Benissa is still holding out hope for the construction of their bypass to be completed .They do not appear in the budget for 2015 from the government .At least it was said that it might be restarted by 2018 .However there is still hope that construction might get underway after it was announced that private investment might be used .
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Works in Madrid has said that a proposal to adopt the so called ” German Method ” which envisages the company that was awarded the contract financing it until it is completed and then the government would pay for it afterwards , has been put forward and now consultations are taking place .
This system has been designed to keep costs to a minimum and prevent overspends .
At peak hours the road running through the town is just a bottleneck of traffic , nose to tail .There are long delays for both motorists and residents and the pollution levels and noise are not good for anyone .
The bypass project was started some years ago but it ran out of funding and nothing has been done since .
Expropriation of property along the route has also been another problem for the public works ministry.Many people who will lose land have still not been paid and until this is done nothing can move forward .
Recently on the Costa Blanca there has been some torrential rain but even with that rain reservoirs are registering their lowest levels ever .
The sudden storm that caused chaos in Benidorm and other Costa Blanca towns was as spectacular as it was ineffective .The area has suffered an extremely severe drought and even with this very heavy rain there was little effect on alleviating the drought conditions .
As soon as the rain stopped the sun returned and the rains evaporated before the crops or reservoirs could benefit .
Water levels at Guadalest and Amadorio reservoirs are now at the lowest that they have been since records began .Amadorio has 2.08 cubic hectometres and Guadalest 4.32 cubic hectametres .The previous lowest in the last decade were 3.87 and 6.19 respectively .
Farmers and other food producers are extremely concerned as they fear massive financial losses should the drought continue until the end of the year .
A spokesperson for the farmers commented that although recent downpors have been spectacular they did little more than wash the crops and did not rehydarate the soil .The rain needs to be for longer and more sustained .Heavy rain just rolls of the soil surfaces when the soil is so hard .If this doesn´t happen soon then more crops will be lost and the farming community could lose millions of euros on top of what has already been lost .
A private company has put forward a plan to construct a new shopping centre , homes , roads and other commercial properties in an area of Almoradi called El Saladar .There has now been an objection which claims that Almoradi town hall´s modification to the project could actually endanger people´s safety .The objection has been lodged by the anti-corruption protest group ” Defence of the Farmland ” .
El Saladar has been classified as an area at risk of flooding by the Regional Flood Prevention Plan .They say that the plan infringes several pieces of legislation .
The risk of flooding is high and so they say that building there is morally unacceptable as well as being totally illegal .
Thir appeal is going to central government , regional government as well as the Almoradi town council .This is because of the threat the flooding coould pose to the safety of families living in the area .They claim that the construction of the commercial centre would be a ” catastrophe ” as it would leave families defenceless as well as destroying a place which is unique because of its traditional farmland .
A government report has stated that excessive noise from traffic noise pollution is having a detrimental affect on over 80,000 people and there is very little that can be done to put people out of their misery .
People who are living close to roads that are the responsibility of either central government or regional government are having to suffer noise levels of over 55 decibels in the day and at least 50 decibels during the night .Both of these are far higher than the recommended maximum .
The 80,000 refers to people who live near major national roads and roads that go through urban areas .The figures come from surveys done in 2010 and 2011 .Checks were carried out on roads that carried six million vehicles per year .
They also discovered that youngsters studying at 161 schools are being subjected to high noise levels as well as staff and patients at 21 hospitals and medical centres .
Some of the worst locations are the A-31 as it passes through Petrer and Villena , the A-70 in Villafranqueza and the N-332 through Altea , Benissa and Gata de Gorgos .
If bypasses could be built to some of these towns then it would ease the situation but in others finding a solution is alsmost impossible due to geographical constraints .
Many people travel through Altea to avoid paying the AP-7 tolls so if the tolls were taken away then maybe fewer vehicles would travel through the town ..Benissa is still waiting for its bypass to be finished but as there is no money then this may not be completed until 2018 .
In May 2013 a Dutch couple were killed in Murcia and now the Public Prosecutor and the lawyer representing the relatives of the couple are seeking long jail sentences for the people who killed them .They have asked for a 25 year jail sentence for each of them .
They are also demanding a 3 year jail sentence for Serafin de Alba , the owner of the rural property in Alquerias where the bodies of the couple were buried .
The alleged killers are Juan Cuenca , the manager of the volleyball club where Ingrid had played from 2009 -2011 and the two Romanian nationals alleged to be the hit men .
They have all been in prison on remand since being arrested a few days after the bodies were discovered .
The couple had flown to Alicante and then went on to Murcia .That night they were taken by a friend of Sr Cuenca to a property in an isolated rural area near Milina de Segura to discuss alleged business deals .They were killed that night and then buried in plastic bags on the property .As well as prison sentences the prosecution is asking for compensation to be paid to the families of the couple .
The defence lawyer now has to submit a report to the judge and a decision will be made about whether to proceed with the trial .
The Spanish Health Ministry in Madrid has announced that this year the flu vaccination campaign will be totally underway by next week and that by the end of the month it will be underway throughout Spain .
They are advocating that everyone over the age of 65 and anyone suffering from a condition which places them ” at risk ” should contact their local health clinic and book an appointment to receive a vaccination .Also people who are working with people , be they old or young , should also protect themselves
For those who are living in the Valencia region the vaccines will be available from October 20.This might vary from town to town so it is always better to ring the clinic to check as to whether the vaccine has arrived .
Last year almost 300,000 people in Alicante province had a jab with many having it done in the first month .The Valencia regional health authority has made 800,000 doses available to the public .
Of course there are many who say that these vaccinations are a total waste of time as the vaccine will only protect people against a particular strain of flu and if the one that attacks in a particular year isn´t included in the vaccine then you have no protection so it is all a waste of money .Also research has shown that statistically the vaccinations give very little if any protection and that the whole marketing ploy is put out there by the pharmaceutical industry to sell their wares .The only year that I had such a vaccination I felt ill all winter .
Estate agents have always had a bad press at at times with good reason .It appears that as the property market is still floundering on the Costa Blanca some estate agents are up to dirty tricks .They are using the small print on a document that is called a ” Parte Visita ” to get cash out of buyers should they buy or rent a property via another agent .
When potentail clients are taken to view a property they are asked to sign the document .In the small print it states that should they buy or rent from another agent they agree to pay whatever fees have been incurred up until that point .
One very angry customer has said that when she went to view a property , the estate agent asked her to sign the form but did not explain about the payment of any type of fee .
When she eventually bought a property via another agent she received a demand for thousands of euros for services rendered by the first agent .
She has placed the matter in the hands of a lawyer as she feels that she is being bullied into the payment of an extortionate amount of money for a very inadequate service .
Consequently anyone who is intending to buy or rent a property should read the fine print very carefully before signing anything .In this way you will avoid such demands for payment .All this estate agent did was arrange a viewing and so the lawyer is looking into the legality of the document which was signed plus the large amount of money requested for a very simple service .
Eighteen members of a gang which specialised in the theft of luxury cars has been caught by the Guardia Civil .They would steal the cars and then sell them on all over Spain and other countries .The gang used a fake computer programme so that they tricked customers into thinking that they were a bone fide company and that the purchase price of the vehicle had been paid into their account .
This allowed the gang to collect the keys and documentation before they disappeared off the scene .
Of the 18 detained , fifteen are Spanish nationals , one Romanian , one Moroccan and one Syrian .The arrests were made in Alicante province , Murcia and Madrid .
The Guardia Civil says that they used three workshops in Murcia and Madrid where they changed the vehicles chassis numbers and number plates and produced false documentation .
Once all of this was completed then the cars were taken to France , Portugal and Paraguay where they were sold on .It is believed that over the last year over 200 cars have been processed , none of which have been recovered .
However , during the operation 24 stolen cars were recovered along with the equipment to change chassis numbers and make fake number plates and documentation .They also discovered over 100,000 euros in cash .Four of the men have been remanded and the rest released on bail .
Already there are concerns being voiced after the torrential rains experienced by certain towns along the Costa Blanca recently .On Javea´s Granadella beach carpark there was flooding which caused vehicles to be stranded and unable to navigate .Local Police have had to place barricades across the entrance now to prevent cars entering just in case there is another downpour and the carpark is turned into a lake .In reality the carpark is a dry river bed meaning that it can be expected to fill up in times of heavy rain .
Towns in the north of the Costa Blanca are calling for water authorities to get themselves sorted and do something straight away now that there is still the possibility of a ” gota fria ” and all that that implies .
The CHJ authority is responsible for clearing reeds , rushes and the general overgrowths of plants in rivers but has not touched the River Girona or the streams leading off it .It was the River Girona which burst its banks in 2007 killing two people , flooding hundreds of homes and bringing down an entire bridge .Many of these people are still awaiting compensation from the government .
Ondara council asked the CHJ to clear ravines in the area a month ago and nothing has happened .If this ravine flooded and overflowed it would also cause untold damage .
Councils are unable to do this job themselves as they do not have the jurisdiction and would have to buy in expensive equipment .Equally it is not within their remit .The CHJ says that it does not have the finances to do the work .
The cruise shio MS Amadea is due to dock in Benidorm on the Spanish Costa Blanca and the Benidorm council has initiated a quick facelift for certain parts of the town .Areas around the castle and the port are being freshened up before the ship drops anchor .There will be almost 900 passengers on board .They are mainly German and are expected to leave the ship and go sightseeing for a few hours .Naturally the council is eager that everything looks good as it will mean that more liners might visit and that is good for business .
Balustrades have been painted , as have bollards and the place has been generally tidied up .The cruise liner is owned by the German company Phoenix Reisen and it is stopping in Benidorm as part of a pilot scheme to see if passengers are happy with stopovers in places other than Alicante .
The ship will drop anchor in the bay at 7.30am and passengers will be taken ashore in launches .They will have just over 5 hours to explore before departing for another port at 1.30pm .Naturally the town council and local businesses are hoping that a lot of money will be spent .A fleet of buses has been laid on to go on excursions to places sucj as Guadalest , Javea , Denia , Calpe and Altea .In five hours there is so little time to achieve very much especially if you want people to spend in Benidorm.
Calpe and Denia on the Spanish Costa Blanca will gain a small benefit from the government´s 2015 budget .In the case of Calpe the Public Works Ministry will carry out a project to build a pedestrian bridge over the N-332 to allow direct access to the town´s train station and the urbanisation at the foot of the Serra d ´Olta .The new bridge will be equipped with two lifts so that elderly and disabled people can use it with ease.
The cost of the project has been estimated at almost a million euros .The mayor is delighted as it is keeping an election promise .It is a relief that people will now not have to risk their lives attempting to cross the busy N-332 .
I Denia the government has allowed a similar grant to be used to reform the historic house on Calle Sant Josep in the old town centre .Once completed the house will be used for cultural purposes .
Two Costa Blanca towns have benefited from the budget but once again the bypass in Benissa has been shelved until possibly 2018 .
Benissa council is counting on the company building the bypass to fund the work and then when it is finished the government pays them back .This has been called the German method .
Last Sunday a 56 year old man attempted to murder another by shooting him and now the Guardia Civil in Finestrat has arrested the suspect .The police were called to the shooting on the Terra Marina urbanisation at about 2pm after a 36 year old Moroccan man was shot in his abdomen in his own home .
All the available police units in the area were alerted and at about 5pm a Spanish national gave himself up to the police in Benidorm .
He told the police that he had killed a man in Finestrat .The police in Benidorm checked it out with their colleagues in Finestrat and then called in the Villajoyosa police to take over the case .
The victim was taken to hospital at the Marina Baja hospital and was said to be in a stable condition .
It seems that the man detained by the police was the boyfriend of the victim´s mother and that there was bad feeling between the two .The previous day the detained man had written abusive graffiti on the walls of the victim´s home .On the day of the shooting he also attacked the victim´s father with a baseball bat .He was remanded in custody .
A Spanish nurse will be the third Ebola suffere to be treated in Spain but the first to contrat the virus on Spanish soil .She is the first in the history of the virus contracted outside the African continent .
She came into contact with the virus when she was nursing the infected missionary Manuel Garcia Viejo when he was returned to Spain , as a very sick man , having contracted the virus in Africa .
There seems to have been a litany of errors during the time that she was nursing this patient and then afterwards , while she was on holiday , another litany of errors .
Her husband has been admitted to hospital for observation as he is at high risk of contracting the disease .He is isolated and in quarantine and will be observed until everyone is sure that he is clear of the infection .The nurse had come into contact with quite a number of people , including her GP and her hairdresser .
A total of 52 other hospital workers are also being closely watched for symptoms of the disease .
The infected nurse worked at the Carlos III hospital in Madrid .
There have been a number of demonstrations outside the hospital as staff demonstrate to say the hospital is not equipped or trained to deal with such cases .
Normally the Mystery Play of Elche is performed in August each year .It is one of the highlights of the year in Spain .This year there is a second chance to see what has been declared by UNESCO , one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity .
It is always held at the Basilica of Santa Maria and the play dates back to the 15th Century and is a chanted drama which commemorates the Assumption of Mary .
In even numbered years there are extra ticketed performances on October 29 and 30 , followed by free access on the 30th .
The play has lasted through to today despite the Council of Trento ( 1545 -1563 ) banning the performance of Mystery Plays inside Christian temples .
Over the years it has picked up influences from some of the periods that it has survived through , so today it has Medieval , Baraque and Renaissance music accompanying the performances .
Those who take part are amateur singers with a choir of children to voice Mary and the angels .Around 300 people participate with many thousands looking on .In keeping with medieval mystery plays the stage is arranged horizontally for the earth and vertically for heaven .It is seen as being the last of the truly Medieval Mystery Plays with the texts being taken from Collections dating back to 1625 .
The Spanish government is still sticking to its 2.6 million euros budget to remodel the sea front in Altea on the Spanish Costa Blanca .The budget is for 2015 .The money will come from central government in Madrid says the Finance councillor in Altea following a recent budget meeting .
He went on to say that this fact alone means that the project has the backing of Sr Rajoy and that they mean to see it through .A further instalment is due to complete the project in 2016 .
Work began in January when the promenade was extended as far as the river mouth but it stopped about 2 months ago .Also stopped was the work to get rid of the Charco , the stagnant and often smelly lagoon between the Paseo and the open sea .
When the project was put out to tender Cyes Infrastructas submitted a four and a half million bid but was 3.5 million below the limit which had been stipulated by the national government in Madrid .Now the company has run out of money although a solution to reactivate the project is soon to be found according to the councillor but the rest is in the hands of the government .They are hoping to restart the project very soon .