Volume 49

1Casa News from Spain - No. 49
 1Casa Estate Agency
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Annular Eclipse in Málaga
As the day darkened in Madrid during the eclipse which traversed the Iberian peninsula, the sky in Malaga was covered with grey clouds which put paid to everybody’s hopes of seeing the annular eclipse of the sun. The same cloud cover also affected the view in Álora and the surrounding area, with only a brief glimpse seen when the clouds parted.
A grand charity day in aid of SEPE, the horse and donkey protection society, takes place at Los Naranjos (on the Churriana-Cártama road) from 2 pm until late today, Saturday October 8th. There will be live entertainment plus auction and raffles and the chance to sponsor a horse or donkey.
Coín Furniture Theft
Councillors in Coín who went to see how the new viewpoint in the Sierra Gorda was progressing were shocked to find that four benches and four tables which had been installed the previous week had disappeared. The wooden furniture, worth around 3,000 €, had been unscrewed from the ground. On the evening it is believed the theft took place, a grey car with a foreign number plate was spotted near to the scene.  Local Police are continuing their investigations into the crime.
British Architect to Design Theatre in Estepona
British architect David Chipperfield has won a competition to design a theatre in Estepona, Málaga in collaboration with the Bilbao-based firm I. Aurrekoetxea & Bazkideak. In Chipperfield's design, two theatres, seating 400 and 200 people respectively, are set on a plinth elevated six-and-a-half feet above the surroundings. The plinth is wrapped in opaque and transparent walls to create shaded platforms with views to the sea and the historic town centre.
Underground AVE Approved
Madrid has approved the project to construct the final stretch of the AVE high speed rail link into Málaga. The three kilometre length of track will be built largely underground at a cost of 208 million euros, following a decision taken by the Council of Ministers last Friday. The first trains are expected to arrive from Córdoba in 2007.
Monarch Airlines
The British airline, Monarch, are setting up their first base of operations outside the UK at Málaga airport.  Their objective is to increase the total amount of passengers carried by 150,000 up to 900,000.  They intend to fly to other European destinations from Málaga such as Milan and southern France.  From November 2005, routes will include Aberdeen, Blackpool, Newquay, Birmingham, Gatwick, Luton and Manchester.
Catalan Statute
The new Statute for Cataluña was at the centre of debate in congress this week, with Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, saying that the article of the document which defines Cataluña as a nation will be modified. The Prime Minister said that the term was reserved only for Spain, but he was confident that what he called 'a strong identity factor' could be found which would be compatible for the Catalans.
Valencia's Opera House Opens 
The Palau del les Arts Reina Sofia, Valencia's new 4,000-seat opera house designed by architect Santiago Calatrava opens tonight after nine years in construction.  It is the centrepiece of what local politicians hope will be a cultural renaissance for this resort region. A regional government spokesman, Esteban Gonzalez Pons, said. "We hope it will become the symbol of the city, like the opera house of Sydney."
Cornish Pasties a Hit in Spain
Cornish pasty firm Crantock Bakery has opened up its first shop at Orihuela on the Costa Blanca and is enjoying a roaring trade with both Brits and Spanish.  The pasty is a centuries old food originally created to meet the needs of the Cornish tin miners.
Iberia Airline to Cut Workforce
The Spanish airline Iberia is to lay off workers and freeze wages from next year as part of a plan to cut costs. Other measures to boost efficiency include promoting business-class sales on long flights. Iberia said the cost-cutting is driven by soaring fuel costs, which cut first-half yearly profits by 53%.
National Express Poised to Buy Spanish Coach Operator
The UK bus and rail operator, National Express, is planning a £250m takeover of Spain's biggest coach operator. The company is in advanced discussions with the privately owned company Alsa, which controls more than half the Spanish coach market. The company is based in Oviedo in northern Spain.
The takeover will give National Express a presence on the Continent to rival that of Arriva, which has been slowly building up its European operations over the past seven years. The deal will also make Spain National Express's second-biggest market outside the UK.
Chinese Holiday in Spain
The first Chinese tourists on a package tour exclusively to Spain will be spending more time in the province of Malaga than anywhere else. Apart from visits to Madrid and Barcelona, the group will spend their holiday in Andalucía including Ronda, Mijas, Malaga, Cordoba and Seville. Previous package tours from China to Spain have also included visits to several European countries.
Málaga 0 - Atlético Madrid 2
Atlético Madrid beat Málaga 0-2 last Sunday evening.  Fernando Torres won a penalty in the second half after he was fouled by César Navas and converting it himself, and Kezman made it two a few minutes later.  Málaga's next game is away to Valencia on Sunday 16 October 2005.
World Cup 2006
Spain need to beat Belgium on Sunday 9 October to have a realistic chance of qualifying for their 8th consecutive World Cup. Spain is second in Group 7, two points behind Serbia-Montenegro, while third placed Bosnia-Herzegovina do still have a chance of advancing, they have reached the every Final since their match with Germany in 1974, but they have never got past the quarter-finals since 1950.  Due to injury of several key player, Spain coach Luis Aragones has named a much-changed squad for the game.
Japanese Grand Prix
Heavy rain played havoc with qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, putting the top drivers of the season near the back of the grid and giving Ralf Schumacher his first pole position for more than a year.
Renault's new world champion Fernando Alonso limped to 16th in the deluge. Raikkonen's McLaren had another engine failure during the first practice session, forcing another engine change and another 10-spot penalty.
Injury Force Nadal Withdrawal from BA-CA Tennis Trophy
World number 2, Rafael Nadal of Spain has had to withdraw from the BA-CA Tennis Trophy tournament due to a knee injury.
Water Shortages Southern Spain
In our last issue we told you that although the Costa del Sol was suffering very low levels of water in all their reservoirs there were not any water cuts to date.
Diane, one of our readers on the Costa Tropical (east of Malaga), wrote in to tell us the following:
All residents on the Costa Tropical have their water turned off for 16 hours a day. We get water supplied for 8 hours at various times by rotation. This week we get water from 3.00pm until 9.00pm. There is also a total ban on washing cars and watering gardens. In all about 200,000 residents are affected.
Many thanks to Diane
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