News, August 2004

Display by keyword:

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 ; tow trucks' strike now ending - insurance companies negotiating with truckers and attempting to sort out the mess left by over 5000 stranded vehicles; over 1000 aboard ship carrying illegals towards Canaries, but detained in Sierra Leone, daily news of more illegals attempting to cross straits to Spain or the Canaries; number of people held in Spanish jails has risen 17% in two years - severe overcrowding is the result; yacht and 7 crew held off Canaries with 500kg cocaine.


Olympics Spain finally achieved better results than expected, with a total of 19 medals, including 3 gold and 11 silver placing it in 20th position. The entire royal family were there to attend the award ceremony for the 49er sailing gold. The other two golds were in men's gymnastics and canoeing. Pictures:

The shocking event in the Marathon which concluded the games is worse for protestants in a non-protestant and even anti-protestant world, since the man who attacked Da Lima is apparently an Irish protestant pastor - another reason for the Spanish press to regard protestants as crazy and out of touch with reality and common decency.
Football (soccer): David Owen made a great debut with real Madrid in the Leagu, helping to line up the winning goal; Luís Aragonés appointed new national trainer after Euro debacle; in his first game, Spain beat Venezuela; Euro Cup: Spain knocked out in third game after losing to Portugal; evangelical Juan Carlos Valerón gave Spain its only goal in the competition to win in first game against Russia, but did not play against Portugal; they drew against Greece; Valerón was the only squad player not to make a pilgrimage prior to the championship to Santiago de Compostela to ask the apostle's help!
Motor: Bikes: Czech GP, Gibernau won, good results in 250 and 125; Rally: Carlos Sainz wins 26th Rally victory in Argentina to become record holder of rally victories; F1 Belgian GP: Fernando Alonso failed to finish in this race which more resembled a stock car race for all the accidents, while M Schumacher won again - currently Alonso is in 5th championship position, one point behind team mate Trulli
Tennis: Olympics: tennis doubles girls Conchita Martinez and Virginia Ruano won the silver medal. This is Conchita's third olympic medal.
Cycling: Spaniards did not do as well as hoped in the outdoor Olympics events, but made up for it in the Velodrome, with 4 medals; the course of the 2004 Vuelta Ciclista de España is available at:
Basketball Spanish team knocked out by Dream Team in quarter finals


Summer outreaches are getting under way. Full details:

Mega-Concert A major evangelistic concert event went ahead in one of Spain's principal squares and tourist attractions, La Plaza del Obradoiro, in Santiago de Compostela last Saturday night, 14th August, eve of a major date in Santiago's Holy Year. 3000 attended the concert. More:

Protestants, Jews and Muslims, through their official representative bodies, claim the same advantageous financial rights as Roman Catholics. The 3 recognised minority religions have for years demanded an end to the unconstitutional financing by the 'lay' Spanish State of the Catholic Church. Now they are changing their tune and demanding that they, too, should be financed by the State. The argument is primarily economic, but the events of 3/11 and the change of government have caused some significant rethinking all round. Evidently, there is concern about state intervention in church life which has prevented the protestants from adopting this position before, but the current state of things causes much discrimination. Evangelicals will surely be divided on this new position!

Both Roman Catholic and Evangelical churches are campaigning against the government plans to extend 'marriage' to same sex couples.

Sources El Mundo, TVE, EP