Volume 95

Cristina Sanchez
Saturday, 27th January 2007 - No. 114
 1Casa Topical Digest of News and Views from the Andalucia Area in SpainSpecial Offers for 1Casa Clients
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Condoleezza Rice to Visit Spain
US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, will visit Spain in March according to Spain’s Foreign Minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos. Moratinos made the announcement in Paris where the two held a meeting after the International Conference on the Lebanon.  Talks will centre on the international fight against terrorism, military collaboration as well as economic and financial links.
Hotel Exceeds Height Limitation
The Hotel Bahia in Almunecar promoted by Spain's international footballers, including former Liverpool FC star Fernando Morientes, could exceed height limitations. The Supreme Court of Andalucia has opened an investigation into alleged irregularities in the construction.  Judges received the go ahead from the public prosecutor’s office in Madrid to look into allegations made by the regional government that the four-star hotel exceeds height restrictions by 2,500 square metres.  Concerns have also been raised over modifications made to the Costa Tropical town’s PGOU urban planning document in 1998. The Junta de Andalucía claims land designated for public use was changed to allow for the hotel’s construction on Avenida de Juan Carlos I, if the allegations prove to be true the hotel, which opened for business in September 2006, may have its works licence annulled,  leaving it to face potential closure.
Vueling to Open New International Base
Vueling, the Spanish low-cost airline, are currently investigating opening a hub airport outside Spain.  Although they currently operate a number of flights to international airports, they are now actively looking for a non-Spanish base.  The current options for a base city include Paris, Milan, Rome and Amsterdam. They are expected to make a decision on which to pursue by the end of February 2007.
New Ryanair Routes
Ryanair has announced new routes from Malaga including a new link between Granada and East Midlands Airport from 20th February.  The other routes include Malaga to Frankfurt , which began last week, and Malaga to Bremen which starts in April.
Growth in Low Cost Flights Increases Tourism
The increase in passengers on low cost airlines can explain most of the rise in tourists visiting Spain last year. Passenger numbers on low cost flights to Spain were 14.7% up over the year while traditional airline passenger numbers rose only by 3.8%. The increases seen in Spain by Ryan Air, Easy Jet and Air Berlin were up by 15.1%, 10.1% and 6.4% respectively.
Acciona Bilbao Ferry Route to UK Withdrawn
The ferry company, Acciona Trasmediterranea, has cancelled all sailings on their new Portsmouth-Bilbao route. They Madrid based company said it was due to operational reasons. The decision was announced last Tuesday, saying all sailings were cancelled until the second half of April.  Passengers who booked tickets on the ferry were given no advanced warning of the cancellations.
The company said the Fortuny, the ship which sailed the route, is being diverted to another route in the Mediterranean. They have stressed, however, that they plan to reinstate the route within the timescale announced.
Spanish Shop Window Models to be Larger
Government and fashion chains in Spain have agreed that female shop window dummies should wear size 10 clothes or above.  Officials in Andalucia have already banned the use of mannequins smaller than the average Spanish woman. The move is likely to affect women and girls all over the world as international brands such as Mango and Zara have signed up to the agreement.   The change of sizes will be led by Spain's National Consumer Institute, which will measure thousands of Spanish women between the ages of 12 and 70. Spanish fashion houses will then try to fit clothes to them, rather than the other way round.
Oscar Nomination for Penelope Cruz
Penelope Cruz has been nominated for Best Actress in the forthcoming edition of the Oscars. The nomination make her the first ever Spaniard to be nominated in the category, for her role in Pedro Almodovar’s 'Volver'.  The film, however, did not make the last five of the Best Foreign Language Film.
Dali and Film
The Tate Modern has announced an exhibition for the summer in London to be titled Dali and Film.  The Spanish Director of the Tate Modern, Vicente Todolí, said at the presentation of the new show to the press that Dali loved the Marx Brothers, Buster Keaton and Harry Langdon, and also collaborated with Walt Disney and Hollywood studios. The show will be on Salvador Dali and Film and will run from 1st June until 9th September. 
Prince Beckham
David Beckham has strengthened his move to America by posing as a Disney character for his latest photo shoot, the former England captain donned a cape and medieval costume to become Prince Philip from the Sleeping Beauty film, he is one of several celebrities who will appear as one of the animated characters for Walt Disney World's Year of a Million Dreams campaign.
Dust Cart Driver Loses Job for Pulling a Wheelie
A Malaga dust car driver has been sacked for pulling a wheelie with his truck.  He pulled the wheelie at the city’s municipal rubbish dump where it was recorded on a mobile phone. The recording was put onto the You Tube website, and has proved to be one of the most popular downloads. The driver's employer, Limasa haves sacked the driver, although unions claim the dismissal is unfair and are calling for him to be reinstated.
Drought Restrictions Remain in Malaga
A meeting of the drought management commission last week decided to maintain the drought decree which governs Malaga and the Guadalhorce Valley throughout 2007.  The director of the regional water authority said that despite heavy rains in November it was only 60% of normal figures for the time of the year in the Guadalhorce Valley, and 75% on the Western Costa del Sol. He also said the third year of drought will be quite serious if we don’t have a good spring.  The outlook for this year is better than the situation in the province at the same time last year, reservoir levels are up by 37 cubic hectometres, with the total level in the water tables at 4% more than last year. The improved situation is mainly due to the restrictions introduced, which allowed savings of 70 cubic hectometres across the province.
Mini Town Hall for the Barriada del Puente
From 23 January, all the residents of the barriadas of El Puente and Bellavista can enjoy some of the facilities that will enable them to carry out some administrative procedures which at present mean a trip to Alora.   The new office is located in the C/. Olivares, nº 3, next to the library in the Barriada del Puente.  Opening times Monday to Friday, from 9.00 am until 1.00 pm.  Telephone number is 952 49 65 52.
Alora's Mirador to be Improved
Alora Town Hall has announced that there will be two new improvement projects in the town. The Mirador (viewpoint) del Tajo in la Plaza Baja is to be upgraded, and a new plaza created, to be called Rincon Homenaje a la Senorita Laura, on Avenida Pablo Ruiz Picasso. Jose Sanchez, Alora's mayor explained that both projects would be completed within a timescale of three months once work starts in February or March. The Mirador del Tajo is to have new paving, a small Arabic style fountain, benches and a pergola and the new plaza will be triangular shaped and will have trees, street furniture and a bust in honour of its namesake.
Malaga 0-0 Castellon
Following the Malaga's away win at Zaragoza in the King’s Cup, they could only manage a goalless draw against Castellon.  Malaga have another home game this Sunday 28th January, kick off is at 5.30 pm against Hercules.
Lisbon - Dakar Rally 2007
France's Stephane Peterhansel (302) and Luc Alphand (300), finished first and second in the Lisbon-Dakar Rally 2007 ensuring Mitsubishi is victorious again.  The French crew of Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret won the event for the third time in four years in their Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution beating their teammates and defending champions Luc Alphand and Gilles Picard by seven minutes 26 seconds. It is Peterhansel's ninth outright Dakar victory, the first six of which were on motorbikes.
Formula 1 News
ING Renault F1 Team launched their R27 racer this week in style, with a spectacular media presentation in front of 600 VIPs and media in Amsterdam. Winners of consecutive Constructors' world championships in 2005 and 2006, the team proudly unveiled new title partner ING and the striking new livery that will adorn the R27 cars throughout the 2007 season and beyond. The RS27 engine will also equip the cars of Red Bull Racing during the 2007 season, under a new engine supply agreement, both teams will use the same specification of engine, and a team of Renault F1 Team engineers will provide trackside support to Red Bull Racing.
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EVERY penny helps, whatever you can give WILL make a difference, thank you for reading this message ... Cristina.
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