November 2014 News Headlines

Xàbia's 2015 Budget - Steady as she goes

Nov 27th
Councillor for Finance, Oscar Anton briefed two public meetings about next year's budget on Wednesday evening. The first was conducted in English, to cater for the expat community, and the second in Castellano and Valenciano. Only 8 people turned up for the briefing in English (Ed's note: does this reflect apathy …or a contentment with the way things are going ? - since meetings are rarely well attended unless people have something to complain about!). Mindful of the municipal elections in May 2015, the budget has no commitments to big capital investment, concentrating on financing projects already underway (Central Cinema, Clot building VAT) and essential expenditure, such as a vehicle for Civil Protection. An estimated 2million will be left in the kitty for the incoming administration to use as it sees fit. Some 37% of the €36.5 million budget goes on pay for the 345 municipal staff, and 42% on services such as rubbish collection, electricity etc. The Municipal debt has been reduced from some €42 million to somewhere between €25 and 26 million over the period of the current administration. Discounts for paying municipal taxes will continue. Editors Notes. (I'll post a more detailed report whan the tables are available on-line - Ed)

Foreign Tourist spending up

Nov 27th
The Minister of Economy, Industry, Tourism and Employment noted that the spending by foreign tourists in the Comunidad Valenciana during the month of October "reached 513 million euros, a figure that represents an increase of 8.2% compared to the same period last year." France (54%), Belgium (42.8 per Cent), Germany (20.3 percent), and Italy (20.3 per cent) have been the main contributors to this increase. He said he would continue working with the tourism sector "to promote unique products to help generate tourism experiences that differentiate us from our competing destinations and contribute to the preservation of our environment." In this regard, he stressed the importance of cultural and religious tourism in boosting the economy and therefore in generating employment and attracting domestic and foreign tourists. There are siix UNESCO World Heritage assets in the Community: Three physical, and three intangible assets (e.g. the Elche Mystery Play). From El Periodic

Six out of 10 Spanish youths plan to move abroad to find a job, study finds

Nov 26th
panish youths are among Europe’s most pessimistic when it comes to their future, a study of several EU member states suggests. Spanish youngsters feel that they will be worse off than their own parents, while six out of every 10 polled are planning to move abroad in search of a job, according to a survey by the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications…Spaniards and Italians showed the least confidence in finding a job in their own countries, while 58 percent of Spanish youths said they were planning to move abroad to find a job, compared with 21 percent of young Germans. Yet this open attitude toward emigration is in contrast with the fact that only one out of four young Spaniards report having ever lived in a different country. For full story see: El Pais in English

Half a million Euros to stabilise cliffs

Nov 26th
The Provincial coastal service will shortly start on works to stabilise cliffs in Alicante Province: The cala de La Granadella in Javea, la cala del Moraig in Benitachell, and the cala Amerador of l'alfàs del Pi. In addition there will be repair work to the promenade of La Mata, Torrevieja. These works will total approximately half a million euros, of which 202.864,61 euros will be allocated to the stabilization of the cliffs, and while the repair to the promenade of La Mata amounts to 234.668,60 euros. From Información

At Spain’s Door, a Welcome Mat for Entrepreneurs

Nov 23rd
The new law, known as the Ley de Emprendedores, is Spain’s latest effort to help domestic businesses and make the country more attractive to wealthy and talented people outside the European Union who want to start businesses, invest or work in the country. Billed by the government as reforms that would help create jobs at a time of high unemployment, the legislation created five visa categories, covering investors who buy at least 500,000 euros (about $625,000) of real estate; entrepreneurs who plan to establish businesses; highly skilled professionals; researchers, scientists and teachers; and employees and trainees. Once approved, recipients are allowed to move freely through most European Union countries….A sweetener that the Spanish government should highlight, he said, is its unsecured lending program, which has about €100 million, or $125 million, to lend to innovative small and midsize companies annually. The loans, from €25,000 to €1.5 million, are available to all entrepreneurs, regardless of nationality, who have a business based in Spain (except for those running real estate or financial ventures). For full story see: New York Times

34% of Spain's workers on €645 minimum wage

Nov 21st
Just over a third of all Spanish employees earned the country's minimum wage of €9,034 ($11,200) in 2013, with almost all workers under 25 having to make do with that amount, official figures published on Thursday show. Thirty-four percent of Spain's 16,682,861 employees earned the minimum wage of €645 a month spread over 14 payments, according to tax office statistics. Among the young, the figure was much higher, with 86 percent of the 33,681 employees aged under 18 in Spain collecting the so-called SMI. for full story see: The

Spain’s invisible drug problem

Nov 21st
Spanish police last year seized 120 percent more amphetamines, 28 percent more cocaine and 3.2 percent more heroin than they did in 2012. The increases have raised fears that although the use of illegal substances has stabilized in recent years, consumption could easily be driven upward by cheap and plentiful supply…..Eusebio Megías, the technical director of the Foundation for Help Against Drugs (FAD), does not believe that heroin is going to make a comeback in Spain, but that the country still faces a serious threat from the spread of recreational drug use. “Drug consumption has become a cultural phenomenon: people take them as though they were just another way of having fun. They take drugs to get on with their friends, and to be able to stay up all night partying,” he says. For full story see: El Pais in English.

Amjasa puts electricity supply contract out to tender

Nov 20th
In an effort to reduce its electricity costs, Amjasa is putting the contract for it's electricity supply, valued at some 774,000 Euros, out to tender. The municipal company will positively weight green and renewable sources of energy in the bidding process. From XAD:Amjasa abre...

Public Meeting on Xabia's 2015 budget in English

Nov 20th
There will be a public meeting, in English, to explain Xabia's budget for 2015 on Wednesday 26th November at 6.00pm in the Casa de Cultura. Everyone welcome. This is one day before it will be presented to the Town Council for ratification. A meeting in Spanish will take place on the same day at 7.30 pm. From XAD:Hacienda reparte....

The Marina Alta using Time Lapse photography

A beautiful personal project by Carlos Frasquet - Clouds Project Marina Alta.

Companies want language and IT skills

Nov 18th
Educated, good language skills, having an intensive use of new technologies and with great expertise in their area of ​​work. This is the profile most desired by Spanish business and, unfortunately the most lacking among potential employees. Despite having an unemployment near 25% Spain, there are jobs that are not filled due to lack of suitable candidates meeting these demanding requirements, according to Infoempleo. "We found this particularly in the areas of technology, engineering and telecommunications, where it is difficult to find qualified professionals who are actively seeking employment," explains Jorge Guelbenzu, Director of Infoempleo. "These positions are the ones that receive fewer candidates, so are more likely to remain vacant," he said. People with higher qualifications and training have more options to find employment. Last year over 61% of the bids that were published in Infoempleo requested candidates with a university degree, about 38% sought workers with vocational training and 6% of companies also demanded candidates to have postgraduate training . In addition, one in three jobs require knowledge of at least one language.
Among the most popular degrees include information technology, telecommunications, industry, business, economics and law. From Las Provincias: Conocimiento...

Greenpeace activists injured after navy blocks Canaries oil drilling protest

Nov 18th
Two Greenpeace activists were injured when the Spanish navy tried to stop them from protesting against oil prospecting off the coast of the Canary Islands over the weekend. The environmental group has criticized the military’s excessive use of force in the operation, which resulted in one of their members suffering a broken leg. For full story see: El Pais in English

Training for firefighters

Nov 18th
The Xàbia Department of Public Safety is providing training to the Civil Protection and Balcon al Mar firefighter groups, both of which have new volunteers who need knowledge to be able to fire-fight. Therefore there will be a class for 35 volunteers this Saturday through an agreement with the regional firebrigade, at the firebrigade facilities. From Las Provincias: Formación...

Drones to survey the Torre de Gerró

Nov 12th
The Department of Infrastructure has launched a pilot project to use drones to take aerial photographs to facilitate archaeological surveys around the Torre de Gerró in Dénia, with the idea of finding possible architectural remains and eventually to enhance the 16thC tower's environment. From La Verdad

Pre-election musical chairs

Nov 12th
Xàbia's Political parties are getting geared up for next May's municipal elections. Last Saturday Xàbia Democratica had its AGM and announced its new committee for 2014/2015 See: Xabia Democratica website.. President Anton stated: "XD does not promise miracles, but wants to convey the idea that united we can achieve much more, better well-being and sustainable future for all." Next week Compromís is calling a public meeting to discuss the possibility of having a joint candidature with the new political party Podemos-Xàbia and the EUPV. In a statement they said: the "complexity of the political situation in Javea requires far-reaching alliances" and notes that "10 years after the start of the development of the new General Plan and the sixth year since the start of the crisis, Javea continues without having a substantive discussion about the town and model of development. " From XAD: Xàbia .. and Compromís..

Valencia Governent calls meeting with mayors about the Montgó fire

Nov 12th
The Diretor General of the Valencia Envronment Department will meet next week with the mayors of Xàbia and Denia to brief them on what the Generalitat intends to do about the after effects of the Montgó fire. Apparently work has already started, and there have been complaints about the use of heavy machinery to remove burned pines - the weight of which could damage already fragile soil. Ironically, the Governing Board of the Montgó Natural Park has not met since the fire. From XAD: La Generalitat

Xàbia recycles more

Nov 7th
The Department of Environment and Services has made available to the public all of the data on the management of rubbish generated in Jávea. These figures show that almost 21% of the 13,200 metric tons of rubbish that has been generated thus far this year has been deposited in the special recycling containers (glass, paper / cardboard and plastic packaging) during 2014, the highest figure ever recorded. For full story see: Javeamigos

Talk and excursion on Mediterranean Forest Fires

Nov 7th
"Xabia Viva" Association is organising a talk and excursion to explain the after-effects of forest fire. The talk "¿Es el fuego el enemigo? Los incendios forestales en el Mediterráneo" (Is fire the enemy ? - Mediterranean forest fires ) will be given on Friday November 14th in the Xàbia Museum Auditorium at 7.00pm by Dr Jorge Mataix-Solera of the Miguel Hernández University of Elche. On the following Sunday there will be a two hour excursion in the burned out area of La Plana around the area of the path down to the Port where people will be shown how different species have responded to fire. Meet at the Cabo de San Antoni viewing point at 10.30 am. From: XAD Xabia Viva...

La charla será el 14 de noviembre, a partir de las 19 horas en la sala de reuniones del Museo Soler Blasco de Xàbia.
La excursión será el 16 de noviembre, a partir de las 10.30 en el Mirador del Cap de Sant Antoni. Duración estimada: 2 horas, llevar calzado cómodo, y agua.

Spain’s dying interior

Nov 7th
Francisco Burillo, a professor of prehistory at Zaragoza University, has identified a swathe of land covering the interior of Valencia, along with part of Aragon, Castilla y León, and Castilla-La Mancha – an area twice the size of Belgium – where 614 communities have fewer than 100 inhabitants (there are only 566 similar communities in the rest of Spain). He points out that there are regions within this area, for example between Teruel, Cuenca and Guadalajara where the population density is just 1.63 inhabitants per square kilometer. He makes a comparison with Lapland, one of Europe’s least-populated areas. “There, 15.53 percent of the population is aged under 15, and 19.62 percent are aged over 65. Here, the figures are 7.33 percent and 32.05 percent respectively. In biological terms, this area is dead.” For full story see: El Pais in English

Table of Contents

Brussels forecasts years of pain for Spain

Nov 4th
Spain can now expect growth of 1.7 percent in 2015, down from the 2.1 percent originally forecast by the European Commission, while unemployment and public debt levels are set to remain stubbornly high until at least 2017. For full story see: The

The Comunidad Valenciana focuses government action to combat climate change

Nov 4th
The Comunidad Valenciana is the only Spanish representative in the Climate-KIC, the main instrument of the European Union on climate change. The Councillor for Infrastructure, Planning and Environment, Isabel Bonig stated "the Government has taken up the challenge of climate change as an indisputable priority. The Comunidad Valenciana is one of the most active regions in the study and fight against global warming and one of the few that has focused its autonomous government action to combat climate change. " Among the objectives of the new strategy include that of contributing to fulfillment of the commitments made by Spain, enhance sustainable development in the Region by promoting the use of cleaner energy sources and rational use of resources, especially water, set up governance mechanisms that facilitate the participation and coordination of the different actors involved and collaborate with local governments in the design and development of their own strategies on climate change. The Strategy also aims to increase knowledge, awareness and advocacy for action on mitigation and adaptation to climate change; to promote research, development and innovation on climate change and clean energy and study the impacts of climate change on our region. From El Periodic

Tourism figures - up and down

Nov 4th
The Department of Tourism has released figures for hotel occupancy over the past two months. This October saw a hotel occupancy 42'02%, seven points higher than last year which was considered a "good year" at 35.7%. The extended warm weather may have been a contributory factor. In contrast, in September the average occupancy fell to 53'5%, nine points below the 62.8% in the same month in 2013, a decline that is attributed to the change in the start date of the school year. From XAD: La ocupación..

Xàbia’s Museum illuminated at night

Nov 4th
Xàbia’s Soler Blasco Museum has had new exterior lighting installed as an initiative of the Tourism department. The system using LED light-bulbs now illuminates the building at night. It is one of the most important buildings of the Old Town, it was a mansion with three floors and tosca facade with a row of windows on the upper floor. Built in the seventeenth century by Banyuls a steward of King Philip III it was restored in the second half of the nineteenth century during the economic boom in the trade of raisins. The museum lighting cost 1,900 euros and is part of the policy of the Department to enhance buildings and municipal heritage as tourism resources. From XAD: El museu...

Bicycle Boom

Nov 2nd
In Spain there are 3,000 bike companies that employ 14,000 people. Domestic production in 2013 came to 374,517 units. That year 1,034,374 bicycles were sold. (more than the number of motor cars) The sector's turnover was €1,050 million, 60% in bike sales, 24% for parts and 16% on clothing and accessories. Although mountain models still dominate sales (63%), urban and electric bikes are beginning to emerge, with a market share of 7% and 1%, respectively. In the past five years, cities have experienced a quiet cycling revolution cyclist. Between 2008 and 2011, the number of people coming to work by bike has doubled from 6.8% to 11.9%. From:- El País

Regional day centre for disabled to be built in La Xara

Nov 2nd
A regional day centre for up to 40 physically and mentally disabled people is to be built in la Xara next to the current occupational centre run by Aprodesco (Asociación Pro-Deficientes Psíquicos de la Marina Alta.) with which it will share a kitchen. It is hoped work on the 400m2 facility will start next spring. From La Marina Plaza.

Work on Arnauda Riurau roof begins


Nov 2nd
Work to put a roof on the Riurau Arnauda and to equip it with lighting has begun. This project, which was voted second as a Citizens' participatory budget proposal for 2014 will cost €84,539, half of which will be provided by the Valencian Tourism agency. The 19th Century Riurau was relocated from Roig-Roquetes to its new home in the Parque Montañar in August 2009. The roofing and lighting aim to enhance its use as a public space. For more details see: Jáveamigos

Xàbia coordinates a mechanism to respond to flood risk

Nov 2nd
Xàbia Town hall has held a coordination meeting of the municipal and voluntary bodies which would be deployed in the evnt of flood risk in Jávea. Headed by either mayor José Chulvi or councillor Juan Ortolá (Security), the advisory committee will include representatives from the Policia Local, Protección Civil, Cruz Roja, the health centres as well as from the Departments of Environment & Services, Works, Communication and Social Services. In addition, local weather enthusiast Toni Bolufer, who collects weather information and runs Meteoxabia MeteoXabia will also be involved. From Las Provincias. Full story in English on Javeamigos

Sites of previous wildfires "powder kegs" of pines

Oct 26th
At the first Valencian Forestry Congress, the president of the Plataforma Forestal Valenciana (PFV), described how 300,000 hectares affected by fires in recent years have turned into "powder kegs" of dense young pines, ready to explode if not properly managed. The risk will be exacerbated by climate change. They called for a new, sustainable forestry policy . The Director General of the Environment for the Valencia Government announced a radical change of approach, agreeing with the PFV on investment priorities and using most of the management of the European agricultural fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). From Levante: El Sector forestal...

Majorca’s mountain challenges

Oct 26th
You probably know that Mallorca is a big favourite with cyclists, but perhaps you didn’t know that it’s also becoming a destination for charities to raise significant amounts of cash through “Challenges”. A couple of weeks ago 25 cyclists of varying abilities and sizes, and ages, gathered together and took on some serious mountains over a three day challenge, covering 300km to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Stretching along the backbone of the island, the adventure certainly gave the visitors a taste of the toughest terrain Majorca has to offer, and some of its fantastic culture. As Mallorca continues to change and develop new offerings for tourism it’s wonderful to hear these sorts of events are not only helping our local businesses grow, but also benefitting good causes around the world. For full story see: El País English Blog

New viruses 'killing amphibians' in Spain

Oct 26
A deadly new disease has emerged that is wiping out amphibians, scientists report. A number of viruses have been found in northern Spain that are killing frog, toad and newt species. Infected animals can suffer from ulcers on their skin and die from internal bleeding. Researchers fear the strains, which belong to the Ranavirus group, have already spread to other countries. Lead author Dr Stephen Price, from University College London, said: "Until the outbreaks, we didn't really know about this lineage of virus. "But since these die-offs began, we've started to see them elsewhere - in China in giant salamanders, and it looks like they are emerging in places like France and the Netherlands as well." For full story see: BBC news

Mallorca and Ibiza protest over Gulf of Valencia oil-drilling plans

Oct 26th
Hundreds of residents in the Balearic Islands turned out last night on the streets to protest against plans to drill for oil in the Gulf of Valencia, some 40 kilometres west of Ibiza. A compulsory environmental impact study due to take place before the drilling starts has been postponed, and protesters in Mallorca – mostly in Palma – and Ibiza say this is merely to stop the current regional and national governments from losing votes. They are calling for the study to be carried out immediately, confident that it will show oil-drilling to be harmful to sea life, the fishing industry and beach tourism. From :ThinkSpain

The Spanish guru of recycled fashion

Oct 24th
Marc Jacobs, Gwyneth Paltrow and have two things in common. Well, three, if we include their passports. They are American, they are considered icons of style, and they are clients of a Spanish brand named Ecoalf. In five years, this fashion company specializing in apparel, footwear and accessories made from recycled materials has risen to the top of the sustainable fashion sector, while also managing to carve out a niche in the general industry. The company’s latest venture involves using consumer waste found in the sea that can be turned into fabric: polypropilene, which is used in fruit packaging but also in textiles; PET bottles, and plastic bags made of polyethylene. Ecoalf has signed a deal with fishermen associations on the Mediterranean coast to recover waste of this nature that gets caught in their fishing nets. “Ours is not a financial company,” says founder Javier Goyeneche. “If you analyze this latest venture from a purely mercantile viewpoint, it is clearly not profitable. Why take the PET out of the sea if you can find it on land? Nobody does that. That’s what Ecoalf is all about.” For full story see: El País in English

Aptitude Tests for hunters not enforced in the Comunidad Valenciana

Oct 19th
On December 27th, it will be ten years since the Comunidad Valenciana required hunters to pass an aptitude test before they were able to receive a hunting license. But, unlike in other regions, the requirement has never been enforced. The test is one of the requirements for a hunting license: to be over 14 years old, pass the aptitude test, have permission to bear arms and have civil responsibility insurance. The number of hunters in the Comunidad has fallen by 55% since 1990, numbering 51,228 in 2013. For many years the hunters have been asking for the implementation of a nation-wide hunting license. From Sunday 19th edition of Las Provincias.

Contract to furbish Portal del Clot building awarded at a 48.6% discount

Oct 21st.
The contract to furbish and equip the "new" Portal del Clot municipal building received 19 tenders from various business consortia . The winning tender of €1,739,766, was some 48.6% lower than the estimated price of €3,383,796, and was won by "Ferrovial Agroman" - the construction division of Ferrovial, which has the town's rubbish collection contract through Cespa. Work will start next month and includes installing the electricity supply, air con, a meeting room for 200 people and two 1000m sections of the underground car park as a municipal archive . It will eventually house the local police, Town Planning and Economy, Works and Social services departments. From Las Provincias: Ferrovial equipara... and XAD: Ferrovial conquista..

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