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Mercadona withdraw cat & dog feed from sale
25 February 2012

Please read in conjunction with my previous posting about this.

Source: Simplynetworking 

 



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Spanish supermarket dog food link to expat pet deaths
25 February 2012

DOG owners have launched an awareness campaign after several pets have had to be put down after suffering kidney failure allegedly linked to a brand of Mercadona dog food.

A spokesman for Spain’s largest supermarket chain confirmed to the Olive Press that two types of its own brand Compy pet food had been withdrawn from the shelves today (Friday) around the Almeria area.

The group made the move, ‘as a precaution’, after receiving at least six complaints from customers. The products are now being analysed by its technicians to see if there is a connection between the food and dogs suffering kidney failure.

John Beachcomber, who runs the Beachcomber bar in Mojacar with his son, launched a Facebook page to warn owners after his friend’s beloved Labrador-cross Goldie had to be put on a drip five hours a day.

He insisted his pet, along with many others, had been eating the supermarket own brand food Compy, from his local Mercadona.

He told the Olive Press: “My friend told me about Goldie who is quite poorly at the moment and had to be on a trip after suffering kidney failure.

“They noticed after she was drinking excessive amounts of water and peeing a lot.

“In addition a Turre vet has confirmed they are dealing with four dogs, all with kidney problems and my own vet is also dealing with other dogs having the same problems.

“The common factor is they all have the same make of dog food in their diet.”

The dog food – which comes in chunks of beef or as ‘a pate’ – recently switched from tins to cartons.

“Some owners like me have seen the problem since the food changed from being in a tin to a carton,” added Beachcomber.

“I don’t want to be scaremongering but what worries me is that if it is not the food but the carton that is to blame them what else is the carton used for. We need answers.”

The issue, which appears to be localised in Mojacar and the surrounding Almeria Costa, is now being widely discussed on internet forums.

One poster, ‘Nicki’ said: “I gave my dog this food when it changed to cartons. One week after moving to the UK my dog was put down with kidney failure; I am devastated that I could have killed my dog because of feeding him this food.”

Meanwhile JessicaH added: “My wonderful healthy young German shepherd became ill overnight and died last week and she had been eating this food. Her untimely death now makes sense.

“Obviously I cannot prove a connection now but IF true then the sooner Mercadona are aware of the potential dangers the better.”

The Mercadona spokesman Jorge Romero insisted: “At this stage we have only removed the product as a precaution.

“We have received various calls, six complaints, and it has been removed from shops in Albox, Garrucha and Mojacar. This is not all over Andalucia.

“Technicians from our suppliers are currently analysing the products in their laboratories. They are also talking to these clients and have issued a helpline 900500103 for anyone worried. It will be in both English and Spanish.

“We will let you know as soon as we have any more news.”

If your pet has been affected please contact Wendy on 689646049 or email wendy@theolivepress.es.

The forum can be found at http://www.arboleas.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=59420.msg314814

Source: Olive Press

It's being discussed HERE on this forum in the Torrevieja area. Many dogs are affected!   

Dog AND CAT food is being removed in the Costa Blanca too, click on the link to the Torrevieja forum.



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Dream home horror at Bosque del Lomas III (Villa Martin, near Torrevieja) bought from Tecnologia Urbanistica.
23 February 2012

IMAGINE BUYING your dream home in the sun and paying for it in full only to have it re-mortgaged by a rogue builder before being repossessed? This nightmare scenario is a reality for more than a dozen homeowners who bought properties on Bosque del Lomas III from Tecnologia Urbanistica.

RTN met with Iwan and Jill Williams last week, who arrived for a half term break in the sun to be greeted with a two foot high pile of official documents on their doorstep; papers from the Orihuela Judicial Court stating their property was to be repossessed by the CAM bank as part of their lawsuit to reclaim €4,885,000 in debt from the owner of the now defunct property developers.

According to the document, Iwan and Jill’s house had been remortgaged by the owner of the company for €77,000 - accumulated to €132,883 with interest that is increasing daily.

POWER OF ATTORNEY
61 other properties in the community 15 of which were paid for in full were ‘remortgaged’ by the rogue developer. Iwan explained: “We bought the house in 2004 for €150,000 through the estate agents, Atlas. They recommended Aroca solicitors and we gave them power of attorney to deal with the purchase.”

The couple then moved into the property and set about on a four year battle to get their deeds from the developer. Every time they came over on holiday, they would enquire with the solicitor as to where the deeds were and every time they were fobbed off.  So they found new solicitors that unfortunately turned out to be best friends with the solicitors of the property developer - so nothing was done.

JEOPARDY
The deeds were used by Emilio, the owner of Tecnologia Urbanistica, to remortgage the properties to enable him to buy more land to develop.  When the property boom went bust he couldn’t afford to repay these mortgages. He then conveniently disappeared to Brazil.  As CAM, purchased by Banco Sabadell for €1, couldn’t recover their €4.8 million plus interest from Tecnologia, they filed a lawsuit to repossess the properties mortgaged; of which Iwan and Jill’s is one.

Meanwhile, the couple’s new solicitor advised them to remove their belongings from the property; she suspects the house will have been taken by the time they return for their summer holidays.

And as if that is not bad enough, Iwan said: “House prices here are rock bottom so even if they sell they will only get 60,000€ maximum - so what happens to the rest of the debt? They could still come after the remainder and our UK home would also be in jeopardy.”

RTN has contacted all the other homeowners listed on the court documents and will be liaising with them to help find a solution to this scandalous situation.
 

***STOP PRESS***
RTN received an email from Iwan as it went to press to say that the Judge in Orihuela has informed his solicitor that on 21st June, 32 houses from the 61 affected on the urbanisation are going to be auctioned and one of them is Iwan’s property.


Source: Round Town News

 



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Auriga Crown, its official THEY HAVE GONE BUST
21 February 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / PR URGENT

One of the largest independent car hire companies in Spain has recently announced that they will cease trading.

AurigaCrown have been operating under administration for around two years, however, due to increasing costs and lower revenue, it has been decided that they will cease trading. As a result the availability of hire cars across mainland Spain will plummet. The loss of 15,000 vehicles in the market will cause prices to rise significantly in the coming months according to Economy Car Hire, one of the UK’s leading car hire brokers.

In both 2009 and 2010 there were availability issues due to the economic situation in Spain, making it difficult for car hire companies to raise finance in order to equip their fleets. 2012 is in danger of being even worse due to the fall in the number of cars.

Economy Car Hire warns customers that they must book early if they want to secure a hire car this summer. The costs of car hire will also rise, meaning that customers may end up paying more than double if they leave booking until the last minute, if there are any vehicles left at all.

“It is clear that the recent raft of exceptionally low prices has taken its toll on the car hire companies of Spain” says Rory Sexton, Managing Director of Economy Car Hire. “There is no doubt that following the failing of one company, the rest will increase their prices. The message is clear, book in advance.”
 
If you have already booked your holiday for the summer, Economy Car Hire advises that you book your hire car now. This way, you can choose the most suitable vehicle for your stay and not be left with something hugely inappropriate, or worse still, nothing at all.

It is not yet known exactly when AurigaCrown will cease trading, however, as a precaution Economy Car Hire have already moved affected bookings to an alternative provider. Customers who have a car hire booking with AurigaCrown made through another broker or agent are advised to make alternative arrangements.
 
Another source: http://www.informacion-empresas.com/Empresa_AURIGA.html



 



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Non residents renta tax links for paying 2011's return by Dec 31st 2012 if you do it yourself
14 February 2012

210 form shown in English to show you what the form requires.
 
 
210 form shown in Spanish, it is this form that needs filling in.
 
 
English instructions
 
 
I hope the above helps.
 
UPDATED: YOU NEED TO COPY THEN PASTE EACH LINK INTO YOUR BROWSER THEN IT WORKS. 
IF YOU SEE A MESSAGE SAYING THE WEBSITE'S CERTIFICATE CANNOT BE VERIFIED DO YOU WANT TO PROCEED, CLICK 'YES' & IT'LL SHOW YOU THE PAGE.


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Crackdown on foreign registered cars
09 February 2012

Source: RTN

ACCORDING TO the Chief of the Guardia Civil, those foreign residents that flout the law by driving unregistered, uninsured and untaxed foreign registered cars should be stopped. The statement came after it was announced that a crackdown on foreign registered vehicles, which started late last year in the Costa del Sol, is to be extended nationwide.

“They don’t pay the fines for parking too long in restricted parking zones, or fines for speeding,” said the Chief, “they pay no road tax and their vehicles are often uninsured and not ITV tested. This is wrong and it must be stopped.” According to a press release issued to RTN, foreign residents who drive their cars on the roads of Spain, enjoy immunity to prosecution as a result of their vehicle’s number plate. It said: “Authorities often fail to take action because of the difficulties in verifying their address in order to notify them of such penalties.”

The State Tax Agency (AEAT) has, in conjunction with the police authorities, decided to put an end to this situation and so have begun the campaign to tighten the net on foreigners who live permanently or part-time in Spain but have not registered their vehicles here or paid the relevant taxes on them.

OBLIGATION

The initiative, which started in November in Malaga, is the result of an EU directive which establishes that people are obliged to comply with the tax obligations of the country in which their vehicle is being used. Basically, the vehicle is making use of the country’s infrastructure and as a result it produces environmental contamination, so therefore tax must be paid to that country.

Since November, the Guardia Civil has identified about two hundred drivers in the Malaga province whose cars bear foreign plates and who officers have been able to prove are living there permanently. More than half are British, followed by Germans and French. The two hundred foreigners that have been caught have been ordered by the Guardia Civil to put their vehicles in order within five days.

FINES

At the same time, the Hacienda tax authority has begun proceedings against the offending drivers. If they comply and make their vehicles legal within a given period, the case is filed and no further action is taken, but if they don't, the police can seize the car and hand it over to the tax authorities. And the owners of the vehicles will also then be reported for driving without having obtained the relevant authorisation which can result in a fine of €450.

If the offender fails to register the car with the tax man, pay the registration fee, put it on Spanish plates and through the ITV test as well as pay the fine, they could face further fines of between three and four thousand Euros.



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Flights cancelled as Heathrow expects up to 15cm of snow tomorrow
04 February 2012

Around a third of Sunday's flights from Heathrow have been cancelled amid forecasts of up to 15cm of snow, reduced visibility and the possibility of freezing fog at the west London airport.

Sources: C4 and Daily Mail



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Legionnaires’ deaths Updated: IT WAS THE DIAMANTE BEACH HOTEL, CALPE.
02 February 2012

TWO BRITISH tourists died in a Costa Blanca hospital this week after an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease struck the resort of Calpe.

A total of six guests, including one Spanish national, all aged in their seventies and eighties were taken to the Benidorm Clinic last month after falling ill at a hotel in the town. The two pensioners lost their lives on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The five British tourists were holidaying with Saga. It is understood another five customers have developed the disease after returning home to the UK following breaks in Spain.

Legionnaires’ disease is contracted by inhaling tiny infected droplets of water in the air. The incubation period is 10 to 12 days and health chiefs warn further cases could occur.

But the source of the outbreak remains a mystery. Scientists from the Spanish Health Authority and an expert from Saga have inspected the hotel but were unable to find traces of the bacteria.

DEATHS

A spokesman for the British Consulate in Alicante confirmed the two deaths of two British nationals and said consular assistance was being given to those affected and their families.

Paul Green, a spokesman for Saga Holidays, said the company was informed on January 14th a guest at a hotel in Calpe had fallen ill with a form of pneumonia.

“Five of our clients were taken to hospital for treatment although one was discharged after being successfully treated with antibiotics,” he said.

“When you contract Legionnaires’ you first develop a ‘flu-type illness and all our customers in the hotel were asked whether they had such symptoms and that process revealed the five who needed treatment.

“We also contacted customers who have returned to the UK over the previous weeks and that revealed another five.”

CARE

Saga holidaymakers at the hotel were transferred to alternative accommodation and the company also sent out additional staff to help care for guests in the crisis.

“It is vital for us at Saga that we do the right thing as quickly as possible and we quickly provided support for customers and the families of those taken ill.”

Mr Green said Saga’s own expert recommended changes to some of the hotel’s plumbing – while the Spanish authorities have cleaned the whole water system.

“Even though the hotel has been given a clean bill of health, we will not use it for our customers until the work is completed and it has been tested again for the bacteria.”

News of the outbreak only became public this week after a Department of Health warning – part of a well-oiled Europe wide protocol for notifying an outbreak of Legionnaires’ – was sent by a UK doctor to a friend who runs a local website.

TRUST

The letter, dated 19th January, was circulated to GPs, emergency departments, consultants in communicable diseases, and the medical directors of NHS trusts.

Written by Helen Shirley-Quirk, the interim director of health protection, it said “This alert is to advise you of a possible outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease associated with a hotel in Calpe, Costa Blanca, Spain.

“The HPA has received notifications of four confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease and a probable fifth case associated with a hotel in this area.”

She also said: “Clinicians are asked to consider Legionnaires disease as a possible diagnosis in patients who may present with flu-like symptoms and/or lower respiratory tract symptoms and who have returned from Calpe in the last two weeks.”

RTN has taken an editorial decision not to name the hotel involved at this stage.

Source: RTN
 

See http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/hss-md-3-2012.pdf

UPDATED 2nd February. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/feb/03/three-britons-die-legionnaires-spain?newsfeed=true

IT WAS THE DIAMANTE BEACH HOTEL, CALPE.

 



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