August 2014 News Headlines

Mountain lovers should be more aware of dangers, authorities warn

August 28th
Spain is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe. Around 76 percent of its surface area is between 500 and 1,000 meters above sea level, and 24 percent is more than 1,000 meters above sea level. Several studies by the Spanish Tourism Institute have discussed this enormous potential. Climbing federation licenses have grown from 88,323 in 2003 to 169,188 in 2013. Types of rescue. In 2013 the Civil Guard went out on 892 rescue operations, in which 94 mountaineers were found dead, 475 injured and 1,010 unharmed. Of these, 362 people had been hiking, 123 had gone off the marked path and ventured into abrupt terrain, 95 were canyoneering and 38 were skiers. Causes: In 39.8 percent of rescues, the accident was the result of “overestimating one’s own abilities,” according to the Civil Guard. This is followed by “lack of technical expertise or experience” (31.95 percent) and “deficient planning” (29 percent), meaning that the hiker failed to bring enough food and water, a charged cellphone, warm clothes and so on. Truly inevitable causes, such as a rock suddenly falling on someone, make up only three percent of all rescue cases. Between two and three percent of rescues involved seasoned mountaineers who somehow lost their way. For full story see: El País in English

Valencia douses the Loreto fireworks display


August 28th
The Valencia Ministry of Infrastructure has issued a final "NO" to the marine fireworks display which, for the past 40 years has been the finale of the Virgen de Loreto fiestas in the Port. Despite Xàbia promising all it can in terms of fire prevention measures, and aiming the fireworks away from the land, the Ministry says there is no room for discretion in the law, which states the fireworks muct be 500m away from a green zone - the Port sea wall is 460m from the cabo de San Antonio. With only 10 days to go before the event, there is no time to organise alternatives, such as firing them from marine platforms - though this will be planned for next year. Fortunately, the fioreworks company will not charge for a display which has not taken place, but the many people who have booked restaurant tables especially to view the show, will be disappointed. From Press Release.

Xàbia dips into its own pockets to pay for school repairs

August 28th
School repairs and maintenance are supposed to be the responsibility of the regional government, but with only a few days to go before school starts again, Trenc d'Alba school still needs new toilets, and Vicente Tena school needs new shower stalls and lockers. Faced with this situation the Town Hall has decided to pay for the repairs itself. This action is actually beyond the remit of the Town Council, and illegal - but they feel they have no alternative. The last Council meeting voted unanimously to denounce the Valencia Government's cuts in Education. In addition, the Graül and Vicente Tena schools have serious structural problems which need to be addressed. From Marina Plaza - Xàbia vuelve...

Hotting up in Jávea

August 28th
Last Tuesday saw the hottest day of the year with a temperature of 36.2 degrees being recorded at the Puente de la Lavadora (near the desalination plant). But luckily we don't live in Carcaixent (Valencia) which had 43.3 degrees. From XAD: Xàbia reg...

New contract for maintenance of Parks and Gardens saves €60,000

August 26th
A contract for the maintenence of Xàbia's Parks and gardens has been awarded to the Valencian SIFU group for €129,000, a considerable saving on the budgeted €184,000. The Grupo SIFU specialises in integrating disabled people into the workforce, and it has worked with Xàbia Town Hall before. It will take care of plants in gardens, parks and green areas, the maintenance of street furniture, technical facilities, flooring and fixtures. Also cleaning and sweeping, emptying waste paper bins and cleaning the dogs' "pipi-can" From XAD: Adjudican, por fin....

Xàbia's Riurau d'Arnauda to get a roof and lights


August 26th
The Riurau d'Arnauda, which is now located in the park above the Plaza de la Constitución in Xàbia is to receive a gabled roof with old wooden beams, lighting and signage. The project was the second most popular of the 2014 Citizens Participatory Budgets, but money was an issue. Now, half the €84,539 funding will come for the Valencian Tourism Agency's 2014 plan to improve tourism resources. The works will now be put out to tender and will hopefully take place during October. From Las Provincias: Xàbia aprueba....

Climate change could bring dengue fever to Spain by the middle of the century

August 24th
Global warming could mean tropical diseases such as dengue reach Spain within a short period of time, according to researchers from the University of East Anglia in Norwich. Using current data from México, one of the countries where dengue fever is a risk, and comparing it with that of the 28 countries in the European Union, the investigators in the Norfolk (UK) college worked out the probability of the disease reaching the continent. Coastal regions on the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas, the Po Valley in northern Italy, and north-eastern Italy could be at risk, say the UEA scientists. As for Spain, the south is the most likely area to get hit by dengue, as well as the east coast. For full story see: ThinkSpain

Foreign property owners have a sustainable impact on the regional economy

August 24th
Beyond the positive effect of reducing the excess housing stock, homeownership by foreign citizens generates a sustained impact on the regional economy that goes far beyond mere property transactions. According to a recent study by the Valencian Institute of Building (IVE), the annual expenditure by foreign owners in the region amounted to 3,500 million euros. Of this, only 20% is linked to the costs generated by the acquisition and maintenance of housing (leaving out the purchase price) The remaining 80%, over €2,700 million, is attributable to the consumption of goods and services by foreign permanent residents and owners of holiday homes…a level similar to to that of the Spanish families. Permanent residents spend more, each household generating an average expenditure of €21,300 a year, while holiday homes only spend €8300. So one of the objectives of the Ministry of infrastructure is to extend the periods of occupation. From Las Provincias Another article in the Sunday print edition notes that the coastal areas of Alicante attract the Brits and Russians, though the Brits tens to go for smaller properties, including flats and apartments, and the Russians for big luxury villas.

80% social security payment reduction boosts ranks of self-employed by 267,000

August 24th
The Spanish government’s decision to significantly reduce social security contributions for new self-employed workers has encouraged thousands of people to work for themselves. Over 267,000 people have particularly embraced a measure that allows them to pay €53 a month for half a year, compared with the regular rate of nearly €260. Discounts go down to 50% and 30% of the regular rate after that. The Labor Ministry said that 40 percent of new self-employed workers benefiting from the discount (a little over 109,000 individuals) are under 30, representing 40 percent of the total. For full story see: El Pais in English.

Spain’s tourism trap

August 21st
Spain’s tourism sector is booming. The increase in visitor numbers to the Costa del Sol is reflected throughout the country: in 2013 there were 60.6 million overseas visitors, and this year looks set to beat that figure. What’s more, there has been an increase of up to 15 percent in Spaniards vacationing within Spain. Encouraged by the figures, the government is talking about the tourism sector as the driver of recovery. But the truth is that sun, sea and sand have been driving Spain’s economy for the last half-century. As early as a decade ago there was already talk about the need to find alternatives to generate quality jobs and growth, because apart from in the Canary Islands, tourism in Spain remains a summer phenomenon, creating demand for temporary jobs between June and September. But nothing seems to have changed. For full story see: El País in English

Stop drilling plans or we'll cut ties with Spain'

August 21st
The President of the Canary Islands is threatening to break off diplomatic ties with Spain's central government while asking islanders to take part in an "illegal" referendum over the islands' controversial oil and gas drilling plans, green-lighted by Prime Minister Rajoy. Since Spain’ Government okayed oil giant Repsol’s plans in May, Canary President Paulino Rivero has unremittingly voiced his complete disapproval of a business venture he believes will put the archipelago’s tourism industry “at high risk”. For full story see: The Local

A glimpse of the (possible) future Canal de la Fontana


August 21st
Only one company put in a bid for the redevelopment and management of Arenal's Canal de la Fontana. As expected thia was "Marina Nou Fontana" - the company which currently manages the small rectangular marina on the west back of the canal. The administrative process is still underway, but the company has already set up a website about the project Marina Nou Fontana with loads of pictures of their proposal for the canal, which includes 300 moorings for boats of 5 - 7 metres. Though things may be re-organised based on restrictions imposed during the tendering process. From XAD: El Nuevo Canal de la Fontana

Study indicates 10 Marina Alta municipalities could save water and energy with small investments

August 20th
A study was recently carried out by the Alicante Government to see how 23 municipalities in the province which directly manage their water can reduce the cost of water, energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Among these were the Marina Alta towns of Benimeli, Beniarbeig, Sagra, Tormos, Sanet i Negrals, Jalon, Castell de Castells, Llíber, Tàrbena and Relleu According to the calculations, investments of between about 13,000 and 18,000 euros per municipality would reduce the cost of water by up to 64%, and hence prices paid by consumers, and that the investment would be recovered in less than 7 years. From Marina Plaza

Russians shun Spain as Ukraine crisis bites

August 18th
Spain has experienced a boom in the number of tourists from Russia in recent years, but fears are growing that the crisis in the Ukraine and a weak rouble could spell the end of the bonanza. Russian tourism to Spain shot up 40 percent in 2012 and 32 percent in 2013 to climb over the 1.5-million mark last year. But numbers were down 14 percent in June, and 18 percent in July, with Spain's tourism sector now believing the drop could be even higher in August — up to 20 percent. For full story see: The Local...


Moli Blanc Disco closed because of excess noise

August 16th
Last Thursday, Xàbia Town Hall ordered the closure of the Moli Blanc Disco because of a breach of the sound level laws. There had apparently been a number of complaints over the previous weeks, and the Town hall surreptitiously took noise measurements, as well as urging the disco to install the sound equipment necessary to comply with its license. Apparently nothing was done and the police closed the place down. The disco was emptied at 7.00am, with a large security presence in attendance. Since the Club re-opened in 2011, local residents have been complaining, not only of the noise, but also of the mess left in the parking lot opposite, near what used to be Consum, now Eurobazar. From XAD: El Ayuntamiento...

Pego gets 104mm of rain after months of drought


August 16th
The Marina Alta experienced sopmething of a downpour on Saturday, with Pego receiving 104mm after months of drought. The rain was very localised, Xàbia receiving 12.4mm. From Dairioinformación

Prompt action controls fire in the Lluca area

August 15th
A rapid response by Jàvea's firefighters, a plane and a helicopter, controlled a fire in scrubland in the Lluca area on August 13th. 2000 square metres of scrub beside the Benitatxell road was burned before the flames were extinguished. From XAD: La rapida....

Spain ignores protests over Canaries oil deal

August 16th
Spain's energy ministry on Wednesday released details of a controversial deal allowing oil giant Repsol to begin exploring for oil and gas off the Canary Islands, despite fierce opposition from environmental groups and the regional government. Repsol will pay up to €60 million ($80 million) in civil liability and environmental risk insurance in return for a green light to begin the controversial oil explorations, an official state bulletin published on Wednesday reveals. Repsol will now go ahead with two probes, plus a potential third, some 50 to 55km (80 miles) from the coasts of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. The company has agreed to monitor for any seismic activity caused by the operation, and stop immediately if a tremor of more than 4.5 on the Richter scale is produced within a 75km radius. For full story see: The Local, Spain.

Eco-Friendly Agriculture Puts Down Roots in Spain

August 16th
Spain, with its mild climate, has the largest area dedicated to organic farming in the European Union, according to Eurostat 2012 figures, and the fifth largest area in the world, after Australia, Argentina, the United States and China, according to a report by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements. In 2012, organic farming covered 1.7 million hectares of land, compared to 988,323 in 2007, according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment. Organic farming generated 913,610 euros (1.22 million dollars) in 2012, 9.6 percent more than in 2011. From: Independent European Daily News

Xàbia appeals against Fireworks ban

August 16th
Xàbia is waiting for a response from the ports authority to an appeal which was lodged last Friday to receive the necessary authorisation to stage the firework display. Mayor Chulvi explained that the appeal is based on the fact that the launch zone is not located close to any potential risk and that the display has continued for more than 40 years without incident. In addition, the Ayuntamiento has proposed extra security measures, including the damping down of the area closest to the launch site, the modification of the angle of the launch tubes to direct the trajectory of the display more over the sea and extra fire-fighting units from the Bomberos and Protección Civil. For full story see: Javeamigos. It is feared that "hundreds" of village firework displays will be affected by the strict application of the forestry law. Las Provincias..

Falling prices fuel fears of deflation for Spain

August 13th
Spain reported on Tuesday the steepest slide in consumer prices in nearly five years, a potentially worrying development as the eurozone combats the threat of a deflationary spiral which could kill of Spain's recovery. With Spaniards cautious about spending in an economy suffering a 24 per cent unemployment rate, consumer prices dropped a sharper-than-expected 0.4 per cent in the year to July, Spain's National Statistics Institute said. The fall in prices in July was the sharpest since October 2009, the institute said, after revising its initial estimate of a 0.3 per cent decline. For full story see: The local, Spain

Two Xàbia projects to be funded by Alicante

August 13th
A project to improve the Parque de Pinosol at an estimated cost of 120,000 euros, and another to construct a permanent roundabout at the junction of Avenida del Pla and Avenida del Arenal at 240,000 euros will be funded by an Alicante grant for financially sustainable projects. from XAD: Las obras... see also Javeamigos

Xabia's desalination plant working at full capacity

August 9th
For the first time since it was opened in Spring 2002, Xàbia's desalination plant is working at full capacity, producing 28,000 cubic metres of potable water each day. In total, Amjasa produces 35,000 Cubic metres of water, including some 2,500 for Bentitatxell /Teulada. This high demand is expected to continue until at least August 20th. Some supplementary ground water wells, such as those in Pedreguer are not being used because of the current low levels of the aquifers. The initial investment of 24 million Euros seems to have been money well spent. From XAD: La fábrica... (Eds note: In the 1990's Xàbia residents had to get potable water from water bowsers dotted around the municipality - the stuff which came out of the taps was saline)

STOP PRESS - Tests for driving licenses - Polyclinica Cume moves its testing centre.

It is now in NOW AT Calle Salvador Salvá, 6 bajo - Pasaje Avda. Amanecer, 37, behind Don Dinos.
See: for more details.

Spat over surveillance of the San Antonio Marine Reserve

August 7th
Denia Town Hall has entered into a ten year agreement with the Valencia Government regarding the surveillance of the Marine reserve of Cabo de San Antonio - an agreement to which Xàbia is conspicuously absent. The problem is that the regional Government is responsible for monitoring the park, but with cuts to budgets it has reduced its funding, now only providing a crew, a technician and payment for fuel, leaving the lion's share of responsibility on the shoulders of Denia Town Hall. Apparently Xàbia's mayor Chulvi refused to get involved with this "paripé" (show), having earlier unsuccessfully called for a meeting of the competent authority, i.e.. the Governing Board of the Montgó Natural park, to discuss the issue. "we're not going to be a part of a paripé to cover the shame of the government, which has the obligation to protect that space". From La Marina Plaza - Los recortes

Regional Government bans the fiestas del Loreto firework display

August 6th
The Ministry of Infrastructure has banned the firework display which traditionally takes place on Xàbia Port's north sea wall because it is too close to the Cabo de San Antonio. Because of this year's drought, there are strict regulations governing fires and fireworks must be more than 500 metres away from a green area. The port wall is 450 metres away. The Town Hall is trying to find compromise solutions so that the "over the sea" fireworks can take place, since many bars and restaurants have received reservations to watch this pyrotechnical display. (From Press Release) Ed's note: a couple of months ago, fireworks initiated a forest fire in Cullera - the Mayor has since been had up for negligence !

Marina Alta - as dry as Africa's Sahel

August 6th


According to a study by the University of Alicante, the Marina Alta has received the least rainfall in the whole of Spain. The map above displays an index of rainfall since July 2013 - the red areas being the driest. The amount of rain we received last year: 104 mm, is 16mm less than fell on Africa's Sahel, making this little part of spain among the driest regions on the planet. From La Marina Plaza . More in English on :Javeamigos

Xàbia's July Tourism figures up on last year

August 6th
The Councillor for Tourism, Antonio Miragall, has released occupancy figures for July. These are higher than those of 2013, confirming a sustained growth in the sector. In hotels, Javea closed the month with a 76'33% occupation, (2013 : 73%). In camping, the figure is 58'6%, last year during the same month 57'6%. Holiday rentals has also increased from 77% in July 2013 to 80% in July this year. From XAD: La occupación turistica...

1,000s of raptors poisoned in Spain

August 5th
Several thousand declining and endangered birds of prey corpses were found poisoned in Spain in the first decade of this century, some by vulture-killing drug diclofenac. Raptor corpses recovered included 2, 355 Red and Black Kites, 2,146 Griffon Vultures, 638 Black Vultures, 348 Egyptian Vultures, 114 Spanish Imperial Eagles and 40 Bearded Vultures. All were found poisoned in Spain between 2000 and 2010, according to the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and all are threatened and protected under European Union law. For full story see: Birdwatch

180,000 Germans say no to oil drilling off Majorca

August 5th
Nearly 200,000 German speakers have signed a petition against highly controversial Spanish plans to carry out oil drilling off the coast of the Balearic Islands. Representatives of the German environmental group OceanCare and the online activist site Avaaz handed the petition to Spain's environment ministry on Monday. The petition signed by 180,610 EU citizens calls on the ministry to "stop the imminent petrol prospecting off the Balearic coast". For full story see: The Local

No 2 windmill on la Plana to be restored

August 2nd
The Ayuntamiento de Xàbia has signed an agreement for renovation work to number two of the windmills that sit on La Plana de San Jerónimo, one of the iconic features of Jávea. The document contains official permission to start consolidation work and restructuring of the walls of this traditional building that was used to harness wind energy for agricultural use. The contractor, a Valencian specialist company called Contrafforte Restauro, plans to start work late next week. The project, prepared by town hall specialists, will be funded entirely by the Generalitat Valenciana. The work was put out to tender by the Ayuntamiento itself with a base price of 39,995 euros and was finally awarded to Contrafforte Restauro for 27,776 euros. for full story see: Javeamigos

For previous months' News Headlines see: News Headlines Archive

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