Motorway toll prices to be frozen for 2015

The good news for drivers using motorways in Spain is that toll costs will be frozen next year in 2015 the first time in five years. The reason for this apparent generosity is very straightforward - many fewer drivers have been using the motorways probably as a result mainly of the sharp increases experienced since 2010 in the charges levied coupled with the effects of the economic crisis. Since that time, apart from this year, the number of vehicles using the motorways through the tolled sections

Spain found lacking on Human Rights Day

On the International Day for Human Rights it was announced that Spain has ten things to correct. The European Union, the United Nations, and non-governmental organisations agree where Spain is lacking: 1. Southern Frontier -  Less than a month ago the United Nations Committee on Human Rights asked Spain about the summary return of migrants in Ceuta and Melilla, the death of 15 people off the Ceuta beach of El Tarajal, the police violence in the suppression of the migrants who have crossing the frontier, and the ill-treatment of immigrants in their reception centres.

The European Union recently questioned the Spanish Government over the events which took place last September 15 when images distributed by a local NGO showed how agents hit one of the migrants, who was then sent back to Morocco.
The new EU Immigration Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, speaking in the European Parliament, informed Spain their planned wish to legalise the immediate return of the migrants could break EU legislation.

2. Evictions
While the right to a home is guaranteed in Article 47 of the European Constitution, only in the first quarter of this year the number of mortgage evictions was 21,178 4.2 percent on the previous year, according to the General Council for Judicial Power. Their report adds in the first half of 2013 there were 18,749 evictions for not paying the rent. According to the platform Stop Desahucios, Bank of Spain figures 26,500 families lost their homes in the first half of 2013.

3. Child Poverty
The president of the Spanish committee of Unicef, Carmelo Angulo, alerted last summer, that ‘poverty in Spain has the face of a child’ and that child poverty is the seed of a more unequal society, and a system less sustainable. The biannual report on infancy in Spain, presented by Unicef last June, showed child poverty is ‘more elevated, intense and extensive in other age groups than in nearby countries. 2,306.000 (27.5 percent) children live under the poverty line in Spain according to Unicef. Save The Children puts the number at 2.8 million.

4. Judicial Taxes and Free Justice
A judicial tax introduced two years ago with only the support of the PP has had the effect of poor people not making complaints to the courts.
According to the very Justice Ministry the added tax falls more on the middle classes and affects 17 percent of the total of 8.3 million judicial cases seen in Spain. The tax applies in civil and administrative jurisdictions and can cost between 300 € to make a report and 800€ to make an appeal.
The new Justice Minister, Rafael Catalá, recently promised to increase the number who have free access to justice, and draft law which will be debated shortly in the Senate will introduce amendments to ensure, ‘nobody can be deprived of their judicial right for a lack of resources’.

5. Domestic Violence
So far this year 48 women have been killed by their partner or ex-partner, a third of them had previously reported ill-treatment, and most of those who make a complaint and placed by the police on a low level of risk.
Last week the General Council for Judicial Power observatory for violence against women made three new proposals, including more information for the aggrieved, better training of the courts including an end to release after confession. In many cases the woman goes back to live with her aggressor, often for the sake of the children, of because of a lack of money. The opposition and women associations complain about the lack of economic aid for the programs destined at the victims of domestic violence.

6. Immigrants not being given health care
A Royal Decree in 2012 tore up the health cards for 873,000 immigrants living in Spain and since then they are left without universal care. Several NGO have noted the recommendation from diverse bodies in Europe who call for the Royal Decree to be overturned saying the Spanish State has the legal obligation in giving the right to health access, to also grant that right to migrants in an irregular administrative situation.

7. Right to protest
The Citizen’s Safety Law entered parliament with a strong rejection from all the opposition, and the NGO who defend human rights. In some situations the law allows the dissolution of demonstrations.
The opposition wants several things to be removed from the law; including the escraches (loud demonstrations outside a person’s home or place of work), the botellón (street drinking parties) and graffiti.
The United Nations Committee on Human Rights has criticised the law as it affects, ‘the right to pacific reunion and the freedom of expression’.

8. Franco crimes
The Government thinks that the bodies killed by the Franco forces should be left where they are because it would infringe the Amnesty Law passed in 1977. However, the Forced Disappearance Committee of the United Nations said crimes are prescribed only when ‘the person appears alive, or when their remains are found or when their identity is restored’.
There are still more then 100,000 republican citizens disappeared after being killed in the Civil War or by Franco.

9. Racial Discrimination
Last Friday the SOS Racism platform presented their annual report for 2013, in which they had received 397 reports for racism and discrimination in three areas: institutional racism; the denial of access to public and private services; and abuse from the State security forces.

10. Police torture and abuse
This year is the thirtieth anniversary of the signing of the Torture Convention, and there remain many reports coming from police stations, jails, courts and prisons. The Spanish Advocacy Foundation is holding some seminars this week, where they will present a guide for the lawyers to help them to detect and report police abuse or torture. In the last ten years 6,621 reports have been registered.
Amnesty International said yesterday that torture is not systematic in Spain but it is ‘persistent’ and continues to be a problem. Director of the organisation in Spain, Esteban Beltrán, said, ‘In Spain torture continues to be a problem, and the problem is it’s not recognised as a problem’.

A new racing season dawns for Luke Mustoo

Luke Mustoo is a past winner of the CoastRider Pride of Spain Young Achiever award. His ambition for many years has been to become a professional race driver, not an easy profession to break into. Two years ago he took part in the 2012 Time Attack series achieving some success in his specially prepared Renault Clio. The following year in 2013 he sold his car and became part of the Drivex team competing in a Mini challenge driving a Mini Cooper-S JCW track version. This did not prove to be a successful

Uber taxi app banned in Spain

A judge in a court in Madrid has issued a writ banning the use of the Uber taxi app In Spain. The app allows people needing lifts to get together with those having cars that can provide them via their mobile phones or tablets. The service is chargeable and the owners of the app take a 20 per cent cut. Ever since its introduction in three cities in Spain (Valencia, Madrid and Valencia) and elsewhere in the world the Uber application has caused controversy with taxi drivers claiming it is unfair

Rudolph’s Revenge helps local charities

It was time for locals to put a festive foot forward on Sunday as they raised money for a trio of local charities by taking part in Rudolph’s Revenge. Around 20 people braved the cold and potentially rainy weather to get into the Christmas spirit and raise *XX for Afe Cancer. In addition to the money raised, participants and well-wishers brought along dried food stuffs to donate to Caritas and children’s toys and warm clothing for the San Jose Obrero Orphanage in Orihuela.

Prosecutors seek 18 year sentence for husband of Cristina de Borbón

Pedro Horrach who is an anticorruption attorney has produced a 500 page report putting the blame for the corruption of the Nóos case firmly on Iñaki Urdangarin the husband of Cristina Bourbón who is the sister of King Felipe VI and acquitting the ex-Infanta Cristina of any crimes. The report will be studied by the investigating judge, José Castro, who will make the final decision as to who goes to trial

Useful Numbers - Torreveija

  • Emergency 112
  • Guardia Civil 062
  • Policía Local 092
  • Policía Nacional 091
  • Hospital 965 721 200
  • Samaritans 902 883 535

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Useful Numbers - Benidorm

  • Emergency 112
  • Guardia Civil 062/ 965854030
  • Policía Local 092/ 966 807 766
  • Policía Nacional 965 855 308
  • Hospital 900 223 344
  • Samaritans 902 883 535