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Tag Archive | "Tenerife News"

Dreaming of Puerto de la Cruz & a Clueless Thief in Tenerife News of the Week


Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.

The Modernisation of Puerto de la Cruz
Last week saw the great and the good of Tenerife’s political world meet in Puerto de la Cruz to announce a 10 year plan to modernise the north’s number one tourist town.
The dynamic plan includes a new port; the renovation of the Hotel Taoro; the regeneration of the Playa Martiánez area; a new bus station, a new sporting complex, the extension of the Botanical Gardens, the development of a sustainable urban mobility plan; the renovation of important colonial houses as well as improvements to San Telmo, Mirador La Paz (surely only recently improved), 34 streets, 15 plazas and 4 parks as well as a few other odds and ends.
It all sounds wonderful apart from one tiny obstacle. There isn’t actually any money to pay for the 10 year plan. Are they having a laugh? How can you seriously announce a plan that has no funding attached to it? At least how can you do it without having a red face at the time? A plan with no budget isn’t a plan at all, it’s a pipe dream.

La Laguna Leads the Way
A big round of applause for La Laguna council who have already taken steps to simplify the application for certificados de viajes which will be required to get a residents” discount when travelling from September 1st. The council have already implemented a system where Laguneros can apply for their certificado online and download it for free. Let’s hope that other ayuntamientos (councils) take note of this Tenerife municipality that has its finger on the pulse. But by the state of some of their websites that might be too much to hope for.

Where Most People live on Tenerife
Statistics supplied by the Tenerife Government show that 41.3% of residents on Tenerife live in La Laguna and Santa Cruz ““ nearly 375,000 people in all. The biggest municipality on Tenerife in geographical terms is La Orotava followed, surprisingly, by Arico. In terms of density of population, Puerto de la Cruz wins that title, mainly because it is the smallest municipality covering only 8.73 square metres.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦ a clueless thief
Last week a patrol car in Santa Cruz stopped to help a man lying in the road who was calling for help. According to the injured man he’d been the victim of a hit and run. An ambulance was called and it was confirmed that he’d suffered a double fracture of his tibia. However, the police, suspecting all was not right, investigated the area and discovered an abandoned vehicle with a broken window just 30 metres further along the road. On the front seat of the vehicle was a knife and a number of packets of cigarettes of a quite unusual brand that just so happened to be the same brand used by the ‘accident” victim. Further investigation revealed that there had been no hit and run. The ‘victim’ turned out to be the perpetrator of a number of violent crimes during the evening. Whilst trying to steal the car, he’d fallen underneath it and it had run over his leg.
Sometimes the world works in wonderfully mysterious ways or maybe the car was a distant relation of Herbie from The Love Bug.

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Bradley Wiggins & Charges to British Pensioners in Tenerife News of the Week


Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.

Tour de Tenerife
With almost impeccable timing considering the fears about visiting Tenerife roused by the fires of last week, Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France and the British media stopped writing about fires affecting tourist parks and started writing ‘active tourists head to Tenerife’. The fact that Bradley Wiggins” high altitude training on Tenerife is being held up as a factor for his success in France is a massive boost for the island and should be the catalyst for the development of an active tourism strategy by Tenerife’s Government.
There are many locations that can offer high altitude training and there are places where athletes can train in warm weather throughout the year but Tenerife’s USP is that it offers athletes a combination that other locations just can’t match. Apparently Bradley Wiggins” training regime involved sleeping at altitude and training at sea level ““ a combination which means that athletes become acclimatised to getting more oxygen into the lungs and therefore more power to the muscles without suffering the negatives of sustained training at altitude (loss of muscle power and increased risk of stress on the body). Where else can you travel from 2500 metres to sea level in less than an hour and do so in warm weather whatever the month?

British Pensioners Living on Tenerife Affected by Changes to Spanish Law
British pensioners living in Spain will now have to pay a contribution towards their prescriptions due to changes in the Spanish public healthcare system. The new system means that many pensioners will have to fork out about 10% of the cost of the prescription. However, the actual amount is dependant on personal circumstances with different rates for those with an income of less than €18,000, between €18,000 and €100,000 and over €100,000. As each autonomous region is responsible for managing the new system, the British Embassy has advised that pensioners should contact their local health service to find out exactly how it will affect them. Good luck with that. We’re predicting that “¿QUE?” will be a common answer until this one gets bedded in.

Good News for Tourism
Despite an overall drop of 2.8% in visitors so far this year, June saw an increase of 4% on 2011′s figures, with 399,605 visitors arriving on the island. On the up were British, Dutch, Scandinavians, French, Irish, visitors from eastern climes and Russians (a whopping 40% increase). On the downwards slide were Germans, Italians and Belgians. The expected drop in Spanish visitors hasn’t occurred yet and 4.3% more than last year touched down on Tenerife in June.

Bad News for Education
Tenerife’s report card should have a big ‘could do better’ scrawled across it. A Spanish survey of the level of educational achievements amongst the Canary Islands” next generation found that schoolchildren in the Canary Islands came bottom of the class (alongside the Balearics and Andalusia). The Canary Islands” Government desperately needs to get to grips with the question of education. Places with low achievers at school also tend to be places with the biggest unemployment problems according to the study. And guess who has the highest youth unemployment? Time to get out of that corner, get the head down and do some serious studying.

Punish Misinformation on Social Media
Last week’s forest fires on Tenerife highlighted the good and the bad of social media during emergencies. The good was that information was passed on to the general public much quicker than newspapers could ever dream of achieving. The bad was that there was a substantial amount of misinformation as well. However, although publishing rumours and gossip is deplorable when it causes unnecessary panic and upset, we wouldn’t go quite as far as Tenerife’s President Ricardo Melchior who suggested perpetrators of misinformation on social media channels should be punished. He was particularly incensed by an image that had been published in Germany that showed, inaccurately, there were fires in the La Orotava Valley.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦ The North Tenerife Hospital
The fact that the North Hospital at Buen Paso opened months after it was supposed to doesn’t qualify it for TIT of the week award ““ delays are par for the course on Tenerife. But the fact that it opened when it clearly isn’t ready does. Apart from the fact that it won’t be fully operational for some time and signs within the hospital are so bad that not only are people unable to tell where different departments are, they can’t even tell which is the gents and which is the ladies toilets.
Even worse than the fact that there won’t be a bus service until the end of the month is that there is currently nowhere to park. The brave souls who ‘tested’ the new hospital out found they had to park on abandoned agricultural land and negotiate a load of pot holes to get to the hospital.

A hospital without a car park… incredible. The Keystone Cops would have come across as quite organised if they’d been based on Tenerife.

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2013 Carnival Poster & Give us a Job in Tenerife News of the Week


Santa Cruz carnival poster 2013

Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.

Missing the Point
The Canarian Government has announced that the EU has authorised the public sector in the Canary Islands to favour employing or contracting only with Canarian residents. Javier González Ortiz, the Canarian Government’s Minister for Economy, Taxes and Security said this was a positive move that would help improve the prospects of Canarian residents whom he felt were victims of not only a lack of jobs but of foreign workers taking up positions in the islands.
Apart from the fact that it goes completely against EU directives, the idea of favouring job hunters and contractors because of their place of birth is ridiculous and discriminatory.
People don’t take jobs, they earn them because they have the suitable qualities, qualifications and experience for the job.
If someone doesn’t have the qualifications or the necessary qualities, here’s the not-so-secret formula ““ they need to work harder and get them. To think otherwise is to miss the point. The Canarian Government should concentrate on tackling issues such as better education and training instead of flaunting this red herring. Interestingly the authorisation (if it can be called that) is related to ‘Canarian residents” not ‘Canarios”, a point that seems to have eluded some newspapers as well as some Canarian politicians.

Possibly this official statement might help remind them what it means to be part of the EU – ‘Free movement of persons is one of the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by Community law. It is perhaps the most important right under Community law for individuals, and an essential element of European citizenship.

Thankfully opposition politicians seem to have a better understanding of EU legislation and have ridiculed what they say is a deliberate twisting of what was a communication between Brussels and the Canary Island Government.

Carnaval Poster for 2013
Although the sound of those carnival drums is a long seven months away, the biggest fiesta in Tenerife is never far from people’s minds. This week saw the unveiling of the carnival poster design for 2013 by artist Waldemar Lemanczyk from Güímar. The poster, titled Rhythm and Colour, was chosen from a field of 27 entries. There’s no mistaking the Bollywood theme for next year’s carnival with the fish adding that essential Chicharrero (the nickname for people from Santa Cruz) element. That alluring Indian look will no doubt give some people an idea for a carnival costume… especially the men.

Honey Shortage
Apparently one of the things affected by the drought on Tenerife is the production of honey. The spring/summer honey haul is only 50% of what it should be and bee-keepers fear that as much as 90% of average annual honey production will be lost by the end of the year, particularly honeys made with tajinaste and retama de Teide. Apart from being disastrous for bee-keepers it means that honey prices are likely to soar.

The Music Scene on Tenerife is Different
Whereas Sting struggled to sell 6,000 tickets on Tenerife, Latino singer Juan Luis Guerra pulled in 10,000 fans in Los Cristianos on Friday night. If you’re a fan of Latino and Spanish music, you’ll regularly get to see the biggest names from those music scenes on Tenerife. However, if it’s top British and American musicians you want to see in Tenerife a ‘sound-alike’ in Playa de las Américas is probably the closest you’ll get.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦ Coalición Canaria
Following last week’s TIT of the week award to Arona’s Mayor who was disqualified from holding public office for four and a half years, this week’s award goes to his political party, Coalición Canaria (CC). Despite the judicial ruling, the CC have backed the Mayor to stay on in his position. The party stated that whilst they respected judicial decisions, this particular one just wasn’t logical. Maybe they only respect the judicial decisions they like.
What sort of an example is that to set? The message seems to be ‘If you think any aspect of the law is illogical, simply ignore it and do your own thing’ under the ‘if it’s good enough for the goose, it’s good enough for the gander’ philosophy. Or is it more a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’?

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Sell Gomera to the Germans & Spain’s Most Popular Park in Tenerife News of the Week


Mount Teide National Park, Tenerife

Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.

The Most Popular National Park in Spain is…
…Mount Teide National Park which was visited by 2,731,484 visitors in 2011. It feels appropriate that Spain’s highest mountain sits at the top of a list of its most popular National Parks. In second place is the stunning Picos de Europa in Northern Spain whilst Lanzarote’s Timanfaya bubbled under in the hot third position. Although the figures are impressive, they’re usually compiled by statistics taken at visitor centres so the actual figures of numbers of visitors to these incredible parks are probably much higher. Anyone who’s not a Teide statistic is denying themselves the pleasure of seeing one of the true natural wonders of the world.

Sell La Gomera to the Germans
Last week saw a right juicy political bust up in Spanish politics when Pedro Muñoz, the Mayor of Toreno, called Spain’s Minister for Industry, José Manuel Soria a ‘tonto del culo’ (a foolish ass) during a radio interview about the state of coal mining in his region. Not happy with simply insulting the minister, he turned his wrath against the Canary Islands saying that there was nothing more expensive or insular in Spain than the Canary Islands before going on to suggest that giving the Canary Islands back to the Moors or selling La Gomera or El Hierro to the Germans might help Spain’s economic state.
Unsurprisingly his statements caused outrage. After he’d calmed down and thought about what he’d said, Muñoz apologized… to José Manuel Soria. Looks like he’s standing by his views on the Islas Canarias.

Sales, Sales, Sales
The summer sales period started in Tenerife this week with not very high expectations from retailers who hope that they can at least manage to match last year’s disappointing figures. The sales kicked off with a high feelgood factor thanks to Spain being the only team in Europe with any depth of talent at the moment. But the pre-crisis crazy first day of the sales is a thing of the past with retail organisations reporting a decently busy start rather than a manic shopping battlefield. Traditionally the most frenzied sales period lasts for about two weeks and then it completely tails off prompting some to call for the period to be shortened from its September end date.
Hopefully companies moaning about lack of sales will this year cotton on to the fact that you need to actually drop your prices by a decent amount for them to be really competitive.

A Poor Quality of Life in Santa Cruz
A recent survey carried out by the Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios (OCU) of 126 cities, thirty of them Spanish, revealed that Santa Cruz de Tenerife was considered to be one of the cities where people had the worst quality of life… and that was in the onion of people who actually lived there. Santa Cruz was 6th worst on the list, whereas the city at number 1 for having the worst quality of life was Las Palmas de Gran Canaria ““ the Canary Islands didn’t come out of this well at all. Parking, housing, unemployment, health, politics and cultural activities were all factors in how residents judged the quality of life in their city.
Incidentally, the place with the happiest residents in Spain was Pamplona, mainly due to people being satisfied with health services and education in their city.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Santa Cruz as it was one of the cities where residents felt the safest ““ personally I’d take that any day over having plenty of places to park the car.

Send Your Postcards in the Morning
Summer’s here and that means early closing for Tenerife’s post offices (Correos). From 1st July until the end of September, the Correos will close at 14.30 during weekdays and 13.00 on Saturdays.

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dill
Next month sees the inauguration of the ‘Garden of Ashes” at the cemetery of San Luis in La Laguna. The cemetery which is the first of its kind in the Canary Islands will have aromatic herb gardens where people can scatter the ashes of deceased loved ones in an attractively leafy and tranquil environment. Apparently the garden’s creation is to encourage people to stop scattering ashes in Tenerife’s hills and in the sea which, believe it or not, is illegal. It would be interesting to know how many people have been ‘done’ for illegally spreading ashes.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦ Arona’s Mayor
It seems that hardly a week goes by without one of Tenerife’s mayors being held to account for ‘irregular’ activities. This week it’s the turn of Arona’s José Alberto González Reverón of the Coalición Canaria party. Santa Cruz de Tenerife’s Provincial Court has ruled that he should be disqualified from holding public office for a period of four and a half years for basically putting two people in good jobs in the town hall whilst completely ignoring the legal selection process.
The mayor will appeal against the decision on the grounds that he doesn’t believe he has done anything wrong. And therein lies the frightening aspect to Tenerife’s politics. These guys honestly do not believe they are breaking any rules which means they have no understanding or grasp of the laws and code of ethics that come with being part of the European Union and that the more savvy European nations adhere to.

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Heatwave & Average Salaries in Tenerife News of the Week



Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.

The Hot Rock
Summer got off to a sizzling start on Tenerife with the arrival of a heatwave bringing temperatures of 36C to southern and eastern parts of the coast and 38C in the hills. Whilst that might sound like heaven to anyone experiencing a damp squib of a summer elsewhere, the searing temperatures prompted the AEMET, Spanish Meteorological Office, to issue an orange level weather warning (in layman’s terms that’s dangerously hot). A thick dust cloud accompanying the hike in temperatures blotted out the sun and the scenery making Tenerife somewhat of a hot, sticky and hazy holiday destination. The heatwave should burn out by Thursday with temperatures returning to a more sunbathing friendly upper 20s Centigrade.

Blue Flag and WiFi
Having lost the blue flag status in 2011 for Playa del Socorro, Los Realejos council have shown that, after regaining the blue flag this year, they are serious about holding on to it in future. A series of initiatives should make it the most hi-tech beach in the north of Tenerife. First is the installation of a new webcam, the second is the addition of a defibrillator and the third is making the beach a free wifi zone. Apparently you can even swim and sunbathe there as well.

Canary Islands Top… for Lowest Salaries
Figures released by Spain’s National Institute of Statistics revealed that workers in the Canary Islands are on the lowest average wage in the whole of Spain. Although average annual earnings are €20,983 for men and €17,601 for women, the actual wage earned by the majority of people is much lower. For Spain that figure is around €16,489 and lower in the Canary Islands. Best paid region is the Basque Country where the average is €26,593. High wage earners, as in other countries, bump up the national average with the big earners being those who work in the utilities industries where the average wage comes in at a whopping €48,803. That explains how they work out the electricity bills then.

El Hierro Rumbling Again
Is El Hierro about to experience another eruption? With 238 minor earthquakes registered in 24 hours at the beginning of the week, the signs are there that it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.

Come on Baby Light My fire
The Midsummer San Juan celebrations lit up the island on Saturday night… literally. Firemen across the island were called out to extinguish 59 fires, most in the Metropolitan area. Thankfully none were serious ““ it was just an average hot San Juan night.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦ The Counsellor for Sports in Santiago del Teide
It was red faces all round in Santiago del Teide when it was discovered that an amount of money had been transferred from council funds to the account of a private team participating in the municipality’s Carrera de Montaña Almendros y Volcanes race. The money was transferred by Santiago del Teide’s Counsellor for Sports who coincidentally happened to also be the president of the racing team whose account the money was transferred to.
Apparently it was all a big mistake caused by confusion over bank account numbers and the money has now been returned to the public purse.

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The Best Weather in the World & Cheap Travel in Tenerife News of the Week


Playa las Vistas, Los Cristianos

Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.

The Great New Canary Islands Tourist Strategy is…
…Let’s tell everyone that we have the best weather in the world. It might be true, but doesn’t everyone already know that what the Canary Islands are good for is ‘sunbathing weather’?
It seems that the strategy to deal with the threat of rival competitive tourist destinations is to remind everyone how good the weather in The Canary Islands is. But that’s not all. The strategic plan for 2012-2016 will target different sections of the tourist society, concentrating on promoting the Canary Islands to families with children, those who want to simply rest and relax and also to the more mature tourist market.
So let’s get this straight. The plan is to promote the Canary Islands in the manner they’ve been promoted since mass tourism began and to target those people that are already coming to the main islands like Tenerife in their millions. There’s nothing like innovation when it comes to devising tourist strategies… and this is nothing like innovation.

Travel is Cheap in the City
Or it will be after the release of the Bono 1 Día. The new bono, costing €4.50, allows unlimited travel on the Tranvia in the metropolitan area of Tenerife over a period of 24 hours. Although anyone will be able to buy the Bono 1 Día, it has been introduced mainly for the tourist market, especially cruise passengers. As well as being able to scoot about the city willy nilly, bono buyers will be able to take advantage of special discounts in over 800 establishments in the metropolitan area.

Speed up, Slow Down
Spanish politics can often seem confusing… or should that read Spanish politicians can often seem confused? Here’s a little example that may affect drivers in the near future. The Spanish Government has confirmed that it will be reducing the speed limit on secondary roads from 100kph to 90kph. At the same time they’re also considering raising the speed limit on the motorways from 120kph to 130kph. Reducing the speed limit on secondary roads will have nil effect on Tenerife as the limit is already only 80kph on the island.

Buenavista’s Confusing Signs
This week the Nationalist Alternative Canaria party in Buenavista del Norte raised the issue of the ludicrous signs on the Punto de Teno road, asking once and for all for a decision to be made about the road linking Buenavista del Norte with Punto de Teno. Anyone familiar with these confusing portents of doom will understand why. The signs in a variety of languages were erected six years ago to warn drivers that the road was closed because of the extreme dangers of landslide in windy or rainy conditions. First time visitors to the area would be forgiven for thinking they were about to enter the DMZ such is the severity of their war zone style warnings. In true ‘this is Tenerife’ fashion, the road has never actually been closed despite what the signs say. Let’s hope it stays that way as it leads, albeit dramatically, to a beautiful part of the island.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦ Comisión Insular de Patrimonio Histórico
For the first time the Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Canarias has overruled a political decision to demolish four houses in an historical part of Santa Cruz. The listed buildings in El Toscal, a site of cultural interest, had been given the green light for destruction by… wait for it… the Comisión Insular de Patrimonio Histórico; basically the department responsible for looking after the city’s historical buildings. The four old houses were earmarked to be replaced by new constructions that would clearly not fit in with their historic surrounds. Only in Tenerife do you find that the greatest danger to the island’s heritage comes from its custodians. It’s good to see that there are those with Tenerife’s interests at heart in a position to stop them… this time.

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Sting Cancelled & Fast and Furious 6 in Tenerife News of the Week


beach nasseur in Costa Adeje

Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.

The Fast and the Furious 6 to be Filmed on Tenerife
The internet is full of news (Spanish language sites at least) that some of the movie, Fast and Furious 6 will be shot in Tenerife ““ specifically around Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz (there’s no way they’re not going to take advantage of Tenerife’s mountain roads and the scenery in Teide National Park). The sixth in the long running series starring Vin Diesel (good name for the star of a film about cars), Paul Walker and more latterly, Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson will involve a more ambitious storyline than normal that is rumoured to spread into Fast and Furious 7 and will also see the return of sparky Michelle Rodriguez. Production on the film starts this month and, if reports are true, the cast should be screeching around Tenerife’s roads for about five weeks between July and August.

No More Beach Massages in Adeje
To some the fruit merchants, sarong selling dancers and masseurs on Costa Adeje’s beaches add a splash of colour, to others they’re just a nuisance. For anyone in the latter group, the news that Adeje Council are to take action against illegal beach masseurs will be welcomed.
The council believes that the presence of beach masseurs on Adeje’s playas don’t paint a good image of the resort to tourists. Presumably people lying on a beach sighing pleasurably as their bodies are massaged isn’t the sort of image you want to portray in a beach resort… hold on a minute.
The council also wants to spread the message that massages by unqualified masseurs can be dangerous to the health. Unfortunately, we couldn’t put our hands on actual statistics relating to how many holidaymakers picked up beach massage injuries during visits to Tenerife.

Stung by Sting
And so another high profile concert bites the dust. Following the cancellation of the Rock Coast Festival, Sting is the latest ‘big name’ to play Tenerife that won’t actually play Tenerife. The organisers say that the concert had to be suspended after demands by Sting’s representatives had bumped up the originally agreed figures by 600%.
Organisers played down the low ticket sales (6000 sold out of a possible 13000) saying they expected a late surge and that they believed most tickets would have been sold by the date of the concert.
If unreasonable demands by Sting’s entourage is the reason for the show’s cancellation then maybe it’s about time that the star picked up a newspaper to learn about the economic crisis affecting the real world.
Thankfully the music scene on Tenerife doesn’t solely rely on superstars ““ there are still plenty of mini festivals and live music concerts on Tenerife over the coming months to keep music fans” appetites sated. Keep an eye on our facebook page for details of the best.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦ Endemic Corruption
A few years ago, the findings of a financial audit in Icod de los Vinos came to the conclusion that a sum of “Missing’ money, amounting to over a million euros, could only be explained by fraud or incompetence ““ neither of which reflected well on those involved.
This week the Provisional Prosecutor for Santa Cruz suggested two year’s imprisonment and a ban from holding public office for 20 years for the mayor of the northern town because of the irregular award of lucrative building contracts without legal processes being followed. The amount that was ‘handed out” amounted to over three million euros between 2003 and 2007.
Last week the Spanish press reported that another mayor from the Canary Islands had been handed a prison sentence for similar reasons.
There are currently over 300 individual cases of suspected corruption by people in public office being investigated in Spain currently; a number of these are in the Canary Islands.
Thanks in no little part to the internet, the ability to share information quickly and more easily means we live in increasingly transparent times. The politicians who have taken advantage of ignorance in the past and who don’t realise this fact are finding that their days are numbered.

The crazy thing in Tenerife and other Canary Islands is that being found guilty of fraud whilst in public office doesn’t necessarily mean that the people won’t vote for you again next time around. So maybe it’s those voters who deserve the TIT of the week award.

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Cool Tenerife & Where Did the Tourists Go in Tenerife News of the Week


Tenerife shepherds wearinmg traditional Guanche cloaks

Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.

Britain Sizzles Whilst Tenerife Shivers
British newspaper articles at the weekend may have caused a few raised eyebrows as tabloids to the broadsheets ran identical stories about Britain basking in sunshine and 28C whilst Tenerife shivered under overcast skies and temperatures that struggled to reach 20C. For those of us on Tenerife reading the online versions of reports ““ whilst also sweating in sunny temps of around 27C ““ it seemed like a bit of meteorological spin. A photo in the Daily Mail of a lone sunbather wrapped in a towel under gloomy skies between Costa del Silencio and Los Abrigos looked as though it had to be a fake, or one taken during the winter. Except it wasn’t. A member of the Tripadvisor’s Tenerife forum confirmed that they had been holidaying in the area and reported that it “was freezing and cloudy” on Saturday. However, they also went on to say that every other day had been glorious. So although the British press didn’t paint the full picture, they weren’t faking it either.

Use Water Sensibly
After an unusually dry winter in which the island experienced less than 26% of average rainfall, the Tenerife Government has launched a campaign to urge residents of the island to use water responsibly. The “personas más sostenibles” campaign hopes to raise awareness about how important it is not to waste water whether in the home or at work. Although officials are still insisting the drought over winter won’t result in any major problems , there’s no doubt that the driest winter in 80 years will have some impact on Tenerife’s water supplies over the summer months so using agua responsibly and not wasting any makes good common sense.

Defend the Earth of our Ancestors
This week a few hundred people made a pilgrimage from Santa Cruz to the hills of La Matanza to enjoy a day of traditional Guanche themed activities organised for Asentejo 2012. The events were organised to commemorate the Guanche victory over the conquistadors and involved members of political groups who want independence for the Canary Islands. All in all it sounded like an enjoyable day with exhibitions of juego de palo (fighting with sticks), salto de pastor (jumping ravines using a long pole and silbo (the famous whistling language from La Gomera). But as the slogan for the day was ‘defend the earth of our ancestors” it would have been interesting to know how many participants were descended from Guanches and not from the conquistadors who decimated the island’s original inhabitants. The slogan ‘defend the earth of our ancestors” is a good one but it begs the question, defend it from whom? Given the constant accusations of corruption on the islands, mismanagement of taxpayers” money and acres of beautiful landscape regularly turned into concrete eyesores the obvious answer might not be one that is popular amongst the campaigners at Asentejo 2012.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦ Viewing the Tenerife Glass as Half Empty
Tourist statistics for April showing a serious decrease in visitors to Tenerife have set off alarm bells and concerns that the island is experiencing another crisis in visitor terms. But are those alarm bells ringing too soon? A drop of 13.4% of visitors from 2011 may look as though the island has gone into tourist free-fall. However, tourism minister Carlos Alonso made an excellent point when he reminded everyone that figures for 2011 were elevated spectacularly because of the Arab Spring which saw Sharm el Sheikh fans head to less volatile climes ““ i.e. Tenerife.
There’s no doubt that Spain’s economic mess and rising air fares will impact on tourist figures, making innovative and proactive tourism initiatives essential. But it also helps to remove extreme circumstances, such as the effects of the Arab Spring, from the overall picture to accurately evaluate the situation.
To put things into perspective Canarian Government statistics show that 299,988 tourists set foot on Tenerife in April 2012 as opposed to 329,433 in 2011. In 2010, however, that figure was 214,092. That’s over 28% less than this year.

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Rock Coast Festival & Cheap Weddings in Tenerife News of the Week


Guachinche in Tenerife

Stricter Rules for Guachinches
Anyone who has travelled through Tenerife’s northern parts will be familiar with the scrawled signs on trees and fences pointing the way to ‘guachinches” ““ makeshift restaurants that serve a limited selection of food and wine. Guachinches are great places to taste a slice of local culture and they possess an attractive anarchic quality; a bit like the culinary version of an illegal still. But that anarchic quality could change this year. In theory guachinches should serve a maximum of three dishes as well as wine from their own vineyard. Additionally they should just open for three months. However, it’s estimated that only 5% of guachinches on Tenerife comply. Restaurant and vineyard owners have been kicking up a fuss about losing business to these cheap and cheerful establishments, so northern municipalities have agreed to take action to enforce regulations from November. As there are hundreds, if not thousands, of guachinches dotted around Tenerife’s northern slopes, many hidden away in all sorts of odd locations, the legislation is almost impossible to implement. So guachinche fans should be able to continue to enjoy the hospitality of these unique Tenerife institutions for the foreseeable future.

Gregor, Europe’s biggest telescope
Europe’s largest solar telescope, called Gregor, was unveiled at the Teide Observatory this week. The new telescope, built by a mainly German consortium, will study solar activity and be able to track and take precise measurements of sunspots, flares and other spectacular phenomena such as coronal mass ejections which are huge bursts of solar wind that can reach a velocity of 3200 kilometres a second.

Get Married on the Cheap in the Canary Islands
Getting married in the Canary Islands won’t dent your bank balance as much as getting married anywhere else in Spain will according to a study by FUCI (Federation of Independent Users & Consumers). The average cost of a wedding in the Canary Islands is apparently around €10,500. The bride accounts for about €1500 of the cost whilst the groom comes in at a more bank balance friendly €310 – €750. The honeymoon only accounts for about €1200 per couple which seems remarkably low (in the UK it’s £3000) – maybe a lot of Canarios have their honeymoon on another Canary Island. The most expensive place in Spain to get married is, unsurprisingly, Madrid where it costs love’s young dreamers €600 more to tie the knot.

Callao Salvaje has a beach
Playa Ajabo, the new beach at Callao Salvaje, was officially opened this week, three years and 1.8 million euros after the green light to create a decent beach in the south western resort was approved.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦ The Rock Coast Festival
It would be easy to pick on LM Producciones for the Rock Coast Festival fiasco but would it be completely fair? There were possibly mistakes by the organisers, like putting tickets on sale before many of the ‘big’ international names were announced. But the cancellation last week of the biggest music festival to hit Tenerife for years highlights a more worrying problem. Despite a line-up that included Marilyn Manson, Ben Harper, Iggy Popp, The Smashing Pumpkins & Fatboy Slim, only a measly 6,000 tickets were sold. The poor ticket sales weren’t due to a lack of advertising; the Rock Coast Festival was promoted extensively on Spanish TV and even picked up by the top British newspapers.
So was the economic crisis the problem? That undoubtedly played a part. Was it because the venue was in Santa Cruz? Spanish and Latino artists regularly sell out their concerts on Tenerife. But therein also lies a possible clue to low ticket sales. On Tenerife, Spanish & Latino artists might enjoy sell-out concerts but it isn’t always the case with international names. Bruce Springsteen performed in front of an audience of around 26,000 in Gran Canaria recently, but there were still a whopping 14,000 tickets unsold. If the Canario population isn’t going to fill venues for non-Spanish speaking artists then Tenerife’s future as a serious destination for international singers and groups is bleak.
Still, we can console ourselves with the fact there will always be Maná, Bisbal and Juanes to look forward to…

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Fireworks & Bollywood in Tenerife News of the Week


Tenerife Magazine’s round up of some of the most interesting news stories of the week in Tenerife.

An Explosive Community Spirit
Those fortunate enough to have seen the wonderful annual firework display in Los Realejos on the evening of May 3 witnessed something a lot more impressive than a mind blowing pyrotechnic extravaganza; they witnessed a display of harmony (despite the fact the display has its roots in neighbourhood rivalries) and pride amongst the people of Los Realejos that deserves to be acknowledged and applauded. The whole display and the beautiful decorations on 300 of the municipality’s crosses is funded totally by residents, not a centimo comes from public funds. As soon as the display is over the fund-raising begins again to ensure the tradition continues. So if anyone passes Los Realejos way during a fundraising event try to take the opportunity to donate, it’s a wonderful and very special tradition whose publicity benefits all of Tenerife.

Bollywood Comes to Tenerife
It’s official, the theme for Santa Cruz ‘Carnaval’ 2013 will be Bollywood ““ the choice of the people. For the first time chicharreros were able to pick the theme of their carnival by voting on social media channels such as Facebook and 42% opted for what should be a perfect choice for a lively and vibrantly coloured carnival.
Santa Cruz Mayor, José Manuel Bermúdez voiced his approval for the people’s choice by saying it was particularly ‘special’ because of the sizeable Indian community in Santa Cruz who have been an important part of commerce in the city for generations. We’re with José, Bollywood is perfect for carnival and gives us an excuse to dig out Slumdog Millionaire again to check out some of those dance moves.

It’s Good to Talk
This week a small ceremony in Santa Cruz celebrated an event that changed Tenerife and the Canary Islands forever 129 years ago ““ the arrival of a telegraph cable that linked Tenerife with Cádiz providing a link with the outside world for the first time that meant news wasn’t weeks or even months old by the time it got to the islands. And where did this liberating cable come ashore? It was at Los Silos where there’s still an anonymous little hut marking the spot.

Third World or Modern Day Europe?
It seems incredible in this day and age but 2,500 residents of Puerto de la Cruz have been without drinking water for 12 days and no-one is able to say when their tap water will be given the all clear. There seem to be some inconsistencies about the cause of the contamination relating to a reservoir cover collapsing and falling into the town’s water supply. An “It’s complicated” statement from the water authorities didn’t really help clear up the mystery. The areas still affected are San Antonio, Las Aronas, Taoro and Las Dehesas. Officials say there isn’t a serious health issue otherwise the supply would have been cut off completely. But come on guys; 12 days without drinking water in Europe in 2012? It’s time to wipe out this buffoonery.

CD Tenerife on the Up?
Good news for CD Tenerife fans at last. This week the team secured a play-off spot so fingers crossed they can actually give their loyal fans something to cheer about at the end of a tumultuous season.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to”¦ Loggers in the Anagas
You’ve got one of the last remaining ancient luarisilva forests on the planet so what do you do? You chop some of it down. Well you do if you’re a complete no-brainer with no love or respect for your island and its natural beauty. Thankfully forestry agents rumbled the unofficial logging operation around the El Bufadero area of the beautiful Anaga Mountains and have put a stop to it but not before an area of 2,000 square metres was affected.

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