News Archive from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
In association with
Week August 20th to 28th 2001
ANDALUCIA´S BLACK SUMMER
Partido Popular calls for investigation into forest fires
Since January there have been 647 fires throughout Andalucia, which have destroyed 4,643 hectares of land. In the last fortnight, fire has damaged 1,476 hectares, accounting for 31,8 percent of the total for the year so far.
President of the Partido Popular in Andalucia, Teófila Martínez, said her party had asked regional parliament for an investigation committee to examine the performance of Environment Councillor Fuensanta Coves. Sra Martínez accused regional government of "looking the other way" whilst faced with the big wave of fires.
Within the figures are 500 hectares of pine and brush lost in the recent fire at a finca owned by Riotinto Fruits at the Cuenca Mine in Huelva. That fire started after a short-circuit in a transformer which did not have the obligatory safety cut out.
The province of Málaga has been the worst affected with 70 fires accounting for 10.8 per cent of the total damage. Cádiz has had 67 fires damaging 172 hectares; Granada 81 blazes affected 277 hectares and Almería had 51 fires covering 456 hectares.
Amongst Malaga's recent blazes was a major fire in the Sierra de Grazalema natural park in which 50 hectares of thicket were destroyed. The inferno took five hours to control using specialist fire planes and helicopters. Five men from a work party have been arrested for starting the blaze caused by a spark from a machine.
Meanwhile a blaze on the Costa endangered houses on the Bel-Air urbanization in Estepona. The prompt intervention of two fire fighting helicopters plus Estepona and Marbella fire brigades restricted the blaze to six hectares of brush land. There was no damage to nearby homes or construction sites.
FUENGIROLA MOURNS LOCAL BULLFIGHTER
The town of Fuengirola and the world of bullfighting are mourning the death of bullfighter Antonio José Galán. Although born in Bujalance (Córdoba) the 52-year-old torero had lived for many years in Fuengirola and owned the Mijas bullring.
Also killed in the crash was the young banderillero Francisco José Losada. Galan´s son, novice bullfighter David Galán, was also in the car but was unhurt. Two unidentified passengers are seriously ill in hospital.
The party was on its way back from the French town of Bayonne, where David Galán had made his debut at a weekend festival of bullfights.
The accident occurred on the Vitoria to Burgos road Rivera Baja in Álava at 16.35 on Sunday, when the Mercedes Benz 320 in which they were traveling left the road and somersaulted several times. No other vehicles were involved.
Word of Galan´s death reached the La Malagueta bullring before the start of Sunday's bullfight celebrating the Málaga feria. The crowd and participants stood in silence to honor him. On Monday Fuengirola´s town council held a special meeting and declared two days of mourning.
GIL DOCUMENTS GO MISSING
A new judicial scandal has rocked Marbella. There magistrates from numbers 1,5 and 7 courts have reported the removal of files and the annulment of archives in around a dozen cases involving the Mayor of Marbella, Jesus Gil, and another members of his government team.
The Málaga Public Prosecutor said these disappearances were a serious setback in the instruction of theses cases, which were due before the courts in Málaga in the autumn. Judge Juan Carlos Hernández, head of No 7 court, was the first to report the disappearances back in June.
MALAGA FERIA WINDS DOWN
After an explosive start last Friday, when more than 10.000 kilograms of fire works lit up the midnight sky, Malaga's annual fair enters its final four days today. Tonight at 23.00 the contest will get underway in the Auditorio Municipal to find the Queen of the Fair, while at the same time and place tomorrow, there's music from Aliana, Ángela Carrasco and Bertin Osborne. Hip-hoppers can try the Caseta de Juventud at 23.30 tomorrow when "7 Notas 7 Colores" and "Hablando de Plata" will play live sets.
On Saturday, the Festivals of Verdiales and Folklore close in the Plaza de Merced and de la Marina respectively. There's a procession of coaches and horses at midday, and at 23.00 the final night's entertainment in the Auditorio Municipal is headlined by Los Panchos.
Finally, on Sunday, the Magic Fair in the Park will be open from midday until 15.00, while the Fair's closing ceremonies begin at 22.00 with two hours of music and dancing.
At midnight, another spectacular display of fireworks will mark the end of the first Málaga Fair of the 21st century.
After much pressure from the hotel industry of Marbella the Portillo bus company has announced it will start a direct service between the town and Málaga airport. The company's Director General, Pedro López Quesada, has presented the two new coaches, which will operate the service. Up until now tourists have either had to take a taxi costing around 7,000 pesetas or go by train to Fuengirola then travel by bus or take the train or bus into Málaga and get a Marbella bus from there.
GOOD NEWS ON THE HORIZON
Three hundred residents of the Bello Horizonte V urbanization have had to get by with temporary water and electricity supplies. They have been in dispute with the contractor who demanded more money from them after they moved in to their new homes or threatened to sell their properties to other buyers. Now Estepona Town Hall has stepped in to solve the various problems suffered by the residents. The constructor has been served with a four million peseta for the water supply and the electricity supply company, Sevillana, ha yet to notify the Town hall of what it is owed.
WIND IBERICA GETS FINANCIAL POWER
The Tarifa based company, Wind Ibérica, has raised more than 56 billion pesetas to fund wind-generating projects within the municipality. The finance is coming from a Danish company Global Renewable Energy Partners, which is part of the Neg-Micon group.
The funding will be used for Wind ibérica´s projects in Tarifa, which will be give it a capacity to generate 220 megawatts of electricity. The money will cover the purchase, transportation, installation and other costs of 110 wind generators of 2 megawatts output manufactured by Neg-Micon and Vestas.
Wind Ibérica aims to generate a total of 732 megawatts in Andalucia wind parks that are economically viable and have the minimal impact on the environment. The company is also negotiating an "off-shore" wind generation plant near Barbate. It would have nine wind generators with a potential of 18 megawatts.
TOURISM BOOST FOR THE EASTERN COAST
New golf course will bring new revenues
Major new tourism revenue is expected east of Malaga when a new 18-Hole golf course opens near Vélez-Malaga at the end of August.
The course is one of six new facilities opening on the Costa del Sol within 18 months, responding to a demand for golf, which has saturated the existing clubs. Some tour operators have been concerned that their business levels could fall because of the lack of somewhere for their clients to play.
Situated between La Caleta on the coast and the new motorway, Baviera Golf is one of the most ambitious projects in the province. There are splendid views of sea and mountains from the greens, and the development includes tennis and water sports as well as residential and holiday accommodation. It lies close to the new commercial development, El Ingenio, further enhancing the income potential of the zone.
As well as this new course in the Axarquía, new investments in golf of the coast include one nine hole and three 18-hole curses that have opened west of Málaga since last September. Together with another new curse due to open in Antequera nest year, a total of around 10.000 million pesetas has been invested in this specialized area of tourism.