September 2013 News Headlines

Fire hydrant map

Sept 27th
Civil defence volunteers have completed a survey of all the 465 fire hydrants in Xàbia, discovering that just under 100 do not work. However they have drawn up a map showing the location of each hydrant as well as its features, including water pressure which will be useful in case of fire. The map has been made available to fire-fighting agencies via the Internet. From Las provincias: Un centenar...

Heritage House falling down

Sept 27th
The "Casa de la Candelaria" was bought by the town hall and used as offices during the refurbishment of the municipal offices in the church square. But this old house has been been left derelict for 8 years and is now in danger of collapse. The municipal works brigade has been obliged to install struts on both the ground and upper floors to prevent the building from falling down. In the past there have been many proposals for its public use: art market, business incubator, hotel. Last year, one of participatory budget proposals was to repair the roof for €100,000, but this failed to garner much support. From XAD: Xàbia apuntala....

"Organic production in Spain offers opportunities for diversification"

Sept 27th
The general director of Industria Alimentaria, a body under the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA), Fernando Burgaz, highlighted the opportunities which organic production offers for diversification and "its bond with traditional production systems and the land." Additionally, he stressed the service that the sector provides to consumers through these differentiated products. For full story see: FreshPlaza

APASA plans a cat shelter

Sept 23rd
The San Antonio animal protection Association (APASA) plans to build a shelter for 50 to 60 cats in the facilities it has in Les Sorts for dogs. According to APASA's vet, José Luis Genoese, it is difficult to quantify the cat population in the municipality because there are many feral cats which breed without control. One of the problems with the Javea dog kennel is that there is no surgery where sterilisations can be carried out, something that could be rectified when making the cat shelter. The cost of the cat shelter is estimated to be around 30,000 euros financed through donations etc. Mayor Chulvi recently opened twelve quarantine cages for dogs entering the APASA pound, where new dogs would be isolated for a couple of weeks before going into the pound proper. From : Las Provincias - APASA proyecta...

Spain loses 15 billion euros a year in potential VAT revenue

Sept 23rd
Spain loses around 15 billion euros a year in potential value-added tax revenues because of evasion, as well as bankruptcies and statistical errors, among other factors. In the period 2008-2011, the loss in Spain was estimated at 65 billion euros. Spain is not the worst example of a European country failing to benefit from its potential to raise VAT revenue. The 2011 shortfall in Italy is estimated at 36 billion euros, at 32 billion in France, 27 billion in Germany and 19 billion in Britain. However, in relation to the size of their economies, the problem is greatest in Romania, Greece, Latvia and Lithuania. The countries with the lowest loss of potential VAT revenues in terms of a percentage of their GDP are Sweden, Malta, the Netherlands, Ireland and Slovenia. For full story see: El País in English

Don't be alone at Christmas

Sept 23rd
This Christmas, like soem previous years, elderly people living alone are going to have company. At least, this is the objective of the "don't be alone at Christmas" program promoted by the Xàbia Department of Social Services via the Ministry for Social Welfare. This joint initiative is aimed at elderly people who are alone and have no chance to spend Christmas with family or friends. To participate in this programme, applicants should have a degree of independence, be older than 65; or be disabled, retired or widowed pensioners over 60. From 23 to December 27, beneficiaries will be able to enjoy full board lodging at a hotel in the Comunidad Valenciana with socio-cultural activities, medical services, transport and insurance. Interested parties may obtain information and submit their applications until November 4 via the Department of Social Services (2nd Floor of the Social Centre). Phone 965794142 ext 18018 for an appointment. From Press release

43,000 tapas (and drinks) downed

Sept 20th
By all accounts the 7th edition of the weekend "Tapeo" in the Old Town went well, with a total of 43,000 "units" (tapas or drinks) being sold. At some periods the plaza de la constitución was full to bursting, and people also took the opportunity to visit shops in the Old Town proper. From XAD: Xàbia historica...

Spain still lacks a transparency law

Sept 20th
Outsiders are often amazed to discover that the country should still lack a transparency law in the year 2013. Sweden, for example, has had one since 1776. Latin American countries, in general terms, drafted theirs in the 1990s. But Spain is still working on it. "Our current situation of opacity is going to change very little," says Victoria Anderica, a lawyer and campaign coordinator for a Madrid-based group called Access Info. "But we will not be satisfied with a mediocre law." José Luis Ayllón, the state secretary for parliamentary relations, has been closely involved in the drafting of Spain's upcoming transparency law, and he disagrees with this appraisal. "This has been one of the most widely debated laws in recent times," he says. "In many cases it goes beyond other countries' [transparency laws]: that is the advantage of getting there last." for full story see: El País in English

Health ministry launches patient card recognised all over Spain to replace regional-only model

Sept 20th
A HEALTHCARE card which will be recognised in all federal regions in Spain will be launched on Friday, says the PP government. At present, all those entitled to State medical assistance hold a SIP card, but the individual format of each one is only valid in the patient's autonomous region – such as Andalucía, Murcia, the Comunidad Valenciana, and so on. For full story see: ThinkSpain

Spain, eighth world agrifood exporter

Sept 19th
Spain has become the world's eighth largest exporter of food products (agriculture and fishery) and the fourth one in the European Union, according to data released in August by the World Trade Organization and that was included in the Analysis of Foreign Trade report by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Spain exported 35,000 million euro in 2012. From Freshplaza

Time Bank re-launched

Sept 18th
A non- profit association called "Banco de Tiempo Libre" (BLT) was set up last year (with the support of the Town Hall) to promote the exchange of services between residents. The Bank of Free Time uses money, but "an hour of your time." Uising special books of tickets participants can benefit from all kinds of services, ranging from hairdressing to care for the elderly, massage, computer science and math classes, collecting children from school, home repairs, cooking and sewing, to name a few that have already been are already offered. The only requirement is to return the service with providing help yourself. The maximum balance in the Time Bank is 10 hours of services enjoyed (and then they must be repaid). Everyone can join the Time bank, regardless of age even if they are only temporarily resident. Those interested can get more information every Tuesday, from 10 to 12 and the first Wednesday of every month or via e-mail moc.liamg|aibaxopmeitledocnab#moc.liamg|aibaxopmeitledocnab nad Facebook: (Javea Time Bank) From Press Releases.

Tosalet Roundabout - at last !

Sept 18th
Work on a new roundabout at the entrance to El Tosalet at the junction of Ctra. del Portitxol and Ctra. de la Guardia started today. It is a major traffic and accident blackspot. The work is expected to last five months and will include improvements to water pipelines by AMJASA technicians as well as improved drainage to reduce flooding at this junction. From Mayor's Facebook.

Plan for walkway between the Port and Arenal

Sept 18th
Xàbia Town Hall has submitted a plan to Costas (Ministry of the Environment) to develop a wooden walkway, five metres wide and two km long between the Triana bridge near the Port and the Parador at the Arenal. The walkway would serve two purposes: firstly enable people to stroll all the way along the beach unimpeded by pedestrian crossings and parked cars, and secondly act as a barrier to prevent cars from parking all over the coastal area. Parking would be restricted to a 5.6m strip on the sea-side of the road. The project would cost between €100,000 - 200,000 depending upon the type of walkway built. Additional possibilities are to make the road one-way, at least during the summer, and allow parking next to the bike lane. Attempts to develop rthis stretch of coast - Montanyar 1, go back 80 years. From Las Provincias: Xàbia pide costas.... Plans to re-organise parking in Garandella are also underway. Costas insists that the gully currently used for parking should be free of cars, and wishes to reclaim an area of beach currently covered by concrete. (From XAD: El Consell...

Spain: for sale

Sept 18th
Spain is for sale. And finally, it seems there are buyers. Dozens of investment funds from all over the world, but mostly from the United States, are buying apartment blocks, real estate firms, and even company debt. There are some vulture funds out for a quick buck, but most are looking for medium-term returns. "Two years ago, Spain was radioactive, and the property sector toxic. Suddenly it's become our savior; it's that stupid," says one veteran real estate developer on condition of anonymity. For full story see: El Pais in English

Table of Contents

Xàbia Mayor launches a Blog

Sept 16th
As part of his continuing effort to be in contact with Xàbia's citizen's, mayor Chulvi has launched a Blog. Here's what he had to say on his Facebook page:

Dear Friends, As part of my policy of transparency, of listening and dialogue, I created an English Facebook page as a means of communicating with the citizens of Xàbia. It has been very successful, however I realise that not all of our citizens have Facebook pages even though they actively use the internet. For this reason I am developing this Blog, through which I will try to communicate issues and events of importance and interest to our citizens. At the same time I would like to encourage everyone to contact me with their concerns or problems related to living in Xàbia and I will do my best to reply within a reasonable timeframe. I hope that you will find this new initiative helpful.

The Blog can be found on:

New bus station opened

Sept 16th
From Saturday morning, all bus lines, (the local lines and those to Denia, Alicante and Valencia) will operate from the new bus station in Avenida Palmela. The station was proposed by the citizens of Xàbia in participatory budget meetings, planned in Xàbia, built by a local company, and funded entirely with local funds. Apparently the bus companies were initially against the location, but have now changed their tune and there will be a new direct service to Valencia at weekends and a parcel service. from XAD: Xàbia convencida... (Eds note: The whole issue of bus service contracts, legailties and competences is a complicated nightmare)

Free workshops on retail competitiveness

Sept 13th
Xàbia Town hall has joined forces with the Ministry of Economy to organise four, free workshops for small businesses and free-lancers. The idea is to guide small entrepreneurs in ways of being competitive, marketing and client relations. The workshops startr on the afternoon of Sept 25th and people must enroll in the local development agnecy or at Creama. From Las provincias: Ela consistorio...

Sustainable Transport week

Sept 13th
Jávea has been preparing a comprehensive programme of activities to celebrate the inaugural Sustainable Transport Week between September 16th and 22nd which forms part of a commitment to a European project to promote the use of clean energy for transport. For full story and programme see: Javeamigos

66 proposals for next year's participatory budget

Sept 11
Thus far a total of 66 proposals have been received for next year's participatory budget. Ideas range from introducing a local currency, regenerating the Tango beach, asphalting and lighting the car park near the cinema in the port and diverting IBI money from fiesta expenditure to castrating dogs and cats! Two topics were particularly popular, being proposed by several people independently. These were the installation of jellyfish nets to protect bathers from stings in the summer and the refurbishment of the Arnuda Riurau so that it has both electricity and a roof, thus enhancing and diversifying its role as a public space. The closing date for the receipt of proposals is Sept 30th 2013 (Eds notes)

Grants to promote jobs and economic recovery

Sept 11
Xàbia Town Hall is intoducing a 4th initiative to promote employment and economic activity. This time it is a sum of €23,000 which will be released as grants of up to €2000 for small and medium sized businesses with up to 50 employees. The money can be applied for by new free-lancers and businesses who plan to improve their facilities and equipment. Details of how to apply will be released soon. From XAD: Xàbia otorgará...

Chunk of Cine Jayan ceiling collapses

Sept 8th
A lump of the Cine Jayan's ceiling fell down injuring a person on the head. The last four or five rows were affected. The collapse occurred at the beginning of the session and few people were inside the cinema. From Las Provincias: Un herido....

Xàbia Town Hall to look after tourist infrastructures on the beach

Sept 8th
Xàbia, along with 14 other municipalities , has agreed to assume responsibility for the maintenance and repair of tourist infrastructure on the beach e.g. Volleyball nets, childrens´climbing frames, foot baths, signs etc. The total budget set aside by Valencia for all the municipalities involved is €553,000. From XAD: El Consell...

Xàbia school trials tablet textbooks

Sept 6th
The Graüll school in Xàbia is taking part in a pilot project to replace paper textbooks with tablets and e-books. The project is being run by the Ministry of Education. 50 Xàbia students will be using the new technology, which should, in time represent savings of more than 100 Euros for parents. A total of 1000 students from 24 schools are involved in the trial. From Las Provincias Xàbia y Lliber...

Amjasa profits up

Sept 6th
The Jávea municipal water company, Amjasa , closed the first half of 2013 with a profit of 348,000 euros, surpassing the profits made over the same period last year. The money will be used on various improvements to the network. From XAD: Amjasa cierre...

Foreigners bring some relief to still-grim housing market

Sept 6th
Home purchases by foreigners in Spain continued to surge in the second quarter of the year on a back of an ongoing decline in prices in what has become the only bright spot in a market in the doldrums since a massive bubble burst around the start of 2008. Purchases by foreign residents climbed a record 16.9 percent to 12,546 in the April-June period. Purchases by the foreign community have now risen for the past eight quarters. Sales to non-resident foreigners amounted to 1,086 meaning that foreigners accounted for one out of every six transactions in the quarter. For full story see: El País in English

Tourist figures improve slightly

Sept 5th
The tourism department has made an initial assessment of hotel occupation over the past two months. According to the data, the municipality has seen a slight improvement over last year with August having an occupancy of 87% of the 1,095 hotel rooms in the town. From XAD:Xàbia registra...

Granadella best beach in Spain

Sept 5th
For the second year in succession Granadella has won the competition organised by TV station Antena 3 over the summer.
From XAD La Granadella...

Xàbia prepares bye laws to deal with anti-social and illegal goings on in public spaces

Sept 5th
Xàbia town hall is preparing bye laws to control "botellon" (large gatherings of people having noisy, usually drunken street parties at night): prostitution, grafitti, advertising "this car for sale" on cars parked on the road, hawking, BarBQs on the beach and other illegal goings-on in public spaces. These regulations will seek to " promote conviviality and citizenship " and " identify actions that disrupt or impair coexistence and set appropriate penalties ." From XAD.Xàbia prepará...

Jumble Sale raises €1200 for Xàbia Red Cross

Sept 5th
A jumble sale held in support of the Xàbia Red Cross raised €1200. The event was organised as part of the Mare de Déu de Loreto fiestas and the money will go towards improving ambulance equipment. From XAD. El rastrillo...

From the jobless line to virtual slavery

Sept 2nd
Spain's tourism sector is having a good year, providing a boost to employment. The bad news is that many of these posts are a pretext for exploitation. In the Balearic Islands, where 87 percent of all hiring is for temporary jobs, the unions have noticed that small hotel chains are subcontracting services. The goal is to bypass the sector's collective bargaining agreement and save up to 50 percent on labor costs. This way, the waitress who was earning 1,100 euros a month now makes 800. Another extended practice, according to the UGT union, is that of the false self-employed worker - employees who are pressured into leaving the staff but continue performing the same job, with the difference that they now pay their own social security. For full story see: El Pais in English

The Cost del Sol - Spain's Escalating Solar Crisis

Households generating solar panel energy may be penalised

August 30th
Spain's subsidies to solar energy rose from €190m in 2007 to €3.5 billion in 2012 (an 18-fold increase). Total subsidies to all renewables reached €8.1 billion in 2012. The cumulative tariff deficit (the cost of the system minus revenues from consumers) reached €26 billion, having risen by about €5 billion a year. ( The Economist - July 20th) Spain is generating so much solar power, according to its government, that production capacity exceeds demand by more than 60%. (Forbes August 19th) Earlier this year Spain proposed new deficit-reduction measures that would increase the price of self-generated solar power significantly, making it more expensive than electricity generated by the conventional electric grid. The new laws would penalize customers with solar panels who did not connect to the grid. (Forbes - August 16th) More on this on Bloomberg

UNED (National Distance Education University) opens registration in Denia

August 30th
Spain's National Distance Education University - UNED - is offering a wide range of low cost academic courses including 27 batchelors degrees and registration is open at the UNED Centre in Denia from September 4th until October 16th. Information about UNED can be found in English here and information about the Denia centre can be found here . Note the UNED senior programme includes courses on Ornithology and Birdwatching and how to create a work of art.

Benitatxell harvests its second crop of "Biomoscatell"

August 29th
This year, Benitatxell hopes to harvest some 10,000 kg of Biomoscatell - "organic" moscatel grapes grown without chemicals. There has apparently been a growing interest in this product in local shops and restaurants. The project is part of the Agriclimatechange initiative. From XAD: La Segunda...

Early "Gota fria" causes damage and flooding in Xàbia

August 29th
The storm and deluge last night dumped 74mm of rain on the Port in half an hour, flooded the tourist office (the girls who work there and the local police spent the evening baling out), downed a tree branch near the sports hall and tore the canopy off a stand for the Bulls in the Sea festivities. Apparently a jet ski and someone who fell in the sea had to be rescued. (From XAD: Una Tromba... ) The storm was due to a DANA (Depresión Aislada en Niveles Alto - Isolated high altitude depression) - commonly referred to as "Gota Fría". Meanwhile elsewhere in the region, hail has damaged olive crops and the excessive water is expected to decrease the rice yiled in the Pego marshes. From Las Provincias: Caen las...

A third of Valencian mountains could generate income

August 28th
The Valencian Government is developing a plan to promote the exploitation of some 364,500 ha of mountainous land to generate wealth - i.e. the selling of wood as biomass for thermal and electricity generation, hunting, tourism, grazing , wild fruits etc. This is the basis of the Territorial Forestry Action Plan (Patfor). About 70% of this land is scattered smallholdings and its lack of economic return has led to its abandonment. The only way economic explotation will work is if owners can work together as groups in order to cut costs. Currently, 54 percent of the area of ​​the Region, 1.2 million hectares, is formed by woodland. However, this large green area contributes only 1% GDP and is additionaly subject to wildfires. From Las Provincias: La Generalitat....

Bike route signposts get a grant

August 28th
Xàbia Town Hall has received a grant of €5,336 from the Valencia Tourist board to go towards the signposting of Xàbia's network of cycle routes. 10 routes have been publicised through pamphlets in Spanish and English, though they still need to be signposted. The total budgeted cost for signposting is €10,672 and work will be coordinated with the Montgó Natural Park authorities so that existing posts can be used for the new signs where possible. From XAD: Turismo recibe....

Javea launches initiative to provide training in the hospitality sector

August 27th
The Departments of Economic Development and Finance, in collaboration with the private sector, have launched a new initiative to promote employment in the town's main economic sector - tourism. The plan aims to train up to 100 residents in the business and thus open up more option to adapt to a growing labour market as well as improve the quality of tourist services offered in town. For full story see: Javeamigos

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