FOUR Albanians were remanded in custody for housebreaking in Alicante, Valencia and Madrid provinces. Although charged with 32 robberies, they are believed to be responsible for at least 100.
The investigation began after a wave of robberies from villas in exclusive Villaviciosa de Odon in Madrid. All took place at night and gang members often habitually climbed to an upper floor to let themselves in.
The robberies tied in with others from urbanisations in the Valencian Community where the Albanians were already under surveillance.
A search of the suspects’ Valencia homes revealed jewellery, cash and designer clothes. There were also vehicles which they either used themselves or sold in eastern Europe.
All had police records in Spain, habitually used forged identity documents and drove cars with false plates. The investigation has not been closed and further arrests are likely.
INGENIOUS scientists looking for an eco friendly way of dealing with seaweed-strewn beaches are processing it ready to turn into bio fuel. They have developed a machine to wash, dry and compress seaweed into fuel pellets right on the beach.
The 2,000 tonnes of seaweed washed up overnight at Playa de San Juan recently has highlighted the difficulties faced by local councils on a regular basis.
Councils hastily remove the seaweed conscious that pristine beaches are vital to tourism. Once collected it can be processed for fertiliser, but seaweed contains more ethanol than corn and is increasingly used for biofuel and biomass.
Transporting, de-salting and drying it have until now been challenging, but Alicante University investigators have devised a system to eliminate all these problems.
A trailer containing three linked hoppers is fed seaweed as it moves along the beach. Pumped-in seawater removes the sand before the seaweed progresses to the second hopper where a solar-powered device rinses out the salt content.
It then moves on to a third hopper where it is dried by another piece of solar-powered equipment, and then it is compressed into biomass pellets or blocks for use in power plants.
PLANS to turn the old Terminal-1 of El Altet airport into a major outlet area with shops, restaurants and leisure facilities have been unveiled.
Alicante company ‘Aerovillage’ has presented the €40 million project to the Spanish Airport Authority (AENA). With the support of foreign investors, it aims to build a 40,000m2 area with 109 stores and restaurants, a hotel, and indoor karting track and an area for flight, skiing and racing simulators, which is expected to create 650 jobs.
Since the arrival of the new terminal at El Altet, with capacity for 25 million passengers per year, the old Terminal-1 will no longer be used and is amongst the buildings for which AENA wants private investors.
Aerovillage began talks with AENA back in 2011, but the project has still not been approved. The plan for an outlet store area has been well-received in the region, since many families travel as far as Madrid for similar shopping and leisure centres. It is hoped a new one at El Altet would attract many people.
The hotel would be aimed at people who need to stop at El Altet overnight before catching a connecting flight, as well as crew members.
UNREGISTERED residents lose La Nucia €1.1 million each year. The town has a population of 19,135 residents according to national statistics institute INE, entitling the town to a yearly transfer of €3.3 million from the central government.
The true number is nearer 30,000, the town hall believes. If La Nucia can increase the padron to 25,500 the amount from Madrid would increase by 34 per cent, bringing in another €1.1 million.
Not only the town hall stands to profit, because the extra money could be ploughed back into the municipality. Services would improve and local taxes lowered, explained mayor Bernabe Cano.
The town hall, backed by the collaboration of several foreign consulates, has launched an Empadronamiento campaign, encouraging residents of all nationalities to register on the “padron.”
Posters have been printed in several languages. “Register now,” urges the English-language version, under the heading “We are all residents of La Nucia.”
Empadronamiento also provides both foreign and Spanish residents with access to vital services that include schools, health care and social services, Cano pointed out.
THE British Consulate in Alicante is moving to new premises to improve the service to Britons needing help and advice.
From Tuesday, May 14 you can find the Consulate office in Edificio Espacio, sixth floor, on Rambla Mendez Nuñez, near the port area of Alicante, close to the Mercado tram stop and Alicante central bus station.
This is just a 10 minute walk from its current location in the Plaza Calvo Sotelo which has housed the consulate team since 1979. The move shows the importance in having a continuing consular presence to support the nearly 300,000 residents and 3.5 million tourists who visit the region each year.
British Consul, Paul Rodwell said: “The new Consulate will help us to assist better those who are most vulnerable, whilst offering an improved customer experience particularly in terms of access for those with reduced mobility.
“Furthermore, a new open plan office will deliver a better working environment for the team and the location means that those who need to find us can do so easily.”
The office will be open to the public from Mondays to Friday from 8.30am-2.30pm. The 965 216 022 phone number remains the same.
THE battle fought by bars in urbanisation La Marina to have entertainment and live music has been won. In what is believed to be a rare and unprecedented move, the Delegate of Alicante, Juan de Dios Navarro, has granted the municipality the right to offer establishments an entertainments licence.
It was in February that Euro Weekly News first spoke with Tommy Rogers, secretary of the San Fulgencio and La Marina Community President's Associationabout the petition he was starting to get a by-law passed.
With support of Mayor Carlos Ramirez, the government team worked behind the scenes before the final go ahead was given during a meeting in Alicante.
However, San Fulgencio Councillor Paulino Herrero said: “This is not a blank cheque.” He emphasised this will only work with the collaboration of everyone and stipulations will be in place. He said: “We are still working on the exact details but we will be visiting bars to inform them in the coming weeks.”
Tommy adds: “I see this as a brand new start and hopefully we can get La Marina back on the map. But it will be down to the bars to work together and not abuse this.”
It is expected that the permit will be free of charge and bars must cease all music and entertainment at midnight and bring in their outside tables and chairs at the end of each night.
UNEXPECTED silence surrounds an Iberian pottery urn hailed as “unique” in January. It was discovered in the backroom of a Campello antiques shop by the Guardia Civil during a routine check and is now locked away at MARQ, Alicante city’s archaeology museum.
Around 2,300 years old and depicting hunting scenes it is “matchless,” declared Jose Luis Simon Garcia from the regional government’s Culture department.
Not everyone agreed, including Carmen Aranegui, professor of archaeology at Valencia University. Other experts had reservations but only she was prepared to speak out, then or now.
It is a classic “cut and paste” job, she believes. Much of its decorations has been copied from genuine finds and it closely resembles other “restored” Iberian forgeries currently fetching €30,000 on the international market.
The joins where the pottery shards are joined show suspiciously little erosion, Aranegui added.
The find is under investigation by an Alicante court and cannot be discussed as it is sub judice, saidthe regional Culture department last week.
The last word went to another expert who requested anonymity. “If the urn turns out to be fake, it won’t matter. We all make mistakes and it wouldn’t be the first time this has happened.”
A SUDDEN storm took the Alicante province by surprise as within minutes sunshine gave way to black clouds as rain and hail stones battered Alicante city. Surrounding municipalities and towns also feel the full force of the elements.
In the city, 26 litres of water per square metre fell in 15 minutes. According to Professor of Human Geography at the University of Alicante, Jorge Olcina, the hail storm occurred as the result of the formation of a strong convective cell which happens when warm air rises and cool air sinks.
If there is a sufficient amount of supercooled water, accumulation of ice can begin in the clouds forming hail.
He said the cold pool in the atmosphere results in cooler temperatures than of late and unstable weather in the province for several days.
South of Alicante, rainfall was more evenly spread, with 13 litres per square metres falling in Torrevieja and 12 litres in Elche. Areas were affected with flash flooding as roads were brought to a standstill.
Murcia region was also affected with the weather more resembling winter. Snow was reported on high ground and storms took out electricity supplies in Lorca.
A BRITISH man has been given a temporary reprieve as his planned eviction did not happen. Ken Hughes, aged 68, received notice from the courts that he was to be evicted from his ground floor apartment in Calle Pablo Picasso, El Chaparral, for failure to pay his mortgage.
As police and a judge were expected to arrive to take over the property and change the locks, anti-eviction protesters took to the streets and waited for several hours for the arrival of the authorities. But they never turned up.
Ken bought the property nine years ago when he moved to Spain from Birmingham. Three years later he borrowed €54,000 against the property from Banco Guipuzcoano, paying back €500 a month: “After four years I said I couldn't afford €500 a month and offered to pay €200 but the bank would not accept this. Shortly after, the bank closed and I had no way of getting in touch with the new owners and didn't pay anything.”
With an eviction order served Ken has had to deal with the fact he has lost his home: “I feel very sad at what has happened. It has been my home for nine years.” A new eviction date will now be set by the courts.
THE sailing world’s eyes will be on Alicante as the next Volvo round-the-world race starts from the city’s port. The date is fixed for October 4, 2014 and the race ends at Volvo’s Gothenburg (Sweden) home on June 27, 2015.
The route covers 39,895 nautical miles (73,886 kilometres) and visits 10 cities in nine countries. Eight boats built to the new 65-foot (19.8 metres) design will set off from Alicante with a first stopover in Recife in Brazil.
This is followed by the longest leg around South Africa to Abu Dhabi, a distance of almost 10,000 kilometres. Possible pirate attacks during this stage of the race have yet to be discussed.
In the last edition of the race, the leg from Cape Town halted at Male in the Maldives and the boats were shipped to Sharjah to avoid pirates in the Strait of Hormuz.
It is not yet known whether this will be repeated in the latest edition of the race as well as on the third leg from Abu Dhabi to Sanya in China. Piracy has declined in both areas and no decision has yet been made, the organisers said.
The race will then continue to New Zealand, Brazil, the US, Portugal, France before reaching Sweden nine months after leaving Alicante.
- Costa del Sol
- Costa del Sol
- Costa del Sol
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