2019年1月19日 星期六

The week’s top stories

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Dear readers,

Retired police officer Juan Manuel Villarejo, who is at the center of a case involving 20 years' worth of phone taps, is once again in the news after it emerged Spain's second-largest bank, BBVA, contracted his services in 2004. The High Court has also begun investigating his network of "moles," which is thought to include five policemen and one Tax Agency employee.

In Andalusia, Juan Manuel Moreno from the conservative Popular Party (PP) has been officially sworn in as the new regional premier thanks to votes from Ciudadanos and far-right party Vox. This brings an end to more than 36 years of rule by the Socialist Party (PSOE).

In Segovia, a cheeky devil statue designed to attract tourists has caused a stir with some locals claiming it is a "glorification of evil."

And in other news, we have recorded the first episode of our new podcast ¿Qué?, a program that tries to explain the often seemingly unexplainable in Spanish news. This week, we took a closer look at Villarejo and the housing problems facing Spanish youth.

We hope you enjoy this selection of articles from the EL PAÍS English Edition. Thanks for reading.

Melissa Kitson

Melissa Kitson


Network of

Retired police chief José Manuel Villarejo in Madrid. / Alvaro Garcia

Five policemen and one Tax Agency employee are under scrutiny for allegedly giving confidential information to ex-police chief José Manuel Villarejo

Voting in of PP premier in Andalusia marks end of Socialist reign

Vox Andalusian regional leader Francisco Serrano. / J.J.U.

After 36 years, the southern region gets a conservative government, supported by far-right party Vox, which has entered Spain's institutions for the first time

Pablo Iglesias confirms party split and says he is saddened by the surprise news that his colleague Iñigo Errejón will run with the Madrid mayor in May

Thousands of women march across Spain against far-right party Vox

A protest in Seville called by feminist groups. / A. R.

Protests took place on Tuesday in more than a hundred municipalities, a day before the Andalusian parliament is due to vote in a new conservative government

Aftermath of explosion. / C.L.

Laura Sanz, a mother of three, was on a romantic weekend with her husband when a gas leak across the street caused a massive explosion

Madrid has drafted a decree with contingency plans in the event of the United Kingdom crashing out of the European Union with no deal

Government presents 2019 budget but cross-party support not guaranteed

The 2019 budget plan is presented in Congress. / U. M.

The plans would see the biggest rise in spending since 2010, but the weak position of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and instability in Catalonia mean they may not prosper

In the first of a new audio series, journalists from the EL PAÍS English Edition explain just who José Manuel Villarejo is, and why everyone seems to be afraid of him

One woman's mission to document the Madrid bars that time forgot

A traditional bar in Madrid. / L.P.

On her blog, British journalist Leah Pattem pays tribute to 100 of the Spanish capital's old-fashioned watering holes, which are slowly closing down or being replaced by franchises

How a selfie-snapping statue of the devil has raised the ire of Segovia locals

Sculptor José Antonio Abella Mardones and the offending statue. / V. S.

The actions of a group of residents in the city have prompted a judge to halt the installation of the image of Mephistopheles, which was designed to appeal to tourists

A Marrakesh cross-dresser is seeking asylum in Europe after being arrested and then named and shamed on social media

The children Spain doesn't want

Ibrahim, who arrived in Spain when he was a minor. / J.V.

The Socialist Party government has presented a plan to repatriate underage migrants despite criticism it is crossing a red line

How an imposter ruined the life of an Indian immigrant in Spain

Balwant Singh with his family. / J.A.H.

Balwant Singh lost his job and residency permit after a criminal assumed his name on a failed breathalyzer test

The other battle of Brunete: an untold Spanish Civil War massacre

Archeologists searching the battle plain in Brunete. / INCIPIT-CSIC

Archeologists reconstruct an obscure episode in which 500 Republican soldiers were picked off by machine-gun fire

The Soviet scientist who disappeared in 1980s Madrid

Soviet scientist Vladimir Alexandrov (l). / M.M.

Vladimir Alexandrov went missing without a trace after spending three days drunk in Spain

The Galicia supermarket murder mystery

Isabel López in 2010 with a picture of her sister. / P.A.

Strange circumstances have thwarted efforts to find the killer of two Spanish store clerks in a crime that took place 24 years ago

Spanish actor Dani Rovira and a colleague were struck by a vehicle on a French road while completing a charity challenge, and were miraculously left unhurt

Dockers at the busy shipping hub believe the dangerous reptile arrived aboard a merchant ship

El Roto cartoon, January 15, 2019

Thanks readers!

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