Tag: regional government

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

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.



Foundation Investigated for Alleged Mismanagement of Public Funds Meant for Care of Unaccompanied Migrant Minors

The 7th Investigative Court of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has opened a preliminary investigation into the Social Response Foundation Siglo XXI and four of its directors. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office in Las Palmas filed a complaint against them, alleging crimes that could include forgery of commercial documents, mismanagement, and embezzlement of public funds. The investigation aims to determine whether this nonprofit organisation, and its officials, could have misused public funds intended for the care of unaccompanied migrant minors, during the migration crisis of 2020 that was precipitated by the pandemic confinement on the islands, leading to a build up of arrivals having to be assessed and cared for by the Canary Islands Regional Government, using hotels left empty due to the lack of tourism. The estimated amount involved in the alleged misuse stands at around €12.5 million between 2020 and 2022 on Gran Canaria alone.



Canary Islands Expect Rain and Potential Storm Weather Next Week

The Canary Islands are preparing for a change in the weather next week, as a significant increase in cloud is expected bringing higher probability of rain. The effects of a powerful storm forming in the Atlantic Ocean are likely to extend to the Canary Islands as well as neighbouring Madeira and The Azores.




The newly green-lighted Cañadas de Gatos tunnel could reopen Playa de Mogán road within the next two years

The project to reopen the old national road between the resort of Taurito and the tourist-cum-fishing port town of Playa de Mogán has finally emerged almost five years after a landslide that forced the Mogán coastal road to be closed to traffic on the southwest of the island, although it could still take another two years or more before vehicles and cyclists will be able to travel the less than two kilometres between the tiny tourist enclave and the ancient coastal settlement without having to detour via Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria along the GC-1 motorway.



Imagined route of the new Cañadas de Gatos tunnel to Playa de Mogán
The Island Commission for Cultural Heritage, part of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, last Thursday May 5, reported favourably on the plan to construct a tunnel through the Cañada de Los Gatos, an area of significant archaeological importance, finally allowing the project to move forward, with the support of Mogán Town Hall and the tourist industry, to return the link between Taurito and Playa de Mogán along the original southern highway, the GC-500, avoiding the cliffs which even before the collapse in 2017 had been a point of serious concern due to their instability and the constant danger of landslides.
Mogán’s still incumbent mayoress, O Bueno, has grandly announced that she now plans to address the President of the Canary Islands Government, Ángel Víctor Torres, in her words, to ensure he “fulfils his commitment” to build the tunnel using Regional Autonomous Community funds, presumably rather than municipal or State funds, on the basis that this work has not been included in the road construction or maintenance agreements with the State. The construction cost of this 260+ meter tunnel has been calculated at about €12 million.
That stretch of road  has been closed to vehicles since July 2017, when the first of two rockfalls occurred, along a section of about 650 meters. Although an attempt was made to reopen it to traffic with some emergency works, a new landslide in September of that same year meant the indefinite closure of the GC-500, for motor traffic, cyclists and pedestrians, where walls and barriers were erected across the carriageway to prevent access.
The Island government reported yesterday that the Historical Heritage Commission last Thursday, chaired by the insular advisor to the Presidency, Teodoro Sosa, “gave the go-ahead with conditions for this project, which will be carried out at kilometre point 44.7 on the GC-500, the route of which affects the Archaeological Zone of Cañada de Los Gatos, which has been declared a Site of Cultural Interest (BIC), due to its scientific importance within the chrono-cultural framework of historical indigenous populations of the Island and its state of conservation.
The project plan from the Government of the Canary Islands will therefore include “measures that guarantee the conservation and protection of the BIC ensuring that none of the archaeological remains that make up [the site] will have their integrity compromised, neither during the course of the work nor during subsequent use of the new road infrastructure.”
To minimise “the significant visual impact” that the exit of the tunnel will likely cause above the archaeological zone, environmental recovery actions must also be carried out. Specifically, on the 650 meters of road that border the Cañada de Los Gatos, which will not be open for public use, the asphalt will be removed and, as much as possible, the original topography of the enclave will be recovered, guard rails, barriers and signage will be removed, and native vegetation encouraged to return.
The rest of the road not closed will be modified so that the the existing guard rails will blend in better with the surroundings or will be replaced by others more integrated into the landscape, and the same stone from the surroundings will be used in the construction of the tunnel’s mouth. Lastly, those responsible for the project must also remove the large build up of rubble that was dumped there when the GC-500 national road was built, which was deposited inside the BIC zone. All these actions will be overseen with archaeological controls and include archaeological excavations, consolidation and restoration works will also be carried out on some of the structures present within the BIC demarcated area.

Mogán tunnel project to re-establish links with Taurito and Playa de Mogán

A wall is suddenly built to prevent usage along road closed 18 months ago.

Mogán and the Government of the Canary Islands discuss Pueblo de Mogán bypass and the planned Taurito tunnel

Editor’s Comment:
Mogán is broke
Keen observers over Mogán’s municipal finances might well have noticed that funding such a project would be simply impossible from town hall coffers anyway, regardless of whether or not the Regional Government had already agreed to foot the bill.
The local town hall administration, led by O Bueno’s CIUCA party’s much questioned absolute majority, has found itself on the verge of bankruptcy, according to reports and critics, due to serious “financial mismanagement” as well as a series of ill advised administrative and legal decisions that have left this town hall’s once brimming coffers somewhat lacking.
Having started the year 2021 with more than €20 million available to it, it is thought this town council had depleted that to around just €300,000 by October of last year, say their opposition, and have had to request millions of euros worth of loans just to stay operational with its current liabilities, something that voters will surely remember at the ballot boxes next year.  A number of longstanding urban projects also remain unfinished, despite outside assistance, and so it will likely be the next administration that will have to pick up the bill for their final completion, late and overbudget.
The financing of the current administration’s various actions, it is thought, will take many years more of tax payers’ money to address. Though Bueno defends the dire financial situation by claiming it was down extra spending due to the pandemic, the fact is no other town council in the Canary Islands has claimed such a change of fortunes in the time of Covid.  A series of legal misadventures, including ill advised appeals against already existing court judgements, various fines and compensations ordered against the town hall, have apparently cleared out the municipal accounts, which now, according to many observers, hang by a tenuous thread.
Of course, O Bueno will be speaking to the regional president, cap in hand, what else could they do?! The only way this long overdue tunnel gets built, and the road reopened, is with the support of the Regional Government, unless other state funds were to become available.  Mogán is, it seems, broke, although it is not thought that, in itself, is what has held things up for this long. The fact is, this tunnel was put forward by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, and it will be funded by the Canary Islands people. Any suggestion whatsoever that Bueno has any real influence over that is fanciful at best, but more likely simple political point scoring, in an attempt to take credit for what other larger institutions have already taken responsibility. As the 2023 local election season gears up, we can expect plenty more of this posturing, claiming kudos or credit for the ongoing work of more serious actors and institutions.
The good news is that there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel.


Petrol prices continue to rise, despite Friday’s incoming subsidy and moderate drops in oil prices

Drivers have been up in arms for weeks, with transport workers on strike across mainland Spain, adding to fears of shortages here on the islands, where we import 80% of what we consume. Prices on the forecourts have continued to rise in the Canary Islands, despite the fact that the oil prices have been falling recently, having peaked at just over $130.2 a barrel on March 8 the price of Brent crude oil, the European benchmark, has been oscillating between $100 and $120 a barrel.  Most transport workers have returned to work, following this week’s announcement of Government subsidies at the pumps.



Last Thursday a Brent barrel cost $118.20. According to official data from Spain’s Ministry for Ecological Transition, which directly influences the prices at service stations themselves, a litre of Unleaded 95 in the Canary Islands averaged €1,441; diesel, was at €1,421 leading the central Government in Madrid to announce, last Monday, a 20 cents per litre fuel subsidy for all drivers, from this Friday April 1, as part of a €16 billion package of measures dubbed the Shock War Response Plan. José Jorge Artiles, manager of the Las Palmas Federation of Service Stations, claims that the current record prices are a “coincidence” as prices change “almost three times a week”, but since Monday many of the islands’ service stations, according to Spanish language daily La Provincia, have increased their prices by more than five cents a litre for diesel and by three cents for a litre of Unleaded 95.
Service Station operator Cepsa have even said that a situation could foreseeably arise where they would need to ration fuel at the pumps.
Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez , announced a 20 cents per litre subsidy on Monday for all drivers, from Friday: 15 cents to come from the public coffers, and at least five cents per litre will have to be paid by the oil companies. Brent Crude closed that same day at $109.54 a barrel. A fall of more than 7% since Thursday last, yet forecourt prices have continued to rise, up to €1.45 euros, and diesel rose to €1.43.
Yesterday, Brent crude closed around $111 dollars a barrel, and opened this morning around $108 however the average price of fuel in the Canary Islands remains at record highs without dropping. But, writes Andrea Saavedra, not all service stations maintained their prices this week, some have increased the cost to the consumer on the forecourts.
“We have detected petrol stations that have taken advantage by raising prices by between five and fifteen cents ahead of the Government of Spain’s 20 cents reduction, in the aid plan, coming into force,” said Blas Acosta yesterday, Deputy Minister of Economy and Internationalisation of the Regional Government of the Canary Islands, in the presentation of the Monitoring Report on the economic impact of Covid-19 and the situation in Ukraine. Acosta says his department are already “studying” how to discover “who is cheating.”
“I don’t know to what extent we have the capacity to act, but we appeal to their conscience or their shame,” he declared.
For his part, the manager of the Las Palmas Federation of Service Stations insisted yesterday that the rise is still linked to the conflict in Eastern Europe. “We are in a period of rapid price changes, and gas stations can say little,” he said defending those services trying to insulate themselves from the wild fluctuations in prices.
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are scheduled for a meeting today to review crude oil pumping plans. OPEC appears determined to reaffirm their alliance with Moscow, offering no sign of giving-in to pressure to increase production and help ease tensions in the energy markets over the war in Ukraine. The OPEC ministerial teleconference of ten independent nations, including Russia, will determine what the group’s production capacity will be in May. During their last meeting, on March 2, the OPEC+ alliance, as they are known, simply ignored demands for a substantial increase in supplies, limiting themselves to confirming a modest increase of 400,000 barrels per day (bd) that had already been planned for April.
That is insufficient, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which warns of the risk of “the biggest (oil) supply crisis in decades” this April. The IEA estimates that three million barrels of crude oil, out of the eight million barrels a day that Russia had been exporting, will have disappeared from the market by then, due to the impact of financial sanctions on its oil industry.
With luck the latest raft of measures will at least temper the price fluctuations, and we may even see some relief in the prices on the forecourts next week…

Editor’s Comment:
Despite the best efforts of European economies, Central Government and the Regional Administrations, the news is pretty grim.  Oil prices have more than doubled in the last five years, the pandemic weakened most economies, and the outrageous aggression in Ukraine has exasperated already soaring food and energy prices, to create a perfect storm.
There is no escaping the fact that shortages could be on the horizon unless something changes quickly, and we can be certain to be feeling the effects for several years to come. It is now more important than ever that each of us shows real awareness of our material needs and our use of resources, from the food we eat, to the transport we use, now is the time to brace for potential problems moving forward, if you weren’t already tightly braced going into 2022, you will need to be to get through it relatively unscathed.
We should be able to expect further drops in prices over coming days, as this US have announced they are considering the release of up to 180 million barrels from from their Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the largest in the near 50-year history of the SPR.
However the longer the Ukraine conflict continues, the harder it will get to mitigate soaring prices on everything.
Bus, cycle or walk, each of us may need to reconsider how we travel day to day for a while.


Puerto Bello complex claims €1million in damages from Canary Islands Government

The owners of the Puerto Bello apartment complex, in the popular tourist town of Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, are claiming nearly one million euros from the Canary Islands Government for damages caused by some of a group of unaccompanied migrant minors who were being sheltered there for several months, ostensibly under the guardianship of the Canary Islands Regional Autonomous Executive.
Featured Image: Puerto Bello damage, Image by @Rafaleonortega/CanariasAhora



According to the owners, some of the damage stemmed from the disturbances that took place on February 8 2021, which were allegedly organised by a man who had falsely claimed to be a minor.  Sources from the Ministry of Social Rights have explained to independent news portal CanariasAhora that when the person suspected of being responsible for the riot was arrested, it was quickly proven that he was in fact of legal age.
Several adults were suspected to be among the more than two thousand foreign children who arrived alone on the Canary Islands throughout 2020, a problem that grew in the Archipelago at the same time as unprecedented numbers of migrant arrivals were  not able to be removed or to leave of their own volition, due to pandemic restrictions in place at the time. The main cause of these adults being placed among children in care was identified as being initial errors by the National Police at the point of first contact and the subsequent lengthy delays in carrying out age determination tests and obtaining the results. This prevented many youths, being cared from by the state, from being able to be sent to school until their age was officially determined.
In fact, on the very same day that these disturbances occurred, misplaced adults were suspected of causing problems, which we had explained at the time following one of our many visits to this centre, and others, in the area:
“95 percent” of current problems in migrant minor accommodations caused by those suspected to really be adults

Hermanos Medina La Herradura SL, who own the Puerto Bello complex, will demand the payment of the damages by administrative means, from the autonomous community, withdrawing their private accusation in the case against the young Moroccan whose trial was to be held this Tuesday at the Provincial Court of Las Palmas, but which was suspended due to a failure to summon some of the witnesses, according to sources from the Prosecutor’s Office.
The lawyer for the complex, Álvaro Campanario, pointed out that the Prosecutor’s Office are claiming €10,092 worth of damage caused in the attempted riot, allegedly incited and led by the accused Ahmed H., but that there were many more incidents that occurred in the apartments during the nine months it was being used as a temporary reception centre for unaccompanied minors arriving by boat.
The contract between Puerto Bello and the Regional Government expired on July 31 with the complex once again beginning to operate as tourist accommodation, as of the end of 2021, according to court papers.
During the time the property was assigned as an accommodation centre for unaccompanied migrant minors, it was under the supervision of the NGO, Fundación Respuesta Social Siglo XXI, who since 2001 have provided services and infrastructure in the field of childhood and youth social care, developing programs that range from educational and residential care for minors to the management of Nursery Schools, through the implementation of training and employment promotion programs for the young.
The young Moroccan on trial faces up to five years in prison accused of crimes of public disorder, in competition with attack and causing damage, having allegedly led a small rampage through the facility, in the company of other residents, all minors, on the night of February 8, 2021.  Full responsibility for the disturbances on that night have been placed squarely on the shoulders of the accused man, who had misrepresented himself as also being a minor, and who should not have been among the unaccompanied youths who were being cared for at the facility.
According to the Public Prosecutor’s accusation, the defendant, carrying a wooden leg torn from a bed in one of the rooms, and in the company of four other minors – who also carried chains, wooden sticks and broken glass – intimidated the young residents of the complex, the vast majority of whom would not join their violent revolt, though he managed to get about twenty to follow him and make trouble.
As a result of that night’s events, the defendant and the other minors caused damage to every floor of the Puerto Bello complex, breaking the glass in doors and windows, breaking all kinds of furniture and appliances, electrical outlets and light sockets, say the Prosecutor’s Office in their brief.
The charges include details of how some minors threw objects, such as microwaves, chairs and tables, from the balconies of the rooms on the upper floors, to the lower ones, causing the educators present at the centre to have to hide to avoid being injured while they waited for the arrival of the security forces.
The agents, when they appeared at the complex, observed the placement of barricades built with chairs, microwaves and glass smashed on the floor, the perpetrators having spilled soapy water to try to prevent access and their arrest, which took several hours, says the indictment.
Unsubstantiated accusations of a failure to protect children
An anonymous complaint, purporting to be from a group of workers at the centre, claimed that there had been some evidence of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation among the vulnerable residents, which occurred both inside and outside the establishment. According to the text, to which CanariasAhora has had access, at least three minors from the centre were suspected to have practiced some form of prostitution, both inside the establishment and also outside, with adults in the local area.
According to these reports of unchecked exploitation, at least one minor was said to have also suffered sexual abuse, perpetrated by adults incorrectly accommodated there, who, despite the fact that their legal age had already been proven, had not yet been referred to another adult reception facility elsewhere in the Archipelago.
The complainants furthermore claimed that the management of the centre were aware of these facts, but that they had “refused to request diagnostic tests for sexually transmitted diseases for the minors.” And it was this, theoretically, that motivated the complaint emailed to the Canary Islands social services and to the local town hall.
It was specifically this anonymous complaint that led the Government of the Canary Islands to order two urgent inspections, which did not manage to obtain any proof the veracity of the accusations. A few days after the document became known in the media, the Las Palmas Prosecutor’s Office, through their Minors’ Section, called for those responsible for the appeal to testify.
Minors continue to be moved from Puerto Rico while prosecutors investigate anonymous allegations

Puerto Bello investigation looks more closely as it emerges current director is newly appointed



From Saturday The Canary Islands suspends all restrictions and maintains prevention measures

The Canary Islands Governing Council (regional cabinet), has approved an agreement to limit restrictions and measures in force on all the islands, suspending them temporarily, based on health alert levels for each island. 



The elimination of the restrictions in force on the Canary Islands is part of the continuation of “progressive and prudent” de-escalation that the Autonomous Executive began in February. This agreement, in line with the measures adopted in the rest of the Spanish Sate and neighbouring countries, due to the new health situation as a result of the expansion of vaccination, in which the effects of the disease present milder manifestations. At the same time, the evidence shows that the Omicron variants present in our territory are not causing greater severity, although they cause a high incidence of virus transmission. This high incidence of transmission keeps the islands at the alert levels they are in, without increasing the impact on care pressure or significantly the occupancy of conventional or ICU beds. The temporary suspension of the restrictions, which will be published in the BOC on Friday, March 24, 2022, will be in force from 00:00 this Saturday, March 26, until at least April 30; Conditional suspension on each island continues to depend on the absence of a significant change in the current trend that indicates  uncontrolled circulation of SARS-CoV-2 or a change changes in the epidemiological situation. Surveillance and control structures will remain operational to monitor the key indicators that make it possible to detect changes in epidemiological patterns, the appearance of new variants or greater impact on the healthcare system.
Measures suspended
According to the agreement adopted, as of March 26, all the measures contemplated in Decree Law 11/2021 cease to be in force, that is, those related to capacity, closing times and limitation on the number of people allowed in meetings.  In addition, it is no longer necessary to have prior authorisation to hold mass events and the ban on holding popular festivals and events has suspended. The ban on smoking and the sale and consumption of food or drinks on public roads have also been relaxed. Lastly, nightlife, sports and cultural activities will be able to take place under the same conditions as they did before the start of the pandemic.
Prevention measures in force
However, the importance of maintaining current transmission prevention recommendations is recalled, such as the use of the mask indoors, hand washing, ventilation and extreme care and prevention of transmission of the vulnerable.
Changes in alert levels
Starting next Monday, five alert levels are established (alert levels 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4), based on the indicators for use of care services. The alert level will be defined by the indicator of that block that has the highest level of risk.
Healthcare pressure
The occupancy of critical care beds reflects a downward trend, keeping all the islands at low risk for this indicator, except on Gran Canaria, which has been fluctuating between medium and low risk. The occupation of conventional beds is at medium risk on Gran Canaria and Tenerife, while Fuerteventura and Lanzarote oscillate between medium risk and controlled circulation. La Palma is at high risk in the occupation of conventional beds, while El Hierro and La Gomera are in controlled circulation. The rate of new hospitalisations for COVID-19 is at a low risk level on Gran Canaria, Tenerife and La Palma and in controlled circulation on the rest of the islands.

Change in the National Surveillance and Control Strategy
This temporary suspension of the limitations in the Canary Islands occurs after the change in the Coronavirus Surveillance and Control Strategy approved by the Inter-territorial Council of the National Health System, which, after the acute phase of the pandemic, contemplates surveillance of the expansion of the coronavirus focused solely on vulnerable areas and groups, on controlling severity and detecting new variants. The objective now is to establish monitoring indicators that allow the establishment of the appropriate control measures if necessary and favour the normalisation of health care after the acute phase of the pandemic, minimising the risks. The diagnostic strategy will be aimed at testing people with symptoms compatible with severe COVID-19 or with vulnerability factors, while the diagnosis and surveillance of people who have contact with vulnerable populations (health and socio-health workers), in addition to to helping to protect this group, and will make it possible to assess the level of virus circulation, changes in severity and early detection of possible seasonal increases in cases. The change in surveillance implies a modification of the COVID-19 monitoring indicators in which those associated with healthcare pressure are most relevant from now on. The indicators of accumulated incidences are suppressed, except for those over 60 years of age, and those of analysis of healthcare pressure are expanded.


Let’s Dance! Canary Islands to lift all Covid-19 restrictions on Thursday, but mask rules will continue for a little while longer

The Canary Islands are to eliminate all restrictions activated by the Covid-19 pandemic this Thursday, except the use of masks indoors, which remains strictly a state measure, in the hands of the Spanish Ministry of Health and, for the moment, there is no date set to address the matter.



Regional President Ángel Víctor Torres announced on Tuesday, in the regional Parliament, that “following the technical criteria” all pandemic restrictions in the archipelago will be suspended. This announcement opens a new stage in the recovery, although it may still be revoked if the epidemiological circumstances worsen, he specified.  The pandemic is not yet over.
However festivals, events, and gatherings will be without limits and without any form of curfew in leisure, among various other measures.
1. General capacity : 100%, both in outdoor spaces and indoors.
2. Cultural activity : Maximum capacity, as per the venue’s license, regardless of whether or not it is considered a mass event, will be 100% both in open and enclosed spaces.
3. Public shows : Cultural, recreational, leisure and entertainment activities, including sports, that take place sporadically, and in places other than those establishments intended for the regular exercise of those activities, can now operate at maximum capacity of 100% both outdoors and indoors in enclosed spaces, regardless of whether the public is to remain standing or sitting, or the consumption of food at the event.
4. Federated and non-federated, professional and non-professional sports practice : Allowed outdoors or in enclosed spaces, maintaining the interpersonal distance of 2 meters whenever possible.
5. Groups of people : There will be no imposed limit.
6. Health centres: Health centres will not limit capacity or specific groups of people.
7. Closing times : All establishments recover the closing hours for which they were licensed before the outbreak of the pandemic, and dancing will once again be allowed.
8. Training, competitions and sporting events: the capacity of the public will be 100% both in open spaces and in closed spaces and the measures provided for in the Agreement of the Inter-territorial Council of the National Health System of February 16, 2022 on the measures for mass sporting events, including those of the Professional Football League and the ACB League.


Canary Islands Health Ministry reports 1,871 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours

The Ministry of Health this Friday reported 1,871 new cases of coronavirus COVID-19. To total 19,201 currently active cases across the region, of which 43 are in the ICU and 296 remain hospitalised.



For the latest Canary Islands data on Covid-19, updated daily, check our Canary Islands dashboard

The 7-day Accumulated Incidence (7dAI) in the Canary Islands stands at 437.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and at 14 days at 691.38 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
By islands, Tenerife today have confirmed 734 new cases with 7,767 epidemiologically active cases; Gran Canaria has 904 more and 9,064 active. Lanzarote adds 97 new cases with 514 epidemiologically active; Fuerteventura has  69 new cases and 1,364 active. La Palma adds 52 new positives, to total 368 active. El Hierro adds six new cases, so has 20 active, and La Gomera adds nine new positives, to make 104 active cases.
To date, a total of 3,246,860 diagnostic tests have been carried out on the Islands, of which 5,644 correspond to yesterday.


Gran Canaria remains at Alert Level 4 while Tenerife goes to Alert Level 3

Gran Canaria remains at alert level 4; La Palma, Fuerteventura, La Gomera and El Hierro at level 3; and Lanzarote at level 2. The evolution of the indicators on the rest of the islands does not yet present sufficient stability to allow other changes in level



The Ministry of Health has today updated the health alert levels after the epidemiological report of the General Directorate of Public Health with consolidated data as of February 23. The report specifies the evolution of the health indicators due to COVID-19, which allows the island of Tenerife to be lowered to level 3, after the improvement of its epidemiological indicators.
Tenerife goes to level 3 due to the improvement of the care impact indicators in the last 14 days, having moved the hospital occupancy of beds on the ward in the last two weeks from high to medium risk,  and occupancy of ICU beds decreases to medium risk. However, the indicators will be closely observed over concerns that the slightly upward evolution of the 7 day AI over in the last week could continue which in turn could have an impact on the care capacity indicators. The level change will take effect at 00:00 this Friday, February 25 (on the night of Thursday to Friday).


Work begins on Salto de Chira, the first large energy storage system in the Canary Islands

Third vice-president of the Spanish Government, and minister of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, the president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Victor Torres, the president of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales, the president of Red Eléctrica de España, Beatriz Corredor and the mayors de Mogán and San Bartolomé participated today in the commemorative act of the start of the works.
Salto de Chira aims to reinforce Gran Canaria’s supply guarantee and will increase the integration of renewable energies into the system, it is estimated that by 2026 it will be able to increase production with this type of resource by 37% and reduce CO2 emissions by 20%.
The works, which will last 70 months, involve an investment of more than €400 million and will generate more than 4,300 jobs, including more than 3,500 on the island of Gran Canaria.




Red Eléctrica de España, who oversee the Spanish grid, have announced construction of the Salto de Chira reversible pumped hydroelectric power plant (CHB) is now to begin on Gran Canaria. This is the first major massive energy storage project in the Canary Islands, for the operation of the electrical system, providing greater security of supply and increasing the island’s integration of renewable energies.
The Government of the Canary Islands, the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Red Eléctrica de España and the municipalities of Mogán and San Bartolomé de Tirajana, have all participated today in a commemorative act at the start of the works, which are set to last 70 months. This milestone completes the administrative process that began in October 2016.
The event was held at the headquarters of the Institución Ferial de Canarias and brought together the third vice-president of the Government and minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, the president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Victor Torres, the president of the Cabildo of Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales, the president of Red Eléctrica de España (REE), Beatriz Corredor, the mayors of Gran Canaria, national and regional parliamentarians, as well as a broad business and social representation, from the university, civil associations and irrigation communities, and industry representatives from across Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands.

Third Vice President of the Spanish Government, and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, highlighted that “the Salto de Chira project is a great example of the path we must take to continue promoting a clean, cheap and efficient energy model. Storage is going to be one of the key pieces of the energy transition, both for its contribution to electrification and for its ability to provide renewable energies with manageability, something especially important in non-interconnected systems such as the Islands. It is at this point where the Salto Chira will represent a great advance, improving the guarantee of supply, the security of the electrical system and renewable penetration. With projects like this, and the firm commitment to renewables”

????@Teresaribera ha presentado la Estrategia de Energías Sostenibles en Canarias junto con @avtorresp
????️”Las soluciones energéticas bien arraigadas e integradas en el territorio son la receta para ganar la batalla al #CambioClimatico “
Va HILO???????? pic.twitter.com/kUrF0j1Mlw
— Transición Ecológica y Reto Demográfico (@mitecogob) February 16, 2022

Canary Islands President, Ángel Victor Torres, said “this happy day will be remembered as a turning point for the future of Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands as a whole. Because this plant represents progress towards the achievement of many of the fundamental objectives of the Canary Islands Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030. Today, Salto de Chira takes the decisive step to become a reality, after a process that has not been exempt from complexities, due to its scope and its innovative nature. But every effort is worth it if it is to materialise the aspirations of the Agenda, the Declaration of Climate Emergency and the future Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition, which contemplates the decarbonisation of the Islands by the year 2040. That is the way that begins through Salto de Chira”

President of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales, stressed that “today we celebrate not only the beginning of a great work, but also the beginning of a long-awaited new era: the guarantee that an eco-island model is possible and that we will be able to pass on to future generations a land that we are obliged to protect. Salto de Chira is an essential tool to make possible a model of eco-social progress that guarantees our survival”.

In her speech, the president of REE, Beatriz Corredor, highlighted that “Red Eléctrica will put Salto de Chira into service in compliance with the legal mandate that in 2013 gave the system operator responsibility for these pumping facilities in non-peninsular systems” and has shown that the plant will be “an instrument at the service of Gran Canaria society and a storage tool for everyone and for all”.

The southern Mayors of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Concepción Narváez, and of Mogán, Ms Onalia Bueno, whose municipalities host the future facilities, also participated in the commemorative act. Bueno stressed that the project “will improve the quality of life of the residents of the Barranco de Arguineguín” while, Conchi Narváez emphasised that “changing the current energy model is something urgent, that we cannot postpone to other generations. One of our great challenges must be to generate the instruments for the storage of clean energy that we generate today”.

The Salto de Chira plant, declared of being in the general interest by the Government of the Canary Islands, takes advantage of two existing large reservoirs (the Chira and Soria dams) located in the interior of the island, to build between them the 200 MW pumped hydroelectric plant (equivalent to approximately 36% of Gran Canaria’s current peak demand) with up to 3.5GWh of storage capacity. In addition, it includes a seawater desalination station and associated marine works, as well as the necessary facilities for its connection to the hydrological transport network. Water will be an essential element for the operation of the new infrastructure, but it is also a scarce resource in the archipelago. For this reason, the Salto de Chira will guarantee the necessary flow in the reservoirs for the operation of the plant through the water desalination plant that will be installed in Arguineguín, to meet its objective of storing energy. REE say that key infrastructure for the Salto de Chira electricity system in the Canary Islands, has been designed with the utmost respect for the environment, guaranteeing its integration into the environment and minimises the visual impact of the infrastructures, since 91% of them are to be located underground. This infrastructure will reinforce Gran Canaria’s supply guarantee, by increasing the power installed in the system. This is, without a doubt, a fundamental element for an electrical system like the Canary Islands, isolated and, therefore, more vulnerable. Thus, in the event of a supply interruption, the plant will speed up and drastically reduce replacement times. In addition, it will allow increased integration of renewable energies into the system, by taking advantage of the surpluses from this type of source thanks to its storage capacity. In this way, it is estimated that, by 2026, the CHB will be able to increase renewable production by 37%, raising the average annual coverage of demand with this type of generation to 51%, which may be much higher at specific times. Additionally, this will allow a reduction of CO2 emissions by 20%. With an investment of more than €400 million, the facility will generate estimated savings for the electrical system of €122 million per year, by promoting the energy independence of the island and reducing the importation of fossil fuels. In addition, it will generate more than 4,300 jobs, of which more than 3,500 will be on the island of Gran Canaria, contributing to the economic recovery of the Canaries archipelago in a sustainable manner and in line with the principles of the European Green Pact and along the strategic lines and basic principles of the Pact for the Social and Economic Reactivation of the Canary Islands. Aiming to cut fossil fuels in half, in the Canary Islands, by 2030 In recent years, the archipelago has tripled its installed wind power capacity, which, added to photovoltaic, makes a total of 615 MW. This has meant that the coverage of demand with renewables has gone from 7.8% in 2017 to 19.9% ​​in 2021. In this context, the construction of the Chira-Soria pumped-storage hydroelectric plant will be key to promoting the energy transition in the Canary Islands, and moving towards a new energy model that is safer, more efficient, decarbonised and respectful of the environment.

????@Teresaribera ha participado en la presentación del proyecto hidráulico del Salto de Chira en Gran Canaria ????️”Una gran batería que estará en el corazón de Gran Canaria garantizando el recurso cuando se necesita y facilitando la integración de las renovables” pic.twitter.com/XCgVeAlJTZ — Transición Ecológica y Reto Demográfico (@mitecogob) February 17, 2022