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.
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.
OOPS! This lorry driver decided he knew better than the warning sign. Hoping to squeeze under this railway bridge in Altea he was left with a red face when he got stuck.
And it took Local Police to divert traffic away and clear a path before the driver could extricate his truck from the jam he had got into. After letting air out of his tyres to lower the lorry’s height he reversed out of his predicament, last Friday.
Traffic problems were kept to a minimum as drivers found alternative routes. Then with nothing worse than a crumpled aerial, dinted container and maybe a slightly bruised ego for the driver, the lorry was on its way.
THERE will be 100 fewer beds at Elche General Hospital during the summer months. Sixty beds will be unavailable in July, August and September in addition to 30 removed from service since the summer of 2011.
A further 10 beds in different medical units will also remain empty during this period. Two wings usually close each summer for renovations but this year none will be carried out owing to insufficient funds.
Instead they are closing so that staff normally assigned to them can cover for colleagues on holiday, hospital sources revealed. This way it will not be necessary to engage temporary staff, they claimed.
A 13-STRONG group of travel agents from Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad visited Benidorm last week. All represent leading firms in Russia and they spent the three-day break touring the resort and learning what it has to offer.
This was the first time they had visited this part of Spain, they explained, as they are always keen to find new destinations for clients.
APRIL 30 was the 150th anniversary of the lighthouse at Punta Albir. The history of the lighthouse, built in 1853 and still vital to shipping in the area, is told in a new documentary.
Forty people recall its past in a documentary which begins and ends with an interview with Antonio Hurtado. He was the last lighthouse keeper to live on the premises with his family. His daughter Loly, who also appears in the documentary, shares her memories of her early childhood there.
The documentary – in Spanish, with some interviews in Valenciano - can be seen on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbRRDbvBg3M.
ALTEA’S old Guardia Civil post is getting a facelift. It is situated on a small headland at the end of the Corredor Verde pedestrian and cycle path running from the Algar to La Olla.
Built in the early 1900s, it was the coastguards’ station until the 1940s when the Carabineros merged with the Guardia Civil. It was vacated in the 1960s when the Guardia Civil headquarters was built on the main road.
Although there is little cash to spare, Altea town hall is investing in its heritage, explained Urban Development councillor Carolina Punset.
Restoring the Carabineros post will be expensive and have to be completed little by little, Punset said. Improvements will be made gradually, according to available funds.
“We have started by cleaning up the site, removing rubble and painting the exterior. Sixteen lorry-loads of rubbish have already been removed from the site,” she added.
The La Olla building will be included in the municipality’s Catalogue of Heritage Assets listing the properties and features the town hall wishes to protect. The Portal Nou in the Old Town is the next project. “We are going to repair the Eighteenth Century archway which is in a very poor state,” Punset said.
APPROXIMATELY 80 per cent of Valencian Community rental properties are unregistered. This is more than in any other Spanish region but the same pattern is repeated throughout Spain and the central government has now decided to take action.
Legislation has been modified so that owners of unregistered properties are not protected by the Rent Law (LAU).
Only 20 per cent of properties have been registered as tourist accommodation in the Valencia region’s three provinces, according to a regional government census.
Approximately 20,000 are on the Costa Blanca but the remainder, although advertised as tourist accommodation, operate in the submerged economy and the extra income is not declared to the taxman.
Local hoteliers and business people are all for the new measure. “This might not be the best moment but it is normal and correct to register and declare,” said Francisco Rovira, secretary general of the Federacion Alicantina del Comercio.
He was echoed by others.
“My cafeteria is registered, I pay social security for my staff and everything else I’m supposed to,” said Juan Pedro in Villajoyosa.
“The least I ask is that the same Administration that squeezes me, makes sure that my neighbour has everything in order,” he told the local Spanish media.
Alberto, an Alicantino who lives in Switzerland, saw things differently.
He rents his San Juan apartment to friends and acquaintances. “Yes I admit I’m paid in the black, but I’m not getting rich,” he said. What I charge pays my rates, community charges and utility bills.”
CLIENTS at Benidorm’s Hotel Poseidon can watch their weight despite being on holiday. All the food in the hotel buffet is labelled with its nutritional values, and that includes calories.
The Poseidon is the first hotel in Spain to take this step. The innovation was presented to the public by Antonio Mayor, president of the Hosbec hoteliers’ association and Manuel Llombart, who heads the regional government’s Health department.
The idea has been introduced at the Poseidon as a pilot scheme although it could eventually be adopted by others of the 161 hotels belonging to Hosbec.
The multi-language labelling on the buffet food also gives information regarding suitability for those with coeliac disease, dietary allergies or hypertension.
TELITEC raised €524 at their most recent fund-raising event. The communications company hosted a ‘Do Something Funny for Money’ event, in aid of Red Nose Day in March, where stalls, a charity recycle bin and sales of red noses boosted the final total to more than €500.
There were also discounts on all Telitec products and services on the day. The Best in Show dog competition was won by Mia, a 10-month-old Shi Tzu. Her owners Vanessa and Roy Sorrell got her when she was just 12 weeks old.
But Mia contracted a virus after five days and almost died, but luckily she survived, and now she is a winner. The raised funds were split between Akira Animal Charity and Comic Relief.
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- Costa del Sol
- Costa del Sol
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