Spanish News March 2017

Nationwide Protest Over Sad Fate Of Hunting Hounds

Thousands of animal-lovers gathered in the streets to protest against hunting with hounds. They denounced the 'systematic abandoning' of the dogs at the end of the season and the horrendous fate some of them face, especially when they are too old or slow to hunt any longer.

Horrific and distressing sights of greyhounds (galgos) and podencos hung from trees, or simply ditched in the countryside or on the streets, have spurred many protests in recent years, particularly as animal shelters become overwhelmed as the hunting season ends and injured and abandoned hounds are found and brought to them.
Demonstrations were held in large towns and cities all over the country, with animal rescue centres heading up the marches and encouraging their members, volunteers and friends to join in.

Podencos and galgos make excellent pets. With kindness and gentle handling, scared and scarred hunting hounds' trust, loyalty and affection can be regained very quickly.

Key Bank Of Spain Employees On Trial Over Bankia Flotation Resign

Manager Mariano Herrera, his right-hand man Pedro Comín and inspector Pedro González have stood down to protect the Bank of Spain's interests while the inquiry is open.

Former deputy manager Fernando Restoy, ex-governor Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez, and ex-chairman of the National Markets and Values Commission (CNMV), Julio Segura, have also been named in the case, along with two other existing key employees Javier Arístegui and Jerónimo Martínez.

Despite repeated warnings by the Bank of Spain's investigation team about how the State-owned Bankia was not a viable flotation proposition and that launching on the stock market would cause serious financial damage to its shareholders and contributors - to the tune of €15 billion - the Bank of Spain bosses under scrutiny still authorised the move.

Woman Who Found And Kept €900 In Cash Arrested

A 69-year-old woman who found €900 in cash on the floor of a cashpoint booth and kept it has been arrested and charged with theft.
A man had lost it having withdrawn it, placed it in a plastic bag and then dropped it without noticing. CCTV footage showed a woman leaving the premises with it. She told the police she had picked it up intending to give it back to the man who dropped it, or hand it in.

Paedophile Arrested In Santa Pola

A 70 year old British man accused of sexual assaults on over 30 children in the UK and Thailand has been arrested in Santa Pola.

MF, who had already been arrested in Thailand for the rape of nine children after winning their trust with money and gifts, appeared on the pictures found on a Dutch computer making a heart sign with his hands whilst in the act of abusing the young victims. He is said to have been an English teacher in a UK school before he retired and during his career, abused several pupils.

MF even adopted a child and abused him, but when he applied to adopt another in 1986, his request was turned down. He was also a Scout leader and is believed to have abused at least 45 children in the last 30 or 40 years.

After being sentenced in the UK and having jumped bail in Thailand, MF changed his name and sold his house, starting a new life with a new identity in Spain. He has now been extradited to the UK.

CAM Bank Widow's Son-In-Law Arrested Over Her Murder

One of the sons-in-law of the CAM bank chairman's widow has been arrested in connection with her sudden death inside her car two months ago. Married to the deceased's youngest daughter, the accused holds a gun licence and practises target-shooting.

María del Carmen Martínez, 72, was shot at close range on the forecourt of Novocar, the motor dealership in Alicante owned by the family empire. She had gone to pick up her Porsche Cayenne after a service and was due to meet her notary later for issues in connection with the network of companies she owned after the death of her husband, Vicente Sala, who used to be head of the now-defunct Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo (CAM).

Spanish Lorry Driver Caught Trafficking Migrants

A lorry driver from Spain has been arrested in The Netherlands on suspicion of human trafficking after nine Asian migrants were found in a refrigeration unit in his container. Six Vietnamese men and three women and three Iraqi men were hidden in the fridge. One of them called the police as they were frightened of dying from hypothermia.

The driver 'was aware of their presence' and it is believed the migrants had paid him 'huge sums of money' for the journey.
It is believed their final destination may have been the UK, but the lorry had not been authorised to pass through customs at the British border.

Compensation For Woman Suspended Without Pay For Wearing Hijab To Work

An administration worker at Palma de Mallorca airport has won her case against her firm for refusing to let her wear her hijab in the office. She had been subjected to disciplinary action seven times, which mainly involved suspending her and docking her pay for a day at a time.

Between April and July 2016, she was repeatedly sanctioned by the firm. After wearing her hijab for just one day, she was informed in writing that staff were not permitted to wear 'any item of clothing' not included in the personnel uniform catalogue', but she wore it again the next day. She was sent home for 'refusing to comply with company policy'.

In May, seeing that the situation had reached a deadlock, the employee requested in writing that the company 'reconsider its position' concerning her hijab and announced she would take legal action if it did not do so for breaching her fundamental rights whilst stressing that the conflict was causing her serious stress and affecting her health.

The lady judge upheld her case and awarded her €4,491 in wages she did not receive because of the suspension, plus €7,892 for emotional damage.

Charging For Carrier Bags To Be Mandatory From 2018

All shops in Spain will be required by law to charge a minimum of five cents for plastic carrier bags. Free plastic bags will be banned from January 1st 2018 in an attempt to cut their use, in line with the European Directive of 2015 which all member States are obliged to apply progressively.
In Spain alone in the year 2014, a total of 4.7 tonnes of plastic bags of the denser, more resistant type were manufactured - around 158 million of them - showing consumers are tending to opt for stronger and larger carrier bags if they have to pay, but prices are set to rise on these almost threefold, since the maximum shops can charge for them is 30 cents.

Very lightweight bags will continue to be free of charge where they are necessary for hygiene or food conservation reasons, such as those used for fruit and vegetables and from the fish, meat and cheese counters.