Category: News

The best sales have arrived at Habaneras Shopping Centre

As well as enjoying incredible discounts in all its retail premises, the Centre will
be giving away loads of prizes through its App.
With the slogan “Enjoy Sales”, Habaneras Shopping Centre, managed
by JLL (real estate consultancy firm), is determined to start 2019 in a
big way by offering customers the best sales and discounts, along
with some fun ways of obtaining loads of direct prizes.
From today, 7 January, you’ll be able to get yourself the best bargains
at all the retail premises inside the Shopping Centre and, while the
sales are on, customers can collect their shopping receipts and
exchange them for gift vouchers and tickets to enter the prize draw
for €300 worth of gift cards. All customers shopping in the January
sales are eligible to take part.
To take part, all you have to do is be a user of the Habaneras Shopping
Centre App and exchange your shopping receipts at any of the
Centre’s retail premises and kiosks. Every weekend you can go to the
information point to pick up your vouchers and, for each 20 euros
spent on shopping, [H]Addict users will get a ticket for the prize draw.
Gifts include selfie sticks, mobile batteries, cinema tickets, notebooks
with inspiring messages, backpacks, gift cards and lots more prizes.
Everything is subject to availability, as the promotion is valid while
stocks last.
Plus, both Shopping Centre visitors and social media followers, as well
as [H]App users, can get extra vouchers to exchange for direct prizes.
But they’ll have to be alert because, at weekends only, the Centre will
be running a fun event called #loquemivecinasellevo when you can
get these special vouchers, but stocks are limited. So keep an eye on
the Habaneras channels and don’t let your neighbour get there
before you!
For another year, Habaneras welcomes the start of the winter sales
with lots of surprises and gifts for all Shopping Centre customers. Are
you going to miss out?
Habaneras, Enjoy Sales!

Emirates cabin crew recruitment in Alicante this week

The airline Emirates is looking for flight attendants in Alicante and is set to hold a recruitment open day this Wednesday January 9th. The airline is also holding recruitment events in Mallorca and Barcelona.
The recruitment conference will be held at the AC Hotel Alicante, starting at 8am.
The airline is looking for “open-minded, attentive, friendly and service-oriented” candidates to offer customers a good on-board experience. Candidates can present themselves with an up to date CV in English, in addition to a recent photograph. Although it is not mandatory, candidates are recommended to complete the online application on the Emirates Group Careers website before attending.
According to the airline, there are a few qualities which will make you stand out on recruitment day. Namely, you’ll be positive, confident, flexible, friendly and very keen to help others. Emirates also requires that candidates are:
• At least 21 years of age at the time of joining
• Arm reach of 212 cm while standing on tiptoes
• Minimum height of 160 cm
• High school graduate (Grade 12)
• Fluency in English (written and spoken)
• No visible tattoos while you’re in Emirates cabin crew uniform (cosmetic and bandage coverings aren’t allowed)
• Can adapt to new people, new places and new situations
• Physically fit for this demanding role with a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI)
More information on applying, and on the dress code for recruitment day can be found at https://www.emiratesgroupcareers.com/cabin-crew/

Planning the next Habaneras competition

It’s a popular annual event. The International Habaneras and Polyphony Competition will take place this year from 22nd to the 28th July in Torrevieja. It’s an international singing competition that gives the town good publicity and provides entertainment at the height of the summer.
This year will be the 65th version of this event that takes a great deal of planning. Announcements are made throughout the year on the lead up to it and there is always some controversy surrounding where it is to be held and whether any tradition is broken.
Alongside the main adult competition a junior version has evolved. The 25th youth competition will take place on 6th April and there will also be a soloist competition from the 8th to 9th November. The choirs who take part sing a song of their own as well as there being a compulsory element. This year the song that every choir must sing will be ‘Rosita de un verde palmar’. As usual, it is the Cuban ambassador who will raise the flag on the event.
The Habaneras competition has strong links with Cuba. This type of music originated there and was brought back to Torrevieja by its sailors. Boats traded with Cuban ports in a number of products and sailors found themselves the carriers of this singing tradition too. The competition is a time of reflection on Torrevieja’s past and its links with Cuba which go back 500 years to the town of Habana.
Once again the event will be publicised on television by Televisión Española (TVE) and it is hoped that a Cuban personality will be able to attend. The actual event will be hosted by whichever party wins the local elections in May. The councillor currently responsible, Domingo Soler, has expressed his wish that the plans should be sufficiently in place so that whoever is in charge can make sure the event goes ahead with as few difficulties as possible.

Dispute over responsibility for town hall transport fine

On 9th November 2017 a town hall worker was involved in a small accident whilst travelling on the moped provided for her by the town hall. At a roundabout, the moped slipped and the police attended the incident. On inspection of the vehicle they issued a fine for the ITV (MOT) being out-of-date.
Now, the town hall worker, who is part of the parks and grounds team, has presented the fine to the town hall, insisting that it is their responsibility to pay this, rather than hers. The debate continues as to who should pick up the bill for the missed ITV. According to the town hall, it is the responsibility of the employee using the vehicle to ensure that it is roadworthy and that its documents are in order.
The fine was for €200 or €100 for early payment and the driver of the moped paid the fine. However, she decided to apply for a refund from the town hall as they actually owned the vehicle. However, this was refused on the basis that the law does not allow for this type of payment in this way.
The debate continues. Some feel that a fine issued for non-compliance with traffic regulations such as speeding or jumping a red light should be the responsibility of the driver but that the maintenance of the vehicle should be the responsibility of the owner.
This isn’t the first time that such a confusion has arisen. In October a town council employee was fined €80 when delivering documentation in Alicante on town hall business. The driver had not obtained the ticket needed to leave the vehicle in the blue zone. However, on this occasion the decision was made that the fine would be paid by the town hall. Who exactly is responsible for picking up the tab seems to be rather unclear.

Death of baby donkey inspires incredible kindness

Kisses the baby donkey that was rescued by Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre (EHCRC) recently, having been found tied up in a bag but who sadly couldn’t be saved, has stirred the hearts of thousands of people around the world.
There was such an out pouring of grief, particularly on social media, over the brutal mistreatment and ultimate loss but also anger towards the inhumane treatment this poor little creature suffered at the hands of a human being. The messages flooded in from across the globe but none so much as from the Spanish people right here. The Spanish nation are often criticised for some of their traditions involving animals but there is a very active movement of young and old alike who are vehemently against any kind of animal cruelty for any reason. Many of these people have kindly donated money which has enabled the Centre to pay for the costly hospital bill which resulted from trying so hard to save Kisses.
EHCRC’s monthly Open Days are now testament to the increasing interest in its work and the thirst for knowledge on how everyone can work together to advance animal welfare in Spain. The free Open Days are jam packed with multinational supporters who come to join in the activities by taking part in one of the guided Tours which are available in Spanish, English, Russian and French and participating in the raffle and enjoying a vegetarian lunch. All proceeds go directly towards the animals’ care.
Sue Weeding co-founder said: “We are so grateful to all our supporters and we could not continue to care for our current 123 rescued equines or develop our services for the future if it wasn’t for the public’s help, donations and fundraising. Rod and I will not be here forever and we need to ensure that the Foundation is well established to continue our work.”
One example of outstanding support comes from Louise and her team at Looking Good Boutique in La Zenia. They have been staunch supporters of EHCRC for many years but following the horrendous story of Kisses they have taken up the challenge of doing some serious fundraising. Not only have they installed a very special rail of designer clothing donated by their loyal customers with all or a percentage of the sales going to EHCRC but they have also held fashion shows and have had some incredible donations for example a brand new smart phone, designer outfits straight from the Joseph Ribkoff company and incredible donations of money with one particular customer donating €1,000.
There are so many other ways for people to show support, and although monetary donations are vital, it isn’t always about money. One of the most useful ways to help is for people to donate their unwanted furniture to the Charity Shops as this is a valuable source of financial income for EHCRC.
Finally Sue said: “Sadly the story of Kisses is not an isolated case. We have had many situations of a similar nature where the poor animals had been abused and left to suffer and die in solitary, lonely, off the beaten track places where the perpetrators of these horrendous acts of cruelty hoped their deeds would never be seen. We are sure there are many more unknown cases and we are determined to work closely with the Police and the local authorities striving to grow the organisation to build a better future for all animals.”
The non-profit Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre relies entirely on donations to fund its important animal welfare work. Those interested in volunteering at the rescue centre or in the charity shops can call Sue on 652 021 980.
The Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre, located just outside Rojales at Partido Lo Garriga, 59, opens to the public on the first Sunday of every month between 1pm and 4pm. Free horse tours run throughout the afternoon and refreshments are available in the café. For more details and directions, please visit www.easyhorsecare.net

Come and Join the Band!

You’ve probably already heard the Phoenix International Concert Band play. They were the musicians who accompanied the singing at Torrevieja’s carol concert in December. Every year they have been entertaining the international crowds in La Plaza de la Constitución with their music.
Whilst continuing with their usual bookings the band has also undergone some changes. They wanted their name to reflect the very international nature of their members. So, instead of being called The Phoenix Concert Band, they are now the ‘Phoenix International Concert Band, Costa Blanca’.
And they are truly international with Dutch, Norwegian and German players alongside players from every part of the UK. They also have a new Musical Director. Capt. (retired) Robert (Bob) Wilson who has brought a new lease of life to the band along with the very able support of Gordon Jamieson B.A. The band now has 26 players with nine extras who support when needed.
The band has set aside its old military image and are moving forward as a more progressive concert band. They have many modern and international pieces in their repertoire including the Beatles’ ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Medley’ and Phil Collins’ ‘Another Day in Paradise’. They have a bass guitar, rhythm guitar and keyboard section and are a not for profit group who support many charities in the local area.
The band is growing week by week but they still have vacancies for many instruments and are aiming to be one of the leading concert bands on the Costas. They would welcome new players of all instruments, including strings. Many members are retired professional and amateur musicians but there are no age restrictions or ability barriers stopping anyone from coming along and joining them in playing music.
They are now planning their 2019 season of events and if you think you might like to take part then they would love to hear from you. You can show your interest by contacting Gloria via e-mail glorandwill@gmail.com or by calling 679 576 591.
Alternatively you can just come along to one of their rehearsals every Tuesday (starting January 16th) from 1.30pm until 4.30pm below the public library at Biblioteca Publica de San Miguel de Salinas calle Vicente Blasco Ibanez. You will be made very welcome and tea and coffee is available during the break.

Clothes and toys given to hospital

Following the confiscation last year of thousands of illegal goods, some of these have now been handed out by the police to children at Torrevieja hospital as well as some local charities. Many of the confiscated items had to be destroyed because they copied brand names and were counterfeit. However, those that were not and were considered to be of sufficient quality could be given away instead of being destroyed.
Altogether there were 15,000 items that fell into this category and were able to be kept in use. The rest were destroyed last month. The parish Cáritas have been responsible for distributing the items which included around thirty toys. These were wrapped in paper by the police and delivered to the emergency units and paediatric wing of thehospital.
It is the GRO branch of the local police who have been active in tracking down illegal traders. This business causes much anger amongst those legal shop owners who compete with goods sold on the street without any additional cost to the sellers. Most of the seizures were made during the summer months when the men are seen on the paseos with their goods displayed on sheets and blankets.
The hospital also received gifts and donations following the collection at the local fire station and as a result of activities organised by the Social Welfare department. Every attempt has been made to ensure that children from disadvantaged homes have not been left with a toy at Christmas.

2000 bars inspected in TV football clampdown

Over 2000 bars and restaurants have been inspected as part of a nationwide clampdown on the illegal screening of football matches. Owners are alleged to have made ‘premium’ football content available to their clients without authorisation. Of the 2000 establishments inspected, around 60% were found to have been screening football matches illegally, most using a so called ‘android box’ to broadcast the games.
National Police across Spain carried out the inspections, starting in November of last year, when legal representatives of La Liga, Spain’s national football league, filed official complaints against various public establishments across Spain for alleged crimes against intellectual property.
It was claimed that certain bar and restaurant owners were making ‘pay per view’ content available to clients without authorisation, causing economic damage to La Liga, its clubs and sponsors and also to the bar and restaurant owners who did actually pay the corresponding fee to broadcast matches to their clients in a legal manner.
When La Liga became aware that this activity was taking place, it carried out its own investigations of the offending establishments before formally presenting its report to the National Police.
The Central Cybercrime Unit coordinated the operation at a national level while officers carried out the necessary inspections during the live broadcasting of La Liga games in order to verify the claims made in La Liga’s own report. If a bar was found to be illegally broadcasting a game, officers disconnect the devices used and seized any illegal decoder while issuing a summons to the person in charge to make a statement to police.
The investigating officers found that approximately 60% of the establishments inspected were carrying out illegal rebroadcasting through various media. The most common was the use of a “vitamin” decoder, which had illegally altered firmware to decode private signals and access viewing of the games for free.
At present, investigations continue as the statements of the owners are being documented and over 800 decoding devices examined.

A family company ready for all your transport needs

We have some very interesting news about a well established and reputable travel agent
called BENICONNECT who have been operating for many years in the North of the Costa Blanca
offering shuttle and private vehicle transfers serving Alicante, Murcia and Valencia airports.
Beniconnect, a British / Spanish family business has a wealth of experience in the transport
sector and offers a wide range of services for every occasion as well as airport transfers.
They have improved their transfer portfolio by launching a new shuttle service to and from
Alicante airport to the South of the Costa thereby allowing customers easy airport
connections for both residents and tourists in the south. They call in at San Pedro Del Pinatar,
Pilar de la Horadada, Dehesa de Campoamor, Cabo Roig, Villamartin, La Zenia, Playa Flamenca,
Torrevieja and Ciudad Quesada.
Beniconnect is the sister company of Autocares Grupo Benidorm their very own coach
company boasting a fleet of modern vehicles that are fully licensed and comply with all local
and European health and safety regulations.
In Alicante airport Beniconnect has two Meet & Greet reception desks which are manned by
their experienced uniformed airport representatives.
The Company prides itself on delivering excellent customer service which is why to date, many
of their customers return time and time again choosing Beniconnect as their preferred transfer
provider. In fact, 98 per cent of their customers will travel with Beniconnect again and
recommend them to family and friends (customer survey results 2018).
Beniconnect has recently obtained certain awards or certificates:
They are on the 3rd cycle of the SICTED (certificate of commitment for the continuous
improvement of quality in destination)
Last July, the Minister of Tourism, Irene Maroto, presented them in Madrid with the award of
Best Quality Transfer Company in Spain.
In Autocares Grupo Benidorm, they have also obtained certifications:
They are on the 3rd cycle of the SICTED (certificate of commitment for the continuous
improvement of quality in destination)
Last August, they obtained four ISO certificates: OHSAS 18001 ( Safety and Health
Management System at Work); UNE-EN 13816 ( Transport Management System, the
Logistics and Passenger Transport, UNE-EN ISO 9001 ( Quality Management
System), and UNE-EN 14001 ( System of Environmental management).
They have a very user friendly website www.beniconnect.com which has recently been
updated where with four easy steps you can make your reservation with a safe and secure
payment system.
After making a reservation you will receive written email confirmation with full joining
instructions and a 24 hour emergency contact number.
While offering very competitive prices they also provide different ‘Special Offers’ each month.
Beniconnect are also available to “tailor make” anything to customers requirements, be they
excursions, tours, transport for weddings guests, golfing groups. Nothing is too small or too
large for them to organise for you.
They have a ‘Customer Information Centre’ open seven days a week between 9am and 8pm
for enquiries and bookings. However booking discounts for transfers only apply when
customers book on their website.
The local Spanish number is + 34 965 850 790 and the local UK number is 0207 096 0052 (both
operating from 9am to 8pm).

Get to know Spanish traffic law

Understanding Spanish Traffic Law has taken a huge leap forward this week, with the
publication of a new eBook by the N332 Road Safety Group.
A team of volunteers have been working on the publication for over a year, translating the
official Spanish traffic law, the ‘Reglamento General de Circulación’, into English, overseen
by Guardia Civil traffic officer, Francisco Morales, who has also added commentary and
pictures to the publication to ensure that there is no ambiguity in understanding every
single element.
The eBook was officially launched to a VIP group in the Quironsalud Hospital in Torrevieja,
where the attendees, including the Costa Blanca People, got a sneak preview of the eBook,
whilst presented with a talk about the history and reasoning behind the publication.
The eBook has already gained the support from the main traffic accident associations in
Spain, Stop Accidentes, Association for the Prevention of Traffic Accidents (P(A)T), AESLEME,
and the Federación Europea de Víctimas de la Carretera, as well as the European Council on
Road Safety keen to support the entire project.
With just over 500 pages of text and pictures, the publication, which has been edited by
Mark Nolan, who has also been involved in the project since the beginning, some 3 years
ago, is now available to download from the N332 website, at n332.es/ebooks.
The Reglamento General De Circulación is one of four main legal documents for driving in
Spain, and the most important, as it details the basics, and intricate elements of procedures
ranging from drugs and alcohol to children in cars, which includes many of the points that
drivers are still confused about, such as who can sit where, how goods are to be carried and
stowed, which lane to drive in, who has priority and when, and what the road signs and
signals actually mean.
The good news is that thanks to the support from the volunteers and sponsors, this eBook
can be downloaded for free, and so you can have your own copy on your mobile phone,
tablet, or computer, and can then either read it from cover to cover, or simply refer to it if
you have any doubts.
There will also be a supporting website launched in the New Year, followed by a mobile
phone app, as the development in this part of the project continues.
Although there may be some disappointment that the publication isn’t being printed, the
size alone would make it extremely expensive, but being a digital publication means that it
can be updated easily, without having to throw away the original paper copy. Moreover, the
website means that these updates can be published instantly.
In the second half of this year we have seen changes to the law such as all emergency
service vehicles having blue lights, taxis having blue number plates, and the introduction of
eco stickers. In the first half of 2019 we expect to see other changes such as the regulation
of personal mobility vehicles, such as scooters, and stricter controls for speed, and so, with
such a frequently changing canvas, the need for ease of updates is crucial in ensuring that
the information is always up to date and accurate.
Be sure to download your own copy of the eBook from the N332 website, n332.es/ebooks.

Patching up the beaches

Following the storms in the early hours of Monday 19 th November, the
beaches in Torrevieja have been left in a sorry state. Much of the sand has
been swept into the sea by flood water and the town council has the job of
replacing it. Altogether it is estimated that 600 tons of sand is needed to make
the beaches good again and the town hall has asked for help from the
Valencian government.
The beaches that have been most affected are El Cura and Los Locos
followed by Los Náufragos and La Mata. It has been recorded that 105 litres
of water fell per square metre that day – the highest November rainfall since
records were started in 1927. The damage is particularly evident along the
front line of the beaches where the sand has disappeared.
It is not only the sand but also beach furniture such as footbridges and access
for disabled people that has been destroyed. ‘We have been working since
Monday,’ said the councillor for beaches, Javier Manzanares, ‘To repair and
put right all the damage that’s been done.’
Although machinery has already been out to remove damaged paths and
walkways, replacing the sand must be left for a few days. This is because the
natural action of the tide will return some of the sand washed away to the
shore.
Fortunately the town council does have a reserve sand supply of around
10,000 cubic metres which had been removed from the ravine in Torreblanco.
The sand was removed by a construction company to make way for housing
and was causing controversy in its new site next to the N332. Now, this sand
could come in very handy.

New Ambassador to Spain

The new British ambassador to Spain is a former Brexit chief who will replaces Simon Manley next year. Mr Manley CMG will step down from his role as the British Ambassador to Spain next summer and be replaced by a Brexit communications director.
Manley, 51, has held the post since 2013, but in 2019 will make way for Hugh Elliott, who is the current Director of Communication and Stakeholders at the Department for Exiting the European Union.
Father-of-three and Oxford graduate Manley wished his successor a ‘heartfelt welcome’ to his new job.
Elliott, who has held several high-level posts in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) since 1989, said: “It will be a pride and a pleasure to represent the United Kingdom in Spain and take over next summer.”
Despite his Brexit credentials, the FCO claimed the reason for Elliott’s takeover of the role from Manley is that ‘appointments change every 3 to 4 years.’ Elliott will hope to emulate the illustrious career of his predecessor, who had many highlights as a British envoy, including receiving a cooking lesson from the three-Michelin star-winning Spanish chef David Muñoz.
Another key moment of Manley’s diplomatic tenure was the recent Tertulias event, where Harriet Harman, Boris Johnson and Ed Miliband were accompanied by the ambassador in the 30th annual Anglo-Spanish celebration of bilateral and cultural links.
Manley said: “It has been the best charge of my diplomatic career, a great honour, and a pleasure to work to reinforce the bonds between our two great countries – and I’m not leaving, I have nine more months!”

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