Since my last missive, we’ve sung, dressed up, danced traditional dances, eaten and drunk too much, and generally enjoyed Canaries Day, as we do every 30th of May. It’s a celebration of all things Canarian, marking the Canary Island Parliament's first session, which was on May 30th, 1983, since which time the islands have constituted one of Spain’s autonomous regions.
The then Provisional Parliament had to choose a date for Día de Canarias which: “Has an historical, but at the same time contemporary, significance, with a future focus” (!) This, understandably, created lots of argument and near fracas for the fledgling parliament. Commemorating the date of the first Canarian Parliament then saved the day. Politicians like a bit of immortality.
Día de Canarias has become an institution, featuring national dress that’s rocketed in popularity over the last thirty-five years, with each island boasting its own. There are romerias, fiestas, sporting events, concerts, school parties, performances of Canarian legends and history.
To mark the date, worthy Canarians are awarded the Canarian Gold Medal. The list of winners is long and dignified, but let’s skip to the: “Los Guaraperos de La Gomera, for keeping alive a five hundred year old tradition” award.
These guaraperos, (palm sap tappers), climb tall, swaying palms to work with sharp tools at the top. It’s risky. The award, sadly, comes too late for father-of -three Jesus, a leading guarapero who was found dead under a palm tree in March.
“On the islands, the indigenous population made honey from palm trees. This liquid looks like cloudy lemon water and has a very agreeable flavour. When concentrated by boiling, it produces a syrup known as miel de palma (palm honey) used in the confection of desserts and sweets,” said A.J. Benitez in Historia de las Islas Canarias.                                                                                                  
When the Spanish arrived in the fifteenth century, the native populations of all seven islands were tapping guarapo and drinking it, or boiling it down to make palm honey, and had done so for millennia. Since then, the practice has disappeared everywhere but La Gomera.                      The guarapero climbs to the top to clean off greenery and expose the crown. He uses a chisel to gradually form a hollow there, inserting a horizontal length of cane to drain the guarapo off into a bucket suspended below. Early next morning, it’s collected and filtered. Once a palm’s been tapped, the delicate, exposed area needs protecting from sunlight. New fronds quickly sprout. The palm mustn’t be tapped again for three or four years. The guarapero’s work is sustainable. Palms aren’t harmed. Today, guarapo’s poured into stainless steel cauldrons, slowly cooked for several hours and gradually becomes thicker, darker and sweeter. When a thin, continuous string of boiled guarapo falls from a spoon, it’s miel de palma and is left to cool before bottling for sale. Try some if you can get it. It’s delicious! Congratulations to all Canarian Gold Medal winners, especially Los Guaraperos de La Gomera. Rest in peace Jesus.
Barbara Belt. [email protected] EWN June 2018.

RYANAIR passengers on 30 Irish-UK flights are facing cancellations over a strike planned for tomorrow.

The pilots union has called the strike because they say “Ryanair is not taking demands seriously over conditions and pay”.

99 per cent of members from the IAPA (Irish Airline Pilots Association) have voted in favour of industrial action.

Customers have been notified by text and email regarding the cancellations and they will receive a refund.

“These coordinated strike threats are designed to cause unnecessary disruption to customer and damage Ryanair’s low fare model, for the benefit of high fare competitor airlines in Ireland and Germany” statement by Ryanair

Unions and Ryanair management are set to meet today at Dublin Airport in a plan to minimise disruption.

But despite this Irish trade union Forsa stated yesterday that the pilots are “likely” to take industrial action.

Last week, it was revealed that cabin crew staff in Spain, Portugal and Belgium are planning a two-day strike.

SPANISH authorities are bringing police reinforcements back to Benidorm for the World Cup semi-final after English fans caused havoc in previous games.

The central government’s representative for Valencia, Juan Carlos Fulgencio, said in an email to the AFP press agency, “We’ve asked for extra police forces to come from other regions”

Local media showed footage of unruly behaviour by Brits during the England games.

When England beat Sweden on Saturday, the riot police were called to the area to contain and control some rowdy supporters.

AROUND 1,000 Amazon employees plan to walk out on strike next week over alleged efforts by the online retail giant to reduce workers' rights.

The strike will be held at the Amazon’s San Fernando warehouse near Madrid from the July 16-18 to coincide with Amazon’s summer sale.

The representative of the Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) trade union told media their primary objectives are to improve wages, work conditions and restrictions on time off.

Union representative Douglas Harper said: “Strikes aren’t good for anyone, not the company, the workers or the customers, but we need to keep putting pressure on local management”

Amazon has said it could hire a further 1,600 people in Spain this year.

IN the morning, immediately after clocking in, former Valencia Civil servant, Carles Recio would simply turn around and leave to later return at 4pm to clock off.

According to Recio, his work duties were carried outside of the office, handling legal proceedings and advising politicians.

He did not having any physical reports on the proceedings that, as head of the division, should have been handed in on a regular basis to Valencia’s council.

In an interview with La Sexta he said: “I’ve been working like a dog” and that he would work like a “dog” so that others could reap the rewards for his work.

He claimed that he was a victim of harassment.

Over a year and a half after his colleagues finally raised the alarm, he was fired from his position and a case was opened against him.

After standing before a judge, Recio was found guilty of not carrying out his work duties for an extended period of time, for which he received two fines.

Recio has not been banned permanently from holding a public post although he could technically return to work for the Valencian authorities after nine years.

MULTIPLE reports from organisations fighting for racial justice have accused Amazon of being a platform for selling supremacist, racist and Nazi products.

Amazon says it has implemented a policy against products that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organisations with such opinions.

The online company withdrew most products matching the previous criteria.

Other products that were criticised a neck prosthesis that simulated being hung by a rope and Confederate flag merchandise.

Certain hate groups use e-books, music, social media and web services to help grow their movements and to create a physical and online following.

It is claimed by some that Amazon could be providing a platform for them if they do not enforce stricter policies.

THIS is the moment that a dramatic movie-style boat chase involving a police helicopter ended on a Costa del Sol beach packed with holidaymakers.

It came after a boat suspected of refuelling drug-smuggling vessels in the Strait of Gibraltar fled when detected by police radar.

The semi-ridged boat equipped with two powerful engines tried to flee from the helicopter.

In the video, the driver runs the boat aground before trying to escape on foot. The helicopter followed the suspect while communicating with ground units.

The suspect was detained by a swimmer and an off-duty police officer.

TOURISM in Spain is expected to increase 1.5 percent between June and September.

Thanks to this growth, the president of Costa Del Sol Tourism has stated that there will be a definitive recovery of the national market.

The province is expected to attract 7,000,000 travellers, around 104,000 more than last year.

In his opinion the most notable increase will not be the increase in numbers but a rise in spending, which in return will generate more profits.

The economic impact is estimated to be €7.4 billion, with more than 3,400 jobs potentially created, a 3.6 per cent improvement on 2017.

In order to further boost the recovery of the national market, the Centre for Costa Del Sol Tourism will be investing 50 per cent more and providing more than 60 promotional campaigns exclusively for the region.

THE European Union’s border agency chief has warned that the Morooco to Spain route could develop into the next key pathway for migrants wanting to leave Africa.

It comes after data released by the International Organisation for Migration showed that more than 6,000 migrants arrived to Spain during the first six months of 2017.

Greece and Italy have previously recorded some of the largest numbers of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.

And the EU member state last week agreed a controversial plan to curb migrants and refugees arriving from the Middle East and Africa.

The creation of secure centres to house them within the EU and sharing migrants between neighbouring states are included in the proposal.

The issue was pushed to the forefront of the EU agenda after Italy refused to open its country´s ports to migrant rescue ships.

A 19-year-old British holidaymaker has been found dead in Ibiza.

The unnamed man died in the swimming pool of a private villa in Sant Josep near Playa d’en Bossa, a favourite with British sunseekers.

Medics were called to the rented property around 3am, where they unsuccessfully tried to revive the victim.

A spokesperson from the UK Foreign Office said: “We are providing assistance to the family of a British man who died on July 8 in Ibiza, and we are in contact with Spanish authorities”

More to follow.

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