Fever Mosquitoes Found
The potentially disease-spreading Aedes aegypti mosquito was discovered in the Urbanización de Las Granadas area of Puerto del Rosario in early December. Although this species is known to spread diseases such as Dengue, Yellow Fever and Zika, none of these diseases are currently present in the Canary Islands. This fact didn’t prevent the UK gutter press from publishing headlines warning that the island faced a “Yellow-fever outbreak”, the Express even went as far as to report that “Health officials have discovered yellow fever and dengue fever” (they haven’t). Authorities were quick to act, fumigating the area – even evacuating homes so that their interiors could be treated. The Aedes aegypti mosquito was present in the Canaries up until its eradication in the middle of the 20th century. Originally from Africa, the Aedes aegypti mosquito has spread to much of the tropical and subtropical areas of the world – including the Southern United States, Madeira and even a small pocket in the Netherlands. It is easily identified because of its distinctive white leg markings.
Church Robbery foiled at Vega de Rio Palmas
A vigilant neighbour disturbed a presumed attempted robbery at the Ermita de Vega de Rio Palmas on the 28th of December. The brazen assailants physically broke through the thick exterior stone wall of the sacristy only to find their path blocked by furniture on the inside of the building. A neighbour, alerted by the sounds of the break-in, switched on their exterior lights, which in turn caused the attempted robbers to flee the scene.
Record Tourist Numbers
Although the final tally for tourist numbers has not yet been published, we already know that 2017 was a record breaking year for tourist arrivals in Fuerteventura. On December 29th, Fuerteventura Airport received its 6 millionth passenger of the year – a new record, and the island had already received 3,404,404 tourists before the end of December – surpassing 2016’s total of 3,244,601 visitors.
La Oliva Mayor increases his salary by €1200 per month
The Mayor of La Oliva, Isaí Blanco, has increased his own salary by €1200 per month to a total of €4500 per month for the 2018 budget. Opposition party, the Partido Popular, denounced the action and said that the staff bill will increase by over €250,000 in 2018 – 80% of which is accounted for by the Mayor’s salary increase and the contracting of 4 new ‘advisors’. Spokesperson for the Partido Popular, Claudio Gutiérrez, also claimed that the Ayuntamiento de La Oliva had only earmarked €97,000 for real investment in the Municipality for the year – down from €1.5 million.
A suicidal driver was pursued by police in a spectacular car chase around El Matorral on the 13th of the Month. Events began when the man’s former partner reported to police that he was attempting to kill himself and had a hose connecting his exhaust pipe to the interior of his car. However, by the time police arrived, the man was no longer there, prompting a search. Eventually they found the father-of-two at a location that he had once frequented with his ex. Instead of surrendering to police, he decided to flee and began a spectacular and dangerous car chase at speeds of over 100kph. He was eventually stopped and detained on the motorway near Playa Blanca.
The European Commission has opened formal proceedings against Spain for failing to obey environmental protection rules in the development of the Origo Mare tourist complex in Majanicho (on the northern coast of the island). The project was already declared null and void by a Spanish Tribunal, however the project continued under a modified version, which the European Commission says also fails to comply with Environmental Impact regulations for a Special Protection Area (SPA) and that part of the development has been built on a nature reserve.
Early New Year in Betancuria
In a curious turn, Betancuria celebrated its New Year on the 16th of December at midday. Tourists visiting the historic town were surprised to find locals dressed as characters from the Nativity eating grapes and toasting the New Year with Cava as the church bells rang in the ‘New year’. Although rain meant that the attendance was less than expected, the Ayuntamiento of Betancuria plan to continue and expand the initiative in the future.