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Spanish News | Arrests Of Aggravated Burglars

At the beginning of June in a rural area near Elche on the Spanish Costa Blanca , an elderly man was brutally attacked within his own home one morning .

Early one morning the 79 year old answered the door of his home and his assailants moved in and immediatly started to beat him up .He fell to the floor but that wasn´t enough they then tied him up and beat him some more while threatening to kill him . A 79 year old man being no match for these middle aged thugs .

All that they stole was his TV and a bank book .They left him with serious injuries to his face and the doctors were not able to save one of his eyes .

The Elche Guardia Civil started a survey of all second hand shops in the area and eventually came across the sale of a TV by a woman who they later identified .She was arrested foor stealing stolen goods .

Later the man who accompanied her when she made the sale was also identified and he was arrested too .He was the driver and lookout during the robbery .He has been charged with belonging to a criminal organisation as well as alleged violence and intimidation .Two other men have since been charged .When searching properties related to these people other objects relating to the original crime were discovered . The suspects are all Spanish and have been placed at the disposal of the court in Elche .

Spanish News | Threats Of Railway Strike

It is always the way with industrial action .The aim is to cause disruption for the general public to try and get your way ( or rather , pay ).

Now in Spain it is the railway sector that is thretening strike action .Railway workers have called a 48 hour strike for July 30 and August 1.

The industrial action will affect everyone who normally uses a train to get to work but it is tourists who will also feel the brunt of the action .

The August holiday time will just have begun with the exodus from cities to the coasts and certainly on those two days at least 25,000 people are scheduled to arrive or depart from Alicante station .

There is said to be a minumum service but if this amounts to two trains then that will be all . Those who do not suffer actual cancellations will be seriously delayed . People who have already booked their tickets ( which we are advised to do ) have been advised to check with RENFE before leaving home .

Ironically it is rail travel which has been showing the greatest increase in popularity in Spain this year .The high speed trains have increased in number by 13% nationwide .Domestic flights have seen a fall .People using busses for long trips have also fallen .

Spanish News | Underwater Inspections By Guardia Civil

The Spanish Guardia Civil , during June , inspected shipwrecks from all around the country .They were aided by 308 diving clubs and inspected 103 wrecks and 75 boats .There are many people out there who will pillage these wrecks and denude them of any treasures they might have .

The operation was called ” Amphora ” and took place in every Spanish province . The Guardia Civil was aiming to raise awareness with the general public that these shipwrecks are underwater archaeological sites which are protected by law .

The police were also aiming at divers and fishermen who might take things as souvenirs and then sell them .Fishermen often get things caught in their nets such as anchors .There is a black market for such items .

Almost 15000 Guardia Civil officers took part in the operation plus agents from the Special Divers Unit and legal action was started in 39 cases .

Spanish News | New System For Missing Children

The Spanish Ministry of the Interior has just announced that they have a new system to try and find kidnapped children who they think might be in serious danger .

The system is similar to the one being used in the USA to marshal the public into helping track down the missing children within the crucial first 24 hours of their disappearance .

The cases must meet the criteria of the protocol to trigger it at which point messages will go out to the media , social networks and metro and train systems .Information provided to help the public identify either the kidnapper and the victim .

The information will include where and when the child was last seen plus photos and a description of what the child was wearing .If information is known about a vehicle then that will be given too .It will also be said if the kidnapper is dangerous or not .

A telephone number for members of the public to call with tip offs .The office of the Secretary of State for Security will be responsible for activating the protocol at the request of police investigators .It will only be activated in high risk cases .The parents of the child must also agree to authorising the use of the alert system .

Spanish News | Another Theme Park Accident In Benidorm

There have been two serious accidents at theme parks in Benidorm recently .The first involved an 18 year old Icelandic teenager who fell from the rollercoaster ” Inferno ” and was killed .

Then last week at the Terra Natura theme park a 4 year old Russian child was seriously injured . It appears that the child climbed up a 1.5 metre high statue representing a Hindu goddess . The statue was made of wood but it was not meant for climbing and it toppled onto the child .

He was rushed to hospital by the emergency services and is now in an induced coma .His health is said to be serious but not life threatening .

The management of Terra Natura have expressed great concern for the child and are in constant touch with the parents .However they have stressed that these statues are not meant for climbing and in fact it is prohibited ,They stress that they have stringent safety measures in place to protect the public and that this was an unfortunate accident .

Denia | Investment For Harbour Moorings Expansion

It has been announced that there will be a 23 million euro investment in improving and extending moorings in Denia port .The Society of Denia Marina El Portet operates an inland marina  and it holds the concession until 2034 The project will include upgrading pontoons , commercial premises and car parks .The result they hope will be one of the best tourism and nautical sports centres in the Mediterranean .

The area around the port is already popular with visitors and it has the added bonus of being close to the town centre .There is an abundance of shops and restaurants as well as beaches and bars .Major retailers have opened shops in the town and slowly the town has acquired a certain chic which draws in even more people .

The work will extend the marina to 53,000m2 and they are hoping to construct a well equipped leisure centre , a two storey semi underground parking facility plus 3 piers of 85 metres long .

Add to this the fact that the port has regular ferry connections with the Balearic islands which brings thousands of people back anf fore every year and you can imagine just how bustling this place is going to be .

Spanish News | Redundancy Tax Is A No No

The Spanish government and the Spanish tax office ( Hacienda ) worked out a plan to lower taxes for the lower paid and now it has put forward an idea to tax redundancy payments .Not being taxed on this lump sum at least softened the financial blow of losing your job .

The unions are up in arms about it and so are employers but for different reasons .It seems that all the people in power want is the money from the people and yet it is the money from the people that pays their wages .They seem to have no idea about how people are attempting to survive the economic crisis that banks and other irresponsible people got the country into .

Law firms , unions , employers all want the government to reconsider this and have given it a huge thumbs down .The law firms see more conflict and much more expense for employers when agreeing redundancy payments .

The Finance Minister is saying that he only sees a 2000 euro minimum exemption for each year worked .This means that someone earning less than 20,000 euros would not pay tax .In contrast emplyees entitled to 45 days per year under old agreements must pay even if they earn less than 20,000 .

If the government was going to gain masses of extra money from the scheme then people might understand but it is going to to gain only 100 million a year which is a drop in the ocean compared with the 9 billion that the tax reform is going to cost the PP government overall .

Spanish News | Madrid Icon Now Owned By Chinese

Edificio España was once the tallest building in Spain .It was a white elephant purchased by Banco Santander in 2007 for 379 million euros .This happened just as the property crisis hit the country .It was bought from Banco Santander by Wang Jianlin .This was known as long ago as March but it has only just been confirmed .

He is China´s largest property developer  although his group also has interests in other enterprises such as tourism and cinema to retailing . He paid 265 million euros for the building .Madrid´s regional government agreed to the sale .

Banco Santander had commissioned the architect Norman Foster and Carlos Lamela to draw up plans for 300 luxury apartments , a hotel and a shopping centre .It has not been confirmed yet as to whether this will go ahead .

Wang acts quickly and whatever he decides to do rarely takes longer than 2 years .He always starts with a finishing date and always keeps to that date .His philosophy pays off as his projects usually cost less than estimated and also make more profits than estimated too .These were projects inside China so it might be a different story in Spain .

Spanish News | Summer Sales Have Started

The middle of July is here and the summer sales have started in Spain .It is predicted that during the sales the average spend is 76 euros per person .This would be 5% more than in 2013 .This is the prediction of the Consumer Association FUCI .

The largest spenders will be the Basques , Madrileños , Catalans and Valencians with an outlay of more than 85 euros for every man woman and child .

Nationwide chains such as H and M , Mango and Blanco brought in reductions a few weeks ago except in Cataluña and the Basque region due to a change in government regulations introduced in 2012.

Other stores preferred to wait until July 1 which coincides with the beginning of the holiday season .

The clothing industry expects a turnover of 2.7 billion euros this summer . 3.5% more than last year .Discounts can range from 30 to 50% .All of these sales should help 2014 end on a better note than since the economic crisis started .

Spanish News | Price-fixing Accustaion By Chicken Industry

The Spanish chicken producers have been accusing Spanish supermarkets of price -fixing .It appears that a live chicken fetches 0.97 centimos a kilo , with the price rising per kilo to between 2.05 euros to 2.18 euros plus marketing and distribution costs , on leaving the processing factory .

Consumers ought to be paying between 2.45 and 2.76 euros a kilo according to the Ministry of Agriculture  but supermarkets are selling them at an average of 2.18 a kilo while the traditional butcher charges 2.75 .

The accusations are that the supermarkets are selling the chickens at a loss .The producers say that there needs to be a rebalancing so that chicken remains cheap for the consumer but also profitable for the producers .

There are 5000 chicken farms in Spain and they provide 50,000 jobs , so it is an important industry .

Spanish News | More Tax On Alcohol Requested By Doctors

Spanish doctors have asked for more tax to be levied on alcohol . The Spanish Society for Public Health and Sanitary Administration has stated that the extra taxes should be based on actual alcohol content of alcoholic drinks .The suggestion is aimed at putting a stop to excessive alcohol consumption .

The organisation say that the increase would help tax revenue generallyand also contribute to reducing alcohol consumption generally .Spain has the lowest tax levels on alcohol in Europe .

They state that excessive alcohol intake is a major health risk factor across Europe .If people could stick at one unit of alcohol a day it would be acceptable but that rarely happens .It is in the nature of alcohol drinkers to have more than one drink and often many more .

SESPAS say that 10% of all deaths between the ages of 15 to 64 are alcohol related in Spain .It is associated with car accidents , domestic violence and other violence as well as long term relating to liver , pancreas and other damage to the body .

The tax increases would have to be fairly hefty to have any impact and that could lead to people making illicit alcohol as they did during the days of prohibition in the USA many years ago .

Mallorca | Sex Scandals in the Bars of the Island

Mallorca , one of the Spanish Balearic Islands , is a beautiful place and away from the main tourist towns it is idyllic . However , some of those tourist towns are now acquiring a very bad reputation as drunken dumps full of young dissolute tourists who go there for one reason to get drunk .

Now a new scandal has hit the headlines in a sex for drinks marketing strategy .Magaluf has been the main town in the scandal where a video was circulated online showing a female customer performing sexual acts on young tourists , for drinks .

Naturally residents are up in arms as would be the parents of these young people .A spokesperson has stated that this type of behaviour is not limited to just a few bars but was much more widespread .

The areas where the bars are found has always had a fairly bad reputation which it is attempting to improve but this is not the way to do it .What people do sexually in private is their concern but this type of behaviour in public is totally unacceptable .

Spanish News | Doctor Sentenced To 81 Years In Prison

Between 2003 and 2006 a doctor working at the Catalan Health Institute and at his private office in Barcelona , as a gynaecologist , sexually abused patients and now he has been sentenced to 81 years in prison .He was sentenced in the Spanish Supreme Court .

The court rejected all appeals made by the defence lawyers for the gynaecologist plus the Health Institute and the Zurich Insurance PLC Spain ( regarding direct liability ).The court confirmed the sentence in its entirety , with the exception of those terms concerning paying compensation interest to one victim .

The sentence is 81 years and yet he is only likely to serve 13 years .He has been deprived of his license to practice medicine and sentenced to pay each victim 6000 euros .

It appears that he would examine his patients inappropriatly when there was no nurse present .The women involved trusted this man and yet he treated them with no respect but merely as objects for his own sexual gratification .

Spanish News | Glorifying Terrorism –Man Detained

The police in the Spanish town of Burgos have detained a 22 year old man for allegedly glorifying terrorism through social networks .

The man detained was denounced by a journalist whom he had tjhreatened via Twitter .

The initial investigation show that the man not only threatened the journalist  but also a number of other people .He had also launched many ” tweets ” about the glorification of terrorism and ETA´s activities as well as humiliating any victims of terrorist activity that he could get in touch with .

The police had intense negotiations with the service provider –Twitter –and the International Inquiry Committee which deals with this type of cyber request .They were eventually permitted to access the individual´s details and were able to identify and locate him in the village of Villasana de Mena in Burgos .

The suspect is 22 and a resident of Bilboa in the Basque Country .He has been allowed bail until his case is heard in Madrid .All cases involving cyber crime in Spain are heard in the Spanish capital as they are demmed to have no actual location .

Spanish News | Watermelons Stolen In Cartagena

A farm in Cartagena in Murcia is minus 1,500 kilos of watermelons due to a thief or thieves .The fruit was being grown on land belonging to the university and were being used for research purposes related to genetics .As such they were not fit for human consumption .

Already the Guardia Civil has arrested five people in connection with the thefts .The fruits would have been worth about 15centimos a kilo on the market .

Police were alerted to the thefts in June  and were told that the university department was seeking new varieties of the fruit  and that their suitability for human consumption was in doubt .

Police did locate a lorry full of watermelons which experts at the centre recognised as theirs .Those arrested , including a minor , were going to sell them on the open market and were then charged with crimes against public health .All five are on bail until they come before the court in Cartagena .