“Human beings are the only creatures that allow their children to come back home” Bill Cosby
I SSUE 33
Santa Cruz de Tenerife Saturday 14 April 2012
FEARS VOICED AT NEW AIRPORT CHARGES Rises announced by Spanish government will hit Tenerife hard ◗The Spanish government’s decision to raise airport taxes for airlines flying to Tenerife will have a significant impact on passenger numbers, according to the island’s Cabildo. Tourism councillor Carlos Alonso said this week that the hikes, between 18 and 26%
depending on routes, will make flights to Tenerife more expensive and could well cause airlines to rethink their schedules. The 2012 Budget unveiled by the new government includes general increases in landing charges, passenger duty and security tax for
all airports, but Tenerife North and South are particularly badly hit, say the authorities here. ‘An 80% full Airbus 320 landing in Tenerife South from a European city will have to pay around 2000 euros, which equates to almost 14 euros per passenger’ said Alonso.
Street performers puzzled by order ◗La Laguna’s attempt to regulate the growing number of street performers has raised an eyebrow. Pending detailed rules governing the activities of the mime artists, magicians and musicians who populate the city streets, the council issued a statement saying it would allow their presence as long as they give advance notice to the corporation and provided that their performances are ‘not for profit’. Puzzled artists are wondering how they are to earn their living.
Bargain hunters set for Los Cristianos ◗The recent spate of Bargain Fairs in Tenerife continues this week-end with a big event on the quayside at Los Cristianos. Thousands of bargain hunters are expected to descend on the resort on Saturday and Sunday in search of clothes and other items at knockdown prices. 41 shops and firms have registered for a stall at the Fair, as well as 6 bars and restaurants who will be offering tapas especially for the occasion.
The recent upturn in tourism in Tenerife is likely to be hit by the airport charge increases. / DA
MICHAEL JACKSON MUSICAL COMES TO TOWN
Tenerife firm celebrates fashion honour ◗Local firm M&M have been chosen as Spain’s representatives for the World Fashion Exhibition which will tour the world during the coming year. Part of the Cabildo-sponsored Tenerife Fashion group, M&M will also open New York’s World Fashion Week in 2013.
Moonwalker opens in Santa Cruz on 20 April for three days. / DA www.diariodeavisos.com/thesupplement
◗Fans of the late Michael Jackson are in for a treat next week-end. The Guimerá Theatre in Santa Cruz is hosting Moonwalker, the popular musical tribute to
the King of Pop, from 20-22 April. The musical, which is currently in Madrid, stars Frederick Henry, the best Jackson impersonator in the world at present.
2 The Supplement
Saturday 14 April 2012
WATER DRILLING TRIGGERS STORM AT PRIMARY SCHOOL
Puerto festival back on after two-year absence
Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife
DA Santa Cruz de Tenerife
A small school on the outskirts of La Laguna is at the heart of a bitter dispute over drilling, although the controversy has nothing to with the ongoing political row over the search for oil in Canarian waters. Parents and teachers at the Las Mercedes Primary School, which is considered one of the best in the area due to the quality of teaching and its experienced staff, are up in arms at the decision by the city council to allow the municipal water company to take over a chunk of the school playground to carry out exploratory drilling to see whether a large pocket of water lies underneath. The company, Teidagua, has identified a number of potential sites in the fertile plane at the entrance to the Las Mercedes hills and says it is to invest over 300,000 euros in tests. Drilling equipment and heavy machinery are being shipped in from Spain for the job in the coming days and, in preparation, workers have erected a wall around the chosen spot to prevent the children from going near. Both the water company and La Laguna council say the investment is needed because the discovery of water will reduce dependence on private wells, as well as ensuring availability to farmers in an important agricultural area which -like other parts of Tenerife- has suffered from
serious drought in recent months, with the situation only slightly improving as a result of the rain this week and last. However, the arguments have failed to convince the school community, which is angry at the prospect of 15 months of noisy drilling in the school grounds. The councillor responsible for the project, Javier Abreu, visited
the school on the first day back after Easter to oversee the wallbuilding and give assurances that the drilling will not disrupt school life. ‘All the required safety measures are being taken and I am satisfied there is no risk to pupils’ said Abreu. Rumours are circulating in the city that the water company had identified other, better sites
nearby but the council preferred to avoid trouble with the property owners affected and gave permission for the drilling in the school instead. Meanwhile, the parents association says the spot where drills will descend hundreds of metres into the ground was to be used as an allotment to show the children how to grow their own fruit and vegetables.
Parents at the primary school are furious at the new wall that has sprung up in the playground area. / DA
Ryanair ordered to pay compensation over child ID refusal
Lawyer in DNA bank call to resolve stolen baby cases
Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The mother of two children who were denied boarding access by Ryanair on a flight from the Canaries has won her batle for compensation against the lowcost airline. The case is one of several brought against the Irish carrier for its refusal to adhere to Spanish legislation governing identification requirements for young passengers on its flights. Although Spain allows the Libro de Familia as sufficient proof for under-14s travelling with a parent, Ryanair insists on a photo-bearing document such as a passport or ID card and has landed itself in trouble with the authorities on various occasions for the rule, the repercussions of
which often make headline news in Spain. In this latest decision against the airline, a mother who tried to take a flight from Fuerteventura to Madrid with her two youngsters, aged 3 and 6 months, was not allowed to board and had to make other travel arrangements. She filed for compensation not just for the denied boarding but for the inconvenience and hardship caused by the refusal. Her case, supported by a consumer rights group, was heard by a court on the mainland, which ordered Ryanair to pay her 3200 euros for breaching Spanish legislation. The consumer group called the decision ‘a great victory for the rights of those who are prepared to stand up to the big boys’.
A Tenerife lawyer has called on the Spanish government to set up a DNA bank to help resolve cases of babies allegedly stolen at birth decades ago. As the demand grows for formal investigation of numerous cases of babies taken from their parents in hospitals and given to other families in recognition of their support for the Franco regime, lawyer Natalia Domínguez says that a DNA bank would be a quick way of establishing genetic links between possible relatives. ‘The State should do all it can to help resolve these cases and a bank would be of great help’ explained Domínguez, who has
taken on almost a dozen stolen baby cases in Tenerife and a further two in Las Palmas. The lawyer is highly critical of the attitude of the authorities in some of the applications she has already filed. ‘It is heartbreaking to see a 60-year-old woman, who is adamant that she was lied to when her ‘stillborn’ son was taken from her at birth, be told after just a month of checks that there are no grounds to pursue the matter’ added Domínguez, who has already helped reunite two families with their ‘lost’ children thanks to exhaustive investigation of the births. Thousands of cases of alleged baby-stealing between the 1940s and 1970s are currently being investigated across Spain.
Puerto de la Cruz’s popular Street Art Festival is returning this year after a two-year absence. The local town hall has confirmed that the festival will run over three days (Friday to Sunday) between 11-13 May, at a third of the cost of previous events. Known as Mueca, the festival features a broad range of acts, including stand-up comedians, acrobats and singers. The reinstatement of the festival is seen as a massive victory for local supporters, who have been very vociferous in their criticism of the council’s decision to cancel Mueca two years ago. A mass demonstration was staged outside the town hall in 2010 when news of the cancellation was announced. For this year’s festival, stages are to be set up at several outdoor venues across the town, including the Casa de la Aduana, Plaza de Europa and the harbour, to ensure maximum exposure and big audiences. Programme details will be released later this month.
Hacienda caught short by tax return demand DA Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Monday’s opening day of the period for on-line consultations of annual tax returns proved a frustrating experience for many here due to the delays experienced in getting through to the Hacienda (Tax Office) website. The government has admitted that the flood of Internet requests to check the calculations prepared by Hacienda saturated the latter’s computer system throughout the day but it expected things to calm down as of now. The unprecedented level of enquiries is interpreted as a desire by the public to process their tax rebates much earlier than usual due to the effects of the current crisis. Tax advisers have warned users to check the calculations very carefully for possible errors before accepting the rebate figure proposed by Hacienda given the high rate of mistakes detected in recent years.
Saturday 14 April 2012
‘Easy’ job done, but hard part now begins Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Amid all the euphoria surrounding the record-breaking achievements of the double-winning Iberostar Canarias basketball team is a keen awareness of the dilemma posed by promotion to the ACB league after over two decades. The return to the elite of Spanish basketball, which was celebrated in style last Sunday with a win over Lleida watched by the biggest crowd in the history of the club (almost 5100), presents Canarias with a wonderful challenge but also a massive headache for chairman Félix Hernández and his directors. Canarias must come up with a small fortune to be able to take their place in the ACB alongside the likes of Barcelona, Caja Laboral and Real Madrid next season. Conservative estimates put the figure at around 8 million euros, which includes the 3.5 million euro minimum player budget required by the league to ensure sides are competitive and a further couple of million as the bond which has to be deposited in the summer to formally take up the place. With local and regional government cutbacks already hit-
Tenerife issue cut-price packages for final games ◗Tenerife have launched a fresh bid to attract fans for the last home games of the season, despite the latest management upheaval at the club. A 3match package is on sale at prices from 20-55 euros for the all-important fixtures against Lugo (this Sunday), Oviedo and Alcalá. A club spokesman said he was confident of a massive response by fans for the final play-off push.
ting sports grants badly, Hernández will almost certainly have to concentrate on business sponsors but he can build on the impressive work done in recent years to recruit firms across Tenerife to the cause. One piece of good news has already come from the main sponsor, the Iberostar hotel chain, which held a reception for the Cup and league champions the day after the Lleida game and hinted that a significant contribution might be available next season, although the final say lies with the chain’s headquarters in Majorca.
Busy days for Canarian rallying this week-end
Promotion to the ACB is certain to bring headaches for the Iberostar Canarias bosses Canarias are celebrating their return to the big time after 21 years. / DA
An equally big headache lies ahead for coach Alejandro Martínez, who for all his protestations that he wants to finish the current season before thinking about life in the ACB will be hard pushed to avoid his thoughts
straying to his squad needs for next year. The age of several players is a worry: some of the stalwarts of the team are in their mid-late 30s (Chagoyen, Yañez, Guillén) and may not survive the rigours of one of the toughest
competitions in the world. Moreover, although younger, crowd idol Levi Rost holds a US passport and Martínez may feel obliged to fill the non-EU places with bigger forwards to guarantee points and rebounds.
Another Tenerife manager gets his marching orders Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The old expression ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’ could not be more fitting as a description of the current turmoil at CD Tenerife. This week saw the arrival of yet another manager, although new incumbent Quique Medina did not have to travel far given that he was promoted from reserve team coach to take charge until the end of the season. As almost every local newspaper has been quick to point out, Medina is Tenerife’s 8th boss in around 18 months, and club chairman Miguel Concepción is on track to take over Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich as the biggest ‘manager-eater’ of recent years.
New boss Quique Medina is the club’s third manager this season. / ACAN
Medina replaced Andrés García Tébar after only three months in charge following what the chairman said was an ‘irreparable rift with the players’.
Unveiling the new manager, Concepción made it clear that García Tébar’s forthright criticism of certain players who did not give their all ‘should have been confi-
ned to the dressing room and not aired in the media’. Rumours have been rife that influential players made it known they did not want to work under García Tébar, an attitude reflected in the paltry 4 points from 12 picked up during the last month. However, the sacking must rank as one of the ultimate ironies in football, at least here. García Tébar had been widely praised by all, including the chairman, for his no-nonsense approach and straight talking, which were considered the ideal antidote to the player problems that made life a misery for his predecessor Antonio Calderón. Even more ironic, the club now says the time has come for a local manager to steer the side to the play-offs and Medina fits the bill. As many have pointed out, Concepción had ample opportunity to ‘go local’ back in the summer. Instead, he brought in Pedro Cordero from outside as director of football and, on his advice, signed Calderón and García Tébar.
◗Rally fans have a wide choice of activities this week-end in the Canaries, with races programmed for Tenerife, La Palma and Gran Canaria. The Tegueste rally in Tenerife has attracted almost 40 cars and promises to be a spectacular event, taking drivers through the small town as well as La Laguna, Santa Cruz, El Rosario, Candelaria, Arafo, Güímar, Fasnia and Arico.
Barcelona’s Abidal recovering after liver transplant ◗Barcelona star Eric Abidal is recovering well after his liver transplant on Tuesday. The French player received a liver from his cousin in the lengthy and complicated operation, which went smoothly according to club chairman Sandro Rosell. In a reference to his shirt number (22), Barcelona fans chanted Abidal’s name in the 22nd minute of the midweek game win against Getafe.
Suárez left out of Spanish Federation Cup team ◗Canarian player Carla Suárez has been left out of Spain’s women’s Federation Cup squad for the tie against Slovakia next week by captain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario. Despite being ranked much higher than the players included in the side, Suárez’s ‘poor form’ was cited by Sánchez as the cause of the omission.
4 The Supplement
Saturday 14 April 2012