News from Andalucia, and the Costa del Sol
In association with
DECEMBER 7th - DECEMBER 13th
PRESTIGE AWARD FOR RONDA RESTAURANT
The Tragabuches Restaurant in Ronda has been awarded a star in the new edition of the prestigious Michelin Red Guide to Spain and Portugal. The restaurant is the only establishment in Andalucia to receive the accolade.
Tragabuches is situated in a XVIIIth century building in the historic part of Ronda. The restaurant is owned and run by the López family. Sergio López is the chef and in 1998 won a "Best Young Chef in Spain" competition.
Estepona's council has announced they are to start on the remodelling of the Avenida de España, the old N-340 that passes through the town. Until the by-pass was built round the town this beachside road carried the entire coastal traffic. Now it will be replanned as a coastal avenue with an underground car park.
100,100 images of Nerja
A proposed promotion of the village of Nerja 1000 pesetas Telefónica phone cards is underway. Two images of the municipality, one of the Balcón de Europa and another of inside the famous Nerja Caves, are to be placed on 100,100 of the phone company's pre paid cards.
The cards will be put on sale before the end of the year and will be distributed nationally during the next five years. Tourism councillor, José Miguel Garcia, said it was a great way of promoting the town, and added that the images would be changed each year.
A DREAM OF AN ISLAND
Marbella Mayor to modify rejected plans
One of Marbella Mayor, Jesus Gil's most publicised projects has been the proposed artificial island, to be located a kilometre off Puerto Banus.
The project had to be relinquished when it met with negative responses from provincial authorities. However, it now looks like Marbella may be able to make the dream come true.
Mayor Jesús Gil has announced the Town Hall is to modify the plans with a view to eliminating prior objections. The changes have not yet been specified.
The budget for the construction of an island, 150,000 square metres in dimension, was 5,000 million pesetas. Mainland would be reached by means of a bridge. A further 25,000 million had been earmarked for building projects, including hotels, restaurants, discos, a conference centre and underground parking for 3,000 cars.
Although the planned island sounds the perfect tourist attraction, experts have said that such a structure may prove to be unsuitable for apartments and hotels. Marbella town Hall has not yet commented on possible amendments to building infrastructure, but has hinted other uses could be made of the island, which could become the mooring place for transatlantic cruise ships.
Enlargement of Puerto Banus
After a meeting with the Coastal Authority, Mayor Gil has decided to reactivate the project as part of the enlargement of Puerto Banus. This would mean that longer vessels would find a more convenient port on the island. A floating car park for 2,000 vehicles would also be included in the new plans.
Cheaper Medicines for Spain
December has seen the introduction of generic medicines into the Spanish Health Service. A generic label contains the same medicine as a better known brand but can be purchased at a far lower price, leading the Government to hope the measure will reduce health costs.
The Ministry for Health has issued a list of reference prices to apply to 590 generic versions of popularly prescribed drugs. These generic drugs are now labelled with the letters EQ, signifying 'equivalent'. If a member of the public wants to keep on taking the non-generic version of the drug they will be expected to pay the difference between the official price of the drug and that on the generic reference price list. An additional amount will be added - ranging from 40 per cent of the reference price for normal prescriptions, to 10 per cent of the reference price if the patient is chronically ill, but will not be charged in the patient is a pensioner.
An advertising campaign to increase public awareness of generic medicine has been launched nation-wide.
GOVERNMENT INCREASES CAR TRADE-IN PLAN
Central government has drawn up a plan for people with cars that use Super petrol, with a view to new measures, which come into force on January 1 next year. From that date, the State will pay 120,000 pesetas for a car using Super petrol to encourage exchange for a new lead-free vehicle. The measure will apply to all cars whatever their age.
The Government hopes the plan will help reduce Spain's emissions in line with new EU targets. The EU has ordered that Super petrol be removed from sale from January 1, 2002. After that date, owners of Super petrol cars will still be able to use them thanks to additive dispensers, which are to be installed in petrol stations.
SEPARATE FOR RECYCLING
The Association of Town Halls of the western Costa del Sol has started a campaign to educate people in recycling paper and cartons. Many additional special containers have now been distributed to all the towns along the coast. The association has installed billboards in key points in all municipalities with the message "Seperar para reciclar".
MIGAS ON THE WAY
Preparations are well underway for the annual Migas Fiesta in Torrox, which this year takes place on December 17. The fiesta, which was revived by the local council in 1988, is now included on the official list of fiestas of National tourist interest and more than 30,000 people are expected to attend this year. The party will be opened with a speech by the councillor of regional government, Magdalena Alverez.
Migas is a local dish made of olive oil, garlic, water, semolina, flour and salt and was traditionally served to hungry workers returning from the fields. Now, as well as tasting the migas, and washing it down with the local wine, visitors can also enjoy a day of flamenco dancing and singing in the best Andalucian tradition.