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A total of 881,000 passengers passed through Las Palmas de Gran Canaria airport in January, which, despite being 5.8% lower than the same figure for 2012, makes the island airport the third busiest in Spain.

Nationally 10.7 million passengers passed through airports in the Aena network airports in the month of January, representing a fall of 9.1% compared to the same month of 2012, according to figures released this Wednesday by the airport operator.

During the first month of the year there were 117,458 operations, which is 15.2% less than the same period last year, while goods transported declined by 0.4% to 48,500 tons.

In January, Madrid-Barajas led the rankings with 2.9 million passengers, down 13%, with 14.7% fewer landings and takeoffs totalling 26,414. Cargo traffic fell too by 6.9%, to 26,667 tons.

El Prat airport in Barelona followed, with 1.9 million passengers, a 7.7% drop, and 11.8% fewer landings and takeoffs totalling 18,306, with a rise of 6.3% in cargo, reaching 7642 tons.

   Meanwhile, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria stood in third position with over 881,000 passengers in January, 5.8% less than the same period of 2011, after seeing their takeoffs and landings reduced by 13.2% , to just 8425.

Tenerife South followed, with 754,516 passengers (-5.9%), then Palma de Mallorca, with 558,827 passengers (-9.1%) and Malaga-Costa del Sol, with 537,657 passengers (-2.4%).

The airport operator ended the year with 194.2 million passengers, 5% less than in 2011, and a total of 1.9 million landings and takeoffs, which represents a 10.1% decrease over the previous year.

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Burnt pancakes that end up on the floor could soon be no more following the arrival of this cracking contraption, writes Mark Molloy of The Metro newspaper.

The Wallace and Gromit-style device can cook pancakes in just 60 seconds and has been unveiled conveniently in time for the upcoming Shrove Tuesday.

It took a team of four design engineers, commissioned by The Happy Egg Company, more than 200 hours to construct the Pancake–omatic and another 100 hours to test.

To ensure the pancakes are as fresh as can be, designers installed a luxury nest throne for the hen to lay her egg in.

It then travels along a spinning gramophone record before being mixed with other pancake ingredients and flipped on to a plate.

‘Pancake Day is a much-loved tradition so we wanted to do something that would celebrate this annual festivity – and champion the role our hens play in making pancakes,’ explained Happy Egg’s  Claire Jappy.

‘Hen happiness is at the heart of everything we do – because happy hens lay tasty eggs – so our contraption is the ultimate for pancake lovers wanting to enjoy a truly fresh pancake.’

Pancake fans are sure to be egg-static over the invention which will go on display at the Design Museum in London later this month.

Design engineer Dermot Doyle added: ‘It’s no mean feat to create a machine that will break an egg let alone flip a pancake so this project has been a really exciting challenge for the team.

‘We hope we’ve cracked it and our machine encourages others to make their very own egg-inspired inventions.’

Source: The Metro
ConnEGGt to The Happy Egg Company here
Image: The Happy Egg Company Pancake-o-matic © Nathan Pask

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During the Carnival celebrations, hotel prices increase by up to 79% in Cadiz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, according to trivago.es.

Specifically, Cadiz hotels are the most expensive during Carnival, with an average of €134 per night, followed by Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where half-board costs €101, and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, with an average of €74.

The price increase is especially significant in Cadiz and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where rates increase by 79% and 60%  from the week before Carnival, though, curiously, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria there is quite the contrast with prices on average falling by up to 14%.

The hotels in these three destinations still have rooms available during the Carnival. 24% of Cadiz accommodation has availability, with a similar percentage of hotels in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which holds with  25% of vacancies. While the data on Santa Cruz de Tenerife suggests availability is higher reaching 38%.

Other international cities that host some of the most famous Carnival celebrations also record changes in hotel prices. The most significant case is that of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the hotels double their rates, from an average cost of €142 per night in the previous week to €286 during the Carnival.

Meanwhile, in Venice per night prices rise by up to 69% reaching €184, in Cologne by 36% to €130, in Nice by 16% to €85, and in Maastricht prices go up by just 6% yet still cost around €103 per night.

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The average price of resale property in The Canary Islands rose 0.7% in January, bringing its value to €1564 per square meter,  17.2% below the Spanish average, which last January was €1,890 per m2, according to data from online real estate portal fotocasa.es.

The Canary Islands is therefore the 5th cheapest autonomous community in Spain, just ahead of Valencia, Murcia, Castilla-La Mancha and Extremadura. Communities where housing is more expensive include The Basque Country, Madrid and Catalonia, with an average price ranging from €3233 to €2375 per m2.

The Canaries reached a record high, in average house prices, during May 2007 at €2,155 per m2. Since then there has been an accumulated decline of -27.4%.

Fotocasa.es reports that the province of Las Palmas experienced an increase in home values during the month of January, up 1.5%, bringing the average price to €1561 per m2, but the price in Santa Cruz Tenerife fell 0.2 percent, with an average of €1,567 per m2.

There ten Canarian municipalities which have had an increase in the average price of property for sale. The ones with the highest increase are San Bartolome de Tirajana (+7.8%) and Arrecife (+5.1%). Others included Puerto del Rosario (+2.2%), Adeje (+1.7%) and Arona (+1.6%).

The municipality which in January recorded the largest price drop was San Cristóbal de La Laguna (-1.3%), followed by Santa Cruz de Tenerife (-1.2%) and Agüimes and Ingenio, both with a fall of 0.8%.

As for the most expensive cities, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria leads the rankings in the community with an average price of €1,782 per m2. And the cheapest place to buy a house currently is St Lucia de Tirajana, where the average cost is €1,075 per m2.

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A capacity crowd attends the Body Makeup Contest –  Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival 2013

Neftalí Betancor, with an artistic creation entitled “Immersed in my sea, ideas, scales and gills” (“Sumergido en mi mar, ideas, escamas y agallas”), prepared by Nauzet Afonso Felipe, and sponsored by Carnicería, delicatessens and greengrocers Cándido was awarded with the first prize in the body makeup contest on Saturday night in Las Palmas as part of the 2013 Carnival celebrations.

The second prize went to Miriam Sala Sastre for her makeup entitled “Psychotic”, by makeup artist Eva Mora Cordón sponsored by  Innovación Peluqueros. The third and final prize went to Aarón Rivero Miranda, who donned a fantasy entitled Renaissance, designed by Ana Lidia Alonso, Sara Hernández and Emilio Guerra, and sponsored by Bell Cosmetics Center (Centro Bell Cosmética). Body Makeup Contest Photos Carnival 2013 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Body Makeup Contest Photos Carnival 2013 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Body Makeup Contest Photos Carnival 2013 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Body Makeup Contest Photos Carnival 2013 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Body Makeup Contest Photos Carnival 2013 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Body Makeup Contest Photos Carnival 2013 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Body Makeup Contest Photos Carnival 2013 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Body Makeup Contest Photos Carnival 2013 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Body Makeup Contest Photos Carnival 2013 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

After several intense hours of makeup on the bodies of the models, and just three minutes on stage, six models in all showed the public creations full of wit, imagination and colour, their bodies a walking canvas for these authentic and unique paintings .

The audience at the Parque de Santa Catalina, with at the near capacity of 4000, watched the impressive works body painting (pintura corporal) from some of the best makeup artists in Las Palmas out on main stage at the Grand Masquerade Ball.

Everything from Baroque styles, to Japanese Geisha, nods to the Venetian carnival, and marine fantasies were the main inspirations for the six teams of makeup artists, who produced creative works undertaken exclusively with brushes and accuracy of the eye on these bodies for all to see.

Source: blog.lpacarnaval.com /

Photographs: www.elcoleccionistadeinstantes.com/

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AGRICULTURE

The supermarket chain Spar in Gran Canaria today signed an agreement with the COAG agricultural association to promote the cultivation and marketing of organic potatoes on the island, starting with the delivery of 14,000 kilos to thirteen farms. The first container of seeds will allow the sharing of 50 bags per farmer, with an initial cost of €10,000, which in turn will produce between 150,000 and 200,000 kg of potatoes.
The initiative is to repeat similar actions throughout the year with the aim of Gran Canaria collecting up to 4,000,000 kilograms of high quality potatoes. 
The Area Minister of the Canarian Government,Juan Ramón Hernández, and Cenconsu president, Ángel Medina, met with the president of the Coordinators of Canarian Farmers and Ranchers Organizations (Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Agricultores y Ganaderos de Canarias or COAG), Rafael Hernández, the manager of Direct Harvest (Cosecha Directa), Antonio Suárez, and the secretary of the Consumers Union of Las Palmas, José Manuel Quesada.
Juan Ramón Hernández has said that the project is “an important step” for Canarian agriculture, which follows the Autonomous Executive’s philosophy to “multiply self-sufficiency”, currently around 10 percent with plans aiming to double that in the medium term, because of its significance to employment and GDP of the islands. 
The Minister stressed the commitment to quality in organic potato production, which meets all phytosanitary requirements and, moreover, creates “added value”. “Cosecha Directa first raised the issue with us by saying it was time to break the perverse pattern  of seed purchase in the archipelago which could incur losses from the sale of the potato – and today that cycle is broken. “We continue to fight for this,” added Hernandez. 
Rafael Hernandez stressed that the agreement is “a giant step ” for Farmers’ relationships with the supply chain and also brings to the table “an example” of collaboration that can be extended to other products. “Spar has pre-funded the seed and the farmer has guaranteed the sale to their establishments who identify the more ecologically sound Canarian potatoes” said the president of the COAG, who added that the agreement creates about 60 jobs. 
For Hernandez, this “social” agreement  is defined by a commitment  the future increasing the number of hectares used on the island to about 9,000, with another 20,000 “empty” which could be an important source of niche employment.
Ángel Medina noted that Spar is aware of the difficulties encountered by farmers regarding the insecurity of their crops and so his franchised supermarket chain is now making a bid to ensure potato production and prices.  José Manuel Quesada has shown consumer support for the initiative in terms of flavor, aroma and nutritional content of local products.
Along similar lines Antonio Suárez emphasized the social nature of an initiative which eliminates “forms of slavery” in agriculture and promotes greater usage of Gran Canarian land and skills.
Source: MaspalomasAhora.com
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The president of the Federation of Lucha Canaria (Canarian Wrestling Federation), Germán Rodríguez, insisted Monday that the Canarian Government must approve the decree that will regulate the establishment of betting for the local sport, which would be a “relief” to the coffers of the Federation and new revenue for the government. Rodriguez met with the president, Paulino Rivero, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Javier González Ortiz, the director of Sports, Ramón Miranda, and the president of the Federación de Arrastre de Ganado, Pedro Molina, to ask for “speed” in the payment of subsidies, which the government has committed to pay “as soon as possible”.

Rivero confirmed that betting would be a good source of revenue so the practice of Lucha Canaria does not depend solely on the government, reported the Federation of Lucha Canaria.

Rodriguez has also raised complaints from fans with the president regarding the ”little interest” shown by Televisión Canaria toward a sport that is an integral part of the “identity” of the archipelago as a people. “No fights have been broadcast on local television since last season – which is incomprehensible, given that Lucha Canaria is part of our identity,” he commented.

More info…
Canarian Wrestling
 is a form of folk wrestling, originally from the Canary Islands, where it is known as Lucha Canaria.  Wrestlers start in the middle of a sand circle, called “terrero”. The object is to make their opponent touch the sand with any part of their body, except the feet. To accomplish this, they use different techniques called “mañas” to throw their opponent off balance. Two falls are required to win a bout. A match ends when all the members of one team have been defeated.
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