News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
In association with
Week April 17th to April 23rd 2003.
CLAMPDOWN ON NOISE
Marbella to pioneer noise map
By David Eade
IN AN EFFORT TO REDUCE THE LEVELS OF NOISE POPULION IN ONE OF THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL POINTS ON THE COSTA DEL SOL, MARBELLA HAS STARTED TO WORK ON A PIONEERING PROJECT SIX YEARS AHEAD OF TIME
The European Union has decreed that by 2009 all municipalities with populations over 100,000 people must have a map showing the noise levels throughout the town. Marbella's co-ordinator for the environment, Alicia Amate, has announced that Marbella is to prepare such a map now, six years ahead of the European Union deadline, making it the first town in Málaga Province to do so. Indeed, only Marbella and Huelva in all of Andalucía have given the go-ahead for such a major project.
A YEAR-LONG STUDY
The Marbella study will be an exhaustive one and will take a year to undertake. The noise levels at 830 points within the town's boundaries will be tested on a 365-days-a-year basis. As Sra Amate explained: "There is not the same noise in Puerto Banús in January as in August, for example, so we have to know the exact levels at each moment of the year for this map to be of use."
TO START IN JUNE
The final selection of where the testing points will be, which will include hospitals and schools, will start next month and be finished in June when the monitoring operation will commence. The project will take until the following June to complete. When ready, Sra Amate says that the Town Hall will know, for instance, what hours to limit traffic or what bars or establishments should have a licence restricting their noise levels.
US NUCLEAR SUB DOCKS AT GIBRALTAR
Spanish protests at visit of HMS Turbulent, now departed for the UK
By David Eade
A NUCLEAR POWERED LOS ANGELES CLASS SUBMARINE OF THE US NAVY HAS MADE A SHORT VISIT TO GIBRALTAR'S NAVAL DOCKYARD CAUSING ALARM IN THE NEIGHBOURING AREAS.
The vessel changed crew and took on previsions. Military sources say the sub had come from the Persian Gulf where it had been involved in missions during the Iraq War. This was the second visit of a nuclear powered submarine to Gibraltar within a matter of days. Whilst the British Ministry of Defence refused to identify the US sub it did announce that the Trafalgar class submarine, HMS Turbulent, had departed for the UK. It is believed that the British sub had also recently been in the Persian Gulf.
The presence of the British nuclear submarine, which is the same class as the controversial HMS Tireless, had caused widespread protests from Greenpeace and other ecological groups in the Campo de Gibraltar. Ecologists claimed that HMS Turbulent was a danger to the public as, like its sister sub Tireless, it had been involved in a number of safety scares since 1997.
GALICIA ARRIVES IN IRAQ
Meanwhile the Spanish Navy's assault ship 'Galicia', which recently set sail from the Rota military base in Cádiz, has now safely arrived at the Iraqi port of Um Qasr. The vessel contains an urgently needed field hospital, which has now been deployed in Iraq. The hospital has 40 beds and a medical team of 23. Included amongst their number are specialists in general medicine, intensive care, surgery as well as an anaesthetist, a traumatologist, a dentist, a vet plus ten nursing staff.
However Spain's efforts to deliver humanitarian aid have been hampered by the general confusion and turmoil in Iraq. Two lorries of food and drink rations have been distributed from the 'Galicia' by marines from the 1st Battalion normally stationed at San Fernando in Cádiz but subsequent deliveries were temporarily suspended.
FIRST DEATH AT ROTA
Back at the Rota base the Hospital of the Eighth Fleet is in the first phase of it expansion to accommodate 500 beds. Within the past week the number of injured at Rota has quadrupled to 210. Sadly the hospital has also recorded its first death from the Iraq conflict. William A Jeffries, a 39-year-old soldier from Evansville, Illinois, serving with the 1st Battalion of 152 Infantry Regiment, died from a 'sudden illness'..
MARJORIE GRICE-HUTCHINSON DIES IN MÁLAGA
By Suzan Davenport
British by birth, Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson spent over half her life in Málaga, settling permanently here in the 1950s after her marriage to Ulrich von Schlippenbach although she first set foot in Spain in the 1930s when she made frequent visits to her father's cortijo in San Julian.
Marjorie was witness to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, and together with her father helped fleeing Spaniards to Gibraltar on their yacht, bringing back desperately needed medicine and food for the people of Churriana. In 1941 she returned to Britain to work at the Foreign Office as a linguist before going on to work with Frederich von Hayek, Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics.
Back in Spain, Marjorie continued her writing, publishing 'Malaga Farm' in London in 1956, followed by 'Children of the Vega: growing up on a farm in Spain', 'Early Economic Thought in Spain' and 'The English Cemetery' as well as economic studies on Andalucia and many other subjects.
In 1959 she was awarded the Orden del Merito Civil for the social work she carried out in Churriana after the Civil War and in 1975 she received an OBE from her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Marjorie was also awarded the Ateneo de Malaga medal on April 4 this year and the Diputacion de Málaga was preparing a ceremony to declare her an 'adopted daughter' of the province.
Amongst her many friends were writers Gerald Brenan and his wife Gamel Woolsey, with whom she forged a very strong friendship. They had many things in common, not least their literary passion and their love of Málaga and Spain and it was Marjorie who pushed for Gamel's book 'Malaga Burning' to be translated into Spanish, shortly to be made into a film with Antonio Banderas.
At ninety-three, Marjorie Grice Hutchinson was full of life. Her conversation was always interesting, intelligent and full of her wonderful sense of humour. She died peacefully on Saturday, April 12 and her ashes were laid to rest in her beloved English Cemetery last Tuesday. Adios Marjorie, you will be greatly missed.
ENDESA IS EUROPE'S FOURTH WORST POLLUTER
By David Eade
SPAIN'S ELECTRICITY SUPPLY GIANT, ENDESA, IS AT THE FOREFRONT OF RENEWABLE ENERGY WITH A MAJOR EXPERIMENTAL WIND PARK AT TARIFA.
Currently two of the latest generation of wind generators are being tested there. However, according to the ecologist group Greenpeace, Endesa is also the fourth worst contaminator amongst electricity generators in Europe.
A study has been undertaken by Price Waterhouse Coopers, which Greenpeace claims to have had access to. According to the statistics Endesa emits around 73 million tons of CO2 each year. The next worse contaminator in Spain is Unión Fenosa that only accounts for 14.5 million tons of CO2 per annum.
The main culprit for the high CO2 emissions is coal. Endesa has stated that it intends to enlarge its central coal burning terminal at Carboneras in Almería making it the largest in Spain. In addition it intends to improve and convert its plant at Puentes de García Rodríguez (A Coruña) to use imported coal.
Emilio Rull, the Spanish Greenpeace spokesman on energy and climatic change, declared that Endesa's coal burning terminals were 'impeding us meeting our objectives of Kioto'. He added that Kioto obliged Spain to expand and develop various forms of renewable energy sources and to abandon the use of fossil fuels, coal, gas and petroleum.
NERJA ASKS LARIOS FOR AQUEDUCT
Restoration of local landmark considered urgent
By Dave Jamieson
Nerja's Mayor has asked Larios to cede the Águila aqueduct to the town so that it may be restored. The Aqueducto del Águila, near Nerja's caves, was built in the 19th century to bring water to a local sugar factory, and now assists with the irrigation of nearby farmlands. However, a recent study noted general deterioration in the structure, with partial losses on some parts. Now, mayor José Alberto Armijo has been promised a rapid response from the Socieded Azucarera Larios, owners of the aqueduct, to his request that it is handed over to the Town Hall which will manage its restoration on behalf of the Junta de Andalucía. The Junta's cultural department has developed a plan for the work, although this has not yet started.
The project was born during 2000, and the following year, 320,000 euros were agreed as a grant from regional government so the work could get underway. The aqueduct, lying between Nerja and Maro, is one of the best known and most photographed attractions in the area, and the Town Hall is concerned to maintain it in the best condition both for the practical purpose of continuing to transport water and as a tourist attraction.
REGENERATION OF FISH STOCKS IN FIVE YEARS
Warnings of severe action on continuing illegal fishing still prevail
By Dave Jamieson
A SIGNIFICANT REDUCTION IN ILLEGAL FISHING HAS LED TO CLAIMS THAT FISH STOCKS WILL REGENERATE WITHIN FIVE YEARS.
The first three months of this year saw just 693 kilos of immature fish seized by the authorities, compared with three tons in the same period last year, and nine tons in 2001. The confiscation of illegally caught boquerones has quadrupled in the last two years, which, along with immature sardines, is one of the most sought-after catches.
Regional government's provincial agriculture delegate, José María Rodriguez, confirmed that this would result in increasing numbers of species traditionally found on fishing grounds along the coast. He said that co-operation between the Junta and fishermen's associations contributed to the change, as did support from the hotel and restaurant sector, although a falling public demand was also a factor.
However, Sr Rodriguez pointed to Torre del Mar as one of the ports where resistance to ending illegal fishing was highest. He said that in many cases, those convicted returned to re-offend within just a few days, and that he intended to sanction the complete confiscation of all the equipment of such individuals.
HORSE KILLER VIRUS ALERT
By David Eade
Six horses and one donkey, all from different stables, have died within the past week in the municipality of La Línea de la Concepción. The virus has been identified as rhinoeumonitis and had infected the respiratory systems of both male and female horses. Veterinary sources say that the deceased horses are all stabled within an area of two kilometres from each other. Vets have taken blood samples from all the dead horses and these have been sent to the Madrid veterinary laboratory at Algete.
The vets will received the results of the tests later this week but at present do not know why these various stables have been infected. They say they cannot rule out further cases and have warned horse owners in the area to keep a close eye on their horses and donkeys. Regional government's agriculture delegate, Juan Antonio Blanco, said that a watch was being placed on all horses within Andalucía but at present everything seemed to be normal. Meanwhile the agriculture ministry in Sevilla has said there is no cause for alarm.
HISTORICAL HOLY WEEK IN MÁLAGA
First time a lady bearer participates in procession
By Dave Jamieson
HISTORY WILL BE MADE IN MÁLAGA ON THURSDAY NIGHT WHEN, FOR THE FIRST TIME, A WOMAN WILL HELP CARRY ONE OF THE FLOATS IN A HOLY WEEK PROCESSION.
Thirty-seven-year-old Adela Uterea, a lawyer, will join 239 male colleagues lifting the huge structure in one of Jueves Santo processions, as it wends its way through the city's streets. She will help support the 3,800 kilogram weight for six hours in the procession, which is accompanied by the Legión Española, a link which dates back 75 years. Adela was inscribed in the Cofradía de Mena by her father, a former Mayor of Málaga, on the day she was born in 1965, and walked as a penitent in the processions from age seven. She is a well-known local figure, particularly for her work with maltreated women and for her daily appearances on local television.
Adela has been on the waiting list to be a bearer for some time, and this year, along with eight men, gets her first opportunity. Separated, with three daughters, Málaga's first female "portador" says she has been training in the gym to be fit for the physical task involved tomorrow night.
Adela will be participating on, what is traditionally, the busiest night of Málaga's Semana Santa. According to official figures, by the end of this week, the city will have welcomed 800,000 visitors, with an impact of five million euros on the local economy. The Town Hall estimates that more than five million pairs of eyes will have seen Holy Week processions by Easter Sunday, with Thursday, as ever, the busiest night when a record 700,000 people are expected to be on the capital's streets. Between Thursday and Sunday, Málaga's hotels are showing 95 per cent occupation, up from 80 per cent at the start of the week.
TORROX PRISONER RELEASED IN HOLY WEEK CEREMONY
Following tradition, a prisoner from Málaga's jail will be released today, Wednesday, excused the rest of his sentence, to walk as a penitent and free man in one of tonight's Holy Week processions. The pardoned man this year is Bautista Avila Villena, a 59-year-old farmer and bricklayer from Torrox who was sentenced to six years detention after an attack on a neighbour following an argument. Bautista, who is married with four children and had already had his term reduced to three years on appeal, expressed his emotion and happiness on hearing the news, thanking his friends and neighbours who had supported his family financially while he was in prison. As well as the sentence, Bautista had to pay his victim, who lost an eye in the attack, compensation of two million pesetas. After walking behind "El Rico" through the capital's streets tonight, Bautista said his priority was to get on his motorbike and go to inspect his avocado crop. The tradition of freeing a prisoner began two centuries ago when prisoners, braving a plague, carried a holy image through Málaga's streets
HALF FOREIGNERS IN CÁDIZ LIVE IN CAMPO DE GIBRALTAR
By David Eade
According to 2001 census figures released by the National Institute of Statistics, half of the foreigners registered as living in the province of Cádiz live in the Campo de Gibraltar region.
Officially 1,116,491 people live in Cádiz of whom 24,563 are foreign residents; this contingent accounts for 2.2 per cent of the total. However the percentage level is much higher in the Campo de Gibraltar region and in San Roque, which includes the luxury urbanisation of Sotogrande where nearly seven per cent of the population are foreigners.
Of the seven municipalities of the Campo de Gibraltar, Algeciras has 101,468 residents, five per cent of these are foreigners. Los Barrios has 17,373 residents (4.1 per cent foreign), Casteller 2,571 (3.2 per cent), Jimena 9,088 (5 per cent), La Línea 59,437 (4.9 per cent), San Roque 23,436 (6.7 per cent) and Tarifa 15,670 (3.7 per cent).
Further statistics show that 5.5 per cent of the residents of Cádiz are Spaniards from outside of Andalucía. Six per cent are from Andalucía but not Cádiz. 'Gaditanos' residing in different municipalities from which they were born total 22.6 per cent. Whilst 63.7 per cent of 'Gaditanos' live where they were born.