Costa del Sol News - 25th September 2009

News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol

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Hotels to help in battle against pirate taxis

In return Mijas cabbies promise improved service to the hotels

By Oliver McIntyre

Hotels in Mijas are to help local taxi drivers in their battle against ‘pirate' taxi services under a new agreement reached between Radio Taxi Mijas and the Aehcos hotel association. 

Under the town hall-brokered deal, the town's 96 taxi drives agree to provide improved service to the 14 local Aehcos-member hotels, while the hotels promise to assist the cabbies in their ongoing fight against what they consider unfair competition from non-licensed taxi services that offer rides to the airport or other destinations at under-market rates.

Radio Taxi will provide the hotels with a list of current rates and notify them of any changes.  It also commits to providing priority attention to taxi requests from the hotels, with rapid response times. 

In addition to helping root out any pirate drivers providing taxi services to hotel guests, Aehcos says it will work with its member hotels to create nearby taxi stands in order to provide clients quicker and cheaper cab service. 

Municipal officials say the deal also opens up "interesting possibilities for the future, such as the cabs displaying advertising for tourism complexes or for tourist-oriented activities organised by the town hall." 

Municipal ordinance

The town hall says it is also working on a new municipal taxi ordinance that, among other things, will establish a dress code for cab drivers aimed at "contributing to the positive image of the town." 

The town hall is already actively involved in the drivers' battle against pirate taxi services, with the local police patrolling for offenders.  In March local officials announced that they had reported several pirate drivers to Junta de Andalucía transport authorities.

William Shatner to beam down to Marbella Filmfest

Fifty movies will be screened between October 1 and 4 at the Cines Gran Marbella

By David Eade 

Fans of the legendary TV and film series Star Trek are in for a treat as the star of the show, William Shatner, will be the principal guest at this year's Marbella International Film Festival.

The event runs from next Thursday October 1 to Sunday October 4 and Mr Shatner will formally open the festival with the European premier of his latest film, Gonzo Ballet.

William Shatner was born in Canada gaining worldwide fame as Captain James T Kirk, captain of the starship USS Enterprise in the original Star Trek TV series, which ran from 1966 to 1969. More recently he starred in the TV series Boston Legal playing attorney Denny Crane for which he won three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe.

Ahead of the Marbella festival the judges have had a difficult time as they selected just 50 films from over 600 submitted from 52 countries. Amongst them will be the BBC co-produced, 'Jazz Baroness' an unlikely true love story between a British Jewish Baroness and the great jazz pianist Thelonious Monk. The film features a variety of celebrated figures including Quincy Jones, Sonny Rollins and Dame Helen Mirren.

The Cines Gran Marbella in Puerto Banús will be the location for the screenings while the area around the cinema will be turned into the Festival Village, hosting fashion shows, entertainment acts as well as arts and culture showcases.