News in Brief

Special jobs for special people

Cabildo de Tenerife last
Tuesday participated in the final day of the CERES Project (Qualification,
Employment and Social Networking), which was launched back in December 2008,
whose aim has been to improve the employability of those groups who have
difficulty fitting in the work place. Two years later, 40 percent of people who
have been trained through this project financed by the European Social Fund
have found work. That is, 62.

Berm�dez stressed the
importance of training and the values of work and effort. He noted that
"this is the path that will help overcome the crisis and is not something
we’re discovering now, but what they did our previous generations."

• The Minister Josefa
Garcia thanked everyone involved in CERES its commitment to this project that
has benefited about 160 people.

• Manuel Jorge Perez said
the regional government wants the provision of training have an impact on the
labour market and stressed that the important things are achieved as a team.

• The council has offered
to job seekers training and qualifications in areas not subject to the cycle of
crisis, through CERES.

• Has also provided the
opportunity for internships and receive specific training in different fields
such as agriculture, socio, computing and communications.


We don’t need bail-out

stresses Spanish leaders


THE Spanish
Government is still insisting it won’t need to apply for a bail-out from the
European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).


The denial
comes after global credit rating agency Moody said on Wednesday that it might
downgrade Spain’s
debt, which caused the euro to fall against the dollar.


Spain has been under scrutiny by the financial
market since the Irish
Republic was forced to
take an aid package of 85bn euros (£72bn) last month.


But Madrid says there are no
similarities between the two economies, despite worries over the country’s property
and banking sectors.


comments pushed the euro down by 0.7% against the dollar to $1.329, although it
was almost unchanged against the pound, with one euro worth 0.8484p.


analyst Jane Foley said: “The Moody’s news has knocked the euro. It plays on
fears that contagion could extend to the Spanish bond market, though it does
not enlighten the market much further with respect to Spain’s underlying issues.


And Robert
Peston, BBC TV’s much-respected  Business
Editor, warned: “2011 will be the year when the financial credibility of Spain –
and, by extension, the eurozone as a whole – is likely to receive its severest

fairness, Moody’s does not expect Spain to draw on the fund. But says
its “funding requirements, not only for the sovereign but also for the regional
governments and the banks, make the country susceptible to further episodes of
funding stress”.

The credit
agency believes the central government needs to raise about 170bn euros next
year, with a further 30bn euros for the regions and 90bn for the banks. It adds
that this was “rendered more challenging by the fragile confidence of
international capital markets”.

Yet Moody’s
analyst Kathrin Muehlbronner said that despite the “downside risks warrant
putting Spain’s rating under
review”, for a further downgrade, her company continued to view Spain
as “a much stronger credit than other stressed eurozone countries”.

eurozone has come under increasing scrutiny since Greece needed a 110bn-euro bail-out
from the EU and IMF in May. Following the Irish
Republic’s bail-out, Portugal was widely tipped as the next casualty,
with questions also raised over Italy’s
economy, as well as that of Spain.

EU leaders were
meeting in Brussels
yesterday and today (Friday) to address the region’s debt crisis and how it could
be tackled better. They were also discussing ways to strengthen the temporary
bail-out funds in place.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said that no country in Europe
would be “abandoned”, and reiterated that the euro would be defended.




Freezing weather returns to Spain

SPAIN is bracing itself for another spell
of fierce, wintry weather, with much of the country on alert as rain, snow,
freezing temperatures and strong icy winds were forecast in 39 provinces
yesterday (Thursday).

Madrid, where there was an orange alert, was expecting temperatures to fall as
low as -11ºC, while poor coastal weather was also scheduled in Girona, Mallorca
and Menorca.

The Spanish
Met Office issued a yellow alert, and warned of freezing temperatures in various
other regions, where it was set to drop to between -4 and -9ºC.

with El Hierro, La Gomera and La
Palma, is expecting stormy weather, having also been
placed on yellow alert – and up to 15 litres of rain per square metre per hour were
expected during the day.

Balearic Islands were preparing to be battered by gale-force winds, with gusts
of up to 80kmph expected in Mallorca. Similar
weather conditions in Menorca should also be
accompanied by snow.



Recycling electricals

The local Government is
encouraging the recycling of electrical items and electronic toys this

The Cabildo, Recycle
Canary Foundation and the Association of Toys of Canarias have put in place an
agreement for the collection of these items.

A collaboration agreement
has been signed for the recycling of small electrical items and electronic toys
during the Christmas season. The event was attended by the Minister for the
Environment, Wladimir Rodriguez, president of the Asojucan, Carlos Arvelo, and
the president of the Canary Foundation Recycles David Bustabad.

Under the theme ‘Recycle
this, your planet needs you’ the campaign will run from the 12th of December to
the end of January.

People will be able to
deposit their items free of charge in the recycling bins provided.

Anything from consoles,
video consoles, trains, dolls, computers for children, sports equipment with an
electric or electronic component.

Also small appliances and
electronics such as blenders, toasters, sandwich makers, vacuum cleaners,
irons, deep fryers, coffee makers, hairdryers, shavers, toothbrushes, among
others. Once collected, the items will be recycled.

Participating merchants can be identified with the poster campaign and
the Green Santa, or through the Foundation website Recycle

Containers to deposit
these devices will be installed in toy stores and shops and are attached to
Asojucan provided by the Foundation Ecolec.


New sewage station

The President, Ricardo
Melchior, and the mayor of Adeje, Jose Miguel Rodriguez, signed last Friday the
cooperation agreement

The Cabildo de Tenerife
will carry out the execution of the works of the pumping station of sewage in
La Caleta, in the municipality
of Adeje.

The implementation of
these, are included within the Insular Plan of Cooperation of works and
municipal services 2007-2010, will involve an investment of over 1.2 million

This action will take
place under a cooperation agreement signed on Friday, 10 between the island and
local authorities which sets out the general conditions of economic cooperation.
In this sense, the document was signed by the president, Ricardo Melchior, and
the mayor, Jose Miguel Rodriguez, with the presence of the Minister of
Municipal Cooperation insular Felix Sierra.


The Corporation shall be
responsible for financing the preparation of the project, funding for the
project management and the execution thereof.


The sewage system may
include the implementation or replacement of necessary infrastructure networks
(network of supply pipes underground lighting, low voltage and telephone) and
complete replacement of the pavement. Similarly, the work will take place on
public land provided by the municipality or formally transferred to the City by
the owners for this purpose.


 Canarian property prices fall


prices in the Canary Islands fell by 2.9% in
the third quarter, against last year’s three-monthly figures for the same


The drop in
was slightly less, at 2.2%, which was more than a full point down on the
previous quarter, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE).


The Housing
Price Index, which measures the changing cost of private dwellings, announced a
drop of about one point in new-build properties, falling 1.7% in the second
quarter and by 2.6% between July and September. Resale homes fell 1.8% after
remaining stable in the previous quarter.


Overall, private
housing dropped sharply between July and September after prices had stabilised
since the most significant fall (7.7%) in the second quarter of 2009.


But across
most of the country, except in Madrid,
where they went up by 0.9%, house prices fell in the third quarter of this year.


The biggest
drops were seen in Cantabria (6.7%), Navarra (6.5%), Arag�n (5.9%), La Rioja
(4.3%), Castilla y Le�n (3.6%), Asturias
(3.4%), Galicia
(3.2%) and the Valencian Community (3%).


price falls were registered in the Balearic Islands (2%), Murcia (1.2%), Extremadura (0.9%)
and the Basque Country (0.6%).


Lady Gaga fans’
ticket fraud

SOME 200 people were conned into buying fake tickets
for a concert featuring Lady Gaga in Madrid
on Monday.


They were the victims of a clever internet scam, which
cost them between 57-96 euros each, even though some claimed to have bought the
tickets from “proper” sites such as and gesticket.

But they were actually photocopies of authentic tickets,
and the scam was uncovered when the serial numbers were checked on the door.

Hundreds of die-hard followers of the American singer,
who was performing in Madrid that night as part of her Monster Ball tour, were left
crying at the gates of the Palacio de Deportes after missing out on seeing Lady
Gaga live on stage.   


Best of Friends aiming for London Marathon

RAY KENT, from
Friends Bar on San Blas, will be running alongside his cousin, Bradley Steel,  in the 2011 London Marathon as part of the
official Sue Ryder Charity Team

Ray, 54 and
24-year-old Bradley, applied to run for the charity in August and were accepted
on their first application, which is quite unusual. 

They will
be competing to raise money for Sue Ryder in memory of Bradley’s stepfather,
Rob Olrod, who died of cancer earlier this year. Rob worked with Ray and their
wives, Mo and Kim, running Friends Bar.

The duo
have had to commit themselves to raising £2,750 each in sponsorship to be
accepted as part of the team.

This charity
specialises in providing individual, compassionate care to people with end-of-life,
long-term needs.It has 50 projects on the go and must raise £13m each year to
provide four million hours of care. 

Look out
for events organised at Friends Bar over the coming months to raise money for
this worthy cause.

Mo has
already completed a sponsored hike, covering 100km in seven days and raising
480 euros towards the cause. And Ann, the Friends Bar day manager, raised 145
euros just for one hike. 

Ray and
Bradley thank all those people who are supporting them by arranging and attending
fund-raising activities, and for contributions already committed

Neither man
has any experience of marathon running and are having to work hard training
nearly every day to increase their levels of fitness. Bradley is currently
injured, while Ray is finding the training hard work.

So give him
a toot and a wave if you see him out pounding the roads on Golf del Sur.


Old heroin dealer is jailed for five years

aged 73 was sent to prison for five years and fined 12,000 euros after being
caught selling heroin from a boarding house in Santander, Cantabria.

He was
arrested after officers uncovered 93 grams of heroin, with a street value
almost 6,000 euros. Part of the haul was hidden inside a coffee grinder in the
block’s cleaning closet, together with more than 3,000 euros.

The man,
known only as JMPT in court, had two previous convictions for drug dealing. He
was said to have made contact with customers at local bars.


Drink-drivers face festive  clampdown by the police

THE annual
pre-Christmas anti-drink driving campaign was launched by Spain’s DGT Traffic Authority
police, on Monday and will run for a fortnight.

More than 1,000
control points will be installed on roads across Spain and the Canaries, and around
20,000 breathalyser tests will be carried out every day, in an attempt to stop
people drink-driving.

Alcohol is
a factor in one-third of all fatal traffic accidents,  and the DGT is also encouraging local police
forces to set up their own controls to deter those contemplating drinking and

addition, a radio campaign has been launched to dissuade drivers from taking
their cars to Christmas celebrations.


Smuggler in
is shocked into

A WOMAN in a wheelchair was so stunned to be caught
smuggling cigarettes from Tenerife by customs
officers that she got up and walked!

The incident happened at East Midlands
Airport three weeks ago
during the confiscation of 300,000-plus cigarettes by the UK Border Agency from
16 passengers.

They also found 6kg of hand-rolling tobacco in their
suitcases in what they said was their biggest seizure to date there.

The smugglers would have spent some £30,000 on
cigarettes in Tenerife, and could have sold them for around £45,000 in the UK. The
previous record was set in 2004, when 252,000 cigarettes were discovered.

The UK Border Agency said in a statement that one of
the passengers was escorted in a wheelchair to the customs’ checkpoint by
airport staff.

Her suitcase was opened to reveal a stash of
cigarettes. “The discovery startled the passenger so much that she walked out
of her wheelchair,” confirmed the agency.

Alex Lawther, UKBA assistant director, said: “This is
a major seizure that reflects the robust controls we have in place at all ports
and airports to keep drugs, weapons and contraband out of the country.

“The smuggling of cigarettes is often linked to
serious, organised crime and can provide the funding for much larger criminal
operations, such as drug-smuggling or people-trafficking.”

No criminal charges have been brought against the
smugglers because it was not deemed to be “in the public interest”.

But their names have been added to border “watch”
lists, which alert officials when smugglers make future journeys.


Approval of fishing quotas

Last Wednesday morning,
the Council of EU Fisheries Ministers unanimously approved an agreement on the
Total Allowable Catches (TAC) and quotas for 2011.

According to the Minister
for the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs, Rosa Aguilar, "Spain feels its
requests have been listened to" and that the Commission has been
"sensitive" to the plans of her ministry.

The proposal from the
Commission envisaged a restrictive quota scenario for the Member States that
has been adjusted during the negotiation whilst fully respecting the obligation
for stocks to comply with the principle of maximum sustainable yield for 2015
whilst guaranteeing the maintenance of fishing activity and employment.

The minister reiterated
that "Spain’s
position is based on scientific reports and the maintenance of activity and,
therefore, sustainability and jobs".

Within this context, the
improvement on the initial proposal from the Commission is especially important
for the interests of Spain
in terms of hake, angler fish, sole, John Dory, mackerel, Norway lobster, codfish and the anchovy in the Bay of Cadiz.

Particular mention should
be made of the 15% TAC increase for the southern hake, thus demonstrating the
positive results from the recovery plan that has been under way for several
years. This situation improves the fishing possibilities for the Spanish fleet,
which is the main fleet interested in fishing this species.

The Council and the
Commission made a commitment to review stocks of this fish next year. TAC
values regarding the northern hake remain at the same levels as 2010, in line
with the commitment to reach maximum sustainable yield by 2015

Also worth highlighting is
the 11% increase in sole and the 5% increase in angler fish within Spanish
fishing grounds; a stock of enormous interest to coastal fishing fleets in Spain.

As regards the angler fish
and John Dory in Scottish waters, this year’s TAC levels will be maintained
even though the Commission had initially planned to reduce them.

As for the mackerel, the Norway lobster, the codfish and the anchovy in
the Bay of Cadiz, the final agreement minimises the
reduction originally planned by the Commission. Particularly significant is the
change made to the proposal regarding the Norway lobster in Irish waters, for
which the Commission had proposed a cut-back of 68% for catches made by the
Spanish fleet that will finally be set at a 13% reduction.


Similarly, the Commission
was advocating a 50% reduction in fishing activity by Spanish trawlers
operating off the western coast of Scotland due to the application of the cod
recovery plan in that region. Finally, this reduction will not take place but Spain
has promised to provide data on the activity of its boats in that region so the
scientists can assess the impact of the various fleets with accurate


  Union’s airport monopoly over?


THE Spanish
Government has announced plans to break the union’s monopoly of airport control
towers from next year.


are already in for the partial privatisation of 13 control towers from next
year, including those at Lanzarote and Fuerteventura,
with the remaining Spanish airports following on in 2012.


Minister Jos� Blanco, who met with the Congress Development Commission on
Tuesday at his own request said the move would nullify the grip currently held
by the Spanish Airports Authority, AENA.

appearance came before that evening’s emergency Cabinet meeting to discuss
extending the State of Alert affecting the air
traffic controllers at Spain’s

It was
called by the Government on 3rd December for an initial 15-day
period, following wildcat strike action by the controllers, which disrupted the
travel plans of hundreds of thousands of people, including those in Tenerife.

highly-paid controllers called in sick en-masse on 3rd December, shutting
down the nation’s airspace at the start of one of Spain’s busiest holiday
weekends, in protest over working hours and benefits,

The Alert will
now be prolonged until 15th January, confirmed Interior Minister
Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba.



TITSA incorporates 70 new
buses to enhance their services throughout the island.

The company Intercity
Transport Tenerife Cabildo (Titsa) presented on Wednesday 15 December, the new
fleet of 70 vehicles, designed to strengthen the main lines of the island and
services to the mid areas. The investment amounts to EUR 12,284,011 and was the
largest purchase of buses made in the 32-year history of the company.

The President of the
Cabildo, Ricardo Melchior, said that the purpose of council is to achieve
integrated public transport, "which is only possible with the teamwork of
all administrations."


The presentation took
place outside the Auditorio de Tenerife and was attended by the Deputy Minister
of Infrastructure and Planning of the Canary Islands, Alvaro Davila, the vice
island president, Jose Manuel Bermudez and Carlos Alonso, and TITSA manager,
Juan Carlos P�rez Fr�as, as well as with other island and local authorities.


The Minister of Economy
and Competitiveness, and, in turn TITSA president, Carlos Alonso, said that
this investment primarily seeks to increase the number of customers and enhance
their loyalty, with a clear commitment to quality.


Specifically, 17 buses
are Scania Castrosua body of 15 meters will be added soon in the express line


Santa Cruz
to Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje (110-111) and Santa Cruz in Puerto de la Cruz
Airport will also  be reinforced through the connection 343.


A third of the
investment has been financed through an agreement to sign with the State and
the Government of the Canary Islands. The City
Council provides two thirds of the funds.

TITSA fit new needs and
improving the connection to the neighborhoods and eccentric nuclei with smaller
vehicles, more efficient and less polluting.

It is expected that
within two months following the finalization of the incorporation of 28 vans,
24 cars of 12 meters and a hybrid vehicle next spring.

•More performance, more

Users can enjoy
air-conditioned green high performance disc brake systems, active safety
systems and access ramp for the disabled, among other advantages.

The buses purchased
complies with regulations 66 anti tip and with the commitment to respect the
environment, to include units with Euro 5 engines.

Also, reduced fuel
consumption resulting from a downsizing of the fleet towards smaller vehicles
and more energy efficient.

All new vehicles of 15
and 12 meters are equipped with surveillance cameras to improve security at
home and abroad and strengthen the protection of the passenger and driver.

Presented the new image
of TITSA, part of a comprehensive strategy for the company to improve its

Breast-cancer supporters truly are back in the pink

2,000 people took part in Sunday’s annual Walk for Life, which raised more than
13,600 euros for breast-cancer associations AMATE and AECC.

The huge
gathering, all dressed in pink, strolled from Salytien in Las Americas to the
Plaza de Los Pescadores in Los Cristianos – a
distance of nearly four kilometres.

by a group of drummers, they danced and walked along the coastal path,
collecting sponsorships and donations on the way. A group of hardy swimmers
also braved the rough seas to swim the distance

Many of the
participants carried pink balloons, and even dogs were dressed in pink for the

Rodriguez Reyes, a breast-cancer survivor who has undergone a double mastectomy,
had her body painted and decorated with flowers for the walk.

All the
funds raised are evenly divided between AMATE, a popular charity which supports
breast-cancer sufferers in Tenerife, and AECC,
the Asociacion Espanola Contra Cancer.

The colourful
event was attended by the Mayors of Adeje and Arona, Jose Alberto Gonzalez
Reveron and Jos� Miguel Rodr�guez Fraga, as well as their counsellors of Health
Policy and Equality, Mar�a Clara P�rez and Carmen Rosa Gonz�lez, respectively.

Gypen, who promoted of the event, and representatives of various associations
involved with this cause, were also present.

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