Volume 38

1Casa News from Spain - No. 38
 1Casa Estate Agency
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AEPSA is to help with invesment of approximately 400,000 euros for major improvements to Álora town centre and the neighbourhoods of Las Mellizas and El Puente, where streets will be paved, street lighting will be repaired and the steps and steel railings of Calle Arroyo will be renovated.  The centre of the town will also be paved and the water network will be updated.  Railings will be placed in dangerous areas, whilst El Hacho school will get its sports track paved and painted.  The first phase of improvements will begin in September 2005.
Alora Football Ground to be Remodelled
The football ground in Alora will be remodelled to enlarge it, give it an artifical pitch, a stand for 800 spectators and new lighting.  The cost of the work will over €1 million.  The work is hoped to start next spring.
The PSOE Organizes a Festival of Youth
The PSOE of Álora has organized for Saturday 16 July the fifth edition of its Festival of Youth.  The celebration will take place once again in the municipal swimming pool from 10.30 pm and will feature music and dancing.  Besides top-ups of mobile phones to the value of €15, there will be free food and prizes including a weekend trip for two people. 
XXXIV Festival de Cante Grande de Casabermeja
A festival of song and dance will take place on Saturday 23 July at Casabermeja.  The evening starts at 11.00pm and takes place in el Polideportivo Municipal Antonio Sánchez.
The Fiesta of Our Lady of Carmen
The Fiesta of Our Lady of Carmen, the patron saint of all seafarers, takes place today in various coastal spots in the province.
Processions of the Virgin by boats take place at places in Andalucia with strong maritime traditions such as Benalmádena, Estepona, El Palo and Almuñécar.
Rod Stewart’s Mijas Concert
Rod Stewart fans enjoyed a fantastic evening last Wednesday at Mijas when he played all his hits.  He entertained from the first minute, kicked footballs into the audience, changed from jeans to dinner jacket and showed that at 60 years old he has lost none of his on stage presence.
Valle de Abdalajís
The Administrator of Railway Infrastructures (ADIF) has arrived at an agreement with the Ayuntamiento of Abdalajis to guarantee the supply of water in the town, according to information from the mayor, Tomàs Gòmez.  The mayor emphasised that the agreement had also been signed by the association of neighbours and collective of irrigators and guarantees the water will remain at the same price and the same quality, after the problems registered in the supply as a result of the perforation of the aquifer during the tunnelling works through the sierra.
Gómez showed he is in favour of the proposal presented by the ADIF that, in principle, is to carrying out research to find new wells in the zone.  Nevertheless, the manager added that they will carrying out a popular consultation next Saturday among the neighbours to give an overview of these works.
Antequera Plans 'Dry Port'
Antequera is set to become a major hub for commercial hauling and logistics in Andalucía. Last week local officials and representatives of the private partnership behind the project, which they dubbed an ‘inland port’, described it as the largest such facility in Spain, taking in some 200 hectares located near the Bobadilla train station.
The work is expected to begin at the end of 2006 and come into service in 2008.
Malaga Nostrum Factory Outlet Shopping Centre
Malaga Nostrum, the new Factory Outlet Centre, opened yesterday in Malaga with Malaga Ocio, the leisure complex including a cinema with 21 screens due to open shortly.
The centre is promoted by Cinesur and the real estate agency Iberdrola. 
It is foreseen that at least 3.5 million visitors will pass through the 85,000 square metre site by the end of year.  The centre is located on Calle Jaén, 3 (Ctra. Torremolinos – Aeropuerto).
Malaga on Google Map
The Internet search engine, Google, has launched a new feature which shows satellite views of the principal cities of the world including Malaga. 
One can see satellite aerial views of Malaga including the Historical Centre, the port, the Malagueta, airport and Rosaleda football stadium.
Property Prices Rise
For the fifth consecutive year the price of property in Malaga has risen by 20% despite sales having slowed down.
The cost per square metre of second-hand real estate in the province exceeded 2,051 euros, the highest value in Andalucia.  In the 6 months of 2005, the price of second-hand flats in Malaga cost 24% more than in 2004.
In the rest of the province, the prices have risen 21% per square metre to the 2,224 euros. 
In Spain the most expensive capitals are Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Pamplona.  The cheapest are Lugo, León, Badajoz and Orense. 
Moving from Malaga
Last year 41,601 residents in Malaga left their homes to go and live somewhere else. 31,270 of those leaving were Spanish, whilst 10,331 were foreigners. The majority moved within the province, and of those leaving it a great number moved to somewhere else in Andalucía. Cadiz, Granada and Seville were the preferred provinces to move to. Those leaving the region chose to move to Madrid or Barcelona. People between 25 and 44 years old were the most likely to emigrate. Of the 10,331 foreigners who moved out of Malaga, 3,982 left to go to bigger cities, and of the 372 Spaniards who emigrated to other countries, 243 went elsewhere in Europe.
Spanish Royal Baptised In Madrid
The Archbishop of Madrid, Antonio María Rouco Varela, yesterday baptised the latest child, Irene, from the Dukes of Palma in a ceremony held in the Zarzuela palace, and using water brought from the River Jordan. The child's full name, Irene de Todos los Santos Urdangarín y de Borbón.
First Same Sex Marriage Takes Place in Spain
Two homosexual men became the first couple to marry under Spain’s new law allowing same-sex marriages.
Emilio Menendez and Carlos Baturin showed off their wedding rings after the ceremony in Tres Cantos, Madrid, which was attended by Pedro Zerolo, the ruling Socialist Party’s senior official for social issues.
Spaniards Among Europe's Biggest Spenders
Spanish families are more than a third better off now than seven years ago and are among Europe's biggest spenders, according a report by a leading bank.
La Caixa savings bank's economic report said between 1998 and 2003, household income had climbed by 36.2 percent after social security and taxes were deducted. The Spanish daily El Pais reported that the richest regions of the country were Navarre and the Basque Country where the average net disposable income per household was EUR 14,000, however, some of the main tourist regions, like the Balearic and Canary Islands and Valencia, are catching up fast. In the same period their average incomes grew by nearly 50 percent. Families in Extremadura and Andalusia remain, however, the poorest in Spain, with average incomes of between EUR 8,300 and EUR 9,300 a year.
The report shows what is obvious to anyone who lives in Spain: Spaniards love to party and spend what they earn. There is sufficient business in the country to support seven bars for every 1,000 people. That compares with an average of only three in Europe.  The number of retail outlets is also over double, at 21.
Jose Vicens, who wrote the report, said immigration has played a significant part in increasing prosperity in Spain.
Zapatero Meets With The Spanish Alliance Against Poverty
The Spanish alliance against poverty, which unites more than 1,000 social collectives, unions, religious and ecologist groups, met with the Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero yesterday, and presented 20 measures with which it says Spain could efficiently help in the fight against poverty in the world.
The list includes an increase in the amount of development aid paid by the Spanish state, the cancelling of foreign debt, the end of grants to help the export of Spanish goods, and the guarantee of all labour rights.  Zapatero promised to respond to the alliance in December.
Smoking Laws
The week, the law prohibiting smoking in public places came into force in Majorca except in places reserved for smoking.
In the case of restaurants, it will be down to the proprietor of the establishment to decide if there will be a place reserved for smokers.
The law doesn’t apply to discos and bars where food is not being served.
Tele2 Acquires Comunitel In Spain
Tele2 AB, the leading alternative pan-European telecommunications company today
announced that it has acquired Comunitel, one of Spain’s largest alternative telecoms operators. This acquisition consolidates Tele2’s position in Spain as one of the incumbent’s main competitors.
Tele2 has acquired 99.93% of Comunitel shares from ONI for eur257 million, on a debt free basis. This acquisition is funded from Tele2’s existing cash resources and bank facilities.
Wanchope Goes to Qatar
Paulo Wanchope has agreed a transfer to the Qatari team Al-Gharafa.  The deal was closed on Tuesday afternoon. The Costa Rica striker had been linked with a move to Portsmouth but will instead play in the Q-League after Al Gharafa agreed a nominal fee with Malaga for his services.
Some 750 sportsmen will compete in the Championship of Spain Athletics in Malaga The event will take place between 23 and 24 July and will serve to inaugurate the City of Malaga stadium, whose construction has received 50% finance by the Junta de Andalusia.
Tickets to the championships are free and they can obtained from Polideportivos Ciudad Jardín, La Trinidad, El Palo, La Mosca y el Palacio de Deportes José María Martín Carpena.
‘Real Madrid Now Richest Club in the World’
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez says the Spanish club has overtaken Manchester United as the biggest earner in world soccer. “We have now ensured that our income is greater than any other team, it is the highest in the world,” Perez said in an interview published in Spanish sports daily Marca on Friday.
“Only Manchester United are close to us, but this year we have overtaken them. We have solved our economic problems forever.”
Spanish PM Zapatero To Watch Real's Friendly In China
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will attend a friendly game between Real Madrid and Beijing Gouan next week in the Chinese capital, according to the Spanish Foreign Ministry.
After the July 23 game at Beijing Workers Stadium, Rodriguez Zapatero will conclude his official three-day visit in China, said the officials.
Rodriguez Zapatero will visit China on July 21-23 to improve the political and trade relations between the countries. Spain and China establish diplomatic relations 32 years ago.
During his visit in China, the Spanish prime minister will hold a meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
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