February 2011 News Headlines

Nueva Javea - "us, means ALL of us"


Feb 28th
Nueva Javea held its General Meeting at an open meeting at Carrasco on Saturday attended by some 580 people. Fed up with a Town Hall "which asks 'If that's one of us' before installing a street light, conceding a public space, repairing a road or donating a subsidy, "NJ wants "us" to be "all of us" - i.e. every single citizen of Javea whether they vote for NJ or not.
Thus spoke Julio Sela, Architect and member of the Board insisting that "for NJ, everyone, absolutely everyone, is important and necessary" and "all without distinction have the right to speak, and we have to weigh in together in order to decide fairly." Sela said NJ is a party that "seeks to represent the current social reality of our population." A multicultural reality in a society that "never loses its roots, but naturally and boldly accepts its history" The board and advisory council which were ratified unanimously at the Meeting includes native Javiense: Paco Catala, Angel Miralles, Vicente Ivars and Javier Ribes; Spanish coming from other provinces and settled in Xàbia for many years: Juan Planelles, July Sela, Ricardo Marquez, Leopoldo Fabra and Belen Quiroga; Europeans of various origins: Ana Vasbinder, Keith Hyde, Kristina Olmedo, Martin Haffke, Marja Schermacher and Monique Troisfontaines; and residents originating from other continents: Arline Francis Kuhn, Carmen Vicens, Julio César Alvarez and Farah Attari. NJ aims to manage the Ayuntamiento effectively through the modernization of municipal administration; denouncing any kind of municipal corruption, and doing away with the nepotism, cronyism, favoritism and influence peddling of the last 25 years. From XADNueva Javea proclama...

Nueva Javea proposes Electric minibus service

Feb 27th
A the last Council Meeting, Nueva Jávea proposed that the Old Town should have en electric minibus . The current buses are too big and a change to urban transport is imperative.
However, the concessionaire until 2024, Autobuses Dénia is not willing to invest the € 400,000 needed for an an electric bus. Still, NJ argues that with a bit of enthusiasm and cooperation from the local and state authorities, it should not be so hard to improve the poor public transport in the municipality. NJ also proposed an urgent study of the current public transport needs of the population. Last year, a study of Sustainable Urban Mobility was carried out which included these suggestions, but it has received little attention. NJ also called for buses to run every 10-15 minutes, every day of the year, without a break at noon, as happens now. From XAD: Nueva Javea Pide....


New Councillor replaces Doris Courcelles

Feb 27th
Bloc member José Vicente Soler Pico has taken up the position as Councillor vacated by Doris Courcelles, who resigned last month.
From XAD

Town Hall Administration Via the Internet

Feb 25th
Town Hall Administration via the Internet is a powerful a tool for the future long term sustainable development of everywhere. In this context there will be a talk by the Mayor of Jun (Andalucia) - Jose Antonio Rodriguez Salas in Xàbia on Friday 4th March at 8.00pm in the Parador entitled: NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND ELECTRONIC ADMINISTRATION.
Jun is a pioneer municipality in Spain for using Internet tools to administer and interact with its people. See their website: http://www.ayuntamientojun.org/ For more see: EuroWeekly

Nueva Javea invites everyone to its General Meeting


Feb 25th
Nueva Jávea is holding its General Meeting on Saturday February 26 at an event which is open to all to hear the plans and projects of the group ahead of the elections in May.
According to the independent party, "we'll tell you firsthand our plans and projects for a modern Jávea, responsive to the expectations of quality tourism and the needs of all its inhabitants."
Nueva Jávea claims that the municipality should be governed by a team of professionals committed to the city and its citizens, who are able to "turn Xàbia into what was: the pearl of the Costa Blanca." The group led by Ana Vasbinder states that "Those who govern have demonstrated plenty of incompetence and have led us into exorbitant debt. The broken promises, no trace of the famous swimming pool, the new Town Hall building is but a skeleton, the "remodelling" of the Old Town has brought it to the edge of a precipice; of the new General Plan there is no trace, many neighbourhoods are still not legalized, and IBI goes up and up. " So they are inviting everyone to their open General Meeting on Saturday February 26 in Carrasco from 6.00pm onwards to explain how to govern effectively, but also to "listen to the neighbours and residents of Javea". From XAD: Nueva Javea invita....

Ecisa still suing Town Hall for loss of Car Park earnings

Feb 24th
The Alicante Court of Administrative Disputes has asked Xàbia Town Hall to forward the full administrative file of the Underground Car Parks concession and to appear in person in the case brought by Estacionaments Urbans of Xàbia SL. The Ecisa subsidiary which runs the car parks, filed a complaint against the Town Hall plenary decision of October 15, 2010. This decision rejected an application for economic rebalancing estimated at 22 million euros for losses incurred during the first two years.
This news is curious because the mayor of Javea, Eduardo Monfort said that if the town went ahead with buying out the lease for the car parks, Ecisa would drop all court cases against the town. However administration is slow, and the purchase has not yet materialized, although it has been approved by a subsequent Town Hall plenary meeting. Also the opposition is doing everything possible to halt the process. From this point of view, this news would serve the purpose of reminding Xàbia that the company still remains a threat, and that the consequences of failing to rescue the car parks are unpredictable.
In other words, this sounding is a warning to sailors that the ship's captain may change next May.
From XAD: La Causa por la que....

Hotel Miramar threatened with demolition

Feb 23
Javea Mayor Monfort, will present a motion at the next regular Council meeting, proposing to ask the Department of Coasts not to carry out the threatened demolition of the Hotel Miramar and the tobacconist in the port. On February 16 the Coasts department (Costas) presented a Reversion Act to hotel owners and business establishments adjacent to the Miramar block, indicating their intention not to renew the lease of these properties which expired in 2009, and to enforce the coastal boundaries, which would involve the demolition of two blocks.
On Thursday, the Mayor will table a motion to ask Costas to maintain the existing facilities, renewing the concession, saying this is for public, historic, social and economic interests of the Port. According to the motion, "the Hotel Miramar is a building within the Duanes de la Mar, Javea and can be described as 'historic' because it has always hosted public events being for many years the hub of the Our Lady Loreto fiesta, a meeting place, tourist information centre, etc.. "Moreover, "today the Hotel Miramar is a small and cosy two-star hotel, perfectly adapted to modern requirements, commodities and technologies, and throughout its time, has received recognition and prizes from Alicante province ".
As for the other block, it has three shops, including the Tabac and has provided the Postal Service in the Port for more than thirty years. Thus the Town Hall will ask the Ministry of the Environment to consider the importance of these "special buildings", and that their demolition could mean losing jobs, hospitality areas and eliminate public facilities. Also, they will ask Costas to maintain such facilities for the public service they provide. From XAD: Costas quiere....

Car Boot Sale organised by International Festival for March 13th


Feb 22nd
The International Festival Cultural Association Xàbia is organising its third Car Boot Sale (Rastrillo Vide-Grenier) for Sunday March 13, 9am till 5.00pm at Playa del Arenal, and invites all Jàvea residents to participate and sell their surplus bits and pieces. The sale will be open only to individuals who are residents of Javea. The registration fee is 10 € for adults and 1 € for children who come to sell their toys or books. Each participant is asked to bring what they need to set up a stall, and leave the space they have occupied completely clean. For more information and registration phone Dominique on : 619 826 685

Teulada does deal with Telefonica to promote IT and faster broadband

Feb 23rd
Teulada/Moraira has once more demonstrated its forward thinking. They have signed a collaboration agreement with Telefonica to promote the development of an Information Society in the town, and to facilitate the access of residents to electronic information and administrative proceedings. Telefonica will improve the Town's communications, making them faster with the objective that e-administration in Teulada becomes a reality for the people of the municipality. From XAD: Teulada promueve....

Xàbia employers also want to quizz politicians

Feb 22nd
The Xàbia Employers Federation (FEDEXMA) liked the Agenda 21 idea of drafting a questionnaire for the different political parties to express their proposals and have decided to create their own. Fedemxa has invited the Javea political groups to meet with its committee, to anble the committee members "to hear the proposals that each party has which affect business groups and associated businesses, and at the same time to respond to a questionnaire prepared for this purpose." From XAD: FEDEXMA tambien

Lanzarote - a sorry tale of unsustainable tourism.

Feb 23rd
Lanzarote is an island that once stood out for its defense of nature. Grassroots movements, some with support from the late artist César Manrique, had managed to make the island a pioneer in land preservation. In the 1980s, Lanzarote was known for sustainable tourism, to such an extent that Unesco declared it a biosphere reserve. But these environmental victories gave way to building pressure. The 50,000 hotel beds available in 2001 became 72,000 in 2006. The economy focused almost exclusively on tourism and construction, and between 1996 and 2006, the population growth rate was 10 times greater than the Spanish average. In just 20 years, Lanzarote doubled its number of residents. A Unesco representative told the Financial Times that Lanzarote runs the risk of losing its biosphere reserve status. For full shaggy dog story from El Pais see: Lanzarote sinks under weight of Sleaze

Spanish tourism benefits from Arab unrest

Feb 23rd
The Spanish tourist industry has been an unexpected beneficiary of the revolts in the Arab world as visitors shied away from popular winter destinations such as Tunisia and Egypt and opted to go to places such as the Canary Islands instead. According to figures released Tuesday by the Industry, Tourism and Trade Ministry, the number of overseas visitors to Spain rose 4.7 percent in January from the same month a year earlier to 2.7 million. The ministry said that represented an increase of 119,000, of which 70,000 spent their holidays in the Canary Islands, which accounted for about a third of all arrivals. The number of visitors to Valencia in the first month of the year jumped by 20 percent. For full article in El País (in English) see: Tunisian, Egyptian tourist....

The beginning of the end for Spain’s failed Coastal Law

Feb 22nd 2011
The Spanish Coastal Law was yesterday delivered what ecologists see as a mortal blow as political pressure builds to maintain the status quo in terms of seaside development.
The goal of the 1988 Coastal Law was to reduce the real estate excesses on Spanish coasts by making it illegal to build too close to the shoreline and by taking back properties considered to be in the public domain near the sea. In 2008, the Environment Ministry tweaked the Maritime Navigation Law to allow the sale and purchase of properties built before the law came into effect. For more from El Pais English Edition see: Coastal Law

Small builders accuse Moragues of promoting just himself at Trade Fair


Feb 17th
The Association of Small Builders, Developers and Allied Industries of Xàbia have taken steps to file a complaint in which they express their "deep displeasure" at the fact that the Department of Tourism has not taken them into account when participating in FITUR (Fitur, International Tourism Fair in Madrid). The group denounced the "lack of information provided by the Office of Tourism", when in previous years local entrepreneurs had always been offered the chance to take part through brochures, the Business Guide of the association, or even actively in collaboration with the Asociación de Restauradores of Javea, with a hostess who distributed the above guide.

What has outraged the group is not so much the use of the Tourism Fair by councillor, Juan Moragues, to promote his own company, but the fact that the association, and therefore other Javea entrepreneurs have not been given "the ability to do the same." Los constructores.... (Ed's note: Comments in Las Provincias indicate that this could be a case of: "The pot calling the kettle black")

PSOE Commits to accessibility, real citizen participation and proper Town Hall management

Feb 18th
"Change is possible, change is coming closer." With this phrase Xàbia Socialists presented their road map for the next term. Looking forward, and without going into corrosive debates typical of the past, the local Socialist party stressed that the important thing is not the political colour but the desire to work for the municipality and the importance given to the voice of citizens. Xabia Party leader, José Chulvi noted: "Xàbia needs a change of government so that there will be no repetition of schemes like the botched cycle paths, the senseless financial bailout of the car parks. How can we have spent six years without any progress with the General Plan, a tourist town such as ours cannot be without a clear political commitment to our main industry?" For entire Statement to the Press see: PSOE-Change is possible

New, Javea-based Agenda21 Consultant - a contract for the next two years

Feb 17th
The new company responsible for facilitating and expediting the process of Citizen participation via Agenda 21 was presented at a rather sparsely attended meeting on February 16th. The company, Amanida de Proyectes, is based in Javea and has extensive experience in participatory processes, not only in the region, but also in Valencia.
The consultants took the two-year contract after giving a discount on the €15,000 amount stipulated in the contract documents. They will earn, €11.820 per year (Ed's note: this seems very small fry in comparison with the €130,000 subsidy recently given by the Town Hall to the Sports Club) and coordinate the development of the participatory process, which includes the Action Plan, the A21 Forum , the development of feedback mechanisms and sustainability indicators. The team of three from Amanida highlighted the importance of people taking the initiative, participating, being proactive, and being responsible for ensuring that the Town Hall hears the voice of the people. Members at the meeting stressed the need for a truly participatory process, not just one way information. This had not always been achieved in the past despite the efforts of Councillor Pepa Chorro. Others stressed the importance of ensuring participation by all types of citizen: local, expatriates and those belonging to associations. We are now in the evaluation and feedback phases of Agenda21 but with the uncertainty of the elections ahead they suggested we delay normal proceedings until May and instead focus on a questionnaire for the political parties. (See below)

Politicos to be quizzed on Sustainable development for Xàbia

New Agenda21 initiative to send a searching questionnaire to politicians before the elections

Your Town Needs You !


With elections just around the corner, the Agenda 21 consultant has proposed using a brain storming tool called The World Cafe to prepare a questionnaire about sustainable development for politicians of all parties. The completed questionnaires will be widely publicised and posted on the Internet before the elections. This proposal was accepted by the meeting on Feb 16th. Those involved in Agenda 21 (the Forum, the consultant and the Town Hall Department of Citizen Participation) asked everyone interested in helping to formulate questions for the questionnaire to join the "World Cafe" discussion session scheduled for March 1 in the Municipal Library, from 7.30 onwards . From XAD: La Ag21L propo... If interested in participating please contact the organisers on:gro.aibaxja|12lacola#gro.aibaxja|12lacola before Feb 25th since they need to know the numbers. For Calendar governing this questionnaire see: Questionnaire Calendar

World cafe:

As a conversational process, the World Café is an innovative yet simple methodology for hosting conversations about questions that matter. These conversations link and build on each other as people move between groups, cross-pollinate ideas, and discover new insights into the questions or issues that are most important in their life, work, or community. As a process, the World Café can evoke and make visible the collective intelligence of any group, thus increasing people’s capacity for effective action in pursuit of common aims.

Xàbia Democrática signs electoral pledges

Feb 16th
Xàbia Democrática has signed its election commitment before a notary. The commitment is to strengthen the community and listen to the voice of its inhabitants. The president of the newly created party, Oscar Anton, along with the group's secretary, Georgina Rodríguez and the spokesman Pere Joan Sapena, notarized a "ten commandments" which embodies their party's commitments for the coming elections. "The signing of this document before a notary is to establish a contractual relationship between civic society and would-be public representatives". They argue that its essence is based on the "commitment to citizenship", since they do not believe in the "blank cheque" given to politicians every four years. Thus XD commits to strengthening the community through the development of a Strategic Plan and strategies for generating resources and reducing municipal debt, including austerity in public spending (especially wages) and improving local governance. XD also has expressed its commitment to support for employment, especially for young people through active employment policies. The group also believes that urban planning should be done via a participatory process. More specifically, Xàbia Democrática committed to rehabilitate of the Town's sea front and the development of sports and cultural facilities to contribute to economic diversification and reducing the seasonal nature of the economy. Finally, they emphasized the importance of citizen participation and transparency, "every citizen can and should intervene in management decisions, both individually and as part of groups and associations. All conclusive discussions on management decisions should be be public, both interventions and follow-up, by publishing them in media easily spread to the people " Processes in which linguistics and cultural integration is essential. From XAD: Xàbia Democrática....

A Child’s Smile was the theme of the event held at Javea Sports Centre on Sunday 13th February to celebrate International Childhood Cancer Day.

Feb 14th
It was a certainly a full house with more than 400 mums, dads, friends and family, and well over 200 children coming through the doors. The entertainment was provided by some very talented dancers, singers and musicians, both young and old, from the Valerie Jean School of Dance, Footworks, Theatre Express and the Grup de Danses Portitxol. In between acts there was plenty to keep people occupied, with a bouncy castle, face painting, children’s tattoo artist, cake, toy and sweet stalls as well as a display of children’s artwork. More than 1400 euros was raised on the day and this will be shared between ASPANION (Asociacion de Padres de Niños con cancer de la Comunidad Valenciana) and AECC Children’s section (Asociacion Espanola contra el cancer).

The event was organised by Carrera por la Vida Xabia (Race for Life Javea). Further information about future events can be found on http://www.carreraporlavidaxabia.com, also on Facebook. For full press release see: Childs smile

Ondara Shopping Centre supports initiatives of young entrepreneurs

Feb 16th
The Portal de la Marina shopping centre in Ondara is committed to supporting young entrepreneurs through their association called JOVEMA (Jóvenes empresarios de la Marina Alta). The aim is to foster relationships between business and entrepreneurship training. To this end, the director of the Portal de la Marina, Oscar Pastor, has signed an agreement with Jovema, whereby the centre will lease its facilities to host Jovema events. In addition, the Portal de la Marina will sponsor the 2011 awards at the Jovema Annual Gala. From XAD: El Portal de la Marina....

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The Royal British Legion 90th Anniversary celebratory concert

Feb 16th
This will be held in the brand new Auditorium in Alicante on Saturday 2nd April 2011 and there will be two performances, one at mid-day and one at 7pm lasting approx 2 hours. Ticket prices are 12€ for first performance and 15€ for second performance. The artists coming from UK are: Soprano girl group All Angels, 4 wonderful voices of an angel and Spanish singer Ruth Lorenzo of X Factor fame. There will be a Massed choir of almost 200 voices including choir members from Crescendo International Choir of Torrevieja, The Costa Blanca Male Voice Choir, The English Choir and The Coral Classica Javiense, who all come from the Javea/Teulada area, and the well known Spanish Choir Coral Crevillentina from Crevillente. The Conductor and one of the two Musical Directors is Chas Smith. The second Musical Director is Gordon Higginbottom who leads the Brass Band – Just Brass. For more details and how to get tickets see article in The Leader.....

Town Hall gives €130,000 to Javea Sports Club

Feb 15th
As part of the subsidies granted by Xàbia Town Hall to associations and other bodies in the municipality, Mayor Eduardo Monfort, and the president of Club Deportivo Jávea, Vicente Orton, recently signed a new cooperation agreement under which the municipality contributes €130,000 to further promote soccer, a sport in great demand among the young in the town. The Council thus works with the club for the maintenance of school football teams which today make up around 270 children as well as supporting the senior team. from Press Release.

They're unemployed, not Redundant

Job centers to take a more personal approach in helping the jobless find work

Feb 14th
Spain’s unemployed have traditionally received little help or guidance from the state in trying to find a new job or retraining for a different career. If you are out of work, you may be eligible for unemployment benefit for a maximum of two years, depending on the amount you have paid into the Social Security system, and how long you have been working. Staff at unemployment offices are not trained or equipped to help jobseekers, who must rely on either contacts to find work, or scour the ads sections of newspapers and specialist websites. But with 4.7 million people now jobless — 20 percent of the workforce — the government says it is going to play a bigger role in getting people back to work.
For Full article ftrom El Pais (International Edition) see Helping the Jobless

Damaged pavement between Port and Old Town to be repaired

Feb 14th
After creating the one-way bike road between the cross roads of Pla / Avenida Juan Carlos I and trinquete, the Town Hall has announced that it will now repair the pavement of this section. Because there are now parking spaces on both sides of the road, the pavements are clear for use by pedestrians. Those sections of sidewalk that are in worst condition will be repaired as an emergency measure. (From XAD: El ayuntamiento repara....

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming !

Russians, Scandinavians and Germans come to the costas in search of property bargains

Feb 13th
Northern European tourists have their eye on the region attracted by the drop in housing prices. However, there is a perception that the crisis is not over yet and property may be cheaper if they wait a few months. Nevertheless, last year nearly 10,000 Norwegians were registered in the Region. In 2006 their numbers barely exceeded 8,000. The German colony in Valencia, Alicante and Castellon has grown from little more than 36,000 five years ago, to more than 43,000 today. "Foreigners interested in buying houses here are pensioners but also families with children who plan to live in the Region in the future," explained sources at Inmoconcept SL, a property agent located in Denia. The population from Denmark has increased 46% in just five years. There is a total of 2,040 Danes currently living in Valencia, Alicante and Castellón, according to national statistics. Sun, food, quality of life and property bargains are behind this increase. This trend contrasts with the decline in immigration from Colombia, Ecuador and Argentina. From Las Provincias: Rusos, escandinavos...

High court throws out Town Hall tax on Mobile phone operators

Feb 13th
The Superior Court of Justice (Tribunal Superior de Justicia (TSJ)) has declared Xàbia's Town Hall tax on mobile phone operators as "arbitrary" and annulled it. The supreme court said that municipalities must make an effort properly to quantify the rate in view of the facilities used by mobile operators. This ruling poses a problem since the Town Hall 2011 budget includes income of €138,000 from this tax. (Ed's note: On June 30th 2010 it was announced that the Town Hall had collected €6640 from several mobile phone companies operating within the municipality. This is a levy of 1.5% of the phone operators' gross annual revenues. The biggest player was Orange) From Las Provincias:El TSJ declara...

PP Mayoral candidate attends training course in Valencia

Feb 13th
Castelló, the PP candidate for Xàbia mayor has attended a course for PP Mayoral candidates in Valencia. Candidates on the course include from Xàbia: José Juan Castelló; L'Alfás del Pi: Maite Huerta; Oliva: Chelo Escrivá; Alfafar: Juan Ramón Adsuara, and from Alaquàs: José Pons. In the course they learned speaking and telegenic techniques, how to detect lies, the importance of unforced smiling, and the proper way to move. etc. from XAD: Castello atiende...

New consultancy firm to manage Agenda21

Feb 11th
The company "Amanida de Projectes" has been appointed to manage the Agenda21 process in Javea. The company, and its new approaches, will be presented formally at a meeting in the Casa de Cultura on Wednesday 16th February at 8.00pm. According to Councillor for Citizen Participation, Pepa Chorro: the consultant's task is "to continue the commitment to work towards a more sustainable town model which is appropriate for its inhabitants, with the participation of the citizens themselves." She expressed appreciation for all the work members of the forum had done and encouraged all participants and residents to be part of this joint project. From Press Release (Eds note: Agenda21 struggled along throughout 2010 without an independent coordinator, although one had been promised at the beginning of the year. See story from February last year "Agenda21 adopts new meetings format" )

The works of the Freginal Barranquet include renovation of infrastructure in the area

Feb 10th
Xàbia Town Hall has begun work to channel the Freginal Barranquet and renovate infrastructure and roads in the area. The project which will cost €1,335,000 is intended to prevent overflow of the gully in case of heavy rains. The opportunity will be taken to renovate the sewers, improve rain water drains and replace drinking water pipes as well as renovate the roads and public lighting. Areas affected will be: Calle San Vicente, Calle San Joaquín, Colegio Vicente Tena, La avenida de Palmela, and Camí del Barranquet, to the río Gorgos river bed. From Press Release.

Teulada encourages new business

Feb 10th
Teulada Town hall has taken steps to streamline the process of obtaining permission to open a new bar, restaurant, or other type of public establishment. Given that the applicant has the right documentation, Town Hall approval will take one month, tops. If the licence to open has not been granted by that time, then the applicant can simply make a declaration that they have complied with all the legal requirements and go ahead and open. Teulada has also decided to waive the terrace tax for outside tables from November till February and authorise all bars with street terraces to install heating stoves. In the opinion of Mayor Antoni Joan Bertomeu in the current economic crisis, any action that the administration can take to stimulate and facilitate the private sector is positive, because this will also generate employment. From XAD: Teulada aprueba....

Spain's key tourism sector hit by unemployment

Feb 9th
MADRID — Unemployment in Spain's struggling tourism industry, a key sector of the country's battered economy, edged higher last year, the government said Tuesday. Joblessness in the sector rose to 15.7 percent in 2010 from 14.5 percent the previous year, the industry ministry said. That is about seven percentage points above the level in the service sector in general but less than Spain's overall unemployment rate for 2010 of more than 20 percent. In the fourth quarter, tourism accounted for 10 percent of Spain's gross domestic product, employing 2.1 million people — 1.8 percent less than a year earlier and 11.3 percent of the working-age population in all. AFP, for full story see Expatica: Spain's key tourism sector...

Mayor revives the "Strategic Plan" after pressure from his party

Feb 8th
Javea Mayor, Eduardo Monfort, convened the local spokespersons yesterday to reactivate the strategic plan, a tool to design the economic future of the town and provide guidance to all professionals who must rethink their work after the construction crisis . At the beginning of his term of office, when José Chulvi (PSOE) was in charge of the departments of Tourism and Economic Development, work was begun on this goal, with the creation of the Council of Tourism. But this project faded when the Centrist Bloc party broke with the Socialists. Since then the Council of Tourism has not once been convened and the Strategic Plan has become a theme for businesses, associations and opposition parties. In fact, the Socialists with their first Forum for Democratic Change stressed the importance of this tool to define the type of tourism that Xàbia seeks and the infrastructure necessary to obtain it. The Town Hall seemed to be ignoring the issue. But last week there was a meeting of Centrists, the Mayor's party and, according to (Las Provincias) sources, some of his colleagues demanded a firm commitment to this objective as soon as possible and consensus with all political forces. From Las Provincias: El Alcalde.... (Eds note: see: The challenge for the future of Xàbia , 2008

Governing body of Montgó Natural Park rejects oil exploration off the coast

Feb 8th
The governing board of the Montgo Natural Park has unanimously rejected oil exploration off the coast of the Marina Alta, which, according to the Valencia Government, "was approved (in Madrid) by the Council of Ministers last December 23, 2010, unilaterally. " The Third Vice President and Minister for the Environment, Water, Planning and Housing, Juan Cotino, who has chaired the governing board's meeting said that such surveys "may cause irreparable harm to this protected area, associated biodiversity and tourism in the area. " Sources in the Department report that the board stated its position against the survey at the request of the Mayor of Javea, Eduardo Monfort, who urged attendees to express their position on the matter. According to the Generalitat, the negative impact of these surveys would affect 33 municipalities in the provinces of Alicante, Castellón and Valencia, between Burriana and Javea, and especially the 19 towns whose beaches were awarded 37 Blue Flags in 2010. From Las Provincias: Rechazan...

Want to see an English language movie ? - Come to Jávea

….and how about dinner and a movie for €13?

Feb 8th
Ciné Jayan in Jávea is one of the two remaining family run Cinemas in the Province of Alicante (the other is in Alfaz). The owner, Antonio Catani (whose wife is the daughter of the founders who started the Ciné 51 years ago) is facing up to the competition from the Ondara shopping mall by showing English language films three days a week. According to Antonio, the local public does not usually come to the cinema, being more attracted to the big movie complexes, and there are no young people who are interested. Jayan survives because of British viewers who come to see original version films and art films at the film club. The latter films are also shown in original version if possible. As an added promotion cinema goers on Tuesdays. Wednesdays and Thursdays can take advantage of a "Dinner and Show" offer. This consists of a movie and dinner at the nearby Café de l'Art. The menu includes three courses, dessert, coffee and wine. All this for 13 euros. There had been rumours that Cine Jayan was going to close. However these are unfounded. "I'm not going to close because things are going well, we have found a way to continue to attract a loyal audience and get them to come to the movies. Times change. In the summer there are children because they are here on vacation and the parents choose not to take the car go to the shopping mall. In the winter, films are more for minorities and original versions and thus we carry on" From El Cine de Xàbia.... For info about movies now showing in Javea see: http://www.tonicatala.com/cinesxabia/evf.htm

Spanish housing minister appeals to British buyers to return

Feb 7th
Beatriz Corredor, the Spanish housing secretary, promised new planning laws to end the confusion which has led to some British home owners being ordered to knock down their properties deemed to have been illegally built. “Come here calmly, and trust in the system that we have and the transparency we provide,” she said. “There is a very attractive offer on the table here, with prices significantly lower than two years ago, and you will certainly find what you are looking for.”

As part of a package of legal reforms to be steered through the Spanish parliament this month, for any property being sold the local council will be obliged to provide a document stating clearly its boundaries, the category of land on which it stands, its access to services including water and electricity, and details of its planning approval.
For full article see the Daily Telegraph: Spanish housing minister....

165,500 unemployed households in the Comunidad Valenciana

Feb 6th
There are 165,500 households in the Comunidad Valenciana where all members of working age are unemployed. This is reflected in the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for the last quarter of 2010 which includes the Valencian Institute of Statistics (IVE). 11.7% of households in Valencia with a member of working age have the whole family on the dole and 30% of Valencia households live under the poverty threshold. The number of families with all members unemployed exceeds the national average of 9.48%. Unemployment is nearing historical figures not only in the region, which surpasses 513,800, but also in the whole of Spain. 2010 ended with 20.3% of people without work and in January it exceeded the 4.2 million unemployed across the country. (Eds note: Unlike UK, unemployment benefits in Spain cease after a short time. This article describes two brothers in their mid-thirties who now live with their parents. The family income consists of their parents pension) From Las Provincias 165000 hogares...

Valencia PP imposes a surprise candidate for Mayor in the Xàbia elections.

Feb 6th
After much to-ing and fro-ing and phone calls, the Valencia PP has imposed a young "dark horse" candidate to head Xàbia's PP list for the coming municipal elections. Juan José Castelló Pastor has a law degree from the University of Valencia, a Masters from Queen Mary College, London and a doctorate from the Department of Business Law (UV). 36 years old, Castelló, works as associate professor of International Law at UV. Although of Jávea, he is an unfamiliar face to many since he spends most of his time in Valencia. Apparently he only joined the PP a month ago, though there is some confusion about this, and about his name. According to the press release from the Partido Popular in the Valencian Community, the candidate's name is Juan José , while on the local PP Facebook, it is said to be José Juan, who joined the party in April 2010. His appointment as Mayoral candidate is intended to introduce "generational change" in the party. From XAD Valencia impone... (Note: Later clarification states that he has been active in the PP since 2002, and became part of the executive in April 2010)

Regional freebie claims that its distribution has recently been "banned" from Xàbia municipal buildings

Feb 6th
The Spanish language regional freebie "PortalMAS" claims indignantly that its distribution via Xàbia's public buildings has recently been banned. They accuse Mayor Montfort of expressly ordering the ban, and "restricting by these means, freedom of information". Indeed, it is true that until recently you could pick up a copy of PortalMAS from a pile at the Casa de Cultura. However, independent sources note that the newspaper is a private enterprise, and should never have been distributed via public buildings in the first place.
See: PortalMAS claim for original article and translation

Xàbia Socialists reveal list of candidates for the May elections


Many new faces and multilingual candidates in the top five

Feb 4th
The Xàbia PSPV socialist party was the first party to announce its list of 21 candidates for the May elections led by Mayoral candidate, José Chulvi. The list includes almost two thirds of new faces and the top eight has only three who have served on the Council before: Chulvi himself (both in a ruling coalition and in the opposition); teacher, Amparo Bolufer (No 2) and Doris Courcelles (No 4). All others are newcomers to the political forefront, although they have been active members of society and have been linked with the Socialists, e.g. Antonio Miragall (No 3), tourism entrepreneur, Cesc Camprubí (No 5), Diploma in Public Administration and Management , Paco Torres (No6), engineer, Montse Villaverde (No7), social worker, and Arturo Rey (8 º), hotelier. (Ed's note: Both Doris Courcelles and Cesc Camprubi are multilingual. "Arturo Rey" translates as King Arthur - hope he has his Excalibur !) For full list and Press Statement see:PSPV Candidates 2011 From XAD: Courcelles sera....

One way up from the Port to the Old Town


Feb 3rd
The road connecting the Port to the Old Town (up from the ship roundabout) will be one way as of Monday. An urban mobility study had revealed that only one in four cars using this road comes down the hill, and the road will be re-jigged as a "ciclocalle" - a bike priority road, with a single one- way lane for traffic, 4 m wide, low speed limit (30km/hr) and parking on both sides. The works , which being on Monday will consist mainly of painting parking spaces etc. From Las Provincias: La via que une... and XAD El Carril bici... For details of the cycle lanes see: Cycle lanes

Old Town schoolrooms evacuated because of flooding from the sewers

Feb 3rd
The Graull school in the Old Town suffers constant problems because of the age of its buildings. This time it was sewerage which backed up the toilets. The stench meant that kids had to be relocated to the other side of the building. To add to the problems, the heating is liable to breakdown, so that children have to study with jackets, scarves and gloves on. The Regional Government has promised to rebuild the school, but so far the Town Hall has had not success in making any progress.
From Las Provincias Una fuga...

Amjasa to invest €737,222 on new pipelines

Feb 3rd
Jàvea's Municipal water company, Amjasa will invest just under 10% of its budget for the year (€7.2 million) on the renovation of the water mains. The main single expense for the company is €1.75 million fees for the desalination plant. The company's objectives are to obtain equipment to detect leaks and enable a comprehensive review of the network and computerisation of the company. They also plan to create web content for their currently empty domain (http://www.amjasa.com/) and to look into a "new funding system for works on major infrastructures which need to be renewed"…perhaps a reference to the development of a sewage system for the whole municipality. This is an idea which was promoted by the company which runs the desalination plant, Acciona, and which was shelved in the face of enormous protest on the grounds that funding was not available (at €60 million).
From XAD: Amjasa invertira...

Five Councillors receive more than €60,000 per year

Feb 2nd
Xabia's Town Councillors declaration of assets appeared in a recent Official Gazette of the Province of Alicante A total of five elected officials receive over € 60 000 per year, while the PP spokesman and ex-Mayor, Juan Moragues declared €2.7 million in properties and other assets, making him one of the wealthiest councillors in the Comunidad. For more see: Declaration of Assets

Town Hall asks for Financial Aid for Adult Education and counselling

Feb 2nd
Xàbia Town hall unanimously approved a motion to request the Department of Education for several grants. Firstly: €480,000 to help pay for the running of the Conservatory of Music and to train the over 200 students enrolled in elementary and professional grades. €147.000 was asked for the Adult Education Programme(EPA). A total of 464 students are enrolled ; 50 in basic education, 131 in Castilian for immigrants, 49 in valenciano in preparation for sitting the Junta Qualificadora, 35 for the entrance test for training courses and 99 in other various programs. A third grant request is €75,000 for maintaining the Municipal Counselling Centre. (Gabinete Psicopedagógico Municipal ) from XAD: El Ayuntamiento....

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