Midwest Correspondent
Fiona's Feed
Mar 30, 2013
via FaithWorld

Spain’s Holy Week parades thrive despite falling Catholic faith


(A penitent of “La Lanzada” brotherhood walks to a church to start his penance during Holy Week in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain, March 27, 2013. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo)

It is 1 a.m. on Good Friday and thousands of people hush their chatter in Seville’s Duque Plaza. A cloud of incense is the only sign of what approaches.

Mar 29, 2013

Spain’s holy parades thrive despite falling faith

SEVILLE, Spain (Reuters) – It is 1 a.m. on Good Friday and thousands of people hush their chatter in Seville’s Duque Plaza. A cloud of incense is the only sign of what approaches.

First come the penitents, hundreds of mute figures in cone shaped hoods and long robes. They carry meter-long white candles. Then the centerpiece sways into view – a gilded float with an 18th Century wooden statue of Jesus.

Mar 19, 2013

As scandal swirls, Spain probes king’s businesswoman friend

MADRID (Reuters) – The head of Spanish intelligence was quizzed behind closed doors in parliament on Tuesday over whether public money had been spent on a woman whose friendship with King Juan Carlos has fueled talk of scandal and abdication.

Members of the parliamentary committee which oversees security spending and Felix Sanz of the National Intelligence Centre were bound by official secrecy not to reveal the content of the hearing, which lasted for some two hours in Madrid.

Mar 14, 2013

Spain rules out tougher provisioning rules for banks-official

MADRID, March 14 (Reuters) – Spain is ruling out asking its
banks to set aside more provisions to cover potential losses on
loans on top of writedowns enforced in 2012, a senior official
from the economy ministry said on Thursday.

“Absolutely not,” said the official, who spoke on condition
of anonymity, in response to a question on further provisions.

Mar 14, 2013

Spain’s Jazztel expects boost from fibre optic network

MADRID, March 14 (Reuters) – Spanish broadband provider
Jazztel said on Thursday it expected revenue to jump to
as much as 1.6 billion euros by 2017 from 909 million last year
through investment in a fibre optic network and a focus on
mobile telephone clients.

In a strategic plan it forecast a rise in net profit to
between 180 million and 220 million euros in five years from 62
million last year.

Mar 12, 2013

Spain unveils 3.5 bln euro plan to get young back to work

MADRID, March 12 (Reuters) – Spain pledged 3.5 billion euros
($4.6 billion) over four years on Tuesday to easing mass
unemployment among the country’s youth, as the government tries
to stem a relentless tide of layoffs and lengthening jobless

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy presented 100 different
measures including tax breaks for young freelance workers and
for companies that hire workers in their twenties.

Feb 21, 2013

Swiss bank account adds twist to Spain corruption scandal

MADRID, Feb 21 (Reuters) – When Luis Barcenas, a former
treasurer of Spain’s ruling People’s Party now at the heart of a
growing corruption scandal, deposited 14 million euros in a new
account at his Swiss bank in 2005 the bank asked him to explain
how he came by the money.

Barcenas told Dresdner bank, since acquired by LGT bank, the
funds came from his involvement with eight Spanish and Argentine
companies and from real estate and fine art deals, according to
documents from the examining magistrate’s evidence file in a
Spanish High Court investigation seen by Reuters.

Feb 13, 2013

Guatemalan leader sees paradigm shift on drug policy

MADRID (Reuters) – Guatemalan President Otto Perez said on Wednesday he is feeling less alone in his drive to re-think the fight against drug-trafficking than a year ago, when he shocked fellow Central American leaders with a proposal to decriminalise narcotics.

Guatemala, like its neighbour Mexico, is racked by violence from drug-trafficking cartels that ship South American cocaine to the United States. A Central American nation of 15 million people, Guatemala has one of the world’s highest murder rates.

Feb 5, 2013

In Spain, slow justice favors Rajoy

MADRID (Reuters) – The tortuous procedures of the Spanish court system and a weak political opposition mean corruption allegations are unlikely to force Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy from office.

Uproar in the media and some street protests have helped raise doubts among investors on the government’s future, pushing its borrowing costs back up at a time when its priority has been to save money and pay off debts to stave off insolvency.

Feb 2, 2013

Spain’s Rajoy denies wrongdoing in kickbacks scandal

MADRID, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano
Rajoy on Saturday strongly denied wrongdoing in a growing
corruption scandal that threatens to erode his credibility just
as he is making headway against a deep economic crisis.

The ruling People’s Party (PP) has been buffeted all week by
media reports alleging that its former treasurers operated a
slush fund with donations from construction industry executives
that were then doled out to Rajoy and other party leaders.

    • About Fiona

      "Fiona Ortiz is a general news correspondent for Reuters Americas based in Chicago and covering the Midwest. Previously, she was Reuters' chief correspondent in Madrid, where she covered political and economic news and ran a bureau of some 25 correspondents who wrote about everything from the debt crisis to sports. Fiona has been with Reuters since 1996 and has had assignments in Guatemala, Mexico, Chile and Argentina."
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