June 2014 News Headlines

Forest fires 'could be thwarted 20 years before they break out', says WWF


June 27th
Forest fires could be prevented 20 years ahead of their happening if the government would invest sufficient funds, says Spain's branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Effectively, a fire which breaks out this summer could have been avoided with proper planning in 1994, the leading environmental charity claims. Every year, an average of 15,600 wildfires break out – mostly in summer – of which 28 are raging infernos wiping out massive areas of land and threatening the safety of property and people. For full story see: ThinkSpain

Call to form a human chain against oil prospecting project


June 27th
This Saturday June 28th at 6.00pm everyone is invited to come to the Arenal beach in Xàbia to form a human chain as a protest against oil propecting in the Mediterranean.
People are asked to wear black and paint their hands black. The slogan is "Nos sobra la energía" ("We have plenty of energy"). Once the chain is formed, a manifesto against oil exploration and for renewables will be read. This is part of the Xàbia Diu No campaign coordinated by the Town Hall to reject oil prospecting in defense of the environment, tourism and fishing industry. (From Press Release)
(Ed's note: Between 50 and 100 people finally turned up to amuse bemused tourists on the beach. We didn't stay for the group photo !)


Altea octopus catchers set their nets for tourists

June 27th
Rebeca Velasco, is a marine biologist (cum tour guide) who runs a new sustainable tourism project in Altea (Alicante) along with her partner Daniel Gilabert. In a pioneering venture for the area, they have partnered with local fishermen who still use traditional techniques to showcase their artisan work. Working out of small boats near the coast, the fishermen catch octopus with cadufos, traps spaced out along an underwater line. They also use the trasmallo, a three-net combination used to capture bottom-dwelling fish and crustaceans. “Right now there are just six traditional fishing boats in operation here,” notes Velasco, whose up-close-and-personal fishing tour is promoted by local authorities through the local tourism office. For full story see: El Pais in English

Supreme Court rules in favour of oil prospecting off Canary Islands

June 25th
Oil prospecting may be conducted in the Canary Islands after all. The Supreme Court has rejected seven appeals filed by island authorities, green groups and leftist parties against a 2012 decree authorizing hydrocarbon exploration in the waters off the archipelago. The project has been clearing hurdles since 2001, when a royal decree granted the oil giant Repsol exploration rights for six years. The Supreme Court canceled the license, however, because it lacked the necessary environmental permissions. In 2012, the conservative government of the Popular Party decided that Repsol had resolved any existing deficiencies and it issued the exploration license again in a new decree. The company may now drill three wells up to 5,000 meters deep around 60 kilometers from the coastline. For full story see: El País in English

Tourism up over first 5 months

June 24th
The Comunidad Valenciana saw an increas of 7% in tourism in the first five months of 2015, with a total of more than 2 million tourists. Germans and Belgians were the main cause of the increase. UK visitors saw a jump pf 5.1% over the previous year. From :El periodic.com

Fast Food chains open at the Arenal

June 24th
Two major fast food chains are opening eateries at the Arenal, both on the Avda de Libertad. "Lizarrán", the pinchos and montaditos chain will be opening up near perfumeria Marsal, and "Subway" - the sandwich and salad bar will open premises in the Ecisa block - near the Moragues Pons office and the Mara souvenir shop. These last two will join the french bakery and coffee shop - "La baguette de France". From XAD: Subway y Lizarrán...

€55,000 up in flames

June 22nd
The two papier mache statues Xàbia's version of Valencia's "fallas" - the Fogueras - will cost €55,000 - : Large: 42,000 euros , (39,000 euros + 3,900 IVA ) Small: : 12,100 euros, 11,000 euros + 1,100 IVA). The contract went out without tender to a well-known foguera artist: José Sanchís Izquierdo, and the cost has met with some criticism in these days of austerity. From XAD Xàbia gastara...

Spanish families prioritizing education and health over entertainment

June 22nd
If there is any reliable indicator that the budding economic recovery has yet to be felt by Spanish households, it would probably be the amount parents allocate for their children’s allowances. A survey of 2013 family budgets released on Tuesday by the National Statistics Institute shows that weekly allowances fell an average 21 percent last year, for an accumulated drop of over 50 percent since 2006…Statistics show that the hotel and restaurant industries are continuing to do well despite the domestic drop in spending, thanks to foreign receipts. According to Industry Ministry figures, foreign tourists spent a record €14.9 billion between January and April of this year, a 11.2% rise from the same period in 2013. For full story see: El Pais in English

Port project to start after the summer

June 22nd
The long-awaited project to re-arrange parking along Avda Jaime I and extend pavements in the Port will now begin after the summer. The contract for the works was awarded in January, to have begun after Easter. But because of several changes to the contract before the works began, the Town hall was forced by law to cancel and re-award it. From XAD: El derribo.. (Eds note: The project was one of the 2013 Citizen Participatory budget projects.)

First step to link Montanyar with Calle Genoa


June 22nd
The abandoned Villa Sarita on the Montanar sea front will be demolished over the coming weeks to make way for a road to link the coast road with Calle Génova. Before demolition, Xàbia's archaeologist will carry out a survey to document the house and the tosca stome arches will be conserved. The cost to the municipal coffers of purchasing the house and its land was some €500,000, while demolition will cost 50,000. The resulting dirt road will enable temporary access, at least for pedestrians over the summer, and after the season a further €200,000 will be spent to build a proper asphalt road with pavements etc. Residents have also asked if it is possible to open pedestrian access to the sea accross a bank-owned building plot near Calle Naples. From XAD: El derribo....

Moves to supply desalination plant water to the south of the region

June 18th
Xàbia's Mayor Chulvi and CEO of Amjasa have held a meeting with the mayors of Benitachell, Teulada, Benissa and Calpe to look into developing a common network infrstructure of pipes and tanks so that water for Xàbia's desalination plant can be used by towns in the south of the region. Currenty, Xàbia already supplies Benitatxell, Teulada and Gata and the Denia network is only 400m away. The problem is connections with Benissa and Calpe. There is enough capacity in the plant, the problem is distribution. From XAD: Xàbia ofrece....

Fires have destroyed twice as much forest as last year

June 17th
Forest fires in the Comunidad Valenciana had destroyed 1003 hectares over the first five months of the year, almost double the area over the same period last year (524ha). The reasons are complex, but the amount of inflammable brush and dry conditions are most important, combined with abandoned agricultural land, bad management, carelessness and out of control agricultural fires. From Las Provincias: Los incendios... In related stories, Xàbia saw temperatures of 34.9 degrees at the Pont del Llavador on June 13th. Maxima de.. and biologists have warned that heat stressed pines are suffering from the attack of fungal diseases like Sirococcus conigenus. (Levante...

Move to Portal del Clot offices over the coming months

June 18th
Xàbia Town Hall will be moving some of its departments to the new, and long empty offices at the Portal del Clot over the coming months. These include the local police and Technical Office, Urban planning and works, Creama and Afic. Municipal archives weill be in the basement (800m2) with a shooting range for the police. The furbishment and furnishing of the building will cost some €3million, since currently it is just a shell. This 6 month contract will soon go out to tender. The project will be financed from the underspend on a low cost loan which the Town had received from the Ministry of Industry for works on the Freginal barranquet. Return of the unspent portion of the loan would have meant a penalty of €600,000, so the money might as well be made use of, and there is a deadline which it has to be spent by. In a related move, the Justice of the Peace will move into the Santa Anna Chapel (thus saving some 10,000 on the rent of the current offices) with the Social Services. From XAD: Xàbia se... and Las Provincias Xàbia trasladará...

Alicante to fix surface of Denia / Xabia road and build Cansalades storm drains

June 10th
The Diputacion de Alicante has revealed its investment plans for the Marina Alta region. These include improving the surface of the Denia/Xabia road (via la Xara) for €337,000 and nuilding storm drains for the travesis de Cansalades (€145,590) From XAD: La diputación...

Amjasa services 400 water hydrants

June 16th
AMJASA is inspecting the almost 400 fire hydrants around Xàbia to ensure that they are fully operational. Last September, Civil Protection prepared an App which pinpoints their locations so that emergency services can find the closest hydrants using GPS. Using this database, AMJASA has been repairing or replacing damaged hydrants some of which had been decommissioned. In addition AMJASA has supplied a tablet to the Civil Defence volunteers to enable them to access this App. A few months ago AMJASA donated a new pump to the volunteer fire-fighters. From Jose Chulvi Facebook and XAD: Amjasa...

One step closer for some long-standing Xàbia projects

June 10th
Xàbia Town Council has agreed to unblock the implementation of some long-standing projects, the completion of which will amount to some million Euros. 1. An extension of calle Vicenza, allowing a new connection between the coastal road along the Montañar (Arenal to the Port) and Avenida Augusta. This has required the purchase and demolition of an old house which was blocking the development. (€228,500) 2. Creation of a new public space in the Port - in the empty plot near Bar Clavo (old Guardia Civil building) (€120,000 - 2013 Participatory Budget proposal) 3. Taking responisbility for finishing off the Via Augusta between Calle Venecia and the school (€700,000 - 2013 Participatory Budget proposal). Works will begin after the summer. In addition a new zebra crossing will be made across the Cabo de la Nao / Pla "super highway" - at the roundabout which has a turn off to the Avenida Augusta and Canal de la Fontana. Ed's note: Currently you can only cross safely on foot or bike, by going under the road through the Canal de la Fontana storm drain, which doubles as an underpass for very short people ! From Press Release. and Las Provincias: Xàbia aprueba....

Mural by renowned artist rescued for Xàbia

June 5th
The López-Criado clothes shop in Valencia is moving premises, and has arranged for a mural, eleven metres long, to be rescued from the shop wall which it has graced for the past 60 years. The mural, painted on three cotton canvases by Xabia artist, Juan Bautista Segarra, depicts a hunting scene with four riders and dogs chasing a deer. Segarra was a follower of Swiss artist, André Lambert (resident of Xàbia - whose paintings will feature in a large exhibition in Xàbia this summer). Seven technicians from the Valencia Institute of conservation and restoration will carry out the work to protect the painting and remove it from the wall. It will then be restored at the Institute before being brought to Xàbia. From Las Provincias: - Rescatan..

Jesús Pobre publishes a guide to rural architecture

June 5th
The guide is a move to promote out of season cultural tourism in Dénia and gives a map and information on three farmsteads in the municipality, the riuraus, 19C houses, windmills etc. It links with the Marina Alta "Route of the Riuraus" - prepared by 12 municipalities in the region, and which does not include Dénia or Jesus Pobre. From Las Provincias. Jesus Pobre... See also: http://rutadelsriuraus.es/

World Environment Day today !

June 5th
"World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries. It also serves as the ‘people’s day’ for doing something positive for the environment, galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet." http://www.unep.org/wed/ Ed's note: Not sure many people noticed !)

Funding for Denia Castle projects

June 5th
The ministry of Finance has approved funding for two projects to improved Denia castle (under the "Plan Confianza" programme). Specifically, the projects authorized by the Generalitat Valenciana are the redevelopment of access to the castle down Sant Francesc street (367,731 euros), and improvements to the castle in terms of lighting, placement of new signage and removing pine trees (400,000 euros). From Las Provincias...

Xàbia courts social media experts to promote tourism

June 5th
Leading influences in the travel sector will be invited to Jávea for a special conference through which it is hoped that they will recommend the town as a place to spend a holiday through their blogs and other social networks. Councillor Antonio Miragall (Tourism), whose department has been advised by social media consultant Mario Schumacher, explained that the initiative (called "funtrip") will take place between June 20th and 24th which will allow the invited professionals not only to discover Jávea and all its possibilities but also to experience the fiesta of Sant Joan and the magical 'Nits dels Focs'. For full story see: Jáveamigos

Xàbia takes the Oil exploration issue to the senate

June 5th
Two months ago the mayors of the Marina Alta asked for a meeting with the Valencia Government to address the issue of planned oil exploration in the Gulf of Valencia. Since nothing has been forthcoming in that direction, Mayor Chulvi took advantange of a trip to Madrid (where he was attending the Spanish Federation of municipalities and Provinces) to bring the case to the National Senate via Socialist senators. Apparently the Senate intends to repeat the debate on the issue, this time with the presence of representatives of the communities affected. This complements action initaited with the European Parliament and Chulvi has pledged to keep fighting to the last minute to prevent the exploration project to go ahead, including an appeal to the courts. (Eds note: The issue becomes more pressing with the Government's recent approval of oil exploration off the Canaries - see below) From Las Provincias: Xàbia traslada...

20th "Green" rubbish collection point opened

June 2nd
A new "Green" rubbish collection site for disposal of sorted waste has been opened in the Saladar area of Xàbia. This is the 20th such site in the town having separate containers for organic waste, glass, plastic, paper and cardboard, plus cooking oil, garden prunings and leaves, and clothing and footwear. The cost of setting up the site was some €30,000 and it will serve Toscal and Tossalet. From XAD: El Ayuntamiento...

Amjasa makes €956,622 profit

Amjasa ended 2013 with a profit of €956,622, over a year where it renewed some 3000m of mains water pipes. For list of income and expenditure see: Amjasa 2013 accounts. Water rates had not been raised, and the company had also contributed to social programmes such as food banks.

Repsol wins govt approval for $10bn Canary Islands drilling

June 2nd
Repsol won government approval to start a $10bn oil drilling project off Spain’s Canary Islands, signalling success in its 12-year campaign to start exploration near the Atlantic archipelago. Spain’s environment ministry cleared the plan with conditions, Deputy Minister Federico Ramos said in a briefing on Thursday. The decision follows a reconfirmation in 2012 of an exploration licence first awarded in 2001 and later tied up in court battles. Several hurdles remain for Repsol. The Supreme Court is set to rule June 10 on a challenge to its exploration permit. Central to the review was whether there are enough safeguards to stop an oil spill. That’s of heightened concern after the Macondo disaster in the US Gulf of Mexico The volcanic islands’ beaches, nature reserves and clear waters off Africa make them a top draw for tourists to Spain, the world’s most-visited nation after the US and France. The ministry said it’s demanding the most sophisticated safeguards available. For full story see: Gulf Times

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