The mayor of Alicante, Sonia Castedo, has spoken out in support of gay marriage and abortion during an interview with a Spanish magazine. When asked about gay marriage, the councillor responded, “Why not? I´m still waiting for someone to explain to me why not”, whereas regarding abortion, she said, “Each person is master of their own life and body. I do not command you, nor will I let you command me”.
Officers from the Guardia Civil in Torrevieja have arrested one of their own officers, accused of trafficking drugs. A search of the officer’s home revealed a bag containing a small quantity of drugs.
A TASTE OF LEBANON
Having opened its first of forty new stores in India this week, Lebanese food chain “Zizo” is also looking to expand into other countries, including Spain, the UK and America. According to the company, “Zizo is a fast casual restaurant that serves authentic Lebanese with a modern twist. It’s a concept with a difference that will bring simple, delectable Lebanese food to the world, in an innovatively creative and healthier way”.
MORE MADRID FLIGHTS
Qatar Airways are to increase their operations from Madrid to Doha from November, adding another 3 extra flights per week, to bring a total of 10 weekly services. The route will be served by a Boeing 777 aircraft, offering an additional 252 Business Class and 1,758 Economy Class seats per week, for an overall increase of 2,010 seats. The additional flights will connect to Qatar Airways’ 144 destinations throughout its global network.
END OF THE LINE
The Spanish government has criticised the European Union for agreeing to terms that forces 30 European fishing boats to leave Mauritanian waters, in order to allow local fishing fleets exclusivity of tuna in the area. The European shellfish fleet has been allowed to remain in the area until December. The compromise was reached as Mauritania threatened to ban the entire European fishing fleet from its waters.
Last Week the Alhama de Murcia Council formally approved the ‘Plan Especial de Ordenación del Complejo Turístico Recreativo’ submitted by Premursa, the promoter of the Paramount Murcia theme park. The agreement to the latest phase of construction will keep the project on track to allow the park to be opened to the public by the end of next year.
Spain’s FACUA consumer association has warned of Movistar unfair and unadvertised charges due to be applied to their voicemail service. From the 1st October Movistar / Telefonica will automatically charge landline clients 6.05 cents each time they listen to a message. They say that Movistar are advising subscribers incorrectly, that the service can not be cancelled, and that the contract as whole must be cancelled. FACUA says that users have the right to cancel their contracts at any time without penalty when the Telecoms provider changes their terms and conditions.
THIS IS NOT IT
Workers at the Coca Cola plant in Alicante, one of four being closed down by the company, have rejected a new offer made regarding severance and redundancy, as they consider the proposal which came about following a court ruling to be “insufficient”. The next stage of negotiations will be held in September.
The National Police have arrested a French citizen in Altea after he escaped from jail in 2000 whilst serving a 30 year prison sentence for drug trafficking. Police had apparently been tracking the man for some time. When he was arrested on Monday he was carrying false passport and driving license.
Briton Harold Plaskett, who lives in Cartagena, has won the prestigious Castillo de Jumilla Chess Competition. This year saw 65 players enter the competition from Murcia, Valencia and Castilla La Mancha. Plaskett, who won all of his 7 games, was declared champion when he beat last year’s runner up, Argentinean Grand Master, Alfredo Giaccio, who lives in Lorca.
KO FOR MOORE
A BRITISH boxing champion has been shot in Estepona in what is believed to be a drug or gang related crime. Jamie Moore – the former European light-middleweight champion – was rushed to Costa del Sol hospital after being shot twice in the early hours of Sunday morning, once in the knee and once in the groin.
NOT IN MY TOWN
PRINCESS Cristina Street in Moraleja del Vino is no more after the town chose to rename the thoroughfare to dissociate itself from the corrupt Infanta. And many more towns across the country are renaming their streets in the light of the massive scandal surrounding her and her husband Inaki Urdangarin’s on alleged embezzlement charges.
Police have arrested two members of staff at Madrid’s Zoo Aquarium who managed to rip off their employers to the tune of €1 million by selling fake tickets to the popular attraction. The two men pulled off the scam by rigging the zoo’s software system so that ticket sales they made didn’t register in the system. They would then simply pocket the cash earnings.
ON THE LINE
The mountain rescue section of the Guardia Civil have assisted 343 people during the months of June and July, during 227 operations. Of those assisted, 172 were rescued unharmed, 153 had been injured, whereas 18 people had lost their lives. The figure represents a 19.38% increase on the previous year.
The Alicante provincial council has allocated 59,000 euro to be shared between the municipalities in order to offer English language courses to young people between the ages of 18 and 35. Deputy for Equality, Youth and European Residents, Mercedes Alonso, said that this initiative aims to cover two aspects, firstly to offer young people a new tool to find a job, and to help municipalities to provide solutions and programs that would not be possible without the support of the provincial body.
BACK ON TOP
After the much publicized exodus of British retirees the results of a new study suggest that Spain has regained its appeal among Britons planning to retire overseas. Of more than 2,000 Britons polled by MGM Advantage, a retirement income specialist, 13pc said they planned to retire in Spain. France took second place with 9pc of votes, followed by the United States and Australia.
JUST A SLICE
Spanish chef Senen Gonzalez has entered the Guinness World Records, by cooking the largest tortilla in the world. Made with 840 kilos of eggs, 1,600 kilos of potatoes, 30 kilos of onions, 10 kilos of salt and 150 litres of olive oil, the resulting 5 metre wide tortilla was shared by more than 10,000 people in the Basque city of Vitoria-Gasteiz.
The Spanish government has reduced its fleet of official cars by 600 vehicles in the last 2 years, now having just 303 official vehicles and 411 drivers, compared to 921 vehicles when they took to power.
A 20 year old French male has died after jumping from a hotel balcony in the holiday resort of Magaluf. More commonly known as “Balconing”, there is an increasing trend in death and injuries by young holidaymakers who jump from their hotel balcony towards the swimming pool. So far, 22 people this year have lost their lives doing so on the Balearic islands alone.
Spain´s Telefonica has said that it will “comfortably” reach its target of 1.5 million subscribers to its pay to view television service by the end of the year. In July, the company signed up 200,000 new users in a single month, already breaking the 1.4 million benchmark. The company has attributed the growth to their rollout of faster internet networks. The closest rival, Ono, which was bought by the Vodafone group, had 790,000 subscribers at the end of July. Telefonica is also intending to purchase Canal+, subject to approval by regulators, which would firmly fix them as the market leader in pay TV, with 3 million subscribers and 60% of the market share.
Relatively unheard of before the European elections, having only forming 4 months before winning their 8 parliamentary seats, the political group Podemos is now holding third place in Spain, according to the latest opinion polls published this week. The left wing party would take 15.3% of the overall votes, with 21.2% going to the socialist PSOE, and 30% for the conservative PP, according to the 2,471 people surveyed by the CIS official group.
The Torrevieja based parents group AMPAS is once again launching its text book exchange program, in preparation for the much anticipated, though very expensive, return to school. The group has offered the service for the last 3 years and can be done via the website, www.ampastorrevieja.com, where you can register your own details, for free, and partake in the exchange scheme which hopes to ease the ever increasing financial burden put on education each year.
Spain´s biggest chain of hotels, Melia Hotels International, has announced the removal of shark fins from the menu in all of its worldwide restaurants in 350 hotels spanning 40 countries. In a statement, the company said, “With the removal of shark fin as an ingredient, Melia contributes to the protection of the important role sharks have in maintaining balance in marine ecosystems”. The company, which is one of the largest hoteliers in the world, said the ban would also apply to all events held in its facilities.
Organisers of a fiesta at Callosa de Segura have accepted the complaints from citizens, politicians and animal rights groups and have cancelled their first cultural event, the “toro embolao”, in which the bull´s horns are set alight as it parades through the streets, which was planned to take place on the 9th of August. A traditional element in some areas of Spain, causing the abuse of an animal when it is “is not tied to the tradition of the municipality”, is considered unacceptable.
NO ARMS FOR ISRAEL
Spain has become the second country after Britain to freeze arms exports to Israel after more than 1,800 Palestinians have died in a month. The government has announced that it will cease trading arms and military technology over the current offensive in the Gaza strip.
The Spanish government´s decision to suspend the sale of weapons to Israel has been praised by many for their decisive action in attempting to ease the burden of the conflict, but the move is seen as nothing more than a publicity stunt by others, given that Spain acquired ten times more weapons from Israel than it sells to them. Contracts such as a 324 million euro deal in 2006 to supply Spanish troops in Afghanistan with anti-tank missiles, and a 6.2 million euro contract for Israel to provide mortars are just two of the contracts which make the 5 million euro contract suspension seem almost insignificant.
Despite the severe risk of fire in Spain, the government has offered two amphibious fire fighting aircraft to Sweden in response to a call for assistance to help fight a forest fire described as being the “worst in living memory”, which has already caused one fatality and caused over a thousand people to be evacuated from their homes. The fire, which covered around 150 square kilometres, was moving at a rate of 30 metres per minute at its height.
An off-duty National police officer, enjoying a day at the beach with his son, saved the life of a German woman in Málaga, when she was believed to have got into difficulty after entering the water to assist her nine year old son, who was also in difficulty. The yellow flag was flying and the sea described as “choppy”, but the officer jumped into the water and struggled to drag the unconscious woman to the jetty, where they were assisted out of the water and attended by the emergency services. All involved were said to be doing well after the incident.
Spanish ship makers Armon has delivered the second of three tuna ships to the Mexican Grupomar. The 78 metre Oaxaca is the same as the Gijon delivered in December, and the Manzanillo which is still under construction. President of the Asturian regional government, Javier Fernandez, and the Spanish Ambassador to Mexico, Luis Fernandez-Cid, attended the launch ceremony, with Fernandez-Cid describing bilateral relations as “magnificent”. The value of this contract alone is said to be in the region of 30 million euro per year.
A 33 year old Italian tourist died whilst attending a private party at a house on the island of Ibiza at the weekend. Witnesses saw that the body was found in a plastic swimming pool at around 5:30 in the morning, and showed no signs of violence.
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