The Mayor of Orihuela, Emilio Bascuñana, and the councillor of Festivities, Mariola
Rocamora, has officially opened the Municipal Bethlehem scene, known in Spanish as the
Belen, which opened its doors to the public after the reading the Christmas proclamation.
This year the Belen represents three scenes and gives life to the more than 300 figures that
make it up.
"After the success of last year in which Orihuela premiered its Bethlehem, many Oriolan
people are eager to discover this year's composition and continue to revive one of the
oldest traditions of our Christmas," said Bascuñana.
The Councillor of Festivities explained that the Belen "has been built in such a way that
visitors can observe the depth of the landscape, and it has been created to be as realistic as
possible." Councillor Rocamora also explained that the nativity scene is divided into three
spaces: The first one represents the Annunciation, followed by the hub of Bethlehem, and
ends with the flight to Egypt. She pointed out some of the highlights of the Bethlehem,
saying that "among the novelties this year we have an allegory of the Puerta de la Olma, and
we have the Palmeral and Orchard of Orihuela represented."
The Association of Belenistas de Elche has been responsible for shaping this belenística
composition, which has a larger surface area and landscape depth.
On Thursday, the Mayor of Orihuela, Emilio Bascuñana, opened the new Leroy Merlin store that has
just been purpose built in Orihuela Costa. A sister store to the main DIY superstore at Zenia
Boulevard, the new branch in La Regia specialises in building supplies.
Bascuñana stressed that "this opening is another example of the fact that the trade in Orihuela is a
living sector in full development, and that it also brings new jobs to our city." The Oriolan Mayor was
accompanied by the Councillor for Commerce, Miguel Ángel Fernández, and the deputy mayor,
Rafael Almagro. There were also several senior representatives from Leroy Merlin including: the
manager of Leroy Merlin La Zenia , Gonzalo Rodríguez, the regional director of the Southeast zone,
José Luis Ramírez, the director of Development of Leroy Merlin Spain, Juan Sevillano, the head of
Expansión, Borja Arambarri and the director Leroy Merlin also attended. La Zenia, Antonio Javier
The Councillor for Equality of the City of Orihuela, Sabina Galindo was at the forefront of recent
events commemorate the International Day Against Gender Violence. The programme began on
Friday when a purple ribbon – the emblem of the cause – was tied to the façade of the Town Hall.
The weekend saw a march Against Gender Violence from the Town Hall to the Gabriel Miró
roundabout, where manifestos were read and a video made by the council was screened, showing
all those involved in the fight against Gender Violence across the municipality. A Social Forum and a
mass were also held as part of the initiative.
The councillor said: “It is not enough just to participate in the commemorative events every 25 th
November; the awareness of this scourge must be of a permanent nature, and we cannot allow
situations of gender violence to occur, not one more. "
The council also presented the statistics of Gender Violence in the municipality, collected in the last
year by the Service of Attention to Gender Violence (SEMAVIG), which offers comprehensive care to
women who are or may be in a situation of gender-based violence and minors under parental
authority, guardianship and custody of female victims of gender violence.
This year a total of 93 interventions have been registered, which is approximately an increase of 50
percent on the previous period. Of these women, 10 of them requested information and advice, and
83 are part of the multidisciplinary intervention program of this municipal service, through which the
victim is assisted and also offered psychotherapeutic care programs.
There are 24 women who have accessed this program after having filed a previous complaint, and 9
of them who never have previously done so.
In the case of psychological treatment programs, 60 percent of women attended to decided to
access these rehabilitation programs, counting a total of 68 women, 18 of whom have joined this
year. Likewise, a treatment session has been started in a support group format, which has 6 women
participants, in addition to providing psychological help to 12 children.
The majority of these women are Spanish (46), followed by other nationalities: European (19), South
American (10), African (7) and Asian (1), which, in the words of the councillor, "shows that Gender
violence is something universal, which occurs in all countries of the world, regardless of the
economic situation, the level of development and the political regime of the place”.
The majority of women helped are from downtown Orihuela (39), followed by districts (25) and the
coast (19). The majority of interventions have been carried out for women between the ages of 30
and 50 (49), 22 of whom are under 30 years of age, and two of these are under 18 years of age. Of
these, 50 percent have medium-high educational levels (bachelor's degrees, training cycles or
university studies), with 63 percent of the women in a situation without resources (unemployed or
students), for which the situation of cohabitation as a couple, economic dependence and children in
common are an added handicap to getting out of an abusive situation.
The Councillor for Tourism, Sofía Álvarez, has hosted the tapas and gin-tonics of the
participating establishments at the Municipal Library María Moliner. The event saw all the
dishes presented and allowed those present to sample them before the tapas route opens.
This year will see the city run its fifth annual Route of the Tapa and Gin-tonic, which will take
place in the streets of Orihuela from 10th to 12th November.
The councillor has declared her satisfaction with the high participation this year, in addition
to emphasising the strong commitment from the area and explained she wants the event to
“use Orihuela’s gastronomy as a promotional tool abroad along with our historical, heritage,
festive and natural tourism potential of our city.”
As a novelty, this year the establishments have been able to create and present several
tapas, in different categories. Supporters of the event can download the mobile app
‘Rutappa’ where they can get details of the varieties of tapas and gin-tonics, in addition to
all the information regarding the event. The app also allows people to vote for their
favourite tapa and gin.
A total of 25 establishments are registered, and prizes will be awarded in five categories:
Gourmet Tapa, Sweet Tapa and Traditional Tapa. A prize wll alos go to the establishment
with the most votes for its Gin-tonic through the mobile application, and a special prize will
be awarded to one of the members of the public who use the app to vote.
The official jury will comprise representatives of the companies sponsoring the event, along
with three gastronomic experts: Carlos Corredor, director of the Gastronomic Guide of
Alicante; Antonio Marquerie, professor and director of the International Chair of
Mediterranean Gastronomy of the Catholic University of Murcia; and José Antonio Sánchez,
manager and chef of the restaurant Els Vents de Alicante, aspiring to a Michelin Star.
The price of the traditional drink and tapa will be 1 euro, while the tapas in the sweet and
gourmet category will cost 1.50, leaving the price of gin-tonic to be allocated by the
This morning Compromís for Orihuela has formally asked the local government team about
any actions being taken regarding the colonies of cats in Orihuela. This follows the recent
news that a colony of cats on the Coast was poisoned.
The eco-socialist coalition wants to know if there is any intention to solve the problem of
overpopulation with an inspection and collection of data that would provide the actual
number and location of these colonies across the municipality.
Cats are, to some extent, necessary and provide a control function of other species such as
rats, but the fact that the females of this species have a very short gestation period means that
they have kittens very often. It is this fact that causes the total population of feral cats to
increase uncontrollably. This is turn affect both the welfare and the health of the animals as
well as of the residents in the different communitiesof Orihuela.
“In different municipalities of the province there is evidence of action plans for the control of
these colonies, meetings with associations to seek joint solutions and even training people
who want to be listed as managers of feline colonies with training to take good care of these
animals. These programmes have animal welfare at heart but also ensure that there is no
discontent in the neighbourhood,” said Cayetano Portugués, spokesman for Compromís for
In addition, he recalled that the City of Orihuela has received subsidies from the Diputacion
of Alicante for the control of feline colonies “but there is no record of what actions have been
carried out in this regard”.
Compromis said that it has concluded that “these problems that arise around the colonies of
cats are further proof of the inefficiency, paralysis and lack of foresight by the Bascuñana
As children look towards the new school year with dread and parents with
relief, spare a thought for those who might be turning up at school without the
basic pencils and pens that others take for granted. Carmens Bar in El
Chaparral are collecting stationery for the children at San José Obrero
Orphanage who otherwise might struggle to find themselves equipped for the
new school year.
The orphanage in Orihuela currently caters for 70 children and 80% of the
running cost is covered through donations. The orphanage is home to children
from 6 to 18 years of age who have been abandoned by their families or who,
for various reasons, do not have a family who can take care of them.
The home is run by the church and they do their best to recreate a family
atmosphere. They also have a day centre with 24 children where the children
are looked after only during the day after which they return home. When they
reach the age of 18 the young people still can’t count on the help of any family
so they are allocated some space in one of the flats to assist them in their
transition to adult life. The aim of the centre is to ensure the future for the
children, enabling them to settle in society and have the skills they need.
Carmen’s Bar are raising money for starter packs for the children to take to
school. The children need basic items such as pens, pencils, rulers, pencil
cases and rubbers. If you would like to help you are asked to either donate
money or purchase some items to hand in at Carmens Bar. These will then be
transported to the home itself.
Julie and her team are delighted by the number of donations that have been
made and are also raising money through holding raffles. They would like to
thank everyone who has already donated towards this very good cause and
asks that the donations keep on coming. With 70 children needing stocking up
for the school year, every item is welcome.
The Councillor for Beaches Luisa Boné has reported the number of incidents that required
assistance from Ambumar, company in charge of Life Guards and support services on the
beaches of Orihuela, during the month of July.
The majority of the incidents are connected to health or to the rescue of swimmers. Ambumar
has 40 people, including lifeguards, nurses and drivers to ensure the safety of residents and
In July alone Ambumar carried out 677 attendances on the beaches of Orihuela, most of
which are healthcare related, including attending people affected by jellyfish stings (222),
sunburns, cuts and scrapes and even those who have been spiked by hedgehogs (33).
The service has only made 11 rescues, of which 7 have been in at Cala Capitan where bathers
try to swim to the Isla del Carmen and back. The rest of the rescues have been carried out at
Cala Bosque (1), Cala Cerrada (2) and Cala Estaca (1).
The beach that has generated the most incidents has been Cala Bosque (105) and the one with
the least incidence has been Cala Cala (28)
Otherwise it has been a quiet month in all respects, despite the large number of bathers who
are enjoying their summer from the beaches of Orihuela, especially at weekends.