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Costa del Sol News - 15th April 2013

News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol

News Archive In association with

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


MAlaga is second least congested European city

Still, commuters spend 27 hours a year at a standstill in tailbacks

By Dave Jamieson

DRIVERS in the city of Málaga spend more than one day a year sitting in traffic jams but Barcelona continues to have the worst congestion in Spain, according to a new survey from the satellite navigation aid makers Tom Tom. Their Congestion Index report puts Palma de Mallorca second worst in the country, and Madrid third. Málaga ranks ninth amongst the Spanish cities surveyed.

Tom Tom works out an index for each city based on comparing travel times in periods of free-flowing traffic against times recorded during peak congestion, and expresses that as a percentage.


New nursery to grow 500,000 trees for Costa wildfire zone

Blaze scorched more than 8,000 hectares in six towns

By Oliver McIntyre

DIPUTACIÓN de Málaga officials last week inaugurated a new tree nursery that is to grow half a million trees for reforestation in zones affected by last summer’s Costa wildfire.

The Barranco Blanco wildfire started in Coín on August 30 and scorched more than 8,000 hectares in Coín, Alhaurín el Grande, Mijas, Monda, Ojén and Marbella.

The nursery to grow the trees occupies 4,900 square metres adjacent to the Diputación’s existing provincial nursery in Vélez-Málaga. It already has 100,000 saplings underway and by year end will have 500,000, said Diputación president Elías Bendodo, who officially launched the nursery last week along with mayors and councillors of the towns affected by wildfire, each of whom was given one of the young trees.


Action group fights eviction of disabled woman

Planned March eviction was pushed back to April 16 but battle continues

By David Eade

THE 15M Estepona – Stop Desahucios action group is fighting to prevent the eviction of a disabled woman from her rented house in Calle Granada.

The woman is 82 per cent incapacitated and has a 19-year old son. Her eviction was put back from March 8 to April 16 but the fight still goes on.

The extension was granted after lawyers acting for 15M Estepona – Stop Desahucios argued in court that the family had nowhere to go, was in an extremely delicate situation.


Youths committed armed robberies for weekend fun money

Gang operated in Mijas, Fuengirola and Benalmádena

By Oliver McIntyre

THE GUARDIA Civil have arrested eight alleged members of a group of youths that officers dubbed the ‘Thursday gang’ because they regularly committed robberies on Thursdays, seeking cash to spend on weekend fun.

But far from being a harmless crew of fun-seeking weekend warriors, the gang, based in Mijas Costa and Fuengirola, was organised, armed and potentially violent, at times threatening their victims to get what they wanted, said Guardia Civil officials.

Investigators launched ‘Operation Jupiter’ in January after robberies on successive Thursday evenings, at the end of the business day, at local stores. In two such robberies, at an appliances store and a supermarket, the masked and armed raiders made off with 1,525 euros.


PIRATE TAXI SWOOP

Local police launch random checks and tracking of around 50 suspect cars

By Oliver McIntyre

In the latest salvo against ‘pirate’ taxi services on the Costa, Benalmádena’s local police last week launched a renewed crackdown on paid drivers who illegally compete with legitimate licensed cabs.

The town hall said the campaign will include random checks in areas known to be hotspots for the use of informal taxi services, as well as the tracking of around 50 vehicles that officials say they have “reasonable” cause to believe are being used as pirate taxis.

The town hall says the move is an intensification of the efforts it launched last August to fight against the illegal and unlicensed taxis.


Website launched in search of missing Briton

Last possible sighting of Robert Golden was on January 28

NEWS Staff Reporter

DETECTIVES investigating the disappearance of Robert Golden, who has not returned from a walking holiday in Spain, have launched a website to aid the search.

The site (www.findrobertgolden.com) has appeals in English and Spanish and is aimed at gathering information from the public in an effort to find Robert.

It follows four possible sightings of Robert in Spain since he flew alone to Seville on 5 November.

The latest reported sighting was on 28 January when a couple saw a man, fitting Robert's description and carrying a backpack, walking at a pace towards Gibraltar.


Fake motorway cops arrested in BenalmAdena

Driver who they tried to pull over called the real police

By Oliver McIntyre

A WARY driver’s quick reaction led to the arrest last week of two men who allegedly impersonated police officers in an attempt to pull him over on the motorway and rob him.

On Sunday of last week the National Police received a 091 emergency call from a man who said two men in a white car were attempting to pull him over in the eastbound lanes of the A7 motorway, said police officials. He said they had flashed badges at him and held up walkie-talkies to indicate they were police, and manoeuvred their car in various attempts to force him over to the side of the motorway.


Spain and UK sign new double taxation treaty

Treaty replaces existing one and reduces some tax rates

By Oliver McIntyre

SPAIN and the UK have signed a new convention to protect residents and companies against double taxation and to battle tax evasion.

The new treaty, which must now undergo parliamentary ratification in both countries, replaces the current tax treaty, which dates from 1975 and was amended in 1993. It is expected to come into force this year and affects companies as well as individuals with capital or income that could be subject to tax in both countries.

Double taxation treaties are used as a means to protect against the risk of double taxation where the same income is taxable in two states, and to protect against attempts to evade tax liabilities in one or both of the countries involved. The UK has such treaties with more than 100 countries around the world.


Electricity price drop confirmed

Consumers on basic rate to pay 6.62% less in first price cut since 2009

By Alex Watkins

ELECTRICITY bills for the majority of consumers went down 6.62% from April 1, while the price of mains gas remained unchanged.

This is the first reduction for the 22 million clients on the last resort tariff (TUR), a regulated price set by the government in 2009 to protect homes and small businesses.

The Ministry of Industry calculates this will result in an average saving of 29.35 euros per year.

According to consumers’ association Facua, the average user will save 5.71 euros per month.

However Facua maintained the saving is only temporary and does not lessen the “brutal increases” that have almost doubled bills over the last decade.