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Live News From Spain As It Happens

Keep up to date with all the latest news from Spain as it happens. The blog will be updated constantly throughout the day bringing you all the latest stories as they break.

Canary Islands: Top value-for-money destination with an extended summer
16 September 2019

HOME to idyllic beaches, volcanoes, caves and some of the best weather in the country, the Canary Islands is also the best value-for-money destination in Spain, according to recent research.

And best of all, while the Mediterranean, Balearic Islands and south coast are now sliding towards a mild autumn – great weather for being outside, but not so much for topping up your tan or swimming in the sea – summer in the Canaries carries on longer.

Its climate is closer to that of central or southern Morocco, given that the region is geographically closer to the African continent – only 100 kilometres by sea from its coast – than to mainland Spain. This has long made the Canaries a popular autumn or spring destination for sunseekers, and even in winter, it is pleasant enough to enjoy its outdoor attractions without needing extra layers.

Lanzarote is the most economical destination in the region, according to the portal Vacaciones-España.es – hiring a car for a week comes in cheapest at €126, although outside of high season you can probably get even better deals, since motor rental firms have to pay for storage in winter if their vehicles are not let out, so they are only concerned with covering their costs.

Read more at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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Debate over future of Mazarrón's 2,700-year-old boat
16 September 2019

HISTORIANS are trying to decide what to do with a Phoenician boat found off the coast of Mazarrón (Murcia) and have opted to leave it on the sea bed for the moment.

Dating back to the seventh century BC, the craft – baptised the Mazarrón II – was discovered in 1994 and has remained there since, but a recent inspection by expert marine archaeologist divers from the National Underwater Archaeology Museum (ARWVA) has revealed it is in far better condition than they expected.

After a quarter of a century under the sea since its discovery, heritage pundits feared it would be falling into ruin by now, but were pleasantly surprised at how it had not deteriorated greatly in the last two-and-a-half decades.

Director-general of fine arts for the Scientific Commission for Monitoring the National Underwater Heritage Protection Plan – part of the central government's culture ministry – Román Fernández-Baca Casares says a full analysis will be carried out before deciding whether it will be safe to bring the 2,700-year-old vessel to the surface, or whether it should be left where it is to prevent its falling apart.

“We need to ensure the best possible conservation process by increasing the number of risk analyses carried out, which will show us the way ahead,” Fernández-Baca says.

“This, of course, does not rule out extracting the boat.”

Read more at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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Classmates march for Chloe: Marbella schoolgirl with rare disease is only known case in Spain
13 September 2019

PUPILS at a Costa del Sol school are taking part in a sponsored hike in support of their classmate Chloe, who suffers an extremely rare neurodegenerative disease – and is thought to be the only case in Spain.

The 11-year-old, who attends the Marbella Montessori School, is one of just 12 known patients in the world with a condition caused by a mutation of the gene VPS13D – an illness so recently discovered that it does not even have a name yet.

Chloe (pictured) suffers severe muscular pain, especially in her back, hips and legs, and daily cramps, as well as chronic fatigue and having difficulty walking, speaking and swallowing – the latter of which has put her life in danger numerous times.

She has often gone through 'night terrors', although these are currently less frequent, and has attention deficit disorder (ADD) and a visual-perceptive disorder which makes learning and retaining information difficult for her.

Investigation shows that the effects of the VPS13D gene mutation are such that 'the body does not produce enough energy to feed the nervous and muscular system', affecting their 'normal development' and leading to the muscles gradually atrophying irreversibly, according to Dr Matilla and his team at the Germán Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP) in Barcelona.

Read more at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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Sánchez says 'no more Brexit concessions' in EU-UK deal talks
13 September 2019

CARETAKER president of Spain Pedro Sánchez says he does not believe there is room for any further negotiations on a Brexit deal, and has urged Spanish companies to start documenting where and how they would be affected in the event of a no-deal scenario.

“There's no room for further concessions,” Sánchez said last night (Wednesday).

“We cannot keep renegotiating what has already been negotiated.”

Sánchez lamented what he calls the 'complete political blockage' and 'constitutional crisis' in British Parliament and criticised prime minister Boris Johnson for 'not respecting the agreement already reached'.

“Spain is as prepared as it can be for the increasingly likely possibility of a hard Brexit,” Sánchez told Congress yesterday.

“Our government has worked hard to cover any possible scenario.”

He urged all affected citizens – Brits who live or own second homes in Spain, British holidaymakers, and Spaniards living in the UK – as well as all financial, business and institutional parties who could be affected by Brexit to 'remain calm', but also admits that 'everyone needs to be honest and realistic' and that the contingency measures adopted 'can only mitigate the consequences', but 'cannot eliminate them altogether'.

“Only a small part of those consequences are within the European Union's control – the rest depends upon whatever decisions the UK government and Parliament take.

“To this end, everyone likely to be affected needs to start evaluating how far they could be impacted by a no-deal Brexit and try to take whatever steps they can to minimise that impact.”

Read mroe at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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Success for new My112 App: Lost hiker found in dense forest
11 September 2019

A NEW mobile phone App linking users to the 112 emergency hotline has turned out to be highly effective – as a recent rescue on the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrims' route has shown.

Firefighters from the Auritz (Burguete) station in the land-locked northern region of Navarra located a lost hiker who, exhausted from going round in circles, was stuck in a very hard to reach forest area near the village of Ibañeta.

But as he had downloaded the App 'My112', emergency services were able to trace his exact location.

They were contacted by SOS Navarra at around 16.22 yesterday (Monday) to say that a walker on the hugely-popular thousand-year-old route had lost his way on the border stage between St-Jean-de-Pie de Port-Orreaga, southern France, and Roncesvalles in Navarra.

The 'pilgrim', from Zaragoza (Aragón), said he had fallen over a few times and twisted his ankle, but by hitting the 'Emergency' icon on My112, the exact coordinates of where he was based were flagged up.

Read more at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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Valencia picked as World Design Capital 2022
11 September 2019

VALENCIA has been chosen as World Design Capital 2022, taking over from Lille, France and joining former capitals Helsinki, México DF, Taipei and Seoul.

It has beaten the Indian metropolis of Bangalore which, by the final judging round, was Valencia's only remaining rival.

Elected by the World Design Organisation (WDO), Spain's third-largest city won on the basis of its long history of innovative projects, starting way back in 1957 after the River Turia was diverted outside the main hub following the 'Great Flood' and the original watercourse was turned into a botanical garden.

Secretary of the WDO Bertrand Dérôme praises the 'precision, rigour and professionalism' of Valencia's candidature as well as the 'consistency, strength and maturity' of its design industry, which he witnessed during a two-day trip there along with a panel of judges.

Private initiatives for restoring historical heritage and turning it into useful public features – an example being the Carme Convent – were among the aspects which helped win Valencia the honour.

Read more at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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Storms to hit Mediterranean Spain mid-week
10 September 2019

ANOTHER depression is on its way across mainland Spain, bringing torrential rain to the east coast over Tuesday and Wednesday.

The weather phenomenon known as a DANA (Isolated Depression at High Levels) entered the country via the Cantabrian Sea in the north today (Monday) and is expected to cause downpours in Catalunya, the Comunidad Valenciana and the Balearic Islands mid-week.

State meteorological agency AEMET forecasts 'heavy rainfall, occasionally very heavy, intense winds and choppy seas, for several days' along the Mediterranean seaboard.

It is not expected to have a huge impact on the rest of Spain, but will start with storms in Catalunya tomorrow, the Comunidad Valenciana on Wednesday, and the Balearic Islands over late Wednesday and Thursday, but is likely to peter out before reaching the south and south-east, heading instead towards north Africa.

Read more at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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Pink Floyd's official exhibition's in Madrid, and this could be your last chance to catch it
08 September 2019

ROCK fans, take note: The official Pink Floyd exhibition is in Madrid until October 27, having been extended by popular request.

Taking over the capital's huge IFEMA trade fair centre – which is easy to reach by metro or motorway – the Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains covers the full history of the British band, from its origins as a bunch of architecture students at London Polytechnic in 1965 through its signing up with EMI Records, its catapaulting to international fame in the late '60s and early '70s, the Waters-led and Gilmore-led eras, and reunions in the 21st century.

In it, you'll find the band's instruments – including the Azimuth Coordinator and the Binson Echorec Baby effects unit – props from its The Wall tour, such as the masks worn by the 'surrogate band', a penned letter from Syd Barrett to girlfriend Jenny Spires, his bike, and pages from Nick Mason's 1968 diary.

Read more at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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Where did Spanish celebrities spend their summer holidays?
08 September 2019

THEY'RE rich, famous and lead the high life when they're off duty from their punishing, time-consuming schedules and manage to escape the limelight for a couple of weeks. So you'd expect they'd head for the most exotic – and private - locations on earth: the Seychelles, the Maldives, the Caribbean...

But no – although many opted for Asia or other destinations in Europe, some Spanish celebrities took a staycation. Household names with the budget to go anywhere on the planet chose parts of the country where you may have been or might even live, or which could well be on your Spain holiday wish list and can be visited for very little money.

And if they're good enough for the stars of the big and small screen, they're certainly good enough for us.

 

Paula Echevarría and Miguel Torres

Paula, 42, who has starred regularly in TV films and serials – mostly thrillers and crime dramas – and her retired footballer partner Miguel Torres Gómez, 33, who has played for Real Madrid, Getafe, Olimpiacos and Málaga, took a trip to the Amalfi coast in south-western Italy, but then visited the village of Candás, part of the wider Carreño area of the northern region of Asturias, where Paula comes from (first photograph, left).

Not content with two holidays, the couple, who have been together for a year, headed to Marbella in mid-August – one of their regular, and usually annual, summer destinations – from which Paula Instagrammed a photo of herself on the beach

Read mroe at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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Spain's Brexit Commission to meet weekly to discuss strategy
08 September 2019

SPAIN'S government is working hard to ensure the country, its British nationals and its citizens in the UK will suffer as few ill-effects as possible after Brexit, and especially in the event of a no-deal scenario – which is technically still possible, even though British Parliament intends to push through a law ruling this out.

President Pedro Sánchez had already enacted a law last November which came into force in March this year ahead of what would have been the Brexit deadline – midnight western European time on March 29, later moved to April 12 – to cover all possible contingencies, including protecting the rights of Brits residing in Spain to continue living and working in the country and accessing the national health system.

Sánchez's law also created terms which would allow airlines, ships and other forms of transport to continue entering and leaving Spain from the UK, and plans to help Spanish businesses based in Britain and those in Spain who export to or otherwise trade with the UK.

This week, the caretaking president has announced a Conference for Issues Relating to the European Union (CARUE), and confirmed it during the meeting today (Thursday) of the Interministerial Brexit Commission.

After today's discussion, Sánchez is confident Spain is 'prepared for dealing with the negative consequences of a no-deal Brexit', but wants to strengthen links between regional governments and the State in light of the possibility of the UK's leaving the European Union on October 31 without having first sealed an agreement with the remaining 27 member States.

Regional governments will each have their own concerns and potential solutions, based upon their connections, if any, with the UK, or the repercussions of a hard Brexit on them that effects felt nationwide may cause.

Read more at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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