News Archive from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
In association with
Week November 7th to November 14th
HEAVY RAINFALL CAUSES HAVOC IN MÁLAGA
Cars were taken by the current of the full river at Rincón
By Eve Gallagher
RAIN STORMS HIT MÁLAGA OVER THE WEEKEND CAUSING GENERAL CHAOS AND DAMAGE TO CARS AND PROPERTIES. The area of Rincón de la Victoria was the worst affected, where the river heavily grew taking the cars along with it and leaving the riverbed a derelict sight. Over 30 litres per square metre were recorded in one hour showing us yet again that Málaga is still not prepared for a deluge of these proportions. One of the worst affected areas was the Hospital Civil, where water inundated the lower part of the building, causing the hospital to have to cancel 110 operations scheduled for that day. Many of the city's buildings suffered damage and two walls of the Tierno Galván school were knocked down due to the pressure of the water.
The Arroyo Totalán, in Rincón de la Victoría, heavily grew close to La Cala del Moral and took in its wake over 30 cars belonging to the workers of the new commercial centre La Victoria. Curiously the same chaotic situation took place about a month ago when another rain storm flooded the area. The damage could go up to 50 million pesetas, although the Mayor, José María Gómez said that the 'the responsibility lay with the owners of the cars for parking them in a dangerous situation'.
AMERICAN ARRESTED FOR FRAUD
By David Eade
A 46-year-old American citizen has been detained by National Police in Fuengirola acting on an international detention and extradition order. The man, identified by the initials T.J.M, is wanted on fraud charges involving a sum of over 3,000 million pesetas. According to Spanish Police sources, T.J.M is wanted by the authorities of the district of South Mississippi after he fled to Spain in 1999. He is wanted in the USA on two counts related to telegraphic fraud plus other offences relating to money laundering and tax evasion. American police have been searching throughout Europe for T.J.M., who was identified as living in Marbella in January of this year.
GERMANY VALUES THE COAST
While Germans go up, English operators ask for a reduction in prices
By Dave Jamieson
ALTHOUGH BRITISH TOUR OPERATORS ARE WORRIED, THE COSTA DEL SOL APPEARS TO HAVE STRENGTHENED ITS POSITION IN THE GERMAN TOURIST MARKET, AND SHOULD NOT SUFFER FROM THE AFTERMATH OF THE TERROR ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11. Soundings taken at the 51st Congress of German Travel Agents in Leipzig last week suggest that tour operators in the country value the coast above many other destinations, which are presently suffering from the consequences of the international crisis. Speaking in Leipzig after meetings with representatives of several travel companies, Ana Gómez, the head of the Tourism Department on the coast said that next year holds "very good prospects" for the German market. The improvement in infrastructure and communication, as well as investment in four and five star hotels, have made the Germans regard the area as a destination of quality.
REANIMATING THE BRITISH MARKET
While British tour operators are asking for a reduction in prices to reanimate the holiday market, German operators made it clear that they fear lowering tariffs would lead to lower standards, one of the most important factors for their clients. Generally, it was felt that, following a rash of cancellations, the worst was over, and Ana Gómez now expects this year to show a seven per cent increase over last year in visitors from Germany, which is second only to Britain in the number of tourists travelling to the Costa del Sol. Following her visit to Leipzig, Ana Gómez travelled to Lisbon to promote the region at the annual conference of the Association of British Travel Agents, and will be in London next week for the World Travel Market.
A BOOM FOR PORTS
By NEWS Staff Reporter
The port of Málaga created a new record last Saturday when six cruise liners berthed simultaneously, the first time this has ever happened. During November, a further record will be created when a total of 32 liners will dock in the capital, which, says the Tourism Department, displays the importance of Málaga as a preferred destination, as well as the lack of impact the present world crisis has had on the sector. Last weekend's liners brought more than 4,000 visitors to the capital.
ALMERÍA PORT ON THE UP
Meanwhile, the port of Almería is also experiencing a boom. The first nine months of the year saw an increase of over 17 per cent in the number of passengers arriving. The President of the Port Authority said that the figures consolidated their position as second on the peninsula for travel to Africa.
TOURISM HEAD TO HEAD WITH FARMING
Plastic greenhouses criticised in Torrox
By Dave Jamieson
A ROW IS BREWING BETWEEN PROMOTERS OF TOURISM AND FARMERS IN THE TORROX AREA, AS DIVERGENT ECONOMICS COME HEAD TO HEAD. One real estate agent, Miguel Garrido, fuelled the debate this week, by describing as "not reasonable" the view of greenhouses which pervades views of the area, while others made clear that their visual impact does not enhance the beauty of the zone. Ecologists also object to the plastic, in terms of genetic engineering and modifications to the ecosystem. However, the local councillor for Agriculture and Environment, Rafael Broncano, points out that agriculture represents half of the economy of Torrox, and that the greenhouses allow highly profitable operations in restricted spaces. "The farmers of Torrox prefer this system," he said, adding, "It's a tradition in this town."
FINDING A COMPROMISE
The problem extends to several other Axarquía communities where the tourist boom of recent years is at odds with a local economy based on the land. But estate agent Garrido is philosophical. "Nobody can take away a farmer's right to exploit his land," he said, but suggested that farmers in Torrox could sell their land locally and buy five times as much inland, in areas more suitable for cultivation.
NEW ART CENTRE FOR MÁLAGA
By NEWS Staff Reporter
Málaga's Centre for Contemporary Art will open next year. Work on renovation of the original 1941 building is understood to be progressing well, and the Centre is on a track for a late spring or early summer inauguration. Its opening will complete Málaga's "cultural framework", consisting of the Alcazaba, Gibralfaro and Roman Theatre, the Picasso Foundation, the public theatres, the Town Hall exhibition areas, and the future Picasso and Fine Arts Museum.
The main feature of the Centre will be a 2,431 square metre area, suitable for displaying large works, for mounting exhibitions, or for performance art. Around it, will be two floors of workshops, classrooms, and exhibition areas. It is not expected that the Centre will house a permanent art display.
VILLALOBOS FOR SEMANA SANTA
The Health Minister, Celia Villalobos, has reportedly been invited to deliver the "prégon" at the opening of next year's Semana Santa in Málaga. Sra Villalobos, a former Mayor of the city, has strong links with many of the Málaga brotherhoods, which stage the ornate processions during the days leading up to Easter Sunday, and is a firm proponent of the traditions of Holy Week in the province. The opening speech is scheduled to be delivered on Saturday, March 16 next year
MAJOR CHARTER LINE THREATENED
The busiest German charter airline bringing tourists to the Costa del Sol is under threat, following the downturn in air travel. LTU, which brought 130,000 visitors to the coast last year and is 49.5 per cent owned by struggling Swissair, has already announced severe cuts to staff salaries in an effort to survive. It operates a daily service from Dusseldorf, and weekly services from Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover and Munich. Banks and regional politicians were attempting to put together a rescue package last week.
PROSTITUTION RACKET SMASHED
National Police in Benalmádena have arrested a 37-year-old Moldavian, Igor C., on charges relating to forcing young Russian women into prostitution. The business was organised through two front organisations Niko International in Moscow and Moldava Tur y Art Tur S.R.L. Igor C is being held in prison until his case comes up before the Torremolinos court.
TREE FEARS HALT WORK
The building work on Nerja's Balcón de Europa was brought to a halt last week, for fear of damage to the araucaria tree, reported last week to be worth 21 million pesetas. The developer had permission to demolish and rebuild on a site next to El Salvador church, but not to excavate. Concern for the tree's root system forced the Town Hall to suspend further work.
WATER WORKS IN TORRE
Problems caused by heavy rain in Torre del Mar should soon be a thing of the past. Work is starting to avoid the severe disruption caused by intense rainfall, the first stage of which is in the installation of wide diameter pipes to take waste water from the urbanisation Casa de La Viña to the Vélez River. The project, costing 51 million pesetas, may be followed by others of a similar nature.
NEW CREMATORIUM FOR VÉLEZ
Work will begin on Vélez-Málaga's first mortuary complete with crematorium early next year. The project, by the funeral directors La Esperanza, will take 18 months to complete, and has a budget of 300 million pesetas. It will be the second crematorium in the area, the first, on Pañoleta industrial estate, being about to open.