July 2015 News Headlines

Fifty Years of the Jávea Club Nautico

July 29th
Xàbia's Club Nautico (Yacht Club) celebrated its 50th anniversary last month. It was established and grew as a result of the "colonisation" of Jávea during the '60`s by the rich, famous and influential of the Madrid and Valencia elite. Two developments, El Rodat and Tossalet were built, the Finance Minister Mariano Navarro Rubio built a villa on the tip of Arenal point and prominent Madrid families, some linked to Opus Dei, professionals and the military elite came here. In 1967 the Parador and the Church in the Port (Nuestra Señora de Loreto) were constructed. The Club Nautico cost five million pesetas and was the first to berth yachts as well as sailboats. Four thousand square metres in all, six pontoons, 100 meters of quay, another 60 of berths, a crane, divers facilities, specialized staff and a social club with a splendid terrace from which, on good days, you could see Ibiza. 10 double rooms for members or visitors, plus all the facilities of a modern social club. From Las Provincias

Girona River irrigators demand to have a say on the regional Water Consortium

July 31st
The irrigation farmers of the Río Girona want to have a vote on the Marina Alta Water Consortium - an Alicante agency which is due to be re-activated in light of the current water crisis in the area. They are unhappy about the amount of water being extracted from the Lucifer well near Isbert's dam in the Barranco del Infiero. Apparently Calpe, the Vall de Laguar and Murla have a 25 year concession to extract 3.8 million cubic hectometres of water from this well annually, but the regional water authority (Confederación Hidrográfica del Júcar - CHJ) has not informed them exactly how much water has actually been extracted. Local wells are now at very deep levels (Tormos at 240 metres) - leading to increased costs in pumping water from such depths. From Las Provincias: Regantes...

Councillor responsible for Xàbia Port makes herself available to residents

July 31st
Among her many responsibilities, councillor Marta Bañuls has taken on the newly-established role of liaison for residents living in the port area. In the next few weeks, she will be setting out a timetable for regular appointments in the 'Bilblioteca de Duanes', the public library in Avda. del Botanic Cabanilles, so that residents can meet with her personally. And in October there are plans to hold a special meeting for the Hospitality sector to address their needs. Her e-mail address is: gro.aibaxja|slunab.atram#gro.aibaxja|slunab.atram For more details see: Javeamigos

Firefighters go on strike as wildfires ravage Spain

July 27th
Firefighters from Spain’s forest firefighting service (BRIF) began an indefinite strike on Monday in protest against working conditions and low pay. It is the first time such a strike has taken place while wildfires sweep vast areas of Spain, the association of forest firefighters, Atbrif, said in a statement on its website. "Is it fair that we make such a ridiculously paltry amount while we put our lives at risk?" the firefighters' association said. For full story see: The local.es

Black economy clouds Spain's recovery

July 27th
The tax collectors' union Gestha says the vast black economy has for decades undermined Spain, the eurozone's fourth-biggest economy. It estimates the black economy equals about a quarter of Spain's gross domestic product — or roughly a quarter of a trillion euros. During the boom decade before Spain's crisis broke out, companies subcontracted a lot of their work to workers whom they paid in cash in order to keep up with demand, said Princeton University sociologist Alejandro Portes. Then in the crisis, this gave way to "an informal economy of survival" of technically unemployed people living hand-to-mouth from casual jobs, he said. Economists say the cash-in-hand habit is strongest in agriculture, building, domestic work, trade and tourism. The unemployment rate declined by 1.4 percentage points in the second quarter, according to the National Statistics Institute. But an estimated 83 percent of contracts signed in the second quarter in Spain were temporary ones. For full story see: The local.es

Spain sees record foreign tourist spending in first half of year

July 27th
Spanish tourism set a new record in the first half of the year, when foreign tourist spending reached nearly €28.3 billion, a 7.4% rise from the same period in 2014. The good news comes on the back of record arrival figures, making 2015 a banner year for tourism in Spain. Tourists from the United Kingdom – who are the largest community of visitors to Spain – left the most amount of money, €5.7 billion, a 9.8% rise from last year. German visitors spent a collective €4.4 billion, a 0.5% increase. And French arrivals spent €2.7 billion, representing a significant increase of 12.8%. For full story see: El Pais in English

Xàbia must pay a fee to open the public slipway in the Port

July 24th
The Ministry of Infrastructure of the Generalitat Valenciana is prepared to authorize the reopening of the public slipway in Javea port, but with conditions. Xàbia Town Hall must pay a daily rate of 80 euros, take on the security and maintenance of the site to prevent vandalism and make sure that vehicles and boats do not interfere with the traffic of the area. The Town hall is working to enable the slipway to be opened in August, though it has already been leased by the Club nautico for a sailing competition between 10th and 20th August. The Ports Authority recalled that long ago an attempt to open the slipway via a tender was finally abandoned. It therefore proposed that Javea should try to involve the local sailing sector to take on this service under a concession for next year. From Las Provincias: Xàbia deberá...

Xàbia proposes a regional plan to overcome the water crisis

July 24th
The CEO of Amjasa, Josep Lluis Henarejos has proposed a regional plan to overcome the water shortages in the Marina Alta. First: the expansion of the desalination plant to 6 from 4 lines of production, enabling the sale of water to other municipalities. However for this to occur, the recipient municipalities e.g. Teulada and Benitatxell must make a financial commitment and be involved, not leaving the cost of expansion and maintenance to Xàbia, and just being content to buy water when they felt necessary. Secondly there should be a fair purchase of surplus water from the interior - e.g. from the Pego irrigators with regional planning and interconnection between divers populations. At present, the Marina Alta seems to be mired in water wars. e.g. the irrigators of the Laguar valley are upset about their water transfer to Calpe, which is drying out their well, while paradoxically allowing Calpe to give its surplus to Benissa. Higher water charges, even regional water charges, are a possibility. Henarejos noted that the water situation is not just a blip, but will come to stay as a result of climate change, leading to more frequent long droughts and Gota frias which will not solve the aquifer problem. From La Marina Plaza Mayopr Chulvi has spoken in response to criticism for cutting off water supplies to Teulada and Benitatell See: Javeamigos. For diagram of current drought situation see:Drought 2015

Spain is 'one of Europe's safest countries', crime figures show

July 24th
Crime in Spain has decreased in the last six months, following an ongoing downward trend, says interior minister Jorge Fernández Díaz. Overall, criminal activity has dropped by 1.9% in the first six months of this year in comparison with the same period in 2014… Statistically, violent crime rates are very low in Spain – in fact, among the lowest in Europe, if not the world. For full story see: ThinkSpain

High summer temperatures lead to increase in electricity generated by coal

July 21st
High summer temperatures in Spain in July have led to a greater demand for electricity. Unfortunately, all forms of renewable energy have been adversely affected by the heat and drought. Wind generated electricity fell 13% during the first weeks of July as compared to last year because the heat coincided with anticyclones which result in less wind. The wind is also dry, and less dense providing less power to drive the generators. Hydroelectric power has also been affected since the low rainfall has led to lower reserves of water. Even power from solar panels has been adversely affected because high temperatures reduce their efficiency (down 1.8%). So it has been necessary to use gas and coal fired power plants to fill the gap. Coal is the fuel of choice, being cheaper than gas - however, it emits 60% more CO2 into the atmosphere. For informative diagram see: Energy Generation . From El Pais - Las olas de calor... Ed's Note: In this context, Climate scientists have said that 2015 is on track to be the warmest year on record . See: The Guardian. See: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for global map of Climate anomalies and extreme events.

Lightning starts 13 forest fires in Castellón and Valencia

July 19th
Lightning strikes inland have caused 12 forest fires in the province of Castellón and another in Valencia. Emergency services in the Comunidad Valenciana were called out to deal with nearly 2,300 incidences yesterday, many of which were caused by fork lightning. For full story see: ThinkSpain

No drinking water ? - Improve the exploitation of aquifers

July 19th
Most of the 33 municipalities of the Marina Alta triple their populations during the summer - a period when drinking water reserves at at their lowest. This situation is made worse by the way the water resources are exploited and shared. The " Instituto Geológico Minero de España" reports that in this area, over-exploited aquifers co-exist with others which are clearly in surplus. e.g. the aquifers bordering the Pego Marshes. Benitatxell is investigating the possibility of using the submarine aquifer of the Cova del Moraig. In addition, there needs to be a better network to distribute the water efficiently. The irrigation farmers have bigger ideas - they are once more pushing for a large water transfer scheme to bring water form river basins in the North where water is abundant (e.g. the Ebro) to the south. Las Provincias - Un banco...

A municipal swimming pool for Xàbia ?

July 15th
Xàbia has been asking the Valencia Government for a municipal swimming pool for years, a project which was costed at some 5 million Euros in 2005. The project always seemed to end up on the back burner in PP controlled Valencia, but now, with a change in the Government there, Xàbia is trying once more. In line with current financial circumstances, the plan will be revised and downsized to focus on its role as a sporting facility. The new idea is to have a 25m eight lane training pool and a smaller one for childrens' classes and aerobics. There are also new laws covering this type of development which have to be addressed. In 2005, Valencia promised a pool if Xàbia built a trinquet court. The Town fulfilled its half of the bargain, but had no joy in relation to the pool. From La Marina Plaza.

Too many Tourists ?

July 15th
President of the Canary Islands Fernando Clavijo said in an interview with newspaper El Pais at the weekend that the popular vacation destination needed to protect its natural resources from being used up by tourists. "We have to define our model. It has to be with a cap of millions of tourists. We have to set a limit that is respectful of our environment and that does not deteriorate and end up killing our added value, which is nature, our space and the quality that we offer," Clavijo said. The Canary Islands have a population of 2.1 million people and received about 13 million visitors last year. Tourism makes up 30 percent of the islands’ GDP (gross domestic product). For full story see: The Local.es. At the same time Benidorm Town Council is considering putting a brake on "all inclusive" package deals in its hotels. They want to attract quality tourism. However the hotel industry has responded that Benidorm offers all kinds of products, and that the real problem is the letting of illegal tourist accomodation. (From Diarioinformación. A Barcelona survey shows that people feel tourists are a bigger problem than poverty (See The local.es Meanwhile UK package deal bookings for holidays in Spain are up 4% - fueled by the weak Euro, terrorist attacks in Tunisia and turmoil in Greece. Daily Mirror

Spain and Intel sign a digital agenda deal

July 15th
Spain's industry ministry has signed an agreement with Intel to work together on business-focused digital transformation projects, open innovation, smart cities and digital training. The partnership follows similar public-private agreements signed with companies such as Cisco, Banco Santander and Ericsson with a view to boosting Spain's digital economy….As part of the agreement, Intel will also take part in the 'Spain Open Future' acceleration programme promoted by Telefonica and ICT development agency Red.es. For full story see: Telecompaper

Table of Contents

Tourists swell Denia's population five fold in the summer

July 10th
Official figures from the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration show that in 2013, Denia's population of 42,871 (Padrón) rose to 200,784 in the summer. In the case of Xàbia the estimated summer population was 109,624 - up from the padrón figure of 32,357. See La Marina PLaza for chart and table.

Water supply cuts in Benitatxell and Teulada

Jalon, Lliber and Gata in dire straits.

July 10th
Since Xàbia's desalination plant is unable to supply Benitaxell and Teulada, these two municipalities have been obliged to impose water supply cuts lasting from 10.00pm until 1.00pm to restore water levels in the header tanks. Last night 2000 households were cut off, affected areas were Los Lagos and Polígono 4 (camí Pouet), urbanización Les Fonts, Los Molinos and Racó de Nadal. The cuts will rotate between different urbanisations each day, but will not affect the town. The Water Consortium for both towns stated: "due to the long period of drought that we have been suffering, the heatwave which promotes an higher water consumption than usual and since the municipal company Xabia (Amjasa) has interrupted the supply of water from the desalination plant,( the latter being usual and necessary contribution to our system), available resources are insufficient for full supply '. They are running a water conservation campaign to encourage a rational reduction in water use, antitled "Tu gota importa" - Your drop (of water) is important. They join the municipalities of Jalon, Lliber and Gata which have already run out of drinking water, and the situation in Gata is very precarious. From La Marina Plaza

Wildfires ravage Spain during record heatwave

July 10th
Forest blazes in Spain have ravaged more than 15,000 hectares this week as the country chokes in a record heatwave at the start of its wildfire season, officials said on Thursday. At least 10 major blazes have broken out around the country as temperatures reached record levels for July in at least four places. In the southern city of Granada temperatures topped 43C (109 degrees Fahrenheit) on Tuesday, a level never before reached there in July. In Zaragoza in the northeast, the state weather agency Aemet recorded a high of 44.5C that day (highest temperature since records there began in 1951) . For full story see : The local.es

300 applicants for AMJASA jobs

July 10th
The public enterprise Aguas, Amjasa, has collected nearly 300 applications from people interested in joining one of three areas of employment to cover possible vacancies. 127 have applied for administrative posts, 86 for meter readers and 80 plumbers. The company will review all applications to check that they meet the requirements and prepare a preliminary list which will be published on the website www.amjasa.com. Later, a panel will assess the merits and experience of all applicants and those who pass this screening will be interviewed (to evaluate the skills and attitude) and carry out practical exercises. This will give rise to a list from which the vacancies will be covered. From XAD: Casi 300...

Launching ramp in the Cala de la Granadella closed until October

July 10th
Xàbia Town Hall has decided to close the launching ramp in the Cala de la Granadella due to safety concerns after a notable increase in traffic wanting to use it. The closure will run from Friday 10th July until mid-October. There had been increase in vehicles with boat trailers who have been wanting to use the small ramp after the privatization of the Canal de la Fontana where a fee is now charged for the launching of boats. For full story see: Javeamigos

Desalination Plant already running at full blast

Water transfers to Teulada and Benitatxell suspended

July 8th
With rainfall remaining scarce and consumption increasing as high season kicks in, the municipal desalination plant has been forced to work at full capacity for the past few weeks, producing some 27,000 cubic meters of water a day. The first few days of July have already matched demand of last August which was the last and, until this summer, only time the plant has worked at full capacity. The situation has been made even more serious with levels at the Ocaive wells located near Pedreguer which complement the supply of drinking water in Xàbia also dropping to below minimum and forcing extraction to be stopped from two of them. For full story from Press Release see: Javeamigos

Police seek Xàbia arsonist

July 4th
Xàbia has experience five wild fires in two months. The latest being a fire on a plot near Camí Freginal which started at 1.00pm. The police are beginning to suspect that some of these fires are the work of an arsonist and are beginning an investigation. From XAD: El piromano...

Heatwave to continue until mid-July, say weather experts

July 3rd
As the country entered its second back-to-back heatwave on Friday, the National Meteorological Agency (AEMET) said that even though Spanish summers are always hot, recently recorded temperatures are “atypical and significantly above the maximum average for these months of the year.”….This time the cause is a body of hot air coming in from the African desert that is affecting Spain, France and Britain. Maximum average temperatures for late June and early July are in the 30ºC range, whereas this year it is 40ºC. For full story see: El Pais in English

Chulvi re-appointed as Marina Alta rep on Alicante Diputación

July 2nd
Mayor José Chulvi of Xàbia is once more the PSPV representative for the Marina Alta region in the Diputacióbn de Alicante. He led his party to the election of 14 councillors in Xàbia and has shown a talent to liaise with other political groups enabling them to join in the responsibilities of government. As promised he will forego his 50,000 mayorial salary, taking only the salary as member of the Diputación. (See below). From Las Provincias.

Xàbia announces councillor jobs and wage packets

July 2nd
Yesterday's special council meeting finalised the new administration's jobs and pay packets. The salaries were frozen from the previous administration. In addition to the Mayor, there are four full time councillors (two in the last administration) seven part time councillors (five in the last administration), and three who have delegations but no salary, but stipends for attending meetings and commissions as do the opposition councillors. Although the number of jobs for council members had increased from 11 to 16, the wage bill had increased by only €20,000 per year. The number of political civil service appointments had been reduced to seven (maximum 12 in the previous administration). The total cost of salaries for councillors and political employees will be €688,000. From XAD: Xabia constitue.... For breakdown of jobs and salaries see: Xàbia Council 2015

Watch out for consequences of new public security law

July 1st
Controversial new public security legislation is now in effect, introducing fines of between €100 and €600,000. The Local.es lists what it considers to be the 10 most repressive clauses. Parents of teenagers should note: "The Spanish tradition of getting together with mates for outdoor drinking sessions looks to be officially over – drinking in public will be hit with fines of €600 under the new law. And teenagers won’t escape – Parents will be held responsible for the payment of their offsprings' fines." …also, be sure not to take a picture of a policemen (or woman), or to leave old furniture or cars in the street. For more see: The Local.es

Mayor Chulvi stands for position in the Diputacíon de Alicante once more

July 1st
Xàbia's Mayor José Chulvi has once more stood for election to to represent the Socialist PSPV party in the Marina Alta. This time he has three rivals in the election. If elected he said he would opt not to take his salary as Xàbia Mayor, but to spend that money for social purposes and programs of training and employment as he did in the last administration. From: Las Provincias

Xabia Democrática and Ciudadados por Jávea split

July 1st
The unsuccessful election coalition between Xàbia Democrática and Ciudadanos por Jávea has split up. Apparently there had already been frictions and the two CPJ councillors have pledged support for the new, Socialist administration. CPJ councillor Tere Bisquert has been given responsibilities in the new council. From: Las Provincias. One practical consequence of the split is that neither XD nor CJP will have any formal standing on the Council as political parties, and will loose out on having a group secretary paid for by the council, a seat on AMJASA and political visibility. The councillors will instead sit as: "Ediles No Adscritos" - unaffiliated councillors. From : XAD

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