Costa del Sol News - 13th May 2013

News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol

News Archive In association with

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

Junta plan brings €12.3 million and 8,000 jobs to Málaga

Crisis relief plan also includes funding for home assistance and food programmes

By Oliver McIntyre

THE crisis relief plan approved by the Junta de Andalucía last week earmarks a total of 12.3 million euros for Málaga province including 7.78 million euros aimed at creating 8,000 temporary jobs for unemployed people.

The money for job creation will be funnelled through local town halls, which will use it to provide jobs lasting between 15 and 90 days to people who are unemployed or considered at risk of social exclusion, explained the Junta’s delegate in Málaga, José Luis Ruiz Espejo.

Man attacks workers at health centre

Union demands greater security measures to protect staff and patients

By Oliver McIntyre

A MAN violently attacked three workers at the Las Lagunas health centre at the weekend after repeatedly demanding medication for his mother, according to the CSIF trade union.

The man threatened to “kill you all” if the workers didn’t give him a tranquilizer for his mother, said the union in a written statement. When one of the workers decided to call the Guardia Civil, the men set upon two nurses and an orderly with a flurry of “punches, head butts and kicks” that left two of the victims on medical leave, it said.

Spain’s biggest ever marijuana growing bust

Officers seize 13,000 plants at 15 growing operations in Costa towns

By Oliver McIntyre

POLICE have arrested 21 people, most of them Dutch, in what officials called the biggest marijuana growing bust ever carried out in Spain, with a network of 15 growing operations uncovered on the Costa del Sol.

The National Police and the Customs authority coordinated with authorities in the Netherlands in the operation, which netted more than 13,000 marijuana plants, as well as 14 luxury cars and six motorcycles valued at 1.1 million euros and 23 properties – 18 in Holland and five in Spain – valued at 4.4 million euros.

The gang, which exported its marijuana crops to the Netherlands, had sophisticated hydroponic growing operations set up at 15 houses and farms in Benalmádena, Fuengirola, Mijas, Coín, Alhaurín de la Torre and Vélez-Málaga, said police officials.

Specialists were sent down from the Netherlands to set up and operate the growing facilities, which used illegal connections to the electricity network to run their lights and other equipment.

Alert over new wave of ‘police’ scam emails

One scam appears to be a summons, but attachment will steal bank details

By Oliver McIntyre

COSTA residents have been warned to be on the lookout for bogus emails or viruses appearing to be from the police but which are in fact scams or contain ‘phishing’ malware aimed at grabbing users’ banking details.

The National Police last week issued an alert over what it called a “new wave” of two separate scams.

The first is an email that appears to be a summons issued by the police, saying the recipient has been called to appear before the ‘Audiencia’ over ‘un asunto de interés’ (‘a matter of interest’). The user is instructed to open an attached file; doing so installs malware on the user’s computer to capture banking details. The malware detects when the user goes to a bank website, and activates to capture log-in names and passwords and send them to the fraudsters, say police.

Air show horror

Stunt plane pilot killed in crash during aerobatics display in Madrid

By Dave Jamieson

THE 35-year-old pilot of an historic jet aircraft was killed on Sunday after his plane crashed at an air show in Madrid. Around 3,000 spectators at the Cuatro Vientos airfield watched as his aircraft flew into a hangar and exploded in a giant fireball. No spectators were injured although a number of people on the ground required medical assistance and a number of vehicles were damaged or destroyed.

Witnesses said the aircraft had been flying well and had performed a number of aerobatic stunts immediately before coming towards the ground at high speed and striking the hangar which houses National Police helicopters.


New bill to end Married Person's Allowance

By Oliver McIntyre and Dave Jamieson

PEOPLE living abroad will no longer be able to receive a UK pension based solely on their spouse's National Insurance contributions, under a UK government plan.

Pensions minister Steve Webb said there are 220,000 people living outside the UK who receive some sort of pension based on their spouse's work history, at a combined cost of £410 million a year.

The minister has highlighted the fact that more than half of those claiming the "married person's allowance" of up to £66 per week, based on their spouse's history of NI contributions, have never set foot in the UK and, he added, had "never put a penny" into the state's social security system.

Civil War mortar bombs found in Alhaurín el Grande

The explosives were still intact and posed a danger, say officials

By Oliver McIntyre

GUARDIA Civil officers have recovered 188 Civil War-era mortar bombs in the countryside in Alhaurín el Grande, reported officials on Monday.

Specialist bomb squad officers spent a week combing the zone after the presence of the mortar rounds was reportedly discovered by some people using metal detectors in the area.

Guardia Civil officials say the mortar rounds, of 50mm calibre, are of a type manufactured in 1932 and used during the Spanish Civil War, suggesting they may have been buried in the spot since that time.

Unemployment hits new record high

Jobless rate tops 27 per cent with more than six million out of work

By Dave Jamieson

UNEMPLOYMENT in Spain rose to more than 6.2 million in the first quarter, putting the rate at 27.16 per cent, a figure described by secretary of state for employment, Engracia Hidalgo, as “dramatic”.

The number of people working has fallen by 322,300, slightly fewer than in the same quarter last year, but now stands at just over 16.6 million, the lowest level since 2002. It is 4.68 per cent lower than during same quarter last year.

Andalucía was the region with the greatest rise in unemployment in the first three months of 2013. Last week’s data from the National Statistics Institute show that the numbers seeking employment rose by 31,100 bringing the regional total to 1,473,700. The unemployment rate in Andalucía is now 36.87 per cent, the highest of all the regions, while the province of Cádiz, where 41.62 per cent of the active population are looking for jobs, is one of the worst-hit in the country.

New energy certificate required before selling or renting a home

Requirement comes into effect on June 1

By Oliver McIntyre

BEGINNING on June 1 homeowners are to be required to obtain an energy efficiency certificate for their property before selling it or renting it out.

Earlier this month the government published the new law (Real Decreto 235/2013) requiring the ‘certificado de eficiencia energética’ (CEE) for all new buildings as well as all existing ones that are to be sold or rented out.

Existing homes that are occupied during less than four months of the year, or during a limited part of the year and with energy use below 25 per cent of what it would be with full-year occupancy, may be exempted from the requirement.

British and Arab businesses interested in Marbella port

Sheik Al-Thani set to lose concession after failing to make payments

By David Eade

As the regional government starts the process to withdraw the concession it granted in 2011 to Sheik Al-Thani to redevelop Marbella’s La Bajadilla port other business groups have declared an interest in taking over the project.

The Qatari risks losing the contract because he has not complied with its terms nor paid the amounts due or the fines levied for non-payment. However it remains to be seen whether the regional government will re-offer the contract or simply abandon the modernisation scheme, which is considered very important to the development of Marbella as a tourism venue.

Marbella has been staying loyal to the Sheik in the hope he would finally meet the requirements of the concession. However the town hall has admitted it has had talks with British and Arab Gulf-based groups, both of whom have declared an interest in taking over the project. It is also understood a Chinese state company has asked for information on the development.