News, February 2005

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February 25th, resumé.

(Sport news click more) Government unveils a major job creation and productivity programme after Cabinet approval; 24th: secret documents were in Windsor building, burnt on 13th - now retreived from safe; bodies of 6 sailors from Siempre Casina, the fishing boat sunk off Galicia now recovered - one survived; islamic terrorist found hanged in prison cell, Zaragoza; 50,000 immigrants have requested legalisation of status in first fortnight of special process; new Talgo Pato (Duck) high-speed trains introduced to Madrid-Barcelona route; snow continues to affect north - Madrid also; El Conselh Generau d'Aran, Valle de Arán, in northern Catalonia, unaninmously requests 'free union' status within the political region - it has its own language and culture and in winter is accessible only via France; a batch of Sudan-1 contaminated Worcester Sauce has been located and withdrawn from sale in the Alicante-Benidorm area. Other recent news includes: 21st Euro Constitution Referendum: 41% voted, 77% of these for, 17% against; fishing boat sinks off Finisterre; 17th 2 ETA terrorists, Mikel Orbegozo and Sara Majarenas, arrested in Valencia with equipment to place car bomb immediately more >>

News from the Churches

Religious minorities Trust set up by government The government on 25th January established a Trust for pluralism and co-existence between the state and religious minorities, made up Evangelical, Jewish and Muslim representatives.The object of the Trust will be to channel state aid to the three recognised religious groups for cultural, educational and social projects. It has a budget of 3 million euros for 2005 It remains to be seen how projects will be classified, as some of the definitions are rather vague. It is not always easy to distinguish between, say, an educational activity and an act of worship.
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Madrid's skyline burns

14th February. Yesterday, Sunday, the Windsor building, part of Madrid's AZCA skyline and Spanish head office of Deloitte, burnt down in a fire reminiscent of 9/11. The cause is believed to have been a short circuit on the 21st floor. Meanwhile, in Barcelona, hundreds are homeless as tunnelling caused their homes to collapse: see below. more >>

New ETA blow and counter blow - Madrid's Trade Fair hit

9th February. Over night 14 presumed members of ETA were arrested. In a counter blow, ETA set off a car bomb in Madrid's trade fair, slightly wounding 42 people, just hours before king Juan Carlos was to open the annunal ARCO modern art exhibition. Evangelical leader Jose Pablo Sanchez had passed the street corner just minutes before the explosion. more >>

The Sea Inside nominated for an Oscar

25th January. Alejandro Amenábar's controversial film The Sea Inside (in Spanish Mar Adentro) has been nominated for the Oscar for the best foreign language film, having previously been awarded numerous awards in Europe and America. Variously praised or condemned for its replay of the euthanasia of Spaniard Ramón Sampedro in 1998. more >>

EU Constitutional Referendum campaign under way

20 January. A referendum has been called to approve the new European Constitution. The date is to be 20th February. more >>

Zaragoza and Bilbao chosen for upcoming world events

10 January First Zaragoza, with an Expo, now Bilbao with an ocean race, have been chosen for upcoming world events: 5-Oceans 2006 and Expo 2008. more >>

News theme: Basque politics and ETA

Until 2003, terrorism in Spain meant ETA. Bombs, or bomb threats, assassinations and extortion were a regular part of life, affecting few directly, but leaving no one completely sure that it could not hit him or her. Evidently, the events of 11th March, 2004 changed the whole way Spaniards look at terrorism, as ETA lost its monopoly with the arrival of islamic terror. At the same time, over the past 18 months many accused of key ETA roles have been arrested. Yet, while terrorism is now regarded in a different way, the Basque 'problem' continues to be a major theme in the news and the political agenda. more >>

News Theme: Big events in 2005, 400th anniversary of El Quijote

In 2005 is the 400th anniversary of the mother of all novels, Cervantes' Don Quijote, a book written under the eyes of the Spanish Inquisition but which expresses many ideas and quotes scripture at large. Evangelicals have not missed this fact and are hard at work to point out the references! more >>

News theme: weather and winter travel

Spain is not, contrary to its image, permanent summer! The tourist season is limited, even at coastal areas, except in the Canary Islands, to half the year. Winter, especially inland, is far harsher than it is in (mostly) mild Britain, so far further north. more >>

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Electronic media becomes ever more popular

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