Have been catching up on the news this morning, and highly depressing it is too!
A recent survey in Spain has shown that 40% of children are born to single or unmarried mothers.
Electricity bills are set to go up yet again in January – this time by three per cent. This follows the recent bidding between electricity companies – which in reality are brand names who buy the supply from Iberdrola – closed with an increase of six per cent.
Around 14 million tourists have visited Andalucia during 2012, which is 2.4% less than during 2011. Hotels in Andalucia registered 39 million overnight stays during 2012, 500,000 fewer than during 2011. Hotel occupancy over the Christmas period is expected to average between 40% and 50%. There are exceptions, such as the Sierra Nevada ski resort in Granada where occupancy rates are expected to be in the region of 70%. Nationally, domestic tourism is down by 9.4% and overnight hotel stays are down by 11%.
Low night temperatures are having an inflationary effect in Almeria, Spain, to the point that the price of courgettes surpassed 1.75 Euro, reaching almost 2 Euro in some auctions. This has caught European markets by surprise, as they had not expected such a strong drop in temperatures, which has caused supply to fall by 40% this week compared to the same week last season.
During the period 2008 to 2011, one in five bars and restaurants in Andalucia have closed, according to the Department of Economic Research and Analysis of La Caixa. Andalucia remains the region in Spain with the most bars, 47,003.
About the only good news I could find was that a gang of ‘modern-day highwaymen’ who carried out a string of violent robberies on Spanish motorways have been arrested in Alicante. The five Romanians used service stations along the AP-7 to target at least 17 victims in Murcia, Alicante and Castellon.
What’s the phrase that we use at this time of year? Oh yes …… Happy New Year!