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Costa del Sol News - 8th July 2013

News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol

News Archive In association with

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


Málaga on view to BA fliers

A video promoting the city will be shown on long-haul flights this month

By Dave Jamieson

PASSENGERS on British Airways long-haul flights are this month being shown a video promoting the city of Málaga as a multi-faceted tourist destination. With the video being screened on 6,000 flights throughout July, it has a potential audience of over three million.

The initiative is the result of an accord between Málaga town hall and the airline which also includes the publication of articles about the city's culture, history and monuments in the pages of BA's in-flight magazines. The video pictures Málaga as an hospitable and accessible tourist destination with a good transportation network, great history and excellent cuisine.

It also presents the city as a place to learn Spanish and a venue for professional conferences and exhibitions, underlining its reputation as a modern, technological and entrepreneurial destination.


Cameron confronts Rajoy over jet ski incident

Spain denies patrol boat shot at British jet skier off Gibraltar

By David Eade

THE incident on Sunday last week when a Guardia Civil patrol boat allegedly fired shots at a jet ski rider and his passenger in Gibraltar's waters has been taken up by Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron.

Gibraltarian Dale Villa, 32, was riding a jet ski near the beach at the time and may have accidentally previously strayed into Spanish waters.


Asian delicacy off the menu

EU ministers finally tackle 'finning' loophole

By Adele Land

EU ministers have reached an agreement to strengthen the ban on the removal of sharks' fins to sell to the Asian market. A meeting of EU members of parliament earlier this month resulted in the closure of a loophole in the law.

The EU - Spain and Portugal in particular - is one of the biggest suppliers of shark fins to Asia.

Ecologists have campaigned for years to have the practise known as 'finning' outlawed.


Tráfico workers detained by National Police

The suspects allegedly ran a scheme in which bribes were accepted to alter vehicle data held on the department's computers

By Dave Jamieson

SEVEN people have been detained, including three workers at the Tráfico office in Málaga, on suspicion of involvement in a scheme in which bribes were accepted to alter vehicle data held on the department's computers

National Police are now investigating the scale of the operation in which details are thought have been amended to change the results of vehicle inspections and even to allow cars which had been written-off to be returned to use, apparently legally.

The court which ordered the detentions has only revealed that the individuals detained are suspected of offences against public administration including bribery and influence peddling. Other details have been ordered to be kept secret.


British woman wins money back for off-plan home

But the company that has to repay her is in liquidation

By David Eade

A BRITISH woman who purchased an off-plan property in 2003 at Santa María Green Hills in Marbella has been awarded a cash repayment by the Supreme Court. The woman took the developer to court when it did not comply with the terms of the purchase agreement.

Now ten years on the Supreme Court has ruled in her favour and ordered the developer to return her cash.

There is one problem though, in the interim the company has been declared insolvent and is in liquidation.

Dozens of purchasers, the majority of them British, presented cases between 2005 and 2006 against Marbella Vista Golf for not meeting its obligations on properties it had sold off-plan. The homes were not built on time, had no licence of first occupation and no property deeds were forthcoming. The purchasers demanded their money be returned and the contracts cancelled.


Note found in Mijas triple tragedy

Police are working on the assumption that the deaths of two women and a man were the result of a murder-suicide

THE full tragedy behind the death of a British man who is believed to have shot dead his Irish wife and daughter before turning the gun on himself has emerged after a long note was found in which 57-year-old Philip Wood asked for forgiveness for "what he was going to do".

Shocked neighbours in the tranquil Torrenueva urbanisation, not far from La Cala de Mijas, have said that the family allegedly had growing financial and health problems which could have been Mr Wood's motive for killing his wife Sheila Wood 54, and their daughter Sophie, 28.The identities of all three were confirmed by British and Irish authorities.


SPIRITS RISE

Booze and ciggies go up in price as new tax hike is enforced

By Dave Jamieson

LAST Friday the Spanish government announced tax rises on tobacco and some alcoholic drinks, as well as introducing a levy on CFCs and tweaking other taxes.

Following last Friday's Cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Cristóbal Montero told journalists that the measures would boost revenue by around 4.7 billion euros.

As of this week the tax on spirits has risen by ten per cent adding an average 83 cents to the price of a litre bottle and, although taxes on beer and wine remain unchanged, this will bring over 300 million euros a year to the Treasury.


Searching questions for Google

Spain opens legal proceedings against the internet search engine citing serious breaches of data protection laws

By Dave Jamieson

SPAIN's move follows similar action by France which has threatened the company with substantial fines if it does not rewrite its privacy policy within three months. Action from other EU member countries is also expected. Spain's Data Protection Agency claimed last Thursday that it has evidence of five serious privacy law breaches, each of which is punishable with a fine of up to €300,000. It also listed one minor infraction, which could attract a fine of up to €40,000.

The Agency has been looking into a new policy introduced by Google last year which enables it to track the internet activity of people using its various services. The data collected ranges from images and phone numbers to credit card details and search engine queries.

A single individual's surfing habits can be collated by Google across its search engine, its email service, its social networking platform and other parts of its online operations, including YouTube. This data could be used by advertisers to define the individual's interests and target them with relevant offers, giving Google a potential to increase its revenue from advertising.


Government efficiency drive to save 6.5€ billion

A report on Civil Service reforms contains 217 measures that aim to achieve huge savings to public funds and a better service for citizens

By Dave Jamieson

THE government is planning a major shake-up of the country's public bodies over the next three years which it says will produce savings of 6.5 billion euros. The Partido Popular administration of Mariano Rajoy says the total to be saved is a "conservative estimate" and has promised that most of it will be passed on to tax payers.

The move will see almost 60 public organisations either merged or eliminated altogether, but the government says there will be no job layoffs.

Finance minister Cristóbal Montoro said that the changes were not being made to reduce the public payroll but to make the business of government more efficient. Since his party won the 2011 election, around 375,000 public services workers have lost their jobs, but now, explained Sr Montoro, Ministers want to end the destruction of jobs which is why these new measures are to be introduced.

The Public Administrations Reform Commission has drawn up the list of public entities to be affected.


BBC puts words to Spain's national anthem

The television company subtitled the instrumental Royal March at the start of Spain's recent Confederation Cup match against Uruguay

By Dave Jamieson

THE BBC has come under criticism for subtitling the Spanish national anthem at the start of Spain's recent Confederation Cup match against Uruguay. The Marcha Real is purely instrumental but the BBC screened words in English to go with the melody.

Over three decades ago, the Royal March was stripped of the verses which were written during General Franco's time and considered to be associated with his dictatorship. Since then, football teams and successful athletes have been left embarrassedly looking skywards, biting their lips or humming along whenever their country's anthem was played.

But in 2007, an unemployed 52 year old man from Madrid, Paulino Cubero, won a national competition organised by Spain's Olympic Committee to find new 21st century lyrics. These were heard in public for the first time when Placido Domingo sang them at a gala event in January 2008.


Junta launches million euro tourism push

Summer in Andalucía - That's the life!' campaign set to woo flagging markets

By Oliver McIntyre

The Junta de Andalucía last week launched a nearly million-euro promotional push to boost summer tourism in the region.

Under the slogan 'Summer in Andalucía - that's the life!' ('Verano en Andalucía ¡Es Vida!'), the campaign aims to recover the flagging domestic tourism market as well as further boost foreign arrivals.

The 928,000-euro campaign launched last Friday and will run till July 21, explained the Junta's tourism chief, Rafael Rodríguez, presenting the scheme to the tourism sector last Thursday.

The ongoing economic crisis, which affects in particular the domestic tourism market, makes it "fundamental to work even harder to consolidate Andalucía as the leader in attracting Spanish tourists," he said.