Volume 98

Cristina Sanchez
Saturday, 17th February 2007 - No. 117
1Casa Topical Digest of News and Views from the Andalucia Area in Spain
Climate Change Figures in Spain Cause Concern
A new report warns that rainfall in southern Spain is set to drop by 40% in the second half of the century.  The news comes in a report drawn up by Spanish scientists, which has been presented at the National Climate Commission.  Experts quoted in the report by the National Meteorological Institute warn that increasing temperatures in Spain this century are set to double estimates reported in the latest UN report on climate change, which put the average increase worldwide at between 1 and 6.3 degrees centigrade.
Spain at Number Five in Child Welfare Rankings
A study, produced by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Innocenti Research Centre in Florence, ranked Spain fifth in its report on the well-being of children in more than 20 developed countries.  The report was based on six factors to measure the level children's material well-being, health and safety, education, peer and family relationships, behaviours and risks, and their own sense of well-being.
Based on an average ranking position for all six dimensions the Netherlands topped the chart with 4.2, with the United States and the United Kingdom bottom of the rankings with an average rank of 18 and 18.2 respectively.  The report shows that among all of the OECD countries surveyed in the study there is room for improvement and that no single state leads in all six of the areas.
Overweight Children Get Cure for '21st Century Epidemic'
Two hundred overweight Spanish children are to be taught to eat properly and in order to emerge slimmer and happier from a syndrome known as "the 21st century epidemic".  The children, aged 13 to 16, form part of the burgeoning population of obese youngsters,  one out of 4 males and one out of 5 females are said to be obese or overweight. Those statistics place the Iberian nation at the fore, behind only Britain, of European countries dealing with unhealthily chubby or fat children.  The therapeutic programme under the direction of the University of Navarre and the auspices of the state Superior Council of Scientific Investigations has divided the children into five groups of 40 each, the cities where the experiment is being carried out are Granada, Madrid, Pamplona, Santander and Zaragoza where a team of 50 professionals is coordinated by Madrid-based nutritionist Ascension Marcos, its members will guide the young people, according to each one's particular developmental stage, in a personalized diet programme.
Prince Felipe Praises Young Business Generation
Crown Prince Felipe praised the contribution made by the youngest generation of businessmen and women, whom he described as decisive in the creation of jobs and improving the nation's well-being.  The prince made the comments yesterday, Friday 16th February, when presenting the National Young Entrepreneur Award to Jose Ramon Garcia, whose company, founded in 2002, designs, develops and manufactures consumer electronics.
Landmark Ruling Bans Carnival to Cut Down on Noise
A judge has banned a carnival in Tenerife after a series of complaints about the noise caused by it, the judge banned making any noise over 55 decibels after 10pm at night during the carnival, planned for later in the month, organizers said it would be impossible to turn down the noise of the carnival.
The ruling, which is to be confirmed on Monday, is a landmark victory for campaigners fighting noise, the Spanish daily El Pais reported on Friday how a recent survey by the National Institute of Statistics found noise was the biggest source of complaints in Spain.
Spain Train Capital
Spain's Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has said that in three years time, the country will have the largest high speed train network in the world.  He promised up to 2,230 kilometres of track, more than either Japan or France.
Easyjet Opens its First Centre of Operations in Spain
Easyjet opened its first base of operations in Spain this week, located in Madrid's Barajas airport.  The new base is the second Easyjet operations centre in the south of Europe following the opening of a base at Milan-Malpensa last Spring.  The company increased its income by 14.9% in the last quarter of the year.
Plane Hijacked on Route to Las Palmas
A plane from the company Air Mauritane, flying between Nuakchot and Las Palmas with 79 passengers and crew on board, was hijacked last Thursday, 8th February, shortly after taking off. The hijacker wanted the Boeing 737 to be flown to Paris but the other passengers overcame him and used a mobile phone to alert the authorities on the Canaries.  The hijacker was arrested by Spanish police who boarded the plane after it landed at Gando airport, outside Las Palmas.
Lost Jack Russell Found After 11 Days
'Snowy' a Jack Russell, owned by a British couple, which disappeared at Madrid airport was found earlier this week after being missing for 11 days.  His owners, who offered a 10,000 Euro reward for anyone who found the dog, had arrived for a two week holiday in Madrid only to discover their pet was not in his box at the airport.  Airport staff who had tried to find Snowy without success then asked for help from a missing dogs' charity.  Food and water was left for the dog but he still couldn't be found.  Airport staff believe Snowy had used tunnels underneath the runways.  Finally, he was seen near a stream on the edge of runway 33-L.  Although very nervous when he was captured, Snowy was generally in good condition.  The dog rescue service said they did not want the reward money from the owners and were only interested in finding the dog.
Andalucians to Vote in Referendum on Statute Reform
This Sunday, 18th February, the people of Andalucia will be voting in a constitutional referendum to approve the new Statutes for the region. All of Spain’s regions are in the process of revising their Statutes of Autonomy, the guidelines that define the limits of the jurisdiction of the regional governments with respect to the Spanish State.  The main political parties including the PSOE (Socialists), PP (right wing Partido Popular) and IU (far left United Left) are campaigning for a Yes vote with only the nationalist PA (Partido Andalucista) calling for voters to say No.
Earthquake Shakes Andalucia
An earthquake that measured 6.3 on the Richter Scale, with its epicentre south-west of Cape St Vincent (Portugal), was felt in much of the province of Malaga last Monday, 12th February. Although its epicentre was out to sea, nearly 500km to the southeast of Cadiz shockwaves of 4 on the Mercalli scale were felt in Sevilla, Malaga, Cadiz and Huelva.  It is the second strongest quake registered in Spain since 1969.  There were no reports of any injuries or material damage.
Water Levels up in Malaga Reservoirs
Water levels in Malaga province have risen 4.8 cubic hectometres in the past week and now stand at 35.5% of their capacity.  The total amount of water now stored is 213.8 hectometres, which is 32.2 more than for the same period last year.
Spanish Government Buys Three Picasso's
The Ministry of the Economy in Spain has bought three paintings by Picasso for 8 million Euros. Two of the paintings will be displayed in the Picasso Museum in Malaga, and the third, in the Catalan National Art Museum.  The three works are: 'Retrato de Paulo con cuello blanco', 'Retrato de Olga' and 'Mujer con gorro y con cuello de piel'.
Malaga to Have New Arab Baths
Malaga is have the largest Arab baths in Spain, located in the Plaza de los Martires in the city centre, where construction will begin next month. The main pool will be 500 square metres and the facility will be able to receive 50 clients at one time. The project, with an investment of 3 million Euros, is being run by a company which has already opened similar baths in Granada, Cordoba, Madrid and Toledo.  Malaga already has Arab baths in the city, located near to the Plaza de la Merced.
Cycle Race to Pass Through Alora
The 5th and last phase of the Vuelta Ciclista a Andalucia (cycle race) will run between Ecija and Antequera passing Alora's Casa de Cultura next Thursday 22nd February.  Around 12.30 pm, the 15 best teams in the world and its 105 competitors will pass through El Chorro in the direction of Ardales, and by the A-357 will arrive in Pizarra.  From here the competitors will head towards Alora and enter by Calle Carmona towards Calle Veracruz to pass by the Casa de Cultura at 1.15 pm.  The race continues along Avenida Cervantes (which will be finished by then according to the mayor, Jose Sanchez) to descend towards the Barriada de El Puente by the Avenida de la Constitucion and on to the road to Abdalajis.
Alora's Carnival
Tonight, Saturday 17th February, the street band 'De Sevilla, ná' will be performing at the Cervantes Theatre in Alora as part of the celebrations leading up to next week's carnival.  The band will perform twice during the evening, at 8.30 pm and 10.30 pm. Tickets: 3 Euros.
Next Saturday, 24th February, Alora's carnival parade will begin at 4.30 pm from the Casa de Cultura with those taking part dressed in disguises and fancy dress.
Malaga 0 - 3 Albacete
After the Alaves game when Malaga came out victorious, their supporters were filled with optimism and were disappointed to witness another home defeat with Albacete scoring three goals in the first half. This result leaves Malaga 13th in the league table out of 22.  Malaga play away this Sunday, 18th February, when they travel to Numancia. Kick off is at 5.00pm.
Injured Nadal Hopes to Play in Dubai
Rafael Nadal, Spain's tennis world number two, says he hopes to be back on court for the Dubai tournament which starts on 26th February.  Nadal strained his leg during the Davis Cup against Switzerland.
Liverpool to Spend New Found Money in Spain
In his first major interview since the acquisition of the club by US investors, George Gillet and Tom Hinks, Liverpool chief executive, Rick Parry, has revealed the secret behind Rafa Benitez's decision to stay last summer despite an enticing offer to return to Real Madrid, in an article published in the People Parry admitted that the board has had to work hard since then to attract new investors that will enable Liverpool to compete on an equal footing with the likes of Manchester Utd., Chelsea and Arsenal.
While part of the cash will be used to finance a new stadium, Rafa Benitez will be given the green light to pursue his top four targets from the Spanish league: Valencia striker, David Villa, who Parry values at around 33 million Euros, Atletico Madrid striker, Fernando Torres, who is a long-term target Barca midfielder, Andres Iniesta, who scored a wonderful goal to sink England at Old Trafford last week, and Sevilla's Brazilian midfielder, Daniel Alves, who has a price tag around the €22 million mark
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