Thursday, 25 September 2008

new whistleblowers' hotline to help catch benefit cheats living it up on the 'Costas' was launched today in Spain.

new whistleblowers' hotline to help catch benefit cheats living it up on the 'Costas' was launched today in Spain. In the first trial of its kind, ex-pats in Alicante who suspect benefit fraud will be able to report their concerns on a local number. Cases will be passed by the operator to investigators in the UK, who will also be able to draw on the team's on-the-ground intelligence. Anti-Benefit Fraud Minister, James Plaskitt said: "Most ex-pats are law-abiding and outraged by people who abuse the system. Helped by this hotline, the sun will now set on the cheats."
The cost of benefit fraud committed abroad is an estimated £93 million a year. It involves a range of scams such as people on means-tested benefits going abroad but not declaring their absence, an individual working while "sick" and legitimate payments taken over after the rightful recipient dies. The pilot will test the usage and quality of information provided and posters advertising the line will appear across Alicante from today. The initiative is part of a growing relationship between Spain and the UK on social security issues that already includes agreements to data-match and share death notifications. Later this week James Plaskitt will sign a Memorandum of Understanding to cement the Anglo-Spanish partnership. James Plaskitt added: "Benefit fraud is a crime no matter where it happens. We are forging strong relationships with governments across Europe to help us catch the thieves who pick our pockets from beyond our shores." The Spanish benefit fraud hotline number is 900 554 440. It is free and confidential and will initially operate 8am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. Of British ex-pats living in Spain, recent figures suggest seven in ten are based in the "Costas" region, with around 300,000 living in Alicante. The hotline will be run and funded by the Department for Work and Pensions, working with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Torrevieja Guardia Civil has broken up an international gang which had been pirating British satellite television signals

The group had some 60,000 clients, most of them British, between Benidorm in Alicante and Vera in Almería. The Judicial Police from the Torrevieja Guardia Civil has broken up an international gang which had been pirating British satellite television signals and then distributing them to British clients resident in the provinces of Alicante, Murcia and Almería in an area between Benidorm and Vera.
The group, based in an industrial estate at Algorfa, Alicante, had more than 60,000 clients, most of them British who paid 590 € for the installation of the system and then a monthly subscription of between 18 and 22 €. A total of 500 million € is thought to have been defrauded by the group which made no tax payments to Hacienda.
A total number of 14 people have been arrested, including eight Spaniards, three Britons and a Byelorussian, Rumanian and Russian.Investigations started following a complaint placed by Sogecable, the owners of the Spanish Digital Plus satellite system

Liverpool man Marbella resident five shots were fired in the Peurto Banus hitting the man in the face



The victim was said by witnesses to be a man in his 30's from Liverpool who has been resident in Marbella for some years.
A man in his 30’s, first reported to be Eastern European by some sources, but now considered to be British by most media, has been injured in a shooting incident in a cafeteria in Puerto Banús, Marbella. At least five shots were fired in the port at 7,30pm last night, according to emergency service sources, with four of the shots hitting the man in the face after a first shot to the knee. He is reported to be seriously injured. Witnesses described the victim as a tall and athletic blonde man, and say he is British, from Liverpool, and has been living in Marbella for several years. They say the shooter, who is also thought to be British, talked to him for some time before opening fire.Police think that what was the third shooting in the town in less than a month, was a possible settling of criminal scores.The man was shot as he left a cafeteria in Calle Ramón Areces, to walk to his car, a dark blue British registered BMW which he had left illegally parked with the windows open.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Authorities in Fuengirola are to bring charges against the company responsible for carrying out roadworks on the access approach

Authorities in Fuengirola are to bring charges against the company responsible for carrying out roadworks on the access approach roundabout to the popular Miramar shopping centre. The action has been brought following an incident which occurred after two pipes from the drainage system burst open, allowing the outflowing water to mix with sewage material and carry waste and toxic substances into the Rio Fuengirola. This has resulted in the death of numerous fish and animals in the surrounding area.The local council reacted swiftly by banning bathing on the nearby Castillo beach, raising the red flag and restricting access to the coastline for 100 metres on each side of the river. According to the council, the clean-up operation was supervised by the local healthcare authorities, and municipal workers were employed to block the mouth of the river and to recover the dead animals. The councillors responsible for the maintenance of beaches, housing and the environment, Isabel Moreno, Ana Mula and Jesus Pascual, respectively, visited the area to oversee the clean-up operation and assess the environmental impact . Mijas Town Hall expressed concern that the roadworks had caused the pipes, which run parallel to the sewer, to fracture, which subsequently allowed the dirty water to seep in.
The construction company has managed to block one of the pipes and is currently working to cleanse the area and repair the second pipe.

Two Chileans, about to board a flight to Spain, and one Immigrations inspector were arrested

Two Chileans, about to board a flight to Spain, and one Immigrations inspector were arrested on Friday evening. Yesterday morning, three more arrests were made of another inspector and one customer service officer, as well as an Argentine lawyer.
Airport Security Police (PSA) trustee Marcelo Saín revealed at midday yesterday that the Immigrations customer service officer was the “ringleader” of the drug trafficing group.A separate PSA source revealed how the smuggling operation was carried out: “Immigrations employees made contact with the ‘mules’ after they passed through security checks.

Possible compensation for the families of 130,000 people who disappeared in the Spanish Civil War edged closer

Possible compensation for the families of 130,000 people who disappeared in the Spanish Civil War edged closer yesterday as a judge was given the names of victims with the aim of starting a formal investigation. Court officials said 22 church and human rights groups handed to Judge Baltasar Garzon the names of 130,137 people contained in a dozen files, each the thickness of a telephone directory.
Judge Garzon, who tried to exile former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998, had earlier requested the names with a view to launching a formal investigation into abuses committed during the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War and the subsequent dictatorship of Gen Francisco Franco. Many of those who went missing were shot and buried in mass graves scattered across the country. If Garzon decides he has jurisdiction and enough evidence to open a criminal investigation to determine the circumstances of the deaths, it could lead to compensation for victims' families.
Prosecutors oppose an investigation due to a statute of limitations and because no charges can be made against former members of Franco's forces due to an amnesty law in 1977. But campaigners say the move is long overdue and that as Spain's Supreme Court has pursued atrocities by military regimes in Chile and Argentina, it should also do so in its own country. "Every crime possible against human rights was committed: genocide, forced disappearances and even war crimes. And it went on until the '50s, after the Nuremberg trials," said Fernando Magon, a lawyer acting for the groups. Although Franco died in 1975, successive governments preferred to forget the past and concentrate on transforming Spain from a poor dictatorship into a modern democracy.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

"go-fasters " – drug-traffickers who zoom in almost ostentatious convoys of three or four cars from Spain to large French cities


"go-fasters " – drug-traffickers who zoom in almost ostentatious convoys of three or four cars from Spain to large French cities .The drivers, often young men from the troubled multiracial suburbs of French cities, can earn as much as €50,000 (£40,000) for one dash at speeds of up to 200kph (120mph) from southern Spain to Paris, Marseilles, Lyons or Lille. The French police and gendarmerie have developed increasingly sophisticated methods of disrupting the smugglers, including the use of satellite tracking and the creation of fake traffic jams to try to bring the speeding cars to a halt. Twenty-two "go-fast convoys" were intercepted in France last year and four so far this year – but the authorities fear that these represent just a fraction of the total tradeTwenty-two "go-fast convoys" were intercepted in France last year and four so far this year – but the authorities fear that these represent just a fraction of the total trade. A French thriller film, Go Fast, based on the high-speed road smuggling business, will premiere on 1 October. In a book published this week, Au Coeur du Trafic, Bruno di Maio, 32, tells of his experiences as a "go-faster" who was never arrested by the French or Spanish police.
The term go-fast was originally applied by American authorities to the high-powered launches used by drug traffickers in the Caribbean. Similar methods were adopted by smugglers in the late 1990s to dodge customs and naval vessels in the Mediterranean and to move cannabis and cocaine from north Africa to Spain. The idea was extended to the roads about seven years ago and has become one of the principal means of transporting drugs to French cities in the past two years. The method might appear to be absurd. Why would traffickers want to draw attention to themselves by speeding along motorways at 200kph? By travelling at high-speed in convoy, the smugglers hope to make it too difficult, and too dangerous to the public, for the police to intervene. "Go fasters" usually stop dutifully at motorway toll booths but have sometimes smashed through the barriers if pursued by police. Their favoured cars – mostly stolen in Germany but sometimes bought – include Citroë*or Mercedes limousines, or top-of-the-range four-wheel drive "Chelsea tractors", fitted with extra fuel tanks to reduce stops at service stations.
"These people should not be romanticised," said a gendarmerie colonel, Marc de Tarlé. "They are thugs who are interested only in easy cash. They work for a few years, earn a fortune and retire." But there does seem to be an element of bravado or sport involved in the go-fast trade. French police say that many of the drivers are recruited from the young men who hold so-called "rodeos" – impromptu races with stolen cars – on roads close to the poorer tower-block suburbs of French cities.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Amy Fitzpatrick,Police are now looking for a second car connected to the case, although no description has yet been released.

The 16-year-old vanished from Mijas Costa, in Spain, on January 1 after telling friends she was going to walk home. Amy had been at a friend’s home in the tourist resort of Riviera del Sol, on the Costa del Sol, when she went missing. Mum Audrey Fitzpatrick met with Mr Cowen last week and said the Irish ruler had promised to “do all within his power to help find Amy”.
She said: "Basically he's the boss of the country. He has more contacts than us and more contacts with people who speak Spanish. I'm sure he will do what he can."
Spanish cops issued an appeal for information about a white Ford Fiesta with a UK number plate owned by a family friend, which went missing at the same time as Amy.
A government spokesman in the region said it was “difficult” to believe the youngster left voluntarily. Police are now looking for a second car connected to the case, although no description has yet been released. There has been no sign of Amy despite extensive searches in the region. She has black hair, is 1.65m tall and was wearing black tracksuit bottoms and a Diesel T-shirt when she was last seen.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Parents of missing teen Amy Fitzpatrick are facing financial problems after being hit with a 10k mobile phone bill.


The parents of missing teen Amy Fitzpatrick are facing financial problems after being hit with a 10k mobile phone bill.
Distraught mum Audrey Fitzpatrick and Stepdad Dave Mahon are being crippled by the cost of calls in Spain and Ireland but have vowed their search will go on.
And now pals have set up a fund and trust fund to help with the search for Amy before the family are completely BROKE.
Audrey 40 said “The bills are quite overwhelming at the moment, but no matter what we will never give up.
“Were not looking for money to help with the bills it’s the things like Posters and travel and stuff where you always require help. All the little things add up”
“Ideally we would love to hire a private investigator, that would be brilliant, but at the moment we just can’t afford it.”The parents of Madeleine McCann spent more than 1 million on private investigators after their daughter vanished in Portugal.
But Audrey and Dave cannot afford that and are heading back to Spain from Dublin to continue the search themselves.Audrey said “We don’t like being away in case she comes home and were not there”
Amy 16 vanished without a trace on new year’s day this year- and so far Spanish cops have drawn a blank in their hunt for clues.
She disappeared after leaving a friend’s house at about 10pm to walk to her home in Riviera del sol near the village of Mijas in AndalucíaOriginally from Dublin Amy lived in the village with her mother, stepfather and Brother Dean. Her Father Christopher Fitzpatrick lives in Donaghmede Dublin.Last week Audrey and David met with Taoiseach Brian Cowen while visiting Ireland and he vowed to do “all within his power” to help in the search.
The pair met Mr. Cowen for just under an hour at Government Buildings to ask for his help in finding the 16 year old.But now Family and Friends have launched a fund and websitewww.missingamy.com to raise awareness and Money for the struggling Family.
Pal Antoinette McLoughlin said “we are setting up a fund to help out Audrey and David as they are basically going broke trying to keep the campaign alive.”We are trying to highlight the pain and suffering they are going through and raise some money to assist them. “Their last phone bill cost them nearly 10k because of roaming charges and they are suffering from travelling between Ireland and Spain.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Golf Río Real area of Marbella and the other in Linda Vista Alta in San Pedro to be demolished

Ángeles Muñoz, is about to order the first two empty illegal buildings to be pulled down. One is in the Golf Río Real area of Marbella and the other in Linda Vista Alta in San Pedro.The two demolition orders were approved by a local government commission presided over by Muñoz on Tuesday. Both involve unfinished buildings that did not comply with the 1986 development plan and have not been legalised within the new PGOU as they stand on land reserved as green zone.
The Golf Río Real building, not far from the Costa del Sol Hospital, was put up by the firm Naviro Inmobiliaria SA, owned by the Granada businessman José Ávila Rojas who faces charges in the Malaya case. The project has no planning permission, although this was not detected until 2006 when the local Planning Department investigated work the same firm was carrying out on adjoining land. Construction was then halted by the Town Hall.The second development to be demolished, consisting of six houses, was being constructed by the firm Prosavi in Calle Boreal in Linda Vista Alta, San Pedro Alcántara. The project was given planning permission by the GIL-run Town Hall, based on the 1998 PGOU that was never legal. Municipal sources claim that an agreement regarding the demolition has already been reached with the developer.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Riviera Invest company five directors were trying to escape on a private jet to Morocco.

The five directors of a real estate company in Alicante, Riviera Invest, have been arrested in connection with an alleged fraud which is thought to have affected between 600 and 1,000 clients.The arrests were carried out by the Economic Crimes Unit of the Judicial Police on the orders of the National Court judge, Santiago Pedraz, and took place at Alicante airport when the five directors were trying to escape on a private jet to Morocco.
Among those detained, the chairman of the company, Claude Roch, a well known businessman in the Benidorm area. The five were taken to the main police station in Alicante, and will appear in court shortly and the possibility of more arrests in the case has not been ruled out.Several clients of Riviera Invest across many Spanish provinces had complained that they had never received the 6 or 7% income promised to them by the company derived from the rental of property they had purchased.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Villa Loma Five, Michael Owens new home ?£12million wonderland theme park on the Costa del Sol.

High stone walls totally surround the huge estate of 16,000 square metres, Mature Egyptian palm trees grace the grounds, which can be entered only through electronically controlled gates specially made of high-quality Arabic ironwork, lavishly adorned in gold leaf. A sentry will stand guard in a box outside the property night and day.
Named Villa Loma Five, it is a mere five minutes from southern Spain’s biggest international horse-riding stables and livery, the Escuela de Arte Ecuestre.
It seems an obvious major attraction for Owen, a huge racing fan, racehorse owner, and also owner of a new state-of-the-art training complex.
Property expert Paul Grimshaw believes the estate’s main villa resembles a set from the film Lawrence of Arabia, and revealed that it contains several hand-carved Portuguese marble pillars to support a three-story Arabic palace that comprises a cinema, gymnasium, sauna, massage suite, spa baths and physio rooms.Michael Owen has taken delivery of confidential plans for a massive £12million wonderland theme park on the Costa del Sol.So if he is down in the mouth about missing out on England duty in Croatia last night, striker Owen can console himself with the retreat he has earmarked in the secluded Marbella foothills for his palatial dream home.
Perhaps he needs something to give him a lift. He is no longer walking in a Keegan wonderland, as the fans’ song at Newcastle goes, but his plans for recreation in Spain are impressive.Owen, who could pocket £21m in a fresh Newcastle contract if he decides to stay at the crisis-hit club, received the plans direct from a Walt Disney Corporation insider.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

The Costa del Sol will be impacted by increased air taxes

Higher UK airport taxes from February to reduce carbon emissions could impact the prices of properties, according to an international estate agency.‘There has been more discussion and calls for action recently over the impact that air travel is having on the environment,’ they say, ‘And one of the most obvious ways to cut air travel is to raise the price of travelling through taxes. It’s a win-win situation for governments, more tax revenue and being seen combating global warming at the same time. It’s only a matter of time before cheap air fares on the scale we see it today comes to an end’.Owning a second home and a property abroad has shown to be an aspiration for the majority of UK residents by recent surveys, and low cost carriers have opened up new overseas property markets by flying to destinations not covered by other airlines, or forcing flight prices down where they compete directly with more established carriers.Property prices within a one hour drive of regional airports served by the low cost airlines have tended to escalate in recent years, and it is these areas that would be hardest hit by any increased taxes on flying.
The areas which would feel least impact according to the estate agency would be northern France, which many UK second home owners access via ferry and the Channel Tunnel, and areas where owning a property abroad was in vogue long before the new airlines started, and when air fares were proportionately higher than they are today. Access to France from the UK has improved recently with Eurotunnel cutting the journey time by twenty minutes.But there is a warning that the lower priced end of the market could be hit more than the top end.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Highly contagious sheep and goat plague has hit Morocco and could spread to southern Europe.

Highly contagious sheep and goat plague has hit Morocco and could spread to southern Europe.Agency spokeswoman Teresa Buerkle says the outbreak has reached 29 Moroccan provinces and has largely affected sheep.She says the viral disease is known by its French name peste des petits ruminants (small ruminants' plague), or PPR.The disease is closely related to cattle plague and is transmitted to goats, sheep and wild small ruminants through close contact between animals.Buerkle says it poses no risk to human health.She told a UN briefing Tuesday that there is a concern PPR could reach southern Europe because of the close trade Morocco has with countries including Spain.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Four youngsters have been hospitalised, two of them in a serious condition

Four youngsters have been hospitalised, with two of them in a serious condition, after they went out in Torremolinos for a night of drinking and drugs.The four, three men and a woman aged between 20 and 33, were found intoxicated on Sunday afternoon outside a well known venue in the Nogalera area of the town and now two of them remain in Intensive Care in the Carlos Haya hospital in Málaga.

Body of a man found on the motorway in direction of Malaga

Body of a man, estimated to be 38 years old, has been found on the AP7 tool motorway according to the 112 emergency services.They say the man had suffered a blow to the head and was spotted by another driver on the ground in the middle of the road at the 219 km point on the direction Málaga side of the road at 10,30pm last night.
When the Guardia Civil and ambulance crews arrived at the scene they could do no more than certify the victim as dead.There is no news about the victim’s identity as yet.

The Strait of Gibraltar Natural Park devasted by fire

fire raged across the southernmost tip of mainland Spain had burning more than 480 hectares of cork forest and scrubland by Thursday night in what environmentalists described as the worst ever disaster in the Strait of Gibraltar Natural Park. More than 1,000 people were evacuated as the blaze raged in a forested area between the city of Algeciras and the popular windsurfing resort of Tarifa. Andalusian regional Premier Manuel Chaves said the fire, which began on Wednesday, was probably started intentionally and stressed that authorities will "do all they can to find those responsible".Firefighters, helped by helicopters and water-dumping planes, said they expected to bring the fire under control overnight.
The Strait of Gibraltar Natural Park is a haven for birds migrating between Europe and Africa.

Futura International Airways Mallorca-based charter firm BUST

Mallorca-based charter firm, Futura International Airways, suspended its flights yesterday and has filed for administration. Futura, which is one of Europe's biggest medium-haul charter flight companies, runs flights between Palma and a number of major British towns and cities, including Belfast, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Glasgow. Like many of its competitors, it has been badly hit this year by rising fuel prices despite posting a 14% increase in turnover in 2007 to €334.6 million euros. Notwithstanding, company directors hope to resume normal operations today, and have been given until the end of the week to present contingency plans to enable the Spanish Transport ministry to make a definitive decision about the company's future. These plans, which will need to be approved by the trades unions, are thought to include a 50% reduction in the total workforce of 1,200 and the same reduction in its high season fleet of 22 planes. Futura was founded in 1989 in a joint venture also involving Aer Lingus, which sold off the balance of its shares last year having offloaded the majority back in 2002.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Iberian Peninsula is the main entry point for most drugs trafficked across Europe

According to a report issued by the United Nations, the Iberian Peninsula is the main entry point for most drugs trafficked across Europe. Spain is the most used of the two countries for cocaine smuggling, with authorities having seized 50 metric tonnes of the substance in 2006. With tonnage as follows: Holland (11), France (10) and Italy (5) are the countries with most drug apprehensions.The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), based in Vienna, explained that 66% of apprehensions occurred whilst the cocaine was still at sea, 11% via other means and 6% at airports.The most frequent locations for apprehensions in the last couple of years, together with the traditional Atlantic Spanish Ports such as Galiza, were in Andalusia, Barcelona and Valencia, with the drugs arriving by air.The report also confirmed the existence of local cocaine production in Spain, despite authorities having dismantled ten drug laboratories in 2006. All substances apprehended before reaching the Spanish coast were arriving from South America, more specifically from Venezuela (31% of all confiscated drugs), Dominican Republic (8%), Ecuador (6%), Brazil and Argentina (5%) and Colombia (4%). However, gangs trafficking the substances are from Colombia in 23% of cases, Morocco (11%), Dominican Republic (6%), Romania (3%) and United Kingdom, Portugal and Italy (2% each).The report also drew the conclusion that the main reasons for the rising drug consumption in Europe is due to the steady price of cocaine and the level of purity remaining high over the last decade, despite drug apprehensions being more frequent.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Scrub fire in the Sierra de Mijas was finally brought under control on Friday after affecting some 75 hectares of scrub.

Scrub fire in the Sierra de Mijas was finally brought under control on Friday after affecting some 75 hectares of scrub. The regional Environment Department said that 70% of the land affected would recover naturally, while the Junta de Andalucía said that there were suspicions that the fire was started deliberately. The fire started at 7,10pm close to an urbanisation and that was quickly put out, but then two other centres of fire were seen, indicating that it was started deliberately.Meanwhile police in Algeciras are relating the fire which affected 500 hectares of nature park near Tarifa on Wednesday with drug traffickers. 80 kilos of hashish, in bales, was found in the burnt out area.

Prince to sell Marbella Villa



Prince home. 3 bedrooms ensuite, posibility to expand to 6 ensuite. Plot of almost 6.000 m2, surrounded by golf courses with sea and mountain view. Located in the hills above the New Golden Mile, only a 5 minutes drive away from San Pedro, surrounded by different golf courses and only 10 minutes away from Puerto Banus and a couple of minutes away from the beach with many beach restaurants.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

forest fire in Mijas ,has seen the evacuation of 300 local residents from the Buenavista urbanisatio

Forest fire which broke out in Mijas yesterday evening at about 7,45pm, has seen the evacuation of 300 local residents from the Buenavista urbanisation in the town overnight. The local sports centre at Las Lagunas is being used as a reception centre for the people.10 fire-fighting units and a team of 70 people continued to work against the flames overnight, while the Mayor of Mijas, Antonio Sánchez, told the press that the fire had been started deliberately.A statement made at 3,15 this morning said that one front was now under control, while another was still active. Access to Mi jas from the A7 and the A-368 has been cut.
Infoca says that local firemen from Mijas, Fuengirola and Benalmádena have been supported by others from Sevilla, Córdoba and Granada.

woman is in a serious condition after jumping from the interior balcony of her home in Las Chapas, Marbella

A woman is in a serious condition after jumping from the interior balcony of her home in Las Chapas, Marbella to avoid an attack from her 41 year old Colombian partner who was wielding a knife.Police say that the alleged attacked, named with the initials J.L.S.L. has no legal residence in Spain and was about to be deported last June.The 37 year old victim, also from Colombia, is now in the Costa del Sol Hospital in Marbella where she reported to be serious but stable.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen met the mother of missing Irish girl Amy Fitzpatrick.


Audrey Fitzpatrick, and her partner, Dave Mahon, met Mr Cowen at Government Buildings for half an hour during which they updated him on the investigation

Taoiseach Brian Cowen met the mother of missing Irish girl Amy Fitzpatrick The 16-year-old disappeared after leaving a friend's house at about 10pm on January 1st to walk to her home on the Costa del Sol in Spain.A spokesman for the Taoiseach said Mr Cowen offered the assistance of the Irish embassy in Madrid to help the couple deal with Spanish authorities in the search for Amy.Originally from Clarehall in north Dublin, Amy had been living with her mother in the Riviera del Sol tourist resort in Mijas for the past few years.Her family last month appealed for financial help to hire a private investigator. Her father, Christopher, also called on Spanish authorities to release CCTV footage from the track along which Amy is understood to have walked home.Her aunt, Christine Kenny, said Spanish authorities were still working on the case, but the family had not received any news since June. "We've done as much as we possibly can, but we simply don't have the manpower to search the entire area," she said.

Water shortages on the Costas in the coming winter

Raised levels of consumption of water during the summer months is a major factor contributing to the threat of water shortages in the coming winter. If the rate of consumption which a popular tourist area like Malaga province experiences in August were to continue, our water reserves would be sufficient for just six more months.
In the hot, dry, tourist-filled summer months, even greater quantities of water are used to clean the streets, feed the gardens and fill the pools, in order to maintain the area as an attractive tourist destination. On top of this, the huge swell in the local population over this period places even greater stress on the level of domestic water-use. But the province of Malaga faces this current crisis with its reservoirs at just 22.2 per cent of their capacity and the situation is becoming more serious, year-on-year, as the long-term dry-spell continues.
Concerned about this steadily deteriorating situation, Cuenca Mediterranea and Emasa have been looking at alternative sources of supply, including natural underground sources and desalination plants, whilst, at the same time, taking positive steps to increase public awareness of the very real dangers of drought. Although not too significant, some minor water restrictions are already being imposed in the worst-affected areas in Axarquia, Guadalhorce and the capital.

Mijas authorities on the Costa del Sol have issued fines to 20 owners of what they deem to be illegal homes in the municipality

Mijas authorities on the Costa del Sol have issued fines to 20 owners of what they deem to be illegal homes in the municipality, after they repudiated demands to bulldoze their properties, according to Spanish Property Insight. The homeowners will now have to pay the fines, which are believed to be around 10% of the property value, or face having their assets frozen. “With help from friends you can cope with the first fine, but after that it gets more difficult,” one of the fined owners said in an interview with Spanish newspaper ‘El Pais’. “They can issue you with up to a dozen fines, and there is no budget that can deal with that.”It’s been reported that there are around 8,000 homes in the Mijas area that possess planning problems, approximately a quarter of which are being threatened with demolition.
Back in January, a British couple became the first expatriates to have their Spanish property, located in Almera, bulldozed after government officials ruled that their £570,000 villa had been constructed illegally.

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