The first point to make this week is that if you are a resident in Spain with a UK driving licence, you are no longer permitted to drive. You will have to partake in training and testing to exchange your licence from now on, as we explained this week. If you are a resident and have a UK licence and you drive, you are committing an offence.
Sticking with the roads though, this week is European Mobility Week, where there will be a focus on sustainable mobility, with various events taking place around the continent, including here in Spain. Coinciding with EMW, Roadpol, the European Traffic Police network, will also be conducting “safety days” throughout the week, focusing on different elements of road safety, which will include enforcement as well as education. The week coincides with World Car Free day on Friday, when many towns close roads to motor vehicles in favour of more sustainable modes of transport, we know that Torrevieja is taking part in this, but no doubt other local towns will too, so leave the car at home on Friday and enjoy a day in the wilderness of suburbia.
Also, on the subject of transport and security, security staff at Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernandez Airport have announced a series of strikes which will affect the flow of passengers, luggage and goods through the airport. The strikes start on Friday and will also take place on Saturday and Sunday, then Tuesday next week, and a couple of days next weekend. The stoppages are for an hour in the morning and again in the afternoon, so disruption will be isolated, but if you are flying it is a good idea to allow extra time to get through the security protocols.
The week starts with hardly any references on the business or macroeconomic level. Attention shifts to the UN headquarters in New York, where heads of state and government meet to review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is the first UK leader in a decade to skip the meeting, supposedly because he is “busy”, but many believe it is because he risked being excluded from the Climate Ambition Summit on account of the failure of the UK’s environmental policy. On the plus side, he’s saving on a private jet flight for once.
The week in the Eurozone will begin on Tuesday with the final publication of the year-on-year variation of the general CPI in August, after standing at 5.3% year-on-year in its first reading. In a context in which on Thursday the ECB decided to raise its official interest rates.
Also on Tuesday, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee of the European Parliament (EP) will vote on new rules to improve data generation and data sharing for short-term rentals. MEPs want to increase transparency and promote a safer, more sustainable tourism ecosystem that has a positive impact on local communities. Public authorities are currently struggling to get reliable data to assess the impact of short-term rentals and enforce their policies. Short-term rentals represent around 25% of all tourist accommodation in the EU.
Tuesday in the UK and the eyes will be on the start of a four-day hearing as the Scottish government makes its case against the Government’s decision to block Holyrood’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill. In January, Westminster used its power for the first time since devolution to block the legislation, which proposes lowering the age someone can legally change gender from 18 to 16 and reduces the time over-18s need to have lived as their acquired gender to three months.
Pencilled in for Wednesday, although subject to confirmation, the European Parliament will be discussing free movement and the Schengen Borders Code. The Civil Liberties Committee will adopt its position on reforming the Schengen Borders Code rules on free movement within the area. In the context of increasingly permanent border controls within the Schengen area, the proposal seeks to clarify the rules, strengthen free movement and introduce targeted solutions to genuine threats.
in the UK on Wednesday the August reading of the year-on-year variation of its CPI will be known, in a context in which in July (6.8% year-on-year) its general inflation continued to be the highest of the G-7 economies. Following this data, on Thursday the Bank of England will have to decide whether to maintain its official interest rate at its current level of 5.25%, or if, on the contrary, it decides to increase the reference rate for the fifteenth time in a context in which inflationary and wage tensions continue to persist.
Those results may not fare well for NHS medics as junior doctors and consultants hold a historic joint strike on Wednesday over pay and conditions, as well as under investment in general. Consultants will also walk out on Tuesday and junior doctors on Thursday. Both junior doctors and consultants will take a form of action known as Christmas Day cover. The joint strike is scheduled to be repeated in October during the Conservative Party Conference as the British Medical Association blames ministers for refusing to negotiate with the union.
Coincidentally, a report on hospital A&E activity will be published on Thursday, and before that, although not directly related, on Tuesday we get to find out how much those life-saving and frontline footballers get paid, or at least, the highest paid, thanks to Forbes.
Finally, Friday is World Rhino Day.