In 2002 there was an ETA terrorist attack on the Guardia Civil barracks in Santa Pola , near Alicante on the Spanish Costa Blanca .Two people died in the attack .
Relatives of those two people who died met up with two Guardia Civil officers who were taking part in a sponsored cycle ride to raise funds for the victims of all who have died in terrorist attacks in Spain .
The two officers were hoping to cover over 800 kilometres through all of the towns where these attacks took place . The car bomb in Santa Pola injured 55 people and killed the 6 year old daughter of an officer living in the barracks plus a pensioner from Torrevieja who just happened to be waiting for a bus outside the barracks .
The families of these two met up with the officers just metres from where the bomb exploded .They had arrived from Muchamiel where three people died in a car bomb attack in 1991 .
The ” fisherman´s church ” in Javea port on the Spanish Costa Blanca , has a new priest in charge .The old priest died in 2011 after being in charge for many years .
Many children attend the Sunday school at the church and up until now both boys and girls have acted as ” altar ” attendants .They help to distribute the wafers etc during Communion .
The new priest has caused a stir because he has now stopped girls from being ” altar girls ” and parents are furious .They say that their daughters are upset and cannot understand why the job has been taken away from them .
The priest says that it is within his rights to make this decision and by some strange way of thinking , it will bring the community closer together .He , unlike the parents , cannot see that it is divisive .
He has also made a more popular decision in that he wants the church to be open at all times and not only for the celebration of Mass .People are pleased about this .
In the other church in Javea , girls are still permitted to be altar girls , so why one rule for one church and not for the other .
The Spanish economic climate has seen the habits of people change in many ways over the last four years and spending habits have also changed dramatically .
The Ministry of Industry has just released figures which are interesting for the used car industry .There has been an increase in the sales of cars which are over 10 years old and consequently there has been a rise in their sale value .
The report shows that a 10 year old car which cost 2,744 euros in 2011 , now costs 3,207 euros , an increase of 16% . These are the cars being sought by those earning 1000 euros or less a month .
Meanwhile the DGT is creating a plan to rejuvenate the Spanish car stock . At the moment 50% of cars on Spanish roads are over 9.5 years old .The DGT wants to cut that figure to 7 years by 2016 .They are concerned about safety and efficiency of these older cars . Most of these older cars do not have systems which are known to save lives . Cars over 10 years old also emit more toxic gases such as carbon dioxide , into the atmosphere , than do new cars .
The Spanish Constitutional Court has declared that the hunting of birds using glue , is to be banned .This declaration has delighted all naturalists .
The method of catching the birds , by placing frames high in trees while impregnated with adhesive materials , has been condoned by the Valencia regional government because it is the way that it has always been done and is classified as a ” tradition ” . This despite the ban made by the Spanish central government .Large numbers of birds have been killed in this very cruel way .
The central government appealed that the Valencia region was breaking the law and now the courts have upheld this appeal . Conservationists SEO / Birdlife now feel that this is an end to ways in which to defend this barbaric practice .
Now SEO / Birdlife wants the Valencia regional government to pursue and prosecute those who practice this form of catching birds . They also want the structures made to catch the birds destroyed .
It is one thing to win a case but yet another to get the authorities not to “turn a blind eye ” towards those who catch birds in this way .They may still not be prosecuted .
La Nucia is following the example of Calpe and many other Costa Blanca municipalities by launching a campaign to try and encourage as many people living in the town to sign on the padron .
In La Nucia , at this moment there are almost 20,000 people who are registered but the number of people living there has been calculated at 30,000 .If they could persuade another 5000 to register then that would bring in another million euros to local coffers . Central government would supply the extra cash and a lot could be done with that money , including lowering local taxes .
Leaflets are being distributed in English , German and Dutch . The consulates of all three countries are helping out with the campaign . Because people have not signed on then there is an imbalance both financially and socially . The town is not being properly financed and this is affecting the services that the town can provide . People are being reminded that it is their obligation to register .
Recently , the man who was alleged to be behind the illegal homes scandal in Lliber in the Jalon Valley ,has been acquitted after he appeared in court to answer questions over his involvement in a real estate scam in Sagra and Benidoleig in 2004 .
The man in question sold land to another man and it was he who sold to the victims in the case .There was no evidence to show that the accused had set out to intentionally deceive the victims of the scam .
The other businessman involved has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison for selling two British couples properties on undeveloped land .
Although the accused has been acquitted in this case , he is still facing charges over his alleged involvement in the Lliber property scam.
In Lliber 300 illegal homes were sold to unsuspecting victims and claims have been made that the accused paid bribes to various town hall officials in order to receive building licenses .The land was not designated for building .
In the Sagra case the British couples will receive compensation but how can one be compensated for all of the troubles that were caused to them by people who ought to have known better and who have given the property market in Spain a very bad name , where you just do not know who to trust .
The court in Denia on the Spanish Costa Blanca , has visits from more than 500 legal workers each working day , plus members of the public .The state of the building is causing concern for public safety .
Windows are cracked and recently a window had to be removed as there was fear that it would fall out and badly injure someone . The damage is greatest in the prosecutors offices .
One courtroom has a dripping roof , constant leaks plus damp and mould , making working conditions very unpleasant .Most of the rooms on the first and second floors are in a similar state .
Requests have gone to the regional government in Valencia but to date there has been no response . There is an ever growing number of cases to deal with and the requests for a second court have also fallen on deaf ears .
The court handles 20 cases a day and serves the whole of the Marina Alta , made up of 33 towns and villages .
There are three campsites operating in Alfaz del Pi and now the council has suspended the granting of new licenses and has begun proceedings for full regulation of all three .As a precautionary measure licenses will be suspended for a year .
Two of the campsites are in rural areas and one is in Albir and all three are undergoing a regulation programme via the regional government . All three have been provided with a temporary license in the interim as the process could be a long one .
Two of the sites are almost at the point of satisfying the regional government and will then be of community interest in the Valencia region .The third has three months to comply with various issues and if it doesn´t comply by that time it will be closed down .
The Alfaz del Pi council is wishing to attract more people to these types of facilities and consequently wants all of them to be up to a high standard .
Across Europe , including Spain , the one and two centimo coins could be scrapped .So says the European Commission .The production of these coins is a loss making activity it seems .Since 2002 these coins have been produced at a loss of 1.4 billion euros .
The Commission has consulted with businesses and consumer associations , treasuries and mints and central banks on the pros and cons of continuing to issue the coins ..
There are four possible scenarios .One is to do nothing ,another to reduce the issuing costs , withdraw them slowly or withdraw them straight away . More discussion needs to take place to ensure that all member states are in total agreement with the decisions taken .
Many will fear the risk of inflation if the coins are withdrawn.Prices in shops would have to be rounded up or down in an effort to do away with the coins .
A Moraira resident was saved by a team of dogs last week and one of those dogs was his own black labrador , Bijou .
The dog owner went walking last weekend with his dog and failed to return .The man is a Parkinson´s sufferer and his family were extremely concerned when he didn´t return home .
They alerted the emergency services and a search was conducted using the USAR 13 volunteer team and a Guardia Civil rescue helicopter .
Eventually the man was spotted in a very difficult place to reach and there by the side of him was his dog .He was outside for 2 days and it is possible that the warmth of the dog kept him alive .
He was eventually airlifted to Denia hospital in a very dehydrated state .One of the dogs used in the rescue had been used at the 2010 earthquake in Haiti .
Benissa on the Spanish Costa Blanca , has joined Javea council in putting together a draft resolution to central government over its asset declaration royal decree .
In Benissa the proposal was put forward and all parties voted in favour except the PSD .The PSOE spoke out very strongly in favour of the motion as naturally the idea was that of a PP government .
Most see what has happened as a very short sighted thing to do and many Costa Blanca towns could lose money if their expat citizens decide to uproot and return to their homelands .They see this as an intrusion into their private affairs and something which the Spanish government has no business to ask about .
Other towns are also likely to follow suit but the strange thing is why there are not more towns coming out against it as every town would have a lot to lose if their expats left them high and dry .
These councils realise that not only would their finances feel the pinch but the housing market and general economy would also suffer .
Shopkeepers in Benidorm on the Spanish Costa Blanca , have been asking for an extra police presence for a long time .Their concerns were upheld last week when a British couple had been targeted by some Romanian pickpockets . A local shopkeeper went to their aid and the thieves then turned their attention to him and beat him up .
The incident took place outside his shop and he could see what was about to happen and warned the British couple .The beating left him with a cut eye , cuts and bruises .Once other shopkeepers became aware of what was happening they rang the police and went to the aid of their friend .
Although the criminals ran off in different directions , they were soon caught .These shopkeepers have been seeking extra security for a long time in the face of increasing crime in the town .They have now sought a meeting with the mayor , Agustin Navarro , to discuss these issues .
Understandably , the shopkeepers are cynical about what will happen to these three thieves .They feel that they will be back on the streets virtually straight away . They feel that they and the tourists require much more protection . Their fear is that tourist numbers will decline if Benidorm gets a bad reputation for crime .
The Spanish taxman or office is called the hacienda and their are rumours that they are about to cash in on alcohol to bring in more taxes .Spirits , in particular will be hit , it seems .They are hinting that there will be a 10% tax on it .
The present 8.30 euros a litre of alcohol is set to become 9.13 euros . In fact Spain imposes one of the lowest taxes on alcohol in Europe , only Italy , Romania and Bulgaria charge less .
Wine is not taxed on alcohol content and so is unlikely to be affected by the tax hike . Currently beer alcohol content is charged at 1.99 euros per litre and again will probably remain unchanged .So a litre of beer at 5% alcohol would attract a tax on 50 ml of alcohol .However , the Spanish government has yet to make up its mind on these issues .
Once the increases go through , retail prices will depend on alcohol content and whether manufacturers will pass on all of the extra cost to the consumer .
During the first three months of 2013 Telefonica , the Spanish telephone company , has seen its headline net income rise by 20.6% .
The multinational company made 902 million euros worldwide .However after excluding exceptional items from 2012 and 2013 , net income was in fact down by 7.9% .
Sales fell by 8.8% to 14,142 billion euros and for the first time Brazil became the company´s largest market , despite a 9.5% drop in sales to 3.26 billion euros .
Telefonica´s European division saw a fall of 10.5% in revenue , a drop that the company blames on the economic crisis . The Spanish branch was particularly badly hit with operating revenue down to 16.4% .
Latin America accounted for more than half of Telefonica´s revenues for the second quarter in a row . At the end of March the company had debts of almost 52 billion euros which was an increase of 550 million since the beginning of the year . A devaluation of the Bolivar in Venezuela added 873 million to Telefonica´s debts .
In the 2013 World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index , Spain is placed at the top of the139 major and emerging global nations covered by the annual report , for cultural resources .
Spain also finishes in a high position for its tourism infrastructure ( 5th place ) plus another fifth place for its air transport infrastructure .
Praise has also been given by the world of tourism for its general transport infrastructure , being placed 10th overall .
However , when it comes to its price competitiveness in the worldwide travel and tourism industry , then it comes a lowly 106th.Spain is no longer a cheap holiday destination .It was during the days of the peseta , but that no longer applies .Tourism policy rules and regulations are also not a hit with the industry and they come half way down for that .