Important Notice: 24 November 2019 - This blog and the related website 'casabill.net' will be taken down permanently over the next few months, although there is as yet no precise date for this, but is unlikely to be later than 31st March 2020. More information about this change will be added here in due course.
Note added on 11 February 2020: I have made the associated website 'casabill.net' dormant/inactive yesterday, although certain elements of it remain accessible for now (.pdf files and the like), but the whole website, and this blog, will be removed completely in the next few weeks.

'Fair and softly goes far' - Miguel de Cervantes

Friday, 31 August 2012

"Mummified" human cadaver found by British hiker near Isla Plana

A British tourist, hiking in the hills near Isla Plana, not far from Mazarrón (a popular area for hiking known as 'el Cabezo del Horno'), has discovered a human cadaver in an advanced state of decomposition and reported the matter to the Guardia Civil.

Yesterday judicial police of the Guardia Civil from Cartagena were scouring the area inch by inch for evidence. Initial findings are that the body may have lain there for several months unnoticed, despite being found in an area (the 'la rambla de Valdelentisco') used regularly by hill-walkers, and that it shows signs of violence as well as being missing a foot and part of the arm on the right side of the body. The body appears to have been 'burnt' by the sun, is without hair and in effect is almost 'mummified' and although it is not yet forensically proven it is believed to be the body of a man. The signs of violence seem to indicate several blows, as if the person may have been subjected to a beating. Samples taken from the body have been sent to the National Institute of Toxicology ('Instituto Nacional de Toxicología') to try and ascertain formally the gender and age of the body. Other lines of inquiry are to try and see whether the body may correspond to anyone on lists of persons notified as missing or whether the apparent blows on the body may have resulted from a fall.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Iberdrola cuts power from Regional Government offices for non-payment

Iberdrola, a major electricity supplier in Spain, likes its electricity to be paid for. Not unusual, I think most will agree. Yesterday it took a 4-hour power cut at several unemployment and local government offices in various parts of Murcia to get payment of overdue bills authorised by the Regional Government.

Of course it caused disruption and inconvenience to many individual citizens trying to use these public services; as I know myself (from accompanying a friend on numerous occasions to various local government offices) some specific services are located many kilometres from where users live making getting there and back both expensive and time-consuming unless there is someone (such as me) able/willing to ferry someone about by car. I expect the first reaction of many is to criticise Iberdrola for its high-handed action, but it is probable that the cash-strapped situation in which the Regional Government finds itself means it is a serial slow- or non-payer whenever it thinks it can get away with it. This is a salutary reminder, however, that in order to generate electricity, Iberdrola will be buying massive quantities of gas or diesel oil or other fuels and I imagine its own suppliers would soon cut off supplies if it did not pay up on time, so it needs electricity consumers to pay up, too - and that includes local government users.

Perhaps those citizens inconvenienced by this fiasco will remember this incident when the next regional elections come around as an occasiob to remind the regional government of its responsibility for sound financial management of its own resources and not to squander public money on grandiose fantasy projects (for example, regional airports of questionable viability, think Corvera - whose physical completion was possible only as a result of a €300 million local government guarantee and has still not become operational and with no definite indication that it ever will).

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Spain drafts law to ease liquidation of troubled banks

The Spanish government is reportedly about to pass legislation to give enhanced powers to its banking regulators (the Bank of Spain and Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring [FROB]) to intervene in troubled banks at an earlier stage, even in a bank that 'continues to meet liquidity and solvency requirements, if it is "reasonably foreseeable" that it will not continue to do so', according to a leaked draft of the legislation; the subject bank would then have 10 days to submit plans to overcome the forecast difficulty, which would be subject to FROB approval. The draft contains a number of provisions concerning the treatment of bad loans and troubled banks, as well as with the rights and liabilities of shareholders, partners and subordinated creditors, with particular impact on preference shareholders (amongst whom are many ordinary customers who were prevailed upon to invest in them).

PS/ (Added Monday 3SEP2012 20.26 BST) A scam outfit, apparently relating to computer 'liquidation' sales has attempted on several occasions to post 'marketing scam' comments here - to whoever is behind this, please don't waste your time! Your spurious comments will NEVER be published in my blog - I operate an active comment moderation policy to weed out such trash.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Mazarrón hotel occupancy around 90% first half August

According to preliminary figures released by the Concejalía de Turismo del Ayuntamiento de Mazarrón ('Mazarron Department of Tourism') hotel occupancy rates for the first half of August are around 90 per cent, with in some cases occupancy having reached 100 per cent, well up on July when average occupancy was around 60 per cent, itself helped by the regular programme of celebrations surrounding the 440th anniversary of the incorporation of Mazarrón as a city in 1572, although bookings for the remainder of August are somewhat lower than in previous years.

Most campsites are fully occupied at present and Tourist Office staff have noticed a higher proportion of non-Spanish visitors, particularly amongst French nationals, thought to be due to the lower or static prices over the past three years. All of this has helped to maintain employment levels, which the mayor describes as "pretty good" (my comment - although much of it undoubtedly of a very temporary nature to cope with the tourist influx).