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Local News

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

Credit crunch hits tourist numbers throughout Spain

The latest figures just released by the Spanish airport operators AENA reveal that visitor numbers to Fuerteventura fell by over 25% last month. Whilst it would be easy to blame this on all the Ryanair flights being pulled, the situation was similar throughout the Canary Islands and indeed even worse in some places on the mainland.

Of the main airports on the mainland, Jerez, Valencia and Almeria all suffered drops of more than 30% in passenger numbers and the national average was a 15% decrease. In the Canary Islands, numbers in Lanzarote numbers fell by 23%, in Tenerife Sur by 21% and in Gran Canaria by 19%. It should be remembered that these figures are slightly skewed by the fact that Easter fell in April this year and in March during 2008.

The advisor of Tourism, Águeda Montelongo, said yesterday that “since Ryanair left we have lost a large amount of tourists from Germany and Ireland”. The spokesman also said that they are “to continue negotiations to attract new airline companies to fly to Fuerteventura”.“If tourism fails, we will have closed the door to the Island and we will all have to go away”.

Corralejo Improvements rejected by Businesses

Merchants and businessmen of the old town of Corralejo have publicly announced its rejection of the rehabilitation project of their area by the municipality of La Oliva. The Association of Merchants and Entrepreneurs of the Old Town of Corralejo (Acecavic) criticizes the Council for not taking their views into account and considers the architectural and decorative elements have nothing to do with the image of the old fishing village of Corralejo. The businessmen say the City Council want to convert the old town into a mall, of which there are many all the same. He adds that they are prepared to cope with the inconvenience and economic losses during the inevitable development of the works "to achieve an authenticity that the area has gradually been losing, and that is precisely what the tourists who visit us want. Like all people we wish to preserve our heritage."

Los Hormigas becomes a haven for addicts

The park, Los Hormigas, in El Charco, built to offer residents a meeting place and recreational area has come under attack by locals. This public area was opened in 1995 to coincide with the bicentenary of the capital Fuerteventura. But what was once a place of celebrations, concerts, meetings and entertainment for young people and Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan, has become an area of neglect and ruin. One resident stated "No one from the City Council has been here for years. I am convinced that neither the mayor nor the council members know the state of the park or the neighbourhood. The addicts take over the entire park day and night, and as there is no light, the area is unsafe." The neglect of the park has caused all sorts of waste to be dumped there and there is now a major rat problem. Also many of the trees in the park have died from lack of care, and water.

Parachutists meorial held in Tefia

Tefía held a memorial for the 13 legionary parachutists who died in April 1972. The Airborne battalion, Roger de Flor were on training exercises when they were dragged about 300 meters by an irregular gust of wind and ended up hitting the cliffs and rocky crags in the adjacent zone, killing 13 of its members and hurting a number of soldiers.

Visit the Canarian Rock Festival this weekend

A total of 19 canarian rock and roll groups will participate this weekend in the Lebrancho Rock event in Puerto del Rosario. The event will take place on the 17th & 18th April in the Plaza of La Paz of the majorera capital, and will feature 12 bands from Fuerteventura, 2 from Lanzarote, 2 from Gran Canaria and 3 from Tenerife, as well as of several Dj's to play while the bands change over.

Steve Griffith's Recovery Begins

Steve Griffiths, who damaged his back here, is now back in the UK. Although he left here paralysed from the neck down, it has been reported that he has partial feeling in one of his hands. Lets hope this recovery continues to other parts of his body.

Brian and Tina's murderer sentenced

Juan Carmelo Santana who murdered a Brian and Tina Johnson with a hammer has been jailed for 39 years by a court in the Canary Islands.The couple were beaten to death with a hammer by Mr Santana when they tried to collect overdue rent from him in July 2006. He was sentenced to 17 years for Mrs Johnson's murder and 22 for the more "brutal" killing of her husband and ordered to pay their son, Sam, £270,000 in a private prosecution. Santana will also have to meet all legal costs of the private prosecution brought by Sam Johnson. The jury unanimously rejected Santana's defence that he was high on drink and drugs and not responsible for his actions. Judge Pilar Parejo said the longer jail term for killing Mr Johnson reflected the "particularly brutal nature" of the attack, which involved at least ten blows with the hammer. The sentence was slightly less than the 41 years sought by the state, but higher than the minimum 35-year tariff. Judge Parejo said Santana had disposed of the couples bodies in such a way that they remained undiscovered on scrubland for several days, causing additional distress to their son. Despite the sentence, Santana will serve only 27 years, as under Spanish law the maximum prison term is 30 years and Santana has already spent three years on remand.

Camping Ban Protest

The Campers of Fuerteventura yesterday wonder why the Coastal Act allows for the construction of hotels, apartments, bungalows, beach bars and sun beds on public land and camping is not permitted. More than fifty campers took to the streets to protest about the ban on camping in traditional areas of El Cotillo, in the municipality of La Oliva.

Work commences on prison

Preliminary work to build a prison in Fuerteventura has begun. The Society of Correctional Facilities and Infrastructure (SIEP), a subsidiary of the General Directorate of Prisons, has started work required to build the prison. The City Council of Puerto del Rosario authorized SIEP temporary occupation of a municipal plot of 105,000 square meters, a few kilometers from the capital, to conduct geotechnical studies of the area. This study is an analysis of the ground to be built on, and must be done prior to the designing of the prison, as it is essential to know the characteristics of the land for the construction. The future prison in Fuerteventura will have 216 cells and has a budget of 20 million euros.

Pedestrian injured in Puerto del Rosario

A young person of 25 was knocked over on Calle Leon y Castillo in Puerto del Rosario, although he was transferred to hospital he was not seriously injured.

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