News Archive from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
In association with
Week May 2nd to May 8th
JESÚS GIL STEPS DOWN
Marbella Mayor resigns today after 10 years in office
By David Eade
AT NOON TODAY, JESÚS GIL WILL FORMALLY RESIGN FROM HIS OFFICE WHILE JULIÁN MUÑOZ IS VOTED IN AS MARBELLA'S NEW MAYOR.
The special session of Marbella council will bring to an end the reign of Mayor Jesús Gil. However, the GIL party still has an absolute majority on the council and will continue to govern the municipality.
The end of Jesús Gil's office in Marbella came last Thursday when the Supreme Court ratified the sentence against the Mayor, by which he will face six months jail and a ban from public office for a period of 28 years. Sr Gil decided to pre-empt the Court's ruling and at an extra-ordinary session of the town council he announced he was quitting public office by stepping down as both councillor and Mayor.
DEPUTY TO STAND IN
The Mayor-elect Julián Muñoz immediately took over the responsibilities of the office and his election is seen as a foregone conclusion. A GIL party member since 1991, Sr Muñoz has been forthright in stating that he will not quit the GIL party nor renounce his friendship with Jesús Gil. Nonetheless, he has signalled he will lead Marbella with a policy of dialogue and consensus with the opposition parties.
Municipal elections are due in Marbella in 2003. For the past three elections the GIL party has romped home with absolute majorities, showing that Marbella residents were pleased with the results of Sr Gil's office. The opposition parties now seem agreed to work with Sr Muñoz for the benefit of the town, however, PSOE Secretary-General of towns and municipal politics, Salvador Pendón, has voiced his suspicion of a supposed pact between GIL and the Partido Popular for the 2003 elections. He points to similar agreements between the two parties in San Roque, La Línea de la Concepción and Estepona.
Jesús Gil has also a number of other serious proceedings against him in various courts. Sr Gil has announced that when all the legal wrangles are resolved he will retire to Brazil with his wife for a few years to be out of the public spotlight.
One piece of good news for Jesús Gil came at the weekend when his soccer team, Atlético de Madrid, were promoted back into the First Division.
THREE THOUSAND PEOPLE BLOCK N-340
Residents, political parties and trade unions act in agreement
By David Eade
OVER 3000 PEOPLE MARCHED THROUGH THE STREETS OF SAN PEDRO DE ALCÁNTARA LAST WEEK IN PROTEST AGAINST THE DELAY IN BUILDING THE N-340 UNDERPASS THROUGH THE TOWN.
The mass demonstration was made up of residents' groups, political parties and trade unions. They paraded from the main church square to the El Ingenio junction and then marched along the N-340 bringing traffic to a halt.
At the head of the demonstration was a giant banner calling the Minister of Public Works to start the project first drawn up in 1991. The underpass through San Pedro would carry the 40,000 vehicles which currently use the N-340 on a daily basis. The underpass would run from Las Petunias to the Arroyo del Chopo, a length of 1.2 kilometres.
Julián Muñoz, successor to Jesús Gil in Marbella, said: "For the first time we are all in agreement. We have put pressure on regional government and the national government." Speaking for the Partido Popular, Ángeles Muñoz (no relation), said it was important that regional government lifted the ban on the Marbella town planning ordinance. She added: "We must recover legal town planning in the municipality in order for the project to be carried out."
FURTHER DELAY ON SOUTH BYPASS
The third and final phase of the southern bypass in San Pedro has suffered a further setback. The town planning police of regional government stepped-in in February to block the project due to alleged environmental offences on the part of the contractor. Now regional government has issued a further legal action against the contractor.
The action has been taken by regional government on the basis of Marbella's 1986 town planning ordinance, which is the only one that the authority recognises. Under that ordinance the land being used for the third phase of the bypass is designated as for park or garden use. There is also concern relating to the movement of earth, which has blocked the riverbed of the Arroyo del Chopo.
Regional government's action means that all work has stopped on the third phase of the southern bypass with no lifting of the embargo in sight. However, as reported in Costa del Sol News last week, Marbella Town Hall intends to open the first two phases of the bypass in May. The bypass will take traffic from Las Petunias to El Ingenio and has cost the Town Hall six million euros.
BENALMÁDENA'S MARINA TIED-UP
Nine hundred boats seek a mooring
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.
Benalmádena's Puerto Marina is so popular with boat owners that its 1,045 moorings are tied up all year round. The official waiting list for yachts seeking a mooring totals 300. That figure would seem to be the tip of the iceberg. The town's councillor responsible for the port, José Nieto, says that apart from the 300 yachts on the waiting list, there are an additional 600 also wanting to use the port's facilities.
Sr Nieto noted that Benalmádena's marina was already the port with the highest capacity in the province of Málaga. He stressed that the huge waiting list made it all the more urgent for plans enlarging the marina to receive official approval. The Town Hall intends to add another 800 moorings, which would bring the total up to 1,845.
An expert has estimated that by 2005 a total of 2,276 yachts will be seeking berths in Andalucía. By the year 2022 that figure could leap to 5,167 so even an increase of 800 moorings at Benalmádena's marina will do little to meet the predicted demand. Benalmádena currently charges between 900 and 9,000 euros for moorings at the highly popular marina.
MANILVA ACTS TOUGH AGAINST ANTENNAS
Seven out of 10 antennas will be demolished
By David Eade
MANILVA TOWN HALL HAS ISSUED A STATEMENT STATING IT WILL TAKE ACTION AGAINST ALL MOBILE TELEPHONE ANTENNAS BUILT WITHOUT A MUNICIPAL LICENCE.
The Mayor, Emilio López, has revealed that seven of the 10 antennas in Manilva have been erected illegally. The Town Hall will now take action to have then demolished.
The three antennas that have a licence granted by the Town Hall belong to the mobile telephone company Airtel/Vodafone. Of the seven illegally placed antennas, three belong to both Telefónica Móviles and Amena while the other belongs to Airtel/Vodafone. Discussions on the future of these antennas have now started between the owners and the Town Hall.
TORREMOLINOS BRINGS IN NEW CONTROLS
The councillors of town planning and the environment are set to introduce a new ordinance in Torremolinos to control the placing of mobile telephone antennas. Plácido González explained that under the new regulations there must be a distance of at least 100 metres between an antenna and the nearest building or construction.
The distance set is 10 times higher than that laid down by the World Health Organisation, which recommended a minimum distance of 6 to 10 metres horizontal and 60 centimetres vertical. Once the new ordinance is introduced, the owners of the 33 antennas in the municipality will have six months to comply with the ruling.
NATIONAL FIGHT AGAINST NOISE
NEWS Staff Reporter
The Residents' Association in Málaga's City centre has joined forces with 70 others throughout Spain to fight against noise, and the effects of the 'botellón' - the late night street gatherings of young people drinking cheap alcohol.
A spokesman said that the decision to join the campaign had been taken after the Town Hall had, in his opinion, done nothing to help them. Less than a month ago, the Association broke off negotiations with the Town Hall and local business leaders due to lack of progress.
A BILLION EURO PORT FOR FUENGIROLA
Project would include two five star hotels and a car park
By David Eade
THE COST OF FUNDING FUENGIROLA'S NEW PUERTO DEPORTIVO PROMISES TO BE ASTRONOMICAL.
It is estimated that creating the new 500,000 square metre port would require an investment of more than a thousand million euros. The Town Hall has received three bids for the project and has decided to back the proposal presented by Input Multiservices S.L.
Two other companies were interested in the prestigious project: Puerto Deportivo Puerto Sol, S.L. and Bovis. However, both their proposals would have required an input from the municipal coffers. By contrast Input Multiservices S.L. would fund the project themselves thus making no call on the finances of Fuengirola or regional government.
The initial project drawn up by Input Multiservices S.L. will now go before regional government's port authority for approval. If the new port did proceed then the company would be seeking a concession to run the port for 50 years. Included in Input Multiservices S.L.'s plans, are two five star hotels plus 8,000 carparking spaces, which the company would control.
RUNNING OUT OF LAND
The new port project involves reclaiming land from the sea. This is just as well as Fuengirola is fast running out of land for development. The municipality covers an area of just 11 square kilometres, of which 63 per cent has been developed. The town planning ordinance lists just 27 sectors of land, which can be built on in the future, the majority of these in the area of Los Pacos.
ANTEQUERA PIONEERS EDUCATION CHANGES
Pressure from parents leads to longer opening hours
By Dave Jamieson
A nursery in Antequera is pioneering a development in education provision in Andalcuía. Under pressure from working parents, the Education Department has agreed to a pilot project under which 300 schools and colleges will open at 7.30 and close at 18.00 next term, to avoid children being home alone.
Response from the region's education centres has been high, with over 100 applications received from Málaga Province alone. From this week, however, the Virgen Milagrosa nursery in Antequera will remain open until 22.00 every day, including holidays, in an initiative supported by local Town Hall.