News, August 2004

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August 31st, resumé.

(Church and Sport news click more) Tow truck strike finally called off; Syrian detainee on 3/11 charges now released; troops leaving for duty in Afghanistan; president Zapatero reported 25th to the King on recent events including the ETA bombings in the north and the tow truck strike - both are now ending their holidays on the Balearic islands; seven bombs placed recently along north coast by ETA - no severe victims - see separate article; government to make official statement on new immigration rules in coming days - after playing around with a number of ideas over the summer months; other issues immediately facing the government are the 2005 budget, Kyoto gas emissions bill allowing emissions trading and a law on Sunday opening, allowing regions to decide, but making 8 Sundays a year compulsory opening days; divorce to be made easier by becoming as simple as separation - Zapatero wants much more 'lay legislation' during this parliament; RC church continues to clamour against 'moral degradation in legislation'; the Bank of Spain believes the arrival of immigrants contributed 'two tenths' (of one percent) to the growth of the economy in 2003 more >>

While illegals risk all, government plans changes to immigration rules

28 August. After a summer of daily news about detention of illegals attempting to cross the Straits, or bodies washed up on the beaches, the government is about to announce some changes in the rules about recognition of the 'paperless people' already here. more >>

ETA stikes again: 7 bombs along north coast

10 August. On Saturday, 8th, ETA detonated two small bombs in seaside towns along the northern 'Green' coast of the peninsula. These were the first actions by ETA for months and the first terrorist action since the 3/11 bombings in Madrid. Fortunately, despite both localities being very busy with holiday makers, no one was hurt in the blasts. more >>

José Borrell elected President of the European Parliament

20 July. José Borrell, leader of the Spanish PSOE (socialist) members in the European Parliament has been elected its president. more >>

San Fermín, Pamplona's bull-running Fiesta

7th July is the day that the inhabitants of Pamplona celebrate their patron saint, San Fermín. It is the first day of a week of bull-running and fiestas. Made famous by Hemingway's book more >>

News theme: Basque politics and ETA

During July and August (2003) many of us were concerned by the numerous attacks by ETA terrorists, for foreigners and Spaniards at large,most notably the hotel bombings in Alicante and Benidorm. Over the winter months, attention moved to the many arrests made and by early March it seemed that ETA was in trouble, but still with plenty of raw recruits able to place bombs if asked. The suddenly the perceived threat changed. more >>

News Theme: Big events in 2004, Holy Year for Santiago and Forum of the Cultures in Barcelona, 500th anniversary of the death of Queen Isabel I

This year, three major long-running events will dominate the Spanish 'cultural diary'. They are the Año Jacobeo, or Holy Year of Pilgrimage to Santiago in Galicia, the Forum of the Cultures in Barcelona and the 500th anniversary of the deat of Isabel I, founder of the Spanish Inquisition. The first two, particularly, will draw many thousands of visitors, curious to see what is going on or perhaps committed to a particular expression of spirituality. more >>

News Theme, Summer in Spain and the Weather

Schools are out! Summer has officially begun! On approximately 20th June each year, schools close for the summer. It is now too hot in most areas to hold classes without expensive air conditioning, more >>

Summer is here, happy fiestas!

Fiesta time is round again. Through the spring, fiestas, or city/village celebration weeks, have already been a big part of life. After Easter, the cities of Andalusia begin a round of Ferias, starting with the greatest of them all in Seville. By June, most towns and villages want to join in, with festivities traditionally centred on a saint's or 'virgin's' day. more >>

More News

A few more news items and where to find more news about Spain: more >>