Volume 06

1Casa News from Spain - No. 6
Abdalajis - The delightful village of Valle de Abdalajis is located in the southern part of the Antequera district in Málaga province and covers over 21 square kilometres. This village is positioned just over 300 meters above sea level and is set against the impressive backdrop of the Penibética Mountain range that rises above its whitewashed property, homes and cobblestone streets. This area is ideal for full time living, or a quiet holiday spent trekking, cycling, climbing, even just relaxing and enjoying the area. If you're looking for adventure, hang gliding is definitely an option. It is so popular here that many call this the Flight Capital of Málaga, enthusiasts around the world come here to practice their favourite sport and enjoy the terrific views that stretch out over the Guadalhorce Valley to the Mediterranean Sea. It is less than an hour to Malaga International Airport and offers excellent priced Real Estate. The idyllic views of the traditional Spanish countryside are well preserved throughout this area, vast olive groves stretching out as far as the eye can see. Cereals are also a major crop and many fields and property are dedicated to cultivating them in this area, adding to the strong, agricultural flavour to the ambience. Peace, quiet and clean, rural air are all trademarks of this true Spanish paradise, property values are excellent too. Valle de Abdalajis has a long and varied history; this is borne out by the rich archaeological finds in this area. It appears that everyone from the Romans to the Phoenicians, the Arabs and more, passed through and left their mark on the area. The village name is thought to have come from the Arab who founded it Abd-el-Aziz.
Álora - A new improved Health Centre for Álora is planned to open in 2006. Costing 7.5 million euros it will include clinics for diabetes, maternity, digestive and stomach problems, vaccinations and xray as well as the usual paediatrician and general practice doctors.
The Municipal Library in Álora, on the first floor in the Casa de la Cultura, has an English section with books donated by local english-speaking people. To join the library is free and you can take out six books at a time.
Álora English Speaking Group runs a quiz night on the first and third Thursday of each month and a Games Night on the second and fourth Tuesday. Supper and bar available at both venues.
Cártama - Over 3,000 illegal builds have been identified by the Town Council in Cártama. The Mayor is determined to stop people building without permission in his area and has imposed fines of 75-100% of the cost of the building work done. In some cases this has involved a fine of €108,000.  In other cases they have imposed a fine and demolished the building.
Still on the subject of illegal builds, the Guardia Civil who started by photographing the Costa del Sol from a helicopter to identify unregistered buildings and swimming pools have now taken advantage of modern technology and use a satellite.
Alhaurin El Grande - An amateur dramatic group has been started in Alhaurin el Grande called T.A.P.A.S. all are welcome to join and they are busy rehearsing their pantomime at the moment. They also have play-readings for those not so good at learning lines.
If you miss things British when you come to live in Spain, Alhaurin el Grande has a Brit Essentials shop selling things like Branston Pickle, Colmans Mustard and Birds Custard Powder. In the same street there is a Freezer Centre, Bedding Shop and Victorian Tea Rooms all aimed at the UK market.
Pizarra and Alhaurín el Grande plan to pedestrianise their old parts 
J. J. Buiza / M. Ferrández (Sur in English 19 - 25 November 2004)
Both Town Halls aim to encourage more trade in the shopping areas
The example of Malaga city centre is spreading to inland towns and villages. Some town halls have come to the conclusion that the revitalisation of their old quarters can be aided by the pedestrianisation of some of the narrow streets, turning them into shopping areas and pleasant places for strolling around.
Because of this, Pizarra and Alhaurín el Grande, two of the towns which have received commercial town planning grants from the Junta de Andalucía, now have plans in mind to pedestrianise parts of their historical town centres. In Alhaurín el Grande, the change will affect Calle Real, Calle Puerta de la Villa and Calle San Sebastián. The plan is in fact an extension of the scheme whose first phase included the construction of Plaza Nueva and improvements to Plaza Baja, Convento and Plaza San Sebastián. The estimated cost of the changes will be 371,000 euros, of which 222,000 will be covered by the Town Hall and the remainder by the Junta de Andalucía. The Mayor, Juan Martín, anticipates that there will also be improvements to Calles Altillo and Iglesia, which are situated next to the Arco del Cobertizo, and for this work they have applied for a grant from the Tourism Council. At the same time Martín provided details of the plan to semi-pedestrianise Calles Convento and Cruz and pointed out: “It’s an ambitious project, as they are two very wide streets”. He further explained that the shortage of parking spaces in the centre would be eased by the proposed public car parks. In the case of Pizarra, the council may opt for the semi-pedestrianisation of the main shopping streets, to free them from traffic at least most of the day (to coincide with trading hours). The project’s main aim is to give a major boost to trade in the “Open-air Shopping Centre”, as they call it, which would take in the blocks between Calles 5 de Noviembre and Malaga. However, the first step will be to start work on improving the appearance of the area, beginning with decorative paving in Calle Nueva. Additionally, shops will be encouraged to display their products outside in the street, with the intention of attracting more passing trade.
Pizarra - The new Municipal Library is opening in Pizarra on 15 November 2004. Perhaps they could follow Álora’s example and set up an English section as well.
Employment - Foreigners now represent 34% of the employed people in Spain. Of 423,000 contracts 27,000 are EU nationals while 96,000 are from South America.
Bilingual Schools - As from next year schools in Andalucía will be able to apply to join the regional Education Department’s multilingual plan which will mean that some subjects will be taught in a language other than Spanish. The Department will provide extra human and technical resources for schools joining the programme, expected to come to 400 by the end of the current legislation. (Sur in English 19 - 25 November 2004).
Smoking Laws - The Government plans to bring forward the new no smoking law to January 2006, a year earlier than originally planned. The new regulations prohibit the sale of cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18, ban smoking in workplaces as well as in a long list of public buildings and establishments from hospitals to museums, educational centres and indoor sports centres. Furthermore, the Government will not subsidise treatment to help smokers kick the habit, maintaining that anyone with enough money to smoke can therefore also afford treatment. (Sur in English 19 - 25 November 2004).
Malaga C.F. - Getafe 1 - Malaga 0.  Losing 0 - 1 to Getafe in Madrid now leaves Malaga C.F. in 14th place in La Liga with 12 points.  This week´s game takes place on Saturday 20th at La Rosaleda and is against Valencia; kick-off is at 20.00 hours.
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