Volume 57

Cristina Sanchez
1Casa News from Spain - No. 75
A Topical Digest of News and Views from the Andalucia Area in Spain
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Real Estate
An article in Spanish press this week reported that the laws of supply and demand are out of balance in Malaga province when it comes to real estate. Latest figures show that 91,000 homes are to be put on sale in the province over the period 2005-2006, when demand is considered to exist for around 78,350. The difference in the province is the largest seen in Andalucía according to the report by AEA, the Andalucian Economic Analysts. They also note that homes in the province are now taking 9 months to sell, and they expect that to double in the short term.
Pet Ownership in Malaga
There is to be more control over the ownership of pets in the city as the City Hall and the College of Vets have agreed to create and manage an official register of pets. This register will allow the council access to information about animals which have been microchipped, and to be able to identify them. As a result lost and stolen pets can be located more easily and there will be control over the owners of "dangerous animals". There are currently 184,317 chipped pets (dogs, cats and ferrets) in Malaga province.
New Mussel Farms
The coastline of Malaga will soon to be home to four new mussel farms. The Junta de Andalucía is set to approve the creation of 12 concession licences for mussel farms in the region with four of them in Malaga province. The farms will be located in Estepona, Fuengirola, Benalmádena and Caleta de Velez. Companies interested in winning a concession have to submit their bids within 15 days upon the publishing of the tender conditions this week.
Málaga Airport Accused by Amnesty International
New allegations by the human rights group, Amnesty International, say that Malaga Airport was used by the CIA in secret flights to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. The Group says aircraft landed there twice in May 2005 and add that Spanish airports have been used during clandestine US operations on 25 occasions since 2001.
The report which was published last week, said Spain was one of 37 countries which had not responded satisfactorily to a request from the Council of Europe for information about CIA flights. For the first time, it alleged that two airports on the Spanish mainland, Malaga and Barcelona, had received such aircraft, in addition to Tenerife and Palma de Mallorca. They claim the flights stopped in five different Spanish airports and that private airlines were used by the CIA in an effort to keep the flights secret. Amnesty International plans to ask the Spanish government what measures are being taken to ensure its air space is not used for further flights.
Newspaper reports from last November prompted a government enquiry into claims that ten CIA flights had landed in Spain in 2004 and 2005. Foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos confirmed later that such flights had stopped off at airports in the Balearic and Canary Islands, but said the Government had been assured by US authorities that no laws had been broken.
El Bulli is Voted Best Restaurant in World – Yet Again
El Bulli, the haute cuisine eatery run by chef Ferran Adria, has been voted the best restaurant in the world again, an international jury, selected by the British magazine Restaurant, said El Bulli was the best place to eat on the planet for the second time.
El Bulli, which only has 50 places and is permanently booked out with up to 400,000 applications for a place from all over the world each year, was opened in 1981 at Roses, near Girona in Catalonia.  Adria says of El Bulli: "It is not a restaurant, it is place for investigation.” For the Catalan chef, the restaurant is a way of "seeing how far we can take cooking".
The restaurant is only open for six months of the year and an average meal costs from 150 Euros.
Adria said one way to reduce demand would be to raise the price to EUR 1,000 per person, however this would be against his principles because he does not want haute cuisine to be considered elitist, Adria has worked with 20 charities to spread the use of haute cuisine ingredients to the Third World.
He says he only gets angry when he is attacked for charging EUR 200 per meal while people are starving in the world, Adria, who, has been awarded three Michelin stars, spends six months of the year dreaming up new recipes at his 'laboratory' in Barcelona.
Arrests Made in Fake Virgin Olive Oil Fraud
At least 76,000 litres of fake extra virgin olive oil has been withdrawn from sale after police found it was sunflower oil. The scam involved the colouring and labelling of the sunflower oil in order to sell it as extra virgin olive oil. Nine people have been arrested in connection with the scam. Authorities said there was no danger the fake olive oil was toxic. The fraud was linked to two companies based in Andalucia with the fake oil put on sale in Catalonia.
Picasso's Guernica
The Basque regional government has formally asked Madrid for Pablo Picasso's masterpiece, Guernica, to be displayed in the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao. The regional government wants Madrid to allow it to be moved from the capital before the 70th anniversary of the bombardment of the Basque town next year.
On 26 April 1937, bombers from the German Condor Legion bombed the town and killed more than 1,600 civilians as part of Hitler's support for General Franco's nationalist side during the Spanish Civil War.  The bombing caused international outrage and inspired Picasso to change a painting he had been working on. Guernica became an international symbol of the brutality of war.
Picasso would not allow the painting to return to Spain until Franco died in 1975. This year is the 25th anniversary of the return of Guernica which finally arrived in 1981.
75th anniversary of the Second Republic in Spain
Spaniards marked the 75th anniversary of the Second Republic in Spain yesterday 14 April. This was considered the country’s first taste of democracy and began on 14 April 1931. King Alfonso XIII went into exile and local elections resulted in Republican candidates winning the majority of votes in the urban areas. A provisional government was set up under Niceto Alcala-Zamora who immediately occupied the ministries, swept aside titles of nobility and confiscated the assets of the King. The government lasted eight turbulent years before falling at the end of the civil war.
Across Spain, demonstrators commemorated Friday's anniversary of the proclamation of the Second Republic by waving the red, yellow and violet flag and singing the anthems of the Republic.
Spanish Airlines Add Fuel Charges to Flights
Spanish airlines Iberia, Spanair, and Air Europa have introduced a new fuel charge for their customers, with the aim of reducing the impact on their profits caused by oil price increases. The price increase coincides with Holy Week, considered high tourist season in Spain and one of the periods with most passenger demand. Iberia and Spanair have added €10 per ticket on all domestic routes, Iberia has added a further €2 fuel charge on long-distance routes, (total fuel charges on Iberia intercontinental flights can reach €60, while the airline has not changed its €20 fuel charge on European flights), Air Europa raised its fuel charge to €9 for domestic flights although that charge can reach €56 on flights to Latin America and Asia.
Motives for Moving to Spain
A report by the European Observatory for Social Tendencies based at the University of Alicante, focused on migration within the European Union and concluded that European expats choose to move to Spain for the quality of life.
Sociologists from Alicante University worked with colleagues in Britain, France and Germany to compile the report, which found most expats come to Spain and France to improve their quality of life, while people move to Germany and Britain for work. People also go to Britain for academic reasons, researchers found.
Spain Top for Easter Sun
Over the course of the Bank Holiday, millions of people are expected to leave Britain with Spain the top destination. The Association of British Travel Agents said the exodus abroad was caused by the poor weather for this time of year and Easter falling later than usual. The big getaway began on Thursday as holidaymakers looked to get a head start on other travellers.
The Commerce and Tourism Ministry Reports has indicated that between 57 and 58 million foreign visitors will come to Spain this year. The figures represent a 3% increase on 2005; however, the rise is not as much as last year when there was a record-breaking 6% increase on the previous year. The Ministry further predicts that the average length of stay of visitors will diminish as the number of low cost flights increases.
Bulgaria Beckons
Experts in the UK believe that emerging property markets including Bulgaria and Cyprus are beginning to steal some of the limelight away from Spain. According to a Spanish newspaper, average house prices in Spain are now higher than 6,000 Euros per square metre in nine cities in the country. Figures from a property valuation company show that Sevilla, Oviedo and Zaragoza have now joined the elite list that already includes Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Marbella and Santander.
Search to Find Your Favourite Word
Amor, azahar (orange blossom), libertad and madre are some of Spanish speaker's favourite words, a new survey has found, so far, 4,200 words have been proposed by 17,200 people across the world for a survey to find the favourite word in Spanish. The survey, organised by the School of Writers, will release its results on 23 April, International Book Day.
Personalities from Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to the leader of the opposition Mariano Rajoy and writer Arturo Perez Reverte are among a number of well known figures who have taken part.
Among the favourites are libelula (dragonfly), fe (faith), abracadabra, and ultramarinos (overseas or groceries). Zapatero chose generosidad (generosity) because it is "the word that makes us human".
The writer Fernando Marias chose amante (lover). Rajoy, head of the Popular Party, chose palabra (word). Other more provocative suggestions included pendon (wild character or military standard), chosen by the writer Francisco Rico. Still more controversial was the word coño (the c-word), chosen by writer and journalist Raul del Pozo, who said it "was where everything came from".
The historian Fernando Garcia de Cortazar chose azahar (orange blossom), while the poet Luis Garcia Montero picked despertador (alarm clock).
Should you wish to get involved here is the website address www.escueladeescritores.es
Malaga 1 - Getafe 2
Malaga lost any hope of avoiding relegation after a last minute defeat at the hands of Getafe. This left the team nine points away from safety and the club must now be making plans for a season in the second division. The Andalusians had gone nine games without a win before this match.
Malaga’s next two games are away to Osasuna this Sunday 16 April, kick-off 5.00 pm and then Real Madrid. The next home game is on 30 April against Racing Santander.
Beckham Included in Best Dressed Man List
The Spanish Tailor’s Club, which dresses top politicians and financiers, has, for the first time, come up with a list of the 13 best-dressed men in the country. The 26 members of the club have included a wide range of professions in their ranking. There are sportsmen, bullfighters, singers, television presenters, businessmen, actors, lawyers, multi-millionaires (all men in the public eye).
All are Spanish except for one, Real Madrid footballer David Beckham. He is considered "the most elegant without wearing a tie" along with TV presenter Jesus Vazquez.
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