Home Grown Ikea
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
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
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
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.
What can be done to save Spain’s historic buildings from ruin?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Spain's paper recycling efforts is 'among the world's elite'
A total of 78% of all paper consumed in Spain was recycled in 2015 – while collection of paper for recycling reached 4.6 million tonnes. To highlight the crucial role played by Spanish municipalities in this success story, 29 local authorities in 12 autonomous regions across Spain received recognition for their contribution to paper and board collections at the Blue Birdies 2017 Awards held recently in Madrid. At the event, Spain’s environment minister Isabel García Tejerina praised the efforts made in recent years by a ‘highly specialised’ paper business sector, adding that the involvement of local councils and the awareness of their citizens have proved essential. For full story see: Recyclinginternational
Growth in use of renewable energy stalls
Growth in Spain’s use of renewable energies has come to a near halt. Gross final consumption of energy for 2015 from clean sources was almost the same as the previous year, according to data released on Tuesday by Eurostat for the entire European Union. In 2014, the figure for Spain was 16.14%, and in 2015, it was 16.15%. Spain’s poor performance was mitigated by the use of biomass, given that there was a fall in the use of clean energy to generate electricity in 2015. Furthermore, Spain is not part of the group of 11 advanced nations that have met their EU commitments for 2020, by which time 20% of energy consumed in Spain should be renewable, four percentage points higher than at present. For full story see: El País in English.
Valencia region experiences the wettest winter on record
Spain’s eastern Valencia region has just experienced the wettest winter on record. In the provinces of Valencia and Alicante, there had not been this much rain since authorities began keeping weather records back in 1864. It is the same story in Castellón province, which began keeping track of rainfall in 1920. The unprecedented wet weather – two and a half times what is considered normal rain levels for this season – comes just a year after the region experienced the driest winter on record. And forecasts indicate that intense weather events will occur more frequently in future due to climate change, according to Jorge Tamayo, the Valencia representative for the Spanish weather agency Aemet. For full story see: El País in English
Companies abandon plans for fracking in Spain
At the beginning of the decade, five companies began eyeing Spain’s underground resources, promising that the US shale boom could be reproduced on the Iberian peninsula. The conservative government of the Popular Party (PP) lent its weight to fracking – or hydraulic fracturing, the technique used to extract gas from underground shale deposits – in order to reduce the country’s near-complete dependence on hydrocarbon imports. But low gas prices and strong social rejection, including from local and regional authorities, have thwarted those plans. Now, all five firms have given up on fracking altogether. For full story see: El País in English
CO2-reduced Carton Pack Combibloc EcoPlus now at Carrefour in Spain
Carrefour, one of the biggest distribution chains in Europe, is offering three different types of UHT milk in the combibloc EcoPlus 1,000 ml aseptic carton pack in Spain. This carton pack consists of the EcoPlus structure from SIG Combibloc, which generates less CO2 compared to a conventional 1-litre carton pack of the same format. Carrefour, one of the biggest distribution chains in Europe, is offering three different types of UHT milk in the combibloc EcoPlus 1,000 ml aseptic carton pack in Spain. This carton pack consists of the EcoPlus structure from SIG Combibloc, which generates less CO2 compared to a conventional 1-litre carton pack of the same format. For full story see: Packaging Europe
Table of Contents
Spanish wetlands threatened by climate change and poor management
Climate change and local threats can lead to the "extinction" of Mediterranean wetland ecosystems such as Doñana , Tablas de Daimiel , the Albufera de Valencia and Ebro Delta "in a few years, at most in tens", if uses and exploitation are not drastically changed in these areas. A researcher of the Department of Ecology of the Faculty of Sciences of the Autonomous University of Madrid, Paloma Alcorlo, explained that the main threats to these ecosystems are over-exploitation of aquifers, agricultural uses, illegal wells and the excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides. Alcorlo stated that the article aimed to raise awareness about the opportunities to improve effective conservation at the local level. "The options for local management are clear and relatively cheap. This opportunity should be taken, especially when it comes to ecosystems of vital importance to maintain global biodiversity,". From: Ecoavant
Calpe to promote Bird Watching
The "Salinas de Calp" salt marshes and the sea cliffs and coastal mountains of the Penyal d 'Ifac and the Morro de Toix, and Sierra de Oltà, enable birdwatching fans to see a great diversity of species, some of great interest for foreign birdwatchers because they are species exclusive to the Mediterranean area. The Department of Tourism of Calpe has therefore published a guide that offers "twitchers" four different routes describing the most frequent birds in each environment and the months in which they can be observed. 173 sepcies have been observed in the salt marshes, among which the outstanding species is the flamingo. From: Las Provincias
Xabia purchases old Coastguard Civil barracks
The ruins on La Plana could become a youth hostel
Xabia Town Hall has purchased two properties which once housed coastguard barracks (which, after the Spanish Civil War, were taken over by the Guardia Civil and became the property of the State). The purchase price was 25,486 euros - 13,805 euros for the estate in La Granadella which covers some 985 square metres and 11,681 euros for that on La Plana which covers some 1,200 square metres. Acting as watchtowers over the sea, they were formally property of the Carabineros - essentially coastguards - during the 19th century. At the beginning of the last century, the body became responsible for the control of land borders and surveillance of ravines and hidden coves to prevent smuggling.The barracks located on La Plana now lie ruins whilst those of La Granadella have long since disappeared. For full story see: Javeamigos, They have not decided what to do with these properties, but an idea to make the one on La Plana into a youth hostel has been mooted From: Las Provincias
"La Grava" beach in the port to be managed all year round
Xàbia is creating its first "winter beach" by placing buoys all year round off the Playa de la Grava, a beach that is more easily maintained and less savaged by winter storms than others in the municipality. A series of eight numbered bouys will be anchored some 50 metres offshore to create a safe area for swimming that is out of bounds to boats. The rest of the coast will be marked between June 1st and October 15th. A new project has been approved for the installation of buoys and floating platforms along the coast of Xàbia for the 2017-2020 period, a contract that will soon be put out to tender with a projected budget of 463,634 euros. There will be more and new anchorage pints along the coast, especially in areas which tend to get saturated in the summer, and in diving areas. For full story see: Javeamigos
Madrid warns of “negative consequences” of Brexit on Spain
It’s going to be a so-called hard Brexit: for the European Union, for the United Kingdom, and for Spain. That is the finding of an internal report produced by the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for the Brexit commission headed by Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría – a document which warns of the impact on Spain of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. The Spanish economy will “suffer the negative consequences” of the departure of one of the country’s leading trading partners from the bloc. The situation of British nationals resident in Spain and that of Spaniards living in the United Kingdom is also a matter for concern: Brexit will lead to “innumerable repercussions” for more than one million people, says the document seen by El Pai's. For full story see: El País in English
Expat groups start to organise on Brexit
EuroCitizens organised a roundtable at the European Parliament offices in central Madrid attended by British expats, Spanish citizens, politicians, academics and journalists, all of whom are equally as concerned by Brexit, and who were there to hear a panel of experts discuss what the process could mean for them and for their countries’ joint futures. Eurocitizens, one of many campaigning groups to have sprung up across Europe ever since British voters decided that they wanted out of the 28-country club. The organization, run by long-term residents of Spain, says it is not trying to turn the clock back on the Brexit vote, but rather campaign to preserve the rights of Britons in Spain and Spaniards in the United Kingdom, during what will no doubt be an extremely long-drawn-out negotiation process as country extricates itself from the EU. Here are some of the figures released by Eurocitizens: Spain is the number-one destination for British nationals living outside the UK; British nationals permanently resident in Spain 308,821 (France: 185,344); Properties owned by British nationals in Spain: 110,373; British nationals who are employed (65%) or self-employed (35%) in Spain: 59,529; British retirees who receive a UK pension and live in Spain 107,980 ; Spaniards on Erasmus+ programmes in the UK: 5,651 For full story see: El Pais in English.
Municipal vegetable allotments up for allocation
The Xàbia Department of the Environment is reviving the municipal allotment project has awarded a first batch of plots next to CEIP Trenc d'Alba. These municipal allotments offer residents the opportunity to grow their own vegetables whilst at the same time converting empty land in non-polluting spaces, conducive to biodiversity and improve the environmental quality of Xàbia. Eleven allotments have been allocated, eight of which have been awarded to individuals who applied for them and fulfilled the requirements to be successful, such as being registered as a resident in Xàbia, unemployed or retired, etc. Of the remaining plots, two have been given to the neighbouring school whilst the third has been allocated to users of the TAPIS occupational workshop, an organisation which promotes the socio-labour integration of certain groups with problem with social marginalization through therapeutic support and pre-employment training. Councillor Doris Courcelles (Environment) explained that 24 plots remain vacant and that the application period will be opened for all interested parties to register their applications. These plots will be directly awarded or there will be a draw if there is more demand. During this new stage of management individual water meters have been installed on each allotment and users will pay for actual consumption rather than paying a flat a fee. Full story on: Javeamigos
Ports Authority to repair harbour wall
The Ports Authority will spend €250,000 on emergency repairs to some 80 metres of the harbour wall near the Tango cove which was severely damaged duirng the winter storms. It is in the process of obtaining the necessary money from the contingency fund at the Generalitat Valenciana. The authorities are now processing environmental permits and will be looking for a contractor to start the repair work as soon as possible which will be carried entirely from the land and would not interfere with normal activity in the port. For full story see:Javeamigos
Costas to restore Portet Beach
The Ministry of the Environment (coasts) is to bring in 8000 tons of sand to rebuild Moraira's Portet beach after it was severely damaged by last winter's storms. The work, starting this week, will take around 10 days and during that time access to the beach will be restricted during working days. The idea is to replace the sand that was lost and re-establish the sedimentary balance by reconstructing the beach profile, without affection the marine ecosystem. From: Las Provincias
Marina Alta launches regional plan for employment
On Tuesday, eighteen of the 31 municipalities and thirteen business and other entities signed the Regional Agreement for Employment and Local Development, a tool that this region had until today lacked, though it is widespread in other areas in the Comunidad. In addition to the eight municipalities that are part of Creama, the pact includes ten other municipalities of the Marina Alta and various social agents such as the Chamber of Commerce of Alicante, CC.OO., Cedma, Fevecta , Jovempa, Marina Alta Emprende, UGT, UNED of Denia, Aehtma, IES PV and Xarxa Joves. Creama, as a body with experience and implementation in the region, will manage the process of diagnosis, planning, action plan monitoring and evaluation. The agreement aims to coordinate resources to promote employment and prepare proposals agreed by all signatories to reach legislators to harmonise the regulations to the needs of the territory. from :La Marina Plaza
New General plan for public viewing in April
The Department of Town Planning and Works has presented its annual review, a report on all the management carried out during 2016 from the issues of licences to the processing of files or planning applications. The review highlighted the work being carried out on the revision of the General Plan for Urban Planning with 23 meetings to follow up work and two visits to the Ministry of Urban Planning to coordinate the process. Councillor Isabel Bolufer (Urban Planning) explained that the drafting team has already presented the technical document of the preliminary version of the PGOU and that, if everything goes to plan, it will be able for public viewing in April. For full story see: Javeamigos For background information on this long-running story see: General Plan
The Superior Court of Justice protects Montgó agricultural landscape
The agricultural "Colonias", a series of extensive dry stone terraces created on the Montgó in 1922 constitute a value in itself, not only as witnesses to a bygone era but also because of the landscape and environmental contributions they make to the natural park if they are preserved in the form in which they were conceived. The Montgó Natural Resource Management Plan (PORN)already states this, but it has now also been endorsed by the courts. A ruling of the Superior Court of Justice (TSJ) of the Comunitat Valenciana concluded, among other things, that in the "Colonias": "in no case can actions be accepted for the covert construction of housing intended for residential use and without connection to the conservation of cultural heritage which the Colonias themselves constitute. From: La Marina Plaza