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Brits abandon Spain, Chinese flock there

Spain's population shrank in 2013 for a second year with foreigners including many Britons abandoning the country, although the number of Chinese there grew, official data showed Tuesday. The number of Britons -- many of whom live on Spain's warm east and south coasts -- plunged by nearly 23 percent to 297,300, the figures from the National Statistics Institute showed. Chinese expatriates, many of whom run retail businesses in Spain, were the only foreign nationality group to grow there in 2013, increasing in number by two percent to 185,250 people.

Brits abandon Spain, Chinese flock there

Spain's population shrank in 2013 for a second year with foreigners including many Britons abandoning the country, although the number of Chinese there grew, official data showed Tuesday. The number of Britons -- many of whom live on Spain's warm east and south coasts -- plunged by nearly 23 percent to 297,300, the figures from the National Statistics Institute showed. Chinese expatriates, many of whom run retail businesses in Spain, were the only foreign nationality group to grow there in 2013, increasing in number by two percent to 185,250 people.

Spain reports surge in tourism numbers

Spain, the world's number-three tourism destination, reported Monday a surge in foreign holidaymakers early this year after breaking a new record in 2013. The rise in tourism is key to the Spanish economy, struggling to gain strength after emerging gingerly last year from a two-year recession. Foreign tourist numbers shot up 7.2 percent from the same period last year to 10.1 million in the first three months of 2014, the tourism ministry said.

Scheme cracked for bringing immigrants to Spain as basketball players

Las Palmas, Spain, Apr 11 (EFE).- Fifteen Dominicans were arrested for illegally bringing into Spain some of their countrymen by having them pass for professional basketball players, Spanish police said Friday. The police operation, rolled out here in the Canary Islands and in Barcelona, was launched last year after suspicions were aroused by two Dominicans who had come to Spain with contracts to play for the Guayacanes Basketball Club. Police determined that the club was not even affiliated in the years when the two individuals arrived on Grand Canary island.

Scheme cracked for bringing immigrants to Spain as basketball players

Las Palmas, Spain, Apr 11 (EFE).- Fifteen Dominicans were arrested for illegally bringing into Spain some of their countrymen by having them pass for professional basketball players, Spanish police said Friday. The police operation, rolled out here in the Canary Islands and in Barcelona, was launched last year after suspicions were aroused by two Dominicans who had come to Spain with contracts to play for the Guayacanes Basketball Club. Police determined that the club was not even affiliated in the years when the two individuals arrived on Grand Canary island.

'Catalonia outside of Spain' is inconceivable: Spanish PM

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Tuesday he "could not conceive of a Catalonia outside of Spain" during a debate in parliament over the region's bid to hold an independence referendum. "I defend that Catalonia should remain in Spain because I can't conceive of Spain without Catalonia nor of Catalonia outside of Spain and Europe," he told the assembly. "Together we all win and separate we all lose," he added. "It is not possible to grant what the Catalan parliament requests of us because the constitution does not allow it."

Thousands march in Spain against austerity

Tens of thousands of people marched in dozens of Spanish cities on Thursday against austerity measures enacted by the government, which is under pressure from the EU to reduce its public deficit. Rallies were staged in Madrid and 53 other cities by more than 100 organisations, including Spain's two largest trade unions, the CCOO and UGT, as well as groups representing health and education services.

Spain says 184 people a day evicted from homes in 2013

Spanish courts reported Friday an average of 184 home evictions a day in 2013 as debt-struck residents struggled with the aftermath of a 2008 property crash. Spain's General Council of Judicial Powers gave for the first time the total number of evictions of renters and mortgage holders carried out in a year: 67,189, or 184 a day, in 2013. The courts said they had issued a total 82,860 eviction orders for the year, not all of which were carried out.

Spain, Morocco, arrest seven in jihadist cell bust

Spanish and Moroccan security forces have broken up a major jihadist network suspected of sending fighters to Syria and other conflict zones, the two countries said Friday. "It has been a very big operation that has dismantled an international cell, without doubt the biggest and most active in Spain and one of the biggest and most active currently in Europe," Spain's Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz told a news conference.

Spain, Morocco, nab seven suspects of jihadist cell

Security forces have broken up a Spanish and Moroccan network suspected of sending jihadist fighters to battle Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, arresting seven suspects, Madrid said Friday. Spain's government said it was the "most important" cell it had detected sending jihadists to Syria and other conflict zones. "The operation is still ongoing," Spain's interior ministry said in a statement. Security forces arrested four of the suspects in Spain, including the head of the network, and another three in Morocco, the ministry said.
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