by Madeleine McMullin
News from around the region, collated from local sources.
Déferlantes publishes artists
The list of artists and performance times has just been published by the Déferlantes Festival contrary to the normal practice of only publishing it one day at a time, just before the day in question. The list can be seen on Facebook.
Segolène Royale standing for election in P-O
Segolène Royale gave up her seat in the House of Deputies when she became a member of government in 2014 but is now trying for re-election in the 3rd constituency of the P-O. She faces an uphill struggle, especially as Benoît Hamon only got 5.95% of the votes for President. An agreement with the EELV (Green party) means that she won’t face an eco candidate but will face two other women one standing for En Marche and the other as an independent who will vote with the government if elected. This may split the En Marche vote and let Royale win.
Catalonia replacing toll booths
Catalonia is intending to replace its motorway toll booths with subscriptions from the start of 2019. The idea is to end the tax subsidy that currently sees each inhabitant of the region pay €40 per year towards the cost of the tolls. The subscriptions will be between €40 and €110 per car depending on whether they are taken by the day, by the month or by the year and will be payable directly in the motorway service stations or using an Android or I-Phone app. According to a study by El Pais, this will make the region’s motorways the most expensive on the Iberian peninsula. Roads maintained by the Spanish State will see a price drop of 0.4% while those in Catalonia will rise by between 0.7 and 1.7%.
Karst water resources could be exploited more
A 10 year study has given its verdict: the Corbières karst is a large reservoir of sweet water that lies below the mountain range of the same name. The Office for Geological and Mining Research (BRGM) has been analysing this area for more than 10 years against the background of climate change and an increase in droughts. The conclusion is that an extra 5 million m³ per year could be taken from the reservoir; enough for an extra 100,000 people on the Roussillon plain. There are two provisos however. The first is the possibility of pollution by chemicals used in agricultural as 60% of the water comes from the Agly and the Verdouble, with only 40% coming from rainfall. The second, the risk of sea water entering the system in large quantities as the karst is connected to the sea. This means that water will have to be extracted very carefully at least 8km from the coast. This study would seem to put to bed the arguments over whether the water in the karst can be exploited.
Reduced price ski pass for 2017/2018
Buy your seasonal ski pass for Formiguères between 1st June and 15th September and you will get it for €200 rather than €404. If, that is, at least 1000 people take up the offer. The first 1000 to order will also receive a VIP card allowing them to get 10% off in the resort’s restaurant, snack bar and bar throughout the winter. €50 is payable on signing up, and then two lots of €75 will be taken in September and October if enough people have taken up the offer.
Farmers dumping fruit in front of supermarkets
Early on Thursday morning about 50 farmers who are members of the FDSA (Departmental Federation of Unions for Farmers gathered in the car park of a cooperative in Salanque. Their aim was to carry out a lightning strike against the multiples. “In spite of our requests, they haven’t stopped buying Spanish products in preference to French. So we’re going to remind them of their commitments”. French fruit and veg can’t be produced as cheaply as that from Spanish and Portugal. The farmers say that the price that they get doesn’t pay the costs of production. They set off to Claira and poured several dozen tonnes of apricots and artichokes on to the roundabouts outside Carrefour and Leader Price. Carrefour, however insisted yesterday afternoon that they have been selling French apricots in their stores since the season started in the P-O.
Canadian threatens passer-by with a gun
Unable to bear the noise in his district of Perpignan, a young Canadian came out into the road with a pump action shotgun and threatened a passerby., He then went back to his flat. left his gun and took his dog for a walk. On his return he was greeted by the BAC (Brigade Anti-Criminalité) and hauled up before the court. He told the judge that there were nothing but attacks, noise and a car rodeo in the area in Perpignan between the Place Cassanyes and the Champs de Mars where he lived. He’d had a drink and was depressed and couldn’t stop himself. He’d already bought himself a return ticket. When asked if he was an alcoholic, he answered that where he came from if you drank 2 glasses you were considered a drunk, and that he was carrying a knife for protection when arrested because the people round there left their pitbulls running around and one of them had nearly killed his teckel. The court took pity on him: he was given 4 months’ suspended sentence without a criminal record. His gun, which he’d had from his step-father who had killed himself, wasn’t even loaded.
Hoverboard explodes in a Perpignan flat
At about 1am on the night of 23rd/24th May the battery of a hoverboard that was being charged, exploded causing a fire which spread rapidly. The occupants tried to extinguish but had to call the fire brigade. 12 people were evacuated by ladder and 2 of them hospitalised for smoke inhalation before the fire was put out.
Red tuna returns to Med
After 15 years of drastic measures, stocks of red tuna have increased in the waters of the Mediterranean having been nearly wiped out. The fish eats practically everything that passes in front of it, weighs up to 650kg, measures up to 4m long and lays several million eggs. The increase in stocks from a low of 150,000 tonnes in 2008 is happening faster than expected. A new evaluation of stock will take place this summer and presented to the International Commission for the Conservation of Tuna in the Atlantic. If it is positive, the emergency measures will be over and give way to one of long term management. However this highly prized fish still needs to be protected and Alessandro Buzi, the WWF’s expert, is worried that the Spanish, Italians and Algerians will call for the quotas to be raised. The French fishermen want the quotas and controls to continue to avoid facing the same risk of extinction as 15 years ago. They also think that lifting them will bring about a drop in price from the current €10 per kilo to the €1 – €2 of a few years ago. They are hoping to be awarded the label “first eco-certified Mediterranean fishery” for line fishing and want to place the emphasis on catching less but selling it at a higher price.