Sánchez Promises To Lower Taxes To Put The Brakes On Rising Electricity Prices

Sanchez outlined that the suspension of the energy generation tax (7%) will be extended until the end of the year and that special tax will be reduced from 5.1 to 0.5%, ‘the minimum required by EU law’. He also intends to ‘cap gas bills’ before the expected price rise over the coming months. 

Sánchez pointed out that ‘a distinction must be made’ between the price of energy in the markets. He also claimed that, until now, the government had tried to lower electricity prices with structural reforms – promoting renewable energy sources, protecting the most vulnerable families by not allowing supplies to be cut off due to non-payment and reducing taxes such as VAT and generation tax. He has asked Congress to expedite the measures pending parliamentary endorsement.

Bishop Quits To Marry Erotic Novelist 

Bishop of Solsona, Xavier Novell created controversy in the past for admitting he ‘frequently’ practised exorcisms, spoke out in defence of conversion therapy for homosexuals and supported his region’s attempt at a referendum on independence. In a letter to the Diocese of Solsona, Novell explained his decision to give up his post of Bishop and leave the Church was due to ‘strictly personal reasons’, but it has only now been revealed that he had fallen in love with psychologist and fiction writer Silvia Caballol.

Sra Caballol’s novels are erotic with a satanic twist – like a kind of vampire or devil-worship version of the Fifty Shades series – and titles highlighted in the Church press include Hell in Gabriel’s Lust.

Novell, who became Spain’s youngest Bishop when he took the post in 2010, aged 41, has spoken out against abortion, even following rape; euthanasia, and same-sex marriage. Back in 2017, he made the unfounded claim that homosexuality was ‘caused’ by ‘not having a father figure’ in the family, or directly condemning single mums or all-female parents.

Catholic churchmen cannot marry or have romantic relationships, unlike in some other branches of Christianity. Novell and Caballol are living together in Manresa (Barcelona) despite not being married and Silvia Caballol is a divorcée. The writer and practising psychologist spent several years living in Morocco married to a Muslim and had two children with him. Women in similar situations have come out in support of Silvia. Two other ladies in Spain who wed churchmen, Tere Cortés and Emilia Robles, set up the association for married priests or Movement for Optional Celibacy in the Church (MOCEOP), in 1977 and calculate that between 7,000 and 8,000 clergymen in the country have spouses and even children. They are campaigning for the Catholic Church to scrap the celibacy rule which, they say, is largely behind the rapid decline in men entering the priesthood.

Only men can be priests in the Catholic Church and technically, if a priest discovers he is homosexual, he is required to resign – although at least one openly-gay priest is known to have practised in Spain. 

A Scottish King Lost His Heart To Málaga: The scenes Hollywood didn’t show.

“I gave you my heart, but the very next day you threw it away,” was the beyond-the-grave reproach Scotland’s King Robert I never made to his right-hand man, Sir James Douglas, as far as we know, but who, in a roundabout way, did exactly that.

Angus MacFadyen played ‘Robert the Bruce’ in Braveheart

Fans of Mel Gibson, of Scottish culture and history, or both and those who just love a good battle on screen, may or may not be aware of what links their favourite epic, Braveheart, with Malaga. 

Long before Hollywood was invented, or the American continent was even known about to anyone bar its native inhabitants, the original script of the blockbuster film was being written in real life. Whether or not what eventually appeared in the cinema bore any resemblance is another matter and is probably unknown, as none of the cast of the first version is alive to fact-check it for us.

Robert I of Scotland did not bother with a referendum when he achieved independence for the region, which was a separate country from the rest of what we now know as the United Kingdom until the Union Act of May 1st 1707 joined it to England. On his death-bed, the monarch (played by Angus MacFadyen in the film) declared that he wanted his body to be buried in Scotland and his heart in Jerusalem. Sir James promised faithfully to the dying ‘Robert the Bruce’ that he would carry out his wishes and ordered the King’s heart to be extracted from him posthumously and embalmed. It was placed inside a large silver locket, which Sir James wore on a chain and vowed not to take off until he reached the Middle Eastern city. 

Sevilla does not have a coast, but it is sliced by the huge Guadalquivir River, which runs into the sea, so there is a port which was where Sir James Douglas would be welcomed by Alfonso XI ‘The Just’, monarch and ruler of the Kingdom of Castilla. 

Alfonso XI, on the throne from 1311-1350, took advantage of Sir James’ appearance in Sevilla to ask his help in conquering La Estrella castle in the town of Teba, in the north-eastern part of the province of Málaga, about 70 kilometres from Málaga city.

The King of Castilla wanted to seize the castle from the Moors and the Muslim King Muhammad IV of Granada and Sir ‘Black Douglas’ was a passing recruit to the cause. During the battle, ‘Black Douglas’ is documented to have said to the soul of Robert the Bruce: “Now go before us as you would have wished to do and I will follow you or die.” Sir James flung the locket with the deceased King’s heart in it onto the ground in the middle of Teba, in front of his horse, in order to ‘follow’ it.

This unusual form of ‘throwing down a gauntlet’, using an internal organ instead of a glove, did not bring ‘Black Douglas’ the luck and ghostly guidance he hoped for. He and his men were killed in the battle of Teba just minutes after the heart gesture, which was forgotten about, on a street in a Málaga village. 

The Moors were soon overcome and Muhammad IV of Granada was declared a vassal, or subordinate, of the King of Castilla in 1331, a year after Sir James’ last battle.

Muslim soldiers retrieved Robert the Bruce’s heart and extracted Sir James’ heart from his inert body, keeping them as relics of the battle.

They had them sent to Scotland. Robert the Bruce’s heart was buried in Melrose Abbey and that of ‘Black Douglas’ in St Bride’s Church. They remain in their respective resting places nearly 700 years on. The Scottish town of Melrose itself has been twinned with Teba since 1989.

If you’re a Braveheart fan, Teba, part of southern Spain’s picturesque ‘white villages’ network, is an obligatory pit-stop on Costa del Sol. August 23rd-25th is when ‘Scottish Festivaltakes place. Visit the infamous La Estrella Castle, built in the 12th century, the biggest castle in the province. If you have links to Scotland, you are likely to arouse some excitement within this close-knit community of just 3,500 inhabitants. Visit the many museums. Anything on display in Teba’s Archaeology Museum from around 1330 would have been a matter of metres away from Robert the Bruce’s second-in-command and would have witnessed the King of Scotland’s heart being hurled to the ground.