November 2010 News Headlines

The Legal Tangle of Land Value Assessments

Nov 27th

At the Town Hall plenary meeting on Thursday, the Mayor explained that since the Superior Court of Justice (Tribunal Superior de Justicia - TSJ) had annulled the assessed values of Javea's municipal properties in 2008, there has not been one, but more than a dozen verdicts from judgements, orders and clarification of statements. But nothing has changed for about two years and the Town Hall continues to wait for the Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo ) to resolve the legal mess as far as private property is concerned. Today, the General Directorate of Land Registry continues sending the Town IBI values calculated on the 2005 "Catastrazo" and there is "nothing we can do."

Monfort read a summary prepared by Juan Martín Queralt, the lawyer leading the defense of this case, which reviewed the legal process initiated by the municipality five years ago. He thus attested that the Town Hall executive is making use "of all legal avenues to obtain the annulment "of the catastrazo.

The truth is that this issue is very complicated, even for those skilled in the art, with contradictory rulings of the Superior Court of Justice of the Comunidad Valenciana (Tribunal Superior de Justicia - TSJ) and parallel proceedings in the National High Court (Audencia Nacional). The Town Hall is also awaiting the Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo ) to rule on an appeal brought against the ruling of the National Court (Audiencia Nacional ) which is contradictory to that of the Supreme Court.

The situation seems to be Kafkaesque, especially in the light of the TSJ ruling concerning the nullification of an individual's IBI in a private legal action. The Mayor expressed interest in this case since it might provide an avenue for a ruling for the entire municipality. He expressed disappointment at learning about this case through the press and denied concealing any information. (although the Catastrazo has not been discussed by the Finance Committee or with opposition spokesmen). It appears that the Town Hall does not plan on returing any payments based on the Catastrazo, but to have a new revaluation to: "adjust to reality and real market conditions." The opposition parties decided to have a talk with the Queralt to assess the political situation and what steps to take. From: Las Provincias El Catastro no acta.... and XAD: La Gerencia....

The legality of land value assessments, the "Catastrazo" in the dark

Nov 24th
A Javea resident recently obtained a ruling from the Valencia Superior court, nullifying his rates payment. He took advantage of a 2009 court ruling which confirmed annulment of the 2005 increase in Xàbia's assessed land values and rates (IBI). This exercise, known as the "Catastrazo" had caused such a rate hike, been so full of mistakes and inconsistencies that it generated the largest public protests seen in Xàbia and initiated the downfall of the then Mayor, Juan Moragues.

The situation is all very strange, because we have been paying higher rates based on the "Catastrazo" since that time. The current Mayor, Eduardo Montfort actually came to power as a result of the protests, vowing to defend the peoples' interests and preaching transparency. However, neither he nor his administration have said anything about recent rulings from the Supreme court. This is not surprising, since if the Catastrazo is nullified, the Town Hall would have to revert to the previous valuations and refund rate payers their overpayments. A situation which is untenable when the Town is already in debt and wishes to get a loan for 12 million to purchase the lease for the underground car parks. The Xàbia Socialists have lodged a formal request to see all the relevant documents. The Mayor has this far made no comment. From XAD: Una setencia evidencia.. and Las Provincias El TSJ anula...

Contract for official valuation of Car Parks awarded

November 24th
Finance Councillor, Vicent Chorro, has signed the contract for the official valuation of the 40 year lease of the underground car parks and 10 plots of municipally owned land in the Rafalet area. (the land is destined to be given in lieu of partial payment to for the car parks developer ECISA)
The contract, for 6,195 euros (VAT included) has been made through a negotiated procedure with invited companies. The winner of the two candidates is Técnicos en Tasación S.A. , a company in Pozuelo de Alarcón. from Las Provincias Xàbia ajudica...

Crime falls in Xàbia

23 November
According to an Alicante Government representative, Encarna Llinares, crime has fallen 18.1% in Xàbia in the first 10 months of 2010 as compared to the same period in the previous year. This decrease confirms the trend of recent years. Since 2003 and up until last year, crimes per head of population fell by 43.1%. The improved data correspond to crimes that generate most social unrest, such as robbery with force (18.92% less), against property (18.95% lower) and assault (26.15% down.). From Las Provincias Delicuencia...

Saladar landowners move to revive urbanisation plans.

November 22
60 owners of land plots in the Saladar area have met to try to revive plans to build 1700 homes, a hotel and to restructure the area with a lake and sports facilities. (See background info and details of the plan, which was shelved in 2008 on this Wiki page: Saladar ) Their hopes lie in the expiry of the suspension of building licences in January 2011. On that date, the 1990 town plan, which classifies the land as urbanisable, comes back into force. This is because the new town plan, which de-classifies the area has not yet been finalized. Meanwhile, the Department of Environment, Water, Housing and Urban Development is studying the Town Hall's proposal declassify the land and protect it, a request based on a report that highlights the important role of this area as a flood plain for surrounding gulleys, which is why is flooded every year. Also, the Town Hall notes the presence of endangered flora, such as Parentucellia viscous and Linterjectum imonium. Not all owners agree that Saladar should be urbanised because existing house owners would be forced to pay high costs of development, to give up parts of their land or even lose their homes through forced sale. Others fear that the urbanization of the area would cause flooding in properties that escaped the floods which have hit properties near the Arenal 3 and 3A developments. From Las Provincias Proprietarios del Saladar..... and Xabia al Día Proprietarios del Saladar...

Cycle track? Not this way !

November 22
Residents and businesses along the Avda Juan Carlos I and Avda de Alicante are opposing the construction of a cycle track along their streets. They say that there are alternative and more viable routes. According to the group, the planned cycle track will only contribute to greater traffic congestion and it will negatively impact parking and businesses in the area. A regular cyclist suggests that a good routes to get to the old town, would be along Avda Palmela from the river and via Camí Vell de la Mar. Both routes are flat.

Old town shows itself off


Nov 21
The periphery of the old town is now decorated with banners and informative signboards, promoting the area as a shopping and commercial zone. The signs were realized thanks to a grant of €29,000 given by the ministry of industry, commerce and innovation and the European Union social fund. From XAD: Xàbia Histórica....

Town hall to create a Municipal Council of Culture

This to replace defunct Board of Music and Dance

Nov 21st
The Town Hall is looking at creating a participatory body representing all cultural institutions in the municipality. This will become the Municipal Council of Culture and will replace the defunct Board of Music and Dance, the dissolution of which was adopted at the last council plenary meeting. The idea is that the new body will generate a meeting between the many levels of Culture in Xàbia to "develop a cultural policy based on public participation, dialogue and consensus,"
From XAD: El ayuntamiento de Xabia...

What type of town do you want?

Nov 19th
"What type of town do you want?" was the theme of the third lecture in the series of talks "Forum for Change" organised by Xàbia Socialists, The speaker, Jose Maria Angel, has been Mayor of L'Eliana since 1997, and his town is widely recognised for its sustainable approach. He emphasised the importance of citizen participation and that politicians must be able to listen to the people. People need to feel part of their town and one way to do this is through having pedestrian areas and public space. When people feel a part of a community, then they will be motivated to get involved. However if they do not see any results from their proposals then they will lose interest. The town's Strategic Plan is not a static process, done once and for all, but must be under continuous review, so that public participation in developing municipal policy is is continuous and forever .The next talk will be: 16th December The Mayoress of Sax (Alicante) - "The value of diversity. The Town and social services"
From XAD:
El Alcalde..

Opposition joins forces to fight purchase of underground car parks


Nov 19th
Although the purchase of the lease for the underground car parks for €12.1 million was passed by majority vote at the extraordinary Council Meeting last Tuesday 16th, opposition parties, Nueva Javea and PSPV (Socialists) have joined forces to " use all means "political, administrative and legal" to prevent the ruling coalition from making the purchase. Jose Chulvi (leader of PSPV, Xàbia) pointed out that an alternative would have been to take the car park developer (ECISA) to court. According to various legal assessments, in the worst-case scenario, the town would be forced to adjust the financial balance for ECISA and simply extend the term of the concession (currently 40 years). The cost to the Town Hall coffers would have been nothing. The opposition parties are filing a written challenge for the annulment of the plenary vote, requesting a report to the Consell Jurídic Consultiu (supreme legal advisory body ) before agreeing to the purchase and to suspend all proceedings until the loan modification is finalised. The challenge is intended to stop an action that goes against the general interest and is not sufficiently justified. They called for public support. In a separate move a demonstration has been called for December 1st at 7.00pm in the Plaza de la Constitucion.
From: Las Provincias: La oposición de Xàbia, and XAD: La oposición llama ..... For text of the Opposition Press Release see: Car Park Press Conference

Restored artefacts on view in Soler Blasco Museum

Nov 17th
The Soler Blasco Municipal Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography is displaying in its temporary exhibition area , a series of seventeen restored antiquities from different periods, from the Bronze Age to the eighteenth century. These restorations carried out by restorer Maite Gay Arenas, have been made possible thanks to the EMCORP Programme, which covered the costs of hiring two technicians (one restorer and an archaeologist) and two assistants for four months. The artefacts include a bronze age jar found in Cap Prim.

Xàbia Town Hall starts Tweeting

Nov 15th
Xàbia Town Hall has taken another step in using new technology to improve communication with people, and today they launched a Twitter profile with the name @ mesxabia. The Department of Culture had already tested the idea by using Twitter to publicise the Xàbia Jazz festival.
With the addition of Twitter, the communications project @ mesxabia 2.0 is now present in the major social networks: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
From Press Release

Farewell Temptacions


Nov 15
The spate of closing businesses hit a milestone today with the permanent closure of Bar Temptacions, opposite the Church in the Old Town. This bar has been a hub and a meeting place, where people caught up with the latest news, and had secret trysts. It was a favourite spot for Politicians and Town Hall employees, and its closure reflects the decline of trade in the Old Town. Pepe and Rosa's hospitality will be sorely missed.
From XAD: Hasta Siempre....

For a Better Javea - Xabia Millora calls for better Municipal Administration

Nov 14th
Last Saturday 60 people from different groups and associations met at the Rodat Hotel to attend a conference organised by the action group "Xàbia Millora" (For a better Javea). The idea was to discuss the way forward for Xàbia. The conclusions were pretty much the same as those which have been emphasised by previous similar meetings, that is: Jávea\Xàbia should remain a predominantly tourist town, but should nurture and improve the supply, brand and quality of its tourism. It should make best use of its natural assets such as landscape, history, heritage, food, agriculture, and climate. Knowledge and new technology industries should also be encouraged as a way of diversifying the economy. There should be a strategic plan which would be the basis of a general Town Plan. Services and infrastructure and public transport should be improved and the use of municipal buildings optimised. Above all, administration should be improved and become a facilitator of economic development, not an impediment. eGovernment should be implemented to streamline procedures and improve transparency.
From XAD: La I jornada...

Town hall rushes to obtain loan to buy Car Parks

Xàbia debt will cost Xàbia taxpayers €5.8 million annually

Nov 14th
The Xàbia Governing coalition has called an extraordinary plenary session for next Tuesday 16th November at 8.00pm, to endorse formally the approval of acquiring a loan of 12 million euros. ( nicknamed hipotecazo ) for the purchase / rescue of the Ecisa underground car parks. (… this after the plenary session of October 7th agreed unanimously to pay "not a Euro more" for the car parks) The the measure has already passed through the Finance Committee with the coalition approving, the Socialists and Nueva Javea against and the ex- NJ Councillor (Oscar Anton) abstaining. Municipalities are legally allowed to have a debt of up to 125% of revenue and Xàbia's debt will exceed €42 million with an annual cost of €5.8 million. Banks now have ten days to present their loan offers which will be presented to another plenary council meeting before the end of the month. The coalition has stipulated some conditions for the loan, most notable of which is that loan repayments will not start until April 2012, which will leave a poisoned chalice for the incoming local government, to be elected in May next year. Haste to obtain the loan is necessary because the recent Royal Decree to deal with the economic crisis not only cuts the salaries of municipal workers by 5% but also stops municipalities from obtaining new credit as of January 1st 2011.
From XAD BLOC y PP convocan.... For Background to this story see: Underground car Park on this Wiki.

New Parking regulations near the Old Town Market

Nov 14th
From Monday 14th November, cars will be able to park near the municpal market free of charge, but only for a maximum fo 45 minutes during office hours (8am till 1.00pm and 4.00pm till 9.00pm Monday to Friday and up till 2.00pm on Saturdays). Parking will be prohibited on Saturday afternoons and Sundays. Although parking will be free, those who exceed the time limit will be reported.
(from Press Release)

Table of Contents

Arenal storm drain gets approval

Nov 13
Technicians from "Costas" and the regional Ministry of the Environment have inspected the Arenal drain which discharges rain water run-off into the sea near Scallops. Special permission had been required from the Ministry to make the construction because it affected coastal land. According to a press release the technicians found it to be working properly and to conform with approved projects. The drain became necessary because of extreme flooding provoked by the building of blocks of apartments (Urb projects 3 and 3a) behind the Arenal.


However, since completion, it has faced a series of problems including sea water and sand incursion. In September 2008, strong smells from trapped rotting sea grass and jellyfish could be smelt near its outfall. In March 2009, the drain was cleaned out and flap valves installed to prevent sea water from entering. In December 2009, damage to the concrete slab above the flap valve chamber was observed, with sea water squirting up through holes during high seas. This was repaired but in October this year sea water jets were again seen squirting, this time through man holes further up near the Aqcua Bar. The Desalination plant was also signed off by the technicians as being OK, following repairs to the main tank damaged in the October 2007 floods.
From Press Release, XAD Inspeccionan las obras.....and Eds observations.

Exhibition on restoration of the La Plana windmill


Nov 11th
An exhibition on the work carried out to restore windmill No. 8 on La Plana will be inaugurated by Xàbia Viva at the Foundation Cirne on Friday, November 12 at 8.00pm. The exhibition can be seen at the Foundation Cirne (Avenida de Alicante, next to the Red Cross) until 27 November. (From XAD: Exposición sobre..

First Young Entrepreneurs Networking Conference

Nov 13th
More than 50 young entrepreneurs from the Marina Alta, as well as Benidorm and Alicante, gathered at the First Networking Conference organized by Jovem in the El Rodat Hotel, Xàbia. This was the first of a series of conferences of the Young Entrepreneurs of the Marina Alta (Jovem) association to enble members to get to know each other, create synergy and do business. Jovem Dénia which was formally launched last September, already has 125 members, more than double the number in Elche, the next largest group of young entrepreneurs in the province. The session began with a talk on "Branding, how to build strong, long lasting brands by the consultant Juan Pablo Signes. Signes stressed the importance of branding, explaining that it was not only part of the assets of a company, but "that which will survive us when we leave." From XAD: Más de 50....

Town hall removes rubbish containers for household goods because of garbage pickers

Nov 10th

The town hall is removing the containers for household equipment (enseres) from its Green Zone rubbish collection points. This is because of the excessive activities of garbage pickers (chatarreros ) who hang about in groups with their vans nearby, waiting to pounce on any household appliance which is about to be thrown away. Not only do people feel insecure, but the pickers sometimes smash up the appliances to remove valuable copper etc. and leave the remains of their activities scattered about. The police have tried to tackle them with police patrols, but the pickers nip into the bushes and hide. Members of the public are asked to take any unwanted household appliances to the manned, secure Ecoparc. (On the Camí Les Sorts, next to the dog pound), or to ring 900102149 for a free service to collect these items directly from their doorsteps. The Town Hall is also arranging for new, attractive containers to receive old clothes donated for the third world. While thefts have been reported from these containers as well, there are no plans to remove them at present. (Ed's note: Perhaps these pickers are trying to emulate Noddy Boffin in Dickens' novel "Our Mutual Friend" who became rich by combing the dust heaps, (rubbish tips) of London)
From Las Provincias: Xàbia retira...

Xabia's Board of Music and Dance to be dissolved

Nov 10th
The Board of Music and Dance has spent several years outside existing legislation and its functions have now been taken over by the Music Conservatory. The Town Hall is therefore proposing to dissolve the board with a loss of 21 jobs (although most of these people are already employed by the Department of Culture) The Town Hall will also assume the debts and obligations of this agency, which seems to be in debt. In 2007 it had a deficit of 436,000 Euros and 473,200 in 2008
From Las Provincias Xàbia disuelve...

Rumbles of discontent about the new cycle lanes


Nov 10th
Recent articles in Las Provincias have revealed grumbles and opposition to the new cycle lanes in Xàbia citing that they impede traffic, stop cars parking on the pavement (!), don't go along useful routes (e.g. should go near the schools), seem to go somewhere with no thought as to the return journey; do not connect up properly and the Montañar one is both ugly and "third world".
El Trazo de al carril bici....
Xàbia me duele..

Continued construction unsustainable - Xàbia's economic strategy must change

Nov 5th
This was the message give in the second talk in the Forum for Change organized by the Xàbia Socialists (PSPV). This focused on the Local Economy in the context of the crisis. It was given to a full Casa de Cultura on November 5th by Vicente Soler, Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Valencia. Prof Soler noted that the Xàbia economy had been based on sun and beach tourism and second homes. This had provided economic growth because of the increased purchasing power of Spanish and European residents. But, unlike the Benidorm model, Xàbia had used a large amount of land, creating huge capital gains, many mostly unqualified jobs and an unprecedented revenue for the municipality. Furthermore, fast economic growth meant that many young people had left their studies, "bamboozled by the money", while more qualified people couldn't find suitable work and ended up either leaving the area or were content with jobs below their capabilities. Soler emphasised that if the development model continued with construction, then , not only would local resources become depleted, but also it would become increasingly expensive for the Town Hall to run the Municipality, and it was no good to rely on regional grants to cover the deficit. They would have to raise taxes. He proposed the drawing up of a strategic plan (with consensus from the Xabia society as a whole) and a general urban plan, prepared with expert advice.

He suggested a series of ideas for Xàbia e.g. developing knowledge- based activities; (IT and communication); nurturing tourism and promoting the "Xàbia" brand, linked to the unique environment, quality of life, Montgó, Riu Riaus, Old Town, coast and landscape. In this context the Town Council needed to be exemplary, with shared leadership and a prominence of entrepreneurs. They needed to be exacting with the Regional Government and the State, but also involve local functionaries. e-administration was essential, because in the 21st Century, procedures cannot take six months. Change is possible, but needs a change of attitude.

The next talk in this series will be on Thursday 18th November. From XAD: La Clave de la economía....

Town hall to use native plants in public spaces

Nov 5th
The Town hall will use native, Mediterranean plants in public gardens, roundabouts and public spaces. This will enable substantial savings in water consumption. This was one of the agreements signed with the Enrique Montoliu Foundation (FUNDEM). The agreement does not entail any financial obligation on the parties. Broadly, it is agreed that Fundem "undertakes to advise Javea disinterestedly on the task of designing green areas, landscaped areas and other places of municipal property with native vegetation." On its part, the Town Hall "will collaborate institutionally in all initiatives related to the improvement and conservation of natural areas and disseminate the characteristics and uses of conservation efforts to carry the foundation forward" For more on FUNDEM see:
The Enrique Montoliu Foundation From XAD: Xàbia plantara....

Port Health Centre being refurbished

Nov 3rd
The Health Centre in the Port was built over over 10 years ago, and has been suffering from leaks and rainwater incursion. The Denia Health Department is therefore refurbishing the building, waterproofing the facade and windows, and removing stains and damp areas inside the building. The facility will continue to function normally and the work is expected to finish before the end of the year From XAD: Marina Salud rehabilitar....

Demos for Schoolchildren on recycling and energy conservation

Nov 3rd
Xàbia schoolchildren are being taught about recycling and energy conservation through two initiatives. In the first, they visited Xàbia's new Ecoparc (located next to the Apasa dog pound); and in the second they explored the three Energy igloos, set up in the lorry park next to Avda Palmela. These housed an interactive exhibition organised and funded through CAM bank.

From XAD: Los Colegios de.... and Las Provincias Los escolars de Xàbia....

Mercadona in pilot project to start charging for plastic Bags

November 3rd
Mercadona is carrying out a pilot project to charge for plastic bags in six of its shops in Gandia. They will offer customers three options for plastic bags: Those which are currently free will be charged at 2 centimos; a bigger and stronger bag will cost 10 centimos, and a reusable shopper (similar to the ones sold by Carrefour) will be available at 60 centimos. The measure seeks to address the National waste plan, which requires all supermarkets to reduce the use of single use plastic bags by 50% . From Las Provincias. Mercadona experimenta...

Exhibition on Sustainable Development in relation to Climate Change

November 2nd
Last Friday October 30th the exhibition "Sustainable Development in Pictures" was opened at the Casa de Tena. This is an exhibition organized by the Foundation Enrique Montoliu (FUNDEM) and the CajaMurcia Foundation in collaboration with the Xàbia Town Hall. The exhibition consists of eight information panels and illustrations on various alternatives to combat climate change. The rubbish collection company Cespa was also involved in the display. The ceremony was attended by the President of FUNDEM, Enrique Montoliu, as well as Councillors Doris Courcelles (Environment) and Josepa Chorro (Citizen Participation). The exhibition will be open until November 28 from Tuesday to Saturday from 10am - 1.00pm and 5.00pm - 8.00pm. (From Press Release)

Xàbia commits to the integration of European Residents

November 2nd
Last week Councillor for Relations with Foreign Residents, Doris Courcelles, and Councillor for Citizen Participation, Pepa Chorro, participated in a conference entitled: "Dialogues of European Alicantinos" organized by the Diputación de Alicante. This event was dedicated to promoting European residents' vote in the municipal elections of 2011 and the need for new inhabitants to register on the Padrón. At present, the percentage of foreigners living in Javea is 56% and most are European residents.

Councillor Doris Courcelles, Belgian by birth but living in Xàbia for many years and Centrist Bloc representative on the Town Council since 2008, made her case to defend integration and the need to know the various languages spoken in the host town, Xàbia in her case. She also emphasised that all societies have to draw on the cultures that arrive, because they can benefit the whole: "integration cannot be one-way."

It is important that residents register on the Padrón because basic services such as police and the post office, are distributed in relation to the number of inhabitants and a significant grant is received annually from the state. All the information necessary for signing on the Padrón in Xàbia is available in six languages (Valencian, Castilian, English, German, French and Dutch). From Press Release.
For information on signing on the Padrón and Electoral Census see:

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