August 2009 News Headlines

Burst Pipe and..many households will have no water for a week !

August 31st
Today Amjasa made the following announcement: Due to the breakage of the mains in La Barraca the following areas will be affected.
La Barraca; Mar Azul; La Cala; Parts of Balcon al Mar; Granadella;Costa Nova
There are three emergency water distribution points:
1. Cross roads: Carretera de la Nao with Cap Negre.
2 The crossing of La Guardia with Granadella
3 Granadella bay.
This service will be from 8.30am to 22.00pm It is anticipated that normal supplies will be reinstated by the weekend.

It's expensive not having an Ecopark

August 31st
Since Ramblars was forcibly closed as a tip four years ago, the town has been obliged to pay a private company to macerate and transport garden rubbish away. This service (which is provided without a formal contract) costs a whopping 2000 Euros per day. (€480,000 / annum). One solution would be for Xàbia to have its own Ecopark - but where? The land needs to belong to the Town Hall, be urbanisable and not prone to soil contamination. The current council also wants it located close to the Old Town. Hence, no suitable site has been found. Xàbia has 13 "Punts Verds" - selective garbage collection points, but no "Ecopark" where people can safely dispose of batteries, household goods, garden trimming - anything which does not go in the normal containers. From XAD No Tener...

Fighting Fountain Grass on the Montgó


August 28th
A decorative African grass " Pennisetum setacum" - Fountain Grass - has been unintentionally introduced into the Montgó natural Park through its popularity as an exotic garden plant. The Valencian Environment Ministry is taking steps to try to eradicate this invasive plant from the Park. Firstly they are trying to get rid of it from nearby private properties; then weed out specimens from the park itself by covering the heads with plastic bags to prevent dispersal, digging up the plant, and monitoring for new shoots. From Las Provincias Medio Ambiente....

Five storey mansion could be legal


August 28th
A massive five-storey private mansion could turn out to be legal. The concrete building in the Corona area belongs to the boss of the Arción company, which built the Casa de Cable and Museo Soler Blasco. Being constructed on a slope, it treats two storeys as basements. The Town Hall paralysed the works, on account of there being too much construction per area of land. However, they can get over this hurdle by merging the land with the adjacent plot, which also just happens to belong to the house owners. From XAD: Un chalet de cinco....

Diving and Snorkeling Guide


August 27th
The Valencia Ministry of Tourism has produced a 100 page diving and snorkeling guide covering the Comunidad Valenciana with information on the best underwater routes along the coast. Seventeen dives of different degrees of difficulty are described which can be done with SCUBA gear, or simply with mask and flippers. The Marina Alta features in eight of the dives, while Xàbia figures with La Granadella, the reef next to the Portitxol Island and Tango bay. From XAD: Guía de buceo y snorkel....

Burst water main leaves 100 houses without water

August 28th
A burst water main left 100 houses without water in the areas of Balcon al Mar and la Barraca. Supplies to Balcon al Mar were restored by re-routing, but no such luck for the La Barraca people. They'll be waterless for two or three days while some 350 metres of main is replaced. The burst took place under someone's garage in Calle la Sardina, which was of itself strange since mains pipes are not supposed to go underneath a private construction. Las Provincias: Un reventón....

Riu Rau Restored


August 27th
The 19th Century Riu Rau of Arnauda has been relocated from Roig-Roquetes to its new home in the Parque Montañar. The state-funded project (€90,000) entailed dis-assembling, transporting its parts and re-assembling it once more. It is 56 metres long and has 42 arches ("Ulls") arranged in three rows. It is hoped also to restore two ovens used in the raisin-making process. The owners were the Catalá family which was a major producer of raisins duirng 19th and early 20th centuries. From XAD: Xàbia recupera ...

A welcome absence of garbage


August 26th
On Monday, three groups of divers from the Club Nautico collected rubbish from the sea floor of two of the protected marine areas of Xàbia: Cala Sardinera and Cala del Pope. They found plastic bottles and tins, nets and diving goggles, a harpoon and gaff. They noted that there was less rubbish than in previous years, indicating perhaps, that people were becoming more environmentally aware. The Club Nautico has also installed recycle bins on its pontoons for the selective collection of rubbish. From XAD El CNJ encuentra.....

New, energy efficient lighting in the Port


August 26th
Avenida Lepanto in Xabia Port is now lit by 30 new, energy efficient street lights. The state funding of €216,000 also included replacing old wiring and junction boxes in Cristo del Mar, Sevilla, Sertorio, and Avenidas Furs, Jaume I and Lepanto. Next they will change the lighting in the Arenal. From XAD: Farolas más eficientes...

The Crisis in Spain: The worst is yet to come

August 26th
A recently published report by economic analysts at Variant Perception suggest that the crisis in Spain has not even begun: “Assuming the worst has passed in Spain does not pass the common sense test” The essence of the report evolves around banks and real estate: “We believe that Spanish banks are not marking their real estate loans to market and are extending credit to zombie construction companies. We believe Spain is a disaster waiting to happen.” For more see: Spanish News: The Crisis in Spain. The original report is worth downloading and reading: (PDF file) The Hole in Europe's Balance Sheet

Visitors to the Montgó Natural Park up 32 % in 10 years

Aug 23rd
This was reported in the regional press today. Apparently 55% were national visitors and 45% foreigners. Most go to the Cabo de San Antonio. (…. how they count these people ?? Ed.)

The devolution debate

August 20th
Victor Mallet in the Financial Times looks at devolution in Spain, noting "The economic crisis has helped to expose the high costs - to businesses and to taxpayers - of Spanish devolution and the multiple regional and local bureaucracies it has spawned, costs previously obscured by the piles of cash from property taxes during the country's housing boom. It points to problems that may grow more acute for other countries including the UK, with its debates over devolved government in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales." For complete article see: Flimsier footings

Diving for garbage

August 19th
On Tuesday 25th August, 50 divers and helpers will help to remove whatever junk has accumulated on the sea-floor in the Port. The initiative is being organised by the Club Nautico and the Pelicar diving Centre. The junk will be sorted into stuff which can be recycled and rubbish. Any volunteer helpers with diving experience are asked to call 630082387. The exercise starts at 9.00am…no knowing what sunken treasures they may find! (From press release).

Selling like hot bags!


It is usually cakes that are used to describe great sales but in the case of the "Xabia ecologica" jute bag campaign the number of bags already sold speak for themselves. Since the bags arrived in the town at the end of June 1500 have been distributed and a second order is already on its way. Twenty small businesses are already collaborating with the distribution of the bags in the old town, in the port and in the Arenal, and the business Associations in the old town and the Port are taking part as well, buying bags in bulk to distribute to their members. In the old town these bags will be printed on the reverse with the logo of the old town business Association. For more see: Selling like Hot Bags

Energy Efficient Street lights


August 19th
New, energy efficient street lights have been installed in the calle Virgen de los Ángeles area and up on the Xàbia/ Denia road. These lights are the same design as those used on the ring road and they will result in electricity savings. The only work which remains to be done is to remove the old lights. The cost of the project is €48,000 from State funds. From XAD: Estrenan alumbrado mas....

Spain's Solar Market Crash Offers a Cautionary Tale About Feed-In Tariffs

August 19th
For a brief, shining moment, Spain was the best solar market in the world. The Spanish government, eager to fulfill its commitments to renewable energy, guaranteed generous subsidies for any company that met its aggressive deadlines. While the ministry expected a steady stream of investment, it got a flood, accounting for more than 40 percent of the world's total solar installations last year. Forced to revise the subsidies — known as feed-in tariffs — that it used to spur photovoltaic power last fall, Spain became one of the principal causes of the downturn in the solar industry. For whole story see: New York Times

Petition for paediatrician and X-ray facilities in Xàbia

August 19th
A group of citizens is organising a petiton asking for an increase in the number of personnel in primary care (nursing, paediatricians, radiologists) and x-ray facilities in the Xàbia health centre. There are only two child health specialists in the region, and both are in Denia. XAD: Centro de Salud sin pediatra... Note: The Comunidad Valenciana has less than the average health funding per resident at 1159 Euros (Compare with Pais Vasco at 1607). Also Alicante has the lowest ratio of beds per 1000 inhabitants at 2.59 (Spanish average 3.5) From Levante print edition last week.

Well, well, what a lot of water

August 19th
Water consumption in Xàbia hit a peak of 30,500 cubic metres per day between 3rd and 9th August. This contrasts with winter figures averaging 15,300 m3/ day. 50% of Xàbia's water comes from a well in Ocaive (just up the valley towards Llosa del Camaxo from Pedreguer) the rest from two lines of the desalination plant which are currently in use (total 4). Some water (900-1000m3/day) is sold to Teulada and Benitatxell via the old Aguadest connections. Ground water levels are good. This contrasts with the situation a decade ago when Javea residents had to collect all their potable water from bowsers. Levante Agua para dar y tomar..

Surprise 80% Tourist Occupancy in August

August 19th
Preliminary figures for the Marina Alta show an average of 80.5% tourist occupancy (a 16.5% jump from July). Most visitors are Spanish (52%). The French top the list of foreign tourists (40%) followed by the Brits and Germans in silver and bronze medal position. Las Provincias: La ocupación...

Earthquake activity up in the Comunidad valenciana

August 19th
Experts detected an increase in earthquake activity in the Comunidad Valenciana during 2008. The biggest was centred on Barx and registered 3.7 of the Richter scale. Earthquakes in the region are due to the movements between the African and Euro-Asian plates and are usually of low intensity (less than 3). A real big one has the probability og happening every 500 years - The last was in 1829, so the next could be in 2300, or tomorrow. Levante: El Gobierno detecta...

Row over the missing 300,000

August 14th
There is an on-going row over the accounting for extra works carried out by the construction firm ECISA in the old town. The original project was for 5.3 million Euros, additional works puched it up to 5.7 million, and recently yet more additional work raised the bill to over 6 million. A Town Council meeting was held to approve an application for credit to cover the latest additional works. This amounted to € 1,204,339.37. However, adding up the bill item by item resulted in a total of only € 899,440. What was the other € 304,899.37 for? The application for credit was voted through, and the Councillor for the Hacienda explained in a letter that the money was to cover VAT and Industrial Profit. However the opposition remains unconvinced and has asked for detailed documentation. It also seems also that section 11 of the tabled document was missing. From Levante Print Edition and XAD El PSPV pide....

Bunged up storm drains at the Arenal


August 13th
There was flooding at the Arenal after the recent rain storms. This time it wasn't Avda Tamarits which suffered, but people who lived in Edificio Costa Blanca. The trouble this time was not the new drain, but the old ones, which have not been cleaned out for decades. A drain-cleaning company has therefore been busy cleaning out the accumulated sand and gravel. The oldest parts of the drainage consists of ditches instead of pipes. From XAD: Limpian los colectores....

Has development made the coast a concrete cemetery?

August 13th
Close to half a million unsold homes litter the Spanish Mediterranean, once the country’s pride and joy - For more from El Pais International Edition in English see: Concrete Cemetery

Issue of EU Health Cards clear for some, muddy for others

August 12th
Correspondence with the British Consulate reveals that the UK NHS will be issuing EU Health cards to British pensioners resident in Spain, but the position of Brits who are resident here but who are not working, nor of of pensionable age remains problematic. For correspondence with the British Consulate on this matter see: EU health cards

Table of Contents

Energy: Renewables a goldmine for Business and Environment ?

August 12th
Renewable energy in Spain is a veritable goldmine for businesses, for the environment and above all for the job market. In fact it is expected that 600,000 jobs will be created by 2040. Several studies by major companies in the industry such as Iberdola and Acciona have announced the news. However Professor Gabriel Calzata of the Department of Applied Economics at the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid says that every green job created in Spain with State funding would mean the destruction on average of 2.2 other jobs and would cost 571,000 euro. For more in English see: ANSA Med

Crisis stimulates shoplifting and "own brand" buying in supermarkets

August 10th
There's a new shoplifter profile surfacing in Spain with the economic crisis: housewives and heads of households. It is called "robo famelico," literally "starving theft." And there is little supermarkets can do to stop them since non-violent theft of goods worth less than 400 euros isn't considered a crime in Spain. Among those who pay, nine out of ten in Spain are buying own brands in supermarkets. For more in English see: The recession, shoplifing in Spain and Nine out of ten in Spain....

Spain branded Europe's biggest producer of plastic bags

August 9th
Spain is Europe’s biggest producer of single-use plastic bags, and the EU’s third main consumer. There are 10 billion bags used a year in Spain producing 100,000 tons of non-biodegradable toxic garbage. While the average person uses 238 a year, only 10 per cent are recycled. The government seems to want to avoid a showdown with supermarkets over charging for bags that customers have long grown used to getting for free. The experience of other countries in the EU shows that the most effective way to cut back on plastic bag use is by charging for them. For more in English See: The Leader: Spain branded....

All set for the 36th Xàbia Regatta

August 9th
From Saturday 15th - 22nd August there will be a week of sailing organised by the Club Nautico of Xàbia. There will be a series of dinghy races with entrants not only from the Comunidad Valenciana, but also the Pais Vasco and Andalucia. There will also be social activities for members and visitors including a fiesta on Friday August 21st and traditional paella contest on Thursday 20th Las Provincias: Todo a punto...

New Office location for Padron Registration

August 8th
Xàbia's departments of Statistics, Registration and the Padron have move to the Technical Office premises at Carrer D'Avall 39 in the Old Town. (This runs between the Calle Mayor and the Ronda Sur)

Swine flu strategy: “Don’t kiss, don’t shake hands, just say hello”

August 8th
The Official School of Doctors in Madrid hung this slogan on its headquarters on Friday, reminding the public that the best way to prevent the spread of swine flu is to avoid physical contact with others. According to figures released on Friday by the Health Ministry, there are currently 12,270 people in Spain infected with the H1N1 virus. Of those, 26 are hospitalized in intensive care. While swine flu has already claimed eight lives in Spain, most of those infected have only presented mild symptoms. (El Pais, English Edition)

Local Builders to repair flood damage

August 7th
Last Friday Xàbia Mayor Eduardo Monfort and municipal councillor of the PP group, Miguel Savall, met with the president of the Diputación de Alicante, Jose Joaquin Ripoll to discuss the works to repair damage caused by the floods in October 2007. The works, which have a total cost of 1.8 million euros will be 50% funded by the Ministry of Public Administration with the balance funded in equal shares by the Diputación and Town Hall. The works include the residual water pumping station of Cabo de la Nao, repair of Green Zones affected by the rains, and the improvement of the Tosalet gully.
Xabia al Dia: Constructores locales....

Market Stall Owners heated in the heat

August 7th
The Thursday Mercadillo stall owners became very heated when they turned up to be allocated temporary places near la Palmela (their normal places in the Plaza de la Constitución being occupied by the Jazz Festival) and the Police told them there had been a change of plans. No-one seemed to know where they should go. Some just pitched their stalls anyway. They felt that they were being treated like sheep. Las Provincias: Vendedores sin licencia....

Anyone for Rugby?

August 7th
The Town Hall has ceded some land behind the football field in Frechinal to a private club which wants to build a rugby stadium. The Club will raise 300,000 Euros for the project and there will be social facilities for use by other associations. Las Provincias: Un Club privado...

Pit Bull Owner fined 8400 Euros

August 7th
The owner of a pit bull terrier has been fined a whopping 8400 Euros by Xàbia Town Hall for having the dog un-vaccinated and un-muzzled and without necessary permits. Unsurprisingly the owner (who is a foreigner, and comes to Xàbia now and again) cannot be traced, and is off somewhere else with his dog. Nevertheless he has been notified of his fine in the provincial gazette. Las Provincias: Xàbia Multa con 8400 Euros....

Traffic jam connects Pueblo to Port


August 5th
Drivers around the old town have become used to roads suddenly closed through works, diversions because of the Jazz festival , then suddenly on Tuesday the Virgen de los Angeles was opened up but traffic to Denia over la Plana was diverted to go via the Jesus Pobre Road, resulting in gridlock. By 2.00pm there was a ring of stationary vehicles in a circle about the town, with cars stuck motionless for some 40 minutes and a tail back reaching as far as Ausias March in the Port. The situation completely overwhelmed the local police who admitted that in the face of the advancing roadworks there were fewer and fewer alternatives for diverted traffic. From XAD Los atascos... and Las Provincias : Nuevas obras....

Windless windfarms

August 4th
The Ministry of Industry has produced a wind atlas of Spain which shows that the Comunidad Valenciana (including the coastal areas) has a low wind energy potential. As the Ornithological Society of Valencia points out, this puts the viability of the Valencian Wind Energy Plan into doubt. The areas of most interest (within an area which has only half the potential of other areas of Spain), are south of the Cabo de San Antonio in deep water far from shore, making it a practically unfeasible development. From Levante: Parques eólicos sin viento... The English Version of the Wind Energy Plan (Comunidad Valenciana) is available here. It consist of 67 wind farms in 15 areas.

Why sun, sea and sand are no longer enough

August 4th
Experts believe that Spain has missed its chance to create a sustainable model for tourism, something that could have dire effects on the economy. The industry represents nearly 11 percent of the country’s GDP. For more from El pais English Edition see: Sun Sea and Sand not enough

Improving Xàbia's Look-outs


August 4th
The Valencia Ministry of Tourism is to invest 30,000 Euros (half the cost) to improve Xabia's network of some 15 lookouts (Miradores) with new informative signs etc. From North to South these viewing points are : Molins (windmills), Cap de Sant Antoni, la Punta de l'Arenal (ancient Roman salt factory), la Séquia de la Nòria, la Cala Blanca, Caletes, el Portitxol, L'illa, la Falzia, el Cap Negre, el Cap de la Nau, les Pesqueres, Ambolo, Granadella and the Castell de la Granadella. From Las Provincias: Turismo mejorar....

Complaints about roadworks in Xàbia Port

August 4th
Businesses in the Port are complaining loudly about the continuing roadworks, and subsequent noise, dust, ditches and barriers. Apparently hotel guests have either cancelled their bookings or left early because of the inconvenience. Shops have lost clients. The works were to have been completed by the beginning of August, but it seems that least another two weeks will be necessary. From Las Provincias: Quejas por las obras.....

Xàbia has not made a financial plan

August 4th
The Xàbia financial controller called for a financial plan in February because there was a deficit to the tune of almost 13 million Euros at the end of 2008. According to his report, this plan has not appeared. Income from IBI (rates) is a hypothetical income. The report also calls for proper tax inspection and fines. The system currently does not work because of the lack of qualified personnel. (e.g. in cases of taxing and/or fining tables and building materials in the streets) . A proper administrative system should be set up for traffic and urban sanctions. He also noted that there is still no updated inventory of assets including buildings.
From XAD Xàbia no ha realizado....

Brits in boozed brawl at the Arenal

At 5.30 am on Monday morning two gangs of young men aged between 19 and 33 brawled outside a disco at the Arenal. One gang consisted of Brits, the other of French (Moroccan origin). 10 people were detained and 5 hospitalised some with knife wounds (from Levante print edition)

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