Home News Spain Today – Friday 1 March 2024

Spain Today – Friday 1 March 2024

by Mark Nolan
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Spain Today - From Mark Nolan's Podcast

In today’s Spanish national news, as we enter a brand new month of March, the number of flight seats increase by 13 percent in March, millions of people benefit from train discounts, but IVA on electricity to rise to 21 percent.

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Spanish News Headlines

The total number of seats planned on international flights to Spain for the month of March 2024 reaches 8.5 million, according to data released by Turespaña. Compared to the same month in 2023, when 7.5 million were offered, the year-on-year increase is 13.6%.

Comparing the forecasts for the number of seats in March 2024 with the data recorded on the equivalent date of 2023, the good performance of the main issuing markets towards Spain continues: United Kingdom (+7.2%), Germany (+17.3%) and Italy (+21.6%).

Also noteworthy are the intense increases in Poland, which rose by 83.8%, the Czech Republic, with an increase of 53.1%, and Austria, with more than 26.3% growth.

Even though you may not have noticed your bills going down, because the price of energy at source is now less than 45 euro/MWh, the ceiling set in the Royal Decree of urgent measures to ease the cost of living, the IVA is now set to return to 21% from today. This will mean an increase of 62 euro per year on the bills of an average user.

The OCU consumer association is appealing for the Government to maintain a reduced tax rate, as they insist electricity is a basic service to which a reduced IVA should always be applied, regardless of how much it costs to produce it. Countries like Portugal or Belgium already do.

The Ministry of Transport and Sustainable Mobility highlights the success of the free Cercanías, Rodalies and conventional Media Distancia services for regular travellers, as well as the 50% discounts for Avant services, approved by the Government on December 27, 2023.

As announced by the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, Renfe has already issued more than two million free Cercanías, Rodalies and Media Distancia passes and 50% discounted Avant tickets for travel from January 1 to January 30. April 2024.

According to the data provided by the railway operator, of the total number of free multi-trip tickets issued by Renfe, more than 1.4 million correspond to tickets to travel in the different centers of Cercanías, Rodalies and Cercanías Ancho Métrico, while the Media Distancia tickets exceed 500,000.

To read these articles in full, visit SpainToday.news

Business, Markets and Statistics

The February manufacturing PMIs that will be known in Spain, Germany, France, Italy, the eurozone as a whole, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and China will be the main macro reference for this day, but the week also ends with the publication of February inflation and the evolution of employment in January in the eurozone.

Meanwhile, investors will also be attentive, in the US, to the ISM manufacturing and consumer confidence from the University of Michigan.

Back in Spain, the Institute of National Statistics (INE) publishes the occupancy survey in non-hotel tourist accommodation for January.

The Bank of Spain releases the liquidity and financing indicators of non-financial corporations and households for January, and the mortgage Euribor for February.

In the UK, we will also have the final OBR Spring Budget forecast round, and as we head towards the last budgets before a likely change in Government, the ONS also releases information on trust in Government in 2023.

Rightmove are possibly the most interesting to watch of the biggest companies publishing results today.

Things to Do Today

International Flamenco Day is celebrated in Torrevieja with a concert on 2 March. You can then take a Trip to Oz, with the kids, on 15 March, assuming you survive Peter and the Wolf on 10 March. There is also the Magical world of Disney concert on 16.

For runners, on 10 March, Elche has both as 7.2k and half marathon, Crevillente on 6 April has a 6 k race, and the Dama de Guardamar half marathon, which takes the form of both a 10k and 21k variant (10.5 and 21.1 kilometres, respectively, to be pedantic), and will take place in Guardamar del Segura on 14 April 2024.

Aircraft fans can look forward to RACEFEST, Madrid, taking place on 16 March, where the Patrulla Aguila aerobatic team from San Javier will be taking part, before showcasing their skills locally in the San Javier Airshow, taking place from 3rd-5th May – Festival Aéreo San Javier – over the playas de Santiago de la Ribera, San Javier, Murcia. They are also at the DIFAS 2024, taking place in Oviedo on 1 June, and on 15th June, the 50º Aniversario del ALA 14, in Albacete, where a competition is open to design a Eurofighter livery.

If your love of the sky means watching people jumping out of planes, then there´s good news for you too, as on 19th March – Fiestas Patronales de Puerto de Mazarrón 2024, in Murcia, sees the Patrulla Acrobática de Paracaidismo del Ejército del Aire (PAPEA) parachutists perform, and on 31st March they are at the Conmemoración de “El Encuentro” de Alcantarilla, also in Murcia, before the team head overseas in April to attend the 5th FAI World Indoor Skydiving Championship, in Macau, China.

Musically, James Blunt is back in Alicante on 19 July, as is Tom Jones on 25. Other popular groups coming to Spain in the near future include AC/DC, Depeche Mode, and Simple Minds.

A Black Music Festival is taking place in Salt until 9 March, and the Jerez Festival of Flamenco and art is on in Jerez de la Frontera also until 9 March.

Down south, the Malaga Film Festival takes place from 1 to 10 March, followed by the Granada Tango Festival from 12 to 17 March.

Fallas season is about to start, culminating in the celebrations around the middle of March, not forgetting of course we have San Jose, Spanish Father’s Day, a big event in the Spanish cultural calendar. The main fallas event is around Valencia, where this year the calendar is from 25 February to 19 March.

We must also remember that Easter is earlier this year, and one of the big draws is Elche, and in particular Palm Sunday, on account of the history of the city in relation to palm trees. A huge Palm Sunday procession takes place in the city each year.

One of the most unusual festivals takes place in the town of Mula, with the Night of the Drums, or Noche de los Tambores, where drumming begins at midnight on Holy Tuesday until 4 in the afternoon on Wednesday. Similar drum festivals take place in a few other towns too, but Mula is known as one of the best.

Another unusual celebration takes place in Jerte, usually at the end of March and beginning of April, but it depends on the weather, and therefore could be earlier this year, but it is the Cherry Trees in Blossom festival, which beholds a beauty of colour and aroma that is definitely a feast for the senses.

For more local events, pick up The Leader newspaper every Monday, and This is Torrevieja for Torrevieja events.

Local Markets

On Friday there’s are weekly market in Dolores, Jacarilla, Los Montesinos, Pilar de la Horadada, Torrellano (Elche), and Torrevieja.

On Saturday, you can get your bargains at the markets in Alicante, Almoradi, Catral, Elche, Moncayo (Guardamar), Orihuela, Playa Flamenca (Orihuela Costa), San Anton (Elche), San Fulgencio (La Marina), and Santa Pola.

And on Sunday, Algorfa (Zoco), Campoverde (Pilar de la Horadada), Corvera (Murcia), Guardamar El Limonero (Lemon Tree Road), Guardamar (N-332), Elche Mercadillo del Martínez Valero, La Aparecida (Orihuela), La Murada (Orihuela), and Pilar de la Horadada (El Toro).

The roads will of course be busy around those locations.

Traffic and Travel

There is still the ongoing protest with farmers blocking roads around the country, and so you should check the DGT traffic map (below) before you travel.

On the roads of Spain, coinciding with the weekends of the winter months, an increase in traffic is expected on the main routes, national roads, and motorways towards rest areas, second homes and mountain areas for practicing winter sports.

FRIDAY

Movements out of large urban centres and increased circulation on the main communication routes towards rest areas, second homes and mountain areas, the least favourable time being between 7 and 9 p.m.

SATURDAY

Travel out of large urban centres, many of which will be short trips to recreation and leisure areas close to large towns, as well as increased circulation on the main communication routes to rest areas, second homes and mountain areas, the busiest times being between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

SUNDAY

Movements in the entrance direction to the large urban centres along the main communication road axes that channel the entire return movement, in particular on motorways, as well as along the access roads to areas of mountain with winter sports practice, at an unfavourable time between 6 and 10 p.m.

If you are going to the mountains, remember to take snow chains (click this link to browse snow chains on Amazon). Winter tyres are also permitted. If you come across a blue circular sign showing snow chains, it is obligatory to have them fitted on your wheels before passing the sign. In accordance with Spanish Traffic Law, you are not permitted further without having them installed. It is both dangerous, and illegal.

For information and updates about driving in Spain, visit N332.es

Flight wise, with 26,500 flights scheduled across Europe, it’s not one of the busiest weekend days, but the weather will be the disruptive star of the show once again, with strong winds (and cross winds), wet runways, thunderstorms and hill snow bringing a risk of disruption to aviation operations across south and central UK.

In particular, as has been the case for a number of days now, Heathrow is looking particularly problematic, as is Gatwick.

Therefore, flights to Spain might be affected as the day continues.

There is some good news as a high pressure weather front is expected over north Africa and extending into the Iberia Peninsula, and high pressure fronts mean less turbulence and clear visibility, so a pretty good day for flying over the Mediterranean.

Industrial action on the island of Lanzarote might also have an impact on flights around the Canaries.

Missile firing is taking place in the Black Sea area from today and through the weekend, and so diversions for commercial flights will be in place.

A military exercise, HANKI-24, is taking place in Finland until Saturday, but the impact on commercial traffic is expected to be minimal.

Military exercise Joint Warrior (JW 24-1) will take place mainly within Scottish airspace, but also impacting areas in England. This exercise is part of the Steadfast Defender campaign, which will continue with the Nordic Response exercise in the first half of March. The exercise schedule is 24 Feb – 04 Mar, but the activities on the weekends will be very low.

The exercise is not expected to have much of an impact on commercial traffic, but intensive military movements are expected, especially in Scottish airspace.

Official Websites for Travel Information

Weather

Always check the weather where you are before embarking on a trip. Here are the official sources for alerts and warnings.

On This Day

2007, the Ministry of the Interior decides to apply a reduced prison sentence to the ETA prisoner Iñaki de Juana Chaos, taking into account his serious state of health, after 114 days of hunger strike.

2004, in Madrid the lowest temperature is recorded on a March day in the last 105 years: -5 °C, in El Retiro.

2004, Spanish scientists demonstrate that the oxidation caused by ecstasy (MDMA) in the neuronal membrane molecules is the cause of the brain damage that occurs in addicts.

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The post Spain Today – Friday 1 March 2024 first appeared on Mark Nolan´s Podcast.

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