Volume 31

1Casa News from Spain - No. 31
 
 
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Tsunami Benefit Concert
 
The Tsunami Benefit concert held on Saturday 23 April 2005 at the Municipal Swimming Pool, Álora raised almost €6,000.
 
Seventy five percent will be donated to the Tsunami disaster with 25% to be distributed in equal parts between the Association of Relatives of Patients of Alzheimers, the Association of Parents of Disabled Children and Emaús.
 
The 8th El Chorro Fiesta
 
The El Chorro fiesta is taking place today, 28th May 2005 at Llano de la Iglesia.
 
The event starts at 12 noon and continues until after midnight, everyone is welcome.  The neighbours of El Chorro are particularly interested in The Campaign to save and restore the famous Caminito del Rey.
 
Antequera May Fair
 
The local May fair takes place this weekend in Antequera, activities include livestock, competitions and a trade fair, music and entertainment continues throughout the night on the fairground.
 
New Weekly Craft Market
 
A new weekly craft market is to be held every Sunday from 11.00am to 4.00pm in the Andalucian Patio at Los Arcos (A355 Coín – Cártama road). 
 
A wide range of quality crafts and artesano goods including paintings, jewelry, clothes, painted tiles, water features, glassware, mirrors, pottery, garden furniture, oils and much more.
 
Fiesta for Women
 
A Fiesta for Women will be held at the Municipal Swimming Pool, Álora on 2 June 2005.  There will be various activities and music especially for women.
 
Málaga Book Fair
 
The Málaga book fair runs from May 27th to June 5th in the Paseo del Parque, old and new books are on sale as well as talks, book launches and signings, there is also planned children’s activities.
 
Good News - ANCRAA Breeding Success at Finca los Pajaritos, Estepona
 
Sunday, 8th May 2005 brought huge relief and pleasurable success to ANCRAA (the National Association of Breeders of the Andalucian Giant Donkey) when a pure bred, Andalucian Giant Donkey foal was born. This is the eighth successful birth in the last eighteen months.
 
It is estimated that there are less than 120 of these magnificently humble animals left alive.  These gentle giants can grow to a staggering 16hh!  Their decline is due mainly to the 
continued mechanisation of the agricultural industry. Once revered for the tremendous and heavy work rate they produced, coupled with low maintenance, they are now extremely rare and in danger of becoming extinct.
 
The ANCRAA breeding sanctuary at Finca Los Pajaritos has been set up, currently with no official help or support, to ensure that this indigenous, ancient breed of Andalucia does not disappear.
 
More information may be found at www.ancraa.org together with a video clip. Additionally, more details can be obtained by telephoning Marlene at (00 34) 952 790511 (evenings please) or email 
marlene@ancraa.org.
 
You may visit this worthwhile cause any and every Sunday of the year between 11.00am and 2.00pm, by taking the N340 from Marbella towards Estepona, leaving at km 164 (see signs for 
Sun Park) and then follow the "ANCRAA" signs for a warm and sometimes noisy welcome.
 
Zapatero to Help France's Ailing 'Yes' Campaign
 
Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was heading to France in a bid to help salvage the floundering campaign in favour of the EU constitution.
 
With opinion polls showing French voters leaning towards rejecting the text in a referendum on Sunday, Zapatero was to speak at a meeting of France's Socialist party in the northern city of Lille.
 
Spain was the first country to hold a referendum on the EU constitution on 20 February and those voting backed it overwhelmingly, a sharp contrast to a more sceptical France.
 
Germany Backs EU Constitution
 
Germany has become the ninth country to ratify the EU constitution when the upper house of parliament voted in favour of the treaty. In Friday's vote - timed to give the flagging "Yes" campaign a boost ahead of Sunday's referendum in France - Germany followed Austria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain in approving the text. The Bundesrat vote, a formality given the support for the constitution from the main German political parties, followed approval in the lower house on May 12. Former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the architect of the charter, was in the Bundesrat to witness the vote. He made a last minute appeal to French voters to back the constitution, although opinion polls suggest that it will be rejected in the referendum.
 
The Aim of Spain is not just Cheap and Plain
 
Madrid government seeks to shed the country's bargain-basement image with a high-spending marketing campaign
 
Since January, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism has embarked on a €130m marketing campaign to upgrade Spain's image abroad from a holiday bargain basement to a capital of fine dining, sports and culture.
 
To rectify the problem, the tourism board plans to place €60m worth of media ads alone - the majority in Britain and Germany - to trumpet Spain's nature reserves, roman ruins, golf courses, wine cellars and spas. The government is trying to reach the type of traveller that already visits the cultural attractions of Italy or France. "Relax in the waters of a tranquil spa or experience all the magic of the opera," says one advertisement. "Walk through the most surprising landscapes," says another.
 
Under the government strategy, Spain's diverse regions - from the Moorish architecture of Andalucía to the Romanesque churches of Saint James Way in Galicia - will be marketed as separate "products", with ads placed in gourmet, arts, nature and other specialty magazines.
 
There is much at stake for the country's economy. Tourism generates more than 11% of Spain's GDP and foreign tourists alone bring in more than €44bn a year. British travellers spend €845 a day, slightly less than the average foreign tourist, according to the Tourism Research Institute.
 
British tourists started package trips to Spain in the 1950s, with a two-week holiday costing £35 per person in high season
 
 
By 1977, with wages rising and charter flights becoming cheaper, 3.5 million took holidays there. Within 10 years that number had nearly trebled
 
 
Spain is now the number one holiday destination for Brits, with 13.8 million visitors travelling there each a year, bringing £5bn to the Spanish economy
 
 
Tourism accounts for 12% of Spain's GDP. Spaniards working within the industry number around 1.62 million or 10% of the active labour force
 
 
Tourism receipts cover around three quarters of the country's visible trade gap. Spain still relies heavily on its charter holiday resorts of the Balearics, the Mediterranean coast and Canary Islands, but is developing sporting holidays, eco-tourism, and business and cultural tourism.
 
EU Supports Bulgaria and Romania
 
The European Commission dismissed Thursday suggestions by Germany's opposition that plans to admit Romania and Bulgaria to the European Union should be put on ice, Financial Times reported.
 
The leading newspaper also cited a spokeswoman for Olli Rehn, EU enlargement commissioner, who rejected any idea that Berlin could renege on its promises.
 
Bulgaria's EU Accession Treaty was signed during a special ceremony in Luxembourg on April 25. Sofia ratified the accord on May 11. The EU Accession Treaty of Bulgaria and Romania must be ratified by all EU Member states to enter into force. The two countries anticipate their entry into the bloc of 25 on 1 January 2007.
 
Fathers' Day Gift!
 
A Spanish designer has come up with what could be the perfect solution for the woman who feels frustrated that she has to do all the house chores.  It is a washing machine called "Your Turn", which will not let the same person use it twice in a row. It uses fingerprint recognition technology to ensure the job of loading is not dumped on just one individual.
 
Pep Torres was approached by a Spanish white goods manufacturer to come up with an innovative Father's Day gift. "I thought it would be good to finish with macho man from the ice age who doesn't do anything around the house except drink beers," said Torres, from DeBuenaTinta in Barcelona.
 
"Spain is changing a lot, and I wanted to come up with an invention to enable men to do more around the home."
 
Your Turn is also childproof. Parents can be confident that young fingers will not be able to operate the washing machine as it is only their fingerprints that can start it.
 
But there is one bone of contention. The same person can still load the washing time after time. The finger print sensor only controls who starts the programme.
 
In future designs, Torres hopes to bring the door release mechanism under the thumb of the fingerprint sensor, too.
 
In the meantime, Your Turn is expected to go on sale in the next couple of weeks.
 
Málaga 2 – Racing Santander 0
 
There was a festival atmosphere in the Rosaleda stadium as Málaga beat Racing Santander 2-0 in the last home game of the season.  Edgar got the first goal in the eighteenth minute and substitute Amoroso added a second in the last minute.
 
Malaga’s next game is away to Sevilla at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium on Sunday 29th May 2005.  Kick off at 9.00 pm.
 
Beckham to Retire in Spain
 
 
Real Madrid midfielder David Beckham has ruled out a return to the Premiership, insisting he is "certain" he wants to retire in Spain.
 
The England captain, who joined Madrid in the summer of 2003, insists he is happy in the Spanish capital and has no plans to return to the Barclays Premiership.
 
He said: "It is difficult to adjust to life in another country in one year, it takes two years, I realise that. I am happier now here than I have been before. I am certain I want to retire here."
 
Beckham was neutral on the takeover of his former club Manchester United by American tycoon Malcolm Glazer.
 
He explained: "He has put a lot of money into Manchester, but I don't think it is a problem. Maybe more for the fans, because they think it is their club."
 
Beckham is desperate to win a major trophy with Real Madrid next season, having failed to land one since trading the red jersey of United for the white of Madrid.
 
He said: "It is very hard to be two years without a title, previously I have only been one year without a title at Manchester and it is hard.
 
Wanderley Luxemburgo (the Madrid coach) is a very good person and a good coach, the commitment is there from the players because next year is very important for us. I don't know if we can promise a title. It is hard, but we have to win.
 
Rafael Nadal Third Round Winner at 2005 French Open Tennis Tournament
 
Spanish teenage sensation Rafael Nadal was among the third-round winners on Friday at the 2005 French Open. Nadal, seeded fourth, blazed past France's Richard Gasquet in a matchup of 18-year-olds, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.
 
It was the 20th straight clay-court match win for Nadal, who has captured five ATP titles this year, including the last three events he has played.
 
The Spaniard is 34-2 on clay this year, winning titles at Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome in his last three starts
 
Venus Williams Beaten Easily By Relative Newcomer
 
 
Venus Williams's French Open ended quickly this Friday at the hands of 15-year-old Bulgarian Sesil Karatantcheva 6-3 1-6 6-1.
 
Williams, the 11th seed, played badly in the first set, then recovered to take the second. She then reverted to her first-set form in the third, giving Karatantcheva's her biggest win of her young career.
 
"I'd never heard of her or seen her before this match," Williams admitted. "I think she played well, definitely. But I also felt like, if I just played 10 percent better, I'm going to win this match easy."
 
Williams made 52 unforced errors, committed seven double faults, lost serve nine times and looked un-interested in the final set.
 
"It's fairly disappointing. I have no explanation," Williams conceded after racing into her post-match press conference just minutes after defeat. "I'm ready to leave. I have nothing else to do here - no doubles, no mixed [doubles]. I'm just ready to go," she explained.
 
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