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Christmas Arrives in Gran Canaria with a Sand Sculpture Nativity

Christmas Arrives in Gran Canaria with a Sand Sculpture Nativity

The Belen de Arena or Nativity Sand Sculpture was officially opened on La Canteras Beach in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria this week, and marks the 12th sand sculpture to celebrate Christmas on the island.

Twelve professional sand sculpture artists have been working hard for the last few weeks to create this open-air display on Las Canteras Beach, and have used over 2000 tons of sand, where some features reach heights of around 4 metres.

Those visiting this year’s sand sculpture Nativity will enjoy 10 biblical scenes that tell the story of Christmas that are integrated and provide an informative guide for those of all ages.

Last year it was estimated that over one and a half million people visited the sand sculpture Nativity, and it is expected that similar numbers will visit this year, and especially those from the many large cruise ships that now berth at Las Palmas Port.

This sand Nativity will remain open until 6 January, when it will be flattened and returned to beach users for sun bathing and beach games, until this time next year!

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

http://newsfromthecanaryislands.com

Remember to enter your email address for your FREE weekly online copy of 'News from the Canary Islands'

Keep up to date by joining our Facebook page: @newsfromthecanaryislands

​Binter Airlines Opens New Headquarters in Gran Canaria

Binter Airlines Opens New Headquarters in Gran Canaria

This week Binter Airlines opened its new headquarters in Telde in Gran Canaria, and Pedro Agustin del Castillo, President of Binter said “the airline has been able to sustain its growth over recent years to attain its current importance in the flight market connecting the Canary Islands, and has never stopped investing in good times and bad times.”

The inauguration of the new central offices in Telde in Gran Canaria was attended by over 500 people, including employees, suppliers, customers and representatives of the transport and tourism sector on the island.

Pedro Agustin del Castillo reported that this event has enabled the company to take stock of what it has attained in tripling its workforce over the last 15 years from 400 employees in 2002 to over 1400 today, and this includes 110 employees based at its subsidiary company in Cape Verde.

Pedro also said “Binter is rooted in Canarian society and is 100% a Canarian company with Canarian shareholders and a board of directors made up of islanders, who know the importance of flight connections in a fragmented region of seven islands.”

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

http://newsfromthecanaryislands.com

Remember to enter your email address for your FREE weekly online copy of 'News from the Canary Islands'

Keep up to date by joining our Facebook page: @newsfromthecanaryislands

​Avocado Fair in Mogan in Gran Canaria

Avocado Fair in Mogan in Gran Canaria

This week saw the third Winter Avocado Fair in Mogan, which aims to promote the importance of agriculture in the south of Gran Canaria. This year has seen reduced avocado production in this region compared with previous years due to lower levels of rainfall, but these local farmers have still produced over 5300 kilos of avocado this year.

Thirteen varieties of avocado were exhibited in Plaza Perez Galdos in Arguineguin, which were for sale at two euros, and cheaper than local shops.

This Avocado Fair not only sold avocados to those attending, but also avocado trees and special recipes that use avocado. This year this fair also included other agricultural products grown in this area that were for sale, such as oranges, papaya and mangoes.

Who knew there were 13 varieties of avocado?

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

http://newsfromthecanaryislands.com

Remember to enter your email address for your FREE weekly online copy of 'News from the Canary Islands'

Keep up to date by joining our Facebook page: @newsfromthecanaryislands

​Citizens’ Rights Agreed in Brexit Deal

Citizens’ Rights Agreed in Brexit Deal

European Commission - Press release

Brexit: European Commission recommends sufficient progress to the European Council (Article 50)

Brussels, 8 December 2017

The European Commission has today recommended to the European Council (Article 50) to conclude that sufficient progress has been made in the first phase of the Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom.

It is now for the European Council (Article 50) on 15 December 2017 to decide if sufficient progress has been made, allowing the negotiations to proceed to their second phase.

The Commission's assessment is based on a Joint Report agreed by the negotiators of the Commission and the United Kingdom Government, which was today endorsed by Prime Minister Theresa May during a meeting with President Jean-Claude Juncker.

The Commission is satisfied that sufficient progress has been achieved in each of the three priority areas of citizens' rights, the dialogue on Ireland / Northern Ireland, and the financial settlement, as set out in the European Council Guidelines of 29 April 2017. The Commission's negotiator has ensured that the life choices made by EU citizens living in the United Kingdom will be protected. The rights of EU citizens living in the United Kingdom and United Kingdom citizens in the EU27 will remain the same after the United Kingdom has left the EU. The Commission has also made sure that any administrative procedures will be cheap and simple for EU citizens in the United Kingdom.

As regards the financial settlement, the United Kingdom has agreed that commitments taken by the EU28 will be honoured by the EU28, including the United Kingdom.

With regard to the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom acknowledges the unique situation on the island of Ireland and has made significant commitments to avoid a hard border.

Full details of the Commission's assessment are available in the Commission's Communication on the State of Progress of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, said: "This is a difficult negotiation but we have now made a first breakthrough. I am satisfied with the fair deal we have reached with the United Kingdom. If the 27 Member States agree with our assessment, the European Commission and our Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier stand ready to begin work on the second phase of the negotiations immediately. I will continue to keep the European Parliament very closely involved throughout the process, as the European Parliament will have to ratify the final Withdrawal Agreement."

Michel Barnier, the European Commission's Chief Negotiator, said: "The Commission's assessment is based on the real, genuine progress made in each of our three priority areas. By agreeing on these issues, and settling the past, we can now move forward and discuss our future relationship on the basis of trust and confidence."

Next Steps: If the European Council (Article 50) considers that sufficient progress has been made, the negotiators of the European Commission and of the United Kingdom Government will begin drafting a Withdrawal Agreement based on Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union on the basis of the Joint Report and the outcome of the negotiations on other withdrawal issues. In line with the Guidelines of 29 April 2017, and once the Member States agree with the Commission's assessment, the Commission stands ready to begin work immediately on any possible transitional arrangements and to start exploratory discussions on the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom.

Background

On 29 March 2017, the United Kingdom notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union in accordance with Article 50 TEU. On 29 April 2017, the European Council (Article 50) adopted a set of political Guidelines. On 22 May 2017, the General Affairs Council (Article 50) authorised the European Commission to open negotiations with the United Kingdom and adopted directives for the negotiation (the negotiating directives).

Negotiations should be completed by autumn 2018 to allow good time for the Withdrawal Agreement to be concluded by the Council after obtaining consent of the European Parliament, and to be approved by the United Kingdom in accordance with its own procedures before 29 March 2019.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

http://newsfromthecanaryislands.com

Remember to enter your email address for your FREE weekly online copy of 'News from the Canary Islands'

Keep up to date by joining our Facebook page: @newsfromthecanaryislands


​Police Seize Suitcases with Money at Gran Canaria Airport

Police Seize Suitcases with Money at Gran Canaria Airport

Officers of the Guardia Civil report that two suitcases were seized this week at Gran Canaria Airport belonging to a foreigner, aged 45 years, who was planning to board a plane to Turkey. These suitcases contained 719,120 euros, and this individual was arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

All suitcases are scanned at the airport for security reasons, and baggage handlers became suspicious of the contents of these two suitcases that were to be loaded onto a flight to Turkey, and called the Guardia Civil to investigate.

The Guardia Civil reports that the owner of the suitcases could not prove the legitimate origin of this money, and was then arrested for suspected money laundering and financing of terrorism. Spanish law states that if individuals plan to enter or leave a local region of Spain with large amounts of cash they must declare this if it is in excess of 10,000 euros or equivalent in foreign currency, and for movements between national territories if the amount is more than 100,000 euros.

The suspect remains in police custody and awaits a court appearance.

You can find this and other news stories from the Canary Islands and Spain in the free, online 'News from the Canary Islands':

http://newsfromthecanaryislands.com

Remember to enter your email address for your FREE weekly online copy of 'News from the Canary Islands'

Keep up to date by joining our Facebook page: @newsfromthecanaryislands

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