In association with
NOVEMBER 23rd - NOVEMBER 29th
MORE BRITISH TOURISTS FOR THE COSTA
Regional government is predicting a 9.4 per cent increase in the number of British tourists visiting Andalucia next year. The claim was made at the end of the world's largest tourism fair, the World Travel Market, based in London.
The continued strength of sterling against the Euro and peseta attracts British holidaymakers, who represent 21 per cent of the total number of tourists to the region.
Many politicians, businessmen and tourism professionals from the Costa del Sol attended the London fair and were generally optimistic with predicted growth in visitor numbers of seven per cent a year until 2006. Among the politicians to attend the Costa del Sol stand was Government Vice-President Rodrigo Rato. Both local businessmen and politicians underlined the importance of plans for an integrated water programme to be put into operation for the coast, saying it was vital that beach and water quality be improved.
MORE DOCTORS FOR MALAGA
The First Aid Working Group, a local health union made up of doctors and other medical professionals in Málaga, has drawn attention to a shortage of manpower at the sharp end of health treatment across the province. Spokesman Rafael González Delgado announced in Málaga this week that between 60 and 60 additional family doctors are needed in order to meet staffing levels established by the Andalucian Health Service in 1999. He said there should be one doctor for every 1,500 residents in urban areas and this should increase to one for every 1,000 people in rural zones.
The group has called on regional health administration to supply it with an up to date list of the numbers of patients currently assigned to each doctor, claiming this would indicate the seriousness of the situation.
CALL TO SPEED UP N-340 WIDENING
Upgrade meets with mixed reactions
The PSOE Deputy for Málaga, Miguel Angel Heredia, and his Cádiz counterpart, Salvadore de la Encina, has called for a speeding up of the widening of the N-340 between Estepona and Guadiaro.
Speaking in parliament, they demanded that the new dual carriageway should be operational by summer of 2002.
Nearer to home, San Roque Town Hall is looking to the future when both the widened N-340 and the Estepona-Guadiaro motorway are operational. They envisage the N-340 passing through Torreguadiaro as a "grande avenue".
NO PARKING SPACE CONTROVERSY
The enthusiasm is not shared by all residents of the seaside hamlet. Speaking to Costa del Sol News, long time British resident Michael Lawrence said, "I don't see how running a dual carriageway through Torreguadiaro will work. If the present road is widened into four lanes, it will bring the road right up to the front of shops, flats, hotels, bars and restaurants. You'11 step straight out of the door into a motorway. And where will customers and deliveries park? It's madness".
GUADIARO BLACK SPOT
The roundabout on the N-340 at Guadiaro has become an accident black spot. Due to the steep camber, large vehicles coming off the roundabout in the direction of Málaga have often toppled over, with a number of lorries and tankers suffering this fate in recent months. This week, a large army trailer, part of a convoy, overturned, spilling ammunition boxes over the road.
PAINTING MARATHON IN ALMERIA
Hundreds of youngsters armed with sketchbooks took to the streets of Almeria last Friday between 2200 and 0300 as part of a new open-air painting marathon. This is part of a council promoted project called "Open until dawn" which offer youngsters alternatives to drinking in local bars. Many of the adolescents chose to paint the façade of the city cathedral and all their works will displayed as part of the "Feria del Libro" book fair which starts in the city on Friday.
"Pieno empleo" - full employment was the expression used by the employment delegate, José Luis Fuentes of Benalmádena town Hall, welcoming the figures of 1,257 unemployed in the municipality. Out of the 35,076 people officially registered in the town the unemployment figure represents five per cent of the population of who 65 per cent are women.
Residents of the province of Málaga are expected to spend 6,470 million pesetas in this year's Christmas "El Gordo" lottery which is to be held on December 22. The prediction from the lottery organisers is a 3.9 per cent increase on last year's figures.
SEGOVIA'S HOUSE SOLD
The house that belonged to classical guitarist Andrés Segovia at Punta de la Mona, near La Herradura, has been sold to British doctor Anthony Morton for a reported one million dollars. "Los Olivos" was constructed on a 3,000 square metre plot in the '60's and used by the Segovia family during the summer.
Andrés Segovia was named an adopted son of Almuñecar and La Herradura in June 1983 and his name also graces the promenade at La Herradura. An international guitar competition is also held in his name in the village church each year. Several house items and personal effects belonging to the guitarist can be seen at the museum that opened in his native town of Linares (Jaén) last year.
STILL WEARING HIS TOGA
Workers laying new paving behind the Colegiate de Santa Maria in Antequera have unearthed a roman statue. The figure in grey marble of a man wearing a toga was originally 1.65 metres tall, but only his midriff has been found so far. Mayor Jesús Romero Benitez said experts have been called in to determine the exact origin and date, although it is though to be from the first century AD. The figure may have been used to decorate one of the many Roman baths known to have been in the area.
Antequera is already famous for the 'Efebo de Antequera', a bronze statue dating from the first century and considered to be one of the best examples of Roman sculpture in the world.
THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS
A Christmas concert will be held in the church of La Divina Pastora in Marbella to help fund a water supply project for the undeveloped village of Paxo II in El Quiché, Guatemala. Manos Unidas are the organisers of the project and the sum needed is 10 million pesetas, which will pay for the materials and the wages for a technician and works foreman. One hundred and thirty families will benefit from the project.
The Christmas concert will count with the Santa Maria de la Victoria and San Bernabe' choirs. Tickets priced 1,000 pesetas are available from Disco 2000, the church and tourist offices. There will also be a sale of Christmas cards and calendars. During the coming year, students from schools in Marbella, San Pedro, Istán, Ojén and Benahavis will campaign to raise funds for the projects.
BRING OUT YOUR WASTEPAPER
The Town Halls' Association of the Western Costa del Sol, in collaboration with waste operative Carpa, is to distribute a further 100 blue containers in towns for the collection of wastepaper and cartons. Those included in the project are Casares, Fuengirola, Istán, Manilva, Marbella, Mijas, Ojén, Torremolinos and Estepona. Benalmádena is excluded as it works with another waste company. Speaking on behalf of Estepona's Environmental Department, Rafael Montesinos said the campaign to recycle paper had been a great success. So far it had saved 25,000 litres of water, prevented 3,557 trees from being cut down and save the equivalent of 127 years of electricity for a medium sized house simply by using paper deposited in the town's existing collection bins.
091 AND 092 LINK-UP
Fuengirola's national and local police are to co-ordinate their nightime emergency service. In future, calls to 091 or 092 between 23.30 and 07.00 will be answered by patrols from either or the other of the security services. The cars of both forces will have their radios adapted to received calls from the two emergency number call centres.
FREE POOPER SCOOPERS
Rincón de la Victoria council is to give away 1000 free officially approved 'pooper scoopers' to dog and cat owners in the town. Councillor for the environment, José Antonio Ruiz, said the idea was to help dog owners to keep the town pavements clean. Residents can collect their "scoopers" from the council Monday to Friday between 0900 and 1400 - while stocks last.
MIJAS RURAL TOURISM BOOST
Mijas Town Hall is to fund the building of an "albergue" in the Cantera del Barrio. The refuge will be on tow floors and have 30 rooms. The centre will be dedicated to people who wish to study and explore the Mijas mountain area and it is hoped it will attract people interested in active holidays.
SIERRA NEVADA OPENING BROUGH FORWARD
The Sierra Nevada ski station is now expected to open for skiers Saturday November 25, provided the weather conditions remain favourable. The official opening date for the hew season remains set at November 30, but already there are 13 to 16 kilometres of piste prepared with 20 to 80 centimetres of snow.
The new general manager of Cetursa, Miguel Angel Serrano, who said the aim was to open the ski centre 'progressively', gave news of the advanced opening date.
Information on the latest weather and conditions of the piste can be found on the Internet at www.cetursa.es.
In spite of ecologists criticism, the GIL administration has planted 22,700 trees in the past five years in a massive reforestation programme. The project has involved 12,630 students from 84 colleges and taken over 123 days work. The sixth campaign has started on La Mina and the banks of the Rio Guadaiza.
UNITED WE UNDERPASS
San Pedro de Alcantára's neighbourhood groups and political parties are united in their demand that the planned underpass on the N340 should go ahead. They have formed a united front to press for the project, which they deem, is vital for the town and the Costa del Sol.