More Speed Controls This Week

August 19, 2014

GuardiaThe Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) will intensify speed controls this week.

The current campaign, which ends on Sunday 24 August, will concentrate on back roads where 75 per cent of driver fatalities occur.

As well as manned checkpoints there are 500 fixed and 250 mobile speed cameras available throughout Spain..

According to the DGT, complying with legal speed limits could prevent a quarter of accidental deaths on the roads; last year 366 people died and 1,518 were seriously injured in accidents where speed was one of the contributing factors.

Surveys show 25% of drivers admit  they  frequently exceed limits and 36% of cars regularly travel above the speed limit.

The campaign,also involving regional and municipal police, aims to shatter the myth that the profile of a typical accident victim is a young man who suffers an accident at night.

Say Yes On Teide

August 18, 2014

A young Russian on holidays in the South of Tenerife, is the first person to propose to his fiancé on top of  the Teide volcano.

The young lady said yes during the Teide Cable car sunset star watch tour -’Volcano Life Experience’.

Russians remain the biggest consumer of this trip, originally available only one day a week but now the company has had to expand due to increased demand.

The excursion pampers couples on the most important romantic event of their lives, says the project director Joan Rodríguez de la Sierra.

We leave them alone to enjoy privacy with a waiter at hand, complete with champagne glasses at the ready, exclusively for them.

Visitors can watch the sunset from Teide, enjoy dinner with a Canarian theme and experience  stargazing for 127.50 euros including collection from Southern Tenerife hotels or 71 euros if you make your own way to the cable car.

Patera Arrivals To The Canaries On The Increase

August 13, 2014
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Photo – Diario de Avisos

Over the last two years there has been a resurgence  in the arrival of  illegal immigrants to the Archipelago, mainly African migrants trying to seek a better future in Europe and although, so far, not in the numbers the Canary Islands witnessed five years ago, the fact is the arrival of “Patera” boat-people is on the increase .

Just in 2014 to-date nine vessels with a total of 178 immigrants on board have been intercepted.

This figure is higher than in the whole of 2012, when 173 illegals were detained and fast approaching last year’s figure of 196.

Six of the nine Pateras arrived  in Gran Canaria, the first on 3 January at Tarajalillo in San Bartolome de Tirajana, with 16 immigrants on board and the latest boat to be detected was on July 28, when 22 immigrants arrived in Maspalomas.

Most of the illegals were from the Maghreb and sub-Saharan countries.

Immigration officers say in the short term it seems unlikely Patera arrivals will reach the levels of 2008, 2009 or 2010, but increased police pressure on the borders of Ceuta and Melilla and the proliferation of new smuggling routes may cause an upward trend in arrivals in the coming months.

Gis’ A Job

August 12, 2014

More than 2,300 people have signed up for the Government’s “Work Cheque” scheme so far – a role reversal in job seeking - where the unemployed choose which company they want to work for, and if in agreement this company will receive a maximum subsidy of 4,500 euros.

The Minister of Employment, Industry and Commerce for the Canarian Government, Francisca Luengo, explained at a press conference today that this measure is one of many which is part of the active employment policy developed by his department.

However this controversial project has attracted a great deal of interest.

To qualify the unemployed person must be shown as registered with the Canarian Employment Service (SCE) for an uninterrupted minimum period of at least six months and the work cheque can be applied for until 15 September.

Once the employment contract is ratified there is a ten day period for the company to choose a grant, which will be 4,500 euros for indefinite contracts which includes an existing contract of at least two years and 2,500 for a temporary of at least six months, and if part-time will be proportional to the duration of the working week.

To qualify for the subsidy the company must be up to date with their tax obligations to the Canary Finance Authority, State Tax Agency and Social Security.

If the scheme is a success it will be extended to next year on a more permanent basis.

Strike Action At Los Rodeos On Wednesday

August 12, 2014

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Members of the council of Spanish Airports and Air Navigation (AENA) are staging a lock-in at the Tenerife Los Rodeos airport on Wednesday to protest against airport privatization after the government announced the sale of 49 per cent stake of the public body to private investors.

The committee has also summoned airport workers to a general meeting to be held at the end of the protest to ratify the decision to exercise their right to strike in late August.

The committee calls for a public AENA model where all of the benefits are ploughed back into the improvement and sustainability of infrastructure, regardless of the interests of private investors, because they claim the investment of short-term capital in the interests of maximizing profit in the shortest time possible, would not serve the public interest

The consequences of this, they say, would be increasing the price of air tickets, lost of competitiveness as a tourist destination, decreased quality of service, deletion of routes, closure of facilities, loss of jobs and job insecurity.

Canarian Electronic Prescriptions – Benchmark For Spain

August 8, 2014

recetaAlthough in some respects the Canarian  health system still has a long way to go, there are areas in which the archipelago has become a benchmark for the entire state.

In particular this applies to the implementation and development of electronic prescriptions, which was launched in the Islands five years ago.

Since then, over 200 million electronic prescriptions have been issued in the Canaries, so successfully the national Ministry of Health has chosen the island system to test if e-prescriptions can be interchangeable throughout the national territory.

The Ministry undertook a small test at the end of June, in which different treatment plans were issued using fictitious patients, which were then dispensed in Extremadura on the mainland, the other region chosen by the Ministry for these pilot tests.

January 1, 2015 has been set as the final date for full implementation of interchangeable electronic prescriptions for the whole Spanish  National Health System.

If using the prescription away from home each patient will pay the same percentage contribution as they would in their community of origin.

Three Arrested In Internet Repair Scam

August 7, 2014

The Guardia Civil have arrested three people in connection with an internet scam offering a repair service for electro-domestic appliances.

The investigation began following a complaint filed last February by a victim of the scam, he thought he had hired a repair service for his appliance via a website which purported to belong to the  manufacturer of the item.

Two of the detainees turned up at the victim’s home and demanded payment of a false invoice for 171 euros in the name of a fictitious company “J & J Technical Assistance 24h Granca ” for a repair that was never done.

Officers identified the owner of the website, a resident of Tenerife, who turned out to have a police record for similar offences.

The accused will appear before the magistrate in Santa María de Guía in Gran Canaria.

Tax Man Pays Back Over 331 Million Euros In Canaries

August 6, 2014

The Spanish Tax Agency (AEAT) has already paid back 331.4 million euros to 504,437 income tax payers in the Canary Islands, which makes up 86.32 per cent of the total rebate applications made.

In the Canary Islands there were 755,148 rebate claims, of which 70.38 percent were submitted by internet.

According to data from AEAT  the Tax Office has returned 146.7 million euros to 242 667 taxpayers just in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Taking national figures into account, AEAT has given back 7.670 million euros  to 12.03 million  income tax payers, but on the other side of the coin over 921 million euros has been paid in on tax returns.

For those that don’t know, if you are working in Spain, self employed or retired and fiscally resident in Spain, unlike in the UK where the tax man sets allowances against income in advance, here, most people have a straight percentage of their gross pay deducted from their pay packet, or they pay tax quarterly on business income, or tax is deducted at source on their savings interest.

Then, when their tax declarations are submitted, allowances, similar to those in the UK, (such as married man’s allowance, mortgage interest relief and tax relief on private pension contributions etc.), are added into the equation. This means many ordinary tax payers on medium to low incomes, get some sort of rebate.

Barranco del Infierno – Re-Opening In Sight?

August 5, 2014

infiernoThe Barranco del Infierno nature reserve  in Adeje, formally one of the most visited protected area of Tenerife, second only to Mount Teide, may be opening to the public again at last.

The Tenerife Cabildo is awaiting technical reports to enable the route to be reopened almost  five years after its closure due to a landslide that killed a tourist in 2009.

Despite previous  promises that the popular hike would be re-opened in 2013, it remains closed, while local inhabitants, businesses and municipal politicians continue to complain of the huge loss to the local economy caused by the extended closure.

However the Cabildo says the terrain has worsened over time and the proposed  budget to get the route open again has now tripled.

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