Coming Up Next…

  • King Juan Carlos to attend Castro memorial in Cuba. Secretary of State for International Cooperation & Iberoamerica will accompany him.
  • Pedro Sánchez goes on Mexican trip. The former PSOE leader will give a master class on "the leadership of social democracy in Europe".
  • Lufthansa pilots to strike across Europe. A spokeswoman told The Spain Report 43 of 160 flights in or out of Spain had been cancelled for Tuesday.

The World Watches Spain

  • Brussels considering €171,000 a day sewage fines for Spain. Waste not being collected in 17 towns five years after European court ruling. (Express)

  • Spanish pigeons to go on birth control. Barcelona to give birth control pills to 85,000 birds to control the size of the local population. (New York Post)

  • Cuban exiles in Madrid celebrate Castro's death. But police had to step in to separate rival groups after they began insulting each other. (WSJ)

Published: 6:13 pm, Nov 28 2016 (link)

Ciudadanos Protests King Juan Carlos Cuba Visit

The Royal Household announced the King's father, King Juan Carlos, would attend the memorial services for "His Excellency Fidel Castro Ruz, Former President of the Councils Of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba". His Majesty will be accompanied by a government minder on the trip, the Secretary of State for International Cooperation & Iberoamerica, Jesús Gracia. Ciudadanos' foreign affairs spokesman Fernando Maura blasted the idea, suggesting the government "modulate" the Spanish representation given Castro's "condition as a dictator […] his responsibility during the 60 years of the repression of his own people, the infringement of freedoms and the denial of economic development…".

Published: 7:03 pm, Nov 28 2016 (link)

Spanish Call Centre Workers Strike Over Pay And Conditions

Trade unions UGT and CCOO said 70-75% of some 90,000 Spanish call centre workers had gone on strike for 24 hours on Monday, demanding better pay and conditions as part of one of Spain's collective bargaining agreements, which unions say has been stalled for 22 months. Seven more full-day stoppages are planned for December, to coincide with the biggest bank holiday weekend of the year. The call center section of union CGT launched a social media campaign to flood large companies with calls during the strike, which it labelled a success. Its boss told El País their campaign combined with the strike had managed to shut down lines at Santander, Telefónica and Vodafone.

Published: 7:21 pm, Nov 28 2016 (link)

Spaniards Donate 22,000 Tonnes Of Food To Charity Over Weekend

The Spanish Federation of Food Banks (FESBAL) announced on Monday that Spaniards had donated 22,000 tonnes of food in the biggest collection weekend of the year, helped by 129,000 volunteers at 11,000 collection points around the country. FESBAL chairman Nicolás Palacio said it had been a "very good" result this year, although the organisation was not able to beat its figure for 2015, also 22,000 tonnes: "it's difficult to beat that figure, that's nearly half a kilo per inhabitant in two days". Last week, Mr. Palacio said Spaniards were amongst the most giving people in Europe, donating 0.72 kg of food per inhabitant, compared to 0.61 kg in Portugal, 0.22 kg in France or 0.16 kg in Italy. The organisation collected 153,000 tonnes of food in total last year. "With those foodstuffs, we can get food to more than 1.5 million disadvantaged people via 8,5000 charity organisations", said Mr. Palacio.

Published: 6:46 pm, Nov 28 2016 (link)

Talgo Wins €1.5 Billion Renfe Tender For 30 New High-Speed AVE Trains

Talgo avril
Talgo's new Avril high-speed AVE train. (Talgo)

Spanish train builder Talgo has won the Spanish government's latest tender for 15 new high-speed AVE trains for Spanish rail operator Renfe. El País reported Alstom, a competing French train manufacturer, is considering appealing the decision. Talgo chairman Carlos Palacio Oriol said in a statement that "the award of this contract is excellent news for Talgo and for our country". The new train is Talgo's Avril model, which is capable, according to information provided by the Industry Ministry, of up to 330 km/h with up to 521 passengers in different seating combinations, with WiFi, LED screens and even childern's play areas. The government also said the contract would create 1,000 manufacturing jobs over five years and a further "100 jobs a year" for the 30-40 year maintaince period.

Published: 7:44 pm, Nov 28 2016 (link)

Spain Gets New Director Of Public Prosecutions

King maza
Mr. Maza swears his oath before King Felipe. (Casa Real)

65-year old José Manuel Maza was sworn in as the country's new Director of Public Prosecutions on Monday morning before King Felipe, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Justice Minister Rafael Catalá and Supreme Court Chief Justice Carlos Lesmes. Mr. Maza was previously a Supreme Court justice on the criminal bench. At a parliamentary justice commission last week, he defended—as others had done before—the independence of the Public Prosecutor's Office which "must not and cannot receive or obey orders from outside". While the Public Prosecutor's Office in theory enjoys constitutional independence in Spain, the Director of Public Prosecutions is appointed by the government. In 2014, shortly after the "pretend" referendum in Catalonia, Eduardo Torres Dulce resigned from the post and criticised the government over the independence of his position.