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

Carnaval is Coming and the Harbingers of Doom are on the Roam
Carnaval in Santa Cruz increasingly seems to come with a doom and gloom addendum. A couple of years ago it was some residents acting as party poopers, this week Tenerife’s president, Ricardo Melchior warned of potential deaths during carnaval if the island’s security forces don’t step up patrols when the late night trams are running. He’s concerned that drunken revellers could cross tracks without looking or fall in front of oncoming trams etc and is urging the security forces to be more vigilant during Tenerife’s biggest party of the year. At present the government is waiting for a response.
However, if the security forces don’t come up with a satisfactory plan for policing the late trams the president is threatening to put a halt to them.
It’s sensible to seek to improve safety, but stopping late night tram services could prove counter productive. Having no trams may force alcohol soaked revellers back on to the roads, creating a solution worse than the perceived problem”¦especially considering there haven’t actually been any tram tragedies during carnaval.

The Endangered Lizard that Doesn’t Exist

Tenerife’s president also fired off a broadside at environmental group Ben Magec-Ecologistas en Acción who he terms “˜ecological guerrillas’. The environmental group have played a major role in trying to prevent the building of the controversial Granadilla port. On Saturday Ben Magec campaigned in the capital Santa Cruz unravelling a huge map to show the support they were receiving from all over the world in their fight to protect endangered species in the area where the port is being built. Their protected species list included a scarab beetle and a particular type of lizard. What rattled the president’s cage about this was that he insists there aren’t any of these endangered lizards in that part of Granadilla. Unfortunately we don’t have a description of this lizard who may or may not be a fictional character.

Achoo it’s the Flu
Despite having a climate renowned for being beneficial to health, the Canary Islands are currently topping the league of numbers of outbreaks of flu across Spain. For the whole of Spain the average figure is around 18 per 100,000 people (lower than normal for this time of year), but in the Canary Islands it rises to nearly 103 per 100,000.
There’s no explanation why it’s so high in the Canaries. One possible reason could be that as they welcome tourists from all over northern Europe, there could be more cases of influenza being brought into the region than in other locations that are less popular with tourists”¦except that the same might be expected in the Balearics where the rate is only around 9 per 100,000. Incidentally the rates in England are only 7.6 whilst in Scotland it’s a bit higher at 39.4. Maybe it’s just that the Canarios are so used to breathing pure air that they’re more susceptible to viruses, like the Guanche before them.

Tenerife’s First Eco Cultural Centre

A round of applause for Tegueste council in demonstrating innovation and environmental awareness when building a new sustainable cultural centre in the El Lomo district of the municipality.
The new centre which was officially opened at the weekend is almost entirely constructed out of wood to blend in with its rural setting and with a design that makes the most out of natural lighting. Energy to heat water comes from solar thermal panels and the centre even has its own plant for treating wastewater which is reused to irrigate the gardens. You could say that all the residents who use it will be able to truthfully say that they’ve had a hand, of sorts, in keeping the garden blooming lovely.

Ice Cold in Tenerife

Anyone who’s been in Santa Cruz during the festive season will know that the city has a wonderful Christmassy feel to it at this time of year. The White Christmas ambience will have visitors to the capital humming dated Xmas classics with even more gusto this year thanks to plans to turn the huge pool in Plaza España into an ice rink. The rink will be open from 10am to 10pm daily for romantics to skate around arm in arm from the 3rd December until the 10th January. Further good news is that there will be medical personnel on hand for those of us who possess two left feet.

And finally the TIT (This Is Tenerife) of the week award goes to Tenerife’s Ayuntamientos for not paying their electric bills.
Tenerife companies paying outstanding bills on anything close to time is a bit of a standing joke, but it’s no wonder that a más o menos approach to settling debts is endemic when you consider the example set by our politicians. The electrical company Endesa has threatened to cut-off electrical supplies to municipal offices and buildings in seventeen councils across the Canary Islands for non-payment of outstanding bills. On Tenerife these councils include Puerto de la Cruz, La Guancha, La Matanza, El Tanque and La Laguna.
The economic crisis is being used as an excuse for many problems, but there comes a point when more and more children are without teachers, rubbish is piling up on the streets of towns and some councils aren’t paying contracted employees let alone their utility bills that the question arises ““ how much of this is as a result of economic crisis and how much is down to inefficiency and mismanagement?