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Costa del Sol News - 11th February 2013

News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol

News Archive In association with

The Costa del Sol weekly newspaper, on sale at newsagents.


Torrox swimming is the pits till farmers come to rescue

Reduced olive harvest meant insufficient pits to heat municipal pool

By Dave Jamieson

FARMERS and growers from Granada, Jaén and elsewhere have come to the rescue of Torrox after the re-opening of town's heated indoor swimming pool was threatened. The problem was related to this year's olive harvest, which is proving to be one of the worst for years.

The problem for Torrox was that the water in its swimming pool is maintained at a pleasant 27 degrees by a heating system fuelled by burning olive stones in an ecological boiler. Fewer olives this winter mean fewer olive stones and mayor Francisco Muñoz said last week that the price had soared to 3,000 euros for 12,000 kilos.

The pool was closed in September for repairs to damage caused by the weather and it was feared that the shortage of olive stones would further delay its re-opening.


Medical phone app pioneered at Marbella hospital

Programme helps patients prepare for surgery

By David Eade

A HUNDRED patients at Marbella's Costa del Sol Hospital are taking part in a pilot project using a mobile phone app that helps them prepare for an operation.

The tool known as ‘Comprueba' is being tested by the Agencia de Calidad Sanitaria de Andalucía and is being used by both the patients and the medical staff.

Through the app the hospital can help patients to check important actions before an operation that will be carried out on the following day. These include instructions not to eat or drink eight hours before the surgery, not to smoke, what medications to take, and to remove make up as well as nail varnish before they leave home. The app assistance extends to when they leave hospital for example advising them not to drive after surgery.

The pilot project is being carried out by the Consultas Externas and Cirugía Mayor Ambulatoria in the surgical unit at the Costa del Sol Hospital. The medical staff can advise patients ahead of their operation with personal information related to their specific case.


Crook caught because he forgot mobile phone

Police said the false note was of high quality although the feel of the paper was not quite right

By Oliver McIntyre

A MAN who paid with a fake 50-euro note in a Mijas bar, and who had allegedly earlier tried to change it at several other establishments, was arrested last week after he forgot his mobile phone in the bar - and went back to collect it the next morning.

On last Thursday the man tried to use the 50-euro note to pay for a small purchase in a stationer's but was turned away when the shop attendant realised it was a fake after running it through a detector.

He then went to the bar next door, where he paid a seven-euro bill with the bogus note, got his change and left, according to local police officials.


Police recover 'priceless' reliquary

The stolen goods were discovered among bags of rubbish in a garage

By Oliver McIntyre

GUARDIA Civil officers have recovered an historic reliquary of "incalculable value" that was stolen from a church in Ardales, said Guardia officials last week.

Officers launched an investigation after receiving a report of two robberies, at the town's Museo del Castillo de Ardales and at the Nuestra Señora de los Remedios church.

At the castle museum the thieves took only some electronic materials, but at the church they stole several rosaries and a red velvet reliquary, which contains relics related to beatified 18th-century priest Fray Diego José de Cádiz and is listed in the Historic Patrimony register.


Fatal plane crash report

The accident last year took the lives of the pilot and his passenger

By Dave Jamieson

THE OFFICIAL report into a fatal accident at Vélez-Málaga airfield last spring has concluded that the cause was a low-speed turn at low altitude. It says that the aircraft stalled and fell to the ground in unfavourable wind conditions.

The accident on April 15 last year took the lives of the pilot and his passenger who was making his first-ever flight in a plane.

The final report, published by the Civil Aviation's Accident Investigation Commission, says that after about an hour of flight, the plane attempted to land but baulked and rose again without touching the ground. It crashed as it attempted to gain height again.

It was the third flight of the day for the 33-year-old pilot, in each case with a passenger who had paid for the flight. The report says the wind speed at the time was 15.8 knots, gusting to 23.43 knots, and adds that the pilot had not deployed the flaps which would require a higher speed being maintained to avoid a stall.


Nerja's Carnival gets underway

Fancy dress, music and fun fills the streets of Nerja and many other Costa del Sol towns this weekend

By John Peatey

NERJA celebrates its Carnival this weekend, starting tonight, Thursday, February 7, at 9pm with the opening address at the Nerja Cultural Centre, on Calle Granada.

On Friday, February 8, from 7.30 pm, the children's fancy dress competition will be held in the Carnival marquee on Plaza de Espana, the square above the underground car park, behind the town hall. The children's Carnival Nymph and Fool will also be elected, and at 9 pm the adults Fool and Nymph will be chosen.

Saturday, February 9, sees the Grand Parade starting off from Calles Jaen and Chaparil at 5 pm. The procession makes its way through the town along Avenida Castilla Perez, along Calle Diputacion, up Calle Granada, past Plaza de la Ermita and the taxi rank, (whilst going up Calle San Miguel,) around Plaza de Cantarero (Orange Tree Square) and then down Calle Pintada, along Puerta del Mar (leading around to the Balcon de Europa) and ending in Plaza de Espana.

The Carnival Ball then takes place in the marquee, during which the Carnival Parade winners are announced.

On the final day of the festival, Sunday, February 10 the fun starts at 11.30 am with a fancy dress competition for pets taking place in the Carnival marquee and at 12.30 pm there will be a competition for the Best Child Mourning Costume.


RAJOY ON THE ROPES

Partido Popular rocked hard by under-the-table payments claims

By Dave Jamieson

"THE secret accounts of Bárcenas." Last Thursday morning's headline in El País triggered a political earthquake in Spain which has threatened to destabilise the Partido Popular government and its leader, prime minister Mariano Rajoy.

The subject of the headline was Luis Bárcenas, a former treasurer of the Partido Popular who is presently the subject of a money laundering investigation. The paper published photographs of hand-written ledgers which it claimed proved that senior party figures received undeclared payments of thousands of euros, on top of their salaries, between 1990 and 2008, while Bárcenas was in office.

Within hours of the paper's appearance last Thursday, the Partido Popular issued a statement angrily denying the allegations and insisting that payments to party officers and staff had always been made in accordance with the law and in compliance with tax obligations. It added that the Partido Popular has no "secret accounts" and its annual accounts have always been subject to examination by the Court Of Auditors. The party is now undergoing an audit of its accounts.

The name of the prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, is listed in the alleged accounts published by El País. The paper says it first appears in 1997 and claims that six-monthly and quarterly payments to him, totalling €25,200 a year, continued until 2008.


Briton stabs Irish barman who wouldn't serve him

The brawl broke out on Saturday at 3am in Calle Fuengirola in La Cala de Mijas

By Oliver McIntyre

A BRITISH man was arrested in Mijas at the weekend for allegedly stabbing an Irish barman who refused to allow him into a bar for a drink because it was past closing time.

Local police officers who were in the area observed as two men knocked on the door of a bar in Calle Fuengirola in La Cala de Mijas at around 3am on Saturday, reported the town hall on Monday.

A worker at the bar opened the door, and an argument broke out that quickly turned into to fight.


Nun in stolen babies enquiry dies

Sister María, 88, had been indicted in two cases and suspected in more

By Dave Jamieson

THE NUN who has been accused of involvement in cases of babies taken from their natural parents at birth has died in Madrid. María Gómez Valbuena, known as Sister María, was 88 and is reported to have been unwell for some time.

She had been due to appear in court a fortnight ago in connection with the alleged abduction of twins born in a Madrid clinic in 1981, but was not able to travel "for health reasons". Her lawyer said then that she had been suffering from cardiorespiratory problems.

The Sisters of Charity convent where Sister María lived said that she died on Tuesday last week and was interred next day.

The organisation SOS Stolen Babies said that Sister María was just one piece in the puzzle. The group's president, Maricruz Rodrigo, added that they would continue to work to clarify the circumstances of the stolen babies.


Freezer babies mum ‘not mentally ill'

Autopsy on first baby indicates it died from asphyxiation

By Oliver McIntyre

THE woman charged with double infanticide after two dead babies were found in freezers in her home in the Sevilla town of Pilas does not have any clinical mental disorder, according to the forensic psychologists who examined her.

New details about the case emerged after the investigating judge lifted the gagging order on the proceedings.

Sara L.H., 34, was arrested last November after her husband found the first baby while cleaning out the family's kitchen freezer. Weeks later he discovered the second infant in another freezer in the home.