AND HERE IS THE NEWS…
….a quick glance at the latest local news with Caroline Manson
Man seriously injured in Le Barcares
The daughter of a 62 year old man became worried having not heard from him for several days, so asked relatives to visit him. They discovered her father lying unconscious on the floor of his living room, having suffered a heavy head wound. The seriously injured man was taken urgently to hospital where he is being treated for life-threatening injuries. Police are treating the case as attempted murder, but finding witnesses is proving difficult as the man lived in a holiday residence on the seafront in Le Barcarès and most of the holiday homes are vacant over the winter.
Demonstration against the Health Pass
The traditional Saturday demonstration in the streets of Perpignan was better attended than usual following Emmanuel Macron’s comments in the press this week where he said he wanted to ‘annoy’ the unvaccinated. Nearly 1000 protestors marched from Place Catalunya to the town centre, many carrying placards stating ‘Macron we ‘annoy’ you too’.
Four young burglars rent AirBNB property
A resident of Saint André called the police when he spotted four young people climbing over the wall of a property and stealing tools and equipment. They fled by car, but the police were able to trace it and found it parked in front of a rental property. The four young friends from Isère had rented an AirBnb property but it is not yet known if their holiday plans included carrying out further burglaries, although knives were found in their possession. Three of them were minors (two boys and a 17 year old girl who had run away from home) and a 23 year old man.
Dozens of Perpignan road signs modified
During the night of Wednesday January 6th, stickers were glued on dozens of road signs, changing PERPIGNAN to the Catalan version of PERPINYA. Apparently road workers have been finding these stickers for several weeks now and the town hall is planning to file a complaint if this continues. This action illustrates the dissatisfaction of some Catalan separatists as previously there were always the Catalan road signs alongside the French road signs, but the city removed these signs last October – for ‘cleaning’.
Ceret animal shelter threatened with expulsion
The Marina refuge has been given until June 30 to leave the site along the Tech and relocate. The problem dates back to 2018 when 1600m² of land was lent, but since then the refuge has expanded and exceeded the original boundary. Marina assures that this extension was absolutely necessary and that the land was an old landfill and that she maintains the property well, but the town hall claims never to have received any requests to regularise the project. The Mayor says he is keen to find solutions as the refuge does a real service to the public and the community. Marina’s is the only refuge in the Vallespir that welcomes horses, cats, dogs or rabbits.
Perpignan Hospital Delta/Omicron figures
Of the 200 patients hospitalised at the beginning of the year because of Covid-19, just 10% of them had the Omicron variant. The Regional Health Agency states that the Occitanie region is probably one of the last in metropolitan France to get the Omicron variant, which is appears to be much more contagious than the Delta variant but with less fatalities (among the vaccinated). The hospital remains saturated as although the Delta wave has reached its peak at Christmas, the incidence rate remains high.
The gendarmes reported that New Year’s Eve passed fairly calmly this year. However; they were called out 386 times and intervened 73 times, including 8 for domestic violence leading to two arrests. In le Barcarès, 2 cars were set on fire, while in Baho there was a déchetterie fire. On the road there were four traffic accidents (fortunately not resulting in injury and on each occasion only one car was involved and on each occasion the driver was over the alcohol limit). 350 roadside checks were carried out which discovered 15 drivers over the alcohol limit, five driving under the influence of narcotics, two licence defects and two insurance defects. In total they retained 11 licenses. Happy New Year!