Arriving on the Balearic Island of Menorca on there were few surprises. We had enjoyed a two week vacation on this small and charming Spanish Island in October 2010 and have returned back more than once. Once back the interval melts away into nothing.
Our flight out of Doncaster airport was plain sailing, or should that be flying? A fairly event free flight with just the odd bumps of turbulence meant we arrived on time. We had chosen for once not to pay the extra for the in-flight meal.Such a brief flight meant that this was not a problem except for one thing. The lack of hydration. If you do the same remember to have some fluids available.
We touched down around 12.30pm and it was a sunny day, with a temperature of 27 degrees C. An interrupted baggage carousel left most passengers, including Hubby and I, melting as we waited impatiently for our luggage to appear. Some had been claimed hastily by other passengers and then the carousel ground to a halt. We all stood like sweating marathon runners for 20 minutes or so. Finally the dance of the luggage resumed.
As they say S**t Happens.
Once our luggage arrived we were soon off in a mini van to travel the short distance to our accommodation. The tiny female driver had hurled our heaviest luggage into the back as if it was full of feathers. Alighting we saw that this case had a small split and clothes were pushing out. Had her throw caused the problem? Had our luggage encountered a problem on the carousel and caused the stoppage? Who knows? As they say s**t happens and a new piece of luggage was at the top of our vacation shopping list.
By now the temperature was a hot 34 and we needed to climatise and take on board hydration. An afternoon at nearby Cala Fonts fitted that bill perfectly. Picturesque views, jazz music and ice cold drinks sipped slowly as we sprawled outside a harbour café.
But as I have already said poop happens and the first few days were not to be totally hassle free.
The unemployment rate across the Eurozone hit a new high in November 2012. According to the BBC it climbed to 11.8%.
In October it was 11.7% but although the rise is small in November it is bad news. Pre-Christmas employment figures are often boosted by seasonal jobs. The fact that across the 17 Eurozone member nations an increase was experienced, however small, is not good news. It is not bad news. It is terrible news
Spain which is in the economic doldrums reported a 26.6%.unemployment rate. The change of government, from left to right, has not had any positive impact. Youth unemployment is running high in the Eurozone.
Officially there are now 26 million people unemployed across the EU. Such figures though rarely take into account those in temporary work or who have for one reason or another opted not to register as unemployed. In the Eurozone as a whole the figure is 18.8 million. The BBC reported,
Greece had the second-highest unemployment rate in November, at 20%.
The youth unemployment rate was 24.4% in the eurozone, and 23.7% in the wider European Union. Youth unemployment - among people under 25 - was highest in Greece (57.6%), followed by Spain (56.5%).
Overall unemployment was lowest in Austria (4.5%), Luxembourg (5.1%) and Germany (5.4%).
As European countries trade with each other one man's high unemployment becomes another man's. It is like being in quicksand being puilled under to a certain death. The only unknown factor in the EU is when and how past death will come.Opinion:
The figures are not set to improve at any time in the near future. As countries such as the UK try to balance the books by hitting those on welfare, many people will be resigned to a life in poverty. If there are not enough jobs to go around unemployment is a fact of life.The obscene cost of the new ECB building, widely called the EU palace, in Germany, is one more slap in the face for citizens of Europe. The MEPs and bureautcrats continue to spned money as if it was going out of fsahion whils hitting the poorest in European countries and preaching austerity. By the time riots and revolution is on the streets of course that elusive 1% will be holed up somewhere, well out of reac,h counting their jewels and gold.
You have to feel for the people of Spain. The people of that beautiful country have experienced wildfires, drought, violent protests, severe economic woes and now intense flooding in 2012.
Heavy rain, in what had been a drought hit region, has caused chaos. The worst hit areas are reported to be the Mediterranean provinces of Malaga in the south and Murcia and Almeria in the southeast of Spain.
At time of writing seven people are reported to have lost their lives. The dead include two young children who drowned in a car. An official spokesperson said "In Malaga province, there are 800 staff working to return things to normal as quickly as possible. The rains are decreasing and seem to be shifting towards Granada and Almeri."
As the flash floods which swept through the affected areas gained momentum a bridge was brought down, cars were swept away and roads become rivers or seas of thick murky mud. The structural damage which will cost a small fortune to put right. Then there is the loss of money to the economy due to closed businesses. All in all a no win situation.
Some of the Spaniards affected have started the big clean up operation. It seems though that they may have jumped the gun. More rain is forecast for this weekend which means they are not out of the woods yet. Not by a long chalk.
Above all the loss of life is the true cost and tragedy of such natural disasters. They cannot be replaced at any price.
Civil and economic instability continues to increase across Europe. Worryingly the conditions are now ripe for conflict and more. Let us hope that we have that one wrong. Striking Miners in Spain had undertaken a three-week trek as a protest against austerity measures which will impact on them, their employment and the people of Spain.
The marches reached Madrid today, July 11, 2012. Miners are not the only Spanish citizens at the end of their tether though.
Their march has been inspirational. People have finally began to stand up and be counted in Spain. Pushed to the extreme by the government's austerity plans workers are saying that enough is enough.
Around 240 miners have been walking through the red hot heat of a Spanish Summer to take their protest to the authorities. Hailing from Northern Spain some days these men have marched 20 miles in order to meet today's deadline for the Madrid protest.
EU members agreement to halt subsidies to non profit making Spanish mines by 2018 may make sense to politicians. For the miners it will sound the death knell to their occupation. Like mining communities in the UK during Maggie Thatcher's premiership towns, villages, jobs and future jobs will be lost.
The Miner's Union believes that the cuts are more about hitting the Union or even tearing it apart. Well that is what happened in the UK. Miners leaders have said that the authorities claim it is about making cuts but then pour money into other resources such as banks.
But even as the marching miners approached their Madrid destination the current Spanish PM was about to address parliament with more bad news. VAT will be increased by 3% to 21%. This will hit tourists as well as locals making it a double blow for local economies.
The move is to please Brussels and other Eurozone members and of course Germany's Angela Merkel, but it will not please the majority of Spaniards.If Spain however is to receive the huge amount of money needed to bail out yet more banls ot will have to jump through the EU hoops.
Spanish protesters have been evident from other areas today. Some have been using guerilla tactics for weeks,in what could easily become an uprising. There will not be support for such an uprising by the West though, unlike in Syria.
Trouble flared in Madrid as protesters including the marchers rallied. As government Ministers responded to questions about the bank bailout the protesting miners took their voice into the heart of Parliament.
The attached RT video claim Spain is being sacrificed to save dying banks. Yes it is and on it goes. No light at the end of the tunnel. No breathing space. Simply more doom and bloom.
When will they realise that enough is enough?
Politicians can posture all they like but in the end they are public servants who are supposed to represent the people, not Brussels.
Tags: Spanish protests, marching miners, Spanish banks, ailing banks in Spain. Spain, civil unrest, EU politics, Brussels
King Juan Carlos of Spain was under fire this weekend for an ill timed elephant hunt. The 74-year-old King appeared to almost have a Nero attitude to Spain's dire economic woes. You know, Nero fiddled as Rome burnt whereas the King played big game hunter whilst his people struggled to keep financially sound.
The King's frivolous hunt cost a whopping £26,000. For this blogger there is also the matter of unnecessary animal killing. Killing animals for the hell of it, or as some would claim sport, has no place in 21st Century life.
However for the people of Spain it was the King's careless disregard for money rather than his careless disregard for animal life that was a cause for concern. With one in two Spaniards of a working age being unemployed that is understandable.
The Royal Household of Spain has, in recent months, been troubled with a corruption case and accusations of a lack of transparency. It certainly does appear to be a case of "do as I say and not as I do"
Perhaps it was poetic justice that King Juan tripped Sunday April 15, and was left with a broken hip. This warranted an airlift back to Spain, and surgery involving a hip replacement. It is worth mentioning here though that without this accident any details of the hunting trip would have not been known.
Presumably the Spanish people contribute toward the King's foreign jaunts or maybe even worse. Perhaps they foot the bill.Some in the media were quick to recall King Juan Carlos' Christmas speech in which he said that there were times when he could not sleep because of concern about Spain's youth unemployment problem.
The Royal palace of Spain may have claimed that the vacation was private and no details were known but images of the King with his gun standing triumphant next to a dead elephant said it all.
No wishes for a speedy recovery your Maj.In fact the reverse. Shame on you on all counts.
Tags: King Juan Carlos, Spain, elephant hunting, King breaks hip, replacement hip surgery, Spanish unemployment, animal cruelty
You will need to be getting on in years to have heard of Edmundo Ros. He is often credited with starting a UK love affair with Latin-American music. There is an Official Edmundo Ros Website
, which states he was born in Trinidad in December 1910. This means that he was just two months short of reaching his 101 birthday when he died yesterday. What a great age.
His website details his musical career from the early days of playing drums during Fats Waller recordings to when he formed his own band. Edmundo formed his five-piece Rumba Band in 1940, and the rest, as they say, is history.
He retired to Spain in 1975. Mr Ros was awarded the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, in the 2000 New Year's Honours List. Edmundo Ross OBE died yesterday, October 21, 2011, in Spain. RIP and condolences.
Many British people choose to spend a few Autumn weeks in the Spanish sun rather than stay in UK as the big freeze begins. Often elderly people take an extended Winter vacation. For one couple their two week vacation proved disastrous.
An, as yet unnamed, British couple aged in their seventies were washed away during a flash flood in Spain.
As they sat outside of a street cafe they were hit by a huge wall of water. Such was the speed of the water that they stood little chance. The incident happened in Finestrat on the Costa Blanca, Spain.
The water appears to have raced through a ravine and into the marketplace where the couple sat. It caused damage to cars and market stalls, killing the British couple. Their bodies were found trapped under a trailer.
Finestrat is close to Benidorm when many British people take vacations. The BBC has reproted that, "the town's council was fined 83,000 euros by the local hydrographic authority for paving the ravine bed without permission last July" They were also advised against holding the weekly market where the incident happened.
RIP and condolences