1Casa News from Spain - No. 92
A Topical Digest of News and Views from the Andalucia Area in Spain
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The main work to restructure the Plaza Fuente Arriba in Alora begins next Tuesday 22 August. There will be no vehicle access, parking or waiting allowed.
A Flamenco concert organised by the Cuna de la Malagueña takes place next Saturday 26 August at the municipal swimming pool starting at 11.00 pm.
Cool Weather in Alora
Malaga province experienced some unseasonably cool weather this week as a cold front from Greenland moved as far south as Andalucia. Storms moved across most of the country and brought much needed heavy rains some of which reached Alora last Thursday.
Papeleria Helena - Cerralaba
The Paperleria Helena, C/Alta 2, Cerralba will soon be opening a 24 hour accessible Spanbox mail collection service. Telephone 952 484 675 to reserve a mailbox. The shop is open all day including fiestas; it sells English newspapers and will supply weekly and monthly magazines to order. The proprietor, Manolo, who speaks English, is available from 5.00 pm until late. No parking problems.
Malaga Province Launches New Campaign Against Illegal Wells
In more than 400 cases where water has been taken from illegal wells across Malaga province, the Junta de Andalucia is to start legal action. The action comes as part of measures implemented during the current drought conditions, and inspectors say that Malaga province has the highest number of such illegal wells. Letters have been sent to the owners of wells in the province, reminding them that water counters must be installed under the current regulations.
Aristocrats Mourn Marbella’s Jet Set Casualty
Christoph von Hohenlohe, a member of one of Europe's most illustrious aristocratic families was buried near Marbella on Wednesday after dying in mysterious circumstances in a Bangkok jail. 'Kiko' Von Hohenlohe, 49, was a prince and member of the Agnelli family, the powerful Italian industrial dynasty, died earlier this month at the hospital unit of the notorious Klongprem Central Prison. His mother, Princess Ira von Furstenberg, a well-known European socialite, is demanding an autopsy and an investigation into her son's unexplained death. Thai authorities have so far declined to open an inquiry.
Hospital sources are said to have suggested the playboy aristocrat died from a possible blood infection or insulin deprivation. With European aristocrats attending the funeral, Von Hohenlohe was buried next to his father Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe near Marbella. Alfonso von Hohenlohe was famous for turning the former fishing village of Marbella into a fashionable resort for a jet set of Hollywood actors and European aristocrats during the 1960s and 1970s.
His Marbella Club Hotel became a popular with stars likes of Grace Kelly, James Stewart, Tony Curtis and Sean Connery. European royals like the Duke of Windsor rubbed shoulders with Arab sheikhs and South American dictators. Christoph Von Hohenlohe's grandparents on his mother's side were Prince Tassilo Egon Maria Karl George Leo von Furstenberg and Clara Agnelli, a Fiat heiress.
Von Hohenlohe was arrested and jailed in Bangkok in July 31 for falsifying documents. Despite attempts to convince a judge he had not intended to commit a crime, he was sent to Klongprem jail which has been condemned by Amnesty International for its inhuman conditions. With up to 40 prisoners to a cell, Von Hohenlohe's health deteriorated rapidly. Though not a diabetic, his blood sugar levels were abnormally high just before he died. He was denied bail twice. A prison official confirmed Von Hohenlohe's death on 6 August.
Medical Translation Facility at Carlos Haya Hospital
The Carlos Haya Hospital in Malaga has incorporated the service of simultaneous translation by mobile telephone for foreign patients in order to eliminate the possible language barriers that can occur. This measure adds to the existing "ventanillas European" that were installed in the centre in order to advise foreign patients where to go in the hospital in their own language. This information is offered in five languages including English, German and French. In the last year, this service has dealt with nearly 130,000 enquiries.
These translators have been formed in the interest of patients and family that visit the hospital and are found behind a counter in the entrances of the different departments, where they include telephone terminals and data processing to respond to possible needs of patients and visitors.
The people that work in these areas take charge of managing problems of accessibility; offering information on appointments, medical consultations, ER, telephones, processing of documents, complementary benefits, accounts of services of the hospital, etc., they act as link between the hospital and the patient, assuring their welfare, among other actions.
Making use of a mobile terminal and headphones, the foreign patients and their relatives are guaranteed a correct communication with the medical team they require. Through a simple telephone call to the call centre the patient will be connected with the interpreter of the language required who will carry out a simultaneous translation of the conversation between the non Spanish speaking caller and the relevant medical professional.
This mobile translation service is already operating in the Hospital de Alta Resolucion El Toyo (Almeria), the Hospital de Poniente in Almeria and in the Hospital Virgen del Rocio in Sevilla
Billboards to be Removed from Roads in Malaga Province
Billboards are to be removed form the roads of Malaga province as they are considered to be a distraction to drivers. The decision comes from the Ministry for Development and the public works department of the Junta de Andalucia. There is a law against these billboards outside urban areas and it will now be enforced. At least 500 billboards will be removed with 400 to be taken down on the A7 between Manilva and Malaga and 60 more on the A-45 to the north of the city.
Work to expand Malaga airport is on schedule and the first stage of the new car parking facilities is due to be finished within the next few weeks. This will provide 700 additional spaces and help ease the disruption. The new terminal is expected to be operational in 2008 but the second runway is not due to be finished until 2009. Once the work is finished the airport will nearly double its capacity and will be able to deal with 70 flights an hour instead of the current 40.
Granada airport registered a total of 483,437 passengers in the first 6 months of this year, a 25% increase on the same period last year, while they also operated 7,720 flights that transported more than 37,000 kilograms of merchandise.
According to data supplied by Spanish Airports and Air Navigation (AENA), of the 7,720 flights that were registered in Granada, 5% more than during the first six months of 2005, 1,202 had their origin or destination in European countries, while there were 15 flights outside the European Union. Of these 1,200 international flights registered by the airport between January and June 2006, 15.6% carried 160,525 people and 81 flights involved flew to non EU countries, an increase of 116%.
This increase of more than100% is due to the fact that in the first six months of last year only flights to London existed but now there are further destinations within England and other countries. Airline companies, including Ryanair and Monarch, have been operating for more than a year between Granada and Stansted, Liverpool, and Gatwick respectively.
The Birds Win!
In the cliffs of Jaen, two endangered eagles have scored a small victory for the environment, the Bonelli's eagles, among only 600 pairs left in Spain and 1,100 in the world, have built their nest on a rocky outcrop outside the Andalucian city, apparently without realising they would one day have a neighbour with a pink-and-white home in a valley below.
Local environmental groups filed a complaint against the construction and, in an unusual verdict for a country that builds more than half a million new homes each year, a judge ruled in favour of the birds.
Jaen magistrate Jose Maria Caoada ordered the owner and builder to tear down the house because it "bothers a species with low tolerance for the human presence and which deserves special protection”, the judge also cited the danger posed by access roads to the house, which could "facilitate the work of possible predators of the birds and their eggs."
Local environmental groups say it is the country's first ruling in which concern for wildlife has prevailed over the rights of homeowners or the economic interests of builders. They hope it will eventually extend to another 50 homes built on protected land where a family of royal eagles also nest.
The Jaen ruling reflects a slowly growing awareness of the downside of unchecked development as forests and farmland turn into sprawling suburbs, taking up nesting grounds and turning endangered species, such as the Iberian lynx, into victims of highway hit-and-runs.
Spain is Named Worst Country for Wasting Water
Spain's management of its dwindling water resources is the worst among developed countries, a World Wildlife Fund report released on Wednesday said. Guido Schmidt, head of the WWF water report, said Spain is the "most extreme case" of bad water management among developed countries. He said Britain, the US, Japan and Australia were also guilty of bad management of water supplies. The report, called Rich Countries, Poor Water, was released on the eve of World Water Week from 20-26 August. It says the lack of water in the world is not confined to poor nations, but to the developed world too, it points to leaks in old water systems as well as the rising number of tourists on the Mediterranean coasts who place a huge pressure on limited supplies. The relentless building of golf courses, housing urbanizations and high intensity farming in some of the driest areas of Spain's coast stretch resources to their limits. The WWF calls on rich countries to show a better example to the developing world by updating antiquated water systems.
Bird Flu Virus Could Have Vulnerability
A detailed analysis of the bird flu virus has shown scientists a new way to fight the disease and suggests how existing therapies may lose potency. Using X-ray crystallography, they found a gap in a critical protein on the surface of the H5N1 virus. Plugging the gap may stop infections more effectively than current drugs, said John Skehel, director of the U.K.'s National Institute for Medical Research in London, who led the study in the journal Nature.
Number of Spanish Working Mothers Increases
The number of working mothers in Spain has doubled in the past seven years. Six out of ten mothers now have some form of employment, but 40% of women stay at home when a third child is born. Figures for 2005 from Social Security show that nearly 294,500 working mothers took the 16 week maternity leave allowed under Spanish law. Spain remains fourth from bottom on the EU list of working mothers with children aged 12 or under.
Canaries Mummy to be Returned After 200 Years
Madrid's Anthropology Museum is set to return a centuries-old mummy to the Canary Islands, adding impetus to an international trend for human remains to be handed back to their countries of origin.
A Spanish Senate committee wants to return the remains of a member of the Canaries' aboriginal Guanche people. The transfer now has to be approved by Spain's parliament. There has been a demand from around the world for the return of human remains collected by museums during the height of Western empires.
Rafael Gonzalez, the head of archaeology at Tenerife's Museum of Nature and Man, was not sure when the Madrid mummy would return but he said he wants the Canary Islands to recover all remains of the Guanches people related to North African Berbers conquered by Spaniards in the 15th century. "We want mummified remains of indigenous Canary people to come home. We don't care about archaeological artefacts, but the people who created the culture should be here," Gonzalez said. The mummy was brought to mainland Spain in the 1700s.
Survey Shows Many Britons Want to Retire to Spain
One in three Britons want to retire abroad with the Spain most popular choice of country. A survey shows that Britons no longer want to retire to a bungalow by the sea; instead millions want to escape from work to find travel and adventure rather than a future pottering in the garden.
The findings, from a pensions' industry study, add to growing evidence that the number of Britons leaving the country is greater than at any time since the 1970s. They suggest both that a huge number of people are anxious to find warmer, more exciting and less heavily taxed places to live in retirement, and that many of them have the means to do so.
Last month the Foreign Office published figures on numbers of Britons living abroad that showed nearly five million are living in other parts of the world. There are, the Foreign Office believes, nearly 200,000 Britons living in Spain, 200,000 in France, at least 600,000 in Australia and 500,000 in America.
La Rosaleda Complete
After six years of construction, work on Malaga C.F.'s home ground has now been completed. The team played their first game in the new La Rosaleda stadium on Tuesday with the 14th Costa del Sol Trophy against Nacional de Montevideo. Unfortunately Malaga lost by a goal. Malaga 0 - Montevideo 1.
Murray Beaten by Roddick
A rejuvenated Roddick advanced to the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters with a 6-3, 6-4 victory Friday night over Andy Murray, ending the British teenager's whirlwind week. No. 2 Rafael Nadal also lost in straight sets to fellow Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero on Friday.
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