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June 12 2015

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Improving Your House With Eco Friendly Thoughts

Bringing about eco-friendly or green changes in your residence makes sense for various reasons. Over the course of time you will save money on the cost of living and energy and you will be doing what you can to be helpful to the world around you. There are numerous ways to make enhancements that can really modify things when you begin to contemplate ideas for your home to become more energy efficient and green. A first step would be to achieve several of the green house improving ideas listed here.

Whilst considering what improvements you might make to your home, please take a few minutes to consider some important safety factors. Make sure that your home has a sensible number of WORKING and REGULARLY TESTED smoke alarms fitted. If you are doing construction work within your home then why not take the opportunity to fit properly constructed fire doors on landings, kitchens etc. Modern fire doors have many great designs including glazed and semi-glazed models but much more importantly they all give at least 30 minutes protection from fire and smoke, giving anybody inside the house sufficient time to escape to safety.

Lots of people decide upon sorting out their kitchen first when they think about remodeling. The kitchen is a wonderful place for being environmentally friendly, from things like the worktops you use and the appliances you purchase. When deciding on which material to use for your countertops you should consider something that's both natural and local, like porcelain tiles or stone, so that you can make a choice that?s green. Checking whether your kitchen appliances are energy efficient or not is also something that you should do to make sure they're up to scratch. Take a look for the Energy Star logo to see whether or not it's efficient. Most new ones will have it. Water preservation can play a large part in trying to make your home greener and by being more efficient with your water usage you can save cash. To save gallons of water each day you just need to install a light flush toilet. Additionally you can buy some other water conserving devices, like special low flow shower heads and aerators for your faucets. Additionally you should examine your hot water heater. An energy efficient model that gives you hot water on demand rather than all the time, can be a good way to reduce your costs. Lastly, you can use less water by installing rain water barrels outside of your home. You can then use this water on your lawn and plants.

Your energy costs will be determined by the way you heat your home, and there are some ways that are more efficient than others. A fireplace, whilst looking very nice, is probably the most inefficient way of heating up your home. But, there are things called fireplace inserts that can switch things around so they are in your favor, so if you do own a fireplace have a look. Another heating possibility worth considering is a pellet stove, which burns wood or corn pellets. With the rising cost of oil, this can be a cheaper alternative. Your home's insulation is the big decider when it boils down to how energy efficient your home is. Finally, it is simply smart to design your home improvements in a "green" manner. These choices end up making your home more economical and comfortable to live in. Good insulation for instance, saves you money and allows you to stay toasty. These particular ideas are just some of the ways to improve your home in a "green" way. With deliberation, one can certainly come up with other suggestions.
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Practical And Environmentally Friendly Home Improvement Tips

You can apply the teachings of living a green, environmentally friendly lifestyle to home improvement. When trying to think of ways to make your home look and feel better you will probably come across eco friendly ideas, as they tend to be the best. In the following article we will be taking a look at some green ways of improving your home.

Whilst considering what improvements you might make to your home, please take a few minutes to consider some important safety factors. Make sure that your home has a sensible number of WORKING and REGULARLY TESTED smoke alarms fitted. If you are doing construction work within your home then why not take the opportunity to fit properly constructed fire doors on landings, kitchens etc. Modern fire doors have many great designs including glazed and semi-glazed models but much more importantly they all give at least 30 minutes protection from fire and smoke, giving anybody inside the house sufficient time to escape to safety.

When trying to be green a very good area to take a look at is your home furnishings. Reupholstering and repairing your furnishings is sometimes much better than buying new ones as it's not only green but it will save you money.

If repairing isn't an option then you could look for some good quality second hand pieces. It is easy to come across appealing and fascinating furniture and accessories at antique auctions which can be found everywhere. You can pick up some good furniture that has plenty of character at a good price at auctions, so long as you're not buying a high end antique.

If you're remodeling your home you should consider the roof. It would be wise to look into metal roofs when replacing your roof because they are energy efficient. This is because they can reflect the heat from below, which means the room won't lose heat so you'll save money. Or you could paint your roof with reflective paints. What this will do is make sure your home stays cool during the summer because the paint will reflect the sunlight. Sorting your roof is very important if it isn't already in an excellent condition because energy will escape easily otherwise, and that means you'll lose money.

Your energy bill will be less if you heat it up your home in an efficient manner. If you have a fireplace, it may look like a nice, old fashioned way to keep your room warm and toasty, but it's actually one of the least efficient ways to heat your home. It would be a good idea to look into something called a fireplace insert as they can be more efficient. A pellet stove is another good way of warming up as they burn corn pellets and wood. Due to the cost of oil rising rapidly, getting one of these is usually cheaper. Of course, no matter how you heat your home, the kind of insulation you have will make all the difference when it comes to energy efficiency. In conclusion, it makes a lot of sense to think "green" when planning your home improvements. It is more economical and will offer you more comfort when you choose in this way. An illustration of this would be having a better grade of insulation is both budget friendly and warmth giving. The indicated tips are only a handful for altering your home in an eco-friendly manner. You can in all probability come up with other ideas with some refection.

March 15 2015

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March 14 2015

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Record Breaking Melons on Mallorca!



This year saw a record breaking completion in the 21st edition of the Fira del Melo (Malon Fair) with the winning melon weighing in at an astonishing 21.440 kilograms. The competition is based on rewarding the best melon for quality, size and also weight. The winning fruit won over 11 others and was grown by farmers Pere Nicolau and Llorenç Penya, with the second placed melon weighing a mere 18.970 kilograms but grown by the same farmers. The prize for quality, which is the most prestigious but at the same time less popular (probably because it's less impressive than seeing a giant melon!) went to Sebastià Jaume Barceló and the second place to Sebastià Jaume Andreu.

Alongside the Fira del Melo the weekend Festival also hosted numerous opportunities for visitors to enjoy local livestock, farming machinery and local crafts. A great insight into the farming and local food produce culture on Mallorca.

Spain is the most popular overseas destination for holidaying Britons, in a recent poll by moneysupermarket.com 12% of those interviewed said that they intended to take a holiday in Spain. If you are considering a trip to Spain this year then you will find that the following link has facts and information particularly useful to those looking for ##LINK~##.The Island is well known for cultivating a myriad of produce. Palma's Mercat Olivar market demonstrates the variety of freshly grown ingredients including peppers, tomatoes, artichokes, squashes, figs, apricots, almonds and many many more. Olives are one of the island's principal crops producing so much oil that much is exported to the mainland, and even Italy.

The event also encouraged holiday makers away from the beaches and to travel inland on Mallorca and the area of Pla in general saw an increase in visitors and beverage sales in the bars as the heat took hold and people looked for some respite.

The Mayor of Vilafrance, Montserrat Rossello celebrated in true Mallorcan style and showed off the winning melon for all to see.

Location: Vilafranca de Bonany

What You Say:

http://www.seemallorca.com/events/news/record-breaking-melons-on-mallorca-vilafranca-de-bonany-676640
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SPICE Andratx Indian and World Cuisine



Description

Discover the taste of India at Spice Restaurant in Port Andratx, one of the finest and most diverse cuisines in the world.

All our dishes are prepared by our outstanding Indian Chefs, using authentic recipes and only the freshest ingredients with fragrant herbs and spices which create a symphony of delicious flavors to suit all palates.

For reservations contact 971 69 86 71

Spice up your life and start your oriental adventure at Spice in Port Andratx.

http://www.radioonemallorca.com/spice-andratx-indian-and-world-cuisine/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=spice-andratx-indian-and-world-cuisine
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Iberian lynx returns to Madrid after 40 years



According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a young male called Kentaro from the organisation's captive breeding programme has travelled more than 60 miles from where he was released in Toledo province late last year, with signals from his electronic collar traced near the town of Aranjuez, just 30 miles from central Madrid.

Ramón Pérez de Ayala, head of the WWF-backed LIFE-Iberlince recovery programme, said Kentaro "would have been better off staying where he was, in the Toledo hills which we identified as an ideal area in terms of habitat and rabbit population."

The wild population of the Iberian lynx, a smaller relative of the Eurasian lynx which conservationists wish to reintroduce into Britain, dropped to just 94 in 2002 before captive breeding and releases helped numbers recover to 332 in 2013.

The biggest threats to the animal are habitat encroachment, illegal hunting and a dearth of rabbits owing to disease.

The WWF programme is now shifting its focus from the lynx's Andalusian strongholds, and introducing more animals into central areas closer to Madrid.

"It's a disgrace that a region like Madrid should be the last one to draw up a plan for the recovery of endangered species, like the Iberian lynx and the wolf, when it is obliged to do so under national law," said Juan Carlos del Olmo, the secretary general of WWF in Spain.

The Madrid region "has favourable habitats" where lynxes could settle, he added.

http://telegraph.feedsportal.com/c/32726/f/568843/s/44525b80/sc/13/l/0L0Stelegraph0O0Cnews0Cworldnews0Ceurope0Cspain0C1146750A10CIberian0Elynx0Ereturns0Eto0EMadrid0Eafter0E40A0Eyears0Bhtml/story01.htm
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Balearics are top holiday rental destination



The Balearics were the most popular destination for tourists looking to rent short term accommodation, according to the rental property website Niumba.

In total over 120,000 tourists booked self catering accommodation last year in the region, with the website managing 33,000 of them.

Over three million enquiries were made and the money generated from all the bookings surpassed the 15 million euros mark.

Some 53 percent of the bookings were made for the months of July and August, representing 77 percent of the total income made with short term accommodation rentals.

At the opposite end of the scale was January, the quietest month of the year. Last January was also a fairly quiet month in terms of bookings in advance, only 0.6 percent.

http://www.radioonemallorca.com/balearics-are-top-holiday-rental-destination/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=balearics-are-top-holiday-rental-destination
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March 04 2015

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Alexis Tsipras comes under fire from Spanish prime minister



Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras at Saturday's meeting of the Syriza central committee in Athens. Photograph: Petros Giannakouris/AP

Greece's anti-austerity government has denied that it sees Europe through the prism of "hostile and friendly countries" as the Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy hit back at accusations that Spain and Portugal had deliberately tried to topple the new leftist-led administration.

The war of words erupted when Greek premier Alexis Tsipras attacked the sabotage tactics that had, he said, been employed by Lisbon and Madrid in an effort to scupper the chances of a successful end to the negotiations over the eurozone's extension of the Greek bailout programme.

We are not responsible for the frustration generated by the radical Greek left

Mariano Rajoy

He accused the Iberian partners of deliberately taking a hard line in the talks because they feared the rise of radical forces in their own countries.

"We found opposing us an axis of powers ... led by the governments of Spain and Portugal which, for obvious political reasons, attempted to lead the entire negotiations to the brink," Tsipras told party members on Saturday.

"Their plan was, and is, to wear down, topple or bring our government to unconditional surrender before our work begins to bear fruit and before the Greek example affects other countries... And mainly before the elections in Spain."

Mariano Rajoy

Spain's prime minister Mariano Rajoy at a party meeting in Seville on Sunday.

Spain is the most popular overseas destination for holidaying Britons, in a recent poll by moneysupermarket.com 12% of those interviewed said that they intended to take a holiday in Spain. If a trip to Spain is on this years holiday agenda then you will find that the following link has facts and information particularly useful to those looking for ##LINK~##.Photograph: Marcelo del Pozo/Reuters

Rajoy responded angrily on Sunday, saying that Spain had stood by Greece in solidarity by contributing to the debt-stricken country's EUR240bn (£180bn) bailout.

"We are not responsible for the frustration generated by the radical Greek left that promised the Greeks something it couldn't deliver on," he said.

Aides close to Tsipras insisted that Athens had little desire to "seek enemies abroad" but the leftist leader had a duty to disclose the details of last month's dramatic negotiations with creditors to keep the bankrupt country afloat.

"Prime minister Alexis Tsipras was obliged to relate in detail to the Greek people the hard negotiations at the crucial eurogroup that led to the agreement," said the insiders. "The attitude [shown by] governments towards the deal isn't a secret - after all such views had become publicly known from the first moment, which is only right."

With the interim deal being seen as the starting point for in-depth negotiations between Athens and its creditors in the months ahead, the war of words is unlikely to abate soon.

Tsipras is a close friend and political ally of Pablo Iglesias, the former political science lecturer who founded Spain's anti-establishment Podemos movement , which is seen as posing a serious threat to the Spanish prime minister's conservative People's party when elections are held late this year.

Tsipras has pledged to bring a number of draft laws to parliament this week aimed at alleviating the humanitarian crisis which he says has resulted from years of recession and internationally mandated austerity, the price of aid. Eurozone officials have expressed concerns that the measures will further destabilise an economy already rocked by capital flight of more than EUR23bn since December.

Rajoy urged Greece to keep its promises by implementing reforms.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/01/alexis-tsipras-comes-under-fire-from-spanish-prime-minister

March 02 2015

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The Balearic Islands Come Out on Top For British Tourists!



So it should come as no surprise that once again the Balearic Islands of both Mallorca and Ibiza have come out on top as the most popular destinations for British tourists, according to a survey by UK travel organisation Abta. The White Isle of Ibiza is a popular party Island and plays host to some of the biggest names in music throughout the summer months, this in turn attracts a very A-list crowd of celebrities wanting to enjoy the infamous white sand beaches and party with the likes of Carl Cox and Fatboy Slim.

As for the less 'a-list' among us, Ibiza and Mallorca also offer great value hotel deals for single travellers, couples and families.

If you are considering a trip to Spain this year then clicking on he following link will provide information particularly useful to those looking for ##LINK~##.With a variety of accommodation to suit all, from the 'adult only all inclusive' resorts to the family friendly, kids club and blue flag beach resorts these islands have it all. Tourism on Mallorca was up a staggering 68% on last year and for Ibiza an impressive 46%!

Other destinations at the top of the list were Italy, Greece and Malta, however, for the British public Ibiza was the number one!

Location: Balearic Islands

What You Say:

http://www.seemallorca.com/events/news/the-balearic-islands-come-out-on-top-for-british-tourists-676918

February 28 2015

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The strange consular requests of Brits abroad



The British Foreign office has released a list of the strangest requests it receives from Brits abroad, from a chef to make the perfect haggis to advice on how to treat a cat's infected paw.



Over 14 million British tourists holidayed in Spain in 2014, so it's no surprise some of them needed some consular assistance during their stay.

But not all requests made to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) involved lost passports and unexpected injuries. 

The FCO is launching a new awareness campaign to encourage people to think twice before calling for consular assistance and has released some of the strangest cries for help they received in 2014.

Last year, the FCO received 365,000 phone calls and while the majority were genuine calls for assistance, thousands related to issues the FCO could not assist with - many of them just downright bizarre.

Some of the most unusual calls included a British woman asking the consulate in Albania how to find out if her son's fiancée was already married and a another caller asking for advice on how to treat a cat's infected paw.

There was also the man who called the Embassy in Mexico City and insisted that they drive out to the airport to check whether he had left his mobile phone on the plane.

"It is important for our FCO consular staff to be able to focus on our most vulnerable customers, such as victims of crime," said FCO minister, David Lidington, in a statement.

"We will always try to help where we can but there are limits to what we can do, so it's important for people to be aware of how we can help."

Perhaps the caller in Brussels who asked for the name of a Scottish chef who could make haggis for a Burns Night event should have thought twice and consulted a catering company instead.

And the woman in Italy who called to enquire how she could synchronize her TV antenna to receive English channels might have been better off calling someone more technical.



"The role of the FCO Contact Centres is to help enable consular staff to focus on what is important and to concentrate on those in need, but we continue to receive misdirected enquiries from British nationals," said Head of the FCO's Global Contact Centres, Meg Williams.

"In 2014, 38 percent of calls we received were not related to consular support at all, for example one man asked us to help find his son's missing suitcase, which had been lost by a British airliner," she added.

Recent research  revealed that the number of people who have knowledge of what embassies and consulates do has dropped to the lowest in three years among young people (aged 16-24), from 62 percent in 2011 to 55 percent in 2014.

So next time the caller wants help setting up 'British-style' hanging baskets at a trade show because the professional gardener hired for the purpose has stage fright, she might want to think about calling someone other than the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

"Spain has one of the largest consular networks in the world with consulates in Alicante, Barcelona, Ibiza, Las Palmas, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife. If you are considering traveling to Spain the following link has some further information on Discounted Family Hotels in Barcelona.These offices deal with a wide range of issues in a country that receives around 13 million British visitors a year and where an estimated 800,000 Britons live for all or part of the year," says the website of the British Embassy in Madrid.

A total of 84,000 British citizens required genuine assistance from British Consulates last year around the world, ranging from medical and illness assistance, to help with arrests and lost property. 

Spanish city Malaga topped the pile on the highest number of Britons requiring assistance with drug-related offences, with around 50 cases recorded.

Malaga, Tenerife, Palma and Alicante were all in the top five consulates on the list of where hospital treatment was needed, behind only Bangkok.

Strangests requests received by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2014

A caller asking for help with setting up 'British-style' hanging baskets at a trade show because the professional gardener hired for the purpose had stage fright.

A British woman asking the consulate in Albania how to find out if her son's fiancée was already married.

A caller asking for advice on how to treat a cat's infected paw. 

A man called requesting that staff at the Embassy in Mexico City go to the airport to check whether he had left his mobile phone on a plane.

A woman in Italy calling to enquire how she could synchronise her TV antenna to receive English channels.

An event coordinator in Brussels asking for the name of a Scottish chef based in the country who could make Haggis for a Burns Night event. 

http://www.thelocal.es/20150227/the-strangest-requests-made-by-brits-abroad

February 26 2015

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I feel Spanish not Ghanaian - Inaki Williams



News



I feel Spanish not Ghanaian - Inaki Williams

Spanish-born striker of Ghanaian origin Inaki Williams has given the clearest possible hint that he could play for Spain, despite his black complexion. If you are planning on visiting Spain the following link has some more information on Cheap Pet Friendly Hotels in Madrid.The 20-year-old Atletico Bilbao striker became the first Black player to score for Bilbao in the history of the Europa League as they drew 2-2 with Torino last Thursday.

Full Story



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http://www.topix.com/world/spain/2015/02/150225VB9ILB?fromrss=1

February 24 2015

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Balearics are top holiday rental destination



The Balearics were the most popular destination for tourists looking to rent short term accommodation, according to the rental property website Niumba.

In total over 120,000 tourists booked self catering accommodation last year in the region, with the website managing 33,000 of them.

Over three million enquiries were made and the money generated from all the bookings surpassed the 15 million euros mark.

Some 53 percent of the bookings were made for the months of July and August, representing 77 percent of the total income made with short term accommodation rentals.

At the opposite end of the scale was January, the quietest month of the year. Last January was also a fairly quiet month in terms of bookings in advance, only 0.6 percent.

http://www.radioonemallorca.com/balearics-are-top-holiday-rental-destination/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=balearics-are-top-holiday-rental-destination

February 22 2015

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Jose Andres' Poolside Paella Bash: Spain's Top Toques Talk



News



Jose Andres' Poolside Paella Bash: Spain's Top Toques Talk

Spain's quintessential dish, paella, is a difficult one to make. "There is no such thing as the perfect paella," says Quique Dacosta.

Full Story



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http://www.topix.com/world/spain/2015/02/1502215RUSFF?fromrss=1

February 19 2015

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Madrid closes Gibraltar language school as 'only apes don't speak Spanish'



The Cervantes centre was opened in 2011, as the former Spanish government of Socialist leader José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero fulfilled one of the elements of the Córdoba Agreement, the 2006 set of accords between the UK, Spain and Gibraltar.

When the PP took over in Madrid it announced that the Tripartite Forum was a dead letter.

Mr García-Margallo said he would only speak to the British government about the territory, but he has a tendency to cry out "Gibraltar is Spanish" such as when he made his first appearance in the European parliament three years ago.

The minister denied having pressured the organisers of a conference to withdraw its invitation to Fabian Picardo, Gibraltar's chief minister, last week. In the end, Mr Picardo made a speech in Madrid on the same say as he was due to address the New Economy Forum, but in a hotel with an invited audience.

José Manuel García-Margallo (BERNARD)

The Spanish minister admitted to having told the forum's organisers it was "not helpful" to give the Gibraltarian leader a platform from which to "expound his completely false theory that Gibraltar is not a colony".

Speaking in Madrid on February 3, Mr Picardo bemoaned the Spanish government's "torpedoing" of the Córdoba Agreement. He also said Gibraltar complied with all EU legislation on tax and complained that Spain had kept the Rock's airport out of the European 'Open Skies' scheme.

The Gibraltar Cervantes Institute said that some 60 students enrol on its Spanish courses each term. According to one long-term resident, today's young Gibraltarians do not pick up Spanish as much as previous generations.

"It's because of their exposure to cable TV and internet, where they can find everything in English. If you are thinking of traveling to Spain the following link has lots of information on Discounted Child Friendly Hotels on the Costa del Sol.You'll be talking llanito [Gibratarian Spanish] to someone and then their kid walks in and doesn't understand."

http://telegraph.feedsportal.com/c/32726/f/568843/s/4354acfe/sc/24/l/0L0Stelegraph0O0Cnews0Cworldnews0Ceurope0Cspain0C1140A91660CMadrid0Ecloses0EGibraltar0Elanguage0Eschool0Eas0Eonly0Eapes0Edont0Espeak0ESpanish0Bhtml/story01.htm

February 17 2015

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King of Spain cuts his own salary in austerity drive



Spain's King Felipe VI has slashed his salary as head of state by 20 percent for 2015, a move in line with his pledges for a more moderate, fewer-frills monarchy.

Juan Carlos, who retains his honorary title of king, will receive 187,356 euros.

The palace budget, which has been frozen or cut since 2009 as Spain suffered hard economic times, remains unchanged in 2015 at 7.8 million euros.

Felipe has striven to improve the monarchy's image, which has been tarnished by a number of scandals in recent years

In particular, his father was criticised for hunting elephant in Botswana at a time when ordinary Spaniards were suffering a severe economic crisis.

Last year Felipe banned Royals from accepting expensive gifts, including free flights and luxury holidays.

http://telegraph.feedsportal.com/c/32726/f/568843/s/434cd7ab/sc/7/l/0L0Stelegraph0O0Cnews0Cworldnews0Ceurope0Cspain0C1140A73640CKing0Eof0ESpain0Ecuts0Ehis0Eown0Esalary0Ein0Eausterity0Edrive0Bhtml/story01.htm

February 16 2015

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Teenage female golfer mixing it with the men on the Costa del Sol



IN THE SWING: Lauralie MigneauxIN THE SWING: Lauralie Migneaux

A TEENAGE female golfer is mixing with the world's best amateurs and upping her game on the Costa del Sol.

French amateur Lauralie Migneaux is just 17, but already making waves in the top amateur ranks - leaving her male counterparts playing catchup.

But despite her success alongside the men, she feels the professional game should remain gendered.

"I do enjoy the challenge of taking on the men," Migneaux told the Olive Press.

"But I think the professional game should remain a separation sport, with the different tee positions for women."

Migneaux was inspired to take up the sport at the age of nine after meeting Spain's most famous golfer, Seve Ballesteros.

She moved to Mijas in 2013 to take advantage of the 'exceptional training conditions the Costa del Sol offers'.

Migneaux has represented France at five amateur tournaments and also finished in the top 20 of the Men's Professional Gecko Tour.

Training at El Chaparral's 18-hole course in Mijas Costa, Migneaux hopes to represent Europe in the Junior Solheim Cup in Germany later this year.

Next up for Migneaux is an appearance at the Spanish International Ladies Amateur tournament in Sevilla, starting February 25.

http://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2015/02/15/teenage-female-golfer-mixing-it-with-the-men-on-the-costa-del-sol/

February 13 2015

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Madrid closes Gibraltar language school as 'only apes don't speak Spanish'



The Cervantes centre was opened in 2011, as the former Spanish government of Socialist leader José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero fulfilled one of the elements of the Córdoba Agreement, the 2006 set of accords between the UK, Spain and Gibraltar.

When the PP took over in Madrid it announced that the Tripartite Forum was a dead letter.

Mr García-Margallo said he would only speak to the British government about the territory, but he has a tendency to cry out "Gibraltar is Spanish" such as when he made his first appearance in the European parliament three years ago.

The minister denied having pressured the organisers of a conference to withdraw its invitation to Fabian Picardo, Gibraltar's chief minister, last week. In the end, Mr Picardo made a speech in Madrid on the same say as he was due to address the New Economy Forum, but in a hotel with an invited audience.

José Manuel García-Margallo (BERNARD)

The Spanish minister admitted to having told the forum's organisers it was "not helpful" to give the Gibraltarian leader a platform from which to "expound his completely false theory that Gibraltar is not a colony".

Speaking in Madrid on February 3, Mr Picardo bemoaned the Spanish government's "torpedoing" of the Córdoba Agreement. He also said Gibraltar complied with all EU legislation on tax and complained that Spain had kept the Rock's airport out of the European 'Open Skies' scheme.

The Gibraltar Cervantes Institute said that some 60 students enrol on its Spanish courses each term. According to one long-term resident, today's young Gibraltarians do not pick up Spanish as much as previous generations.

"It's because of their exposure to cable TV and internet, where they can find everything in English. You'll be talking llanito [Gibratarian Spanish] to someone and then their kid walks in and doesn't understand."

http://telegraph.feedsportal.com/c/32726/f/568843/s/4354acfe/sc/24/l/0L0Stelegraph0O0Cnews0Cworldnews0Ceurope0Cspain0C1140A91660CMadrid0Ecloses0EGibraltar0Elanguage0Eschool0Eas0Eonly0Eapes0Edont0Espeak0ESpanish0Bhtml/story01.htm

February 06 2015

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Spanish winegrowers reap benefits of Chinese booze boom



China's wine market is one of the biggest in the world, with urban affluence having driven a decade of explosive growth in consumption.

Now a small bodega in Spain stands to benefit from the Asian country's huge economic firepower after one of its wines was named as the best in the world by a specialist Chinese magazine.

"It was a complete surprise to us," said Olívia Bayés, who with her husband, David Marco, runs Marco Abella in the mountains of the Catalan winemaking zone of Priorat. "They told us we had made it into the top 100 - we were really excited to get that far. Then they called us and told us to come to China because we had won the top prize."

After more than six years pushing their products in China, the pair had entered Wine in China magazine's blind-tasting competition in the hope of drumming up more business.

The 14-member jury, made up of experts and sommeliers from China, Australia, the UK and US, gave top marks to the Marco Abella 2009 Clos Abella, awarding its blend of carignan, garnacha, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz grapes 97 points out of 100. The bottle retails for about EUR40-EUR50 (£30-£38) in Spain.

Bayés, 42, said she hoped the recognition would bring a degree of continuity and stability to the exports to China. "We're a small bodega - we do everything ourselves," she said. "You're always thinking about the future. I've got this many sold here, this many sold in the US. But with China, it's always, 'How many will we sell this year?'"

The former lawyer and her husband, who worked in management in Barcelona, entered the wine business after deciding they needed an escape from city life. "Our families told us we were crazy," she said. "We had good jobs, good salaries and had it all figured out, but we wanted to change our way of life."

They relocated to just outside Porrera, a small town 80 miles south-west of Barcelona, where generations of Marco's family had produced wine. In the 19th century, after the grapevine pest phylloxera struck the vineyards, his grandfather upped sticks and moved to Barcelona.

Their first wines were ready to sell in 2008 - just as the economic crisis hit Spain. With few in Spain willing to take a gamble on unknown high-end wines, the pair eyed markets where few other domestic wines had gone. "It was like a boxer taking hits in the ring," said Marco, 46. "The important thing for us was to not fall over."

After a failed attempt in India - "We saw pretty quickly that Indian cuisine didn't pair well with red wines," he said - they became the first from the Denominación de Origen Priorat to try China.

They are one of several Spanish bodegas that have looked abroad in hopes of drumming up demand, said Rafael del Rey of the Spanish wine market observatory. Wine imports to China rose sevenfold in 2007-13, but have slowed of late.

"The Chinese market is now growing at a much slower pace. It doesn't create the great expectations that it used to five years ago," he said. He attributed the change to a slowdown in economic growth as well as a crackdown by China's government - in an effort to tackle corruption - on lavish gift-giving.

Amid the slowdown and facing tough competition from other wine producing countries such as Chile and Australia, he said, some Spanish producers have been forced to reevaluate whether chasing the Chinese market is worthwhile. "It's not easy. It takes a large investment, a lot of trips back and forth, and a very close relationship with Chinese distributors."

For those at Marco Abella, their venture into China has helped to fuel an expansion of their team to seven members, who produce about 80,000 bottles of wine a year. It remains to be seen if their success in China will translate into success in their own backyard, said Bayés. "We sell well in the US, China and Catalonia. Now we're hoping to grow in the rest of Europe."

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/01/spanish-wine-wins-best-wine-china-magazine

February 02 2015

ramblas23355

100,000 flock to Madrid anti-austerity Podemos rally



Spain News

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100,000 flock to Madrid anti-austerity Podemos rally

At least 100,000 people poured into the streets of Madrid on Saturday in a huge show of support for Spain's new anti-austerity party Podemos, riding a wave of popularity after the election success of its Greek hard-left ally Syriza. A sea of demonstrators chanted "Yes we can!" and carried signs reading "The change is now" as they made their way from Madrid city hall to the central Puerta del Sol square in the first major march called by Podemos, which has surged ahead in opinion polls in a crucial election year.

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