January 2009 News Headlines
Table of Contents

Xabia will receive EU subvention for Old Town Works

Jan 31st
A visit from EU Auditors has confirmed that the Brussels subvention of over 3 million Euros for the Old Town works will be paid.
From Xabia al Día

EU starts investigating proposed Xàbia Port Expansion

Jan 31st
A petition against Port expansion, supported by 7200 signatures of residents and visitors to Xàbia Port was recently sent to Brussels. The Chairman of the Committee on Petitions, Marcin Libicki, has replied, stating that they are now going to initiate a preliminary investigation as soon as possible. From: Las Provincias: La Comisión Europea… For background see Wiki page on the Port issue.

Old Riu Riau to be moved to the parque Montañer

31st Jan
The Riu Rau de l'Arnauda whioch was to have been moved from its current location in town to the Pinosol park will now be relocated to the Montañer park, specifically in the disused roller skating area (above the Plaza de la Constitición) (from Las Provincias)

Town Hall to claim damages for delays in Old Town Works

Jan 29th
The Town Hall has come out on top in its legal dispute with the building consortium (Generala y Mayve) which started the Old Town works. The job started in January 2006 (one month late) and was supposed to be finished in March 2007, but by this date only 25% of the work had been completed. The consortium was then sacked by the Town Hall and a new contract awarded to finish the job off. The consortium has 15 days to appeal. If the appeal fails Xàbia will have the opportunity to claim for damages. From Las Provincias: Xàbia reclamara Daños....

"Let's Talk" launches with 235 participants

Jan 29th
The Town Hall initiative to get the different nationalities conversing in Castellano (for the non-
Spaniards) and English (for the Spaniards) kicks off on Monday February 2nd with a group meeting at 7.00pm in the secondary school IES 1 in the Via Augusta. This will start off with small groups, each with a coordinator, then people can pair off and arrange to meet wherever they want. Anyone interested in joining this initiative please e-mail gro.aibaxja|somelbah#gro.aibaxja|somelbah

New appointments in Xàbia council

Jan 27th
The five PP councillors have been given portfolios, although there is no formal pact between the PP and the majority BLOC.

  • Juan Bautista Moragues will be Councillor for Tourism and Social Services
  • Miguel Savall will direct Amjasa and Régimen Interno (Internal procedural rules)
  • Filo Giner is in charge of Economic Development (Creama) and Education
  • Juan Carlos Generoso will lead Heritage and Citizen security (Local Police)
  • Mari Carmen Pérez is the councillor for youth and the new position created especially for the Arenal.

Also BLOC councillor Doris Courcelles, becomes a formal member of the Governing body (From press release)

Cyclone Klaus clobbers Citrus Crop

Jan 27th
The Marina Alta crop of oranges, particulary Navelinas was badly damaged by the Jan 24th storm. 40% of orange growers do not have insurance against wind damage. Gusts of up to 145KmHr were registered in Xabia (the highest in the region). The storm, called "Klaus" was an extratropical cyclone or explosive cyclone, and is a rare event at this latitude. It was the strongest such storm for 20 years (info from print edition of Levante).

Requirements for Basura Tax Reduction simplified

Jan 26th
To obtain accreditation for Basura tax reduction, a pensioner need only to provide proof that he/she is over 65 (NIE, Residencia etc). If the retired applicant is under 65 then the National Health card (SIP) is sufficient. If the householder's name is different from that of the applicant, then the status must be regularised with the town hall. Foreigners must be registered on the Padron to qualify. See XAD El SIP valdrá...

Tosalet hit hardest by wind storm

Jan 25th
Tosalet suffered the worst damage from the high winds on Saturday 24th January. Part of the problem was that this urbanisation is orientated into the teeth of the wind coming from the northwest. In addition the numerous large pine trees grow in shallow soil on what was essentially a bare mountainside. For more (in Castellano) see XAD

Third Anti-Crisis plan means more money for Town Hall projects

January 24th
The Valencia Government announced a new 1020 million Euro rescue package. Town Halls can apply for funding for new projects based on 203 Euros per inhabitant (i.e. people on the padron) . Projects funded by this initiative will run over the next two years and will be in the areas of road infrastructure, industrial land development, infrastructure, water and energy supplies, improving access to advanced communication networks, to promote R & D, socio-cultural tourism and conservation and improvement of rural areas and the environment. Municipalities can group together and projects could be co-financed by the Generalitat. Las Provincias: El Consell aprueba....

Town hall obliged to demolish house in Cansalades

January 23rd


A legal shaggy dog story has resulted in the demolition of a country house and swimming pool in Cansalades, a house where the owner has been living for the past three years. Antonio Serrano built his house on 12,000 square metres of rural land (within legal limits) but his trouble started because he did not have a building license. The case ended up in Alicante and the courts there have obliged Xàbia Town Hall to bring in the bulldozers or face contempt of court proceedings themselves. This is the first time such extreme measures have been used in the municipality. From Las Provincias: Xàbia actará hoy... Municipal authorities admit that the house would be legal under the new PGOU.

Breifings on State funded works

January 23rd
Xàbia Town hall is holding a series of briefings to inform residents about the state funded infrastructure projects, and to enable them to choose among various options. These projects are part of the State Government's response to the economic crisis. The first meeting concerned the areas of Gabriel Miro and San Jaime (up and left from the Thursday Market) . The works will include a storm drain, burial of telephone lines and public lighting. There will also be some changes in the road layout. (from Press Release)

New Denia Hospital opens for Emergencies on Saturday 24th January

Emergency services in Dénia's new hospital which serves the entire Marina Alta will become operational on Saturday, January 24, at 8 hours. During the weekend, patients who need emergency treatment may be directed to the new hospital located on the Beniadlà near La Xara. Patient's telephone number at the new hospital: 96 642 90 00 From Las Provincias El nuevo hospital...

News brief from the old Town

January 22nd - News from Las Provincias

Petty theives target shops

The spate of robberies in the old town continues with a photo shop in the Calle Major having had its glass door smashed just to steal a few euros. This is the third time this shop has been hit in recent months

Free half hour parking stopped


The free half hour parking given by the Town Hall to users of the new underground car parks is no longer available. The cost of this freebie was 24,805, debited from the municipal coffers

Benches in the church square herald pedestrianisation in the Old Town

Although pedestrianistion was always the intention, some of the Old Town businesses are strongly opposed, being fearful that this development will adversely affect the influx of their customers.

French and British stay away from Spain

January 22
The number of foreign tourists travelling to Spain fell an annual 2.6 per cent in 2008, as high fuel prices early in the year and then the spreading financial crisis kept Britons and the French at home. See Financial Times for full story

Socialists and Partido Popular Euro MPs unite against draft report on Land Grab law and real estate abuse in Valencia

January 21st
An attack on the Spanish judicial system contained in the report from Danish M.P. Margarete Auken, was not welcomed by the Spanish.
See Typically Spanish for full story.

EU moves to halt unbridled construction in Spain

Plan for moratorium on projects failing to meet green criteria - January 16th
According to an article in El Pais, the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions says that a moratorium on new urban planning in Spain that does not respect “rigorous” criteria regarding environmental sustainability is essential. It is also planning to halt other developments already in progress if their water supply is not yet guaranteed. See EU to halt unbridled construction

Audit marks AMJASA zero out of 10

January 14th
An external audit commissioned by the town hall (see earlier story - Water audit in Xàbia) reveals a catalogue of failures at AMJASA including: not knowing how many water meters had been installed, disparity between technicians on the citeria for works, excessive dependancy on an external company for software, lack of a plan for the saving and rational use of water, verbal contracts, absence of budget control, non-existent accounting and cost control, obsolete service rules which date from 1976. To this the audit added lack of personnel management and harassment of workers. The audit also suggested remedial measures which have not been made public. Management has since been taken over by a town hall council, which must take steps to improve the situation. From XAD: Una auditoria...

San Antonio animal blessing at APASA

January 14th
This Saturday 17th January is the day of San Antonio and APASA are, once again, organizing a special event - D. Joaquin Sendra, the Priest from the Port church will be coming to hold the ceremony of the Blessing of all the Dogs at the Municipal Dog Shelter. APASA invites everyone to come. There will be barbecued food, drinks, cakes and coffee for sale - to raise money to help the abandoned dogs annd cats in Jávea. This year, 2009, marks the 10th anniversary of APASA. (from press release)

Xàbia to be advertised on the Madrid Metro

January 14th
Xàbia revealed its advertising strategy at the national tourist exhibition of Fitur. This includes contracting for displays in four Madrid metro stations such as Atocha, Chamartín or Nuevos Ministerios. The Town's website is also being revamped with information in five languages.
Las Provincias Xàbia se publicitara....

Xabia ruling coalition breaks up

January 13th
Today the Mayor, Eduardo Montfort announced that the ruling coalition of the Nationalist BLOC party, local CPJ and Socialist PSOE has broken up. The mayor will take over the responsibilities of the four PSOE councillors and will lead a minority government until a "solid and stable government" can be formed.

Traffic accidents fewer this year but Xàbia poor roads noted

The Guardia Civil reported a decrease of 12% in traffic accidents in 2008 as compared to 2007. However they lamented the lack of investment in the road network and noted inadequate signs and road surfaces on secondary roads, particularly roads leading to the interior and the coasts. On the list were roads in Xàbia municipality. Las Provincias Los accidentes....

Spain's high-speed trains win over fed-up flyers

13 January 2009
Spain's sleek new high-speed trains have stolen hundreds of thousands of passengers from airlines over the last year, slashing carbon emissions and marking a radical change in the way Spaniards travel. From The Guardian. Click here for more.

Permanent exhibition of Xàbia artist Segarra Llamas inaugurated

January 10th
This exhibition at the Soler Blasco Museum came into being thanks to a donation of some his his works by the artist's family. There are works that illustrate various different stages the painter went through, from his studies at Palma de Mallorca in the 30s, until his return to Xàbia in 1986, where he died on March 17, 1994. He experimented with many different styles of painting and in his later years taught at the municipal school of painting. From XAD . El museo Soler...

Town Hall gets State funding for 31 projects

January 10 2009
Xàbia has received approval for the State funding of 31 projects to improve the infrastructure of the town and mitigate against the economic crisis over the next couple of years. Many of the contracts are small, so that local builders are elegible to do them. They are also spread over the three urban centres, which inevitably means that there will be yet more disruption to residents and tourists. For more see: state investment projects

Town Hall launches Guided Walks for 2009

January 10 2009
The department of Tourism announced 27 guided mountain walks for the coming year. These comprise of 12 different variants of the five marked hiking trails in the municipality. Copies of walks programme and guides in several languages are available in the Tourist Office and rental agencies. (Some of them can be downloaded from the Town Hall's Web Site) Also a number of theatrical guided tours of the Old Town will be organised as from March. In these, dramatised historical characters will interact with the public. This initiative is both to promote Xàbia's culture and enhance trade in the Old Town.

Sea Urchin poachers nicked

10 January 2009
Edible sea urchins (Paracentrotus lividus) are now a protected species. You need a license to harvest them, and even then only in small numbers. At this time of year they are mature and at their tastiest (the only edible bits are the gonads), and are in great demand in Denia restaurants. Thus poachers come to pillage the urchin population in Xàbia. Authorities have been able to catch four illegal fishermen, prickly handed, and recover evidence of 686 sea urchins. (From XAD La Policia de Xàbia....)

Spain lost almost a million jobs in 2008

9 January 2009
Spain holds the unenviable record among European countries of losing the most jobs in 2008. INEM lists 3,128,963 people on the dole, 999,416 more than in the previous year. Historically this annual rate of job loss has been exceeded only by Germany just before the second World War. (El Mundo) The Economist (January 2009) reports that the jobless rate in Spain is now 13% compared with the European average of 7%. Forecasters talk of 16% unemployed, and savings banks are even more pessimistic, reckoning on 18% (just over 4million) in 2010.

Marina Alta population increases by 67,000 over the past decade

5th January 2009
Most of this increase has been on the coast and Calpe has doubled the number of people on the padron. (Informacion.es - La Comarca Gana... Meanwhile the Valencian Community's health budget for 2009 is reported to be less than the 2007 expenditure.

Good intentions in the dustbin

8th January 2009
Many Xàbia pensioners who applied for the 50% reduction in Rubbish collection tax granted by the Town Hall found that their applications had been rejected due to non accreditation. EU Residents have been unsure about what documentation to submit adding to administrative confusion. The Town Council has admitted that through the urgency of implementing the tax reduction, practical implications of carrying it out had not been sufficiently studied. The ball of sorting out accreditation has been passed back to the Town Hall's finance department. It wasn't just expats who were having problems getting accredited. The homes of many local pensioners are houses which are in the names of their children, and these people have also been rejected. The application process will be simplified, but new applications will have to be made each year. (The previous idea was that once granted, the tax reduction would be in perpetutity). See XAD Buenas intenciones....

Works in the Old Town completed in Time

January 6th 2009
The works in the old town were completed at the end of December, just in time for the Town Hall to retain the 2.6 million EU grant. All that remains is some patching up around the Church. Councillor Toni Torres reckons everything will be done in a week or so. However ECISA has yet to finish works near the Portal del Clot under a separate contract (Sources XAD and eyeballs)

Tyre slashers hit the Port

January 6th 2009
30 cars had their tyres slashed on Calle Fray Jaime Ibáñez just before the Three Kings holiday. Some cars had all four tyres ruined, more than 100 tyres in total. The road is near a park where young people hang out and (crucially) has no street lighting, even though the lamp-posts have been installed. The reason? The developer Armiñana Promociones, did sub-standard work on two buildings completed some six years ago. This means the dwellings only have provisional cedulas (licenses of habitation) and no street lighting. The case is stuck. It was hoped that some money could be obtained from the guarantees that companies put down before beginning a project, however Armiñana Promociones is in trouble with debts of more that 100 million Euros. From Las Provincias: Unos desconocidos.... and Una ubanización....

Where does the Garbage of Xàbia go?

January 6th 2009
An urban legend has it that Xàbia does not recycle, but that the garbage is mixed up in a non-ecological way. Xàbia's Agenda21 has responded to this concern and has decided to find out what the truth actually is. See report (in English) on Xabia al Día website: Where does...

New traffic lights to save energy in 46 Valencian municipalities

January 2nd 2009
The Valencian Energy Authority (AVEN) is to provide 46 municipalities with LED traffic lights. These are more highly visible in sunny conditions and consume 80% less energy than traditional ones. See LED Traffic Lights

Xàbia Port issue in English language press

January 1st 2009
The Port was front page news of the December 27th issue of the Round Town News See: "Port in a Storm"

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