August 2012 News Headlines

The French are coming ! The French are coming !

August 31st
Xàbia Council Chamber became the surprise stage for a short play which commemorated the 200th anniversary of an event in Xàbia in late August 1812 during the "War the French "or War of Independence against Napoleon's rule. Just as the meeting ended, thunderous fireworks and screams made councilors and the public jump as three amateur actors wearing rustic clothes, began a humorous narration of the violent acts carried out by the Napoleonic military. It is said that 16 people were killed in two days of looting, that two priests jumped off the church tower and a nun jumped into a well to avoid a fate worse than death. For full story see: 200 years Anniversary of French Attack

Bus Station project up for Tender

August 30th
The Town Hall has opened the tender procedure for the construction of Xàbia's intermodal bus station. The value of the project is 150,000 €, and eight local companies have been invuted to tender, the award going to the lowest price. See July story - Go-ahead for Xàbia bus station - for details of the station The Council also approved the installation of two "padél" courts next to the Palau d'Esports. Work will begin after the Fiestas de Loreto and are expected to be completed within a month. From XAD: Avanzan....

Spain to pass key energy reform in two phases

Aug 25th
Madrid has said about 8.6 billion euros ($10.76 billion) of a 65 billion euro austerity programme will come from new energy and environmental taxes in the next two and a half years. Utilities have for years charged customers less than the cost of producing energy, creating a 24 billion euro tariff deficit the government has so far absorbed. "We're already looking at the reform of the electricity market. The first part (of the reform) is more about imposing new taxes (on the industry) to stop the growth of the energy tariff (deficit)," one of the sources said. From The Economic Times

Programme of Port Fiestas "Mare de Deu de Loreto"

Aug 24th
(from now until Sept 8th 2012) see:

Huertos del Montgó developer tries another tack

August 24th
Last year planning permission to build 93 houses on the "Huertos del Montgó" was rejected because it did not comply with current planning regulations (This area is the last bit of undeveloped land on the Montgó side of the Jesus Pobre road). According to Las Provincias a new plan is being submitted to build a sheltered, residencial complex there, with health and therapeutic services available, though the houses would still be individual. However, this development would require changing the allowed use of the land (currently only for houses) , and although noises off say that the Town Hall is favourable to this move, the Ministry of Environment will have to approve, particulary since the land is next to the Montgó Natural Park. Las Provincias: El promotor.... Ed's Note: The Council later approved the first steps to allow this land to be re-zoned so that such a development would be possible.But there would be a lot of restrictions.

Work on Arenal Promenade to start in October


August 24th
The renovation of the Arenal promenade will start on October 15th and should be finished by mid-March. The paving will be a mosaic of white and brown (like tosca) hexagonal tiles. This is different from the tiling originally chosen for the project and represents a €300,000 saving. The edge facing the sea will have steps and ramps for accessibility and a low wall seat which will act as a barrier to sand ans seaweed during storms. New bollards, planters and beach furniture will be installed to prevent unauthorised vehicle access to the beach. Lighting will be improved with 10 metre high lights arranged so they give perspective to the walkway and light onto the beach. Finally there will be a wooden pergola, to provide shade, next to a green island which separates the promenade from the parking area. From XAD: Las Obras....

Paintball next to the Golf Club ?

August 24th
Some time ago, two young entrepreneurs, Adrian Gines and Brenda Perez, aged 25 and 22 respectively decided to create a Paintball course next to the golf course - and have belatedly run into opposition from local residents and the planning regulations. Having invested €60,000 in renting a field next to the Golf club, (near Los Cerezos and Alborada) and getting advice from a local engineer a year ago, they find that although the activity could be done without legal problems, it would have to be only if the infrastructure was not fixed (as in the case of a fun fair). This is not the case for a paintball course, where you have to create a mini battlefield with bunkers and objects to hide behind. The Town hall, though in favour of such initiatives, feels it would be better to find another site away from housing estates e.g. Ramblars. From XAD:Un empresa joven...

Xàbia Museum exhibits important prehistoric site on the Montgó

August 22nd
This Friday, 24th of August, at 8.00pm the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography of Xàbia, Soler Blasco will open its doors to host one of the most successful and important exhibitions about the town. The exhibition"Art i mort al Montgo" (Art and Death, the Cave of the Migdia Ravine)", shows the work of excavating and cataloguing done at a burial cave 375 meters above sea level. It has been reproduced in its actual size and became part of the exhibition, being made out of a material that imitates the caves rock walls and paintings which are almost 5000 years old.. 12 display panels review the characteristics of the cave, the remains found, and its historical context. There are showcases containing some of the findings and a reproduction of the most representative paintings of the cave. The exhibition was funded by a grant of 69,504 euros from the Ministry of Culture that was passed to the Cirne Foundation. A recreation of the atmosphere of the Migdia cave will be displayed in one of the small halls of the Museum. From Press Release. Eds note: NB The display panel information is also available in English. For a summary of what the exhibition contains see: Cova del Barranc del Migdia - 5000 years of Human History

Alicante Forest Fires blamed on Budget Cuts

August 22nd
As blame is now apportioned following the forest fires, the deaths of two people and the destruction of 600 hectares of pine forest at La Torre de les Maçanes, just north of Alicante, the spotlight is firmly placed on the lack of clearing and maintenance of forests, which it is said has declined dramatically in recent years. For full story see: The Leader

Special blood donations as part of Fiestas

August 20th
A special blood donors day has been scheduled as part of the Celebrations de la Mare de Déu del Loreto de Xàbia, for Wednesday 22nd of August in Calle Severo Ochoa s/n (no number). From 17:30 hours - 21 hours, the workers from the Transfusion Centre of the Valencian Community will be available and hope to have the same great results as last year when 82 people donated their blood. From Press Release.

Town Hall to ask for an Advance pending IBI receipts

August 21st.
The legal requirement to re-adjust property values back to 1995 values for the calculation of IBI has led to a delay in collection of the rates and a cash flow problem for Xàbia Town Hall. The State authorities are due to send the new calculations this month, but since IBI is the main source if income for Xàbia, the Town Council therefore plans to ask for an advance of €5,382,714 Euros to cover payments to suppliers of services and materials. The advance will be returned in three monthly payments after the IBI has been collected. No interest payments will be required. The Town expects an income of €12,920,027 from IBI this year, contrasting with the €21.67 million which would have been due had the property values not been adjusted. From Press Release.

Denia Fire probably deliberate


August 20th
A bush fire in the Torre de Gerro / Las Rotas area in Denia on Thursday night was probably deliberate. The fire broke out at 12.30 at night, when there had been no lightning or any natural agency to ignite a fire. 100 people had to be evacuated including a 100 year old lady. Two policemen were slightly injured. From: Las Provincias

Residents explain the Terra Xàbia project to shoppers in English

August 16th
Two British residents helped out at the "Terra Xàbia" stall at the Thursday market, explaining the philosophy of this project (which is to help reactivate local agriculture) to English-speaking customers. Their involvement was organised through the Town Hall's "Help Desk". From Press Release.

Beach volunteer programme for Spanish Coastline

August 16th
Through the Biodiversity Foundation, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Affairs has launched its "Beaches, Volunteers and Land Stewardship" programme with the intention to get 5,000 people involved in the protection of beach quality via 35 beach improvement and conservation projects. Thirteen of these projects have been scheduled to take place this August in Andalusia, Asturias, the Canary Islands, Cantabria, Catalonia and the Region of Valencia. For full story see: The Leader

Bush fire in Lliber

August 14th
A fire caused by lightning in the mountains near Font d'Aixa, Lliber, on Saturday night damaged 15 hectares. From Las Provincias: El incendio... Meanwhile fires in the Canaries continue to wreak havoc and two firefighters die in a fire in Torremanzanas (not far from Alcoy). See El Pais in English

The curious case of Valencia's flameproof cypresses


August 14th
When Bernabé Moya, director of forests for the provincial delegation of Valencia, revealed the image, his botanist colleagues could not believe their eyes. A clump of 946 cypress trees, each nine meters tall, had resisted the fire that had devastated 20,000 hectares around the Valencia town of Andilla in July unscathed. The photo clearly showed a 9,000-square-meter area of cypresses, which had been planted 22 years ago in Jérica, between Valencia and Castellón provinces. All around, a devastated lunar landscape, where almost no vestige remained of the pine, oak, holm oak, juniper and gorse trees that had been consumed by the flames. The mystery, and what it might mean, has reopened the debate surrounding forest regeneration. While some experts are in favor of employing cypresses as natural firebreaks, others reject the idea of planting species that are alien to the native habitat. For full story see: El Pais in English

Xàbia Visual Week brings together 45 artists

August 14th
Xàbia Visual week 2012 will take place between 17th and 24th August with an exhibition of works by 45 artists. The exhibition hall will be a 19C building, No 7 Avda de Alicante (next to the Red Cross), the use of which has been donated by the Espasa brothers and which has been cleaned up by the artists for the exhibition. The exhibition will be open from 6.00pm until midnight each night, with musical sessions some evenings. For more (in Castellano) see their website:

New play frames for kids on the Arenal


August 14th
The Town Hall has installed a new block of play equipment for young children at the southern end of the Arenal Beach. This includes slides, and a climbing wall. The project cost €20,000 and was one of the requests made through the citizen's forum and by the Arenal business Association. This brings the number of play units for children on the beach to five.

Archaeology as a tourism resource

August 12th
There is no Valencian enclave which has nothing to show for the Iberian, Roman and Arabic periods (to name three of the great civilizations that have inhabited this area). Therefore, in making the tourist product, municipalities have much to contribute to the defense of their heritage and its value as an attraction for visitors. During the crisis, tourists have few economic resources at their disposal but there is a wealth of historical experience available. This may well generate a new tourist market to compete with other destinations. From Levante: El turismo...

Ideas for using old bikes

From France

See: Ideas for using old bikes for more.

Property sales to foreigners increase

August 11th
Foreigners spent some 315 million Euros in buying property in the Comunidad Valenciana during the first quarter of 2012. Sales to Brits were flat as compared to last year while there was an increase in the number of buyers from Russia, Switzerland and the Nordic countries. This is ascribed in part to the sharp fall in property prices and people from wealthy countries looking for holiday homes. From Levante, Sunday print edition.

Summer wildfires seen as worst in last decade, as heat wave takes hold

August 10th
With an intense heat wave due to grip Spain over the coming days, civil protection officials have embarked on a campaign to warn citizens that there is currently a greater risk of wildfires in rural areas. This has been worst year since 2002 for wildfires, according to the Interior Ministry. Between January 1 and July 29, some 130,830 hectares of land have been destroyed by the fires, preliminary statistics from the Environment Ministry show. That is more than twice the average from the past decade in the same period, when fires razed 56,000 hectares of land. For full story see: El País in English

Thursday Market to be extended to the Church Square

August 11th
From Thursday, August 16th, Jávea's Thursday market will be extended to the Church and covered market squares. Stalls in this area will not be allowed to sell fruit and vegetables to avoid competition with the municipal market and confine rubbish generated by these stalls to the Plaza de la Constitución. They will be selling gift items, textiles and accessories and will not be allowed to park their vans there. From Press Release.

Public / Private initiative to finish off the Avda Augusta

August 11th
The Avenida Augusta (sometimes referred to as the Avenida Disgusta) is the dual carriageway which runs parallel to the coast road between the Parador and the Port. Xàbia Town Council had budgeted some €414,000 to finish off this road ( which has dog-legs in the carriageway heading north, and an abandoned central reservation). However, the recent legal ruling that 1994 property prices must be used to calulate IBI has put a hole of some €7 million + in the budget. Therefore they are looking for a cheaper alternative and are proposing a public/private approach. AMJASA would be responsible for the rainwater drains, the town hall for asphalting the road, and the adjacent property owners would be responsible for repairing the pavement. All feasible and cost effective suggestions on how to improve, not just Avda Augusta, but the municipality as whole, would be welcomed. From XAD: El Ayuntamiento.....

Plan to Promote Economic and Social development in Xàbia presented.

August 3rd
Mayor Jose Chulvi has presented the Plan to Promote Economic and Social development in Xàbia, a document containing 254 actions in 12 strategic projects, whose main theme is the creation of a town where quality is the priority. At the presentation meeting, the mayor, who was flanked by the Councillor for Finance, Oscar Anton, and the director of the Xàbia Strategic Plan, Antonio Martinez, said that "to meet our present and future urban challenges, Xàbia needs an exciting town project which is wanted and shared by all of us and which is capable of transforming our unique resources into assets for economic progress, social welfare and personal development. " The Plan is the first practical result of the urban strategic planning process. This document that has been made in a record time of nine months, but, as indicated by Antonio Martinez, the economic situation that we're in is forcing us to take quick action. For more details of the Plan see:Plan to promote Economic and Social Development

Chocolate Festival in Xàbia Old Town

August 8th
There will be a three day Chocolate festival from Friday 10th at 6.00pm until Sunday night, closing every night at 1 in the morning. The Swedish chocolate artesans "Comes" will install three tents in the Church square, showing the process of chocolate making and offering tastings. There will also be a chocolate museum, a children's workshop, a display of chocolate make-up therapy and lectures. From Press Release.

Information in English in Xábia Museum

August 8th
Visitors to the Museum of Xàbia in the old town can now read descriptions of the museum exhibits in English, thanks to a collaboration between museum staff and a group of volunteer translators. The English language versions can be found on laminated sheets, illustrated with drawings, in holders alongside the display cases. Around 15 English speaking volunteer translators have taken part in the project so far, with local archaeologist Josep Castelló Mari solving many a translation ‘headache’, with his expert knowledge of archaeological and architectural terminology in Castillian, Valencian and English. The collaboration has prompted the formation of the Amics del Museo de Xàbia, an association of Friends of the Xàbia Museum. For more details see: Museum information in English

Red Cross Campaign to help local needy

August 5th
On Saturday August 4th the local Red Cross carried out a campaign to collect funds for the most vulnerable suffering the effects of the economic crisis. Under the slogan "Now more than ever," monies collectd on that day will all go to families with all members unemployed, children living in poor households, elderly people or those with family responsibilities or in a situation of extreme vulnerability, long term unemployed, homeless and unemployed youth unemployment.
From XAD: Cruz Roja....

Revamped Xàbia Socialists elect Scot as President

August 2nd
The Xàbia Socialist grouping (PSPV-PSOE) revamped their executive committee at an EGM on Tuesday, for the first time electing a foreigner, British resident, George Thomas as President, with José Chulvi being returned unanimously as Secretary General. In designating offices of the organising committee, which includes 50% new faces, the relevant experience and profile of the members has been taken into account. A Dutchman, Hermien de Dreu also appears on the Committee, and they have created the post of Coordinator with the Municipal Group, to strengthen channels of communication between the party, municipal representatives and the secretariat of relations with associations. From XAD: Un escoces....

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