Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Four suspects were in custody in Spain in the January slaying of a reputed Colombian drug trafficker

Four suspects were in custody in Spain in the January slaying of a reputed Colombian drug trafficker, authorities said.The suspects, identified only as three Colombian nationals and a Romanian, were being questioned Friday in the slaying of Leonidas Vargas, 59, who was fatally shot while being treated in the cardiology wing of Madrid's October 12th Hospital, the Spanish news agency EFE reported Saturday.Police told EFE they also seized guns, ammunition and bulletproof vests.Vargas had been arrested in Madrid in July 2006 and was awaiting trial in a cocaine-trafficking case. He had been on a list of Colombia's most wanted drug traffickers.

Mike Kerr paid nearly £200,000 as a deposit for two holiday homes on the Marbella Vista Golf is fighting to get his cash back

Mike Kerr who paid nearly £200,000 as a deposit for two holiday homes on the Costa del Sol is fighting to get his cash back after the properties were deemed illegal.
Mike Kerr, a design engineer from Knaphill, signed a contract with developer Marbella Vista Golf, which is owned by Moleón, in 2003 to build two dream properties in Elviria, near Marbella, on the southern coast of Spain.Mr Kerr has spent 6,500 Euros (more than £5,900) in legal fees so far, as well as paying a total deposit for the two properties of 200,000 Euros (around £182,000). The total cost of the two holiday homes is 642,000 Euros (more than £590,000).But his dream turned into a nightmare when the properties were branded illegal in 2005 because the developer breached the planning permission. Since then, Mr Kerr has been caught up in a succession of court hearings and legal wrangling.He said: “I wanted to make an investment and have a couple of holiday homes. The developer had planning permission for 30 town houses but built 192 apartments.”Mr Kerr explained that the planning permission was retracted so when the properties were completed, Marbella Vista Golf was then unable to obtain a licence for first occupation.He said: “If they can’t get that, we can’t officially live there or rent out the properties and they are almost impossible to sell. “I tried to get a mortgage close to completion and was told by the bank that the properties were illegal and I would have to get a solicitor.“I asked the developer to cancel the contract and return the deposit but Marbella Vista Golf refused because it considered the properties to be complete and said we should go ahead with completion.“But it was illegal so I tried to enforce the bank guarantee.”Bank guarantees from developers have been compulsory in Spain for 40 years for off-plan properties — those that have not been fully constructed at the time of purchase. The guarantees ensure that if a developer does not build on time, goes into administration or does not build at all, buyers can have their money returned. Mr Kerr said he had a guarantee with Spanish bank, Banco Popular Hipotecario (BPH). He added: “I tried to get the deposit back. We spoke to the lawyer who said we could get our deposit back but the bank said no.“You hear about developers not standing up to their side of the contract but banks issue guarantees all the time and you would expect them to honour them.”Mr Kerr and a group of people involved in disputes about five additional properties took the bank to the Court of First Instance in Madrid.He said: “We won the first time but BPH appealed to the High Court and the original result was overturned. “The bank said the properties were not illegal and were licensed. We appealed to the High Court and we lost but there were mistakes made. The court would not re-open the case but said we did not have to pay legal fees.“We went to the Supreme Court but it refused to hear the case, stating it did not deal with that type of case.“We are now taking the case to the Constitutional Court to say it was not heard properly.”As yet, a date has not been set for this hearing.He said: “I have spent a couple of hours a day on the phone and have had to pay for trips to Spain.“It absorbs the holiday as I have to attend a couple of meetings each time I visit Spain and there are the invisible costs because I am self-employed. But there are a lot of people who are a lot worse off than me and have put their whole life savings into the project.”Ruth Genda, from Leicestershire, is in the same situation as Mr Kerr. She presented a petition to the governor of the Bank of Spain, who said in an article in the Spanish newspaper El Pais that banks should be honouring guarantees.A petition has also been submitted to Prime Minister Gordon Brown asking him to intervene and help the group of British buyers.Mr Kerr has also been in touch with members of the European parliament who represent the south-east area.But he said: “They have not been able to assist us in any way. They have responded to letters but they will not get involved in individual cases.But the issue involves more than 30,000 apartments in Spain and it is in no way individual.”Speaking to the News and Mail, Víctor Francisco Sánchez, a solicitor representing the development company, denied the properties were illegal and said the licence of first occupation had been approved provisionally and was on the verge of being approved definitively.A spokesman for the bank said he was unable to talk to third parties about customers.

unnamed British man in his mid thirties has died after falling from the balcony of a hotel when he was trying to flee from the Guardia Civil.

unnamed British man in his mid thirties has died after falling from the balcony of a hotel when he was trying to flee from the Guardia Civil.The man died around 5am on Friday morning after falling from the first floor of the hotel in Guardamar, Alicante, and suffered severe head injuries. It’s thought he was trying to escape after the Guardia Civil were called because of his allegedly drunken and rowdy behaviour which had been disturbing other hotel guests.He was taken by helicopter to hospital but died shortly after.Información newspaper reports that the two British people in the room refused to open the door to the Guardia Civil when they arrived, and when the Guardia managed to gain access one of the men tried to escape over the balcony which was only three metres high.An autopsy has been carried out and the friend of the deceased has been arrested.

29 year old Romanian man who is accused of killing his 25 year old girlfriend

29 year old Romanian man who is accused of killing his 25 year old girlfriend, also Romanian, by stabbing her with a pair of scissors 33 times is facing a demand for a 20 year prison sentence from the prosecutor in Málaga.The accused told the court that he carried out the attack in a fit of jealousy after he heard she was leaving him for her boss who had promised to lift her out of poverty. His defence team says that he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time and was now very sorry for his action. The case continues.Meanwhile a 40 year old man has been arrested for beating his wife in Marbella, and using a baseball bat and knife to threaten two police who went to scene. It happened last Saturday.
And another two Málaga men, aged 32 and 44, were arrested on domestic violence charges in the city after threatening a 28 year old woman, against whom one had already a distancing order. It happened on Sunday in the ‘25 años de Paz’

Search for the body of Marta del Castillo continues today at the main rubbish tip for the city, in Alcalá de Guadaira.


Search for the body of Marta del Castillo, the 17 year old from Sevilla who is thought to have been killed on January 24, continues today at the main rubbish tip for the city, in Alcalá de Guadaira.Scientific and Judicial Police are supervising the search which has now reached the waste which was thrown away on the day concerned. Bags of rubbish are now being search by hand at the site.It comes after the self-confessed killer of Marta, Miguel Carcaño, changed his story about what he had done with the body, from throwing her into the Guadalquivir river, to placing her in a rubbish container at the end of his street.

Andalucia must must pay 100 million euros for failing to prevent the capture of young boquerones and chanquetes

Andalucia must must pay 100 million euros for failing to prevent the capture of rare fishSpain has been fined a record 100 million euros for illegal fishing off Andalucia. The massive fine has been levied after constant warnings about the illicit capture of, in particular, young boquerones and chanquetes.The European Court has ruled that Spain has continually failed to control the illegal fishing in its waters.In particular it is being punished for the regular catches of underweight and baby fish.It has failed to stop a ban of the endangered chanquete, which has been in force since 1989.A source at Spain’s fishing ministry told Diario Sur, that there were so many illegal fisherman that the price had dropped from 150 euros a kilo to just 30 euros.He estimated that up to 70 “bolicheros” as they are known head out every night from Torre del Mar, in the Axarquia alone.Over a dozen bars and restaurants in central Malaga have been denounced for selling the illegal fish.
A further 100 or more are selling the fish up the Costa del Sol.At the central fish market at Huelin inspectors found 20 kilos of chanquetes for sale, with around 25 kilos of other prohibited fish being sold just outside.Now Spain’s Ministry of Fishing is to clamp down by levying a new fine of up to 60,000 euros for the catch of more than 100 kilos of underweight fish. The smallest fine has been increased to 1000 euros for illegal fishing.It is also ordering the immediate seizure of any boats or lorries involved in the fishing or delivery of the products.Over the last month some 30 boats have been seized by members of the Guardia Civil.But, as the source, at the ministry explained: “There are lorry drivers who are driving all over Spain every day taking baby boquerones and chanquetes, who when they are stopped pay a fine and then continue doing it as it is so lucrative.”

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Marbella Town Hall has issued a statement confirming that work to demolish a home built illegally in the municipality at Golf Río Real


Marbella Town Hall has issued a statement confirming that work to demolish a home built illegally in the municipality at Golf Río Real, by the
promoter Naviro Inmobiliaria, has now started.The building, which is one of 34 at the site, lacks a municipal licence, was unoccupied, and considered impossible to include in the PGOU Urban Plan.
The demolition is being carried out by Naviro to comply with a municipal order passed on September 9 last year and has an estimated cost of 47,500 € which it must pay. Naviro is owned by the Granada businessman, José Ávila Rojas, who is himself indicted in the Malaya corruption case in the town.The PGOU first showed the plot as green land and then with the revision for public services.Another building in Lindavista Alta is in the same circumstances

Baltasar Garzon, Spain’s most famous judge, is again at the centre of the country’s political life, this time over a corruption probe


Baltasar Garzon, Spain’s most famous judge, is again at the centre of the country’s political life, this time over a corruption probe that is becoming increasingly embarrassing for the conservative opposition. Conservative spokeswoman Soraya Saenz de Santamaria has indirectly accused Garzon of acting in complicity with Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s socialists in an attempt to tarnish the reputation of her People’s Party (PP). Half a year earlier, the internationally prestigious magistrate at Madrid’s powerful National Court was forced to drop an unprecedented inquiry into human rights abuses under Spain’s 1939-75 dictator Francisco Franco Garzon, however, knows that he is admired as fervently as he is hated, and that apparent defeats often turn into partial victories, as investigations which are shelved later break new ground. Some see the controversial judge as an incorruptible fighter for universal justice, while others claim that his vanity and hunger for fame know no limits. Few, however, would dispute that the notoriety of judges like Garzon reflects a certain politicisation of Spanish courts, which handle politically sensitive matters such as corruption or terrorism.
Elegant in his sharp suits, glasses and gray hair combed backwards, Garzon, 53, hardly ever talks to the press, but seems to be always making headlines.
A list of people Garzon has investigated reads like a “Who’s Who” of the criminal world: drug lords, arms traffickers, Basque and Islamist terrorists, corrupt politicians and foreign dictators. Garzon helped to corner the militant Basque separatist group ETA by cracking down not only on the group itself, but also on related organisations, leaving the radicals increasingly isolated.
By attempting to extradite former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998, Garzon helped to launch a judicial human rights crusade in which Spanish judges have played a prominent role. Garzon has investigated alleged human rights abuses ranging from Argentina to Western Sahara, and even ordered the arrest of Osama bin Laden.
With a new probe by Garzon’s colleague Fernando Andreu into a 2002 Gaza bombing now creating tension with Israel, the government sees the judges’ human rights campaign as going too far, and plans to limit their jurisdiction mainly to cases involving Spanish citizens. While investigating human rights violations abroad, however, Spanish courts had not tackled the ones at home, and Garzon broke a taboo when launching a probe in 2008 into the alleged killings of more than 100,000 leftists during and after the 1936-39 civil war that brought Franco to power.
Prosecutors close to the conservative opposition used judicial arguments to pressure Garzon to abandon the inquiry, which could now be taken over by regional courts.
The row over Francoism paved the way for an open showdown between Garzon and the PP, after the judge named about 40 people suspects in an investigation into an alleged corruption network involving PP- governed regions and municipalities.
The party made the most of a revelation by the press that Garzon had gone on a hunting expedition with justice minister Mariano Fernandez Bermejo, accusing the two of plotting against the PP and forcing Bermejo to resign. The PP also lodged a judicial complaint against Garzon, who finally transferred part of the PP probe to other courts on Thursday, but simultaneously presented new charges against senior PP representatives including Valencian regional prime minister Francisco Camps.
Those accusing Garzon of acting out of political motives point to his brief stint with socialist politics in the early 1990s.
Garzon did, however, also pursue prime minister Felipe Gonzalez’ socialist government over the semi-official GAL death squads that killed ETA suspects in the 1980s, contributing to the end of the 14- year Gonzalez era in 2006.
Garzon’s critics slam him as a would-be politician who does a sloppy job dealing with lower-level cases, but such accusations are also tinged with envy.
Admirers point to the courage and hard work of the judge, son of a modest family from the southern region of Andalusia, who is accustomed to receiving threats and has to live surrounded by bodyguards.
“There are cases in which a judge’s life is not worth more than how much you are prepared to pay the hired assassin at hand,” Garzon wrote in his book Un Mundo Sin Miedo (A World Without Fear). Some human rights groups have proposed Garzon for the Nobel Peace Prize, but the personal cost of the judge’s brilliant career was also revealed recently, when he was hospitalised for an anxiety attack

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Princess Anne Wednesday arrived in Gibraltar on a three-day official visit that has sparked complaints from Spain

Princess Anne Wednesday arrived in Gibraltar on a three-day official visit that has sparked complaints from Spain which contests London's rule over the strategic territory.The princess flew into Gibraltar on a Royal Air Force jet for her second visit in four years to the largely self-governing British outpost which lies at the western entrance to the Mediterranean.Her programme includes a walk-about in the city centre, a tour of a British naval base headquarters and the opening of a military medical centre which carries her name and is located on the isthmus that links the Rock to the land frontier with Spain.As with previous trips by British royals to Gibraltar, the visit has met with opposition in Spain.Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Angel Lossada telephoned the British Ambassador in Madrid, Denise Holt, to express Madrid's displeasure when he was first informed of the princess' visit.Centre-right daily newspaper El Mundo called the visit "inopportune" in an editorial last month while Jose Ignacio Landaluce, a lawmaker with the conservative opposition Popular Party, blasted it as "an affront to Spain".The visit comes as Madrid steps up claims that Gibraltar does not have territorial waters because this was not specified in the 1713 treaty of Utrecht under which Spain ceded the Rock to Britain, following its capture in 1704.Britain does not agree with Spain's contention. The naval base which Princess Anne will tour on Thursday houses two armed Royal Navy patrol boats which are the first line of defence of British territorial waters around the Rock.The princess visited Gibraltar in 2004 to mark the 300th anniversary of British rule over the territory.Spain also protested in 1954 when Queen Elizabeth II made her first and only visit to Gibraltar.Zapatero administration consider the visit inopportune, and ‘wounding the sensitivity’ of the Spanish people.In particular they are upset that the Princess will be opening a military clinic, which will bear her name, while on the Rock, the Princess Royal Medical Centre, and that it is built, according to the Spanish, on the isthmus which links the Rock to the mainland, an area which Spain did not hand to the British Crown in the Treaty of Utrecht.

British journalist Selina Scott,has denied any building irregularities in the construction of her home at Andratx on Mallorca


Spanish website www.ultimahora.es reports that British journalist Selina Scott, who is best known in Spain for an interview with King Juan Carlos in 1992, has denied any building irregularities in the construction of her home at Andratx on Mallorca.
British journalist purchased undeveloped land in Andratx on Mallorca where hundreds of properties have been affectedThe judge investigating the allegations of irregularities has called the Land Ordination Director of the previous regional government on the island, Jaume Massot, the architect Jaime Burnet, and the lawyer, Jacobo Rodríguez Miranda, for what is known as piece 50 in the Andratx case which refers to Selina Scott’s property.Reports indicate she will be called to make a new statement, but has already told the National Police that she purchased the undeveloped land and handed over the construction to the Construcciones Alemany company. She said that she was given a licence for the property by the Andratx Town Hall, and then later granted permission to carry out reforms. The architect, Jaume Massot, told the court on Wednesday that if he was asked today, he would not grant a licence for the Scott dwelling.The case is just one of 68 alleged irregularities in Andratx which remain under investigation, and Selina Scott is one of the more than 200 people who have been called to declare by the investigating judge. The Mayor of Andratx, Eugenio Hidalgo was arrested in November 2006.

James “Pancake” Taylor identified as Gang Leader in Costa Drugs War

James “Pancake” Taylor was picked up by police trying to stop a violent
drugs war that has broken out on the Costa del Sol. Liverpool gangster was today behind bars in Spain after being arrested for attempted murder.James “Pancake” Taylor was picked up by police trying to stop a violent drugs war that has broken out on the Costa del Sol.The 29-year-old is also being investigated over claims he is the ringleader of a gang which has brought terror to the sunshine streets.
A leaked report to a Spanish judge over a spate of shootings says the gang is a “worldwide organisation that is dedicated mainly to drug trafficking, targeted assassinations and has a hierarchical structure among the members, almost all of whom originate in Liverpool and Manchester”.Taylor was arrested over the shooting of a Brit after a nightclub brawl last August.

Sun Village urbanisation at the foot of the La Albera Sierra in Palau-saverdera, is to be demolished after years of legal fighting

Sun Village urbanisation at the foot of the La Albera Sierra in Palau-saverdera, is to be demolished after years of legal fighting. The development has been deemed to illegal by the Catalan High Court TSJC, and owners have been given six months to knock their properties down.The local Town Hall has attacked the court’s decision to rule out any other option in the case which dates back to 2001 when the CiU Mayor, Narcís Deusedas, approved the development of 42 luxury flats on land classified as being for local facilities. Under the plan the land could hold a hotel, or even a supermarket, but not residential accommodation.Most of the property owners are foreigners, many of them British and Dutch, but only three or four families live there year round. The owners are demanding compensation of 310,000 € per property from the Town Hall, claiming the Mayor is to blame for their predicament. He’s commented that the Town Hall could not face such a high claim, and hopes that lawyer can come up with a solution.

Parents of Gary Dunne have been in Benalmadena cemetery, near Malaga, to see his coffin for the first time

Family of a builder murdered in Spain today finally got his body back after a heartbreaking three-year wait.The parents of Gary Dunne have been in Benalmadena cemetery, near Malaga, to see his coffin for the first time.The West Derby family fought a long battle over Gary's remains after the 22-year-old was killed by a machete-wielding thug on the Costa del Sol in 2006.Legal complications and complex foreign hygiene laws meant the family came up against countless hurdles to repatriate him.Today Stephen Dunne spoke from Spain and described his emotions on finally being reunited with his son.Mr Dunne said: “They pulled the coffin from a concrete wall, smashing through to get it. The lid had caved in and I gave it a quick kiss.“They transferred Gary into a new coffin.“They brought Gary out exactly on the third anniversary of his death - the coincidence was eerie.“It all happened so fast and Lesley [Gary’s mum] and Ricky [brother] couldn’t get out here in time.
“It was a huge relief to finally get Gary. But it was horrendous at the same time. I don’t mind saying I was crying and in bits.”Mr Dunne attended a court hearing on Monday when a judge formally allowed papers to be signed agreeing the release.
The family is due to land back in Manchester tomorrow.He will be taken to a Wirral funeral director ahead of his March 20 funeral at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Giususeppe U arrested Camorra bosses refer to the Spain's Mediterranean coast as "Costa Nostra" or "our coast"

The latest Italian mafia leader to be arrested was once a security guard for an Italian government minister, say Spanish police. Police in Spain said Monday they had detained a leader of the Italian mafia who was once a security guard for an Italian government minister, in the latest in a string of arrests of top mafia figures.The man, identified as 48-year-old Giususeppe U, is wanted in Italy for drug trafficking and is suspected of involvement in a 1997 murder in Rome, police said in a statement. He was arrested in the southern port of Marbella."The fugitive, an ex-state policeman in Italy and a former bodyguard to an Italian minister, is considered to be one of the main leaders of a Calabrese mafia organisation by the authorities in his country," the statement said.Police suspect he ran an international drugs trafficking operation from Morocco where he lived and where he is thought to have held meetings with other members of the mafia clan, the statement added.Since 2006 more than a dozen leaders of the Camorra and other Italian mafia groups have been arrested in Spain, the main entryway into Europe for cocaine from Latin America and hashish from North Africa.In January Spanish police arrested two Camorra bosses, Antonio Caiazzo, 50, and Francesco Simeoli, 40, as they left a restaurant at an upscale Madrid neighbourhood.The arrests have highlighted the growing menace posed by the Italian mafia in Spain.Italian journalist Roberto Saviano, the author of "Gomorra," a best-selling expose of the criminal underworld in Naples, has said several mafia clans have transferred what he termed "their most risky activities," such as drug-running, to Spain, particularly to Barcelona.
Speaking in Barcelona earlier this month, he said Camorra bosses refer to the Spain's Mediterranean coast as "Costa Nostra" or "our coast", alluding to the Sicilian mafia's "Cosa Nostra".Giususeppe U., is wanted in Italy for drug trafficking and is suspected of involvement in a 1997 murder in Rome, police said in a statement. * * * "The fugutive, an ex state policeman in Italy and a former bodyguard to an Italian minister, is considered to be one of the main leaders of a Calabrese mafia organization by the authorities in his country," the statement said. Police suspect he ran an international drugs trafficking operation from Morocco where he lived and where he is thought to have held meetings with other members of the mafia clan, the statement added.

Maxine Daniels, 60, was hit over the head with a crowbar, after a night out with friends.

Maxine Daniels, 60, was hit over the head with a crowbar, after a night out with friends. British woman has been knocked unconscious during a brutal attack in Peurto Duquesa . The author and medium, who lives in Estepona, had a brain scan after being left for dead in the popular port.Unconscious for around ten minutes she awoke to discover her handbag had been stolen, along with her passport, money, bankcards and driving licence. “Someone tripped me from behind and I was then hit over the head with something very heavy, probably a crowbar.“A couple of millimetres to the left of my temple and I would have been dead.”Daniels, from London, managed to drive around the corner to some friends, who took her to the hospital.She was told, after a brain scan, that fortunately there was no internal damage.“However, they told me I was lucky to have survived the attack,” said Maxine, who is still traumatised and having nightmares.there have been a number of other assaults in the port.According to a member of Age Concern, who has been helping Maxine get a new passport, a couple have also been attacked.The couple, who are believed to be Spanish, were attacked by an Eastern European gang of three apparently carrying a crowbar.A British man was also assaulted in the same way, after allegedly catching a glimpse of the attackers.He was so shaken by the assault he has now returned to the UK.

ski lift chair at the beginners run of the Sierra Nevada resort in Granada came away from its pulleys


A ski lift chair at the beginners run of the Sierra Nevada resort in Granada came away from its pulleys and dragged another six chairs down with it. The accident happened at 10.17, when the area was not overly busy. Nevertheless, 23 people were injured, mostly only slightly, although a 37 year old woman remains in intensive care with damage to her abdomen. The ski run was cordoned off and an investigation is under way.Three out of the 23 were seriously injured after the ski lift plunged several metres below to the ground.A ski lift malfunctioned Monday in the Sierra Nevada in southern Spain, injuring 23 people, three of them seriously, a spokesman for the ski resort where the accident happened said.The injured suffered bone fractures and bruises when the lift servicing a beginners piste snapped, sending them plunging to the ground several metres below, the spokesman for Cetursa told AFP by telephone.About a dozen of the injured were taken to hospital, including the three seriously injured who were transported by helicopter. The remaining were slightly injured and were treated at the scene.The Sierra Nevada near Granada, with peaks more than 3,000 metres (9,800 feet) high, is one of Spain's main destinations for ski fans.

Ronald B was taken to the Costa del Sol Hospital in Marbella where he was treated for serious injuries to his left eye and the area surrounding it


Ronald B. (53), a business owner from Ipswich in England, tried to help a girl in distress and came off worst. Doctors think that the tourist who has been holidaying on the Costa del Sol regularly for 15 years could lose the sight in his left eye.
Events took place last Monday in Nueva Andalucía in Marbella. The victim, Ronald B. (53) from Ipswich, had been having dinner with his wife in a Puerto Banús restaurant. The couple returned to their apartment at 9.30 p.m. and Ronald decided to have a drink in the bar downstairs while his wife went upstairs.The only people in the bar were three women and Ronald started to talk to one of them. The victim told National Police officers that while he was talking to the woman he noticed that two Englishmen "with Liverpool accents" had come into the establishment.
Ronald told the officers that these two men approached one of the women "very aggressively", but he couldn't clarify if they actually attacked or pushed her.
Ronald decided to step in. In his statement he insisted that he tried to help the girl by putting himself in the middle to try and separate them and that was when he was hit hard and lost consciousness. The next thing he knew an Irishman was helping him back to his apartment. According to Ronald's wife, who went to look for the girl to find out exactly what had happened, the girl confirmed that the two men were attacking her and Ronald had tried to defend her. The girl said that Ronald fell to the floor after being hit the first time but the attackers repeatedly kicked him in the head when he was down.Ronald was taken to the Costa del Sol Hospital in Marbella where he was treated for serious injuries to his left eye and the area surrounding it. Hospital sources explained that there is a high risk of the victim losing the sight in that eye.
It was hospital staff that informed the police of what had happened and officers from the Marbella police station went to the hospital to take a statement from the victim. Officers are now trying to identify and find Ronald's attackers.
Meanwhile Ronald's wife has left the apartment where the couple were staying and has gone to other accommodation, the location of which has not been disclosed for fear that the attackers, who she says she has been told are dangerous people related to crime, will try to find her. Her daughter, who came from Ipswich, has said that she is scared that Ronald, who has four children, might not be able to see his grandchildren again.
Ronald who was taken into to the Costa del Sol Hospital was transferred to the Hospital Civil in Malaga city to have facial tests, but his room was kept in Marbella for him to go back to for recovery. Hospital staff said that he would definitely have to have surgery and his family still don't know when they will be able to return to the UK.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Las Dunas Hotel in Estepona not paid its employees in over four months.

Las Dunas Hotel in Estepona (Costa del Sol) was not long ago considered Spain’s most expensive hotel, with some rooms costing as much as 6,000 euros per night. Today it stands on the spotlight for not having paid its employees in over four months.The Hotel Las Dunas employs over 100 employees, all of which have not been paid since November 2008, according to the president of the comittee of the company, Juan Luis Diaz.During 2007, the hotel Las Dunas became one of the most exclusive hotels in the whole of the Spanish peninsula, with its 88 suites equipped with all kinds of luxuries, its Spa, restaurants and huge variety of added services. Occupancy rates hovered around 90%.The employees have announced strikes on the 6th, 7th, 11th, and 12th March.The 110 workers at the hotel described by the El Mundo newspaper as the most expensive hotel in Spain, Las Dunas in Estepona, have gone four months without pay.The owners had promised to pay the workers last Friday, but reports indicate that this did not happen, and now the workers have announced strike action for March 6,7,11 and 12.Workers representative, Juan Luis Díaz, said they have not been paid since November, and the promise for last Friday was not met. Union CCOO claims that a combination of the crisis and bad management has led to the current situation.
The case will be heard on Wednesday in the arbitration service for the resolution of labour disputes in Andalucía, SERCLA.

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