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Alicante | Longer Summers And Warmer Winters

The climate laboratory at Alicante University has predicted that the summer will continue until at least October and that the chances of us having some rain are pretty slim even though the atmospheric conditions at the moment are perfect for a ” gota fria ” downpour .
The climate laboratory is part of the Geographic Department in Alicante and the State Weather Agency ( Aemet ) .They all are saying that this warm weather is going to be with us for a while longer and that in the future summers will be longer and that winters will be warmer .
The Head of the Climate Lab has given repeated warnings that the conditions were right for downpours but the current forecasts are for more sun and little chance of rain .
What is certain is that the sea is very warm and heavy evaporation is forming very heavy rain clouds that could turn into torrential rain if they clashed with a cold front . But there are no cold fronts and each day the sea temperature is dropping and that decreases the chance of rain .
During August the average temperature was slightly higher than normal.Added to that we are experiencing the worst drought ever and we have had September temperatures that have broken all records , not dropping below 30 in the day and above 23 at night .
Schools are having problems as with temperatures like this they are normally on their summer break.Many schools have cut short the working day because classrooms have been so hot .
Weather experts are predicting more droughts and that they will last for longer .Any rain will be more severe and torrential .All is being blamed on climate change .

Spanish News | Seatbelt Checks Increase

The Spànish DGT , road traffic department , has reported that they are going to step up checks on people who are wearing their seatbelts .They aim to check tens of thousands of drivers over the next few months and the checks will be all over the country .
All police forces , from the Guardia Civil to Local police will be checking in towns , villages and cities as well as on main and smaller roads .
There have been a high number of fatal accidents this summer in which victims were not wearing their belts .It is this that has prompted the crackdown .Of those who died in these accidents 26% of the car users and 30% of the van users were not wearing belts .If they had been wearing them then they would more than likely have survived the crash .It is this message that the DGT wants to get across .The airbag is not effective unless the belt is used as well .In fact the airbag alone can be detrimental to surviving .
Police will also check child seats in cars to ensure that parents are following the rules for the safety of their children .
Four out of 20 under 12´s who were killed last year were not using child seats.The chance of a child suffering severe injury or death increases five fold if they are not wearing a seat belt .All children under 1.35 metres must use a retention system .Short journeys are when children are often injured .The DGT stress that the short runs to school ar as important as long journeys .

Spanish News | Rumours Of Royal Split

It has been rumoured in the Spanish press that the Spanish royals , ex King Juan Carlos and his wife Sofia might be about to announce that they are going to split up .The newspaper La Republica and the Huffington Post´s Italian website have both reported that the abdication of Juan Carlos means that the couple no longer have to be seen together in public just to ” keep up appearances ” .
The couple married in 1962 and they have three children and eight grandchildren.Juan Carlos abdicated earlier this year in favour of his son Felipe who became King Felipe VI.
It has been known for quite a while that the couple led independent lives apart from when they appeared in public together .They have had separate apartments in the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid and generally communicated via their respective secretaries .
As soon as the abdication was announced Queen Sofia said that she would spend more time visiting family in Munich and also going to their home in Mallorca .
Juan Carlos has just had another hip operation and friends say that he spends a lot of time alone .Naturally the Spanish court has refused to comment .The Italian newspaper has said that thir information comes from impecable sources .The abdication is said to have speeded up the separation .

Alicante -Elche Airport | More Passengers Than Ever

In August there were more passengers passing through Alicante-Elche airport than ever before .The latest figure is 1,212,814 users , the highest ever recorded .The airport sits next to the village of El Altet and residents of that village could never have forseen the growth of the airport when it first opened .
AENA is the Spanish Airport Authority and they say that the figures are up by 4% on the same month last year ..They had already registered record figures in July and they have just kept growing .
Brits topped the passenger lists with over half a million .They were followed by Germans , Norwegians , Dutch , Belgians and Swedes ..
These passengers used over 8000 flights and over 3000 of these came from the UK .
In the first 8 months of 2014 the increase in passengers was up by 6% compared with last year .During that time almost 7 million passengers used the airport .There were almost 50,000 flights during that time .
Barcelona is still the best performing airport in Spain .In August El Prat saw 4.2 million passengers pass through an increase of 8.6% on last year .They logged in 25 million passengers in the first 8 months of the year up by 6.8% .

Pego | Town Hall Ups Anti Against Dog Excrement and Dogs Off Leads

Pego is a Costa Blanca town and the town hall is fed up with residents who set their dogs free to wander the streets , foul the pavements with excrement and generally cause a nuisance .They have now warned that owners will be traced and fines will be given .The fines will range from 30 to 300 euros .
The council is setting up cameras plus a mobile App whereby disgruntled residents can report pet neglect or any other misdemeanours .
Most people who walk their dogs on a lead are always in fear of meeting a dog which has been allowed to run free in the streets .These dogs nearly always pester dogs that are being properly cared for and they can become aggressive .Free dogs are also a risk to young children and they are also the cause of many car accidents .Equally residents say that they are fed up with excrement on pavements , even more so in parks and places where children play .Then there is a risk of children picking up the eggs of dog worms which can make the child blind .
The law in Spain is that all dogs must be microchipped and Pego council is going to clamp down hard on owners who have not had this done .WEithout this it is impossible to find owners if an animal becomes lost .These fines will be double the other fines so the largest could be 600 euros .

Valencia Region | Property Prices Soar

There have been six years when property prices have fallen and fallen and now the National Statistics Institute is stating that property prices are on the rise and that the Valencia region is topping the list of regions where prices are increasing .
During the first 6 months of 2014 the price of property per square metre .
increased by 3.2 % which is more than double the national average . Provia , a company based in Alicante said that the increase was logical as the number of properties being sold has been increasing steadily for at least 2 years .There have been many foreign buyers making up the majority of the sales .
A Provia spokesperson stated that national sales have also stabilised and this has also been a factor in putting prices up ..There have been slow downs in the economies of Germany , France and Italy but it is felt that these will not affect growth in Spain .
Spain is now sourcing clients in the UK , Russia , Scandanavia where the economies are still very buoyant .Banks , with their stocks of resale properties are now seeing the numbers go down .Between January and July sales went up by 39% according to the Notaries Association in Alicante .

Valencia Region | Region Tops Property Price Increases

There have been six years when property prices have fallen and fallen and now the National Statistics Institute is stating that property prices are on the rise and that the Valencia region is topping the list of regions where prices are increasing .
During the first 6 months of 2014 the price of property per square metre .
increased by 3.2 % which is more than double the national average . Provia , a company based in Alicante said that the increase was logical as the number of properties being sold has been increasing steadily for at least 2 years .There have been many foreign buyers making up the majority of the sales .
A Provia spokesperson stated that national sales have also stabilised and this has also been a factor in putting prices up ..There have been slow downs in the economies of Germany , France and Italy but it is felt that these will not affect growth in Spain .
Spain is now sourcing clients in the UK , Russia , Scandanavia where the economies are still very buoyant .Banks , with their stocks of resale properties are now seeing the numbers go down .Between January and July sales went up by 39% according to the Notaries Association in Alicante .

Spanish News | Spread of the Tiger Mosquito

In 2013 the Tiger mosquito was found in Valencia province and the latest research shows that it is breeding in at least 15 towns .Scientists have been setting traps all over Valencia province .The Tiger mosquito worldwide is a transmitter of diseases such as dengue ,yellow fever and Chikungunya. The mosquito is a worldwide problem and the researchers feel that the Valencia government and other regional governments are not taking the matter seriously enough .
They feel that the general public need to be involved in eradicating this insect .The adult female needs water to breed and getting redidents to eradicate breeding grounds is vital .The methods of killing the mosquito larvae also requires a strategy which is used by all governments and agreed by all of them .
It has now been confirmed that the mosquito exists in at least 75 towns in Murcia and Valencia .It is the Health Ministry in Madrid that has set up the university led projects to study the problem . The extent of the breeding grounds along the Costa Blanca has increased .In 2005 the mosquito was found in Alicante and in 2009 in Torrevieja .This was a bad invasion by the insect as conditions there favour its breeding .
The project wants adequate funding to eradicate the creature and stop it spreading further .

Javea | Land Sale Fraud Could Result In Prison Sentence

A civil servant is alleged to have aided a man to sell a piece of land which belonged to someone else .He could face a six year jail sentence .There were three plots on the El Trencall urbanisation in Javea and they were discovered not to have title deeds and a resident took advantage by registering them as his in July 2000 and then selling them on .The man was knowingly aided by a worker at the Catastral office .This is the office which sets land values for IBI tax calculations ..He is alleged to have forged the paperwork and assisted the accused in the scam .Two other men acted as witnesses before a notary for the accused , even though they knew that he was not the rightful owner of the plots .
Once the deeds were drawn up in his name he proceeded to sell two of the plots for around 170,000 euros in total and banked the proceeds .By the time he came to sell the third the real owners became aware of something wrong happening .They realised the title deeds were in the name of someone else .The case has only just come to court after 14 years .The rightful owners started proceedings 14 years ago .
The two men face prison sentences of between 5 and 6 years .The fake witnesses are facing 6 to 7 months in prison but as these sentences are less than 2 years they will not face custodial sentences .

Denia | Pet Eagle Appears In House

A Harris Eagle is a beautiful bird and we normally associate eagles with the wild . A resident of Denia on the Spanish Costa Blanca was extremely surprised when he discovered one in his house in the town .
It all happened at around 10 pm one evening when the man returned to his home .
Most people would have reacted in the same way –panic . He did call the police and in fact they were quite relieved as the Harris eagle had been reported missing two days earlier .
This bird was not a wild one and had been hand reared from being very young .He was well fed and well trained and would not attack anyone .
The owner is from Madrid and keeps a pair that he allows to fly free each day .They always return when called but on this occasion Pablo didn´t .He was startled by something and lost his way .
After 2 days of searching for him , the owner was delighted to discover that he was only a few streets away .
Both eagles are chipped but after 2 days the devastated owner had almost given up all hope of finding the bird again .All´s well that ends well and although the gentleman that Pablo discovered , had a bit of a shock , he soon recovered and realised that the bird was not a danger to him .

Benidorm | Noise Has Abated In Bars

A stronger police presence in bars in Benidorm on the Spanish Costa Blanca has reduced noise levels in late night bars .This has been a deliberate measure by the Benidorm council and the Policia Local .
Many complaints have been coming in about the noise from residents who live nearby .Evenso the police were still called out 309 times compared with 349 last year .That is better but not that much better .
224 complaints were dealt with and of those 99 were upheld after monitoring proved positive for excessive noise levels This was far less than the same time last year when 188 were upheld .
So this year there might have been a reduction in the number of fines for excessive noise but there was an increase in the level of fines for establishments operating without a license and for exceeding opening hours or for illegally manipulating noise level monitors .
The police chief praised his officers for working very hard this summer .He also said that he felt that the effort that his men made needed to be recognised .
What residents don´t want to happen is for these late night bars to slip back into their noisy ways during the winter months .

Costa Blanca | Schools Close Early

Parents in schools along the Costa Blanca have been complaining that the temperatures in classrooms since the beginning of term have been too high and the students have not been able to concentrate and learn . So last week schools in Calpe , Benidorm and Alfaz del Pi closed earlier .The opposition party in Calpe claimed that in some schools youngsters were being taught in hallways and corridors .This claim has been disputed by the respective schools and they say that all students are being taught in classrooms .
One wonders if these classrooms do not have air conditioning because it is too costly to run .The mayor of Calpe has supplied fans for some classrooms .They are also concerned about the high temperatures .Classes are still finishing as early as 12 noon .
Other towns have been lodging similar complaints with town halls and in Altea classes have been reduced by 10 minutes to ensure that youngsters are not at school between 13.30 and 15.00 .A Benidorm school is finishing two hours earlier that usual .Maybe schools need to start earlier in the morning eg 8am and work through until 1pm .
Parents in Alfaz del Pi have contemplated not sending their children to school because they have been dizzy and nauseous .The temperatures in a classroom ought not be above 27 degrees and recently they have been 30 .Students in Altea also staged protests about being in school in such hot weather .

Spanish News | Passport Control on Flights To Madrid

Most of us travelling never know if the authorities will ask to see our passports or not .Very often we just walk straight through .
Passengers travelling from Alicante to Madrid by Air Nostrum are being asked to go through passport control in Madrid when they are flying on to other European destinations .The passport control is at a building alongside Madrid´s Terminal 4 because the Air Nostrum flights cannot use the telescopic walkways .
When the flights arrive from Barajas from Alicante they are diverted to a building where customs deal with passengers transferring to international flights outside the EU .
This is causing passengers long delays adding to a list of complaints about the service which have been flooding in .
Passengers say that the planes are too small and that they are uncomfortable .Some passengers have missed connections because of the delays .
The diversions are because of the inability to use the telescopic walkways and whether this is because of the size of the planes is not known .This is only happening to passengers on Air Nostrum flights from Alicante to the Spanish capital .

Spanish News | Anti-Fraud Measures Earns Spain Billions

The Spanish government has earned 5.5 billion euros because of its anti-fraud measures during the first 6 months of the year .It was the best half year result ever ..This was announced by the head of the Finance Ministry and Spain´s tax authority , the Haciends .
There was also increased VAT income and the two are a last ditch attempt on the part of the government to bring their heads avove water .
The Hacienda´s income from IVA ( VAT ) in the first 6 months of the year was 6.8% up .Earnings from other taxes rose by 5.3% .More income from IVA should be a signal of increased spending but it seems that revenue is ahead of the economy and the way it is evolving .
Hacienda is also receiving more corporation tax .In 2011 Spain´s large companies paid 3.8% but a year later this rose to 5.3% and owing to changes in the law is now expected to reach 9% in 2013 .
For the first time Spaniards and residents had to declare assets outside Spain which earned the government another 88 billion euros .

Spanish News | Prague Treatment For 5 Year Old

The 5 year old boy from Britain who is suffering from a serious brain tumour has at last been given the go-ahead and can be taken to Prague for a special form of radiotherapy .
The family had taken their son from a hospital in the UK to Malaga where they have a holiday home .The hospital in the UK would not or could not provide the treatment that the parents wanted even though they were prepared to pay for it .When the child was removed from the hospital the staff there informed the police and an international hunt began .
The little boy was never in danger from his parents , they just wanted the best for their little boy but they ended up in jail and being treated like criminals , in Malaga .They were sent to prison in Madrid .
Now the child is able to have the Proton Beam Therapy that his parents always wanted him to have as it is a far less invasive treatment than normal radiotherapy .
All of the paperwork to allow the boy and his parents to travel was completed and they left in a plane which was specially adapted for his medical condition .
The little boy was cared for in the hospital in Malaga for 8 days .The Junta de Andalucia worked with the authorities to ensure that the boy was able to go to Prague as that was the priority all along .