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News from the Canary Islands News2 from the Canary Islands

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​La Palma Now Has Car Rentals with Driver

La Palma Now Has Car Rentals with Driver

There is now a new way of renting a car when visitors arrive in La Palma, because the Government of La Palma has changed the legislation for car rental companies that operate on the island.

Car rental vehicles no longer have to be the highest quality vehicles, which had been the case with the previous legislation. Six licences have been granted to two companies in La Palma.

This type of car rental is unlike taxis, as rental cars with driver must be hired previously, and will not be found in public spaces. These new licences now offer car rentals with driver from two companies that each offer three vehicles for up to nine passengers, and these can be hired from hotel receptions.

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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La Gomera Celebrates the Virgin of Guadalupe

La Gomera Celebrates the Virgin of Guadalupe

This week residents of La Gomera came to the hermitage of Puntallana to follow the tradition of taking the statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe in a procession. This celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe takes place twice a year during June and October.

Many local residents joined and watched this religious procession, and plan to repeat this religious ceremony later in the year in October.

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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​Fuerteventura Plans a Monument of Tolerance

Fuerteventura Plans a Monument of Tolerance

This week the Government of Fuerteventura reopened the Casa Alta de Tindaya Museum that has an exhibition of the planned Monument of Tolerance devised by the Basque artist Eduardo Chillida for Montaña de Tindaya. Eduardo Chillida was a Basque sculptor who is well known for his monumental abstract works, and late in his life he planned to bore an artificial cave into the Montaña de Tindaya to create a Monument of Tolerance, as this mountain had been regarded as a spiritual place by the indigenous people of the nearby island of Lanzarote.

Chillida planned to create a large cubic cave of 40 metres in each direction on each side of the mountain. He planned to remove around 64,000 cubic metres of rock from the mountain situated in the north of Fuerteventura, as the artist wanted visitors to experience the immensity of the space. Although this artistic project began in 1994, eight years later he died. Then, despite protests from local environmentalists, the Fuerteventura Government in 2011 decided to complete the Monument of Tolerance project, but still seek funding in the range of 75 million euros.

The President of Fuerteventura, Marial Morales, as well as the Mayor of La Oliva Municipality, the Minister of Tourism and the Minister of Museums formally reopened the Casa Alta de Tindaya Museum on 27 June, which is now open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 until 14.00. This exhibition offers information for residents and tourists visiting this museum, who may be unaware of the Chillida Monument of Tolerance Project, and explains the architectural, tourism and cultural importance of this.

The Minister of Tourism said that this is a unique art project, as many other countries had wanted to display the works of Chillida, such as Japan, and the island of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote have a cultural axis of the works of Manrique that complement the work of Chillida.

Visitors to this innovative exhibition will learn more about the Monument of Tolerance from models completed under the supervision of Chillida, podomorph panels discovered around the base of the mountain that had previously been hidden from public view, as well as a documentary film about the sculptor. For those who may not know what podomorphs are, they can be described as rock carvings of rectangular design that simulate human feet. So far, various archaeological investigations have revealed over 250 representations of feet and mostly in the south and northwest slopes of the mountain. These drawings in stone were created by a technique of continuous chopping, and placed in cornices and on great smooth stones that allow visitors to stand on these to look towards these podomorphs.

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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​El Hierro Prepares for the Descent of the Virgen de los Reyes

El Hierro Prepares for the Descent of the Virgen de los Reyes

Every four years the tradition of the descent of the statue of the Virgen de los Reyes from the Sanctuary of Dehesa to the city of Valverde is held, and 2017 is the time to visit this island to witness this unique fiesta.

On Saturday 1 July this holy statue will start its journey in a procession accompanied by dancers, music and walkers. Those responsible for the statue in the Sanctuary of La Dehesa have now completed all their preparations by dressing the image of the Virgin de los Reyes with the traditional mantle and dress worn for this celebration.

La Plaza del Santuario is already a centre of interest for many local people and tourists, as the Descent has its final preparations. Those that join this religious journey will cover a distance of 28 kilometres before the Bajaja de la Virgen de los Reyes reaches the city of Valverde. For those who are unable to make the journey to El Hierro during July, all parts of the Descent will be televised on local television channels.

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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​Number of UK Citizens in Spain vs Spanish Citizens in the UK

Number of UK Citizens in Spain vs Spanish Citizens in the UK

Statistics from the UK’s Office for National Statistics reveal that there are more than double the number of UK citizens living in Spain than Spanish citizens living in the UK.

The report reveals that around 300,000 British citizens were resident in Spain for twelve months or more in 2016, while 116,000 Spanish citizens were living in the UK. 48% of British citizens are retired, 22% employed in hotel and catering, and 11% are unemployed.

In contrast, 59% of Spanish citizens living in the UK are employed, and are mostly from younger age groups, with half between 20 and 39 years old.

The report was produced to provide more information during the Brexit negotiations with the European Union.

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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​LGBTI Week for Respect, Integration, Freedom and Equality in Vecindario

LGBTI Week for Respect, Integration, Freedom and Equality in Vecindario

Gay Pride is celebrated in Maspalomas, Las Palmas, Madrid, Barcelona, London and many other cities across Europe, and now from 30 June until 8 July, the Municipality of Santa Lucia de Tirajana is hosting its second LGBTI Week under the title of Colour Rain Week. This Municipality intends to raise visibility for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex groups in society, as well as to normalise sexual diversity and promote respect, integration, freedom and equality.

Friday 30 June sees the start of this Colour Rain Week in Vecindario at the Nelson Mandela Room of the Victor Jara Theatre at 19.00, which acknowledges the support and work of Colectivo Gama and IES Gran Canaria in highlighting respect for sexual diversity across the island.

The first day offers a roundtable discussion at 19.15 organised by the Asociacion de Familias de Menores Chrysallis, and moderated by sexologist and professor of ULPGC Noemi Parra.

On Sunday there is a performance of a play ‘De Hombre a Hombre’ at 20.00 at the Casa de Cultura Saro Bolaños by the Insularia Theatre Company. Admission is free and invitations can be collected from the theatre box office one hour before the play begins.

On Tuesday 4 July at 19.00, the Nelson Mandela Room will host an inclusion workshop on disability and sexual diversity. On Wednesday 5 July at 19.00 there will be a cinema forum and discussion. On Friday 7 July there will be a presentation by Lorena Machin of the book ‘Aurora and the Sunset’.

The main day of this LGBTI Week in Vecindario offers a more relaxed celebration across the pedestrian area of the town starting at 17.00. This will include solidarity heels, parades in charge of the Makana Group, exhibitions by Colectivo Gama, inflatable attractions and presentation of prizes.

Olag Caceres, Councillor for Equality in the Municipality of Santa Lucia de Tirajana says that “it is important to continue to work for diversity, equality, respect, integration and freedom of people who want to live their lives in different ways, and this Municipality will continue to work to make these individuals and groups feel increasingly integrated and protected.”

So, amazing support for LGBTI people and groups in Vecindario, and this week of events should attract many others to come and support their efforts!

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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​Work Starts to Create Metro Guagua Transport in Las Palmas

Work Starts to Create Metro Guagua Transport in Las Palmas

At an estimated cost of 100 million euros, the Metro Guagua overground transport system for Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has started the preparations for improving travel across the city by 2021. This Metro Guagua fleet will provide a high capacity, more accessible, more sustainable collective public transport system that will enable passengers to travel across the city with connections to other bus routes to access all places.

This week construction staff started work at the junction of Pio XII and Maestro Valle to create specific lanes across the city for these giant metro guagua people carriers that will leave bus stops at very regular intervals. This bus rapid transport (BRT) should be completed in 2021. As well as dedicated lanes for these metro guaguas, traffic light systems will be changed to give these priority at junctions to enable faster journey times for passengers.

This plan for a public transport system that is ecological, fast and reliable is intended to make this big city easier to access for everyone. This innovative project is funded by the European Investment Bank, the Gran Canaria Government, the Canary Islands Government and the Spanish National Government.

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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The European Union's Position paper on the "Essential Principles on Citizens' Rights"

The European Union's Position paper on "Essential Principles on Citizens' Rights"


For those readers who are unhappy with reading the various 'interpretations and distortions' of the EU's position on Citizen's Rights in the UK tabloids, we have published a copy of the original document:

Essential Principles on Citizens' Rights

The Withdrawal Agreement should protect the rights of EU27 citizens, UK nationals and their family members who, at the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement, have enjoyed rights relating to free movement under Union law, as well as rights which are in the process of being obtained and the rights the enjoyment of which will intervene at a later date [for example pension rights].

I. General principles:

The following general principles should apply in accordance with Union law, as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union at the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement [including also interpretations given in cases pending on the date of withdrawal for which the Court's competence is maintained pursuant to the Withdrawal Agreement]:

  1. (1) SamelevelofprotectionassetoutinUnionlawatthedateofwithdrawalofEU27citizensin the UK and of UK nationals in EU27 including the right to acquire permanent residence after a continuous period of five years of legal residence;
  2. (2) Equal treatment in the UK of EU27 citizens as compared to UK nationals, and in EU27 of UK nationals as compared to EU27 citizens, in accordance with Union law;
  3. (3) Equal treatment amongst EU27 citizens by and in the UK in all matters covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, without prejudice to Common Travel Area arrangements between the UK and Ireland;
  4. (4) EU27 citizens or UK nationals who resided legally respectively in the UK or EU27 at the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement should be considered legally resident even if they do not hold a residence document evidencing that right. Documents to be issued in relation to these rights should have a declaratory nature and be issued either free of charge or for a charge not exceeding that imposed on nationals for the issuing of similar documents;
  5. (5) All citizens' rights set out in the Withdrawal Agreement should be granted as directly enforceable vested rights in both the UK and in EU27 as specified in Section IV.

II. Personal scope:
The Withdrawal Agreement should apply to the following persons as covered by the Treaty and

secondary Union law:

  1. (a) EU27 citizens who reside or have resided in the UK at the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement;
  2. (b) UK nationals who reside or have resided in EU27 at the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement;
  3. (c) The family members of the persons referred to in points (a) and (b), regardless of their nationality, as covered by Directive 2004/38, who have joined or will join the holder of the right at any point in time after the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement [i.e. current and future family members];
  4. (d) EU27 citizens who work or have worked in the UK at the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement, whilst residing in EU 27, and UK nationals who work or have

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worked in EU27 at that date, whilst residing in the UK or in another EU27 Member State than that of employment, and their family members regardless of place of residence [e.g. frontier workers];

(e) EU27 citizens and UK nationals and their family members covered by Regulation 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems who, at the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement, are or have been subject to the legislation of an EU27 Member State for UK nationals, or UK legislation for EU27 citizens [e.g. who have (i) left the UK or EU27 at the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement, but have aggregated periods for the calculation of future income replacing benefits (old age benefits, cash sickness benefits, invalidity benefits, survivor benefits and benefits in respect of accidents and work and occupational diseases), or (ii) who have left the UK or EU27 at the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement and currently already enjoy export of income replacing benefits (for example pensioners)]

III. Material scope:

(1) Thematerialscopeshouldcovertherightssetoutin:

  1. (a) Articles18[equaltreatmentofstudents],21[citizens–freemovement],45[“workers”as defined by the Court of Justice of the European Union], 48 [social security] and 49 TFEU ["self-employed" as defined by the Court of Justice of the European Union];
  2. (b) Directive 2004/38 [workers and jobseekers, self-employed, students, economically in- actives – non-discrimination, entry, residence, family reunification, protection against expulsion];
  3. (c) Regulation 492/2011 [workers and jobseekers - non-discrimination, access to the labour market, to pursue an activity, and non-discrimination as regards working conditions, social and tax advantages, workers' and family members' access to education, apprenticeship and vocational training, housing, collective rights];
  4. (d) Regulation 883/2004 and the implementing Regulation 987/2009 [e.g. the principles of coordination and cooperation between national authorities, for example on the reimbursement by the competent Member State of planned and unplanned healthcare:
    • oneapplicablelegislationonly:youarecoveredbythelegislationofone country at a time so you only pay contributions in one country. The decision on which country's legislation applies will be made by the social security institutions on the basis of Regulation 883/2004;
    • aggregationofperiods:whereyouclaimabenefit,yourpreviousperiodsof insurance, work or residence in other countries are taken into account;
    • exportofbenefits:ifyouareentitledtoacashbenefitfromonecountry,you may generally receive it even if you are living in a different country. This applies for example to old-age pensions;
    • waivingofresidencerules:ifyouareentitledtoabenefitforoneofyour family members, you cannot be deprived of that benefit if that family member does not live in the same country as you. This applies for example to family and unemployment benefits;
    • equal treatment with UK nationals in the UK: you have the same rights and obligations as the nationals of the country where you are covered.];
  5. (e) The Withdrawal Agreement should ensure, in the UK and in EU27, the protection, pursuant to Union law applicable at the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal

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Agreement, of recognised professional qualifications (diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualification) obtained in any of the EU28 Member States before that date. The Agreement should also ensure that professional qualifications (diplomas, certificates or other evidence of formal qualification) obtained in a third country and recognised in any of the EU28 Member States at the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement in accordance with Union law applicable before that date should continue to be recognised also after that date. It should also provide for arrangements relating to procedures for recognition which are ongoing at the date of withdrawal; [this should be without prejudice to rules in the UK and EU27 governing the provision of cross- border services or secondary establishment.]

  1. (2) The rights of the right holders set out in paragraph 1, and the derived rights of their family members, should be protected for life, provided that conditions of Union law are met [for example, where the right holder dies, in the event of divorce or if the right holder leaves the host State before the divorce, the family member will continue to have derived rights under the conditions set out in Directive 2004/38].
  2. (3) EU27 citizens and UK nationals can continue to change status and to accumulate periods leading to rights pursuant to Union law during the period of protection of the Withdrawal Agreement [e.g. a student can still become an "EU worker" after end of studies without having to comply with immigration law for third-country nationals, an in-active citizen can become a worker and still be covered by EU rules and a person who resided legally in the UK for less than five years by the date of the entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement can continue to accumulate the necessary five years residence giving access to permanent residence rights].
  3. (4) For rights and obligations set out in Regulations 883/2004 and 987/2009 on the coordination of social security systems, a mechanism should be established to incorporate future amendments to those regulations in the Withdrawal Agreement.

IV. Enforcement and dispute settlement rules

  1. (1) The Commission should have full powers for the monitoring and the Court of Justice of the European Union should have full jurisdiction corresponding to the duration of the protection of citizen's rights in the Withdrawal agreement.
  2. (2) Citizens should thus be able to enforce their rights granted by the Withdrawal Agreement in accordance with the same ordinary rules as set out in the Union Treaties on cooperation between national courts and the Court of Justice, i.e. including a mechanism analogous to Article 267 TFEU for preliminary reference from UK courts to the Court of Justice of the European Union.


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

http://news.thecanaryislander.com

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​Car Repairer in Lanzarote Arrested for Fraud

Car Repairer in Lanzarote Arrested for Fraud

Officers of the Guardia Civil in Lanzarote were alerted to complaints of alleged fraud relating to the repair of cars. Victims of this fraud report that after leaving their car with this mechanic’s workshop and paying money in advance for spare parts, they discovered that when collecting their car, no repair had been made. In addition, one victim of this fraud also claimed that his car’s record of kilometres completed had increased by around 3000 kilometres.

In total, the money collected in advance for car repairs by the owner of this repair garage and not returned is supposed to be over 3000 euros by victims of this alleged fraud. A representative of the Guardia Civil in Arrecife reports that it is continuing its investigations of this alleged fraud, but advises local residents to ask for a paper document to confirm any car repairs needed that shows the amount paid in advance, but not to rely on a verbal agreement. Also when deposits are made, the customer should be given a document showing the amount, personal data and other relevant information about the car. Therefore, written quotations should protect customers from being tricked in the future.

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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​No More Customs Tax on Amazon Orders to the Canary Islands!

No More Customs Tax on Amazon Orders to the Canary Islands!

It has been a long time in coming, but from 29 June, all products ordered by Canary Island residents from online companies, such Amazon, under 150 euros in value will no longer have customs tax applied when delivered. This means that residents can order items from Amazon or other online companies that have the peninsular IVA deducted, and if the item is under 150 euros then the Aduana in the Canary Islands will not add additional local IGIC tax.

The Canary Islands Government had planned to abolish customs duty on low value items ordered from online companies in 2016, but the two failed national elections meant that no national government decisions could be taken to authorise this initiative. So nearly 18 months after agreeing this customs tax cut, it will now apply from 29 June, as the National Government has now endorsed this decision.

Previously, customers of online shopping websites were charged local tax on any item worth more than 22 euros, but often the Correos and private delivery companies would also apply a service charge and other charges. Therefore, Canary Island residents have often been unable to purchase good value items. Looks like Amazon orders will increase further.

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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