News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
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Málaga tragedy produces new safety guideDeath of child at city’s Three Kings parade sparks nationwide action
By Dave Jamieson
A WORKING group from the country’s Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) is next week expected to present proposals to set safety standards for parades and carnival processions. The move follows an initiative launched by Málaga town hall after the tragic death of a child during this year’s Three Kings celebrations on January 5.
A six-year-old boy was run over by one of the floats as he tried to collect sweets which had been thrown to the crowd by those on board. The child, who had been watching the parade with his parents and sister on the Paseo del Parque, died at the scene.
During the subsequent enquiries, city councillor Julio Andrade, who is also vice-president of the FEMP’s security commission, said he hoped that changes made at a local level would be channeled through the federation to establish a national norm. Confusion presently appears to surround who is responsible for crowd security at such events while the only legislation which appears to apply is a 1997 requirement which demands that an emergency plan be in place, although this focuses on a possible evacuation.
Challenge against new Gibraltar cigarette limitUnion says different limits based on where you live is unconstitutional
By David Eade
IF you are a smoker and travel across the border from Gibraltar to La Línea, how many cigarettes can you bring with you? Since January 1 the answer has depended on where you live.
If you live in La Línea and the wider Campo de Gibraltar area the answer is 80. However if you are travelling up the coast or to elsewhere in Spain it is 200. ASCTEG, one of the unions that speaks for Spanish workers in Gibraltar, says this is unconstitutional and is taking action against the government.
The union’s lawyers argue that the law, aimed at cutting down on tobacco trafficking, is unconstitutional because it is discriminatory against local cross-border residents and workers.
Two Gibraltar officers killed in Ronda road crash
By David Eade
THE A397 road between Ronda and San Pedro de Alcántara was the scene of another fatal crash last Wednesday when two off-duty Gibraltar police officers died after their motorbike collided with a fuel tanker.
The causes of the tragedy are not known but their motorbike crossed into the path of the oncoming tanker travelling towards Ronda. The impact caused the motorbike to burst into flames but the lorry driver's quick reaction in putting out the fire stopped the blaze from igniting the fuel he was transporting.
The two police officers, Jenzen Santos aged 42 and 34-year old Josephine Guiling Savignon, died at the scene.
Hospital birth fall sparks official complaintNational patients'ombudsman, Carmen Flores, last week branded the case
By Dave Jamieson
THE patients' ombudsman in Málaga has made a formal complaint to the regional health authority over an incident at the city's Hospital Clinico in which a newly-born baby was injured. Damián Vázquez is acting on behalf of the couple who became parents on January 16.
The mother says that the incident happened as her daughter was being born. The midwife who was helping in the delivery was helping to get the baby out when it suddenly arrived. The gynaecologist on duty is alleged to have been taken by surprise and the child fell to the ground, striking its head and causing an injury requiring her to be taken into intensive care in the neonatal unit of the Hospital Materno Infantil. The action also caused the umbilical cord to break.
VIRUS GANG BUSTEDComputer virus ‘fined’ users 100 euros for supposedly accessing child porn sites
By Oliver McIntyre
A GROUP involved in a computer virus scam affecting millions of computers worldwide has been arrested on the Costa del Sol.
The group distributed a type of malware known as ‘ransomware’, which blocked the user’s computer with a pop-up message that appeared to be from the police and said the computer had been frozen because it had been used to visit websites or peer-to-peer networks with child pornography content or other illicit material. It said that to unblock the computer, a 100-euro fine had to be paid via a payment method indicated in the message.
Eight arrested in €150,000 gigolo scamThe fraudsters offered work as male escorts to well-off women
By Oliver McIntyre
Police have arrested eight people in Málaga for their involvement in an alleged scam in which they offered fake male escort jobs and bilked the aspiring gigolos of thousands of euros. Among those arrested is the alleged leader of the scam, a 43-year-old woman who set up a series of premium-rate phone lines allegedly used to carry out the scam.
Police launched the investigation three months ago after receiving a number of complaints from around the country filed by victims of the scam. The victims said they had responded to ads in the local press or on internet chat sites offering work as a male escort to well-off women. The job promised high pay and all travel or hotel expenses to be paid by the company.