Tagged: police

Spain Now a Safer Country

Secretary of State for Security, Francisco Martínez, has stressed that “Spain is now a safer country”, whilst reporting in a conference this week how the current crime rate has fallen from 48.4 in late...

Cheesy Thief

The prosecutor of the courts in Logroño is asking for an 18 month prison sentence to be imposed on an individual who committed armed robbery of a Mercadona supermarket in the town. The incident...

LEADER NEWS BITES 20 APRIL 15

ROYAL GIFT
PONY-TAILED Pablo Iglesias shunned protocol to give King Felipe the complete ‘Game of Thrones’ series when they met for the first time on Wednesday. The king reacted graciously at the MEP meet-up in Brussels, grinning and admitting he had not yet seen the series. Podemos leader Iglesias reportedly gifted the violent series to him so he might ‘better understand the political crisis in Spain’. It was the king’s first visit as monarch to the European Parliament to greet the 54 Spanish MEPs, five of whom are Podemos politicians.

COCA COLA DECISION OVERTURNED
Spain’s Supreme Court said Wednesday it had upheld a lower court decision to void the layoffs of 1,190 workers at Coca-Cola Co.’s Spanish bottler, saying it infringed on workers’ right to strike as the bottler didn’t present workers with a detailed plan of its decision to close down some of its factories in 2014. The ruling follows a dispute ongoing for more than a year and means workers at four out of 11 bottling plants that were scheduled to close can return to their jobs with back salaries.

HATE CRIMES
Forty percent of the 1,285 hate crimes reported to police across Spain last year targeted gays and lesbians, the interior ministry said on Tuesday. there were a total of 513 hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation or sexual identity reported to police in 2014, a 13.5 percent increase over the previous year, the ministry said in a report. The vast majority of the victims, 72 percent, were women.

MONUMENT DESECRATED
On the threshold of the Armenian Genocide centennial, a medieval Armenian monument has been desecrated in Alicante. The local Armenian community has applied to authorities with a request to renovate the cross, find the criminals and hold them accountable who say they are taking measures to ensure security during all events the Armenian community organizes in April and to ensure that monuments are not damaged in the future.

PSOE GAFFE
The PSOE has apologised after accidentally voting in parliament for a proposal on abortion that his own party is against. Socialist chief Pedro Sanchez pressed the wrong button during the vote on whether to debate a law requiring minors to get parental permission before getting an abortion. “I deeply regret my error,” he said. The move, proposed by the governing Popular Party (PP), passed easily due to its parliamentary majority. Sanchez faced ridicule on social media for the gaffe. Some users drew comparisons with Homer Simpson, the US cartoon character who once avoided a nuclear meltdown by guessing which button to press in an emergency.

WAR ON TERRORISM
SPAIN’S foreign affairs minister has suggested setting up an international ‘terrorism tribunal’ in a bid to fight the spread of Jihad at the Euro-Arab summit meeting in Barcelona last week. José Manuel García-Margallo says this would be a completely separate entity from the existing International Criminal Court and would allow countries which have not yet signed up to the latter – such as China, the USA and Israel – to join forces in the war on terrorism.

MOBSTER HELD
One of Italy’s most wanted gangsters has been detained on the Costa del Sol in Spain while trying to withdraw money from a post office. Lucio Morrone, known as “Spalluzzella”, is described by Spain’s Guardia Civil as head of a dangerous clan in the Naples Camorra. He was sentenced to 20 years in jail for drug trafficking and on the run for five years, says Spain’s Civil Guard. Morrone was caught in a joint operation involving Spanish and Italian police.

VOTING WEBSITE
Website crypto problems on the Spanish online voting registration website are causing it to generate all manner of security warnings. Attempts to visit the sede.ine.gob.es site – run by Spain’s National Statistics Institute and introduced this year for municipal/regional elections –lead to users being confronted with a security warning. However, the warnings vary depending on the operating system and browser a surfer is using. A spokesman said that such website problems are sadly common.

CATHOLIC BASTION
More than half of Spaniards admit that they are either “not religious” or are “convinced atheists”, according to a new global study that shows the dramatic loss of faith in the traditionally Roman Catholic nation. In fact with one in five Spaniards insisting that they are “convinced atheists” Spain ranks fifth on the global list of adamant non-believers. The study surveyed 63,398 people in 65 countries in a bid to discover global religious trends. Once the bastion of Roman Catholicism, only 37 percent of those polled described themselves as “religious”.

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL
The Catalonian town of Navás has installed Spain’s first stolpersteine – stones commemorating victims of the Holocaust. The five stones were unveiled on Thursday afternoon in memory of five neighbours who died in Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp near the villages of Mauthausen and Gusen in Austria. The 10cm by 10cm stones include their details; names, date of birth and their place of death, as a way to commemorate their lives. The stolpersteine memorials were created by German artist Gunter Demnig

WHAT TRANSPARENCY?
Spain ranks in the bottom four when it comes to regulating the “hidden influence” of lobbyists in government, according to a report on European countries released by Transparency International on Wednesday. Spain was ranked 16th out of the 19 countries surveyed – with only Italy, Cyprus and Hungary faring worse – with an overall score of 21 percent for being able to safeguard against undue influence from lobbyists.

HEADING TO SPAIN
BRITISH pensioners are cashing in and heading abroad to make the most of new pension reforms. Buying a holiday home abroad – particularly in Spain – has been identified as ‘one of the main investments’ made by pensioners withdrawing large sums from their savings. Reforms introduced by UK chancellor George Osborne allow people unlimited withdrawals from their pensions after age 55. And while most people are not seeking an immediate payout it seems those that do are spending it overseas.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/47019/

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BBVA GIVE IN TO CHAINED COUPLE

Sonia and Paco emerge victorious

Following the loss of their home, and after 94 days of confrontation during which time Sonia and Paco have been chained to a fence outside the BBVA de Alfonso El Sabio, close to the Alicante Central Market, the bank has finally agreed to reduce their 135,000 debt euro to just 10,000 which the couple have agreed to pay back over the next 15 years.

In addition, Sonia’s parents aged, 74 and 77, who acted as their guarantors, will no longer have to pay 160 euros a month following their default.

Having obtained a mortgage from the bank three years ago the couple, who have two young girls, lost their home in 2013.

The tug of war with BBVA began when the couple became unemployed. During the first months, they were able to meet the mortgage payment from their unemployment benefits but when this was reduced they were forced to request a loan extension of an additional 11,000 euros.

Far from solving the problem, the situation worsened. Almost 40,000 euros in debt their benefits were stopped and it became impossible for them to deal with their monthly bills.

They ended up being evicted and the house was auctioned. During this process, the couple held talks with BBVA, initially suggesting a payment proposal for their outstanding debt but the company would not budge.

On December 23 Paco chained himself outside the bank but all the time negotiations continued. He was offered a reduction of his debt – 110,000 euros to 35,000 – payable for 12 years at almost 300 euros a month, but from a total income of 426 euros per month, 75 euros of which went to pay for their social housing, the couple rejected the proposal.

The couple then enlisted the help of the Platform Affected by Mortgage (PAH) in Alicante while the pair continued to camp outside the branch as leverage. “The first night we tried to sleep in the ATM machine but the security firm alerted police and we were kicked out”, Paco said. Finally they decided to sleep in the open air accompanied by several members of the platform.

What began as an act of protest turned into an encampment. There were several mattresses, sofa, tables, chairs and three tents. “There is no way that we are going to from here until they accept [the bank] our conditions,” Paco said 80 days ago.

And the couple’s actions were finally rewarded last Wednesday when they were called into the bank and the new terms agreed. Importantly the agreement states that the debt will not be inherited by the children in the unlikely event that it is not paid off by Paco and Sonia. “That was one particularly important clause that we insisted be included” the couple said.

Sonia, meanwhile, has thanked the PAH and other associations in Altea and Valencia that provided their support, as well as the thousands of people who gave their support or provided food and hot drinks.

For their part, the BBVA confirmed the agreement and pointed out that “this was not the first time that they had been offered a debt repayment plan”. “We have never stopped looking for solutions”, said a bank spokesman.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/46991/

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NEWS BITES 13 APRIL 2015

ROAD DEATHS UP

A total of 248 people died in Spanish road accidents during the first quarter of the year, according to Spain’s DGT national highway agency, the highest number of traffic victims in the period since 2002.

The death toll is also up 28 victims from the same quarter last year. DGT Director María Seguí attributed the high number of fatalities to “improvements in the economy” and falls in fuel prices, which he says encourage more people onto the road.

CHARITY SWIM DISRUPTED

Gibraltar will take action against the captain of a Spanish fishing boat who refused to move his vessel to allow a charity swim to go ahead safely. As hardy swimmers prepared to take to the sea in Catalan Bay, Royal Gibraltar police officers were alerted to several vessels raking the seabed for shellfish. When police ordered the Spanish fishing crews to move on for safety reasons, one captain initially refused and a Spanish guardia civil patrol boat arrived at the scene – leading to a one-hour standoff. The rest of the fishermen, all from the Spanish town of La Línea, moved on but the captain of the boat which did not at first respond to the police order to move, has been reported to a magistrates court.

DRAIN CLEANING IN TORREVIEJA

Torrevieja based water supply company Agamed has announced the first disinfection scheme of the year has begun in the city. All municipal water wells and sewage systems will be treated during the course of the campaign which is expected to last for around 2 months.

RAJOY TO STAND

Spain’s conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Monday he will seek re-election in this year’s national polls, despite facing criticism after his party was trounced in a key regional vote last month.”I’d like to be a candidate again and try and become prime minister again,” Rajoy told public radio RNE. This is the first time Rajoy has clearly stated he would be running in November’s general election.

SCOTS DROWNING DEATH

A SCOTS tourist has died in an apparent drowning just hours into a sunshine break with friends. Brian Nicol, 32, failed to surface after diving into the swimming pool at the luxury Costa del Sol holiday villa where he was staying with pals. Anguished friends dragged Glasgow-born Mr Nicol out of the water and tried to revive him. Local police took over after reaching the scene shortly before paramedics but could nothing to save him.

SPANISH CAVERS DIE

Two Spanish cavers have died and one has survived after being trapped for days at the bottom of a deep ravine in Morocco’s Atlas mountains. A 27-year-old was rescued late on Sunday, but his two companions died of their injuries before they could be rescued. Local media report that he is uninjured but suffering from hypothermia and post traumatic stress. The survivor was a 27 year old police officer.

GYPSY PROTESTS

Spanish groups representing gypsies Wednesday launched a campaign to remove a reference to them as swindlers from the world’s benchmark Spanish dictionary. The country’s Gypsy Secretariat Foundation and others delivered protest letters to members of Spain’s Royal Language Academy, which produces the definitive Spanish dictionary. Foundation spokeswoman Pilar Calon says the campaign attempts to raise awareness of discrimination against gypsies, also known as Roma.

DAWN ARRESTS

Spain arrested nine people in the northeastern region of Catalonia early on Wednesday as part of an operation against Islamist militants. “The arrested are accused, amongst other crimes, of belonging to a terrorist organisation,” a spokeswoman for the Catalan police said. The arrests took place following dawn raids at 17 different properties in the region.

SPAIN BLOCKS MUSIC SITE

Spain’s National High Court has blocked Goear.com, a website containing over four million audio files, after a judge accepted an appeal lodged by copyright collecting society AGEDI. The court initially rejected a decision by the country’s culture ministry to declare the streaming site illegal but it eventually accepted AGEDI’s arguments on appeal and ordered operators to block access to the site within 72 hours.

ROAD DEATHS DOWN

A total of 33 people have died in 31 traffic accidents on interurban roads during the Easter holiday, the period from Friday March 27 at 15:00 through to midnight on Monday. According to the DGT there were 13.8 million long-haul journeys, 7.28% more than the same period last year. The number of fatalities were four less than at Easter 2014, the lowest since 1960.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/46953/

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ANTI-SPEEDING CAMPAIGN STARTS ON MONDAY

Monday sees the start of the latest week-long campaign to try to make the roads of Spain a little safer, with the DGT turning the attention to traffic police to one of the most dangerous elements of road safety, excessive speed.
The campaign will run …

NEW MOTORBIKES FOR ELCHE POLICE

The local police in Elche are celebrating, having taken delivery of 14 new motorbikes.
Five of the bikes are being assigned to the “urban mobility” section, which deals with such matters as parking and can be frequently seen not only in th…

DAYA NUEVA POLICE TO BE MOBILE AGAIN

The Local Police of Daya Nueva will be mobile once again soon, after the municipal government approved an extraordinary expense of 17,000 euro to buy the officers a patrol vehicle.
The officers had been without a vehicle for a month, after the lease …

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