by Madeleine McMullin
News from around the region, collated from local sources.
Tuesday 7th March day of strikes
“Mardis de colère” (angry Tuesdays) are taking place around France and in the P-O.
Around 500 nurses, care assistants, social assistants and teachers took to the streets in Perpignan today to protest against worsening conditions of work. Separately about 60 EDF-GDF workers spent the morning demonstrating against 15 000 redundancies planned nationally and the closure of offices open to the public, such as the one on the Ave. Dalbiez in Perpignan.
Red, white or blue wine
Roxane and Benjamin Parra from Estagel are importing a blue wine from Spain. The colour comes from a little known grape variety called Alicante Bouschet, a cross between grenache and petit Bouschet which is a dye. This has been strengthened with the addition of anthocyanin which is naturally present in the grape skin. This is added to Chardonnay to give a pleasing taste and is called “Passion Blue Chardonnay”. The couple started importing the wine last year and it has been well received for its arresting looks and its fruity, dry taste. There is also a sparkling version called “Nature Blue”.
The inhabitants of Marquixanes are getting together to try to get the planned bypass to deviate to the south of the village. Currently 15000 vehicles a day pass through the village on the N116 and the official preference for the bypass route is to the north.
Found dead in Perpignan A&E waiting room
Police are investigating following a complaint from a man living in Paris about his half brother who died in the waiting room of Perpignan hospital. According to him, his 56 year old brother who had a disease that affected his lower limbs, had been to the hospital on 21 Feb and had been admitted. He was discharged the next day, but came back later as he had another crisis. He was treated in A&E and then sent home. The next evening he had yet another crisis and got his friends and family to take him to the hospital again. Several hours later the staff found him dead in the waiting room. An autopsy was to take place on Friday 2nd March and an internal investigation was to be launched by the hospital.
USAP youth team coach burnt: appeal lanced for funds
The coach of the “Espoirs de l’USAP” (youth team) caught fire on the A75 on the way back from a match at Clermont Ferrand on 26th Feb. Everybody escaped unharmed, but the coach was a write-off and the players personal effects went up with it. The insurance will only cover anything that there is a receipt for, and not everyone had receipts. The club reckons that the shortfall could add up to around €2000 per player. The professional team has got together to give them whatever they need to carry on training, but an appeal has been launched to replace other items such as keys for cars and apartments, laptops etc. The money is for the players and the club will not get any of it. This is the second time that the club has had problems with buses – some of the regular readers will remember that the professional team had to push their bus when it broke down one night.
Two months for kicking dog to death
A man who kicked a dog and caused it to die when its owner was walking it, has been sentenced to two months in prison and 6 months’ suspended, forbidden from contacting the dog’s owners and fined €800 which will be given to the SPA. The 29 year old man who was already known to the police for violence had taken cocaine and was drunk when he committed the offence and gave no excuse for what he had done.
Handicapped man given 3 months’ suspended sentence for sexual assault
A man who suffered a horrible accident which left him scarred and affected his sense of right and wrong and his judgement was in court to be judged for various sexual assaults on women which varied from flashing to inserting his finger into a 6 year old girl’s genitals and asking her to touch his penis. The problem according to his lawyer was that he needs caring for, taking to the toilet, washing etc. meaning that imprisonment would be difficult, a fine would punish his family, and he would simply remove an electronic bracelet. He was finally given 3 months’ suspended sentence and a €150 fine.
Perpignan conservatory too expensive?
The elected officials of the metropolitan community of Perpignan discussed whether the conservatory should make some savings. The conservatory brings in €800,000 against a spend of €12 million. There are 3000 students and €10 million was invested in new buildings which opened in October 2015. The mayor of Perpignan was for putting up prices, the mayor of Toulouges against. The mayor of Pézilla la Rivière suggested asking the departmental council to help fund it as it is used by the whole department and should be accessible for all.
14th century statue to remain in the P-O
A marble statue of the virgin dating from the 14th century was to be put up for auction and may have left the department but has been saved thanks to a dedicated few who wanted to keep it here due to its connections with the area and its Catalan identity. The owner of the 72cm statue allowed them to buy it rather than auctioning it. It will be placed in the Carmelite monastery in Vinça who are delighted to receive it.
Telephone and car stolen and beaten up
A young man bumped into an old class mate who had 3 men with her. One of them took his phone from his car while he was chatting to her and refused to return it. When he returned to his car later two of them followed him in one car and another one came towards him from the other direction and forced him to stop. They then beat him up and stole his car. The man went to a nearby supermarket for help, and then the police and he found the four people the next day. When they were arrested, one confessed and said that they had sold the phone and car in Spain. He also told the police where to find some cocaine. The others denied any involvement. They were all held pending trial.