News in brief

ROAD CLOSURES

A number of roads will be closed and diversions in place around Villaricos this 7th, 8th and 9th of August whilst a large music festival takes place there. Dreambeach 2015 will cause the closure of the following roads. The diversions will be in place from 3pm Friday until 9am Saturday, and again from 3pm that Saturday until 9am on Sunday.

The AL7107 Garrucha bound road will have a diversion setup at the Los Contreros crossroads and heavy good vehicles will be banned.

The AL7107 road in Aguilas direction will be cut off at the Palomares Playa roundabout and traffic will be diverted along the AL8104, Palomares to Cuevas de Almanzora and then Aguilas via Los Lobos.

The AL8106 road in the Las Herrerias direction will be diverted at its entrance into the Los Contreros urbanisation. Traffic in both directions will be diverted, Palomares bound traffic crossing the river.

All diversion routes will be fully signposted.

UNEMPLOYMENT UP

Although unemployment levels dropped drastically in June of this year, with 74,028 people finding work last month (the greatest drop since 1998), the province of Almeria did not see the same effect with unemployment actually going up by 36 people last month. It’s one of the few provinces across Spain to see such an effect, but employment experts suggest that any increase in employment due to the summer tourism effect has probably been offset by a drop in the number of people employed in the agricultural sector over the summer.

SARDINE SCARCITY

The traditional summer fish, the sardine, is scarce in Almeria this year as fish stocks have vanished. Fishermen are blaming a ban on tuna fishing which they claim is artificially increasing the number of tuna in the eastern Mediterranean. José María Gallart, spokesman for local fishermen, said that ‘this is the worst year many of us can remember for near shore fishing off the coast of Almeria’ and warns that the wholesale price of sardines and jureles are likely to increase as summer tourists hunt for their favourite summer BBQ snack. He added that ‘EU fishing protection rules banning the capture of red tuna were welcomed when they came in two years ago, but their population has bounced back and now we have too many red tuna, who have become the main predators of smaller fish. This ban needs to be lifted so we can control the population’.

DEAD DOLPHINS

Equinac, the fisheries charity, says that three young dead dolphins washed up on local shores over the last weekend. One of the bodies, that of a metre long male which washed up in Villaricos, had been badly attacked by sharks and it possible that these were the cause of its death. The other two bodies appeared on Monday morning, one on Balerma beach and the other on Punta Entinas Sabinar. The bodies of these last two were so decomposed that no autopsy was possible and the bodies were destroyed directly. Equinac says that the youth mortality of this species is quite high but that this year they are recovering more bodies than ever before, and again warn of the danger of plastic in the sea.

ISLAMIC R.E.

The Islamic Commission of Spain (CIE) has posts for just seven Islamic religious education teachers for the forthcoming school year, and all positions have been assigned to primary schools in the east of the province of Almeria.

Spanish RE teachers are controlled by their respective churches but paid for as standard teachers by central funds. Positions are assigned in function of the percentage of students from each school asking for religious studies, but regional educational authorities have been reluctant in recent years to assign any more posts. There are just 47 teachers of Islam in public schools across Spain, of which 17 are assigned to Andalusia. Teachers wanting assignation to the Islamic R.E. jobs must have passed a certification course issued by the CIE as well as having basic teacher knowledge.

TIGER STORES

Discount Danish supersave chain Tiger has opened its first store in the province, in the capital of Almeria on plaza Emilio Ruiz. The ‘discount Ikea’ chain is seeing strong growth across Spain and the opening of its first store here has attracted considerable attention. The chain concentrates on bulk buying fashionable and quality items to be sold at very low prices. Director Carlos Bohórquez is proud that his chain sells nothing for over fifteen euros, with 90% of his stock costing under nine euros. But don’t expect a large store full of goods – Tiger runs on the Ikea catalogue model, where shoppers can see display models and then place their orders at the counter. They then pull round to the warehouse for their orders to be loaded onto their car.

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