Category: News

Body found at Cala Mosca

The Maritime Service of the Guardia Civil has this evening recovered the lifeless body of a man found floating in the rocky area of Cala La Mosca, on the north coast of Orihuela Costa. The body was discovered shortly after two o’clock in the afternoon today (Monday). Local Police and Guardia Civil were deployed to the area immediately, once they received the call.
Initially, the fire service was also mobilized. The cliff terrain where the body was found is very steep, and the body appeared to have become trapped between the rocks. The difficulty prompted the Guardia Civil call on the Special Subaquatic Unit (GEAS).
With the various emergency services working in tandem, it was a patrol boat from the Maritime Service of the Guardia Civil that finally managed to recover the corpse just after 6pm local time.
The body, that of a middle-aged man, was brought to the marina of Cabo Roig.
The Judicial Police of the Guardia Civil have very little information yet and are investigating matters to identify the corpse and clarify the cause of death.

3.6 metre shark found in Santa Pola

Passersby were astounded when a huge 200 kilo shark was pulled from the waters of Levante Beach at Santa Pola. The body of the already dead shark was moved towards the shore by Urbaser workers and was then removed from the water using a powerful crane.
The shark was spotted for the first time on Wednesday evening near the shoreline, but it was not until Thursday that the Policia Local got in touch with Urbaser and organised for several workers to meet at the beach to begin the process of removing the shark from the water.
With the help of a small motorboat the body was nudged towards the shore and a crane was then used to take it out of the water. The remains of the animal are believed to be still at the Urbaser facility as details are being finalised to transfer it to the Coastal Ecology Institute of the Generalitat Valenciana.
The exact species of the shark is yet to be confirmed.

Woman arrested for prostituting 13 year old

A woman has been arrested, accused of attempting to arrange the prostitution of a minor –
her own 13 year old niece – at a coffee shop in Elche. Officers investigating the case are
currently looking in to whether the incident is linked to a wider sex trafficking network.
The woman was arrested on Thursday at a cafe in Elche and appeared in court on Friday
morning to make a statement before the judge.
The incident itself took place on February 10 th when officers received a call from an eyewitness
to the alleged incident. The witness called the National Police emergency number, 091,
following concerns about what was taking place in the cafe.
The witness told the officers that a woman was trying to convince three men in the
establishment “to accept the sexual favours of her 13-year- old niece.”
A unit was dispatched to the scene to intervene. When the officers arrived at the cafe and
entered the establishment, they observed three men sitting next to a woman and a younger
girl sitting on one of the tables.
The officers decided to transfer the woman and the girl to police headquarters and commence
an investigation by the Judicial Police of Elche National Police Station to find out what had
really happened inside the cafe.
Once the appropriate investigations were carried out and once all parties involved were
brought to make a statement, the necessary information was compiled verifying that the facts
as they were reported were indeed true. Investigators were given the go ahead to arrest the
girl's aunt for the crime of prostitution, sexual exploitation and corruption of minors.

Torrevieja requests clarity on Plusvalía

The local council has presented a motion to the national government in Spain
asking for clarification of the situation regarding collection of Plusvalía tax.
This is the tax collected by the town hall from the seller when a property is
sold. How much Plusvalía is payable depends upon the property’s rateable
value and the estimated increase on the land’s worth since it was first
There have been problems with the tax in that it has been charged even
where people have not made a profit on selling their property. However, they
have still had to pay the tax on an alleged increase in the value of the land
even though this has not translated into a capital gain for the person selling.
Recently cases have gone to court and some sellers have received their
money back. Now, tax collection agencies such as SUMA are refusing to
collect the tax due to the uncertainty of the situation.
This loss of tax revenue is having a major effect on town councils, particularly
ones like Torrevieja where the transfer of property has always been a major
source of income. In 2016 the town council collected €18,970,765 and this
reduced to €8,785,960 in 2017. A loss of €10,183,611. In 2016 the collection
of Plusvalía represented 19.5% of the total revenue of the city to 9.68% in
The situation has become even more acute because not only are collections
reduced but money has been paid back. In the last four months of 2017,
€282,964 was collected but €980,509.82 had to be returned which represents
a loss of €438,430 to the local budget. The continued loss of this income will
have a significant impact on the town’s ability to finance its projects.
The motion that the town council has submitted, supported by SUMA,
requests that the Spanish government amends the current law to better reflect
the actual increase in the price of the land, where such an increase exists.

Three accused of rape ten years ago

Prosecutors have asked for seven years prison for three men accused of
raping a young woman ten years ago in a club in Torrevieja. It is claimed that
the young woman was drunk and abused in turn in a car by the three young
men. The young woman was 18 years old at the time of the alleged attack
and the car was parked in the disco car park. The offence took place in
August 2008.
It is alleged that the young woman first started talking to the men inside the
discotheque and seeing the state she was in they took her outside to the car
of one of the accused. It is alleged that one of them put her on the back seat,
took off her clothes and raped her, then leaving the car whilst the second and
third man took their turn.
The case is being tried in Elche and one of the questions being asked is why
it has taken ten years to come to court.Sexual offences are supposed to be a
priority when it comes to finding court room time. The reason given was the
delay in forensic and DNA testing, which was particularly difficult to collect as
the men were all still at liberty.
The accused yesterday assured the jury that the intercourse was consensual.
However, friends of the girl, including her cousin, maintain that she was in a
very drunk state and when they pulled her out of the car she could barely
move. As such, it will not be accepted as a consensual act. However, the
accused have continued to blame the young woman claiming that it was she
who asked them to have intercourse with her.
The victim could not remember the rape following the incident as a result of
the large quantity of alcohol she had consumed. The young men, were aged
between 20 and 25 years old at the time. Two of them talked to the woman
inside the disco at around 2.30am. The third joined them outside and took part
in the attack which is claimed to have lasted around two hours. Eventually,
her friends found her and took her out of the vehicle.
The trial continues and the statements of the forensic doctor and the details of
the emergency forensic report will be heard. During the medical examination
the semen from all three defendants was found in the young woman’s body,
confirming that there was penetration on all three occasions.
In addition to the request of a seven year prison sentence, the prosecutor is
asking for €10,000 compensation for the victim with the payment being shared
between the defendants. A restraining order has also been requested for 10
years prohibiting the accused from coming within 500 metres of the victim’s
home. As the three men are from Alicante this would not cause great difficulty.

The budget is approved!

And finally, Torrevieja has a budget for 2018. This year’s budget was at last
agreed after months of debating when the two small opposition parties, Sueña
and Ciudadanos, agreed to back the proposals of the current town council.
The PP party continued to oppose the budget until the very end.
The final decision that the budget could go ahead was made on Monday 12 th
February at the town hall’s plenary session. The budget amounts to 90.6
million euros and received the final approval it needed to allow the council to
begin to make the changes they are hoping for. As the current government is
still in a minority they depended on the two parties of Sueña and Ciudadanos
joining them to provide 14 votes in favour.
The Popular Party (PP) remained the only party to oppose the budget but
their 11 councillors were insufficient to prevent the budget from going through.
They had raised a number of legal issues to try and prevent it being agreed
but these were insufficient to see its passing quashed.
Two unresolved issues were used by the PP to freeze agreement on finances
for the coming year. One was in relation to Torreta III where a case had been
brought by the residents for renovation of the estate. However, a court ruled
that this appeal be suspended. Another hurdle had been the Sustainability
Mobility Plan which the PP demanded be included in the budget. However,
the opposition were unsuccessful in holding this as an impediment to the
budget being agreed.
The arrival of a new budget to work with is a significant relief for the local
council. It should enable them now to go ahead with their plans and make
some improvements to the town. It should allow them to address issues to do
with the rubbish collection service, the cleaning of public buildings and urban
Explaining their support for the budget, Ciudadanos spokesperson Pilar
Gómez Magán explained; ‘We can not hinder the normal development of town
hall projects. If we do not support the budget we will be harming the citizens of
the town.’
Speaking for the Sueña political party, Pablo Samper recognised that this is a
budget with cross party support. It is the first budget where those in opposition
have also had opportunity to make a contribution. There was criticism of the
PP’s attempt to block the budget. However, they remain resolute in their
objections to it.

Tackling violence against teenage girls

Torrevieja has begun a campaign to prevent violence amongst teenagers,
particularly focusing on violence against teenage girls. The council has
produced a guide aimed at parents and this will be presented on 1 st March at
the Palacio de la Música.
It will also be backed with talks in educational centres and with practical
workshops and videos edited for the occasion. Councillor for equality, Fabiana
Ibarra, launched the campaign on 14 th February. She explained that the guide
includes the signs to watch out for that perhaps your daughter is a target of
abuse and what you might do about it.
Schools will be playing videos that also raise awareness of the issue
focussing specifically on the abuse that can take place within a relationship
during the teenage years.
‘Our aim is to clarify what violence against women is,’ explains Fabiana
Ibarra, ‘including physical and psychological examples but also to identify
other types of mistreatment and types of behaviour that sometimes our young
people do not recognise as being forms of abuse and control. The best way to
address the problem of violence against women is through prevention.’
Parents, as well as schools, are being targeted with this awareness raising
campaign. This recognises the important role that messages received from
home have alongside those they receive from school. The videos
demonstrate what it is like to be the victim of abuse and how it feels. The
issue can be particularly difficult as the abuse is often perpetrated by
someone that the young victim cares deeply about or even loves.
It encourages boys as well to see how the violence can start in their own
behaviour. ‘Violence against women is a problem for all of us,’ says councillor
Fabiana, ‘and we must all be involved in the campaign to eradicate it.’

Sunday shop opening slashed

The Valencian Parliament has recently approved a modification to the Commerce Law which
limits the opening on Sundays and fiesta days in places classed as “Tourist Influx Zones
(ZGAT)” to 40 per year. In the Vega Baja this directly affects shopping centres in Orihuela
Costa, Torrevieja and Pilar de la Horadada, which until now could open every Sunday of the
They will now have just 40 of these days between the Sundays and fiesta days at Easter and
between 15th June and the first Sunday in January, when the sales start. As a result,
commercial centres like Zenia Boulevard and Habaneras will have limited opening on
Sundays and fiesta days between February and June. It is expected that big stores will have
to close in this way from Sunday, 25 th February 2018.
It should be noted that small businesses can still open every day of the year.
The modification to the law was promoted by the Socialist (PSOE) and Compromís parties,
and allowed to pass with the abstentions of Podemos and Ciudadanos, and was voted
against by the Partido Popular (PP).
Valencia Councillor for Commerce Rafael Climent said he was pleased to have approved this
agreement that was reached by an observatory of business and workers organisations in
"We have put an end to more than 25 years of controversy over the opening of shops on
weekends and fiestas and now at last we can concentrate on the problems of this sector
which is deeply rooted and fundamental to our economy," he said.

Ryanair launches 2018 flight schedule for Spain

Ryanair, the popular low cost airline in Europe, has announced its 2018 winter calendar for
Spain, which includes more than 500 routes in total, 29 new connections and an increase in
frequency in 35 of the routes that it already operates. With all this, the company expects to
transport more than 41.5 million passengers this year in 26 Spanish airports, which means a
9 percent increase in operations in Spain and 31,500 jobs.
Flights will run from Valencia to Bourgogne (France), Cagliari and Palermo in Sicily (Italy),
Fez and Tangiers (Morocco), and Bristol (UK), and four times weekly to Valletta (Malta)
from Barcelona.
New routes will open from Palma de Mallorca to Milan, Bergamo and Rome Ciampino
(Italy) and Düsseldorf Weeze (Germany); from Tenerife South to Milan Malpensa, and
Gran Canaria to Venice Treviso.
Alicante flights will now include routes to Bologna (Italy), Gdansk (Poland) and Newquay in
Cornwall (UK), and an additional connection will run from Santander, Cantabria to
Budapest (Hungary).
Sevilla airport will get the most new routes – 13 in total – with flights between two and
three times a week to Bristol, Edinburgh (Scotland, UK), Cagliari and Catania (Siciliy),
Valletta, Nantes (France), Oporto (Portugal), Tangiers and Rabat (Morocco), Venice
Treviso, Luxembourg, and national connections to Alicante and the island of
Starting next month, customers in Spain will be able to make their advance reservations to
travel until March 2019, with even cheaper prices and enjoying the latest improvements to
the "Always Improving" program, which includes:
• The reduction in the price and increase in the allowed size of the checked luggage – a
suitcase of 20 kg for €25.
• Connecting flights in Rome, Milan and Porto – new airports will be added soon.
• Ryanair Rooms with a 10 percent Travel Credit.
• Ryanair Transfers – more options for transfers with a new partner, Car Trawler.
• Promise of Punctuality – the company is committed to maintaining the rate of punctuality
of its flights by 90 percent.
• Lowest Price Promise – if a customer finds a lower rate, the difference plus €5 will be
refunded to your My Ryanair account.
Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair, said today in Madrid: "We are delighted to announce our
2018 winter calendar for Spain, which includes 29 new routes (more than 500 in total) and
an increase in frequencies in 35 existing routes . With all this, we expect to transport 41.5
million passengers a year in Spanish airports, which represents a 9 percent growth in the
country. Our customers in Spain can book their flights for next winter starting next month,
and still enjoy our low prices, so there has never been a better time to book a flight with
To celebrate the announcement of our 2018 winter program for Spain, we have launched a
range of seats from just € 19.99 to travel between March and May through "
He has also assured that the 20 percent pay rise offered to the carrier's 800 pilots will not
result in any increases in flight prices, even though it will mean a further €100 million in
overheads for the group over the next 12 months.
Instead of passing the cost onto the customer, O'Leary assures that the extra payout will
simply mean 'reduced profits' for Ryanair.
He has urged Spain-basaed pilots' union SEPLA 'not to delay things any further' in terms of
voting for the 20 percent pay increase and for them to reach an agreement to avoid
labour conflict.
SEPLA should allow pilots to vote favourably if they wish to, O'Leary insists.
Although he has famously stated that he does not recognise SEPLA as a binding union, this
is 'a separate issue' to the salary increase negotiations, he argues.

RBL immortalise Capilla de las Mil Palmeras in oil

Ignacio Ramos, the mayor of Pilar de la Horadada, was the guest of honour at last Thursday’s
meeting of the Royal British Legion held in Mil Palmeras.
The mayor was accompanied by Pilar Maria Samper, the councillor for Tourism and Commerce in the
town, where he was presented by an oil painting of the local Catholic Church, La Capilla de las Mil
Palmeras, by the President of the Orihuela Costa and District Branch, Pastor Keith Brown.
A decision to make a suitable presentation to the town was made in appreciation of the outstanding
support provided to the Branch in all of the ten years since it was first formed.
In that time the one constant factor has been the use for its Remembrance Services of La Capilla de
las Mil Palmeras so it was thought that an oil painting of the church might be an appropriate gift.
The project was discussed at a chance meeting with well-known local artist and RBL supporter
Suzanne Stokes, and with the assistance of her photographer husband, David, a number of suitable
images of the church were captured and the venture was underway.
When Suzanne spoke to the Branch President after the presentation she admitted at just how
nervous she had been on accepting the commission. “Being an artist who specialises on the human
form I was extremely worried that I might not be able to do the building justice. It is a beautiful
church and there were lots of elaborate shadows and reflected light that I had to consider, but on
seeing the reaction of the mayor and the branch members to the painting I am absolutely delighted
at how it turned out.”
In thanking the branch members Mayor Ignacio Ramos was clearly delighted by the gesture. He
spoke of his appreciation of the RBL, the good work that they do and the importance of the role that
they play in the local community. He talked of the two world wars, the awful losses that had been
suffered across Europe, the Commonwealth and the rest of the world by all nations, and the
importance in ensuring that it must not happen again.
As he addressed the branch the mayor became quite emotional. He said how deeply moved he was
by the presentation, the kind words from members and the genuine affection that he felt from
within the room as the presentation was made.
Following the departure of the mayor Pastor Keith welcomed Sheila Chinnock to the front of the
room. He explained how, in recent years, Sheila had donated numerous paintings to local charities
on the Costa Blanca, and last year how she had combine her two hobbies to create a poppy calendar
in order to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.
The calendar features some of Sheila’s most popular poppy paintings, including the one that was
commissioned by Stevie Spit for his Royal British Legion and AECC fundraiser at Benidorm Palace.
As a result of her endeavours Sheila was able to present the proceeds from the sales, almost 250
euro, to the RBL Poppy Appeal Organiser, Eddie Coleman.
Sheila said: “If my paintings and this calendar can make someone happy by raising a smile and
helping someone in need by raising a euro, then they will have done everything I hoped.”

Orihuela Costa Sports Centre hosts Goalkeeper Clinic

The official sports centre for the coast, CDM Orihuela Costa, in collaboration with the Club Deportivo
Rayo Orihuela is to hold its second annual Performance Clinic for Goalkeepers, which will take place
on 3rd, 4th and 5th April, from 10:30am to 1:30pm.
The aim of the Clinic is to develop and evolve all the technical-tactical and psychological aspects of
the specific position of goalkeeper. Those taking part will experience high performance exercises,
activities in the indoor pool and workshop talks with video analysis of actual performances on the
The during the last day of the course the "Batalla Final de Porteros" match will be held which will
consist of a “play off” between two goalkeepers in a playing field of reduced dimensions with two
The Clinic is aimed at children aged between 7 and 19 years of age and the sessions will be directed
by qualified coaches, with extensive experience and will be conducted in both Spanish and English,
and is aimed at all goalkeepers at all levels. Participants will be provided with fruit, water and
isotonic drink in addition to receiving a gift t-shirt.
Registration is open from Monday, 12 th February until Monday, 2 nd April. There will also be planned
discounts for students already enrolled in the sports schools of the CDM in the 2017-2018 season.
Those interested in participating can enrol for registration at the reception of the Sports Centre or by
calling 965 503 915, sending a WhatsApp message to 661 796 798 or sending an email to:

More skyscrapers on the horizon

An application has been made to build four tower blocks of up to 29 storeys in
la cala del Palangre between el Cura beach and Los Locos. This follows on
from the application to build Baraka towers next to Doña Sinforosa park close
to Acequión beach. The new application for Don Sento Towers has been put
forward by the firm Metrovacesa who are originally from Elche and have a
long history of this kind of building work in Torrevieja, Orihuela Costa and
Santa Pola.
The applications are taking advantage of modifications in planning laws that
were agreed a decade ago by the PP but were opposed by the councillors
who are currently leading the town council. Permission to build comes with the
requirement that at least half of the accommodation is intended for hotel use.
The plans are very much in the early stages and studies must be done
spanning different departments and including what the environmental impact
might be. The company interested in the building work has not yet set any
date for when they might begin because of the time it can take to get the
necessary permission.
The planned buildings are not without controversy. Both that of Baraka and
Metrovacesa are planned in parts of the town where they will have a very high
profile and could impact upon areas of interest such as the Acequión salt
works and the beaches. They will also break the skyscraper limit of six floors
that is largely in place in these areas currently.
Members of the present local council, including those from Los Verdes and
IU, have opposed such building previously. However, the agreement that this
land could be used was made many years ago and Councillor Fanny Serrano
has explained that the agreement cannot be reversed.