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Jávea news in English from "Jáveaamigos"Latest Issue of Javea GrapevineMayor Chulvi's Blog

Xàbia fails in bid to get EU development funds

but will go ahead with the project in any case

May 23rd
Xàbia's proposal called "Fent Xàbia" designed to get co-financing from the EU via the EDUSI programme has failed to win any funding. The only successful twon was Calpe, while Xàbia, Denia and Teulada came away empty handed. However the Town Hall has already budgeted for its half of the expenditure and plans to proceed with aspects of the project in any case. From: Las Provincias and Xabia al Dia. For details of Xàbia's proposal see: EDUSI Integrated sustainable Urban development.

Spain's bans docking of dogs tails

May 19th
Spain’s Senate has approved a law to ban the cruel practice across Spain in what is hailed as a victory for animal rights. On March 16th the Spanish Congress had voted to pass the law, which will put Spain in line with the 1987 European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals. There had been concerns that the PP would block the legistlation at the Senate level. The practice of removing parts of a dog’s tail, known as docking, is often justified by hunters as a way to prevent the animal from collecting burrs or brambles that could cause them pain or infection. But opponents say it causes the dog unnecessary pain and suffering, and when performed incorrectly, the procedure can lead to lifelong problems. For full story see: The Local.es

Spain's healthcare ranks 8th in the world

May 19th
The Healthcare Access and Quality Index (HAQ), published in the UK journal The Lancet on Thursday, studied the quality of healthcare in 195 countries by measuring mortality rates from causes that should not be fatal in the presence of effective medical care. Spain scored 90 points out of a maximum of 100. Andorra topped the Index with a score of 95, followed by Iceland (94) and then Switzerland in third place on 92 points. Sweden and Norway made up the top five and 13 of the top 15 countries were in Western Europe, joined by Australia (6th) and Japan (11th). The UK was placed 30th and the US 35th. For full story see: The Local ES

Mayor Chulvi writes open letter of thanks for support after cycling tragedy

May 17th
Mayor José Chulvi has published an open letter to thank the people of Xàbia as well as the institutions of the Marina Alta and the Comunidad Valenciana for their support and assistance in the days after the tragic cycling accident of last Sunday. In the emotional text, he called the people of Xàbia, whether they be natives or coming from other parts of the world, as the town's best asset, reacting to the tragedy with respect and common sense whilst pledging to continue supporting the families of the victims and hoping for the quick recovery of the two badly injured. For full text of the letter see: Javeamigos

More than 550 kilos of rubbish collected in coast cleaning campaign

May 17th
A total of 175 volunteers took part in last Sunday's initiative to clear the coast of Xàbia of rubbish and other detritus in readiness for the arrival of summer. Organised by the Department of Tourism, a dozen groups from different associations, businesses and organisations spread along the coast to clean coves, caves and beaches, removing more than 550 kilos of rubbish. Amongst the material removed from the coast as well as from the seabed were lots of plastic items, tyres, cigarette butts and fishing weights and lines. In addition, several large items were removed including a fridge, a large metal box, a butane gas bottle and even a bicycle. The body of a wild boar was also taken away. For full story see: Javeamigos

Spain to ramp up roadside alcohol tests in bid to protect cyclists

May 17th
Spain’s General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) has announced tougher measures to protect cyclists following three serious accidents in the last two weeks involving drunk drivers that killed three riders and left 11 others injured. The body responsible for road safety in Spain on Tuesday unveiled a plan that will see increased roadside controls for alcohol and drugs on Saturday and Sunday mornings, the times when large numbers of cyclists are out and about. Spain’s Interior Ministry says there will be an additional 130,000 alcohol and drug checks on drivers out at these times and that tougher sanctions will be applied to wrongdoers, among them driving bans for anybody found to be over the limit for a second time in two years. Once those bans have been served, they will have to undergo psychological and physical assessment before being allowed back on the roads. For full story see: El País in English

Bicycle sales rise as number of accidents involving cyclists increases

May 14th
Over 1.1 million bicycles were bought by residents in Spain 2015 alone, outnumbering cars by 70,000. Figures for 2016 are not yet available, but expected to be similar or higher as residents take advantage of mild winters in the south and Mediterranean to get about without needing to be inside a heated car, and those in the colder north enjoy cool enough summers that they do not need to hang up their two-wheeled transport because it is too hot. But a complete State policy in favour of cyclists, covering infrastructure, accident prevention and air quality, is still at the draft phase, despite The Netherlands and the UK having had such programmes in place since 1990 and 1996 respectively, says Manuel Martín of the Bike Protection Coordinator (ConBici) (Full story on:ThinkSpain) . Meanwhile, the number of accidents on Spain’s non-urban roads involving cyclists doubled between 2009 and 2015: from 1,082 to 2,013. What’s more, the trend is reflected within cities, where over the same period the number of accidents grew from 2,387 to 5,173. At the same time, the number of people taken to hospital after a road accident involving bicycles rose from 489 in 2009 to 652 in 2015, a 33% increase. Full Story on: El País in English.

Unfilled jobs in a country with high unemployment

May 6th
A growing number of Spanish firms are reporting to their respective trade associations that they are not able to hire staff who meet their specific needs “There is an imbalance between supply and demand,” says Juan Carlos Tejera, the head of training at the CEOE, the association that represents the business community across Spain. It’s an imbalance that the business sector in 2014 predicted would leave more than 80,000 jobs unfilled in Spain over the coming years given the disconnect between the education system and the job market, and that could drag down productivity and competitiveness in the process. For full story see: El País in English

Record monthly drop in unemployment

May 6th
April has been a particularly good month for the Spanish job market. The number of people who filed jobless claims went down by 129,281, the biggest drop for a single month in the entire historical series. The previous record had been set in June 2013. The total number of people without a job now stands at 3.57 million. The unemployment rate in Spain is around 18.7%, down from the high of 27% in 2013, when the country was in the grip of a crippling economic crisis. Despite a recovery and good growth forecasts, Spain still has the second-highest jobless rate in the EU after Greece. For full story see: El Pais in English.

Bad weather results in 65% loss of cherry crop

May 6th
The recent wind and rain have damaged the early cherries in the Vall de Gallinera, causing them to split so they will not meet the standards for marketing internationally. About 65% of the crop is estimated to have been affected. These losses come as a huge blow, especially since the trees were laden with large cherries this year. Production will be limited to 300,000 kilos, far from the 1.2 million kilos recorded in 2016. There are still hopes that the late cherries varieties will provide a good crop. From: Las Provincias

Benitatxell promotes itself in a Dutch cycling magazine

May 6th
Councillor for Communication in Benitatxell, Myra van 't Hoff has been busy promoting the village as a sports tourist destination. This has borne fruit in that there was a four centre page spread about the municipality and the Puig Llorenca peak in the Dutch magazine "Cycling Live". The Netherlands has a huge following in this sport and adding some focus, Dutch cyclist, Tom Dumoulin, won the first stage of the Vuelta on the Puig Llorenca in 2015, and this peak will feature again as the end of a stage in the 2017 Vuelta on August 27th. From:Xabia al Dia

The danger of depopulation in the interior of the Marina Alta

May 2nd
Over the last 20 years the population of the region has grown from 127,977 inhabitants to 169,831. (once reaching close to 200,000, although it declines due to regulations that require foreign citizens to confirm their residence every two years.) However, in the interior there has been a decline in population. e.g. Castells de Castells (from 499 to 449 inhabitants), Vall d'Alcalà (from 186 1 171), Vall de Gallinera (from 682 to 582), Vall de Laguar 918 to 801) and the Vall d'Ebo (from 343 to 243). (Castell de Castells and Vall d'Ebo) are threatened with disappearance according to a report prepared by the Generalitat, which describes 72 municipalities under threat in the Valencian region. The regional Government is therefore thinking of a program ( la Agenda Valenciana Antidespoblament (Avant) to counteract this problem. From:La Marina Plaza.

Home Grown Ikea

April 27th
The furniture maker Azpeitia Lufe, has gone viral on account of its very low priced furniture kits (a bed for 30€). The kits can be bought only over the Internet and the pine wood is either natural, varnished or painted white. The strategy of quality, but simple furniture, sold only on-line and made of local products have given the company the nickname of being the "Basque Ikea". «All our furniture is made of solid pine wood with ecological certification, obtained in sustainable native forests. They are ecological and resistant woods. See their website on: https://muebleslufe.com/ . From: El Diario VascoEl Diario Vasco

A delegation of Chinese tourism agents visits Xàbia

April 20th
A delegation of agents from the OTS of Canton is visiting the province of Alicante to learn the quality and variety of its tourism offering firsthand. The Patronato Costa Blanca organized this important trip in an attempt to position the destination within one of the most powerful Asian markets. Alicante, Altea, Xàbia , Dénia and Xaló are being toured by the group. In addition, they will taste Mediterranean food typical of the area, appreciate the quality of the hotels and experience activities such as to the Fish Market in Dénia and wine and liquor tasting in the winery of Xaló. In the case of Xàbia, the Chinese agents visited the church of San Bartolomé and its origin as fortress and also the facilities of the National Parador of Tourism. Although the Chinese represent a small percentage of international tourists, one must not forget the country's influence on the worl economy. From: Xàbia al Dia

Record-breaking Easter boosts hopes for summer tourism bonanza in Spain

April 18th
Spain has shattered even the most optimistic forecasts for tourist arrivals during the Easter break that just ended. The good weather encouraged last-minute planners to make the most of the vacation time that ended on Sunday or Monday, depending on the region. Industry sources confirmed high occupancy rates not just at the usual coastal destinations, but also in cities and in rural enclaves. A record 75 million foreign visitors came to Spain last year, and the tourism industry is hoping to set a new high this year, based on the positive Easter figures. From:Ela Pais in English

MontgoRock Xàbia Festival to help raise money for Lighthouse visitor cantre

April 13th
Xàbia town hall and the MontgoRock Xàbia Festival have joined forces to give a boost to the project to open up to the public one of the most impressive points of the Parque Natural de Montgó and help fund the creation of a special visitor centre in the lighthouse at Cap de Sant Antoni. During the festival in May, reusable plastic glasses will be available for two euros with the money raised from their sale being use to finance the technical work necessary to draft a feasible plan which would be submitted for agreement to the Ministry and to the governing board of the Parque Natural del Montgó. from :Javeamigos.

Table of Contents

What can be done to save Spain’s historic buildings from ruin?

April 13th
Dozens of ancient monuments throughout Spain supposedly protected by the state are being looted and falling into ruin. The blame lies partly with deep spending cuts in recent years, made worse by the closure of many savings banks, which dedicated substantial resources to caring for listed buildings. At the same time, rural depopulation has made it easier for thieves and vandals to damage historic sites. Spain ranks third in terms of its number of UNESCO World Heritage sites (45), beaten only by China and Italy. José María Pérez, president of the Fundación Santa María la Real del Patrimonio Hístorico, a privately run heritage organization, says the most vulnerable area is along the sparsely populated Spanish-Portuguese border, taking in the provinces of Ourense, Lugo, León, Zamora, Salamanca and Cáceres, along with provinces further inland such as Palencia, Soria, Teruel, Guadalajara and Cuenca. For full story see: El Pais in English.

Denia, Xàbia, Montgó and tourist companies agree to halve boat access to the Cova Tallada

April 5th
One of the conclusions drawn from the meeting on the issue of Cova Tallàda, held on Thursday, March 23, was the need to improve the signage of the route, accessibility, protection and security, as well as the need to see a reduction in the large influx of visitors during the summer. For that reason, representatives of Denia, Xàbia, Montgó and tourist companies proposed a work plan that includes "a reduction of almost 50% in visits to the cave in recreational boats" . These measures include the commitment for each visit to consist of 6 double kayaks for clients accompanied by at least 2 guides; to make only 2 visits daily; to respect certain areas of the cave and not tie kayaks in the interior. Excursions will also not take place under red flag conditions. Companies are committed to take responsibility for the collection and removal of garbage generated by their customers. From: La Marina Plaza.

Spain's Tourism sector ranked the most competitive in the world

April 8th
According to the World Economic Forum Spain's tourism sector ranked as the most competitive in the world. The group’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017: Paving the Way for a More Sustainable & Inclusive Future, which covers 136 economies, grants Spain a top score of 5.4 on 7 on its Competitiveness Index, bettering France and Germany, which ranked second and third respectively. Also in the Top Ten category are Japan, United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Italy, Canada and Switzerland. Published every two years, the report highlighted Spain’s good infrastructure, high security levels and rich cultural resources. Its low point was its business environment. For full story see: El País in English

Xabia tries to attract on-line entrepreneurs

April 5th
Xàbia's Department of Economic Development, through the AFIC-CREAMA agency, is promoting a new initiative to encourage networking between business people in Xàbia. Known as 'Beers and Bytes', the event has also been dubbed 'beachworking', as it is also aiming to attract online business people from the big cities to come and work by the sea. Representatives from the department, headed by councillor Cesc Camprubi, explained that the new initiative aims to reflect the potential offered by Xàbia to combine quality of life with professional development, attracting business people who carry out their activities online as well as attract new online businesses which are to be developed. The ultimate aim is to capture talent in exchange for offering an alternative lifestyle to the big cities. For full story see: Javeamigos.

Jesus Pobre publishes a guide to four hiking routes

April 5th
The local authorities ion Jesus Pobre have published a guide to four hiking trails in their area subsidised by the Alicante Diputación. All the walks start in the town square. 1. Portalet-Coll de Pous - (medium to high difficulty) goes into the Montgó Natural Park with spectacular views of Les Valls and Jesús Pobre, passing through a pine forest to see the Colomer farmstead; 2. Bassa dels Moros: to see a 16th Century hydraulic construction, via the Bisserot farmstead, el Racó Tafarra and the Riurau of Quatre Cantons. 3. Monumental trees, including the famous "thousand year old" olive tree 4. The three windmills. The guide is in three languages and the the routes are signed with color codes. From:Las Provincias.

Fallen trees from winter storms add to fire risk

April 4th
According to AMUFOR (La Asociación de Municipios Forestales de la Comunitat Valenciana - Valencia Association of forested municipalities) - we are now paying for having had no forestry policy since the 1980's. Thousands of trees have fallen as a result of winter storms, and unless these areeremoved before the summer heat they could result in a mountain of ash or plagues of tree diseases. We have more forests than ever, but most are abandoned, and the abandonment of agricultural land (163.000 ha in recent years - 20%) has led to the expansion of un-managed forest, with its attendant fire risks. from Las Provincias Sunday April 2nd Edition.

Great Costa Blanca Route to promote the interior of Alicante

April 4th
The Marina Alta is the starting point of the Great Costa Blanca Route (Gran Ruta del Interior (GR-330). A linear hiking itinerary of 434.9 kilometres that runs the length of Alicante from north to south through its nine regions. It is a project drawn up by the Diputación de Alicante whose aim is to promote sustainable, off-season tourism and the natural, cultural and gastronomic heritage of the interior of the province. The route is divided into twenty stages extending from Denia to Orihuela, 99% of the route uses existing roads and paths in order to take advantage of resources and minimise environmental impact. The proposal has been configured as an itinerary suitable for all levels linking with local short trails allowing the visitor to make circular routes. The Costa Blanca Board of Trustees has published several publications, a professional guide, a smaller one for tourist use and a foldable map, with detailed information on each of the stages and locations. These will be distributed in fairs, workshops etc. as well as through travel agencies, tour operators, airlines and tourist offices in the province. All material is available in Spanish and Valencian, and is soon to be offered also in English, German and French.

For previous months' News Headlines see: News Headlines Archive

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