No news is not good news !!
In the beginning...well it was 2012!
Have a read of the old articles. It is interesting to see how things (mostly) have not developed at all!
2015 News Around Andorra archives "16th July 2015 - Never mind the Brexit or Grexit...."
2016 News Around Andorra archives "4th February 2016 - James Bond 007 is back starring the Andorra Head of Government, Antoni Marti in the final epic "The Andorra Referendum"
2017 News Around Andorra archives "22nd February 2017: Football: Andorra v San Marino, statistically the worlds worst teams meet in an epic decider."
2018 News Around Andorra archives "23rd January 2018 - Sexual malfunction crisis in Andorran delegation to EU."
2019 News Around Andorra archives "5th July 2019 - Andorra Roundabout Mayhem."
THE HATE MONGERS
There be devils at the gate
Devils who broadcast the seeds of hate
Devils setting brother against brother
Setting son against mother
Few or none are elected
Fewer still are respected
Your gullibility and mine
Provides codeine for their conscience
And a codpiece for their spine.
July 2020....The Rwanda puzzle...
Why is Rwanda on that list of 15 countries?? Answers on a postcard...
The map opposite shows where Rwanda is. The capital is Kigali, plastic bags are banned and it is home to the largest population of Mountain Gorillas.
Of the 45 countries in Africa Rwanda is number 23 for virus figures, almost the middle of the table, above such countries as Uganda, Chad, Mauritius, Namibia , and the list goes on, in fact you can see the Africa list here. Number of cases 1,025 !
I don't know any Rwandans, am sure they are very nice people but who are making up these lists...please ??
1st July 2020... Naturlandia limps on
I have reported here before the financial operations of Naturlandia in 2015, 2016 and followed the story on to 2017. Well after the lockdown they are up and running again sort of. It seeems though that they were more preoccupied with then birth of four bears in the park than applying for financial assistance (ERTO) for the multitude of staff on their payroll, not forgetting the 10,000 euros per month of Directors. The quality of the restaurant as per the unfortunate people who visited it is clearly available on tripadvisor. The company that holds Naturlandia is largely owned by the Comú of Sant Júlia and by extension that is public money. The finances are about as transparent as the mess the four brown bears leave behind, but in 2017 they were 5.4 million in the red and in 2018, 7.9 million euros ( Financial Research courtesy of Miquel Calsina). Now after the lockdown and with restricted opening the chances of making any dent in the operating costs is simply not going to happen. It is time to be realistic and dissolve the company since the shares are worthless. Incidentally when they do close I would suggest Vallnord looks at buying the Tobotronc, it could be an interesting addition to the bike park in La Massana???
July 1st 2020... Cirque de Soleil collapses but can still manage to do Andorra
It is sometimes strange what is put into the local press, the Cirque de Soleil has become a victim of the pandemic and has collapsed and filed for bankruptcy in Canada with debts of around 900 million US$ and 4,000 of the "workforce" sacked. This does not however stop the press reporting that the Ministry of Tourism here is still hopeful that the company will honour the 2021 and 2022 appearances in Andorra already contracted. Just what is expected to appear must remain a concern, and be careful of those advance purchase tickets !
June 26th 2020.. the COVID washup
Covidiots, Zoom buddies, bubbles, support bubbles, IgG positives, Madridiots, and the rest are well understood terms which several months ago would have made you believe that you were on another planet.
We have been in lockdown, some drinking disinfectant, most clapping, all been labelled odd or even, been pricked on the finger by an unknown person in a Hazmat suit, done virtual cuddling, repeating incessantly “can you hear me” over the video app, given up explaining to Grand Parents how to use WhatsApp, made the dog suffer with 12 walks each day.
We have shouted out, called out and passed out, we have learnt how to make bread with beer, pizzas, and quiches, we have all Googled antibody test results and forwarded thousands of jokes and videos you thought were funny. We have watched box series until we had square eyes, cleaned out old cupboards, sneaked out for some fresh air during the over 70s slot and waited impatiently for the release of any new film.
Most people’s Catalan vocabulary has improved with the learning of masqueretes, the dancing and singing of the moral boosting Circulació who had no tickets to issue, bought shed loads of hand gel, and decorated balconies discovered for the first time.
So, what happens now in the “new normal”?
As countries in Asia who proudly announced they had beaten the virus go back into lockdown, would those in Europe be happy to return to the previous paragraph? Is Europe so hell bent on getting the tourist industry back up and running that they are doing so too soon and we all face a second wave? Should we just learn to live with it and accept that anyone under 45 years little risk of complications? Should we just accept it has not been nor will be an extinction event? Or is this just a rehearsal and the virus is about to mutate such ferocity as the Spanish flu that killed up to 50,000,000 people in the second wave, where it returned to those who were not affected in the smaller first wave?
The new daily rate of global new infections continues to rise by over a million new cases per week, Europe and the world are opening up to avoid further economic collapse, the worst on that front is yet to come by a long way.
25th June 2020... The repayment of the Government borrowing starts with inflation busting rise in traffic fines
The Automobile Club of Andorra has been pushing for an increase in Andorran moving offence fines for many years and now the plan has been approved and is expected to be law at the end of the year. The highway code of Andorra entered into law in 1999 when fines for speeding were still in Pesetas. The only change was translating Pesetas to Euros, that is why currently people are always amazed at an amount of say 24.04 EUR. The old fine minimum was 2,000 pesetas for fines in excess of 10km/h (12.02 EUR - the minimum is currently 24.04). The new fines will start at 100 EUR with 60 EUR increases in each 10 km/h speeding. Also the use of mobile phones will soon attract fines of 200 EUR minimum. You cannot get back from the pub on a bicycle or a horse anymore since alcohol checks will also be carried out on these!! They are also considering taking licenses away as in other countries for three or more fines within a 6 month period. Is this the first hint of tax increases to come???
June 17th 2020
Somebody had better explain to them that Salmon do not have wings and may smell if hanged out on these racks....
20th March 2020...
"The city’s police force confirmed two men tried to storm the Terminal 1 building at 5am local time on Friday.
The men got as far as the food court in the building, and were reportedly shouting Islamist slogans before the were quickly arrested.
Police are not treating the incident as a terrorist attack. "
What? Give me a break !!!!
20th January 2020 Andorra minimum salary lower than Spain for the first time
The latest increase in the minimum wage in line as always with last years CPI rate translates into a 3.2% pay rise for those concerned. In 2015 I did a comparison with other EU countries and Andorra was bang in the middle, with Spain sadly lacking behind. All has changed and for the first time the Spanish minimum wage surpasses Andorra:-
However, note that the minimum monthly wage in Spain is in fact 950 euros per month, Andorra is now 1083.33 per month. The difference is that an employee in Spain must receive 14 months salary, presumably a Christmas bonus.
So what you may say? Well when you take into account the cost of rentals in Andorra the plot thickens. A basic rental in Andorra La Vella is twice the price of Lleida and three times that of Girona. With so many people now shooting down to Mercadona over the border to do the weekly shop it all adds up to the fact that Andorra is going to start having problems recruiting its´ army of waiters and the likes. Salaries for workers in all fields from hotels to shops, offices to industry have and still are on a minimum wage mentality in Andorra, something will have to change.
What the .........???
3rd January 2020 Is this really ART ???
There has been a steady increase in what someone thinks is art. Around Andorra this style is appearing, obviously appealing to the Comú where getting a legitimate advertising sign for your business proves a night mare. BUT, this at an international ski resort ??? What does your 5 year old think of it? I am aware of petitions to get this removed, its not art just offensive rubbish and does Andorra no praise whatsoever. The petition to remove this "art" should extend to the "artist" and to whoever authorised its display. Nuff said.