Topics from the Spanish News for your Information and Prayer
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News from the Churches
All the most recent news from the churches is available at: 1. Our Facebook page; 2. The Protestante Digital site. You can also listen to some reports and comment. We hope their English language service will return soon. Or...
Since the summer of 2012 we are not keeping up our news on this web, but rather via our Facebook page. Sorry for any inconvenience. News and comment on it up to the summer of 2012 can be found in our archives.
Barcelona won the King's basketball cup and leads the soccer league. 'Operation Puerto', cycling's greatest doping trial s now on in Spain. Rafa Nadal returns to the tennis circuit after a 7 month break.
The Catalan elections and aspirations to independence
It was a hot political autumn in Catalonia. even as the summer was coming to its end, the regional premier, Artur Mas went to Madrid early September to ask the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, for support for a new financial deal for the region. The Basque Country has had a special financial status ever since the start of democracy, in the late 1970s. It is able to raise taxes and administers most of the spending, passing on a percentage to the central government. Catalonia, which has also had a major degree of autonomy since the early years, has no such deal on finance and its parliament had commissioned Mas to present the 'Fiscal Pact' to Rajoy. When he came back empty handed the population went wild.
News Theme: The Economy
During the decade until 2007 Spain was seen as enjoying an economic miracle. Now Spain is among the worst hit nations in Europe, with economist all over the world, not least in Spain itself, hitting hard at the government for its policies. World economic woes are certainly affecting Spain, but it is suffering more due to local matters. Several billion Euros have now been thrown by the government at the problem, but unemployment reached over 5 million, or virtually 23% by the end of 2011. It is expected to continue rising until 2013, when it might reach 25% of the working population. The new government has so far done little to get Spain back to work and offers no hope of a quick fix. We offer our view.
Unemployment in Spain (The Economist)
News theme: Corruption
At PrayforSpain we do not regularly report on a topic which sadly generates Spanish newspaper headlines every day, that of corruption. During the construction boom of the past decade there appear to have been many occurrences of builders making friends with municipal and regional politicians and civil servants responsible for planning and finances. A multitude of cases have come to court, with new arrests or revelations seemingly almost daily. But the most extraordinary case appears to be that of the director of the Palau de la Música Catalana, a concert hall in Barcelona. He turned himself in for having embezzled millions of Euros unknown to anyone and apparently providing finance for a foundation close to a political party, as well as feathering his own nest.
News theme: Basque politics and ETA
On 20th October 2011 the Basque separatist organisation, ETA announced a definitive end to its activity. For the past half century this terrorist band has been a blight on the life of Spain and especially the Basque Country. The Guardian has a complete file of reports, including the full statement of cessation of activities.
News Theme, The immigration crisis
Reports, almost daily, of open boats known variously as pateras (coming from Marrocco or Algeria) or larger cayucos (reaching the Canary islands from further south), combine with stories of illegal 'paperless' immigrants attempting to cross the fences at Ceuta and Melilla. Add to these high profile stories the situation of hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans and Romanians, not to mention Asians and you have the appearance of a significant immigration crisis. Throw in the confusion and disagreement of politicians as to how to deal with the phenomenon and you have a real crisis, now doubly significant as the jobs they are hoping for have dried up.
Here are some links to more news.