December 2014 News Headlines

Xàbia starts replanting indigenous trees in fire affected area

Dec 26th
Xàbia Town Hall staff have started to plant indegenous species such as wild olive and kermes oak in areas affected by last September's wild fire. They have also put up signs asking people to keep away from some areas so that natural regeneration can take place. Burned woodland near the picnic area has been removed and it is now possible to see right accross to the Torre de Gerro and Valencia coast, a view which was previously obscured by the lush pine forest. The owners of private land upon which the ruins of the Ermita de San Antoni and a viewing area is located have put up their own sign asking for people to stick to the paths and thus help natural regeneration. From XAD: Inician..

Move to make the Marine Reserve of the Cap de San Antoni a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Dec 26th
Denia Town Hall has strated moves to have the Marine Reserve of the Cap de San Antoni declared as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. They will need suppoert from Xàbia, the Valencia Generalitat, the Denia Marina and the Central Government before the request can be subitted to UNESCO. The function of these reserves is to preserve and protect biodiversity, as well as the economic and human development of these areas, research, education and the exchange of information among the more than 620 reserves in 117 countries that make up the global network. From Las Provincias: la Reserva Marina..

Spain – A great place to live, a terrible place to work?

Dec 26th
Spaniards sleep fewer hours and work longer days than their European neighbors, but are less productive. At the same time Spain fails to attract overseas talent, while tens of thousands of well-educated Spanish youngsters are heading abroad in search of work. The country also has one of the EU’s highest school drop-out rates and a work culture hostile to the needs of families with young children. Meanwhile, its birth rate is fast approaching negative as its population ages….Jaime Malet, head of the US-Spanish Chamber of Commerce, accepts that among the problems Spain faces are widespread nepotism, absenteeism, and fewer incentives to improve productivity, along with a refusal to recognize and reward talent. For full story see: El Pai's in English

Record year for foreign tourists

Dec 26th
Between January and November this year, more than 61.7 million international tourists visited Spain. That figure is higher than the total for all of 2013, 60.65 million, which is to say that with a month of it still to go, 2014 has already been a record year for tourist visits to the country. The country broke the 60-million barrier for the first time last year – a figure that looked like it would be difficult to beat, given that it was partly due to the weakness of other tourist markets, such as Egypt, which was the victim of political instability during the year. The United Kingdom continues to be the main source of tourist visits to Spain, accounting for a quarter of the total. For full story see: El Pais in English

Norwegian Benefactors

Dec 26th
A Norwegian family, resident in Xàbia, has donated €1000 to the Town's Social Services Department through the Association of Women Entrepreneurs (MEJ) to help support a single parent family. The benefactors have made a number of donations over the past few months totalling €4000, asking only that the money is used to support women who have been suffering ill-treatment or a difficult separation. From XAD: Una familia Noruega...

Amjasa ends the year with 1.5 million profit

Dec 22nd
Xàbia's municipal water company AMJASA will close the year with profits of €1.5 million which will be used to invest in improving the water distribution network. The continued investment in infrastructure has raised the value of the company from 13.5 million to 17.5 million over the last three years. The company is also proposing to set up a citizen's participatory committee to oversee its functions and policies. The committee will consist of representatives from Amjasa, Associations, consumers, water professionals as well as the agricultural and education sectors. From XAD: Amjasa cierra...

Skype App for simultaneous Spanish and English translation

Dec 17th
The next update to Skype – still without an official release date – will allow you to speak in English to someone else speaking in Spanish, and vice versa. It does so by translating what you say into another language in “near real-time,” according to the company. You then hear a translation of what the person on the other end of the call says back, with an on-screen transcript of the conversation displayed on the screen as the conversation continues. (Eds note: Having looked at this technology at the Jávea computer Club, I can safely say that confusion will reign unless each party speaks very clearly and in simple, short sentences.) For full story see El Pais in English

Proposal to build a new International Secondary school behind Xàbia golf course

Dec 17th
The International Schools Partnership (ISP), which runs the Laude group of international private schools has approached Xàbia Town Council with the aim of building an international secondary school for more than 500 students in the Las Laderas area (near the urbanisation of the same name, next to the Cansalades road). The project would involve the investment of some €15 million on a land area of 20,000 m2. It would include the development of sporting and residencial facilities which would be used by students and sports teams (e.g. cycling) who wish to carry out pre-season training in the Marina Alta. The location is ideal since it connects up with the Laude primary school in Benitatxell. If approval is met and all goes well, ISP plans to complete the facilities by mid 2016 and start calsses in September of the same year. from Las Provincias ..Empresa extranjera..

Arnauda Riurau to be re-launched with cultural programme on Sunday December 21st.

Dec 17th
The 'Riurau dels Arnauda de Xàbia' relocated in the Parque Montaner above the Plaza de la Constitución will be re-opened on Sunday December 21st with a morning of cultural events from 11.30am including traditional music, dancing and poetry. Everybody welcome. Recent works have extended the roofing along the length of its 42 arches using traditional materials, including some 2000 canes and have provided electricity and lighting to enhance the building's use as a public space. Ed's note: This project was voted 2nd in the citizens' participatory budget voting exercise in November 2013. For details of the opening see: Javeamigos. From Javeamigos and Diarioinformación.

Byelaws to promote civic responsibility and conviviality

Dec 14th
The Town Council will on Thursday consider a package of 189 bye laws to regulate the use of public spaces to encourage civic responsibility and security and conviviality. The legislation involves an update of old standards that were in place in 1953, although many of these articles ceased to be in force with the approval of the Constitution. The new laws deal with modern problems, providing a legal framework with which to tackle activitie until now in legal limbo such as as the noise due to "botellón" street parties (drinking in a public area with the boot of the car open, music and partying - €750), street vending (not allowed), the abandonment of plots, and swimming whe there is a red flag on the beaches (€750); sex outdoors (€150); offering or asking for sexual services (€750); graffiti (200€); Urinating in public (€100);From XAD: Multas por...

Facelift for Pinosol Park


Dec 14th
The Pinosol Park area is to have a radical facelift which includes a 200 m2 playground in the form of a castle, and an improved picnic area with new tables and benches. The works, totalling some €120,000 will be funded by the Alicante province sustainable investment plan and will start this month. The park will therefore be closed over Christmas. From XAD: El Parque pinosol...

Seven steps to invention success

Dec 9th
Last year, Spanish inventors applied for patents on 3,133 ideas, according to the Spanish Patenting and Brand Office (OEPM). Of these, 2,893 were granted. “And only around 300 are actually inventions as such,” notes Villacé. “And of these, only between two and five percent are actually developed, most of them with foreign capital: around 80 percent of Spanish inventions end up being made abroad,” he says….It’s not easy making a living from creativity in Spain. It is a country that has largely ignored its inventiveness: last year, for example, around 16,000 patents were registered in France. In the case of international patents, Spain’s 1,700 is a far cry from Germany’s almost 18,000; in the United States the figure is 57,000. But despite the obstacles they face, Spain’s inventors continue their work. For full story see: El Pais in English

Taking on the mushroom mafias

Dec 9th
This fall the Civil Guard has carried out a series of operations throughout Spain as part of a crackdown on illegal harvesting of wild mushrooms that has seen organized gangs of up to 50 people camping out in woodland for weeks on end and stripping forests of valuable species. “There is huge demand,” explains a spokesman for the force’s Seprona environmental protection unit. “It’s like drugs: there is always somebody prepared to buy.” He adds that so far the Civil Guard has been unable to establish who is behind the practice. “But it’s clear that there are wholesale buyers. The whole thing is very well organized and structured. So far, we don’t know who is selling the mushrooms.” For full story see: El Pais in English

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Tourism Consultative Committee rejects proposal to build a hotel in the Cabo de san Antonio Lighthouse

Dec 6th
The proposal from the Alicante Ports authority to build a "boutique hotel" in the hotel of the Cabo de San Antonio was rejected unanimously by Xàbia's Tourism consultative Committee. The proposal, which came from a Denia company, did not involve the Xàbia authorities at all, and seems to have gone via a roundabout route. It will create two jobs, and an annual €30,000 will be paid by the concessionaire. There is no mention in the proposal about services such as sewerage disposal etc. The Committee was also informed of two initiatives: A marketing project to promote out of season tourism through themed weekend breaks and a regional "Family Club" membership and badge for family friendly businesses. (Eds note: The Marketing project was met with much scepticism from the committee members, who stated that it was important to establish a product before trying to market it ! The proposals from Committee members would be discussed at a later meeting since some of them had to be weeded out since they were not under the remit of Tourism). From XAD: XAD: - Rechazo.. and Eds notes.

Montgo Calendar proceeds to go towards recovery of Natural Park


The Xàbia Tourism Department has issued 1000 copies of a calendar featuring the flora and fauna of the Montgo Natural Park which will go on sale for €2 each. Photographers and writers have contributed voluntarily to the project and proceeds from the sale will go towards the recuperation of the burned area of the Montgó Natural Park. iI the past, such calendars were given away free, but by charging for them the Town Hall not only raises money, but also hopes that people will value the calendar more. The calendar includes photographs of Montgo, Cap de Sant Antoni, the Cova Tallada its endemic flora and fauna, and heritage sites of the windmills and cave paintings. Also some of the images are accompanied by poems. from XAD: Turisme..

Employment workshops which improve public services

Dec 2nd
Xàbia Town Hall has launched two new employment workshops which will be subsidised by SERVEF, the Ministry of Employment and the European Social Fund. This is the second edition of 'Xàbia Impulsa' which is a training programme that combines theory with practice and proved to be very successful with AMJASA last year. The second edition offers 16 places (plus four contracts for lecturers) and the selected trainees will be offered a six-month contract with the Ayuntamiento de Xàbia. The programme has a budget of some 145,000 euros of which salaries of 941 euros will make up some 130,000 euros. It is aimed at unemployed residents of Jávea who are above the age of 25 years who have registered with SERVEF, an initiative of the Generalitat Valenciana which, among other objectives, aims to improve the chances of re-entry into the job market through training, who will select the trainees. Priority is to be given to women, especially those who have been victims of abuse, and those long-term unemployed above the age of 55 years as well as those suffering from a disability or at risk of social exclusion. For full story see: Javeamigos

Government advises against Oil exploration in the Gulf of Valencia

Dec 2nd
The directorate general of the Sustainability of the Coast and Sea (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment) has accepted the environmentalist case against oil prospecting in the Gulf of Valencia, and concludes that cetaceans, turtles and birds would be harmed if prospecting went ahead . Their report states that the project area of some 2400 km2 is within the proposed ZEPIM area (Zonas especialmente protegidas de importancia para el Mar Mediterráneo) of a migration corridor for whales, dolphins and sea turtles which are protected by European, National and regional laws as well as various international agreements. "Due to the huge area and the time period is considered that the negative potential effect on the marine fauna is of a magnitude enough to advise against the development of the project"says the report. The report, which was requested by the regional Departrment of Industry and Energy a year ago will now be sent to the oil company Cairns for its response. From Las provincias: El Gobierno...

"Calpe Rock" natural park to be extended

Dec 2nd
27 years since the Natural park of the Peñon de Ifach was declared, the Valencia Government's Department of Infrastructure, Planning and the Environment has published a draft decree extending the park by an additional 7 hectares. This being comprised of an area of the north slope already designated by the town hall as under special protection, and a plot of undeveloped municipal land near the Yacht Club. The total size is now 53.3 hectares. From Las Provincias.

Xàbia police to increase surveillance for illegal fishing of Sea Urchins

Dec 1st
The black sea urchin, a delicacy known locally as the "bogamarí" is protected and can only be extracted from the sea between December 1st and February 28th by traditional fishing methods and maximum catch of 4 dozen urchins per person. Each year there are cases of illegal fishing, and once more the local police will be upping their vigilance. From La Marina Plaza

Spain has the largest protected marine territory for birds

Dec 1st
In two out of three countries the surface of Special Protection Areas for seabirds (SPA) does not exceed 3% of marine territory. According to the report of BirdLife International, the numbers are uneven across member states. Germany tops the list with almost 35% of its protected marine territory is 19,500 km 2 in total. Meanwhile, Spain barely exceeds 5% of marine territory, but in absolute terms is the country with greater coverage, with more than 51,500 km 2 . For full story see: Betawired

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