Chief Correspondent, Reuters Spain
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Jun 2, 2014

Spain’s King Juan Carlos abdicates

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s King Juan Carlos is abdicating after almost 40 years on the throne and his son Prince Felipe will succeed him, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Monday in a surprise announcement.

“His majesty, King Juan Carlos, has just communicated to me his will to give up the throne,” Rajoy said. “I’m convinced this is the best moment for change.”

May 29, 2014

Book Talk: Oregon writer finds beauty, redemption on death row

By Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – Non-fiction writer Rene Denfeld draws on her work as a death penalty investigator in her first novel, “The Enchanted”, the story of a prisoner who invents a horrible, liberating beauty deep underground.

Although he doesn’t even have a window in his cell, the first-person narrator imagines life on the outside, especially that of a character known as “the lady” who works to redeem death-row prisoners, much as Denfeld does in real life.

May 26, 2014

Spain’s Socialist leader quits after party’s worst-ever election

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s Socialist opposition leader Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said on Monday he was stepping down after the party had its worst-ever election result on Sunday with an upstart rival leftist group grabbing 8 percent of the vote.

Recession-weary voters, unhappy with public-sector wage cuts, layoffs and corruption scandals also punished the ruling center-right People’s Party.

May 15, 2014

Book Talk: Oregon writer finds beauty, redemption on death row

By Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – Non-fiction writer Rene Denfeld draws on her work as a death penalty investigator in her first novel, “The Enchanted”, the story of a prisoner who invents a horrible, liberating beauty deep underground.

Although he doesn’t even have a window in his cell, the first-person narrator imagines life on the outside, especially that of a character known as “the lady” who works to redeem death-row prisoners, much as Denfeld does in real life.

Apr 10, 2014

Ship ready to destroy Syria’s chemical arms at sea

ON BOARD THE CAPE RAY, Spain (Reuters) – Experts on board a cargo ship transformed into a multi-million dollar chemical weapons destroyer said on Thursday they were ready to start working on Syria’s stock of toxic arms in the middle of the Mediterranean as early as May.

Now they just have to hope the weather holds and Damascus delivers on time.

Former container vessel Cape Ray, docked in southern Spain, has been fitted out with at least $10 million of gear to let it take on about 560 metric tonnes of Syria’s most dangerous chemical agents and sail them out to sea, said officials.

Apr 9, 2014

Political heat rises over bid for Spanish olive oil giant

MADRID, April 9 (Reuters) – Some of the owners of the
world’s top olive oil bottler Deoleo are rethinking
plans to sell, sources said, after the Spanish government
revealed its interest in buying into what it sees as a
nationally strategic company.

The move puts at risk British-based CVC Capital Partners’
bid for the indebted Spanish firm, which sells one
fifth of the world’s bottled olive oil and owns three of the top
four brands, Spain’s Carbonell and Italy’s Bertolli and
Carapelli.

Apr 8, 2014

CVC frontrunner for Spain’s olive oil firm Deoleo – sources

LONDON/MADRID, April 8 (Reuters) – British private equity
fund CVC Capital Partners is the frontrunner in a race to buy
Spanish olive oil bottler Deoleo, two banking sources
said on Tuesday, a deal that has taken on political dimensions
in Spain.

Other bidders include U.S. private equity firm Carlyle
and Rhone Capital, France’s PAI Partners, and the
Italian’ government’s strategic fund, according to media reports
and sources familiar with the process.

Apr 3, 2014

Foreign funds vie for Spanish olive oil firm Deoleo – source

MADRID, April 3 (Reuters) – A number of foreign funds are
vying to take over Spain’s Deoleo, the world’s top
olive oil bottler with brands like Carbonell, a source close to
the deal said on Thursday, in a deal that has become highly
politicised.

Spain is the world’s biggest olive oil producer. Its olive
oil exports are surging and the industry is seen as a growth
area especially for the south of the country, which is plagued
by high unemployment.

Apr 3, 2014

Crimean annexation does Europe’s separatists no favors

MADRID/PARIS (Reuters) – Russia’s annexation of Crimea after a snap referendum staged under military occupation has whetted some appetites in the Balkans, but has done no favors to the Scots, Catalans, Flemish and others seeking independence in Europe.

The leader of ethnic Serbs in Bosnia was quick to claim a precedent, asserting his autonomous Serb Republic’s right to secede or at least turn the former Yugoslav republic into an even looser confederation.

Mar 3, 2014

Spanish ex-banker Blesa questioned by judge in mis-selling case

MADRID, March 3 (Reuters) – The ex-head of one of Spain’s
biggest troubled banks was questioned by a judge behind closed
doors on Monday over the sale of billions of euros in risky
investments to small savers, who then lost most of their money
as the financial crisis unfolded.

High Court Examining Magistrate Fernando Andreu is
investigating whether Miguel Blesa, ex-chairman of Caja Madrid,
and other executives, duped savers into buying hybrid securities
known as preference shares, sold as part of efforts to boost the
bank’s capital and cover up solvency problems.

    • About Fiona

      "Fiona Ortiz is Reuters' chief correspondent for Spain. She has also lived and worked as a journalist in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Portland, Oregon."
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