March 2009 News Headlines
Table of Contents

Tourism unlikely to recover soon

March 29th
Spain’s tourism industry may not recover until next year and cutting prices alone will not attract visitors to the country’s resorts and cities, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (WTO). From El Pais - See Tourism recovery

Repeat of October 2007 floods more likely because of climate change

March 27th
The Marina Alta is a special climatic region characterised by record rainfall over short time periods.( Xàbia hold the national record of 878litres/m2 registered during the 1957 floods.) This is because of a combination of factors: the characteristics of the humid winds, the alignment of the mountains and the warmth of the sea. Experts from the Climatology laboratory of the University of Alicante consider this to be a "chronic problem". They predict that climate change will enhance extreme conditions and that periods of flooding will occur with increased frequency. From Levante print edition. For more see: Flood Plains - Where the river always reclaims its property

Regulations on Flood risk assessment to be tightened up

March 27th
The Valencia Government has admitted that the existing regulations governing flood risk assessment has not prevented building on areas prone to flooding. The regulations are now being revised and will be finalised in 2010. They will include more risk areas and be more strict about compliance. (From Levante print edition). For more about the law and the situation in the Comunidad Valenciana see: Flood Plains - Where the river always reclaims its property See also information about Xàbia's flood prone area near Arenal: The Saladar

International Festival Flea market - Sunday 29th March

March 27th
The organisers of the International Festival are running a Rastro (flea market) at Mesquides on Sunday March 29th, to raise money for the summer festival. Stall holders will be asked to pay 10 Euros (from Press Release). (Editor's note: last time they organised one of these…it rained. The weather forecast for this Sunday is…heavy rain!)

National Government transfers money for four Xàbia projects

March 27th
The Ministry of public administration has transferred money for the following infrastructure projects: Relocation and reconstruction of Arnauda Riu Riau: 62,918; Expansion of the Barraca sewerage works: 63,000; Reurbanisation of Calle Roques: 68,528 and creation of a public park on the Avenida Palmela: 95,225 (From Levante print edition)

Xàbia 2008 budget overspent by almost 12 million Euros

March 27th
Xabia's budget for 2008 was set (rather late in the year) at around 35 million Euros, but actual expenditure exceeded 46 million. The sum which had been earmarked for fiestas was 631,816 euros, while the actual cost was almost double at 1,179,563 Euros (From Levante print edition)

The architectural hangover after an entire nation got drunk on cement

March 27th
Over-development of Spain’s beaches has seen them lose their appeal for tourists. See Architectural hangover for article in English from El Pais.

EU funds to Spain threatened by urbanisation abuses

March 26th
Extensive urbanisation practices in Spain are criticised in a report adopted by the European Parliament, which suggests interrupting EU aid for the country until the problem is solved. MEPs adopted the report with 349 votes in favour, 110 against and 114 abstentions. See EU Press release and article from El Pais International edition: EU Parliament slams real estate corruption for more in English.

Xàbia Town Hall to try another solution to locate the Thursday Market

26 March
The town hall is trying to figure out how to position 26 market stalls near the placeta del Convent and plaza de la Constitución and thus avoid using the Church square as a location for part of the Thursday market. They will meet with the market traders again on Monday 30th March. (From press release)

Primer on plans to link Xàbia urbanisations to mains Sewerage

March 26th
Following an EU directive, all households in Xàbia will eventually have to be connected to mains sewerage. As a primer to this up-coming process the Town Hall has organised a preliminary workshop entitled: "The sustainability of the water cycle". This will take place on Thursday April 2nd at 7.30pm in the Casa de Cultura. There will be three lectures presented by directors of the international water development company Acciona agua: "Sustainabile deslatination" "Sustainable water use" and "Collection of used water through sewerage networks" .The meeting will end at 9.15 pm with Vino español. (From press release)

Earth hour on Saturday 28th March

March 25th
Valencia has revealed that the City will join in Earth Hour this coming Saturday, by turning off the lighting of some thirteen monuments in an effort to combat climate change. The monuments that will go dark for an hour between 8:30 and 9:30 are: The Town Hall, the Silk Exchange, The Torres of Quart, the Torres of Serrano. the Almudin, the Central Market, the Colón Market, the Atarazanas, the Palau de Cervelló, the Palau de la Música and the Palau de la Exposición. Other cities taking part in the initiative organized by the WWF include London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Sydney, Los Angeles, Beijing and Barcelona. Thus far 2,712 cities in 83 countries have agreed to join the project (from Valencia life)

Technical conference on flood prevention of the Rio Girona

March 25th
In October 2007 heavy rains in the Marinal Alta caused the Rio Girona to flood disastrously. A technical conference is today being held in Els Poblets to look at the problems of the 38 km of river catchment and how such flooding could be avoided in the future. It is hoped that all the municipalities through which the river flows will sign a charter to share responsibility in taking necessary preventive and maintenance measures. (There is no mention of the Rio Xalo/ Gorgos which passes through Xàbia) from Las Provincias: Ayuntamientos y colectivos...

Possibility of additional improvements to the Arenal promenade

March 25th
The Town hall is seeking other sources of funding for the canalisation of the Frechinal barranco and Social centre in the Port, releasing some of the 6 million Euros infrastructure grant from the Valencia Government for other projects. Among these could be improving the street lights and benches on the Arenal, in addition to the already agreed paving of the promenade. Other ideas are to sort out Montañar I which is full of pot holes, and open up the section of the Avenida Augusta which had been sealed off by the developer, so that the whole thing can be dual carriageway. From Las provincias Los Fondos Camps....

From today all outpatients to be at New Hospital

March 25th
As of March 25th all outpatients services will be at the new regional Hospital near la Xàra. The hospital has also employed an additional full time cardiologist and two part-time hear doctors who will work afternoons to help clear the backlog in this speciality . The only service yet to be moved is the haemodialasis unit which will move on March 30th . La Pederera will be refurbished as a centre for critically and chronically ill patients over the next three months. From Las Provincias: Los medicos pasan...

Microcredit to fight the crisis

March 23rd
The Consortium for the Recovery and Economic Activity of the Marina Alta (CREAMA), CAM bank and Obra Social de la Caixa have set up a system to make micro-credit available to businesses and individuals. The programme is aimed at people who find difficulty in getting funding from other sources, i.e. those aged over 45, immigrants, women, the disabled, long-term unemployed and lone parents. For more information contact any of the above agencies (From XAD: La Marina Alta facilita....)

Tourism down over the San José holiday

March 20th
Initial reports indicate that hotel and camping occupation in Xàbia was down by some 60% over the Fallas long weekend holiday.
From Las provincias: La ocupación...

Xàbia's "Living Chess" closer to becoming a Fiesta of International Tourism

March 20th
Xàbia Town Hall has applied to the Valencia Tourism board to classify Xàbia's "El Ajedrez Viviente" or Living Chess spectacle as a Fiesta of International Tourism. (It has been of "National Tourist Interest" since 2002). This is a play performed by schoolchildren in the form of a giant chess game. It takes place in the Port every July, and has developed as a popular tourist attraction. JK Rowling personally gave the rights to use music, the brand and image of Harry Potter in the 2006 presentation. From XAD . Al Aldredez vivente

European Parliament comes to Town

March 18th
From Monday 23rd until Wednesday 25th March Xàbia will be host to an EU project entitled: "The European Parliament meets the people in their towns" A marquee will be set up in the Town Hall square where people can get information about the EU and its remit, and contact the EU parliament via the Internet. The facility will be open between11.00am and 5.00pm. There will be two project representatives to provide assitance in English as well as Spanish, and give access to a blog where people can ask questions and send their suggestions to the EU parliament. All queries and comments by the public will be reflected in a video that will be broadcast on the network and European TV channels. The exercise will be repeated in nine other municipalities in Alicante Province and in Alicante City and the University of Alicante. The final result will be displayed at OAMI in a closing ceremony on May 9th celebrating Europe day. (From Press release - March 18th)

Town hall launches a second Castellano course for expats

March 16th
A second Castellano beginners' course has just started for 25 students. This has been organised by Xàbia Town Hall together with the Unidad de Residentes Europeos de la Diputación de Alicante. The course will continue until May. They hope to organise a more advanced course at some stage, which will “permita el perfeccionamiento del idioma” (From press release)

"Resident" cards offered to residents of the Placeta del Convent

The town hall has suggested offering "Resident" cards for householders and businesses affected by the pedestrianisation of the Placeta del Convent (Old Man's Roundabout). This will give them a remote to control the bollards, so that they can park, load and unload in the square for short periods at night. The people have reservations about this idea and expressed the view that the major unresolved problem is the excessive pricing of underground parking. From Las provincias Xàbia ofrece tarjetas....

Places for 16 disabled employees with new Denia Hospital

March 15th
The new Denia hospital has employed 16 disabled people at its new call centre. This is through collaboration with the Integralia Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting social integration and employment of disabled persons. It has specialized in call centres for health for nine years. From las Provincias El nuevo hospital...

Street Traders threaten strike over moving Xàbia Thursday Market.

Friday 13th March
The Town hall has informed the street traders that Xàbia's Thursday Market will be moved and split into three sections: The Plaza de la Constitución (on top of the upper car cark), La Placeta del Convent (Old Man's Roundabout) and the Church square. The Street Traders sent the letter back in a gesture of protest. They say that having stalls in the church square will create unsafe congestion (no access for emergency services on market day), and inconvenience for people who live around there. The new paving will be stained etc. They have offered alternatives: Stay where they are or, if the market must be split, Food and plants in the Plaza de la Constitución and textiles etc. at the current location or Ausias March (near the Port). A petition has collected a thousand signatures. Demonstrations are scheduled for Thursday March 25, and 2 and 9th April. (Note: next week's market is on Wednesday 18th March due to Fiesta.) (Sources Levante, El Mercadillo... las Provincias and XAD

Greening of Spanish court decisions

March 12th
Is the Spanish justice system taking on a green tinge? A string of rulings have backed environmentalists’ arguments and found public authorities guilty of breaching their own wildlife protection rules. See an article from El Pais (International edition) March 12th 2009. Greening of court decisions

Regional Conferences on Hotels in the Crisis and Drug Addiction

March 12th
Xàbia is host to two conferences. The first on the Hotel Industry in the economic crisis took place in the Rodat hotel on March 9th and 10th. The second on detecting drug addiction in the home will be held March 12th in the Casa de Cultura at 8.00 pm This is organised by the Asociación Comarcal Marina Alta de Ayuda al Drogodependiente, (Acomaad), and the Xàbia Department of Social Services.

Xàbia Town hall to study improving the Arenal

March 11th
Xàbia will be receiving some six million Euros from the Municipal investment plan of the Valencia Government. The mayor announced that they would be looking at financing improving the promenade at the Arenal, dealing with the Frechinal gorge, and building a Social Centre in the Port. These ideas have yet to be formalised by the Council. From Las Provincias: Xàbia estudia...

New Notary for Xàbia

March 7th
The General Council of Notaries had created a second Notary position in Xàbia on account of its population. The new notary is Juan Luis Millet Sancho who has opened an office in the Arenal Centro Comercial. Working with him are: Carlos Jarque, Natalia Jiménez and Nathalie Lebunetel who will assist in the provision of services in different languages. From XAD Una nueva Notaria...

New Solar Thermal Power Plants in Spain

Grupo Ibereolica has signed an agreement with Inveravante, which has taken a 50% stake in two solar photovoltaic project companies from Grupo Ibereolica for the construction and operation of two concentrating solar power plants in Seville and Badajoz cities of Spain. See Solar Thermal Power Plants for more.

New General Plan (PGOU) still overdue

March 10th 2008
The New General Plan (PGOU) is still overdue. The last one was draw up in 1990. Licenses for construction and demolition have been suspended since December 2005. Because of the danger of this suspension expiring, the Conselleria was asked for a partial suspension of the current (1990) PGOU. This came into force in January 2007. Thus it has been a total of three years two months since construction in Xàbia has been restricted to certain pockets of land which are in already urbanised areas. The guideline for the PGOU, the "Concierto Previo" has yet to be published. It seems that an essential reference document and statement of environmental sustainability are not to hand. For more See: General Plan. Source XAD.

Big Developers Slump

March 9th - Spanish Property News Via Abusos
The G-14 is a lobby group made up of Spain's biggest developers, and in the 2 months over December and January they didn't start one single home between them, reports the Spanish daily El Pais. For more see Big Developers Slump

Fifteen young folk trained as landscape gardeners

March 7th
Fifteen young people passed the CREAMA training course on gardening held in Xàbia recently and can now enter the labour market. As of now they will reinforce the workforce of the town's Parks and Gardens unit.
(From Las Provincias)

Seven more infrastructure projects provisionally awarded

March 7th
Xabia Town Hall has provisionally awarded seven more infrastructure projects from the State "anti-crisis" funding. For more see infrastructure works

Course on Organic Farming in Benissa

March 6th
This course will be held between March 4th and April 8th and will be free. Benjamín Ortolà, owner of "La Tenda de la Terra" in Benissa. The places are limited to a maximum of 20. The theoretical part of the classes will be held in the Aula de Participación Ciudadana in the Casal d'Associacions on Wednesdays from 19 to 21hr and the practicals will be carried out on Saturday mornings in the countryside. From Las Provincias: El Ayuntamiento ofrece....

Bus gets stuck going round Xàbia Old Town

March 6th
The newly reinstated bus service to the Old Town has already run into trouble. According to local reports on Monday the bus got stuck in front of the Post Office, holding up the traffic and this was repeated on Tuesday. People complain that the newly laid-out road is too narrow for large vehicles. From Las Provincias: El autobús sufre....

Staff at the new Denia Hospital down in the dumps

March 5th
Staff at the new regional hospital at La Xara feel impotent because they are unable to care adequately for patients in the face of deficiencies at the Centre and shortage of staff. See XAD El personal del hospital... for more in castellano.

…. and a national shortfall of doctors reported

Meantime El Pais reports (in English) that the whole country is facing a shortfall of doctors.

Pay-as-U-Go mobiles must be registered

All owners of Spanish Pay-as-U-go mobile phones must register their personal details with their phone service provider before November. Click here for more

New Town Hall Offices in Portal del Clot opened


March 4th
The departments of Town Projects, Infrastructure, Services and the Environment will be functioning from the new offices above the Portal del Clot car park as of this week. Opening times: Monday to Friday 9.00am to 2.00pm. (From Press Release)

International Regatta to be held in Xàbia from March 15th

March 3rd
The Sir Thomas Lipton Match Race, a sailing tournament of national and international stature will be held in Xàbia between 11th and 15th of March. (See the International Sailing Federation website. Crews from Russia, Portugal, Slovenia, Mónaco and Spain will be participating. In all there will be ten teams fighting it out in pairs. Crews will vying for position to disadvantage their opponents since there can be only one winner. The races are only 20 minutes long and close to the shore and a marquee will be set up on la Grava beach from which people can follow the action. Only three clubs in Spain are able to host this type of event (From Press release)

Rubbish collection service to pick up carton from the Old Town

March 3rd
In a move to improve recycling the Town Hall has organised a pick-up service for used cartons from Old Town businesses. This supplements the new Green recycling points and automated underground rubbish bins.
From : XAD Xàbia recoge...

Old Town Residents seek agreement on underground car parks

March 1st
Pere Sapena, representative of the Neighbourhood Association of the Old Town said that the underground car parks, particularly Portal del Clot, remain empty while each month the Town Hall has to pay the company to meet a minimum quota. Sapena thought it unbelievable that the Town Council continues to pay monthly for 100 empty parking spaces after putting 18 million euros into the car parks. The association appeals to common sense and has organised a campaign to fill the parking lots. They have a list of 200 applicants to rent a parking spot if they are offered a fair rate. As of now it costs 1000 Euros to have have a car in the public car park for one year . From Las Provincias: El comercio del Centro....

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