Home News Spanish National WEEKLY DIGEST – 3 NOVEMBER 2014


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A 50 year old grandmother from Guyana was arrested last week after she allegedly attempted to send a quantity of cocaine through the postal system to an address in Valencia, Spain. The woman was convicted for being in possession of 274 grams of cocaine which she had hidden in beauty products prior to posting.


A theatre in Madrid has come up with an ingenious way of reducing IVA payments, by offering pornographic magazines for sale, which come with a complimentary theatre ticket. The reason is that the magazines enjoy a reduced 4% rate of IVA, whereas theatre tickets suffer an additional 21% tax. The aim is to criticise the government´s cultural tax policy, thus proving that pornography has “more support from the government” than the arts.


Broccoli production in Spain is starting a slow recovery, as the biggest export season approaches. However, the severe drought throughout the summer is expected to have an adverse effect of the vegetable yield, especially in the Murcia region. Francisco Mula, general director of Agrícola Santa Eulalia, said, “The lack of water resources is increasingly affecting our crops, reducing the yield, which ends up taking a toll on our profit margins”, and may result in higher prices to the consumer. Some 90% of the 23,000 tonnes of broccoli produced by the Totana based company are exported to countries such as the UK, sold mostly through supermarket chains.


A “drunk” passenger on board a Ryanair flight from Málaga to East Midlands was arrested after throwing cigarettes around the cabin and claiming to have a bomb with him, then assaulting another passenger who had tried to calm him. Ryanair apologised to the other passengers on the flight and say that the matter is with the police, who arrested the passenger on charges of being under the influence of alcohol, smoking during flight and common assault. A court date has been set for November.


Financial analysts Fitch have awarded Spain with a BBB+ rating, with a stable outlook, as the GDP is set to contract by 0.2% in 2014, followed by growth of 0.6% in 2015. Italy has been given the same upgrade for the future.


The Spanish government has called for an increase in the allowance of Bluefin tuna that the EU fleet of fishing boats can catch, and are supporting an increase of up to 23,500 tonnes in two years. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Isabel García Tejerina, said that the increase would be “a positive signal” and that Spanish fishermen deserve “a fair reward”, on account of the Bluefin Tuna Recovery Plan being carried out successfully. Overfishing has threatened the existence of Bluefin tuna and Spain catches almost 20% of the total stock quota. Spanish Bluefin tuna exports in 2013 generated a total of 37.7 million euro, of which almost 90 per cent were fresh products. In the first half of this year, the export figure is 32 million already.


A deadly virus is causing havoc in Spain, with frog, toad, newt, and salamander populations being attacked by an emerging pathogen, mainly in the Picos de Europa National Park in northern Spain. The ranavirus called common midwife toad virus (CMTV) was first isolated on the European continental mainland in 2007 from diseased tadpoles. Experts are concerned that the long-term effects could have wider significance as emerging diseases threaten all animal groups.


Supermarket chain Dia reported disappointing sales in the third quarter of the year this week, with sales rising just 0.3% to 2.03 billion euro, giving them a 1.8% increase in profits of just 154.2 million euro.


As the strawberry picking season is about to get underway, farmers in the Huelva region have once again promised to give the manual jobs to local workers, for the second year running. However, they have also created a database of 2,000 Moroccan nationals who are on the reserve list to fill jobs that may be vacant or in the event of an increase in workload.


Spanish budget airline Volotea, the brainchild of former Vueling founders, Carlos Muñoz and Lázaro Ros, will open their first base in Spain in 2015. This first location is likely to be in the north of Spain for the Barcelona based firm, with plans to open up to five bases among the Spanish airports, looking at spreading to the east, south and islands. Currently, Volotea‘s aircrafts spend their time at Venice, Palermo, Nantes and Bordeaux, with Strasbourg expected to be added soon.


Qatar Airways plans to fly from Barcelona to Latin America, but only if it will not take away business from either Iberia or any other Oneworld airline alliance, which it joined a year ago, according to CEO Akbar Al Baker. ”If we see opportunities, we would, but always in total agreement with Iberia, an IAG group company which Qatar Airways belongs”, he explained on Tuesday at the Aviation Partnership Summit.


Spain´s national competition auditor has broken up a business cartel which had 24 wooden pallet companies price fixing the market between 2005 and 2011. The companies were given a 4.7 million euro fine which offsets their profits during the operation.


San Miguel de Salinas has added two new patrol vehicles to the fleet of the Policia Local. One will be used to transport juvenile detainees whilst the second will carry out mobile patrols in and around the town. Both vehicles are already in current use.


Torrevieja’s University Hospital has been recognized for its work in promoting equality with an award by the Alicante Bureau of Equal Opportunities. The presentation was made at a ceremony held in the offices of the Alicante Red Cross. The honor recognizes the efforts made by the center to implement initiatives that advocate equal treatment and employment opportunities for men and women in their plan of reconciling work and family life in the hospital.


Torrevieja’s oldest resident, 108 year old Josefina Blanco López, died last Monday morning after her health had deteriorated over the previous weekend. She died at her home in Calle Caballero de Rodas, the same house in which she was born on May 19, 1906. A funeral mass, attended by the Torrevieja mayor, was held in celebration of her life, at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, on Tuesday.


Widely known as one of the most famous tourist attractions locations in Spain, Benidorm has this week taken on a self-appointed new title, as a city free from evictions. The “zona libre de desahucios” proposal is expected to gain the full approval of the municipal political groups, and includes a number of measures to help victims of the mortgage crisis.


Data published last week by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) indicates that the country’s population will fall by 5.6 million by the year 2064 by which time almost 40% of people will be aged 65 or more. The report also says that the number of people living alone will increase by almost 38 per cent in the next 15 years.

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