Latest News101 11-04-2008

Investigation into "mad cow" death

The Ministry of Health is investigating the death of a man in Torrevieja Hospital who may had died of CJD "mad cow disease". This comes just one week after a the second confirmed  death in the Castilla-Leon region, the first case was in January and the other just a week ago.  The Ministry of Health are waiting for  biopsy results before confirming if the disease was contracted through the consumption of BSE infected beef.  The 55 year old man, originally from Salamanca in Castilla-Leon, died at Hospital Comarcal de Torrevieja from what is believed to be Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It has been suggested that the disease could be a “sporadic” form which can occur for “hereditary” reasons. Torrevieja Hospital has commented that although “sporadic” Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is very rare, about one case per million people, it cannot be ruled out. A post mortem will be able to confirm which of the possible 17 types CJD disease and how it may have been contracted. The victim had apparently visited Britain 20 years ago before the 1996 epidemic. The disease has a 10 year incubation period.


Look to the future

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero called for a “serene” political climate during his inaugural speech in Government on April 8th. Zapatero and opposition leader, Rajoy have agreed that the parties extreme polarization during the PSOE’s first term caused conflict. The parties are agreed on the collaboration on key issues including: the fight against terrorism, the renewal of the
Constitutional Court
and the Supreme Judicial Council and the system of self-financing the Spanish presidency of the European Union in 2010. Zapatero commented "We owe it to our citizens" and promised a government for all, "dialogue with all" and "with respect to all”. Zapatero closed his speech with reference to the future, "It will be good if we can rectify the past and listen to the Spaniards, I am willing to correct and improve,"

A fatal traffic accident or a carefully planned crime?

The hearing began on April 8th into the death of Maria del Mar. In the dock, her husband, Joaquin MOP was referred to by the prosecutor as ´the murderer with a Machiavellian purpose´: drawing over one million euros from five-insurance policies organised by the defendant just six months prior to his wife’s death.

Joaquin recounted how as they travelled along the AP-7, near Favara, returning from a trip to New York, he lost consciousness and the car left the road. "When I woke up I had fallen on to my wife and the car was full of smoke."  He went on to explain how he had tried unsuccessfully to pull his wife from the car, only when he could no long fend of the flames did he flag down a vehicle on the AP-7 for help. A truck driver extinguished the fire but it was too late for Maria del Mar, who died trapped in the car. According to the defendant the passenger door was blocked by a rock, however, the prosecutor put forward a police report which identifies that there was a "meter and a half" between the car and rock. Joaquin reiterated that access was blocked. Lawyers for the insurance companies accused Joaquin of beating his wife unconscious and setting the vehicle on fire in order to make it look like an accident. The prosecutor also pointed out that the defendant contacted insurers on the same day as his wife’s funeral to enquire about compensation.  The trial continues.

British cocaine smugglers arrested in Alicante.

Two British men have been arrested leaving Alicante airport with 4 kilograms of cocaine. DHGW, aged 36, arrived at El Altet on a flight from Amsterdam and made contact with a second British man, identified only as, AK, 34. The two men were stopped by National Police officers as they left the airport grounds. On searching their vehicle officers discovered four vacuum packed bags of cocaine concealed in a suitcase. Both men have previous records for drug trafficking appeared before the magistrate’s court in Alicante.



Land-law abuse cases re-opened by MEPs

LAND-GRAB and overbuilding in the region are on the table again in the European Parliament this week as 40 new cases have come to light.

Controversial plans for urbanisations in Llíria, Benasau, Parcent and Riba-roja have been reported by home-owners who fear the impact of the LUV, which replaced the LRAU two years ago.

Since 1994, thousands of householders all along the coast have found their properties and land under threat from developers thanks to the unpopular law, dubbed the ‘land-grab’.

Many face bills running into six figures for the privilege of handing over a slice of their largest fixed asset to developers, in order to fund infrastructure on new estates.

A large percentage of affected landowners are expatriates, many of whom are British.

But now, Euro MPs are studying the issue again.

They say they have also received complaints of building plans that could potentially damage the environment in the provinces of Cádiz, Almería and Málaga, and Alcorcón in Madrid.


World smallest monkey births

Two baby pygmy Marmosets have been born at Terra Natura in Benidorm. The monkeys are the smallest in the world and are just two of 29 births at the park during March. The beginning of spring saw the birth of ten different species in the park, many of which are endangered, following a program of fertility treatment.


Kilimanjaro´s youngest climber

A NINE-YEAR-OLD boy from Valencia has managed to scale the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Along with his parents, little Jordi Membrado reached the top of the highest mountain in Africa this week as part of a medical study on altitude tolerance.

The research, which is due to be published in the SEMAM (Spanish Society for Mountain Medicine) magazine, meant stopping the young boy at every 100 metres of the climb to assess how he adapted to the changing levels of oxygen in his arteries.

He is the youngest person ever to see the 5,895-metre peak of Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) since children under ten are not allowed to climb it beyond 3,500 metres.

Pupils taught in the toilets

TOILETS at an Alzira school have been turned into a classroom due to lack of space.

The old cloakroom has been disused for a while and since converted into a junk room with tools hanging on the walls. Although the school ripped out the urinals, the old toilet remains and is used as a general dumping ground for books and papers.

After a lick of paint and the installation of a computer, it is now used for smaller, remedial classes for children who need extra attention – such as foreign pupils who have limited Spanish.

Far from being outraged at the idea, though, parents and teachers at the Josep María Parra high school suggested the toilet was redeployed as a classroom.

Council income suffers

The recent fall in the construction sector will have an impact on Alcoy City Council funds. The PP has revealed that the slow down within the construction industry has had a knock on effect on the income generated by the council from building taxes, installations and works (ICIO). The Treasurer has already announced that “the council income will suffer as a result of the current real estate situation”. The town hall economic department is currently analyzing the impact although estimates for ICIO income for 2008 is 2.2 million euros along with 1.9 million euros from capital gains tax.

New station offers better service

Local police in Canals have a new police station. The old station, in the town hall, was only 300 square metres of which only 200 were for the exclusive use of officers. Canals Mayor, Ricardo Cardona stressed that officers “could not carry out their work in such a small space, the force has grown from 6 officers to 23 and there was not sufficient space to work professionally and tend to the public”. Cardona also added that Canals “is home to almost fourteen thousand people but there are many more that are not registered.” The Mayor hopes officers will be able to improve its service “especially with regards to immigration and violence issues”. The final refurbishment amounts to 70.000 euros. 

Burglary at Ontinyent`s Historic Flour Mill

A flour grinding wheel (muelas) has been stolen from the Molí Descals flour Mill in Ontinyent. The privately owned family mill is protected and maintained as a working historical museum within the city. According to legal paperwork “the only operations permitted at the mill are those that preserve the existing structure and prohibit work which may damage the structure”. The Descal family has no clue as to when and how the wheel was stolen but the theft is a great loss to the mill. Investigations continue.

Museu Fester tour Moscow
Museum pieces from the Museu Fester in Ontinyent have been put on display at the Odessa Literature Museum in Ukraine. The unveiling ceremony took place on April 3rd and includes selected pieces such as photographs taken in the late nineteenth century, banners and flags of the official Festival, costumes of the Comparsas of Llauradors, Crusaders, and Marine Moors Benimerins and video footage of the 2005 Moors and Christian festival. The exhibition will tour Russia, starting in Moscow.

Fire destroys factory and two houses
Firefighters were called out to a paint factory fire over the weekend in Guadassequies. Two houses were damaged as flames spread and other properties were evacuated. Firecrews from from Xátiva, Ontinyent, Gandia, Alzira and Torrent were able to prevent the fire from spreading to further properties. Families from neighbouring properties were able to return home the next day.

Textile companies from the Vall d’Alabida have taken take part in the FURNIFAB 2008 Exhibition for the third consecutive year. The Upholstery Fabrics exhibition was held at the Poznan International Exhibition Centre in Poland and attended by companies from Ontinyent and Agullent.

Late paperwork loses grant

The PSPV of Albaida has reported that the town has lost a 78,000 grant "because of council and mayoral mismanagement". The grant from the Ministry of Agriculture was allocated for the repair of rural roads. The Ministry has informed the council of the withdrawal of the grant, for the Camí Vell d'Albaida to Ontinyent and Camí Vell-Casa de la Vega Tanta, because "relevant documents were not received before set deadlines". Socialist spokeswoman, Eva Tormo said that "mismanagement and poor organization by the council has caused significant losses for the town and the lack of prioritization by the mayor has left the town without this major subsidy. ". Tormo continued that this attitude shows "laziness and disinterest" by the council for problems that affect the residents of Albaida. Eva Tormo said that, taking into account the "serious" economic situation facing the council, this funding "was necessary because, although it did not cover the entire expense of the project, it would have contributed significantly."

Farmer killed by his tractor
A 65 year old man was killed after his tractor rolled over him in La Pobla Del Duc. The tragic accident happened on April 3rd. Emergency services were called to the scene but were unable to save the man. It is not clear how the accident occurred.

Boy hurt after well accident

A 10 year old boy was rescued by fire crews after falling into a water well at an empty property in Albal. The child was "a little scared and cold" after being rescued from the 15 metre deep well. CICU sources report that the boy was trapped for 30 minutes. He was later treated for bruising as a result of the fall.

Private security firm opens Alzira office

A private security firm has named urbinisations in residential areas such Casella, Murta and San Blas among those most susceptible to burglaries. From now on, residents in La Ribera can call upon the services of private security company, Prosegur Active following the opening of a new branch in Alzira. The Alzira branch will cover an area from La Ribera to Ontinyent in the La Vall d'Albaida. Residential areas like La Casella, El Racó or La Murta, Alzira, San Blas, Carcaixent or La Barraca, have become, in recent years, more susceptible to burglaries and therefore should be treated as a security priority according to Prosegur Active. Director, Carlos Valenciano, said during the recent opening of the Alzira office "For some time we have seen increased interest in our services in the La Ribera from residents concerned by the increase in burglaries." Everyday, the two alarm control centres in Madrid and Barcelona manage an average of 2,600 alarm calls, an average of one alarm every thirty seconds.

Landfill ‘revulsion’

The City councils decision to install an inert landfill in Enguera has caused upset and strong opposition amongst residents. The chosen location of the tip has caused much concern for residents, La Cañada Molina, located in the heart of the Sierra de Enguera is considered to be of incalculable ecological value. A “swap” of land was agreed at the last plannery session despite the absence of Mayor Santiago Arevalo, who is currently travelling in South America. The news has envoked immediate calls for rejection of the plan and socialist spokesman, Alfredo Barberán, issued a statement and gave notice to the government team that an extraordinary plenary session would be held to cancel the swap, and bring the entire process to an end. There have already been rumours regarding a dumping ground for highly hazardous chemicals", others have referred to the landfill as a "hospital waste” landfill. Teachers and students at Enguera Institute have started a petition and are holding talks and producing poster to demonstrate the towns collective feeling of “revulsion” towards the plans.

Man arrested over British woman’s
A man has been arrested in connection with the death of a British woman whose body was found on April 7th at a house in Torrevieja. The Cuban man went to a police station on Monday morning to confess to the murder of the unnamed woman. The body of the woman was discovered at a property on the Lake Garden II urbanization where she lived with her husband, who was working away in Afghanistan at the time of the murder. According to the suspect, he has no romantic links to the woman who had moved in next door a year ago.

Gaurdia Civil arrest wife of the man killed in Torrevieja

Police have arrested the wife of a 65 year old Russian man after he was found murdered on April 5th. One of the couple’s grandchildren discovered the body of the man, who had been attacked with an axe, lying next to his wife, who had taken an overdose. The 70 year old woman was rushed to Torrevieja Hospital for treatment. Police discovered the wife’s fingerprints on an axe at the scene. The Russian couple had been divorced since 2001 but continued to live together. The woman had been diagnosed with schizophrenia but there are no records of previous violence with the relationship. Investigations continue

Arrancan begin construction of a new business park in Gandia

The formal laying of the first stone of the 30 million euro 3C Development retail park in Gandia took place last week. The 50,000 square meter plot will contain 10 large commercial stores including an 18,000m2 Leroy Merlin store. Work began over a month ago with the preparation of the land by Amercian Company Arrancan, who specialize in the construction and management of large retail parks. Company director, Luis Miguel Pizarro, revealed that they plan to open the retail park by the end of the year. The new business park will be located south of Gandia close to the proposed Bellreguard Hospital and will have stores including Casa, Merkal, Forum Sport and Maxi Zoo as well as restaurants.

Cave Art discovered

New cave paintings were discovered in Cova de la Clau, in Palma de Gandia during a clean up project to remove graffiti. According to the director of the Museum of Archaeology of Gandia,  Joan Cardona the new paintings were discovered during a cleaning and restoration project led by prehistoric art specialist, Rafael Martinez. The cave paintings depict three archers and animals and another scene representing a cross. It is believed that one or more people, as yet unidentified, jumped the 3 metre high fence and used fluorescent spray to deface the cave. The Cova de la Cova is due for review by UNESCO as a World Heritage site next year. There are 430 recorded cave art sites in Valencia.  

Cane crusher helps clear up

Calpe Services has launched a campaign to clear the town of debris left after the October storms. Cane crushing machines have been brought in to separate and recycle waste. Hundreds of tons of cane and mud were swept along by flood water. The machine can separate the cane from other waste materials and then crush the remaining cane so it can be used for gardening compost or animal bedding. According to councillor Antonio Romera, the crusher will reduce the number of trucks required to transport flood waste to a Murcia recycling plant. The council plans to distribute the material free of charge.
Los daños ascienden a 320.873 euros y corresponden a la pavimentación de aceras en el margen del río Alberca, la reposición de dos pasarelas peatonales bajo los puentes de la N-332, la reparación y pavimentación del Camí Vell de la Llosa, el camí d'Albors, la reposición del muro de contención del Camí de Mollons y la reposición de las instalaciones del pozo de abastecimiento de la red general de agua potable.

Diver Discovers China

A professional diver has discovered Blue Willow 19th century china off the coast of Denia. Jean Castera is to donate his find to the Denia Archaeological Museum in the city. The Victorian china is believed to date from the 1860’s when boats travelled from Southampton, Liverpool and Glasgow to Spain with the fashionable tableware.

Man dies after rolling car

A 41 year old man died and his female passenger was seriously injured after their car hit the central reservation of the AP7 and rolled several times before coming to stop on its roof. The accident happened at 3.45pm on April 6th on the roundabout close to the University of Alicante. A 44 year old woman was trapped inside the vehicle and had to be cut free. She was later treated at General Hospital of Alicante for fractured neck and bruising. Sources have revealed that neither the driver nor passengers were wearing seat belts.

Wolves, eagles and vultures will return

Animal experts believe that within 40 years wolves, eagles and vultures will return to the woodland areas of the Safor. According to co-author of “Els boscos de la Safor”, Xavier Ródenas wildlife is regenerating slowly, "but far slower than the vegetation." Mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and, in general, all wildlife are the fastest method of improving the vegetation. They generate new conditions which allow other species to regenerate. The authors of the book are optimistic and confident that in time, species such as wolf, eagle, mountain goats or even vultures will return to the area.

Excrement forces Brits out of home

A BRITISH family have been forced out of their home due to raw sewage running down a drainage ditch in front of it.

Tracie Owens, from Parcent, says the stench is intolerable.

She says the family have put up with filthy drainage water filled with human excrement running directly in front of their house since Easter.

The council visited their home after she filed a complaint and they ‘dug a hole’ to drain away the sewage.

But most of the dirty water remains. Now that the water course is opened up, it could also attract rats and mosquitoes, say the affected residents.

Tracie says she has moved in with family in the village centre.

“The smell is unbearable and we have a little boy of 21 months old,” she reveals.

“We’re worried that he might pick up an infection.”

If the problem is not resolved by this Friday, Tracie intends to take legal action.


Theme park’s accounts come under the microscope

TERRA Mítica’s accounts have come under scrutiny once again.

Tax officials from the regional government will probe the popular theme park’s finances in the next few weeks – five months after authorities requested this action.

Sources from the Benidorm complex were said to be astounded and indignant that their finances were coming under scrutiny two years after they were previously examined.

But the experts in charge of examining Terra Mítica’s invoices say there are still unresolved disputes between the theme park and the tax authorities.

Terra Mítica went into receivership in 2004, but made an unexpected recovery two years ago and its organisers are optimistic about business prospects for the start of this year’s tourist season.

It’s a dog’s life during the fiestas, warns Costa charity

A LEADING animal protection society has raised concerns about the welfare of dogs during fiestas on the Costa Blanca. Raúl Mérida, from the Alicante province branch of the Sociedad Protectora de Animales, says the noise created by musical bands and fireworks can be traumatic for pets during the Fallas, Semana Santa, and other major festivals.

These worries have come to light as the upcoming summer season means a flood of fiestas all over the Costa and inland.

Last week’s Santa Faz parade in Alicante saw several dogs barking in fear as they were walked through the streets.

In the next few months, the Costa Blanca will host some of its biggest fiestas including the Hogueras de San Juan on the longest day of the year, and various Moors and Christians parades.

Mérida reveals that during the festivals throughout the year, the centre takes in five to ten dogs who have run away from home because they were frightened by the noise.

He says anyone who chooses to walk their dogs during these periods should keep them on a leash.

Residents remember imprisoned Republicans

HUNDREDS marched through the streets of Alicante as part of a public procession to commemorate those who lost their lives in Spain’s Civil War.

The reason behind the parade, which took place last Sunday for the second year running, is to persuade the city council to build a memorial monument.

They want this to be constructed where the old battlefield and war prison of Los Almendros used to be. But local authorities voted against the move last year.

To push the point home and to honour the supporters of a Republican Spain who were held prisoner in Alicante port, 700 people took to the streets in a silent protest.

32 evacuated amid arson fears

A MAN who reportedly set fire to a motorbike caused 32 people to be evacuated from their homes. Guardia Civil officers in San Juan revealed this week that they have arrested a 49-year-old Spaniard in connection with the incident.

They were called out on Tuesday, March 18 when nearby residents in an apartment block noticed an inferno in the street below. All inhabitants in the block were forced to leave the building, police said. On Saturday, they took a man into custody fitting the description of the arsonist.

Benidorm nursery cot-death tragedy

A SIX-MONTH-OLD baby has died in a nursery in Benidorm, sparking an inquest.

The baby girl had been laid down to sleep hours earlier by her carers, but when they came to wake her up to feed her she had turned blue and was not breathing.

Local Police and ambulance staff attended the scene and immediately ruled out child-abuse.

They say the nursery has a good reputation and all the necessary licences and qualifications, and has been running since 1992.

But an inquest was called as a matter of course since the cause of death was unknown.

Forensics have hinted that the girl may have suffered an allergic reaction to a meningitis vaccination she had been given several hours earlier.

But her twin sister, who had the jab at the same time and is cared for at the same nursery, has not suffered any ill effects.

Investigations continue.


The thirty plus voluntary workers that enable the Roundabout Charity Shop to do such sterling work for local charities rejoiced in the warm sunshine last Tuesday morning when the former Mayor of Javea, Senor Juan Moragues Pons cut the ribbon to declare their new shop open. They rejoiced not only because they now have an attractive new shop in the brand new Edificio La Noria on Avda Los Fueros but more so because the fund raising they devote so much effort and dedication to had been rescued by Senor Pons providing them a shop at a rent that respects their charitable purpose.

They had been forced out of their shop in Javea’s Old Town by what seems like never ending road works and prohibitive parking charges. A combination that meant they could hardly attract enough custom to cover the rent.

The Roundabout Charity Shop first opened its doors in 1976 and over the last thirty-two years has raised very considerable sums for local charities. One of their current projects is raising money to help the funding of the new Alzheimer’s Centre now under construction in the Old Town’s Plaza del Convent.

Five-cent coin-chain in bid to break records

A VALENCIA province town is attempting to get into the Guinness Book of Records by laying five-cent coins down in a line.

Having collected their loose shrapnel for over a month, the Semana Santa committee of Benetússer (Valencia) spent 24 hours on the painstaking task on Saturday.

They have invited residents and businesses from Benetússer and other nearby towns to join in by donating their five-cent coins.

As yet, they have not confirmed how long the line of coins has reached to date, but say they will all be donated to the festival committee to pay for more materials and costumes for future Semana Santa processions.

 ‘Dead man’ attempts to rob morgue

NATIONAL Police arrested a 43-year-old man after he pretended to be dead to avoid capture.

Taking advantage of the festivals on the streets of Burjassot during the Fallas, the suspect is said to have smashed down the door of a morgue.

Officers were alerted that a robber was in the building and gave chase.

When they found the intruder, he was lying motionless on a morgue table.

But the fact that he was not in a coffin made police suspicious, and on further inspection they saw he was breathing.

The morgue’s owner says he does not understand why the arrested man attempted to burgle the premises since no valuables are kept there overnight.

Police say the suspect is being held pending trial and could face a prison sentence.

The funny side of Telefónica

A FORMER telephonist for directory enquiries has written a book of hilarious calls received from members of the public.

In it, she includes gems such as, “I’m the husband of the woman who just called. Give me the number, because she’s deaf.”

The book, Memories of a telephonist, is due to be published shortly and is a joint effort between Agost (Alicante) resident Dori Castelló Antón and her ex-colleagues.

After 10 years in the job, starting with Telefónica in 1974, the author has plenty of little gems to share with her bemused readers.

One caller, for example, asked for the telephone number of “a gypsy who’s got a market stall in Cocentaina every Tuesday morning and sells patchwork stuff.”

Another asked for the number of the Guardia Civil in El Campello because “my husband’s gone mad and has walked out onto the street naked.”

Dori also reveals a caller once asked her for the number of the “street-fighting police” and another for the “police station in Melilla, but the new one they’ve just built.”

Further amusing examples include the woman who said she did not have a pen and said, “wait a second, I’m just going to the shop next door to buy one then I’ll be back,” and another who asked for the number for “Mar y monstruo” (‘sea and monster’) instead of the Mare Nostrum Clinic.

To access Telefónica’s directory enquiry service, call 11818 from any landline telephone.

GP tickets re-sold at 1,200 euros

JUST 5,000 tickets for Valencia’s first-ever Formula One Grand Prix are left after a run on sales this week. A total of 65,000 were up for grabs in Spain, and 45,000 abroad.

Despite the cheapest going for 195 euros and the élite seats costing 480, organisers expect the box office to have run out within weeks.

In a desperate bid to lay their hands on the coveted tickets, some people have been buying them over the internet from people selling on those they have already purchased.

Some of the bids for the Formula One race have reached 1,200 euros.

Staff at El Corte Inglés say fans were queuing outside the store when the ticket office opened, and by 10am on the first day all 60,000 tickets held were sold.

The Grand Prix will take place this August on the new urban circuit.

Region’s drivers among Spain’s most dangerous

THE region’s drivers are some of the most aggressive in the country, warns a report by the RACC. One in five motorists in the Comunidad Valenciana regularly break the speed limit and a whopping 17 per cent said they always do so. Most put it down to being in a hurry or being stressed. Ten per cent do not wear a seatbelt, compared to a national average of six per cent. A surprising third of women and half of men say they rarely worry about traffic accidents.

This is particularly prevalent among the 25-29 age-group – the category which is involved in the most road-crashes. More drivers in the Comunidad Valenciana claim to be regularly distracted behind the wheel. They are also more prone to bouts of road-rage, says the RACC. Nevertheless, the introduction of the points-based driving licence has helped reduce the death-toll, according to research. A fall of 12 per cent in fatalities was recorded on the region’s roads last year from 2006’s figures.

America’s Cup oddities auctioned online

AN online auction site is encouraging bids for souvenirs of last year’s America’s Cup in Valencia. Among the bizarre paraphernalia up for grabs are sofas, sails and office furniture used in the America’s Cup village. Fans can even bid for a shred of the sale from winning yacht Alinghi, signed by the team members.

The auction, which can be found on, closes on May 8.

Those who wish to participate should firstly register on the organisers’ site,, with a user-name and password.

Work on AVE Railway under way
Antoni Barnabe, of Central Government, expressed his "satisfaction that in the coming week" the work on the AVE Madrid-Valencia railway would begin. Barnabe commented that “he is hoping that the project will be finished by 2010”.

Low unemployment in March

The number of registered unemployed has dropped by 14,356 people in March, after five consecutive months of increases. This decrease represents a drop of 0.6% in the total number of unemployed, which stands at 2,300,975, according to recent data released by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. This decline is very similar to that recorded in March last year, when there was a drop of 15,824. Following the drop in 2007 unemployment increased by (11.7%).

Spain has the third lowest VAT rate in European
Spain has one of the lowest VAT rates in Europe along with Luxembourg (15%), Cyprus (15%) and the United Kingdom (17.5%). According to the report "The Value Added Tax in the EU-27", developed by Landwell, citizens in Sweden (25%), Denmark (25%), Finland (22%) and Poland (22%) pay the highest rates of value added tax. The study emphasizes that "there is still a long way to go the achieve harmonization within all Member States". General tax rates range between 15% and 25%, although in most countries is between 18% and 20%.

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