News - Costa del Sol Archive 2001-9-3

News Archive from Andalucia & Costa del Sol

...News from Andalucia

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Week August 24th to 3rd 2001



A collision between bus and a milk lorry at 7.40 closed the N-340 for three hours and caused a five kilometer tailback in traffic towards Estepona.

The crash occurred at kilometer 167 in the Málaga bound lane opposite the urbanization of Benamara. A "double length" Portillo bus operating on the route between Estepona and Marbella was hit on the side by the lorry.

Police sources say they do not know the precise cause of the accident but it would appear the lorry hit the bus as it pulled in to the bus stop lay-by. The lorry overturned and its cargo of milk in crates spilt across the road. The drivers of both vehicles were slightly injured. Three passengers, on a route, which is very popular with tourists, were also hurt and all five were treated at Estepona´s health center.


The crash occurred on a day when some of the worst queues so far were experienced on the N-340. At 13.00 there was a 12-kilometer tailback in the direction of Cádiz. The day previous 32 kilometers hold ups in the Málaga direction from San Roque had been recorded. Angry observers have told Costa del Sol News of witnessing distressing scenes with families trapped in their cars in the searing heat.

Rachel Michaels, who holidays each year in a chalet near Puerto Duquesa, said this year her family felt impresioned. Just a short trip to the supermarket or a restaurant could entail being delayed four hours.

The delays, which appear to be going from bad to worse, have infuriated the PSOE Deputy for Cádiz, Salvador de la Encina. He has laid the blame firmly at the door of the Ministry of Works in Madrid for bad planning and lack of attention.


Marbella plus the various neighboring municipalities of Benahavís and Estepona have seen the greatest rise in residential tourism in Málaga Province. The nearby interior areas of Ojén and Istán have benefited too. However it is not just an Málaga success story. The Cádiz zones of Sotogrande, Valderrama, La Alcaildesa and Conil de la Frontera have also been leading the property boom.

According to Ricardo Arranz, the President of the Andalucia Federation Urbanization and Residential Tourism, this year " is the most important " since 1995 in the growth of this sector. Eighty per cent of those buying properties are foreigners. Britons are accounting for 35 per cent of the purchases and Germans 30 percent, which is a reversal of the previous year's trend.


Torremolinos Town Hall and the municipaly´s tourism industry "Tourist of Honour" has named the Málaga actor Raúl Sénder. He will receive the award at a special ceremony on September 6. Also being honored is the hotel Los Jazmines, the restaurant Los Pescadores Playa, the Red Cross (Cruz Roja) and the beach concession El Velero. Perhaps a special award should go to the town's tourist office, which handled 14.500 enquiries in July. The majority came from Spaniards followed by English and French.


The Dutch company, Cazan International Magic Show, is in negotiations with Torremolinos Town Hall to construct a "Palace of Magic" in the municipality. The company has been offered a plot of 2,000 square metres for 50 years at a rent of 10 million pesetas a year. If all goes to plan the company will invest between 300 and 400 million pesetas on an auditorium seating 400 spectators and stage magic spectaculars for 40 weeks a year.


Every summer illegal campers descend on the Costa del Sol and the Costa de la Luz. The problem is at its worst at Los Caños de Meca near Barbate in Cádiz Province.

However, the local police have now stepped in and in the last week issued 79 summonses to illegal campers in Los Caños area. They dismantled a shantytown of shacks and huts and demolished around 30 dwellings built in a prohibited zone.

The police action was centred on the pine forest of La Breña and the beach of Los Castillejos in the natural park. This area of great beauty has been turned into a giant waste tip as over the years the illegal campers have dumped kilos of rubbish over the sands.

A notable feature about these bands of illegal campers is that the majority of them are non- Spanish. Amongst the summonses issued by the police eight were to Germans, four Italians and three to British citizens. Many of those summoned have police records.

Police have towed away an array of cars and vans, some abandoned, many with foreign number plates. A major worry is the risk of fire from dumped rubbish. A sudden forest blaze here could turn into a catastrophe for the nearby homes striking them almost without warning.


Nerja couple warns of new "distraction" tactics

A Nerja couple that had their credit cards inadvertedly has reported a different form of robbery stolen from their wallets

The alleged robbery took place in a quiet street in daytime, when a stranger who drew their attention to some dirt on the backs of their jackets approached them.

The stranger produced some water and tissues and helped them clean the mess off. The couple was suspicious, but the stranger was insistent.

As he left, both checked, and, yes, both handbag and wallet were still where they should be. At home, they noticed the dirt on their clothing was a half-eaten chocolate bar, and wondered how it had got there.


It wasn't until a few days later, when the gentleman wished to use his credit card, which he discovered two of his card was missing. While helping to clean up the mess which he had himself created, the thief must have unbuttoned the back pocket of the gentleman's trousers, taken out the wallet, removed the cards, replaced the wallet, and re-buttoned the pocket. In addition, a third card had been removed, and replaced upside down, presumably rejected by the thief as unusable. Within an hour of the left, a substantial charge had been run up on the stolen cards.


Police in Britain refer to this form of crime as distracted mugging,
- A stranger attempting to assist him following an unexpected, minor accident distracts the victim's attention. A variation, also reported from Nerja, is to be invited to purchase a flower from a pretty girl, while her colleague removes the valuables. While local police are aware of these incidents, the best protection is awareness of the danger by the public.


Antequera´s business activity has increased by around five per cent in the last year. Of the 2,365 business registered in the town, the majority are traders, while almost three hundred are professionals, mainly solicitors and self-employed. The statistics are included in a report on the taxation of economic activities.


Paseo Larios in Torre del Mar is to be relayed with Italian marble in a yearlong project, which begins in October. The cost, met in part by the European Union, will be 325 million pesetas.


Tourism prompts revitalization of abandoned La Acebuchal.

After four decades, people are returning to La Acebuchal, locally known as "The deserted village"

La Acebuchal lies between Cómpeta and Frigiliana, and in the last two years, 15 of its 44 houses of have been restored. To restore the whole village, however, is a massive task. There is no infrastructure to speak of, so drinking water, sewage, electricity, and telephone provisions have to be planed, and those involved have already been discussing the issues with the Town Hall in Cómpeta. Leovigildo López, Mayor of Cómpeta, has been in touch with the Plan for Rural Electrification, which promises to bring power to the area in 2002.

The reason behind La Acebuchal reawakening is the realization that it will add substantially to rural tourism in the eastern Axarquía.


In 1890, the village had 100 inhabitants, producing raisins, oil and almonds. It was also the haunt ob bandits, "Los Caratapas", who raided those on the way to market in Granada. But by the 1960, the remaining villagers decided to abandon their remote homes for the relative comforts of Frigiliana, Cómpeta and Nerja. Now, motivated by tourism, their families are returning.

......Costa del Sol News Archive