January 2012 News Headlines

Old Town gears up for Valentine's Day

Special offers in shopping, eating and beauty treatments

Jan 30th
The Xàbia Histórica business association has given details of its new Valentines' Day campaign. Juan Luis Cardona, Councillor for Economic Development, announced that this year will be the first time that the campaign will offer other opportunities alongside the usual culinary ones, including discounts in shopping and beauty treatments. "The Association has changed its mindset and is using its imagination to come up with new ideas to revitalise the Old Town,” added the Councillor. "Xàbia Histórica takes you along the paths of love" consists of four special routes to entice customers. These routes include offers from restaurants and night spots which have prepared special menus, cocktails and dance sessions for Friday 10th and Saturday 11th , as well as Valentine's Day itself on Tuesday 14th February. For Details see: Valentine's Day in the Old Town 2012

New Organisational structure for Xàbia Red Cross

Jan 28th
The Xàbia Red Cross, headed by José Luis Domenech, has introduced a new organizational structure for the local management team in order to change the way that it works. The new structure is designed to encourage teamwork through key management actors. Each person will address a different area and assign its own team of volunteers for the various tasks which the NGO carries out in the municipality (environment, first aid, health etc.) Each key person will share their policies with the management team to ensure collective decisions are made. They also want to promote the youth section which has a group of volunteers who want to get involved, as well as the Environment section. From XAD: La Cruz Roja.....

Arenal refubishment delayed till after the summer

Jan 27th
Due to delays in hiring the company to work on the Arenal promenade, Javea mayor, José Chulvi , has decided to propose to the Valencia Government that the start of work should be delayed until until after the summer. The tendering process has not yet been completed since a number of companies have to justify their abnormally low bids. No deadlines have been met, and the start date would be around April, meaning the job would be unlikely to be finished before the summer season.The Arenal businesses have been informed of the decision. For more see: Plenary meeting 26 Jan 2012

Bloc opposed to cuts in beach surveillance contract

Jan 27th
Bloc Councillor, Pepa Chorro , claims that the 16% cut in the new beach surveillance contract could be dangerous for swimmers. Under the new contract life guards to carry out several functions, contrary to the recommendation of the Federation of Municipalities and Provinces which advises "one person, one function". e.g. the the beach lifeguard is the same person who would drive the ambulance; and the person driving the boat is also the lookout from the sea. Also the contract specfies that the guards will help with other duties, such as clearing seaweed from the beach, when times are slack, thus detracting from their main task. BLOC has therefore asked the executive to reconsider the decision to cut 16% (€64,000) from the the budget for beaches From XAD: Bloc Centristes....

La Sella Golf Course - a lifeline for endangered bats

Jan 27th
The cave of the Punta de Benimaquia (at the "tail" end of the Montgó) is a refuge for the endangered Long Fingered Bat (Myotis capaccinii). A study, carried out by the biological station of Doñana, University of Copenhagen and University of Pais Vasco has shown that its survival owes much to the ponds and water features of the Sella Golf course. This bat normally preys on mosquito larvae, aquatic insects and small fish in streams and marshes. Such natural habitats are disappearing in the Denia area, but those created by the golf course have proven to be an excellent substitute for the bat colony. The Golf course lies within the protected area of the Montgó Natural Park. (From Levante print edition.)

Diver caught poaching Sea Urchins

Jan 27th
The black sea urchins (known locally as erizos or bogamarins), are both a protected species and delicacy, and over recent years their populations have been decimated by over-fishing. A few days ago a diver was caught at Les Rotes (Dénia) in a protected area of the Marine Reserve of Cabo de San Antonio. He had 327 specimens of the creature, some of which were very small. (From Levante print edition)

Campaign to catalogue important trees

Jan 26th
The Town Hall has teamed up with the Cirne Cultural foundation in a campaign to catalogue all the ancient, unique and monumental trees in the municipality. From this they hope to publish a catalogue and prepare an educational exhibition for schoolchildren so that they learn to appreciate their local plant heritage. A tourist route could also be organised. Landowners with important trees on their property would benefit by receiving pruning and pest control services from the Town Hall. Although the requirements for heritage trees are regulated by regional law (they must be at least 350 years old, minimum of 30 metres high, minimum trunk diameter 6 m), the requirements for local unique trees and may relate to traditional uses or cultural preservation. For more details see: Monumental trees catalogue

New English course for Javea’s unemployed

Classes will be taught by British volunteers

Jan 25th
Jávea Town Hall through the Foreign Residents Office (HelpDesk) and the Consortium for Economic Recovery and the Activity of the Marina Alta (CREAMA) has opened registration for the second edition of the English courses to be taught by 15 native British volunteers. Those interested in attending these free classes have until the 30th of this month to sign up at the Creama offices in Javea in Carrer Roques No 5. Places are limited to 15 students per group and there will be three shifts: Monday and Wednesday from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm; Tuesday and Thursday from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm and a third group in the early evening (from 4.30 to 7.30 p.m., days to be determined). The teachers, all of them volunteers will then divide students into three levels: Beginner, Elementary and Pre-Intermediate. The course has a duration of 120 hours and will be held in the premises of the Adult Education Centre (EPA). At the end of the course CREAMA will give each student a certificate. The courses are aimed at the unemployed. From Press Release.

Javea to be the starting point of a low-cost trans Morocco rally

Participants will take basic goods to desert towns and villages

Jan 24th
In March, Javea will be the starting point of the spring edition of the Maroc Challenge, a rally that runs through African territory and which is specifically aimed at amateurs with limited resources and no backing from sponsors, but who want to live a great adventure. The rally also has a charitable aspect, as the participants will be taking basic goods and materials to the desert people as they travel through. The first edition of this low-cost rally was held last December, when it proved to be a great success in terms of participation. In its second edition, with a full two months to go before registration closes,27 teams have already signed up. For more see Maroc Challenge 2012

Proposal to move bull running back to the Plaza del Convento

But aftermath of San Sebastian opens up the debate

Jan 25th
Following the success of the San Sebastian bull running in the Church square last week - at least as far as the takings in local bars and restaurants are concerned - the Councillor for Fiestas, Juan Ortolà, has proposed to move the bull running for the Fiestas de Nazareno at the end of April back to the newly paved Plaza del Convento. However, not everyone was so happy about the consequences of last week's festivities. Councillor for services, Doris Courcelles, had earlier obtained a quote from CESPA for the clean up (€2,400 including high pressure cleaning). The Association which organised the fiesta, ACTX, preferred to save this money and promised to clean up on a budget of €448. But on Monday, the area was in a mess, just like after a teenagers party. The paving was dirty and stained, one tree had been uprooted, recently painted steps were dirty again and the tosca facade of the church damaged. The cleanup is estimated to take around a week and there is doubt that all the stains can be removed from the porous granite. The Town Hall must now consider whether the consequences of the fiesta exceed its benefits. Courcelles will publicise the cost of the cleanup as soon as they are available. ACTX had promised that the fiestas would "not cost a single Euro" to the Towns coffers. From XAD: Fiestas quiere... For a view from the Brirish media see: Javea Amigos: Bulls to remain in town....

Youth Departments of the Marina Alta meet to collaborate

Jan 19th. The Monjove facilities in the Javea Town Hall hosted a meeting last week of the Councillors and senior officials from the different Youth Departments in the Marina Alta. These contacts between municipalities began over two months ago and their goal is to discuss projects, successes and failures in the framework of the complicated task of attracting and reaching out to the young from the administration. Social media networks are considered to be effective tools for communicating with young people. Therefore, one of the first joint actions is a video contest on the prevention of STDs and unwanted pregnancies, drug abuse and eating disorders. These videos will all be posted on the SM channels of the participating municipalities. Another project that has begun to take shape is the creation of a rock music circuit in the Marina Alta that will allow groups from each town to go out and play in the neighbouring towns. From Press Release.

Old Town celebrates San Sebastiá with Bull running

Jan 23rd
After a twenty-year absence, the bulls returned to the centre of town this weekend as Jávea honoured its patron saint, San Sebastián, in a manner that has not been seen for many years. Many hundreds gathered around the temporary arena that had been created in Plaça d'Esglèsia and Plaça de Baix and many more in the bars and restaurants that surrounded it. They cheered and applauded as a few brave souls faced danger against the horns, often leaping to safety at the last minute in a perilous game of chicken in which they would almost certainly come out worst. The handful of people receiving treatment from in the ambulances of the Cruz Roja testified to that. For full story and gallery of photos see: Jávea Amigos.com

Calling all German Speakers!

Jan 32rd
CREAMA - The agency in Javea responsible for trying to assist people in finding work have run a very successful course offering English lessons to unemployed people, to help them in their search for employment. The Xàbia HelpDesk found English speaking volunteers who gave free lessons and enjoyed the experience greatly. There are now more people wanting to take some German lessons (92) than those who want to take English. German speaking volunteers are therefore asked to offer their services and help contribute to this programme. To download a letter (in German) asking for help and giving details, click on the thumbnail below:


For further information contact Elizabeth Collins, HelpDesk, Avda Amanecer 2, 965790500 ext: 1316

Hide for bird and animal watching on the Montgó


Jan 22nd
The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and the Environment has set up a hide for people to photograph the fauna of the Montgó Natural Park. The photographic observatory is located at the Punta Benimàquia where there is both easy access and many wild birds and animals. The Montgó is characterized by its richness in plant and animal species and has become a centre for this type of activity. The observation point consists of a wooden hide for three people with a one way window installed on the front. Nearby there is a water hole adapted for the use by birds and other small mammals. Stones inside the pond improve its use for small birds, while making it less attractive as a wallow hole for wild boar and other small mammals. To use the hide, people must book with the Montgó natural Park by calling 966423205 or e-mailing se.avg|ogtnom_euqrap#se.avg|ogtnom_euqrap. Species such as wagtail, robin, black redstart and various warblers can be seen as well as perhaps a kestrel or buzzard. Foxes and wild boars are quite abundant and weasels and genets can be spotted. Habilitan...

Flat FITUR, but Jàvea makes contacts

Jan 22nd
The International Tourism fair in Madrid was flat this year, with everyone looking to spending cuts. Jávea was one of few municipalities to have its own stall. The regional tourism offering is confused by having too many brands: (Valencia, Marina Alta, Costa Blanca, Generalitat. Benidorm etc) in contrast with just one for Andalucia. However, Jávea's Tourism Councillor made a number of useful contacts with companies such as Transhotel (with the hope of investment in Jávea) and the Association of tourism guides of Benidorm and Valencia to discuss future collaboration and organising tours which stop in Jávea. He also pushed the hiking and biking guides, and Nit dels Focs as a tourist attraction. El edil... and Turismo indefinido.... For more on the Tourism fair see: FITUR 2012

Cuts hit schools and cause protests

Jan 22nd
Cuts to the regional Government's education budget are hitting schools hard. The Graüll school has not been paid since May and has had to find €40,000 for the dining room. If money is still not forthcoming, all students who use the dining room will have to pay, even those who have scholarships. Meanwhile IES Antoni Llidó will not have money to pay its electricity bill in February. There have been numerous protests in the region, and some parents associations have complained about their students involvement in the demonstrations.Las Provincias: Consell no pagar... and XAD: El IES....

Valencian company sells 50 million Euros worth of locomotives to UK

Jan 20th
Vossloh Spain a locomotive manufacturer located in Albuixech, Valencia, has closed a deal to sell 15 locomotives to UKfor approximately 50 million euros. The trains are the Eurolight series, which are diesel-electric locomotives "with the best power to weight ratio in Europe, less than 20 tons per axle and 2,800 kW of power," The version made for England is noted for its versatility, allowing it to be used both for freight and for passengers, and its maximum speed is 160 kilometers per hour. This version has been developed for the UK in a joint project with Beacon Rail Leasing Limited and Direct British Rail operator Services (DRS). Vossloh....

IMF predicts Spain will languish in recession for the next two years

GDP seen to contract 1.7 percent this year and 0.3 percent in 2013; government set to revise its figures for 2012

Jan 19th
The International Monetary Fund believes Spain faces two years of recession as a result of the economic crisis and austerity measures introduced to cut the budget deficit, Italian news agency Ansa reported Thursday. Quoting from a draft version of the IMF's World Economic Outlook report due to be released on January 24 to which it has had access, Ansa said the multilateral agency predicts Spain's GDP will contract 1.7 percent this year and 0.3 percent next year. In its September 2011 edition of the report, the IMF cut its forecast for Spain's GDP growth this year to 1.1 percent from 1.6 percent. For full story see El Pais in English: IMF predicts....

AMJASA to allow new customers to pay their connection fees over a six-month period

Jan 17th
The Board of Directors of the Municipal Water Utilites of Javea, AMJASA, has agreed on a new system of deferred payment for the connection fee of new customers. The proposal, which was approved unanimously, will allow new subscribers to split their payments in six monthly instalments. After the six-month period is concluded, the customer must have made full payment of the connection fee, otherwise their water supply will be immediately cut off. The board also agreed to modify regulations about leaks, basically giving a discount on water bills proven to be the result of a breakdown of mater system malfunction in the home or garden. For full details see: AMJASA connection and leaks fees

Chulvi appointed member on Housing Committee of National federation

Xàbia Mayor Jose Chulvi has been appointed member of the Planning and Housing Committee of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) in Madrid.
Chulvi acts as representative of the local Town Hall and is one of two delegates from Valencia sitting on this committee composed of 25 members from different regions. The main purpose of the committee is to foster integrated, cohesive and sustainable urban development, generating active policies for housing. Its remit is to promote institutional collaboration in the implementation of initiatives for urban and regional planning. These initiatives to be in line with the Sustainable Development Strategy of the European Union, paying particular attention to policies for the rehabilitation of built up areas, promoting improved quality of both existing housing and new construction, especially measures which contribute to improving energy efficiency. From XAD: El Alcalde de Xàbia....


Table of Contents

Dead Dolphin found on the beach

Jan 19th
This morning municipal workers retrieved a dead dolphin found stranded on the rocks of Montañar 1. It was 1.5m long and mature with a broken tail, indicating that it may have been been towed from elsewhere. After reporting details of the stranding to the University of Valencia, which keeps track of all animals that turn up dead on the beaches of the Valencian community, they followed the protocol for proper removal. From Press Release

Healthcare costs to fall by six percent per capita this year

Disparities between regions remain . Valencia spend will be static.

Jan 4th
Spain's regions, which are being urged to rein in their spending in 2012 to meet central government deficit targets, forecast that they will spend an average of six percent less per inhabitant on healthcare this year, which, coupled with cutbacks already introduced in 2011, is expected to produce a 10-percent decrease in the funds destined for the sector. The reductions will not be across the board, however, with some regions still expecting to pay more despite cutbacks. Valencia, the Basque Country and Galicia, will see their per capita outlay remain almost static. What will not differ is the enormous disparity between what is spent in each region. In 2012, the widest discrepancy will be 497 euros, between the 1,061 of Valencia and the 1,558 of the Basque Country. The debt owed by hospitals to pharmaceutical, sanitary and technological providers is astronomical. Combined, unpaid bills stood at over 10 billion euros last year. And it keeps on growing - 10 percent in the past five months.From El Pais in English: Healthcare costs....

Tourist lobby forecasts slight growth this year

Industry frets about impact of Costa Concordia disaster although weak euro could entice influx from Americas

Jan 17th
Spanish tourism lobby Exceltur on Monday predicted that the sector would remain one of the few bright spots this year in a depressing economic environment, but expressed concern about the possible impact of the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster which unfolded over the weekend. Exceltur predicted the GDP of the tourism sector this year would grow 0.2 percent after an increase of 2.6 percent last year when the industry generated an additional 2.678 billion euros and created 17,000 jobs. For full article see Ela Pais (In English) Tourist lobby forecasts....

Criticized Coastal Law to get "deep reforms"

New PP minister Arias Cañete says "environmental paperwork" will be "simplified"

Jan 17th
The controversial Coastal Law is to be subject to "very deep reforms" aimed at "enhancing the value" of Spain's coastline, Environment Minister Miguel Arias Cañete, of the new Popular Party government, said Friday. The environment could not be a restraint on economic development, the minister said in a speech, adding that he would "simplify environmental paperwork" and encourage tourism in national parks. The conservative government has been critical of a law aimed at clearing the Spanish coastline of the miles of concrete that cover it following years of indiscriminate building. Thousands of foreigners with Spanish properties within 100 meters of the shore have been affected by the law, and European lawmakers have tried to pressure the government into modifying it. From El Pais in English Criticised coastal law...

"Pla 48" Roundabout to be completed before the summer

17 Jan
The contract for building a roundabout at the junction between Camí Cabanes and Avenida del Pla (Near Pla 48 Ferreteria and Carrasco car park) is due to be awarded shortly. The cost of €400,000 will be borne by the developers of two developments in the area (part of which includes the area from the plastic Barclays Bank roundabout to the Camí Cabanes junction). It is hoped the work will be completed by the summer. From Las Provincias: La Rotonda ...

Chinese investors take a look at the Comunidad Valenciana

12 Jan
According to the print edition of Las Provincias, Chinese investors are looking at property and tourism investment in the Comunidad Valenciana, including Benidorm. One possibility was the purchase of entire tower blocks, to be managed by a tour operator; another the purchase of villas as second homes. (CB-J)

Kerbs to be smoothed down …after four years of waiting.

12 Jan
The Town Hall executive has dusted off a 2008 petition from the Old Town Businesses requesting that the high, sharp kerbs of the Old Town Ring road are smoothed down. When the kerbs were installed as part of the Old Town redevelopment, there were numerous incidents of punctured tyres and damaged wheels giving rise to no less than 10 petitions. The Town hall has carried out a test, smoothing the edges of the Fialato roundabout recently, with satisfactory results. The contract will be awarded to a local company and the work carried out at the same time that ECISA - the company which carried out the redevelopment, replaces cobbles which have lifted and wastepaper bins which have gone rusty. This work will be done at ECISA's expense, since it is under guarantee. The works will start in January and are expected to take a month.From Las Provincias: Xàbia rebaja....

Workshops to help unemployed find work

12 Jan
The Department of Education, through the Municipal Guidance Counseling Centre, is offering free workshops for unemployed persons that will teach strategies for improving personal and social skillsb oth in everyday life and in the task of finding a job. This training, which begins next week, will address the difficulties of being out of work, as well as finding a new job and making productive use of free time. From Press Release . For details of programme and where to apply see: Workshop for the unemployed

Road renewal plan launches with 15 streets in Balcon al Mar

11 Jan
This week saw the start of the first phase of the road renewal plan in Javea, funded by the Regional Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Planning and the Environment. The first area to be affected by the works is Balcon al Mar, where 15 streets will be resurfaced. The works in this area are expected to last about a month. For more details and various press releases see: Plan Confianza Asphalt project

Bull running returns to Town Hall square

Jan 11th
The Associació Cultural Taurina de Xàbia (ACTX) has promoted the return of the traditional bull-running in the middle of the Old Town after a 20-year absence (the last occasion was in 1992). The running with the bulls event forms part of the traditional celebrations in honour of San Sebastian, the patron saint of Javea, and will be held from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd January. A special bull-ring will be set up in the square in front of the Town Hall building as well as in the Plaça de Baix, accommodating about 15 cadafales for the peñas interested in participating. Meanwhile, a bull pen will be mounted between the church and the Celestino Pons square. The association has been raising funds for this event for the past four years, and the festival will not "cost a single Euro" to the municipality. For details see: San Sebastian Bull Running 2012

Video of Bull running in Jávea in 1971 from Mes Xàbia TV

Town Hall sets up a Jobs Creation board

Jan 10th
The Jávea Town Hall Department of Economic Development has launched a Jobs Creation Board. This is a forum to bring together business people, experts and professionals involved in vocational training to develop ideas and proposals for jobs creation. The municipal unemployment rate of over 2,000 is a major concern, hence the need to detect emerging industries with new employment opportunities. The new body will be composed of two technical experts from Creama, three local businessmen, a representative of the Association of Women in Business, a senior school principal and staff members from other departments such as Youth and Social Services, as well as several Councillors. The local jobs creation board will meet each fortnight in the Casa de Cultura. From Press Release.

Xàbia Hunters carry out Wild Boar cull

Jan 10th
In the first of three authorised hunts to cull an overpopulation of wild boar, 25 Xabia hunters, assisted by others from as far as Castellón and bearing a total of 45 weapons, downed a total of nine wild boar on Sunday. Apparently the pigs sleep in Tossalets and in the Sabatera gully near the "Puerta Fenicia" urbanisation. At night they cross the Camí Cabanes and forage in the cultivated fields of the orange groves. The exercise will be repeated on Sunday 15th and 22nd of January. The dead boar were checked over by a vet and found to be in good health (the meat was not contaminated with the parasitic worm,Trichinella). The hunters consider the boar to be vermin because they " devour the eggs of partridges and plunder the nests of rabbits." from Las Provincias: Cazadores de Xàbia....

Spain's Foreign Minister makes official visit to Jávea

Jan 8th
The Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo, made an official visit to Javea on Jan 7th. He has had a second home in the Old Town for decades, noting that " (Jávea) is the ideal place to hold high-level meetings." the Minister has advanced the possibility of using the framework of the Ibero-American Summit of Cadiz, to arrange meetings between Ministers in Jávea, thus promoting and giving prestige to the town. Fom XAD: El Ministro de exteriores..... For Press release see: Foreign Minister visit

Culture Department opens registration period for next quarter's workshops for people over 30s

Jan 4th
The Javea Town Hall Department of Culture has opened an enrolment period for workshops for people over 30. According to information from the department, there are still spots available in the theatre courses, advanced Photoshop, patchwork, pilates, ballroom dancing, furniture restoration, pottery, chi-kung, watercolor, yoga, Sevillanas, belly dancing and easy cookery. To enrol you must first go to the Casa de Cultura (Plaza de Baix) or phone 96 579 43 44. The deadline for payment of the registration fee (between 20 and 30 Euros depending on the course chosen) is next week, as the first quarter 2012 classes begin on 16 January. (Press Release)

Jávea IBI not affected by National rates hike

Jan 4th
The Spanish national Government has announced a 10% increase in IBI for the next two years as part of the programme to deal with the current financial crisis. However, this increase will not affect IBI in Jávea because the town is exempted since its rateable values were calculated at the peak of the property boom and are already considered too high. In fact most people will see a reduction in IBI since the town hall has already reduced the calculation factor from 0.657% to 0.617% . From Las Provincias: Xàbia tranquiliza a los...

Town Hall studies possibility of using car park at winter boat park


Jan 4th
The Town Hall is studying the feasibility of using part of the Portal del Clot underground car park as a space for wintering small motorboats. The two underground car parks cost some €170,000 a year to run (apart from paying off the loan for their purchase). Though use (particularly of the Plaza de la Constitución Car Park) has improved since rates were reduced after the May elections, 2011 takings are estimated to be only €121,000. The Portal del Clot Car park is used mostly by municipal vehicles, and the lower floor is completely empty. Initial discussions and estimates indicate that it could be used to house 150 boats of five to six metres length, generating an income of some €100,000. From Las Provincias: Xàbia estudia....

Come and Join the Archery Club


Jan 2nd
The newly formed Archey Club (Club d'Arquers Xàbia) meets at the Vicente Tena School on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Anyone with an interest in practicing this exciting sport is welcome. Hours are 17:45 to 18:45 for the young ones and 18:45 to 19:45 for adults. From XAD.

New Years Day dip nets €2121

Jan 2nd
About 40 intrepid bathers participated in the annual New Years Day dip in the sea organised by the Lancashire Bruja at the Arenal. This year they netted some €400 from donations collected on the beach, making a grand total from raffles and sponsorship of over €2121 Euros to buy presents for the kids at the Gandia orphanage and the Asociación Emaus Vergal in Altea. From XAD:El Baño Solidario.... For photos see: http://tinyurl.com/7opnsb2

Saladar project rejected

Jan 1st
The Xàbia Town Hall has definitively rejected the Saladar development project which sought the construction of 1,700 homes and an artificial lake in one of the few areas of the town which has not been covered with concrete. Those responsible for the project asked the Town Hall for a license to start development, because the maximum time period for processing the application had passed and they had not received a municipal response. i.e. They sought to obtain approval through administrative silence. However, planning councillor Pere Sapena said, "the law no longer allows urban projects to be approved through administrative silence," and recalled that the proposal included a modification of the 1990 PGOU (General Plan), which was in force when the project was presented, including the creation of a large lake to solve the flooding problems in the area. From Las Provincias: Xàbia rechaza...

Jávea to commemorate two historical anniversaries


Jan 1st
The Town Council agreed unanimously to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jávea's official recognition as a town (or Villa) which differentiated it as a municipality with its own council. Philip III granted this distinction on July 2nd 1612. The also agreed to a motion put forward by the Bloc Centristes to mark the "French War" - the attack on the parish church, convent and private homes on August 28, 1812 by French soldiers, the general looting of the town and the execution of several xabieros, as well as the destruction of the castle of La Fontana, which was occupied by British troops at the time. For more details see:Last Council Pleno 2011 (Eds Note: Perhaps the Brits can contribute to the latter commemoration. This was part of what we call "The Peninsular War" when the Brits under the leadership of Wellington fought with the Spanish against the invading French.)

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