August 2008 News Headlines
Table of Contents

Fresh Local Fish for Sale

August 31st 2008
The Fishermen's Association opened its Marina Alta Sea Food shop in Dénia on Saturday 30th. It will sell fish landed in Jávea, Calpe and Dénia with the trade mark “AMMA” (Alimentos del Mar de la Marina Alta – Marina Alta Sea food) . This shop (located at 17 Avda del Marquesado) is the first of several which are planned. There is also to be a warehouse (near N332) where products (canned and cured fish) can be developed. Las Provincias La Cofradía de Pesca....
(No good fish goes anywhere without a porpoise – Lewis Carroll) ;-)

New Anti Flood Campaign in the Comunidad Valenciana

Of the 542 municipalities in the Comunidad Valenciana, 299 are at risk of flooding: 48 high risk, 88 medium risk (including Jávea) and 163 low risk. More than two million people live in these areas. The regional government will set up a single post emergency office to coordinate relief efforts, and will modify the 112 (Emergencies) Web Page to facilitate the dissemination of flood risk information in real time. They will also promote the formation of professional and voluntary bodies as an important pre-emergency measure, organise training courses and distribute information on CD. (El Mundo 29th August) and El Mundo on-line ..Una Oficina To see the map Click here

Port project in legal tangles

A legal opinion dated April 10th has been revealed in the press.
Las Provincias - Marina Punte del Este....
The company Marina Punte del Este introduced a plan to expand Xàbia Port in January 2003. The law changed in May 2003, under which this private project would automatically be rejected and could only be promoted by the regional government. However a recent ruling stipulates that the project should be considered under the 1988 law which prevailed at the time the proposal was made. So there are three options left to the Valencian Government: Give the project to Marina Punte del Este, if it considers the project to be in the public interest; reject it or have a public tender based on it. Confounding issues are the fact that the plan does not figure in the Valencian Community's Strategic infrastructure plan (2004-2010); that Punta del Este does not have the legal qualifications to carry out large public works and that if the project is rejected, Punta del Este can claim compensation from the Generalitat (some say to the tune of 2 million Euros). The Javea Town hall says they were completely unaware of this document and its implications. More detail (In Castellano in Xàbia al Día Conselleria quiere saber... )

Promoters promote change in the Land Grab Law

Just as the Valencian Ministry of the Environment and Urban development gets ready to prepare its defence against Brussels, the The Valencian federation of building promoters has itself asked for a change in the land grab law (LUV). The Federation (Feprova) notes that argument in Europe over the issue has become a “Sword of Damocles” over their sector, and that sensationalist British and German media frighten potential buyers away. Meanwhile Abusos is taking steps to become a National federation to fight for the rights of citizens in the face of urbanisation. (El Mundo, print edition) August 29th

Xàbia / Jávea Club Nautico celebrates 50th Birthday

August 29th
Over the past few days the Jávea Club Nautico has held various events in celebration of its 50th birthday. These included a "Green Day" (on 28th) to clean the waters of Jávea Bay and the release of 1200 dorada fry. This was seen as a way of educating youngsters about caring for the environment. On saturday they will be holding a gala dinner at the Parador. For more see: Las Provincias: Los barcos del Nautico... and El Club Nautico de Xàbia...

Summer Tourism catches a cold

It was only to be expected that tourism, Spain’s biggest industry, would be a victim of the national and international economic crisis. But few expected the symptoms to come on so strong, or for the treatment to offer little hope of a recovery in the short to mid-term. The number of foreign visitors fell by eight percent in July — 623,000 less than in the same period of 2007 and the biggest annual fall in 13 years.
Click here for more

Xàbia 2008 Municipal Budget

August 28th
Just before the summer break, on 1st July 2008 the Councillor of Finance, Vicente Chorro, explained the municipal budgets for 2008 to the Agenda 21 forum. Because of the Catastrazo, Xàbia is in an anomalous situation. The “Audiencia Nacional” has not yet made a pronouncement following the judgement of the High Court of Valencia that the catastral values are invalid. The property tax (IBI) is based on this document, and at the same time this is the main source of revenue for the municipality (14 of the 35 million total income). The amount will vary substantially depending upon the final decision of the Audiencia Nacional.

However the precarious economic situation of the sports and social associations that rely on a municipal subsidy is beginning to become unsustainable. Therefore it was decided to approve the budget, despite not knowing what the final result of the Catastrazo will be. Click here for more details (translated from XAD article)

Less Waste Water Wasted

August 28th
The former councillor for development in the Valencian Community, José Ramón García Anton, now councillor in charge of water matters has announced that 50% of the waste water emanating from sewage treatment plants in Alicante province is now given a final 'rinse' that makes it suitable for nearly all applications other than for human consumption. Advances in waste water treatment technology have made this recycled water ideal for irrigation.
Sr. Anton emphasised that help is available to install this process for those treatment plants that do not use it and that irrigating associations should no longer resist using it.
Read Original in Spanish in Las Provincias
Comment:Let's hope Jávea is applying for all the help it can get to avoid the current practice of discharging its only partially treated waste water out to sea.

Xàbia Old Town residents present their wish list

August 28th
On August 27th members of the Xàbia Old Town Residents and Business Association had a meeting at which they approved a list of demands to be presented to the Town Council for its approval and support. For more details Click Here There has been a big fuss about the type of paving being used around the church. In the meantime the company responsible for the building of the Trinquet court and urbanisation works of Montañer 1 has downed tools, asking for more money from the Town Hall (Levante print edition)

Noise complaints fall on deaf ears

August 26th
One in four Spanish households suffers from noise problems, whether it comes from the bar below, a neighbor’s air conditioning or traffic. But only six out of the 18 cities required by law to map their noisiest areas by August of 2007 have done so. Click here for more

Real Estate Agencies go bust

August 26th
In the space of just six months, Spain’s 10 largest real estate agencies have closed half of their offices as a result of the dramatic slump in the country’s housing market.Click here for more

Hunters put Wild Boar on the Menu

August 26th
Last Saturday the Hunters Club of Xàbia held a feast of wild boar dishes in aid of the local association against cancer. They served more than 200 portions of roasted and stewed Jabalí (wild boar) from a tent near the Grava beach. They raised some 700 Euros for the charity. The Hunters' Club is the oldest sports club in Jávea (84 years). They plan to increase their social participation through events of this kind and in next year's San Juan fiestas. They regularly assist in cases of wild boar causing danger on the roads, and are currently involved in a system to prevent proliferating wild boar damaging agricultural land. From Las Provincias Los cazadores de Xàbia reparten...

Spain in the Dock

August 25th
Circular from Abusos regarding European Court of Justice action in relation to the Valencian "Land Grab Law"

The following information (Click here for text referred to) dating back to July 9 was received only this morning due, probably, to the EU holiday period. Abusos Urbanisticos NO will be preparing a full media release, but due to publishing deadlines especially for the foreign language media, they have sent this important piece of news as quickly as possible.

This action by the Commission in presenting this case to the European Court of Justice comes as a result of complaints by Abusos Urbanisticos No going back nearly four years, and backed up by public, official documentation revealing the extent to which key EU Directives, which have the force of international law have been consistently breached or ignored in the processes involved in approving massive development schemes.The Spanish laws cited are ones implemented in the Valencian region (LRAU and LUV), but as Spain is the member state of the European Union, the national government bears the legal responsibility for ensuring compliance thoughout the entire country, albeit the laws are regional ones.

It is not possible to state how long it will take for the ECJ to reach its verdict, nor guess what punitive measures would be involved and no doubt the case will be actively resisted by the Spanish authorities.
Further details will be added later to this wikki announcement.
From Charles Svoboda
Vice President, Abusos Urbanisticos No

Booming Campsites

August 23rd
With money being tight these days, tourists in Spain seem to be abandoning posh hotels and apartments for the delights of sleeping under canvas. Click here for more

Canal Moorings Control Slipped from Javea

August 23rd
It has been announced in the Official Valencian Community Bulletin (DOGV) of Friday 22nd that the Costas Ministry in Madrid has ceded control of the moorings and upkeep of the Canal de La Fontana to the Generalitat in Valencia. This news will come as a blow to those owners that already have boats there as well as to the Javea Town Hall that had requested that they themselves should take on this responsibility. The local association of boat owners (Aexamar) had supported the Javea Town Hall initiative.

However, this may suit Javea after all, as it might be easier to negotiate with Valencia rather than with the Costas Ministry in Madrid.

Aexamar has undertaken to do its best to represent their 400 members with the Generalitat and to have recognition for the work they have done over the years to keep the Canal navegable. In a side comment, Aexamar added that they hope this does not bode for a similar decision in respect of Javea's puerto.
(From Costas cede la Consel... Las Provincias)

Foreign Tourists with Tight wallets

August 20th
The occupancy index for tourist accomodation in Dénia and Benidorm fell 6% for the first half of this August as compared to last year. Foreign tourists in Spain spent €61 a head per day as compared to €65 last year. The proportion of foreign tourists to the Comunidad Valenciana also fell from 48% to 46.5%, with a corresponding increase in Spanish National tourists, almost 46% of whom were from Madrid. The figures from the Instituto de Estudios Turisticos were considered with some pessimism by Levante, but with more optimism by Las Provincias.La Marina Retiene.....

El Corte Ingles to use biodegradable plastic bags

August 20th
El Corte Ingles has launched a programme to highlight the problem of throw away plastic bags. This programme includes among other measures, in some departments, the substitution of traditional plastic bags with biodegradable bags made of potato starch. These can be disposed of in the compost. (From Levante print edition)

Wine exports up by 18%

August 20th
Valencian wine exports increased by some 18% over the first four months of 2008, as compared with last year. The value of these exports reached a value of €41.68 million

…but loss of jobs in the agricultural sector

The small farmers' Union announced that last year some 23,000 agricultural jobs had been lost from the Comunidad Valenciana, a fall of some 26.5%. They ascribed this to their falling income.
(both from Levante print edition)

Over a third of Spain faces desert threat

This was revealed by the National Ministry of the Environment which finally (after eight years) approved a plan to counter desertification in Spain…but without its own budget. However on July 4th , €52.1 million euros was allocated to protect and improve the natural environment. €25.1 million was for desertification and of this the Comunidad Valencia was given a million. The Centre for the study of desertification looks likely to be in Barcelona
Click here for more in English.
For more in Castellano see Levante - El Plan contra...
See details of the Plan (in Castellano) on the official website.

Furtive Fishing Netted

August 19th
In a combined operation, patrols that keep a look-out to protect the Marine Reserve off Cabo San Antonio alerted the Guardia Civil who intercepted a boat within the Reserve where some were rod fishing illegally. It was then realised that there were two divers from this vessel that were apprehended on surfacing with their harpoon guns.Their fishing kit was confiscated.The men were temporarily let off the hook, but will be hauled in again no doubt to face due justice.
From Levante.

Foreigners on the increase

August 19th
70% of the 542 municipalities in the Comunidad Valenciana have foreign populations of more than 5%, according to census data.. By 2025 it is estimated that one in four residents will be foreign. In the last year, 80% of new entries on the Padron were of foreigners. The Brits comprise the largest group (134,874) followed by the Romanians (127,750) whose numbers increased the most in a year. From Las Provincias - Siete de cada Diez....

Slow food anyone?

Gourmet Restaurants revive local varieties of meat and vegetable

August 17th
Three Valencian restaurants, two of them Michelin star, are promoting dishes made with local varieties of vegetable and livestock which have fallen out favour in the face of competition from imported hybrids. The cultivation of these varieties is supported by the international “Slow Food” organisation (regional office in Benifaió) which maintains a seed bank. The three restaurants are: La Matandeta of Alfafar, the Arrop of Gandia and the Seu of Dénia. The latter restaurant will be presenting a special menu to introduce a new Slow Food group in the Comunidad Valenciana “El Convivium de la Marina Alta” on September 5th. From Levante print edition. Summary on-line on:Tres laureados chefs...

Each year 21 million tourists don't pay for the health care they receive

August 17th
This is a remark made by Manuael Cervera, Councillor for Health, Comunidad Valenciana, in an interview reported in Levante today. Basically the billing needs to be sorted out. Other points to note from this article are: There is a shortage of doctors; 54% of them are over the age of 50; there is a debt of 840 million Euros; 40% of the budget of the Comunidad Valenciana goes on health, but the health system is still underfunded; the new Dénia hospital will open in November. For more see the Levante print edition, with a summary on:Cado año vienen 21 milliones

Ambitious Energy Saving plan for Spain

August 1st 2008
The most eye-catching idea - and the biggest political risk - is slashing speed limits to 50mph to save fuel. A cap on winter heating is also planned, as are tight restrictions on how far air conditioning can be used to chill public buildings in those sizzling summer months. There will be less street lighting, more public transport and a drive to build a million greener cars. For an account in English see: In Praise of... Spain (Guardian, UK). For a full list of the 31 proposed measures see:Las medidas del plan... El Mundo (Thanks to Nina Davies for the lead)

Free Parking for Shoppers in the Old Town

August 7th
People who shop in the Old Town will receive half an hour free parking from shops participating in a promotional campaign. In addition a new half hourly minibus service between the Old Town and Arenal, via the Port, has been initiated. The Old Town will be developed as an open shopping centre, with inauguration in November. For more see: Free Parking in the Old Town Source Xàbia al Día

Spanish Banks Health Warning

August 7th
Morgan Stanley, the investment bank, has issued a major alert on the health of Spanish banks, warning that a replay of the ERM crisis in the early 1990s could wipe out the capital base of weak lenders exposed to the property crash.

"A momentous economic slowdown is now under way. We believe the deterioration in Spain is just in the beginning stages. The bulk of the pain will be suffered in 2009," said the report, by Eva Hernandez and Carlos Caceres. "The probability of a crisis scenario similar to the early 1990s is increasing. If the ERM (Exchange Rate Mechanism) scenario were to become reality the main concern would not be earnings, but capital," it said. For more see: Daily Telegraph

Spain considered more corrupt than ever

6 August 2008
A survey carried out by Sigma Dos for El Mundo revealed that 86.7 % of Spaniards consider corruption to be a problem for Spain and feel that it is generalised and present in all sectors with the political sector coming tops with 62.9%. The level of government with the greatest corruption was perceived to be town halls (61.6%) and in business the construction sector was considered the most corrupt (57.2%) Sources: El Mundo on-line and Print Edition August 6th 2008

Boozy Boogie Nights cause chaos on La Plana

August 6th
Every weekend in August the fringes of the Montgo Natural Park are invaded by cars and hundreds of partying youngsters who come to a disco at Xàbia's La Plana. The chaotically parked cars, garbage, bottles and noise are seriously at odds with the strict regulations governing the use of the park. The local police plan to increase their surveillance of the area. Local residents have submitted denuncias and petitions requesting the disco's closure, together with police reports highlighting safety concerns. Thus far, with no result. From Las Provincias - El Botellon y las coches....

Going Round in Circles..It's Official

6 August 2008
Sometime yesterday afternoon the two Rondas that encircle the Old Town of Javea were reconnected for traffic. This allows Javienses and visitors to drive around in circles once again, maybe deciding which of the two new car parks to use.
(from Levante and Información)

Note: The car park beneath the Constitution Square still benefits from a half hour free parking courtesy of the Town Hall (well, the Javea taxpayers anyway) while some shops in the Old Town also offer parking discount tickets for their customers.These are valid in both the new underground car parks

The Old Town Walls are Growing Again

6 August 2008
Noticed while circulating this morning. The foundations exposed in the main street down from the Correos are now growing in height., with new stonework replacing that which was no doubt used for other building projects when these old walls were originally demolished. It looks as though this rebuild may not exceed a metre in height, but you never know.

Survey Questions and Results

2 August 2008
The background to the general QUESTIONS to help a decision on Strategic Plan in respect of where Javea stands now and the RESULTS from the (mainly) english speaking community in Javea can be found by referring the following two pages on this wiki site: -

Strategic plan - English Questionnaire
Strategic plan questionnaire - results

With luck there may be other such opportunities in future for folk to have their say in other surveys about Javea if it is decided that a Strategic Plan is needed.
In that case, the questions are far more likely to be directly relevant to Javea.

Old Town Demonstrators Have Their Say

2 August 2008
There was quite a turnout on Wednesday evening, even if, as ever, there were differing claims as to quite how many there were out on the streets(250- 500).The demonstrators made their way up from the Convent Square to the Town hall, arriving while the monthly Pleno was already underway.They had to wait until the end of official business for the period recently set aside for public questions and councillor answers. Their representatives were allowed to read out their statements of complaint in respect of the problems they suffer from the continuing works in the Old Town.
Issues raised ranged from loss of free street parking, not offset by concessionary charges for residents in the new car parks, dangerous new paving for curbs, loss of business and the weekly market, to a general dissatifaction about the competence of some of the work force employed by the contractors.

Any answers were largely lost in the noise from the other plaintives.However , it is understood that the council will consider making a provision for some limited compensation / concessions within this year's budget ( itself only approved recently) but the details will be worked out at a more opportune moment and in a less confrontational atmsosphere. There was one request in respect of building licences; that was reproached with the comment that such applications are still feasible in 50% of the urbanisable land in Javea. (from reports in Levante, las Provincias and XAD)

As for the Port, no word in this public demonstration, but then perhaps why can be explained in that it later emerged that the Port issue had been raised earlier in the day. (below)

Planning to Turn the Tide

1 August 2008
Mario Flores, the councillor from Les Corts in Valencia, came to Javea on Wednesday together with Carlos Elena, the director general of ports, to meet with the two local political groups (Bloc and Nueva Javea) that they had omitted to invite earlier to meet them in Valencia. These two parties had voted against their ideas to expand Javea's puerto, while the other parties that had been invited had abstained when it came to a vote. Flores and Elena explained they wished to mount a local publicity campaign for their concept to expand Javea's port to better inform the Javea townsfolk.They did not repond to the comment that the Town Hall, that is elected to represent Javea townsfolk, had already rejected their proposal. (from Levante)

In addition, Flores said that the Government owes a debt to the company which proposed the development because of the business expectations and costs incurred through acquiring documentation and an environmental impact report. NJ pointed out that these pressures are unfounded and there is no legislation to justify them (from : Xàbia al Día )


Perhaps like Canute, Flores and Elena think they can stop and turn the tide, or will they continue to try again and again whenever they feel that the tide and current of opinion might run more in their favour? It seems they themselves have no funds for the scheme, so just who is behind it?

Saving Homes in Spain Means Immigrant Toils for 20 Hours a Day

1st August 2008
On the broader front, the building slump is creating major social problems. See Bloomberg

Hidden Staircase 1 - an archaeological find

August 16th
The works around the Indoor Market have revealed the existence of a previously unknown staircase, well preserved and well built too in tosca stone.
The local archeological team have speculated that it may have formed part of the Augustinian convent that occupied the site now covered by the covered market, perhaps leading to a crypt. Alternatively it could have been part of an entrance to a shelter in times of war. But speculation has to end there for the moment. It has already been sealed in with a concrete cover.
From Las Provincias

Hidden Staircase 2 - Tourist Office to Pleno

August 16th
Not many will be aware of a nearby but far more modern hidden staircase, this time in the Town Hall itself. Most visitors to the Tourist Office on the ground flooor of the Town Hall would be surprised to realise that tucked away on one side is a discreet entrance leading to a wood and steel spiral staircase that runs from top to bottom of the building.
On the first floor it leads into an antechamber meeting room to the main room used for council meetings (plenos). On the second to the top floor offices of the Alcalde himself.
We wait to learn just how far down this one goes!

New Parking Near the Arenal

Just in time for the busiest holiday weekend of the year, the developers of the new apartment blocks behind the Arenal have surfaced their roads and opened them for car parking.
There appears to have been no official anouncement about this, so many javienses may well have not ventured that way due to the long standing issue of parking space availability in the peak summer season.

Visitors on the other hand may well find things a bit easier than they have been since what was once waste land used for summer overflow parking in earlier years has been out of bounds while these appartments are constructed.
But with temperatures as high as they are, and no shade other than being on the right side of a block, any items left inside cars could cook quite quickly.
For the future, not only are these roads open, but many young trees have been already planted on the pavements.

Signs of progress?

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