Costa del Sol News - 19th June 2009

News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol

News Archive In association with

The Costa del Sol weekly newspaper, on sale at newsagents.


Summertime beach buses and late-night routes

Nightlife hotspot services to help stop youngsters from drinking and driving

By Oliver McIntyre

The Málaga Transport Consortium has launched its special summertime bus services, with numerous lines from inland towns to the beach and beefed-up night-time service, especially to nightlife hotspots. The services were launched Monday and will operate until September 15.

Beach routes include lines to link Cártama, Mijas Pueblo, Pizarra, Casabermeja, Almogía and Colmenar to the seaside towns of Torremolinos, Mijas Costa and Málaga city. There are also buses between Alhaurín de la Torre and the Plaza Mayor shopping and entertainment centre, and from Totalán to Málaga.

One of the major focuses is on serving nightlife zones as a way to help people avoid getting behind the wheel after a night out on the town. "We're offering young people the possibility to take the bus and leave their car at home when they go out for a night of partying," said the consortium's director, Rafael Durbán.

Nighttime services

Four nightlife lines, operating from 11.45pm to 5.15am, provide services between Málaga and Benalmádena Costa, Casabermeja and Rincón de la Victoria, and between Mijas Pueblo and Benalmàdena Costa.

Specific information on bus routes and schedules is available on the consortium's website (www.consorciotransportes-malaga.com).


Beach bar reprieve

Truce called as Congress debates Málaga's chiringuitos

By Dave Jamieson

The future of the province's 300 beach bars reached Congress last week following an opposition proposal for their indiscriminate legalisation.

However, the Costas department has called a truce for the summer and will issue no more fines for the time being.

The Government is proposing a commission, made up of representatives from central and regional administrations, town halls and the sector itself which will attempt to find a stable and long-lasting solution to the problem. Under coastal laws now being enforced, the beach is deemed to be public property so cannot support commercial businesses, including the dozens of chiringuitos and merenderos along Málaga's coastline. These must be moved off the sands and should, the legislation says, be no closer than 200 metres to one another, a move which the sector in the province says puts 6,000 jobs under threat.

The Partido Popular (PP), supported by MPs of the Canarian Coaltion, had called for an amnesty and the immediate legalisation of all such establishments, more than 70 per cent of which are believed not to possess the necessary papers. The PP's environment representative, Carlos Floriano, told the lower house that the present "ambiguity" on interpreting the laws shown by the PSOE and the Government has created "great uncertainty" in the sector. He said that the proposal to consider them individually had the true intention of closing them, "one by one and without hassle."


Cómpeta clams up after Briton is left in coma

Guardia Civil officers are having difficulty piecing the story together

By Dave Jamieson

Cómpeta town hall has condemned the incident which left a British man in a coma almost a fortnight ago. However, little progress appears to have been made in determining exactly what happened.

As reported last week, 49-year-old Stephen Mallon was taken to hospital in Málaga after becoming involved in a fight between groups of youths in Cómpeta in the early hours of Saturday June 6, during which he fell some five or six metres over a wall. Last week, the town hall made a statement condemning the violence and wishing Mr Mallon a speedy recovery.

However, newspapers in both Spain and the UK have published wildly varying reports of what happened. Some claim Mr Mallon was trying to usher his 16-year-old twin sons away from a fight which broke out, while others allege the boys provoked the attacks by taunting a group of Spanish youths. Various versions have a gang of young Spaniards hurling Mr Mallon from a balcony while others have him stepping accidentally backwards into thin air.


Contract for Guadalhorce hospital awarded

Project was originally slated for completion in 2008

By Oliver McIntyre

The long-delayed Guadalhorce Valle hospital has finally taken a step forward with the Junta de Andalucía Health Department's awarding of the design and construction contract.

The project was awarded last week to Ferrovial, which was selected from a pool of 19 companies that submitted bids, said the Junta's health chief, María Jesús Montero. Following a two-week consultation period, the award will be finalised and the company will have a maximum of 34 months to develop architectural plans and complete construction.

The project is budgeted at 21.6 million euros, plus an additional six million euros to equip the hospital.

The delay in building hospital - which was originally supposed to be completed in 2008 - has been met with protests and threats of lawsuits from citizen groups in the Guadalhorce area. Initial delays included complications in the process of site selection and land reclassification, and then the project suffered two failed tendering processes last year, with no acceptable bids submitted.


Contract for Guadalhorce hospital awarded

Project was originally slated for completion in 2008

By Oliver McIntyre

The long-delayed Guadalhorce Valle hospital has finally taken a step forward with the Junta de Andalucía Health Department's awarding of the design and construction contract.

The project was awarded last week to Ferrovial, which was selected from a pool of 19 companies that submitted bids, said the Junta's health chief, María Jesús Montero. Following a two-week consultation period, the award will be finalised and the company will have a maximum of 34 months to develop architectural plans and complete construction.

The project is budgeted at 21.6 million euros, plus an additional six million euros to equip the hospital.

The delay in building hospital - which was originally supposed to be completed in 2008 - has been met with protests and threats of lawsuits from citizen groups in the Guadalhorce area. Initial delays included complications in the process of site selection and land reclassification, and then the project suffered two failed tendering processes last year, with no acceptable bids submitted.


House prices to drop 30% by 2012, says BBVA

Study estimates 1.2 million unsold homes, with stock not to begin dropping till 2010

By Oliver McIntyre

Home prices in Spain will drop by 10 per cent this year and 12 per cent next year, and by 2012 will have plummeted an accumulated 30 per cent from the time the real estate boom ended in 2008, according to a report last week by BBVA bank's research and analysis department. 

The report, which is grimmer than the bank's previous forecasts, does include one positive note: the dropping prices, combined with falling interest rates - which it predicts will hit 0.5 per cent by the end of this year - mean that the housing market will become more accessible to potential buyers than it has been in 20 years. 

The BBVA study puts the number of unsold homes in Spain at 1.2 million, more than double the figure offered by the Spanish Association of Developers (APCE).  The overstock will not begin to be absorbed until well into 2010, and will then gradually diminish, not returning to 2005 levels until the end of 2012, it says.


PP scores big win in Euro elections

First major victory for centre-right Partido Popular since it lost power in 2004

By David Eade

After the results of the European Parliament elections in Spain were declared, the Partido Popular's leader, Mariano Rajoy, and his party's supporters were wearing large smiles. It marked the centre-right party's first National election victory since it lost power to the socialist PSOE in Spain's 2004 general election.

The PP has lost two consecutive Spanish general elections as well as the last Euro poll so Sunday's victory was long in coming. But while the prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, may have been disappointed with second place, the PSOE's results were better than a government battling with the full effects of the economic crisis might rightfully have expected.

After Sunday's poll the PP, whose list was headed by Jaime Mayor Oreja, has 23 Euro MPs a loss of one over 2005. However, the PSOE won just 21 seats - four less than last time out, when they had a one-seat advantage over the PP. The PP commanded 42.23 per cent of the vote (compared to 41.21 in 2005) and the PSOE slumped to 38.51 per cent (43.48 in 2005). So the PSOE is firmly in second place but it not a disastrous result and with the general election not due to 2012, Sr Zapatero has time to fight for a recovery.

Spain had 50 seats up for grabs and with the two main parties taking 44 it left six others to be shared among the smaller parties. The Coalición por Europa, made up of regional parties, took two, as did the far-left Izquierda Unida, while the independent UPyD and Los Verdes (Green Party) snatched one each. The turnout was slightly up on 2005 with 46 per cent compared to 45.14.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share