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This news is translated from the Spanish Press unless otherwise indicated.

Unfair bus policies condemned

The President of the Cabildo, Mario Cabrera, has asked for equal treatment with respect to the public bus services that exist on the different islands in the Canaries. Cabrera said: "Over the last few weeks we have heard that the Government was considering writting off the accumulated debts of the public bus companies on the capital islands i.e. Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Here in Fuerteventura bus and city officials have been trying to minimize costs by offering the best services possible, although there is a need to expand, but we could not because it would involve going into debt. Therefore the Government should offer the same concessions to all the islands."

Immigration Centre plans denied

The City of Puerto del Rosario has denied building permits to the Ministry of the Interior for the expansion of the immigrant detention center, located in the area of El Matorral.
The Board agreed to reject the above application submitted on January 28, as the project submitted was not in accordance with urban planning in the area, "which provides for military use and not a immigration center," say sources in Puerto del Rosario.

Swedish tourism encouraged

The councillor for Tourism in Antigua, Dolores González García, said that during the International Tourism Fair in Gothenburg (Sweden), representatives of the area have called on the four largest tour operators in Scandinavian countries "to learn first hand the wide range of services available in Antigua."

Water thieves charged

The Water Supply Consortium to Fuerteventura (CAAF) has identified two new cases of illegal connection to its water supply, this time in Valle de Santa Ines and Triquivijate. In both cases it had not approved the connection to the water supply, which enabled the individuals to obtain free water. The CAAF took to court both of  these people for the theft of water.

Salt production revived on the island

Between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, salt was a developing industry in Fuerteventura, with several working farms in areas like Porbeagle (on Los Lobos), Gran Tarajal, The Hondurilla in Caleta de Fuste and El Charco in Puerto del Rosario. At present, salt production on the island is only in Salinas del Carmen in the municipality of Antigua, after the introduction of industrial processes in the nineteenth centurary. They continue to produce this product according to traditional methods, and have helped keep the ancient craft of salt collection alive. Thanks to an agreement between the Cabildo of Fuerteventura and the Canary Island Employment Service (SCE), two unemployed people will learn this ancient craft. The collection of salt is usually between February and October, but can be extended to the winter months if rainfall is low, at the moment, Salinas del Carmen are in full production. Production in Salinas del Carmen is 70,000lbs of salt a year, a very modest amount when compared to larger companies, which would not be sufficient to supply the island population. However, it is first class quality, as demonstrated by recent comparative studies with common salt. The biochemical analysis performed on Fuerteventura salt, found that the iodine content of the salt is 8 ppm (parts per million), five times higher than normal.

Tenders advertised for new desalination plant

Tenders for the new desalination plant in Puerto del Rosario and water supply reservoirs have been advertised for in the Official Gazette of the European Community. The joint investment of both projects is €24 million and was funded by the Canary hydraulic infrastructure. Manuel Miranda, director of Water and Waste stresses the importance of this publication, because it allows forward planning both on design and work, in both cases."  He adds that " It will allow us to respond to the needs of the island over the coming decades, and be the main artery for the distribution of water." The capacity of the new desalination plant is the production of 14,000 cubic meters of water a day, which is about 60% more the existing production plant.

Call to axe flight taxes

Easyjet and Ryanair have welcomed a decision by the Dutch government to axe its flights tax – a version of the UK’s Air Passenger Duty

Ryanair called on the Irish and UK Governments to follow the example and scrap the Irish tourist tax and Gordon Brown’s £10 airport tax.

It said European Governments cannot stimulate tourism by taxing visitors, but should welcome tourists by lowering Europe’s airport and ATC taxes

“Ryanair has campaigned against high airport tax and so called “eco”tax which deter visitors and has cost the Dutch tourism industry millions in lost revenue,” said Ryanair’s Daniel de Carvalho.

“Tourists have voted with their feet and turn their back on the Netherlands as a tourist destination. Today’s decision to abolish this tax is a sensitive step to reverse the steep decline in traffic that the Netherlands has suffered.”

Easyjet chief executive Andy Harrison said: “The Dutch Government has done the right thing to ensure that aviation has a future in The Netherlands

“But even after the tax is abolished, Schiphol will be Europe’s second most expensive airport – more expensive than Paris, Frankfurt or Zurich.”

He added: “The Dutch government has put the ball on the penalty spot; Schiphol must now convert the penalty and bring its cost in line with other major airports in Europe.

“Only if both conditions are met will airlines start investing in The Netherlands again.”

Tourist restaurant translation guide released

The Council for Tourism in Fuerteventura has translated approximately 700 dishes and products common in majorera dishes to the languages of the eight nationalities with the greatest tourist presence in Fuerteventura. The objective is so that hotel establishments  can translate their boards and menus to the native languages of the majority of their clients. After doing a study and translating the most frequent terms used on boards and menus, they are now distributing to 900 restaurants, bars and cafeterias on the Island, the translation of these 700 dishes and products in English, German, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Polish and French. Its meaning in each language is also explained, e.g. sancocho, (typical salted canarian stew of fish, potatoes and sweet potatoes) in English, (kanarisches gericht mit gesalzenem fisch, kartoffeln und süsskartoffeln) in German, (plat typiquement canarien qui compose of Poisson salé, patates douces, boules of farine of waxen to them ET gravy) in French, and (typisk kanarisk rätt M. you jump fisk, sötpotatis, potatis), in Swedish. Of the 700 translated entries, 430 correspond to the different types of dishes and drinks, and 270 to the gastronomical expressions and terms. In this last group typical products of  canarian food such as frangollo, gofio, cabrito, gravy or stew, with their corresponding explanation in each language are included.

Recycling increases by 24%

The Canary Islands last year recycled 29,000 tons of paper, cardboard and light containers, which is an increase of 24% compared to 2007. Under the motto of “Life in the park”, a campaign to bring awareness back to citizens on the importance of the correct separation of packages in the home as gesture necessary to contribute to the conservation of the environment and the saving of raw materials, has begun. This initiative will tell of the importance of depositing rubbish in its correct container for its later reusability in new products. The Canary Islands obtained one of the best results in Spain last year. They also had the lowest amount of rubbish put in wrong containers, at 17% compared to 25% on mainland. Since the scheme was started (SIG) by Ecomebes, in May 1998 they have dealt with more than 10 million tons of recyclable rubbish.

Fake goods ring smashed

Several officers of the Local Police, entered an establishment in Corralejo, inspecting numerous articles and objects with famous trade marks, and found them to be fakes. The man was arrested because he could not explain, how he had that many articles at cut prices, that ranged between €15 and €40, when their market value should have been between €250 and €470. Several bazaars have closed in Corralejo, from the fear of the same happening to them.

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