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Costa del Sol News - 17th June 2013

News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol

News Archive In association with

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


MPs give up their subsidised gin and tonics

Public outrage moves spirits off cut-price menu in parliament’s cafeterias

By Oliver McIntyre

SPAIN'S deputies have decided to remove hard liquor from the list of food and drink items served up at low subsidised prices in parliament’s cafeterias.

The move came last week after the revelation that the concession contract to operate the cafeterias included requirements for cut-rate prices on cocktails, such as a gin and tonic for 3.45 euros, around half what it might cost at a regular bar.


EC freezes funds for high-speed train test track

The blow to the government project is applauded by opponents

By Dave Jamieson

THE European Commission says it has frozen funding for the train testing circuit which the government wants to build near Antequera to aid the development of high-speed locomotives. The project, known as the ‘anillo ferroviario’, is expected to receive 215 million euros from FEDR, the European Regional Development Fund, plus a community loan of 100 million euros. A statement on Friday said that the Commission had opened an investigation to determine if the project complied with the EU’s environmental laws.

Spain applied for the finance in December 2011 and the Commission responded the following May with a request for additional information, including data on the environmental impact of the track. The Regional Policy Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, said the Commission was still awaiting essential information and had not made a decision with respect to funding.


Musicians can win chance to be opening act at jazz fest

Event headliners include five-time Grammy winner Robert Cray

By Oliver McIntyre

ASPIRING jazz musicians have a unique chance to win a spot as an opening act at Alhaurín de la Torre’s El Portón Jazz Festival – whose star headliner is five-time Grammy winning American bluesman Robert Cray.

The town hall has launched a competition inviting any jazz musician or group – from Spain or elsewhere – to submit a song or video to win cash prizes as well as a chance to take part in the festival, which takes place over four Fridays in July.


Airport misery eased

Temporary fix to allow new A7 access road to be brought into service

By Dave Jamieson

THE use of a single congested approach road to Málaga’s airport may become a thing of the past within weeks. A new road giving direct access from the A7 motorway has been almost ready for two years, but now plans are in place for a temporary solution allowing it to be brought into service quickly.

The missing link in the new road is a viaduct to carry it across ground earmarked for the lines which will eventually bring high-speed AVE rail services into the airport. It is expected that this will be completed towards the end of the year, but local businesses and tour operators have been pressing for a more immediate solution to ease the strain of the peak summer period.


Caught-out homeowners’ chance for payback

Creditors can place claims against two Marbella urbanizations

By David Eade

A JUDGE at Granada court has opened a voluntary creditors meeting for two Marbella urbanizations – Santa María Green Hills and Marbella Vista Golf. Many of these properties are owned by foreign residents who have yet to receive their legal licences of first occupation.

The decision was made by a Granada judge as the three companies involved in these developments are registered in that province. They have been declared insolvent because of the situation in the property market.

The creditors of these companies now have a month to make their claims. Legal representatives of the property owners are anxiously waiting to see what impact this will have on their clients.


‘Jellyfish app’ will warn beachgoers of invasions

Informational campaign offers tips on prevention and how to treat stings

By Oliver McIntyre

A NEW mobile phone application is being developed to warn beachgoers of jellyfish presence at beaches in Málaga province, including a several-day forecast of possible invasions.

The free app, being developed by the Aula del Mar marine centre in collaboration with the Diputación de Málaga, will also provide information on the type and level of danger of the jellyfish to be found on local beaches.

The app, which is for Android phones and is expected to be available sometime this month, was announced last week during a series of jellyfish informational workshops held in Benalmádena, Marbella and Torre del Mar, organised by the Diputación and Aula del Mar.


RABIES WATCH

UK issues warning after dog in Toledo attack tested positive for the disease

By Dave Jamieson

THE government in the UK has issued a warning following reports that a dog in Toledo has been diagnosed as suffering from rabies. The pedigree pit bull terrier injured four people, three of them minors, in the city 10 days ago (CDSN last week).

A six-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy were the first to be attacked by the animal, but suffered only minor injuries. However, a two-year-old boy was rushed into intensive care after the dog bit him in the face. The fourth victim was a 17-year-old who was also bitten, and all were given anti-rabies vaccinations.


Police chase down saw-wielding suspect

Man was in brawl and then threatened passersby with a folding garden saw

By Oliver McIntyre

LOCAL police in Mijas chased down and arrested a man who had been involved in a fight and then wandered the streets threatening passersby with a garden saw, reported town hall officials last week.

The incident occurred the previous Friday night when officers received a call at 10.15pm reporting a fight in Calle San Agustín, with one of the people involved using what was described as a knife-like weapon.


Court re-acquits Benítez in Marta del Castillo case

Supreme Court had ordered new verdict due to questions over crime timeline

By Oliver McIntyre

THE Sevilla provincial court last week re-acquitted Samuel Benítez on charges that he helped get rid of the body of murdered teenager Marta del Castillo.

In February the Supreme Court, after hearing an appeal for a retrial in the Marta del Castillo case, upheld the conviction of killer Miguel Carcaño and the acquittal of two others charged as accomplices but ordered the Sevilla court to revise its reasoning for the acquittal of Sr Benítez, which it said was based on an “arbitrary and illogical” timeline of events on the night of the crime.

Last week, following a review of the case, the Sevilla court reissued its acquittal verdict, saying it found not “a single fact or piece of objective evidence” against Sr Benítez.

The magistrates recognised that the wording of the time sequence in the original verdict “was unfortunate” but stood by their finding that Marta’s death and the removal and disposal of her body took place between 9pm and 10.15pm on January 24, 2009.


God particle scientists win research award

Higgs and Englert named for Principe de Asturias prize

By Dave Jamieson

THE scientists whose work established the existence of the so-called ‘God particle’ have been awarded this year’s Principe de Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research. The Asturias Foundation announced last week that the 50,000-euro prize has gone to physicists Peter Higgs and François Englert and to the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

The two scientists initially worked independently to predict the existence of a sub-atomic unit which came to be known as the Higgs boson particle.