Posts tagged ‘Spain’

May 31, 2011

“Not our vegetables to blame, its German food!”, Spain says after accusations from Germany that its vegetables caused the country’s deadly e.coli outbreak

[Peter Skelps, Epidemics Contributor]

BBC News: Spain is furious with the Germans for passing the buck to it for Germany‘s recent bad food outbreak which is making thousands seriously ill and so far has killed around 20 over Germany.

Angry Manuel Jose, a Spanish tourist in Hamburg, told iTOD Daily news contributor, Peter Skelps: “It’s nothing to do with Spain and Spanish food. It’s just a big cover up by the Germans to hide their own bad food. Bad food poisoning in Germany has always been a time bomb. Go to any fast food place, or cafe – they all touch money and everything with their hands and then handle your food with the same hands. Restaurant attendants and kitchen hands there even go to the bathroom and handle your food after without washing their hands. It’s them to blame, not us and it’s certainly nothing to do with our cucumbers.

He went on to say: “So they are bothered about 20 deaths…what about the 140,000 Germans that die each and every year directly from smoking tobacco in Germany. Instead of continuing to encourage Germans to smoke, shouldn’t they  stop trying to kill them all?”

Spain’s agricultural minister has said that Germany has no reliable data to link the poisoning to Spanish vegetables.  This view has since been echoed by a number of German officials who have expressed mixed views concerning the matter.

The outbreak has killed around fifteen Germans and one Swedish woman who died after eating German food.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which is Germany’s national disease institute, has confirmed that since the outbreak, which appears to be worsening, over 1,150 people in  Germany have been contaminated by enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (‘EHEC‘) which in turn has led to Haemolytic-uraemic Syndrome (HUS), which causes kidney problems and can kill. Germany has 373 cases of HUS currently.

May 29, 2011

Nicht gut! Deadly E.Coli bacteria outbreak kills many in Germany, hundreds infected

[Sarah Dunkelmann, Health News Contributor]

Mail.com reports that after the dioxin contamination scandal which dissuaded many families from having fresh milk, eggs, chicken and pork for breakfast, German food is contaminated again, this time with the bacteria E.Coli  which has been found in German tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables.

According to the official data, at least nine people have died so far from deadly infection, which causes fever, severe stomach cramps, watery diarrhea which continues unstoppably for several days until only blood is pouring out when relief is only delivered by death due to severe red blood cells count fall and/or renal failure.  Around three hundred E.Coli infected are reported  to have reached this final, life-threatening sickness stage.

The deadly bacteria was initially found in cucumbers imported from Spain, and currently investigation is being carried out in order to establish whether the cucumbers were contaminated from the start or became so during shipment or during their handling in Germany.

May 22, 2011

Gassed and brutally raped in the Costa Del Sol, 56 year old British woman tourist suffers humiliating ordeal

[Telma Sarovskaya, Crime News Contributor]

MailOnline:  A 56 year old British woman on holiday with her husband in Spain‘s Costa  Del Sol, had sophoric gas pumped into her apartment which made the woman’s husband unconscious. Whilst he lay next to her in that state, robbers broke into the apartment, brutally raped her and left with a large quantity of money.

The attack was reported to have happened at Hotel Siroco in Benalmadena, Spain where the couple had been staying.   The woman’s 55 year old husband had woken up to his wife screaming and learned later that she had been raped and their apartment burgled.

The Malaga police are looking into the incident and after treatment last week by Spanish doctors, the woman will undergo HIV tests in England.

So far no one has been arrested.

May 11, 2011

Spain suffers major earthquake – 4 dead, buildings damaged

[Natural Disasters Contributor, Josh Winters]

US Geological Survey reports that a total of 12 earthquakes at magnitude 5+ struck the world today with  Spain suffering an M5.3 event which killed 4 people and damaged many buildings in Lorca in the south. The earthquake was at a depth of a mere 1km and around 120km south-west of Alicante. It happened at around 5PM GMT.  Whilst earthquakes trouble Spain, they do not normally cause casualties and such damage.

In the meantime, the Honshu region of Japan, home of the Fukushima Prefecture, a M5.6 earthquake struck early today. No damage, or tsunami warning has been reported.

Here are a list of the other M5+ level earthquakes striking the earth today (data from the US Geological Survey):-

MAG UTC DATE-TIME
y/m/d h:m:s
LAT
deg
LON
deg
DEPTH
km
 Region
MAP  5.3   2011/05/11 16:47:26   37.697   -1.556 1.0  SPAIN
MAP  5.0   2011/05/11 15:59:11  -17.331  -172.676 29.6  TONGA REGION
MAP  5.0   2011/05/11 15:21:26   -6.544   147.806 47.7  EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
MAP  5.0   2011/05/11 10:39:39  -20.395   168.330 37.2  LOYALTY ISLANDS
MAP  5.1   2011/05/11 10:32:26  -20.399   168.410 44.9  LOYALTY ISLANDS
MAP  5.1   2011/05/11 09:21:37  -20.348   168.345 38.7  LOYALTY ISLANDS
MAP  5.2   2011/05/11 09:16:26  -20.294   168.267 37.9  LOYALTY ISLANDS
MAP  5.7   2011/05/11 08:19:39  -20.392   168.320 45.6  LOYALTY ISLANDS
MAP  5.1   2011/05/11 07:54:31   1.518   127.239 99.2  HALMAHERA, INDONESIA
MAP  5.3   2011/05/11 06:11:28  -36.385  -179.565 42.6  EAST OF THE NORTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND
MAP  5.0   2011/05/11 01:28:08   6.067   126.002 104.8  MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
MAP  5.6   2011/05/11 01:20:08   37.811   143.561 25.1  OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
May 8, 2011

Pippa Middleton is new sensation in Ibiza bikini backflip

[Royal Family Contributor, Jenni Smith-Tollop]

Photos taken in 2006 show the royal newly-weds having tons of fun in Ibiza with friends.  Scrumpy photos show William relaxing with his bikinied friends on a yacht in Ibiza and the delightful Pippa Middleton frolicking in the sea with a perfect backflip. Certainly, from all accounts, the happy couple’s marriage seems to be one made in sheer heaven!

April 18, 2011

Moody’s: it will be tough for most EU indebted countries to borrow again

[Anna Sergijenko, MCIoJ, Financial News Contributor]

The Daily Telegraph: It seems that even when the EU and IMP bailouts are finally repaid by the EU states (which is in the ‘never’ category according to analysts) which had to take them up, or face bankruptcy which in turn would have destroyed the Eurozone, the bailout countries may find it impossible to borrow ever again.

The reason for that is because the international community has lost faith in the ability of the European countries, in particular the PIGS bloc countries (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain) governments, to manage without additional bailouts for those who have got them already and new ones for those who will certainly apply for them (eg., Spain).

For example, although Greece was bailed out for EUR 110bn last year already, its Prime Minister, Mr. Papandreou, still has no sound economy stimulation plans at hand, although in accordance with the terms of the bailout Greece must raise EUR 50bn by 2015 instead of piling on new debts.   Although he said that the government plans to sell its shares in public companies, including the main telecommunications operator OTE and utility company PPC, no specific time frames were mentioned and therefore the government’s plans are still unclear.

While Greece will have to scramble for money for some time, Ireland’s prospects are not a lot better. That is because, according to EU ‘stress tests’, Ireland’s draconian cuts in public spending are making the country’s coffers bare which will mean that  the European Central Bank will be sure to raise its interest rates  sometime soon.  As a result of all that, Moody’s has now lowered country’s credit rating to just above ‘junk’ as having ‘weaker economic growth prospects’ and ‘uncertainty’ , and ‘should the intended fiscal consolidation goals not be met, a further rating downgrade would likely follow’.
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Interesting  times are ahead of the eurozone countries, it seems.
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April 17, 2011

Spain teeters with bailout tag of around EUR 420 Billion, but EU upbeat that Eurozone is now safe

[John Baisley, Finance and Economy Contributor]

EUObserver:  According to EU Economy head, Olli Rehn  in his speech last week to the Brookings Institution, a US think-tank, the Eurozone has been saved. With Portugal‘s and Ireland’s bank bailouts in process, the EU economy head confirms that it is ‘mission accomplished’ and pats on the back all round for the EU.

However, the president of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn has since said that the EU’s actions to combat the crisis was not enough: “We are arguing here in the IMF for at least six months that there is a need for a more comprehensive plan on the European side. The piecemeal approach, dealing with interest rates one day and something else another day, is not working well“.

Furthermore EU analysts are saying that, celebration on the saving of the Euro is well premature as the severe problems that will be caused to the internal economies of the bailed-out countries via imposed ‘austerity’ programs, may well divide the EU and cause its disintegration despite any saving measures that may have been accomplished for the EURO.

In addition, they point out, Spain is increasingly becoming the bete noir of the PIGS (‘Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain’) bloc as a far as the Euro is concerned. With its unemployment rate at 20.5% and youth unemployment approaching 50%, the country’s problems are severe.  It has a has a high private sector debt and its bank have also taken the hit for some EUR100 billion as a result of the failure of Portugal’s economy. As such any bailout for it by the EU, which is likely, will be in the region of EUR420 billion which will be sure to bring the Euro crashing down as there will simply not be that amount of money about to cover that size of debt.

According to Spain’s central bank chief, Miguel Angel Fernández Ordonez: “2011 will be another year of adjustment, and for the banking sector, it will be one of the worst”.

March 10, 2011

EU Commission steamrollers in EU patent despite adverse court ruling

EU Observer reports that despite the recent adverse rulings of the European Court of Justice on the matter, the European Commission is steamrollering in its plans for a single EU patent.

The Commission’s plan to save costs and unify national patent standards by creating a single European patent had been met with a stony response from EU member states right from the start.  Spain and Italy, concerned about their patents being discriminated against from the other member states on a language basis,  had rejected the idea.  All the more, in its judgment the European Court of Justice had supported the widely-held concerns among member states concerning unfair competition from outsiders, particularly because the Commission’s plans included joining in Switzerland, Turkey and a number of other countries outside the EU.

According to the ruling, ‘the agreement would alter the essential character of the powers conferred on the institutions of the European Union and on the member states,’ to which the Commission replied with an equivocal “now that the opinion is available, the commission will analyse it very carefully with a view to identifying appropriate solutions”. In the meantime, Zoltán Cséfalvay on behalf of the EU Presiding State of Hungary, made it clear that notwithstanding the decision the ‘work will continue’.

[European Affairs Contributor]

February 26, 2011

Spain slows down as petrol prices rise

Spain is lowering speed limits on its roads, cutting prices for rail travel and is accelerating the country’s use of alternative energy sources including biofuels. The move is a reaction to the problems in Libya which is having a dramatic effect on the country’s fuel prices. The country’s motorways which now have a speed limit of 120kph will face a lowering to 110kph.

The Guardian report that the government was quick to dispel rumours that the country’s energy supply was in serious trouble.  It said that the problem was because of the closure of many oil companies in Libya which meant that the county’s national energy bill was on the rise. It was stressed that overall, Spain’s energy supply was not in danger.

[Finance & Economy Contributor]