News, June 2005

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June 30th, resumé.

(Sport news click more) Congress approves gay marriage law, while Family Forum demonstrate again and present prosecutors with details of the death threats they have received; another law was approved permitting fast track divorces from only 3 months after marriage; also approved was the point system for driving licences and measures to counter the nationwide drought; Paris court condemns 5 ETA members to prison for dynamite robbery; Madrid's Metro announced summer closures, including shorter hours to the airport more >>

News from the Churches

Festimadrid Crowds
Festimadrid reaches 75,000 Over June 24th and 25th, this major Christian street festival featuring musicians from the Hispanic world and speaker Luís Palau took place in the Plaza in front of Madrid's Las Ventas bull ring. Among the musicians were José Luis Rodríguez (el Puma), Yuri, Rescate and Marcos Vidal. more >>

1.5 million demonstrate against homosexual marriage in Madrid

18th, 20th, 30th June. Estimates of numbers vary from 1.5 million according to the organisers down to 166,000 according to the government, with the regional government saying 'above 700,000. By any standards a large number were out on the streets of Madrid to demand rejection in the Senate of the bill currently before it to equate homosexual unions with traditional marriage before the law, including the right to adopt children. The Senate rejected the bill, adopting a motion of veto presented by the Catalan CiU party. The bill is again in the Congress today, where the left wing majority is expected to approve it. more >>

Winter drought brings stored water to record lows

1 May, 29th June. The environment minister, Cristina Narbona has called on all to conserve water, after winter rainfall (November to March) was at its lowest since 1947. Levels in the reservoirs, as we head into the usually dry summer season, can only guarantee supplies to homes until October. And she fears that this may be the first in a series of dry years. more >>

New ETA arrests, new bombs

Early June. As you can read in the news resumé, hopes that ETA's activity have not been well founded. Despite the many recent arrests and words of willingness to negotiate coming from the government, hard liners on both sides of the ETA war continue their intransigence.On the 10th, as demonstrations were being called by the Association for Victims of Terrorism (AVT) against government plans for 'peace talks', another attack came with grenades launched against the airport at Zaragoza. 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 >>

Election campaign in Galicia - Fraga finally out of politics.

The election was on June 19th. At the time of writing the result is still dependent on the counting of the postal vote from overseas, which could swing it back... Manuel Fraga, Spain's longest serving regional president and by far the longest serving politician, was hoping for yet another term in office as president of Galicia, Spain's most north-westerly region. Although polls suggested the Partido Popular would once again get the most votes, both voting and the combined seats of the Socialists and Galician Block (BNG) saw Fraga finaly into retirement - by one. 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 >>

News Theme, Summer in Spain and the Weather

Schools are out soon! Summer is on its way! On approximately 20th June each year, schools close for the summer. By that time it is 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 >>