Tag: Spanish Government

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

La Alcaldesa Bueno Secures Incredible Majority in Mogán

Mogán, May 29, 2023 – The often controversial incumbent, O Bueno, La Alcaldesa, has achieved an unprecedented and resounding victory once more in Mogán. The candidate who switched her party’s name, for these elections, to “Juntos por Mogán”, a local ally of the regionalist conservatives “Coalición Canaria” (CC), will once again assume the role of mayor. Her party has clinched a rather noteworthy 17 out of the 21 seats in the Municipal Council of this popular tourism destination located on the sunny southwest of Gran Canaria.

The Canary Guide Día de Canarias #WeekendTips 26-28 May 2023

What an interesting last weekend of May ahead. Weather predictions are showing some rain showers are likely across Gran Canaria. This extended #WeekendTips covers up to Tuesday, when all things Canarian are celebrated on the Día de Canarias. There’ll be some gorgeous Patron Saints’ festivities happening in San Fernando de Maspalomas as well as in Valleseco.

Fun Fact:
Valleseco literally means “dry valley” in Spanish, but is actually one of the wettest municipalities Gran Canaria. Nestling between the famous fresh water sources of Firgas & Teror, half way up the island’s mountainous northern slopes, this area is well known for its apple growers, cider and its weekly market

Six weeks since the unexplained disappearance of Anna-Karin on Gran Canaria

The authorities on Gran Canaria have been engaged in a rigorous search for Swedish tourist Anna-Karin Bengtsson, who went missing in the south of Gran Canaria around April 9. Her unexplained disappearance has caused her family much distress, with no clues to her whereabouts having emerged in the six weeks since they first realised her phone was no longer functioning.

The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 19-21 May 2023


An exciting May weekend ahead with abundant events and festivities taking place all around Gran Canaria. There are Patron Saints’ festivities for Motor Grande, in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, and in El Tablero in the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana and up in the mountains of Artenara. There is also a two day lively exhibition event in Meloneras boulevard and the Rally Gran Canaria is held this Friday and Saturday.


Canary Islands demands a comprehensive response to growing migrant crisis

Spain’s Migration Minister, José Luis Escrivá, has decided to delay his trip scheduled for this week to the Canary Islands. The Canary Islands demands a comprehensive response to the growing migrant crisis.
The President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, in statements to journalists, said “powerful reasons” have prevented Escrivá’s visit this week, but that a “precise and immediate” solution was required to deal with the continuous arrival of migrants in boats, known as pateras or cayucos, and that, after learning that the trip was postponed, he has spoken this Monday with the First Vice President of the Government, Carmen Calvo.
The Canarian president says he insisted that Calvo respond to the problems arising from the continuous arrival of migrants, such as the need to set up adequate centers to accommodate them, increased surveillance and assistance, as well as their repatriation and transit.
The Government of the Canary Islands demands a comprehensive response “in a very short space of time” to this phenomenon, stressed Torres, who has made clear that in his opinion the short-term solution of accommodating migrants in tourist complexes must be an “exception.”
Torres has insisted that we do not play politics with a human drama such as migration, referring to those who encourage “more xenophobia, more hatred, more unreason and more injustice.”  He made clear his position, and that of The Canary Islands Government “These people who arrive are victims. You would not want to live in their neighborhoods, their towns in their country. They do so haunted by hunger, by war, even by the current pandemic situation.” he said.
Escrivá’s visit was set at the end of last July, in a telematic meeting that he held with the President and Spain’s Health Minister, Salvador Illa, to address the problems associated with COVID19
Torres has asked the central government to set up military spaces, detention centres for foreigners and other State infrastructures to accommodate those arriving by boat, because “the situation is desperate”, calling it “a drama.”
In a radio interview this Monday, Torres was asked about the saturation of the current reception network on the islands, in a year in which the arrivals of migrants have multiplied by six. This Sunday 332 people spent the night crowded into tents on the Arguineguín dock (Gran Canaria) while waiting for other resources to be made available.
The Canary Islands president emphasised that both his Government, as well as the island cabildos, and “some municipalities” have made spaces available for the reception of those arriving, despite not having competence in the matter, and has invited the rest of the consistories to collaborate.
Ángel Víctor Torres has said that he understands the controversial decision to temporarily adapt a tourist complex, in Maspalomas (Gran Canaria), not currently in use due to the decline in tourist numbers and the subsequent crisis that the sector has suffered because of the coronavirus, with more than 200 migrants having been relocated to a set of empty apartments, but he has stressed that this is just a “transitional” solution.
“Accommodation spaces have been enabled, although this is not a solution, because they are places for guests, but it has been done as a temporary measure and for a limited time. I believe that military spaces, CIE (Centros de Internamiento de Extranjeros – Foreigner Interment Centres) and central government infrastructures have to be opened.” he said, calling the whole episode a “drama”.
Furthermore, Torres has explained that he has asked the Ministry of the Interior to reinforce surveillance of the Canary Islands coasts, and to ensure at least some of the migrants are transferred to other centres on the Peninsula “as happened in the past”.


The Canary News

Phase II: Canary Islands beaches to reopen for recreational use from Monday

On Monday, May 25, beaches on Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and La Palma will open once more for people to be able to sunbathe and swim recreationally, however showers, foot-baths and designated recreational areas will stay closed to avoid possible infections from Covid-19.

These remaining five will join the other Canary Islands, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa already in phase two of the Spanish state de-escalation plan, which were among the first places in Spain to advance to that stage last Monday. This will mean greater levels of freedom throughout the Canary Islands, including leisure use of beaches, although the state regulations have once again generated uncertainties.
A technical meeting of the Canary Islands Federation of Municipalities (FECAM) and the regional government was convened yesterday to establish a framework protocol for the measures to be taken by the various municipalities in allowing access to their beaches. They recognised the differences between a small cove and beaches that stretch for kilometers, with the intention of clarifying some of the issues likely to be encountered.

At this time, the priority is security “on the ground,” said Tomás Pérez, Mayor of La Aldea and leader of the Fecam security commission, so lifeguard teams from the Red Cross will join the Local Police to control compliance with the rules of social distancing and protection measures.
All across Spain there are still many unknowns. Although Fecam is clear that, as a general rule, showers and recreation areas will be closed and that the separation between beach users will be monitored, there are still multiple issues that need to be defined.

In Andalusia, for instance, there are proposed measures to limit the capacity of people on the beaches. There they are recommending showering before going to the beach and then again upon arrival, with people being asked to not stay on the beach for more than four hours to avoid crowds. Other areas, such as Galicia, are asking people to make a prior appointment to avoid overcrowding. FECAM do not plan to go to these extremes in the Canary Islands. Pérez refered to the first day that we were allowed to exercise, in phase zero, or to go to bar and restaurant terraces, in phase one. Though there were crowds at first, the numbers have lessened, which he believes demonstrates that it is a matter of individual responsibility, which can be extrapolated to the general opening of the beaches, which can already be used for sports training. He stressed that we cannot yet relax our efforts to mitigate the effects of a virus that has claimed 155 lives on the islands and more than 27,700 in Spain.

The ministerial order for the penultimate phase two of de-escalation indicates that visits to the beaches will be allowed, always maintaining a minimum safety distance of at least two meters, or, failing that, using alternative measures of physical protection, including consistent hand hygiene and a mask, mandatory in public spaces. Groups can be a maximum of 15 people.

Shopping centres, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, cinemas, theaters, weddings and funerals

Shopping centers will also be allowed to reopen under phase two rules, however, with quite a few limitations, as common areas and recreational areas will still be out of bounds, and capacity will be limited to 40% with a preferential service schedule established for people over 65 years of age.

Restaurants will be able to allow customers to enter inside, once more, although food and drink cannot be consumed at the bar and seating will be limited to one third of capacity, so that there is sufficient separation between customers. Nightclubs will not open yet.

Cultural spaces such as libraries and museums will be joined by cinemas, theaters and auditoriums, which will open to the public with previously assigned seating and limited to a third of capacity. Shows must host audiences of less than 50 people indoors and less than 400 outdoors.

In addition, from phase two, weddings can be held in all types of facilities, at up to 50% venue capacity and without exceeding 100 guests in outdoor spaces or 50 in closed spaces.

Funeral wakes will also have a limit of 25 people in open spaces or 15 in closed spaces. And among other relaxation measures in phase two of de-escalation, places of worship will now be limited to half normal capacity.

The Canary News


Face masks in public places to be mandatory in Spain

Spain’s Minister of Finance and government spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, announced on Sunday, at a press conference, the mandatory use of face masks in public places, likely to form part of the de-escalation plan as they seek support for a latest one-month extension to the State of Emergency.

The move comes following requests from several of the country’s autonomous regional governments, despite initial resistance from central government to legislate on mask use, following divisions and debate as to their effectiveness in the response to Covid19

Health Minister, Salvador Illa, has said they are working on how the instructions to use masks in all public spaces may be implemented in coming days, although he did not want to give specific details until the order has been finalised.

The Prime Minister of Spain’s Government, Pedro Sánchez, held the meeting with the autonomous communities and cities on Sunday, his tenth by videoconference since the state of emergency was declared, in which, among other matters, he made clear his intention to request a new extension, which “We hope will be the last, for a period of approximately one month.”

State of emergency

“We have to maintain the necessary caution and prudence; we have come a long way, but we have not reached the end of the road. We must not rush” said Montero summarising the current situation, repeating the government’s estimate that the state of emergency may have saved some 300,000 lives throughout Spain.

The legal decree for the extension has been written “in the most flexible way” possible, within the framework of sanitary and scientific criteria and in co-governance with the autonomous communities, explained the government spokesperson, who expressed hope that its importance would be understood by all political groups and supported in the votes this Tuesday by the Council of Ministers and by representatives in the Cortes on Wednesday.


The Canary News