COVID coverage has been greatly reduced. Overall the number was up double compared to last week, though they are not seeing an impact in the hospital system. They are currently saying the increase is from the large gathering of Carnival that happened. The territory map is showing considerably more color, as previously it was all red. It was noted that positives in the residential homes increased 45% in our region. Also they are not planning to provide a fourth dose of the vaccine for those in residential homes or those over 65. Thankfully the number of positives in the workers of those facilities continues to be low.
Last week the Basque Country experienced winds that contained Sahara sand. This resulted in the air quality being very low for a couple of days. Additionally everything was covered in sand particles. Since it’s passed the lines now at the car wash places have increased as people look to have their cars cleaned as even after it rained a thin layer of the Sahara sand was still present.
We are now into our second week of the truck driver strike. They are on strike as the price of fuel has increased 50%, without them being able to compensate for the increase. It is also impacting the delivery of fresh fish from the docks, as the ships arrive they are not finding the transportation for the fish to the fish markets or distributors. It is also starting to impact deliveries to the supermarket and the paper is reporting some of them are having shortages of different items.
The living cost for a family has increased ~350â‚¬/mnth. That was comparing Feb 2021 to Feb 2022. The largest increase was in the housing category which was impacted due to increase in energy cost. The only category that had a decrease was communication, which was a very small decrease. Inflation for the month of February in Gipuzkoa was reported at 7.1% which is the highest level in 30 years.
The IBEX35 ended last week on an upward trend closing at 8417.60, a 3.38% increase for the week.
The leaders of all the autonomous regions in Spain gathered last week for the first time in a decade. Pedro SÃ¡nchez gathered the leaders so they could talk about the current humanitarian and economic crisis that is happening due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. One key point was how to address the continued increase in energy cost that is affecting everyone. During the week the Spanish government put forward a request to limit the cost of electricity to 180â‚¬/Mwh. They also talked about how to help the Ukrainian refugees who will be making Spain their home.
Pedros SÃ¡nches also made a visit to Morocco. The visit has not been viewed well by several different parties. This is because of what happened 47 years ago when Spain transferred control of Western Sahara to Morocco. While this was a strategic discussion, it is causing quite a stir politically for him. It seems the United States was putting pressure for him to have the conversations.
In Basque politics, it looks like the education reform will finally be passed. Conversations for changes began in February and it’s been quite an effort to get the reform passed. They believe this is a good pass for the future of the Basque Education system. Though not everyone is in agreement with the direction of the reform as the teacher’s union was calling for a strike on March 25. To date the document has not been published publicly. It will be a couple of weeks before that happens as it works its way through the approval process.
The only story covered in the international section has been the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Last week the leaders of Poland, Scotland and Czech Republic traveled to Kiev. The purpose of the trip was to ensure that Ukraine knows they have the full support of the EU in its effort to defend themselves. A lot of concern existed for the safety of travel given the Russian missile strikes, which is why they chose to travel by train. People in Gipuzkoa have been very generous and last week 5 trucks from the area were driven to Ukraine with donated items. The Basque government is working on a plan on how to help those who will be arriving from Ukraine. They are expecting between 350-700 people, though the number could be more.
Real Sociedad played against Sevilla to a 0-0 draw. The team is currently in 6th place overall. They also lost the team captain Mikel Oyarzabel with a knee injury for the rest of the season. The next game is against Espanyol on April 4th.
GBC played against Mallorca Palma to the result of a 85-67 loss. Then they played against Hueseca and lost 68 – 85. Then another loss, 68-74 to Palencia. With the 3 losses the team is now situated in 11th place overall.
The women’s hockey team in San Sebastian won the championship in the Iberdrola Hockey league, for the first time in its history. The team had an incredible regular season winning 17 of 18 games. Then they went on to have victories in semi final and final to win the title. The team has quite the makeup of ages from 16 to 40.
Prayer Points and verse for the week:
- Russian Invasion of Ukraine and the wide reaching impacts
- Truckers Strike
- Education Reform
The verse for this week was from my weekly reading:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV