Euribor up another 0.25%

The European Bank has raised the interest rate on money to the banks to 3.25%, this is being the 5th increase since 2005. The new interest level is the highest for 3½ years.

The average mortgage in Spain has increased 14.4% over the last year, to 143,497 €. The European Commission stated the mortgage debts of Spanish families cannot be sustained.

Cars sales fell 6% in September. Last week the ‘Ibex’ (index for the Spanish Stock Exchanges) set a new record at 13,100 points.

Alarm on coast: No rain, no water

The lack of rain along the Mediterranean coast is sounding alarm bells. Several areas are on the brink of having to introduce water restrictions. The reservoirs in the Jucar water district (northern Alicante province, Valencia and Castellon) are down to 12% of capacity, those in Segura (southern Alicante and Murcia) contain less than 10% and even the reservoirs of the mighty Tajo river (from where the farmers in Murcia and Alicante hoped to get water) are at only 36.6% of capacity. The reservoirs supplying water to Costa del Sol (Sur district) stand at 26.9%.

40.000 demonstrate against talks with ETA

The Association for the Victims of Terrorism organised a demonstration in Sevilla against the negotiations by the governments with the ETA terrorists.   Some 40,000 demonstrators demanded an end to the talks and the resignation of Prime Minister Rodriguez Zapatero.

Freedom of the word upheld

The representatives of the promotion company “Aifos” with properties in Malaga and Finestrat (Alicante) tried to stop a property agent from denouncing their practises, by taking him to court for an order of “protection of honour”.    In an interview with “The Sunday Times” the agent had said 2,500 Brits had suffered due to the bad practices of “Aifos”.  He also claimed the company took deposits from the buyers whilst assuring them, incorrectly,  that the building licence was a formality.

After studying many official complaints from foreign buyers, the court refused the action, having found the property agent’s claims were based on fact. The owners/leaders of “Aifos” are at the moment free from prison, while waiting a verdict by the courts for paying the mafia in Marbella town hall for services.

Vote of no confidence in Valencia

The socialist opposition in the Valencia Parliament proposed a vote of ‘no confidence’ in President Francisco Camps (PP) based on town planning abuses. The motion failed, since PP has an absolute majority in parliament.

Catral municipality under administration

1,200 illegal dwellings have been built in the municipality of Catral in the southern part of Alicante Province. The Regional Government of Valencia

has now decided to take the Town Planning Authority away from the Town Council and has threatened to dissolve the Town hall if it does not resolve the illegal construction on protected land.

The Mayor of Catral (PSOE) accused the Regional Government of acting only for political reasons.

168,000 € is cost of having a child

The Spanish edition of the financial magazine “Capital” in calculating how much it costs to have a child in Spain today has come to the figure of 168,000 € from the birth to 18, or 9,329 €  per year.  We remind our readers that the average gross income for a young worker is 12,000 Euro p.a.

The public support children allowance is 24.25 Euro per month for children under 18.

French police find ETA bomb material

Only a few kilometres from the border, the French police detected an explosives dump containing 115 kilos of chlorate, 25 kilos ammonium nitrate and 20 kilos sulphur. These are materials used in the manufacture of bombs.

“El Mundo” reported that the Islamic terrorist Abdelkrim Bensmail,  was found to have in his cell the formula for making chloratite.

Islamists against “Moros y Cristianos”

The imán of the mosque in Malaga, Felix Herrero, has demanded that the traditional celebrations of “Moros y Cristianos”  (Moors and Christians) be suspended. “Moros y Cristianos” is especially popular in Andalusia, Aragon and the Valencia region, celebrating the victory of the Christian troops over the Moors during their occupation of Spain.

Illegal dwellings and the vote of no confidence

This week President Francisco Camps of the Valencian Government faced a vote of no confidence, proposed by the socialist opposition in the Regional Parliament.   Over the last days the question of town planning  legality became the focal point of the debate; the opposition accusing the government of fomenting the abusive town planning activity in the Region.  The government hit back by taking away the authority in town planning matters from the socialist led municipality of Catral (Alicante), where 1,200 houses have been built illegally.

President Camps is a young, intelligent, hard-driving, over-ambitious and power hungry politician who, during the last years has come close to destroying the coast of the Region. His government has passed and defended abusive town planning. It has ignored the many personal tragedies created by operators using the regional laws on town planning. He has refused to take note of the overwhelming vote in the European Parliament against this policy and its support for the victims. He is personally defending, to the last breath, Mayors from his own party facing court proceedings for corruption in town planning, with the object of winning a power fight with an opposition group in his own party.

Such a president deserves a vote of no confidence. But the chances of a no-vote succeeding were very slim, since PP has an absolute majority in the parliament.  All methods of inside-party pressure were applied to prevent any of the many members of the PP-fraction, dissatisfied with the President, using the secrecy of the vote to go against him.

Catral and other scandals

Catral is situated in the southern part of the province of Alicante with 6,600 inhabitants and between 1,000 and 1,500 illegally constructed houses (latest statement of the Mayor) built on farmland with permits from the socialist mayor for chicken pens and similar structures, which subsequently became villas with swimming pool.  Many of the dwellings were built by the brother of the Mayor. The Mayor recognises the illegality, but defends himself by saying that the farmers were poor and did not have any other option but to sell their land for construction.  He claims, “Now we have between 1,200 and 1,300 British Residents that maintain us.   Without the income from the new residents what else would the people have to live on ?   Laws that must be complied with ?”

The illegal construction in Catral has not happened overnight. In 2,002 it was shown 358 illegal dwellings existed. A consumer organisation denounced the illegality several years ago but the case is still lingering on in the courts of Orihuela. A new general plan for the municipality, overcoming the illegalities, was presented more than one year. However, it has been held up in the Regional Administration. Why did the Valencian Government wait until a few days before the vote of ‘no confidence’ to take action?  Moreover the illegal houses in Catral represent only a small part of the illegality in the southern part of the Region. In Orihuela several urbanisations have been constructed without proper planning or permits. There are 100,000 houses suspected to be illegal in the Province of Alicante, in Castalla, Tibi, San Miguel, Novelda and Monovar: Municipalities governed by different parties.

Why hasn’t the Valencia Government taken away the powers to grant Town Panning Authority from Orihuela and Torrevieja?

Politic on its lowest level, as usual.

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