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.