Costa del Sol News - 15th July 2013

News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol

News Archive In association with

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

Gibraltar commemorates the Treaty of Utrecht

Large event on July 13 will celebrate the 300th anniversary of the treaty

By David Eade

THE Treaty of Utrecht - actually a series of documents - was signed in the Dutch city of Utrecht over a period during 1713. The Treaty helped to end the War of the Spanish Succession, which involved various competing nations including Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Savoy and the Dutch Republic.

Article X of the Treaty of Utrecht, which is of such high importance for Gibraltar and its inhabitants, was signed on July 13, 1713. This article contains the oft-quoted text:

“The Catholic King does hereby, for himself, his heirs and successors, yield to the Crown of Great Britain the full and entire propriety of the town and castle of Gibraltar, together with the port, fortifications, and forts thereunto belonging; and he gives up the said propriety to be held and enjoyed absolutely with all manner of right for ever, without any exception or impediment whatsoever.”

CÁrtama launches power battle with Endesa over hospital

Town hall threatens to switch power companies and urges others to do same

By Oliver McIntyre

CÁRTAMA town hall has threatened to switch all its electricity contracts to a different company if Endesa continues to demand two million euros for the electrical installation required to open the completely built but still idle Guadalhorce hospital.

Mayor Jorge Gallardo said that originally the cost for the electrical installation – which the town hall was meant to pay for under the hospital funding deal with the Junta de Andalucía and the Diputación de Málaga – was estimated at 300,000 euros, but Endesa later set the price at two million euros, citing the need to enlarge the Villafranco substation.

Fake gas men return

Numerous cases have been reported in Nerja and Maro

By Dave Jamieson

LOCAL police have once again warned of the reappearance of fake gas inspectors in Nerja and Maro in recent days. They say that they have received numerous reports of individuals arriving on doorsteps without an appointment and demanding to inspect the gas installations.

One elderly lady in Nerja’s Calle Pintada told officers that a man arrived unannounced at her door and convinced her that a rubber tube needed to be replaced, for which he charged her 260 euros. She was only able to pay part of the sum demanded and next day received a call from the suspect which she told police was aggressive and threatening. However, he stopped bothering her when she told him she was reporting him to the authorities.

In Maro, there have been reports of men claiming to work for one of the main gas appliance companies in the area, while the company has denied that any of their staff had been in the area.

Joan Hunt and Isco honoured by BenalmÁdena

Cudeca founder has roundabout named after her, and Isco a football pitch

By Oliver McIntyre

CUDECA founder and president Joan Hunt OBE was honoured by Benalmádena town hall at the weekend when the roundabout outside the cancer hospice was formally named after her. The town hall also announced last week it is to name its El Tomillar football pitch after local footballing hero Francisco ‘Isco’ Alarcón.

The newly christened Joan Hunt roundabout was unveiled on Saturday by mayor Paloma García Gálvez, accompanied by Joan Hunt and other representatives of the town hall and Cudeca.

Four arrested over death of Chinese shop owner

Victim tried to stop the thieves as they fled after stealing from his store

By David Eade

The National Police in Fuengirola have arrested three men and a woman, aged 18 to 19, for their alleged participation in a robbery on a Chinese mini-store on Saturday that left the shop owner dead.

The 43-year-old owner died in the Carlos Haya hospital on Sunday from the injuries received after he tried to stop them escaping in a car. The four have been charged with murder, robbery with violence and failing to give help to an injured person.

Eyewitnesses reported that the robbery took place at around 10.20am on the corner of Camino de Coín and Calle Núñez de Balboa. Two people are said to have entered the mini-market, which has been open for around two years.

100 reinforcement officers to keep Costa safe

Summer boost is smaller than in recent years due to larger year-round force

By Oliver McIntyre

THIS year’s summer security campaign in Málaga province will see 75 National Police reinforcement officers and 25 Guardia Civil reinforcements, announced the chiefs of the two forces last week at a press conference along with the government sub-delegate in Málaga, Jorge Hernández Mollar.

The main aim of the summer campaign, which runs from July 1 to August 31, is to increase patrolling and prevention measures on roads and at transport hubs, tourism sites, beaches and other areas that attract large numbers of people, explained officials.

Free NHS for expats

UK government proposes allowing access to all treatment in Britain

By Alex Watkins

THE UK government is considering letting British expats access the NHS for free.

The plans are part of what the Department of Health calls “tough proposals to crack down on migrant use and abuse of free healthcare,” unveiled by health secretary Jeremy Hunt last Wednesday.

Currently UK citizens who move to reside abroad lose their entitlement to free NHS treatment.

They regain this if they return to live in the UK permanently but usually not when returning to visit.

BÁrcenas talks

Former PP treasurer breaks his silence and says PP was illegally funded for 20 years

By Dave Jamieson

FORMER Partido Popular treasurer Luis Bárcenas has claimed that the party was illegally financed for at least the last 20 years and that further revelations will topple the government.

Details of a conversation with him, shortly before he was imprisoned on June 27, were published in El Mundo on Sunday. The paper's editor, Pedro J. Ramírez, says he spent four hours with Sr Bárcenas during which he claimed that the Partido Popular had received donations in cash from construction companies and other businesses which, in turn, received work contracts from the party.

El Mundo says that Sr Bárcenas described how he witnessed cash being delivered in shopping bags, briefcases and suitcases to the office of another former treasurer, Álvaro Lapuerta, and how records were kept of donors and amounts of cash. Some of the money was deposited in the party's bank accounts, according to the paper, while some went towards electoral campaigning to elude the Court of Auditors. The remainder stayed in an office safe and was used for, what is described as, "other purposes".

The report in El Mundo ended with a warning that Sr Bárcenas claims only a small part of the documentation related to the allegations has come to light, and he says more documents and computer records will prove the systematic and illegal financing of PP campaigns. Their publication, he adds, would "bring down the government".

Most-wanted Brit detained in Alhaurín

Suspect locked himself in a ‘panic room’ to hide from police

By Dave Jamieson

ONE of Britain’s most wanted criminals has been arrested in a National Police raid on a house in Alhaurín de la Torre. Mark Lilley had been on the run since skipping bail in 2000 while on trial for his involvement in drugs dealing.

Dramatic video of Saturday morning’s dawn raid shows heavily armed officers using ladders to scale the front gates of Lilley's luxury villa where he was living under a false identity. He is thought to have been alerted by the barking of his dogs as officers entered the property using a battering ram and was eventually found naked, locked in a ‘panic room’ hidden behind a wardrobe, from where he had monitored the operation using a network of closed circuit cameras installed around the house.

Electricity price increase sparks anger

Consumer associations want more control and transparency at energy auctions

By Alex Watkins

ELECTRICITY bills went up by 1.2% on Monday July 1, after prices at the latest energy auction to distributors for the last resort tariff (TUR) closed up 3%. The prices at the auction make up about 50% of the final bill, while the other half corresponds to regulated charges..

Energy minister José Manuel Soria said he intends not to alter the regulated charges in July.

Prices went up 3% in January but dropped 6% in March, while the government has not altered its charges so far to reduce its deficit to the energy sector of 26,000 million euros accumulated by subsidising prices over many years to the extent that income did not match expenses.