AND HERE IS THE NEWS…
….a quick glance at the latest local news with Caroline Manson
Deferlantes music festival to be held in Perpignan
The annual 5 day music festival, traditionally held in the grounds of Château Valmy but last year moved to Château d’Aubiry in Céret, is now to be held in Perpignan. This news comes as a ‘shock, disappointment and surprise’ to the Mayor of Céret as there was an agreement in place that the festival would remain in Céret for 5 years. Many festival-goers are also expressing their disappointment as attending a music festival on the tarmac of the car park outside the Palais des Expositions will not be anywhere as pleasant as attending in the grounds of a château. It is understood that one or two of the bands are also threatening to cancel their appearance.
Man shoots in direction of Gendarmes
On New Year’s Eve police were called out to an ‘inter-family’ domestic dispute. While the patrol was on route, witnesses called again, reporting seeing a man committing physical violence with the butt of a handgun, so they decided to send a larger team – twenty officers equipped with bulletproof vests. The man had taken refuge in his home so the police closed off the area, whereupon the man appeared at a window shouting insults and threats, and then opened fire on the security forces. Fortunately nobody was injured and very shortly afterwards the ‘madman’ decided to surrender and was promptly arrested. He will be tried on February 8th.
Shortage of medicine in local pharmacies
For several months now there have been low stocks of drugs in French pharmacies and the situation has worsened in recent weeks. Paracetamol, amoxicillin and cough syrup are among several products in short supply. The main cause of this shortage is the global explosion of demand, especially in China where most of this drugs are produced. The Covid crisis in China means that there is a huge demand for paracetamol there – Beijing has already decided to suspend exports of anti-fever drugs.
20 cats found abandoned in apartment
The owner of an apartment in Reynès called the authorities when they discovered that their tenants had left the apartment empty for some period of time, with a large quantity of cats inside. The rescue charity Marina Un Refuge pour Céret, and gendarmes and volunteers from Arles-sur-Tech entered the property and discovered 20 cats in a terrible state. There was faeces everywhere, two had died, and the rest were skeletal. They managed to save 17 cats who are now being cared for in the shelter. The owner of the cats avowed that he loved his cats and had only left them for 2 days while he went to attend his mother’s funeral, then his grandmother’s funeral, and then a job interview. A complaint has been filed.
Jellyfish invasion on the Catalan coastline
The brave swimmers who ‘enjoyed’ the traditional New Year’s Day may have had other things to worry about than the coldness of the sea – the jellyfish have arrived early. Usually visible from mid to late February, thousands of Pelagia Jellyfish (pink with long filaments) have been seen in the port of Banyuls-sur-Mer, and dozens of them could be seen stranded on the sand at Canet beach. Even when dead they can give you a nasty sting so take care if you come across any.
Plenty of room at the inn
Anybody wanting to see the traditional Nativity Scene in the town hall in Perpignan over Christmas will have noticed that the figures of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus were no longer there – they had been ‘evicted’ even before the three wise men could arrive. Following complaints, the Court of Montpellier ruled that the display was contrary to the principles of secularism and ordered that the scene be dismantled on 21st December or they would risk paying a fine. The stable is still there but the spirit of Christmas now seems to be represented by a giant Santa Claus and a strange looking reindeer standing on its hind legs.
Two burglars were arrested in the early hours of 5th January having broken into a supermarket in Perpignan and helped themselves to 200 bottles of wine, cosmetics and food. They might have got away with it had they been more discreet, but were easily spotted by police as they pushed their laden trollies through the streets of the town.