Regional News, week ending Friday 10th May 2001
SEVILLE FERIA OVER FOR ANOTHER YEAR
Rain took the shine off the last day of the Seville Feria on Sunday with a heavy downpour coming at around 4 p.m, and damaging several of the casetas. However, the weather cleared later for a spectacular firework display, using 500 kilos of explosives, at midnight to see off the Feria until next year. Fiesta councillor Juan Ortega said that work would begin immediately on the 2002 feria, with an analysis of the services offered by the various municipal departments which had worked together with the co-ordination centre to make the event work.
HOUSEWORK REQUIRES NO EFFORT SAYS COURT
The Superior Justice Tribunal of the Junta de Andalucia has turned down an appeal by a 62 year old woman asking for invalidity benefit due to a problem she has with her hands. JRT from Moron de la Frontera claimed benefit after she could no longer pursue her job as a cleaner, but has been told by the Tribunal that domestic work requires no great physical effort due to modern technology. The woman has been suffering multiple health problems since 1994 and although the courts have agreed she cannot undertake heavy work or work with great responsibility, she could do lighter housework with the aid of electrical appliances. After two years of appeals, the woman said after the latest judgement that she has resigned herself and will not take the case to the Supreme Tribunal.
HUELVA FARMERS ARRESTED
Three agricultural businessmen in Huelva accused of exploiting 30 foreign workers have been arrested. They fell foul of the law by not giving the workers contracts and housing them in deplorable conditions, according to a statement issued by the Government subdelegation. The arrests followed a denuncia to the National Police in Valencia, and the arrests were finally made in La Redondela in Huelva.
ALMERIAN IMMIGRANT REGULARISATION PROGRESS
The Government has announced it will regularise the papers of immigrants in Almeria provided they have a contract related to work in the province. This goes some way to fulfilling requests by the hundred of immigrants who have staged sit-ins and hunger strikes in the area and is based on agreements reached with protesting immigrants in Barcelona and Valencia The workers will be able to stay in Almeria , nowhere else, provided that they can show that they arrived before 23rd January this year and have work.
JUVENILE LAW DEFENDED
Law professionals meeting in Ubeda in Jaen have unanimously expressed their view that the outcry over the new Juvenile Law has some because there was no previous social debate over it. A Chief fiscal from the supreme Tribunal, Eduardo Torres-Dulce said that the law had been made out to be letting juvenile offenders off without punishment, when in reality what it tries to do is re-educate and re-integrate offenders. He added that penal sanctions have long been proved to be ineffective in reducing crime, as witnessed in the United Sates.
ROTA CONFLICT DSCUSSION
A united States defence spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Steve Campbell has been speaking in the Pentagon about America's interest in solving work conflict in the Rota naval base in Cadiz. Civilian Spaniards working at the base have been expressing their discontent for 18 months now about their working and economic conditions. A spokesman from the Rota base, Jesus Maria Serrano said yesterday that the workers appreciated the first pronouncement about the issue in the pentagon, but has sent a letter asking for a timescale within which to reach a solution to the ocnflict, saying the workers cannot wait any longer.
DROUGHT THREATENS EASTERN ALMERIA
Agriculture in Eastern Almeria is threatened by a serious drought this year, and urgent measures are being sought for the problem by Francisco Martinez Cosentino, president of the Chamber of Commerce for Almerian Infrastructures. Speaking yesterday, he said that local agriculture is the most competitive in Europe, with high productivity and a vast amount of investment, with very little aid. The sector produces 270 thousand million pesetas annually, more than the whole olive sector in Andalucia, with only 3% aid. Martinez explained that they now have no water, and no-one outside Almeria is taking any notice, and added that he could not understand how they could carry on lacking water when the rest of Spain was flooded with it. The Cuevas del Almanzora reservoir has a mere 6 cubic hectometers of water in it, against its potential of 168, he said, and warned of sever restrictions over the summer if help was not brought. Some produces had already begun to leave he said, not knowing how to produce their crops under such conditions.
The nuclear submarine Tireless is about to set sail from Gibraltar this morning, ending a year long saga, marked by protests by institutions and social groups about its presence on the rock. The vessel suffered a breakdown in the cooling system of its nuclear reactor on May 12th last year while sailing betwen Sicily and North Africa, and limped into Gribraltar a week later. There followed a political and social storm as resdients on the Campo de Gribraltar feared for their safety and demanded that the submarine leave the Rock to be repaired. Repairs finally ended one week ago, when the reactor was ignited without incident. Meanwhile, the Supreme Tribunal has now shelved charges by the Antisubmarine Organisation of the Campo de Gibraltar against Jose Maria Aznar and Tony Blair for allowing the presence of the damaged nuclear sub Tireless on the Rock. They had charged both governments with crimes of treason, and a crime against the safety of the populace.
CANADIAN COMPANY INTEREST IN AZNALCOLLAR
The Canadian company Breakwater Resources has confirmed that it is studying the possibility of buying the Aznalcollar mine from the Swedish company Boliden. The mine was responsible for major ecological damage to Doñana national park three years ago. Breakwater Resources is a company which explores, buys and develops mineral resources in America and North Africa, and has been expanding rapidly in the last five years.
WOMAN DETAINED AFTER BABY TRAGEDY
A 22 year old woman has been detained in the Jaen village of Ventas de los Santos after putting the body of her new born baby in to the dustbin at her home. The baby was born alive, but was thought to have bled to death through not having its umbilical cord tied. The young woman had successfully hidden her pregnancy, and had given birth alone. The woman then went to the local health centre for treatment for haemorrhaging, and was taken to hospital where it was discovered that the bleeding was as a result of giving birth. Police searched the woman´s home where they discovered the tragic outcome. Later in the week, the young woman was later put into prison by the judge. An autopsy revealed that the baby had not bled to death as previously thought but had suffocated after being placed in several plastic bags. The woman´s family said they had no idea she was pregnant.
SQUATTERS ATTACK GRANADA POLICE
Two policemen have been injured in Granada while trying to dislodge a number of squatters who were having a party. The incident happened in the early hours in the Camino de Ronda when police moved in to try and end the party after numerous complaints by neighbours about the loud music. When the police were inside, some twenty or so squatters shut them in and attacked them en masse, according to official sources.
PROTESTS OVER MOROCCAN CONSULATE IN ALMERIA
Protests continued in Almeria yesterday against the proposed Moroccan consulate to be situated in the Pescaderia area. Some 40 people, mostly women, gathered to stop the work to convert a building into the consulate. The doors had already been sealed up with silicon, stopping workmen from carrying out their task. The protesters say that they are afraid for local security if the work goes ahead, in the face stong feelings caused by the failure of Moroccan -spanish fishing talks.
EU REJECTS SPAINS FISHING DEMANDS
The European Union in Brussels says spain´s demands for money to convert the andaluz fishing fleet are excessively high. Fisheries Minister Miguel Arias Cañete had asked for nearly 50 thousand million pesetas to alter the fleet so that it can fish elsewhere. The move came following the breakdown of talks between spain and Morocco over fishing rights. EU commissioner Michael Schreyer said the figure was very very high, but would not indicate what figure would be considered reasonable by Brussels. Meanwhile, Junta Agriculture Minister Paulino Plata expressed his surprise at Cañete's request, saying that he had not received a budget proposal from the Junta to deal with the situation.
MORNING AFTER PILL ARRIVES IN ANDALUCIA
Andaluz hospitals are to dispense the morning after pill free, it has been revealed. The Department of Health of the Junta de Andalucia says mechanisms are being put into place so that the pill can be dispensed through the public emergency services, for free. The pill will be generally available in pharmacies by the end of this week.
WHACKY POLICE AND FIRE DEMO
Some 5000 local police officers and firemen demonstrated in Seville yesterday to reject the so-called Co-ordination Law which they say favours temporary work contracts in their professions. A local policeman from Arcos de la Frontera in Cadiz dressed up as Julius Caesar, and riding a white horse led the demonstration, and was followed by 12 officers dressed up as Roman soldiers and 30 dressed up as Vikings. Among their complaints are that officers over 57 years old are transferred to other duties. They also want to see those with 30 years service rewarded financially.
WORKPLACE HELP FOR DISADVANTAGED GROUPS
A new agreement has been reached by trade unions, businesses and the Junta de andalucia to help disadvantaged groups like young people, women, and people over 45 obtain work and improve their working conditions. All sides have pronounced themselves happy with the outcome, which includes help for small businesses, incentives for the self-employed, a plan to attract international investors to the region and incentives to businesses to take on young women.
MORE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS INTO TARIFA
After yesterday´s massive flood of paperless immigrants into Tarifa, 77 more people were detained yesterday, form Subsahara and Morocco. They included 25 women and a baby. Police also arrested five other people for carrying eight of them in three cars. Most of the group were found wandering around Tarifa at seven in the morning.
DEMO AGAINST SEX ABUSE YOUTH
Hundreds of residents of the Seville town of Coria turned out on the streets yesterday in support of five mothers whose children had been victim of sexual abuse by a 16 year old male. Under the new Juvenile Law, the youth has been set free, despite being found guilty of the charges. He is prohibited from going within 500 meters of his victims. The parents of Clara Garcia, the young girl murdered by two underage companions last year were also there, along with other families who had lost loved ones through violent acts by juveniles. The families stated there objections to the freedom enjoyed by young criminals under the new law and raised issues over the attention enjoyed by the offenders with teams of experts trying to help them overcome their problem while the victims' families were left unsupported.
ILLEGAL OLIVE RING STUFFED
The union CCOO of Dos Hermanos in Seville has uncovered an illegal network of people making stuffed olives. The ring consisted of some 80 families recruited to make the product in their own homes, resulting in cat and dog hairs, chewing gum and cigarette ends being frequently found in the product. The trade union said that the olives and peppers were distributed by van to different houses in poor areas, and the work was carried out by retired people, housewives or the unemployed, who would earn 700 pesetas for filling a 30 kilo bucket of olives.
ANTI-ALCOHOL ABUSE CAMPAIGN
The Department of Social Affairs is to launch a campaign to try and stem the tide of excessive drinking among young people. The slogan will be "don´t let drinking end the party" and the campaign will have a budget of 20 million pesetas. Latest figures show that 2.5% of young people abuse alcohol, a rise of almost one percent in the last two years.