News Headlines November 2008

Ramblars dump to be closed (again…at last?)

November 30th 2008
The Valencia Environment Ministry has decided to get rid of five rubbish dumps during 2009, one of which is Xàbia's Ramblars. The closure of this landfill for inert waste was instigated in late 2005. Since then it has continued to be still used. The facility was closed for being in the vicinity of the natural park of Montgó and the risk of fire starting through decomposition. From Las Provincias: Cerrojazo a los malos olores de la basura

Xàbia Town hall to set up a “Municipal Urbanisation Society”

29 November
This was approved by the ruling coalition at the last Council meeting. The stated objective is to optimize the management of public land, to boost construction of social housing and give work to local firms in light of the crisis in the sector. Initial outlay €300,000 (from Las Provincias Xàbia constituye una sociedad urbanística municipal

Basura Tax Reduction for Pensioners

Click here for information on how to apply for it, and the form

Xabia asks Alicante for a grant to build a Social Centre in the Port

November 28th
The Town Council has agreed to ask the Diputación de Alicante for a grant to build a multifuncional social cente in the Port. The site will be the old Guardia Civil building. Necessary geotechnical surveys have already been carried out. The works are expected to cost 1,000,000 Euros in total, and the town is asking for 393,000 (from press release).

Economic Crisis: 8 billion of stimulus package focuses on infrastructure projects by local councils

November 28, 2008
Prime Minister Zapatero told lawmakers in Congress that he will spend the equivalent of 1.1 percent of Spain’s GDP to stimulate economic and jobs growth. Most of that money — a total of 8 billion — will be spent on new infrastructure projects by local councils, with works expected to begin early next year. Click here for more

Good food in Gata with locally grown ingredients

The Slow Food movement has come to the Marina Alta through a Convivium based in Benissa, and on Saturday 29 November at 14:30 it will offer a sample in restaurant Les Terrasses de la Torre (between Gata and Lliber). Before the meal, local farmers will display and sell their products. Xàbia representative will be eco-farmer Oscar Dutt, whose pumpkins contribute to the dessert.
For more about the Slow Food movement see: (Source of information: Xabia al Día and Las Provincias)

Traditional cookery course in Xàbia

November 28th
The first of a series of workshops on tradional cooking takes place on Tuesday December 2nd at 6.00pm in Casa Mesquida de les Pedres in the Port. Everyone welcome. Price 5 Euros. Register at the door or by ringing: 96 579 41 42. Lessons will be every couple of weeks or so. This session's recipe is "pastissets i panellets", the next (on January 13th) will be "coques d'espinacs i cabassets" From Las Provincias

Bluefin tuna fishing quota cut not enough, say green groups

November 28th 2008
A meeting of fisheries ministers from 46 countries in Morocco this week that was meant to save the bluefin tuna from extinction may instead have sounded the death knell for the giant fish, environmentalist groups say. Click here for more.

Catalan plastic bag ban draws shopkeepers’ ire and greens’ scorn

November 28th 2008
Going shopping in Catalonia will cost slightly more from next year — if you don’t bring your own bags. In a bid to protect the environment, the Catalan regional government is set to approve legislation before the Christmas recess that will ban all retailers from giving out plastic bags for free. Instead they will have to charge for each bag in a move that the leftist-nationalist coalition hopes will discourage waste and encourage consumers to reuse shopping bags. Shopkeepers have attacked the measure as an added head- ache amid the economic down turn, while environmentalists say it does not go far enough because it fails to stipulate a minimum price for each bag. EL PAÍS, Barcelona (From English language edition)

Natural Gas in the Pipeline

A new network of nine gas pipelines is planned for in the Comunidad Valenciana . It will be completed by 2011 at a cost of over 36.3 million Euros. The secondary Marina Alta gas duct will provide branches to El Verger, Ondara, Pedreguer, Gata de Gorgos, Pego and Xàbia. This part of the work will be done by Endesa Gas with an initial investment of 2.9 million Euros. The Conselleria will pay 17.5%. From Las Provincias. Gas natural para 470.000 valencianos más

Seminar on gardens of indigenous plants in Jesus Pobre

November 21st
The Parque Natural del Montgó is organising a seminar on “ Indigenous gardens, living gardens” on 5th and 6th December in the meeting room of EATIM in Jesus Pobre. These workshops are aimed at raising the awareness of the rich natural flora of the Marina Alta and Montgó Natural park, and how the plants can be used in gardens. The Montgó is home to over 650 different species, but is under threat from invasive exotic ornamental plants. The Seminar will start at 7.00pm on the 5th and 6th. In addition on Saturday 6th at 10.00 am there will be a guided tour of the Mediterranean gardens of the finca de L’Albarda of the Enrique Montoliu foundation. All the attendees will be presented with a plant endemic to the Montgó. Registration is free on 96 642 3205 and the places are limited.

New underground Rubbish Bins to be installed

November 21st
The Town Hall and Rubbish collection company are installing new electro-hydraulic underground rubbish containers, kicking off with the Port. The underbround bins can be emptied by remote control by a lone truck driver within the space of less than a minute. Further installations will be made in the Arenal. Some have already been installed in the old Town. (From press release) Click here for a picture.

Xabia renovates one of the windmills on la Plana

November 18th 2008
The Town Hall has restored the architectural structure of one of the most important emblems of Xàbia's heritage, one of the series of windmills on the San Jeronimo plana. Click here for more and a picture.

New Denia Hospital to open on December 1st - But don't hold your breath.

November 17th
The new Hospital of the "Departamento 13" will open some of its doors for business on December 1st amid argument and criticism from the staff who are supposed to work there. The director of La Pedrera hospital announced that people would be able to make appointments as of tomorrow, however the name of the Director of the new hospital has not yet been announced. Information is still vague, apart from the fact that patients and staff will have to pay for parking. To add insult to injury the Ministry of Health has to pay 163,000 Euros to a company for drafting a proposed extension to the old hospital which was never implemented, making a total of 600,000 to the company for a job which was never done. The old Pedrera Hospital will be converted into a "socio-sanitario" for care of the chronically ill or those requiring long-term hospitalisation (budget of 3 million)
From Las Provincias: Empieza la cuenta...

APASA and Town Hall sign Dog Pound agreement

November 17th
The Jàvea Dog pound charity APASA (Asociación Protectora de Animales de San Antonio de Jávea) has signed an agreement with Xàbia Town hall through which the charity will receive 50,000 Euros aid in return for maintaining, cleaning and managing the kennels and looking after stray animals.(From press release)

What a pile of rubbish!

November 16th
According to the latest official data provided by the company "Reciclatje de Residus Sòlids de la Marina Alta", the 23 municipalities of the Marina Alta generated just over 88,400 tons of garbage in 2007, and this is expected to increase in the future. Residents will be paying an extra two million Euros for garbage collection in 2009. (From Las Provincias La Comarca genera....)

Pensioners to get 50% discount on rubbish collection tax

November 14th
In a press statement today the Mayor announced that large families and pensioners would be elegible for a 50% reduction in their rubbish collection tax. Thus, instead of paying 85 Euros, their households would pay only 45.50. To claim this reduction, applicants should submit "la Tesorería de la Seguridad Social" proving that they are a pensioner (no idea what equivalent document would be for non Spanish pensioners), certificate showing you are on the Padron and a copy of the last rubbish tax bill. The Press release declined to say to which office these documents should be submitted. Normally the application would have to be made by the end of the year, but for the 2009 exercise, the deadline will be January 31st 2009.

Old Town Residents run out of Patience

November 14th
Presidents of associations representing businesses and people in the Old Town say thay have given up trying to have a dialogue with the ruling coalition. None of the ten points agreed in the August Council meeting have been implemented and they feel it is a waste of time to have meetings which go no-where. They have therefore decided to use other forms of pressure instead including posters, petitions and demonstrations, without ruling out the courts. From Xabia al Día Los comerciantes se les....

Hope that the Montañar Project may be revived

November 13th 2008
A meeting yesterday between the Mayor, councillor Rafa Bas and the provincial head of Costas, Vincent Martinez, resulted in commitments of great significance for the municipality Xàbia. One was to revive the project of the "Muntanya I linear park" soon as possible; another to improve the coastal strip from Montañar II to Cala Blanca; a third to regenerate the beaches; and a fourth to recuperate the old house at the tip of the Arenal as a cultural and social centre. Click here for more.

Information about Social Services

November 2008
The Town Hall recently issued a leaflet about the Social Services in Xàbia. Click here to view and print (in PDF format).

Two petitions - Save our port…and use the money for the projects Xàbia needs.

The Civic platform has drawn up two separate petitions concerning the Port expansion scheme. One, directed to Brussels, asks the European Parliament to help stop the Port expansion project. The other, to the Valencian Government, asks that the money earmarked for Port Expansion goes to projects which the town needs and has been asking for for years.
Click here for an English version of the text of the petitions.
Clcik here for an English version of a press release made by the civic platform
Click here for a fact sheet about the Port expansion issue.

The Civic Platform calls for signatures against the expansion of the port

Residents of the Port and members of the Civic Platform in Defense of the Territory and the Coast of Xàbia will set up petition tables over the next few Sundays, from 11.00am until 2.00pm, on the promenade at the Port collect signatures against the expansion of the port. Click here for more.

Vocal opposition limits local tax rises

7 November
In the face of vocal opposition, the increase in local taxes will be limited to the Consumer Price Index (CPI/IPC), currently 4.5%. The rubbish collection charge will rise by 20%. This rise is in part necessary because of an increase in the tax imposed by the Valencia Government on each ton of rubbish transferred to the plant in Campello. The transfer of Xàbia's 18,000 tons of garbage will incur fee of over a million Euros, while the increase in the rubbish collection charge will only raise some 500,000. Savings will have to be made by reducing expenditure in areas such as fiestas. (From Levante and Las Provincias)

The Morning After

November 6th
After three decades of partying, Spain has woken up with a hangover - Curing it will require changes.
Click here to read the introductory story in "The Economist's" Special Report on Spain

October sees record surge in unemployment

Number out of work jumps to highest level since 1996
Spain suffered its biggest jump on record in jobless claims in October as economic activity slumped, leaving households looking at increasingly bleak times ahead. Click here for the full text of an article from El Pais English Edition Nov 5th A. S., Madrid

Diving for junk in the port.

Saturday, 8th November
60 volunteers cleared rubbish off the sea floor of the Port. This was organised by the Xàbia Port Diving Centre with the collaboration of the Town Hall. Divers went down at 4.00pm and passed the junk they found to another group of volunteers who sorted it. Afterwards they were treated to tea. (from press release) They collected a considerable amount of junk from only 20 metres of sea floor which included: pieces of carpet, a pair of oars, 4 chairs, a fishing rod, tyres, an anchor, cables, pipes, 6 supermarket trolleys, lots of scissors, nets, lines and hooks. They also found hundreds of strips of plastic used for tying up boxes of sardines, and one of the Solidarity Tricycles which was was stolen a few months ago. They intend to do these cleanups twice a year in collaboration with the "Aware" marine conservation project :

Local taxes to rise

November 5th
The Governing coalition will propose and increase in rates for rubbish collection by up to 50%, while stall rental in the covered market will go up by 4%
This to be tabled at the Town Council Plenary session tomorrow (November 6th)
The sectors worst hit by increase in the rubbish collection tax will be banks, pharmacies and large supermarkets (50%). Increases of 20% will be felt by hotels, hostals, industrial premises, retail, real estate, offices, discos and private residences . The least affected will be restaurants, bars, ice-cream parlors and night clubs (5%). Other municipal taxes such as building, landfill, music conservatory, low loader, cemetery, sports etc will rise by 5% (From Las Provincias Xàbia subira...

Mayor reacts to Valencia's 2009 budgets

November 5th 2008
The Mayor of Xàbia, Eduardo Monfort, is surprised by the budgets of the Generalitat, which seem only concerned with projects of particular rather than general interests. Not only had they ignored the wishes of the people of Xàbia, said the mayor, but there is nothing in the budgets for projects which are of interest to the general population. Inclusion of Port expansion the the budget had however provided needed documentation for the Town Hall's forthcoming presentation to the European Parliament. Click here for more in an English version of a Xabia al Dia article.

A talk on local taxes for foreigners

3rd November 2008
The Unit of the European Residents of the Diputación de Alicante and SUMA-Tax Management have organized an informative lecture on local taxes for next Monday, November 10, aimed at English speaking residents. The event will take place at the l'Espai Senieta Moraira next Friday at 5.00pm, and will be delivered in English. These meetings are intended to inform European residents about local taxes in Spain, e.g: Property taxes (IBI), business tax (IAE), vehicle taxes, rates for rubbish collection and sewage. It also will explain frequency, methods of payment, receipts and other issues. (Source XAD)

Valencia Budgets assume Port Expansion will go ahead

November 2nd
The 2009 budget of the Generalitat Valenciana reveals an intent to increase the number of moorings in the region. It includes a 900,000 Euro project for improving facilities in the Canal de la Fontana (50,000 Euros budgeted for the year 2009), and 100,000 Euros for the expansion of Xàbia Port (up to 20 million Euros in 2011) .
Click here for a table of proposed expenditure on the Marina Alta Ports.
The Marina Alta will receive some 7.2 million in total funding. There is no mention of funding for an Auditorium or Public Swimming Pool for Xàbia. The Town's Alzheimers Day Centre is also omitted as are plans for new schools in the region.

Priorities seem to be the Port Project, refurbishment of the Denia Pederera Hospital , improving access roads to Denia and Xàbia and channelling of the Girona river in Vergel.
Source Las Provincias: El presupuesto del Consel.... and Mantienen la partida par....

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