Europe  Calling
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2nd May  2018
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16th May  2018
Spain has shattered its own record for weapons exports.  According to a
report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the
country sold military equipment worth €4.3 billion last year.  The rise is
part of a global increase in weapons transfers that began in the early
2000s, According to this analysis, Spain was the seventh-largest exporter
of weapons last year. Outside the European Union, which is 72.6% of
Spain’s weapons exports, the country’s biggest client was Saudi Arabia
with €270.2 million in sales.    The Spanish government denied
permission for four sales last year, including two shipments of equipment
worth €1.9 million that would have gone to Israel. A sale to China and
another one to Myanmar also failed to secure authorization.
Germany was Spain’s biggest client last year, purchasing €1.2 million
worth of weapons. Other major clients were Britain, France and Turkey.

More than in the UK two parties that have taken turns governing Spain
since 1982 are experiencing changing voter intentions. These polls show
that for the first time, the Popular Party (PP) and the Socialist Party
(PSOE) have been overtaken by Ciudadanos and Podemos.  A
Metroscopia survey conducted for THE COUNTRY in early May shows
that Ciudadanos would be the clear winner if national elections were held
today, with 29.1% of the vote. Second place would go to Podemos in an
alliance between other leftist parties, with 19.8%. Support for the PP
would slip to 19.5%, while the PSOE would come in with 19% of the vote

Catalonia has a new premier after nearly five months of political
deadlock. Quim Torra, who was handpicked by Carles Puigdemont as his
successor, was voted in at the second session of the investiture debate
after failing to secure an absolute majority on Saturday.   In Monday's
morning debate, Torra insisted that his words are aimed at all 7.5 million
Catalans, and claimed that “it is possible to find common ground.” He is
viewed as a radical separatist.

A BRITISH man on the run for armed robbery has been held on the Costa
del Sol.    He is known to have at least 75 false identities
The unnamed suspect was detained in Marbella on a European Arrest
Warrant after being stopped by a Spanish National Police patrol just after
2am...... when he handed over his fake identification and it became clear
that he was being hunted by UK investigators after being accused of
raiding a series of armoured vehicles plus possession of illegal weapons
and explosives before going on the run.    He was cuffed and charged
with presenting false documents on the spot. He reportedly offered €500
to the officers if they let him go, resulting in an additional bribery rap.

A MAN has been shot dead outside a church in Marbella, after attending
the communion of one of his children.  David Avila Ramos was outside
the Virgen del Rocio church in San Pedro de Alcantara at around 1.50pm
when several shots were fired at him in his car from a drive-by
motorcyclist.According to reports the 36-year-old was the owner of a gym
and a beach bar in San Pedro. A “settling of debts” has been raised as a
possible motive for the attack.

THE Valencian government has announced plans to only allow holiday
rentals in ground floor and first floor properties- This could well affect
visitors looking for penthouses with stunning panoramic views of the city.
Last week that it was announced that Palma in Mallorca is to ban all
holiday rental apartments in the city and Venice has created locals-only
zones, So Valencia is the next Spanish city to impose restrictions on
holiday lets.  Proposed new regulations will forbid all properties being
rented out to tourists that are not on the ground floor or first floor of any
apartment building.  This is a move that appears to appease the growing
anti-tourism unrest among residents in tourist destinations such as
Venice, Barcelona, Palma and now Valencia.   The proposed plan aims to
promote harmony and reduce the impact on the daily lives of residents in
apartment blocks.............

The city of Valencia is the third most visited city in Spain. It is an
appealing holiday destination for both city breaks as well as beach
holidays due to it seaside location offering amazing stretches of sandy
beaches.  The stunning harbour hosted the America’s Cup in 2009 and
its cultural attractions such as the Science and Arts City with its
phenomenal infrastructure celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
With more than 60 number of flights weekly to Valencia airport from
London, the number of international visitors to the city has grown to 3.3
million last year breaking previous records.

The UK seems hypnotised by the impending Royal Wedding and the non
attendance of the bride's father.. Specialist teams spent the night
constructing anti-vehicle barriers before tens of thousands of spectators
flock to the Berkshire town. Workers installed the huge metal and
concrete barricades which protect against possible terrorist vehicle
attacks. Police have already been rifling through bins, searching drains
and manhole covers with sniffer dogs in the run up to Saturday's event  
Photographs taken overnight showed extra security measures being put
in place as the threat of a terror attack remains 'high.' Also spotted on the
streets of Windsor are a number of rough sleepers. Four months ago
council leader Simon Dudley demanded police use legal powers to
remove them before the wedding.

A prison pharmacist who bombarded an inmate with X-rated texts praising
his ‘huge manhood’ has been struck off.  Jennifer Harrison, 38, promised
the prisoner she would be waiting at the gates of HMP Lindholme in
Doncaster when he was released.  The convict, referred to only as
patient A, received 105 sexts from Harrison in just nine days, the
disciplinary hearing was told.

A group of around 50 residents leapt into action after a break-in on their
street in Walsall, West Midlands on Saturday afternoon. Locals sealed off
the ends of the streets before a suspect was arrested in scenes one
bystander compared to TV action show The A-Team. One resident, who
witnessed the whole arrest, said: I was amazed how the local community
were so quick to help each other, it's not something you see a lot these
days.'

Sky's senior statesman pundit Graeme Souness  walked off the set in a
huff at the end of Liverpool's 4-0 win over Brighton in anger at the way
the production team had handled his input. It is believed perfectionist
Souness felt he had been cut off a number of times while he was still
making a point and was annoyed enough to leave with half an hour of the
programme to run. As he left Souness was heard to say: 'I don't need
this. That's four times today you have shut me up.'