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News from Spain

News from spain presented by Megafon (www.megafon.net), non-priority with the latest news at the top.

06.06.2013 Nearly 3,000 schoolchildren in Barcelona are malnourished
The prevalence of malnourished children is a reality in Catalan schools, and the government is now preparing a plan to deal with the most pressing issues. Last December the City council of Barcelona sent a form to 500 public and private schools in the city to find out the extent of the problem. It was found that 2865 children suffered from poor diet while teachers are that during the last two years there have been serious cases where children have fainted at school as a result of malnutrition and been brought to hospital by ambulance.

05.30.2013 Public hospitals are forcing tourists to pay for free hospitalization
The number of complaints against Spanish hospitals has increased. The reason is that municipal hospitals are forcing tourists to pay for doctor visits, although EU citizens are entitled to free treatment. According to reports the hospitals are often providing misinformation, arguing that the European card is not valid if the patient has a travel insurance. Brussels has now decided to send a formal letter and if Spain within two months does not take action, the case could end up in the court in Luxembourg.

05.28.2013 The government wants to expropriate empty homes in Spain
Regional authorities in Andalusia and the Canary Islands now wants to confiscate bank repossesions and other empty properties in Spain to provide homeless families shelter for a maximum period of three years. The proposal has met strong resistance from the EU, investors and banks who argue that such intervention in the private ownership may cost Spain the 41 billion euro the EU gave to Spain in the form of a rescue package.



05.22.2013 800 new jobs in Valencia
Ford is now hiring 800 new people at its factory in Almussafes just outside Valencia. The factory will manufacture the new model of the Ford Transit Connect. 57 workers are already in place and production is scheduled to start during the summer.

05.19.2013 The Spanish region of Asturias cuts out the concept of Christmas and Easter holidays
The reason for this decision is said to be of a religious nature and the coming holidays will from now on be known as "the first and second term holidays." Religious organizations have protested and believe that the holidays will continue to be referred to as Christmas and Easter while the idea has been welcomed by others who believe that the religious influence that the church has in the school must be limited and that the school calendar is for all students - believers and non-believers.

05.18.2013 Orihuela Costa becomes tourist resort
Orihuela Costa has been named tourist resort and thus stores and malls may stay open on Sundays and public holidays if the municipality decides so. The big shopping center Zenia Boulevard has long wanted to have open on Sundays, which can give a boost to sales.

05.05.2013 Tax Money disappeared from account
A judge investigating the 300,000 of taxpayers' money that has disappeared from one of the government's bank accounts. The allegations are related to an account belonging to Almeria delegation to the environment, and should have happened between March 2009 and November last year, writes the Euro Weekly News. The current leader of the group, Jose Manuel Ortiz Bono, has given evidence to the judge Alejandra Dodero, which will determine whether there has been misconduct in connection with the financial statements.



27.09.2012 Referendum on independence of Catalonia
Catalonia's president announces referendum after the government said no to the Catalan autonomy. The economic turmoil in Spain has gotten Catalonia to resume discussion of independence from Spain. Catalonia is the most important economical region in Spain accounts for 25% of Spain's GDP and believe they pay too much taxes to the rest of Spain. It is believed that much of the population of Catalonia will vote no to secession because Catalonia is dependent on immigration from Andalucia and they are also dependent on the Spanish market to sell their goods and services.

26.09.2012 Large demonstrations in Madrid against new budgets
Thousands of people protested ahead of the new state budget that will be presented on Thursday. The budget will include new cuts. Late tuesday evening the police had to use rubber bullets to break up the crowds.

03.09.2012 Andalucia asks for help
Andalucia ask for 1 billion Euro from the governmental emergency fund. Andalucia, which includes the tourist machine Costa del Sol, has the highest unemployment rate in Spain, 33 percent. Among young people the unemployment rate is 50%. Previously Valencia, Murcia and Catalonia has asked for help from this fund, and now more than 50% of the 18 billion Euro emergency fund has been used.

31.08.2012 Wildfire on Costa del Sol
A powerful forest fire is raging large areas ob the Costa del Sol and several residential areas and villages have been evacuated. Almost every year, Spain is affected by fires during the summer months. Several months without rain means that vegetation is highly flammable and the government urges extreme caution with flames and sparks.

28.08.2012 Catalonia seeks assistance from Spanish crisis fund
This summer the Spanish government created a national crisis fund of 18 billion Euro to help the regions get through the financial crisis. Valencia and Murcia have already stated that they will need assistance from the fund and today Barcelona has stated that they will need 5 billion Euro from the fund. The money will be used to pay debt due this autumn. Catalonia, which includes Barcelona, is the region in Spain with the largest industrial production. At the same time Catalonia is the region with the largest debt, with a total of 42 billion Euro.

23.08.2012 New tourist record in Spain
In july 7,7 million tourists visited Spain. This is 328.000 more than in july 2011. German tourists accounted for the largest increase. 10 percent of Spain's GDP comes from tourism.

14.08.2012 Spanish IVA to be increased again
The Spanish government has been forced to reduce the government budget deficit. One of the measures is to increase the VAT. The VAT has already increased once after the financial crisis hit Spain in 2008. Meanwhile, the golf sector has been told that they no longer fall under the rule of reduced VAT like the rest of the tourist industry. This causes an increased VAT for the golf sector with a total of 13%. The change of conditions has made the industry to protest loudly. In Andalucia alone the golf industry has a total revenue of 900 million euros.

03.06.2012 Large losses in Bankia
The auditing firm Deloitte has refused to approve the accounts of Bankia, because they believe that the bank's estimated value of their property portfolio is overvalued. BFA Group, which owns Bankia, have had to adjust its annual financial results and where the BFA Group had previously published figures that showed a profit for 2011 of 41 million Euro, the books now show a deficit of 3.3 billion Euros - the largest deficit in Spain banking industry ever.

30.01.2012 Spanair is bankrupt
The board of Ryanair has claimed the company bankrupt, and all flights have been stopped. SAS owns 10.9 percent of the company is going to implement write-downs of 212 million Euro. Spanair's financial disability was further exacerbated in 2008 after the plane crash in which 154 people lost their lives. The failure is partly because the Spanish market is an economic crisis that has affected Spanair and and partly because the competition in Spain is one of the toughest in Europe.

18.01.2012 Spain ranked as cheapest holiday destination in Europe
"The Post Office" who compares prices in 40 popular holiday destinations all over the world now have ranked Spain as the cheapest place in Europe to spend your holiday in 2012. Spain is on the 2nd place on the list only beaten by Sri Lanka. Thus Spain passes Portugal which traditionallly has been the cheapest holiday destination in Europe. Just below Spain is the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. Among destionations outside of Europe are Thailand at the 8th position, 22% more expensive than Spain, while Turkey is on the 17th position where it is 59% more expensive to spend your holiday than in Spain. Due to the fact that the Pound has had a 6,4 per cent rise in the value against the Euro in the past three months, it is expected that many britons will spend their holidays in Spain in 2012.

20.10.2011 Spain changes the law on temporary employment
The law that has been restricting the use of temporary employment over many years is now falling. The law was introduced in 2006 by Zapatero, and permitted an employer to sign a maximum of 4 temporary contracts with an employee. After this the employee had to quit or he was to get an unlimited contract. Now this law is set aside for a two years evaluation period. Spanish labouring organizations have protested powerfully against this change, while other groups have pointed out that it is better with a temporary employment than no employment at all.

14.06.2011 Fuengirola launches free wifi-zones
Fuengirola has now launched many wifi-zones in different places where people usually gather. These are free to use, and many of these are associated to popular plazas. In addition several of the beaches along Costa Del Sol now have free wifi-zones available to their guests.

16.03.2010 The new flight terminal in Malaga opens
On March 16th the new flight terminal in Malaga Airport, T3, was opened. This makes Malaga Airport the 4th largest airport in Spain. It is expected that over 35 million passengers will be using the airport every year, giving 330.000 workplaces directly or indirectly connected to the airport services.

15.06.2009 The beaches in Fuengirola gets the Blue Flag
The international designation ”Blue Flag” has been awarded to all of the beaches in Fuengirola. The designation is awarded to beaches that meet certain criteria for purity, availability and maintenance, and is awarded only to beaches of very high quality. All of the 9 beaches was awarded with this honorary designation.

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