News, September '04

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September 28th, resumé.

(Church and Sport news click more) ETA video rejects regional president Ibrarretxe's plan for peace and justifies violence; imprisoned ETA members gave contact for 3/ bombers to get explosives; several bombs have ben placed at the foot of power line towers in the past 2 weeks - most have been defused in time, with no victims; newly approved divorce law likely to cause more marriage breakdown as separation proven to allow reconciliation; more >>

Socialists present new Religious Education plan

28th September. Among the plans for education which the new government wants to introduce, one of their priorities is in the area of Religious Education (RE). The new proposals include a new subject, 'History of Religion', compulsory for all children and taught by school staff of any or no confession, while confessional RE would have presumably reduced hours and be completely optional. more >>

Spain tops European Cocaine abuse levels

15 September. While the population at large seem to consider the problem of drug abuse is receding, due to the fall in heroin use, the sad fact is that the use of cocaine and cannabis has doubled over the past decade, according to the Health Minister. She said to Parliament. 'Something isn't working'. more >>

11 September, a day to remember

While the Catalan people have been celebrating 11th September for years, the rest of Spain now joins in taking this day to remember its almost 200 dead at the hands of international islamic terrorism on 11th March this year. It also remembers from a greater distance, the dead in the many other related attacks around the globe since even before 11 September 2001. more >>

The other 9/11: Catalonia's national day... and other September Fiestas

For Catalonia, September 11th marks not an event in recent american history, so much as an event of equally sad significance in the own history. On that date, in 1714, at the end of the war of the Spanish Succession, Catalonia fell to the advancing Borbon troops of Castille which took over the country and did away with the governing structures of Catalonia and the kingdom of Aragon which had existed since medieval times. more >>

82 year old Fraga stands again for president in Galicia

12th September. Manuel Fraga Iribarne, president of Galicia's regional Xunta, has been unanimously named official Partido Popular candidate for the forthcoming regional elections. He has already been president for 4 terms, having started his political carreer during the Franco era, when he was minister for 'Information and Tourism', more >>

While illegals risk all, government changes immigration rules

15th September. After a summer of daily news about detention of illegals attempting to cross the Straits, or bodies washed up on the beaches, the government has announced changes in the rules about recognition of the 'paperless people' already here. Recognition and work permits may now be easier to obtain through 'denouncing' their employers. 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 >>

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 are dominating 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, Late Summer in Spain and the Weather

During August, the main news concerning the weather was the extreme heat and forest fires, causing loss of life as well as much damage to property. In September the main topic is late summer storms. In the past 24 hours heavy rain storms affected parts of Valencia and the Balearics and more storms were forecast. But the most widely feared phenomenon is known as the 'Gota Fría'. more >>