Latest News Issue 111 12/10/08

Inland News
A BRITISH man accused of several offences of paedophilia has been arrested in his home town of Villajoyosa, National Police revealed this week. They say they have been investigating the case since they discovered via a UK newspaper that a paedophile wanted by Interpol was thought to have been living in Benidorm. He is under a warrant of arrest for abusing a number of small children in Britain. This led to the arrest of 62-year-old G.M.C. on Tuesday last week. Neighbours and friends of the accused, who has lived in Villajoyosa for several years, were astounded by the news.
A popular and sociable local resident, G.M.C. is said to have had many friends and regularly offered to look after his neighbours’ children when they went out. The suspect lives on his own, but has a busy social life, say officers.
It has not been revealed whether he is suspected of committing similar offences since moving to Spain.

Around 20 women have attacked a man after he asked for his money back from a prostitute in Valencia stating the service he had received was not to his liking. The man disappeared with the woman for approximately 30 minutes while his friends waited in the car. On his return he said he was not happy with the service and asked for his 20 euros back. He grabbed the woman and tried to snatch his money back. On hearing the woman’s screams around 20 women appeared with rocks and sticks. Some attacked the car while others dragged the man from the vehicle and proceeded to beat him. Police were able to intervene and arrest eight women. The man was transferred to hospital for treatment.

Festivities in Valls Benifairó were brought to sudden end when a young man was killed during a traditional bull running event. The incident occurred late on Monday, September 10th when the man suffered a blow to the head while trying to dodge the animals. He fell to the ground and was barged into a safety barrier by one of the heifers. Mayor, Vicenta Maria Llanes suspended the remainder of the activities, she said ''The truth is that we were expecting some sort of incident, but not with the heifers, which are supposed to be considerably less dangerous than the bulls, but the blow to the head was fatal."

A man has been sentenced to 17 months in prison for placing an advertisement on a sexual contacts website using a photo and the personal data of his ex-girlfriend. The High Court of Valencia ordered the man to pay 18,000 euros in compensation. The couple had an 18 month relationship which ended in 2003. Shortly after this the man posted his ex girlfriend’s details on a sex website and uploaded a recording of a sexually erotic conversation which tool place between the woman and a mutual male friend. The woman had been previously awarded an injunction against the man after he sent her threatening letters.

50% of Spaniards aged between 25 and 64 have only completed mandatory studies, namely primary and the first stage of secondary education, according to a recent study by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The 'Panorama Education 2008' study reveals that the level of education attainted in Spain is significantly lower than OECD and European Union average. Spain comes just ahead of Portugal and Mexico, where the figures show that 72% and 78%, respectively, of people failed to graduate secondary education. Among the most advanced OECD, is the United States (12%), followed by UK (14%), Sweden (16%), Germany (17%), Finland (20%) and Netherlands (20%).

A new secondary school has opened in Vallada which will operate independently from Moixent. The local council commented that "it is a definitive step forward for our Institute to acquire its independence from Moixent, a goal long fought by the school and local community."

Council workers have begun the arduous job of clearing and cleaning the drainage system in Xativa to prevent future flooding. Work will begin in Avenida Alameda Jaume I, at the entrance of the town by the N-340 Alzira and Simat road, where there have been problems over recent months. Work to clearbexisting trouble spots around the town should last about 2 months.

The town of Rafelbunyol handed out nearly 7,500 bocadillos at its annual ‘cena popular’. The ‘popular traditional dinner’ was accompanied by sausages, potato wedges and refreshments, while diners were entertained with live music.

Police have arrested a man in Torrent after he made a hoax phone claiming that there was a bomb in the local train station. The 33 year old Spanish man was arrested two days after the phone call was made. Police evacuated the station and security procedures carried out. Once the police were sure it was just a hoax, “the train station soon was back to normal”.

The Residents Association of the Horts area in Canals has delivered an official complaint to the town hall. On their list of problems include the poor standard of cleanliness in the streets, badly situated waste bins which reduced visiability on roads, the condition of roads in the area and the insufficient postal service. Members of the Association are also calling for the return of 90,000 euros is owed to homeowners in the area by Iberdrola.  The complaint, which was addressed to councilor, José Vicente Ferrer, also includes details of a plague of cockroaches and rodents in the urbanization. Residents state also that between 1990 and 1996, when the Canals Government team approved the construction of the urbanization, the area was developed, but the council refused to give planning permission for any basic services such as drinking water, electricity and drainage. Residents claim the work is still unfinished despite being agreed and paid for in 2006. 

The first University of Parents in Spain (Universidad de Padres de España) will open in Bocairent. The University will train parents in tackling specific problems with their children. The initiative is aimed at parents with children of any age from newborn to 17 years. Project manager, Oscar Gonzalez said "this new course offers help for parents to cope with their responsibility of raising young children." He added that "in many cases, parents feel alone and overwhelmed by the complexity of situations, so it is beneficial to have a series of basic educational guidelines to follow." An open day is planned for September 17th in Sala Juan de Juanes. “There is a registration fee of 6€ which will be donated to Unicef”, said Education councilor, Olga Vanya. Classes will be held in Lluis Vives School and will begin in October. The course contains eight classes, one per month until the end of the school year.

The Ministry of Health has reported two new cases of Legionnaire's disease, one in Carcaixent and the other in Alzira. These cases bring the total number of patients affected by the disease up to 24 since August 20. All patients have now been discharged from Hospital. There have already been seventeen recorded cases in Carcaixent, and 7 in Alzira, but the health authority do not class this adequate to "declare an outbreak".

Guardia Civil have charged and released a man who left his dog tied to a balcony for 18 months. The 61-year-old man was arrested on September 3rd by officers in El Puig charged with mistreatment of animals. The dog had allegedly been tied up on the balcony for 18 months with no access to water or shelter. Guardia Civi officers spotted the distressed dog on the balcony and claimed that you could clearly see that the dog had not been cared for “recently”. The female German Shepard was collected by a local vet who reported that she weighed only 20 kilos, was totally blind and her muscles had collapsed due to lack of use. so sadly had to be put to sleep.

Pediatricians from Alzira have warned that the return to school can cause feelings of irritability and apathy in children. It is often during the first few days back at school children may seem reluctant to do homework or get up in the morning, or even refuse to attend class. Pediatrician Velero Sebastian says “this is a temporary affect on children during the first couple of days back to school and that it does not indicate any health problems”. Doctors from the Department of Health explained that it is very important that towards the end of the school holidays children start adjusting to school routines. Doctors also ask parents to monitor the weight of rucksacks to avoid serious back injuries and keep an eye out for lice.

Two children have died after the car they had been left in caught fire in Quintanar del Rey near Albacete. The Ecuadorian children, aged 3 and 5, were left in the car by their father while he stopped at a farm shop. Fire crews were called to the scene afer a passerby noticed the car on fire on the side of the road. Hugo Florencio Pillajo Cuascota had tried to save his children, but the car exploded before he could get to them. Despite the efforts of the fire crews it was impossible to save the children. The family had lived in Quintanar del Rey for 3 years. The council ordered three days of mourning.

A man who lost his foot during a motorbike accident on September 7th has had it reattached. The 36 year old man, who was injured in Paterna, is reported to be well and able to move the foot following the operation in Valencia. Surgeon, Pedro Cavadas said this “very complicated” operation was carried out at the Virgen del Consuelo clinic in Valencia. "Most teams tend not to reattach feet as it is quite difficult, but the outcome is better than providing a prosthesis." he stressed. The case was made more difficult by the fact that the foot was almost entirely severed from the leg leaving very few tendons and nerves in place. Cavadas performed the operation on the same day as he arrived in Spain after working in Kenya, helping mutilation victims. Cavadas commented his team will now begin a search for a donor for the first ever face transplant operation to take place in Spain, later this year.

Trains between Paiporta and Picanya were delayed after communication cables were stolen from the tracks. Nearly 40 metres of cable were stolen during the night on September 1st  causing delays for travellers the following morning. All communication lines were shut down, lights were constantly showing red and all contact between stations had to be made via telephone. The Guardia Civil have launched an investigation and confirmed that “this is the first time cables have been stolen from the track. Difficulties did not affect safety, but did cause significant delays”.

Coastal News
NEXT month sees the opening of Dénia’s new hospital in the Beniadlà area of town, which will finally take the pressure off the overburdened La Pedrera centre. President of the Generalitat, Francisco Camps, announced during a recent visit to the construction site that the hospital would be open to the public in October. This said, it will not be fully functioning for a few more months. More than three-quarters of the work is now finished. The hospital will have CAT-scanning and MIR machines, and over 200 single wards for patients. It is one of six hospitals under construction in the region, thanks to extra funds being invested in the health service in the Comunidad Valenciana.
These funds should allow new health centres to open in Dénia and Calpe.


PASSENGERS on board a Baleària ship heading for Ibiza had to return to Dénia following a technical hitch. More than 200 people travelling to the island on the Manuel Azaña were put on a high-speed catamaran when the crew announced that the ferry was not seaworthy. Having set sail at 08.00hrs on Wednesday, the boat turned round less than an hour into the journey. Despite a chorus of complaints, none of the passengers opted to ask for a refund on their tickets – and in fact reached San Antonio port quicker than they would have done on the Manuel Azaña.The Patricia Olivia set of just after noon, and travellers had reached base within less than three hours. Sources from Baleària say the ship is now repaired and it set off from Dénia as planned on the same evening.

GANDIA town council still has not offered help with playschools and textbooks – despite promising to do so back in 2006. Parents in the town say the local government is ‘taking the mickey’. A spokesman for green nationalist coalition El Bloc-Verds, slamming the socialists’ failure to assist, says free nursery school places are ‘vital’. “It is a key tool in guaranteeing a proper work-homelife balance,” says Josep Miquel Moya.
He also highlights that a large chunk of the cost of pre-school education and textbooks for pupils in primary education has already been offered by the Generalitat.
The cost of playschool places would be 120,000 euros, and 800,000 euros for textbooks. “This is small fry if we compare it to the figures managed in the town hall,” states Moya. He says the local government has spent 27 million on a clean drinking water supply, received a 23-million euro loan to promote public companies, and raised the salaries of certain civil servants to around 2,000 euros a month. But parents sending their children back to school this week face bills of around 1,000 euros per pupil. A big percentage of this is for schoolbooks, figures show.

TWO German women and two Italian men have been arrested in Pedreguer for allegedly forcing illegal immigrants into prostitution. Guardia Civil officers have been on the trail of the racket since March. On Thursday, they carried out a raid on a brothel on the N-332 where numerous Romanian women without residence papers were found to be working. Police heard the victims were forced to hand over between 30 and 50 per cent of their earnings to their captors. German nationals of 25 and 55, Italians aged 46 and 51 and a Romanian man of 24 were taken into custody for offences relating to kidnapping and exploitation. Three of the women working in the brothel were also arrested when police found they were illegally residing in Spain.

OLIVA-BORN soccer ace Manolo Mestre has died at the age of 73. The former captain and coach for Valencia FC’s funeral was held on Thursday in San Andrés parish church on Valencia’s C/ Colón. Mestre’s career with the club started in 1955 when he was just 20, and lasted until 1969. He was champion in the Copa de Ferias in 1962 and 1963, and in the Copa de España in 1967. During Mestre’s time with Valencia FC, he played in an incredible 424 matches including two international games. His last game was marked by his scoring a goal during a penalty, leading Valencia to a 2-1 victory against Deportivo La Coruña. After he hung up his football boots, the centre defence player led the team from 1975 until 1983 with a four-year break at the end of the 1977 season.
Following Mestre’s death last Sunday after a long illness, Oliva has announced that it hopes to name a street after their much-loved local hero.

MORE than ten per cent of Gandia schoolchildren will be taught in prefabricated classrooms this year.Three primary schools in the town – Botànic Cavanilles, Les Foies and Josep Camarena – have insufficient classroom space for their pupils. This means 875 of the 1,7300 kids who went back to school this week will have to suffer freezing temperatures in winter and intolerable heat in summer. Acoustics in pre-fab mobile classrooms are also poor, meaning teachers struggle to make themselves heard.
Recent studies have show that learning in prefabricated buildings increases the risk of headaches and fatigues among children and teachers. This situation, however, is not unique to Gandia. In schools all over the region, particularly on the Costa Blanca where the number of foreign pupils is rising every year, mobile classrooms have been set up due to lack of space in the main buildings for an ever-increasing student intake.

ONLY one ambulance is available for all the beaches in Dénia from now until the official end of the summer season.Despite the fact that the warm weather and influx of holidaymakers have showed no signs of slowing down, Red Cross workers on the beaches have reduced dramatically.The town hall says the other ambulance is now eight years old and is not fit to be used for emergencies.And this situation will continue even after the beachgoers have returned home. The town’s only ambulance will have to meet the needs of Dénia’s population of 44,000 people – a figure that more than doubles during the holiday season. This same ambulance will also have to cover football matches, fiestas and other events.

DECOMPOSED seaweed stinking out the Arenal area of Javea is causing bars to lose business. Restaurateurs and pub-owners say their customers regularly get up and leave because they cannot tolerate the stench. Councillors reveal that the problem is coming from a sewage collector that was installed just below the surface of the sea. They say that the southern part of the Arenal is prone to flooding, which meant the collector’s installation was unavoidable.This became particularly necessary when a new block of flats was built in the district, in an area known to be a flood risk during torrential rain and high tides. But it did not cross their minds that seaweed might gather inside the contraption and rot, causing an insufferable smell.They are considering whether fitting water pumps to the collector will ease the situation.


CONTROVERSIAL development plans in Parcent will be studied by the European Union Petitions Committee. The effects of the so-called ‘land grab’ laws, the LUV and its predecessor, the LRAU, have led the EU to take court action against Spain as a member state. Among the examples used, a report on the 1,800 houses planned for Parcent is being drafted. Pressure group Veïns de Parcent, made up of residents fighting their village being turned into a concrete jungle, says it is pleased with this move.
They say if the plans went ahead, Parcent’s population would increase tenfold from its existing headcount of 1,000 residents. Veïns de Parcent says the infrastructure is unable to cope with such a radical population rise, and the village would lose its traditional feel. Additionally, the damage to the rural environment in Parcent would be devastating and irreparable. The European Union is preparing an extensive report on overbuilding in the Comunidad Valenciana to support its case against Spain, and has chosen to include Parcent as one of its examples.


OLIVA’S old town could be classified as an official site of cultural and historic interest. Spokesman for the party Unió Valenciana, Pep Salazar, has put forward the motion to Oliva town council. He says the town should apply for its historic quarter to be declared a Bien de Interés Cultural, meaning it would enjoy government protection and help with renovation. Not only would the old town receive more funding to improve its conditions, but would also become a tourist attraction. The monuments that Salazar considers particularly worthy of interest are the churches of Santa María, Sant Roc and Santa Clara together with the convent of Nuestra Señora del Rebollet, Santa Ana Castle and the tower of the former count’s palace, among others.Streets including C/ La Hoz and C/ L’Enginy, plus others leading off the town hall square dating back to between the 15th and 18th centuries, are also of high historical value, the councillor states.

FOUR members of the same family have been arrested in Oliva on suspicion of dealing home-grown marihuana. National Police revealed this week that its members detained a 32-year-old woman and her husband, 26, both Spanish nationals, last Wednesday. They say they caught the woman and two family members, both 28-year-old men, manipulating the drug in their home in Oliva last week. The woman’s husband was arrested later in Gandia. Plants capable of producing up to 75 kilos of hash along with other, ready-harvested marihuana were confiscated. Officers also seized various other goods including firearms and a black BMW.

General News

Colombian drugs lord, Edgar Guillermo Vallejo-Guarin has finally been arrested in a Madrid hotel. Vallejo-Guarin (47) better known as Beto the Gypsy has been arrested in connection with drugs-trafficking, money-laundering and murder. Spanish police arrested Beto at a luxury hotel in the country’s capital. The US authorities have revealed he is one of Latin America's top drugs traffickers and were offering a $5m reward for information leading to his arrest. Beto the Gypsy is suspected of transporting tonnes of drugs into the US and Europe, the US Drugs Enforcement Administration says he was one of the main sources of Colombian cocaine smuggled into America during the 1990s. He has been on the run since 2001, staying in hotels across Europe, only false documents has kept him out of the reach of police until now.

The Queen Elizabeth II liner stopped off in Valencia on its final voyage last weekend. The vessel was on its way to Southampton for the final time before it becomes a floating hotel in Dubai. The QE2 docked in Valencia Port for a few hours on September 7th allowing the 1,800 passengers on board to visit the city. The QE2’s final voyage started in Freemantle, Australia and has docked in Lisbon, Sardinia, Athens, Naples, Palermo and Valencia amongst other ports on its ultimate cruise. Cunard Line sold the vessel to Dubai World for 100 million dollars. She will be berthed in Dubai's The Palm Jumeirah, the world's largest man-made island, as a floating luxury hotel, retail and entertainment complex.

The Conselleria of Infrastructures has announced the start of the “Plan Renove de Electrodomésticos” which pays between 70 and 125 euros towards the cost of purchasing a new low energy domestic appliance. The Generalitat is investing 7 million euros towards the replacement of energy deficient appliances. From September 26th until November 26th the purchase of A+ or A++ energy rated appliances such as washing machines, freezers, fridges and dishwashers will be discounted by up to 125 euros. According to the Ministry in the last two years 130,000 energy efficient appliances were purchased reflecting energy savings equivalent to the consumption of 10,200 families and saving close to 5.6 million a year. It also reduces carbon dioxide omissions by 12,246 tons each year. For more information on the Plan Renove de Electrodomésticos or to find out how to claim your discount visit

More than 445,000 children returned to school this week after a mammoth summer break. After the standard 10 week summer holiday families in the Comunidad are expected to spend an average of 993 euros on uniforms, books, shoes, school lunch and transport. This year the Government has promised around 23 million euros towards the cost of school books for children in the first 4 years of primary education. Each family will receive between 122 and 127 euros per student. According to the National Association of Book Publishers (ANEL), the average cost of school books in the Comunidad is around 108 euros per pupil. Many towns in the Comunidad are offering additional aid to parents. Rafelbunyol council has offered free school books for the last 20 years and this is extended not only to children who go to the  local school, but to any child living within the town who travels to a school outside the area. Students in l'Alcúdia of Crespins receive 20 euros from the council to buy stationery and in Moixent reading books are paid for. More than 13,000 immigrants were expected to start the 2008-2009 school year in the Comunidad according to forecasts from the Ministry of Education. The increase is 14% up on figures for 2007-2008 bringing the total number of foreign students to 92,416.

Plane manufacturer Boeing faces a multi million dollar law suit filed by families of victims of the Spanair accident. An American law firm is representing three families from Gran Canaria, Mallorca and Sweden after the Mc Donnell Douglas-82 crashed killing 154 people on August 20th. Ribbeck Law filed a lawsuit against Boeing explaining that technical studies demonstrate the possibility that there were "failures in the operation of parts of the engine". Lawyer Manuel Von Ribbeck said that there have been in the last year alone two other MD-80 planes crashes in Thailand and Turkey. The lawsuit was lodged on September 3rd in the state of Illinois. Initially just three families have taken action, but relatives are in contact with the law firm and could join the suit at anytime. Spanair could be ordered to pay 150,000 compensation for each person who died in the accident.

With an average of 24.7 degrees recorded in Valencia, the summer of 2008 has been the second coolest summer in the last 15 years. Information released by Aemet, indicate that the average temperature was 0.5 degrees below the average over the past two decades. Results show that 2008, has been one of the coolest summers in the last 20 years, followed by 1992, 1993 and 2007. The hottest summers in the last 20 years were 2003, being the hottest, followed by 2004, 1994, 2001 and 2005.

Temperature drop
The temperature has dropped around 5 degrees in the Comunidad in the last week, reminding us that the summer is almost over. The biggest drop was recorded in Castellfort in Castellon where the temperature fell to just over 12 degrees in just 24 hours.

A two week old baby has been discovered abandoned in the confessional of a church in Madrid. A beggar heard cries coming from inside the church on Sunday September 7th as worshippers waited for mass to begin. The baby was found in perfect health inside the confessional booth of the Carmelite Parish of Santa Teresa and San Jose in the central square in Madrid. Church custodian Antonio Lopez recalled how "a precious baby, just a few weeks old, was found in a crib with a bag of nappies, bottles of milk and spare clothing. “He had obviously been very well cared for,” continued Lopez. The church is very rarely empty on a Sunday mornings as tourists visit between mass,  the chances of tracking the parents is very slim. A judge will rule whether the baby will be put up for adoption.


A world breaking lollipop sucking event has been held in Valladolid in Northern Spain. The Menudo Chupeteo group handed out over 12,000 lollies in the city in an attempt to break the world record. A total of 12,831 people registered to suck a lolly for 100 seconds. Organisers read the rules out so no-one would get it wrong and ruin the world record attempt. They included: participants must remain in the row they were stood in, the row must not be broken, the lollypop must be held in the right hand and placed in the mouth of the person standing next to you. The first attempt was invalid as some confused participants sucked their own lollies! Guinness Book of Record judges confirmed that the second try was valid. Now the organizers just have to wait for the publication of the 2010 Book of Records to see their names in print.

Written prescriptions are soon to become a thing of the past in Valencia and Alicante with the introduction of a new electronic prescription system. Over the next 15 days around 12 pharmacies throughout the region will begin using the new electronic system. Doctor’s surgeries and pharmacies work under the same program where patients prescribed medication can simply present their SIP card in the allocated pharmacy and the prescription will be waiting for them. The Health Minister Manuel Cervera revealed that "in mid-October we hope that forty more pharmacies will join the scheme."

African immigrants are rioting in Almeria after a Senegalese man was stabbed to death in the street of the southern town. The rampage began in the early hours of September 7th when cars and houses were set on fire. Police have revealed that a 28-year-old man was killed in a fight in Roquetas de Mar and are now looking for a local man. Witness statements suggest the victim tried to intervene in a dispute between Senegalese and Roma (Gypsy) families in the area. The home of the man suspected of the murder was set on fire by rioters.

Individuals posing as Aguas de Valencia employees have been visiting households offering to renew water metres for cash payment. Aguas de Valencia stress that changing water metres is a free service and ask customers to report any suspicious activities. Aguas de Valencia do not take cash payments from customer, payments are always made through the banks or at official offices. Please visit or call  963860600 for assistance.

A farmer from La Nucia (Alicante) has grown two giant pumpkins, weighing 70 and 50 kilos and measuring 2 metres and 1.50 metres across. The farmer known as “Vila” grows pumpkins for cooking and claims he did not use any special treatment, they had “the same care as the rest of the crop, just water and feed”.

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