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In the News in Granada has designed and built prototypes of collapsible shipping containers. Called Zbox as they resemble the letter “Z” when being collapsed, their invention could revolutionise the carrying of empty containers on ships. Empty containers take up the same space as a normal container and have to be carefully loaded to distribute the weight of full containers. The firm Drewry Shipping Consultants state that carrying empty containers costs 20 billion dollars every year and also generates CO2 emissions from the ships. The five person team from Granada have invented a container that can be easily collapsed so that it becomes a flat pack, and five flat packs only take up the space of one normal container. The sides of their containers run in slots on the top and bottom and an operator lowers a normal container on top to initiate the collapse after four pins have been withdrawn. These containers can also be used on trains with the same saving in space. The team realised that empty containers were a big problem by chance when one of them was holding a discussion with port operators in Valencia. The special containers are more expensive to produce but the cost savings when in use are very substantial and they use 85% of the normal container parts. ‘Sareb’ to Build Houses Following the construction crisis in Spain, banks and other institutions found themselves landed with an enormous number of houses, apartments, commercial premises and land, where the builders had defaulted on the mortgages. At the time of the following financial crisis there had to be a solution. The Spanish state entity ‘Sareb’ came into being and they purchased the toxic bad debts from the banks that had to be bailed out. They paid them 40% of the value and 25% for land. In the case of the worst four banks this amounted to 45 billion Euro,s and in the case of other banks that had not gone bust but needed help, they paid out another 15 billion euros. Some banks decided to hang on in the hope that they could weather the

crisis, but in the case of Banco Popular this contributed to them being declared insolvent. Banco Santander bought Banco Popular for 1 Euro but took on all the debts. Sareb sold large chunks of properties with a small profit to investment companies, particularly from the US, who were looking at the future price they might be able to obtain over a period of years. Now, Sareb is looking at all the land they own where building licences had been granted, or there should be no problem. Their new company Arqura Homes is planning to build 17,000 properties with 493 of them in Almería province. Providing they get their sums right this will bring in large amounts of money. They are starting in Barcelona, Madrid and Málaga where they intend that the average selling price will be 180,000 euros.

Too Much Smoking in Spain The Spanish Society of Family Medicine have published their annual report and claim that people in Spain are forgetting about the dangers of smoking and have become too relaxed. Despite price rises and bans in various locations the number of smokers has gone from 21% of the population in 2015 to 23% at the end of 2018. 16% of these people smoke daily and the other 7% describe themselves as being occasional smokers. 43% of the population state that they have never smoked, and 33% say that they have

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Continued ....

Profile for The Almeria Focus

The Almería Focus - September 2019  

The Almeria Focus is a local directory and magazine distributed monthly in the Almeria province of southeast Spain.

The Almería Focus - September 2019  

The Almeria Focus is a local directory and magazine distributed monthly in the Almeria province of southeast Spain.

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