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Carrefour claims Santa Cruz Carnival Queen winner

Posted by dolly diver on January 31, 2008
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Santa cruz Carnival Queen winner
Shopping centre Carrefour’s candidate Nauz√© Cruz Melo was chosen Carnival Queen at the end of last night’s 3-hour Gala in Santa Cruz.

Although not among the favourites in the run-up to the Gala, the winning design – an elaborate costume entitled The Golden Age – proved a big hit with the jury, which included screen stars Sofia Loren and Gerard Depardieu. The event, which was broadcast live on Antena 3 TV for the Canaries and South America, marked a return to the traditional Gala after last year’s controversial attempt to make it an entirely professional show.

Health Service workers walk out again

Posted by dolly diver on January 29, 2008
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Thousands of Health Service workers stage another two hour stoppage today after failing to persuade the regional government to call a meeting to put an end to the ongoing pay dispute.

Health centres and A&E Units in hospitals throughout the Canaries are expected to be hit badly by the action, which is designed to keep the pressure up on the Department of Health to implement an agreement reached last year but which has not been honoured, according to the unions. It is expected that the stoppage will conclude with a formal announcement by the unions regarding the date chosen for a 24-hour strike to be held in the coming weeks.

Elton John concert – chaotic!

Posted by dolly diver on January 25, 2008
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Singer Elton John performed for a 20,000-strong audience at the Costa Adeje Golf Course last night but the concert has been overshadowed by scathing criticism that the organisers were caught totally unprepared for the event.

Thousands of fans were still streaming into the purpose-built venue, complete with a stage measuring over a thousand square metres which needed 350 people to build, when the British star went on stage at 9.10 pm. According to Tenerife daily La Opinion the doors did not open until 45 minutes before and the bottlenecks due to a shortage of ticket checkers caused many to miss the start of the concert.

The organisers could face legal action after scores of fans who had bought expensive VIP tickets were unable to access their seats. Problems also plagued traffic in the area, with tailbacks in Playa de Las Americas and along the motorway due to inadequate signposting.

Elton John performs tonight

Posted by dolly diver on January 24, 2008
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Around 20,000 people are expected to attend the Elton John concert in south Tenerife tonight. Initially the concert was scheduled for November, but had to be put back to this month due to organisational problems.

Elton John is due to arrive in Tenerife by private jet just a few hours before going on stage at the Golf Costa Adeje, where the last minute touches were still being put to the mammoth structure needed for the concert late last night.

The organisers say 17,000 tickets have already been sold but they expect another 3,000 to be bought at the box office tonight. Extra buses have been laid on from Santa Cruz, Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Americas for the event, which begins at 9pm.

Tenerife tops winter sun hot spots

Posted by dolly diver on January 22, 2008
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Playa Arena Beach TenerifeIn the busy winter and summer holiday booking period, has revealed that Tenerife is the most searched for winter sun destination this year.

The Canary Islands is well represented in the list of the most popular winter sun destinations as compiled by Cheapflights. Lanzarote is number 5 in the top 10 list while Gran Canaria comes in at number 8. The only other medium haul destination in the top 10 is the popular Red Sea winter sun and diving resort of Sharm el Sheikh at number 10.

All the other most popular winter sun destinations are long haul. Bangkok in Thailand comes in at number two, while the eternally popular Disney World destination of Orlando is placed third.

Dubai with its beaches, great shopping, luxury hotels and growing number of attractions is a very respectable fourth. More surprising perhaps is Cape Town in South Africa at number 6, with Table Mountain no doubt adding to the appeal.

India is becoming an increasingly attractive long haul destination, as the appearance of beach holiday favourite Goa at number 7 demonstrates. The Caribbean fares less well, with Barbados being the most popular island at number nine.

“January is a great time to grab a bargain,” says Cheapflights’ general manager, Francesca Ecsery. “Flight sales are everywhere so travellers have the choice between thousands of destinations at a very low cost. And the end of the holiday season brings on the January Blues which, coupled with this unpleasantly wet weather, makes it a very popular time of year to search for travel.”

Written by: Nick Purdom

21,000 health service workers will go ahead with a two hour strike today in the Canaries after a late meeting yesterday failed to find a solution to end the dispute. The action could lead to serious disruption in health centres and hospitals, particularly outpatients and A&E units.

The regional government may even have worsened the situation by deciding to call just one of the public sector unions in for the last-minute talks. Other unions say the ‘divide and separate’ tactic has strengthened resolve in the ongoing dispute over the Department of Health’s failure to implement an agreement on working conditions, including pay, struck in 2007.

“We should have been in Tenerife”

Posted by dolly diver on January 17, 2008
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Flooded House

A devastated couple who should have been sunning themselves in Tenerife, had to cancel their £1,400 holiday plans yesterday after their house was flooded Рfor the third time in eighteen months.

As floods hit the region for the second time in seven months, the couple found themselves bailing out their homes once again. Pensioners Sheila (69) and Jack Lockwood (77), of Chesswick Crescent, Keadby, who have lived in the house for 42 years should have been going through customs early yesterday but instead were piling sandbags around their house.

“We should have left for the airport at 5am but I’ve been up most of the night because I could hear the rain and knew we’d be flooded,” said Mrs Lockwood.

“We’re really frustrated because it’s a never-ending problem and we dare not book a holiday now because we have been away twice and been flooded.”

She added: “They’ve said it’s going to be heavy rain for the next few days too so I’ve rung the insurance company to see if we can get our money back.”

The couple, who were hit by flooding in the summer, said it was upsetting they were in the same situation again. “All the repair work has only just been finished from the summer floods about three months ago and here we are again. It’s devastating and every time you see the weather it’s all panic,” said Mrs Lockwood.

The flooding comes only months after the region was plagued with water in June.

Spain’s Ministry of Defence has signed up to a joint effort with the Canarian government to help protect the whales and dolphins living in waters around the Islands.

Following months of negotiations, Defence officials have agreed to halt Naval exercises in the areas where the cetaceans are commonly found and will contribute to a new 800,000 euro research initiative aimed at enhancing the conservation status of the mammals. The agreement is also backed by the Ministry of the Environment. Experts believe that up to 8 whales and dolphins die on Canarian beaches every after losing their sense of direction due to the impact of sonar equipment used on Navy ships.