Volume 45

1Casa News from Spain - No. 45
 
 
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Registering Partnerships
 
The Ayuntamiento has created a Registration of couples and has recorded its first couple this week. This Registration has more than a token value and is recognised by all the administrations including the civic and the police. The first couple to register are an English couple, they live in the Aneales area of Álora.
Álora
 
The Ayuntamiento of Álora has commissioned a study to investigate alternative traffic routes through the town via Avenida de Cervantes that may run parallel to Avenida de Cervantes and also reverse the traffic flow through the centre.
 
Juan Vázquez - Champion of the World of Marathon
 
Juan Vázquez, culminates a brilliant career as an athlete by gaining the veteran's world championship marathon after more than 40 years. The XVI Championship of veterans of athletics world was celebrated in San Sebastián. With a time of 2:29:43, in some difficult conditions Juan Vázquez has achieved his goal.
 
Now it remains for him to receive the tribute of his countrymen and the institutions. The Ayuntamiento of Álora has granted him a commemorative plaque and medal of Álora and will also be entertaining him in Álora in the next few days.
 
El Torcal Visitors' Centre
 
The Junta de Andalucía’s Environment representative in the province of Malaga, Ignacio Trillo, has announced that the start of work on the new visitor centre in El Torcal is "imminent". The project has been delayed for more than six months after the old building, which was due to be converted into the centre, did not have proper foundations. The building was demolished and plans for a new centre drawn up, significantly increasing the cost of the centre. The new plans should be approved by the Junta de Andalucía within the next few days.
 
Equestrian Spectacular
 
There will be equestrian performances at the Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga this weekend, from 8 - 11 September. The times of the Spectacular are Friday and Saturday 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm, Sunday 1.00 pm to 2.00 pm. Entry is €10. There is also a corresponding fair taking place, which is open from Thursday to Saturday 10 am to 9.30 pm, Sunday 10.00 am to 6.30 pm. Entry is €5.
 
Homes and Garden Show – Málaga
 
The Homes and Gardens show will take place at the Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga from 30 September to 2 October 2005. The show is open from 11.00 am to 9.00 pm. Tickets will be available from the beginning of September. It is the biggest homes, gardens and lifestyle exhibition to take place on the Costa del Sol with everything under one roof, Sunday shopping, shows and expert advice.
 
New Road
 
The new Coín East road, that will connect the mountain range of Ronda with Malaga, has opened at a cost of 3,8 million euros. The counsellor of Public Works, Conception Gutiérrez, has presided over the project, which will expand the existing bypass by 2 kilometres to its intersection with the highway A-355 Coín to Cártama, in the Valley of the Guadalhorce.
 
This new highway will greatly affect the basic regional road network, as it connects the mountain range of Ronda with the metropolitan area of Malaga through the Guadalhorce Valley. This latest project is part of a major objective to improve communications among the towns of the region. The road plan of the Guadalhorce Valley also connects the region with the coast and with the interior via A-357, at present being improved.
 
New Buildings in Coín to have Solar Panels
 
Coín is to become the third municipality in the province of Malaga, after Fuengirola and Estepona, to make it obligatory for all new buildings to have solar panels installed for heating water.
 
This ruling, which will come in to force in two months time, was announced on Monday by the councillor responsible for the local Environment Department, Rodrigo Gallero, who added that the idea was part of the national Renewable Energy Development Plan which has set the target of supplying 12 per cent of Spain’s total demand for electricity with renewable energy by 2010.
 
Gallero said the bylaw had already been drawn up and copies would be distributed among all the political groups in the Town Hall. The bylaw will affect not only brand new buildings (both public and private), but also properties that undergo major rebuilding work. "It will apply to cases where the renovations are valued at more than 75 per cent of the cost of the property", explained Gallero.
 
Museum of Fine Arts of Malaga
 
The Ayuntamiento and the State are to exchange buildings in order to locate the museum of Fine Arts of Malaga in the customs building.
 
The Andalusian president indicates that the recovery of this palace, together with the Picasso museum will convert the city to "a cultural focus of extraordinary interest." The president of the Junta de Andalucía, Manuel Chaves, accompanied by the minister of Promotion, Mary Magdalene Ávarez, and Carmen Calvo, have presented the real estate exchange agreements that will be carried out between the State and the Andalusian Government to enable that the museum of Fine Arts of Malaga finally to be located in the Customs Palace, up to now headquarters of the subdelegation of the National Government.
 
August Tourism Figures for Costa del Sol Up
 
Tourism figures for the Costa del Sol indicate an end to the downward trend set over the previous two summers. The industry and the authorities are confident that the positive figures will continue at least until the end of the month of September.
 
In August hotels on the Costa del Sol registered an average occupancy of 90 per cent, with more than two million overnight stays, according to the Costa del Sol Tourist Board. This is an increase of five per cent on the same period last year, a very positive result considering that this year there are 4,000 more hotel beds to fill on the Costa del Sol. July also saw an increase,2% up on last year with 70 per cent of all hotel accommodation in use.
 
Hoteliers and the authorities both agree that the figures will remain positive for September.
 
Cordoba Sightseeing Buggies
 
Entrepreneurs in the Spanish city of Cordoba have devised battery-powered sightseeing cars with computers that talk.
 
The vehicles are fitted with Global Positioning Satellite technology that provides passengers with their location and explains attractions with its tactile screen or audio recordings. A memory card placed into a USB port provides information in Spanish, French or English on more than 150 attractions.
 
A trio of entrepreneurs launched the business, called Blobject, in May after concluding that monument-rich Cordoba, featuring an exquisite old quarter and a Moorish mosque with a Catholic cathedral built around it, often got overlooked by tourists lured to other southern Spanish cities, such as Seville or Granada.
 
So far, there is a fleet of ten cars, which travel quietly at either 15 or 25 miles per hour and can seat two or four people, depending on the model. Renting a two-seater for three hours costs $50. The white, green and blue buggies look like golf carts and are built in the United States by a subsidiary of Daimler-Chrysler.
 
Spain and Italy Vow to Move Forward EU Integration
 
Spain and Italy have vowed to move forward the political integration of the European Union, which was halted by the French and Dutch rejection of the EU Constitution.
 
Spanish Foreign Minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, and his Italian counterpart, Gianfranco Fini, made the pledge at the opening of the 6th Forum for the Dialogue between Spain and Italy, vowing to make efforts to find a solution to the EU's integration. The rejection by French and Dutch voters did not mean the EU treaty itself was on the whole problematic, said Moratinos at the forum held in Jaen.
 
Although several countries have delayed their referendums on the treaty, the Spanish foreign minister called on each European country to take an unwavering stand at promoting EU integration through consistent actions.  Fini said the review of the treaty by some countries will by no means stop the EU integration process but keep it going in a better manner.
 
Spanish Emissions Proposal
 
Spain has come up with a solution to its appalling environmental record. Instead of cutting emissions of carbon dioxide, the Spanish Government will spend €90 million in an attempt to bury them underground. In the past 15 years Spain's greenhouse gas emissions have risen 300% above the level it agreed to under the Kyoto Protocol - making it further away from meeting its obligations than any of the developed countries.
 
Under the new scheme, carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and factory chimneys will be injected underground at sufficient pressure to keep the gases inert. Although the plan is in its infancy, the Education and Science Ministry's Centre for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research is planning to build a processing plant and conduct research on identifying safe burial points across the country.
 
Foreigners Make up 9% of Spanish Population
 
Latest figures show that of 44.3m people living in Spain, at least four million foreigners are foreigners, making up nine percent of the population. The Spanish national statistics office said between January and July, the foreign population had risen by ten percent, with 375,000 new people registering. It means that since 1998, the number of foreigners has risen from 1.6 percent of the population, or 0.63m, to nine percent, or 4m, in 2005.
 
Moroccans are the biggest group of foreigners, followed by Ecuadorians then Romanians, Colombians and Britons however, it is believed that many Britons have not yet registered.
 
Spain 1 - Serbia 1
 
A disappointing result for Spain in their World Cup qualifier against Serbia Montenegro at the Vicente Calderón stadium. This result leaves Spain two points behind their rivals in the league table. Spain stay a point ahead of Bosnia in second place, but need to win their last two games at Belgium and San Marino next month to at least ensure a spot in the play-offs.
 
Belgian Grand Prix
 
Renault's Fernando Alonso  is set to become F1's youngest champion at the age of 24 if he scores four points more than Raikkonen this Sunday at Spa. Raikkonen is 27 points behind Alonso in the drivers' table with four races left.
 
McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya was second and fourth in the two sessions and Toyota's Jarno Trulli was third on the timesheets. Seven-times champion Michael Schumacher, mathematically ruled out of the championship after scoring no points in the last two races, was ninth in the session.
 
Fernando Alonso Recognised with Sports Award
 
Spain’s Formula One driver, Fernando Alonso, has been awarded this year’s Prince of Asturias award for Sport. The announcement that Alonso had been chosen was welcomed in the driver’s home city of Oviedo, where the Prince will present the award in October. "It’s a great satisfaction", said Alonso who could be World Champion this year.
 
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