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Showing posts from April, 2018

Fake Master's and face cream force a resignation

Former Spanish presidency favourite resigns after CCTV captures her shoplifting face cream 
Cristina Cifuentes had recently faced controversy over allegedly fake Master's degree
The career of one of Spain’s most high-profile conservative politicians was in tatters Wednesday thanks to an alleged seven-year-old shoplifting case involving two 20 euro pots of anti-aging cream.

Madrid regional president Cristina Cifuentes, a leading light of Spain’s ruling centre right Partido Popular [PP] party, had once been tipped as a successor to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. 

But instead, Ms Cifuentes resigned after a three-minute video was published online of her emptying her handbag of items and handing them to a security guard in a grimy supermarket backroom.

The video, published by the OK Diario online site, shows Ms Cifuentes - at the time when she was deputy for the Madrid regional assembly - apparently finally paying for the anti-aging creams, worth 40 euros in total.

The securit…

A row over manchego

Cheesed off: Spain's manchego makers vow to fight EU name ruling
EU says Mexican producers can use manchego name to describe their cheaper, cow’s milk cheese
Makers and lovers of manchego, Spain’s famous sheep’s milk cheese, have vowed to fight an EU decision allowing Mexican producers to carry on using the same name to describe their cheaper, cow’s milk cheese.

A battle over ownership of the name had delayed a major trade deal between the EU and Mexico for months, but agreement was finally reached over the weekend in a deal that will allow 99% of goods to be traded between Mexico and the EU on a tariff-free basis.

However the agreement on manchego cheese, while giving the Spanish variant some extra protections against copy-cats when sold in Mexico, will allow both types of cheese to share the same name and sit on the same shelves in that country.

The European commissioner for agriculture, Phil Hogan, insisted careful packaging would make the origins of the two cheeses clear. “Th…

Shutters up or down?

Why are Spaniards the only people in Europe obsessed with window blinds? 
Spain enjoys plenty of hours of sun, but yet apartments and houses are often completely shut off to natural light. Why is this?
“It’s like Spaniards are afraid of light,” says Caroline Jurgens, a 42-year-old Dutch woman who has been living in Spain since 2005. One of the first things that surprised Jurgens when she arrived from Amsterdam to Spain was the number of homes with the shutters down. 
“They pull them down all year long, even in winter even though it’s not so hot. The Dutch do the opposite: we need light all the time,” she says.

While the use of shutters in Europe is only anecdotal, here in Spain they are part of popular culture – and almost always kept down. And it’s not just because Spain receives more hours of light – between 2,500 and 3,000 hours in an average year, compared to the 1,600 in countries such as the United Kingdom or Holland. There are other, more interesting reasons.

Any Spaniard who …

Murders in London spiral

London murder rateovertakes New York for first time ever after spate of fatal stabbings and shootings
London's murder rate has overtaken New York City's for the first time ever, according to a new report.

February marked the first month the UK capital saw more murders than New York, with 15 dead (nine aged 30 or younger).

According to the report in the Sunday Times, London also suffered 22 fatal stabbings and shootings in March, higher than the 21 in the Big Apple.

Both cities have similarly sized populations of around 8.5m people. New York City's murder rate has decreased by around 87 per cent since the 1990s.

Meanwhile, London's has grown by nearly 40 per cent in just three years, not including deaths caused by terrorist attacks.

On Saturday a murder probe was launched after a 36-year-old woman was killed in what is believed to be the 30th incident of fatal knife crime in the capital this year.

The death came just hours after a man 23-year-old man died after being st…