Barometer: Spain’s own version of Gibraltar

10 August 2013

9:00 AM

10 August 2013

9:00 AM

Other people’s rocks

Spain threatened to introduce a €40 border-crossing charge and find other ways of making life difficult for people of Gibraltar. A reminder of some Spanish colonial possessions:

Ceuta North African city captured by the Portuguese in 1415. Sided with Spain when Portugal became an independent country again in 1640. Despite claims by Morocco, Spain affirmed its intention to keep it when King Juan Carlos visited in 2007.

Melilla Along the coast from Ceuta.  Seized by Spain in 1497. Uprising of local African population suppressed. King Juan Carlos visited in 2007, ignoring Moroccan protests.

Penon de Alhucemas Fortified skerry off Morocco. Given to Spain in 1559 by the Muley Abdala el Gabib in return for help fighting the Ottoman empire. The Spanish army continues to occupy the rock in spite of protests from Morocco.

Lots of zeroes

Vince Cable began an investigation into ‘zero hours contracts’, where employees are not guaranteed work. Which kind of employer makes the most use of such contracts?

Percentage of organisation whom employ at least one person in this way:

Voluntary sector 34%
Public sector 24%
Private sector 17%

Source: CIPD

Feeling the heat

A sharp increase in retail sales in July was attributed to the good weather. Do high temperatures make us spend more?

Retail sales (change on year earlier)
July 2008 -0.3%
July 2009 +1.2%
July 2010 +0.2%
July 2011 -1.0%
July 2012 +1.7%
July 2013 +3.9%
Average max.UK temperature (°F)
July 2008 66.9
July 2009 66.5
July 2010 67.2
July 2011 65.6
July 2012 64
July 2013 71.8

Source: ONS/Met Office

How great was that?

How does the Great Train Robbers’ haul of £2.6m (£46 million in today’s money) compare with other robberies? The following figures are given in today’s money:

City bonds robbery, May 1990 £689m
Dar Es Salaam Bank, Baghdad, July 2007 £220m
Diamond Center Antwerp, 15 February 2003 £110m
Carlton International Hotel , Cannes, 28 July 2013 £90m

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