Palms are a very important part of the scenery in Spain .The concern is that the population could be decimated if the Red Palm Weevil isn´t controlled pretty soon .
This insect can lay its eggs in a palm and by the time the owner of the palm realises that there is an infestation , it is usually too late to save it .
Now researchers in Valencia have released a study which they hope is going to help .They have been studying the flight patterns of the insect in order to set more preventitive and curative measures in place .
The team analysed the insect behaviour with a camera fitted with a flight mill connected to a computer .They looked at distances covered , flight length and average and maximum speeds .
There results showed that 54% of the insects studied covered short distances , less tha 100 metres , 36% flew between 100 and 5000 metres and only 10% flew greater distances .
So , when a weevil is discovered then all palms within a 500 metre radius are at risk .This means that all palms in a 500 metre radius must be treated In field experiments it was found that some weevils could fly up to 7 km from where they were released .
The Spanish CNMC , the government´s Competition Commission, which was set up in 2013 , says that partial privatisation of state airport operator AENA was a missed opportunity to reform the Spanish airport system .
Now , via the Public Works Ministry , the government is planning to sell off 49% of AENA to the private sector this autumn .
This could lead to big changes in the Spanish aeronautical sector as it will in all senses be run by a private regulator .
One major issue in Spain is that there are just too many airports .In the Valencia region there is an airport in each province and out of the 47 airports controlled by AENA only 10 show positive results each year .
There is a huge financial burden in running an airport and in most of these there are just not enough passengers to make it viable .Less than half make a profit after taking debt repayments out of the equation .
To make a profit at least 2.5 million passengers must use it every year .Now each airport will be evaluated and if it isn´t making a profit then it will be privatised and hopefully a buyer can be found .Closing them is a hot potato for the government but it might just come to that .
Alicante City was the scene of demonstrations last week by farmers and shepherds who were angry because of their loss of crops due to the drought .They have estimated a loss of 78 million euros collectively .
Vineyards have been the worst hit , followed by sheep and goats .Other crops affected are cereals , almonds , olives , summer fruits , citrus fruits and grapes , which will have a knock on effect on the wine industry .
The Farmer´s Union called the demonstration ans people turned up with dead plants and parched soil samples . They are seeking compensation from the government for their losses .
Rainfall in the Valencia region has been just 35% of what it normally is .As the summer progresses and still no rain , then the situation with foods will also worsen .
Everyone understands that livelihoods are at risk but in other industries , when things go wrong , the government doesn´t automatically bail people out .Also money will be needed to buy in foods from other areas and other countries to make up the shortfall .
The farmers want someone from the government to visit their farms and see for themselves just what has happened .The farmers are seeking the support of the government .
Denia is a town on the Spanish Costa Blanca .It has some lovely beaches but sadly many people view any dried seaweed on a beach as litter and complain about it to the councils .
Recently Denia town council received a torrent of complaints about this issue on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and now they have had to get these mounds of seaweed cleared .
The seaweed is in fact not a seaweed at all but a sea grass called Posidonia which had built up along coves in the Las Rotas area of Denia , over the winter . The reality is that these mounds of dead grass actually protect the coastline from erosion .They also provide a place of safety for many marine creatures .
However , regular users of these beaches over many years have said that this has been the worst year ever and that the council had not been doing its job .Maybe they were hoping that nobody would notice .Now it seems the council has removed 1000 tonnes of the dead grass in just one week .Abnormal sea conditions over the winter and recently have made matters worse .
This particular plant is a good indicator of just how clean the coastal water is as it will not grow in polluted seas .
The coastal village of Portus near Cartagena in Murcia , suffered a huge rockfall recently where the rocks fell onto the promenade and eleven homes had to be evacuated .
One rock measured 6 metres in diameter and fell from the hill behind the village .It was a miracle that the boulder did not hit the houses .The area has now been fenced off while engineers assess the structure of the large hill behind the village .
There is fencing in place which it was hoped would protect the village but now engineers from Murcia University are sceptical about the effectiveness of the fencing and warn that this could happen again .
The residents who are perceived as being most in danger , have been evacuated until it is ascertained whether the hill ( mountain ) is safe or not .As soon as this information is available then people will be permitted to return to their homes .
Portus is in a rocky bay south of the city of Cartagena .
The Spanish Security Services have just issued a series of tips for residents during this holiday period in an attempt to cut down break-ins and similar crimes .
Many burglars use Facebook and Twitter to discover when people are going to be out of their homes , especially when they are gong away on holiday .
So one piece of advice is never to give your daily or holiday plans on social media .You should only upload this sort of information after you have returned . All crimes , apart from burglaries , have been reduced in Spain .
In Alicante , last summer , there was an increase in burglaties of 1.4% .In Murcia it rose by 8 %.One good thing is that Spain has the fourth lowest crime rate in Europe .
The security services suggest the collaboration of neighbours in keeping property safe .Calling the police if you see a suspicious vehicle or person in very important . They also stress not confronting anyone that you are suspicious of .
Recently there was a conference in Teulada on the Spanish Costa Blanca , to discuss the best ways to make the fiesta bull runs , safer .
Well there is one very easy way and that is to get rid of them from the fiesta programmes .Most people dislike them , others tolerate them and only the few enjoy them , usually because they are young and don´t know any better or because they are older and inebriated or maybe just because they are basically cruel people .
There were 38 towns represented at the conference , which does indicate a degree of concern .The representitives were shown how to evacuate an area if someone was seriously injured by a bull .Maybe the bulls , poor things , ought to injure a few more humans and then it might be stopped .
Every year macho men ( usually ) try to show their masculinity by running with the bulls and then someone is gored and everyone is sympathetic .Why they should be ” sympathetic ” is very strange .These people choose to do this and they should put up with the consequences .Sympathy ought to be kept for the terrified animals .
A homeless man has been arrested in Denia on the Spanish Costa Blanca for the alleged setting fire to a forested area on the Las Marinas road .The man had a tent on the plot and he was burning cardboard boxes .The tent went up in flames and then set fire to the surrounding area .
The area was near the sports and leisure centre and about half a kilometre in from the beach . Although the fire was some distance from the closest urbanisation , the thick black smoke did drift in through open apartment windows .About 100 people decided to abandon their homes just in case the fire spread rapidly .
As there was a high wind at the time the emergency services had to deploy water planes and helicopters .One car and a police quadbike did go up in flames as did the awning on a villa .Other people managed to move their cars before they were engulfed .
The fire was brought under control in a couple of hours but the fire services worked all night to put the fire out totally .
The bus station in Denia is in an extremely difficult place for the buses , for the users of the buses and also for the resident pedestrians .The Plaza is too small .
Because it is the height of the summer season the bus company Alsa , has put on more coaches to link to Valencia and Alicante .People come in on the ferries and if they don´t have transport then the coaches are the only way of getting anywhere .There is no train to Valencia although , with difficulty , it is possible to get to Alicante .
The Plaza is generally a busy place but in the summer it is chaotic and pedestrians are in peril for their lives unless they take grat care about where they are walking .
Travellers complain of a lack of signs telling them which bus to catch and they also complain about staff who are unhelpful .
Coaches do not have designated spots and so they park wherever there is a space .That causes the passengers to run from one place to another because of fear of losing their coach.
Alsa has placed up a sign telling people to use the pedestrian crossing but as there is only one then that also becomes congested too .
There are no timetable screens , no signs , no tannoy system and so the poor passengers have no idea where they are going . Local Police have also been criticised for not controlling traffic and for not calming the chaos .
Hopefully , when the new bus station is constructed all will be back to a civilised way of travelling .
” La Tomatina ” takes place in Buñol annually .It is commonly known as the “tomato fight “.Tickets for La Tomatina are already sold out .It seems that people enjoy throwing tomatoes at each other .
This annual event had been going on for decades before it suddenly became world famous , literally attracting visitors from all over the globe .
Until last year there was no charge for participating but now the town council has decided to capitalise on the financial side of things .
The tickets went on sale in April at 10 euros a head .5000 Buñol residents can participate for free but the remaining 17,000 have been snapped up and now they have all been sold .However there are still a few tickets left for tour operators and camping packages .
The largest single contingent will be from Australia which accounts for 12% of all the tickets sold .Then comes the UK , Japan and the US .Only 6% of ticket holders will be Spanish .
When someone rings 112 for emergency help then there is a big problem and the public expects a rapid response to it .Now the Valencia regional government has admitted that there have been delays to emergency calls .
Luis Santamaria Ruiz heads the regional government´s Interior Department and during a visit to Elche he promised to take action following talks with the Social Action councillor in the town .
Most 112 calls now go through the centre in Valencia City complained the Elche councillor .Cuts have been made and consequently the responses have not been as smooth as expected particularly in Alicante and Castellon .
The Valencia operators are not familiar with the other provinces and so ambulances are often misdirected because the areas are just not known well enough .Callers have also complained about the endless questions when they themselves are in a state of panic .
It is not only the general public who has increased the level of complaints but also doctors and nurses too .In Elche recently the life of a 79 year old woman was placed in danger because the ambulance went to the wrong address .
The operator in Valencia insisted that it was the caller who gave the incorrect address .So , procedures will be reviewed and speeded up so that time will not be wasted .This according to the Valencia Interior Councillor .
Pablo Iglesias , the leader of the new Spanish left wing party called Podemos is suing a top PP official for linking him to the terrorist group ETA .It is alleged that he was also linked to Castro and the Venezuelan leader Chavez .
It is alleged that the former president of the Madrid region and head of the Madrid PP party claimed that Iglesias was ” on the side of Castrism , Chavism and ETA ” .Comments based on media reports that Podemos accepted 3.7 million euros from Chavez .
Podemos gained the fourth most votes in the May European elections despite only registering as a party 3 months previously .The party denies accusations of left wing populism but the voters do tend to be young with leftist leanings .
In an initiative to raise money it is claimed that Podemos raised 13,000 euros in just 5 hours to fund legal action showing that the grass root members are very supportive of the case being brought .
The PP are quite happy to see the case being brought as they feel that Podemos will have to show the public where it really stands politically .
The eccentric American millionaire Jason Buzi has set the world alight by arranging treasure hunts at different locations around the world .He gets envelopes stuffed with cash and then hides them in different cities .
Last week it was the turn of Malaga in Southern Spain and the treasure hunters left Malaga with an unexpected bill in the aftermath of a chaotic hunt .
The cash drops are announced via Twitter along with clues for people to discover the treasure .A recent one in Madrid went off without a hitch but in Malaga a local newspaper gave the location of the prize ahead of the hunt .
The organisers had to change the venue at the last minute but this didn´t stop everyone descending on the carpark .This caused great frustration and people damaged areas around the venue leaving the city with a 2000 euro bill for damage .Plants were damaged , gardens , manhole covers were damaged as people searched for the envelopes .A lot of rubbish was left behind too .
For the first time in Spain card carrying members of the PSOE party voted directly for a new party leader recently .He is Pedro Sanchez Castejon .Castejon is a 42 year old graduate in economics and it will be his job to lead the party to victory during the next general election in 2015 .He will also have the job of keeping in check more extreme left wing parties such as the new one , Podemos .
Sanchez is a deputy in Congress and has a PhD in economics . People have described him as ambitious .However he is virtually unknown to the general public . In a poll where 67% voted , he gained almost 49% of the votes .
PSOE suffered poor results in the May elections for European elections and did not do well in the 2011 general election for perceived mismanagement of the economy .
Naturally new leaders promise the moon but whether or not he is able to deliver will be made obvious next May .He says that he wants to change the PSOE in order to change Spain .Three people stood for the post and Sanchez gained a majority in 12 of the 17 regions .
When many people go on holiday to Spain they don´t have family to collect them from the airport to drive them to their holiday destination they either have to resort to public transport such as a bus or a train or splash out on a taxi .Now that is something that can really set the budget back a few euros .
Since the app appeared which enables people to name and shame those countries which charge the most for taxis at airports , it will be of no surprise to many to hear that Spain is one of the top countries on the list . Spanish taxi drivers even want to ban family airport runs as well as car sharing .
Top of the pile is New Zealand and Australia , followed by London as the most expensive city in Europe .A taxi ride into London which is 29 km will cost 54 ponds sterling .
Madrid is in 9th place followed by Barcelona in 17th .However Russia is the country which seperates Spain from the very expensive UK . A taxi from El Altet airport in Alicante to Torrevieja will be 47 euros and to Benidorm from 64 to 76 euros . Before entering the car always check the price to your destination and always check about any extra and hidden costs such as those for baggage .
People need to be more savvy about using taxis to their coastal holiday destinations as taxi drivers will usually ” milk ” the situation to the extreme if the client is ignorant about where he is going and they will take the longest route .