December 2012 News Headlines

Talk on Ethical Banking


Nov 28th
On Tuesday 11 December at 8.00pm in the Casa de Cultura there will be a lecture on banking ethics, also known as social or sustainable banking. The speaker will be Juan Antonio Sanchís, director of the Valencia office of the Triodos Bank. Sanchis will speak about the need for an awareness by society of the need to have a more humane economy which is respectful of the planet. He will give examples of sustainable initiatives in the sectors of renewable energy and bioclimatic architecture, social intervention and labour integration, as well as responsible consumption through organic food and fair trade. In addition, Sanchis will announce the ethical and sustainable banking model that the European Triodos Bank promotes. From Press Release. Click here for website of the Troidos Bank in Spain (in Castillian).
For information on the Troidos bank internationally see:

Agricultural project wins Young Businessman Innovation prize

Nov 26th
José Manuel Bisetto, won the JOVEMPA Marina Alta (Association of young businesses) innovation prize with his company "Agricologia". This is a different and innovative way to approach agriculture as a green hobby, based on ecology and sustainable development, culture and tradition, social participation and health benefits. The company is dedicated to educate farmers to take advantage of disused orchards, as well as to commercialize fruit crops. Bisetto is convinced that "agriculture can be the engine that pulls us out of the crisis". Agricologia aims to recover and to promote agriculture in the Marina Alta through ecological vegetable gardens run as a hobby so that users are able to grow their organic vegetables and citrus fruits. People can also manage their plot on-line. Other services include workshops and talks, seeds and plants. The company is based in Benidoleig. See Webiste in English: From XAD: Un proyecto agricola....

Diving Club cleans up sea bed in Club Nautico Area

Nov 26th
Last weekend the Pelicar Diving Club brought together 20 diver volunteers to clean up the sea bed near the Club Nautico. They found all manner of junk including bottles, motor parts, shopping carts, as well as a digital camera and binoculars. The Town hall provided a skip for all the rubbish. From XAD: Limpian lost fondos...

Green shoots in Spain’s real estate sector?

Nov 19th
All is not lost: they say that the end of the property crisis is coming from the East, where Spain offers sunny weather, good services, excellent communications and now, cheap housing too. This has become a land of opportunity for a certain type of foreign client with money in their pockets. Mortgage loans may have dried out, but that does not matter; these customers pay in cash. The most notable clients are the Russians. They come from far away, they are forceful, and there are many of them. According to the Moscow agency Masa International, Spain has become their main purchasing territory, ahead of Bulgaria, which was until now Russians' favorite beach home location. Moscow alone has 250 agencies selling Spanish properties, and some specialize exclusively in Spain, according to the Russian measurement company GIS (Geoinformatiónnaya Sistema). One of the factors behind this boom is tourism: a million Russians visit Spain each year. Russia is the market that Costa Dorada realtors aim for, such as Europa Dom, 75 percent of whose clients are Russian. For full story see: El Pais in English

Redressing Ethnic cleansing

Nov 25th
Spain has announced that it will ease the naturalization of Sephardic Jews whose ancestors were expelled 500 years ago. Sephardic Jews already benefit from a preferential naturalization procedure that requires them to live in Spain for only two years before claiming citizenship. But the change, which was announced on Thursday, means that Jews will have to present only a certificate confirming their ancestry to claim a Spanish passport. While estimates differ, the number of Jews living in Spain - 25,000 to 45,000 people out of a total population of 47 million - is only a fraction of the number who lived in the country before 1492, when Jews were forced to convert to Christianity or go into exile. From: Spain to ease... (Ed's note: Then, the Jewish population was about 10% of the population. Jews are famously entrepreneurial - perhaps this is an attempt to inject some new, old blood into the country see:Martin Svasky's opinion. )

Xàbia crime rate below provincial average.

Nov 25th
Xàbia is a safe place to live, with a crime rate of 23 crimes per 1000 inhabitants, the crime rate is below the provincial average (25.3). In 2012 there were no house burglaries which added to the sense of security. However, the Town plans to improve results by referring all offences such as shoplifting, pilfering of copper and other materials to court, so that repeat offenders are recorded and thus more likely tobe detained. From XAD: Xàbia sigue...

Abandoned boat turns into a bonanza

Nov 23rd
Keen diver Daniel was walking his dog on Granadella beach early in the morning a few days ago when he saw a large abandoned boat drawn up on the beach. He tied it to the wall and then alerted the Guardia Civil - after asking for its "custody". It seems that the boat may have belonged to drug smugglers, since it is a large, expensive Zodiac type rib, with three 250 horse power engines. If so, the owners are unlikely to come back and claim it. The boat will therefore be sold at auction, and since Daniel took custody of it, under maritime law he will be entitled to 50% of the proceeds…and the estimated value ? some 100,000 Euros ! From Las Provincias: Hallan lancha...

Row over route of gas pipelines

Nov 23rd
The Valencia Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade is laying pipelines for gas mains in the Marina Alta. The Xàbia works began just under a month ago with trenches being dug in the Camí Vell de Gata. These, of course, got flooded by the recent rains, causing all sorts of incoveniences to residents. The pipeline route cuts through plots of land and roads, and the Xàbia Town Hall considered the plan to be anarchic. They put forward an alternative suggesting that the pipes should run alongside existing roads. The Valencia authorities have turned down this alternative. The Town hall asks all affected property owners to lodge their complaints via the Town Hall's Public Works and Planning departments (in Carrer d'Avall, Old Town), beacuse the contractor (Endesa) is obliged to reinstate the affected land back to as it was previously. Note: The signs of bike and hiking routes seem to have disappeared. From XAD: La Conselleria...

Calling all retired expat professionals - Your Town Needs You !

Nov 21st
This Monday the Town Hall launched its "Comboi" project to support young entrepreneurs through providing low cost co-working premises and advice and support. For details of the project see Comboi Strategy. Part of the initiative was the provision of mentoring by professional people who have "been there, done that" and they are calling on the professional expertise which lies in the expat community of Xàbia. Ed's Note: No information yet on how to these people can offer their services.

Study on waste water management

Nov 21st
AMJASA, has reached an agreement with the association for the promotion of local agriculture "Terra Xàbia" which will receive a grant of € 4,000 in exchange for taking over some basic studies on the re-use of treated water which is currently discharged into the sea. In exchange for this financial support, the Terra Xàbia association will conduct a study of the needs of irrigation water in Javea, sorting out the land into blocks for intervention. They will establish priorities so that water availability and AMJASA's current infrastructure can be juggled for best use. Terra Xàbia also agreed to study private irrigation networks and look at a possible integration of these networks. Finally, they will collaborate with AMJASA in control plans for the drinking water network which is used on agricultural land, preparing technical studies of flows and water needs of the different zones of the municipality. From Press release and XAD: AMJASA...

"Gastromusic" in La Perla Restaurant

Nov 20th
The La Perla Restaurant has launched an initiative to combine music with creative cuisine, and seems to have had a hit with 70 people enjoying their musical meal last weekend. The idea was to combine the flavours of each course with appropriate music. Hence the prawn starter was accompanied by a flamenco, a course called "Chica de Ipanema" with mushrooms and tubers went down with Brasilian music etc. Afterwards guests were able to enjoy a drink in the VIP lounge of the SOCCO nightclub. From XAD: Mas de 70...

Xàbia International college raises money for BBCs Children in need

Nov 20th
Last Friday, Xàbia International College secondary school had a uniform free day, in which students had to pay 1 € as "fine" . There was also a cake sale, resulting in the raising of €226 for BBCs "Children in Need". This is just one of the XIC initiatives that has raised a total of € 1065 to help different charities such as MABS and the Hope Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. Hilary Fernandez, the headmistress of the school, said that "for a small school, theis represents a major effort, and is something that students, parents and school staff should be very proud." From XAD: El XIC...

Marina Alta businesses share their success using on-line social networking

Nov 18th
About 60 business people participated in the Marina Alta technological breakfast held at the Hotel El Rodat organized by Acciona and Xàbia Idea.
Entitled "SMEs success in social networks", various speakers shared their experiences with a large audience their experience with social networking tools which have helped them to get noticed. e.g. Domingo Riera (Rent a car, Denia) spoke of the importance of streamlining and organizing the time devoted to social networks and then the need to have a good strategy. It is also essential to know the audience you're aiming at and then generate a conversation with your customers, future and present. He also detailed the usefulness of social networks, from Facebook, Google plus, Tumbler, Pinterest, Blogger, Picasa, Flickr, etc., And recommended Foursquare as a future tool for any business, especially if it is dedicated to tourism. From XAD: Empresarios...

Sea Food and Fishing Festival

Nov 18th
The Xàbia Association of restauranteurs is organising a new gastronomic event called "Xàbia al Plat" which will focus on local fishing, the fish market, and local sea food. There will be a number of events between Sunday November 25th and December 2nd. They will kick off on November 25th with a tapas competition and other activities in the Port fish market, starting with a fish auction open to everyone. In the afternoon and evening there will be guided tours of some of the fishing boats and their different fishing techniques and a demo on how to clean fish as well as a photo exhibition. documentary screenings and music. During the week, participatory restaurants will offer special menus for the festival. From Press Release and XAD: Xabia al plat...

"Incubator" for Xàbia entrepreneurs

Nov 18th
Xàbia Town hall is launching a new initative to support new businesses and help them get off the ground. Specifically they are organising a "business incubator" that will use empty premises in the Old Town which can be easily enabled as shared offices. This will favour synergies between professionals and reduce costs for each of the users. The move is also expected to enhance networking and the sharing of resources, as well as protect the value of unused Old Town premises in face of the construction of new buildings. It is also seen as a move to promote self-employment. To further this aim, an association with a social vocation called "Comboi" has been set up with a membership comprised of entrepreneurs. This type of project has been set up in Burjassot - but this is the first of its kind in Jávea. Everyone interested in hearing more of this initiative is invited to a meeting on Tuesday 20th November at 8.00pm in the Casa del Cultura, organised by the Councillor for Citizen Participation, Cesc Camprubí. From Press Release.

The Spanish Crisis from a different point of view

Nov 14th
"Crisis, unemployment, debt, premium risk, It seems impossible to detach our country from these words. However, if we pay closer attention, we see Spain is a country full of opportunities. It´s just a matter of changing your perspective." A Video from Grant Thornton, Spain

Amjasa to claim costs from companies which damage water pipes.

Nov 13th
The Amjasa board has decided to claim costs incurred when the water supply network is damaged by outside companies. Up until now, Amjasa has only asked for help with the repair task. Now there is a table of financial compensation based on the number of hours the failure leaves an area without a water supply. This ranges from €3072 an hour for a fault which affects the desalination plant to 500€ an hour for the breakage of a 500mm pipe . From XAD: Amjasa repercutira....

Proposal to stop home evictions

A 53-year-old woman commits suicide on the day her property was to be repossessed

Nov 11th
There have been over 350,000 evictions in Spain the last four years in a country with extremely high home ownership levels. Meanwhile, the rate of job destruction will leave over six million Spaniards out of work by 2013, according to Brussels, meaning that growing numbers of people will be unable to meet their mortgage payments. While judges complain that their hands are tied and all they can do is apply the law, society is coming up with innovative ways to fight the foreclosures. On Friday, the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife managed to get Bankia to temporarily halt all local evictions by the simple technique of withdrawing 1.5 million euros from the lender, which was nationalized earlier this year to avoid bankruptcy. The move also ended a five-day hunger strike by a woman whose home was repossessed a month ago. For full story in English see: El Pais in English

Table of Contents

The cost of maintaining a good name

Set up to promote Spain abroad, the Foreign Ministry’s ‘casas’ are facing heavy cuts

Faced with ever-deeper cuts to its budget, the Foreign Ministry is inviting the private sector to help fund its six casas, institutions tasked with strengthening cultural relations between Spain and Africa, Asia, the Arab world, the Mediterranean, and Israel and the global Jewish community. In March, the government appointed a new set of directors for the institutions, paying them 30 percent less than their predecessors. See: El Pais in English Note Xàbia is involved with the Casa Mediterraneo …or was..

AMJASA reports positive balance of almost €500,000

Nov 11
At the meeting of the AMJASA Board of Directors held a few days ago, a positive balance of €491,869 was reported over the same period of 2011.
According to data seen by Las Provincias, in the first nine months personnel costs were reduced by €119,875, and other operating expenses by €105,932 euros. Also revenue (mostly for water consumed) increased as compared to 2011 being €372,076 euros. From Las Provincias : AMJASA logra...

Orange Alert for heavy rain

Nov 11th
The Met Office has issued an Orange Alert for heavy rain and rough seas for Sunday 11th and Monday 12 November - with rain forecast all week. Graphics show a rotating weather system circulating around the Balearics and the Jávea peninsular with a possible 120mm in 24 hours.
For weather graphics see:

Flexible payment system for local taxes

Tax rates hiked to compensate for Catastrazo

Nov 11th
Xàbia Town Hall is introducing a system whereby, in 2013, people can customise their schedule of payments of local taxes to suit their circumstances. People who pay early will get a discount of up to 4%, and those who wait until the end of the year will pay s small surcharge. This local system is a pioneer in Spain. Other decisions agreed by an extraordinary Plenary Council meeting on 8th November was a hike in the factor to calculate IBI - from 0.93% to 1.13% and the increase in the rubbish collectionj tax. These measure will produce a 5million increase in the tax take, while an anticipated 8.5 million reduction in expenditure (details to be agreed by all municipal political groups) will help to plug some of the shortfall resulting from the Catastrazo ruling. The change in tax rates were approved by the ruling coalition (PSPV, Xàbia Democrática and Ciudadanos por Jáve. Plus the non-aligned councillor Rosa Cardona. Those against were PP, Bloc and the other non-aligned councillors: Juan Planelles, Paco Catalá and Eduardo Monfort. From XAD: El ayuntamiento...

Plague of Black weevils attacks Agaves

Nov 9th
The Department of Environmental Services of Xàbia has detected a new insect pest. This is the black weevil (Scyphophorus acupunctatus) and has been found in areas of Balcon al Mar, the river Gorgos and elsewhere suggesting that the species may now spread. The Black weevil attacks mainly agaves / Century Plants (Agave americana), but may also jeopardize yuccas (Yucca elephantipes) and dragon trees (Dracaena drago). The black weevil is smaller than the red (2.8 cm). Both insects have similar biologies and adults and larvae are found together within the soft tissue of the plant causing the leaves to collapse. This direct damage and bacterial infections results in plant death.
Like the red weevil, symptoms are difficult to detect until the degree of attack is severe, since it feeds in the heart of the agave and the insect is difficult to see. Symptoms are the premature fall of the flower stem and leaves which can easily be pulled off the base, appearing decayed and damp accompanied by an intense smell of fermentation. Preventive pesticide treatments are the same as those used against the red palm weevil. From Press Release

AMJASA awards 7 contracts to local companies

Nov 7th
The municipal water company AMJASA has awarded seven refurbishment contracts worth a total of €144,444 to local Xàbia companies. These are: Transportes y Excavaciones Mayte, S. L., Asfaltos y Obras Cholbi, F. David, S. L., S. L., Exca-Javea, S. L., Aquafont Hermanos Mateo, S. L., Aquastil, S. L. and Santacreu, S. L. The budgets range from €48,800 to €13,392 and represent a 20% saving on the original tender budget. The works, on various sections of the water network will be in calles Picardo, Gengibre, Bahamas, Jaca, Murciana-Hibiscus-Olivera, Les Basses and Jávea Park. They will begin over the next few days and be completed in about two months. From Press Release: XAD: AMJASA contrata....

Bats to catch Mosquitoes

Nov 7th
The Young Ecologists of Oliva association, in collaboration with their town hall have launched an unusual campaign against mosquitoes and other nuisance insects i.e. they are installing nest boxes for bats (rates penades) - of which there 22 species in the Comunidad Valenciana, all of them protected. A single bat can consume up to two thousand mosquitoes in one night, and they are used as insect control agents in the US and Italy in areas where environmental protection prohibits spraying. From Levante: Rates Penades....

Law governing expat wills explained

Nov 7th
On October 29th, Notary Jaun Luis Millet gave a brief explanation of the new Law of Succession and the possible consequences for foreign residents in Spain. The new Regulation 650/2012 entered into force on 4 July 2012 and shall apply to the inheritance of all who die after August 17, 2015. The new principles of succession can have a big effect on a people Xàbia, where over 50% of the population are foreigners and of these, nearly 80% are from the European Union. The notary emphasized that this new law shall apply in all European Union countries, except the UK, Ireland and Denmark, where it has not been ratified. For information about the new EU Regulation see: Changes in inheritance rules.... However, the British, Irish and Danes who already have a will in Spain do not have to make any changes, since the law has not been ratified by their countries. Anyway, if anyone has any doubt about whether their family may in the future pursue a claim under the new European law against the terms of their will, consult a notary. It is always desirable, for simplicity, that foreigners have a will published in Spain and one in their home country. From XAD: El ayuntamiento...

Local taxes increase to compensate for lower IBI takings

Nov 7th
A reduction in IBI takings of 14 million euros over two years has proved insurmountable to Xàbia Town, and the Council calculates ending the year with a deficit of 3.2 million, leaving the local government no alternative but to propose a rise in the rubbish collection tax, which until now was well below the average in the region and below the actual cost of the service because it was offset earlier by higher revenues in IBI. The Basura tax will go up, each household will pay 125 euros, whereas businesses will pay varying increases which will relate to the size of their premises. In the "vulnerable" sectors, to minimise the effect on them, small businesses which will be taxed as a house, as will the fishing cooperatives. Discounts of 40% of the rate will be maintained for pensioners and large families. The tax on vehicles will still be below the average for the region: an average car will pay 44 to 57.8 euros, while larger engine vehicles will see the most increase in the rate. A revision of property values has been requested. For full details see:Tax Increases Nov 2012

Work on Bus Station starts next week

Nov 5th
The local company F. David, has won the contract to build the new bus station at a cost of 115,197 euros, much less than initially estimated (142,978 euros) despite the increase in VAT. The company now has to submit a works schedule and it is hoped that works will start by next Monday. The new station will be located on the municipal plot next to Avda Palmela, between Calle Jose Ortega y Gasset and camí Freginal. Its construction will not prevent parking in the area designated as free parking. The work will involve the construction of four platforms for urban buses, those from Alicante and Valencia and occasional services and an area will also be reserved for taxis. There will also be a block of toilets and a kiosk managed under concession or with vending machines. The bus station is one of the most popular infrastructures voted for in the citizen's participatory budgets this year. From Press Release.

Tourist Informers course

Nov 5th
A training course aimed at unemployed people interested in becoming local tourist informers started in Xàbia today. The training activity, which will benefit 30 students, will be held in the mornings throughout the month at the Permanent Adult Education Centre. There will be four teachers and a total of 75 hours coursework about tourism, social skills and an introduction to English and French. It is hoped the training will increase the chances of some unemployed people getting a job, and it is apt for for a municipality such as Xàbia, which has tourism as one of its main economic pillars. From Press Release.

Too old to have a future?

Nov 4th
Of a (Spanish) national total of 5.7 million unemployed, there are more than one million people aged between 50 and 64. "In Western countries, despite legislation that forbids employers to ask a candidate's age, we still tend to discriminate in favor of the young in the world of work," Spanish law only allows employers to ask a candidate's age if it directly impinges on their ability to perform the task. Nevertheless, it is very difficult to prove that one has been discriminated against on the grounds of age. For full story in English see: El Pais.

The city planner's illegal home

Nov 4th
There is a town in the province of Cádiz where nearly half of the nearly 80,000 residents live in illegal homes. Even the city planning councilor lives in one of them.
This town is Chiclana, and it is trapped in a legal limbo that has forced it to return to a planning regulation dating from 1987 because the courts canceled all its later zoning plans and it cannot grant any new first occupancy licenses, a legal requirement in Spain. See full story in English on El Pais...

Pharmacies on Indefinite strike

Nov 4th
Pharmacies are on indefinite strike as from Monday 5th because they have not been reimbursed by the Valencia Government for drugs dispensed to pensioners etc.. (debt = 420 million = about €184,000 per pharmacy). The strike entails the provision of a skeleton service, so one pharmacy will be open in each urban centre…
Monday 5: Ana María Lillo (Avda. Palmela), Paz Uriol (Avda Libertad, Arenal) and RosaPérez Ortuño (cta Cabo de la Nao, Arenal)
Tuesday 6: Vicente Salort (Cta. Cabo la Nao, Arenal), Amparo Marsal (Avda. Juan Carlos I) and Juana Mari Ripoll (Cala Blanca)
Wednesday 7: Antonio Marín (Avda. Augusta), Belchí-Cholbi (Ronda Colón) and Lydia Gil (Avda de la Fontana, Arenal)
Thursday 8: Consuelo Espinós (Plaza de la Iglesia), Ana Marí Lillo (Avda. Palmela) and Paz Uriol (Avda Libertad, Arenal)
Friday 9: Belchí-Cholbi (Ronda Colón), María Salomé Martínez (Avda. Lepanto, Puerto) and Vicente Salort (Cta. Cabo de la Nao, Arenal)
From XAD:El lunes...

Lack of regulation puts fish farming, conservation and tourism in conflict

Nov 2nd
According to Ecologists in Action, the absence of specific regulations on marine aquaculture in the Region of Valencia and the delay in the demarcation of the areas most suitable for location them is creating conflicts between this activity, the conservation of marine ecosystems and tourism, one of the major Valencian industries. The environmentalist group has rejected the installation of a new marine farm in Calpe arguing deficiencies in the project and claiming that there are no Marine Aquaculture Management Plan developed with 'environmental, social and economic " criteria. The Valencia has 45 fish farms from Guardamar de Segura up to the north coast of Castelló. Most are located near tourist areas despite the high marine pollution they generate. The Calpe farm will consist of 48 cages producing 35,000 metric tons of fish and using 7000 tons of fish food. From Levante: Granjas.... (The Comunidad Valenciana produces 29% of Spain's farmed fish - the main species - eels, corvina, dorada and lubina - from printed edition…)

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