Costa del Sol News - 16th November 2008

News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol

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Week November 16th -

Tremón bankruptcy causes concern over Costa job losses

By Oliver McIntyre

The property company Tremón, which has entered a bankruptcy process in the face of 900 million euros of debt, issued assurances earlier this week that the process will not affect the jobs of some 300 workers at the two Costa hotels it owns and at its Tivoli World amusement park in Benalmádena.

But the CC.OO labour union has expressed deep concern over the situation and says it wants a meeting with Tremón management.

Among Tremón's 13 hotels, five of them in Andalucía, are the TRH Mijas, with around 40 employees, and the TRH Paraíso in Estepona, with close to 70 workers. Tivoli, which despite being owned by Tremón is still being managed by previous owner Arenal 2000 due to ongoing litigation between the two companies over details of the sale, employs some 200 people.

Over 1,000 works of art found in Malaya case

Officers searched various premises belonging to constructor Rafael Goméz

By David Eade

The drugs and organised crime squad of the National Police has seized over 1,000 works of art related to the Malaya town planning corruption case at Marbella town hall. The finds were made on three raids at properties in Córdoba, Alhama de Granada and Marbella. The Costa del Sol based police unit were acting on the instructions of the Malaya case judge, Óscar Pérez

Officers searched various premises at Parque Joyero in Córdoba, all owned by constructor Rafael Gómez ‘Sandokan', who is one of those implicated in the Malaya case. Here they found 410 works by famous artists including Dalí and Miró. It is believed that these art works belong to Juan Antonio Roca, the alleged mastermind behind the Malaya scams, but a police spokesman will only say they relate to some of those involved in the case.

The French president's office issued a statement saying: "He told him he was convinced Spain deserved a place at the forthcoming international finance summit, based on its weight in the world economy. The president will make the case for Spain's participation to the summit's American hosts."

Deals on wheels

Government expands Plan Vive car-buying assistance to used vehicles

By Oliver McIntyre

Anyone thinking of trading in their old clunker for a newer set of wheels - but perhaps balking at the price of a brand-new vehicle - got good news from the Spanish government last week.


The cabinet approved modifications to the months-old Plan Vive scheme that provides financial assistance to people buying a car and junking an old one. One of the most significant changes is that the plan will now apply to the purchase of used cars as long as they are less than five years old.

The changes are aimed at expanding the number of people who can benefit from the programme, which in the first 100 days since its launch has proved less effective than officials had hoped, said the deputy prime minister, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega. Plan Vive (Vehículo Inovador-Vehículo Nuevo) was envisioned as a means to put newer, lower-polluting vehicles on the road and boost new car sales, but has had little effect in the face of the economic downturn.

Body found in suitcase was shot in head

Skeleton appears to be of a middle-aged man

By Oliver McIntyre

A person whose skeletal remains were found last week in a suitcase in Mijas may have been shot in the back of the head, according to initial forensic examinations

Early autopsy findings indicated that the decomposed body was that of a middle-aged man measuring about 1.7 metres (5ft 7in). A hole was found at the base of the skull.

The suitcase, wrapped in plastic and cord, was found last Wednesday in a drainage gully near kilometre four on the A368 road. The man who found it spotted clothing and bones inside and contacted the Guardia Civil.

Fedra wreck removal is underway

Rescue helicopter pilot, Carlos Riscos, receives bravery award

By David Eade

SALVAGE experts from Titan Maritime have started to cut up the stern section of the Fedra, the cargo ship that broke in two after running aground on Gibraltar's Europa Point last month.

They are using industrial blow torches to slice through the thick steel plating of the accommodation block where it meets the deck.

Once this phase is complete a floating crane will be used to lift the accommodation block and bring it into the Cammell Laird shipyard.

When the accommodation block has been removed, the stern section of the hull containing the engine room will be tackled. Salvagers are still discussing the various options for removal of the fore section of the ship.

Environmental teams are on standby to tackle any oil spillages that might be caused by the work. However there is also concern among ecologist groups that the insurers may opt to sink the stern rather than break it up. This they say could create environmental problems in Spanish waters.

Rota rejected as US Africom BASE

Local authority had no idea that the base had been considered as the new HQ

By David Eade

THE US government has decided that the American Naval-Air Base at Rota will not become the new headquarters of Africom, a regional command whose official function is to control possible Islamic terrorist cells on the African continent. The base at Stuttgart is to continue in this role instead.

Royal science

The fourth phase of the Science Park in Granada was opened on Monday by the Princípes de Asturias. The centre is rated as probably the best in Spain. The new zone covers 70,000 square metres and has five pavilions in which visitors can see the Alhambra, go inside the human body, see robots, discover the science behind Al-Andalús and learn how to prevent accidents.

Tragedy after car careers off country road in Cómpeta

Walkers heard husband's cries for help ten hours after accident occurred

By David Jamieson

A British woman died on Saturday night and her husband was injured in a dramatic car accident near Cómpeta when their vehicle plunged 90 metres down a slope after coming off a remote country track. The incident was discovered by a group of local people walking their dogs early on Sunday morning.

Flood wreaks havoc on PAD animal shelter

By Oliver McIntyre

Last Friday's all-day downpour caused serious flooding at the PAD animal shelter in Mijas, resulting in the death of at least two cats and requiring one section of the dog kennel to be evacuated.

Shelter workers rushed to rescue the animals and dogs from the inundated section of the kennel were either moved in with dogs in other sections or taken in by people who volunte ered to provide temporary foster homes.

Twelve towns to promote paragliding

By Oliver McIntyre

Twelve towns are to promote parachuting, paragliding and hang-gliding under an agreement signed last week with the Free Flight Network, coordinated by the Guadalhorce Valley Rural Development Group

Under the agreement, the 12 towns, located throughout Andalucía, will install equipment to be provided by the Free Flight Network and commit to maintaining and promoting their use.