Tag: Spain

Should the Guardia Civil have tattoos?

This is the debate currently being voiced between the Ministry of the Interior and the Guardia Civil themselves. The intention was announced a few months ago by the government to regulate more closely the appearance of the Guardia Civil officers, including their tattoos.
Currently the rules state that tattoos are acceptable but must not contravene constitutional values. They must not express discriminatory views or images and should not reflect a specific political opinion. However, a few months ago it was proposed that tattoos shouldn’t be allowed at all.
Since then a new draft decree amends this original prohibitive proposal and would allow those who are already Guardia Civil officers to retain their tattoos and would not require them to cover them up. However, the application of the new ruling would also be down to the head of the individual unit and this could cause internal difficulties within the force.
Traditionally, the prohibition of tattoos only applied to those joining the police force. Once they were accepted, trained and on duty then they were allowed to have them done. In some cases it could be that the head of the unit would require the officers to cover them up but now many officers on the beat are in opposition to the idea that this is no longer down to individual judgement but would be a ruling.
It is also quite difficult to cover up some tattoos, depending on their location. Those on the neck or hands are particularly difficult to disguise by using makeup and the use of bandages to cover them would look worse than the tattoos themselves.
The new draft is also causing concern because of the suggestion that those officers who already have a tattoo should have them photographed and registered in order to check that they do not have any more. However, many officers feel that this is an unacceptable intrusion and treats them like cattle. It is planned that officers would have three months in which to declare their tattoo and that following this, if they have another one then they could be investigated and charged.
It is not only tattoos that are included in the draft regulations. There are plans to include regulations about hair styles, beards and moustaches. For many members of the Guardia civil it isn’t their appearance that should be in the spotlight but the shortage of police officers and the difficulties with recruitment.

Second heatwave on the way

A second heatwave is due to hit the Alicante province, driving temperatures up to 40 degrees. The mercury hit 36 in Alicante on Sunday with temperatures in Rojales reaching 34 – although with the humidity factor the ‘real feel’ was higher still. Monday saw some reprieve from the severe heat with a slight drop in temperatures and for the most part of this coming week, the heat should be typical for July. However, a second heatwave is due to descend on Friday.
Director of the Climatology Lab at Alicante University, Jorge Olcina warned that the second heatwave, due to manifest on Friday July 5th, will affect the entire Alicante province and temperatures throughout the weekend will be exceptionally high. So, until Thursday, maximum temperatures predicted for the Alicante province are 29 degrees on the coast and 31 inland. On Friday however, these figures will shoot up to 35 degrees in seaside towns and as high as 39 inland. Moreover, according to the Climatology Lab’s weather models, we can expect temperatures of 42 degrees in places of the Vega Baja.
Experts say that the second heatwave will not last as long as the one we have just experienced, but the heat will be “especially intense”. According to Sr. Olcina a wave of Saharan air will blow across the peninsula and bringa very warm, dry air mass from Africa over to Alicante and Murcia.
Olcina also warned that these bursts of heat will cause the area to become very hot over the coming weeks so another risk factor to consider are torrential rains – not necessarily immediately, but in the long term.
Murica man one of several heat related deaths
Two people have already died from heatstroke in Spain and two more have been hospitalised.
Locally, a 45-year-old farmer was admitted in a serious condition with heatstroke symptoms in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Murcia, and a fire fighter from the Catalan Fire Department has also been taken to hospital after suffering from heatstroke while fighting the wildfire in La Ribera d’Ebre in Tarragona.
A 17-year-old man died in the early hours of Friday morning in a hospital in Córdoba after being admitted for heatstroke, according to the regional health department. The man was working outside when he began to feel dizzy. He jumped into the pool on the rural property to cool down but when he got out he began to suffer convulsions. The 17-year-old was taken to the Reina Sofía Hospital in Córdoba and died after CPR failed to revive him.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, an 80-year-old man died from a possible case of heatstroke in Valladolid. The elderly man died a little before 5.50pm at a street intersection in the city. Emergency services rushed to the spot but when they arrived there was little they could do as the man had already passed away.

La Mata paseo plans

We’re into the summer season and last minute plans are being made to do something about the wooden walkway along La Mata beach front. Work has begun to repair this section of the beach promenade which has been closed to the public. Now, the town council has received authorisation from the Costa’s provincial service to remove the iron railing that separates the walkway from the beach.
A new railing will not be installed. Instead other means will be used of marking out the pedestrian zone from the beach itself. The current mayor of the town, Eduardo Dolón was quick to blame the previous four years of government for the poor state of the planks on the paseo and the need to close it to the public.
Of course, it should be remembered that the gradual deteriorationof the walkway did not just happen in the last four years. For many years there has been a patching up process when what was really needed was for the whole structure to be replaced. A variety of political hurdles, including the difficulties of negotiating with provincial authorities, has held up restoration work.
The closure of this promenade has not only affected those that use it to get from A to B but also the ten catering establishments that operate along it and the kiosks on the beach. La Mata beach lost the blue flag accreditation that it has usually been given and this has been cited as the main reason. What is most important now is that something is done to enable the paseo to be used again.

Heatwave claims lives

Spain’s soaring temperatures continue with severe hot weather across most of the country set to remain over the weekend. Two people have died and another is fighting for life as a direct result of the searing heat.
Temperatures are said to reach up to 42 degrees in parts and already the heat has claimed at least two lives. A 17 year old died in the early hours of Friday morning in Cordoba. He is believed to have suffered heat exhaustion while working outside. Officials said the youngster collapsed after feeling dizzy and jumping into the pool at the property where he was working.
The regional Junta de Andalucia government said it “regretted the youngster’s death and sent its condolences to his family and friends for their loss” in a statement.
The death of an 80-year-old man in Valladolid, northern Spain, has also been blamed on the extreme temperatures. The man had been walking to a dental appointment when he collapsed at around 6pm on Thursday. Police sources said they believed he had been wearing too many clothes for the 37 degrees temperature at the time.
Meanwhile, fire crews are battling a major wildfire that probably started after a heap of manure self-ignited amid the intense European heat wave.
Around 10,000 acres of forest and other vegetation were affected by the blaze near Tarragona, according to the Catalan regional government.
Authorities said the fire likely began when an “improperly managed” pile of manure self-combusted in the heat, causing sparks.

Britain and Spain must create future together

British ambassador extols the excellent relationship between the UK and Spain, both inside and outside the EU: We must “create our future together”
 This is the British Ambassador’s last celebration of The Queen’s Birthday in Madrid, as his six years in Spain come to an end in August.
On Thursday 20 June, more than 700 people celebrated the strong links that unite the UK and Spain at The Queen’s Birthday Party, a party to celebrate the 93rd birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, who in 2019 also celebrates 67 years as sovereign.
The part ytook place in the British Ambassador’s official residence in Madrid under the banner of “Creating our future” and brought together personalities from the worlds of politics, business and society, such as the Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities, Pedro Duque; the Secretary of State for Tourism, Isabel Maria Oliver; the Congressional spokesperson for Ciudadanos, Inés Arrimadas; and the Vice-President of Banco Santander, Matías Rodríguez-Inciarte.
In his welcome address, HMA Simon Manley underlined the excellent ties between both countries and called for the continuation of this special relationship in the future.
“We have shared challenges such as climate change, the ageing population, Islamist terrorism and the digital revolution. Inside or outside the European Union we have to tackle them together,” emphasised the Ambassador.
Spain and the UK have trade flows of more than 62,000 million euros per year. More than 300,000 UK nationals live in Spain and nearly 200,000 Spaniards live, study and work in the UK. Academic ties and the collaboration between security forces in the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism are also very strong.
This was the last Queen’s Birthday Party in Madrid for Simon Manley who, in August, will hand over to the new Ambassador Hugh Elliott, who has been Director of Communication in the Government’s Department for Exiting the EU, and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
“I am grateful to the Spanish people for their collaboration and help, and I confess that this has been the best job of my life”, adds Manley.
Using the hashtag #QBPMadrid2019 on Twitter and Instagram you can see everything related to the party. The Embassy has just launched its official Instagram channel @ukinspain.


The 49 year old Hungarian man, arrested in relation to the alleged murder of his 37 year old partner earlier this week, has appeared in court today (Thursday). The man and his partner are believed to have lived in Spain since September of last year, although not officially registered on the padrón.
The alleged murder took place on Monday when the woman’s body was found at the couple’s apartment in Ciudad Quesada. Authorities are awaiting the result of an autopsy to ascertain how the woman died. The body was discovered shortly after 9pm when the suspect phoned a friend who lives in the same urbanisation of ‘Pueblo Bravo’ to tell him what had happened.

Satellites Direct leads the way for TV services

With its head office in San Miguel, Satellites Direct has been leading TV services on the Costa Blanca for more than ten years and with owner Nigel having more than 30 years experience in the industry customers are in safe and knowledgeable hands.
Satellites Direct covers La Manga to Alicante including Torrevieja, Villamartin, La marina, Quesada and inland to Murcia and Orihuela in the Costa Blanca region and beyond. The company has a 4.8 rating out of 5 ranking on Google and strives to give customers the best deal and good honest service with the best advice.
Offering 350 channels from the UK on the Freesat system with no monthly payments, Satellites Direct can also offer official sky cards for Sky sports and movies, sky receivers , NOW TV boxes, and IPTV systems offering the best English television. Everything is in stock including satellite receivers and cards, satellite dishes, remote controls, mag boxes, LNB´s and additional stock.
The team is fully trained and insured qualified installers offers second-to-none knowledge and service. The company has an excellent reputation and is well regarded as being one of the best for service, installation and customer care in the area. Customers can have confidence in dealing with friendly staff at a local headquarters, where they are welcome to discuss their needs.
So if you are looking for UK TV in Spain whether it be Freesat, SKY, IPTV or are having issues with your TV service then look no further than Satellites Direct in San Miguel.
For further information call 966 723 792 visit: www.satellitesdirect.net or email: satellites direct@yahoo.co.uk. Alternatively call into the office in Calle Ronda Oests 4, San Miguel de Salinas open 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

New Ambassador to Spain

The new British ambassador to Spain is a former Brexit chief who will replaces Simon Manley next year. Mr Manley CMG will step down from his role as the British Ambassador to Spain next summer and be replaced by a Brexit communications director.
Manley, 51, has held the post since 2013, but in 2019 will make way for Hugh Elliott, who is the current Director of Communication and Stakeholders at the Department for Exiting the European Union.
Father-of-three and Oxford graduate Manley wished his successor a ‘heartfelt welcome’ to his new job.
Elliott, who has held several high-level posts in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) since 1989, said: “It will be a pride and a pleasure to represent the United Kingdom in Spain and take over next summer.”
Despite his Brexit credentials, the FCO claimed the reason for Elliott’s takeover of the role from Manley is that ‘appointments change every 3 to 4 years.’ Elliott will hope to emulate the illustrious career of his predecessor, who had many highlights as a British envoy, including receiving a cooking lesson from the three-Michelin star-winning Spanish chef David Muñoz.
Another key moment of Manley’s diplomatic tenure was the recent Tertulias event, where Harriet Harman, Boris Johnson and Ed Miliband were accompanied by the ambassador in the 30th annual Anglo-Spanish celebration of bilateral and cultural links.
Manley said: “It has been the best charge of my diplomatic career, a great honour, and a pleasure to work to reinforce the bonds between our two great countries – and I’m not leaving, I have nine more months!”

Vandals desecrate RBL memorials to brave British soldiers

There was outrage amongst members of the Royal British Legion as a cross to fallen war
heroes and an RBL time capsule were both found to have been vandalised in recent
separate attacks in Mil Palmeras and Torrevieja.
Mil Palmeras, the RBL time capsule which sits alongside the Remembrance Garden in the
forecourt of the Catholic Church Capilla de las Mil Palmeras was attacked. The time capsule
sits under a heavy glass cover which looked as though it had been shattered with a heavy
bar or hammer. The time capsule contains a number of specially chosen items which depict
the establishment and evolution of the Orihuela and Costa District Branch. This includes
documents, photographs and CD’s all of which were laid in whats was thought to be a safe
haven for future generations to enjoy.
Committee member and RBL Standard Bearer Eddie Coleman, was first to notice the
smashed cover and has since been hard at work repairing the damage. He had to remove
the ruined glass and cover the plinth with a temporary top until such time as a new cover
can be ordered. Mr Coleman also said that whilst he was carrying out the repair he found
evidence of drug usage by the side of the monument.
In La Siesta, just outside the Parish Church, the marble base of the cross standing in the RBL
Memorial Garden has also been damaged by someone using a heavy object and although
the incidents are thought not to be related, it’s a double blow for the organisation, which
now has to pay for the repairs. The base of the cross also appears to have been dealt several
heavy blows with a hammer. The mindless vandalism has left the rectangular base smashed,
resulting in several thousands of euros worth of damage.
The vandalism in La Siesta was first noticed by Pastor Keith Brown, the Chaplain of the Royal
British Legion in Spain North, who regularly visits the monument to pay his respects.
Keith said: “I was absolutely mortified when I first saw the destruction that the vandals had
caused. Although I have asked around, nobody seems to have any information about the
incident so there seems to be little that we can do. I will be speaking to my fellow priests at
La Siesta Church, along with the President and Chairman of the Torrevieja RBL branch to see
how we can stop it from happening again.”

Harold via email asks:
Hi Aunty, could you please tell me how to completely remove AVG from my laptop as I’m sick of it popping up every time I start Windows and when I go on the internet. I did the free upgrade to Windows 10 about a year ago and following your brilliant advice I have been using the built in Windows Defender and Malwarebytes and I am happy this is enough security.
Aunty Says:
Hello Harold. The standard way of removing AVG is through ‘Control Panel’ ‘programs and features’ (either right click on the Start icon or type control panel into the search box) but if you´ve tried this and it still appearing then maybe try AVG’s handy removal tool which you will find by typing AVG REMOVER into Google.
Valerie via email asks:
Hello Aunty. I recently bought a second hand Acer laptop that is supposedly less than 12 months old but I seriously have my doubts. It keeps randomly freezing at no particular time and sometimes it restarts with no warning, and when it restarts it is has a message something like “Ooops the disk needs to scanned and repaired” I have taken it back to the shop where I bought it from in Montesisnos but typically it doesn’t ever go wrong when it’s there. It is not in that bad condition and I have Windows 7 Ultimate. Any suggestions?
Aunty Says:
Hi Valerie. Its difficult to be 100% sure but this sounds typical of an overheating problem, or possibly a dying hard disk. Before you do anything you should make a backup copy of any personal photos & documents just in case the laptop’s hard drive completely packs up. A quick and easy fix that you can do yourself is to check that all the air vents around the sides and underneath are clear from dust & fluff. I’m a tad curious that a “less than 12 month old” laptop should have Win7 because the newest version of Windows (Win10) has been around for nearly 2 years and its predecessor (Win8) is getting on for 4 years old. Anytime I have seen a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate (or Enterprise) it has been a cracked copy. Can you send me the make/model Valerie and I will investigate further.
Ben from La Zenia asks:
Hi Aunty I hope you can help me. I have signed up for my Water bill (Agamed) online but when it arrives in my email inbox, I can read it on the screen but I would like to download (and sometimes print) a copy. It comes attached as a PDF file but when I double click to open or download it, a window appears asking “open with” and “choose the program you want to use to open the file’. I have to scroll through a list and choose Adobe Acrobat Reader and everything seems OK but how can I stop it asking this every time?
Aunty Says:
Hi Ben. There should be a box you can tick to ‘always use the selected program’ which will stop the message re-appearing.
Well that’s it for this week. Email me your questions to auntyvirus@costablancapeople.com and I will see what I can do.

Hard work pays off for Footwork duo

Danielle Dickie and Neve Bradley,are about to fulfil their dreams of becoming professional dancers ,
when they take the next important step by attending UK Performing Arts colleges in September
this year. Both have auditioned and been accepted and are very excited at the adventures which lie
ahead for them.
The girls have attended classes at Footwork Dance Studio in ballet, tap modern, jazz and acrobatics
under the tuition of Principal Erica Dorrill 3 or 4 days a week over a period of time. Their progression
has been such that they have reached a standard to allow them to take the next steps to become
professional dancers and performers.
Principal Erica Dorrill said: “Everyone wishes them lots of luck for the future. Both girls have worked
extremely hard and proved to be a great credit to the Dance School.”
Erica added, that she will be sad to see the girls go, but is happy in the knowledge that when
students take the next steps towards their chosen career, you have done your job correctly.
If you are interested in taking part in classes, at Footwork Dance Studios, they have classes for
everyone, from 2 years through to adults, with the eldest member being 80 – proving it’s never too
late to join a class. Contact Erica on 662003823, email: footworkdance@hotmail.com or check out
the facebook page ‘Footwork Dance Studios Spain’.

Habaneras is 13

To mark their thirteenth birthday, Habaneras is offering its customers chance
to win one of 13 prizes. They will hide 13 unusual ‘cats’ around Torrevieja
which will appear each day between 1 st to 13 th March. If you are one of the
lucky people to find one then you should bring it to Habaneras and claim your
On the 17 th March there will be a grand prize draw at the centre when the
winners of the 13 raffle prizes will be announced. Prizes include tickets for the
musical Tadeo Jones, a getaway for two and many gifts from their stores. This
will be accompanied by a matsuri-style cocktail party with an opportunity to
taste sushi and other Japanese delicacies. You can even try some ‘golden’
The birthday of Torrevieja’s commercial centre comes at a difficult time. With
the new Sunday trading hours commercial centres like Habaneras will find
themselves losing out. A particular concern is that the restaurants and cafes
that are based in their facilities will not attract customers on their own.
Although they are not obliged to close during the Sunday shut downs, there
will be few people in the centres to use them.
In order to still keep people coming when shops are no longer trading,
Habaneras is advertising ‘Family Sundays’. The shops may be closed but
there will be a range of fun family activities to take their place. The activities
include recycling workshops, a city vegetable garden from 12pm until 3pm
and games, competitions and crafts for children.
From 4.30pm until 8.30pm there will be a free zip wire and salsa and bachata
dance classes from 5pm until 6pm on Sundays. From 12pm until 6pm there
will be a free nanny service with professional childcare for children and
toddlers for those wanting to take part in these activities. Through adopting
these measures the centre hopes to keep people coming to its shops, cafes
and restaurants.

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