News in brief


The PSOE party in Almeria have officially asked the central government if it will pay compensation to Almeria for the delays in the construction of the high speed AVE railway. Party leader Jose Sanchez said that the central government should underwrite national air fares to Almeria airport to compensate travellers for the inconvenience of not having a true rail connection to the rest of the country. He accused the government of “taking the mickey” with its constant changes to the AVE investment plan, and again asked if the standard rail connection could be upgraded whilst the province waits for the AVE.


Six people have been arrested by the Guardia Civil for importing and selling cocaine in the province. The gang was selling up to a kilo and a half of the drug a week. Police started their investigation after seizing half a kilo of the drug back in March. A laboratory was raided last week in Roquetas del Mar and eight kilos of cocaine were seized along with drug paraphernalia. The Madrid home of the ringleader was simultaneously searched with some seven kilos of cocaine being found. Ten thousand euros in cash was also found along with six vehicles.


A 45 year old resident of Fines was arrested last week for starting at least 27 fires in the area over the last couple of months. The Guardia Civil and forest fire brigade INFOCA cooperated in the investigation. Investigators quickly established that the fires were always being set in the same way and realised they were deliberate. A surveillance team was setup which caught the man in the act of setting a fire last Thursday night. None of the fires were serious as they were quickly caught by local fire brigades, but electricity and phone lines were affected on several occasions.


Two tons of hashish, with a street value of over two million euros, has been seized in Lorca and Albox. Police tracked the drugs when they arrived at Malaga port and followed them to their eventual destinations. The National Police said that the drugs would have been prepared at these locations before being smuggled in small amounts to northern Europe. The drugs were prepared in small packages in Albox before being taken to Lorca. From there they were distributed to gang members to be smuggled north. Six men and three women, all local Spaniards, were arrested.


Political party and environmental pressure group EQUO has demanded that Almeria city council cease spraying glyphosatic herbicide in parks. Although many brand name herbicides are based on glyphosates, a potent herbicide that kills all types of plants, they were declared a danger to human health this year by the WHO. An international study discovered that they were linked to human cancer rates. Almeria council said that it only used approved brand name herbicides to control weeds across the town and that it paid no special attention to whether they were glyphosatic or not. It has not yet responded to Equo’s request.


A 58 year old man has been arrested for destroying 400 square metres of tomato plants in a revenge attack. The attack happened on the 4th in El Ejido. The victim complained to the Guardia Civil that somebody had broken into his greenhouse and poured weedkiller over his entire crop. He named as a suspect an ex-employee whom he had recently fired after 13 years. The suspect still had access to the greenhouse. Officers also discovered that he had publicly threatened to destroy the crop of his ex-boss. Unable to provide officers with an alibi, and becoming confused under questioning, police eventually charged him with the crime.


The tourism department of Almeria city has signed an agreement with UK tour operator Saga to bring over a thousand British tourists on two week breaks to El Toyo. The Barceló Cabo de Gata hotel will be the main offering for the all inclusive breaks. The promotion will run from February until June of next year, and again during September to November. The agreement was signed at the World Travel Market fair held in London last week, at which Almeria city had a delegation. The city council says it plans to continue trying to attract more tour operators to the winter climate of the province.


A film double for Brian Gleeson is being searched for across the province. The Irish actor will be here later this year to star in the production of Assassin’s Creed. The film, which is based on the successful computer game, is being largely set here in Almeria. Production company Modexpor International has been charged with finding extras in the province, and they have announced they are especially interested in anyone who looks like Gleeson. Candidates must be available on December 2 and 3, and can apply by sending details and a photo to


Doctors across the province are reporting an increase in hymenoplasty operations, with between fifty and a hundred ops being carried out a year. The operation involves reconstruction of the hymen in the vagina, and costs around €1,200. The demand is being generated by brides from cultures which expect them to be virgin at marriage. Most of the clients are Muslims, although there is also demand from the Gitano community. Dr Mario Pesaresi carries out an average of four such operations a month from his clinic in the capital and says the operation is non-intrusive, quick and not dangerous.


The coastguard has rescued a boat carrying 16 men and a ten year old child off the coast of the Cabo de Gata last Monday. The occupants are all believed to be from Argelia. A Guardia Civil patrol spotted the small boat and gave the alarm. A coastguard cutter intercepted the boat some ten nautical miles off the Spanish coast and rescued the occupants. They were then taken to Almeria port, reaching Spanish soil at 11pm. All are in good health. It is not known if the child is the son of any of the men.

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