Local Daily News 27th July
The Generalitat authorises the environmental impact of the construction of 2,200 homes in Cala Mosca
The General Directorate of Quality and Environmental Education of the Generalitat Valenciana has issued a complementary resolution to the Environmental Impact Statement of the urbanisation project of 2,200 homes in Alameda del Mar, better known as Cala Mosca, which declares that the conditions of effective protection of protected species by the developer agent are fulfilled.
This resolution, which was issued on the 19th, is the last step for the final approval of the modification of the urbanisation project by the Orihuela City Council, which would allow the resumption of the works, which were paralyzed in 2007, “before the end of the year”, according to the intention of the construction company. It must be remembered that the Pativel gives a deadline to start the works before March of next year; Otherwise, this last kilometre of virgin coastline on the Orihuela coast would be incorporated into the green infrastructure. Neighbourhood groups and environmentalists have proposed to the Consell that the Vega Baja Territorial Action Plan, which is under study of allegations, declassify the land.
The Ministry gives the green light to a series of interventions and modifications that the company carried out last May to comply with the conditions imposed in 2018 by the General Directorate of the Natural Environment and Environmental Assessment to the Environmental Impact Statement and thus be able to carry out the project.
Among the proposed improvements is the expansion of the micro-reserve of flora to protect the endemic plant called the cat’s head jarilla (Helianthemum caput-felis), as well as another space to guarantee the conservation of the population of the tudorella mauretanica snail.
With this adaptation, the planning would affect 27 specimens of jarilla (0.17% of the total population), keeping 99.8% (15,556) in their original position, when in the 2007 proposal this figure only amounted to 25.6% (4,018). In terms of surface, it translates into increasing the extension of the micro-reserve by 8.1 hectares, going from 2.95 to 11.1.
In addition, the planting and translocation -or transfer- of specimens of both species that could be affected by the project is included, something that in any case requires an express authorization from the General Directorate of the Natural Environment and Environmental Assessment.
The promoter must also issue periodic reports on the environmental surveillance and monitoring program, which covers the period prior to the execution of the works, their development and subsequent compliance with the conservation measures, with an annual report in which the monitoring of the response and evolution of protected species, as well as the restoration of habitats and landscapes.
The resolution contemplates a series of requirements regarding access to beaches and coves from the reserve, which will have a perimeter fence that will prevent the access of vehicles, people and animals.
A connection of the pedestrian bike lane with Cabo Peñas beach is indicated, which will have a maximum width of 1.5 metres. The surface will be compacted earth and in its final metres a series of walls will be built on its sides to prevent erosion.
There will be a fence that will delimit access from the start of the Vial Perimetral Ciclista (VPC) on the Cala Mosca promenade to the edge of the cliff, eliminating the possibility of vehicles, people and animals passing through the flora micro-reserve.
A perimeter fence will also be installed to the north of the Pedestrian Access (AP) at the base of the slope of Cala Cabo Peñas, so that the protected flora specimens are not affected, and also at the base of the slope of the southern area of the Cala Cabo Peñas.
The urban development agent has insisted in a statement that the project “proposes a scrupulous protection and surveillance of the protected species of Cala Mosca”, guaranteeing “the preservation of the Orihuela littoral environment and the protection of endemic species in this coastal enclave” .
Likewise, it has indicated “the commitment to redefine two plots corresponding to the beach facilities, taking into account the new censuses of protected species that will be carried out immediately before the urbanisation works”, so that “any condition is avoided”, as well as “adapt the development of the work to the maximum protection of the protected flora and fauna in Cala Mosca”. He has even underlined that “the projected intervention may generate the implantation of an important micro-reserve in this area of Orihuela”.
The Government urges the mayor of Torrevieja to cancel the salary increase of the Local Police
The sub-delegate of the Government in the province of Alicante, Araceli Poblador Pacheco, has given the mayor of Torrevieja, Eduardo Dolón, a period of one month to annul the agreement that the plenary adopted in an extraordinary and urgent session on June 7th by which the budget and the staff were approved. Specifically, the part that claims to be annulled is the budget allocation that was allocated to make effective the modification of the Job List, which established a salary increase in the positions of agent, officer, inspector, mayor and commissioner of the Local Police, considering that “the legal precepts have been infringed”.
In other words, in view of the documentation provided by the local administration, the Government Subdelegation determines that the increase in remuneration in all the jobs of the Local Police staff “is not protected or justified” by law , since this increase is higher than what is established by the General State Budget Law for 2021.
The modification of the Job List, which was approved at the governing meeting on December 17th, 2020, increases 12.82% for the agent position, 11.37% for the officer position, 14.33% for the inspector, 19.77% for intendant and 38.74% for commissioner. “Without this increase being unique and exceptional, but representing a general and linear increase in remuneration in all the places that make up the Local Police,” warns the official letter that the Government has sent to the City Council.
All this, continues the letter, without the assigned functions being new, but a description of those that are inherent to the job. In this regard, it recalls that “a variation in complementary remuneration is only allowed if, in general and exceptionally, they are essential due to the content of the jobs, due to the variation in the number of staff assigned to each program or due to the grade achievement of the set objectives”.
However, in this case “the exceptional nature of the measure is not justified, nor is its essential nature,” he concludes.
In any case, the Councillor for Finance, Domingo Paredes, has already stated that the City Council is not going to proceed with the annulment, because he considers, “as the Contentious Administrative Court number 1 of Elche has already ruled, that it is adjusted to law and acts in favour of municipal officials.
Thus, the mayor has stated that “the Subdelegation will have to go to court to try to ensure that these modifications of the destination complement are not carried out.” In addition, he added that “these resolutions against the departures of personnel of many municipalities in the province has become a common practice of the Subdelegation, which goes totally against the remuneration rights of municipal officials.”
These statements have been made as a result of the Los Verdes group demanding the resignation of Paredes and Dolón in the face of what they have branded as “a setback” for the PP government team, by “knocking down the 2020 and 2021 budgets”, as issued by the training in a statement.
Although the same letter immediately stated that the annulment referred to the personnel area, Paredes’ response has been immediate to deny that the budgets have been knocked down, in the face of what he has described as “a crude attempt by Los Verdes to confuse, once again, to the citizenry”.
In any case, from Los Verdes they have insisted that Poblador Pacheco’s office is motivated by “the lack of legal certainty”, since “the 2020 and 2021 budgets have become evident proof of the wrongdoing of the Party government Popular led by Dolon”.
Paredes recalled that the municipal budgets for 2020 and 2021 have been ratified in court, also condemning the Los Verdes-Compromís councillor, Israel Muñoz, to pay the costs of the proceedings, for which “the total legality of the same”.
Finally, Los Verdes has pointed out that “despite the threats, the anti-democratic and despotic attitudes that are being manifested in the City Council under the mandate of the PP and the direct orders of Eduardo Dolón, we are not going to give up our efforts to work for a Torrevieja deserves to be up to the standard of citizenship”.
National tourism catapults the Costa Blanca towards being full in August
The pull of last-minute bookings has had a soothing effect on the tourism sector on the Costa Blanca this July, and at the gates of August hotels and tourist apartments have already filled 85% of their places and they are convinced that in what remains of the week, many establishments will hang the full sign, thanks to the push of Spanish tourism. Precisely, the commitment to local tourism, to unique experiences and to maintaining safety and hygiene levels after the pandemic are the main hotel trends for this summer, according to the company specialised in conversational commerce CM.com, which ensures that one of the levers that are going to boost tourism recovery around the world is to improve the quality experience offered to the customer. Madrid, Castilla-León, Castilla-La Mancha, Navarra and the Basque Country, granaries of tourists, but where most of them come from is the Valencian Community itself.
July says goodbye with an average occupancy up to 10% higher than that of the same month in 2019, which has allowed many hotels to even exceed the 2019 figures in billing, but increases in production costs of up to 20 % for inflation. All in all, a much better month than expected. The hotel sector is recovering, although there is still a long way to go to reach the figures for 2019, forecasts indicate that in 2022 the Spanish hotel sector will register a growth of 70% compared to last year.
Among the trends identified that will mark the hotel market this summer, the commitment to local tourism by trips stands out. After the pandemic, many countries gradually reopened their borders. However, the constant changes in restrictions and the fear of contagion of the disease are still holding back international tourism. In 2022, Spanish tourists will make between two and three trips, preferably choosing national destinations for their rest.
Tourists today are looking for new experiences that are unique and local. After experiencing the limitations of the pandemic, people now want to make the most of every moment. Experts say that in order to reach the customer, having a good online presence is essential, as well as establishing sufficient communication channels to resolve possible doubts.
For tourists, the issue of safety and hygiene also remains essential. Despite the fact that most of the restrictions imposed to prevent the transmission of the virus have been lifted, hygiene continues to be a priority in the hotel sector.
According to the CM.com report, the pre-pandemic feeling of comfort and relaxation has not yet returned, so it is important to keep in mind what hygiene measures are taken in order to keep guests satisfied.
Almost half of the guests indicate that the technology factor is decisive in recommending an establishment, and a function that can make their trip easier is to check-in and check-out using their mobile. The report also points out that today’s travellers turn to their devices to check-in for flights, order a taxi or reserve a table at their favourite restaurants. They look for this same comfort when doing the ‘check-in’ in the hotels. Instead of queuing at the front desk, guests want to go directly to their room through a simple process.
Chatbots are another of the biggest trends in the hospitality industry when it comes to customer service, and they can be especially useful for quickly responding to potential questions, even when human agents aren’t available.
They can solve problems on first contact and collect information to pass on to an operator if necessary. Thanks to them, guests receive a good customer experience and, in addition, they allow companies to save customer service costs by accelerating response time, reducing the burden on agents to focus on more demanding questions and responding up to 80% of routine questions.
The digital key is also imposed in establishments. Physical cards have been replaced by digital cards on mobile phones to facilitate arrival and reduce key loss. Now guests can use the digital key through their smartphones to access their room without relying on a physical key.
The commitment to the environment also becomes, according to the report, a key element in tourist trips that are made from now on. Guests are increasingly interested in knowing whether the companies whose products or services they purchase act ethically. For this reason, they are increasingly looking for ways to spend their holidays in the most sustainable way possible.
And to finish, another of the key points to take into account as a trend is the greater personalization in travel. Today’s travellers demand more personalised travel experiences. Spending has increased by 18% and the demand for personalised and exclusive packages has shot up 88% compared to 2019. When it comes to customer service, travellers are looking for an increasingly personal approach, they want to receive personal treatment and not an anonymous or general one.
Vinalopó Hospital initiates genetic advising to assess what causes a misscarriage
Suffering an miscarriage is one of the most traumatic experiences a couple can go through. In most cases, it is never known what caused it, because detailed tests are not carried out to reach the causes. The woman and her partner are always likely to have doubts about why this happened. And what usually happens next, is the fear of whether it will happen again in the event that the woman becomes pregnant again. Genetic diagnoses are made in private clinics, but it is not so common in public hospitals. In Elche, the Vinalopó Hospital, public but privately managed, has launched a genetic advising circuit to establish the causes that could have caused a misscariage. The hospital centre, together with the laboratory of the health group, Ribera Lab, located in Torrellano, has started this multidisciplinary genetic counselling that allows information to be obtained from prenatal and preconception genetic tests to find out what has caused the pregnancy loss or a foetal anomaly.
Thus, in cases of couples who suffer repetitive miscarriages or in which, once conception is achieved, some fetal anomaly is diagnosed, specialists start up this counseling circuit by carrying out genetic studies. “When there is a genetic or genomic finding, this circuit will always be activated, in the hospital the cases are detected and the samples are taken, which are sent to the laboratory for analysis, with the collaboration between clinicians and geneticists, because it is useless to carry out a genetic test without a professional interpreting the information obtained from the results obtained”, explains Ribera Lab genetics specialist Mercedes Navarro. Many patients, she acknowledges, fear genetic testing, but it is actually an effective and sensitive tool for prenatal diagnosis.
The communication process involved in genetic counselling is structured in two phases. Firstly, multidisciplinary genetic studies are carried out on the cases proposed by the Gynaecology and Obstetrics team, with which it is determined what type of genetic studies should be done in the event of a suspected diagnosis or ultrasound finding. Once the sample has been analysed in the laboratory, a consensus is reached with the clinical interpretation of the genetic test, a discussion about the risks, and the follow-up options that should be offered to the patient are established.
In the second phase, the Genetic Council “translates” the results so that they are accessible and understandable by patients in order to jointly make decisions about clinical and therapeutic actions, and is informed about the risk that a genetic condition can be repeated in a new pregnancy and the available options. “Genetics allows us to know some of the causes of why a pregnancy does not occur or does not reach term, and observing a genetic problem in the foetus can reflect the carrier status of some parents,” explains Navarro. Knowing this information, she adds, the technology puts at her disposal different options to avoid a genetic cause in a new pregnancy.
It is advisable to consider whether there is a family genetic load before the gestational desire and thus carry out a preconception study to study the risks of recurrence in the event of a new pregnancy. “Some fathers may be carriers of some chromosomal alteration or genomic variant without knowing it, and their offspring may inherit some imbalances.” With all this clinical information, hospital and laboratory professionals anticipate the clinical context, which also raises ethical questions that are analysed and addressed in this circuit.
In this way, the objective sought is to help the couple make their decisions in an informed, free and responsible manner, resolving their doubts. In the prenatal counselling circuit, the biological interpretation of the genetic data is implemented in the most precise and rapid way possible to improve diagnostic performance. For its part, in the case of the preconception counseling circuit, the process begins by communicating to the couple with fertility problems or repeated miscarriages what kind of repercussions the genetic load of the analyzed sample has for their future offspring. At the same time, it allows detecting other carriers within the family, understanding the mode of inheritance of a genetic condition, seeing other factors of infertility and discussing the best options in the face of a future gestational desire.