Moroccan Jihadi Family Of Four Arrested In Catalonia Before Sending Sons To Join Islamic State In Syria

31 Mar 2015, 13:45: The two minors were being radicalised in a madrassa in the northern Moroccan city of Tétouan, says the Spanish Home Office, and were just hours away from leaving for Syria.
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Police Investigate Killing Of British Man, Spanish Woman And Their Two Young Girls In Gibraltar

30 Mar 2015, 18:58: “It isn’t yet a murder investigation”, a Royal Gibraltar Police spokesman told The Spain Report: “but nothing has been ruled out, including suicide”.

Retired British Couple Shot Dead In Alicante Home

30 Mar 2015, 13:50: Friends had been expecting them for lunch and called police when they did not show.

Spanish Police Arrest 12 On Terrorism Charges In Anti-Anarchist Operation In Four Spanish Regions

30 Mar 2015, 12:29: 14 others were arrested during the operation for “crimes of resistance”.

Pro-Secession Parties In Catalonia Sign Road Map Towards Independence Declaration By March 2017

30 Mar 2015, 23:40: Were separatist parties to implement the new plan, the declaration of independence of the new Catalan republic would take place 18 months after September’s regional elections.
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Rajoy Opens Bridge In La Rioja

30 Mar 2015, 11:37: Mr. Rajoy chose to eschew such talk of narratives, dynamic communication and new plans to convince the Popular Party’s own voters to choose them at the upcoming elections, instead opening a bridge in the northern region of La Rioja. The Public Works Ministry tweeted out the photo. Moncloa live-streamed the Prime Minister reading out some pre-prepared remarks from the bridge:

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Criticism Of Rajoy’s Electoral Strategy For Popular Party Continues

30 Mar 2015, 11:05: Several Spanish newspapers are running stories about tension in the governing Popular Party over Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s electoral strategy, following a drop from 50 to 33 seats in the regional parliament in Andalusia last Sunday.

El Mundo reports local and regional PP candidates don’t want Mr. Rajoy turning up at their campaign events. Senior leaders told the newspaper that this is “an awful moment” for the Popular Party, and criticised a lack of coordination at the national level.

El País and Cadena SER publish similar articles, reporting that there is a “lack of narrative” in the party’s election strategy, El País goes as far as to quote an unnamed senior member of the national leadership as saying: “We have given up on communication and failed at selecting the right people […] worse than communicating badly is not communicating at all”.

Cadena SER quotes party leaders critical of Mr. Rajoy for asking members “for an act of faith […] he lives in his own world”.

Libertad Digital slams Mr. Rajoy in an editorial titled “The PP’s worst enemy is the PP”: “It is the PP that has betrayed without let up or loss of heart the ideas and values of the PP”.

El Confidencial columnist Roberto Centeno completes the grim picture, wondering “why no one can trust Rajoy”: “He is not a political leader, but rather the boss of a state power machine, who is only interested in remaining in charge, and whose pillars are maintaining a gigantic extractive network and the favour of oligarchs”.

Spain Deflation Continues In March

30 Mar 2015, 10:51: New data released by the National Statistics Institute on Monday show a continuing downward trend for consumer prices in Spain, although less so than in the previous three months. The March data point was –0.7%. “This increase [from –1.1% in February] is explained, mainly, by the increase in fuel prices (diesel and gasoline)”, said the statement.

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23 People Decontaminated In Madrid Chemical Alert After Suspect Package Received At Post Office

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Image: @EmergenciasMad

28 Mar 2015, 14:25: Madrid emergency services tweeted that the alarm had been activated after a suspect package with white powder was received at the post office located in the same central Madrid building as City Hall building in Cibeles on Saturday morning.

UPyD Postpones Leadership Decision Until June Conference After May Elections

28 Mar 2015, 21:55: The political council of Union, Progress & Democracy voted 82–32 in favour of postponing any decision on Rosa Díez’s leadership until a June national congress after the local and regional elections that will take place on May 24.

The party tweeted that today’s ballot had been a: “qualified majority vote, in secret, that reinforces the party and maintains its political autonomy”.

UPyD MP Toni Cantó, one of the leading detractors, said he was saddened by the vote: “that doesn’t even contemplate consulting members and sympathisers”.

Not A Single High-Speed Train Line In Spain Is Or Ever Will Be Profitable, Says A New Study By FEDEA

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27 Mar 2015, 19:06: All of Spain’s high-speed rail corridors come up billions of euros short in 50-year profitability studies; FEDEA’s director tells The Spain Report the network was built for political reasons.

Details Live Tweeted Out From Closed UPyD Political Council

28 Mar 2015, 12:15: Miguel Ángel Quintana Paz, an ethics lecturer at the Miguel De Cervantes European University and a member of UPyD’s national political council, was live-tweeting the tense meeting this morning until he was ordered to stop by the organising committee for publishing details of the closed meeting. This is what he reported party leader Rosa Díez said:

  • “Do we have to change what we defend because citizens haven’t voted for us?”
  • “We must revise everything, absolutely everything. But we have to decide for ourselves. They must not decide on it for us from outside. Calmly”;
  • “I don’t care about those outside at all, except if they break the spirit of those inside”;
  • “During the leadership council, some said either we came to an agreement with Ciudadanos or they would resign”;
  • “The biggest damage that could be done to the party now is for the leadership council to resign”;
  • “We didn’t create the party to build a big bar. We created it to change the country”;
  • “I don’t want us to resign ourselves to mediocrity. Some people are in a big hurry”;
  • “I think we made a mistake. We created a party for Denmark in Spain”;
  • “I encourage you to make all the change and criticise as much as necessary before the next elections”;
  • “I am ready to resist as much as necessary. I ask for your clear support in doing so. This party has a big future”;

Spanish Foreign Secretary To Attend Tunis March Against Terrorism

28 Mar 2015, 11:25: Spain’s Foreign Secretary, José Manuel García Margallo, will attend a march against terrorism to be held in Tunis (Tunisia) on Sunday, the government said in a diary entry posted on its website. French President François Hollande will also attend. Mr. García Margallo will also attend a meeting in the Tunisian Congress before the march.

European Aviation Regulator Recommends Two-Person Cockpit Rule

28 Mar 2015, 09:54: The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued a temporary recommendation to airlines saying they should always have two people in the cockpit at all times, following the Germanwings crash and the shocking press conferences held by prosecutors in Marseille and Dusseldorf, although a footnote reminds fliers that: “Recommendations are not mandatory”.

The Agency recommends operators to re-assess the safety and security risks associated with flight crew members leaving the flight crew compartment due to operational or physiological needs during non-critical phases of flight.

Based on this assessment, operators are recommended to implement procedures requiring at least two persons authorised in accordance with CAT.GEN.MPA.135 to be in the flight crew compartment at all times, or other equivalent mitigating measures to address risks identified by the operator’s revised assessment

Union, Progress & Democracy (UPyD) To Hold Key Leadership Meeting

28 Mar 2015, 09:48: Following the crisis at the top of the party on Monday after a “bad” result in last Sunday’s elections in Andalusia, in which five senior national party leaders resigned, including two of the party’s five MPs, UPyD will hold a meeting of its Political Council on Saturday morning.

Those who resigned have called for the resignation of party leader Rosa Díez, but she refused to budge in a press conference on Monday that was heavily criticised by her detractors. The meeting begins at 11 a.m. and a press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. Spanish time.

PSOE To Approve Elections Candidates In National Meeting

28 Mar 2015, 09:41: The Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) will this morning approve its list of candidates or the local and regional elections, which were formally announced yesterday by the government for Sunday, May 24. Secretary general Pedro Sánchez tweeted that it’s all about “Teams and projects for citizens” and they’re using the hashtag #ElCambioSeguro (“Safe Change”) to sell it on Twitter.

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