Tag: European Commission

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 9-11 June 2023


A delightful second weekend of June ahead with all kinds of events to get involved with on Gran Canaria. The Harvest Fair arrives on the south, in El Tablero, patron saints’ fiestas in honour of San Antonio of Padua and San Pedro are happening around the island, Corpus Christi salt carpets and processions are held this Sunday, markets and music festivals as well as sporting events. Hopefully the weather will sustain all these wonderful festivities and happenings in the glorious outdoors, on which so much depends on this little island.

Menas Case: Foundation Siglo XXI directors allegedly filed false invoices, unrealistic expenses and repeatedly drew funds from ATMs, meant for the care of migrant children, even charging botox facial treatments and posh restaurant bills to foundation debit cards

A comprehensive analysis conducted by Group I of the Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF) of the National Police yielded scandalous results, writes Spanish language daily Canarias7, regarding the alleged irregular use of the public funds intended for the care of unaccompanied minors, by the suspected to have been perpetrated by centres managed by the Foundation Social Response Siglo XXI on Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. In this case, driven by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, investigators discovered that the director of the Guiniguada centre charged the NGO responsible for €1,500 worth of beauty treatments and €1,113 for bills at top restaurants including Vinófilos, El Vasco de Vegueta, and Triciclo.



Centre-Right Pact Between Regionalists (CC) And Resident Conservatives (PPAV) Returns Marco Aurelio Perez As Southern Mayor

The conservative Partido Popular-Agrupación de Vecinos (PP-AV) and the right of centre regionalist Coalición Canaria (CC) have this Thursday signed a local government pact that will shape the future of the southern Gran Canaria tourism municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. The alliance, dubbed a “Pact for Stability and Socioeconomic Progress of San Bartolomé Tirajana”, represents 60% of the votes cast in the municipality’s recent local elections, emphasised the  mayor-elect, Marco Aurelio Pérez (PP-AV), who returns for the third time to lead the local council responsible for some of the most important tourism areas on the island, including Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés and San Agustín.



Local Government Coalition Agreement Maspalomas and the South of Gran Canaria

A governing coalition pact has been finalised in San Bartolomé de Tirajana. The Popular Party–Agrupación de Vecinos (PP-AV) conservative residents party is to join forces with regionalist centre-right Coalición Canaria (CC) to govern the main tourist municipality on Gran Canaria for the next four years. Marco Aurelio Pérez will serve as mayor for the entire four-year term, and the Popular Party will take charge of Employment, Sports, Roads and Infrastructure, and Human Resources, among other areas. The regionalists, led by Alejandro Marichal, will oversee Urban Planning, Economy and Finance, and Tourism as their main departments.



Storm Óscar Latest: Government of the Canary Islands Declares Rain Alert for Western Islands and Gran Canaria

A storm system, dubbed Óscar, has formed over the last few days over the mid-north Atlantic, unusual for this time of year, and has led to concern from meteorologists and journalists as it passes south of the Azores, its tail should reach The Canary Islands, before the system heads northeast towards mainland Spain.  Advisory warnings have been issued in expectation of heavy rainfall, primarily in the Western Isles of the Canary Islands Archipelago, though some rainfall is also expected to reach Gran Canaria over the next couple of days.  It seems unlikely that any major consequences will stem from the bad weather, however these things can be unpredictable and so every precaution is taken to ensure people are informed and kept safe.




European Commission “strongly discourage” non-essential travel, and call for new greatest risk category

The European Commission this Monday has asked the EU27 to take further measures to “strongly discourage” travel both within member states and between them, as well as to and from outside “third countries”, to try to contain the new variants of coronavirus found in the UK, South Africa and Brazil, calling for a new category to be created, coloured “dark red”, to identify areas of greatest risk that show more than 500 new infections per 100,000 population over a 14 day sample.



“The first recommendation is not to travel,” said the Interior Commissioner, Swedish socialist Ylva Johansson, at the press conference in Brussels to present details of the proposal that, in general terms, had already been put forward by the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen (pictured), last Thursday after the meeting with EU Heads of State and Government.
With the help of a mockup graphic, shown in the same appearance by the Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, should a fourth colour be incorporated into the risk classifications from the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), there would already be a dozen countries that would have some part of their territory tinted dark red, including the entirety of Spain based on its current 14-day Average Incidence of 804/100k population.

Despite Spain’s average data per population, were the ECDC recommendations more detailed on a regional level The Canary Islands archipelago could in theory be excluded as a whole ( standing at an average 189.1/100k), although Lanzarote could not be left out of the Spanish figure (currently just short of 800/100k).
For the latest Canary Islands COVID-19 data, updated daily, visit our page for mobile here, or for more feature rich content on desktop devices you can check here.

Brussels, does not control competences in health matters for the EU nor border management, but this Monday began negotiations at a technical level with the member states to achieve “as soon as possible” a consensus that the EU27 can commit to and follow, although national authorities continue to have the last word when choosing to apply the recommendations, or not.
The EU believes that unnecessary journeys “should not occur at all” to or from regions that exceed a threshold of 500 infections per 100,000 over fourteen days, according to the commissioner, and recommends that people who do travel on trips considered “essential” should be subjected to a PCR test before departure, and adhere to a strict fourteen-day quarantine upon arrival at their destination.
The recommendations of the European Commission follow one published last week by the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), which urged the countries of the European Union to strengthen measures to discourage all “non-essential” travel.
However, the Commission insists that it believes the closure of borders within the European Union is not an effective solution against the virus, but rather that an approach that adapts restrictive measures to the epidemiological situation of each region, regardless of where borders are present, and so they called for the free movement of essential and cross-border goods and workers to be maintained smoothly.
Following the recommendations of the ECDC, Brussels asks member states to “maintain or reinforce” severe measures such as the principle of staying at home and the temporary closure of businesses in places where the risk of infection can be considered to be very high, although the also stressed that it is essential for tracing and testing to improve pandemic control and the sequencing of new cases.
The Commission also took advantage of this recommendation announcement to insist on the need for a common passenger form, an initiative that Brussels hoped would be underway throughout the EU at the end of last year but is still under development due to legal complications involved in requiring travellers to provide certain types of personal data that could later be shared with the rest of the member states.


The Canary News

Coronavirus: European Commission recommends rapid antigen tests and support to increase testing capacity

Today, the European Commission adopted a recommendation on the use of rapid antigen tests for the diagnosis of COVID-19. This follows the Commission’s recommendation on 28 October to ensure a common approach and more efficient testing strategies across the EU. It builds on the guidance developed with Member States input and expert advice from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Here is the complete text of Wednesday’s historic Commission Recommendation of 18.11.2020 on the use of rapid antigen tests for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection which EU leaders will be asked to agree at their meeting on Thursday



Mr Charles MICHEL, President of the European Council. Video conference with EU leaders© European Union
The recommendation provides guidance on how to select rapid antigen tests, when they are appropriate and who should perform them. It also calls for validation and mutual recognition of tests and their results. This comes ahead of the European Leaders’ virtual meeting on 19 November on the EU response to the COVID-19 pandemic, following the 29 October European Council, where it was agreed to coordinate more on testing methods.
The Commission has also signed an agreement with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) contributing €35.5 million, financed by the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI), to scale up COVID-19 testing capacity in the EU. The funding will be used to support training of staff for sampling collection and analysis and performance of tests, especially via mobile equipment.
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food safety said: “Testing tells us what the extent of the spread is, where it is, and how it develops. It is a decisive tool to slow down the spread of COVID-19. To increase EU coordination on testing methods, we are today providing guidance to Member States on the use of rapid antigen test to better manage COVID-19 outbreaks. Being efficient on testing also requires having the necessary resources, which is why we are also today stepping up our support to increase Member States testing capacity. Support and solidarity is key to overcome this pandemic.”
Today’s recommendation provides guidance to Member States on the use of rapid antigen tests to detect the virus in specific settings. These include situations where a fast identification of infected individuals supports the management of outbreaks and regular monitoring of high risk groups, such as medical personal or in nursing homes for elderly. Member States are encouraged to conduct rapid antigen tests in addition to RT-PCR tests to contain the spread of the virus, detect infections and limit isolation and quarantine measures.
Mutual recognition of test results is of utmost importance in order to facilitate cross border movement, cross border contact tracing and treatment. Member States are strongly encouraged to mutually recognise the test results for rapid antigen tests meeting the criteria in the recommendation carried out by authorised operating testing facilities in any EU Member States. Compliance with the recommendation may then contribute to the free movement of people and the smooth functioning of the internal market in times of limited testing capacities.
Scientific and technical developments continue to evolve, offering new insights on the characteristics of the virus and the possibilities for using different methodologies and approaches for COVID-19 diagnosis. The Commission therefore remains ready to further update the recommendation on the use of tests accordingly.
To further enhance testing capacities in the EU, the Commission is funding €35.5 million to the IFRC to support training of staff and enable Red Cross Mobile Testing Teams to have access to the necessary equipment, lab items and reagents to take samples and perform tests, and support national authorities in their work.
The collaboration with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is open to the EU Member States and the UK, through the national Red Cross Society. Seven Member states have decided to participate: Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain.


The Canary News