Volume 74

Cristina Sanchez
1Casa News from Spain - No. 93
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Festival of Our Lady of Flowers
The festival in honour of Nuestra Senora de Flores (Our Lady of Flowers) will take place between 27 August and 10 September, culminating in the Romeria on 10 September.  Early in the morning of 27 August, the statue of the Virgin will be carried from the Convento de Flores to the church of the Encarnation.  Over the next 9 days masses will be celebrated in her honour.  On 8 September, the birthday of the Virgin, a special mass is said after which the statue is carried through the town in a procession which ends in the Plaza Baja with a firework display.  On 10 September, the day of the Romeria, the statue is taken back to the convent in a procession, followed by many people on horseback, in horse drawn vehicles and on foot.
3rd Verbena of Plaza Baja
Alora's 3rd Verbena takes place next weekend on 1st, 2nd and 3rd September in Plaza Baja.  There will be bars, refreshments and entertainment to ensure an enjoyable weekend.
Road Works Unearth Roman Cemetery Near Antequera
A second century Roman cemetery has been found during construction work on the new A-45 road between Cordoba and Malaga. The site is between Benameji and Antequera, close to the A92 access road to Antequera.  The find has caused work on the road to be postponed for two months so that archaeologists can recover what they can from the site.
High Speed Train will Connect Malaga with Five Major Cities by 2010
In four years time the AVE high speed train will be the best way to travel between Malaga and five of Spain's major cities. At the end of 2007 the AVE link to Cordoba and Madrid will be up and running and a year later passengers will be able to take the AVE to Barcelona. 
2010 is the date set for the opening of the Malaga-Seville high speed line. The AVE will reduce the journey time between the two cities to just 75 minutes.
Madrid Airport to be New European Hub for Easyjet
Barajas airport in Madrid has been chosen to be Easyjet's new operations base for southern Europe. The low cost airline say they will have the new operations centre functioning by February 2007, and after that date they will increase the number of routes from Madrid.  Easy Jet considers that the low cost carriers have not paid sufficient attention to Madrid and will be naming their new destinations and projects based there from next month.  In the meantime, Ryan Air has confirmed that they will be starting a new daily route between Madrid and Dublin from 2007.
Numbers Increase on Passengers Taking Low-Cost Flights to Spain
The number of people flying to Spain with low-cost airlines has risen by 15% this year, according to a report issued last week.  Since January, nearly 10 million people have flown with EasyJet, Ryanair or other low-cost airlines.  This means one in three people flew to Spain with a low-cost carrier, according to a report by the Institute of Tourist Studies.
In July the number of budget fliers rose 13% compared with the same month last year. This means nearly 2 million people or 32% of all air travellers took budget flights at the height of the summer.
Ryanair recorded the highest increase with a 17% rise in passengers followed by Easyjet with a rise of 9.6%.  Air Berlin saw a rise of 6.6% with 1.8 million people choosing to fly with them. Britain was the biggest market for airlines, with 10 million of all passengers to Spain coming from the UK. Madrid was the most popular destination.
Statue of Franco Removed
One of the last remaining statues of Spain's former dictator, Francisco Franco, has been removed from outside a military academy in the city of Zaragoza.  The sculpture of Franco riding a horse had been outside the academy for nearly 60 years before it was removed this week. Franco was the director of the school from 1927 to 1931.  The military dictator took power in Spain during the 1936-1939 Spanish civil war and ruled the country until his death in 1975.
According to a spokesman of the Ministry of Defence, the statue will be replaced by a monument commemorating the armed forces' contribution to safeguarding the country. He did not say how many statues of Franco still exist in the country.
Teenager Ordered to Spain as Part of his Bail Conditions
A teenager who admitted breach of the peace has had his sentence deferred on condition he goes to Spain for a holiday.  Trevor Scott, 19, of Cameronian Place, Springholm, was set to have a restriction of liberty order imposed on him at Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court.
The order would mean Scott having to stay at home for large parts of the day and his solicitor pleaded that he should be allowed to take his two-week summer break first. Sheriff James Smith agreed to let him go, but only on condition that he remains away from Scotland for a fortnight and produces evidence to prove he has been to Spain.
Maverick Genius Turns Down Mathematics Nobel Prize
One of the winners of the discipline's most coveted prize has refused the prestigious award. Grigory "Grisha" Perelman has turned down a Fields medal - an award many consider the Nobel Prize of maths. The Russian genius shocked academics in 2002 with his claim to have solved the Poincare conjecture. The problem, which has stumped the best mathematical minds for a century, relates to the possible shapes the universe can take.
This year's other three Fields medals were awarded to Andrei Okounkov at Princeton University, Terence Tao at the University of California, Los Angeles and Wendelin Werner at the University of Paris-Sud in Orsay. They were handed out by the king of Spain at a ceremony in Madrid that is part of the International Congress of Mathematicians.
Cow Rescued in Madrid Sierra
A helicopter was used to rescue a cow which was trapped in an eight metre deep ditch in Navarredonda de San Mames, on the northern Madrid sierra last Thursday.  It is thought the animal became trapped while looking for water and there were concerns that it could contaminate local water supplies which forced the authorities to act.
The special intervention group of the Madrid fire service carried out the spectacular rescue after sedating the animal and carrying it out by helicopter in a harness.
The cow is none the worse for its ordeal and is now grazing normally, although it is still slightly unsteady on its feet.
Anti Smoking Laws
With just days to go before the anti-smoking legislation comes into force, regarding separate areas in bars and restaurants for smokers, it has been reported that 90% of the bars do not meet the regulations. In Malaga province there have been at least 170 fines issued against people, mostly for smoking where they shouldn't, or in some cases for not removing tobacco advertising.  The Ministry of Health says it will not extend the period and fines could be as large as 10,000 Euros.
Malaga C.F.
The Spanish Football League kicks off this Sunday 27 August when Malaga play Hercules in the first game of 2006-2007 season.
Sevilla Beat Barcelona in Super Cup Final
Sevilla trounced Barcelona 3-0 in the final of the Super Cup yesterday, Friday 25 August.  Sevilla has won only one other trophy since the 1940s, with 2005's 4-0 UEFA Cup final win against Middlesbrough.
Tour of Spain Cycle Race (La Vuelta de Espana)
The 2006 Vuelta starts in Malaga today, 26 August, and will finish in Madrid on 17 September.  The first road stage is from Malaga to Cordoba.
Turkey Grand Prix Istanbul
Michael Schumacher posted the fastest time in final practice for Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix, today, Saturday 26 August, with a lap of 1m 27.203s which left Fernando Alonso in second place and Giancarlo Fisichella his Renault team-mate in third with BMW-Sauber's Robert Kubica fourth.  Jenson Button, the winner in Hungary, was sixth. The scene is set for qualifying between Ferrari and Renault, while McLaren are expected to be close.
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