May 2009 News Headlines
Table of Contents

European Elections

May 31st
These will take place on Sunday June 7th. If you are on the electoral register in Spain, you have a right to vote. If you have not received the official notification, but are on the register, it is worth turning up at the polling station (for most Xàbia expats this is the school on Avenida Augusta) with identification to exercise your right. For more details about the parties and candidates see European Elections For more background information from the EU see: June 2009 elections

Government boosts credit line for tourist industry

May 30th , 2009
Spain expects overseas arrivals to fall this summer. The Spanish government on Frday approved an extension of a soft credit line for the key tourist industry as it predicted a double- digit fall in visitors this summer due to the sharp economic downturn in Spain’s main markets. Deputy Prime Minister María Teresa Fernández de la Vega said the sector would be provided with a further €600 million in funding. She said the €400 million already disbursed on more than 1,000 projects, including improvements to tourist facilities, had generated 15,000 jobs. For more see:Credit for Tourism

Getting serious about sustainable Urban Mobility

May 29th
There will be a briefing about tackling Xàbia's Urban mobility and transport problems on Tuesday 2nd June at 8.00pm in the Casa de Cultura. The Town hall has obtained a grant of 34,200 Euros from the Valencian Energy Agency and has provisionally contracted the Consulting firm IDOM (which is helping to draft the General Plan) to carry out a diagnosis of the current problems. This meeting will describe the methodology to be used. This will include traffic volume surveys, survey's of residents' views and data from the Agenda21 Accident Black Spot survey. The grant covers half the planned pudget and next year an additional grant will be required to launch a campaign to promote cycling as a means of transport.
From Press Release.

Agenda21 forum agrees four projects for Citizen's Participatory fund

May 27th
At a meeting on May 26th members of the Agenda21 forum agreed that the Citizen's Participatory fund should support four projects: 1. Jute Bag project , proposed by the Environment Group; (See: Project Powerpoint presentation for more in Castellano and English) 2. Develop the idea of cycling as a form of sustainable transport by looking into the idea of a Bike sharing system, as in Barcelona (Tourism group). 3. Running a Photographic competition to enhance Javea's image as a tourist destination and to point out its natural beauty (Tourism group) 4. Tidy up and improve the Javea Park area (our "Bronx") for the young, through participatory activities (individual initiative) See: Agenda21 Groups Wiki for more in Castellano and English.

Fishermen's Port area of Xàbia should be protected says Ministry of Culture.

May 27th
The Valencia Ministry of Culture has asked for protection of the "barrio marinera" - the port area associated with the fishing industry. They would like to declare the "Casas de Pòsit" as local heritage buildings and get them catalogued in the "Bienes y Espacios protegidos de la Comunitat Valenciana". These 12 dwellings of one or two storeys cost a total of 245,000 pesetas when they were built and were awarded to their owners by the Cofradia de Pescadores (Fishermen's Association) in October 1945. The Ministry would also like to see the 12 storey "Torre del Puerto" demolished if possible, since it spoils the aspect of the port area. They also recommend that the site chosen by the Town Hall to be a Social Centre should instead become a garden. From Levante print edition

Paving dug up around the Church again

May 27th
The Granite paving around the San Bartolomé Church is being dug up and replaced by other paving of a lighter colour. Apparently, inferior paving was laid there in the hurry to get the works completed in time to receive the EU grant.
From Levante Print Edition

River-side Residents have to pay for Wall

May 22nd
Residents of the Pou del Moro (along the river bank not far from the Port) have had un unpleasant surprise. They will collectively have to pay 500,000 Euros for the construction of a flood prevention wall along the river bank. At the time the building permit was given, the Town Hall omitted to include a requirement to build such a wall. Now, there is no option except to get the money off the developer or owners. Other options such as including the wall in another project, or finding Government funds have not been successful. All this on top of the fact that these residences still haven't received habitation permits, have no public lighting or rubbish collection, and have the prospect of paying arrears on rates once everything is sorted. This problem has bothered the town hall for some time since several of the current and past Councillors were involved as developers. From XAD: Los vecinos de Pou del Moro....

Renewable energies are the key to the future of the Euromediterranean area

May 17th
"We must guarantee the flow of stable and sustainable energies. We now know that energy resources are limited and that we have to think of the future". With these words, the European Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, synthesized the conclusions of the intense work sessions carried out during the "II Euro-Mediterranean Encounter: Energy supplies and regional development: a necessary debate" that was held in Jávea recently. For more (In English) see:
Renewable energies...

Xabia school asks for pipe renovation to save water

May 24th
The Xàbia college of Trenc d'Alba, carries out environmental projects and teaches its students to be consciencious about the importance of conserving water. However, since 2007, its bimonthly bills for water consumption have varied between 1,800 and 2,500 Euros….even consuming 2000 Euros when the school is closed! The average for other similar institutions is 200 Euros. The school has old iron pipes installed 25 years ago, and subject to rustiing. The parents have sent a letter to the Town hall demanding action, but there is controversy as to who, or what body, should be responsible to pay for repairs. From Las Provincias: Un colegio de Xàbia....

Local businesses start work on State funded projects

May 24th
The first infrastructure projects are beginning or are already underway and will provide about sixty jobs. Monday will see works in the La Coma area, Calle Roques from the junction with Sor Maria Gallart and Calle L'Escoda (Eastern edge of Old Town) In all there will be 31 separate projects, all bar one being awarded to Xàbia companies. (From XAD and Las Provincias:Las Obras del barrio.. ) Note: In an earlier article, Levante noted that Xàbia had used its 5.3 million Euros on 31 small projects creating a total of 184 jobs, while Denia with 7.5 million had opted for 11 bigger projects creating 179 jobs.

39 Red Cross life guards for Xàbia's beaches

39 young people selected from a total of 80 applicants, have been selected and undergone training as lifeguards and Red Cross suppoert personnel for Xàbia's beaches this summer. The service starts on June 1st. ( From : XAD

Disquiet over proposed municipal Sewerage system

May 22nd
Nueva Javea has voiced serious concerns about the proposed municipal wide sewerage system. They pointed out the dangers of granting a big contract to a single company (Acciona), highlighting what had happened with the car parks and ECISA, and suggested a public dialogue with inputs from more engineering companies. Finance would also be a problem since Javea had already almost exhausted its possible EU funds. The project was now costed at between 60 - 70 million (a couple of months ago, a figure of 40 million was quoted!) and at least 50% should be in the form of external financing. Roads which are now being improved through State and regional funds would have to be dug up again. Proper planning, which is lacking in Xàbia /Jávea, must be implemented. It was also noted that the EU Directive does not always recommend a sewerage network but: "Where the establishment of a collecting system is not justified either because it would produce no environmental benefit or because it would involve excessive cost, individual systems or other appropriate systems which achieve the same level of environmental protection shall be used." For more in Castellano see: XAD NJ advierte que el proyecto....
Click here for the directive in English
For more about the situation see: Xabia Sewerage

Xabia Summer school

Xabia department of Social Services is running a summer school for 4 to 12 year olds in July and August. The workshop will provide constructive educational activities for the children and is aimed at families whio find it difficult to look after kids during the holiday period. Financial support to defray the cost is available. Interested persons should sign up between May 25th and June 5th. More info from Social Services 9 till 2 on the second floor of the Social Centre.
(from Press release)

Asphalting costs 215,600 Euros, not 1.2 million

May 19th
Xabia mayor explained that the asphalting of Cami Fondo was actually 215,600 Euros, not the 1.2 millionas claimed by the Socialist oppostion. The latter figure refers to the second modification of the re-urbanisation of the ring roads. This includes Camí Fondo, the plazas Convent, Marina Alta and the two around Portal del Clot. Also in this section there were 15 headings which covered works on roads such as Mossén Febrer, Camí Tàpies and Avenida Amanecer, among others.
From Las Provincias: El Alcalde de Xabia.....

Trike auction for a good cause

May 19th
Next Friday 22nd May at 8.00pm come to the photography exhibition and auction of tricycles to help Indian schoolgirls. The meeting will be held at the Tricis Solidarias locale at Avda Lepanto, 8 (near the Dolphin Roundabout), in Xàbia Port. This auction is to finalise the programme which has served to raise money for a Fundación Vicente Ferrer project which was created to buy bicycles for girls in the town of Anantapur India, as a means of transport enabling them to continue their schooling.

The pain in Spain will be felt mostly by the Banks

May 19th
Lisa Hintz of Moody’s Capital Markets Research Group, who last month warned on German banks, is a touch concerned about the strength and stability of the Spanish banking system. In her most recent note, Ms Hintz points out that the CDS market is signalling the possibility of a large Spanish bank running into trouble - which the analyst believes is a real risk. For more see: Financial Times

Galloping ahead with the Municipal Sewerage system

May 15th
Xàbia's mayor has held several meetings with the local construction sector and all political groups to brief them on this ambitious plan. "Acciona" the company which built the desalination plant has taken the initiative and presented a preliminary proposal costed at 60 million Euros. The mayor said that this project would kill two birds with one stone. i.e. enable the town to comply with an EU directive to do away with septic tanks by 2010 and at the same time inject work into the local construction sector. This would be financed in part by grants, and in part through the amortisation of costs to the consumer over decades. (From Las Provincias and Xabia al Dia) For background see: Xabia sewerage For EU Directive see: Urban Wastewater directive Overview

Xàbia Political dances begin

May 15th
With the municipal elections "around the corner" (May 2011) the political minuet has taken its first steps. A faction of the PP is looking for an alternative leader to Juan Moragues. Reports indicate that they are "tapping up" two of the Spanish Nueva Javea councillors to change horses. For more see XAD: El PP de Ripoll tantea a ediles de Nueva Jávea

Row over 1.2 million to asphalt a road

May 15th
Xabia socialists have asked how it is possible for the asphalting of Camí Fondo to cost 1.2 million Euros (about half of the cost of all the works in the Old Town). This road (of around 100-200 metres length) runs along the eastern side of the Portal del Clot underground car park. The only thing known about the contract thus far, is its cost and the name of the contractor, ECISA (the company which built the car parks). (From Levante print edition)

Businesses present draft plan to revitalise Old Town

On Tuesday 12th May, Juan Luis Cardona, President of the Comerciantes Association of the Old Town presented their ambitious plan to revitalise the Old Town to the Alicante Commerce rep. Ana Ballenilla with a view to possibly obtaining assistance. The plan includes the creation of a distinctive brand, marking buildings and monuments with signs and training to improve image and quality. From XAD: El centro historico...
May 13th

Valencia: well lit or a stargazer’s nightmare?

May 15th
Mediterranean city is Europe’s biggest light polluter due to streetlamp policy. For more from El País (in English) see: Valencia light pollution

Xabia to have Agenda21 Participatory Budget

May 13th
At the forum on Thursday May 7th the councillor for Citizen Participation, Pepa Chorro, presented a participatory budget" ("presupuesto participativo"); a sum her department has set aside for projects that the people would like to develop. The Councillor explained that she has a 46,000 euro budget in total. Of this 21,630 € will pay for planned expenditure, which includes the municipal contribution to the Foro Jávea de Vecindad and maintenance of the premises on Carrer el Forn where where CREAMA carries out its courses. Another € 3200 be set aside for unforeseen expenses, and the remaining € 21,084.55 will comprise the participatory budget. The Agenda21 working groups were asked to put forward ideas on how the money might be spent for discussion at the next forum meeting. This will now be on Tuesday May 26th. The Environment sub-group will be putting forward proposals to use some of this budget to purchase the first shipment of Jute bags. All proceeds from the sale thereof will be reinvested for the purchase of more bags. They will be setting up a non-profit-making Association to manage this and similar projects with maximum transparency and public participation. From XAD El concejal.. and Group meeting.

Background paper on Port Issue to be tabled at Agenda21 forum

May 13th
Tim Ladd, convenor of the Environmental working group of Xàbia's Agenda21, has prepared a paper to be distributed in Brussels in support of Xàbia Agenda 21's postion on possible Port Expansion. The paper provides background information on the Port issue and points out alternative methods of increasing the number of boat moorings without the necessity to expand the Port. This paper has been translated into Castellano and will be formally presented at the next forum (May 26th). To download this paper (in PDF format) see: The Wiki of the Agenda21 environment group

Rescue the Iberian Rabbit !

May 12th
It is an ecological irony that the European rabbit, which evolved in Spain and gives the country its name (Hispania, from the Roman period, which derives from i-shepan-im, The Land of Rabbits, the Phoenician name given to the west-lying land the merchant civilization traveled to two and a half thousand years ago) cannot re-establish itself in its ancestral home. It's survival is key to the conservation of top predators such as Lynx. See Iberian rabbit for more from El Pais.

1000 Euro car swap deal

May 11th
Spain appears to be following the lead of several European governments by offering subsdies to motorists who trade in their old vehicle for a new one. New car purchases have fallen in Spain by more than 40 percent compared with last year. Valencia has set up a €15-million scheme to offer a €1,000 trade in for new cars, and €500 for second-hand vehicles. Details out this week. (El Pais and Levante) Note: May 14th: Ford announced that it would be expanding this "Ecobono" inititative so that punters could get 2000 Euros off a "Ka" up to 6000 off a Galaxy (Levante print edition)

Spaniards lead development of eco-laptop for free software

May 10th
Two Spaniards have led an international project resulting in the creation of a light, affordable, socially and environmentally friendly laptop computer. Ángel Blázquez, an IT businessman, and Pablo Machón, president of Free Knowledge Foundation, announced the creation of their 700-gram “minicomputer,” which uses a free operating system, recharges its batterieswith the help of incorporated solar panels, and is made from biodegradable plastic. For more see: Eco Laptop

State and regional grants amount to 370 Euros per person

May 8th
On May 7th the Councillor for Finance addressed the Agendsa21 forum about the 2009 Municipal budget. Among the clarifications made were that the budget was in fact fairly similar to the previous year, apart from the addition of 7 million Euros from State and Regional development funds. These amounted to a sum equivalent to 370 Euros per inhabitant. Property rates (IBI) accounted for more than half the Municipal income, and income from construction licenses had fallen over the years from 2.5 million in 2003 to 500,000 in 2009. The Town Hall has not had to pay any penalty for the minumum use of the underground car parks, since the contract was rescheduled for 2010. Use of the parking under the Plaza de la Constitución was sufficient, and they expected Portal del Clot to fill up when the new municipal buildings started to be used.
From XAD El concejal... And for more on the budget see: Budget 2009

Arenal Plastic roundabouts soon to be replaced

May 8th
The Councillor for Public Safety addressed the Agenda21 forum about 52 accident black spots which had been identified by members of the public. Most of the problems were things that could be rectified by the Department of Works. The audience was assured that the temporary roundabouts in the Arenal area would be replaced by permanent ones by the end of the year. For more see: Javea black spots

Xàbia Jute Bag logo designs now ready - Voting over !

May 8th and 13th
The "Javea without Plastic Bags" campaign takes one step further. The guys at La Banyera have come up with a series of designs for the logo for the Xabia Agenda21 Jute Bag project.. The design which was selected by on-line voters can be seen on: Jute Bag Logos Learn more about this project via the Agenda21 Workgroup website.

Javea's fifth Gastronomic Food Fair kicks off 20th May

May 7th
Despite the crisis 13 local restaurants will participate in the fifth annual gastronomic food fair this spring. As before, there will be a marquee on the Mas y Mas car park at the Arenal, and each lunchtime and night from Wednesday May 20th until the Sunday there will be a different menu provided by different restaurants. Entrance is 16 Euros per person, except for the last day which will consist of a variety of tapas at 1 Euro each. For Menu in English see: Jornada menu for Menu on Castellano and more see XAD: La V Mostra ...

British pupils the worst at integrating in Alicante

May 7th
British students in Alicante have more problems integrating in public schools than pupils of any other nationality, a new study has found. Language and cultural differences are mostly to blame, according to the NGO Orihuela-Alicante Migration, which published the study based on figures from the Valencia region’s education department. For more see: British pupils worst at integrating

Covered Market gives 5% Discount on Wednesdays

May 7th
As a promotion to attract customers, shop-keepers in Xàbia's covered market in the Old Town are giving customers a 5% discount on their purchases every Wednesday. (by word of mouth from reliable sources!)

Expats learn about the minefield of Wills and Inheritance Tax

May 7th
Wednesday afternoon's session hosted by Cajamurcia and the Town Hall briefed a good crowd of interested expats on the procedures and pitfalls in dealing with the legal aftermath of a death here. After a short, informative Powerpoint presentation, Javea's Notary answered questions from the floor. Among the things that people learned were that foreign residents must have been living in Spain for 5 years to reduce their inheritance tax liability, everyone should have a Spanish Will as well as one from their own country, unmarried partners who inherit each other's assets pay hefty inheritance tax, while married couples do not and although Spaniards are obliged to leave two thirds of the assets to their children, this does not apply to foreigners who are governed by the rules from their own country. This was the first of a series of such talks. Forthcoming topics will deal with health and the sale and purchase of property. For more see: XAD Article: How to make a Will in Spain and our new Wiki: Living in Javea : Wills and Inheritance

Countries of the Euro-Mediterranean Area come to Javea to discuss the future of renewable energy.

May 6th
The meeting, entitled "Energy resources and regional development: a necessary debate," will take place on May 15th and 16th. It is sponsored by the Spanish Agency of International Development Cooperation (AECI) and will be chaired by the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs of the European Union, Benita Ferrero-Waldner. Representatives of the Governments of Spain, Egypt, Libya and Jordan, as well as experts in renewable energy and its development, will participate in this conference. Themes for meetings are as follows: "Technological advances on the research of renewable energy"; "Euro II: energy resources and renewable energy for sustainable regional development"; "Implementation of renewables in the energy market". From XAD El foro de..... For more see:

Xàbia now co-host of the Euro-mediterranean House

May 2nd
Xàbia and Benidorm are now the subsidiary centres of the House of the Mediterranean. This EU initiative aims to become a meeting point between the cultures of countries bordering the Mediterranean and a forum for discussion and coexistence. The arrangements were signed on April 30th. The budget for the period 2009-2011 is 4 million. 60% will be paid by the Spanish Agency for International Development, 20% by the Government, 10% by Alicante City Council, and 5% each by the Town Halls of Benidorm and Javea\Xabia. The Mayor has identified the "Casa del Ministro" (at the tip of the Javea Parador promontary) as a possible location for activities. The owners of this property are agreeable that it should be appropriated for this purpose. From XAD: La casa del Med... See alos Chris Patten's speech about this, just before he handed over to the current EU minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner. Living proof of an emerging European house

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