Volume 14

1Casa News from Spain - No. 14
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More People Leaving UK
It seems that hectic lifestyles, ever increasing house prices, high taxation, inferior schooling, Council Tax increases and of course the weather are leading to nearly 200,000 English people a year moving overseas. Analysts have predicted that the exodus is set to grow, as the UK’s aging population means there are more retired people able to move abroad, also the growth in low price airlines and the variety of destinations now on offer all makes it cheaper to jet off to the sun. 
Numbers released in November by the UK Office for National Statistics showed that 190,000 Britons moved overseas last year. This figure does not take into consideration  people who are spending long periods abroad. The figures show a 50% increase in the number of British people moving overseas since 1998.
High Hopes for tax savings
Pedro Solbes, the Spanish Economy Minister, has said that the Government is looking at ways of alleviating expenses for first-time buyers of homes in which the buyers will themselves reside. The measures to be taken will likely include the simplification of duties and a lowering of taxation rates.
These measures were first mooted by María Antonia Trujillo, the Housing Minister, and are likely to be designed to help those less well off acquire a home. Housing Associations will also benefit from the new measures.
AnchorBusiness booms in Malaga province
Last year was a good one for business in the province of Malaga, the economy growing by 3.5%, a higher percentage than in the rest of Spain.The figures, released by the Unicaja bank, show that average economic growth in Spain during 2004 was 2.6%, meaning that Malaga’s growth rate of 3.5% has outstripped that of the rest of the country by nearly 30%. The economy of Malaga province has grown by around 75% over the last ten years. The official registered population reached 525,000 during 2004, although by common belief many long-term residents of the province do not appear on any census count.
Morocco and Spain to seek EU help in building permanent link
Morocco and Spain are to ask the European Union to finance a permanent link between their two countries across the Strait of Gibralta. Spain's Development Minister Magdalena Alvarez and Morocco's Minister of Equipment and Transport Karim Ghellab agreed during a meeting in Morocco to "jointly propose" to the EU that it help finance a permanent link, the ministry said in a statement.
The two ministers met during an official three-day trip to Morocco this week by Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.In December 2003 the two countries proposed an undersea tunnel similar to that under the Channel between Britain and France.
The two governments approved an investment of 27 million euros (35 million dollars) between 2004 and 2006 to study the feasibility of such a project, work on which could start in 2008.
The tunnel would include two rail lines and a service tunnel of 38.7 kilometers (23.2 miles) long and would reach a depth of 400 meters under the sea, between Punta Paloma in Spain and Punta Malabata in Morocco.
Malaga 1 Sevilla 0
New Manager, Antonio Tapia marked his debut with relegation strugglers Málaga with a great 1-0 home victory over Andalucían rivals Sevilla.
The visitors could not match the form which saw off Real Madrid before Christmas. 
Having sacked Gregorio Manzano earlier this week, this result will be a relief for the club. With only two wins in seventeen games, Málaga are still second from bottom, but have moved within a point of Racing Santander.
Malaga´s substitute, Paulo Wanchope scored the only goal of the game in the 66th minute.  It was a scrappy goal after a mistake by the Sevilla goalkeeper, Esteban.
Climbers, Juan A. Huisa and Pedro Lopez achieve a new success for Andalucia.
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Peterhansel wins Dakar Rally
Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel  won the Dakar Rally for the second time capturing a 5,566 mile rally that began in Spain two weeks ago and covered vast stretches of African desert.
Peterhansel added 1 more car title to his six victories in the motorcycle division. The Mitsubishi driver penalties were 52 hours, 31 minutes, 39 seconds.
France's Luc Alphand, a former champion downhill skier, finished second in another  Mitsubishi, 27:14 behind. Germany's Jutta Kleinschmidt was in third, 3:22:00 behind Peterhansel.
"This second victory is a confirmation of my new status as a car driver,'' Peterhansel said, smiling as he emerged from his vehicle covered in dust.
In the motorbike event, KTM rider Cyril Despres of France won in 47:27:31. Marc Coma of Spain, also of KTM, was 9:45 behind. Russia's Firdaus Kabirov won in the truck category in 71:13:55. Japan's Katsumi Hamura was 6:04:19 back.
The 16-stage race began New Year's Eve in Barcelona. It snaked through Spain, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali and Senegal. The rally ended with a 23-mile stage that ran from West Africa's Atlantic Ocean beaches to Lac Rose, a lake just outside the Senegalese capital of Dakar.
Tsunami Conference ends with plan for alert
The world's nations, united in shock over the Indian Ocean catastrophe, agreed Today in Kobe, Japan  to work together to better guard their people against natural disasters, by taking steps ranging from strengthening building codes to expanding the monitoring of nature's upheavals.
In a first concrete step four weeks after an earthquake-tsunami killed between 157,000 and 221,000 people, according to varying government tallies, the World Conference on Disaster Reduction laid groundwork for the first tsunami early warning system in the Indian Ocean, expected to be in place next year.
The five-day, 168-nation U.N. conference concluded after dozens of workshops and a final night of closed-door negotiation by adopting a "framework for action," resolving to pursue "substantial reduction" of disaster losses in the next 10 years.
This is "one of the most critical challenges" facing the world, a final declaration said, because cyclones, floods, earthquakes and other events set back human progress, especially in poor nations.
AnchorNew boost for Easier road transport
The area around Málaga city has received a great boost to transport with the news that a new road is to unite the newly built motorway, the A-7, with the old motorway, the N-340. The new road should be open by the end of next year.
The new road, a sort of urban motorway, is to be built by Construcciones Vera and will mainly follow the line of an existing road, which is in a poor state of repair. It will allow easy access to a new extension to the leisure and commercial centre, Plaza Mayor, and to another planned commercial development, the Bahía de Málaga, which will encompass an area of 225,000 square metres and include a 27,000 square metre Ikea store. The new road should also provide easier communication with the town of Churriana and with the Alhaurín area. Costs are estimated to be just under 2 million Euros, including an improved drainage system to ensure the new road does not flood in times of heavy rain.
AnchorOpposition to plan grows
Tourism promoters and other interested parties in the region have joined in with the criticism of the Junta de Andalucía’s Plan de Ordenación Territorial para la Costa (Costa Territorial Plan). Ecologisticas en Acción, an ecological group, and PP opposition groups of towns in the area have now been joined by the members of Promotur, a grouping of 70 firms involved in the tourism business.
The objectors say that there has not been enough consultation with interested parties who will be affected by yet another plan governing the use and development of land in the Costa del Sol area, and that the plan does not have enough ecological input. They also object to restrictions placed on golf courses, one of the main attractions of the region for tourists.
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