Spain

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.

Business • Jobs & Careers
Spain: 75% of migrants are in elementary and precarious jobs, according to a Caritas report
Spain: 75% of migrants are in elementary and precarious jobs, according to a Caritas report
Credit: Caritas Spain

The Spanish Caritas has presented a report explaining that 94% of foreigners living in the country feel welcome, while 75% of them are employed in elementary and poorly paid jobs.

The Catholic organization has stressed the need to end the social and occupational segregation of this population, which is a burden for their complete inclusion. Following the report 42% of the foreign population has been in the country for at least 15 years.

Politics • European • Spain
Madrid to impose targeted lockdowns amid rising Covid-19 infections
Madrid to impose targeted lockdowns amid rising Covid-19 infections
Credit: Diario de Madrid / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Madrid, one of the worst-hit regions in Spain, will introduce targeted lockdowns and other restrictions in areas with faster spreading Covid-19 infections.

"Madrid wants to flatten the curve before the arrival of autumn and the complications that cold weather could bring," so deputy regional health chief Antonio Zapatero, adding that regional lockdowns will most likely affect southern, working-class neighbourhoods where Covid-19 infections have been rising since August.

Politics • American • South America
Spanish Foreign Minister announces support of Venezuelan elections if they are democratic
Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya
Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya Credit: International Trade Centre (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya has assured this Monday that she will support the Venezuelan elections if the requirements are met. "If there is space, however small, for elections to be held with democratic conditions, Spain will support it," she summarized in a press conference from the ministry's headquarters.

Transportation • Public, Railway & Bus Transportation
20 people injured in a bus crash in Spain as a horse runs onto the street

About 30 workers from the PSA Citröen plant in Vigo were on a bus, returning to their homes at the end of the working day when a horse walked onto the road. The bus driver tried to avoid hitting the horse without success. The vehicle overturned from the collision with the horse.

In total, twenty people were injured, including seven that had to be taken to the hospital.

Sports • Soccer
Lionel Messi stays with FC Barcelona
Lionel Messi stays with FC Barcelona
Credit: Via Twitter

The sports journalist and insider Fabrizio Romano has announced that Lionel Messi will stay with the FC Barcelona for the 2021 season as he did not want to get "into a legal dispute".

Following a quote of Messi that he published he soccer player stated that "the management of the club led by Bartomeu is a disaster".

Politics • European
Spain: Salvador Illa rules out second lockdown
Spain: Salvador Illa rules out second lockdown
Credit: Pacopac / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Even though Spain sees a surge in Coronavirus cases, Health Minister Salvador Illa rules out a second lockdown. Madrid will most likely also not be isolated, even though it currently is the most affected region.

Illa: "We’re seeing an increase in cases, but there’s no comparison with what we saw in March; the system isn’t overwhelmed. We need to take concrete measures and we are."

Sports • Soccer
PSG: Neymar, Di Maria and Paredes tested positive for Covid-19
PSG: Neymar, Di Maria and Paredes tested positive for Covid-19
Credit: Antoine Dellenbach (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

PSG announced three positive cases for Covid-19 after the tests carried out Wednesday morning, and according to the French newspaper L'Équipe, the tests were positive for Neymar, Leandro Paredes, and Angel Di Maria.

The three players have returned from vacations in Ibiza, Spain, and will observe a one-week quarantine.

Politics • European • Spain
Spain reports over 5,000 new cases per day - five times more than in July
Fernando Simón
Fernando Simón Credit: Patria De Todos (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Spanish Ministry of Health has reported 23,572 new Covid-19 cases and 83 deaths since Friday. Compared to July the daily reported new cases are almost five times higher than in July at 5,623 cases.

Law
Spain: Eight members of Spanish Legion prosecuted for covering up the death of a soldier
Spain: Eight members of Spanish Legion prosecuted for covering up the death of a soldier
Credit: Oscar en el medio (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

A military judge has tried a sergeant, a captain, two lieutenants, a corporal and three soldiers of the Spanish Legion for crimes such as concealment, disloyalty, disobedience and obstruction of justice. The Legion members had previously shot tried to cover up after the tried sergeant had shot another soldier.

In a 150-page ruling, the military judge details the accumulation of irregularities that surrounded the exercise in which 21-year-old Mallorcan Legionnaire Alejandro Jiménez Cruz lost his life, and the lies concocted to obstruct the investigation.

Sports • Soccer
Lyon win the UEFA Women's Champions League for the fifth time in a row
Lyon win the UEFA Women's Champions League for the fifth time in a row
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Lyon beat VfL Wolfsburg 3:1 on Sunday to win the UEFA Women's Champions League for an unprecedented fifth time in a row. Lyon, which has won seven of the last 10 Champions League crowns, also beat Wolfsburg in the finale in 2016 and 2018.

Eugénie Le Sommer, Saki Kumagai, and Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir scored for the French side, and Alexandra Popp scored for Wolfsburg.

Sports • Soccer
LaLiga says it will not terminate Messi if he does not pay the termination clause
LaLiga says it will not terminate Messi if he does not pay the termination clause
Credit: Lluís (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

LaLiga has stated that Lionel Messi will not be released of his contract with the FC Barcelona without paying €700 million as defined in his contract clause.

Messi has stated that he considers his contract the be expired and did not show up for the mandatory Covid-19 test of the FC Barcelona.

According to LaLiga "the contract is currently in force and has a 'termination clause' applicable in the event that Lionel Andrés Messi decides to request the unilateral early termination of the contract, carried out in accordance with article 16 of Royal Decree 1006/1985, of June 26, 1985, which regulates the special labour relationship of professional sportsmen and women".

Health
Spain: Regional Government of Andalusia allegedly ignored reports to prevent Nil virus outbreaks

The Junta de Andalucía (Regional Government of Andalusia) ignored the technical reports elaborated by the Doñana Biological Station, which is part of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), to stop the appearance of outbreaks of the West Nile virus.

The last outbreak has caused two deaths and 42 hospitalized by meningoencephalitis in Seville, eight of them in the ICU. The reports urged the Autonomous Executive to implement a program to control mosquitoes - whose bites cause the spread of the pathogen - through fumigation to kill the larvae of the insect and the modification of structures such as scuppers, in whose stagnant water they usually breed.

The scientists, who have been studying the Nile virus since 2003, presented the Andalusian Ministries of Governance, Health, Environment and Agriculture with two draft agreements with plans for surveillance, diagnosis and population control of mosquitoes, with an annual budget of between 365,000 and 500,000 euros, but none of the four departments made any move.

Sports • Soccer
Lionel Messi tells Barcelona he wants to leave
Lionel Messi display at FC Barcelona's museum
Lionel Messi display at FC Barcelona's museum Credit: Andy Parsons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Lionel Messi informed Barcelona his desire to leave the club after nearly two decades. The club confirmed to multiple outlets they received a document via burofax, a service used in Spain to urgently dispatch a document that requires proof to third parties.

Messi used a a clause in the contract that should oblige Barcelona to let him leave for free, but the divorce between Barcelona and their biggest idol could turn into a legal battle as the club stated it won’t automatically grant the Argentinean great his wishes as the club believes that the particular clause expired at the start of the summer.

Politics • European • Spain
Spanish government encourages communities to request a state of alert to contain Covid-19
Spanish government encourages communities to request a state of alert to contain Covid-19
Credit: Ministry of the Presidency. Government of Spain

The Spanish president Pedro Sánchez has announced that the Spanish communities need to be the ones to request the declaration of a state of alarm in their territory if they think they need it. He guarantees that whoever does so will have the support of the majority votes of the government.

The president has also announced the availability of 2,000 military personnel to track infections in the autonomous regions that need them.

Politics • European • Spain
Barcelona investigates possibility of an 'Amazon tax' for e-commerce giants
Barcelona investigates possibility of an 'Amazon tax' for e-commerce giants
Credit: unsplash.com / Bryan Angelo

After forcing Airbnb to remove advertisements for unlicensed tourist apartments, and trying to regulate the operations of Uber or Cabify, the spotlight is now on the big online retail operators. The City Council is considering the implementation of a tax for large companies like Amazon, which make profits in the city but do not pay taxes like local businesses. Legally it will not be easy, they admit in Ada Colau's government. The idea is to tax the use of public space which is a local competence.

The mayor explains that, from the constitutional point of view, the contribution "would be based on the use of the local public space used by the platforms to obtain an economic benefit".

Politics • European • Spain
21 immigrants travelling in boats to the Canary Islands have died

Trying to reach the Canary Islands by boat has claimed the lives of 21 migrants in less than 48 hours. In addition to the 15 bodies rescued on Wednesday from a cayuco (canoe), six other people travelling in a cayuco with 10 survivors were rescued on Thursday afternoon.

Two of the 11 living migrants were taken in a Civil Guard helicopter to a health centre, in which one of them died. The other nine travelled to the port of Arguineguín (in the south of Gran Canaria).

Politics • European • France
Spain reports 7,039 infections on Tuesday, 3,349 in last 24 hours
Fernando Simón
Fernando Simón Credit: Patria De Todos (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Spanish Health Department has notified 7,039 new infections on Thursday, 3,349 in the last 24 hours.

Fernando Simón, director of the Ministry of Health's Emergency and Health Alert Coordination Centre, stated that "at a national level we cannot say that the epidemic is out of control. Although in some specific points, we can".

Politics • European • Spain
Over 70 former ministers and senior members of two Spanish parties sign manifesto of support for the reign of Juan Carlos I
King Emeritus Juan Carlos I
King Emeritus Juan Carlos I Credit: א (Aleph) (Creative Commons Attribution 2.5)

75 former ministers and senior members of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and People's Party (PP), as well as around fifteen ambassadors, have signed a manifesto of support for King Juan Carlos, defending his presumption of innocence and recalling his legacy in these more than 40 years of democracy, the "most fruitful historical period that Spain has known in contemporary times".

Among the signatories of the document are former vice-presidents of the Government such as the socialist Alfonso Guerra; former ministers of Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD) such as Rodolfo Martín Villa or Soledad Becerril, or of the PP, such as Rafael Catalá, Jaime Mayor Oreja, Esperanza Aguirre, José Ignacio Wert or Ana Pastor, among others.

Politics • European • Spain
Spanish unions announce strike for the first days of the return to school in Madrid
Spanish unions announce strike for the first days of the return to school in Madrid
Credit: unsplash.com / Taylor Wilcox

The unions CC OO, UGT, CGT and STEM have called for a teachers strike for the first days back to the classrooms and do not rule out making it indefinite, although they hope to reach an agreement before that.

They demand "a responsible return to the classroom" and are asking the regional administration for a decrease in the ratio of students per classroom by splitting up groups in order to respect safety distances. In addition they ask for an increase of teachers, cleaning, administration, social integration and complementary service personnel and increase in nursing staff in all schools.

The four unions called for "a plan for the compensation of inequalities; measures and resources for the correction of the digital gap; an endowment of all the necessary material resources and improvement of the infrastructures"