November 2016 News Headlines

Portitxol island declared a "BIC" - site of Cultural Interest

Nov 25th
After 36 years, Xàbia's Island of Portitxol has been formally declared a site of cultural interest. This means it is afforded protection against development, and can now attract funds and resources to help its conservation and archaeological excavation. The Island has been inhabited since prehistoric times was used as an anchorage from 7th Century BC. Visigothic Monks hid there, and it was inhabited during Islamic times. During the Napoleonic war, a family, whose descendents are know as "la Isla" (the Island) hid there. Despite damage from agriculture in the 19th century, many interesting artefacts have been found there, including an exception piece of Phoenecian bronze. In the same exercise, the " Banys de la Reina" - Queen's baths of Calpe, have also been declared a BIC and traditional dry stone walling has been declared an item of intangible local traditional relevance. From La Marina Plaza

From tourist resort to a friendly town

The 12 lines of action Jávea must take to achieve this before 2022

Nov 23rd
On Monday (Nov 21st) the PSPV local government of Xàbia unveiled proposals to make it one of the municipalities chosen to obtain funding from the Feder Funds of the European Union through the Integrated Sustainable Urban Development Strategy (Edusi). The project would allow Xàbia to change its current social and urban image from top to bottom through a series of actions between 2017 and 2022 (these are to be approved at the next Town Council plenary session) . The total cost would be 10 million euros: Five from Brussels and five from Xàbia's budgets. The proposals which are encompassed in the project called "Fent Xàbia", were developed after an extensive, transverse, citizen participation process which included not only all departments of the town hall, but also opposition groups, groups of various nationalities that comprise the registered residents of Javea as well as social, cultural and sports organizations and individual citizens.
These consultations have led to a general conclusion: this municipality aspires (after decades of urban development) to "take a look back" to recover its lost identity, in other words "the hidden paradise " («el paraíso escondido») The goal ? "to go from being a tourist resort to being a friendly town" because people will only want to visit if the town's residents enjoy quality of life . And not vice versa. From: La Marina Plaza For details of the project and twelve lines of action see: From Tourist Resort to a Friendly Town - the EDUSI project

Granadella recuperation to start with grant from Valencia

Nov 20th
The Valencia Government is collaborating with Xàbia Town Hall on silvicultural work to recuperate the Granadella Natural Park. To start with they'll be paying €19.200 Euros to finance a contract awarded to "Foresma" to remove trees in danger of falling on roads and those on poorly consolidated slopes. They will also prune branches, macerate the trimmings and remove incinerated trees. On Thursday November 24 the first roundtable to determine the medium term actions in this area will be held at the Town Hall. Working groups will be formed. In addition to the Town Hall and the Generalitat Valenciana, various local associations with interests in the mountains such as hikers, farmers, hunters, friends of the museum, etc. will be represented. From La Marina Plaza

Spain faces fines for not complying with judgment from 2011 over poor waste water collection and treatment

Nov 18th
The European Commission is taking Spain back to the Court of Justice of the EU for its failure to fully and completely comply with the Court judgement of 2011. Spanish regional authorities must ensure that urban waste water is adequately collected and treated in 17 agglomerations across the country to prevent serious risks to human health and the environment. Under this Directive, towns and cities with a population equivalent of more than 15 000 inhabitants which discharge the urban waste water into receiving waters not considered to be "sensitive areas" were required to have systems for collecting and treating their waste water in place as of 1 January 2001. It follows that Member States must ensure that urban waste waters are adequately collected and treated before they are discharged into the environment. 17 agglomerations are concerned: Matalascañas, Alhaurín el Grande, Isla Cristina, Tarifa, Coín, Estepona-San Pedro de Alcántara and, respectively, Nerja and Barbate (Andalucía), Gijón Este (Asturias), Santiago de Compostela, Aguiño-Carreira-Ribeira and, respectively, Vigo (Galicia), Benicarló, Peñíscola and, respectively, Teulada-Moraira (Comunidad Valenciana), Noreste (Valle Guerra) and Valle de Güímar (Tenerife, Islas Canarias). For full report see: EU Commission press release.

Wipes, Tampons and scouring pads decorate the Montañar

Nov 18th
The recent storms have littered the Montañar beach with diverse personall hygiene items including thousands of paper towels and wipes. A few weeks ago, authorities had to struggle with a plug of 350 kilos of wipes which caused a blowout in San Javier (Murcia). Companies, including Amjasa have signed a statement about the management and use of such materials:for details see: Amjasa - wipes campaign From: XAD (Ed's note: this issue has hit the headlines in countries all over the world recently.)

Public presentation of Strategy for Sustainable Urban Development on Monday 21st November

Nov 18th
Next MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21ST, AT 7:00 PM in the conference room of the Archaeological and Ethnographic MUSEUM SOLER BLASCO (access by Carrer
Major), will be held the Public Presentation of the Strategy for the Sustainable Urban Development of Xàbia (Fent Xàbia). the content of this document has been elaborated with all the public contributions made during the process . The document will be submitted to obtain European funds which will enable developing the strategy over the next five years. From Edusi Press Release. For more about EDUSI see: EDUSI Integrated sustainable Urban development

Xàbia receives €22,600 tourism grant from Valencia

Nov 18th
The financial assistance has been divided between several projects. Some 8,000 euros has been allocated to the improvement of signs around the Old town to assist visitors and tourists to find their way around on foot. The vertical signs show the direction to different cultural resources and historic monuments. A total of 25 new signs have been installed . Another 3,600 euros have been allocated for new LED illumination of the exterior of the ancient fortress-church of San Bartolomé in the heart of the Old Town, reducing energy consumption from 8,750 to 1,770 watts. The lighting in spaces such as the side of the Plaza Celestino Pons, inside the bell-tower and the clock as well as the façade of the indoor market has also been changed. For full story see: Javeamigos

Plan for protecting urbanisations against wild fires

Nov 18th
A special meeting has been held at the Ayuntamiento de Xàbia between municipal representatives and representatives from the Generalitat Valenciana's General Directorate of Emergencies to prepare a plan to make Xàbia a safer place in the case of forest fires and improve coordination and response procedures. A general assessment will be made of the current state of the urbanisations of Xàbia and the population centres that are closest to the forested areas. Priority is to be given to assess the degree of risk in each case and the self-protection work, evacuation plans, emergency rendezvouz points, access points and the use of security services, etc. in each area. It is hoped the Plñna will be ready by Easter. For full story see: Javeamigos.

Construction along the Xàbia coast to be restricted

Nov 13th
The implementation of the Territorial Action plan of the Coastal Green Infrastructure of Valencia, (Pativel), was presented this week. This project aims to protect the almost 6,500 hectares 500 metres in from the seashore that have not been developed in the Valencian Community. With respect to the Marina Alta, this will have a significant impact on the southern coast of Xàbia that still retains cliffs and valuable seascapes. In Xabia , Pativel affects three areas: the Portitxol, which has plots of land available but unscheduled for development, and Llobatera and La Falzia that have areas scheduled for building. The idea is to grant 5 years to start those already authorized development works or finish those already underway. Failure to meet these requirements means the program will expire and the lands should be return to their "original state". There is another tool of protection: In affected areas, existing buildings can be rehabilitated and primary networks established, but building is not allowed. The possibility of new urban developments in that strip of 500 meters is closed. The mayor said that for the moment there are hardly any new programs in these three areas. From: La Marina Plaza.

Xàbia to be involved in a study of the regulation of holiday rental properties

Nov 13th
Xàbia will be fully involved in one of the most important issues of the tourism sector in recent years - the regulation of holiday rentals. This was decided at the meeting of the Tourism Commission of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP). The meeting was attended by the mayor of Xàbia, José Chulvi, who is a member of this committee on behalf of the PSOE. Xàbia is the only municipality in the Region of Valencia that has this representation. With regard to the meeting, Chulvi explained that "our town will be present in one of the working groups on rentals through our Department of Tourism. The objective is to make a study of the status of the available housing stock and, subsequently, to adapt it to the legality and interests of one of our most relevant economic sectors. We want to reach a position which is fair and transparent in which everyone wins: customers and those who offer their properties for rent. " From Chulvi Facebook.

Spain vows to ratify climate pact quickly

Nov 13th
Spain will quickly ratify a global pact aimed at taming climate change, a step which had been delayed by months of political paralysis, Environment Minister Isabel Garcia Tejerina said Friday. "Ratification will allow us to participate fully in all the decisions which will start to be adopted" after UN climate talks currently underway in Morocco which Rajoy will attend, she added. Spain is one of the biggest consumers in Europe of fossil fuels. The country also has little or no oil reserves, making it heavily dependent on imported oil.
Oil accounts for half of its energy consumption while natural gas accounts for roughly 20 percent. For full story see:

Valencia's college of Architects to advise on Montañar Coastal Path design competition

Nov 11th
The premise is to attract the best architects and construct a path that respects the environment, enhances the value of the bay of Xàbia and makes it more accessible to people. With this commitment, the mayor of Xàbia, José Chulvi, met this morning with the Dean of the College of Architects of Valencia, Rafael Durá in order to outline a transparent tender backed by technical guarantees for the competition of ideas for the Montañar coastal path. At the meeting, which was also attended by Urban Councillor Paco Torres, and the Municipal architect, Enric Morera, Rafael Durá expressed his satisfaction with both the purpose of the tender and by the type of project planned. In this respect, José Chulvi emphasised "that we want it to be perfectly integrated into the landscape and not cause any damage to the environment. Our objective is to enhance this unique space along our coast while respecting to the maximum its physical appearance ".
In relation to the project, the preliminary steps (which should be taken into account in the proposals) is the road management of Avenida Augusta and Calle Genoa and the diversion of part of the traffic, taking into consideration the parking needs once the immediate beach-front ceases to be used. The next step will be the drafting of the basis of the pre-project competition. With this in mind, a committee will be formed in which experts from different areas and administrations (Generalitat Valenciana and Government of Spain) will be given a voice. A jury of international prestige will be created and the definitive calendar for the work will be set out. from Chulvi Facebook.

Spain’s food industry threatened by Brexit

Nov 8th
The Spanish food and drink industry could be facing lower revenues, fewer exports and smaller profits as a result of the Brexit vote. This is one of the conclusions of Alimentación y bebidas: tendencias 2016 (or, Food and beverages: Trends for 2016), a study by the consulting group KPMG. According to the Trade Secretary’s Office, in 2015 Spain exported food and drinks to Britain worth over €3.5 billion, making it the second-most-important export sector after the auto industry. Food exports to the UK grew 60% between 2006 and 2015. The fruit and vegetable category experienced the greatest boom, representing a 51% increase over the period to reach sales of over €2 billion in 2015. This is followed by beverages, food preparations, meat products, and fats and oils. But this growth could be substantially slowed down by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. For full story see : El Pais in English

Interview with Ximo Puig includes reassurances for British citizens post Brexit

Nov 7
The region’s socialist leader is on a mission to diversify the local economy and boost the vital tourism sector. His weapons are greater government transparency to encourage investors and a collective drive with industry and business to move towards a knowledge economy based on better training and high-quality employment…..
How could Brexit be turned into an opportunity?
We currently have serious opportunities on the table that would reinforce our ties with Britain as a result of the Brexit vote. And there is an emotional component to it, which is the large British community living in our region. We call them our 100,000 British Valencianos.
What reassurances have you given to the British expat community?
Following the Brexit vote, we met with community representatives here and guaranteed that they will continue to enjoy the same rights as any other European citizen, including healthcare issues, which is a matter of great concern for senior residents. We have sent out a very powerful message of calm to the community, and in turn we have received shows of support from British citizens who live here and who are greatly concerned about their country’s decision to exit the EU.
For full interview see:

Making the case for Brits in Spain post Brexit -Sign on the Padrón

Nov 3rd
The main message from the British Consul, Sarah-Jane Morris, at a meeting held in Xàbia today, was that if the British people in Spain wanted the consul to represent their interests, then they should sign on the Padrón. She noted that there had been a big drop in people on the Padrón following a recent change in tax laws…people who were probably still here. (Eds note: Signing on the padrón has nothing to do with tax affairs - people who spend a part of their time living here, while retaining their tax status in the UK can become registered on the padrón. Residents must renew every 5 years, non-residents every 2 years. For more details see: Padron) . ) She said that the consulate was collecting information on the current situtation for Brits in Spain, and this would be passed to the UK Department for Exiting the European Union (DEXU) so that it is included in future negotiations. Mr Standing for the consulate health department described the current situation as regards health care entitlements for different categories of foreign residents, and Mr Lambert, a lawyer outlined three possible scenarios for Brexit: Access to the European Economic Area (.e.g Norway); a bilateral agreement to give access to the EEA e.g. Switzerland; or WTO rules (e.g. US). The latter could affect pensions. Inheritance tax exemptions could be lost. It was clarified that at present the UK Government pays €220 per month to the Spanish Government to cover health care for each UK pensioner registered in Spain. This sum is revised each year and approved by the European Comission. The Spanish Government submits its costs similarly. (From Ed's notes)For alternative views on this meetings see: Brexit meeting - Chulvi report

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