October 2014 News Headlines

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 will.i.am 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..

Works to clear dead trees from the most critical areas damaged by the fire

Biologists to encourage the growth of trees other than pines.


Oct 20th
Xàbia's forestry brigade has started work to clear burnt trees and branches from the Cami de Cova Tallada and the area closest to the lighthouse. This is being done now to avoid damaging the re-sprouting plants. They will macerate the material to create a layer of biomass to protect the soil and augment natural regeneration (though not in the lighthouse area where the soil is more resistant). The Municipal biologist suggests that now is the time to think and plan what type of forest we would like to see for the future (basically one without pines, composed of other, more fire resistant species already present in the area). Two years should pass before there is any reforestation action, and that they expect 80% of the vegetation to have recuperated naturally on La Plana within two or three years. From Press Release. and XAD: Xàbia limpia...

Spaniards 'work longer hours than Germans'

Oct 16th
The average Spaniard worked 1,665 hours in 2013 — more than people in Germany (1,388) or France (1,489), a new study published by Madrid's Institute of Economic Studies (IEE) reveals, but productivity remains a major obstacle to growth in Spain. According to figures from the European Commission, Germany has a productivity rate of over €42 ($54) per hour while Spain lags behind with only €32 ($41). Last month, the OECD warned Spain that it needed to improve its competitiveness to keep its economic recovery on track. The country has been accused of having a culture of spending long hours at work instead of concentrating on productivity while there. For full story see: The Local. es

Spain’s appeal to Muslim tourists

Oct 13th
Spain has tremendous potential as a destination for Muslim travelers, but it also has a long way to go, according to the experts who met recently in Granada at the first Halal World Tourism Congress. Unlike many of its competitors, Spain has very few restaurants or hotels that are certified halal. Even so, the number of Muslim visitors to Spain is growing. There was an 85-percent increase in Saudi arrivals in 2013 compared to the previous year (42,000); while the number of Algerian visitors rose by 30 percent for the same period, and 182,000 Turks came here; a 57-percent rise. Still a small percentage of the 60 million visitors overall, and a long way from challenging Germany as a source, but still significant. Delegations from the Middle East and Malaysia are due to visit Andalusia shortly to sound out the market. For full story see:El Pais in English

Another October Indian Summer ?

Oct 19th
Just like last year, summer temperatures have extended into October, with temperatures this weekend reaching 30º along the Comunidad Valenciana coast and touching 31.1º in Xàtiva and Alcoy. Just as last year, sales of winter clothes are some 10% lower than expected. From Las Provincias Sunday 19th Edition.

€10,000 million lost through corruption

Oct 19th
It has been estimated that some €10,000 million Euros , a sum amounting to 1% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (Producto interno bruto - PIB) is lost through corruption each year. A six page section in the Sunday 19th edition of Las Provincias reports 1700 corruption lawsuits with 500 people charged. It also lists some of the major cases, those who have been imprisoned, and those who are likely to be put away. It also describes some of the expensive "white elephant" projects which have never been completed and which lie abandoned and rotting away (Headline "More extravagant than Paris Hilton"), a discussion on tackling this problem (Headline: "To be corrupt is now a high risk profession"), looking at why Denmark is the least corrupt country ("The cleanest Country") , and the impact of the new political force "Podemos"(Las Provincias: Especial corrpción).

Amjasa buys two electric cars

Oct 19th
Amjasa, Xàbia's municipal water company has purchased two electric cars which will be used by staff who travel extensivley to around read water meters. The idea is that these will be low maintenance, cost less to run and produce fewer carbon emissions than the currently used vehicles. The company has also modernised its logo ( a water droplet) and brightened up the area outside the office with two water droplet signs and area of blue, crushed recycled galss, as used in the Barclay's Bank Roundabout. From XAD: Amjasa compra...

Luxury Villas lead the way in Xàbia

Oct 10th
Construction has picked up in Xàbia, with luxury villas to the fore. The town has recorded 42 applications to build new villas, exceeding 2013 figures and generating over 14 million € worth of work.. Luxury houses which will be built on exclusive coastal land. From LevanteDiarioInformación

The Pink Altea Tomato - an old variety reborn


Oct 10th
Two farmers from Altea have succeded in reviving a traditional, and very tasty, pink tomato. In the old days tomato growers would keep one of the fruit to be a source of seeds for the coming season, and the two enterprising farmers found an old man who still had the Altea Pink Tomato seed. They have now started off with two tomato fields, one of 5000 plants in Altea, and the other of 3000 plants in Callosa d'En Sarria. The fruit is large, pink, and irregular in shape, it also has a thin skin, s very sweet and and "melts in your mouth" They have been sold locally, and in markets in Madrid and Barcelona. From La Marina Plaza

Dream small: Spanish youth eye low-cost life

Oct 10th
Spain's youngsters have come to terms with the fact that their lives are going to be harder than that of their parents, a new study reveals. According to the study, this so-called ‘lost generation’ of Spaniards is eyeing a future within the realms of normality – degree, job, mortgage, family – with very few believing they can afford to “go their own way and explore new possibilities”. For full story see: The Local.es

Club Nautico organises talk on Good Marine Environmental practices

Oct 10th
The Nautical Club of Javea organised a talk in collaboration with the Coastal Ecology Institute on Friday October 10th a talk to disseminate the importance of good practices to prevent marine pollution among all users of recreational craft. The talk was given by Juan Iborra, of the Coastal Ecology Institute, explains the law in this area, which has recently been amended by the Central Government. Topics included prevention, the risk of marine pollution, civil protection and emergency management. From XAD: El Club Nautico...

Caixa Foundation makes donation to Xàbia Social Services

Oct 6th
The La Caixa Foundation today made a donation of 10,000 euros to Xàbia’s Department of Social Services. This significant amount will go towards basic necessities and support, explained Councillor Tere Bisquert. These include vouchers to purchase food and direct aid for troubled families with problems in paying electricity or water bills or their rent. Bisquert thanked La Caixa for this this great support to a department which is working at full capacity and stated that the donation of these funds will helps in the most urgent cases which cannot wait for the paperwork processing.( Mayor Chulvi Facebook.)

Tourism staff shown the Riurau route

Oct 3rd
Around 40 staff from the Comunidad Valenciana Tourism information network have seen the "Riurau Route of the Marina Alta" first hand. This exercise was to familiarise the staff with theis tourism promotion so that they are better able to recommend it to visitors, which they deal with every day.From XAD: Los informadores....

Spain's Canary Islands call vote against oil-drilling

Oct 3rd
Authorities in Spain's Canary Islands on Thursday called a popular vote on a controversial plan to drill for oil and gas off the major tourist destination. Spain's government outraged the local government, residents and environmental groups in August by giving oil group Repsol the all-clear to explore near the islands' coasts. Conservative regional president Paulino Rivero told reporters on Thursday he would let residents vote on November 23 on the plan, which he fiercely opposes. For full story see: GlobalPost

Xàbia forestry brigade starts to fell burned and damaged trees on La Plana

Oct 3rd
The municipal forestry brigade has started emergency work necessitated by the recent fore in the Montgó Natural Park. They have started by removing burned and damaged trees neat the Camí Cova Tallada and the road to the Cab de San Antonio lighthouse. The "Punt Verd" - rubbish recycling point will also be repaired and signs re-positioned. The cause of the fire has still not been determined. From Las Provincias:Brigadas forestales...

Ports Authority proposes to make a hotel out of the San Antonio Lighthouse

Oct 3rd
The programme of "Faros de España" - (Lighthouses of Spain) aims to make use of lighthouses which are no longer lived in. As regards the lighthouse on the Cabo de San Antonio, the Alicante Ports Authority has opted to create a six bedroom hotel with cafeteria and restaurant and massage facilities. This being the option likely to give the best return. Other options, such as creating an environmental appreciation centre with multifunction room and restaurant have been turned down. Xàbia Town Hall has sent a letter to the Ministry of Development asking for the project to be paralised, since the decision was made unilaterally without consulting Xàbia authorities, and noting that the lighthouse is in a Natural park. Mayor Chulvi asked for a meeting to discuss the issue. From XAD: El Puerto...

Xàbia receives bonus for paper recycling

Oct 3rd
The Ayuntamiento de Xàbia has received additional extra income of 58,275 euros as an annual bonus for the recycling of paper and card greater than the minimum estimate made by Ecoembes, the company for which there is an agreement for the management of recyclable waste collected from the special containers. This amount is in addition to the payments made annually in arrears by the company for the amount of recyclable waste collected each month which totalled some 175,000 euros in 2013. For full story see: Javeamigos

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