Home News Spanish News WEEKLY DIGEST – 13 OCTOBER 2014


16 min read

Snakes alive


Although September is notoriously wet in the area, this year, Torrevieja recorded three times the normal September rainfall, concentrated largely on three days. As the weather front has mostly been moving along the coastline, in a north-easterly direction, the dreaded Gota Fría has been avoided, for now, whilst temperatures have also been 2 degrees higher than normal, on average. Although a considerable inconvenience at the time, the rain is seen as welcome to many as the region was facing one of the worst droughts in decades.


A new system of monitoring the weight of Iberian pigs at slaughter houses was implemented on the 1st of October. The system is now in place in 50 abattoirs, and so 97% of all pigs who are about to be killed will be weighed, with cameras recording the process, to ensure that the minimum standards are met before they are killed and turned into meat for human consumption. Pig farmers have applauded the new regulations as a way of standardizing their output.


Over 1500 people attended the election and crowning of Mª José Díaz as Pilar’s Fiesta Queen for 2014 last weekend. She was joined onstage by María Muñoz Rodríguez and Lola Martínez Sáez who were also elected as the Youth Queen and the Queen of the 3rd Age. They were welcomed into office by the Councillor for Fiestas, Asunción Sánchez, and the mayor, José Fidel Ros.


In their budget for 2015 election year, the Spanish national government is to offer up to one billion euro in loans to struggling town halls, in order for them to settle debts related to healthcare, schools and other essential services. The plan aims to strengthen Spain’s recovery after it emerged from recession in mid-2013 and prevent further financial turbulence.


A group of Russian inspectors, accompanied by Spanish observers for security reasons, have been flying over Spain in an observation aircraft this week, taking photographs as part of the Russian National Centre for Reducing Nuclear Threat initiative under the Open Skies agreement.


Google, the internet and search engine giant, has announced the creation of a “Campus” in Spain, targeted at entrepreneurs looking for informal office space in order to facilitate staring up of new projects, business and careers, following successful launches in London and Tel Aviv. Google claims that the campus in London created more than 570 jobs last year, and is looking to replicate the success at the new facility which will be based in Madrid.


The Terra Natura animal park in Murcia has this week been celebrating some new arrivals, after the birth of four tiny Meerkats (Suricata suricatta), one of the smallest mongooses that exist in the world. The babies weighed in at just 100 grams, approximately, in the fifth occurrence of captivity births in the Murcia park.


Rescuers from the Cruz Roja recovered the lifeless body of a man from the waters of the old town of Algorta in Getxo, the Basque Country, after he had entered the water in order to save his dog which was seemingly in difficulty. Although the man lost his life, the dog survived the ordeal.


A poisonous cobra has been found wandering the streets of Seville, after it escaped from an illegal terrarium located in a residential home. The owner, a 28 year old man, has been arrested and charged with a criminal offence, as the animal could have caused injury to members of the public and animals. Officers from the Guardia Civil who searched the man´s home also found two pythons stuffed into plastic boxes.


A senior officer of the Guardia Civil is being investigated under suspicion of being caught speeding, then asking a friend to claim to being the driver to avoid losing license points and a potential risk to his career. The incident happened some six months ago, with the details only just coming to light, when the Mercedes E320 was caught by a roadside radar travelling at 179 kilometres per hour in a 90 zone. The allegation is not only that the officer was driving and then tried to blame the vehicle owner, but he also tried to blame another motorist for the offence.


Deliveries of the Eurofighter Typhoon to Spain, as well as Germany and Italy, have been halted, after the discovery of a manufacturing fault on the rear fuselage of the aircraft. Britain, the fourth nation involved in the program, is continuing to accept aircraft, as a Ministry of Defence spokesman said operation of the combat jet is unaffected by the problem. The issue is expected to be resolved “soon”, once “negotiations relating to commercial factors” are concluded.


President of the Spanish Government, Mariano Rajoy, and the Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, have signed a deal worth around 3 million euro, aimed at boosting b-lateral business cooperation. Li Keqiang said that “Chinese companies are highly encouraged to invest in Spain”, as the Chinese government attaches great importance to its relations, whilst urging continual expansion of bilateral trade to accelerate growth. He also mentioned that the two countries should strengthen cooperation in areas such as energy, finance, biological medicine and the aerospace industry and he recommended that Spain provide more legal and policy guarantees, as well as visa measures, to promote this.


Technology company Hewlett-Packard has announced that their offer of a free subscription to their HP DataPass broadband service has now been extended to Spain. By purchasing a Pavilion 360 laptop or an HP Slate 10 Plus, 8 Plus or 7 Tab Ultra tablet, you will now get access to 200 MB per month of free mobile data for 24 months, via a pre-loaded app and without any commitment to remain with any network operator.


Torrevieja’s Department of Tourism in collaboration with the Costa Blanca Tourist Office, welcomed a group of twenty tour operators from Belarus last week who are hoping to forge links and raise awareness of the Costa Blanca in their country following the introduction of a weekly direct flight between the capital, Minsk, and El Altet airport.


The Services Sector lost a total of 844 employment contracts in the Vega Baja in September, the final month of the holiday season, although it was partly offset by 222 new industry and 233 construction contracts. Torrevieja, with 426 contract terminations, heads the September unemployment ranking ahead of Pilar de la Horadada, with 133 more people out of work. On the plus side there have been 91 new job creations in Callosa de Segura and 39 in Catral while Orihuela ended September with 77 more jobs.


The Torrevieja Sportsman of the Year Award was won last week by boxer Emiliano Casal. The boxer currently holds both the Spanish and Trans-continental super lightweight titles. He was presented with his trophy by Sports Councillor Luis Maria Pizana

Meanwhile, here are a couple of lighter stories from around the world.


Iconic red telephone boxes are making a comeback in London; although this time they are being painted green and offer the opportunity for mobile phone users to charge their devices. Charging is free in the “Solarbox”, so long as the user absorbs a string of adverts, in a scheme that won the designers, Harold Craston and Kirsty Kenny, second place in the Mayor of London’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur of the Year Award.


A number of schools in Washington, USA, have taken the decision to remove and ban swings from their playgrounds, on account of 200,000 American kids being treated in emergency rooms for swing-related injuries, mostly walking in front or behind. A spokesperson said, “Swings have been determined to be the most unsafe of all the playground equipment”, although with their removal it opens the question as to what will now top the list of dangerous activities for youngsters, and face the vigilance of health and safety.


A new study has revealed that chickens have grown to five times the size they were 50 years ago. However, the study does not reveal that chickens may be big enough to take over the world any time soon, but rather it is for commercial reasons that they are increasing in size, with the data collated from 1957 to 2005 showing growth increased by over 400%, with a concurrent 50% reduction in feed conversion ratio.

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