News from Andalucia, and the Costa del Sol
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AUGUST 17th - AUGUST 23rd 2000
GIL BACKS ADANA IN TOWN HALL DOG FIGHT By David Eade
The GIL party in Estepona has slammed the Tonw Hall's decision to appoint El Refugio to collect the town's stray and abandoned animals.
Antonio Barrientos, Estepona's health councillor, recently announced that El Refugio would be responsible for collecting the unwanted animals wandering the town's streets. El Refugio, which is based in La Cala de Mijas, has been working with the Town Hall since June.
Councillor Barrientos said that all strays collected by El Refugio would be held for three days only. If after that time they had not been claimed they would be put down.
The GIL opposition has come out strongly against the council's decision and points out Estepona already has its own non-profit making animal welfare organisation¸ADANA. GIL insists ADANA has been efficiently rescuing strays and abandoned animals for the past 10 years. The party is demanding the two million pesetas budgeted for the work should not go to El Refugio but ADANA instead.
NERJA COUNCIL GO-AHEAD FOR 110 MILLION PESETAS SPEND
Nerja council has approved plans to develop the area above the town's underground car park. 110 million pesetas is the budget for the project to construct a park and prepare for a commercial and residential area.
Councillor for town planning, Mercedes Jiminez says the development could be completed in approximately a year. Councillor Jimenez added that once the plaza had been completed, she hoped it would become a new meeting place for locals in the town.
The council has also added to civil defence equipment by taking delivery of a Zodiac beach rescue vessel to be used by local volunteers.
Councillor Francisco Cid said the boat was needed to improve the beach safety service offered to the public, now that Civil Defence had taken over duties from the local Red Cross.
The Zodiac will be in service on local beaches by the end of the month.
NOT SO FINE FOR RINCON DRIVERS
A new traffic fine unit has been set up in Rincon de la Victoria to reinforce the work of the local police force. The new unit has a direct computer connection to the DGT traffic authority and can instantly access the identities of those caught speeding or committing other infractions in the municipality.
HOSPITAL MODERNISATION PROGRAMME
Malaga's Hospital Clinico is to get a 743 million pesetas cash boost. Medical Director at the centre, Enrique Mesa, said the money would be spent on the surgery and outpatient areas with a new emergency department now expected to be completed by the year 2002.
BUSY AUGUST AT THE AIRPORT
Malaga Airport is expecting 8,045 traffic movements this month, a one per cent increase over the same month last year. Services were strengthened for the mid-August bank holiday last weekend, with Sunday seeing 356 movements in just one day.
CAREFREE PARKING FOR CAR-LESS MOTORISTS
By Howard Brereton
Plans are "afoot" in Malaga City for September 22, the date set for an exercise to get more people to leave their cars at home and use buses and taxis. Local shopkeepers, taxi drivers, unions, the city council and the municipal bus company will finalise the details for the Day without a Car in a meeting on September 4.
Meanwhile, car parks concessionaire SMASSA has announced plans are underway for the construction of 3,600 new parking places in both the city centre and some outlying areas.
Contracts have now been approved by Urban councillor Antonio Cordero, who said all the spaces should be in service within 18 months.
GERMANS LEARN SPANISH
Latest figures from the official School of Languages in Velez-Malaga show that 76 per cent of students learning Spanish in the centre are German. Other students come from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Morocco and China. 40 per cent of the students are also pensioners.
MORE INVESTMENT FOR MALAGA SCHOOLS
Regional government has announced that 8,311 million pesetas are to be spent on improving the infrastructure of schools across Malaga Province. The money will allow the creation of 13,000 new school places between now and the eyar 2003, and for the construction of 27 new education centres. The lion's share of the new investment is to go to the western Costa del Sol, with three new centres to be built in Mijas, two in Torremolinos and one each in Marbella and Fuengirola.
MALAGA BUSES TO BE ADAPTED
All public buses running on routes in Malaga will be adapted to take passengers in wheelchairs by the year 2001. The promise was made by the city's Mayor, Francisco de la Torre, when he took delivery of 11 new buses. He also announced 40 million pesetas were being spent on a new study of the city's traffic problems.
NEVER TOO OLD TO SURF
President of Unicaja, Braulio Medel, has inaugurated new Internet classes in Malaga aimed at local pensioners. The classes are being offered in homes and a pensioners centre in the city and have cost the bank 50 million pesetas to sponsor. 35,000 local pensioners will also get free Internet access under the scheme.
REED WARBLER ON THE WAY
Famous North American Lou Reed is to give a concert in the Palacio de Deportes in Malaga on September 21. The 58 year-old singer will play to a capacity crowd of just 7,000 - Tickets to cost between 2,500 and 7,000 pesetas.
GAS MAKES LIGHT WORK
Torremolinos is to be connected to the natural gas network. However, the Mayor, Pedro Fernandez Montes, has announced it will only be available to restaurants and hotels. Everybody else will have to continue hauling around heavy butane gas bottles.
UP AND UNDER IN BENALMADENA
Visitors to Benalmadena can now sample the high life, following the opening of the resort's telecabin. The state of the art cable car will transport passengers from its base at the Tivoli World attraction park, to the top of the Sierra del Calamorro, where they will find a bar/restaurant and two viewing areas. On a clear day, they will be able to see along the Costa del Sol to Gibraltar and across to the mountains of North Africa.
Those of a brave disposition can also pay 10,000 pesetas to take off on an excursion along the coast in a dual powerglider with an expert pilot.
More down to earth entertainment is provided at the Sea Life underwater park at Benalmadena Costa, which has just acquired four sharks from the coral reefs of the Pacific Ocean.
MALAGA FERIA IN FULL SWING
Six million people are expected to have visited Malaga feria by the time the fiesta ends on Sunday. The event was opened by Malaga born actor, Antonio Banderas, who received a clamorous welcome as he addressed the crowd from a balcony at City Hall accompanied by his wife Melanie Griffith and daughters Stella del Carmen and Dakota.
The internationally acclaimed actor paid special tribute to Partido Popular councillor Martin Carpena who was assassinated in the city by Basque terrorist group ETA last month.
Following the opening speech, 3,500 kilos of fireworks were sent into the air in a spectacular display set to music. The entrance to Cortijo de Torres night-time feria ground, which was opened to massive crowds, was illuminated with some of the 461,000 light bulbs used at the site this year. The total budget for Malaga's nine days and nights of partying is 1,000 million pesetas.