Volume 63

Cristina Sanchez
1Casa News from Spain - No. 81
A Topical Digest of News and Views from the Andalucia Area in Spain
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As previously reported here, the plaza Fuente de Arriba in Alora is to undergo changes to its appearance. The City Hall has now put the work out to tender according to the Mayor, Jose Sanchez. The tender will have an initial budget of 300,000 Euros based on the project produced by the technicians at the Town Planning department.
Indoor Swimming Pool
Next Thursday, 1 June, the first stone will be laid to mark the beginning of building work on Alora's new indoor swimming pool with the work expected to take up to a year. The project is financed jointly by the Town Hall and the Junta de Andalucia with a budget of 1,285,500 Euros. The pool will be 25 metres long by 12 metres wide with 6 lanes. There will be an administration area, changing rooms and cafe. The indoor pool will be the centre of the future sports complex of Alora and will be located between the Pabellon de Deportes ‘Antonio Henares’ and the Colegio de Los Llanos.
12 Hours of Tennis Tournament
The Sports Department of the City Hall has organised the Second "12 Hours of Tennis in Alora" tournament, it will take place next Friday 2 June from 6.30 pm in the municipal sports centre.
Cervantes Theatre Alora
The Theatre Company "The Ulen" presents El Mundo de los Simples (The World of the Simple) next Saturday, 3 June at 9.00 pm.
Investigation into the Common Graves from the Civil War
The Asociacion por la Recuperacion de la Memoria Historica wants to set up a working party in the Guadalhorce Valley to catalogue the common graves from the Civil War in the region. In order to put this plan in motion, the group has arranged a meeting in Pizarra today, the 27th May, and has invited all the citizens and groups that are carrying out investigations on the matter to attend and exchange information. The organiser of the association in the Guadalhorce explained that there is evidence of the existence of common graves in Coin and Alora, but will investigate other supposed burial sites in Pizarra for which there is no documentation. The group will also be searching for information on the people who disappeared during the war and will interview relatives to obtain information to try and identify people buried in the graves and to inform descendants. The group also said it will try to create support groups of in towns where there are none at present.
Guadalhorce Hospital Land Approved
The Town Hall in Cartama has approved the land classification changes necessary for the construction of the new Guadalhorce Valley Hospital. The Junta de Andalucia's Health delegate for Malaga, María Antigua Escalera, along with the provincial government’s chief of Infrastructure and Public Works, Francisco Fernandez, visited the site with Cartama's Mayor Jose Garrido following a meeting of the steering committee for the hospital project. Senor Fernandez said that geotechnical studies have already been carried out on the site and it is expected that the contract to draft the architectural design for the hospital will be awarded this summer. The new hospital is expected to be operational during 2008.
Malaga Book Festival
From the 26 May until 4 June, the Paseo del Parque will hold the book fair of Malaga. There will be many exhibitors with more than 30,000 titles including works by local authors and the books on themes of Malaga such as poetry, prose, novels and essays.
Malaga Feria will Begin with an MTV Concert on the Beach
The City Hall and MTV, the music channel, have signed an agreement to begin the August celebrations an international event in The Malagueta. Anastasia, Cristina Aguilera and Paulina Rubio will perform at the concert at the MTV concert at dawn on 11th and 12th August 2006. The concert will be seen in 122 countries through the MTV television network.
Picasso Painting Purchased
On the 125th anniversary of the birth of Picasso, Malaga City Hall has purchased one of his paintings, ‘Las Senoritas de Avignon’. The work will be first new item to be put on show in the Casa Natal, Picasso’s birthplace museum in the Plaza de la Merced. The painting and 84 drawings Picasso used on the preparation of one of his masterpieces cost the City Hall 2.7 million Euros.
Malaga Province Invests 2 Million Euros in its Beaches
Coastal Authorities in Malaga are investing two million Euros to regenerate 22 beaches in their province. The work is being carried out before the tourist season gets underway and will affect the towns of Estepona, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Mijas, Marbella and Manilva on the Western Costa del Sol and Velez Malaga, Algarrobo, and Rincon de la Victoria to the east. The coasts are investing a further 2.1 million Euros in a study of Malaga’s coastline. The report will be ready in July and will specify areas suitable for construction, for ports and marinas and areas where beach regeneration occurs naturally.
Northern Access Road to Malaga Airport to be Built
The Ministry for Development has said that a new northern access road to Malaga airport will finally be built. The new road, first proposed in 1992, will now begin construction in 2007 when it will link to the second ring road under construction round Malaga. The 1.7 km long road will open at the same time as the new Second Terminal and will cost 15.5 million Euros.
Large-scale Time-share Fraud Broken up on Costa del Sol
Eight people have been arrested in connection with a time-share scam which is alleged to have affected more than 15,000 people. The arrested were from Britain, South Africa, Belgium and Norway. The gang concentrated their efforts on the British and central European public. The arrests were made in Fuengirola, Mijas and Coin, where the gang worked from rented accommodation which they then abandoned after a few months. 
Fraudsters used 300 companies and employed more than 1,000 people to run a number of different scams that preyed upon timeshare owners and others interested in buying, most of them from Britain. Police believe these frauds could amount to more than 90% of all the timeshare frauds carried out in the British timeshare market on the coast in recent years. Police say the group moved to the Costa del Sol from the Canary Islands.
Andalucian Statute
The reform of the Andalusian Statute is moved closer to its final approval. The proposed new text, passed by the Andalusian Parliament on 2 May 2006 was accepted for consideration by the Spanish Congress in Madrid last week, by 187 votes to 136. Only the representatives for the PP opposition party voted against. The eight hour debate was attended by regional president Manuel Chaves and other members of the Andalusian government. The new Statute will now be studied by a Constitutional Commission.
Spain's Economy Grows
The Spanish economy grew 3.5 % in the first quarter of this year, compared with the same period last year. The increase is in line with predictions by the Bank of Spain. Between the first quarter of 2006 and the previous three-month period, the economy expanded by 0.8%, according to figures from the National Statistics Institute.
This is the third consecutive quarter in which Spain's economy has continued to grow at a rate of 3.5%, a figure almost double that of the European average of 1.8%. Analysts believe the reason is the continued strong internal demand, which rose 5% compared with the previous quarter.
Spain Water Levels Fall
For three weeks running, the national water levels in Spain’s reservoirs have fallen. The last seven days have seen hardly any rain across the country, with most falling in Santiago de Compostela, where over 40 litres per square metre was reported. All Spain's regions saw a fall in their water reserves, with levels now standing at 58.2% capacity.
Motor Show in Madrid
The Motor show will take place in Madrid between 26th May and the 4th June.
Monaco Grand Prix - 28 May 2006
Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher continued their battle for the world championship with the fastest times in Monte Carlo this morning, in the last session before qualifying. The Renault driver lapped the tight track in one minute 13.823 seconds to beat the Ferrari star by 0.208secs.
Giancarlo Fisichella was third, 0.025secs behind Schumacher. David Coulthard was fourth for Red Bull ahead of Nico Rosberg’s Williams-Cosworth and the McLaren-Mercedes of Juan Pablo Montoya. Jenson Button was ninth fastest in his Honda, behind the second Williams of Mark Webber and Felipe Massa’s Ferrari.  Last year's winner, McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, was 10th fastest.
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