Torrevieja lifeguards rescue 56 people in July. Be safe out there!

The lifesaving and rescue service that man’s Torrevieja’s packed beaches provided assistance on a total of 1,116 occasions during July. Included in those figures is one of cardiorespiratory arrest, in which it was possible to stabilise the affected person, and 56 rescues of bathers from the sea.

Javier Manzanares, the councillor for Beaches, announced the figure on Friday, saying that 406 people were treated for injuries at the various lifeguard posts with a further 406 needing attention for jellyfish stings and 46 for insect stings.

The high temperatures also took their toll on the beaches, with 22 people treated for sunburn and dehydration.

Other interventions include 35 lost persons of which two were children who were playing in the sea without adult supervision

The day on which most interventions took place was on 30 July when there were 66, and those with the least, the 5th and 7th July with 10 interventions on each day.

The councillor said that he was satisfied with the work of the lifeguards adding that “during the month of July there were no fatalities on any of Torrevieja’s beaches.”

Torrevieja

Elche streets flooded by over 10,000 pink shirts!

More than 10,000 people took part in the annual Amacmec run against breast cancer in Elche on Sunday morning.

The traditional race, which is organised by the Association of Women Affected by Breast Cancer in the city (Amacmec), and now in its thirteenth edition, gathered on the Paseo de la Estación de Elche for the event that it is hoped will raise thousands of euros for cancer treatment and research.

There were two distances for the thousands of participants, over both 5km and 10 km courses. In addition, there were a number of parallel activities, the most popular of which was once again the Zumba demonstration which was provided by Amacmec’s own associates, some of them still receiving chemotherapy treatment.

During the event, many of the participants remembered family members who had passed away from cancer, but there were many more also who had managed to overcome the disease.

Other activities included youth dance groups, encouraged to attend by the beautiful sunny morning.

As the race leaders approached the finish line, the area around the Paseo de la Estación had become a large party in anticipation of their arrival. There was music as well as free refreshments, cocoa, fruit and water, and there were also a number of physiotherapists offering their services to those in need.

The amount raised is still to be determined so at this stage the board of the association has not yet decided how the money will be spent. What is certain, however, is that it will be used for both research against cancer and to finance Amacmec’s activities in the region.

Elche

HOUSING CONSTRUCTION ACCELERATES ON THE ORIHUELA COSTA

The construction sector has maintained its steady recovery in the province of Alicante and is now growing at an even faster rate. Constructor’s applications to launch new projects have increased in recent months, especially in coastal municipalities, such as Guardamar, Torrevieja, Orihuela Costa and Pilar de la Horadada.

The towns of Torrevieja and Orihuela continue to lead the way with new housing construction, not only in 2017, but also during the last three years. What the data indicates is that the recovery has now been consolidated and is beginning to accelerate. According to experts, 2017 has so far been very productive in the real estate sector. Some of them say that they are likely to achieve the same figures that they did back in 2004.

The most recent study by the company TINSA, on the situation here on the coast, published on 14 June, shows that in our region, the sector is “in a clear recovery”, despite a slow-down with the rate of home purchases by Britons following Brexit which is being offset in part by the increase in purchases by Swedes, Norwegians, Belgians and Russians who are now buying houses in the area in increasing numbers.

The company also states in their report that in the Orihuela Costa “about 120 homes have been reactivated, with new product being built mainly for the holiday market

According to the TINSA report, based on data provided by the Ministry of Public Works, new construction applications in Orihuela Costa in 2015 were 448, while in 2016 they rose to 1,038, an increase of 132%, a Growth much higher than that of Guardamar, with 66%, Torrevieja, with 27%, and Pilar de la Horadada, with an 8% increase in the number of applications for new work.

Faced with this data on the Oriol coast, the there is little new construction activity in Orihuela city and the districts, not only during 2017 but also in recent years. In fact, the licenses granted by the Department of Urbanism are practically all for promotions on the Orihuela Costa, according to the councillor, with new licenses in the city only given and are for minor works, “generally reforms.”

Orihuela

TORREVIEJA UPDATES EARTHQUAKE PLAN

At a press conference held on Monday, Torrevieja’s Councillor for Security, Javier Manzanares, announced that, following the weekend’s Simulated Exercise, the Municipal Plan for Seismic Risks will be updated by the participating experts who were involved in Saturday’s activities.

In making the statement Manzanares appeared alongside a leading expert in Seismic risks, the architect Joaquín Blanco, as well as the administrador de fincas and President of the Association “Torrevieja 1829,” Isidoro Carrillo, a group that remembers the catastrophic eruption that caused so much death and devastation almost ninety years ago

Manzanares said that the amended information would be disseminated through a series of lectures and talks with many different groups, in schools, colleges, homes for the elderly and associations. He confirmed that the Town Council would advise such organisation when the information and dates have been confirmed.

The purpose of the briefings would be to advise members of the public how to act during and after an earthquake, thereby providing knowledge that could save many lives, such as the need to move away from areas with high buildings and to go to areas of wastelands as well as the location of necessary medical facilities and the requirement to take, and to provide information for, a census.

Torrevieja

GUARDIA REQUEST CLOSURE OF PUNTA PRIMA NIGHTCLUB

The Guardia Civil and Torrevieja council have warned that there are licensing deficiencies with the activities that are authorised to take place in a Punta Prima nightclub that is currently operating with just a motel license and as such they have written to the Generalitat requesting that it be closed down.

The disclosure comes after an inspection carried out by agents of the Civil Guard, during which they detected numerous security deficiencies in the building, which is located on the N-332 on the edge of the Urbanisation Los Barcos. According to information provided by the establishment itself, In addition to the guest bedrooms, the venue has outdoor parking and a bar-disco area that hosts erotic shows.

After receiving the report from the Civil Guard, municipal authorities upheld the findings including the absence of minimum security measures necessary to carry out the activities that take place in the facility. The services that are available within the establishment are not authorised by the terms and conditions of the license that was granted at the time of opening, for a business that was launched exclusively as a motel.

In Spain it is common for businesses that operate as nightclubs to be legally covered under the terms and conditions of a hotel, hostel or, as is the case here, a motel, as the rooms are intended for clients to rest. This allows the premises not to be subject to opening and closing times.

However it is the Generalitat Valenciana that must attend and ratify these licenses following a visit during which they must inspect the facilities and confirm their suitability for purpose.

The building in question is reasonably isolated from the adjacent urbanisation and although there appear to be no complaints from neighbouring residents, it seems unusual that the establishment was visited by the Guardia, as such inspections are usually carried out by the Autonomous Police

Playa Flamenca

“Serious Deficiencies” at the Torrevieja bus station

It is one of the most frequented places in Torrevieja. Every day hundreds of travellers pass through the bus station using it as a starting, finishing or transit point for their journeys. And judging from a report issued recently by The Prosecutors Office, it is also one of the most neglected.

For many people this is the first sight they get of Torrevieja, a run-down area that is frequented by drug dealers, down and outs and criminals, not the impression that politicians want to portray.

Many health and safety aspects relating to the bus station are completely unacceptable. The side accesses to the site sees a regular flow of traffic intermingled with pedestrians. At the main entrance to the station, access is also a lottery, where the only transit space is occupied by tables and chairs from the cafeteria.

Information is non-existent as are announcements over the public address system. Travellers have to rely on the ticket office where, if there is a queue, finding anything out can be impossible.

The shortcomings for people with disabilities are colossal. Public services are completely inaccessible to people with disabilities, both by the width of the doors and by the steps that also prevent access. If you are brave enough to use the toilet facilities you will quickly find just how bad and how unsanitary they are.

In terms of security, the problems are even more alarming. There is a lack of surveillance and security personnel. The consumption of alcohol in areas of heavy traffic is not only habitual but is also encouraged by the sale of alcoholic beverages from a shop that is directly connected to the site.

There are broken locks on the toilet door which serve as a warning of a hostile and undesirable place that it is, where drug addicts regularly gather to make their fix, or adults unashamedly have sexual relations. The graffiti on the walls and the doors is disgusting, especially for any children find it necessary to use the services.

And all this goes on, and has done for years and years, just 50 yards away, and in clear sight of the barracks of the Guardia Civil and the Torrevieja Courts of Justice.

The complaints, which were presented on 8th November, and which were documented in detail with photographs and a video, have already resulted in improved signage and security for users. The signs now warn of the danger of pickpockets, they also prohibit the consumption of alcohol and warn of the “extreme danger” for pedestrian who choose to move around in areas that are designated for use by the buses. There is also video surveillance we are told, but information suggests that the system is not operational.

Many people say that the report is long overdue. The bus station has always been a dangerous centre with many illicit and unsavoury activities regularly taking place. As the gateway to Torrevieja, the station, it’s facilities and its procedures are badly in need of a complete overhaul if people are to feel safe and be encouraged to use the services once again.

Quesada

British Ambassador meets British citizens in Elche to talk about BREXIT

Simon Manley, British Ambassador to Spain, visited Alicante this week to speak at an event about the progress of Brexit negotiations and the future relationship between the UK and Spain.

The event, organised in conjunction with British citizens in Spain group Brexpats and the Diputacion de Alicante was held at the University of Elche. The main topic discussed was the subject of citizens’ rights and how that is one of the top priorities for the British Government in the negotiations with the EU. Members of Brexpats group had a chance to ask questions to Ambassador Simon Manley and Consul Sarah-Jane Morris.

British Ambassador meets British citizens in Elche to talk about BREXIT
British Ambassador meets British citizens in Elche to talk about BREXIT
HMA’s agenda in Alicante also included visits to King’s College in Alicante and King’s Infant School in Elche, both British schools; a visit to Babcock MSC, the British company that provides of aerial emergency services and aircraft maintenance in Mutxamel, and a meeting with local authorities in Calpe town hall.

Talking about the importance of citizen rights, Simon Manley said: “Good progress has already been made in the negotiations and we are within touching distance of a deal in citizens rights. My team of consular staff and I have been speaking face to face with British citizens across Spain, including yesterday in Alicante, to ensure that the concerns they raise around healthcare, pensions and residency rights are understood by the UK negotiating team and reflected in their discussions with our EU partners about our departure from the EU.

I would like to recommend that people living in the Alicante region to follow our social media channels for updates on progress in the negotiation, including our Brits in Spain Facebook page, and to sign up for alerts from the gov.uk page to ensure you are getting accurate information.”

Advice for UK citizens living in the EU can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/advice-for-british-nationals-travelling-and-living-in-europe

Quesada

Woman who killed her daughters rapist is set free.

María del Carmen García, the Benejúzar woman who set her daughter’s rapist on fire, was finally let out of prison on Monday, but at this stage only on day release. She is still required to return to Fontcalent prison in Alicante to sleep.

Antonio Cosme, the man who attacked García’s 13-year old daughter, was himself sentenced to nine years in prison for the rape but in 2005, while he was out on parole, the rapist returned to Benejúzar, where he bumped into García. “How’s your daughter?” he asked.

Her response was dramatic. She bought some petrol, walked into a bar, poured it over the convicted rapist and set him on fire. Cosme died a week later as a result of his burns.

Garcia has always insisted that she is not a murderer and at the time of the trial many people signed petitions requesting clemency. Her original sentence of nine and a half years was subsequently reduced to just five and a half due to partially diminished responsibility

As she was collected from the prison by her family Garcia said “In all these years, I’ve never lost my temper. I knew that this day was going to come”.

In all she has now spent three and a half years in prison of the five and a half to which she was sentenced. Having spent a year in prison whilst awaiting trial she will eventually complete her sentence in August next year.

Maria is now 65 years of age. Following her release she said that the thing that gave her strength during all these years was knowing that one day she would return into the arms of her children and her grandchildren.

But although she will now enjoy a regime of semi freedom her release was blemished by the knowledge that, whilst in prison, her husband had been diagnosed with cancer of the larynx, “but at least I will now be able to help him as he seeks to recover,” she said.

Quesada

LOOMING BREXIT CRISIS

In less than a month, EU leaders meeting in Brussels will have to decide whether ‘sufficient progress’ has been made in phase 1 of the Brexit talks (the divorce issues) for phase 2 negotiations to get underway. If so, they will also have to agree new negotiating guidelines for Michel Barnier on the future relationship, and on the transition.

This stage was meant to have been reached in October, and any further delay to the negotiating timetable will shorten the odds on a complete breakdown in the talks. No wonder stress levels around the December summit are rising. But even assuming that the two sides manage to navigate the immediate crisis, worse will follow hard on its heels.

The immediate problem is largely about money. On the other two divorce issues, citizens’ rights and the Irish border, ‘sufficient progress’ will probably be declared come December (even if, on Ireland, this is more a recognition that the problem cannot be disentangled from the terms of the future relationship). But on money, the two sides remain at loggerheads.

Theresa May’s Florence speech looked hopeful, with its promise of two more years’ contributions to the EU budget, and affirmation that “The UK will honour commitments we have made during the period of our membership.” But the expected follow-up, with the UK specifying what it understands those commitments to be, has not happened – raising suspicions in Europe that Britain aims either to wriggle out of what it owes, or to tie a financial settlement to trade concessions later in the talks.

Money is the UK’s main bargaining asset (for all the Brexiteers’ bravura, the EU holds all the other cards in these negotiations), so the EU cannot reasonably expect the UK to give it up entirely before the talks have even got halfway. Moreover, the announcement of a definitive figure will inevitably trigger howls of betrayal from Brexiteers, and demands for talks to be broken off at once – unless Prime Minister May can present it as the price for an advantageous trade deal. Since the EU has no interest in the talks collapsing, they need to help May stay vague about the size of the bill for a while yet.

Actually, putting a definitive figure on the UK’s final bill will be quite difficult anyway. Britain’s share of, for example, loan guarantees for Ukraine could be anything between an eye-watering sum and nothing at all, depending on whether or not the loans go bad. Even clear liabilities, such as for the pensions of British EU officials, are hard to cost today, depending as they do on uncertain actuarial assumptions.

For this reason, given a modicum of trust and goodwill, a short-term fudge should have been easy to achieve, balancing the EU’s wish for precision against the UK’s desire for continuing vagueness. The lesson of the current impasse over money is just how fast trust and goodwill have drained out of these talks.

And there is worse just around the corner. Even if the money issue is finessed the EU’s phase 2 negotiating guidelines for Barnier will come as an unpleasant shock for the British side. The UK’s whole approach to the negotiations has been based on the assumption that the UK is simply too important to the EU to be treated like any other ‘third country’. It must make sense, Britain has consistently argued, for the UK to have a ‘deep and special’ future partnership with the EU – a bespoke deal, or deals, in economic, security and other fields.

But as the negotiating guidelines on the future economic relationship will make clear, that is not how the EU see it at all. They are just not interested in offering the UK special terms. If the Brits decide they want to stay in the single market, then they must join the European Economic Area (the ‘Norway model’). If not, then they can have a free trade deal (the ‘Canada model’). That’s it. And the EU’s position on the transition will be equally unpalatable. As far as they are concerned, the Brits can have a transition after they leave the EU and its institutions in March 2019, but only if everything else remains the same: budget contributions, free movement, European Court of Justice (ECJ) oversight, the works. Just like two more years in the EU – only without a voice or a vote.

So, even assuming we get through December, expect a new crisis in the UK at the turn of the year as all this sinks in. The UK government will of course seek to dismiss this as just the EU’s opening negotiating position. But it will be tough to maintain this insouciant confidence with any conviction given what the talks to date have already made clear: that the UK needs the EU much more than the reverse, and that EU ‘negotiating guidelines’ are less an opening bid than a blunt statement of how things are going to be.

So the odds on No Deal are shortening – an outcome which, despite the asymmetry of impact, would nonetheless damage both parties. How can it be avoided?

The main onus lies on the EU, if only because they are the dominant negotiating partner, and the British are simply in no condition to help themselves. There is a natural tendency in Brussels to think that the UK government has stoked the coming crisis by its own stupidity and/or cowardice in not preparing Parliament or the people for the reality of Brexit. But complete rigidity on the European side will only result in break-down of the talks – and likely May’s defenestration. As the best UK Prime Minister Europe could currently hope for, they must help her sugar-coat the very bitter pills the Brits are going to have to swallow with a few small wins.

Specifically, the EU should back off their unreasonable demands for extraterritorial jurisdiction of the ECJ even once the UK has left the EU and completed the transition, whether on EU citizens’ rights or on resolving disputes arising from the new treaties. The Brits will not settle for less than a new joint court, nor should they.

A way should also be found to allow the UK to (attempt to) set up new trade deals with third countries during the transition. And Brussels must stop pouring cold water on the British hope of achieving a trade relationship which is ‘deeper and more special’ than the recent EU deal with Canada. The EU argue that ‘most favoured nation’ provisions in their extant trade deals mean that, if they agreed something better with the UK, they would have to go back and offer the same benefits to other partners. But if that were inescapable, then the history of EU trade negotiations would have been an impossible process of constantly rewriting earlier trade deals to incorporate new features from the latest agreement.

May will need ‘victories’ on these and no doubt other points if she is to stand any chance of keeping the show on the road. For her part, she must stop feeding the domestic illusion that Britain, qua Great Power, is indispensable to the EU in the wider world. Our EU partners are well aware of the quality of our diplomacy and our armed forces. But they are equally aware that our attitude to initiatives like European defence has been consistently negative and obstructive, and few Europeans see the UK as such an indispensable partner that it must be found a privileged seat in the EU’s defence and foreign policy councils after Brexit.

Finally, both sides could help themselves with turning the spotlight towards those areas of the current relationship where mutual benefit is uncontested, and where there is a real need to put in place successor arrangements that prevent any hiatus. Research is one such area. Another is domestic security and counter-terrorism. Here, the proposal put forward by the UK for a specific treaty to provide a “comprehensive framework for future security, law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation” deserves to be taken up.

December’s crunch will be one of many junctures at which the Brexit talks could fail in the coming months, with Britain crashing out of the EU with no deal. Sensible politicians and officials on both sides of the Channel have little option but to believe that Theresa May understands how catastrophic this would be, and that she will remain in office long enough to outmanoeuvre the Brexiteer arsonists. Each side needs to contain its frustration, help the other where it can, and prioritise the aspects of negotiations where real win-win solutions are both possible and important.

Both sides should remember that, though divorces almost inevitably turn bitter, the best antidote is to try to keep at the forefront of the mind the interests of the children. Britain’s young people voted for Remain. They and their European contemporaries are going to need each other in the future.

Quesada

People being burgled

Hi .just to inform people to be aware that there has been
3 properties burgled on El. Oasis in the last couple of weeks
I found this out from my Next door neighbor who’s friends
was one of the victims he told me this yesterday Friday the 17th,
On Saturday 11th of November I was sat on my patio when I noticed a man a woman were walking past she took a photo of the name Of my villa he was walking in front of her then I saw him point to myAlarm company’s name on my railings I thought at the time it was suspicious doing this .this couple I have never seen before and they
Looked out of place .he was a big stocky guy full of tattoos dark goatee beard with glasses aged about 30ish
She was a lot smaller long fair hair tattoos and glasses .both were using Sign language I’m not sure about there nationality.
I am back in the uk now I think I should have reported this to the police
So people be aware they could be the burglars.

La Marina

Thank you for letting people know to be on their guard. Shame that no body could set up some sort of Neighbourhood watch!

Commented Support in Alicante 2017-11-20 23:18:06 UTC
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