Bankia is a Spanish bank, formed in December 2010, consolidating the operations of seven regional savings banks, was nationalized by the government of Spain in May 2012 due to the near collapse of the institution. As of 2017, Bankia is the fourth largest bank of Spain with total assets of €179.1 billion. Bankia was formed on 3 December 2010, as a result of the union of seven Spanish savings banks that had a major presence in their historical core regions; the merger of the seven banks, known as'cold fusion', took only four months, with the integration contract being signed on 30 July 2010. Caja Madrid, itself owned by the government of the Community of Madrid, held controlling interest; the distribution of shares was as follows: 52.06% Caja Madrid 37.70% Bancaja 2.45% La Caja de Canarias 2.33% Caja de Ávila 2.11% Caixa Laietana 2.01% Caja Segovia 1.34% Caja RiojaAfter the merger, Bankia was owned by the holding company Banco Financiero y de Ahorros, the seven banks controlled BFA. The most toxic assets from the banks were transferred to BFA, which obtained €4.5 billion from the Spanish government rescue fund FROB in exchange for preference shares with an annual interest rate of 7.75%, maturing in 2015.
In 2011, Bankia offered shares to the public in an IPO. Investment bankers found little interest in the IPO among international institutional investors. Strategy shifted to selling the stock domestically, to customers of the bank itself, with 98% of the initial €3.1 billion raised by domestic sales of shares. The shares of Bankia began trading on the Bolsa de Madrid on 20 July 2011, under the symbol BKIA, the bank was listed in the IBEX 35. In 2012, Bankia was the third largest lender in Spain, but the largest holder of real estate assets at €38 billion. On 7 May 2012, Rodrigo Rato stepped down as chairman of Bankia SA, in order to clear the way for a rescue plan that the Spanish government hoped would persuade international investors of the country's financial stability. José Ignacio Goirigolzarri became the new president. Concerns about the value of Bankia's assets, the potential for further losses in the future, prompted speculation that the Spanish government would inject up to €10 billion of new capital into the troubled bank.
On 10 May, the Spanish government said it would convert its preference shares in BFA into voting shares, giving it a controlling stake of 45% in Bankia. On 25 May, trading in the shares was suspended at Bankia's request. On 25 May, it was reported that Bankia SA had negotiated a further €19 billion bailout, marking another rise in the cost of a drawn-out rescue; the government had spent €4.5 billion to prop up Bankia, the entire rescue was seen totalling some €20 billion. Bankia revised its earnings statement for 2011, stating that instead of a profit of €309 million, it had in fact lost €4.3 billion before taxes, asked for 1.4 billion fiscal credit to reduce its loss. The New York Times described the increasing bailout as making Spain one of the new focal points of the European sovereign-debt crisis. In response to growing concerns, Standard & Poor's downgraded its rating of Bankia's creditworthiness to BB+, making it a junk bond. A number of limitations were imposed as a result of having received state aid.
Shareholders had to share part of the burden of the capital injection, the balance sheet had to be reduced, dividends were restricted until 2014, both the branch network and workforce had to be reduced. In addition to the financial problems, the new management had to deal with controversies related to former managements. In 2013, Bankia returned to profitability. On 28 February 2014, Spain sold a 7.5% stake in Bankia for €1.3 billion. The shares were sold at €1.51 each. On 7 July 2015, Bankia paid the first dividend in its history, €1.75 per share. On 16 October, Bankia completed the sale of City National Bank of Florida for $883 million to Chilean bank BCI; the bank was bought by Caja Madrid for $1.12 billion in 2008. At the end of 2015, Bankia had fulfilled two years ahead of schedule all the targets set by the European Commission in the BFA-Bankia Group Restructuring Plan; the bank reported the best efficiency and profitability among the six largest Spanish banks. On 23 February 2016, Fitch raised Bankia's rating to "BBB-", restoring the bank's rating to investment grade.
On 8 September, Bankia announced that it was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index with a score of 84 out of 100. On 27 June 2017, Bankia agreed to acquire state-owned bank BMN for €825 million in an all-stock deal. BMN was the result of the merger of Caja Granada and Sa Nostra. On 3 November, Bankia announced that it was listed in the CDP Climate Change report for 2017 as one of a group of 112 global companies leading the fight against climate change; the restructuring period will end on 31 December 2017. The deadline for the privatisation of Bankia was end-2019, however, in December 2018 the Government decided to postpone the privatization until end-2021. On 27 February 2018, Bankia announced that it plans to pay €2.5 billion to shareholders over the next three years as part of its 2018-2020 strategic plan. It aims for a profit of €1.3 billion in 2020. On 27 January 2016, the Spanish Supreme Court ordered Bankia to reimburse two small investors for misleading them during its 2011 IPO.
The court said that the prospectus for its public stock offering had contained "serious inaccuracies". The bank is aware of lawsuit claims totalling €819 million, has set aside €1.84 billion in provisions for claims. On 17 February 2016, the bank announced it would compensate minority shareholders who participated in the IPO in exchange for returning their sh
Órzola is a village in the municipality of Haría in the Las Palmas province of northern Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. It is the departure point for the ferry to La Graciosa
Lobos is a small island of the Canary Islands located just 2 kilometres north of the island of Fuerteventura. Politically it belongs to the municipality of La Oliva on the island of Fuerteventura, it has an area of 4.68 square kilometres. It has been a nature reserve since 1982; the island is accessible to tourists via a short ferry ride from Corralejo, in the north of Fuerteventura. It has day facilities and weekend homes of local fishermen. At the northeastern end of the island is the Punta Martiño Lighthouse, the lighthouse keeper and his family were the last permanent inhabitants of Lobos, until the light was automated in the 1960s. In 1405, Lobos Island served as resupply base for Jean de Béthencourt's conquest of Fuerteventura. Lobos Island was named for the large number of sea wolves called monk seals, that once lived there; the monk seals were the island's only inhabitants when it was discovered by the Spanish conquerors of the Canaries archipelago in the fifteenth century, but with the arrival of man, these animals were hunted on a massive scale by sailors and fishermen who saw them as a source of food and skin.
As a result of this hunting, the species became extinct on the island and its presence now is only occasional. Lobos Island, like the rest of the Canary Islands, is a volcanic island, its age is estimated between 8,000 years. The highest point is on the island's volcanic caldera, Montaña La Caldera, 127 metres above sea level; the island includes a small lake. Despite being a desert and a volcanic landscape, Lobos Island has a large number of natural habitats. There are over 130 plant species, including the siempreviva, endemic to the island, the Sea Uvilla, attractive because of its shape and color. Birds are an important feature of the island: it has a great variety of seabirds that nest on cliffs and rocks. Among these species are the shearwater Cinderella, little shearwater and the herring gull. In residence are the storm petrel, Bulwer's petrel and yellow-legged gull. In addition to birds a great diversity of fish can be spotted in its waters. Of these abound old fish, hammerhead shark and striped fish.
Because of its great ecological diversity the site has been designated as a protected zone, the Parque Natural del Islote de Lobos. It has been declared a special protection area for birds. Recent archaeological findings have concluded that Ancient Rome established a settlement in the island, related with the obtention of purple dye. In 1405 Lobos Island served as resupply base for Jean de Béthencourt´s conquest of Fuerteventura; until 1968 the only inhabitants of the island were the lighthouse keeper and his family, who had the responsibility for operating the Faro de Lobos lighthouse located at Punta Martiño at the northern tip of the island, a prominent local landmark. The island was one of the first natural areas of the Canary Islands to be designated as a natural park in 1982; the island was designated an area of special protection for birds, many marine species of migratory birds inhabit the island. The island is a popular location for day trips for tourists visiting from Fuerteventura who have an interest in flora and geology.
Regular boat services ferry passengers from Corralejo harbour during daylight hours. To protect the natural landscape from human impact, access is limited to restricted areas and to a series of walking trails, marked by directional signs to protect the conservation areas; the paths take visitors from the boat jetty through a varied landscape, including to the lighthouse at Punto Martino and to the top of the caldera. There is Playa de la Concha, with a sandy beach for bathing. Visitors, before 2007, could ask for authorisation from Fuerteventura local government's environment office to camp on the island, for a maximum of three nights, in one permitted location known as "El carpintero". Since 2007 it is prohibited to camp on the island. R. Pott, J. Hüppe, W. Wildpret de la Torre, Die Kanarischen Inseln. Natur- und Kulturlandschaften, Ulmer Eugen Verlag, 2003, ISBN 9783800132843 Viajes a vela en las Islas Canarias, España ~ turismo vela: Isla de Lobos. Accessed on October 3, 2010 Isla de Lobos.
Islas Canarias. Fuerteventura. Accessed on October 3, 2010 Media related to Isla de Lobos at Wikimedia Commons
Greenland is an autonomous constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for more than a millennium; the majority of its residents are Inuit, whose ancestors began migrating from the Canadian mainland in the 13th century settling across the island. Greenland is the world's largest island. Three-quarters of Greenland is covered by the only permanent ice sheet outside Antarctica. With a population of about 56,480, it is the least densely populated territory in the world. About a third of the population live in the capital and largest city; the Arctic Umiaq Line ferry acts as a lifeline for western Greenland, connecting the various cities and settlements. Greenland has been inhabited at intervals over at least the last 4,500 years by Arctic peoples whose forebears migrated there from what is now Canada.
Norsemen settled the uninhabited southern part of Greenland beginning in the 10th century, having settled Iceland to escape persecution from the King of Norway and his central government. These Norsemen would set sail from Greenland and Iceland, with Leif Erikson becoming the first known European to reach North America nearly 500 years before Columbus reached the Caribbean islands. Inuit peoples arrived in the 13th century. Though under continuous influence of Norway and Norwegians, Greenland was not formally under the Norwegian crown until 1262; the Norse colonies disappeared in the late 15th century when Norway was hit by the Black Death and entered a severe decline. Soon after their demise, beginning in 1499, the Portuguese explored and claimed the island, naming it Terra do Lavrador. In the early 18th century, Danish explorers reached Greenland again. To strengthen trading and power, Denmark–Norway affirmed sovereignty over the island; because of Norway's weak status, it lost sovereignty over Greenland in 1814 when the union was dissolved.
Greenland became Danish in 1814, was integrated in the Danish state in 1953 under the Constitution of Denmark. In 1973, Greenland joined the European Economic Community with Denmark. However, in a referendum in 1982, a majority of the population voted for Greenland to withdraw from the EEC, effected in 1985. Greenland contains the world's largest and most northerly national park, Northeast Greenland National Park. Established in 1974, expanded to its present size in 1988, it protects 972,001 square kilometres of the interior and northeastern coast of Greenland and is bigger than all but twenty-nine countries in the world. Greenland is divided into five municipalities – Sermersooq, Qeqertalik and Avannaata. Greenland does not have an independent seat at the United Nations. In 1979, Denmark granted home rule to Greenland, in 2008, Greenlanders voted in favor of the Self-Government Act, which transferred more power from the Danish government to the local Greenlandic government. Under the new structure, in effect since 21 June 2009, Greenland can assume responsibility for policing, judicial system, company law and auditing.
It retains control of monetary policy, providing an initial annual subsidy of DKK 3.4 billion, planned to diminish over time. Greenland expects to grow its economy based on increased income from the extraction of natural resources; the capital, held the 2016 Arctic Winter Games. At 70%, Greenland has one of the highest shares of renewable energy in the world coming from hydropower; the early Norse settlers named the island as Greenland. In the Icelandic sagas, the Norwegian-born Icelander Erik the Red was said to be exiled from Iceland for manslaughter. Along with his extended family and his thralls, he set out in ships to explore an icy land known to lie to the northwest. After finding a habitable area and settling there, he named it Grœnland in the hope that the pleasant name would attract settlers; the Saga of Erik the Red states: "In the summer, Erik left to settle in the country he had found, which he called Greenland, as he said people would be attracted there if it had a favorable name."The name of the country in the indigenous Greenlandic language is Kalaallit Nunaat.
The Kalaallit are the indigenous Greenlandic Inuit people. In prehistoric times, Greenland was home to several successive Paleo-Eskimo cultures known today through archaeological finds; the earliest entry of the Paleo-Eskimo into Greenland is thought to have occurred about 2500 BC. From around 2500 BC to 800 BC, southern and western Greenland were inhabited by the Saqqaq culture. Most finds of Saqqaq-period archaeological remains have been around Disko Bay, including the site of Saqqaq, after which the culture is named. From 2400 BC to 1300 BC, the Independence I culture existed in northern Greenland, it was a part of the Arctic small tool tradition. Towns, including Deltaterrassern
La Gomera is one of Spain's Canary Islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. With an area of 369.76 square kilometers, it is the third smallest of the eight main islands of this group. It belongs to the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. La Gomera is the third least populous island with 21,136 inhabitants, its capital is San Sebastián de La Gomera. La Gomera is part of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, it is divided into six municipalities: Agulo Alajeró San Sebastián de La Gomera Hermigua Valle Gran Rey VallehermosoThe island government is located in the capital, San Sebastián. The island is of volcanic origin and circular; the island is mountainous and steeply sloping and rises to 1,487 metres at the island's highest peak, Alto de Garajonay. Its shape is rather like an orange, cut in half and split into segments, which has left deep ravines or barrancos between them; the uppermost slopes of these barrancos, in turn, are covered by the laurisilva - or laurel rain forest, where up to 50 inches of precipitation fall each year.
The upper reaches of this densely wooded region are permanently shrouded in clouds and mist, as a result are covered in lush and diverse vegetation: they form the protected environment of Spain's Garajonay National Park, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. The slopes are criss-crossed by paths that present varying levels of difficulty to visitors, stunning views to seasoned hikers; the central mountains catch the moisture from the trade wind clouds and yield a dense jungle climate in the cooler air, which contrasts with the warmer, sun-baked cliffs near sea level. Between these extremes one finds a fascinating gamut of microclimates; the official natural symbols associated with La Gomera are Persea indica. The local wine is distinctive and accompanied with a tapa of local cheese, roasted pork, or goat meat. Other culinary specialities include almogrote, a cheese spread, miel de palma, a syrup extracted from palm trees, "escaldón", a porridge made with gofio flour; the inhabitants of La Gomera have an ancient way of communicating across deep ravines by means of a whistled speech called Silbo Gomero, which can be heard 2 miles away.
This whistled language is indigenous to the island, its existence has been documented since Roman times. Invented by the original inhabitants of the island, the Guanches, Silbo Gomero was adopted by the Spanish settlers in the 16th century and survived after the Guanches were assimilated; when this means of communication was threatened with extinction at the dawn of the 21st century, the local government required all children to learn it in school. Marcial Morera, a linguist at the University of La Laguna has said that the study of silbo may help understand how languages are formed. In the mountains of La Gomera, its original inhabitants worshipped their god, whom they called Orahan. Indeed, many of the natives took refuge in this sacred territory in 1489, as they faced imminent defeat at the hands of the Spaniards, it was here that the conquest of La Gomera was drawn to a close. Modern-day archaeologists have found several ceremonial stone constructions here that appear to represent sacrificial altar stones, slate hollows, or cavities.
It was here that the Guanches built pyres upon which to make offerings of goats and sheep to their god. This same god, was known on La Palma as Abora and on Tenerife and Gran Canaria as Arocan; the Guanches interred their dead in caves. Today, who are worshipped through village festivals, are principally connected with Christianity, but in some aspects, the Guanches’ god-like idealising of Gomeran uniqueness plays a role as well besides their pre-Christian and pre-colonial implication and shows strong local differences. Christopher Columbus made La Gomera his last port of call before crossing the Atlantic in 1492 with his three ships, he stopped here to replenish his crew's water supplies, intending to stay only four days. Beatriz de Bobadilla y Ossorio, the Countess of La Gomera and widow of Hernán Peraza the Younger, offered him vital support in preparations of the fleet, he ended up staying one month; when he set sail on 6 September 1492, she gave him cuttings of sugarcane, which became the first to reach the New World.
After his first voyage of Discovery, Columbus again provisioned his ships at the port of San Sebastián de La Gomera in 1493 on his second voyage to the New World, commanding a fleet of 17 vessels. He visited La Gomera for the last time in 1498 on his third voyage to the Americas; the house in San Sebastián in which he is reputed to have stayed is now a tourist attraction. An autosomal study in 2011 found an average Northwest African influence of about 17% in Canary Islanders with a wide interindividual variation ranging from 0% to 96%. According to the authors, the substantial Northwest African ancestry found for Canary Islanders supports that, despite the aggressive conquest by the Spanish in the 15th century and the subsequent immigration, genetic footprints of the first settlers of the Canary Islands persist in the current inhabitants. Parallelling mtDNA findings, the largest average Northwest African contribution was found for the samples from La Gomera. According to Flores et al. genetic drift could be responsible for the contrasting
Teguise is a municipality in the central part of the island of Lanzarote in the Las Palmas province in the Canary Islands. The population is 22,122, the area is 263.98 km². It is located south of Haría; the seat of the municipality is the town of Teguise. The municipality comprises a number of neighbouring islands including Graciosa, Roque del Este, Roque del Oeste and Montaña Clara; the artist and architect César Manrique was born in the area. The insect of the island is the cochineal from which a dye, is extracted. Jardín de Cactus, in Guatiza Wind sculpture List of municipalities in Las Palmas
French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of the French Republic and the only overseas country of France. It is composed of 118 geographically dispersed islands and atolls stretching over an expanse of more than 2,000 kilometres in the South Pacific Ocean, its total land area is 4,167 square kilometres. French Polynesia is divided into five groups of islands: the Society Islands archipelago, composed of the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands. Among its 118 islands and atolls, 67 are inhabited. Tahiti, located within the Society Islands, is the most populous island, having close to 69% of the population of French Polynesia as of 2017. Papeete, located on Tahiti, is the capital. Although not an integral part of its territory, Clipperton Island was administered from French Polynesia until 2007. Following the Great Polynesian Migration, European explorers visited the islands of French Polynesia on several occasions. Traders and whaling ships visited. In 1842, the French took over the islands and established a French protectorate they called Etablissements des français en Océanie.
In 1946, the EFOs became an overseas territory under the constitution of the French Fourth Republic, Polynesians were granted the right to vote through citizenship. In 1957, the EFOs were renamed French Polynesia. In 1983 French Polynesia became a member of the Pacific Community, a regional development organization. Since 28 March 2003, French Polynesia has been an overseas collectivity of the French Republic under the constitutional revision of article 74, gained, with law 2004-192 of 27 February 2004, an administrative autonomy, two symbolic manifestations of which are the title of the President of French Polynesia and its additional designation as an overseas country. French Polynesia was one of the last places on Earth to be settled by humans. Scientists believe the Great Polynesian Migration happened around 1500 BC as Austronesian people went on a journey using celestial navigation to find islands in the South Pacific Ocean; the first islands of French Polynesia to be settled were the Marquesas Islands in about 200 BC.
The Polynesians ventured southwest and discovered the Society Islands around AD 300. European encounters began in 1521 when Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, sailing at the service of the Spanish Crown, sighted Puka-Puka in the Tuāmotu-Gambier Archipelago. In 1606 another Spanish expedition under Pedro Fernandes de Queirós sailed through Polynesia sighting an inhabited island on 10 February which they called Sagitaria the island of Rekareka to the southeast of Tahiti. Over a century British explorer Samuel Wallis visited Tahiti in 1767. French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville visited Tahiti in 1768, while British explorer James Cook arrived in 1769. In 1772, the Spanish Viceroy of Peru Don Manuel de Amat ordered a number of expeditions to Tahiti under the command of Domingo de Bonechea, the first European to explore all of the main islands beyond Tahiti. A short-lived Spanish settlement was created in 1774, for a time some maps bore the name Isla de Amat after Viceroy Amat. In 1772, Dutchman Jakob Roggeveen came across Bora Bora in the Society Islands.
Christian missions began with Spanish priests. Protestants from the London Missionary Society settled permanently in Polynesia in 1797. King Pōmare II of Tahiti was forced to flee to Mo'orea in 1803. French Catholic missionaries arrived on Tahiti in 1834. In 1842, Tahiti and Tahuata were declared a French protectorate, to allow Catholic missionaries to work undisturbed; the capital of Papeetē was founded in 1843. In 1880, France annexed Tahiti; the island groups were not united until the establishment of the French protectorate in 1889. After France declared a protectorate over Tahiti in 1840, the British and French signed the Jarnac Convention in 1847, declaring that the kingdoms of Raiatea and Bora Bora were to remain independent from either powers and that no single chief was to be allowed to reign over the entire archipelago. France broke the agreement, the islands were annexed and became a colony in 1888 after many native resistances and conflicts called the Leewards War, lasting until 1897.
In the 1880s, France claimed the Tuamotu Archipelago, which belonged to the Pōmare Dynasty, without formally annexing it. Having declared a protectorate over Tahuata in 1842, the French regarded the entire Marquesas Islands as French. In 1885, France appointed a governor and established a general council, thus giving it the proper administration for a colony; the islands of Rimatara and Rūrutu unsuccessfully lobbied for British protection in 1888, so in 1889 they were annexed by France. Postage stamps were first issued in the colony in 1892; the first official name for the colony was Établissements de l'Océanie. In 1940, the administration of French Polynesia recognised the Free French Forces and many Polynesians served in World War II. Unknown at the time to the French and Polynesians, the Konoe Cabinet in Imperial Japan on 16 September 1940 included French Polynesia among the many territories whic