John Smith

John Smith

ONE person has died and three others were injured in a multiple car crash on the Costa del Sol.

According to reports from the emergency services 112, four vehicles were involved in the incident which happened on the A-7 motorway near to the Arroyo de Guadalquiton in Sotogrande which required the attendance of the Guardia Civil, several ambulances and the fire brigade.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that a lorry was involved in the accident and that one vehicle was overturned leaving the road in the direction of Cadiz blocked for some hours.

WHEN the management of the Admiral Casino in San Roque asked a person to leave as it was closing time he argued and managed to do €17,000 worth of damage.

It is alleged that the man who is of Spanish descent went to his car parked nearby and drove it into the entrance doors and a marquee in the casino before fleeing the scene.

Officers of the Guardia Civil who were called to the incident checked security cameras and spoke to witnesses and were thus able to establish both the vehicle which was used and the individual involved who has a police record.

It was verified that the person suspected of the crime had a number of different addresses and each was discretely observed until the individual arrived at one in the nearby fishing town of Palmones where was promptly arrested.

He now awaits trial.

SPAIN has seen its highest annual temperature since records started to be kept in 1965.

In 2017, the average temperature was 16.2º, a full 1.1º above the previous average.

In addition, it has also seen the second driest year in the same time period according to State Meteorological office AEMET.

So far the 21st century has seen record highs for average temperature in seven years, with most those falling in the current decade.

According to the agency, Granada Airport was the hottest spot in Spain in 2017 when it recorded a historic high of 45.7ºC on July 12, breaking its previous record of 43º set as long ago as 1972.

AEMET now accepts that Climate Change appears to be noticeable.

climate.jpg

Average temperatures in Spain since 1965 ©Aemet

A SURVEY undertaken by the company SocioMétrica for a Spanish newspaper suggests that there would be a three way tie in the event of a general election today.

It forecasts that the biggest loser would be the ruling Partido Popular (PP) which would drop from 137 seats in Congress to 97 seats whilst its minority partner Ciudadanos would gain an extra 54 seats taking it from 32 to 86.

According to the poll published in El Español, the socialist PSOE would be likely to gain just four additional seats and the further left Podemos (with its associates) would be the second largest loser, dropping from 71 seats to 49.

Effectively, this would leave three parties all with similar percentages of the vote but if correct would mean that the coalition between the PP and Ciudadanos would be stronger in parliament than it is now but with Albert Rivera, leader of Ciudadanos in a much more commanding position than he is currently.

It is considered that the handling of the Catalan crisis by the current government has helped to turn voters toward Ciudadanos but as is always the case, opinion polls can be wildly inaccurate in the event of an election which is not actually due until 2020.

THE Group of States against Corruption (GRECO,) the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption monitoring body is highly critical of Spain.

In a report published last Wednesday, it released information which was gathered between 2014 and 2016 concerning Spain’s compliance with its recommendations to prevent and combat corruption in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors.

Officials from Iceland and Italy were appointed by the 49 country strong group (48 from Europe plus the USA) to review the achievements of the Spanish government and the report concludes there has been limited progress in Spain in complying with its recommendations and that the country’s level of compliance remains "globally unsatisfactory".

Spain has not yet fully implemented any of the eleven recommendations GRECO issued in 2013. Seven recommendations have been partly implemented and four have not been implemented at all.

The report states that with respect to parliamentarians, several recommendations await implementation including the adoption of a code of conduct in both Houses and a thorough review of the financial disclosure regime.

It notes however that there has been some progress as a draft on lobbying seems to be underway, which is a step forward to enhance transparency on how parliamentarians engage with lobbyists and other parties.

It is more complimentary about the high quality of the judiciary and the prosecutorial service in Spain and welcomes the reflection process underway to issue a national justice strategy and to increase the independence and the efficiency of the judiciary.

As part of the non-compliance procedure in respect of Spain, GRECO’s President, Marin Mrčela, has sent a letter to the authorities here calling for determined action to be taken with a view to achieving tangible progress as soon as possible and requesting that they report back on the implementation of the recommendations no later than December 21, 2018.

BRITISH AIRWAYS has announced new flight services from Gibraltar to a UK airport following the collapse of Monarch Airlines. 

With effect from Monday May 28, there will be six daily return flights (except Tuesdays) from London Gatwick to Gibraltar and these will operate during the high season until Saturday September 29.

Until this announcement, BA has only operated to London Heathrow and this new service will add an additional 2,000 return seats per week from the Rock whilst there is no reduction in the number of flights being operated to Heathrow.

The Minister for Tourism and Commercial Aviation, Gilbert Licudi welcomed the news which means that with additional summer capacity on larger easyJet aircraftt and new charter holiday flights from UK regional airports being offered by Super Break tourism to Gibraltar is likely to enjoy a boost.

It should also become easier for residents and those on the Campo as well as business travellers to find seats to the UK.

THE Three Kings are arriving early at El Corte Inglés in Puerto Banus on the Terrace at 5pm today (Thursday).

This will be an afternoon treat for adults and children alike who can enjoy a traditional bite of Roscon de Reyes, face painting and balloon sculpture.

The afternoon is in association with the Marbella Fire Brigade and one of their favourite charities Debra Butterfly Children with some of the proceeds going to the charity.

Following this, the fun will continue at La Sala Banus where adults are invited to enjoy a two course meal with a glass of house wine for €23 per person and each single youngster under the age of 10 accompanying an adult will eat free of charge between 6.30pm and 8.30pm.

A FAMILY gang which has allegedly been wholesaling drugs throughout Malaga Province has been dismantled with assets in excess of €5 million seized.

Working together, officers of the Guardia Civil and National Police discovered that a family group consisting of seven brothers and an aunt together with another woman had been operating for several years without being suspected.

Due to the closeness of the family network, little information was leaked but the officers managed to piece together the modus operandi of the group discovering that the two women were effectively the leaders.

The aunt aged 48 lived in the village of Pizarra north of Malaga City and placed the order whilst the other woman, a 51-year-old resident in Torremolinos made all of the arrangements to obtain and distribute the various drugs accompanied by her husband.

The older of the two received the order for the drugs and obtained them from a source in Mijas, then buried them in a sealed container at a secret rendezvous to be dug up by the other woman.

This was a daily operation carried out for years and ensured that there were never very large amounts of the drugs kept on hand in case they were ever visited by the police.

After raiding 10 properties in Alhaurin de la Torre, Fuengirola, Mijas, Pizarra, and Torremolinos, officers seized 110 grams of cocaine, 32 grams of heroin, €26,000 euros in cash and six motor vehicles.

In addition, it was discovered that the leaders had amassed a fortune of €5 million in property and other assets, 26 race horses a luxury villa and a number of shops in Torremolinos which all declared annual profits of less than €10,000.

All of these items have been seized as part of the investigation.

A TOTAL of 22 people have been arrested following investigations into the theft and resale of hunting dogs in Andalucia.

The Guardia Civil carried out seven house searches in Granada and Malaga provinces from which a huge haul of different illegal items were found including 42 dogs of different breeds, 19 guns, ammunition, various drugs used on the dogs, a microchip injector, marihuana plants, phones, four vehicles and €2,000 in cash.

So organised was this group which was based in Granada but operated in Malaga province that they even took orders for specific breeds using one individual to infiltrate various hunting groups in order to make an accurate list of the various dogs and their whereabouts.

As the investigation continued, officers discovered that a group of four people were hunting illegally and filming brutal attacks by pit bulls which they then shared amongst their friends.

The investigation of eight others suspected as being part of a criminal organisation continues and those arrested will be charged with a number of different offences.

These include theft, drug trafficking, public health offences, arms trafficking, illegal possession of weapons, theft and use of a motor vehicle, falsification of an official document, money laundering and animal abuse.

A NUMBER of the main British political leaders issued their Christmas messages today (Christmas Eve) in advance of the Queen’s Message tomorrow.

None of them were particularly surprising with Prime Minister Theresa May praising the Christian traditions of the UK where people are free to worship as they please and went on to thank all those who were giving up their time to help others.

In addition she praised the emergency services who had been forced to respond so bravely in the face of the Manchester bombing, the London attack and the Grenfell Tower tragedy as well as the armed forces.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn asked that those who are comfortable should think of those forced to live on the streets, have little money or a home to call their own, look after those with disabilities or are simply elderly and alone.

He also drew attention to those in such war torn countries as Syria and Yemen and wished that the compassion of people could spread to bring about a world that everyone could be safe in.

Vince Cable for the LibDems wanted to see more affordable housing and assistance for those with mental health problems whilst SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon also praised those who were working as volunteers at Christmas as well as those in essential services who had to give up their holidays in order to look after others.

None of them took the opportunity to mention Brexit.

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