Local Daily News 13th May

Work begins to recover the Paseo del Paradís in La Vila Joiosa

The aim is to recover metres of beach and protect the promenade from future coastal phenomena with the construction of a breakwater. The works to rehabilitate the first line of the Paradís beach in La Vila Joiosa have already begun, an action that will fix the damage suffered after the last storms and that took away part of this area. The works are financed by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, through the territorial direction of Coasts, who declared them an emergency due to their importance.

The machines are already working in this beach area of ​​the Vilnius coast to fix all the damage caused by the sea a few weeks ago and which, in addition to the beach, affected the front-line promenade, built in 2014 and which has an area of ​​340 metres long and 16 metres wide. Mayor Andreu Verdú; the Councilor for Beach Maintenance, Kiko Carreres; and the mayor of Urbanism, Pedro Alemany, verified first-hand this Thursday the start of the action that will regenerate and protect the coastline against future storms such as those experienced a few weeks ago.

The intervention, carried out by emergency route, focuses on the construction of a breakwater, a set of cement or stone blocks along the 300 metres that line the Paradís promenade with the beach area, in order to protect it from wave action. At the same time, work is being done to remove the landfill that was on the affected part of the beach, allowing metres of sand to be gained, which was literally swallowed up by the maritime storm. The work started will also create new accesses that connect the promenade with the sand area along the new breakwater.

The mayor stressed that the works have already begun and “the work is going at a good pace.” A rapid intervention that “will allow the complete repair of the damage caused by the storm before the summer season.” But above all, they will also have a long-term function because “they will improve the protection and conditions of this fantastic Vila beach”, the mayor pointed out.

The Paradís beach was “the most affected” by the storm, although it also reached other beaches such as Torres or Bol Nou and, above all, Centro beach. The central government included La Vila in the list of municipalities in which to act to alleviate the consequences of the latest storms in late March and early April.

For this, the Council of Ministers approved the allocation of 12.3 million euros to various provinces, 2.6 of them to Valencia and Alicante; and specifically 600,000 euros for the latter. In this last province, the most affected beaches were the Vila municipality, Altea, Calp, Guardamar and Torrevieja. The Ministry declared the works necessary to repair the damage caused by the maritime storms to be an emergency.

Thus, an important part of what is allocated to the province will go to regenerating this beach, one of the busiest in the town. In fact, the works are expected to be finished before the start of the summer season. This sandbank is one of those with the highest influx of visitors and where the City Council grants the concession for various services such as beach bars or hammocks, among others.

The province breaks business closing records in the first quarter

The companies proceeded very happily when the decreasing incidence of covid pointed towards a gradual economic recovery. But if there is something that this crisis has taught us, at least up to now, it is that it is very risky to claim victory. In the first quarter of this year, the province of Alicante has broken its particular record for the dissolution of firms, no less than 388, a record that was not even reached during the Great Recession of 2008. Most of these closures correspond to companies that had been trying to weather the storm throughout the pandemic, but that have finally been forced to give in to the pernicious effects of inflation and the war in Ukraine. However, there is also a positive fact to cling to, and that is that company creations are also on the rise.

The coronavirus pandemic had its biggest impact on the economy on the occasion of the initial lockdown of 2020, when all activity was paralyzed. From then on, the situation has been improving, although always with ups and downs caused by the restrictions that have been applied at the international level, depending on the successive waves of the virus. In any case, the evolution registered from the second half of last year, coinciding with the vaccination campaigns, definitely invited optimism, since the lower incidence of the disease in hospitals also brought with it a gradual lifting of the preventive measures, which were acting as a drag on companies.

But, once again, the forecasts have not been fulfilled. The most obvious sample is the data that has just been published by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), relating to the dissolution of commercial companies. And it is that the province of Alicante has registered in the first quarter of this year the closure of no less than 388 signatures, a figure never known to date in this same period. To begin with, this is a higher number than the other two years affected by the pandemic, since in the first three months of last year 314 dissolutions were registered, while in 2020 292 were recorded.

But in the historical series such a high figure does not appear either. In 2008, coinciding with the great financial crisis, the number of companies that closed in the province stood at 358, registering from then on lower scales in the following years. Only in 2013 was there a rebound similar to that of the current year, although, even so, it was of a lower nature, standing at 371.

When looking for explanations, we must refer to two factors that are having a strong impact on the economy at a general level. On the one hand, there is high inflation, caused by the rise, above all, in energy prices and raw materials, and, on the other, the armed conflict in Ukraine, which has made this situation even worse, adding to a panorama of absolute uncertainty.

The economist Francisco Llopis, from the Institute of Economic Studies of the Province of Alicante, explains that most of the dissolutions correspond to “companies that have been having a hard time throughout the entire pandemic and that, when they expected that the situation would improve, they have encountered new obstacles that have made their continuity impossible”.

The positive data, by contrast, is that of company constitutions. As already advanced from the Association of Property, Mercantile and Real Estate Registrars, the number of companies that began to walk during the first quarter of this year was 1,505, which represents an increase of 14.6% in relation to the same period last year. In addition, and this is a striking fact, it represents a growth rate five times higher than that of Spain as a whole.

Llopis, in any case, justifies this increase in the fact that the province of Alicante has been one of those that has registered the greatest destruction of the productive fabric, “which is why it is now recovering more intensely than other regions. It remains to be seen whether that trend continues.

The panorama that is drawn ahead is not too encouraging. According to the representative of Ineca, “there is a lot of uncertainty. Covid is still among us, although it is true that with less incidence in health centres. And on the other hand, inflation is not giving respite so far. Hope is pinned on a summer that looks like it’s going to be good from the point of view of tourism, and in the result that the measures that are being adopted to contain prices can offer”.

The beaches of Orihuela lead the blue flags of the province and Torrevieja of the marinas

La Vega Baja has obtained 32 blue flags (27 on its beaches and 5 in its marinas). Orihuela is the municipality of the province with the most distinctions, while Torrevieja heads the distinctions of marinas, adding this year one more (Marina Salinas) to those it already had (Marina Internacional and the Real Club Náutico Torrevieja), according to the list that has been spread by the Association of Environmental and Consumer Education. Thus, this badge, which recognizes the good state of the waters and sand on the coast, the high level of services and the safety offered to bathers, will wave this summer on 621 Spanish beaches.

In Guardamar del Segura, Playa dels Vivers recovers the award it lost in 2016, in addition to revalidating the title at El Moncaio, Centro and La Roqueta. For the fifth consecutive year, all the beaches of Orihuela (11) will bear the blue flags: Punta Prima, Cala Bosque, La Caleta, Cala Capitán, Aguamarina, Campoamor, Barranco Rubio, Cala Estaca, Cala Mosca, Cala Cerrada and Mil Palmeras. The councillor of the Orihuela City Council area, Antonio Sánchez, highlighted that it is once again the second city in Spain with the most blue flags, along with Vigo, and the first in the Valencian Community, “thus maintaining this quality mark on our coastline for a fourth year in a row.” In this sense, he has recognized that with “the work, perseverance and involvement of the different departments, we are once again fully renewing these badges that provide so much value as a national and international tourist destination”, stressed Sánchez, who also congratulated to the marina of Campoamor.

Pilar de la Horadada also renews the blue flags it obtained last year (Mil Palmeras, Jesuitas, Conde, Puerto, Las Higuericas and Calas de Rocamar), in addition to the Torre de la Horadada Yacht Club. Its mayor, José María Pérez, has stated that “repeating blue flags is a source of pride, not only because of the dedicated resources involved, but also because it is an achievement for dozens of workers and neighbours who use the beaches, as well as for the thousands of people who visit them”. He has also stressed that in addition to meeting the water quality criteria to guarantee a good bath, they provide information and environmental education on the ecosystem in which they are found and meet the requirements of environmental management, efficiency in waste cleaning, as well as such as public restrooms, access for people with disabilities and a lifeguard and first aid team.

Torrevieja has once again achieved this seal of quality on the beaches of Cabo Cervera, Cala de las Piteras, El Cura, Los Locos, Los Náufragos and Torrelamata-Sur.

Thus, the Vega Baja is positioned in a preferential place within the Valencian coast, which in turn has become for yet another year the Spanish autonomous community with the most blue flags, with 158 badges, 21.67% of the country’s total. In addition, Alicante has increased its distance as the most awarded province at a national level, with 91 blue flags (12.5% ​​of the total), ahead of Pontevedra, with 63, and Malaga, with 44.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition has recalled that it maintains the aid allocated to municipalities for purification, sanitation and green filters that favour the regeneration of water. Finally, he indicated that this year these grants have reached 2,113,725 euros.

The Dolores waste transfer plant will open this summer with the collection of containers

The Vega Baja Sustainable Consortium, the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition and Ecoembalajes España S.A. have held the conference “Sustainable Vega Baja. Actions to improve waste management” in the Francisco Grau de Bigastro municipal auditorium.

The representative of the Consell in the public management entity, the general director of Quality and Environmental Education, Joan Piquer, has stated that “there is a clear will on the part of the Generalitat and all the political groups of the Consortium” to launch the Dolores waste transfer plant “as soon as possible in the manner determined by the plenary session of the Consortium”. He has also stressed that the intention is “to start as soon as possible with some of the fractions to start up the installation gradually, which is the most appropriate”. In this sense, he has clarified that all parties agree to start with light packaging, precisely the theme of the day, which could be “this summer”. The summer season is the one that poses the most problems when it comes to managing waste, especially due to the increase in population in the coastal municipalities.

However, he has recognized that “work continues with the technicians to fine-tune the fringes that remain so that it works as soon as possible”; that is to say, “clearing up the different unknowns posed by the complex regulations, both on contracts and on waste and administrative procedure”.

This same Monday, at the meeting of the government commission of the Vega Baja Sustainability Consortium, Piquer pointed out that the opening of the transfer plant can no longer be delayed and that it will be temporarily assumed by the regional public company Vaersa, an urgent measure while the Consortium and the company that has been awarded this management by competition, the UTE Vega Baja (Cespa-Ortiz), reach an agreement on the price per ton.

On this occasion, he has stated that “two different operators can coincide to treat two different waste streams, it is not necessary to establish one alternative or the other, but first the technical and legal reports must be assessed”.

As for the conference, he stressed that it brings together the different agents involved, being “the first group act to be held in the Valencian Community after the approval of the state waste law, which promotes the separate collection of packaging at source, which represents an economic saving for the cost of the treatment plant in the municipalities”.

For her part, the president of the Consortium and mayor of Bigastro, Teresa Belmonte (PP), has pointed out that it is a very productive day “for the best selective collection by the municipalities, since if it is done effectively it is something that positively affects the rate paid”, for which he has invited the 27 municipalities that make up the Consortium to “implement these new advantages”.

Eva Checa, an Ecoembes technician, recalled that the Packaging Action Plan of the Valencian Community was carried out through an agreement between the Ministry and Ecoembes in 2017, with the intention of offering local entities tools to improve the selective collection of the fraction of light packaging, giving “important results” that have facilitated an extension until 2023.

Meanwhile, Joaquín Hernández, mayor of Dolores, is leading a proposal, at the moment unofficial, for the socialists to take control of the Consortium after the change of government in Orihuela will shift the majority of votes among the municipalities to the PSOE versus to the current one of the PP. The votes in the Consortium are divided between the municipalities (60% of the total), the Provincial Council (15%) and the Generalitat (25%). But first you have to take possession of the new representative of Orihuela and support for Hernández from the rest of the municipalities governed by the socialists in the region.

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