Volume 51

Cristina Sanchez
1Casa News from Spain - No. 67
1Casa Estate Agency
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Álora Carnival
Álora's carnival, which is a celebration to mark the 40 days before the beginning of Semana Santa, will take place on Saturday 25 February. The procession begins at 4.30 pm from the Casa de Cultura with the parade passing through the town, down to Plaza Baja and back to the Plaza Fuente Arriba. For the carnival, people parade wearing disguises for which prizes are awarded for the best costumes.
The Ardales Town Hall & Canine Society of the Costa del Sol Organises the first Ardales 2006 National Dog Show
The show will take place in the fair grounds on 26 February and has the authorisation of the Royal Spanish Canine Society. Ardales Town Hall, aware of the success of a number of other dog shows in different parts of the province, has decided to sponsor this event, which also enjoys the support of the Malaga Provincial Government and the Junta de Andalucía. The results will count towards the Andalusian Championship, to take place in the near future in Vélez Málaga.
The show will begin at 11.00 am in the fair grounds, a roofed area has its own restaurant service run by the hunting association Dos Castillos, allowing visitors to sample the traditional dishes of the region. The Delegate for Culture in Ardales Town Hall, Mercedes García Carrión, told us that she expected a large turnout for the event with about 300 dogs expected to be shown, and added that the show will also become an important gastronomic event.  "Visitors to the show can enjoy the traditional cuisine of the town, visit the museum and stroll through the streets, which is filled with the ambience of our land," the Culture Delegate added.
Dog shows first became popular in England in the 19th century, and soon became important social and cultural events. As García Carrión tells us, "this event allows visitors to enjoy two things at the one time: get to know Ardales and participate in a show of this kind."
The hosting a dog show in Ardales will attract breeders from all over Spain, who will be spending the weekend in the municipality. This will be important for the town for many different reasons, many more events are taking place in Ardales compared to other dog shows, and the Culture Delegation has programmed a whole range of activities related to the world of dogs, to be held before the dog show itself begins.
Vuelta de Andalucía
The Vuelta de Andalucía, the province's biggest annual bicycle race, begins its 52nd edition this Sunday 12 February, in Antequera. The five-day race will take riders on 829-kilometre tour of the region, ending on Thursday 16 February in Sevilla.
Public Transport
The single ticket system which has been in operation for the last year in and around Málaga is now to be extended to include 5 more towns, among them Álora, Coín, Rio Gordo, Moclinejo and Vélez Málaga. The other objective for 2006 is to extend the ticket to the Cercanías, the urban railway.
South Wales Male Choir
The South Wales Male Choir is to make its debut in Spain, it is one of the largest male choirs in Britain and sets high standards of excellence in presenting the "Sounds of Wales" to a worldwide audience. On 25 and 26 February the choir is scheduled to appear at the Salon Varietes in Fuengirola. On Saint David’s Day, 1 March, the choir will be in Gibraltar and they will be joined by Welsh singing star Sian Hopkins and the choir’s President, Wyn Calvin.
Selwo Parks Re-open
Selwo Parks reopened their three centres on the Costa del Sol this week with new attractions including the "tirolina", which gives a view of all the animals as if they were in a great lake of Africa. The Teleférico, in summer, will convert to an open air planetarium, where the visitors can explore the Mediterranean sky from one of the highest points on the Costa del Sol. Finally, Selwo Marina this season presents a 3D cinema with a new and enjoyable film with spectacular special effects.
British Man Shoots Thief as His Home is Robbed in Nueva Andalucia
A man was injured in the early hours of Friday morning when he was shot, perhaps 7 times, by the British home owner.  The wounded man, 44 year old Antonio A.C. is from San Pedro Alcántara, he has a criminal record and local police confirmed he had been detained on several other occasions.
It all happened at 1,30am in the Las Brisas Urbanisation in Nueva Andalucia, after being shot in the legs the thief made his escape through a window but was found by police nearby in the Lago de las Tortugas area, he is now under observation in the Costa del Sol hospital.
Police think that three other accomplices were also taking part in the robbery and a search is now underway for them, the owner of the home, named as 49 year old Briton Paul M. has been arrested, apparently he does not have a  permit for the gun he used.
New Television Channel for Málaga
A new local television channel, Onda Azul, was launched this week at the Cervantes Theatre, Málaga. This new channel was driven by the City Hall of Malaga. The musical gala was attended by the mayor of the city, Francisco de la Torre Prados. The new channel can be found by tuning into channel 32 UHF and was officially available from 9.00 pm on Friday 10 February.
Local Police give National Police 50 Parking Tickets in Málaga
Málaga's local police have issued parking fines against at least 50 motorbikes which were illegally parked by the main police station in the city. Unfortunately, all the bikes belonged to the national police. The local police say they placed the fines after being asked to do so by their superior officer. A spokesman for the town hall said the local police were only carrying out their duty.
Feria of Cruise Ships in Spain
The only Feria in Spain for cruise ships takes place in Málaga on 17, 18 and 19 February at the Port of Málaga. The organisers predict at least 3000 people will attend, which will be a 20% increase on last year. Approximately 30 cruise ship companies have confirmed their attendance.
Easy Jet Number 1 Airline at Málaga
Latest figures show that Easy Jet has taken over from Iberia as the main airline to use Málaga airport. The low cost carrier took nearly 1.5 million passengers in and out of Málaga airport last year. The typical Málaga Easy Jet passenger is aged 25 to 44 and travels in a couple. Nationally the company now brings 10% of all foreign tourists into Spain with most of them from the UK.
Longest Stretch of Cordoba- Antequera Motorway Opens
The sixth and longest stretch of the new Córdoba to Antequera motorway has opened to traffic. The 17 kilometre stretch between Córdoba city and Fernán Núñez was officially opened by Development Minister, Magdalena Álvarez, last Tuesday afternoon. The work was completed more than a month earlier than planned.
Ferrovial to Bid for British Airports?
Spanish group Ferrovial have announced their intention to become the biggest airport operator in the world by acquiring British group BAA, which owns Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports, this announcement led to gains for the shares of both companies on the London and Madrid stock exchanges.
The deal, which involves a cash payment for 100% of BAA's shares, will be brokered by a consortium.  Ferrovial currently has four main areas of activity, infrastructure, construction, concessions, real estate promotion and services.  It operates in many countries, and already owns airports in Australia, the UK and Chile.
Expat Businesses to get Assistance
A new regional government centre is opening specifically to help develop foreigners’ businesses on the Costa del Sol. The Marbella based institution will be run by the Department of Innovation whose head is Francisco Vallejo. He said this was a pioneering initiative in Spain aimed at giving a hand to a group of people who can now be considered fellow Andalucians.
The centre is set to start functioning in about three months’ time because of the need to explore what sort of service is needed and where to place the premises.
"The most important thing is not how many people are going to live here in two or three years, but if they are going to live well," Vallejo said.
He commented that there were 14,000 foreign businesses on the Costa del Sol and that this was a particular type of market where many companies maintained contact with their place of origin. He also hopes the international profile of Marbella would give this new organisation more credibility in its labour to accommodate expatriate enterprises.
Probe into Fraud Ring by Teenagers
A gang allegedly tricked people into handing over details online, Spanish police have arrested 11 people in connection with an alleged internet fraud ring made up mainly of teenagers, they said the core of the group were children still living at home.
The teenagers would gain the trust of victims in internet chat-rooms and deceive them into revealing credit card numbers and passwords, the police said, computers with the personal and credit card details of more than 500 people were seized, every member of the gang had a specific job, officers said.
One member was said to be responsible for designing websites that would mirror the information on authentic web pages, these included imitations of secure sites where people recharge mobile phones.
Some teenagers were dedicated to the practice known as "phreaking", or hacking into telephone systems via the internet, police said, others were responsible for illegally using people's credit cards to make online purchases.
The police said members of the alleged ring all knew each other, some only via the chat rooms. The arrests were made across Spain, in Alicante, Cadiz, Zaragoza, Malaga, Seville, Gerona and Pontevedra.
Restrictions on Old Vehicles in Madrid Centre
Cars more than 13 years old will not be allowed to enter the centre of Madrid from 2008 if their engines have not been adapted to comply with EU pollution rules. In 2010, it will be cars between 6 and 10 years old that will be required to reduce their emissions. This is the first step to reducing the high level of pollution that Madrid suffers according to the spokesman of Ecologist in Action. At present 10% of the 1.6 million vehicles which use Madrid regularly were made before 1993. It is also hoped that this new measure will cut down one of the capital's most persistent problems, traffic jams.
Barajas Airport Madrid Opens New Terminal
Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, inaugurated the enlargement of Madrid Barajas Airport last Saturday, 4 February.
After the ceremony, many passengers who were using the new terminal 4 in Barajas Airport in Madrid missed their flights due to problems with check-in procedures and a certain lack of transport between the various terminals.
The new terminal makes Barajas airport the fourth biggest airport in Europe in terms of the number of flights arriving and departing now the new facilities are open, according to the Spanish airports management company, AENA. Barajas will now be able to deal with up to 120 flights an hour compared to the 78 previously.
Bulgaria Welcomes Spanish Royalty
Crown Prince Felipe and his wife Princess Letizia began a 2 day visit to Bulgaria on the 9 and 10 of February. The royal couple were invited to attend the official opening of the Cervantes Institute, the largest Spanish language and culture institution in the Balkans, this is their first trip abroad since the birth of their daughter Leonor.
Bulgaria's President Parvanov and the first lady Zorka Parvanova welcomed the royal pair and had dinner on Thursday.  The two couples will open the new institute together on Friday.
Spanish King to Visit Vietnam on 20 February
Juan Carlos, and his wife Queen Sofia will make an official visit to Viet Nam from February 20-21 as guests of Vietnamese President Tran Duc Luong and his spouse, according to the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry.
The visit will help boost the bilateral friendly relationship and multifaceted cooperation, particularly in trade and economy, Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Dung said at a press briefing in Hanoi, It will also help expand the two countries’ cultural and tourism exchanges, he added.
Málaga 2 - Athletic Bilbao 1
Málaga gain their first victory since November with new manager Manolo Hierro in charge for the first time to beat fellow strugglers Athletic Bilbao. This Sunday 12 February, Málaga play against Alavés, kick off is at 5.00 pm. Málaga's next home game is on 19 February.
Beckham '99% Sure' it's The Real Deal
England captain David Beckham has reaffirmed his commitment to staying at Real Madrid, the 30-year-old insists there is a "99% chance" he will sign an extended deal with the Spanish club despite the club having yet to win a trophy since he signed.
"I'm happy in Spain. If there comes a point where I'm not happy then I'll look at my future," he said, "My future at the moment is in Madrid. On my current deal I've got this season plus one more and Real have made their feelings clear that they want another two years on top of that. Talks will probably start in the next month or two."
Fossett Tries to Break Flight Distance Record
Adventurer Steve Fossett decided today to try to complete his almost 27,000 mile journey to break aviation's distance record, despite having lost 340 kgs fuel in The Virgin GlobalFlyer.
Mission control director Kevin Stass said he's "cautiously optimistic" and says Fossett himself is in good shape despite the marathon flight. Fossett lost fuel during take off from the Kennedy Space Centre on Wednesday because of a leak. He then had to make a decision to either try to finish the trip or abort after reaching a certain point over the Atlantic, he now has little opportunity to land the plane if he runs out of fuel.  He is scheduled to land in England between 1.00 pm. and 3.00 pm.
The voyage would break the airplane distance record of 24,987 miles set in 1986 by the lightweight Voyager aircraft piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeanna Yeager, as well as the balloon record of 25,361 miles set by Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard in 1999.
Translation services provided by www.SagrarioHolbrook.com
A Topical Digest of News and Views from the Andalucía Area in Spain
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