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Guide to Sitges News December 1st, 2023

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Guide to Sitges News December 1st 2023

Sitges news December 2023: A round up of interesting articles you may have missed, with links so that you can read the originals of the ones you are interested in.

News From L’Eco de Sitges and L’Eco de Ribes

Thanks to L’Eco de Sitges for allowing us to translate and present this summary

L’Eco de Sitges has a website which includes a selection of local stories and headlines (SITGES, HORA A HORA) Full digital copies of L’Eco de Sitges can be purchased at iQuiosc.cat. Paper copies are available at newsagents, kiosks and some supermarkets

Amongst the notable Sitges stories from L’Eco de Sitges and L’Eco de Ribes over the last two weeks were the following (where there is no link, the story appeared in the full print edition) :

Sitges town hall has been fined 50,000 euros by the Catalan water authority because the town has used too much water

The ongoing investigation into alleged corruption in the town hall is, according to the paper, affecting the current administration and its plans. This is because key members of the administration are allegedly using up energy on following the case and preparing their respective defenses, rather than on creating exciting projects for Sitges.

(The alleged corruption relates to government subsidies allegedly received irregularly by two entities of the Taula d’Entitats del Tercer Sector, which is an association of organisations that work in the areas of social rights and poverty eradication. The entities allegedly received these subsidies under the government led by the independence minded parties, Junts and ERC).

The paper also reports on the seven new 22kw charging points for electric vehicles and the capture of a drug trafficking gang from various parts of Catalonia, that had been operating off the Garraf coast.

The Eco de Ribes reported on an anti-drug operation in Les Planes, and the arrival of a new manager for Sant Camil, the area’s hospital

Other Sitges News

The Ajuntament reported on the annual Sitges Awards night, which recognises people whose careers or works have contributed to the cultural life of Sitges. The awards ceremony was hosted by the mayor at the Casino Prado. The two main awards were given to:  1. Sílvia Paretas, a choreographer and teacher of physical education for the elderly, who has been director of the dance section of the Casino Prado for 25 years, and 2. Alba López, in recognition of her work as a journalist who has reinterpreted cultural heritage from a feminist perspective.

The Ajuntament also reported  on the annual review of crime in the town, which is carried out at the town hall with the various police bodies. During the meeting, the mayor cited data from RENFE, indicating a rise of 1 million train visitors to Sitges during 2023. Perhaps due to this, there was a 13.8% increase in criminal offences in the town, although 85% of these were considered as ´minor´. Most of these were related to online scams. The head of police for Garraf, José Maria Montero, stated that compared to the rest of Catalonia, Sitges was still remarkably crime free, even in this regard, and despite the increase in visitors. It is to be noted, also, that crimes against people fell by 7.7% and crimes against public order by 21.4%. Burglaries have also reduced, by a remarkable 41%. There was good news also on the road safety front, with no road fatalities in 2023. 

In not such bright news, the Ajuntament also declared a state of drought pre-emergency from 30th November, limiting the use of water to 210 litres per person per day, including all uses of water. In gardens, only a minimal amount of watering is allowed; just enough to ensure the survival of plants. Watering of lawns is prohibited. In terms of swimming pools, private pools may not be filled or topped up in any circumstances. 

Guide to Catalonia News

As for Catalan news, el nacional reports that nurses will be going on strike from 12th December. The strike will affect all nurses in public hospitals and clinics. It is in protest against perceived lack of appreciation of nurses and their profession, and especially midwives, as revealed in the new collective bargaining agreement for nurses, which includes working conditions and salaries that the nurses consider to be derisory. 

On the water crisis, Euronews reports that Barcelona may need to have drinking water shipped in by boat in the coming month

Meanwhile, the independence minded Catalan government, led by Pere Aragonès, is investing in increasing its presence around the world. As reported by Europapress, the Generalitat has proclaimed that no other government in the world, which is not the government of a state, has such an international presence (Catalonia has 21 overseas delegations, which cover 72 countries, and has just opened a new one in Seoul). The government plans to keep expanding this network, with the ostensible aim of ‘sharing ideas and dialogue with other countries, to solve global problems’

For those looking for trips to traditional Christmas markets outside Sitges, Barcelona Secreta had an interesting article featuring its top four choices. For a really rural, old fashioned experience they suggest Abeto d’Espinelves. A fun one for the kids is the Fira del Tió de Solsona, as is the Christmas market at Caldes de Montbui, which includes a famous soup of 1,600 litres. Nearer to Sitges, it recommends the chicken market at Vilafranca. For details and dates, check the article.

On a different tack, mundodeportivo, a sports page, had an out of character article recently on the most popular names for babies in Catalunya, as recorded last year (2022). For girls, the top choice was Júlia. For boys, it was Leo. Strangely, neither Montse nor Jordi made the top 10! 

 

Guide to Spain News

As for Spain, many papers reported on the rising tensions between the rest of Spain and Catalonia due to the amnesty granted to Catalan separatists by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, so that he could remain in power. 

Many papers also covered the fact that Spain seems to be defending the Palestinians rather than Israel in the latest conflict between the two peoples, although Spain insists that it is against all terrorism. Euronews investigates (in English) the history of relations between Spain and the Arab world, and its relations with Israel, and assesses the reasons for Spain’s stance, which is different from some other western countries. Related to this, euobserver reported that Israel had withdrawn its ambassador from Spain.

On the trains, Sur in English reported that electric scooters will be banned on all Renfe services in Spain from 12th December. Meanwhile, Murcia Today reported that free public transport will continue for some groups in Spain in 2024, although the precise workings for this will be up to regional governments.

Elsewhere in the press, it was all about the pros and cons of living in Spain. inews reported on a Brit who became so exhausted fighting the Spanish tax authorities, that he returned to the UK. The article also cited claims that the Spanish tax office may be presenting foreigners with strange and unreasonable demands because they know they don’t speak Spanish well. Euronews, on the other hand,  reported that many Brits in Spain become isolated and lonely once their other half passes away and their Spanish dream is left in tatters. 

But, it was not all doom and gloom. CNBC reported that the top 3 cities in the world (as well as many of the top 20) for expats to live in are all in Spain. The article cites Spain’s climate, leisure options, gastronomy, nightlife and healthcare as some of the reasons for its allure….but we knew all that already!

Here at Sitges for English Speakers, we hope you have enjoyed this overview. Don’t forget our site is packed with useful information. Looking for lawyers, plumbers, electricians, or even leg waxers, that have been recommended by our community? Wondering about which restaurants our long standing residents of Sitges rate highly? Want to know what events are coming up in the town? Looking for information on buses and trains? Want to know about renting or buying property? Or getting your TIE? Or Schools? You will find all this and more on our site. Plus, you can get updates from the site by following our public Facebook page, and you can add your voice to the Sitges conversation by joining our private Facebook community.

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