Costa del Sol News - 1st April 2013

News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol

News Archive In association with

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

Piano legend Bebo Valdes dies in Sweden

The honoured Benalmádena resident was a supporter of Cudeca

By David Eade

Legendary Cuban pianist and Benalmádena resident Bebo Valdés died in Sweden last Friday at age 94. He had been sick with pneumonia and had Alzheimer’s disease.

Bebo Valdes was one of the great figures from Cuba’s golden age of music in the 1940s and 1950s and later won nine Grammy Awards after his career was reignited in the 1990s.

First flight from Birmingham to Gibraltar

Historic re-enactment group and former Miss World welcome first passengers

By David Eade

Monarch Airlines launched its first flight to Gibraltar from Birmingham Airport on Saturday 23rd March 2013. The flight to and from Gibraltar will operate three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday until the end of April and Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from then on.

Onboard the flight was the Gibraltar Tourist Board’s Chief Executive, Nicky Guerrero, and Kevin George, Managing Director of Monarch Airlines.

Coastal health tourism to be promoted

Officials say scheme could bring €300 million a year to the province

By Dave Jamieson

A working group has been formed in Málaga to examine how best to promote health tourism on the coast. The decision came out of a meeting last week held at the provincial government offices in the city and attended by representatives of the Costa del Sol Tourism Board, Málaga town hall and entities which have interests in the subject.

Elías Bendodo, who is president of both the provincial government and the Tourist Board, said that the idea is to join forces and create a unique branding which identifies them all.

Mijas orders urbanisations to create fire plans

Many residential zones are adjacent to high-risk forestland

By David Eade

The environment department at Mijas town hall wants the areas outside the traditional urban areas of Mijas Pueblo, Las Lagunas and La Cala to draw up their own fire plans to prevent summer infernos. Those included in the plan are numerous urbanisations and zones with rural properties which are grouped together.

Representatives of these groups have already held a meeting with officials from the municipal Environment Department, the director of the Infoca wildfire unit in Málaga province, Miguel Ángel Catalina, and forestry experts.

Málaga airport taxi strike off

Last-minute agreement averts Easter week transport chaos

By Dave Jamieson

The threat of a strike by Málaga taxi drivers has been lifted, at least temporarily. A two-hour meeting of the city’s drivers on Sunday morning agreed to call off the action which would have left the airport without local taxi cover throughout Easter week.

At issue is a 1985 bylaw which permits taxis from municipalities outside Málaga to collect passengers from the airport, by prior arrangement. The Málaga drivers say this is costing them business and they want to have it scrapped.

The drivers’ meeting was attended by the city’s mayor, Francisco de la Torre, and Junta de Andalucía delegate Manuel García Peláez, who gave assurances that the region has a “commitment” to modifying the bylaw so that it benefits Málaga drivers as much as possible.

Guardia Civil seize 'coke yacht' in Sotogrande

Officers arrested two people and confiscated 590 kilos of cocaine after the vessel turned its lights out to enter and moor in the port

By David Eade

The Guardia Civil have seized 590 kilos of cocaine found in the interior of a yacht moored on a private jetty in Sotogrande port.

Officers arrested two people on drug trafficking charges, who were later remanded in custody. The operation was carried out by the Guardia Civil commands in Algeciras and Málaga who started watching the vessel while still in international waters, en route to the Mediterranean.

Watchtower set up to spot Mijas crocodile

Authorities believe 'the creature of the lagoon' is most likely to have been abandoned by its owner

By David Eade

Mijas council is working closely with the environmental arm of the Guardia Civil, Seprona, to try and track down the crocodile said to be living free around a pond at Majada Vieja.

The alarm was raised in mid-February when a local man said he saw "a large reptile with a long tail and broad snout" and although there have been no encounters since, footprints were discovered last week and were said by an expert, to be undoubtedly those of an alligator measuring around two metres and weighing 70 kilos.

One of the measures being taken by the town hall is to erect a watertower to spot the crocodile on the ground or in the water.

Electricity bill cut

Costs set to fall for the first time in four years

By Alex Watkins

ELECTRICITY bills for residents signed up to the regulated electricity tariff could drop by about 7%. This is if energy minister José Manuel Soria keeps his promise not to alter the government’s regulated component of each bill, which makes up about half of the total.

The quarterly auction held last week in which the five big electricity companies participate – Endesa, Iberdrola, Gas Natural Fenosa, HC and E.ON - determines the price of the last resort tariff (tarifa de último recurso - TUR), which applies to some 20 million customers.

The price at Wednesday’s auction dropped 15%, which would translate into a reduction in bills of about 6.7% - the first real drop in four years.