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“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity” Dorothy Parker

ISSUE 35

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Saturday 28 April 2012

IRANIAN IMMIGRANT NETWORK BROKEN UP Tenerife used as departure point for fake ID flights to UK ◗A joint UK-Spain police operation has led to the break-up of a highly-organised network that smuggled illegal immigrants from Iran into Britain via the Canaries. The activities of the network were discovered by chance a few months ago after alert officers at Tenerife

South airport spotted that an Iranian who was about to fly to England was using a fake French passport. Investigations subsequently revealed that a major gang operating from here was arranging for Iranians to be brought to the Canaries through Turkey and Greece.

For a fee of 20,000 euros, the immigrants were provided with top-class replicas of passports and ID cards from a range of EU countries, as well as coaching in how to behave on arrival in a UK airport. 22 people have been arrested so far, 13 of them in Tenerife.

TENERIFE NORTH

Notorious accident stretch claims road victim ◗A dangerous road bend outside Icod de Los Vinos has claimed the life of a woman driver in a horrific accident. The 50year-old died almost instantly when her car was involved in an early morning head-on collision with a lorry. The accident, at 7.30 am on Tuesday, caused major congestion on the busy road near the turn-off for the San Marcos beach as firemen and paramedics worked frantically to free the victim from the mangled wreckage of her vehicle.

LA LAGUNA

Heritage cities meet for fire safety conference ◗Experts in fire prevention in old buildings have gathered in La Laguna this week for a conference. Representatives from cities including Liverpool, Bergen, Warsaw and Riga joined their Spanish counterparts from Cuenca and La Laguna for the event to discuss procedures for avoiding and dealing with fires in the historic centres of Unesco World Heritage Cities. The conference was financed partly by the EU’s Regional Development Fund.

The illegal immigrant network provided Iranians with high-quality forgeries of EU passports to enter Britain. / DA

WATER

FIESTAS

TEGUESTE SET TO WELCOME ROMERIA CROWDS

Second charge likely over water diesel ◗A second person is likely to face charges over the leaking of diesel into water supplies last week. The 41-year-old man failed to report the spill to the authorities. Thousands of homes in north Tenerife had their supply disconnected due to the contamination.

The Tegueste Romería is one of the biggest anywhere on the island. / DA

www.diariodeavisos.com/thesupplement

◗ The first big Romería of the year takes place in Tegueste this Sunday with tens of thousands of people in traditional dress expected to flock to the town for

the day, which commemorates the feast of St Mark. The popular rural ‘pilgrimage’ attracts dozens of floats and carts drawn by oxen and other animals.


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Saturday 28 April 2012

NEWBORN BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN SETTLING IN WELL Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Just a few months after the much-publicised arrival of a new dolphin in the Loro Parque in Puerto de La Cruz, south Tenerife is celebrating the birth of its own baby bottlenose dolphin. The happy event occurred in the Aqualand Park in Costa Adeje earlier this month and the new arrival, which has been given the name Calima, is getting used to life in the park’s big dolphinarium at the side of its mother, 40year-old Cande. Contrary to speculation that the name was chosen as a reflection of the dust cloud that often hangs over the area, Calima is in fact an amalgam of the names of three of the dolphin trainers (Carla, Lidia and Marina). The calf, whose arrival has been included this week in the CetaBase worldwide database of whale and dolphin births, will spend up to four years close to its mother before becoming fully independent as an additional member of the 11-strong dolphin community in Aqualand’s 6 million litre pool. The park’s daily afternoon show is highly popular with tourists, particularly those from Britain, where dolphins are no longer kept in captivity. At one time, Britain was home to more than 36 dolphinariums and travelling dolphin shows, some of which allowed visitors to enter the dolphin tanks and pools. However, animal rights groups won their

fight when, in 1990, Parliament passed laws banning dolphin captivity, after which dolphins were returned to the wild. The legislation effectively ended any controlled swimming-with-dolphins programmes in the United Kingdom. Aqualand is earning itself a reputation as a prolific breeding centre for dolphins. Since its ope-

ning back in 1996, the dolphinarium has welcomed no fewer than 15 babies into the world, several of which have been transferred to other centres. Like its more illustrious island neighbour, the Loro Parque, the facility is recognised by the European Association for Aquatic Mammals (EAAM), which held its annual symposium in Madrid

last month. The trainers involved in the daily show say the dolphins really enjoy being out through their paces. ‘It is like a game to them and they have so much fun that one way of punishing them if they misbehave is to leave them out of the next show’ said Aqualand’s technical director José Luis Barbero.

The new dolphin picture with its mother a few days after the birth at Aqualand. / DA

Travel agent employee arrested in card scam DA Santa Cruz de Tenerife

A woman employee of a travel agency in La Orotava has been arrested and charged with fraud after using the credit card details of a former client to obtain money. The ruse came to light when the ex-client was surprised to see air tickets he had not bought charged to his credit card account. Consultations with the airline helped identify the passenger who had travelled on the tickets, who turned out to be a current client of the travel agency who had paid for the tickets in cash. However, instead of logging the sale as a cash purchase, the employee processed the payment to the airline using the innocent victim’s credit card and pocketed the money herself. Police say the transaction was not the only one of its type by the 39-year-old woman. The incident further tarnishes the image of the sector in Tenerife, following the cases of agents who took money from South American clients but failed to book their Xmas flights.

Interchange businesses in limbo over losses DA Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Civil servants to impose silence in protest at wage cut

Public invited to choose Carnival theme for 2013

Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Civil servants in the Canaries have threatened to take bizarre action in response to the latest austerity measure affecting their working conditions. The Canarian government’s decision to cut the wages of tens of thousands of public officials, from teachers to health service workers, by 5% has not gone down well with the employees, whose salaries were trimmed by the same figure in May 2010, although in this case on the orders of the national government in Madrid. Reacting to the news, civil servant forums and blogs have proposed novel ways for staff to display their displeasure at the cuts. One of the most popular propo-

sals is for all staff in government offices to stop their work at noon every day and switch off office lights and equipment, refuse to answer phone calls, and remain absolutely silent for five minutes, even if they are dealing with somebody at the time. One forum poster said the latest wage cut is a direct result of the civil servants’ failure to mobilise last time to voice their disapproval. ‘We stayed silent then but this time we could use our silence in a different way’ suggested the contributor. Meetings are already being held to map out a plan to combat the measure and a formal demonstration is not ruled out for early May, say the public service unions, which have called the pay-cut ‘totally unjustified’.

Carnival is barely over but the city authorities are already off the mark to prepare for next year’s event, beginning with the job of choosing a theme. Unlike previous years, when the Carnival theme was a matter purely for the organisers, this time it has been decided to give the public a big say in the form of an Internet vote. The Carnival’s official website (www.carnavaltenerife.es) and Facebook page have this week invited the public to submit ideas for the 2013 theme and once a suitable short-list has been drawn up, people will then be encouraged to cast their votes in an Internet poll for the

definitive choice. City mayor José Manuel Bermúdez announced the news on Monday and said he felt the initiative would make for a ‘more participatory decisionmaking process’. Early suggestions put forward on a number of social networking sites include The Crisis, to reflect the impact of the current economic downturn. However, it is felt that the topic will come in for extensive treatment by the satirical ‘murga’ singing groups in any event and devoting the entire Carnival to the subject is unnecessary and unoriginal. The dates for the 2013 Carnival have been set for 8-17 February, with the Carnival Queen Gala due to take place on Wednesday 6 February.

The newspaper shops in Santa Cruz’s ultra-modern modern transport interchange are caught up in a pass-the-buck situation over who should compensate them for the losses suffered during the recent two-month closure caused by a roof collapse. As reported here, the main concourse area had to be shut for the clean-up and subsequent investigation after the late-night collapse in December. The two shops and the popular cafeteria say their trade was badly affected by the closure and business has still not returned to former levels, due to fears of a repeat collapse. ‘We have been told by the TITSA bus company that runs the terminal that compensation is a matter for the owners of the building, the Canarian government. However, the government says our own insurance companies are responsible for refunding our losses’ said the puzzled traders this week.


Saturday 28 April 2012

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SPORT FOOTBALL

Radio reporters allowed back in to football grounds ◗The conflict betwen football clubs and radio stations that has pevented reporters from providing live commentary inside stadiums has been resolved for the moment. Following a goverment order instructing the clubs to allow reporting under freedom of information laws, the football league announced this week that reporters are to be allowed back on payment of a ticket.

FORMULA 1 Fans proudly flew the Armada Sur flag at the Real Madrid stadium. / DA

Loyal fans in Madrid trek Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Tenerife fans showed they are loyal to the bitter end despite the current discontent with the team, as was made particularly evident at the last home game against Lugo. The away fixture at Atlético Madrid B last Sunday saw a group of diehard fans from the Armada Sur supporters club make the long trip to the Spanish capital to accompany their (still) heroes. The highly active supporters club is formed mainly by ex-pats living in the south of the island and often goes to great lengths to

show its backing, including by travelling to away matches. To get to Madrid, the fans had to catch a 7am flight and then grab a taxi all the way to Atlético’s Majadahonda training complex, where they arrived with minutes to spare for the noon kick-off. Although the game ended in a 1-0 defeat after another very poor display from the Tenerife players, the Armada Sur members made the best of their day-trip and paid a visit to Real Madrid’s worldfamous Bernabéu stadium. Armada stalwart Chris Todd posted full details of the adventure on the Tenerife Forum’s dedica-

ted section for CD Tenerife news. ‘We had half an idea to go and watch Atlético Madrid vs Espanyol at 6pm but decided against it because our return flight was at 9pm and we would have needed to leave the game early. In any case, the tickets were expensive at 50 . Instead, we went to the Bernabéu for the famous tour. At 16 it was worth the money. I have been many times but the rest of the lads had not. As a football fan it is interesting to see such a great stadium, the history and sit in the dug outs etc. It was strange to be in the changing room just days before Bayern Munich were due

to be there. One of our group was thinking about hiding in the toilet until Wednesday night!’, explained Chris. The fans admit that it is not easy following Tenerife at present (‘but we have to keep the faith’) and they are still crossing their fingers they will have another away trip, which hopefully will be a play-off final in May or June. For that to happen, tomorrow’s game at home to Oviedo is absolutely crucial. Oviedo made up valuable ground on Tenerife last week by beating leaders Castilla and the match will go a long way to deciding who makes the play-offs.

BASKETBALL

Promoted San Isidro hope for continued Canarias link Diario de Avisos Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The success of Iberostar Canarias appears to have rubbed off on its affiliated junior club. San Isidro from La Orotava, who are virtually a nursery side for the LEB league and cup winners, supplying several young players for training sessions and even for matches, are celebrating their own promotion success this week after winning the regional 1st Division championship. San Isidro have earned the right to play in the national EBA league next season and are hoping the link with Iberostar Canarias is renewed for another season. ‘The agreement is mutually beneficial and will certainly be useful in keeping our costs down in the EBA’ said chair-

San Isidro hope their link with Iberostar Canarias continues. / DA

man Sixto Trujillo, whose team surprised their opponents by coasting through the regional play-offs, including the final, despite only finishing third in the

league. Another reason for hoping the link is retained is that Trujillo would consider it a great honour to be able to formally call San Isidro a reserve side of a

team in the ACB league, in which Iberostar Canarias will play next season. ‘It is too early to say at the moment, but it would be wonderful to have that label attached to us’ said the chairman. His counterpart at Iberostar Canarias, Félix Hernández, who has had a very busy week with institutional receptions for his all-conquering team, is also very keen to keep the arrangement, based on the old adage if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. ‘There is every reason not just to carry on but to strengthen the ties between the two clubs’ said Hernández. San Isidro played in the EBA division for over a decade until their surprise relegation last season, so the return restores the club to its customary level. The current plans are to retain 7-8 players currentl on the books, particularly Romén Hernández and Sergio Rodríguez, who have both played several times for Iberostar Canarias, and Pape Seck, who has trained regularly with the seniors.

Alonso happy at unexpected position before Europe round ◗Spanish Formula 1 driver Fernano Alonso says he is very happy to be just 10 points behind championship leader Sebastian Vettel as the race calendar moves to Europe. The Spaniard has finished first, fifth, seventh and ninth in the opening four races and expects Ferrari to make significant improvements ahead of the upcoming races to make his car more competitive.

BASKETBALL

Oil company sponsorship for Canarias? ◗Speculation is rising that oil giant Repsol could be a surprise main sponsor of the Iberostar Canarias basketball side in its return to the ACB league. The Spanish firm is rumoured to be considering a major deal which would see the La Laguna team change its colours to orange and black. The club needs to raise around 7-8 million euros to be able to take up its place in the ACB.

FOOTBALL

Barcelona miss out on Champions League Final ◗Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions’ League in mid-week after an extraordinary semi-final return leg against Chelsea. The Spaniards besieged the Chelsea goal for the entire game, scoring twice, but were caught on the break on two occasions in the 2-2 draw, which saw them eliminated 2-3 on aggregate.


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The Supplement #35