News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
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Two flu vaccines withdrawn from usePrecautionary measure comes after white particles seen floating in syringes
By Dave Jamieson
TWO BRANDS of influenza vaccines were withdrawn last week by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products. The alert issued by the agency applies to all stocks of the vaccines presently in store, at distribution points or already at the dispensing health centres, and is described as a "preventative" measure.
The reason for the freeze on the vaccines, which are both manufactured in Italy, is the presence of white particles which have been seen floating in the pre-filled syringes. However, the Health Ministry said that, so far, no cases of adverse reaction to the vaccine had been reported.
The agency said the halt to the use of the vaccines would remain in place until a full and detailed report on the origin and extent of the problem had been carried out. Similar action has also been taken by health authorities in Italy and Switzerland.
One dead, one injured as evictions loomGranada man commits suicide hours before he was to be kicked out of his home
By Dave Jamieson
A MAN who was discovered hanged in Granada last Thursday morning was about to be evicted from his property under a court order. In Valencia, another man was seriously injured after throwing himself from a balcony while under the same threat.
In Granada, the body of 54-year-old Miguel Ángel Domingo was found by his brother at about 9am and the authorities were advised. An hour later, a police patrol arrived, expecting to carry out the court's eviction order.
The dead man and his brother ran shops next door to one another in the La Chana district of Granada, and his death came in the same week that demonstrations were held in the city in support of another person who is due to be evicted at the end of the month.
£1m investment in Gibraltar's tourist sitesScheme includes major improvements at Upper Rock nature reserve
By David Eade
GIBRALTAR government is determined to make unprecedented strides in improving its tourist sites and has allocated one million pounds in this year's budget for the task.
As part of this commitment, the Gibraltar Tourist Board will begin a series of works in different areas of the Upper Rock nature reserve and other tourist sites. The works will see a great improvement in facilities for tourists and residents visiting the nature reserve. Plans are being finalised to re-open the Holy Land Tunnel, located within the Great Siege Tunnels where a viewing platform will afford spectacular views over the Catalan Bay area, south towards Ceuta and north towards the coast of Spain. The terrace at the Moorish castle is being refurbished and the ticket office will be enlarged.
Among the other improvements will be the addition or refurbishment of toilet facilities and new sewer lines in some of the most visited attractions and areas of the nature reserve. Extensive works will be also carried out at St. Michael's Cave as part of a larger scheme.
Shelter probe extended to possible embezzlementGuardia Civil report cited unexplained increase in personal assets of director's family
By Oliver McIntyre
THE JUDGE investigating the allegedly abusive euthanizing of animals at the Parque Animal shelter in Torremolinos has now authorised the Guardia Civil to extend the probe to include possible embezzlement by the centre's director.
In a report submitted to the judge following the arrest of director Carmen Marín and two other staff members in late 2010, the Guardia Civil's Seprona unit described unexplained increases in her family's personal assets.
The judge has now given Seprona the go-ahead to investigate whether the director and other board members, many of whom were related to her, misused or misappropriated funds generated by donations, bequeaths and the business activities of the not-for-profit organisation.
Among other things, the Seprona report stated that the Parque Animal Association made a cash payment of more than 100,000 euros to a local commercial centre for remodelling and decoration work on an aesthetic clinic run by the director's daughter and son-in-law. The report indicates that the firm behind the clinic also operated as a property holding company, with at least a dozen residential properties in its name.
Costa to be major selling point at WTMMálaga to get extra push at Andalucía stand during the London tourism fair
By Oliver McIntyre
THE Costa del Sol is to be the strongest selling point for Andalucía at next week's World Travel Market event in London, announced regional tourism chiefs last week.
The Andalucía stand will dedicate twice as much space to the Costa del Sol than to the other provinces in the region, which will have two displays each compared to the Costa's four, explained the Junta's tourism councillor, Rafael Rodríguez.
The goal at WTM will be to consolidate the UK market as a source of tourists to Andalucía and to continue the growth trend seen this year in the number of British arrivals to the region.
Málaga in top three for high petrol pricesFilling up on the Costa can cost as much as 13 euros more than elsewhere in Spain
By Dave Jamieson
WHEN it comes to the price of fuel for vehicles, the province of Málaga is one of the most expensive in the country. The finding comes from a study of 8,500 petrol stations made by the Real Automóvil Club de Cataluña (RACC) during September.
The highest prices for 95-octane petrol during the month were found in the provinces of Málaga, Huelva and the Balearics while the highest prices for diesel were being charged in Málaga, Zaragoza and the Balearics. The difference between the highest and lowest prices was found to be 26 cents which, the RACC says, equates to a difference of 13 euros when filling the average car petrol tank.
The filling station with the cheapest prices of all was found at Cortes de Pallás, a municipality south-west of Valencia, which was charging 1.330 euros for 95-octane and 1.225 euros for diesel.
Andalucía's average price for 95-octane in September was 1.52 euros compared with the national figure of 1.506, making it the second most expensive region in the country. For diesel Andalucía was the fourth most expensive region, at an average price of 1.451 euros compared with the national figure of 1.435 euros.