January 2013 News Headlines

Marina Alta region has the highest proportion of foreign residents

Jan 28th
The Marina Alta region has 201,840 inhabitants of which 89,493 come from other countries representing 44,34 % of the entire population. In 12 of its municipalities (totaling 94,566 residents) more than half are foreigners and in another five, there are more than 40% foreigners. The most "foreign" town is Calp, with 18,498. Followed by Xàbia with 18,104. Though the latter has the largest "colony" consisting of 8737 Brits. There are 31,088 residents from the United Kingdom in the region as whole and they form the main foreign community. Top of the foreigners list percentage-wise is Benitatxell, in which 71.38% are foreigners, due to the urbanisation of the Cumbre del Sol. From La torre de Babel.... //Ed's note: The article includes a list of the 17 municipalities dominated by foreigners. It ends with an optimistic note, loosley translated as: "This demographic variety converts the Marina Alta into a cultural melting pot where beer flows in the Oktoberfest, and raisins and mistela celebrated in the patrimonial festivals, in which Charles Dickens is commemorated, as well as Vicent Andrés Estellé. It is a tower of Babel, which for now, does not shake the foundations of tolerance and integration. "

Xàbia responds to Government plans for the Canal de la Fontana

Jan 26th
The Town Hall has submitted a report on the Valencia Government's plans to develop the canal de la Fontana. The main points are: the current users (Aexamar) are to be considered; the surrounding area (apart from Calle Marsella) to be developed by the concessionaire; retention wall next to the canal; a proposed building next to the bridge would reduce the drainage capacity of the canal and would be a visual intrusion, better to allow the Nou Fontana Marina to provide services; the Tamarisk tree in the dock should be preserved; the canal is natural drainage for rainfall run-off, there must be provision for this and the maintenance of roads subject to water erosion; drains, such as that of the desalination plant must be respected and the canal must be regularly cleaned by hydraulic and mechanical means. From XAD:Xàbia alega....

Town Hall takes pro-active approach to regularise houses

Jan 25th
Some homes in urbanisations have been without habitation licenses (cedulas) for upwards of a decade, despite people living there and paying IBI. Prime examples are Las Laderas, Pi Ver and Pou el Moro 1. In the past, if the documentation for an urbanisation was incomplete, the technical office would simply refuse reception of the development onto its books. Now, the Town Planning Department takes a more pro-active approach, seeking solutions to problems previously considered insurmountable. A prime example is that of Pou del Moro 1, which has not been registered pending the construction of a wall along the rio Gorgos. This was supposed to have been done by the developer and paid for by the property owners. The solution has been to separate the obligation to build the wall from the reception process. Over the past year and a half 200 cedulas have been granted and the above-mentioned urbanisations are in the process of being regularised. From XAD: La oficina ...

Xàbia promotes gastronomy and tradition at tourism fair

Jan 23rd
Xàbia does not have its own stand at this year's FITUR International Tourism Trade Fair in Madrid, but promotes itself under the "Costa Blanca" banner. One focus is the "GastroXabia" brand and concept which promotes local cuisine and produce. The other main focus is traditions, particularly the "Nit de Focs" - San Juan. The brochures of the Costa Blanca region will be standardised to promote the area as a coherent whole. From XAD: Xabia promover..

Meeting with the British Consulate

Jan 25th
Yesterday, the Xàbia councillor responsible for relations with foreign residents, Oscar Anton, attended a meeting in Alicante organized by the British Consulate in with the UK Ambassador, Giles Paxman, the consulate staff and other officers of the province. Along with Anton was Yvonne Henry from the Jávea helpdesk. This meeting addressed the challenges and difficulties in supporting British citizens, the limitations that exist in each sector (municipalities and Consulate) and how to best work together. fro more see: Meeting with British Consulate

The Great Escape: young Spaniards see the UK as a land of opportunity as 'la crisis' takes its toll

Jan 24th
The number of people leaving Spain is increasing dramatically. The Insituto Nacional de Estadística recently released figures showing that over 40,000 left the country in the first six months of 2012; a 44-percent increase on that time in 2011. Many of them are seeking pastures new in the United Kingdom, where the Spanish population has increased by a third in the last five years, and the volume of National Insurance Number applications received by the Department for Work and Pensions by Spaniards over the last 12 months was second only to those made by Pakistani’s as the highest number of foreign national requests. For full story see: El País in English blog

A Guided Walk to the Ermita del Popul

Jan 23rd
(on the road to Jesus Pobre, about 3.4 km from Jávea)
The Director of the Museum of Xàbia, archaeologist Ximo Bolufer, accompanied by local archaeologist Josep Castelló Marí will take everyone interested on a guided tour through the lanes of Les Valls de Xàbia to the Ermita. During the walk we will shown sites of archaeological and ethnographical interest, finishing with a historical and architectural visit to the 14th century Ermita. We will meet in the parking area of the new Jávea cemetery (off the Jávea-Gata road, behind the crematorium) at 10 am and walk to the Ermita. After visiting the Ermita, we will stop for a snack and drink and then return by a different route. Difficulty of walk: Easy, flat surfaces. Duration: approximately 3 hours . Bring a “bocadillo “and drink for the break at the Ermita. (Those not wishing to walk can meet at the Ermita about 11.15 am to see the interior) From Amics del Museu de Xàbia press release.

Local police catch sea-urchin poachers

Jan 23rd
A few days ago local police caught a group of poachers from Denia who had illegally collected 360 sea urchins (bogmarins) from the sea floor in the Cala Blanca / Cala Llobatera area. The protected animals were returned to the sea, and the three poachers will be fined. The collection of sea urchins is strictly regulated and can only be carried out using tradistional methods, not SCUBA or snorkel as in this case. From Las Provincias: La polícia de Xàbia....

Rubbish bins for recycling in schools

Jan 23rd
The Town hall has installed special rubbish bins in each public school to enable students to separate plastic and container waste (yellow) from paper and cardboard (blue). Students are expected to use them to separate waste generated by lunch, e.g. tetra bricks and yogurt containers. As explained by councillor Doris Courcelles, this gesture is expected to convey to students the importance of recycling for the conservation and improvement of the environment, since young people are one of the most important factors in stimulating behavioral change in families . From XAD: Los escalores...

Community Policing course hosted in Jávea

Jan 23rd
Police officers from the Marina Alta region have been attending a course on community policing taking place over five evenings at the "Instituto Número 1" school in Xàbia. They will be introduced to a new policing model to enable them to get closer to the public and gain public trust. Included in the course will be a a panel discussion on European models of community policing and the experiences of the heads of police bodies such as the London Metropolitan police and Gelsenkirche Police (Germany). The conference arose from requests from the Marina Alta police that thet should hold training courses locally, rather than having to travel to provincial capitals. From Press Release and XAD: Agentes de la comarca....

Arenal renovations on course for Easter completion

Jan 23rd
On Monday morning, mayor Jose Chulvi was accompanied by Victoriano Sánchez-Barcáiztegui, the Regional Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, to view the progress of the renovation of the beach promenade along the Playa del Arenal. The contractor has confirmed that the works are proceeding as scheduled and barring unforeseen problems, should be completed by Easter. For full story see: Javea Amigos

Corporate winners in a hard place

Jan 21st
A number of Spanish firms have discovered strategies to help them shrug off the domestic economic crisis. They include Valencia based "Mercadona" which, since the onset of the crisis in 2007, has seen turnover grow by nearly four billion euros to nearly 18 billion euros and its workforce grow by 10,000. Meanwhile, its network of supermarkets has ballooned from fewer than 700 a decade ago to 1,400. Last year, Mercadona invested 600 million euros. For full story see: El Pais in English

Proposed law threatens yacht clubs

Jan 21st
The regional Government plans to raise taxes on yacht clubs and marinas by 600%, making no distinction between a yacht club run by a non-profit association, and a private marina which is geared to make profits. In some cases the taxes would work out at more than a club's annual budget. The Yacht Clubs Association of the Valencian Community (ACNCV) has therefore decided to appeal against this proposed law and ask for its ammendment. From XAD: Los clubes nauticos...

Fishermen to appeal against demolition of Port building


Jan 20th
The Xàbia Fishermen's Association has decided to appeal the judgment of the High Court through through which they lost the concession of the "Pósit" building in the Port. This building (which currently houses the Tourist Office, Local Police and Posit restaurant) was granted to the fishermen by the Ministry of the Environment for their use. However the Town Hall allocated €70,000 to build the current "Casa del Pescador" near the quay, for a nominal payment of €6000 per year for 10 years, and in exchange the old building has been used by the Town Hall. Since the Posit building is not being used as intended, it is threatened with demolition. In April 2011 the fishermen faxed the Town hall and tried unsuccessfully to recover the Posit premises (for which they are not receiving any rent). From XAD: La cofradia de pescadores....

Xàbia pedal bike messenger

Jan 17th
A young entrepreneur, Sergio Alejandro Laffitte, has set up a courier service for Jávea - the means of transport being his pedal bike. Before launching his business he consulted similar initiatives in other towns to learn from their experience. His service called "Rodando Mensajería" carries small packages , documents, invitations, flowers, takeaway and even groceries. For more see his website: http://rodandomensajeria.blogspot.com.es/

Gap between electricity output costs and rates swells in 2012

Jan 16th
The premiums paid to producers of electricity using alternative sources of energy hit record levels last year, helping to exacerbate the problem of Spain’s so-called “tariff deficit,” the difference between what it costs to generate power and what can charged in rates regulated by the government, the National Energy Commission said on Monday. For full story see: El Pais in English

A Novel use for Olive stones

Jan 16th
Researchers from the Institute of Transport and Territory of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) have developed a new type of noise barrier to mitigate traffic noise. The barrier is made of porous concrete based on charred olive stones. This new noise reduction product, developed in collaboration with Precon SA, is presented as an alternative to existing screens. The researcher at UPV, Julia Real, explained that this new baffle "can provide solutions to reduce the noise of trains, trams, metros and roads and also give a new start to an agricultural product." The patent has been applied for and the product is in the process of commercialization. Las Provincias: Científicos....

Liberalisation of shop opening hours

Jan 16th
In an attempt to stimulate the retail sector, the Spanish Government has recently enacted legislation to liberalise shop opening hours, particularly in tourism areas. In Valencia, the first Sunday opening of big stores attracted large numbers of people. However, the new rules do not apply everywhere, only in pre-defined zones, and municipalities which want to be included as tourist areas have a number of administrative hoops to jump through. Full (and complicated) story in Las Provincias: Zonas comerciales.....

Forest Fires during a windy evening

Jan 16th
There were two fires in just one hour apart and during a period of strong winds yesterday afternoon. The first occurred just after 19 hours in the natural park of Montgo, in the Los Lagos urbanization. The fire began in an inaccesible place just above the urbanization. Firefighters and crews had to go on foot using backpacks loaded with water to douse the fire. The second was in Ràfol d'Almunia on the camí of Segària, in a mountain area. All indications are that both were intentional. From Las Provincias: Incendios...

U3A Badminton group invites all local retirees to participate

Jan 16th
The U3A badminton group is inviting all local, Spanish, retirees to participate in their sport. A notice which has gone out in the Spanish press invites people to go to the Palau d'Esports on Mondays at 10.00 am, where classes will be held. It would be a great way to mix and share languages, apart from being good exercise. From XAD: La U3A....

Tourist Guide Course hosted by Portal de La Marina Shopping Centre

Jan 16th
Starting on January 31st, the Portal de la marina Shopping Centre in Ondara will be holding a 20 hour, free course for up to 30 would be tourist guides. The initiative has been organized by Voraserra and The Tourist guide in collaboration with the centre. It was born of a need for tourist guides to cover the 400th annniversary of the "ciudad" of Denia in February, and could also develop into a work opportunity for some people. From XAD: Portal de la...

"Here Comes the Sun" flash mob cheers Spanish unemployment office

Jan 15th
Flash mob of musicians organised by radio show serenades long queue of people at Madrid office amid harsh winter of austerity

Bilbao mayor wins award for transforming declining city

Jan 15th
The mayor of Bilbao, Iñaki Azkuna, has been named World Mayor of the Year 2012, in recognition of the city's city into a worldwide arts hub. Elected in 1999, Azkuna is credited with using the iconic Guggenheim Museum to turn declining industrial Bilbao into a cultural centre. For full story see: The Guardian..

Pay Municipal taxes in January to get 4% discount on IBI

Jan 14th
Xàbia residents now have the option to pay their municipal taxes following a personalised schedule so as to fit in with their cash flow. However, those who pay all their municipal taxes in January will get a 4% discount on their IBI. This discount amounts to around 7% interest if the money were left in the bank, so is an attractive option to those who have the cash on hand. There's a tool to check out your calendar of payments at the Citizen's attention office (Eds note: It's supposed to be on the Town Hall's website too, but I couldn't find it!). If you wish to personalise your payments, please visit the Citizen's attention office (Avda Amanacer 2) to make arrangements. The Town Hall also now enables the payment of tax bills over the Internet via Credit card. (Ed's note: Can't find this on the Town Hall website either…!) From Press Release and XAD: El Ayuntamiento....

Workshops for Expats on property and legal matters

Jan 14th
The Xàbia Town hall department for Foreign residents will be running a series of workshops in February covering the topics of property purchase and sales and inheritance law. All talks will be at 6.00pm in the Casa del Cultura and will last for about an hour and a quarter.

  • Thursday Feb 7th: Preparation of escrituras (personal circumstances, required documents, representation and economic and matrimonial circumstances).
  • Thursday Feb 14th : Property: land registration, property ownership, finding if there are pending charges and taxes).
  • Wednesday Feb 20th: After the property deed is signed: (How to pay for the property, property taxes and other charges)
  • Wednesday Feb 27th: Inheritance: Wills, processing, new legislation.

Places are limited, so to reserve your place e-mail gro.aibaxja|pleh#gro.aibaxja|pleh or go to the Help Desk at the Citizen's attention office (Avda Amanacer 2) From Press Release.

Masterclass and concert by prestigious pianist

Jan 10th
The renowned Mongolian concert pianist, Sangidorj Saya will be running a master class for pianists of all levels in Xàbia from 18th to 20th January (only two places left, though people may attend as observers). She will also be giving a concert in the Xàbia conservatory at 7.00pm on Saturday Jan 19th. Admission €5 (to go towards prizes for the First Xàbia International Piano competition which will be held in May. For bio of Sangidorj Saya see: Mongolian Artist.com

Fiestas for 2013 start off with San Antonio

Jan 10th
The popular festivities of San Antonio, the patron saint of animals, take place this weekend with the traditional burning of the pine and the delightful blessing of the animals in the Plaza de la Constitución. For full story see: Jávea Amigos

65,909 Euros in unpaid Xàbia taxes.

Jan 10th
130 tax payers have failed to pay Xàbia's municipal taxes on time, creating a hole of €65,909 in the Town Hall's income. Monies owed range from €44,233.16 by a promoter to €78,39 from 38 Thursday mercadillo stall holders. From Las Provincias: 13 contribuyentes..

Paving Arenal Promenade begins

Jan 10th
The contractor Rover-Alcisa has started paving the promenade on the Arenal. They are using hexagonal tiles manufactured in Valencia with a tosca and grey trainagular pattern. Work is progressing well and on schedule to be finished before Easter. From XAD: Empezan a colocar...

Close to 50,000 Spaniards find work in Germany

Jan 6th
Over 49,400 Spaniards found jobs in Germany last year, an increase of 15.8 percent over 2011, at a time when Spain is destroying over 2,000 jobs a day because of the economic crisis and spending cuts. For full story see: El Pais in English

Slowing down the cities

Jan 6th
Spain is about to join the Europe-wide trend of imposing a 30 km/h speed limit in built-up areas. The evidence shows that it reduces accidents and road deaths. For full story see: El Pais in English

Abandoned ruins demolished and cleared as parking space.

Jan 6th
Xàbia Town Hall has demolished two ruined houses in an empty plot already used as a parking space next to the Barranquet de Freginal. The plot is between Camí Sortetes, Calle San Antonio and Avenida Palmela, and used for some parts of the San Antonio fiesta. The demolition will not only expand parking space but also get rid of a run-down area. The plot is part of an approved development plan which has never got off the ground which includes enlargement of the beginning of Camí Sortetes. From XAD: El ayuntamiento....

Proposals to improve road safety on Carretera la Guardia

Jan 6th
According to Las Provincias, proposals to improve safety along the La Guardia road have been drawn up in collaboration with local residents. These consist of the installation of plastic speed bumps at various points along the downhill stretch of the road going towards the Saladar. Apparently the Town Hall has been the owner of the La Guardia road since it made an agreement with the Alicante authorities several years ago. This agreement also included control of the stretch from the plastic roundabout at Barclays Bank to the Cami Cabanes junction. Alicante still maintains control of the Poritxol road and has pledged to build a roundabout at the Saladar junction later this year. From Las Provincias: Xàbia estudia...

Moves to clean up Jávea Park

Jan 4th
Jávea Park has a bit of a reputation as being Jávea's "Red Light" district, with problems of prositution, drug dependency and truancy. It also has a large population of immigrants. The Town Hall Social Services Department is therefore using a grant of €67,500 from the General Secretariat for Immigration and Emigration to set up a community contact centre in the area. This will be manned by a social worker and an educator, and supported by specialists in immigrants and drug dependancy. The idea is to set up initiatives such as a time bank, involvement in cultural activities and cultural exchange. At the same time a group of researchers from Valencia University will be carrying out a sociological study in the area, to identify the sources of the problems and possible solutions. From Press Release.

Longer working week for Xàbia Municipal Employees

Jan 4th
As of next week, Xàbia's municipal employees will have a longer working week of 37.5 hours. Specifically, they will be required to work until 6.00pm on Thursdays, instead of knocking off at 3.00pm, which is their normal daily schedule. Staff will be able to take a 30 minute snack break any time between 2.00pm and 3.30pm (one catering business in the Old Town is offering an express menu). Note: some departments already work in the evenings, as dones Amjasa on Wednesdays and Fridays. From Las Provincias: Los funcionarios...

25th Anniversary of Jávea New Year's Day dip

Jan 3rd
It's been 25 years since Michael and Muriel Shilan (Humpty Dumpty) started the tradition of a New Year's Day dip in the sea at the Arenal to raise money for charity. In 1988 they took the first dip, and four years later, Brenda Taylor of "Bodywise" started making a Christmas collection to buy Three Kings presents for the children at the Gandia orphanage. In 1988, organisation of the event was handed over to Karen and Nigel from the "Lancashire Witch" , and gradually it became more and more famous, collecting €6000 in 2004. This sum was divided between the orphanage and aid for tsunami victims. This year some 40 people took part, including three brave Spaniards , one of whom was Oscar Anton, Councillor for relations with foriegn residents. He was unable to stand the cold water for the full ten minutes stipulated by the rules and was heckled with good humour when he went to get out. This year's takings will be split between the Gandia orphanage and the Raquel Paya School for children with special needs in Denia. (From XAD: 25 Años....

Spain: the pain of austerity deepens

Jan 1st
Unemployment in Spain already stands at 26%. Crowds scavenge the streets at night for food. And life is about to get tougher still… Oxfam says that by 2022, 38% of the Spanish population could be in poverty….For full story see: The Guardian.

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