Spain

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Spanish King Felipe VI in quarantine after being in contact with person tested positive for Covid-19
Spanish King Felipe VI in quarantine after being in contact with person tested positive for Covid-19
Credit: Presidencia de la República Mexicana / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

This Monday, Felipe VI began a 10-day quarantine after learning that "a person" with whom he had "close contact" on Sunday had tested positive for Covid-19, according to a statement from the King's Palace.

Before it was known that his contact on Sunday had been positive, the King presided over the meeting of the Scientific Council of the Real Instituto Elcano on Monday morning at the El Pardo Palace; the meeting was attended by its president, Emilio Lamo de Espinosa, the director, Charles Powell, the director of programmes, Maria Solanas, and experts on Latin America (Susana Malcorra), Transatlantic Relations (Robin Niblett) and the EU (Elvire Fabry), among others.

Health
Germany, US and UK could start Covid-19 vaccinations in December
Germany, US and UK could start Covid-19 vaccinations in December
Credit: unsplash.com / Daniel Schludi

The US and Europe may grant emergency authorisation for Pfizer and BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine in early December after final trial results showed a 95% success rate and no serious side effects. Moderna's vaccine has also shown a 94.5% effectiveness.

Spain has announced to begin a comprehensive vaccination programme in January and hope to cover a substantial part of the population within three months, so prime minister, Pedro Sanchez.

Regional News • Europe • Spain
Spain creates a camp for 6,000 immigrants in the Canary Islands
Spain creates a camp for 6,000 immigrants in the Canary Islands
Credit: unsplash.com / Michael Bomke

The Spanish Ministry of Migration announces the plan to urgently create refugee camps with 6,000 places on Gran Canaria, Tenerife, and Fuerteventura to accommodate the immigrants who are now spread over 17 tourist complexes.

Minister José Luis Escrivá's plan includes using Gran Canaria as a place where refugees will arrive in the style of Lesbos or Lampedusa. New arrivals are won't be transferred to the mainland but await deportation in a center set up for this purpose.

Business • Economy
Spanish bank Santander buys Wirecard's core business after bankruptcy
Spanish bank Santander buys Wirecard's core business after bankruptcy
Credit: Kaethe17 / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Wirecard's insolvency administrator Michael Jaffé has stated in a press release that they have "been able to successfully conclude the investor process for Wirecard's core business despite the most unfavorable conditions" by selling Wirecard's core business to the major Spanish bank Santander, They have acquired the European core business of the payment service provider Wirecard specifically the technology platform in Europe and all the assets necessary for it.

Regional News • Europe
Spain: Covid-19 death toll reaches 38,118 after government revises count
Spain: Covid-19 death toll reaches 38,118 after government revises count
Credit: Jernej Furman (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

After the Spanish Health Ministry revised its methodology for recording Covid-19 infections and fatalities the death toll reached 38,118, a jump from Tuesday’s unrevised 36,495.

The total Covid-19 cases now is 1,284,408, from 1,259,366 the day before.

Sports • Soccer
Josep Maria Bartomeu resigns as Barcelona president
Josep Maria Bartomeu resigns as Barcelona president
Credit: pscbarcelona (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has resigned. The bureaucracy and the open war with Messi, the bad sports results and the economic situation of the club left Bartomeu on the wire. Still, it has finally been the motion of censure, with more than 16,000 signatures, that has precipitated the resignation of the president.

Bartolomeu resignation comes three days after Barca's 3-1 home defeat to Real Madrid, and just a day after he said: "that it had not occurred to him to resign."

Regional News • Europe
Covid-19: Spanish government approves new state of alarm for the whole country
Council of Ministers of Spain
Council of Ministers of Spain

The Spanish government decreed a new state of alarm and announced a night-time curfew for the entire territory of the European nation from 11 pm to 6 am, as authorities grapple with the second wave of Covid-19. The country returns to the state of alarm seven months after the Council of Ministers on March 14 decreed it to contain the first wave of the pandemic.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said he would ask the Spanish parliament to keep the emergency mechanism in place for six months, until May 9.

Regional News • Europe • Spain
Spain Coronavirus cases surpass 1 million
Spain Coronavirus cases surpass 1 million
Credit: Banc de Sang i Teixits / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Spain is the first western European country to surpass 1 million Coronavirus cases. It has recorded 1,005,295 infections since the first case was confirmed on January 31st.

Health
Spanish Congress unanimously supports outlawing of forced sterilizations of people with intellectual disabilities
Spanish Congress unanimously supports outlawing of forced sterilizations of people with intellectual disabilities
Credit: Emnamizouni / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

In a plenary session the Spanish Congress unanimously approved a bill that seeks to reform the penal code to outlaw non-consensual sterilizations of judicially incapacitated persons. All the parliamentarians present in the House stood up and applauded the unanimous support for this initiative that will now return to the Senate for its final ratification.

With 348 votes in favor, it seeks to eliminate the second paragraph of Article 156, which currently decriminalizes non-consensual sterilizations of persons whose legal capacity has been modified when authorized by a judicial body.

Regional News • Europe
Italy reports 5,372 new Covid-19 cases
Rome during the Covid-19 lockdown
Rome during the Covid-19 lockdown Credit: Camelia.boban (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

For the first time since March 29, Italy registered more than 5,000 cases in a day with 5,372 Covid-19 infections. There were also 28 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Even with the high numbers, Italy is still recording significantly fewer daily cases than other large European countries, such as France, Spain and Britain.

Law
McAfee anti-virus creator arrested in Barcelona
McAfee anti-virus creator arrested in Barcelona
Credit: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Following an Interpol arrest warrant requested by the USA, John McAfee could now face extradition to the US and a tax evasion trial.

Regional News • Europe • Spain
53,000 Spanish flags have been placed on Valencia beach to honor the dead from Covid-19
53,000 Spanish flags have been placed on Valencia beach to honor the dead from Covid-19
Credit: Via twitter

The Spanish National Association of Victims and Affected by Coronavirus has placed 53,000 Spanish flags on the beach of Patacona de Alboraia in Valencia.

This action, "in tribute to those killed by the pandemic" of the coronavirus has generated a controversy in the city as it was not authorized and opened a new front of division between the parties on the right and left.

The signs have been placed during the early morning by volunteers from the National Association of Victims and Affected by Coronavirus (Anvac), based in Madrid, and will remain on the beach until Sunday at 19.00, as reported by this group in a statement.

Regional News • Europe • Spain
Spanish health minister orders Madrid into lockdown, city has 48 hours to comply
Spanish health minister orders Madrid into lockdown, city has 48 hours to comply
Credit: unsplash.com / seyfettin dincturk

The Minister of Health has detailed the restrictions to be followed by the Community governed by Díaz Ayuso after sending him in the early hours of the morning a ministerial order "of obligatory compliance".

Under the new regulation Madrid and cities of more than 100,000 inhabitants with an accumulated incidence of over 500 Covid-19 cases must apply new restrictions in order to slow down the pandemic. The new mobility limitations are obligatory even for the autonomous communities that voted against these. The government of Madrid is evaluating the option of appealing the order before the National Court.

Regional News • Europe • Spain
Spain updates Official State Gazette to enable work from home for 2.5 million public employees
Spain updates Official State Gazette to enable work from home for 2.5 million public employees
Credit: unsplash.com / Agnieszka Boeske

Around 2.5 million public employees will be potentially able to work from home due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The agreement reached by the Government and the main representatives of this group of workers (CSIF, CC OO and UGT) to update the Basic Statute of the Public Employee (EBEP) was published this Wednesday in the Official State Gazette (BOE).

The autonomous communities now have six months for the adaption of the new regulations.

Regional News • Europe • Spain
Spanish Supreme Court confirms the removal of Quim Torra as head of Catalonian government
Spanish Supreme Court confirms the removal of Quim Torra as head of Catalonian government
Credit: Generalitat de Catalunya / Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court has ended this Monday the mandate of Quim Torra at the head of the Generalitat de Catalunya the Government of Catalonia.

He has been removed for a crime of disobedience imposed for failing to comply with the order of the Central Electoral Board to remove, during the election campaign, a banner supporting the imprisoned supporting the imprisoned pro-independence leaders.

Health
Spain: Government warns of "serious risks" for Madrid residents without tougher restrictions
Meeting between Spanish Government and Madrid Covid 19 task force
Meeting between Spanish Government and Madrid Covid 19 task force Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

The Spanish government has warned that Madrid's residents will face "serious risk" if the city's authorities don't implement tougher Coronavirus restrictions.

Spain's Health Minister Salvador Illa said that Madrid's authorities need to "put the health of citizens first" and to control the pandemic as "there is a serious risk for inhabitants, for the neighbouring regions." Illa urged authorities to "act with determination."

Regional News • Europe • Spain
Madrid requests the "urgent" logistic intervention of the Army and the incorporation of 300 non-EU doctors

The Governing Council of the Community of Madrid has decided this Wednesday to ask the central Executive for the intervention of the Army in the region to help exercise the Covid-19 virus containment strategy.

Government spokesperson and vice-president, Ignacio Aguado, has stated that they "have decided to formally request from the Government of Spain in a meeting this Thursday urgent military logistical support for the installation of tents, testing and disinfection work in each of the basic health areas with restrictions in place".

Business • Economy
Spanish Supreme Court rules that riders for delivery companies are falsely self-employed
Spanish Supreme Court rules that riders for delivery companies are falsely self-employed
Credit: unsplash.com / Connor Houtman

The Spanish Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the riders are wage earners and are therefore now working as falsely self-employed. "The relationship between a rider and Glovo is of a labor nature," says the note issued by the Supreme Court, which adds that the company "is not a mere intermediary in the hiring of services between stores and rider"

Regional News • Europe • Spain
Spain: Prime Minister meets Madrid chief over joint Covid-19 measures
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Madrid regional premier Isabel Díaz Ayuso
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Madrid regional premier Isabel Díaz Ayuso Credit: La Moncloa

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez met Madrid regional premier Isabel Díaz Ayuso on Monday to coordinate measures against the spread of the new coronavirus, as the Madrid region has become the epicentre of the Covid-10 crisis in Spain, with more than one-third of all newly reported infections.

Sánchez stated that "Madrid needs a special plan."

The harshness of the second wave in the Community forces a change in the political climate, and the face-to-face between Pedro Sánchez and Isabel Díaz Ayuso signalled a thaw in months of frosty relations.

Business • Economy
Spain: CaixaBank and Bankia merger blessed by shareholders
Spain: CaixaBank and Bankia merger blessed by shareholders
Credit: CaixaBank

Spanish banks CaixaBank and Bankia teams agreed to a merger that would create an entity with total assets of about 665 billion. Reuters reports that sources close to the deal confirmed the main shareholders greenlight the merger, to be signed in the next few days.

The new bank would surpass Santander and BBVA in the Spanish market with a combined market share of around 30%. Both Santander and BBVA would remain bigger globally, but not in Spain.