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News from the Canary Islands News2 from the Canary Islands

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​Spanish Royal Family Controversy over Fidel Castro Funeral

News from the Canary Islands

The close links between Cuba and the Canary Islands over many years motivated a senior representative of the Spanish Government, Jesus Garcia and the former King of Spain, Juan Carlos to travel to Cuba for the funeral of Fidel Castro. It had been initially thought that King Felipe would travel with the Secretary of State for International Cooperation and Ibero-America for the funeral, but previous commitments for an official visit to Portugal prevented the present King from attending the funeral.

However, the political party, Ciudadanos, has made a formal complaint that King Juan Carlos has attended the funeral of Fidel Castro, because of human rights abuses in Cuba over many years. There have also been protests in Madrid with protesters supporting socialist Cuba, but anti-communist Cubans living in Spain have celebrated Fidel Castro’s positive achievements when his death was announced.

Many people living in the Canary Islands had moved to Cuba many years ago to find work, and the culture and lifestyle of Cuba and the Canary Islands share many similarities, and a long history. So, despite the many challenges faced by the Cuban people, and some specific groups like gay and lesbian Cubans, over recent years, there will be many Canarians who will be remembering Fidel Castro’s positive achievements with respect.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free 'News from the Canary Islands' paper:

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​Illegal Work Practices in Gran Canaria

News from the Canary Islands

Social Security officials and local police have been inspecting companies and businesses based in the Municipalities of Vecindario, Mogan and Maspalomas and have found instances of social security fraud and illegal employment activities. The Social Security representative reports that around 40% of those companies inspected had broken employment laws, which also included harming the freedoms and rights of foreign workers.

This large scale investigation has focused on agricultural activities and the service industry, and businesses have been fined for employing foreign workers without work permits or without residency certificates. Also, Social Security fraud has been exposed where workers had been denied benefits and employers’ obligations had not been met, so that workers are shown to have been exploited, and immigration papers for some workers showed serious irregularities.

Other evidence shows that some companies simulate working activities for employees or falsely declare working practices, so that workers receive unemployment benefits when they have no entitlement, and other instances when companies have applied for foreigners’ work permits and obtained residence papers for their workers illegally. In fact, the Social Security representative reports shocking evidence of shell companies operating in these areas that have given false evidence to Social Security offices, but they simulate working practices to gain benefits from the social security system for individuals.

These investigations are likely to continue until all illegal employment activities and Social Security fraud are eliminated.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free 'News from the Canary Islands' paper:

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​Floating Bookshop Arrives in Gran Canaria and Tenerife

News from the Canary Islands

The largest floating bookshop in the world, the Logos Hope, a 132 metre ship, is visiting Gran Canaria and Tenerife as part of its continuing mission to promote peaceful coexistence through fiction books and Christian literature.

The 400-strong volunteer crew of the Logos Hope has a stated mission to bring knowledge to all of the destinations at which they dock. The Logos Hope is one of four ships in the fleet - Logos, Logos II, Doulas and Logos Hope.

The books on sale are priced at between one and three euros, with a maximum price of 6 euros. The bookshop buys stock at a low price in order to sell at a price that will bring knowledge and hope to all corners of the world.

The Logos Hope is part of a non-profit making organisation that is based in Germany. Since 1970, it has visited 1,400 ports in 160 countries and it is estimated that 45 million people have visited the four floating bookshops.

60 nationalities are taking part in this evangelical project, with peaceful co-existence of different cultures part of everyday life. It is a community that attempts to practice what it preaches.

Logos Hope

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free 'News from the Canary Islands' paper:

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​Chinese President Visits Gran Canaria

News from the Canary Islands


The President of China, Xi Jinping, arrived in Gran Canaria on Wednesday evening for a brief rest stop on his way home from Latin America.

President Xi Jinping was received by the Spanish government delegate to the Canaries, Enrique Hernández-Bento, before making his way to the prestigious Hotel Lopesan Costa Meloneras in Maspalomas where he and his entourage spent the night.

After his meeting with Sra Sáenz de Santamaría, Spain’s deputy Prime Minister, his schedule for the rest of his visit to Gran Canaria included a private tour of the Casa de Colón, which contains exhibits related to Christopher Columbus’ voyage to America in 1492, which two previous Chinese presidents also visited; Hu Jintao in 2004 and Jiang Zemin in 2001.

There was a meeting at the hotel in Meloneras with Sra Sáenz de Santamaría on Thursday morning, before President Xi Jinping and his team left Gran Canaria for China on Friday afternoon.

Xi Jinping was accompanied by 160 people, which included his wife, Peng Liyuan, a popular singer in China. They were accompanied by a team of around thirty people in the Spanish delegation.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free 'News from the Canary Islands' paper:

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​Gran Canaria Leads Nanofiber Research

News from the Canary Islands

Treating ulcers and wounds has always been difficult and slow for doctors and nurses, because skin and tissue cells around the edges of wounds do not heal quickly, and sometimes wounds do not completely close. A Las Palmas University team of researchers are currently working on a ground breaking medical therapeutic treatment that uses honey and aloe vera grown in Gran Canaria that is converted into nanofibers, which guide damaged skin and tissue to heal more quickly around a wound. This unique nanofiber technique is shown to quickly close wounds up to eight centimetres across within ten days. Repairing wounds caused by ulcers normally take much longer to heal.

This research study began in 2014, but suffered a setback when the funding stopped and the medical research project closed. However, the Spanish Minister of Economic Development, Raul Garcia Brink, recently gave additional funding to restart this research and innovation into novel ways of improving the healing of wounds that cause so much distress to patients.

The healing properties of honey taken from hives in the Guayadeque barranco in Gran Canaria and from aloe vera that grows widely across the island are innovative ingredients that offer significant healing properties when converted to nanofibers that can be used by doctors and nurses to encourage wounds and ulcers to heal more quickly. This innovative treatment could soon be applied across many other regions of Spain, and across other countries, but it all began in Gran Canaria!


You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free 'News from the Canary Islands' paper:

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​World AIDS Day Celebrated on 1st December

News from the Canary Islands

Amigos Contra el SIDA is the HIV support group that has worked over many years to provide support and practical help to those living with HIV/AIDS in Gran Canaria, and each year on 1st December they raise funds in the Yumbo Centre in Playa del Ingles by asking people to buy a red candle. Throughout the day, these red candle holders are arranged in the shape of a red ribbon, normally worn on this day to remember those who have died as a result of AIDS, those who are living with HIV and for those who are researching a cure to eliminate this disease across the world.

In addition, the Director of Public Health in Gran Canaria, Ricardo Redondas, is working towards better information about health care and prevention of contracting HIV, access to early treatment for those diagnosed, and a target of no HIV across the Canary Islands. Although there have been fewer cases of HIV diagnosed in recent years in the Canary Islands, nearly half of HIV cases in 2015 had their diagnosis late, so that treatments were delayed and likely transmission of the disease had a higher risk.

This is an important day to remember AIDS Day across the world, and to support those who are living with HIV and those who are providing the medical care and support care. Well done, Amigos Contra el SIDA!


You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free 'News from the Canary Islands' paper:

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​Increase in Private housing Sales to Foreign Buyers in the Canary Islands

News from the Canary Islands


The love affair with Spain and the Canary Islands that has been demonstrated over many years from British buyers in particular continues. According to a recent report, sales of private housing to foreigners in the Canary Islands amounted to 5,006 transactions from January to June 2016, which is an increase of 20.6% over the same period in 2015.

This rapid increase in housing sales places the Canary Islands as the region with the highest number of foreign property purchases in Spain, representing 44.2% of total property sales on the islands so far this year.

The average price per square metre paid by foreigners in the islands was just over the national average at €1660/m2, as against a national average of €1,618/m2.

In Spain as a whole, sales to foreign buyers amounted to 43,519 transactions in the first six months of the year, which is an increase of 19.7% over the same period in 2015, which represents 20.3% of all property sales.

More than half of the total number of transactions were made by non-resident foreign buyers, with 19 per cent of purchases made by British buyers. This was followed by buyers from France (8%), Germany (7.8%), Italy (6.5%), Sweden (5.9%) and Romania (5.7%).


You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free 'News from the Canary Islands' paper:

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Substantial Increase in Tourism to the Canary Islands by British Visitors

News from the Canary Islands



The number of British tourists who have visited the Canary Islands so far this year has increased by 17.6% over the same period last year, which relates to 544,000 more tourists.

According to the Canary Islands’ Government Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sports, Mariate Lorenzo, the Canary Islands are expected to receive around €5.5 billion from British tourists by the end of 2016. This is an increase of €1.2 billion when compared to 2015, which is an increase of 22%.

Winter tour packages to the Canary Islands to date have increased in price by 5.4%, whilst summer 2017 packages have seen increases of just under 3.7%. The point was also made by the Minister that since prices have risen significantly less than the pound has depreciated it is possible to conclude that the industry is reducing margins.

Other key factors include the prosperity of the British economy, an unemployment rate below 5%, and increased consumer confidence returning after the Brexit results. British willingness to continue spending and travelling despite the depreciation of the pound was also commented upon by the Minister, who was speaking at a World Travel Market event in London.


You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free 'News from the Canary Islands' paper:

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​Chinese President to ‘Stop Over’ in Gran Canaria

News from the Canary Islands

Chinese President, Xi Jinping, will make a brief stop in Gran Canaria on his return flight from his tour of Chile, Peru and Ecuador in mid-November. As yet, the President’s schedule is unclear, with some sources suggesting that he won’t even leave the airport.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the stop over during a conference in Beijing, commenting upon the positive and warm relations between China and Spain.

As yet, little is known as to who will greet the Chinese President, which follows the visit by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to Hangzhou for the G20 summit.

This is the first time that Xi will travel to Spain since he became the Chinese President.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free 'News from the Canary Islands' paper:

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​One million euros for La Palma following devastating fires

News from the Canary Islands

Few residents will forget the horrendous forest fires that devastated the island of La Palma this year. The fires were started by a German man setting fire to toilet paper in the forest.

It has taken time to sort out, but at last the Canarian Government has committed one million euros to prevent further environmental damage.

The fires destroyed nearly 5000 hectares of land and soil erosion is now a major concern for the island.

The money will be distributed in the first few months of 2017, and will be invested in new drainage systems that are to be installed in an effort to reduce the damage that winter rains could cause.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free 'News from the Canary Islands' paper:

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