News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
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Foreign residents urged to check 'padron' statusExpats' biannual census confirmation is required by the INE across the country
By Oliver McIntyre
BENALMADENA town hall has put out a call for foreign residents in the town to check their status on the 'padron' census if they have not renewed or modified it in recent years, or face being dropped from it.
"The National Statistics Institute (INE) has communicated to the town hall the need to confirm the data on the padrón for more than 7,000 foreigners, for whom there has been no change in their 'empadronamiento' in the last few years," said the town hall.
"These people must confirm that they continue as registered residents of Benalmádena; otherwise they will be removed from the census under the assumption that they do not actually live in the town, and will thus lose their right to subsidies on their IBI tax and rubbish fees, among other benefits," it said.
In general foreign residents should renew their empadronamiento every two years to avoid being dropped from the census.
The INE list of people currently slated to be dropped can be consulted on the town hall website (benalmadena.com) or by calling 952 579 804 or 952 579 805.
Confirmation of the empadronamiento should be carried out before November 30 at the town hall or the Tenencia de Alcaldía offices in Arroyo de la Miel (Casa de la Cultura) or the Costa (Tourism Office). Some documentation will be required including the original and photocopies of a passport and, for non-EU citizens, a Tarjeta de Residencia.
Junta debt threatens Nerja charityThe Taller de la Amistad is owed around 160,000 euros by the Junta de Andalucía
By Dave Jamieson
AROUND 500 people joined a demonstration in Nerja on Friday in support of a charity group which helps those with learning difficulties.
The Taller de la Amistad presently works with 88 adults and 145 minors, and says the regional government owes it around 160,000 euros in unpaid grants from the last four years.
The group says that its work with intellectually disabled people in the eastern Axarquía is under threat because of the Junta de Andalucía's failure to pay the money.
The Taller de la Amistad has warned that if the cash is not forthcoming, it is likely to close by the end of this year.
Reduction of ambulance service 'reckless', says mayorJust one ambulance will cover emergencies at night and during weekends
By Oliver McIntyre
BENALMÁDENA'S mayor has criticised as "reckless" the decision of Andalucía health service to idle one of the two ambulance services at the Arroyo de la Miel health centre during nights and weekends.
Mayor Paloma García Gálvez (PP) said the move "puts at risk the health of local residents and visitors to the town".
The reduction of the service was confirmed last week by the director of the Costa del Sol health district, Manuel Bayona, ahead of its taking effect last Sunday, September 16.
The Benalmádena council had previously passed a motion urging the Junta de Andalucía not to reduce the local emergency service, a plea that "Sr Bayona completely ignored" despite having denied the cut was to happen, said the town's councillor for health, Inmaculada Hernández.
LIFE-SAVING BARSSafer beaches as Chiringuitos get equipped with life-saving defibrillators
By Oliver McIntyre
OVER 50 chiringuito restaurants and beach bars in Torremolinos and Benalmádena are getting outfitted with defibrillators in a scheme aimed at saving lives on local beaches.
The first defibrillators were delivered to several establishments in Torremolinos last week as the town's mayor, Pedro Fernández Montes, presented the programme along with Manuel Villafaina, president of the Costa del Sol Beach Businesses Association, which is promoting the scheme.
Before the end of this year some 40 of the devices - which deliver an electrical shock to a person who is in cardiac arrest in order to restart the heart - are to be distributed to bars and restaurants in Torremolinos, and another 12 in Benalmádena, said Sr Villafaina. He said the project has received sponsorship from Coca-Cola, San Miguel and Camy.
Investigators identify source of Costa wildfireThe start of the blaze has been pinpointed to a property in Coín
By Oliver McIntyre
THE Forest Fire Investigation Brigade (BIIF) has confirmed that the devastating Costa wildfire that started on August 30 was caused by the burning of tree trimmings, and has identified the exact property in Coín where it originated.
The property, at the foot of the Alaminos hillside along a track known as Charco del Infierno, is reportedly split between two houses, both of them owned or occupied by foreigners, none of whom are understood to have been at the property at the time of the fire. Investigators are attempting to identify who may have had access to the property to perform the tree pruning or the burning of the trimmings.
The report, made public last week by the Junta de Andalucía's Department of Agriculture, Fishing and the Environment, also outlines the weather conditions that contributed to the blaze quickly growing out of control and ultimately razing more than 8,200 square metres of land in six municipalities. The temperature was 37.6 degrees Celsius, with 18 per cent humidity and winds gusting up to 34 kph. Authorities say this means that conditions met the so-called 'rule of 30s' - more than 30 degrees, less then 30 per cent humidity and wind of more than 30 kph - which denotes high fire-spread risk.
Zaha Hadid calls Sevilla library teardown ‘scandalous'The London-based architect designed the building, which was built on a green zone
By Oliver McIntyre
PRITZER prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid has slammed as "scandalous" the decision to tear down the partially built Sevilla University library that she designed.
The demolition of the building started three weeks ago by order of the Regional Supreme Court (TSJA) after a group of local residents won an appeal against the decision to allow its construction on part of a protected green zone known as the Jardines del Prado de San Sebastián.
The London-based Iraqi-British architect spoke out about the decision while in Spain last week for an exhibition of her paintings, sculpture and furniture in Madrid. In an interview with the EFE news agency she called the decision "unacceptable".
"I don't know the details; perhaps someone made a mistake. I have no idea of the complete story, but in these circumstances, when Spain is suffering serious financial problems, demolishing a building that is already under construction is simply unacceptable," she said.
While insisting that she was not "angry" over the destruction of the building, she said, "It is crazy, it's a shame; this is a wonderful project. It's not a private home, it's a public building, it is good for the students. It had all the building permits."
Illegal cigarettes account for 30 per cent of salesCustoms agency launches global strategy to combat the contraband tabacco
By David Eade
CONTRABAND cigarettes are now in plentiful supply in the Andalucía market. They can be purchased from under the counter in a bar or from some Chinese owned outlets among other places. According to data issued by the Comisionado por el Mercado de Tabaco, in the first half of this year the market for legal cigarettes dropped to 7.6 million packets less than in the same period of last year.
The president of the Unión de Estanqueros, Mario Espejo, said the collapse in sales was endangering the very viability of the official tobacco shops. He added that in the provinces of Málaga, Cádiz and Sevilla sales had dropped by 30 per cent.
Sr Espejo stated that the licensed shops were suffering badly and he had no doubt that much of the sales fall was being met by tobacco on the black market. In these provinces the majority of the contraband cigarettes come from Gibraltar although the Canary Islands and Andorra are both also sources of supply. However in recent months the police, in collaboration with the tobacco shops union, have also tracked down illicit cigarettes coming from the Persian Gulf region.
Hot, hotter ... and hottest for 50 yearsTemperatures soared last month, Spain's warmest August in over half a century
By Dave Jamieson
IT may not come as a surprise to learn that last month was Spain's hottest August for over 50 years. The state weather agency AEMET says that the average temperature for the month was 25.4 degrees, which is two degrees up on the historic average for August. The warmest day was Saturday, August 11, when the month's high of almost 46 degrees was recorded in the Bajo Guadalquivir province of Sevilla.
The first of two heat waves struck between August 9 and 11, when over 40 degrees was reported at several places in Andalucía and elsewhere, while a second heat wave from August 17 to 23 was less intense, but still pushed the mercury over 40 in a number of places.
The lowest temperature in August was recorded on Friday 31, at under five degrees in several places in the early hours and a chilly 2.5 degrees at Molina de Aragón in Guadalajara.