The big news for the pound this week was the announcement of the Bank of England (BoE) to finally raise interest rates to 0.75%. Prior to the announcement on Thursday, there was little movement in the pound as the markets appeared to be holding their breath and waiting for the arrival of ‘Super Thursday’. After much anticipation, the BoE Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously, 9-0to raise the interest rates for only the second time in a decade, it was announced today. The last increase was in November 2017, when the MPC increased the rate from the record low of 0.25%.The move takes the Bank Rate to its highest level since 2009. Predicted growth for the second quarter is coming in at just 0.4% but solid employment growth, steady pay growth and a rebound in consumer spending proved reason enough to deliver on the much-anticipated increase. In addition, the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) jumped from 53.1 in June to 55.8 in July, the fastest rate of expansion in 14 months. The announcement struck a note of caution, however, suggesting that there unlikely to be further rate rises in the near future. Mark Carney reiterated the risk of Brexit, but while parliament remains on summer break there is unlikely to be any major news to shake the pound on this issue in the near future.
A slowing of growth is emerging in Europe. Eurostat published data which estimated that GDP growth stood at 0.3% in the second quarter, compared with the first. Quarterly growth is holding steady at 0.4% across the European Union but annual GDP growth slowed from 2.4% in the first quarter to 2.2% in the second quarter. These statistics were underscored by European Central Bank president Mario Draghi reiteration of the fact that ECB interest rates will remain at their current low levels “at least through the summer of 2019.”
In the US, Q2 gross domestic product figures showed that the economy expanded by an annualised 4.1%, equivalent to a quarterly 1.0%. This may have been the best performance in four years, but investors were expecting more after a series of bullish briefings and the US dollar lost a third of a cent in the immediate aftermath of the data’s release. The greenback did recover, however, and regained all it had lost by the time the markets had closed. The US Federal Reserve left monetary policy unchanged, but hinted that higher interest rates may be a possibility later in the year. For now, the Fed is maintaining a 1.75% – 2% target range for the federal funds rate. On the global front, President Trump announced his dissatisfaction with the current tariffs on Chinese goods and indicated that they may increase in the near future; the suggestion of further escalation in the trade war may turn out to be bad news for the greenback in the longer term but after the announcement it was flat on the day against sterling but gained a third of a cent to the euro.
The news that Canada had been excluded from trade talks between Mexico and the US meant that the Canadian dollar lost some ground early in the week. Monthly GDP data showed that Canada’s economy expanded 0.5% in May, however, and that helped the Loonie to rebound. Growth in Canada is widespread, with statistics showing positive numbers in 19 of the 20 sectors measured by Statistics Canada. Hints that the trade negotiations between the US and China may be restarted in the near future also gave the Canadian dollar a bit of a boost, although it will take more than a rumour to erase the fear and impact of a full scale trade war.
The Australian dollar edged slightly higher this week after a rebound in Australian building permits and improved local retail sales. The Australian trade surplus rose to $1.9 billion from $725 million and beat the analysts’ estimate of $900 million, but this didn’t appear to help the Aussie. This is largely due to the fact that the surplus was attributed to a contraction in imports, rather than an expansion in exports.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand took a dovish approach in their policy outlook statement. The shift is reflected in the 30-day bank bill futures and the fact that a rate hike is unlikely any time before the fourth quarter of the year weighed on the Kiwi dollar. Possible escalations in the trade war between the US and China also caused the New Zealand dollar some trouble. New Zealand has an export-led economy and there is concern about the impact of further and higher tariffs in the future.
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.
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?
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?
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 email@example.com and I will see what I can do.
The new CD Torrevieja headquarters located in Calle Caballero de Rodas, nº56 Bajo in
Torrevieja are now up and running, and have the following opening hours to attend to members
of the public:
➡ Monday from 17:00 to 20:00
➡ Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 to 13:30 and 17:00 to 20:00
➡ Friday from 10:00 to 13:30
☎ | Telephone:
➡ 965 719 699
Work is still being carried out on the club’s new offices, both in terms of the corporate image
and at an organisational level, nevertheless at a good, steady pace. A few days ago, the club’s
name and logo were added to the front of the new HQ.
The HQ will be used for various purposes, including the club’s offices, the shop (which we hope
to inaugurate soon) and not forgetting a meeting point and information hub for all the fans and
for anyone that would like any information about the club or needs to carry out any club-related
Following new legislation that shops, including charity shops, must charge customers for
plastic bags, HELP Vega Baja thought they would look for an alternative solution. After
looking for sponsorship, President Michele Masson met up with the José Miguel Perez from
Grupo ASV and discovered that both organisations wanted to do what they could to help
“We are keen to do what we can to not only help keep costs down for the charity but to
consider the environment too. When we met with José it was wonderful to hear that he
shared the same views and we agreed to work together to produce carrier bags made of
paper! Grupo ASV covered the cost of the bags and we were delighted to take delivery of
1,000 bags last week.”
As charities have to now charge for plastic bags the situation can be a little crazy. For
example, we have heard from other charities that in some cases customers insist on new
bags as they are paying for them, rather than accept used bags that are often donated to
charities. Sadly this could lead to charities having to purchase plastic bags, which obviously
negates the whole benefit of the legislation.
The sponsorship and support we received from Grupo ASV has been terrific and the bags are
now available in the Help Vega Baja shop in San Miguel. The charity is still asking that
customers bring along their own bags when shopping and that any donations for the paper
bags will go towards future stocks. The aim of the charity is to go completely “plastic free”
for bags and it is working towards this.
Help is a registered charity which helps people of all ages with all sorts of problems within
the Vega Baja area from La Marina to Pilar de la Horadada. It has a centre at San Miguel de
Salinas which includes a charity shop and a hire centre for mobility equipment and a
helpdesk in La Marina. Each supplies a wide range of information and advice to members
and non-members alike. Typical enquiries include questions on residence, health care,
driving, bereavement, wills, burglaries and much more. If the answer to a problem is not
known immediately, every effort is made to obtain the appropriate information.
The charity has the support of a hospital visiting team which visits the Vega Baja Hospital
and is also able to send a visitor to Torrevieja hospital upon request. Help has a welfare
officer who is able to offer advice and assistance. All requests for any of these services
should be made via the San Miguel centre.
If you would like to find out more about sponsoring HELP Vega Baja with any of their
projects (bags, leaflets, posters etc), volunteering or if you have a group and you would like
the team to come along to give a talk on the charity, please contact their San Miguel Centre
on 966 723 733 or Michele Masson direct on firstname.lastname@example.org or 661365606
The Rotary Club of Torrevieja has put in a request for donations to help 13
children who are victims of the troubles in Eastern Ukraine. The children have
been brought by the club to Torrevieja to have a holiday away from the
problems in their homeland.
The children have all lost close family members in the conflict or come from
families who are struggling to survive without basic necessities. They were
selected and brought to Torrevieja in conjunction with ‘Global Christian
Support’. Now, during their stay in Torrevieja, they have been given
opportunities to enjoy different activities and to be children.
The children originate from Kramatorsk, Donetsk, Slavyansk and Avdeevka
and are all between the ages of three and 11. Their families are without the
basic necessities and the Rotary Club has also been asking for support in
providing them with these basics for when they return to their home country.
Torrevieja’s animal shelter (Albergue Municipal de Animales) is urgently
seeking homes and volunteers to help lost and abandoned cats. There are
dozens of beautiful domestic cats and kittens in the shelter waiting for
adoption but not enough people are coming forward to adopt them.
‘We do everything we can to care for the cats and kittens,’ says Councillor
Carmen Morate, ‘but shelter life can be distressing for them so we really do
need more people to come forward and adopt now.’
Most of the adult cats were pets but because of different circumstances they
have ended up in the shelter. Many crave human attention and anyone taking
them home would be rewarded with an affectionate pet. Alongside the adult
cats there are many kittens that are desperate for a home. They are young
and will bond very quickly with a new family.
People are usually aware that the shelter takes in dogs but may be less aware
that it’s also the home to a number of abandoned cats. This may be
contributing to the lack of adoptions and it is hoped that word can be spread
that homes for cats are desperately needed too.
It’s not only homes that are needed. The shelter also urgently requires
volunteers to help care for the cats whilst they are waiting. They need
volunteers to clean the cat area and feed them. They also need someone to
spend time with them, keeping them socialised and ensuring that they are
ready for adoption when the right person comes around.
If you think you can help out, either by adopting or volunteering, then please
visit the shelter between 10am and 2pm from Monday to Friday or between
9am and 1pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The Albergue (shelter) is in
Avenida Los Nénufares, which is just off the CV905 close to the Habaneras
commercial centre. It is now signed posted, Albergue, from the slip road just
before the local police station.
Further information and details of lost and abandoned animals can also be
found on the Facebook site Concejalia de Proteccion Animal de Torrevieja.
Fruit has gone up at more than three times the rate of general living costs, by two-thirds in 12 years and by 14 percent in the past year, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE). Only cigarettes, up by 102 percent and university tuition fees, which have increased by 68 percent, fruit has gone up in price more than any other consumer goods or services since before the start of the financial crisis.
Weekly fruit shopping cost €20 just over a decade ago, but now comes in at €33 – yet farmers are not benefiting from this increase and conclude that retailers must be giving themselves a higher profit margin.
A national farming union, the UPA, says the fruit industry is ‘rife with speculation’ and agricultural workers are having to produce far more nowadays just to break even, and many are dropping out of the sector altogether.
Stallholders believe the price hike must be due to climate change and shrinking harvests.
In fact, some fruit farmers – particularly watermelon-growers in the provinces of Almería and Murcia – are considering giving up because they are afraid of running out of irrigation water due to the ongoing drought.
Retailers say fruit now costs more because a higher amount is exported, as producers know they can earn more from selling their crops abroad – in fact, exports have risen by 67 percent in the last decade, much of which goes to the UK and Germany.
According to a national association of supermarket chains, the costs of sustainable waste management have gone up and the quality of the fruit in general has improved, which has had an impact on the end consumer price.
Fruit becoming more expensive means residents in Spain are buying less of it to save money – around 12 percent less, in fact, than five years ago, or down from nearly 4,800 tonnes to just 4,200, or from 103 to 92 kilos per person per year. Despite the fall in consumption, the amount spent per capita on fruit remains the same as five years ago at €134 annually.
Figures show that some fruit rises in price by as much as 500 percent between field and supermarket shelf – this is the case with Golden Delicious apples, which sells at €2.22 per kilo in shops compared with 37 cents per kilo at source.
Other types of fruit where the margin between source and consumer is huge include clementines, which retail at €1.53 per kilo but for which farmers are paid 32 cents per kilo, a difference of 378 percent; oranges, which go up by 207 percent, from 63 cents to €1.94 per kilo; pears, from 56 cents to €2.01 per kilo or 258 percent, and bananas, with a difference of 397 percent, increasing from 43 cents to €2.14 per kilo.
The UPA is calling for greater control, saying customers are paying excessively high prices whilst farmers are barely covering their costs, and all those in between along the supply chain are ‘lining their pockets’.
Supermarket association ASEDAS does not agree, saying they consider it ‘perfectly reasonable’ that a third of the value of the fruit should each go to the grower, the retailer, and the company involved in selection, cleaning and transporting, which they say ‘explains the 300 percent increase’.
The mayor, José Manuel Dolón, has made the announcement that a decree from the Valencian community does regulate the parking of motorhomes on public land. Until now, this particular law does not appear to have been acted upon. However, the intention seems to be that it will be in future. The regional law states that vans should not remain in the same public place for more than 48 hours. In fact, the mayor suggests, it should be less than this where there are no services available to accommodate the vans.
At the moment campervans and other types of motor homes are scattered at different points across the town, often frontline to the sea. They can be seen in the coves between the beaches of Los Locos and Torre del Moro and next to Cala Piteras. The official line now seems to be that the law must be complied with and that we can expect those staying longer than their welcome to be moved along.
At the same time it has been announced that an individual has got the go ahead to process their application to construct a private motor home park in the urbanisation La Veleta. Plans are already underway to convert the area, which should begin in October. The town council is expecting that there will be some opposition to the scheme as announced in the paper Informacion.
The trial of five police officers from Torrevieja has continued in Elche with further revelations. Now, recordings from phone calls made at the time, present new evidence to support the allegations of torture.
The alleged mistreatment of the two detainees happened in 2006. One of those arrested had two broken ribs when taken to the hospital to deal with injuries that the police claimed were sustained during a fall downstairs. The two detainees were a Spanish woman and a Colombian man who were caught after entering and robbing the property of a police officer.
The officers are accused of torture, making threats and harassment and the subsequent cover up of events afterwards. The length of time between the incident and it coming to court has created difficulties for the prosecution including that of locating the two criminals concerned.
According to one of the phone calls officers are heard saying: ‘I have a problem. There is a detained person here who robbed a police officer’s flat this morning and has been beaten and now when we take him to the doctor and to the court he will talk.’ The phone call continues; ‘Although he is a criminal, he has serious injuries.’
Those at the trial heard fragments of further telephone conversations that appeared to substantiate the accusations against the officers. The court had already heard how official video recordings of the two detained criminals had been erased. Further snippets of telephone conversations further suggest that these recordings had been deleted deliberately.
The trial continues and it is expected that sentence will be passed in the middle of September.
From 24 th June to the 7 th July there will be music by the sea on Saturdays and
Sundays. On the Paseo Juan Aparicio and by las piscinas naturales on the
front there will be musical entertainment from 8.30pm until 1 in the morning. It
will be a varied collection of musical types including bands from Australia,
Nepal, Colombia, France and Spain.
The initiative is being organised by the department of culture and will be free.
Councillor Domingo Pérez announced that it will consist of music from all over
the world. The only common factor will be the care that is taken to select
those taking part and their quality.
The event will begin on Sunday 24 th June with the group ‘Candeleros’ which
consists of Colombian and Venezuelan musicians followed by a session of
tropical/ electronic dance music by the Colombian duo ‘Guacamayo Tropical
DJs’. This type of music brings together new sounds that have taken over the
dance floors in the capital with more traditional Latin American and electronic
On 30 th June the music will continue with the performance of ‘Ed is Dead’ from
Madrid who will present their latest album ‘Your Last 48 hours’ which has
been acclaimed by critics and the public as the best electronic album of the
year in Spain. The band leader, producer and DJ will close the day with a
session that should delight electronic dance lovers.
The final performances will be on 7 th July with Nepal from Katmandú. This
band brings together the rhythms from the west, jazz and rock together with
the Nepalese tradition and music that takes us to the magical world of the
‘Lolo Lovina’ is a band of gypsies from Sydney Australia who perform a
mixture of swing, tango and even heavy metal. To conclude will be the French
DJ ‘DJ Grounchoo’ one of the main characters in the nightlife of Barcelona,
Río de Janeiro, Berlin, Rome and many other places. He will present a
session that includes ska, punk and Latin and electronic rhythms.
What should be done with the eucalyptus tree that is a well-known landmark
outside the cemetery walls in Torrevieja? The tree is 3.6 metres in diameter
and has been a feature there for more than half a century. It is a rare species
of eucalyptus in Spain and is remembered and recognised by many visitors to
the town. However, its position and existence has been threatened by
Iberdrola’s plans to give more power to the desalination plant.
The news that it was to be moved caused great consternation amongst local
people. It has provided relief and solace for many on their journeys to and
from the cemetery and the idea that it should be re-located or even destroyed
has been met with horror.
It’s been under threat due to the laying of additional electricity cable needed to
double the capacity of the desalination plant. The tree lies bang in the middle
of the planned route for the cable. However, its predicament has attracted the
attention of many local people keen to see that the tree is not forced to budge
from its current location.
Some other trees in the area have already been moved. An olive tree and a
pine tree have been uprooted and replanted elsewhere. However, moving this
great tree is a more complicated procedure. Now, a solution has been found
at the last minute. An organisation called Dotor Árbol, a business from
Catalonia, specialises in the rescue and preservation of trees in similar
They use a special method that enables the cable to be placed below the
ground without the need to remove the tree. The good news is that this
operation will be paid for by Iberdrola and with a guarantee that the tree will
not be harmed as a result of the process, this has to be one piece of good
Four years ago, expat Elaine Sission visited Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre in Rojales and
was blown away by the sight of 90 rescued equines, all happy and well cared for. However,
she was shocked by the stories of abuse, starvation and neglect the rescued horses, ponies
and donkeys had endured before being rescued by Sue and Rod Weeding, the centre’s co-
That same year, Elaine made a pledge to help the horses and ever since she set herself a
major personal challenge to raise funds – this year, she’s pledged to complete the difficult
Machu Picchu climb in Peru.
“I was inspired by the dedication and hard work of Sue and Rod, making a huge difference
to the lives of equines and doing everything in their power to rehabilitate them and help
them recover from their abusive past,” said Elaine.
In 2015, she completed a sky dive; in March 2016, the unstoppable volunteer trained to
walk the Yorkshire Three Peaks; and in June 2017, at 60-years-old, she completed the
gruelling Tough Mudder endurance event.
Elaine also often holds teas, sells cakes, and organises raffles and fashion shows at her local
pub to help the horse sanctuary. To this day she has single-handedly raised more than
€4,000 for Easy Horse Care.
The sexagenarian again visited the centre in March this year and got the opportunity to
meet the centre’s official grandma, a recently rescued old mare named Beauty. The
battered mare needs special shoes to relieve her ruined legs, which inspired Elaine to set
herself another challenge and raise more funds for the centre.
“In August 2018, I will climb Machu Picchu in Peru. I’ll do the four-day Inca Trail,” said
Elaine, who has been training non-stop in the UK.
“Knowing the horses will live the rest of their lives in the comfort and safety of the rescue
centre makes me very happy.”
Donations to Elaine's fundraiser can be made online at:
Elaine’s Machu Picchu donation will be very timely as the centre recently rescued a family of
horses (a mother, son, daughter and auntie). The latest addition means that the sanctuary
now has to provide for almost 120 equines.
“I’ve made Sue and Rod’s motto mine: you can't save the world by saving one horse but you
can change the whole world for the horse that you save,” said Elaine.
So far she has helped change the world for 120 horses and counting – and Sue and Rod
couldn’t be more grateful.
The Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre relies entirely on donations to fund its important animal
welfare work. Donations of cash or items for the centre’s network of six charity shops across
the Alicante province are gratefully welcomed. A pick-up service is available to collect large
donated items such as furniture and each shop also offers a delivery service for large items
Anyone interested in making a donation, becoming a long-term sponsor, or volunteering at
the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre or in the charity shops can call Sue on 652 021 980.
The Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre, located just outside Rojales at Partido Lo Garriga, 59,
opens to the public on the first Sunday of every month between 1pm and 4pm. A free horse
tour with centre co-founder Rod Weeding begins at 2pm and refreshments are available in
the café. For more details and directions, visitwww.easyhorsecare.net. For regular updates,
follow on Facebook at@EasyHorseCare.