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“It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues” Abraham Lincoln

ISSUE 32

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Saturday 7 April 2012

HOLY WEEK CROWDS FLOCK TO LA LAGUNA Biggest week in church calendar is commemorated by the Heritage City ◗La Laguna is once again the place to visit for Easter celebrations in Tenerife. The World Heritage city is synonymous with the religious commemoration of Holy Week and this year is no exception, with a multitude of processions marking arguably the biggest week

in the church calendar. Considered Tenerife’s cultural and religious capital, La Laguna’s striking processions of adorned religious floats and robed penitents accompanied by mournful music along the cobbled city-centre streets draw large crowds of spectators,

including many tourists who travel from all parts of the island to witness the spectacle. The nocturnal Silent Procession on Good Friday, when all street lights are turned off along the eerily quiet route, is traditionally considered the most moving of the events.

DROUGHT

Valle Gran Rey cuts off water to save Easter ◗Valle Gran Rey in La Gomera was forced to take drastic action recently to save water ahead of the annual influx of holidaymakers for Easter, traditionally one of its busiest periods. The council cut off the supply to several coastal parts for six hours every night in a bid to ensure availability during Easter week. A spokesman said the drought was the worst suffered in the area for over 60 years and the use of hosepipes for car washing and gardening ‘had not helped’.

TRADE

ZEC firms look increasingly to Africa ◗The Canaries’ low-tax zone (ZEC) is proving popular with firms keen to forge trade links with West Africa. ZEC chairwoman Beatriz Barrera said recently that over a fifth of companies operating in the Zone already do business with the region. Barrera and the Canarian government are exploring initiatives to encourage more investment by foreign firms in the ZEC as a doorway to African markets.

The Easter Week processions in La Laguna are among the best known anywhere in Spain. / DA

EDUCATION

ECONOMY

FOREIGN TOURIST SPENDING ON THE INCREASE

Parliament pleads for student leniency ◗The Canarian Parliament took the unusual step recently of asking La Laguna University not to expel a group of 12 students who accused the university authorities in the media of negligence in failing to process student grant applications in time.

The Canaries accounted for 36% of all spending by foreign tourists. / DA www.diariodeavisos.com/thesupplement

◗Spending by foreign tourists in the Canaries rose by 7.6% in the first two months of 2012, compared to last year. Total holiday spending in the islands narrowly fai-

led to break the 2 bn euro barrier. However, spending by Britons fell by 8.5%, in contrast to the increases seen among German and Scandinavians.


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FARRIER’S LIFE IN TENERIFE SUITS EX-PAT CAPPER TO A TEE

Flood anniversary prompts radar calls DA Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The chances of finding a British ex-pat with the same occupation and lifestyle as Englishman David Capper are extremely slim, to say the least. The 48year-old from Warrington completes his third year in Tenerife shortly and has spent all of that time practising a little-known profession which he feels has a secure future both here and on the other Canary islands. Capper is a farrier (a person who shoes horses) who travels the length and breadth of Tenerife every week to service his four-legged clients at a range of large and small equestrian centres. He is one of very few certified farriers in the islands, having qualified formally at the age of 21 back home, where unlike in Spain - it is a criminal offence for anyone other than a registered farrier to shoe a horse (even their own!). Capper decided to move down here permanently after visiting the Canaries several times at the invitation of a local horse dealer, who saw him at work in England and offered to pay him to fly down to Gran Canaria occasionally for working holidays to shoe horses. When it came to the big move he took the unorthodox route, buying a 10-metre motor sailing boat with the proceeds of his house sale and setting off on a solo Atlantic voyage from the west

coast of England to Las Palmas, where he spent a year and a half before transferring over to Tenerife. Capper lives permanently on his boat at the Amarilla Golf marina, where he can be seen on his rare days off touching up the paintwork and carrying out repairs or heading out to sea for a trip along the coast with friends. The rest of his week is

spent on the road visiting horse yards from Agua García to Buzanada in his white van, which is equipped with all he needs for his job, including a portable gas oven for hot shoeing. Despite the fact that most of his customers are locals, Capper readily admits he still has to do some work to improve his communication skills in Spanish, although he is not shy about

‘having a go’ with his limited vocabulary. Contrary to predictions, the economic crisis has had relatively little effect on his work, even if, to save money, some owners stretch the 6-week shoeing interval he likes to operate for the horses he looks after. The rest, however, stick religiously to the No Shoe No Horse motto of the equestrian world.

David Capper pictured in his customary shoeing position at the Los Brezos equestrian centre. / DA

Los Cristianos gears up for cruise stop-overs as of November

Karate school sex trial set to last for eight months

Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife

People in Los Cristianos will have to get used to seeing much bigger boats in port as of next winter following successful talks held by the Tenerife authorities to persuade cruise companies to include the resort on the list of stop-overs in the Canaries. The local tourist industry is very excited at the boost the presence of large ships will mean for the image of Los Cristianos, not to mention the prospect of welcome business for the resort’s restaurants and shops, which are expected to benefit greatly from one-day stays by hundreds of cruise passengers. Although nowhere near the number of visitors received every

month by the island’s main port in Santa Cruz, which has consolidated its position in the last few years as an ever-present on Atlantic cruise tours, Los Cristianos hopes to build up its figures gradually once the first visits take place in November. Last month’s Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention in Miami served to finalise the details of the maiden call-in, which will be made by the Sea Cloud on 10 November, with two more stopovers by the ship during the same week. January 2013 will see the arrival in Los Cristianos of the German-owned MS Albatros and talks are under way with Royal Caribbean to secure stops by some if its liners in the early part of 2013 also.

The forthcoming trial in Las Palmas of the owner of a wellknown karate school who is accused of multiple counts of child sex abuse could well set a record for the longest jury trial ever in the Canaries. The socalled Karate Case has made the headlines in Spain after it emerged recently that it is the biggest case of its type ever to come to court in the country. Four people stand accused of abusing youngsters at the martial arts school and forcing them to take part in sex acts with adults over a period of many years. The four include the school’s owner, who is one of the biggest names in the sport

in the Canaries and has coached many pupils, young and old, to regional and national success. The jury trial begins in May and is expected to run until December at the criminal court in Las Palmas, which has set aside an unprecedented 45 days across eight months to hear the evidence. The prosecution is seeking a total of 303 years in jail for the main defendant and almost 150 years each for his partner and a female instructor. Another instructor, the only one of the four to be allowed out on bail over the alleged crimes, faces 18 years in jail if convicted. The defendants, who deny the charges, say the case has been fabricated by instructors from rival schools.

Last week’s 10th anniversary of the floods that devastated Santa Cruz in 2002 served to highlight the progress made by the local authorities in resolving potential flash points, while also showing that a long-standing need is still nowhere nearer to being met. Important work has been done to clear several ravines and other channels to ensure outlets for massive volumes of water such as those that fell on 31 March 2002, killing eight people in the capital. However, a relatively easy form of assistance has not yet materialised. The tragedy highlighted the need for weather surveillance radars (WSR) on the northern coast of Tenerife to provide detailed information on storms brewing offshore. Only Las Palmas has a radar in the Canaries and the Tenerife authorities have again reiterated their calls to the Spanish Met Office for at least one radar to be installed on the island to give advance warning of problems and facilitate contingency measures.

Transport sector strike to cause road chaos DA Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Haulage firms and coach companies hope to bring traffic on the main roads in the Canaries to a standstill this week as part of their pressure for government action to help the transport sector. The main associations have called a mass mobilisation for 12 April in support of measures urgently required to prevent the crisis suffered by the sector from worsening further. Top of the priorities list is the introduction of low-duty diesel for lorries and coaches to help reduce fuel costs, which have risen by 30% here in the last two years. Also on the list is clarification of the confusing situation concerning the obligation to fit tachographs and a promise by the authorties to take a firmer line against unlicensed vehicles used to carry goods or passengers. The protest is due to begin at the main ports and will consist of a slow drive to government buildings.


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SPORT

Christian’s high hopes for London 2012 Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Among the very few Tenerife people in with a chance of taking part in the London Olympics is a player in a minority but increasingly popular sport. Christian García reckons he has a good chance of qualifying for the beach volleyball tournament with playing partner Fran Marco, joining Spain’s top duo Pablo Herrera and Adrián Gavira, who are certain to take part thanks to their world ranking. García is cautiously optimistic that the next rounds of the Continental Cup qualifying competition will see him book a London berth and reward for the effort invested in training, which has forced him to leave his home island for Alicante to attend university and play for a local team. In a recent interview in the DIARIO DE AVISOS, the young Tinerfeño explained how he made the transition as a teenager from junior basketball to volleyball, where he quickly developed a liking for the beach variety. He was spotted by the Spain team manager at a tournament and encouraged to devote himself full-time to the sport, beginning at the training centre for the

FORMULA 1

Ferrari delighted with early Alonso form ◗Fernando Alonso’s form in the first two races of the Formula 1 season has rekindled Spanish hopes that he might be in with a chance of the drivers’ championship after all, despite fears that his Ferrari lacks the pace of rivals Red Bull, McLaren and Sauber. Ferrari, who are thrilled that Alonso heads the standings, have promised improvements for the Chinese Grand Prix.

country’s elite young players in Arona. Since then he has worked hard to combine his university studies with training and participation in a host of tournaments at national and international level. He is under no illusions that making it to London will be a tough task, given the many nations and top-quality pairings competing for the last remaining places. The Continental Cup is a country versus country Olympic qualifying event for continents staged from 25 June 2010 to 24 June 2012 and disputed at continental levels (subzone, zone,

TRADITIONAL SPORT

Canarian wrestling set for school approval

Christian is hoping to make it to London via the Continental Cup qualifiers Olympic beach volleyball hopeful Christian García. / DA

final). The five winners of the Beach Volleyball Continental Cup - one from each Continent - will qualify for the Olympics. An immediate concern for García is to cover the cost of participation through sponsors, which

is as difficult as winning a place. Ironically, his father works for the government department that funds many Canarian athletes but he is not one of the lucky ones and has to devote valuable preparation time to exploring contacts

elsewhere to raise funds. If he makes it to London and its unique beach volleyball venue on Horse Guards Parade, where a 15,000-seat stadium will be erected, all the hard work will have been worthwhile.

SPORT

Sportswriter Awards to be announced this week Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Tenerife’s sporting figures of 2011 will be chosen at the annual local Sportswriters Gala on Thursday 12 April. The publication last week of the shortlisted nominees for the men’s award - footballer Pedro Rodríguez, basketball player Richi Guillén and athlete Jonay Jordán - has again prompted debate as to whether the event may be an unfair competition of late, given the profile of one of the three nominees. Despite having a relatively quiet year last year, Abades-born FC Barcelona forward Pedro Rodríguez remains the most recognisable of the island’s sporting heroes, despite departing these shores

The awards are given out by the Tenerife sportswriters association. / DA

many years ago. Some would argue that Rodríguez, a world champion with Spain and winner of consecutive Tenerife sports personality awards since 2009,

should not be included among the candidates, although such a decision would open up a real can of worms regarding the eligibility conditions for the award. In the

women’s category the nominees are Elisabet Vivas (basketball), Alicia Cebrián (sailing) and Elisabet Chávez (handball). On the team/club front, the three shortlisted candidates are Ademi Tenerife (disabled swimming), the Tenerife Weightlifting School and the Tenerife CajaCanarias athletics squad. The absence of basketball side Iberostar Canarias may seem surprising given their current impeccable season, although the organisers stress the award is for the calendar year 2011. A special Dedication to Sport distinction is to be conferred on 45-year-old Conchi Escattlar, whose long track record in lifesaving - a recognised international competitive discipline in swimming - led the Spanish Olympic Committee to award her its medal of honour. The Tenerife Sports Awards are now in their 25th year and are one of the highlights of the local sporting calendar. The ceremony takes place in Santa Cruz’s Guimerá Theatre.

◗‘Lucha canaria’ wrestling could be on the curriculum in schools in the region before long. The regional Department of Education is working on the details of an agreement with the Canarian Wrestling Federation to enable the sport to be taught during school hours, following the problems encountered by a small number of schools who tried to introduce it earlier this year.

BOXING

Title fights return to Canaries this month ◗Big-time boxing returns to the Canaries in a couple of weeks with the staging of a national title fight in Gran Canaria. Two local boxers, Ferino V and David Pulido, take to the ring at the Las Palmeras Golf Club on Friday 20 April to decide who should wear the Spanish super-welterweight belt. 36year-old Pulido is the current Hispanic World Champion at the weight.

ATHLETICS

Date set for Tenerife road relay race ◗The annual round Tenerife team relay race has been set for 30 May, coinciding with Canary Islands Day. Among the changes introduced for this year’s event is a return to the original one-day format after several years which have seen the road race held over at least two days, including stages on other islands.


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The Supplement #32  

The supplement is a english journal of the newspaper Diario de Avisos.