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Saturday, 3rd February 2007 - No. 115
1Casa Topical Digest of News and Views from the Andalucia Area in Spain
Weather Changing for Spain - Heatwaves and Downpours
Spain can expect fewer cool days, less rain, more torrential downpours, more frequent droughts and a saltier Mediterranean sea, these are the findings from a report into the global affects of climate change by the Intergovernmental Group on Climate Change, the Spanish environment minister, Arturo Gonzalo Aizpiri, said "The report leaves no place for doubts and is an alarm call to governments of the world." In the last few years, the level of the seas has risen and the melting of the glaciers has also speeded up. Europe has heated up by 1 degree in the past century, the production of carbon dioxide during 2005 alone, exceeded annual natural production during the past 650,000 years.
Fitur Tourism Fair Opens in Madrid
Spain’s world tourism fair, Fitur was opened last Wednesday, 31st January by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. The royal couple visited the Andalucia stand where they were greeted by the President of the Junta, Manuel Chaves, and the regional heads of Tourism, Paulino Plata and Culture, Rosa Torres. The event is the second largest tourism fair in the world and this year 13,190 companies will be taking part, 57% of them from Spain.
Alora was represented at the fair, on the stand of the tourist board of the Costa del Sol. On 1st February, visitors took part in a tasting of the sopa perota (local soup) and local wines.
Three Million Foreign Residents in Spain
Spain has announced that there are now over three million registered foreign residents in the country. The latest figure from the Secretary of State for Immigration and Emigration is 3,021,808.
In 2006, more than 282,000 foreigners obtained their Spanish residency, but the increase, at 10.33% is the lowest for the past four years.
70% of the legal immigrants are from outside the European Union, with EU members accounting for the rest. The increase of 19% in the numbers of new EU residents here is the highest for the past four years. This trend is predicted to continue this year with the entry of Romania and Bulgaria into the EU.
New Law on Animal Welfare is Introduced in Spain
The new law includes fines up to a maximum of 100,000 euros for those who ill treat domestic pets, the law also controls the movement, upkeep and conditions of farm animals and in medical research too.
Prisons in Spain to Set up Football Schools
Spanish football officials announced in Madrid last Wednesday, 31st January, that Spanish jails would set up football schools and teach convicts football skills. The president of Spain's Royal Spanish Soccer Federation (RFEF), Angel Maria Villar, and the director general of Spain's Penitentiaries signed a deal to set up the schools in some of Spain's 66 jails.
RFEF will teach football including five-a-side, refereeing and give general fitness training to the prisoners. Villar also promised to promote the participation of school football school in official competitions and to launch a new trophy "The Royal Spanish Soccer Federation Trophy" in which they can compete.
Spain Protests Against Global Warning with Switch Off Protest
Some of Spain's national monuments were among protesters who switched off their lights last Thursday, 1st February, as thousands of people supported a 5 minute switch off in protest against global warming. National monuments including the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Madrid's Plaza de Mayor, la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and the Cordoba Mezquita took part in the protest. The Generalitat de Valencia turned off the lights in their buildings as did the Junta de Galicia. Many town halls and some central government ministries did the same.
The Spanish National Grid Authority, REE reported that demand dropped by 1,000 megawatts during the protest, but also said that the drop in demand was less than expected and they did not have to implement an emergency plan to prevent a crash in the grid when demand returned to normal levels.
The call for the protest came from France, in order to draw attention to the problem of global warming and climatic change, ahead of a major report which warns that the Earth will keep getting warmer.
Gas Natural Withdraws Their Offer for Endesa
The Spanish gas utility has bowed out of the long battle, taking away some of the pressure with Eon of Germany as it prepares its final bid for Spain's largest electricity generator. The Barcelona-based gas supplier told Spain's stock market regulator that the board had decided unanimously to "withdraw its offer for 100 per cent of Endesa’s stock". It gave no further information about its decision.
A warning has been issued about 'phishing' emails which are being sent across Spain purporting to be from the Spanish tax authorities. The emails claim that the recipient is in line for a tax rebate and is then sent to a form on which bank details are required. The authorities say if you receive such a mail simply delete it.
Flamenco Goes to New York
Flamenco from Andalucia will be performed in New York this month, between 15th and 18th February, during its seventh annual Flamenco Festival. The shows will feature an array of dancers, vocalists and guitarists direct from Andalucia. In conjunction with Flamenco Festival 2007, the Andalucia Tourist Board is carrying out a marketing campaign to travel professionals in New York, Long Island, New Jersey and Philadelphia.
Titantic Survivor Receives Cake and Wine from Spain
Millvina Dean, the youngest person to travel on the Titanic (she was only 68 days old), and only one of two survivors alive today, celebrated her 95th birthday yesterday, 2nd February. To recognise this day, Titanic, The Exhibition, that has just closed in Granada, sent to her home in Southampton, a gift of a cake typical of Granada topped with 95 candles and 3 bottles of "vino dulce español" (sweet Spanish wine).
Mission Eurovision Finalist Songs Have Been Announced
Last Monday, 29th January, the notary of the Ilustre Colegio Notarial de Sevilla, Luis Barriga Fernandez announced the five finalist songs of Mision Eurovision. One of these 5 songs will represent TVE in the 52nd Festival of Eurovision in Helsinki on 12th May.
They are as follows:
• BUSCO UN HOMBRE (de Alejandro de Pinedo y Carlos Villamil)
• I LOVE YOU MI VIDA (de Tony Sanchez, Rebeca y Thomas G:Son)
• LA REINA DE LA NOCHE (de Rafael Artesero y José Juan Santana)
• TU VOZ SE APAGARA (de Miguel Linde)
• UNA LÁGRIMA (de Miguel Angel Garcia y Ana Luisa Santana)
These 5 songs are the result of the following process: 3 of them were selected by internet user votes and the other 2 were chosen by the Committee of Mission Eurovision. These songs will be performed on Mision Eurovision in Gala 6 on 17th February. Five singers (who are not Mision Eurovision finalist performers) will sing them for the first time on television. In the Grand Gala Final, on 24th February, each one of these songs (half a song) will be sung by the 5 finalist performers. We will listen to each song sang by each one of the finalists. Overall we will see 25 performances of a minute and half. In this way, the public will be able to choose the combination of song and singer that he prefers. In short, the Final of Mission Eurovision consists of choosing the best combination song / singer of our 5 finalist songs, performed by 5 finalist singers.
On Tuesday 30th January, the management of Mission Eurovision met the writers of the 5 song finalists in Prado del Rey (TVE), to address the arrangements of the songs and the adaptation to the finalists who will be chosen in the Gala Semi-final.
Almodovar and Penelope Cruz Both Win Awards
Pedro Almodovar's Volver won best picture, Penelope Cruz won the best actress award at the Goya Awards, Spain's equivalent of the Oscars, Almodovar won best director for the story of a family of Spanish women living in pain, chaos and trauma, it received 14 nominations for the award.
In other news, Penelope Cruz will star in director Woody Allen's next film which will be set in Barcelona. The film will be shot partially in English and Spanish. Penelope Cruz is also working again with Pedro Almodovar on his next film, ‘La Piel que habito’.
Second Runway at Malaga Airport
The contract to build Malaga airport's second runway has been put out to tender this week. The multi million Euro project, which is expected to take over 30 months, will make Malaga one of only five Spanish airports to have more than one runway and will enable passenger numbers to rise to 20 million annually. The new runway will allow flights to increase from a present maximum of 37 to 72 an hour.
Much Improved Inland Emergency Health Cover of Malaga
It has been announced that 12 new emergency teams are to be added to health care in Málaga Province, it seems recent accidents in inland villages have highlighted shortfalls in the current cover. 3 more units will give cover to the Axarquia area, one on the Costa del Sol, three in Antequera, two in Ronda and three in the Guadalhorce Valley with immediate effect.
Delay to A-357 Motorway Works
Improvement works on the A-357 to convert it to a motorway between Cartama and Casapalma are running up to six months behind schedule. Originally planned for completion in February 2007, the work could now extend into August. Officials blame the delay on lengthy land-expropriation processes and the time-consuming work to reroute telephone and power lines.
New Playground for Alora
The Ayuntamiento of Alora has initiated the works of a new playground in the Avenida de la Constitución, next to the Red Cross. The works include a budget of 100,000 euro and will involve the recovery of a 100 square metres of space for play apparatus, as well as landscaped areas, urban furniture and new lighting. The councillor of Works, Jose Aguilar, also said that work will soon begin to reform the playground of the Barriada de El Puente.
Awards Ceremony of Painting Competition
On Friday 9th February the Awards Ceremony of the XVIII Alora Painting Competition will take place at the Casa de Cultura, Alora.
Basketball Court for Cartama
Work has begun work on a new basketball court for Estacion de Cartama, in order to encourage more people, especially young people to take part in sports. The court is being built next to the Pablo Neruda school and children's play park. Work is expected to be complete by March.
Malaga 0 - 0 Hercules
After beating Hercules in August last year, Malaga could only manage a goalless draw on the return game. Malaga are away to Alaves tonight, Saturday 3rd February, kick off 6.30 pm.
Before the transfer deadline closed, Malaga had sold one of the club's young players, the talented Francis Duran to Liverpool.
Alonso Sets Pace in Testing
Reigning Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso has been in Valencia this week testing the McLaren and had set the fastest time in the first of three days.
Nadal Will Represent Spain in Davis Cup
Rafael Nadal has been chosen to represent Spain at the Davis Cup against Switzerland. World number 2, Nadal, who lost to Fernando Gonzalez in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, will team with David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez against Switzerland in Geneva. The Swiss team will be without Roger Federer who has ruled himself out of the competition.
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