Volume 28

1Casa News from Spain - No. 28
 
 
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Zapatero's Visit to Málaga Province
 
Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, made his first official visit to Málaga on Tuesday 26 April which coincided with the Day of the Province.
 
Zapatero's visit to Álora´s Cervantes Theatre along with other dignitaries was a resounding success. His arrival was greeted with cheers, applause and a mass of cameras from thousands of local people when he arrived in the village in blazing sunshine just after 11.30 a.m.
 
In addition to giving a speech in the theatre and attending the presentation of awards, the P.M. asked the Mayor to thank the people of Álora for their warm welcome. He also mentioned the affection shown by the people of Andalucía in general, adding that the region was the pride and joy of democratic Spain.
 
The PM stopped for refreshments at the recently opened Candela restaurant before leaving the town.
 
The Prime Minister also confirmed during his visit to the area that the AVE high speed train will reach the coast by 2007 and said all the schemes for the province will be “in place in time”.
 
A Guardia Civil Helicopter looking over Presidente Zapatero Tuesday 26 April 2005
 
 
 
 
12th Festival of Verdiales (Dancing and Singing)
 
Next Sunday, 8 May, the 12th Festival of Verdiales will take place at La Ermita de Las Cruces.  The Ermita de Las Cruces is located on the outskirts of Álora Estacíon - look out for a signpost on the right 'Ruta de Ermita' as you leave the town heading towards Valle de Abdalajís.
 
Jerez de la Frontera Horse Fair
 
Jerez de la Frontera, the home town of sherry, celebrates it annual horse fair from May 1st to 8th.  This is beautiful city and well worth a visit to see the sights, visit a sherry bodega or see a performance by the Andalucian horses and riders at the Real Escuela Andaluza de Arte Equestre – the Royal Andalucian School of Equestrian Art.
 
New State Schools In Malaga Will Be Bilingual From Next Autumn
 
The teaching of languages in Malaga schools will soon mean that pupils will leave school actually speaking a second - or even third - language. The few hours currently dedicated to learning a foreign language at school will be a thing of the past, when all schools in the province begin teaching certain subjects through English and other foreign languages. From the beginning of the next school year, some secondary schools in the province will offer bilingual teaching, while all new schools opening in Andalucía in the autumn will be obliged to provide the same language-learning facilities. The new measures form part of the recently approved Junta de Andalucía Education Delegation’s Plan for the Encouragement of Multilingualism.
 
El Cantal Archaeological Park opens in Rincón de la Victoria
 
After being abandoned for over 30 years La Victoria Cave has been cleaned and given a face-lift, while an exact replica of part of it has been created in the park.
 
The cave paintings, the only feature which is not life-size, have been reproduced in relief on the outside and measure three metres high and six wide
 
Refuse was threatening to suffocate the archaeological remains. Tons of building rubble was spread all over the cavern, even along the galleries where the walls were covered with Neolithic cave paintings. That had been the situation in La Victoria Cave at Rincón de la Victoria since 1972, when the site was abandoned. “There were even graffiti over the 5,000-year-old cave paintings”, says archaeologist Francisco Ortiz. He was the person leading the team of eight people who cleaned the cave and created the Rincón Mediterranean Archaeological Park, 50,000 square metres recreating the environment in which Neanderthal Man lived in the province of Malaga.
 
Eastenders in Mijas
 
The London soap opera moved filming to Mijas Pueblo last week to introduce a Spanish storyline.  A team from the programme were filming in the village and several local people took part as extras.
 
Inland Homes a Better Bet Than The Costa
 
It seems prices of pre owned homes in Spain are rising faster than those for new builds for the first time in a decade, as buyers go in search of the Real Spain which is found in inland areas in preference to the previously booming coastal locations.
 
New home prices in Spain climbed by 16.19% last year on average, this from the Spanish College of Registered Home owners, however pre owned homes increased by 17.35% while new houses or apartments went up by 14.5%.
 
It is said the increase in prices displayed a cooling in the housing market, however it appeared to still be very healthy, in the last quarter of 2004 prices rose by 3.5% on average.
 
The member banks of the Confederación de Española de Cajas de Ahorros are forecasting equity growth of 12% for 2005 and 2006.
 
These banks, who together account for 68% of all mortgages in Spain, confirmed that pre owned homes were the most popular section of the market, adding up to 57% of transactions.
 
Driving Points
 
The list of offences that could lead to a loss of points on the new Spanish driving licence system has been reduced from 45 to 31. The Government has removed offences that do not imply an “evident or imminent” danger to traffic from the list. These include driving a vehicle that has not passed its ITV test, or some parking offences. Drivers who have none of their 12 points deducted from their licences in the first three years will be awarded two bonus points and an extra point for the next three years of safe driving.
 
Mothers' Day and May Day
 
Spain celebrates Mothers Day tomorrow, Sunday 1 May 2005.  Happy Mothers Days to all Mothers in Spain.
 
On Monday many shops and offices will be closed in respect of Internation Workers' Day.
 
Helle Hollis Car Rental
 
The Málaga based car rental company Helle Hollis expands its services to Granada Airport.  Granada is a delightful airport with excellent road connections.
 
From this summer Ryanair will be operating daily flights to Granada from London Stansted and Liverpool, and Monarch will be operating a daily flight from London Gatwick.
 
Drought in Spain
 
The Spanish Meteorological Institute has stated that for the last seven months Spain has been suffering severe drought. This is the first time ever that a public institution in Spain has given a drought warning.
 
Figures released by the Institute state that during the Autumn and Winter months it rained 37 percent less than average, and in January rainfall was barely a fifth of what it usually during the first month of each year. Rainfall registered between November and March has been the lowest since measurements began in 1947.
 
The Institute said that the worst hit areas are Extremadura, south east Galicia, east Andalucia, Madrid, Castilla la Mancha and parts of Aragon and Catalonia.
 
Evidently the cause of the drought was the presence of an anticyclone in western Spain which let in currents of air from the North Pole, causing a sharp drop in rain showers.
 
Inflation Increases Year on Year To 3.5pc in April
 
Spanish inflation rose to 3.5 % on an annual basis in April. The figures were based on provisional data released by the Spanish National Statistics Institute, final data should be published on 13th May.
 
The data provided was calculated according to a harmonised index of consumer prices used to compare inflation across the 12-nation euro zone.  Spain regularly has one of the highest rates of inflation across Europe.
 
Airbus A380 Makes its Virgin Flight
 
The Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger plane, successfully took off on its maiden test flight on Wednesday 27th April, a milestone for aviation. The new Airbus, the only twin-deck, four-aisle airliner in the world, can accommodate up to 550 passengers. The plane exceeds the dimensions of everything that has ever landed or taken off from international airports across the globe. Thousands of aeroplane enthusiasts have turned up in southern France to witness the twin-deck super-jumbo taking to the air for the first time. The plane was filled with about 20 tonnes of monitoring equipment.
 
Refugees File for European Arrest Warrant Against British Estate Agent
 
A Greek Cypriot refugee couple yesterday filed for a European arrest warrant against a British real estate agent who was building on their property in the occupied north.
 
The couple were the first to request a European arrest warrant under a law amended in March, which increased penalties for illegal possession and use of immovable property and paved the way for arrest warrants to be issued for European citizens holding Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied north.
 
The petition concerns 42-year-old Mark Unwin of Guildford, Surrey, who started Unwin Estates along with his wife Hayran in December 1999. Refugee Christos Mazios said he visited his orchard in Ayios Epiktitos near Kyrenia three weeks ago and found out that Unwin estate agents were working on a project on his property.
 
Málaga 0 - Barcelona 4
 
Ten man Málaga lose heavily to a strong Barcelona on course to win the league.
 
Malaga travel to Valencia this Sunday to meet Levante, kick off is at 5.00 pm. Their next home game is on May 8th when they face Villarreal.
 
Spanish Gran Prix A Sell Out
 
The Spanish Gran Prix at the Montmeló circuit in Barcelona on May 8th has already sold out.  With Spain's Fernando Alonso currently leading the World Drivers Championship, the organisers of the event say they have already sold the 115,000 tickets allowed. It represents an all time record for the Barcelona track.
 
Racing at Mijas
 
A great day out!  The Costa del Sol Racecourse will hold its fifth meeting of the spring racing season tomorrow, 1st May.  The gates open at 12.00 noon with the first race at 2.00 pm.
 
The following meeting will be held on 15th May with the feature race the Gran Premio Mijas Cup.
 
Look out for Equestrian World every Friday in SUR in English.
 
 
 
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