May 2016 News Headlines

Xàbia faces numerous challenges if it wants to develop sustainably

May 31st


Last Saturday May 28th, a disappointingly small number of participants (around 12) took the opportunity to express their views at the workshop organised as part of the "Fent Xàbia" EDUSI project - This project aims to apply for EU funds to help the town develop in an integrated sustainable manner. Among the challenges participants addressed were the need to promote better quality, value added tourism; to diversify employment opportunities; improve access to services; promote and conserve natural and cultural heritage; improve communication between different social groups as well as between the citizens and the Town Hall; - and , given the poor attendance, somehow stimulate more citizen participation, since this is a key aspect of the EDUSI project going forward. For a run down on the problems and challenges facing Xàbia in 2016 see: Problems and Challenges - Xabia 2016

10,175 registered dogs in Xàbia (and lots of droppings)

May 31st
The official dog population of Xàbia exceeds 10,000 animals, with only 27,681 people on the Padrón and a fair population of unregistered dogs this means around one dog every two people, and lot of dog droppings. There are fines of €150 for not collecting your dog's droppings, rising to €750 for repeat offenders, but you have to catch the dog and owner in the act. The Town Council has decided to run a publicity and education campaign aimed at children, to try and encourage civic-minded behaviour. Note: Xàbia also has 993 registered cats and last year he police and volunteers were called out to catch stray dogs on 249 occasions, this year having to climb up the Montgó to rescue dogs. From Diarioinformación

Mayor defends spending €60,000 on Montgó Rock festival

May 30th
Opposition parties at the last plenary council meeting criticised the Town Council for spending €60,000 on the Montgó Rock festival, an event which was run by a private, profit-making company. In defense of this expense, the Mayor said that it was an investment rather than expense, that the 7000 attendees spent an average of €110 euros each during their stay in Xàbia, and that the Town Hall money had been spent on backup services such as scenery, safety, medical surveillance, fences and security etc. He pointed out that the Municipal contribution was in line with other similar events which take place in Jávea: Xàbia Folk: 40,000 euros Music l'Estiu: 50,000 euros ; Xàbia Jazz: 80,000 euros. From Xàbia al Día

Kayakers retrieve body of baby Minke whale from cave near Granadella

May 30th
The body of a baby Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) was found in the Cova del Llop Marí (Sea-lion cave) last week near Granadella. It was towed to Granadella beach where investigators from the Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (ICBiBE) examined it to carry out an autopsy and determine why it had died. The whale was very emaciated, had wounds which could have been made by a propeller, and had a black, nylon cable entangled in its mouth. The whale could have lost its mother and died of starvation. Minke whales are quite rare in the Mediterranean, and the landing of the body on Granadella beach caused quite a stir among onlookers. From La Marina Plaza

Xabia sets up consultative committee on Economy and Tourism

May 28th
The consultative committees on Tourism and Economy were formally merged at the last plenary council meeting. The Committee will advise on tourism, economic policy, promoting business and diversifying the economy. It will promote the coordination of tourism development in different sectors, analyze tourism problems and contribute to the protection of natural resources and socio-cultural values ​​of Javea. From :La Marina Plaza

Xàbia blocks motor vehicles from entering sea caves

May 28th
New restrictions will restrict access of motor craft into the Cova del Llop Marí and Cova del Òrguens, the two renowned sea caves on the Cap de la Nau headland. In the past each summer has seen a huge amount of motor craft entering the caves, calling into question conservation and the safety of those people who access the caves by swimming or by paddle-craft . In addition, a number of private companies have been organising excursions that virtually monopolise these protected natural areas known as a "Lugar de Interés Comunitario (LIC)" within Penya-Segats de la Marina Alta. The Town hall also plans to launch the "Xabia Sostenible" tourism brand. For full story see: Javeamigos

Drinks app helps Spain's strawberry farmers slash water use

May 28th
Six years ago, Innocent Drinks, in partnership with farmers (in the Doñaña Park area) and the University of Cordoba, began four years of on-farm research examining a variety of irrigation equipment and water management approaches based on the different soil types, plant varieties and climate conditions. The result is Irri-fresa: an app that calculates optimum daily irrigation times. Participating farmers have cut water use by up to 40%; in 2015 they saved 1.7bn litres. for full story see: The Guardian

Valencian Community gears up for summer season

May 21st
Tourism makes up 15% of the GDP of the Comunidad Valenciana, with populations tripling or more (even inland Peñiscola sees its population rise from 7,400 to 100,000 in the summer). This year the Comunidad of Valencia has a record 125 Blue Flag beaches with 180 receiving certificates of quality. Many municipalities are extending security and safety surveillance both in terms of hours per day and length of season covered. Drones are being used to help in surveillance and defibrillators are being made available. 19 municipalities, including Xàbia, are experimenting with changing huts and some have set aside beaches to be dog friendly (including Denia) From Las Provincias Sunday printed edition.

Drought accelerates erosion and ruins almost half of fertile soil in Alicante Province

May 21st
A drought has extended over the Valencia region since 2013 , the areas worst affected being the Vinalopó valley, the Marina Baixa and inland Alicante Province. A report by the Spanish Centre for Scientific Research (CSIC) on desertification in Spain, highlights the process whereby drought enhances erosion and reduces soil fertility. In Alicante province more than 90,000 hectares of fertile soil have been affected (40% of fertile soil), a third of the province. The ground water is now at depths of 500m in the worst affected areas. We are suffering the longest drought on record which last year resulted in an average reduction of 60% in crops. From Diarioiformacion

Xàbia asks for grants to improve cultural heritage tourism

May 18th
The Department of Tourism has made a request to the Valencian Tourism Agency for two grants. The first will allow the renovation of the exterior lighting around the church-fortress of San Bartolomé, and the second to fund new directional signs to guide the visitor around the cultural heritage of the historic centre and the port. For full story see: Javeamigos

Tourism gridlock this summer ?

May 18th
As Europeans turn away from Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, and any other destination tinged with a threat of terrorism, Spain – along with Portugal, Greece and Italy – is picking up the trade. That’s good economic news – but Spain’s holiday hotspots are creaking at the seams…In Barcelona there is full-throated debate over tourist capacity. Last year the new mayor, Ada Colau, allowed stallholders to ban big groups of tourists from la Boqueria market at set times and stopped all licensing for new tourist accommodation, which had tripled in a decade….(however) the tourism industry is beginning to see sustainability as a goal. “It’s not an overnight thing. Mallorca will have a difficult summer, but we have to balance the positive with the negative. Tourism brings in jobs, income, growth and a benefit across the economy, but we have to watch the balance sheet, and while we’re not there yet, that is beginning to be accepted.” for full story see: The Guardian

Xàbia installs energy efficient street lighting

May 14th
Xàbia has invested some 380,000 euros in installing new modern and more efficient street lighting across town. The investment will save the council some 53,000 euros in maintenance costs and electricity bills. The total cost was 380,000 euros, of which 140,000, just over a third, was provided by the Diputación de Alicante : For full story see: Javeamigos

Benitatxell launches new website in four languages

May 14th
El Poble Nou de Bentatxell has lunched a modern, new website in four languages: the two official languages Castellano and Valenciano, as well as English and German (Benitatxell - in English). The idea is to improve the dissemination of information among residents about municipal matters. From XAD

Emergency funding for water supplies in the Marina Alta

Move to abolish Marina Alta Water Consortium

May 8th
The Valencia Government, Diputación de Alicante and Jucar River Basin Authority will be meeting next week with the villages in the Marina Alta region which are most affected by water shortage and poor drinking water quality. At this meeting a document detailing emergency funding of €1.5 million to deal with the summer drought situation will be revealed. The Director General of water, Manuel Aldeguer said the Water supplies Consortium of the Marina Alta (Consorcio de Abastecimiento y Saneamiento de Aguas de la Marina Alta (Casama)) was obsolete and had been in existence since 1987, but had never resulted in any investment, therefore the agreement setting it up should be renounced by the Diputación. (Ed's note: CASAMA has just moved its HQ to Xàbia). The areas most affected by the water shortage are the Val de Pop (Xaló, Alcalalí and Lliber) and other tourist towns such as Benissa are in danger. The plan would be to build more water treatment plants and transfer water between municipalities. In the 21st Century such shortages should not happen when there is water in the aquifers and desalination plants. From:

Mercadona creates 5000 summer jobs

May 8th
Mercadona has created 5000 new jobs for the summer season (June to September), 1000 more than last year on expectations of a busy tourist season this year. It has a workforce of 75,000 people and 1,584 shops. From: El Economista

Iberdrola earmarks 128,000 euros to expand the capacity of the Xàbia substation

May 8th
The company requested permission at the end of 2015 for work aimed at improving the quality of the substation 132 / 20kV of Javea, to "improve the quality and continuity of the power supply in the distribution network." The work will takje 9 months and will therefore not be completed by this summer. From: XAD

Four Blue flags for Xàbia

May 8th
Xàbia has been awarded four prestigious blue flags once again as a confirmation from the Foundation of Environmental Education (FEE) NGO as an acknowledgment of its quality coast. The distinguished areas are the beaches of La Grava in the port, La Granadella and the Arenal as well as the Club Náutico de Jávea (CNJ), internationally recognised as offering high quality water and excellent services to users. For full story see: Javeamigos

Xàbia/Jávea wants your opinions !

May 2nd
With the aid of a team of consultants the Town Hall is currently developing a development strategy under EDUSI "Estrategias de Desarrollo Urbano Sostenible Integrado" - Strategies for integrated sustainable urban development. The intention is to choose projects that are a priority for the people and to include them in a proposal which the municipality will use to apply for a European grant. This is an opportunity to move forward towards a model of a smart, sustainable and inclusive town.
Because the funds are from the EU, the objectives which must be developed are:
1. Use and access to Information and communications technology: Local Electronic Administration and "Smart City" (
2. A Low carbon economy - Sustainable Urban Mobility, improving energy efficiency, clean and renewable energy.
3. Environment and efficiency of resources - Heritage, both cultural and natural, improving the urban environment and its surroundings
4. Social Inclusion, Poverty and discrimination - physical, economic and social regeneration
The proposals for the project will be very general in nature, and will reflect the priorities of the people. The time for developing specific projects will be after the grant has been obtained. To obtain ideas, suggestions and feedback from the residents of Xàbia an on-line questionnaire has been prepared in Castellano, Valenciano and English for everyone to complete. If you love Jávea and are concerned about its future, please complete the anonymous questionnaire as soon as possible, so that there is time to include your opinions in the drafting of the strategy document before a public meeting on 28th May

Click link below to go to the English version of the questionnaire

For more info see: EDUSI Integrated sustainable Urban development

Big investments in Spain's Renewable Energy sector

May 2nd
A wind of change is blowing on Spain's renewables: companies and investment funds have been on a buying spree, taking advantage of the know-how and growth prospects of a sector still limping out of a crisis. Last year, Spain was in fifth position worldwide for wind power, with installed capacity of 23 gigawatts — the equivalent of 23 nuclear reactors — and in eighth place for solar power after China, the United States and Germany. This high ranking came despite near-zero investment in the sector over the past few years as the economic crisis hit. Spain's return to growth — its economy expanded 3.2 percent last year — and pledges by authorities to stop changing the sector's regulations have attracted investors back to the country. For full story see: The Local

Spanish Population decline greatest in the Valencia Community

May 1st
The Comunidad Valenciana lost 0.5 percent of its population between January 1, 2015 and January 1, 2016 . Regarding the foreign population, the Region lost 4.6 percent of its foreign population (32,535 foreign citizens less), the largest reduction in absolute terms the in the whole country. From: Levante (Ed's note: These statistics depend upon the number of people on the Padrón. The recent requirement for foreign nationals to re-register may well have helped to slim down the list.)

By provinces, Valencia is the most populous, with 2,542,301 people, followed by Alicante and Castellón with 1,832,137 people with 579,044.

Water Consortium of the Marina Alta moves its headquarters to Javea

May 1st
The board of the Consortium for water supply and sanitation in municipalities in the Marina Alta (CASAMA) has authorised the transfer of its headquarters to Xàbia. From now on, the agency of the Diputación de Alicante will meet at the town's much-heralded desalination plant, decentralising the provincial administration to allow it to bring its policies closer to the region. And one of the first jobs to be carried out from the new HQ will be assessing and reacting to the ongoing drought situation being experienced by the region. For full story see: Javeamigos

EU needs €200 billion more in energy investment

May 1st
European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said that the Juncker Plan had mitigated a slump in energy and environment funding. He also added that the European energy market needs about €200 billion in additional investment that had not yet been secured by the “very fragmented” EU market, in order to allow the integration of renewable energies. Cañete highlighted that there are “too many energy markets” and that there is a need to establish a “mechanism for the coming years”. He also pointed out that Spain remains a beneficiary of structural funds and that the “main problem facing renewable energy” in the country is the lack of interconnectivity, as no infrastructure exists to export excess capacity to neighbouring countries. For full story see: Euroactiv

Call to ban live bird shooting in the Montgó Shooting ranges

May 1st
An on-line petition to ban the shooting of live birds in the two shooting ranges in the Montgó Natural Park was organised by an association called "Mis amigas las Palomas" (Our friends the Pigeons) who requested a meeting with the Xàbia Town Hall, to deal with two related issues: The shooting of live birds and the presence of two shooting ranges within the Montgó Natural Park. The hunting federation organised its own demonstration supporting the shooting activities, and it appears that the law governing the use of the Montgó park allows it, though impacts should be moved outside the park. The Xàbia shooting range has a concession until 2094. From: La Marina Plaza and Diarioinformación

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