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Posts Tagged ‘Spanish’

Spanish unions protest retirement reform

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2010 at 7:57 am

Tens of thousands of Spanish workers staged strikes in 40 cities Saturday to protest state plans to up the retirement age to slash public deficit, the highest in the eurozone after Greece and Ireland.

The strikers gathered in central Madrid carrying red flags and holding placards such as “No to retirement at 67”, police said giving the estimates, adding they were essentially from the main UGT and CCOO unions.

“It’s a direct attack on the rights of workers, who have already suffered in the crisis for two years,” said Juan Carlos Caceres, a railway union leader.

A boy holds a placard reading, No to retirement at 67 during a rally in Madrid

Raising the retirement age “makes no sense because there is a very high level of youth unemployment,” said Maria Eugenia Marcos, an unemployed telecommunications worker.

However, the 56-year-old said the protests against the reforms were “weak” as many people realised that something needed to be done safeguard future pension pots.

The government aims to trim the public deficit from 11.1 percent of annual output last year to 6.0 percent in 2011 and three percent, the European Union limit, in 2013.

Ignacio Fernandez Toxo, the leader of the CCOO syndicate, threatened a repeat of a September 29 general strike in January when Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero unveils reforms which will see the retirement age increase by two years.

Zapatero reiterated his commitment to the reforms on the sidelines of a European Union summit on Friday, and his cabinet is expected to approve the measures on January 28.

Zapatero’s Socialists struck a deal on Wednesday with the conservative opposition on changes to the way pensions are calculated, although there is as yet no agreement on raising the retirement age.

The reforms are part of plans to soothe market fears that Spain could be dragged under by the tide of debt that has already drowned Greece and Ireland.

Adding to the concern over the nation’s finances and the potential implications for the eurozone, public debt rose to a 10-year high in the third quarter while bad bank loans struck a 14-year-high.

Source: SGGP

Spanish firms visit to scout investment opportunities

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2010 at 3:20 pm

State President receives Spanish businesses

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2010 at 5:38 pm

State President receives Spanish businesses

QĐND – Monday, October 25, 2010, 20:39 (GMT+7)

State President Nguyen Minh Triet on October 25 received the leaders of two Spanish economic groups in Hanoi, DEFEX and ACCIONA.

President Triet praised the two groups’ involvement in mining and building the Ke Ga deep-water harbour in the southern province of Binh Thuan in cooperation with the Vietnam Coal and Minerals Group (VinaCoal) and a digital television service with the An Vien Joint Stock Company.

He stressed that Vietnam during its socio-economic development process needs assistance from the international community, including economic groups.

He said that he hoped DEFEX and ACCIONA would expand their investment in Vietnam and spread the word about Vietnam ’s potential to other Spanish businesses.

The President expressed his satisfaction at the development of Vietnamese-Spanish relations, which can be seen in the common views held by both countries in the world arena, as well as their wish to expand cooperation.

He suggested that both countries lift cooperation in economics, trade, investment, science and technology and culture to match their “strategic partnership”.

President Triet also praised the contributions made by Spanish Ambassador Fernando Curcio Ruigomez in bringing Vietnam and Spain closer together.

The Ambassador said that President Triet’s visit to Spain in late 2009 had strengthened ties between both countries and one of the outcomes was the new DEFEX and An Vien digital television service.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Sevilla stun Barca in Spanish Super Cup first leg

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2010 at 11:22 am

Sevilla came back from one goal down to defeat league champions Barcelona 3-1 in the Spanish Super Cup first leg on Saturday.

Swedish international Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave Barca the lead after 20 minutes after being set-up by Maxwell.

Sevilla’s forward Frederic Kanoute celebrates after scoring against Barcelona during a Super Cup football match at Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in SevilleBut Sevilla dominated the second half with Brazilian striker Luis Fabiano equalising with a fierce drive just after the hour mark.

Lionel Messi replaced Ibrahimovic, but the great Argentine was upstaged by Mali veteran Freddie Kanoute whose two goals gave Sevilla the advantage ahead of next Saturday’s second leg.

He put his team ahead in the 74th minute when he slipped the ball past Ruben Mino in the Barcelona goal following a long ball from Negredo.

Kanoute added the third in the 83rd minute with a header from a cross by Diego Perotti.

Source: SGGP

Spanish minister confident over stress tests

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 11:25 am

MADRID, July 20, 2010 (AFP) – Spain’s finance minister forecast on Tuesday that the European banking ‘stress test’ results to be released this week would show that Spain’s financial system is solid.

The European Union is releasing the results of the tests of the strength of Europe’s leading banks on Friday and much focus will be put on the details of banks in Spain, as well as Greece and other nations with high debt levels.

“When all the figures are known, we will see that the truth is that our financial system is solid and ready to face the future,” Finance Minister Elena Salgado told Spanish National Radio (RNE).

Salgado said the Spanish results would include the major traditional banks and regional lending institutions that were recently reorganised. She said the results would be released in all “transparency”.

Major banks such as Santander and BBVA are believed to have ridden out the international financial crisis in good shape but many regional institutions have been merged in recent weeks because of financial difficulties.

Salgado said the reorganisation has brought “strength and solvency”.

The results of stress tests to assess a lender’s capacity to withstand economic or financial upheaval will be released Friday at 1600 GMT, the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS) said on Monday.

The committee, charged by the European Commission to oversee publication of the tests, will release overall results after the closure of European stock markets on its website.

Source: SGGP

Party turns to horror as Spanish train slams revellers

In Uncategorized on June 25, 2010 at 4:50 am

CASTELLDEFELS, Spain, June 24, 2010 (AFP) – “In three seconds there were bodies everywhere,” said Marcelo Carmona, who watched helplessly as an express train ploughed into revellers crossing a railway track in northeastern Spain, killing 13.

Carmona was one of hundreds of people who had arrived at Castelldefels, a town of some 63,000 people just south of Barcelona, on a local train just before midnight to attend the annual San Juan festivities at its beach.

Women cry outside the Legal Medicine Institute of Barcelona where the bodies of the victims of a train crash were sent for identification on June 24, 2010. AFP

He said the youths who packed the train were “euphoric” at the prospect of the bonfires, fireworks and dancing traditionally held on the sands by the little station to celebrate the start of summer.

“When the doors opened, I stayed behind with my family. The younger ones headed for an underpass but it is very narrow and it immediately became full,” Carmona, a Bolivian, told reporters at the site of the accident.

“A wave of passengers crossed the tracks by foot. Then a train arrived at great speed. It made several warning sounds,” he added.

The passenger train, travelling from the southeastern city of Alicante to Barcelona, struck a group of some 30 people caught in the middle of the track.

“Everyone was screaming and crying, they were in a state of shock,” said Carmona.

Amateur video images taken right after the accident broadcast on Spanish television showed a young man carrying an injured woman to one of the dozens of ambulances which had raced to the scene.

Small groups of youngsters embraced, their clothes lit up by the flashing lights of the vehicles of emergency services. Some wept or held their hands to their heads as they looked at the bodies strewn around them.

Castelldefels mayor Joan Sau said a footbridge over the tracks was closed in October due to remodelling works at the train station and it was replaced by the underground passageway.

Some witnesses said many people were unsure how to get across the tracks when they found the entrance to the footbridge closed.

“We were disoriented, we did not know which exit to take, where to go. There were a lot of people,” said Candy Carmona who arrived at Castelldefels with a group of friends on the same commuter train as the victims.

Claudio Lucero, the Chilean owner of a small supermarket located just in front of the station, said the express train did not sound its warning siren “until the last moment.”

“Last night, all the trains were packed and there were people everywhere on the platform. Having seen that at previous stations, the driver could have travelled a bit slower,” he added.

State-owned rail network Renfe said the train which struck the passengers was travelling below the recommended speed when it passed through the station.

A human body and some body parts were still visible on the tracks hours after the accident amid dozens of police, medics, firefighters and Red Cross workers.

Teams of forensic workers scoured the tracks for body parts. Officials said the task of identifying the victims is expected to be complicated because the bodies were smashed to pieces by the force of the impact.

The remains were taken in 20 sacks to a medical institute in Barcelona, where their loved ones gathered in the afternoon.

“I’m sad for my son’s friend who’s inside,” said Yolanda Flores, an Ecuadorian woman whose two children narrowly escaped the accident.

“His mother is looking for him everywhere in the hospitals. She doesn’t want to believe that he is here with the other bodies.”

Lucero, the owner of the supermarket at the train station, questioned the attitude of the police at the scene before the accident.

“Several hours before, they stopped kids who were crossing the tracks on foot. Rather than dissuading them, they frisked them. They seemed to be more interested in seeing what they had in their knapsacks,” he said.

Source: SGGP

Europe clamps down on debt in bid to banish Spanish blues

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 4:27 am

 Europe clamped down on debt on Thursday with decisions to sanction countries that overspend, to publish banks’ solvency levels and introduce a new bank levy in a bid to banish dark clouds over Spain.

The 27 leaders laid foundations for cross-border EU economic governance, especially across the troubled eurozone, as Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero slammed “unfounded rumours” about bailouts and bust balance sheets.

European Union president Herman Van Rompuy said that “stricter supervision of budgets and competitiveness,” with both “preventive and corrective” measures, “may seem a small step, but will prove a leap forward”.

From L: Spain’s President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, European Council president Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso give the closing press conference of an European Council gathering EU’s heads of state in Brussels.

He added that a move to police the “overall sustainability” of debt, widening the focus of surveillance, covered “a lot of parameters including private debt”, meaning banks and household borrowings as well as public deficits.

But differences remained on how far to go in the creation of new penalties, intended for application after Van Rompuy produces a definitive report on economic governance in October.

These will apply only to those countries that share the euro currency, and are likely to steer clear of withdrawing voting rights from the worst offenders for fear of opening a Pandora’s box in treaty change negotiations.

“We already have the solutions and the measures needed,” said Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, pointing out that existing sanctions have never been used.

The decisions were taken after Madrid successfully auctioned off a major tranche of its sovereign debt, at only moderately higher interest rates.

“There is nothing better than transparency to demonstrate solvency,” Zapatero said in order to “leave all these unfounded rumours behind”.

International Monetary Fund chief Dominque Strauss-Kahn will visit Zapatero in Madrid on Friday, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy leading widespread expressions of support by insisting there was “no problem” with Spain’s finances, after strong demand for government bonds at auction.

Spain led the way with a decision on Wednesday to publish the results of “stress tests” on its banks that fellow leaders followed.

The assembled leaders also agreed to introduce a system of bank levies, although London insisted it would only ever function as a collection of coordinated national taxes, and not to prop up ailing eurozone banks.

New British Prime Minister David Cameron, at his first EU summit, said Downing Street would announce its own bank levy in an emergency budget due on Tuesday.

“We don’t want to have some sort of European-determined bank levy with a specific use of the funds,” he said.

By the time specific changes come in next year, Estonia will have become the 17th country to switch to the euro, after a green light was also given to their entry on January 1.

Ballooning debt levels in countries such as Greece, which recently required a 110-billion euro bailout from the EU and the IMF, have pushed leaders to think more of the effect of their decisions on their neighbours.

Berlin and Paris also wanted to see a tax on financial transactions proposed at a G20 summit in Toronto, but unlike the bank levies, which the EU will put to G20 leaders as a bloc-wide proposal in Canada next weekend, this idea will only be taken forward for discussion.

As a senior EU official said, a transaction tax is “in the pipeline, but I wouldn’t be able to answer where exactly it is in the pipeline”.

Put bluntly by one diplomat, London simply “doesn’t want it”, for fear of banishing its lucrative finance industry to Switzerland or other non-EU offshore centres.

Deals were also cut to allow Brussels to vet the grand lines in member state budgets and open EU entry negotiations with Iceland despite anger in both countries over withheld compensation to savers with a collapsed Icelandic bank.

Source: SGGP

Spanish government approves tough austerity plan

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2010 at 9:15 am

MADRID, May 20, 2010 (AFP) – The Spanish government Thursday approved a 15-billion-euro (18.8-billion-dollar) austerity plan aimed at reining in the huge public deficit, as thousands of workers protested against the measure.

The plan was approved at a cabinet meeting as public sector workers took to the streets to vent their fury at the measures, which include a five percent pay cut for civil servants.

Unions have also called a strike of civil servants for June 8.

Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez De la Vega acknowledged that approving the measures, which must still be passed by parliament, “has not been an easy decision to take” but the government “is also aware that it is not easy to accept.”

“We are confident of the understanding of all because these are necessary and essential measures which a responsible government had to face while thinking of the future of all,” she told a news conference after the cabinet meeting.

Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, under pressure from both Spain’s EU partners and the markets, announced the austerity measures last week in a bid to shore up Spain’s public finances after fears it could follow Greece into a debt crisis.

The cuts are on top of a 50-billion-euro austerity package announced in January designed to slash public deficit to the eurozone limit of three percent of gross domestic product by 2013 from 11.2 percent last year.

The latest measures include an average five-percent pay cut for public sector workers from June, and a pay freeze from 2011. Pensions except for the poorest will also be frozen in 2011.

The government also plans to scrap a 2,500-euro payout to parents for the birth of children, a key part of Zapatero’s social platform to boost Spain’s flagging birth rate.

The salaries of Zapatero and government ministers will also be cut by 15 percent and those of secretaries of state by 10 percent.

“It is a great effort thanks to which we will undoubtedly return to the path of growth,” de la Vega said.

Finance Minister Elena Salgado said the pay cuts would lead to savings of 2.3 billion euros in 2010 and 2.2 billion in 2011.

The pensions freeze will save some 1.5 billion euros in 2011 and the birth payment around 1.25 billion.

She said the cuts also mean the government has lowered its 2011 growth forecast from 1.8 percent to 1.3 percent.

Spain entered recession in the second quarter of 2008 as the global financial meltdown compounded a crisis in the property market, which had been a major driver for growth in the preceding years.

Official data Wednesday showed the economy scraped out of recession in the first quarter, boosted by a rise in exports and household spending, but analysts have warned that any pick-up could be short lived.

The recession has sent the unemployment rate soaring to more than 20 percent in the first quarter.

Migrant workers perform during a protest marking the 24-hours general strike against the austerity measures in central Athens, Greece on May 20, 2010. AFP photo

Source: SGGP

Well-known Spanish guitarist to cheer up Vietnam

In Uncategorized on April 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Well-known Spanish guitarist to cheer up Vietnam

QĐND – Sunday, April 18, 2010, 21:32 (GMT+7)

Ignacio Rodes, a reputed Spanish guitarist, will perform at the Ho Chi Minh City Big Theatre on April 19th, to introduce the embodiment of Spanish classical music to Vietnam’s music-lovers.

Ignacio Rodes will play the Concierto de Aranjuez, a guitar and orchestra masterpiece by composer Joaquín Rodrigo (1939), together with the Ho Chi Minh City Ballet and Symphony Orchestra conducted by conductor Tran Vuong Thach.

This very masterpiece brought composer Joaquín Rodrigo, the rank of one of the most important Spanish composers of the 20th century.

On the evening of April 20th, the Spanish guitarist will then perform and have an exchange with Vietnamese guitarists and his fans at the Phu Nhuan Cultural Center in Ho Chi Minh City.

Ignacio Rodes is a native of the city of Alicante in Spain. He started studying guitar at the age of 8.

Ignacio Rodes was acknowledged as a world talent during his first performance at Wigmore Hall Theatre, London in 1986. Since then  the Spanish talent has won several first prizes at several competitions named after immortal composers and guitar makers, Andrés Segovia, Francisco Tárrega, and José Ramirez.

He has also performed on the world’s leading stages and has been invited to give lectures at several reputed schools all over the world, such as the Manhattan School of Music in New York-USA, the Guildhall School of Music in London-England, the Bloomington School of Music under the Indiana University-USA and the University of Washington, USA.

Source: KTDT

Translated by Mai Huong



Source: QDND

Cities host Spanish concert, charity music-fashion show

In Vietnam Culture on December 17, 2009 at 2:12 pm

A concert featuring Spanish romantic and traditional music is to take place at the Hanoi Opera House on December 17.

    Hanoi Philharmonic Orchestra

The show, held by the Spanish Embassy in Vietnam, will feature works by Manuel de Falla, La Romanza de Zarzuela and Ruperto Chapí performed by the Hanoi Philharmonic Orchestra under Spanish conductor Carlos Cuesta.

Free tickets are available at the Spanish Embassy in Hanoi on the 15th floor of the Daeha Business Center, 360 Kim Ma Street, Ba Dinh District.

In addition, a charity music and fashion show organized by FLAUNT & Music Faces will be held at The Hi-fi, at 38 Nguyen Hue Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City on December 17.

Popular singers will take the stage including Le Hieu, Phuong Vy, Pham Anh Khoa, the White Noise band and more. Leading models Vu Ha Hanh, Thai Ha, Kim Minh, and Ngoc Quyen will also attend along with Minh Thu, the first runner-up of the Miss Vietnam 2008 Pageant; and Nguyen Ngoc Lan Huong who was named the fourth runner-up in the Miss Model of The World 2009 beauty contest in China this November.

All proceeds from the HCM City event will be donated to the Heartbeat Vietnam Fund to help poor sick children receive free heart surgery.

Tickets are VND200,000-250,000 (US$10-13) each.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share