February 2013 News Headlines

Xàbia leaves the "Mediterranean House" Consortium

Feb 27th
The Town Council has agreed to leave the "Mediterranean House", a body which was incorporated in 2009. It was was the brainchild of former Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos It was set up to direct or focus studies and work in the Mediterranean area and was formed by central government, the Generalitat, and the municipalities of Alicante, Benidorm and Javea. The latter two were set up as subsites and pledged to support the 5% of the cost. This meant that Xàbia paid €400,000 between 2009 and 2010, with very little return, only receiving support for a Turkish film festival, bloggers conference and one Jazz concert and having a very low profile in the group's publicity. The new Xàbia administration decided to stop payment in 2011 and 2012 (which saved 260,000 euros), and has now formally left the consortium. From XAD: Xàbia se va...

300 Facebook "friends" meet mayor Chulvi at the Parador

Feb 26th
Around 300 of the Mayor's expatriate Facebook friends met with Mayor José Chulvi in the Parador on Monday. During the meeting the Mayor introduced the colleagues who help to manage his Facebook presence and feedback: George Thomas, Doris Courcelles and Mayka Contrera. He gave a short speech in English and his colleages introduced themselves. Then recent municipal decisions were explained with the aid of a slide show, and questions which had been posted on Facebook addressed. For text of the speeches and questions from the floor see:Mayor meets Facebook Friends 2013 for excelllent observer's report in the meeting see: Javea Amigos.

Litter found in deepsea survey of one of Earth's final unexplored realms

Feb 23rd
A glimpse into a three-mile deep ocean trough near the Cayman Isles uncovers two drink cans, one bottle, and a rusty food tin. For more on this issue see: The Guardian

Claims for overpaid IBI rejected by the Cadastre General Directorate.

Feb 23rd
Residents of Javea have received another setback in attempts to claim money overcharged in municipal taxes resulting from the application 2005 property values. The cadastral office has rejected all 4000 or so applications received en-mass. Now, all taxpayers who want to recover those overpayments must apply to the civil courts, with the cost that entails. In this situation, the Town Council governing team led by José Chulvi has decided to sit down with lawyer Juan Martin Queralt, who has defended municipal and by extension, residents' interests in this matter, to decide what strategy to take. From Las Provincias: Catastro...

Xàbia Restauranteurs plan promotional events for 2013

Feb 22nd
The Xàbia Restauranteurs Association (ARX) , celebrated their annual Gala last week, and took the opportunity to announce a series of events to promote "GastroXabia" in 2013 - there will be "Xàbia al Plat Arroser" featuring rice dishes, the first festival of Xàbia coques (cakes), new tapas events at the Arenal, participation at the International Festival, the Old Town Tapas fiesta, as well as the "Mar de Tapas", a second edition of "Xàbia al Plat Mariner" and the "cruet de peix" (fish cruet) competition From XAD: Los restauradores...

Free courses on job hunting

Feb 22nd
Xàbia's Creama is offering free courses on improving people's job hunting techniques. Included will be writing a CV, preparing for a job interview and looking for work on-line. More information at the offoce in Calle Roques 5 or by calling 965793604. From XAD: Cursos gratuitos...

Water mains repairs to cost at least €600,000

Feb 22nd
Repeated blowouts along the water mains between Cami Cabanes and Xàbia International College leave only one solution, replacement of the entire 40 year old stretch of pipe. The main problem is that water has to be lifted 70 metres to serve Balcon al Mar creating a pressure of 7 kilos and hence increased chances of leaks. It will cost at least €600,000 to repair the pipe (2 km, at a basic 300 euros per metre). The contract will have to be put out to tender because of its high cost, and the money required is double that invested by Amjasa in repairs last year which is another headache. The Amjasa management is currently deciding what to do. From XAD: Cambiar la tuberia...

Las Laderas houses get their "cedulas"

Feb 22nd
The Urbanisation of Las Laderas consists of 70 plots, 52 of which have inhabited houses, but it has waited to be put on the Town Hall's books since 2004 because the developer had not completed the infrastructure such as rainwater drainage. The Town Hall has given a deadline to the developer to complete the works, and if not, they will use his deposit guarantee to finish off the job. In the meantime the urbanisation has been received onto the Town Hall's books, meaning that householders can now get their certificates of habitation (cedulas) and sign up for normal electrricity and water contarcts. From Press Release.

Xàbia hangs on to 3.6 million loan

Feb 21st
In December, the Town Council decided to return a 3.6 million loan it had received from the Ministry of Industry and Tourism to fund the setting up of the Portal del Clot municipal building and works on the Frechinal gully, the idea being to reduce interest payments, since the money was not being used. However the council has now reversed its decision because they have discovered that returning the loan unused will incur higher payments than if the loan were used, and moves to lease out portions of the Portal del Clot building have been unsuccessful. In meetings with the Ministry they raised the possibility of extending the works period by two years, and allowing flexibility in splitting the money between the two projects. They'll be taking a fresh look at the Clot building, especially now the town is reducing costs by moving its offices out of rented buildings. From XAD: Xàbia hace marcha...

Rebuilding the future

Feb 19th
EL PAÍS puts forward 10 reforms and covenants to boost democracy and the economy in the midst of a deep political crisis.
See : El Pais in English

Friends of the Museum Association set up Wi Fi Internet Hotspots


Feb 19
Members of the Association "Amics del Museu de Xàbia" or AMUX for short have set up two WiFi Internet connections in the Soler Blasco Museum. Now, the broadband Internet line in the office, which previously served a single computer, can be shared with others. One WiFi hotspot is for use by museum staff working in the office. The other has been set up using a TP-Link Powerline adapter kit. This uses the electricity wires to carry the Internet signal from the office to a WiFi transmitter installed in the middle of the museum. Signals from this transmitter can be received in most rooms in the museum, including the auditorium and the small meeting room in the new building. This means that lecturers and people attending meetings can have Internet access if they need it. Both WiFi connections are password protected.
For full story see: AMUX website

Provisional Go-ahead for Retirement Complex in Huertos del Montgó

Feb 19th
The last remaining urbanisable piece of land on the Montgó foothills, now seems destined to be developed as a retirement complex, Something akin to the Ciudad Patricia in Benidorm. The previous development plan for this area sought to build 92 homes, but fell foul of regulations requiring a buffer zone to protect the Montgó Natural Park and the new requirement for ecological green corridors. Now the land has been re-zoned to cater for these requirements, still leaving land for building, and the developer has changed focus from simple houses to a retirement complex - an idea which found favour with the council. The Town Hall will now start to organise a tendering competition for the award of the development plan which does not contravene any of the conservation regulations. From XAD: El Consell....

Children's representatives visit the Museum and Old Town

Feb 15th
Members of the Children's Council of Xàbia "Consell dels Xiquets de Xàbia" - representatives for Citizen's Participation among the young, visited the Xàbia Museum yesterday and took a guided tour of the historical buildings of the Old Town. This was to enable the children to learn the value of their heritage. Next week there will be workshops in schools to deepen their knowledge. (From Press Release)

Training courses in Xàbia

Feb 15th
The Consortium for Economic Recovery and Activity in the Marina Alta (CREAMA) has opened registration for new training courses at its headquarters in Xàbia. Given their economic difficulties they have had to charge fees in most cases. The remaining free courses are English and German (given with the help of foreign resident teachers). There will also be IT courses (Basic computing, Word, Excel, Surfing, social networking - each of 20 - 30 hours at €2 per hour). There will also be the approved training for people who want to get a mandatory professional card for working in construction, and people who are interested in obtaining a food handler's card. From XAD: Oferta de cursos...

Old Town shopping goes On-line

Feb 14th
The Old Town business Association will be presenting its new on-line shopping portal to the public on Tuesday February 19th at 8.00pm at the Casa de Cultura. They will be using a virtual shop-front hosted and managed by HadbosHadbos. Each business will be able to manage its own sales site and link it with their Facebook presence. Eventually the Town Council hopes to bring together all local business associations and develop a global portal of local trade which will include the promotion of events and news. etc. from XAD: El comercio.....

Xàbia contracts with procurement management company

Feb 13th
The Town Council has entered into an agreement with Aquanima (http://www.aquanima.com/ part of the Santander group) to make its procurements from large companies and multinationals more efficient. They will be reviewing services such as electricity and communications. Aquanima will not be paid a fixed fee, but will receive a small percentage of the savings achieved if the Town Hall authorises a particular purchase. Aquanima will be able to negotiate favourable terms through large sales volumes, since it also works with other companies and government departments. They'll use a strategy which includes electronic trading which provides greater transparency as suppliers can see who they compete with, and know on the same day if they have won the contract. The total volume of purchases under this agreement will be 4 million Euros. from Press Release and XAD: Xàbia apuesta....

Pomegranates - a promising alternative crop

Feb 12th
Pomegranate production in Spain grew 32% between 2004 and 2012, producing some 40,000 tons, 60% of which are exported. The Comunidad Valenciana encompasses 90% of the Spanish Pomegranate production, and a fruit which was once of fringe interest to cultivators is becoming more interesting. The fruit's anti-oxidant properties have made it popular in the US, where 80% of production goes into fruit juices. The "Valencia" variety grown here is partcularly sweet, and suitable for eating fresh. Prices have risen from 39c a kilo in 2000 to 80c a kilo last year. "The pomegranate is not going to solve the problems of agriculture, but it is an alternative to consider and value for farmers," says José Francisco Sales of the Valencia Association of Agriculture. The Valencian Institute of Agrarian Research (IVIA) is working on improving the fruit and extending its production period. (There are about 500 varieties of pomegranate). The fruit is currently harvested between late August and November, a period which is too short when you are trying to sell to the market throughout the year. From Levante: En busca de alternativas....

Pig Welfare - Spain yet to implement EU rules

Feb 12th
New EU rules on the welfare of pigs came into force on January 1st, but are yet to be implemented by Spain and sixteen other EU countries. At present only ten countries are complying, among which are Austria, Romania, Lithuania and the United Kingdom. The EU standards for space, hygiene, and facilities for pregnant sows affect farms having more than 10 animals. Failure to comply will result in the immediate closure of the farm, unless it reduces its herd to nine pigs. It is feared that the implementation of these regulations will cause the closure of over a thousand farms in Spain, particularly those having between 10 and 99 sows and that production costs will rise (as happened in the case of chicken farming, EU regulations for which were imposed in Jan 2012). Still, the rules on pig welfare were agreed 12 years ago and Spain began implementing a series of general requirement for the livestock sector. Brussels now believes that countries have had long enough to make the necessary adjustments. From Levante: El bienestar del cerdo...

Xàbia joins "City of Light" Movies network

Feb 12th
Xàbia has joined the "Ciudad de la Luz" Movie studio network, which helps film production companies find locations, deal with permisiions etc. The office will be in the the Old Town Tourist Office. Xàbia has already "starred" in a number of movies e.g. "The Cold Light of Day" starring Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver and "My Life in Ruins" with Richard Dreyfuss. Being a film location can help to promote the town as a tourist destination as well as provide business for hotels and restaurants. It can also create jobs in ancillary businesses such as carpentry, lighting, actors etc. From Press Release. (Eds note: The Ciudad de la Luz studios did the special effects and tsunami scenes in the film "The Impossible" see: http://web.ciudaddelaluz.com/EN/about_us/overview and http://youtu.be/oLnV8p_dIsU)

Mayor Chulvi meets English Facebook Friends

Feb 12th
As Mayor José Chulvi now has almost 400 friends on his English Facebook page, he has decided that it would be a good idea to meet as many of them as possible face to face. He has therefore organised a meeting in the Xàbia Parador at 10.30 am on Monday 25th February, and is looking forward very much to the opportunity of meeting as many friends as possible. Any friends who may not have access to the internet are also very welcome. He may repeat the meeting at some later date in the evening for people who are not available during the day. The Mayor will introduce his English speaking team who assist him with communications in English and make a short presentation on his ideas and personal vision for the future of Xàbia, a town where everyone should participate in building a future together. (Press Release)

Rivers authority foresees €61.33 million Euros for flood prevention in Xàbia

Feb 11th
The Júcar Hydrographic Confederation has drawn up flood prevention plans for the Marina Alta area in response to the 2007 floods. The proposed interventions will cost some 226 million Euros, and over 61 million of that will be use in Jávea. Plans include the construction of two flood control dams and the lengthening of the old "Pont del Lavador" bridge by two spans. There will also be interventions in the gulleys of L'Hedra (on the Gata/Xàbia road), Lluca (running along roads of the same name in the orange groves, ending up in the Canal de la Fontana) as well as hardwood tree planting and a new bridge over the Gorgos. Xàbia Town Hall has already responded to the plans and highlighted two priorities: The clearing and improvement of the last stretch of the river Gorgos, and taking into consideration changes in land classification. Original documents and maps available from: Plan director defensa..... Report from XAD: El Plan de riadas....


Port to be re-vamped using part of the Participatory budget

Feb 8th
The Avenida Lepanto and Avenia Jaume I in the port are to receive a face-lift thanks to the Citizen's participatory budget for 2013. Jaume I will have the pavements widened to 4-5 metres, with angled parking next to the central plaza as well as the section furthest away from the sea, and the elimination of current parking spaces next to the pavements. The trees will be replaced by smaller ones (which cause less root damage) and the lights and pavement will harmonise with those of Avda Lepanto. In the latter street, the pots and central reservation will be removed and parking re-organised into angled parking with spaces for bus and taxi stops. The whole project will cost €120,000, start in April and take some 8 to 10 weeks. From XAD: El Ayuntamiento....

Promoting mountain walking to young people

Feb 8th
The Centro Excursionista de Xàbia is organising three events to encourage young people to get involved in mountain walking and learn about local geography, landscape and history. On Saturday February 23rd, they'll start at Mas y Mas car park at 9.00am and head off to Cap Prim (about 4 hours), on Saturday they'll visit the windmills on La Plana, meeting at the Sports Centre, and on 13th and 14th April there will be a camping weekend. The activities are aimed at kids aged 10 and over, but younger ones can come if accompanied by a guardian. People can register (at least one week in advance) by e-mailing: moc.liamg|aibaxxec#moc.liamg|aibaxxec From XAD: El centro...

Buy me, I’m “Made in Spain”

Feb 8th
Among all the many different appeals manufacturers make to consumers to persuade them to buy their products, a new message is drawing attention: "Made in Spain." A few major brands such as Balay, Renault and Hero have been running television and internet ads highlighting the Spanish origin of their goods; at the same time many websites are encouraging people to buy and sell homegrown products. Consumer experts say that underscoring the national origin of goods is a growing trend because it appeals to people's personal commitment to the country's economy at a time of crisis and high unemployment rates. for full story see: El País in English

Xàbia asks State for advance of 5 million Euros

Feb 6th
The Town Council unanimously agreed to ask the Secretaría General de Coordinación Económica y Local del Estado for an advance of 5 million Euros on its subvention from the State. A cash flow problem has arisen due to the reduction in IBI collected because of the "Catastrazo" and reversion of rateable property values to 1994. This left the town with a 3 million cash deficit at the end of 2012. Most of the Town's taxes will not be collected until October, so an early payment of some of the State subvention is needed to enable the payment of suppliers in the coming few months. Huge savings have already been made through cuts and efficiency savings, and the Town has not had to ask for emergency aid. Mayor Chulvi emphasised that the cash flow problem is not the result of poor municipal administration. From Press Release.

Documentary on the Migdia Cave excavations - Feb 8th

Feb 6th
A 30 minute documentary on the excavations in the Migdia Cave (in castellano)will be screened at the Museum on Friday 8th February at 7.00pm. (Ed's note: A version with English subtitles is planned. (From press release)

Excursion to Monastery of St. Jerome of Cotalba

Feb 6th
The Amigos del Museu de Xàbia association (AMUX) is organising an excursion to the Monastery of St. Jerome of Cotalba (Alfauir) on Saturday 2 March. It will include a guided tour, lunch in a restored 18th century olive oil mill and transport . The Monastery itself is one of the most remarkable and best preserved monastic buildings in the Valencian Community and was declared of Cultural Interest (BIC) in 1994. For details of the trip and how to sign up see: Real Monastery...
For more about the monastery see: The Real Monastery....a slice of history

Paint Like Sorolla

Feb 6th
Xàbia Town Hall has given its backing to a painting course being offered by Belgian artist and Jávea resident, Marc Meyer. It is hoped this course will help to promote tourism in the town as a cultural destination. Through this course Marc will teach impressionistic techniques and how to produce a full range of vibrant colours using only three basic colours, so that the effects created by famous Valencia impressionist Sorolla can be reproduced. There will be courses for three langauge groups: Dutch/English in April, Spanish in May, German in October and French in November. For more details and fees see: http://www.paintinglikesorolla.com/

"Who's Who in Luxury Real estate" symposium focuses on Valencia post boom

Feb 5th
Several renowned specialists and professionals from the top tier of the property sector came from Europe, Australia and the United States to attend the 7th edition of this symposium, held in the hotel Westin, Valencia. It was always was intended to be more than just a real estate conference. By focusing on the market in the Valencia region of Spain as a case study, the symposium discussed the current situation and the steps necessary to return to growth. "Spain is at a crossroads, not only for having been from" boom " to recession, but also for having reached the end of a phase of qualitative growth based primarily on national engines, such as large scale construction and infrastructure development. This new phase requires export and technology orientation, luxury products and services with high added value. " - "This is the next opportunity. To make the most of it Spain must restructure its institutions and commercial law, invest in high-level vocational education, language skills and develop export and, above all, encourage entrepreneurship. It is great to see that This process has already started to pick up speed. " said José Ribes Bas, the director of Rimontgó who hosted the conference. From XAD: La inmobiliaria...

Xàbia does its best at a disappointing International Tourism Fair

Feb 4th
A report in Xàbia al Día gives a thumbs up for Xàbia's efforts to promote its culture and Gastronomy at the FITUR Tourism trade fair in Madrid. The Portitxol dance group entertained on-lookers, albeit in a somewhat secluded corner, while members of the Xàbia restauranteurs association carried out a "show cooking", preparing a thousand portions of "cruet de Peix" for a long queue of patient visitors. In a bid to cut costs, Xàbia did not have its own stand, but showed under the umbrella of the Comunidad Valenciana and Marina Alta, which though giving a unified brand for the area, was not easy to find or particularly attractive once you got there. It was notable that the stand for the Balearics embraced new technologies, using interactive touch screens and that there was a general emphasis on history and activity tourism. From XAD: El grup....

Windfarms break energy record in Spain

Feb 4th
Over the last three months wind farms produced more electricity than any other power source in Spain for the first time ever, an industry group has said. The country delivered over six terawatt hours of electricity from wind farms during January, according to data from grid operator Red Electrica de Espana, the Spanish Wind Energy Association said in a statement. For full story see: The Guardian

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