. French authorities labelled the incident as “very serious” and it is now being investigated by German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Investigation, the Bundesstelle für Flugunfalluntersuchung.

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