Volume 55

Cristina Sanchez
1Casa News from Spain - No. 72
1Casa Estate Agency
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Clocks Go Forward this Weekend
Summer time starts officially this weekend. The clocks go forward an hour on Sunday morning. The switch to summertime or Daylight Saving Time will take place simultaneously across the European Union.
Horse Show, Coin
A horse show featuring pure bred Spanish horses will be held at the Poligono Cantarranas in Coin from 30 March until 2 April 2006.
Festival of the Villages
The Festival of the Villages is to take place at Malaga's Palace of Fairs and Congressos from 30 March until 2 April 2006. The festival, now in its tenth year, enables the many and varied rural communities of Malaga province to display their products for visitors to discover and enjoy, as well as plenty of locally produced food and wine, there will be authentic craftwork on display.
Rain Guarantees the Nesting of the Flamingos on Fuente de Piedra
The prenuptial migration of thousands of flamingos has begun, more than 3,700 birds have been found on the lake of the Fuente de Piedra where they display their arts of seduction. This return is all thanks to the recent rains in the province and the increased water level of the wetland, an indispensable requirement for the nesting and reproduction of these birds. Right now the level of the most important wetland area of the Mediterranean for the breeding of the flamingos has reached 30 cm, which is sufficient for nesting. An Environment spokesman stated that the first eggs in the surroundings of the lake have been laid.
In spite of this, the level is not yet ideal, the water having only arrived lately and it is too early to say whether it will be a good or record year for breeding. In total, the census of all types of water birds on the lake has increased to 12,220. A figure which requires the maintenance of control measures in the area, which is considered a zone of special protection against bird flu.
Environmental Department does not Plan to Lift the Drought Decree
The recent rainfall registered in the province over the last few days is not sufficient to lift the restrictions imposed by the drought decree. The Andalusian counsellor of Environment said last week that he had no plans to lift the decree, in force on the Costa del Sol since last autumn, and that it will continue until at least September or October. He also said the rainfall on the Costa del Sol has been beneficial, but qualified that the measures should be maintained because the area will face greater consumption in the spring and summer periods. It is better to guarantee the water that we have in the reservoirs and to continue with the use of unconventional resources as we confront a period of great consumption of water.
Junta de Andalucia Protects Sealife
The department of the Junta de Andalucia responsible for agriculture and fisheries has completed the installation of an artificial concrete reef on the seabed between Torrox and Maro. It stretches for 9.6 kilometres and is designed to protect sealife from illegal dragnet fishing. Biologists from the Malaga Aula del Mar, have said that illegal fishing in the area this winter has destroyed some of the protected marine ecosystem off the coast at Maro.
Two Lynx Born in Captivity
Two endangered lynx cubs have been born in captivity in Donana. Their birth at the "El Acebuche" in Donana (Huelva) was announced by the counsellor of Environment, Fuensanta Coves. The sex of the cubs has not been established but they are both in good condition. Last year a total of 44 lynx were born, and it is more than probable that this figure will be surpassed this year.
The "Home and Country Show" at the Mijas Racecourse
From 13 to 16 April, the Costa del Sol Racecourse in Mijas will be home to the "Andalusian Home and Country Show 2006", organised by Costa Events and the Mijas Racecourse itself. The event will gather 70 exhibitors, whose attractive gazebos showing a wide range of products related to life at home and in the country, will be located outdoors, on one of the racecourse's large terraces.
Costa Events hopes to show the public as many new and improved ideas as possible for beach and country houses, from outdoor scouting to indoor pastimes, from trips and tours to renovations and innovative ideas and practices.
Given the expected influx of visitors for this weekend, there will be some surprises: an inflatable castle and a place for children, a fashion show, live music, adventure tours and several competitions, extra parking spaces will also be provided for up to 3,000 cars, plus a free shuttle service to and from the show.
Viva Flamenco!
There will be more dancing in the streets of Andalucia this year, to promote the region's heritage as the birthplace of flamenco, the tourist board of Andalucia, Turismo Andaluz, has created five "Routes to Flamenco." These five-day itineraries, posted at http://www.andalucia.org/flamenco/?idioma=eng there are free performances, lectures and classes to be offered for the remainder of the year.
If you are planning a trip to the region in May, for instance, you might want to check out the Route of the Great Figures itinerary from Malaga to Seville, on May 15, flamenco lessons will be offered in Alora, the following evening in Archidona, there will be a talk on the history of flamenco, on May 17 in Seville, travellers can enjoy a show and lecture about flamenco singing.
Shops, restaurants and hotels are also listed, at each flamenco event, talks are in Spanish, but simultaneous audio-visual presentations and texts will be in English. Here is the link to the Malaga event. http://301url.com/136 Enjoy!
High Speed Train to Link Malaga and Barcelona
A high speed AVE train will link Malaga with Barcelona from 2008. The journey is expected to take 6 hours, reducing the travelling time by less than half. This announcement was made recently by the Minister for Development, Magdalena Alvarez. The night train between Malaga and Barcelona will also see its journey time reduced with the introduction of up-to-date hotel-trains. These trains will leave Malaga at 11 pm and arrive in Barcelona at 7 am.
Malaga Traffic Increases
A new report has found that traffic congestion on Malaga city's ring roads has tripled in the past 10 years. This ranks the city in third place behind Barcelona and Madrid for the number of cars on the road. The worst black spot for traffic is on the Ronda Oeste as it joins up with the Autovia del Guadalhorce. Traffic on the 3 main metropolitan highways has increased by 23% between 1998 and 2004, which is twice the national average for access to cities.
Bar Owner Jailed for Four Years for Noise Pollution
A bar owner was jailed for four years for noise pollution in the first case of its kind in Spain, the court also ordered the closure of the El Portet bar in Barcelona for three years and ordered the owner to pay a couple EUR 32,000 in compensation for the excessive noise committed over an 18-month period.
The couple who lived nearby suffered insomnia and stress and had to seek medical treatment because of the din, the jail sentence is the highest ever imposed for noise pollution in Spain and will be seen as a victory for campaigners seeking to reduce the racket which they claim many suffer.
Dionisio Mestre, the owner of the bar, held stag nights and other events at the bar-restaurant, but after complaints from locals, ignored three orders to keep the noise down. Sound inspectors from the local council carried out acoustic checks on the restaurant and found the noise reached 41.73 decibels – higher than that permitted by law.
ETA Ends 40 Years of Terror with Permanent Ceasefire
On Thursday this week the Basque terrorist group ETA declared an end to nearly four decades of violence with a permanent ceasefire. The organisation, which has killed more than 800 people since taking up arms in 1968 during the Franco dictatorship, announced its "permanent ceasefire" in a communiqué sent to the public radio and television network of the Basque Region.
The organisation said the ceasefire, which should take effect on Friday, is intended "to promote a democratic process in the Basque Country to construct a new framework in which the (Basque people's) rights will be recognised".
It advocated conditions in which "the possibility of development of all political positions is assured." At the conclusion of a period of political exchange of ideas, "Basque citizens must have the last word and decision about their future," the statement said. In response to ETA's declaration, the Spanish government advised the people to take it with "caution" and "prudence".
Even so, Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega called it "good news".  Last month, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said conditions were ripe for expecting "the beginning of the end" of ETA violence.
Ministry Bans Export of Spanish Writer's Manuscripts
Signed manuscripts by one of Spain's most influential novelists and philosophers of the 20th century, Miguel de Unamuno, have been declared "not for export" by the culture ministry, days before they were due to auctioned in Madrid.
The decision is part of a mounting effort to keep Spanish cultural treasures at home and follows a move earlier this month to get Interpol to prevent the sale of five 10th century wooden beams from the historic Great Mosque of Cordoba.
On March 27, the Sala Duran auction house in Madrid plans to sell nine lots of letters and other documents by Unamuno, the author of Fog, Abel Sanchez and Teresa, some of them written during his exile from 1926 to 1930 in the Canary Islands and Paris, during the dictatorship of Primo Rivera. Other letters up for sale were written to his wife, children and other intellectuals and writers of his times, such as the poet Ruben Dario.
News of the sale, however, sounded the alarm at the culture ministry. It said it had declared the Unamuno manuscripts off limits to foreign buyers as "a cautionary measure" to "guarantee this assembly of extraordinary interest for Spain's documental heritage" remains in the country.
It is the first in what will be a series of legal measures to preserve Spain's cultural patrimony, the statement said. The Sala Duran told Spanish news agencies the auction would proceed as planned.
The ministry had previously asked that a sale of wooden beams, intricately carved in high relief and painted by Moorish craftsmen, at Christie's auction house in London next month be suspended, until police investigate how the beams left the country. The ministry even requested that the beams be taken into custody by British authorities until a conclusion is reached.
A 1985 Spanish law bars objects more than 100 years old from being exported without a permit, the ministry said.
But the Christie's catalogue said the beams were most likely removed from the mosque when the roof was replaced in the 18th century or during restorations in the early 20th century, long before the law was passed. The beams had been found by their owner at the back of a barn, the catalogue said. Christie's said it was co-operating with Spanish authorities.
Navy Uncovers Old Spanish Ship
The remains of a ship believed to be a 1590s-era Spanish vessel have been discovered in the grounds of the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida. The wreck was recently uncovered during work by Navy construction crews archaeologists confirmed last week. The vessel could date to the mid-1500s, when the first Spanish settlement in what is now the United States was founded here, the archaeologists said, however, the exposed portion looks more like ships from a later period because of its iron bolts, said the director of the Archaeology Institute at the University of West Florida.
Power Cut Compensation
Sevillana-Endesa has started to compensate consumers for powers cuts experienced last year in line with the decree relating to electricity supply. A complicated formula, based on the type of power used and the length of the power cut, is used to calculate the amount of compensation.
Deportivo 2-1 Malaga
Malaga gave away a lead to lose 2 -1 to Deportivo and ended the game with nine men after Juan Rodriguez and Alexis were sent off just before the final whistle. The defeat comes despite what experts consider to be the best 45 minutes played by the side since Manolo Hierro took over as trainer. Malaga's next home game against Barcelona on Saturday 25 March - kick off at 8 pm.
Nadal Out of the NASDAQ-100 Open
Spaniard, Rafael Nadal made an early exit from the NASDAQ-100 Open in Key Biscayne, Miami yesterday, Friday 24 March. Second-seeded Nadal was beaten by fellow Spaniard Carlos Moya, 1-6, 6-2, 6-2, in a second-round game.
Grand Prix of Spain
The Spanish motorcycle Grand Prix is taking place this weekend at Jerez between 24 and 26 March.
Translation services provided by www.SagrarioHolbrook.com
A Topical Digest of News and Views from the Andalucia Area in Spain
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