News, April 2005

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April 29th, resumé.

(Sport news click more) 6 million trips expected: Spain off for long hot (30ºC) and sunny weekend - Monday national and Tuesday Madrid holidays; 28th: Socialist leader in Senate may introduce changes to gay marriage law to reach broader consensus - widely criticised at present, especially by all religious groups; 2 presumed ETA terrorists arrested in France; Congress ratifies EU Constitution; El Mundo reveals that ex members of ETA related Batasuna party were involved in the PCTV's election team, although not in its lists of candidates in the recent Basque elections; 5541 foreign children adpoted last year; 100 driving schools accused of putting 12,000 false licences into circulation - 24 arrested; 27th: 3 boats with 147 would-be immigrants intercepted off south coast; 10 kids infected with TB by teacher in Barcelona kindergarden; latest population statistics show 650,000 more migrated to Spain in 2004. more >>

News from the Churches

Spanish evangelical reactions to the election of Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI are sure to be quick in arriving. P4S suspects that whoever had been elected would not have been especially good news for evangelical relations with the Spanish branch of the Roman Catholic church, but the choice of a well-known conservative will not bode well for an improvement in (almost non-existent) relationships. more >>

New ETA arrests

29th April. Yesterday two more presumed ETA members were arrested in Caussade, France, adding to other recent arrests over the past months. On this occasion police work was more a question of luck than hard work, as the terrorists forgot a bag of laundry, including an ETA engraved pistol at the launderette! Peio Eskisabel Urtuzaga (alias 'Xerpa') is considered the leader of ETA's international operations and likely successor to Mikel Antxa, arrested late last year. more >>

23rd April, '05 - Cervantes' Day and Don Quixote is 400 years old!

23rd April is a big day in Spain for culture and more so this year than any. It is Cervantes' official birthday -actually the anniversary of his death in 1616. This year is also the 400th anniversary of the publication of Don Quijote (part 1). In addition, it is St. George's Day, a public holiday in several regions and cities. All over Spain it is also known as 'The Day of the Book' more >>

Macro Al Quaeda cell trial under way in Madrid

22 April and following. A major trial has begun into the Spanish cell of Al Quaeda which existed around the time of the 9/11 attacks in the USA. Among the 24 accused is IMAD EDDIN BARAKAT, 'Abu Dahdah', presumed to have been the leader of the cell and contact person with Bin Laden. The main suspects could face sentences of up to 65,500 years! more >>

Homosexual 'Marriage' approved by Congress

21st April. This morning the Congress, Spain's lower house, voted in favour of changing the Civil Code to allow homosexual 'marriages', to be considered legally on the same level as heterosexual marriage. Conservatives in the house voted against the change. Representatives of all the recognised religious groups in Spain, including protestants, as well as other groups, such as the Spanish Family Forum, have expressed their concern and objections to the law. more >>

Basque elections produce stalemate

[Image 24???]18th April. The regional elections held yesterday in the Basque Country resulted in a stalemate.It has been a political upset for almost every party. Virtually no stable majority is workable with the current arrangement of seats without considerable compromise. more >>

'Extraordinary Regularisation of paperless immigrants' proceeds apace

April. Announced late last year and started during March, hundreds of thousands of immigrants to Spain who had previously not had their 'papers' in order with the government, have been given a 3 month window to sort out their irregular situation. 800,000 are expected to apply for 'regularisation' by 7th May. Now the government is making it a bit easier for the 'illegals' to obtain their residence and work permits. 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 a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire to call to mind... on just such a day as this 400 years ago... 2005 is the 400th anniversary of (part 1 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 >>

More News

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