Local Daily News 20th January

The devaluation of the euro triggers exports from the province to the US by 27%

The devaluation of the euro against the dollar is proving decisive so that sales to the US have skyrocketed by 27%, with footwear, metal and canned fruit and vegetables as the sectors that are pulling the bandwagon the most. All this, in addition, in a context in which exports from Alicante, as a whole, continue to rise, with an increase of 14% until last November, which has allowed them to reach 6,518 million euros.

The exchange rate between the euro and the dollar reached parity in July of last year for the first time since 2002, in a trend of devaluation of the single European currency that has been advancing, to the point that it is currently trading at 0.922 dollars. The origin of this depreciation must be sought in the uncertainty surrounding the EU economy in the current war context between Russia and Ukraine, as well as in the aggressiveness of the US monetary policy to combat inflation with the rise in its interest rates. Despite the fact that the community authorities have tried to imitate the North American ones in this field, the reality is that the euro continues to be worth less than the dollar and everything indicates that this dynamic will continue for almost all of 2023.

The weakness of the currency has a negative side, as is the risk of inflation stagnating in the euro area. But it also has its positive side, since it stimulates the competitiveness of domestic products against the rest and attracts a lot of foreign demand.

This seems to be confirmed by the latest data published by the Provincial Directorate of Foreign Trade of Alicante, which reveals that exports from the province to the US had grown by 27.2% until last November in relation to the same previous period, reaching 420 million euros.

Footwear is at the forefront of sales to the North American country, with 131.4 million euros after an increase of 30%. The metal sector also stands out in this chapter, with 17.6 million euros exported in the machinery and mechanical devices section thanks to an identical increase, and canned fruit and vegetables, which took off to 33.5 million after a notable rise estimated at 70%.

The professor of Applied Economics at the University of Alicante (UA), Paloma Taltavull, does not hesitate to point out that the devaluation of the euro is decisive for the province’s exports. In her words, “most of the products we sell abroad are traditional manufactures such as footwear, which are very sensitive to price changes, because they have many competitors. Just as now they benefit from this depreciation, when the opposite happens they also lose market share quickly. With regard to metal, Taltavull points out that “our companies have evolved a lot when it comes to producing high-level technology and machinery, therefore, with similar benefits, products that are a little cheaper are purchased, and that is where we have opened up A hole”.

However, the economist also attributes this increase in sales to the US to President Biden’s trade policy. “Political instability and the breakdown of supply chains as a result of the pandemic have meant that the North American country is trying to depend less and less on Chinese imports, and for this it is signing trade agreements with the European Union,” he asserts. she.

And what do the sectors directly involved think? The president of the Valencian Association of Footwear Entrepreneurs (Avecal), Marián Cano, highlights that “brands have spent years focusing their efforts on growing in the United States, a market that has been the first non-EU destination for our exports for years thanks to the excellent evaluation of our products. Added to this recognition at this time is the strength of the dollar, which obviously favours the growth of sales to this country.”

For his part, the president of the Federation of Metal Entrepreneurs of the Province of Alicante (Fempa), Luis Rodríguez, points out that “companies, despite the difficulties, are making significant investments in innovation that reinforce their competitiveness in the markets exteriors. In this context, logically, the strength of the dollar is also an advantage that should be tried to take advantage of.

On the other hand, the province’s exports, as a whole, maintain their upward trend. Of the 6,518 million euros sold until last November, 1,225 correspond to footwear, after an increase of 17.8%; 575 to fruits and vegetables, with a rise of 5.7%; and 427 to legumes and vegetables, thanks to a rise of 5.9%. They are followed by plastic materials and their manufactures, with 414 million and an increase of 17.3%; aluminium, with 375 and 29.8%; canned vegetables and fruit, with 271 million and 14.6%; electrical machines and appliances, with 177 and 18%; and electrical appliances and material, with 173 and 9.5%.

Torrevieja: The Court sentences a former Local Police inspector to 8 months in prison for removing a fine from a friend

The Provincial Court has sentenced the now retired former inspector of the Local Police of Torrevieja to eight and a half months in prison for a crime of infidelity in the custody of a public document after proving that he withdrew a traffic ticket from a person he knew. The neighbour who was fined, and who never received the 200-euro penalty, has now been sentenced to seven and a half months in prison for a crime of influence peddling and to pay those 200 euros and the legal costs of the procedure.

The defendant announced to the agents who imposed the fine that she knew a command, the now convicted, and that they were going to take it away, as has happened. Two agents responsible for processing the offences who were tried for the same facts have been acquitted.

During the more than nine years that elapsed from the date on which the complaint was registered, in April 2013, to his prosecution, the base agent who reported the case had to leave the Local Police staff due to the alleged pressures he received of the command now condemned and of other agents of his environment.

The sentence indicates as proven facts that on November 30th, 2012, two agents of the Local Police who were patrolling Rosa Mazón avenue with the intersection of Mª Humildad Jiménez street, observed how the driver of the vehicle driven by the now convicted woman did not respect a stop sign and was about to collide with the police vehicle.

The agents stopped her and after one of them asked her to sign the complaint bulletin, the affected woman snapped at him, with “a certain irony” and in a “mocking” tone: “of course I’ll sign the complaint for you son, if I don’t I’m going to pay, write what you want, I’m going to call my friend Inspector Vera right now.” And she signed it. The amount of the sanction was 200 euros.

Shortly after, on December 4th, 2012, that same agent realised that the original complaint was not in the “mailbox” used to deposit fines at the Local Police checkpoint. What he did then was register it at the single window of the Murcia City Council and directed it to the sanctions department of the Torrevieja Local Police. The court ruling admits that the police proceeded “in this unusual way, but undoubtedly valid, given the lack of reliability shown by the mailboxes set up for this purpose, which sometimes overflowed, causing complaints to fall to the ground and without any control measure ” .

It was as a result of this complaint that the system for processing fines in the Torrevieja City Council changed completely, although at that time the dependencies lacked security measures to monitor the “traceability” of the fines. Any agent could have access to them and there was no record.

But the one that was sent through a single window did reach its destination. It was registered on December 27th, 2012. The person affected by the fine “at the time -says the ruling- in charge of the Civil Protection service of Torrevieja”, contacted the then inspector and with “the spirit of generating in him the intention to commit criminal conduct”, asked him to “intervene or do what is necessary to avoid having to pay the traffic fine that had been imposed”. Both, says the sentence, were united by a relationship of “closeness as a result of their respective professions”

The province of Alicante is at the forefront of organ donation in Spain

ransplant activity in hospitals in the Valencian Community has increased by 5.4% compared to the last year, with 544 interventions to provide a patient with a donated organ compared to 516 in 2021. In addition, it is close to pre-pandemic figures, as in 2019 there were 552. The rate stands, therefore, at 106.8 transplants per million population, 4 points above the previous year.

Of the total, 305 kidney, 138 liver, 65 lung, 28 heart and 8 pancreatic transplants were carried out. The General Hospital of Alicante is the one that registers the highest number of donations, an aspect in which the province is at the top of the national indices with 53 donors per million inhabitants.

By provinces, 138 transplants were performed in Alicante, 25% of the total in the Community. Of these, 117 in General Doctor Balmis (70 kidney and 47 liver) and 21 in General de Elche, all kidney.

At the time of the balance, The Ministry of Health highlights how donation in controlled asystole (organs and tissues that come from a person who is diagnosed with death after the absence of a heartbeat and spontaneous breathing for more than five minutes) has been promoted, with 107 donors during the past year with the consolidation of the mobile ECMO team (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation System) of the Valencian Community, which allows the realisation of this type of donation in all the centres that perform transplants.

This team carried out 31 outings in which 58 kidneys, 26 livers and 18 lungs could be obtained to be transplanted. Thus, donation in asystole accounts for 42.8% of all donations. There were 250 organ donations from cadaveric donors, 107 were donations in asystole and 143 from brain death. By provinces, 39 donors were registered in Castellón, 133 in Valencia and 78 in Alicante.

All this data has been released by the Minister of Health, Miguel Mínguez, together with the director of the Transplant Program in the Valencian Community, Rafael Zaragoza. Mínguez has highlighted in this regard that “the Valencian Community remains above the national average in organ donations with a rate of 49.1 donors per million inhabitants, compared to the national rate, which stands at 46.3. “These figures show the degree of solidarity of Valencian society”, he emphasised.

The minister has shown his gratitude for all the donations and also to the families, for “a decision as important as organ donation, because thanks to them many people will be able to lead a normal life and improve their quality of life”. Specifically, 87% of families say yes to organ donation.

Likewise, 9 living donors were registered; More than 50 transplants were carried out in hospitals from other autonomous regions with organs from donors from the Valencian Community; and 26 child transplants were performed: 12 kidney, 10 liver, 2 lung, and 2 heart transplants.

As explained by the minister, the Valencian Community is the only autonomous community in the country that offers mobile ECMO coverage to 100% of the centres in a consolidated way, “which allows us to place the Valencian public system at levels above the average in terms of donations.” In this sense, he thanked “the important work carried out by the transplant coordination health teams, since many lives are being saved thanks to their professionalism”.

The hospital that registered the highest number of donations in 2022 was the Dr. Balmis University General Hospital in Alicante with 45, the La Fe de Valencia Hospital with 43, and the Castellón General Hospital with a total of 39.

Likewise, it is worth noting the activity in the Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valencia with 26 donors, the General de Valencia with 16 donors; and in the Doctor Peset hospitals in Valencia and Elda, both with 13 donations. In the Francesc de Borja and La Ribera centres there were seven.

“According to the total balance in all the departments, during the past year the activity has been very distributed at a geographical level, registering at least one donor in 23 of the 24 departments,” said Rafal Zaragoza.

Currently, the provinces of Alicante and Castellón remain among the provinces with the highest rate of donation in the territory of the State.

The Civil Guard seizes more than 1,900 fake products in shops in Benidorm

The Calp Civil Guard has seized 1,913 allegedly counterfeit sports and luxury brand products that were ready for sale to the public in four establishments dedicated to the sale of clothing and accessories in Benidorm. Four people who were in charge of these shops in Benidorm have been investigated by the Civil Guard for a crime against industrial property. The intervened merchandise has a value in the original products of more than 200,000 euros.

As reported by the Alicante Command, the Fiscal and Border Patrol of the Civil Guard of Calp began an operation last September to detect businesses dedicated to the sale of counterfeit products.

The agents detected four establishments in Benidorm where they sold apparently counterfeit clothing and accessories, for which they contacted the affected brands.

The experts from these brands were able to certify that the products sold by the investigated businesses were not original products, but rather counterfeits.

The affected brands decided to appear in the case as injured parties and on December 29 an inspection operation was organised in Benidorm after studying and analysing all the documentation.

Agents of the Fiscal and Border Patrol of the Civil Guard of Calp, together with a representative of the complainant brands, carried out four inspections simultaneously and in a coordinated manner at the investigated points of sale. Once it was proven that the clothing and accessories were counterfeit, a total of 1,913 garments and accessories from different sports and luxury brands were withdrawn.

The experts analysed the intervened products and found that they were of low quality, both in the materials used for their manufacture and in their design.

The Civil Guard located in one of the shops a double bottom behind the counter, where the packaged merchandise was located and ordered by brands and models.

The owners of the establishments could not prove the origin of the counterfeit products, nor present some type of authorization from the affected brands to make their sale, for which they were investigated for a crime against industrial property.

The four investigated are three men of Indian nationality and a woman of Chinese nationality, between 46 and 55 years of age. The proceedings conducted and the items seized were made available to the Investigating Court number 2 of Benidorm.

The Civil Guard recalls the negative consequences of buying and selling this type of product on the economy, employment and innovation, as well as the risk to the health and safety of the user.

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