Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Tuesday's Spanish News: Spaniards Killed in Yemen; Eurocontrol and air travel; Idealista.com and housing prices; El Señor Woody Allen en Barcelona

Spanish Tourists Killed in Yemen: The top story in all the papers today was about the 7 Spaniards and 2 Yemenis killed by a suicide bomber's car bomb. The attack seemed to be aimed at tourists in general, as the car drove through a gate and into a line of tourist vehicles at the Queen of Sheba temple in Marib. This was at least the 4th terrorist attack in Yemen since 17 American sailors died and 39 were injured in a suicide attack on the US Navy ship, the USS Cole.

According to ADN, the web site of the Spanish Foreign Ministry has stated for quite some time that Yemen is a dangerous place to visit and requires maximum vigilance. The paper went on to point out, however, that the web site does not maintain a list of dangerous countries, as the British Foreign Office does. On the Spanish web site, one must first select a country and then read about it to see if there are warnings about travel there.

The Spanish tourists had arranged their trip to Yemen through the Barcelona travel agency, Banoa, which specializes in adventure travel.

In the better news department, low-cost airlines are growing in Spain: According to Eurocontrol (European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation), low cost airlines, such as Catalonia's Vueling and England's EasyJet, now control 25% of the country's market, as opposed to 16% in Europe as a whole. The organization cited the growth of business in the Spanish low cost sector at 36% since January of this year, while the major airlines only saw a 15% growth.

In the mixed news for home buyers department: According to idealista.com while Barcelona's housing prices fell 3% this past quarter (the area's first decrease since 2001), Madrid's prices remained nearly the same with an increase of o.1% and the third largest city, Valencia, saw an increase of 1.2%. Idealista cited the continued influence of the America's Cup as a reason for Valencia's increase.

Woody Allen's Summer Project 2007: That is the temporary name given to the director's next movie, set to start filming in Barcelona on Monday. At a press conference in Barcelona yesterday, El Sr. Allen, as Spanish Culture Minister Carmen Calvo referred to him, said that he was looking forward "with great, great enthusiasm" to shooting the film in the city. "I want to write a love letter to Barcelona and from Barcelona to the rest of the world," Allen said. He claimed that he wanted to depict Barcelona, "the same way I presented Manhattan to the world through my eyes."

Alan said he was also pleased to be filming for the first time in a non-English speaking country. He joked that he tried to learn Spanish when he was a child but, "the truth is I never paid much attention in class."

The film will star Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

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