Costa del Sol News - 7th January 2013

News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol

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Prosecutors get green light to pursue ‘stolen babies' cases

Statute of limitations is not an issue, says prosecutor general

By Oliver McIntyre

THE prosecutor general's office has given public prosecutors around Spain the green light to order exhumations and DNA testing in ‘stolen babies' cases, without having to file for court authorisation.

The empowerment comes in a circular sent to the provincial prosecutor's offices throughout the country with the aim of "unifying the legal criteria in the cases of stolen babies in order to offer a common response that allows the investigation of the greatest number of cases, even those that are remote in time".

The circular states that, pending the establishment of specific jurisprudence on the subject, the stolen babies cases should be considered crimes of ‘detención ilegal' (a type of kidnap charge), with no statute of limitations applying until 10 years after the victim becomes aware of his or her situation.

The cases involve thousands of newborn babies that were allegedly taken from their mothers to be sold into adoption between the 1950s and 1980s.

Málaga's pricey cabs

City has the most expensive taxis in Andalucía, says Facua report

By Dave Jamieson

A NEW study shows that Málaga is the most expensive city in Andalucía when it comes to hiring a taxi. The city's taxi charges are also placed 14th highest amongst 45 towns and cities surveyed nationwide.

The report, issued by the consumers' group Facua last week, examines the cost of taking journeys of one, five, 10 and 15 kilometres during the day, at night and on weekends. This showed that the country's priciest cabs are in Tarragona, followed by San Sebastián and Gerona. The cheapest fares are paid in Las Palmas and Tenerife.

Málaga is also one of 13 municipalities which applies increased rates on Saturday and Sunday nights; the report quotes a five-kilometre journey, normally charged at 7.13 euros, which jumps to 9.13 euros on weekend nights.


Málaga fans unite to battle against club's ban from Champions League

By Dave Jamieson

MÁLAGA'S soccer fans have come out in force since UEFA's decision to ban the club from the Champions League next season.

As well as a 300,000-euro fine, Málaga CF has been threatened with exclusion from both the Champions and Europa Leagues for the next four seasons if it does not put its financial house in order. UEFA said last month that the club had failed to pay players' wages and taxes on time and gave it until March 31 to settle unpaid debts.

A statement posted on Málaga's official website stated that the club regarded the measures taken by UEFA as "absolutely disproportionate and unjustified given the club's situation". It continued, "We consider that the club is being punished unfairly and used as an example to others."

"Speaking on behalf of the people of Málaga," wrote the mayor, "let me convey the public outrage caused by the decision to exclude us from European competition, in all likelihood for next season." Sr de la Torre repeated that the suspension was "disproportionate and unfair," but added, "Of course, the owners of Málaga CF have to resolve their financial problems as soon as possible."

Public support has come in the form of an online manifesto which has attracted around 45,000 signatures.

A record year for evictions

Number of people thrown out of their homes surges by 22%

By Dave Jamieson

THE number of evictions in Málaga during 2012 is expected to have reached a new record level. Last week's data from the General Council of the Judiciary covering the first nine months of the year show that courts in the province approved 2,974 evictions, a rise of 21.8 per cent on the same period in 2011. The figures refer to actions connected to non-payment of both mortgages and rents.

Nationally, figures for the first nine months were up 15.9 per cent at 49,702 while in Andalucía, the total of 9,920 was almost 37 per cent more than last year, making it second only to Valencia in terms of total numbers of evictions executed. In cases related to non-payment of mortgages, Málaga courts handled almost 11 per cent more during the nine-month period, some of which will be reflected in later evictions.

A collective fighting against evictions in Málaga, the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH), said that the recent government decree which sought to alleviate the problems by introducing a two-year moratorium has done little to help.

Citizen hero helps chase down thieves

Man follows suspects in his car while giving police their location

By Oliver McIntyre

AN alert member of the public spotted a pair of thieves stealing a necklace from a woman on the street and followed them in his car while alerting police to their location, resulting in the arrest of the alleged culprits.

The incident happened in Benalmádena last week when the man saw one of the thieves snatch the chain from the woman's neck and flee on foot for around 100 metres before jumping into a car driven by his accomplice, reported officials.

The witness pulled in behind the thieves and called the local police 092 emergency line while following the suspects as they fled. He reported their location and the direction they were heading - toward Fuengirola on the coast road - allowing officers to cut them off in the Torrequebrada zone.