Latest News 29-08-08 Issue 110

General News

Spain in court over ‘land grab’ laws

By Samantha Kett

SPAIN has been taken to court by the European Commission over the controversial ‘land grab’ laws in the Comunidad Valenciana.

The central government will be tried in the European Court of Justice.

Although the LUV, and its predecessor, the LRAU, are regional laws, Spain is ultimately answerable for infringements committed by its autonomous governments.

The Commission’s main accusation is of breaches of European competition regulations that cover contracts for public works.

It believes development contracts were awarded subjectively.

But the Commission is also concerned with the loss of land and property by thousands of residents in the region.

Spaniards and foreigners alike have lost all or part of their houses and seen large parts of their land confiscated to make way for developers.

The minimal compensation offered has been more than swallowed up by sums of up to six figures that homeowners have been forced to pay to finance roads, street-lighting, electricity and other infrastructure for the new developments.

Pressure group Abusos Urbanísticos NO, headed up by Chuck Svoboda and Enrique Climent, has been fighting this situation since the mid-1990s.

They instigated a complaint to the European Commission in 2004.

The EU Parliament’s Petitions Committee has been investigating the ‘land grab’ ever since and has carried out fact-finding visits to the Comunidad Valenciana.

But the case in question does not aim to return seized property or provide compensation to affected homeowners, since this appears to be outside the ECJ’s jurisdiction.

“Compensation would be possible as a result of successful action before the Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and we are actively pursuing that as well,” reveals Chuck Svoboda.

“We believe this action by the Commission will indirectly support deliberations in other tribunals.

“The mere fact that this issue is now before the ECJ will make it much riskier for the authorities here to ignore or knowingly breach EU law.”

It is not known how long it will take for the European Court of Justice to come to a verdict.


Invasion of the Florida turtle 


The Environmental Ministry has discovered 240 Florida turtle nests in different areas throughout the Valencian region, an increase of 15% on figures for 2007. The conversation project was started in 2003 and aims to control the numbers of these tropical animals and look for new breeding grounds in and around Gandia and Xeresa.


Cocaine seized

National Police officers have arrested three people from Paraguay after they discovered cocaine stashed inside wooded furniture which arrived at Gandia Port from Paraguay. Sources reveal how 318 kilos of the class A drug was hidden in over 290 individual pieces of furniture. In another operation in Torrevieja a yacht containing 2.5 tons of cannabis was stopped as it attempted to dock in La Marina. Officers arrested eight people and seized 81 packages of drugs, two guns, 14 mobile phones, a satellite terminal, a GPS navigator, a laptop and 3,720 euros in cash.


Cave paintings damaged


Vandals have broken through security doors protecting the Parpalló Cova in Gandia and caused damage to the cave art. The cave has the most valuable rock art in the Comunidad and in terms of heritage conservation the damage could have had tragic consequences. The Paleolithic paintings and engravings, believed to be around 20,000 years old, are intact despite vandals defacing stone very close to the drawings. The Cova of Parpalló is located on the southern slope of Mondúver in Gandia and has been an archaeological site since 1870.

15,000 euros compensation pay out

The Ministry of Health has been ordered to pay 15,000 euros in compensation to a woman who was injured after being trapped by automatic doors at Elda hospital. The 71 year old woman was visiting the hospital in 2004 when the sliding door closed on her causing her to fall and break her hip. The woman required surgery and took 3 months to recover from the incident. The courts found that the doors "only worked correctly when a person walks through at a normal pace". The elderly woman used walking sticks and so took longer to clear the doorway. The woman had entered a compensation claim for 24,125 euros but the Consell Jurídic reduced this to 15,000 euros.

Investigations into flight JK5022
Accident investigators are examining the wreckage of flight JK5022 which crashed at Madrid's Barajas airport on August 20 killing 153 passengers. The aircrafts black box recorder was located immediately after the crash. Flight data and voice recorders will be analysed over the coming weeks. Three days of official mourning were declared in Madrid during which time the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero visited the injured in Madrid's hospitals and King Juan Carlos visited Barajas airport. Nineteen people survived the crash, four of which are still listed as critically ill. The Spanair flight was taking off for Las Palmas in the Canary Islands with 172 people on board including 10 crew. Initial reports suggest a fire broke out in one of the engines causing it to veer off the runway and crash. The crash is the worst in Spain since a Colombian Boeing 747 crashed in Madrid in 1983 killing 181 people.

Telefonica to charge for caller ID services

Telefonica has confirmed, that from October, it will charge 58 cents a month for its caller ID service. Six million Telefonica customers will now pay for the service which has been offered as a free service since 2001. Telefonica claim that the “caller identification service became free in 2001 as a promotional product”, but "sooner or later the offer had to end”. The company has started informing clients on their bills as part of the “company’s commitment to communicate changes in advance."

Fire at Nuclear Power Station

An electrical generator at the nuclear power station, Vandellos II in Tarragona, caught fire in the early hours of August 24th. Fire crews took almost two hours to control the fire which caused the temporary closure of the plant and the implementation of the nuclear emergency plan. The manager of the ANAV nuclear plant reported the incident to the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) and a spokesman announced that the “plant will remain closed for a few weeks for safety reasons. Luckily the fire was not in a radioactive area”. Investigations have been launched to find the cause of the fire.

Bioparc increases family

Valencia’s Bioparc has almost doubled the number of animal species on show to the public in the last seven months. The zoo’s aim is to create a completely natural environment for the animals, generating an atmosphere similar to their natural habitat.  

Attacks on transport companies continue

Transport companies in Valencia still seem along way off from finding a solution to the spate of vandalism experienced in recent weeks. Truckers have had vehicles set on fire and tyres punctured. A transport company based in Silla has lost over seven vehicles in the past week and has been badly affected by these events. The Valencian Federation of Transporter Employers has begun investigations and employees across the region are calling for more protection.

Spending outside the Comunidad

Valencian residents spend more than 50 million euros a year in Ikea stores located outside the Comunidad. The figures were revealed as Ikea Director of Expansion, Peter Campelo, and Paterna Mayor, Lorenzo Agustí met to discuss plans for the first Ikea store in the Comunidad which will be located in Paterna. The Swedish multinational is considering other sites and hopes to increase the number of stores to four or five (one per million residents). Ikea sources stated “Ikea is working to ensure the first store in the Comunidad is up and running as soon as possible in response to public demand." Ikea has 260 stores in 36 countries, employing over 118,000 workers worldwide. In 2007, its 522 million shoppers spent 19,800 million euros. There are currently 11 stores in Spain Alcorcón, San Sebastian de los Reyes, Madrid, two in Barcelona, Seville, Malaga; Biscay, Asturias; Murcia and Zaragoza.


Killed whilst playing in family car

The family of a child found dead in the boot of a car on the Baleric Island of Formentera have described their son as "the champion of love" and thanked him "for all he gave them throughout his life”. The 9 year old boy, from Valencia who suffered from Downs Syndrome, is believed to have suffered heat stroke after becoming trapped in the boot while playing in the car. His mother reported him missing at 2.45pm on August 12 on her return to the family’s holiday home. Police began a search of the area and the boy was found at 5.30pm in the boot of the car parked in the garage.

English classes from age four
Children in the Comunidad may be offered English lessons from as young as four. Schools in the region have been given the option to introduce English lesson into second year reception classes. Vicent Mauri, spokesman for the Treballadors de l'Ensenyament Unions (STE-PV), explained that it will depend "on the availability of specialist teachers." "The Valencian Government needs to recruit as it did when Valencian and music lessons were introduced.  

Straw hats for 999€

Apartments overlooking the pit lane of the Valencia Grand Prix circuit were rented out for upto 20,000 euros for the weekend despite the fact that renting of such properties was forbidden. In a statement issued prior race weekend  by Mayoress Barbera, it was stated that "under current regulations no authorization would be given for the rental of balconies or terraces in residential buildings which maybe subject to public entertainment and recreational activity laws" However, many took advantage of a loop hole in the law, by offering the properties as a free gift. Browsing through the internet in the months leading up to the race it was possible to buy an F1 straw hat for 999 euros which came with an invitation to spend race weekend at one of the many properties overlooking the track.

Higher fire risk in Valencia

Valencia has a higher risk of fire than any other region in Spain. According to the State Meteorolgy Agency (AEMET) this is due to the daily temperatures of between 39 and 40 degrees compared with 36 degrees in Malaga, Murcia, Alicante, Castellon and Mallorca. The Ministry of Interior declared the region to be on the highest risk level of 3 last week.

Lad killed after night out

A 20 year old man was killed after a night out when he poked his head through the turret of a high voltage electricity pylon. The man had spent Saturday evening at Falkata night club in Gandia and was making his way home at 2.20am when the incident occurred. The emergency services attempted to revive him but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Prisoner kills father

Civil Guard officers arrested a Grade 3 prisoner after the body of his 65 year old father was found at the family home. The victim was discovered with multiple stab wounds in the Alfafar area of Valencia. His 44 year old son was arrested in Valencia city last weekend.

Drink driver 5 times over limit

Civil Guard officers arrested a 31 year old Polish man after he provided a breath alcohol test five times over the legal limit. Officers stopped the vehicle after watching it weave across lanes on the A-7 close to Crevillente. The driver was arrested on the scene and will appear before the courts.

Dealer arrested

A man has been arrested after trying to sell cocaine to an off duty police officer in Guardamar del Segura (Alicante). The officer was on holiday in the area when he was approached by the dealer who had the drug hidden inside a cigarette lighter. When the man identified himself as a police officer the dealer threw the drugs away and attempted to get away. He was later arrested and appeared in court for possession of 0.5 grams of cocaine.

Mayors husband dies

Three youths have been arrested following the death of the former Mayor of Barcelona’s husband. Jose Luis Perez Barroso died on August 24 as a result of injuries sustained after being attacked on August 17. Perez had commented on the behaviour of the individuals outside the Ateneo de Esparreguera in the city. They then followed the 50 year old through the centre of town where they attacked him. Perez was taken to the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, but died a week later.

Inland News


Murder and suicide in Ontinyent
Residents in Ontinyent were shocked by the news of the murder and suicide of a local couple in the lead up to the city’s Moors and Christians celebrations. Blanca Oliva Yapez was shot by her husband, Mauricio, six times at their country house in Ontinyent on Monday 18th August.

Mauricio then turned the gun on himself. The tragic scene was discovered by their nine year old son who alerted neighbours telling them, “My mum and dad are dead”. The couple was originally from Ecuador but had been living in Spain for ten years. Blanca had two children from previous relationships, Tatiana (22) who helped her mother run the family bar, Checo II on Avenida de Albaida in Ontinyent and 19 year old, Ramiro is in the military. Blanca was buried in the Ontinyent cemetery a few days after her death while her husbands body was transported back to Ecuador. According to the Superior Courts of Justice in the Comunidad Valenciana Mauricio did not have a criminal record and there were no complaints of violence or restraining orders against him. The town held an official day of mourning and flags were lowered to half mast.




Black Cat Helps The Old Enemy

The Sociedad Protectora de Animales Xativa (SPAX) recently benefited from the generosity of the regulars at The Black Cat in Lloc Nou D’En Fenollet. A total of €140.00 was presented to Lucia, the Director at SPAX, for the local dogs home.
The money from a collection box in the bar and will be used to help the 240 waifs and strays currently being looked after by the staff and volunteers at the nearby pound.

Pictured presenting the money to Lucia is Bev Boxall, the Black Cat’s Landlady, along with Mark Bourne and Bernie James, both volunteers at SPAX.

The Hondón Valley Branch of the Royal British Legion 
Our Summer BBQ was a great success.  Set high up above the village of  Algueña, the tree and palm lined courtyard was an ideal setting at Restaurante La Cantera.

Once again our Social Secretary Tony Dengate (not forgetting Wendy)  produced a memorable evening.  We were entertained by the duo “Think Twice” with really good dancing music and Brian Fawcett won the “Loudest Shirt” competition.  The raffle prizes included meals at local restaurants, one weeks car hire in the UK with the main prize of an hour’s flying lesson won by Maureen Millar.

We are busy making arrangements for our 2nd Birthday celebrations in September when we are having lunch at a local Spanish restaurante.  If you would like to contact the Hondón Valley Branch, please email our Secretary on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   or telephone 677 376 770.

To find a Legion Branch in your area, go to www.spainnorth.legionbranches.net or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Photo 1.  The “Loudest Shirts” contestants with Brian, third right, and Maureen Millar.

 

Photo 2.  Brian, Maureen and the owners and staff from Restaurante La Cantera.

World breaking wine fair in Xativa


The Feria Requenense del Vino (Ferevin) Wine fair hope to get in to the Guinness Book of Records with the world’s largest amateur wine tasting event. Ferevin chairman, Carlos Cárcel, said they are seriously considering the possibility of entering the Guinness Book of Records, "We know that there have been thousands of people tasting wine on one occasion, but none which includes a competition where tasters have to answer questions about the wines. The organization has set aside registrations for 200 people but “if at the end we have closer to 500, the more the merrier," he added. The competition will take place near the Xativa fair compound on August 30th. For more information on the Ferevin Fiesta in Xativa visit www.ferevin.com.

Volunteers help to prevent forest fires


ACDEMA volunteers have cleared 30,000 metres of mountains around Enguera to reduce the risk of forest fires. In Xàtiva, Canals, l'Alcúdia de Crespins, Montesa and Vallada more than 2,000 new trees have been planted as part of the fire prevention project developed by the ACDEMA. The project which began in May will continue for a further five months with the help of over 25 volunteers. Local teams carry out surveillance from midday to 8pm and raise awareness within the community. The Association aim to protect 70,000 square meters of forests. ADECMA, has 30 volunteers and over 100 partners, has carried out surveillance of forests every summer since 1995.

Xativa Fiestas a success
Thousands of people attended the Fiesta de las Paellas in Xativa last week. It’s success has been put down to the new, stricter security system that includes tighter controls on the consumption of alcohol.

Earthquake shakes Turis

An earthquake shook Turis, Montserrat and Montroy on August 24th, but went unnoticed by many residents. According to the National Geographic Institute, The small tremor occurred at 7pm and measured 2.3 on the Richter scale at the epicenter in Monserrat. 

Dealers arrested in Alzira

National police officers in Alzira have arrested a couple for trafficking narcotic substances in Algemasi. The man (48) and woman (46) were caught following several days of police surveillance. During a search of the property officers found a total of 23 marihuana plants, two precision scales, 160 euros in cash and a large amount of jewels. Investigators believe the precious stones may have been accepted in payment for drugs but are not ruling out the possibility that they were stolen.

Body discovered in home

Police in Mislata have discovered the body of 29 year old man in his home. Police were alerted to the disappearance of the young man after he failed to turn up for work. According to police sources officers discovered the body of G.M.M lying in the hallway of his house. There were no apparent signs of violence.


Sacrificing holidays
Eleven young Belgian students have worked during their summer holidays at the Animal Protection Society in Villena. Mayoress Celia Lledó greeted the youngsters and presented them with a replica of La Atalaya castle as a symbol of their gratitude. A spokes person for the Society, Esther Esquembre commented that "even in the first few days there was a big improvement. We now present a fresh, cheerful image for those coming to adopt an animal.” The society aim to find new homes for as many animals as possible and send animals for adoption to other European countries as part of an exchange programme. In fact, "two weeks ago we sent 50 dogs to Germany and a further 20 or 30 animals will be sent in September," explained Esther.

Vandals increase chlorine level in local pool

Chlorine levels were multiplied by over 10 times the recommended levels after vandals broke in to the local pool in Benifaió. The council was forced to close the pool while it was empty and refilled. This is the second incident in a month at the pool involving chlorine levels, the council has now employed a night watchman. Technicians at the pool stated "The level of chlorine should be 1.5 milligrams per litre, but levels following the incident were around 10 milligrams”.

Ikea access concerns

Residents in Campolivar Cruz de Gracia in Paterna have expressed their concerns over the proposed access road for the Ikea store at Heron City. Over the coming month plans for the new store will be finalized and residents are hoping that access issues can be resolved. Residents will be asked to participate in studies to assist the engineers and technicians find the best access routes. Many residents have already expressed their concerns that the road systems surrounding the proposed site cannot support an increase traffic.

Van catches fire

A maintenance van caught fire on a bridge over the Clariana River in Aielo de Malferit last weekend. Fire crews were forced to close the CV-6410 because the van contained gas cylinders.


Streets to be renamed
Montserrat City Council has agreed, unanimously, to name all streets in urbanisations in the city and have set aside 37,000 euros for the new street signs. Streets will be named in Valenciano and areas will be categorized by fish, birds, mountains, rivers and agricultural tools.  The most intriguing are streets which will be named after varieties of grapes grown in the area.


Attempted murder

A man was arrested in the early hours of August 24th after attempting to shoot another man following a disagreement between their sons. The shooting took place close to the F1 circuit in the Nazaret area of Valencia. A man and his son were sat in a van, with the engine running, when they were approached by the assailant. The man narrowly missed being shot as he pulled away. The bullet hit the door of the van and lodged in the bodywork. The gunman fled the scene in a blue Kia. The intended victim informed officers, carrying out routine patrols in the area of the Grand Prix circuit, who were quickly able to locate the car. The arrested man has been charged with attempted murder.

Coastal News


Arsonists strike in the Valldigna 

A SECOND forest fire in Simat de la Valldigna is thought to have been the work of arsonists, say emergency services. Fire fighters found a small bottle with traces of petrol in it at the scene. They also say the blaze, which luckily did not cause widespread damage, was started in two places. Earlier this month, an inferno reduced nine hectares of countryside close to the town to ashes. August has seen alarming numbers of forest fires across La Safor and the Marina Alta. Five homes were evacuated a fortnight ago in Calpe when flames took hold. Two others, in the Pego area, were started within the space of a week. The causes of these have not been revealed, although the fire brigade said the earlier fire in Simat could have been caused by a carelessly-discarded cigarette end off the Barxeta road.

Free excursions and Spanish classes for expats

SPANISH classes and free day-trips around the province are being offered by Benissa town hall. Twice-weekly lessons from September 29 to December 3 will be held at elementary level. They take place on Mondays and Wednesdays between 10am and noon.

Only 25 places are available, so residents should sign up without delay.

Additionally, a programme of free excursions aimed at expatriates will take place from September 24. The first of these includes a visit to the turrón factory in Xixona, and then to Santa Bárbara in Alicante followed by the city’s Fiesta Museum.

Benissa residents who are interested in the above activities should call the town hall on 96 573 21 99.

Four gored in bull-runs

AT least four people have been injured in bull-running events this summer.

The most recent victim was a 25-year-old French tourist, who suffered a gash of some 10 centimetres in depth in El Verger. According to witnesses, his thigh was ripped apart.

Earlier in August, two bystanders were injured during bull-runs in Calpe, and another spectator was badly hurt in Ondara. Bull-running committees have held crisis meetings recently to discuss upping security measures, but they stress that spectators should not venture beyond the barriers and must adhere to all safety procedures in place.

Prostitution and copper-cable theft gang disbanded

A WOMAN of 41, a teenage boy and eight men have been taken into custody in connection with a series of copper cable robberies. Given the rising price of copper, this lucrative activity netted the gang some 9,000 euros in black market sales. Guardia Civil officers from Calpe carried out house raids in Pego and Benissa, where they confiscated various firearms, a van, two cars, 250 kilos of copper cable and numerous industrial tools thought to have been stolen from companies in the Marina Alta. The goods were then sold on in Oliva and Finestrat. The suspects are also thought to have stolen large quantities of gasoil. Police revealed this week that they have been investigating the gang’s activities for three months. They say the offenders also caused thousands of euros’ worth of property damage during the thefts. Police believe some of the ten arrested parties were also involved in repeated thefts of tobacco from airports and prostituting underage girls. The stolen goods recovered can be viewed by those who have suffered a theft of this nature in the Calpe Guardia Civil station, between 9am and 2pm.

Les Rotes residents lock horns over coastal development

RESIDENTS in the Les Rotes area of Dénia have reached an impasse over whether or not building should be allowed in the neighbourhood. Whilst some 424 people have signed a petition to protect Les Rotes’ last remaining green areas – principally the Montgó and Cabo de San Antonio – the association of residents has other ideas.

When building licences were suspended in the area, this meant existing residents were unable to carry out reforms or extensions on their property, or build swimming pools.

The ban on building was imposed after a private company’s plans to construct an urbanisation of 245 houses were vetoed by the local government.

Authorities said no environmental impact study had been carried out, despite this being a legal requirement for a large urbanisation to be built.

Additionally, they faced pressure from Les Rotes residents, who presented a petition containing 2,000 signatures to the town hall. Hackles were raised at a recent residents’ association meeting when those present were unable to agree on the ideal solution for the neighbourhood. Whilst hundreds want to see planning permission applications unblocked, many more fear the destruction of the two protected nature reserves near their homes.

Sat-nav guides visitors around Simat monastery
SAT-NAV systems will help visitors to find their way round the famous Santa María de la Valldigna monastery. The GPS will lead tourists to the main monuments, whilst an audio guide explains their history and development. This pioneering new scheme is part of a drive to promote the 13th-century monastery, which was founded by King Jaume II, to more visitors. Some of the most fascinating features of the monastery in Simat de la Valldigna are its painted ceiling, the cloister and the remains of rooms and an irrigation system behind it.
A long and detailed restoration project means the monastery is now in optimum condition. It is sometimes used for open-air summer concerts and occasionally weddings. The sat-nav system is not fully up and running, but Simat town hall has excellent tour guides who work at set times of the day to help visitors enjoy their visit to the full. 

Dénia passengers stranded in Formentera

PASSENGERS have hit out at the treatment they have received from Iscomar after two of its Dénia-Formentera ferries broke down. Some travellers who had come from Dénia say they had no choice but to take a ship to Barcelona from the island, and then find some way of making the 500-kilometre journey home. One passenger said he had spent 15 hours travelling. Other passengers who were left stranded in Formentera after the Begoña del Mar was declared unseaworthy say they had to sleep in their cars, with nothing to eat or drink. Most say they were given no information or assistance. They have put in complaints to the company, which has offered to refund tickets. In the meantime, Iscomar’s other ferry, the Pitiusa Nova, remains moored in Formentera due to the failure of two of its four engines.On Sunday, authorities gave the go-ahead for it to sail home, but by Monday the ship was grounded again due to technical hitches. At the time of going to press, the Pitiusa Nova continues to be anchored in the Balearic Islands.

Cannabis plantation found in Vall de Laguar

GUARDIA Civil officers from El Verger have detained a Spanish national who kept a marihuana allotment in the Vall de Laguar. They arrested the suspect, 51, after a series of investigations led to the discovery in a remote plot next to his home.Police say the plants on the arrested man’s land were capable of producing up to two kilos of cannabis per season. They have remanded the landowner in custody pending a hearing.

Motorway tunnel fire causes alarm

A TUNNEL on the way to Alicante airport was evacuated on Saturday when a car travelling through it caught fire. Panic broke out among trapped motorists, some of whom attempted to reverse out of the tunnel after it filled with smoke. The San Juan tunnel on the A-70 – formerly part of the AP-7 – suffered tailbacks of up to 45 minutes in both directions when a vehicle went up in flames for no apparent reason when it was over halfway through. An automatic alarm system linked to the emergency services brought the Guardia Civil and fire brigade to the scene. They diverted the traffic out of the emergency exit. Traffic flow reverted to normal at around 11am, say police.

Les Rotes in fiestas

LES Rotes will celebrate its patron saint festivals this weekend. Just after noon on Saturday, a commemorative plaque will be set up on the roundabout in front of Hotel Port Dénia in honour of the fiesta association’s first president, Enrique Soriano. Next, various shows and events will take place from 10pm, including the famous Torrà de Sardines, a traditional al fresco feast of fresh fish and other locally-produced food. Sunday will see a number of sporting activities in the open air.

Crisis meeting over Jávea old town works

RESIDENTS and business owners who have been adversely affected by renovation works in Jávea old town held a crisis meeting on Tuesday. During the meeting they discussed applying for compensation or tax reductions from the local government for those who have lost business as a result of the ongoing works. The residents’ and shopkeepers’ associations revealed the contents of the two previous meetings they have had with the town council. They were considering whether to present proposals at the full council meeting tomorrow (Thursday).

Rhinos, hyenas and lions in Oliva

RHINOCEROS, hyena and lion remains have been found in a cave near Oliva. Archaelogists reveal that the bones of these wild animals, discovered in the Cova Foradà, date back around 100,000 years. They have been investigating the dig, one of the most important in Europe, for 32 years. Findings dating back from between 8,000 BC and the Paleolithic era have been dug up during this time. The cave is said to be the most complete prehistoric settlements in the Comunidad Valenciana. Chief architect José Aparicio Pérez, says he has not ruled out finding the remains of Neanderthal man during the excavation, which will provide an intriguing insight into life in prehistoric Spain.

Trip wins Dénia woman 2,100 euros

A DÉNIA woman has been awarded 2,100 euros after she sprained her foot whilst walking along a street with her baby in a pram. According to the Judges’ Council at a hearing last week, the street was in unsafe conditions. They reveal the woman twisted her ankle when she stepped into a pothole of some three centimetres – just over an inch – deep. She was walking through the ferry port area at the time. A judge said the woman was then off work for 39 days as a result. The regional ministry of infrastructure and transport was ordered to pay her 49.03 euros for each working day she lost as a result of the accident.

Stag night from hell on Gandia beach

A STAG party got out of hand on Gandia beach in the early hours of Sunday morning when a drunken fight broke out, forcing police to intervene. The commotion started when one of the bouncers at a nightclub on the beach had an altercation with one of the men present at the party. Friends of this man say the bouncer knocked him to the floor, splitting his head open. They then set on the bouncer, reproaching him for his behaviour and telling him to call an ambulance. Next, the victim’s friends say he disappeared.
Guardia Civil officers, Local and National Police who were patrolling the area attended the scene, where nearly 2,000 clubbers had spilled out into the car park. Most fled the scene when they saw the police.

Three-year pilgrimage by horse and cart

THREE years of travelling by horse-drawn carriage has led a group of Benissa residents to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Galicia). They followed the ancient pilgrims’ route, which leads across Spain to the cathedral in the north-western region – a route that continues to be followed today. The Amigos del Carro de Benissa (‘Benissa Friends of the Carriage’) association has finally finished a journey it started in 2005.
They were greeted by the acting mayor of Santiago de Compostela and numerous relatives who had travelled from their native Benissa. A nearby convent was freed up for the 35 ‘carriage friends’ to take a well-earned rest. They are now considering their next challenge – re-treading their footsteps all the way back along the pilgrims’ route to Benissa.

No-confidence vote for mayor of Benigembla

BENIGEMBLA’S mayor has been forced to stand down following a no-confidence vote against him. A meeting that lasted just 15 minutes on Saturday ended right-wing Fernando Mengual’s career as head councillor for the village. He was ousted by votes from the socialists, the nationalist Bloc party and Gent de Benigembla. Their vote was based on various development plans approved by Mengual’s party, which they did not agree with. These plans were presented prior to the controversial concrete jungle proposed by veteran crooner Julio Iglesias. Councillors say the no-confidence vote was “because Benigembla needs a radical change,” for the “well-being of its people,” as well as “a stable government and better public services.” But Mengual, who has been replaced by Bloc leader Juan Caselles as mayor of Benigembla, accused the new leaders of ‘hiding personal interests’ relating to developments in the town. Mengual even hinted that some councillors had been behind illegal works, carried out without planning permission.



 

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