Costa Brava News » National News Latest News in English from the Costa Brava in Spain Sun, 18 Apr 2010 10:15:22 +0000 en hourly 1 Kidnap Trail Leads to Tarragona Wed, 17 Mar 2010 18:21:48 +0000 dianew Three people were arrested in Tarragona today, for their part in the kidnap of a 5 yr old British boy Sahil Saeed, in Pakistan.

Two Pakistani brothers and a Romanian female, the girlfriend of one of the brothers, were arrested at a flat in Tarragona, on the Catalan coast. Police said a large amount of money was found at the address.

The international hunt for the kidnappers ended in  Spain after claims that Sahil’s father paid the £100,000 ransom to end the drama surrounding his son, who was missing for 13 days.

Sahil was found yesterday, shoeless and shaven-headed, after his captors left him out on the street in Pakistan.

He was allegedly kidnapped from his grandmother’s home, where his father had taken him for a visit.
His father, Raja Saeed, said as they were about to leave to go home to England, a gang burst into the boy’s grandmother’s house, where the family were beaten and tortured for 6 hours by the gang, who were heavily armed. They fled with money and jewelery, and the boy, for whom they later demanded a 100,000  ransom.

There was a lot of speculation that the father or other family members were involved, but this has so far not been made clear.

The gang demanded a ransom be paid in Europe, not Pakistan, and the three arrested in Tarragona were apparently those who collected the ransom.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
]]> 0
Pope to Visit Barcelona in Autumn Thu, 04 Mar 2010 12:29:06 +0000 admin
The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família
Cathedral Sagrada Familia  Barcelona

Pope Benedict XVI will travel in November this year to Santiago de Compostela and Barcelona, Vatican sources have confirmed.

The Pope will visit Santiago de Compostela, on the 6th November in order to join the ‘Año Santo Xacobeo’ 2010 celebrations, as a  ‘pilgrim of the faith’, according to an announcement this Wednesday by the Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, Julián Barrio.

The following day, on 7th of November, the Pope will travel to Barcelona to consecrate the Sacred Family Cathedral, ‘La Sagrada Familia’, from Gaudi.

The Pope has asked that the organised pilgrimage is “a very simple affair.”

In 2011 Pope Benedict XVI plans to visit Madrid in August, to preside in World Youth Day.

This is the Pope’s second visit to Spain, in 2006 he traveled to Valencia to be in the 5th World Family Meeting.

In recent months, from different sectors, the Spanish public have made ‘persistence political pressure’ to achieve these visits from the Pope, according to Vatican sources.

Pope Ratzinger is an uncompromising defender of Christian roots in Europe, and the a huge believer in the significance of the Camino de Santiago, which is the reason for him agreeing to make this journey, claimed other Vatican sources.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
]]> 0
National Court Judge to Appeal Against the Supreme Court Sun, 14 Feb 2010 10:43:56 +0000 admin An ex-spy becomes the first Spaniard found guilty of treason since the return of democracy.
Baltasar Garzón, a National Court Judge, will appeal against a Supreme Court case.

He is accused of ” Adopting resolutions, a perversion of the court of justice, by investigating the disappearances of people during Franco’s years.”

Garzón claims the Supreme Court case is ‘comprehensible and unsustainable’ and he accused Judge Luciano Varela of using deprecatory arguments without legal base. The accused has called for international experts to be called in, with experience in judging similar crimes.

Garzón says “Judge Varela is not analysing the facts objectively, because of a preconceived idea.”

He also faces second charges, accusing him of undeclared income, allegedly earned from the Banco Santander while on sabbatical in New York.

The prosecutor’s office have said they do not support the accusations against Judge Garzón, and will send their considerations to the Gen Council for Judicial Power (CGPJ).

The overseeing body of the judiciary, which started the procedures for the Judge’s suspension.

The Attorney General said that initially, he can see no criminal behaviour which would justify accusations being made against the Judge.

The group ‘ Judges for Democracy’ also expressed deepest concern about Varela’s decision to proceed against Judge Garzón, where they see no cause for charges.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

]]> 0
Ex-Spy Guilty of Treason Sat, 13 Feb 2010 10:49:04 +0000 admin An ex-spy becomes the first Spaniard found guilty of treason since the return of democracy.

Roberto Flórez, ex-spy for the CNI national intelligence service, has been given a 12 year prison sentence, after becoming the first person found guilty of treason in Spain, since the return of democracy.

He was found guilty by the National Court, of offering secret documents to Russia for payment, (though it was not established whether he actually sold the documents or not).

He claimed that the letters he had been caught with, he would not have sold, but was carrying out an exercise to highlight problems in security.

The court claimed that the information involved was such, that in the hands of a foreign power would have proved a very serious threat to national security.

A statement from the CNI declined to comment other than that it ‘respected that sentence.’

Manuel Ollé, defence lawyer, said they would be appealing to the Supreme Court.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

]]> 0
Nuclear Plant in Guadalajara to be Dismantled Sat, 13 Feb 2010 10:16:49 +0000 admin Work has begun to dismantle the oldest nuclear power station in Spain.

Estimates give the decommissioning job to take six years, and a budget of 135 million euros.

Four thousand tons of medium to low activity radioactive waste, will need to be transported from the plant, in Almonacid de Zorita Guadalajara, Spain to the nuclear waste cemetery in Cordoba.Nuclear Plan in Guadalajara

The plant in Guadalajara has been online since 1968, and closed since April 2006.

This is a huge undertaking, and is the first time a complete nuclear reactor will be dismantled by ENRESA, the national radioactive waste company.

it is the first Spanish nuclear plant to be closed early due to political pressure, in 2002 the Nuclear Safety Council to granted only a 4yr operating license after coercion from the Guadalajara Town Council.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Spanish Towns Vie for Nuclear Dump Prize

]]> 0
Spanish Hostages Still Alive Sat, 13 Feb 2010 08:21:13 +0000 admin The three Spanish volunteers, kidnapped at the end of November 2009 by Al Qaeda are believed to be alive. A new video has been submitted as proof that the hostages are still alive.

The trio were volunteers working with the Spanish humanitarian organisation, Barcelona Accio Solidaria. They were traveling in a convoy when they were kidnapped.

The video was contributed by negotiators of the government of Mali, where the Spaniards were taken after the kidnapping.

Appearing in the video were the volunteers, Alicia Gámez 35 years old, Albert Vilalta, also 35, and Roque Pascual, 50,
They appear with several armed men in turbans.

The Spanish president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has been informed of the new video, and has guaranteed that the government continues to work intensively towards the fast release of the three hostages.

The video, showing proof of life, will give added incentive to those trying so hard to secure their release.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

]]> 0
Navarran Witchcraft Legends Sun, 31 Jan 2010 08:38:07 +0000 admin The beginning of November sees the 400th anniversary of the Tests of Faith of the Inquisition, held in Logroño, which sent 11 citizens of Zugarramurdi to be burned at the stake for playing with the devil.

Stories like ‘La Dama de Ortubi’ (The lady of Ortubi) by Pío Baroja, retell the legends of the Sorgiñas, the witches who ran amok in this and other villages in the north of Navarra.

Fourteen of them follow the path of wichcraft, the new thematic route, created for this dark anniversary.

In 2010 Navarra extends it’s promotion allowing free visits, and discounts for anyone staying 2 or more nights, in accomodations in the kingdom.

There are new accomodations on the Camino de Santiago, and in the Spring, the Museo del Carlismo opens in Estella.

The Roman city of Andelos is open to the public.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

]]> 0
Lerida Airport Opens Wed, 20 Jan 2010 09:38:47 +0000 admin Sunday 17 January saw the inauguration of Lleida-Alguaire airport, 15 kilometres from Lleida (Lerida) and the railway station, opening a new gateway by air to the south of the Pyrenees. The other being Huesca.

Vueling will open their facilities on February 5, with weekly flights to Paris, while Ryanair start on April 2, flying weekly to Frankfurt-Hahn and Milán-Bérgamo.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
]]> 0