Costa del Sol News - 4th December 2009

News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol

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Internet user impersonated Coín mayor on website

The bogus profile attracted a list of more than 100 'friends'

By Oliver McIntyre

The mayor of Coín, Gabriel Clavijo, last week filed a complaint with the Guardia Civil after learning that someone was impersonating him on the popular social networking website Tuenti. The unknown internet user created a Tuenti profile for the mayor, including photographs and personal data, and had been responding to questions from other Tuenti users in the mayor's name.

Sr Clavijo reported that his impersonator did not defame him or include insulting material on Tuenti, but rather "responded coherently to the questions posed by users regarding projects being undertaken by the town hall, such as a planned motocross track." In the week or so that the bogus mayor's profile was operating it attracted a list of more than 100 'friends', many of them youths.

While the fake mayor answered many users' questions, he did not answer them all, and that's what finally brought the site to the real mayor's attention. His secretary told him she had received a call asking why the mayor had not responded to the caller's questions on Tuenti - which puzzled the mayor, as he was not a member of Tuenti or any other social networking site.

Mayors demand improved train service

The C2 Málaga-Álora Cercanías line currently has only 11 trains running daily

By Oliver McIntyre

The mayors of three Guadalhorce valley towns have joined forces to seek improved service on the C2 Málaga-Álora Cercanías line, which currently has only 11 trains running in each direction daily, with waiting times of between 1.5 and two hours between trains.

Last week the mayors of Álora, Cártama and Pizarra, all of them from the socialist PSOE party, announced they have notified the Public Works Ministry of the need for service upgrades on the line. They have requested a meeting with the secretary of state for transport, Concepción Gutiérrez del Castillo, to discuss the issue in detail.

The mayors - José Sánchez (Álora), José Garrido (Cártama) and Francisco Vargas (Pizarra) - acknowledge that significant upgrades have been made to the C2 line, including improvements to a number of stations and the elimination of numerous level crossings. However, the limited service on the line is inadequate to meet public demand in the fast-growing Guadalhorce valley, they say.

Land expropriations for A7 bus-carpool lane

The project is expected to reduce daily traffic jams between Torremolinos and Málaga city

By Oliver McIntyre

A 100 million-euro project to create a dedicated bus and carpool lane on the A7 motorway between Torremolinos and Málaga entered a 30-day public comment period last week after being published in the Official State Bulletin (BOE). The BOE, published last Wednesday, also lists the land expropriations required for the project, which will affect a total of more than 70,000 square metres spread between 54 properties (18 in Torremolinos and 36 in Málaga).

The project will also include the extension of the third regular-traffic lane on the A7 all the way from La Colina in Torremolinos to the new avenue planned above the underground railway tracks in Málaga.

The project has been on the drawing board since 2005 but hit a series of snags until the design contract was awarded earlier this year. It is expected that the construction contract will go out to tender in 2010 and work could start sometime during the year.

High-speed move toward universal broadband access

Internet connections of at least 1Mb to be available region-wide by year end

By Oliver McIntyre

Broadband internet access at a speed of at least 1Mb will be available everywhere in Andalucía before the end of this year, and in every corner of the entire nation by 2011, officials announced last week.

Last Tuesday the minster of industry, tourism and commerce, Miguel Sebastián, stated that broadband connections would become a "universal service" at the start of 2011, meaning that "all residents of Spain will have the right to connect to the internet at a speed of at least one megabit per second." 

It does not mean that the service will be free, but that it will be available in all locations for those who want to contract it, like other basic services such as telephone, phone books and dial-up internet access.

‘Historic achievement'

The day after the minister's announcement, the Junta de Andalucía's chief of innovation, science and business, Martín Soler, said Andalucía is ahead of the curve and will have universal access to 1Mb broadband connections by the end of this year, becoming the first Spanish region to do so.  He called it an "historic" achievement for the region given its "very large size and complex topography."