A new law comes into force in Spain today to entitle users to know which texts will be charged at premium rates. The Code of Conduct will require providers of such services to comply with a series of rules to guarantee the rights of users of downloaded content such as games, videos, and tones, and those who send texts to competitions, draws, and radio and TV programmes. Calls to five digit numbers beginning with 25, 27, 29 and 280, assigned to charitable campaigns, will cost no more than 1.2 Euros. Five digit numbers beginning with 35, 37 and 39 will cost between 1.2 and 6READ MORE

Update: After making firm assurances at the time that a tape was in place cordoning off the area at risk on the beach, Mayor Gorrín has now given evidence to the Guardia Civil inquiry, and says that he doesn’t know whether there was such a barrier or not, and that his assurances were based on finding out after the disaster on the day from the lifeguard on duty. The mayor also suggested that his hands had been tied in respect of closing the beach prior to the tragedy since municipal technicians had not recommended such a course of action.  El Dia Other whispers coming outREAD MORE

Arona Municipality’s official Christmas programme has been unveiled, with some of the most eagerly-awaited events as follows. The full programme, in pdf format, is HERE. 3 December: 7.30 pm, performance of “Un regalo lleno de Navidad” (A present full of Christmas) by Platoon Show performed through the streets of Los Cristianos. 8.30 pm, the great switch-on of Los Cristianos’ Christmas lights. Church square. 9.15pm, inauguration of the municipal Belén (Nativity scene), with a performance by the Arona Folklore School. Los Cristianos Cultural Centre. 10 December: 5 pm, “Scandinavian night”. Opening of the Scandinavian Exhibition, with stands from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, in the mainREAD MORE

I’ve been looking for a silver lining to this cloud, but it’s very difficult to see one. The Canarian economy, although falling more slowly in the third quarter of this year, has now entered into technical deflation at a rate of -2.2%, and the Chamber of Commerce in Santa Cruz warned that it could start to fall again between now and the end of the year. Unemployment too, though stable at the moment, could rise again to reach around 28%. The stark assessment was given by the General Director of the Chamber of Commerce in Santa Cruz, Vicente Dorta, who pointed out that the CanariesREAD MORE

A shortage of lorries has meant that several areas of Arona have not had rubbish collected since last night, and it is unclear when the situation will improve since only five of the thirteen lorries available are working. The areas affected are parts of Los Cristianos and Playa de las Américas, Valle San Lorenzo, Parque la Reina, and Arona town centre. Refuse collectors say they have been telling Arona Ayuntamiento about the parlous condition of the vehicles since the beginning of last year, but that no notice was taken of the complaints. The operators say they will carry out the repairs themselves, if only theyREAD MORE

Three health services unions, Cemsatse, CCOO and UGT, have called a strike for Friday, 18 December, in protest at the reduction in Sanidad’s 2010 budget. The unions claim that thousands of workers will be affected by the cuts. Together, the three organizations represent around 75% of health sector workers, and the strike is likely to affect all health centres and hospitals in the Canaries. The unions see this as the first of a series of measures of increasing pressure, aimed at getting the Government to withdraw what it claims are the most harmful aspects of the proposed budget for 2010.  Canarias24HorasREAD MORE