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News - Costa del Sol Archive 2001-1-17

News from Andalucia, and the Costa del Sol

In association with

The Costa del Sol weekly newspaper, on sale at newsagents, price 100pts.

JANUARY 11th - JANUARY 17th

HOTEL CONSTRUCTION BOOM

. There are currently a total of 86 hotels under construction in the province of Málaga and 16 of these will be ready for visitors before the end of this year. A continued demand in rural tourism has led to the construction of more inland establishments, especially in the area of Antequerra and Ronda. Growth in the sector is expected to continue until at least 2010 according to regional government's Tourism Office.

1,994 IN 2000

Torremolinos Town Hall last year spent 2,994 million pesetas on various infrastructure and public works in the town. #Amongst the 52 projects undertaken were the refurbishment of the Colegio de Huefanos, a new bullring, a tennis and paddle tennis complex, air conditioning to the municipal auditorium, a new fire station, improvements to old peoples homes, the botanic garden at Molino de Inca and the remodelling of the Plaza Costa del Sol.

CHAMELEONS PROTECTED

Thirty youngsters from Almunecar are to take part in a new workshop organised by the only centre to breed chameleons in the province of Granada. The Escuela Taller Rio Verde, supported by the INEM Spanish employment agency, has been granted 90 million pesetas for the scheme, which is designed to increase the animal's numbers.

Chameleons have been in decline in the local area due to chemicals used to fumigate the local custard apple crop, and the hope is that the 30 youngsters will be able to take part in ensuring that the lizards are returned to the areas they once inhabited. The Chameleon is now a protected species in Spain and a study by Granada University has shown the Almunecar area to be the last part of the province where the animals still survives.

UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN

Pregnant Maria Dolores Criado joined the crowds in Arroyo de la Miel for the traditional procession of the Three Kings. She was in the main str4eet outside the Casa de la Cultura enjoying the spectacle when her contractions started. An ambulance was summoned but couldn't reach her because of all the crowds.

Two local policemen assisted in the birth. They cut the umbilical cord before three ambulances eventually arrived. The ambulance staff checked the mother and baby, and once the crowds cleared rushed them off to the Málaga Maternity Hospital. Both mother and baby are being kept in for observation but are said to be doing well.

SPANISH DIVER TRIED TO SALVAGE ARK ROYAL.

An attempt by a Spanish diving expert to claim the Ark Royal for Spain has been revealed in the British Public Records Office papers just released.

The incident happened back in 1970 when Spaniard Raimundo Castrillion claimed he had found the wreck of the World War II aircraft carrier a couple of miles of the Costa del Sol.

Castrillion went to court in Spain to seek permission from the judges for the project. However, the British Foreign Office opposed his plan claiming the sunken aircraft carrier belonged to Britain.

Later Public Records Office papers show that the matter was not pursued any further. The Spanish have never tried to claim the Ark Royal for themselves again.

A long line of distinguished ships called the Ark Royal have served with the British Navy. An Ark Royal was in action in 1588 against the Spanish Armada. The one Castrillion intended to salvage was involved in the sinking of the Bismarck in the North Sea. It was a torpedo aircraft from the Ark Royal that paralysed the Bismarck on May 26, 1941 and she was sunk the next day. On November 13 of the same year a German U-boat torpedoed the Ark Royal in the Med. It sank whilst under tow to the safe haven of Gibraltar's admiralty dockyard.

BUMPER NEW YEAR ON THE SKI SLOPES

Despite high winds and ice keeping some lifts closed for a time, added to the fact that chains were needed for much of the period on the access road, the Sierra Nevada ski resort had a record welcome to the New Year. New Years Eve saw 16,000 people making their way to the station, 11,800 of them skiers. A total of 38 kilometres of piste are open for use.


GRANADA CONQUEST COMMEMORATED

More than 5,000 people attended the commemoration of the 509th anniversary of the conquest of Granada by the Catholic Kings. For the first time the events started with a visit by members of the local corporation to the Alhambra, an addition designed as a symbol of tolerance between Arab and Christian cultures.

During the proceedings the Bishop of Granada, Antonio Canizares, asked for forgiveness for the excesses carried out by the Church in reestablishing Christianity in the re-conquered areas. The bishop added that, 'without roots we have no future'

EQUESTRAIN SCHOOL JUMPS FIRST HURDLE

Last year Marbella Town Hall announced that it was to build an equestrian school in San Pedro de Alcantára. Now the project has been given the go-ahead and work will start this month. The school will be managed by the Club Hipico de Marbella S.L. It will be sited at the finca of Juan Jimenez on 13,600 square metres of land in the urbanisation of Linda Vista Baja.

GO QUICKER, PAY MORE

The motorway between Málaga and Estepona is scheduled to a price increase in 2001. Motorist will have to pay 740 pesetas to travel from Málaga to Estepona in the low season, 440 pesetas from Málaga to Marbella and 300 pesetas from Marbella to Estepona. Heavier vehicles will have to pay up to 1,600 pesetas for the Málaga to Estepona trip.

In the high season of June, July, August and September plus the 17 days around Easter, the cost of travel for motorist between Málaga and Estepona will rise to 1,200 pesetas. Heavier vehicles will pay up to 2,150 pesetas. Around 11,000 vehicles use the 'autopista' on a daily basis in the low season, and the figure increases greatly in the summer months.

GENEROUS DONORS

The donation of organs in ANDALUCIA has increased by more than 25 per cent over the past five years, according to figures just released by the Andalucian Health Service SAS. Over that time, 2381 people have received a donated organ which has, in many cases, saved their life. Each week in the region an average of nine transplant operations take place.

MONEY TO PARK

Málaga council has said it is to invest 11,486 million pesetas on the construction of 7,489 new parking places for the city between this year and 2003.

SHOWING THEIR INITIATIVE

The Association of Regional Town Halls and the Employment office has created a centre in Benahavis for business initiatives. The school workshop called 'Carta Puebla' will offer courses to 60 young people from the Costa del Sol and will open its doors this month. The courses will last 24 months, divided into modules of six months each. The name 'Carta Puebla' has been chosen as this was the distinction conferred personally on Benahavis by Felipe II in 1572 in recognition of the town's collaboration in the conquest by the Reyes Catolicos.

15,000 NEW JOBS FORECAST FOR MALAGA

The Partido Popular senator, Damian Caneda, has forecast that more than 15,000 new jobs would be created in Málaga this year. Citing growth levels across the province of more than four per cent during last year, four points above the national average, the senator said that 19,000 jobs had been created and similar growth would be seen this year with forecast for 2002 promising a real spectacular growth.

LET'S PARTY

Manilva Town Hall has announced the dates for the major fiestas of 2001. The first fiesta will be on July 16, the Feast of the Virgen del Carmen, which is traditionally celebrated by Manilva's fishermen and El Castillo quarter. The second fiesta is on September 3, the traditional celebration of La Vendimia, the grape harvest.

THE PRIDE OF NERJA

The amount paid to the local council by the Patronato management of the Nerja Caves has increased by nearly 300 per cent since 1995, and this year will stand at over 109 million pesetas.

Mayor of Nerja, Jose Alberto Armijo has commented that the amount of money returned to the town from the caves has been increasing progressively since he came to power. The local council now receives 10 per cent of the monies collected from the entrance tickets to the caves, which remains the third most visited paid attraction in the country, behind only the Prado Museum in Madrid and the Alhambra in Granada.

LADY LUCK SMILES ON ALHAURIN

The number 16,761 in the 'El Nino' National Lottery spelt luck for some people in Alhaurin de la Torre. Two tickets worth prize money of 240 million pesetas were sold in the town by the owners of Lottery Office No. 1.

The owners of the tickets were doubly lucky. The proprietors of the Alhaurin Lottery office have family who own a lottery concession in the town of Aranda de Duero near Burgos. The two lucky tickets came from their relations batch of tickets which they'd exchanged with each other. The lucky ticket owners in Aranda de Duero scooped 4,080 million pesetas.

Top prize in the lottery went to ticket 60527. The happy winners were in Oviedo and celebrated the New Year with winnings of 8,400 million pesetas.