News Archive from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
In association with
Week April 25th to May 1st
OPENING FOR SAN PEDRO BYPASS
Pressure groups' call for underpass intensifies
By David Eade
FROM MAY, AN DAILY AVERAGE OF 40,000 MOTORISTS WILL BE ABLE TO USE THE NEW SOUTHERN BYPASS RUNNING FROM LAS PETUNIAS TO EL INGENIO, THUS AVOIDING DELAYS THROUGH SAN PEDRO DE ALCÁNTARA.
project to build the 2.2 kilometre bypass has cost 6 million euros.
The two sections of the bypass between Las Petunias and El Ingenio
have now been completed. However, the third stage from El Ingenio
to Guadalmina has been stopped by regional government.
Nonetheless, Marbella Town Hall intends to open the first two stages next month. To ease traffic flow, traffic lights on the Avenida del Mediterráneo at El Ingenio will give way to a roundabout. A municipal spokesman said construction would not affect traffic flow.
On April 25, 15 groups, including all Marbella's political parties,
business associations, unions and various residents groups will
hold a mass demonstration in support of the underpass. The demo,
scheduled to start at 20.00 at Plaza de la Iglesia will then go
on to El Ingenio. The demonstrators will be demanding that Public
Works make an immediate start on an N-340 underpass through the
heart of San Pedro.
A plan has existed since 1991 to build a 1.2 kilometre underpass from Las Petunias to the Arroyo del Chopo, which means that traffic on the N-340 would bypass two traffic black spots at Las Petunias and El Ingenio. The project has been held up after ongoing disputes between central and regional governments and Marbella Town Hall. The state of traffic chaos on the N-340 has reached the stage where all political parties are united in the call for immediate action.
The bypass around Torreguadiaro on the N-340 opened this week. Motorists
can now avoid driving through the seaside hamlet and its residents
will be spared the non-stop heavy traffic. In time, the old section
of the N-340 will become a suburban avenue and a marine promenade
should be built this summer.
Nonetheless, residents in the area are worried that the promenade may not be built, as central government has not allocated funds for the project. They added that plans for a 'paseo marítimo' have been announced on various occasions, but believe it is low on the Government's list of priorities.
San Roque's councillor for town planning, José Cabrera, insists that the work on the marine promenade will commence this summer.
ROAD II FOR MÁLAGA
City's traffic system near to "collapse"
By David Jamieson
CALLS FOR AN URGENT START TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE SECOND RING ROAD AROUND THE CITY OF MÁLAGA HAVE INTENSIFIED, FOLLOWING INCREASING DELAYS CAUSED BY THE VOLUME OF TRAFFIC.
groups and individuals last week highlighted the delays, which are
now a daily occurrence, and claimed that the road network is in
danger of collapse. The existing western ring road now carries 145,000
vehicles in an average day, 40,000 more than four years ago, a figure
which is expected to rise to 200,000 by 2004.
The president of Málaga's association of taxi drivers said last week that the situation in the city centre was now as bad as it had been before the building of the first ring road, with extensive delays and tailbacks. He was also critical of the organisation of the exits from the motorway, particularly at the University entrance which is a notorious black-spot for drivers.
PARTIES AT WAR
Calling for a firm date for the work to begin, a PSOE spokesman
said the project should be financed by the state. He claimed that,
between 2005 and 2006, the city's roads would become saturated,
and that the governing Partido Popular appeared not to be addressing
However, a PP spokesman said that the project was progressing and work should begin shortly, adding it was important that it should be undertaken within the Infrastructure Plan for the period to 2007.
OVER ESTEPONA PORT LAND SALE
Regional government accused of 'double-dealing'
By David Eade
CONFUSION REIGNS AT ESTEPONA TOWN HALL AFTER REGIONAL GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED THAT IT WAS WITHDRAWING ITS APPROVAL FOR THE AUCTION OF A LARGE PLOT OF LAND AT THE PLAYA DEL CRISTO.
is also a dispute about the ownership of the land and local residents
have formed an action group to oppose development on the site.
Following on from regional government's decision, the Town Hall called a press conference which was attended by Mayoress Rosa Díaz, the treasury councillor, José Gerez, and the councillor of town planning Ignacio Mena. They drew attention to the fact that regional government's councillor of public works issued a report, which approved the auction of the land on November 14 of last year.
Since that date, regional government has issued a letter approving the auction of the land and another seemingly contradictory letter calling for the public works department to undertake a study of the proposal. That coupled with regional government's apparent decision to allow the disputed owners to register the land in their name has led Estepona Town Hall to accuse regional government of 'double-dealing'.
INTERESTS AT STAKE
The council says regional government is playing games with the interests
of the town of Estepona by denying the municipality coffers of 28.4
million euros, which would have been received had the auction of
the land proceeded.
The ownership of the land in question was transferred to a municipal company during the GIL era at Estepona Town Hall. The municipal company in turn sold the land to the Marín-Hillinger property company. Estepona Town Hall has tried to reclaim ownership of the land by closing down the municipal company and in turn cancelling the sale of the land to Marín-Hillinger.
ASSOCIATION GATHERS FORCES
Meanwhile the Association for the Defence of the Playa del Cristo
(Adepla) is looking into the possibility of taking legal action
against Estepona Town Hall over the sale of the land. The association
is made up of property owners at Marina Bay, the Belgravia Club
and Bermeja Beach, who are supported by other residents in the area.
The president of the association, Juan José Serrano, has justified the decision to take action due to "the continuous incongruities and the different versions that have been offered by members of the local government team on their future intentions for the land."
GREEN LIGHT FOR WIND PARKS?
By David Eade
REGIONAL GOVERNMENT'S NEW ENERGY PLAN (PLEAN) ENVISAGES ANDALUCÍA BECOMING THE LEADER IN THE USE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY IN SPAIN.
this aim to be achieved it would require a massive increase in wind
generating parks in the autonomous region. This decision is bad
news for all the communities which are currently fighting against
having wind generating parks installed in their municipalities.
In 1995, when the experimental wind-generating park was built at Tarifa, the autonomous region of Andalucía generated 56.8 per cent of the renewable energy produced in Spain. In 2001, that figure had slipped to just 4.62 of the output as areas such as Galicia and Navarra took the lead. Now the new regional government plan envisages that 12 per cent of all energy used in Andalucía by 2010 will come from renewable sources.
LIFTING THE BAN ON FARMS
To achieve its target, regional government will first have to lifts
its block on the 500 megawatts wind park development planned for
Tarifa. If the authority gives this project the green light it will
see a 480 million-euro investment in the area. Whereas many town
halls have opposed plans to install wind generating plants in their
municipalities, Tarifa has approved the scheme, but it is being
held up by various regional government departments.
Regional government's decision to become leaders in wind-generated power has naturally been welcomed by the companies involved in this sector. They have formed their own action group to promote their joint interests and called for a simplified planning process to be introduced if the Government's expansion targets are to be achieved. However for any wind park development to proceed, it would first have to have the agreement of the local town hall.
BRIT PAEDOPHILE MATERIAL FOUND IN ALHAURIN
Guardia Civil in Coín and Alhaurín el Grande have discovered and searched the apartment rented by a British paedophile who had used the flat to store child pornography material which he then allegedly sold to Internet web pages. The accused is presently serving a prison sentence in England, where he is imprisoned on sex related charges.
The paedophile was arrested on the Costa del Sol and taken to the Alhaurín prison on December 12, after an international search warrant was issued. He was then interned at Valdemoro (Madrid) before being extradited to England.
The accused paedophile had a collection of over a thousand photos of children aged between three and ten, taken at the local beaches of Calahonda and Mijas Costa. The man had his own laboratory in the apartment, which helped to keep his activities from being detected earlier.
CREDIT CARD SCAM ARRESTS
banks in Torremolinos gave a collective sigh of relief when National
Police arrested four Rumanians aged between 26 and 27 years on charges
of stealing credit and cash cards from bank cash machines.
The gang of four used the method known as the 'Lebanese Lasso' to catch cards in the cash dispenser of targeted banks in La Carihuela and Playamar areas of Torremolinos. They were caught after an anonymous phone call alerted police that they were tampering with a machine in the Calle Carmen.
Italians bank robbers arrested
Police have arrested two Italians, Alessandro S (39) and Alessia R (27), who lived in Torremolinos. Police believe the pair had undertaken at least nine major bank robberies in the province of Málaga in the past year. Thousands of euros, dollars, Mexican pesos, Swiss francs and Italian lire were recovered.
COME TO THE FAIR
'Feria de Muestras' is said to be the most important in Andalucía
and the organisers anticipate that up to 125,000 people will attend
the event. For that reason this year's feria returns to the Palacio
de Congresos after three years at other venues.
The feria will take place between April 27 and May 5. It will be open from 11.00 to 22.00. One-hundred-and-twenty companies will be displaying their wares and the organisers are emphasising the quality and variety of the products on offer. Admission is just three euros and includes a gift.