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Almanzora motorway money goes to Jaén

The Junta de Andalucía had promised that works on the Almanzora motorway through Albox would restart by Easter.

Well, as ideal newspaper points out today, we’re past Easter and still no sign of any workers. Nor has the Ministry responded to questions on timescales.

However, a motorway in a similar situation, called the autovía del olivar in Jaén, on which works stopped two years ago, today saw the return of workers, after the EU stumped up €50 million to finish the motorway. Continue reading

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Barça Hash Brownies and Magic Mushrooms cause a fuss

A master baker has been arrested in Alicante for creating and selling hash brownies for Barcelona FC fans.

The master turronero would use marijuana, magic mushrooms and other such drugs to create sweet biscuits in the shape of the football clubs logo, before selling them via his network of friends and contacts.

He was part of a larger gang of nine individuals who were running a drug lab in Alicante, selling such items as well as cocaine and speed through the province and Valencia.

Far be it from me to say that the motive for the arrest was more for the trademark infringement than for the drug pushing….. but rumour has it he was done on drug offenses, public health violations and copyright infringement.

Revenge, Madam, was sweet

Are Brits fleeing Spain or flooding in? Depends who you ask!

Two very contrasting stories about Almería house sales appear today in the British vs Spanish press.

The Telegraph runs a piece on “End to Mediterranean dream for 90,000 Britons who left Spain last year  – British expatriates are deserting Spain in droves, according to new figures from Spain’s national statistics institute “, together with some interesting interviews from ex-expats from Arboleas, and a bit from Maura Hillen of AUAN.

It’s prompted by the news that Spain lost almost 600,000 residents in 2013, mainly due to the return of immigrants to their home countries. Some 90,000 Brits returned to Blighty last year.

Read it here.

Turn to La Voz de Almería which has an interesting piece on how the Brits are flooding into Almería, and how this will be the best year for ages as regards home sales.

Los extranjeros vuelven otra vez a comprar casas en la provincia - Las cifras, en este caso, son más contundentes que las sensaciones shouts La Voz (The foreigners return again to buy homes in the province – the data, in this case, speak louder than feelings).

La Voz claims that TINSA, the property sale auditor, says 2013 provincial sales to guiris have gone up 38.7% over last year, although dropped a massive 73% since 2006.

Let’s not get carried away: only 6.887 homes were sold in the province in 2013, of which 1.318 where to guiris. 200 of these were destined to be used as “second homes” and the rest as principle residencies.

Read it here.

Which do we believe?

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Hundreds flee homes ahead of Valencia forest fire

A huge blaze in forests around Valencia have forced hundreds of people to flee their homes overnight.

Seven care homes for the elderly in Torrent were evacuated by emergency services overnight as they were unable to guarantee their safety ahead of the blaze, along with dozens of individual homes in the area. An entire urbanisation, “Santa Domingo” in nearby Chiva was emptied overnight by police.

Fire on the outskirts

Two people were rescued by firefighters after being overcome by the thick smoke.

The Red Cross supplied 300 emergency beds, although 60 of the most vulnerable OAP’s were taken in by another care centre nearby.

Continue reading

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La Voz de Almería is on this Saturday’s ONCE ticket

La Voz de Almería, our local newspaper, is celebrating its 75th anniversary, and has been honoured by appearing on this Saturday’s ONCE lottery ticket.

ONCE, for those of you who don’t know, is the Spanish Org for the Blind, and raises money via a national lottery. Visually impaired people sell the tickets, receiving a salary for doing so, and the money raised goes towards aid programmes across the country.

Their lottery ticket always features a nationally important event, monument or place, and this week Almería will be promoted across the nation.

If you win this Saturday’s ONCE, you’ll receive €300,000 in cash and a “salary” of €5,000 a month for the next 20 years. (Less taxes of course).

Four second prizes are €2,000 a month during 10 years.

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Let’s build out way out of recession, suggests the Junta de Andalucia

Susana Diaz, La Presidenta of Andalucia, has revealed her latest get rich quick scheme for getting Andalucia out of the recession – we’re going to build our way out!

Hang on, I’m getting a sense of dejá vù here….

She’s unveiled a package of legal changes aimed at speeding up the planning process in order to allow the construction sector to flourish, in her own words.

In my own words, it looks as if she’s just undone a number of changes put in place after the urban abuse cases of the last decade, and beefed up a few government departments. The main changes are for the way cities change their zoning plans. Continue reading

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5000 year old cave painting destroyed in Jaen

“Los Escolares” is a small cave, so called because it was discovered in 1973 by a bunch of schoolkids on an outing.

The kids, venturing into this 1,5 metre square cave in Santa Elena (Jaen), were amazed to find an intact 5,000 year old cave painting at the back of the cave.

The painting was later classified as an artefact worthy of being part of “history of humanity” by UNESCO, but it’s never been sealed off or properly protected. Continue reading

Additional fire units from across Andalusia arrive in sorbas

Ideal newspaper reports that 180 fire fighters from 18 brigades, from Almeria, jaen, Cordoba and Malaga are fighting the sorbas – lucainena blaze.
9 air units are also involved, although the high winds makes their use complicated.
Infoca the fire agency says the fire is in a difficult spot in the mountains with difficult or no ground access. However they say they have the fire surrounded and expected it to be fully controlled by early afternoon.

Sorbas fire appears out of control

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There’s a large fire spreading over sorbas towards the mountains.
We sat about 600 metres away from nearest fire and watched the line of fire rush up and over mountains. 4 separate fires, some distance apart then joined up. Two helicopters on scene not achieving much. Every now and again a gust of really black smoke went up – could have been building or olive tree. On way home met a very belated convoy of Junta vans with beating brushes. High winds continue.

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