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Costa del Sol News - 18th February 2013

News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol

News Archive In association with

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


Shelter celebrates new official charity status

Since its 1997 Kim's Animal Rescue has rehomed hundreds of animals

By Oliver McIntyre

KIM'S Animal Rescue in Mijas is celebrating its new status as an official charity.

It is just the latest milestone for an organisation that since 1997 has successfully saved hundreds of animals - in many cases finding them homes elsewhere in Europe including in the UK, France and Germany among others - from its headquarters in the Atalaya La Macorra zone, just off the Camino de Coín.

Upcoming activities and information about the shelter's work and its animals - as well as how to help - can be found on its Facebook page (facebook.com/KimsAnimalRescue), or by calling 608 989 165.


Medical phone app pioneered at Marbella hospital

Free blue zones will limit parking to one hour to increase turnover

By Oliver McIntyre

Mijas town hall last week announced the launch of a new 'green zone' residents-only parking in La Cala de Mijas, as well as the town's first ever free 'blue zone' parking, with limited parking time but with no meter fee.

Around 60 spaces are to be made available to local La Cala residents who apply for them at the Tenencia de Alcaldía office. They will be provided with a card authorising them to park in the new green zone spaces, to be located along the Paseo Marítimo, Calle Torreón, Mjas Plaza and Plaza de la Marina.


Police seek clues on serial car arsonist

In the last four years 14 vehicles have been torched in Calle Tamixa in Mijas

By Oliver McIntyre

THE local police in Mijas are asking for help from the public to track down one or more individuals who in the last four years have torched 14 vehicles, all parked in Calle Tamixa in Mijas Pueblo.

The move comes after the latest incident in the early hours of Monday morning when a Toyota Yaris owned by a British resident in the street was completely gutted by fire. Firefighters have been unable to pinpoint the exact cause of the fire, which started at around 5am.


Junta confirms halt on planned Costa hospitals

By Oliver McIntyre

THE NEW public health hospitals planned in Torremolinos, Mijas and Estepona have been indefinitely postponed due to the economic situation, confirmed the Junta de Andalucía's health councillor, María Jesús Montero, last week.

Responding to a question in the regional parliament, Sra Montero also stated that already ongoing works, including the enlargement of Marbella's Costa del Sol hospital and construction of the new hospital in Ronda, will be slowed down to meet budgetary restraints.

Both projects are already significantly behind schedule - as much as two and a half years in the case of the Marbella enlargement. But the worst-hit projects are the ones on which work never got underway: Estepona hospital meant to serve a population of 100,000 people, the Mijas hospital aimed at a population of up to 250,000 in both Mijas and Fuengirola, and the Torremolinos hospital, which would also serve Alhaurín de la Tore and the Málaga districts of Churriana and Puerta Blanca, or a total population of nearly 150,000.


Two cyclists killed by drink driver

The victims, two men, were both from Ronda

By Oliver McIntyre

TWO BICYCLISTS were killed at the weekend when they were hit by a car on the A384 road in Campillos. The 21-year-old driver of the car tested at double the legal limit for alcohol.

The accident happened shortly after 11am on Sunday when the young man's Ford Focus crashed into the cyclists at kilometre 108.8, on a long straightway on the A384.

The victims, Francisco Javier Fernández Gamero, 55, and David Gallego Moreno, 36, were both from Ronda and were members of the Club Ciclista Rondeña.

The driver, Fernando B.O., also from Ronda, was reportedly in shock and was taken to a health centre before being arrested on charges of reckless manslaughter and remanded to prison with bail set at 50,000 euros.

He tested positive for alcohol, at around 0.5 ml/l of expired air, double the legal limit of 0.25 ml/l.


TRAVEL THREAT

Airport chaos looms as Iberia workers set 15 strike days

By Oliver McIntyre

AIR travellers could face chaos in coming weeks after Iberia ground and cabin crew last week announced 15 strike days in February and March, as the airline finalised a major layoffs plan.

The action was called by the six unions that represent nearly all the airline's non-pilot cabin and ground crew. It is Iberia's largest ever strike of maintenance and handling services, and could cause "uncontrollable" impacts at some airports such as Madrid Barajas, according to union representatives.

Iberia's pilots have not yet announced whether they will join the strike actions.

The 24-hour strike dates are split into three five-day stretches, from February 18 to 22, March 4 to 8 and March 18 to 22.


Cómpeta 80-year-old attends her own 'funeral'

British expat Eileen Bush held a 'living funeral' so she could "thank all the people who had made her life so happy"

By Dave Jamieson

A LONG-TIME resident of Cómpeta has made headlines all over Spain by celebrating her 80th birthday with a "living funeral."

The event last Saturday was held in honour of Eileen Bush during which she explained that she had planned it to thank her relatives and friends for the love she had received every day of her life.

She told her guests that multiple illnesses early in life had caused doctors to predict she was unlikely to live past 50, so it was a "miracle" that she was now celebrating the completion of her 80th year. Family members from the UK and Australia flew in specially to attend the "wake" at the Balcón de Cómpeta Hotel.


Horse meat found in Spanish burgers

In separate case, dog DNA found in pet food ingredients

By Dave Jamieson and Oliver McIntyre

AN independent consumer group in Spain, the Organisation of Consumers and Users, has claimed that horsemeat has been found in some beef burgers on sale in the country. The OCU said that horse DNA had been detected in two of 20 brands of burgers that it tested, adding that the products did not pose a health risk but were mislabelled.

The two brands named in the OCU's report were an Eroski Basic burger sold in Eroski supermarkets and an Alipende burger sold by the AhorraMas chain. Eroski issued a statement saying that its burgers posed "no health risk," while AhorraMas is reported to have withdrawn its burgers from sale and to have opened talks with its supplier. The DNA tests were qualitative only, so the OCU is unable to say what percentage of the burgers was made of meat from horses.

In a separate case, it was revealed last week that a Guardia Civil investigation in Galicia and Salamanca uncovered the use of animal corpses including dogs and diseased livestock in the production of pet food ingredients.


Environmentalists outraged at Doñana gas project

Government approves underground gas storage beneath nature park

By Oliver McIntyre

ENVIRONMENTALISTS have threatened to file a complaint with the European Union after Spain's Environment Ministry last week approved a project for the production and underground storage of natural gas beneath one of Andalucía's most important nature parks and wetlands. The ministry said the project will not cause significant environmental impacts or endanger ecosystems.

The El Saladillo project will see Gas Natural subsidiary Petroleum Oil & Gas España tap into existing wells in the zone, located in and around the Doñana nature park, as well as create five new ones and install an 18-kilometre inter-connection pipeline. The plan is to extract gas and then use the depleted gas fields as an underground storage facility.

Junta de Andalucía officials confirmed that part of the project area is within the portion of Doñana categorised as a natural park, though not in the portion that is a national park.

The Junta, which along with the Doñana natural park filed complaints against the project during the public comment period, said it will be vigilant in ensuring that all of the environmental conditions of the ministry approval are met.